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31 January 2013

Sick days

Carus has been feeling poorly this week.  She came home from school early Monday and woke up a bit off Tuesday.  Since she didn't have a fever, and she begged me to go to school so she wouldn't miss a test and she could get her spelling homework (so she would have more than one day to do it), I let her go and she was fine.

Wednesday she woke up SICK and had a fever so I kept her home.  She begged to go again and when I told her no she started giving me a silent treatment. That sure showed me.  And it also didn't last long because how else was she going to tell me how awful she felt?

30_365 01-30-13I "stayed home" from work to take care of her (she gets very whiny and clingy when sick) and by the afternoon I wasn't feeling great myself. But I was feeling guilty about not getting anything done around the house.  I did some laundry and a little bit of dishes before I was called away to cuddle with Carus while she was supposed to be napping but couldn't because she didn't feel good. I ended up taking a nap with her, which made me feel more guilty but did make me feel better.  Wednesday evening Adam had a band concert and since they aren't long and Carus was feeling better we all went.


Adam enjoys dressing up for his band concerts and was adamant about wearing his tie.  And I especially like band concerts for that. Not the best shot, he didn't want to pose for me, but I'll take it.

By the time we got home from the concert, Carus was feeling awful again and was at the point in her sickiness where she was crying over every little thing.  She required me to climb into her bed with her to go to sleep, which she hasn't needed for years now.  Is it wrong of me to have enjoyed that a little bit?

31_365 01-31-13It was no surprise that this morning she was much sicker. She begged me to let her wake up and get up for a bit and then rolled over and went back to sleep before I could finish telling her no.  And because I wasn't feeling too hot (or feeling a little too hot, still had/have a low fever) I decided I would not feel guilty about using today as a chance for me to get better too.  I'm still working on that though.  Robert is helping and assuring me that I have nothing to feel guilty about, that I'm still a good mom even if I didn't do dishes and laundry today.  He also made dinner tonight - grilled cheese and soup.  He even made the grilled cheese exactly how I like it.


Carus just before bed time tonight - the time in bed and on the couch resting is helping - she's getting goofy and silly.

Bed time was just as hard though. "I don't want to go to bed.  I don't feel good." Well, duh kid. Go to bed, and stay there.

And now I'm going to bed early.  There is no school tomorrow so I don't have to get up early, and hopefully I'll wake up in the morning without my lungs feeling heavy, my throat sore and scratchy, my head no longer pounding, my sinuses not burning, and last but not least this darn fever gone.

But if not, Robert said he will stay home and take care of me.

29 January 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread 

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup sifted flour
2-3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 cup chocolate chips

optional: 
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (your choice - walnuts and pecans are good)

(you can also not add the chocolate chips and just add nuts, or not add either)

Cream together the butter and sugar, add eggs and beat well.  In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients, and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the mashed bananas.  Blend well after each addition.  Stir in chocolate chips and/or nuts.  Pour into a well-greased 9x5x3" loaf pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until done.  Done when cake tester, or butter knife, inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let sit in pan for 5 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on rack.  

It's healthy if there is fruit in it, right? (wink wink)

I always make two loaves, partly because I always have enough over ripe bananas for two (I live in a house of fruit snobs and I can rarely eat fresh fruit, especially bananas) and partly because they go fast.  I was lucky to get a photo before Robert and the kids came over and grabbed the slices and by tomorrow evening both loaves will be gone. (Some will go with Robert for his breakfast, the kids will get some in their lunches, and it will probably be my breakfast too.)

28 January 2013

Playing with little babies

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So, sometimes I want more kids. Sometimes I really miss the little itty bitty babies and all the fun baby stuff. I do not miss the un-fun baby stuff, but sometimes the un-fun stuff is worth dealing with.  And there are times when I'm glad we're done and our kids are older and can do chores. I'm especially happy that they can wipe their own butts.

But...

The teeny cuddles - Aack.

The itty bitty socks - I die.

And the gurgling and cooing - it's just too much.

