Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Snow Boarding

The latest adventure for the family includes snowboarding lessons.  I'll have to take their word for it since I'm not going to actively seek out snow and coldness.  It looks beautiful though, and they're all having such a good time.  

I contribute by staying in the warm house and taking care of the babies.  They're both as sweet as can be, but their play-fighting drives me crazy.  I want them to be nice to each other, but the rougher they play, the more fun they have.

The kitten's name is Gus. and I'm okay with that, but they call the dog Woodrow after the Lonesome Dove character, and it's not my favorite.  I call him George.  I need to get used to calling him something, because he needs correcting every few minutes.  No chewing the pillow/blanket/table legs/stairs/my computer/various items of clothing and shoes he finds.   No biting - my fingers/the cat's head.  Yard is for pooping, not the living room.   He's constantly in trouble but doesn't know why.  Good thing he's so cute and cuddly.

I cant seem to get the motivation for  blogging any more.  There are some good snowboarding videos, but I'm not sure they will work on this new format.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Well, More Snow

 It would be so nice to have a really pretty snow that lasts a day, or maybe two, and then melts, but we have to have a week at a time of snow, melting, just kidding not melting, ice, slush, cold wind, and finally melting.  And then two days later it starts over. 

I had heard rumors of there being some precipitation during the weekend, but it didn't look like it was happening.  I talked to Noreen around lunch time, and she was keeping a grandson and would walk over after he left.  I decided to take a short nap, and when I did, it had snowed enough to cover the grass and sidewalk.  Noreen's brave and not going to let a little snow stop her, so she got boots and coat and came on over.  We has something hot to drink and caught up pretty much.  We noticed Chris was shoveling the sidewalks on the side and front.  He's a lifesaver and so cheerful about it.  

It's not so pretty, but I do love to see it falling as long as I'm warm inside. 

I copied this picture from the Snoqualmie Ridge Community Facebook page.  People are so good about reporting on the state of the interstate, the parkway, and the side streets.  Lots of people got caught in the worst of it, and there were a good many wrecks and stranded cars, especially on the Parkway.  Lots of folks got caught in Issaquah and farther East and had a hard time getting back home.

I didn't catch the hummingbird eating, but he has been out there constantly, or maybe it's a bunch of them.  I didn't have the feeder up until Friday afternoon when I heard them in the fir trees buzzing around and went and fixed some sugar water.  They were there almost immediately, but then, of course, it froze, and I felt sorry for them.  Every few hours, I would warm some of the sugar water and go around and mix in some of the warmer water.  It seemed to work.  The cats love to sit there and watch them.

It snowed again during the night, but it wasn't as bad as the day before.  It was so quiet all day.  Not many people out walking or playing or driving.  I guess all the energy was used up last week.  

Unfortunately, there are warnings of 2-7 inches tonight and tomorrow.  I'm hoping that's wrong.  I still have to pick up a few things before the weekend.  Looks like 95% chance of 2 inches, 35% for 8 inches and 10% for 12 inches.  i hops my people get home safely.  I'll be find as long as I don't have to go anywhere.  The gas fireplace heats the place really well, and I have enough food.  

I've gotten a few pictures from Leavenworth yesterday and today.  I didn't realize friends were going along also, so I know they're having a good time.  

On the way.  Snug and warm.

I can identify with the warm robes and the cabin and the tomato soup, but that's about all.  

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Nutcracker and Basketball

 The two happenings this weekend were going to see the Nutcracker in Seattle Friday night and Graysen's basketball game on Saturday morning.  I didn't even know about that until I got a text saying their team won and Graysen made 3 baskets!

I love to see the girls meet new people that don't always go to their school.  Graysen has become pretty competitive in soccer and in basketball, but it's hard to make the baskets when you're so little.  My impression anyway!  I think she likes playing defense.  She's tougher than she looks.  Katherine has become the runner of the family.  She cannot stand to come in second when they do their fun runs.

