Thursday, February 28, 2008

poor rhysie

seems he's got a sinus infection. crumbs. i just took him to the doc today b/c my mom has pneumonia and a ton of flu-ish-ness is going around. i was glad the doc told me i wasn't being silly by coming in - rhys didn't seem hugely sick when we came in. the nurse was iffy on why we were there...dr t was not. with the way things are progressing into worse and worse things and the flu that is going around, she absolutely felt it was better we come in than not (rhys was up a lot coughing last night and eaaaaaarrrrrrrly this morning). and glad we did b/c i never would have thought sinus infection!

so, off we toodled to walgreens - gads the pharmacy takes forever. even when the script ahs been called in. so now he's on abx and i've got him taking probiotics to replenish the good bugs.

now, when can we nap?

waiting for Dr Thomas

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

I have talked about Joshilyn Jackson before (see here and here and here- i practically know her - her best friend, Lydia, is one of mine - so see? one degree of separation! and i tried the - hmm - what was it called? oh yes, lizard brain/shangri la diet that she and lydia were doing...well, for about 10 minutes, anyway.

so, i get to talk about her again! partly b/c she's an author i adore, and also because the girls over at Dee's Book Dish (dee and dee) are having a contest. and i'm entering - see me here? yes, that's me, entering the contest. go check out their site! you too can enter to win THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING!!!

About the book (from the author's own website)

Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the very literal family skeleton stays buried or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished Actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel's life seems neat and on track--a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna--everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 14-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne.

The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is inexplicable--an unseemly mystery Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia's help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family's guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.

would you like to know something else that is so cool about this book? joshilyn (who is also a member of an outlandishly cool online quilting group of which i am also a member - dude, that sentence structure was just ick) chatted with the amazing Pamela Allen, some magic happened and Pamela made Laurel's wedding quilt because Laurel, like Pamela, is an art quilter!! i got to meet pamela in the flesh when we went to Lydia's for our Virginia adventure. pamela was teaching at Quilting Adventures (if you ever find yourself in Richmond, Virginia, do yourself a favor and GO THERE!!! Joyce has a beautiful store with wonderful fabrics - it's a joy of a store to visit and buy and fondle fabricses). it was wonderful to meet her. wayyyyy back when rhys was born, we had a photo shoot that included a baby in bowl shot. Pamela made a quilt from this and when we moved to sparks (during a low low time for me), she sent us the quilt as a housewarming gift. it's wonderful and beloved in our home. i'm including pictures of it too.

the whole quilt - doesn't it totally rock?

detail of rhys' face and hair

an eye

leaves -- i thought i got a picture of the key too, but i guess i didn't.

so - i suggest you go to Joshilyn's website and peruse her blog and her books and then buy them - and go to Pamela's site and enjoy and yes, she too has some of her fabulous quilts for sale and go to Dee's Book Dish as well :D it's fun to visit new places!!!


over on the side you'll see my little punky moods girlie -- i was really hoping for something like "pleased" or "chuffed" - but i'm settling for rock star.

why? well...partly b/c i am done with World Thinking Day (though i covered that yesterday w/my punky girlie being "relieved"). it went quite well, i think. cold/flu knocked two troops totally and completely down and out - as well as several other girls so instead of having 140 - 150 girls, we had 108. also had lots of family members and leaders. i'm quite pleased with how it turned out. i felt like i was going to throw up for most of it b/c i was nervous and worried and hoping the passports were well received and that the giving of foamy beads was not quite as difficult to hand out etc...most of the leaders were concerned about that, i think, but that was before i was able to explain what they would be doing with everything. i REALLY loved the passports i made. it took a LOT of thinking on my part to get it figured out. so - YEA!

the NEXT BIG BIG yea is that i'm done with my tests!!! not only that, but i kicked some bootay on my tests! i'm done with Nevada School Law, i'm done with US Constitution, i'm done with Nevada Constitution (would you believe i only missed one?!?), i'm done with the PRAXIS and i scored really high on MATH! MATH?!?? holy canoly! who'd have guessed it. i wish i could tell you what my essay question was b/c it just about did me in. i scored a 9 of 12 - which, while better than average (accdg to the paper i received), isn't really fabulous. ah well. i passed all 3 sections of the test with above average scores. i'm DE-FREAKIN-LIGHTED!!!

