Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Want to . . .

. . . jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

. . . backpack through Europe.

. . . go to Mass at St. Peter's.

. . . go to Hawaii.

. . . publish a book.

. . . swim competitively (again).

. . . learn how to repel down a cliff.

. . . scuba dive.

. . . play the guitar.

. . . renovate a house.

. . . and so much more!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Where,oh, where is my ______?

Catherine has been practicing a new skill. She likes to put her toys and other items into other objects. I guess that it a good way to learn about volume, shapes, sizes, etc.

It certainly keeps me guessing . . .

She places her Puffs in the crockpot.

She puts Noah and his animals into various containers, cups, jars, drawers, boxes, couch cracks, etc.

Bells are found in shoes and clothes bins.

My sock bin currently has more (clean) diapers than socks in it.

The peanut butter jar is in the Dr. Pepper box.

She often will carry around her bottle and then Peter and I have to scramble to find it for bedtime. A week or two ago a bottle was missing for two days before Peter found it--in his laptop bag.

When sitting on the couch she will even try to put toys, bottles, and food up your shorts if you aren't wary.

Currently we are missing two items: a bottle and the living room t.v. remote. The problem with the bottle is that it was half full. Of milk. And its been missing for over 48 hours. The loss of the remote is problematic because that is how I change the t.v.'s input/output functions (not sure if that's the right terminology) to watch things from the DVD and VCR players, the computer, the Wii, etc. Also, the physical buttons on the t.v. are showing their age and don't always seem to be one hundred percent reliable; but the remote always does work.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh . . . Canada?

I was brought up to bleed red, white, and blue--and don't get me wrong, I love my country very much. (Of course, it seems to be building an insurmountable plethora of problems . . . ) But, wow. Based on a Netflix recommendation I have been watching Heartland lately, and my goodness the land is gorgeous!

The show is set in Alberta; with a good portion of the filming takes place outside of Calgary and High River, Alberta. I had never really thought too much about the country to our North, but just look at this beautiful picture from Moraine Lake:

File:Moraine Lake 17092005.jpg

Isn't that just breath-taking? Don't you just want to climb those mountains? Have a picnic at the edge of the forest? Put your toes in the water?

There is no question that I would happily live there! However, I don't think that I would ever be a Canadian, I'd always be an American living in Canada.

Pretty Unscathed by Irene

It was quite a storm. Wind. Rain. Thunder. Lightning. More Rain. More Wind.

Millions were, and many continue to be, without power. We were very lucky, our power was only out for about ten hours--and most of those were overnight. Everything in our fridge stayed cool. (So glad that the latest fix seems to be holding!) I had a fairly sleepless night listing to the wind howling and whipping around the apartment. Happily Catherine didn't seem to mind it too much and slept pretty well; which for her means only waking up about a half-dozen times through the night.

There are many trees down, lots of power outages, a good bit of flooding, and quite a lot of small debris still out there today. In our area it wasn't too bad--it could have been much worse. The east coast wasn't completely unscathed though; people lost their lives, some lost homes, some lost their livelihood.

My prayers go out to those in need.

I'd also like to say thank you to all those participating in the clean up--especially PEPCO for getting our power restored so quickly!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Items Needed for Hurricane Preparedness (IMO)

(Please don't let this come off flippantly, I sincerely hope that EVERYONE is safe and that no-one has any damage to any of their property.)

As I am sure that EVERYONE knows by now, the East Coast is about to get/is getting slammed by Hurricane Irene. The media is causing their usual panic, although I suppose there is some cause this time. It seems like every news station, every radio station, every internet news site, etc is giving lists of some sort. They all mention the boring . . . ahem, important . . . items: non-perishable food, water, flashlights, charged cell phones, and the like.

But what about the good stuff?

I mean, if the power is going to be out for a couple of days and your domicile isn't blown away, how are you going to spend your time? My two recommendations are books and games! I have a couple of books from the library that I haven't read yet and Peter and I will delve into our cabinet of board games. Catherine will continue to reek havoc on everything that she can reach and probably (hopefully) won't notice anything amiss.

So, everyone out there, while you are gathering the "important" stuff don't forget something to keep you entertained!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We Are So Lucky

I just had the first truly cold glass of water that I've had in days and it was wonderful. It was crisp. It was refreshing. It was thirst-quenching. It was perfect.