It's good to have friends with little babies who will come visit you and let you get your baby fix and then take the little monsters angels home.  (Seriously though, they were adorable and cute and fun to play with. But yeah, also a bit exhausting.)

My friend with little babies who came to visit has twins - double the fun and double the trouble, right?  And of course I had to bring out my camera and take pictures.

01-27-13 (3) copyThis is little baby girl R and Carus is hanging out with little baby boy T.  Carus was very excited about getting to play with the babies, but was not comfortable if they got a little fussy and we were playing musical babies trading off for the one that was the least fussy and most happy.

Carus also wasn't too enthused about being drooled on or spit up on, which was quite hilarious considering how much her and Adam covered us with bodily fluids as infants. (Ugh, that sounded gross...well it was.)

We had a nice relaxing visit and I got my baby fix. I hope we were able to give momma a bit of a break for a few hours (though we didn't do too much).

27 January 2013

And then another week went by...

Time flies when you're having fun...or working and staying busy.  Imagine what time does when you're doing both.  Sometimes it feels like I do nothing but work and cook dinner and wash dishes and go to bed to get up early to do it all over again... and sometimes it doesn't.  Right now - completely and totally does.

Now onto a bit of 365 catching up and maybe this week I can stay on top of things just a bit more.  I don't like "getting behind", it makes me worry I'm going to lose count - which really I don't have to worry about that this month with the numbers lining up with the dates, but still. It sets a bad precedent on some self-imposed time table. I'm probably just crazy, don't mind me.

Wednesday, 23/365
Nothing super exciting, just doves in the backyard.
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Thursday, 24/365
Trying to make leg warmers for Carus for drress up day at school.  I didn't get them done. :(
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Friday, 25/365
Dress up day at school.  They wee dressing up in the theme for the 60s, 70s, or 80s. Carus chose 80s.  We let her wear eye-shadow and I just about hyperventilated - my baby is wearing makeup.
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Saturday, 26/365
It was time to can another batch of spaghetti sauce.  I got 18 quarts, 4 pints and about 2-1/2 quarts not canned and just saved for dinner tonight. That should last us until June or July or so. Special thanks to Jessica for coming up and keeping me company. :)
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23 January 2013

Color burst


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Searching for color in the gray of winter, I found this bright red bush.

It's green the rest of the year.  When it gets cold it's leaves brighten and turn red, but do not fall. 

22 January 2013

Who says pugs aren't cute?

Who says pugs aren't cute? Definitely not me. Yoda cracks me up daily. My sweet puggy dog.

The other night Robert posed a hypothetical to me, "If someone offered you a million dollars for Yoda, or Leia, and you knew it was a good home where they would be spoiled, would you give them up?"

Nope.

Though I did admit that if I was asked in the middle of the night when Leia had woken me to go out for the 500 millionth time that night to go out but refused to go out alone, I would be sorely tempted...to pay them to take her.

I would, however, take their money and find them another pug and lab, or other dog(s) of their choice.

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I've been re-reading the Outlander series.  I've been reading very slowly and pausing to read other books so I've been reading Outlander for a couple months now.  I have almost finished and will move on to the next book, Dragonfly in Amber, after I re-read Harry Potter in anticipation of LeakyCon in June. (So much to read, not enough time.)

I am intentionally trying to read the Outlander series slow, for one, so that the words can really sink in.  There was a lot that I missed in my first read because I read them so quickly wanting to know what happened next and not being able to wait to find out.  And for two, so that I am more patient in my waiting for the next book in the series that is supposed to hopefully come out this fall (if all works out as it should). Diana Gabaldon (the author) is still writing that book (book 8 - Written in My Own Heart's Blood) so no promises yet.

I came across the following quote in my reading this morning, and I really liked it.
"It is possible to act in strict accordance with God's law and with one's conscience, you comprehend, and still to encounter difficulties and tragedy. It is the painful truth that we still do not know why le bon Dieu allows evil to exist, but we have His word for it that this is true. 'I created good,' He says in the Bible, 'and I created evil.' Consequently, even good people sometimes, I think, especially good people," he added meditatively, "may encounter great confusion and difficulties in their lives." (Ch. 40)
 Goodness, I riddled this post with links. 