It was so cold this week.  SO cold.  I am glad to get it over with, but it's not going to get better for a long time.  Yesterday afternoon after school - early pickup at 1:30 - I could hardly wait to get inside and get warm, but the girls were tossing their coats off before we got inside.  Their friend from upstairs has been out sick all week, but her dad said she could play if they stayed outside in case she was still contagious.  That suited them all fine, and Wes volunteered to keep an eye on them since he was outside with the baby.  They played hard for two hours.  I checked on them every once in a while, and they had taken off their coats.  I'm not sure how they stand it.  I got them ready to be picked up at 3:30 to get dressed for the Nutcracker.  They stayed surprisingly clean to have been playing in the leaves and bushes.  I brushed their hair as best I could, and they were off! 

I have an album that Emily sent me this morning, and it looks like they had a wonderful time.  The two couples with their children made quite a crowd, and the girls were so cute and dressed up.  I'll see if I can get that album on here.  I always forget how.   It takes so long to place the pictures one by one.  

There are some duplicates, but I'm not going to take the time to delete any.  

Here are some of my favorites:

I'm so glad they're getting to go places and do lots of things.  I'm also glad I got to experience the wonder of seeing the Nutcracker at this big theater once and in Bellevue in a smaller production also, because I'm not sure I will make that trip again.  But maybe I will.  Who knows?

I'm perfectly content hearing all about it and seeing the pictures and just remembering how exciting it was.  This was a good Saturday for me too.  I woke up in the middle of the night again but didn't get up and just waited it out and slept again, so I was ready for some housework this morning.  I got the music on and the candles and tree lights going and made the cats scurry to get away from the vacuum cleaner.  Packages arrived several times and got opened and wrapped, and I'm just waiting for a couple more.  

I had a cup of wassail late in the morning and sat down beside a sleeping Bowie.  Usually he will look at me for a second and then jump down, but today he stayed there and purred nicely beside me.  It's taken long enough, but I think he's decided we belong together.

The family leaves for a few days in Leavenworth where they can enjoy that snow and ice to their hearts' content!  I'll just stay here and enjoy my warm house.  It snowed here for about an hour this morning but didn't stick.  I'm praying there won't be any ice and snow before they get home because I have to feed their kitty, and I don't drive on ice!

This is a picture from last year's visit.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Sleepover and Spirit Week

 The sleepover went very well.  It's amazing to me how the girls just settle into things when they walk in the door.  This was my goal, even though I didn't realize it at the time - to have a place where they could come where they're welcome and comfortable and happy.

I don't really have any toys over here that are very exciting, but they seem to love all the old dolls Elise and Emily had and a big basket full of odds and ends that we collect.  They never know what's going to be in there, and neither do I.  If I pick up something interesting, it goes in the basket.  They usually get out the paper and pens and markers and scissors at some point and then ask if they can turn on the music.  It's almost like not having children any more but little people that can carry on conversations and teach me things on the computer and make me laugh - every single day.

As we were walking home from school yesterday, Katherine was complaining about the ankle she had injured in bowling at PE.  She was a little insulted that her teacher had not sent her to the nurse but had waved it off as a minor injury to tell her parents about.  She was kind of limping along and said, "Mimi, you know when I walk like this, I'm more at your pace."  Pace!  Where do they learn these things.  My pace is slow walking.  Hers is running ahead.  

So, the sleepover.  I can't even remember much about it.  They were left on the front porch with their sleeping bags and little suitcases, all chattery and full of excitement.  They did absolutely nothing different than they do after school, but somehow it was a big deal.  

No one brought any pizza or anything from their house, so we raided the refrigerator and pantry and found mac and cheese (of course!), applesauce, some lettuce and carrots, and Capri Sun.  

I'm sure we read awhile.  We're reading the last Clementine book, and Graysen especially is sad about it.  She asked yesterday when we were getting a new Clementine book, and I had to tell her there might not be any more.  The author, Sara Pennypacker, wrote the last one in 2002 though, so she might have another one coming.  We should write her and demand another one!  When I was checking on the books she had written, I found this list and a nice authobiography.

