The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

It is finished

My TRIP scrapbook, that is.  200 pages of memories, finally put together and sent to be printed as a book.  I usually don't print in books, I print individual pages.  But printing individual pages turns out to be more expensive than printing a book.  Also, putting individual pages into plastic sleeves makes the scrapbook very thick and heavy.  

I've been working on this since September.  Because of tendonitis in my right thumb and the inability to use the computer mouse, the book took a back seat for most of November through January. 

Spring break gave me the time to jump back in and finally finish it.  After I got it done, I had my mom proofread it before I sent it in to be printed.  She had some good questions and some suggestions to make the journaling more specific.  I wanted to be good and sure that it was exactly what I wanted- when you print a whole book, you can't just reprint a page here or there that didn't turn out the way you wanted.
I did a little research and found that would probably give me the best value for the money.  I checked with snapfish, shutterfly, and other sites, but none of them allowed for a book that was 200 pages.  Blurb was the only one that did, and at a lower cost than the others.  

It's due to be here on May 10th.  I can't wait to see it.  I would give you access to the book online, but inside there are photos of people who want a higher level of privacy and I won't violate that.  Maybe I'll take pics of it when it gets here so you can see snippets and decide whether is for you.

The most fun was reliving the trip.  I have shown some bits of it here on the blog, and will get back into it soon, but organizing the lay-outs and planning the placement of the photos was just great for reminiscing and learning more about the history that we saw.

May 10th, May 10th...  I'm all a-tingle.

Thank you to those who commented here, via email, or in person to express their concerns for my student with the dog bite, and to remember her in their prayers.  I'm sure she will appreciate it.  I'll let you know how she's doing!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A little bit of outrage to start your weekend...

One of my students was attacked by a pit bull this week.  It chewed up her face.  She required hundreds of stitches and will need future plastic surgeries.

Pit bulls need to be eradicated.  They are horribly aggressive fighters.  There is no need for them to exist.

Please don't give me the one example of the "very loving" pit bull you grew up with.  I am not talking about individual dog temperaments here, I am talking about breeding and instincts.

Dogs are dogs, but some are specialized.  Hounds can hunt by sight or by scent.  They are bred for those purposes- they have both the physical attributes of good vision or olfactory senses, and the instincts to hunt.  Herding dogs will herd.  They are bred to be agile and quick thinking, and their instinct is to keep the herd moving all together in the right direction.  (Even if the "herd" is the neighborhood kids that must be kept in the cul de sac.)  Greyhounds are bred for speed, but only those with the best chase instincts are used for racing.

Pit bulls are bred to have extremely strong jaw muscles, and their instinct is to hold on at all costs.  They are bred to fight, there is no other reason for their existence.  They are menacing, dangerous, and altogether useless.

I don't want to hear the tired cliche, "It's not the breed, it's the owner."  While it may be true, I've never met a decent person who owns a pit bull. All the pit bull owners I have met seem to be as useless as their dogs.  They seem to consist mostly of insecure guys who are trying desperately to make up for some of their shortcomings by owning vicious dogs.  They and their clueless girlfriends often use the dogs to keep people out of their yards and their methamphetamine cooking operations.  Classy folk.

Speaking of pit bull owners, you might be wondering what the owners of the attack dog did while the dog was chewing on my student's face.

They watched.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Of Sundays and flowers and picnics with boys

We woke up late yesterday morning. Kiddo had a headache and sore throat, so I let her sleep even longer- past the time to get up for church. I guess we were bedside Baptists...

The day was mostly sunny and warmish. It was time to plant the flower boxes.
We headed out to Home Depot, stopping at Supercuts first for both of us.
We chose red petunias and white pansies for the front and marigolds for the back- yellow and orange.

This year, kiddo helped a lot with the planting.
I really appreciated all that help- she sure wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty! (Ok, she had new work gloves- what better way to break them in?!)
The ones in front needed very little prep, but the barrels in back were really weedy. It took her quite awhile to get all the weeds out so we could put in the marigolds. I put them in around the circumference- the inside part will hold carrots, radishes, and little pumpkins.

After doing all the yard improvement, I thought it would be fun to roast hot dogs for dinner. I told her she could invite the neighbor boys over as well. This was a big hit and soon our yard was overflowing with hundreds of bouncy, exuberant beings from another planet. Ok, ok, there were only four of them, but it sure seemed like more.