now i need to find out how to get my subbing license back in order. huzzah!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


this comes from teh fabulous and beautiful quilter/picture-taker/blogger extraordinaire DebR.

these are the rules -
One Word…

(It is not as easy as it looks)

1. Where is your cell phone? um......
2. Your significant other? amazing
3. Your hair? bob-ish
4. Your mother? creative
5. Your father? traveler
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? dream?
8. Your favorite drink? lemonade
9. Your dream/goal? happiness
10. The room you’re in? moo-fish
11. Your ex? huh?
12. Your fear? badness
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy
14. Where were you last night? world
15. What you’re not? organized
16. Muffins? depends
17. One of your wish list items? travel
18. Where you grew up? california
19. The last thing you did? etsy
20. What are you wearing? jams
21. Your TV? cyberchase
22. Your pet? loved
23. Your computer? connected
24. Your life? good
25. Your mood? relieved
26. Missing someone? yes
27 Your car? functional
28. Something you’re not wearing? anklet
29. Favorite Store? book
30. Your summer? bsy
31. Like someone? absolutely
32. Your favorite color? brights
33. When is the last time you laughed? morning
34. Last time you cried? february
35. Who will/would re-post this? whomever

Thursday, February 21, 2008

my bed has been taken

good thing they are so dang cute
heh heh


he may be on the clock and working, but he's having a mighty fine time too (well, duh, who wouldn't if they were in san francisco and staying at the grand hyatt??). heh heh.

go check out his fun pictures - and don't mind me, i'm just continuing to finish things up for thinking day...*eeeeeeek!*

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Craziness...Including World Thinking Day

my mind is on overload. complete and total overload. i know this because I was up until 12:00 am...then awake again at 1:00 and awake until - hmm - i think the last time i looked at my phone, it was 2:57. around 1:30 i went into rhys' room to sleep in his bed as he was in mine and i needed to read or do something that involved more light than i wanted in the room with sleeping people.

well - it's many hours later. pretty much as soon as i got up this morning, i was getting the kids' breakfasts and Irene's lunch, then out the door to get rob to the airport. on the way back, rhys and i went to safeway and got a few things for thinking day (found some tampico juices for pretty cheap - got as many as they had, got paper bags (200) - the lunch size all ready to be written on, and a few other things), then to the post office to drop off our signed papers for the re-fi we're doing (hopefully that's all still a go - they ddin't have everything correct on one of the many MANY papers we needed to sign), then back home b/c rhys wasn't going to happily go to another few stores as i tried to find the best buy on waters and maybe more juices.

so - the overload is mostly worrying about World Thinking Day - i'm in charge of it...this seemed like a safe and sane idea way back in august when i said i'd do it. then november arrived and pat stopped chemo and there were the holidays and visiting/supporting/etc as much as we could, during that time my gramma also went into the hospital with pneumonia and what turned out to be congestive heart failure, then being exactly where we needd to be with Pat and Bob and Rob's sisters during Pat's last days (truly, there's *NOplace* we'd have rather been than in Lodi during that time). when we came back home after that last week, i promptly started scanning/archiving/documenting photos to get ready for pat's memorial so that rob would have one less thing to have to do. my gramma went back into the hospital and the day before pat's memorial, gramma was able to go to my cousin vicki's and hospice was put into place (gramma is now back with my great aunt in the little house with full time caregivers). so, things have been a and things that have been more important than planning World Thinking Day have been going on - OH YEAH! and my tests too! blurg!

so - this past week i've been non stop thinking about it. i think i have lots of things in place - just need to make my mind work for the printing - i'm making little passports for 150 girls (give or take) - i have the outside of the passports done and printed. i just need to figure out how to correctly print the pages for inside - you know - so that they are back to back and i'm able to staple them? yeah. that.

the order i placed with oriental tradiing company arrived (phew!) and the girls will get a "charm" from each country they visit (as well as the stamp in their passports) and at the end, they will get lanyard cording so they can make a bracelet...hopefully the girls (ages 5 - 18) will like it. so - back to last night...i kept waking up and then being unable to get back to sleep for thinking of all the things that need doing. when i switched to rhys' room, i grabbed my iPhone so i could at least type out the notes of what kept rumbling in my head.

