Friday, March 20, 2009

[day 79 ... march 20]

This was "catch up with friends!" day, as it turned out. Met Kim (college friend, one-time bridesmaid, and now Amazon retiree - lucky gal!) for coffee at Starbucks mid-morning. Well, neither of us drinks coffee - but a virtual coffee date, at any rate. (The hot chocolate at S-bucks is pretty decent - though it used to be better! Don't get me started...) We zoomed through a wide range of topics over the course of an hour or so. AIG bonuses and populist anger, YouTube videos of the macro/micro world (thought Niall would like those), work update, adventures in swing dancing, and much more. Great fun. Hope we'll do it more often than once every 9 months, which is our track record so far.

Kim also brought me her copies of the first four seasons of "The West Wing" - my new TV addiction (sorry, "House" :-). Hooray! I only have Season 2 and am just about finished, so it'll be great to start at the beginning and have so many episodes to watch. I'm sure someone out there has seasons 5 through 7, too. I've got time to track them down now.

Then later, Bruce, Mary and I actually enjoyed a "Fish Friday" lunch, after many moons of battling schedule wars. We used to head over to Building 25 for "Fish Friday" every week when we all worked in Building 16 together, before I moved from Office to Windows Mobile. Now I make over there when I can and enjoy catching up with all the news. We've all had some schedule upheaval/conflicts with the new year, so we don't often find a day when we can all meet - but today happened to be one of them.

And finally, a quick update on the chicks. They're getting huge! Still can't tell them apart, but honestly, we haven't spent a lot of time trying so far. :-)

[day 78 ... march 19]

Today is Tynor's 15th birthday. Happy birthday, Tynor! :-)

His birthday wish was to attend the PSCS school play, "Night and Her Stars," which is being presented today through Saturday at a theatre in the Seattle Center House. I really wanted to see the play too, so put together a plan to drop off the little guys at home with Grandma Shannon, drive downtown, meet up with Tynor, grab a quick dinner, and then see the play. It worked out great, though the logistics took lots of time. It didn't help that it was the Seattle Sounders first game, and there were two other events at Seattle Center as well (a Christian band and something at the Opera House).

But we made it to the play on time and enjoyed a great show. It's phenomenal what such a small group of kids can pull off - bravo! Kellen worked with Noni on the sound and lights, and they did a great job. :-)

The Space Needle was lit up fabulously as Kellen, Tynor and I headed back to the car after the show. I wish I'd had a tripod with me - it was such a cool sight.

[day 77 ... march 18]

Yesterday was the last day the venerable Seattle Post-Intelligencer (P-I) was published. What a sad day for Seattle, to lose one daily newspaper completely and have the other teetering on the brink. What will we do for investigative reporting and in-depth features without our daily newspapers??

Not just that, but I will sorely miss having the paper at our breakfast table if newsprint really does go away completely. It's pretty hard to give the comics to Niall, the weather to Cory, and keep the front page and editorials for myself if our only news is on a computer or TV screen. :-( I just like the look and feel of reading a real newspaper so much better than scanning articles online. But I guess I'm a dinosaur these days, and will probably soon have to adjust.

Will printed books fade away completely too? God, I hope not!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

[day 76 ... march 17]

Niall was quite intrigued by the traditions of St. Patrick's Day this year, and made sure he changed into his green sweatpants. I wasn't wearing any green but told him he wasn't allowed to pinch me anyway! His favorite part of the day was not having any homework because his teacher said the "leprechauns had stolen it." He thought that was quite the howler. :-)

Cory's class really got into the spirit of the day. Donna (his class teaching assistant) loves St. Pat's Day and they got into a lot of tales about leprechauns doing little tricky things (moving a lunch box or hiding boots) and leaving "fairy dust" (glitter) on the outside patio. Cory thought it was great fun.

Monday, March 16, 2009

[day 75 ... march 16]

The chicks are getting so big. Niall could hardly hold one today, they're getting so active and strong. Still darling, though. :-)

[day 74 ... march 15]

Grandpa Stan and Grandma Marian came by today to bring the finished chicken tractor to us - yay! It's fabulous. Grandpa made it almost completely from materials he already had in his shop, including a roof made from their house siding (cutouts that made room for two windows). The only possible hitch is that it's on the small side, so we're not sure there will be room for four chickens. But we'll see how it goes. Might double the run area or something else to provide more space.

Two of the pooches came with them (Star and Cody), squeezing in around the tractor (which filled most of the van, even with the back seats removed). Niall loved throwing the ball for the dogs, and Cory liked watching though he's still nervous about dogs running around him so energetically and was something of a cling-bunny every time they came anywhere near. I told him that when he's bigger, he won't be so worried about getting bowled over but I can understand how it's a bit scary right now.

Dad also fit in some work around the house, including installing a couple of track lights in the kitchen (where the old lights were down to one working bulb), patching the gutter in front where a tree limb poked a hole through (oh, and cleaning out the whole front gutter while he was in that area :-), and replacing the burnt out bulb in the security light out front. So nice to have all those things taken care of. With his strong encouragement, I moved the chicks to a much larger box (taller sides) as they were getting very close to flying out of the Tupperware they've been living in. Hopefully the box will last them until they're ready to be outside - fingers crossed.

[day 73 ... march 14]

Cory started watching "Toy Story" again this week, and of course, that brought on the sudden desire to borrow the potato head family from Sue again. I offered to ask her about it if he was ready to pack up the Army trucks and take them back. Oh, in a heartbeat - no question!

Sue thought today would be a good day to drop by for an exchange and a quick visit. Her dad had surgery last month and I wanted to see how he was doing as well, and he's a busy fellow with all his rehab and other appointments. So today was the day. Cory was counting down to it all week - one track mind! We enjoyed a bit of catching up, and he was so patient while Sue, her mom and dad and I all chatted. Amanda came up to say hi and Cory was so sweet, going over to sit with her and visit a bit. Niall wanted to come too, and he was bouncing off the walls in Sue's parents' little living room but we managed to get in a bit of a visit anyway. Then downstairs to find the beloved potato heads, and off for home to start playing with them. Such fun - Cory gets so into it.

Then Niall decided to set up a "town" in the family room with various items like shops with things for sale, a car lot, etc. - all so he could transform into a monster and come crashing through to knock them all down. Cory, of course, had to set up a similar scene in the living room. This is Niall taking great delight in playing the monster.

Niall also thought this was the day to make a movie of the chicks doing their cheeping thing. It was so cute: he added little "cue cards" saying things like "The one we thought wasn't going to make it," etc. And then finally "The End" for the last one. Maybe he's got a film career in his future (among many other possibilities!)

[day 72 ... march 13]

I looked out the window downstairs this morning, and saw the most beautiful moon peeking out between the trees in back. This photo doesn't capture it very well, but it was stunning. I love being able to look out my back window and see such incredible views of nature. We're pretty lucky to live where we do, no question.

[day 71 ... march 12]

I doubt there are many people who hate the twice-a-year time change more than I do. I wish we'd just pick something "in the middle" and stick with it year 'round. Adjusting my internal clock forwards and backwards is an experience I could do without, thank you very much.

Worse is adjusting the kids' clocks, especially Niall's. Cory adapts pretty quickly, but Niall takes a week or more to get fully converted to the new time, in either direction. "Spring Forward" is the hardest, of course. I dread it every year (for all the good it does me!)