Siblings F, M, J and step-bro C are 12, 9, 7, and 8 years old. They are funny and nice, and very very enthusiastic about free food. They didn't care that we had no paper plates and we were eating from tupperware bowls. They didn't care that we only had mustard and ketchup for the dogs. They didn't care that the Schoodle dog followed them around hoping for a hot dog to slide out of the bun into his watering mouth.
They didn't care that the marshmallows were about 9 months old. They didn't care that there were enough chairs for everyone- they just ate standing up.
Here is J getting creative with my hammock. (Notice the shoes all over the place.) He didn't rip the fabric, he just twisted himself up into it and then twirled it until he was hanging upside down. I must admit my kiddo sometimes comes up with weird uses for things, but she has never tried this! Of course, they all had to try it after that- even pretended to be butterflies coming out of cocoons.

The nice thing about impromptu picnics with children is that you don't have to clean house or present all the food options on beautiful platters. And I didn't have to clean up afterwards because kiddo took it upon herself to take everything into the house and stick it in the sink.

All in all, it was a wonderfully relaxing day. I think I am ready for summer vacation.

Friday, April 6, 2012

spring break, day 5

The day started wet and cold. I put off any decisions about riding until the afternoon- just to see what the wind would bring...

Lunch was at a local landmark- O'Brady's at Dollars Corner. The place has been around since 1962 (as have I), and I don't think it has changed much since then. (I have. I've gotten taller.)
It's basically a burger and ice cream joint. Nothing fancy, nothing terribly special. They do offer fries AND tater tots, which is different from many places. The interesting thing is, my family has lived in this town for almost 34 years, and I've never been to O'Brady's until today. And since it is spring break, there were lots of other people in the place. It took awhile to order and to be served. We both had single cheeseburgers with sides of potato, and soda to drink. They don't sell Coke, they have that other soda which will not be mentioned here.
The food was filling, so we didn't have any dessert. It's not too far away from us- maybe we'll go again and have ice cream. They have both soft and hard ice cream, which means it will take Ab some time to make her choice...

We did end up with a bit of exercise this evening. The blue sky started to show itself around 2 or 3 and we decided to ride to church for the Good Friday service. We had sun breaks all the way there, but on the way home a new large cloud was approaching and we could feel it was trying to rain for reals.
It's nice to be home and dry.
We hope you have a meaningful Good Friday.
And remember...
Sunday's comin'!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

spring break, day 4

You are probably wondering what happened to spring break, day 3... Not much, really. Kiddo was at the g-parents for the day and night, so I tidied up the house, washed the dishes, read a book, watched an episode of Ken Burns' Civil War, played with the dog, did a Kenken puzzle, sorted some papers, re-visited my life insurance policy with a financial guy, and worked on the scrapbook from last summer's trip. It's so nice to do those things when I haven't already spent a whole day at work...

So today our exercise was walking the dog instead of riding the bike. It's pretty rainy and cold out- in the low 40s, and my ears aren't fond of that kind of cold. (and wet!) If we are going to ride more often, I will need some good ear coverings.

For our interesting place to eat lunch, we went to Podnah's Pit BBQ in Portland.
I had the pulled pork sandwich, Abs had ribs.
The meat was yummy, the sauce was spicy good, but the slaw was a little unexpected- not very creamy, more vinegary. And it had peppers in it. Some people might like it, but next time I will have a different side dish.

For dessert, we went to Annie's Doughnuts since we heard they were really good and we were in the neighborhood (we had to drive 83 blocks to get to the neighborhood, but then since we were there...)
Ab chose a plain glazed ring. Really? With all those options? Funny kid.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

spring break day 2

This was in my backyard around 7:30 this morning:
(Do you see the double?) Morning rainbows are rare around here. Of course, after the rainbow, we got the rain. Not mist or drizzle or sprinkles. Not even intermittent windshield wiper rain. Real rain. With wind. So we decided against the bike ride and went for a walk after lunch instead.

And speaking of lunch, today's interesting lunch spot was at my mom's! We went over to help with Easter Bread, and she treated us to not only lunch, but dinner as well.
My favorite dinner- her famous chicken noodle soup. I wish there was such a thing as smell-o-vision, because this soup smells great. Takes me back...
And for dessert? Easter bread, of course!

Monday, April 2, 2012

spring break, day 1

The goal is to ride the tandem (not the recumbent, the upright) every day.
Today: 30 minutes.

Correction: kiddo says I should state the actual time that it said on my stopwatch. Ok. 29 min. 30 sec. And more importantly, it did not rain.

UPDATE: Our secondary goal of spring break is to spend some time together. To that end, we will try to find an interesting place for lunch every day.

Today we ate lunch at Pine State Biscuits in Portland.

We brought friends with us.

Ab had the biscuits and gravy.

I had the Reggie.

Looks like tomorrow we might have to ride a little longer than 29 min. 30 sec….