Our refrigerator has been on the fritz (again) and at best it has been keeping things cool and at worse, not warm. The Head Maintenance Man came by today with one of his helpers and they replaced a couple of broken parts. He thinks that this should solve the problem permanently, not just temporarily like the previous times. I'm cautiously optimistic.

I can (hopefully) have cold foods kept cold easily.

I can make hot foods in minutes, or seconds with the microwave.

I have light at the flip of the switch.

I have shelter that can be climate controlled to my whims.

I can speak to people hundreds of miles away.

Life isn't too bad, is it?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shake, Rattle, and Roll!

Wow, we just had an earthquake.

It looks like it was only a 5.8 (or 5.9--its still being determined). That's just a mere fraction of the horrible quake in Japan in March, which was somewhere around a 9, or the one that devastated Haiti last year. I'm also sure that people from places like California would continue on as if nothing happened.

But it scared me.

I was in the living room with Catherine. She was eating puffs and I was on the phone (trying see when maintenance would come fix our fridge!) when it sounded like a semi was heading straight though the door and the apartment was moving. At first I thought that the building was sliding down the hill, then I was terrified of a terrorist attack, then--about three seconds later--I realized it was just an earthquake. I grabbed my daughter and hugged the doorjamb as tightly as I could. Everything was shaking. Some items fell off shelves. Pots and pans were clanging together. Car alarms were blaring . It only lasted about 30 seconds and then everything was still again. I grabbed my keys and cell phone and went outside. I was afraid that the building might have suffered structural damage.

After a few minutes and talking to fellow residents I went back inside. I didn't see any new cracks and everything seems to be working just fine. (Other than the fridge--but that wasn't working well before...)

I didn't like having the building shake around me and my little girl. To be honest, it rather terrified me. Now that it all over and everything seems to be alright it is a little exciting.

Just a little.

But now I have a question or two... Is it safer to be inside or outside? Why? Once it's over what should one do? Why can't they predict these things?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Little People

Troll dolls. Pogs. Pound puppies. My First Sony. Some of the "coolest" toys from my childhood that my daughter probably won't understand. Well, maybe the puppies. Then there are the toys that I can't wait to share with her: my Little People doll house, my Little Tykes kitchen, and maybe even my American Girl doll Samantha (we'll see about that one though!).

I wonder what she will think of these things . . .

Little People have changed a bit since I was a kid. I had this house:
Vintage 1980 Fisher Price PLAY FAMILY HOUSE with 5 Little People and Accessories

The furniture combination that I had was a little bit different, but very close. I loved the working doorbell, the garage door that went up and down, and the detail inside and out. I remember playing with it for hours! I also had the Little People Airport, Airplane, and Playground. They were awesome! The Little Family went on many adventures.

My daughter recently received the Little People Noah's Ark for her birthday and this past Christmas she received the Little People Nativity Set. These have a slightly different look than the Little People of my childhood. Already at 13 months she spends a lot of time with these toys, I can only imagine that as she gets older she will continue to enjoy her Little People as much as I enjoyed mine--and maybe she will be able to enjoy mine as well.

(So, who out there thought the title was going to be referring to short people?
Also, I need to figure out how to make the pictures a little more uniform in size.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Circle of My Life

A new year is about to start.

Well, for me at least.

I realized awhile ago that I use the school year to determine my "year". I suppose this makes sense, because the school year has dictated what I can and cannot do for the majority of my life. First, while I was being homeschooled. Then while I was at college. Then my husband was in grad school. And now, in just a few weeks, my husband will be teaching classes while finishing up his PhD.

I actually like this way of measuring the year. This cyclical view can be reassuring. The end of August and beginning of September is a natural starting point for new beginnings. May has both the great anticipation of a summer vacation and the satisfaction of completion. Summer is a time for catching up, preparing for the next year, and maybe even having a more relaxed schedule. (Of course the summer is still busy, but it is a different kind of busy.)

I embrace this difference in my husband's chosen profession from the "normal" Monday through Friday, 9-5, fifty weeks a year, two week vacation careers. I believe that it will give our life structure with a natural ebb and flow of work and fun. Somehow this feels more natural to me than the above "norm". It seems to me that man is supposed to have "circles" in his life. The world we live in is full of cycles: the days of the week, months, the seasons, the sun and moon, life and death. The list goes on . . .

(I can't talk about the Circle of Life without a Lion King reference, can I?)