We got started on them when Noreen loaned us her five she had bought for her boys and told us how funny they were.  Not much can impress these girls as far as reading with all the books at their disposal, but she has a way of making things seem hilarious.  We'll turn a page, see a crazy picture, and look at each other and say, "Oh, no.  What is she going to get into now."  Her best friend is Margaret who lives to organize and be perfect.  Katherine identifies with her more, I think.  We read those five pretty quickly and then found 3 more at the library.  I think that leaves one more and the newer books she's written.  I'll see how quickly I can get some ordered if they look good.

Speaking of organizing, while I was getting their food ready for them to eat Saturday night, Katherine was very quiet.  I went into the bedroom later and saw that she had spread her sleeping bag out along with two pillows from my bed, a favorite "friend," a book just in case, and her blankie Butter - or maybe Chocolate.

Ready to sleep.  Not hardly!  It was neater than that before I put some quilts and blankets underneath the sleeping bag.  As if they were actually going to sleep there.

I complimented her for getting it set up anyway, and she said, "My fingers were itchy to organize, so I organized your side table."  I think it was the one in the living room with just a lamp, a candle and a picture on an easel.  I'm sure it looked neater when she was finished though.

We stayed up pretty late, and I'm not even sure what we did.  Once they got their teeth brushed and into their sleeping bags, I turned on Sparkle Stories, these incredibly boring little stories with a moral of sorts that they listen to and fall asleep.  This one started out with a snowstorm and sledding - and then I don't remember.  I was asleep.  I believe I slept about 10 or 15 minutes until they woke me up saying they were side awake.  I suggested music, lullabies like I used to play when they were babies.  Graysen said classical music, so we found a 2-hour collection of beautiful music.  Nothing doing.  They could not sleep and were worried about it.  It's such a terrible feeling to want to sleep and can't.  

I invited them into my bed, and they snuggled in, one on each side with their books.  That meant the lamp was on (I'm getting them book lights for Christmas), and I was kind of trapped there with nothing to do and not feeling sleepy any more.  I was glad to see them fall asleep one by one, and then I realized that my sleeping was over, so I maneuvered myself out from between them and went to the living room with my computer.  I ended up sleeping on the loveseat and not having the best night of my life.  We need to work on some sort of solution.  I could get another bed but really don't want one in the second bedroom.  I have it filled with important things, like sewing stuff and drawing things and crafts and ribbons and buttons.  I can't seem to keep an inflatable mattress.  The cats must puncture them, because they pretty quickly start losing air, and I'm not inventing in another one.

They wanted pancakes for breakfast, and I was afraid I didn't have any mix or the incentive to make them from scratch, but Elise had left just enough in a box for maybe 4 apiece - and they still wanted more, but I talked them into some grits, which they gobbed down.  No eggs wanted though.  

I got to have a nice nap Sunday afternoon to make up for my squished-up sleeping the night before.  I hope I will do this more often now that they're so self-sufficient.  I need to let Emily and Ryan do some fun things.  I'm just so protective of my weekends.  Not that the weeks are hard, but there's always after school happening, and I like a couple of days where I have nothing scheduled.  Old age privilege, I think.

Not seeing the girls off in the mornings, I miss out on some of the outfits they wore.  I do see them after school, but they're usually a little worse for wear.  Tuesday was Plaid Day, and they wore their cute little pleated skirts and boots, but I only got pictures of them in coats and being silly.  

Those boots should do the trick on keeping Kate's feet warm.  She's lucky enough to profit from all Graysen's hand-me-downs, but she loved that skirt so much that Emily got her one of her own.  Graysen has lost two nice coats already this year and is down to this one - which she says is her favorite anyway.

I have an 8:45 appointment for a follow-up mammogram this morning.  I was dreading the drive, but Emily very generously offered to take me to work with her!  She moved her patients around and is getting done at 11:00 and will bring me home then.  In the meantime, I will probably get a coffee and sit by the big fireplace at the hospital and enjoy myself.  

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Good-bye, Snow. Hello, Crazy Wind

 It was a nice ending for the week since I was able to walk to school twice without stepping on any icy or snowy places.  Everyone else seems to just tromp right on over the snow, but I have this fear of hitting just the wrong icy patch and heading back to PT for the Christmas season.  I had enough of that two years ago.