the country our troop has is guatemala. our poor troop. last year we had such a cool display and did several things getting ready...this year? the display is still not done and it will be more leader put together than girl put together...damn. i don't like it when it's that way. i'm pretty big on having things done by the girls...but there just hasn't been time.

oh well.

rob called me from san francisco tonight. i'd fallen asleep with irene. i'll hopefully go back to sleep soon. i'm reading lisey's story. that might help...or i like it very much. it's quite intriguing.

i don't even want to go back and read this - i hope it makes some kind of sense.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday -- oops! nope, it's MONDAY!

today over at Red Shoe Ramblings, Deb was talking about her beautiful niece. go and look! i can wait. i am also and EXTREMELY proud auntie b/c i have nieces and nephews that are joys to me (and to rob). but that's actually not all that i wanted to speak to either. I wanted to speak to how cool i think it is that 1) the coffee shop is showing the works of many artists - whether in high school or other local people and b) how fabulous it is that the newspaper covered it. Deb's niece, Amber TOTALLY deserved this. And YEA YEA AND HOORAY for her and for the coffee shop and the newspaper. I think it's wonderful when the arts are locally supported. I should find out if there is a local place that does that around here - if there is, i'll start patronizing it. one of the really cool things about Buzz Thru Joe's in Colfax (my happy place). they have often got rotating art up on their walls inside - local kids, local photographers, all sorts of cool cool art.

there are some things that can really make a child feel good about him or herself. hell, it makes ANYONE feel good about themselves, i would imagine. when other people see something you have made and appreciate it - it gives a person value - i'm not saying this right...the person already has value, but it shows them that OTHER people think that what they are doing is valuable and good and worth while. i LOVE that our house has lots of kid art all over the place. when we lived in petaluma, the house we bought came with a very nice fridge - but it had that brushed stainless steel. i know that's great stuff and it's a bonus feature - but it is NOT magnetic!!! of course, that didn't stop us from putting irene's art up on it, we just used tape instead.

i was delighted to read the story about Amber and that she will continue to pursue her art when she goes to college. she makes good art! so HOORAY to those of you who patronize the arts in any way, shape, or form. whether it's helping to pay for gymnastics (thanks, nana!!), or putting something in the newspaper, or just letting that little child know how much you love the art they made especially for you. You rock! You are adding value of the best kind into the world. because really, is there much better than making another person feel good about his/herself?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

so close to done!

that wee bit of ice/snow is all that is left of the ginormous snowplowed dump of snow/ice we had from the huge storm back in - um - late december? early january? rob and i spent a good couple of hours hacking away at it b/c it was sunny. it was a good workout.

creative chalk/ice play

making a big dent

Thursday, February 14, 2008

13 years ago today

it was a beautiful night with a full moon after many many el niƱo days of rain rain and more rain. we were walking along the water in sausalito with the moon up high and the bay bridge behind us. it was then that rob asked me to marry him.

ahhhhh it was wonderful. and it feels like it just happened...crazy how time is.

that night was also the night that rob's little white mazda 323 hit 100K miles - so we got to watch it turn all those zeroes. i think i can even remember where it happened.


in process

getting the slip with the due date

checking out books

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rhys got his library card!!!

yesterday rhys got his library card. he signed his name on the card and we proceeded to get several books and he checked them out.

big step, that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!!!! and a few other things

today is not only abraham lincoln's birthday, but it is also my dad's birthday!


he and moni were going to Outback for dinner to celebrate and this weekend they'll have a fun and fabulous party. they throw really good parties. our engagement party started at 4:00 pm and ended at 4:00 am!! the food is always good, the company is fantastic, and the poker games are always a good time. i'm sorry i'll miss it.

they were just up in san rafael - they came up for Pat's memorial. my brother matt came too. it meant so much to me and to rob's dad and family too. from there they went to pismo beach - that's where matt and michelle are getting married!! i'm so SO excited! we've got our reservations, irene and rhys will be the flower girl and ring bearer. irene's over the moon. i don't know that rhys knows what to make of it. but they'll both be very cute.

i wasn't sure what to get Dad for his birthday - my nephew, ben, gave me a great idea! so i got him the dangerous book for boys - hee hee! i hope he'll like it. i think it will be fun.