21 January 2013

Visit

Cheating on my 365 tonight - Robert took the picture because he didn't want to be in it (camera shy and all).

My aunt and uncle had a long layover in Portland on their way to visit their son in Alaska and asked if we were able to come hang out with them at the airport for a bit.  Luckily, we were able to.  It was a nice visit and all too soon it was time for them to head back through security and onto their gate and for us to head home. I haven't seen my aunt since 1995 or 1996, and my uncle since 1998 or 1999.

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20 January 2013

Library time

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We had a nice Saturday morning trip to the library to stock up on reading material.

Carus didn't get many; rechecking one out and picking out a new one.  She has some books on her Kindle Fire that she is reading and a book or two for school reading.

Adam needed this trip.  He has been out of reading material for 2 days. He left the library today with 16 books, which might be a record number of books he's checked out at one time; and should last him almost 2 full weeks, though probably less.

19 January 2013

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

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I had my focus wrong, but he's still cute.
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I have some talented coworkers.  One makes soaps, Pink and Charlie and one makes jewelry and other little bits out of metal, Theory 17 Jewelry.  At the office she has left a couple of these little dragon flies. This one is a little magnet.

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Leia and I got to enjoy some afternoon sun.
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16 January 2013

Soft kitty...

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Simba gets very cuddly when it's cold outside.  

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur. Happy kitty, sleep kitty, purr purr purr. 

(Two thumbs up if you get that reference. Click here if you don't.)

15 January 2013

Snow and random thoughts

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There was no frost Monday morning when we got up for work and school, but shortly after everyone else left the house I noticed we had a light dusting of snow on the ground.

The snow soon melted off, but just a few hours later it started snowing again.  I took my morning break and took Leia out to play a little in the snow.  I didn't get a lot of snow in my childhood so I get excited every time it snows, much to Robert's chagrin.  Leia likes the snow as much as I do.

Leia sat still for me because I was holding her ball hostage.  Can you see the intense concentration in her eyes?

How about the flakes of snow? There are a few above her right (her right, not the photo's right) eye  around her ear and a few flakes near the top middle of the photo.

Now on to the random thoughts.  They don't carry a lot of weight, mostly me just getting some little worries out of my head because I'm slightly neurotic and getting them out helps me stop obsessing a little.

(Warning: I'm going to talk about boobs. My boobs. Feel free to stop reading now.)

Back in September, during my monthly self-exam, I noticed a line/ridge on my left boob.  I say ridge because that's the way I've found to best describe it to doctors. It doesn't feel like a ridge. It's barely noticeable.  No one else has been able to see it, but me, and only in certain lights.  I spent a week obsessing, checking myself out in the mirror every time I went to the restroom and feeling myself up to the point I was a bit tender before I broke down and made a doctor's appointment.  My doctor checked me out, didn't feel anything, and didn't see anything; though she said she could see it after I pointed it out.  I think she was humoring me.  She still ordered me a mammogram and ultrasound to ease my concerns.  Both the mammogram and ultrasound came back negative, and still no one besides me could see the "ridge".  I was comfortable at that point to just watch things and see what happened.

Last week, I had my annual exam complete with the getting felt up by my doctor.  I told her I could still see the ridge, but I didn't think there were any changes.  She did spend a lot of time over the area and said, "I can feel some nodes, but I'm not too worried about them."

And then yesterday I noticed a second ridge.  Same boob, below the first one.  So yeah. That's what my brain has been obsessing on lately.

14 January 2013

Fernhill Wetlands

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Since I was up early Saturday morning, all the frost we had was gorgeous, and I got the new lens I had ordered for my camera Friday (a Nikkor 35 mm f/1.8G DX)(did not pay that price) that I wanted to play with, I decided to go out to Fernhill Wetlands.

It was very cold! I think about 19 degrees Fahrenheit.

With my sweater, heavy coat and gloves, my upper half was warm, but my jeans didn't cut it and my legs were so cold by the time I climbed back in the car...2 hours later.  I was rewarded with some great photos that I'm very happy with.