I didn't take even one picture yesterday, but I have a few in the phone from the day before.  The girls were so excited to be able to stand and rearrange the manger residents and make up their own little scenarios and get reacquainted with the Christmas treasures from last year.

 They had to shake and ask questions about the few gifts I have wrapped, but they did get their nutcrackers and took them home with them.

We had very little time then, but yesterday was early pickup, and we had 3-1/2 hours.  We got into the hot chocolate and the cranberry cookies I had baked that morning (without nuts, just for them) and sat down to read as much of our last Clementine book as we could.  Graysen likes to sit and read along with me and look at the pictures, but Katherine prefers to be moving things around on tables or poking around just looking!  We didn't even finish the first chapter until Carly from upstairs came knocking on the door to play.  These three girls get along so great.  I think I've mentioned that before.  They're 7, 8, and 9 and are usually on the same page as far as their crazy ideas.  

I finally took my wassail to my room to read since I felt like an intruder there in the midst of their make-believe.  I could still hear them laughing and giggling and sometimes arguing, but they soon sorted things out.  

I'm not sure why they wanted to be outside in that wind waiting for their parents at 5:00, but they did.

The moon was so bright I had to take a picture.

It was nice to have my peaceful Friday night, but I was too sleepy to stay up long.  I woke up a lot during the night hearing the wind howling and shaking the windows.  I know there are some giant trees around these apartments, but I refused to worry about one falling.  Nothing I can do anyway.  It is a sometimes sad, sometimes scary sound, and I'm glad to know it's calmer this morning.  I still see the trees swaying a little, and I know it's cold, but it's much better.

We're having a sleepover tonight!  First one in quite a while.  Emily and Ryan are going out to eat and to some play or show and will be out late, so we'll give them a date night without having to worry about picking up children.  

I'm not sure what we'll do, but I bet Carly will be down to play for a while - maybe even stay the night - but we haven't asked.  We might have pizza and watch a movie and then whatever they want to do.  They have a hard time falling asleep over here, so we'll have to see what to do about that.  

They're going to be making cookies with their mom today and maybe will get in something active this afternoon.  For myself, I might take an afternoon nap to be better prepared.  

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Memorials for Griffin and Jack


What I thought was going to be a long-drawn-out process of getting gifts for their parents turned out to be the best afternoon ever for the girls.  I mentioned that since they were getting a new puppy and kitten soon, it would maybe help their parents to remember their first pets with an ornament for the tree.

Their eyes lit up, and they jumped all over that idea.  I went to the web site, and we had the best time picking them out.  They love making choices.  Katherine picked out the one for her dad (since Gray already has him something), and Graysen picked out her mom's.  Their mom's hair had to be PERFECT - color, style, length, etc.  There was even a pretty big discussion on the color of shirt.

We laughed so hard over their choices for their dad.  I've always thought of him as having brown hair, certainly not black, but they both insisted he does.  They cracked up over some of the hairstyles for men but eventually settled on medium short, I think.  I asked once more, "Are you sure your dad has black hair?"  She said, "I guess I should know.  I've lived with him for nearly 10 years." 

 Like I haven't known him for over 20 years.

Another was the body type.  They didn't even listen to the men's choices after I read "dad bod."  They thought that was so funny so insisted on that.  

We found a tuxedo cat easily, but it doesn't do Jack justice.  His beautiful face, his hugeness, his confidence.  They loved it though and wanted the angel wings, although I'm not sure I would have chosen those.  

There was also a discussion over Griffin's color.  I knew he was a dark brown and white because I've also known him all his life, but Graysen was insisting that he was black, brown and white until I showed her a picture.  She said, "I guess I was wrong about that.  The youngest who had hardly known him at all agreed with me, probably gaining her knowledge from pictures.

They used the expressions listed but chose different ones for each.  They were SO SO happy with their choices, and I know that's something Emily and Ryan will treasure.

As soon as I get my photos sorted out, I'll post some sweet pictures of them.

I found some pictures and spent the whole morning doing so, so I'm going to post them just as they are, starting with baby cat and dog through at least one child.  They were loved and had a wonderful life.