Monday, February 11, 2008

carefully carrying cupcakes

rhys carried these cupcakes for several blocks. we got them from our friends. they invited us over for afternoon yummies. nope, no cupcakes. we had blueberry shortcake and warm chocolate chip cookies and milk! on top of that, i got to have some visiting time with a friend.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thornton Grove

this is just a few offramps from Bob's house. we had to stop for gas - and this ginormous military vehicle needed gas also. it was H.U.G.E!

our drive home was relatively quick. we were going to stop in colfax for dinner, but both kids were asleep, so on we went. then we tried stopping in truckee - what a mistake. it was crazy busy at every turn. so forward we drove. we decided we'd just wait to eat until we got to sparks. we had dinner at sonic (coupons = goooood).


rob and ben

this is dark - but here are rob and ben trying to figure out what happened to ben's ipod files. somehow they all got corrupted. they worked on it for quite a while with no success. bummer.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

good sport

steve was just coming back from relaxing a little bit (and changing into more comfortable clothes) when the kids attacked him - heh heh. he was a very good sport and did a cartwheel, was a horse, did a handstand, etc. the kids thought it was fabulous (and so did i)

playing after the memorial

this is at Pilgrim Park outside the Community Center. Rhys was having fun balancing wherever he could.

enjoying her cousins

this was late in the afternoon - after Pat's memorial, after the reception. We stayed at the De Haan Community Center for dinner (yummy chinese food). Again, Irene's older cousins (Catherine isn't in this picture, but she was there too) were delightful and played Go Fish so that Irene could play with them. what a lucky auntie i am!

Friday, February 08, 2008

sacked out

the kids sacked out in a big way - i was reading two very exciting chapters in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - but Irene couldn't stay awake, no matter how hard she tried. it was later than they usually go to bed, but they had just met more cousins (adult cousins), and beth had arrived, and we had a lovely dinner and visiting and playing. hard to go to sleep in the middle of all that. so, i think it was 9:15 when we started bedtime. it was 9:30 when rhys fell asleep and about 9:40 when irene fell asleep. that's a good 1 1/2 - 2 hours later than usual.


Here are the kids with two of their cousins in Lodi. we hadn't seen Ben since Pat and Bob's 50th anniversary - back in 2003. to say it was good to see him and the rest of the family is an understatement. in this picture, Ben (in the middle) and Jake (in the cal shirt) are being incredibly good sports and looking through rhys' Star Wars Encyclopedia. it's thick and rhys likes very much to look at every page. ben and jake hung in and looked at it all with them.


here's rob - as we drive through auburn. we didn't stop in colfax on either end of the trip this time.

Verdi, Nevada

we left home around 10:00 or so...give or take. this is on our way outta dodge. verdi [i'm still not entirely sure how to properly pronounce this the nevadan way, - i tend to make it a spanish word, but i hear others pronounce it verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrdie (with er being the way i say um, er...). it's like nevada and scolari's. here those are pronounced nehvaaaaaduh (short a) and scohlarees (again, the short a sound - i tend to make both of those short a sounds more like ah sounds...crazy californian that i am] is, as you can probably tell, very very close to the sierras. on our way home, when we get to lodi, we know we're about 1/2 hour from home (even though it's only 10 miles from sparks - we're 20 minutes away from the freeway).

wow - looking back at that, those are some unbelievably long parenthetical statements...ah well.

so - this is early on in our trip. it was a beautiful drive - no snow/ice to worry about this time down the mountain. it took us a little more than 3 hours to get to Lodi.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

opting out

sometimes there are things that we (okay that i?) don't know about...the newest yahoo beacon thing is one example...i think that it is primarily for those who use yahoogroups.

If you belong to any YahooGroups this may be important...

Yahoo is now using something called "Web Beacons" to track Yahoo Group users around the net and see what you're doing and where you are going (similar to cookies.) Yahoo is recording every website and every group you visit.

Take a look at their updated privacy statement:


2. About half-way down the page, in the section on Cookies, you will see a link that says Web Beacons. Click on the phrase "Web Beacons".

3. That will bring you to a paragraph entitled "Outside the Yahoo Network". In this section you'll see a little "click here to opt out" link which will let you "opt-out" of their new method of snooping You need to click the confirm opt out on that page.