When I got home I noticed I lost my lens cap (seriously, brand new lens and I lose the lens cap GAH!) so Sunday Robert went back out with me to look for it.  We didn't find it.

This first image here is from Sunday, which was also frosty but not as cold out.  It was later in the day so the fog had already burned off and some of the ice had melted. on the path (which made things muddy).

The ducks amuse me so much.  I could spend hours watching them swim in circles and wiggle their tails in the air while they dive for food. And when they're out of the water and they waddle around; very cute.

Now, the images I got Saturday.  I love my new lens, I love these images.

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Ducks and geese in the fog.


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Do you know what these are?


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Fuzzy bars


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Frozen path


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I think this is a crane.


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Frosty Queen Anne's Lace


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Unknown plant


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Waddling away


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Gaggle of Geese

Honors Band concert

Adam went in for the second day of the district Honor's band and for a concert.  The concert was only about 20 minutes long, but they played so well! Especially considering they spent about 9 hours of learning and practicing the pieces.  I got a short video on my cell phone, but Adam said about not being able to bring the sheet music home due to copyright rules I'm not going to post the video online since that might be an infringement as well.

Because he plays the trombone, he sits towards the back and I didn't have a good view of him for pictures.  It was nice to not worry about getting some good shots and just sit back and enjoy the music.

I did grab a shot as the middle school band was clearing out before the high school band took the stage.

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11 January 2013

Back-lit tree moss

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Back-lit tree moss.

The moss is on a tree in my backyard. It is smaller then it might appear here.

I think I'm running out of interesting things to photograph... time to harass the family and animals again.





Speaking of which - Adam's Honor's band concert is this weekend.  He gets to skip school today to ride the bus to a school an hour away to practice and practice and practice all day long.  And then tomorrow (Saturday) he gets to do it again, and then put on a concert at the end of the day. He's excited for it.

And in Carus news - She's asked to join the school newspaper club.  They meet after school once a week and put out a school newspaper.

10 January 2013

Hens and chicks

9_365 01-09-12I've always loved the name Hens and chicks for this sempervivum plant, though there are many different kids of hens and chicks.  They are my favorite sempervivum too, mostly because they look like roses...sort of.

09 January 2013

How about a Wordless Wednesday?

How about a Wordless Wednesday.  Then I don't need to think of something clever to say.

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08 January 2013

Moss covered rocks

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We have a retaining wall in the backyard that is becoming quite green.  It's no surprise that moss grows so well with all of our rain.  I think it looks great, like they're in a forest from a fairy tale.  It's bugging Robert though, and I think he might remove the moss this spring/summer.  I hope not.  It's more mossy then it was last year and I'm curious to how mossy it will get next year.

If I'm stuck with the rain and wet, I'm going to make the best of it.

07 January 2013

January blues

Raindrops through the car window.

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I think January might be the hardest month for me. I always feel quite sad in January.  The weather is usually the worst (in that it is ALWAYS raining).  I feel like I will never see the sun again (though we did have a bit more than a full week of sun) and that it will rain forever. I'm missing some of my family because I didn't get to see them, yet again, for the holidays (we can't travel to them and they can't/won't travel to me). It's a new year, but I didn't get to a whole bunch of stuff I wanted to do the year before and now it's gone...

BLAH!

So yeah, we had about a week of sun with a few sprinkles here and there, nothing really.  On Saturday, the rains returned.  The rain allows Oregon to be so very green and the springs to be very lovely, and keeps the summer drought off much longer than many other parts of the country, but it can be hard to handle.  Sometimes I blame it on being from New Mexico, but New Mexico is no longer my home and I've lived in Oregon longer than I lived there, so it doesn't feel right to blame it on that.  Where we are in Oregon rarely feels like my home either, even though I live here, and I'm not sure why.  Nor do I know where my home is. I don't mean home where I live with my family, but a home where my family and I live that feels right.  A place where it feels like we fully belong.  Does that make sense?  This town and/or house is close, I think, but it's not quite there...