4. Once you have clicked that link, you are exempt. Notice the "Success" message on the top of the next page. Be careful because on that page there is also a "Cancel Opt-out" button which, if clicked, will *undo* the opt-out. It appears after you have hit the opt-out button so is very confusing.

i actually went to something on the left that said "Opt-Out" and there were two things that i opted out of.

that's it for now :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

tests and such

i have now taken all the tests i need to take to get my subbing license back in order...i just have to see if i have passed the last section of the PRAXIS.

i am notoriously bad at taking standardized tests. i'm just really really bad at them. the little bubbles, the answers that are so close to being correct, the constant questioning of the answer i chose. the tension of if i don't do this right, i'll not pass this or that.

the first set of tests i had to take were the Nevada School Law, Nevada Constitution, and US Constitution tests. it's not really a good idea to take nevada constitution and US constitution back to back...there are enough things that are similar that, if you're me, it messes you up. so, i passed NV School Law and US Constitution but didn't pass NV constitution the first time through. i rescheduled another test - this time having to do a "special administration" which just means that it costs more money - and i took nv constitution again. i only missed ONE question!! yea me!!!

then it was on to taking the praxis. i bought a book (a big thick book) and studied and studied - generally either while the kids were doing gymnastics or late at night, but study i did. i read all the tips, i read all the reminders of how to do fractions and solve for x and and and all the other stuff that i'd forgotten or wasn't completely confident in.

apparently it paid off. i passed the math section with a 186 (172 is passing, and it looks like 190 is where it tops out?!) and in the reading comprehension section i scored a 184 (174 required). reading comprehension is another tricky place for me - b/c i hardly CARE what would change the author's opinion. why does that matter to me? heh.

i'm waiting for the writing section. 1/2 of that is an essay - usually i'm incredibly confident in my writing skills. this time, not so much. 1/2 hour goes REALLY quickly - especially on a computer that i'm not used to and where i can't see the entire page i've written so i had to keep scrolling. and the statement that i had to write an essay on was not like the sample questions. the sample questions were fairly bland - easy to take and defend one side or the other. this one was, for me, filled with heat. i can't actually tell you what the question was, or i could be tarred and feathered and have to retake the entire thing all over again. but i'm worried about some of the content -- content isn't really supposed to be graded - it shouldn't matter that i'm a bleeding heart liberal in a red county - but who knows.

the other half of that section was looking at sentences and deciding what was wrong (i felt okay about that part) OR taking one phrase of the sentence and finding which of the 5 suggested phrases was the best one to use. perhaps it was because i'd been there for 3 hours by that time, perhaps it was because i hadn't had my coffee that morning (we weren't allowed to bring it into the testing room), but i was questioning EVERYTHING.

so now i have to chew my nails for the next 2 - 3 weeks until i find out how i did. if i didn't pass that part, i have to retake it. bleh.



Sunday, February 03, 2008

Be Good To The Earth - a song by Rhys

Be good to the Earth
And there's lots of Be Good To The Earth Songs - like 130!
And don't throw garbage on the ground
Because the world would get dirty.

Just be nice to the Earth
And the Earth will be nice to you!
And be good to the Earth
Wherever you go!

(musical interlude)

Sing to the world
Wherever you go.
Next is music, music, music!
Next is be good to the Earth.

And pick up all the trash you see
to keep the Earth clean!

Be good to your friends
Be good wherever you go!


The End.

The Batter Blaster

no - even though rob did the boneyard blast back in late june - this is NOT about baseball! it's about THIS - waffles and pancakes in a can!

WHAT? you say? pancakes in a can??? we saw them at costco. i thought they looked fun. rob thought it seemed a bit crazy. but he came home and googled them. that brought him to this article.

so, he and his dad had to go to costco and he got some!

here are some pictures of him making the pancakes:

snazzy, huh? one can made 18 pancakes. so one can fed 5 of us. they tasted pretty good, they're organic, which is great, but they are a bit spendy for having every saturday or sunday. BUT, how cool would these be for camping?? *I* think they'd be FABULOUSLY cool! especially when kids are suddenly ravenously hungry and don't want to wait for the mixing of the batter etc. it's fewer things to wash and the can is recyclable. you just need to keep it in a cooler - easy peasy!!

**edited to add for deirdre - for 3 cans (b/c, remember, we bought them at costco) it was 9.99. so 3.33/one can. not really super duper spendy, but i could buy an entire box of bisquick for less :)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008