I don't know.  January's make me sad and weird weirder.

Do you feel like you're home?


05 January 2013

Saturday errands

Carus helped me with grocery shopping with me today.  I used coupons of sorts (wherein I usually don't) and went to 3 stores to get the best deals/be able to use the coupons (instead of the usual two) and only saved about $15....not sure if it was worth it.

For Carus's help with the shopping, I treated her to lunch at Costco then took her with me for a pedicure.

Not only is our salon great, they took us when we showed up within 10 minutes of their closing time AND did pretty designs on for free.  Carus chose my color -- orange -- and I chose hers -- a light green, that looks a bit yellowish.
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Unimpressed pug

Unimpressed pug is unimpressed.

Or maybe, Pug is not amused.

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Adam has spent his Christmas break grounded from video games, and doing chores. He was in trouble for saying he didn't have homework when he actually did.  This is a repeating problem for him it seems.  He gets in trouble, is grounded for ages, and then claims to have learnt his lesson and does better.  For awhile... usually until the next school year.

He was caught in the lie two days before Christmas break, and we spent two days deciding fully what his punishment(s) would be.  We were not happy that he wouldn't get to do any of the fun things that he wanted to do for his break, not to mention about half of his gifts wouldn't get to be touched. But, we are VERY firm believers in following through with threats/consequences/punishments and so we had to do it.

I asked on Facebook "what would you do?" and received some suggestions for having him do extra chores.  I then asked "What is your most disliked chore?" and Adam pretty much did them all -- dusting, vacuuming, helping with laundry (which he does anyways), dishes (which it was his month to help anyways), doggy duty pick-up like every other day, cleaning the cat box (I enjoyed the break from that chore SO MUCH), raking leaves, storm debris clean-up, taking out the garbage and recycling (which he does anyways), sweeping and moping, cleaning bathrooms (which he helps with anyways).

And all was accompanied by many many discussions about why he needs to do his homework even if he doesn't like it and why he is to never lie to us. Especially, that he is to never lie to us.

We let him off grounding two days ago and he is enjoying a couple new video games.

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I think he was playing Halo 3 - which apparently needs a serious concentration face.

02 January 2013

Hello 2013

The first day of 2013 was just as lovely as the last of 2012.  Sunny and blue skies.  Robert went off to hang out with friends and I was going to do some yard work, but the soft, warm bed distracted me.  The clear skies and sun are nice especially when it's been raining a lot, but clear skies in the winter mean there are no clouds to hold the heat in and it gets cold.  I did get back up out of bed, but still didn't go outside to do yard work.  A quick text to Jessica to what she was up to and we were sewing away.  And I finished my mystery quilt top.  Now just to sandwich it, quilt it, and bind it.  Hopefully, doing that won't take me all year.

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The sun was out again today. I opened all the blinds to let the sun in, which of course brings the pets out to sunbathe.

Wilbur was very tired from all that sunbathing he had to do.

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So, I've heard from one person that I should do another 365 this year.

And, thinking about it, I've decided I like the discipline it takes to do this.  I do want to do a few things differently.  For one, I want to really try to take all of the photos with my camera, and I do want to do a theme one day each month or so.  

And on that note - what should January's theme be?

01 January 2013

Good-bye 2012

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We had a few snow flurries throughout the day, but unfortunately it didn't stick.  One of the flurries was during my lunch break so I went out and tried to get a few macro shots of the snow flakes.  Unfortunately they were NOTHING like my inspiration photos by Russian photographer Andrew Osokin which I read about on PetaPixel.  Though, he does have a really nice macro lens and I just have a little macro attachment for my lens.

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If we get any more snow, I'll try again.

I was hoping to go to bed and wake up to a few feet of snow, but that didn't happen.

We spent the evening playing Pictionary with the kids and then pulling the Christmas decorations down and putting them away.  Leia didn't handle the fireworks and gun shots too well, but they weren't as bad as we were expecting...so there's that.

I'll write about today later when I decide what I'm doing.

Did you stay up to ring in the New Year?

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