31 August 2008

Hiking on the Walla Walla River

which is in Oregon, because we hiked at BLM area. We went with some friends from church--they have two sons--a 7th grader and a 2nd grader, so it was perfect, boy wise.This sign really cracked us up. We decided that they were sensitive, and we didn't want to hurt their feelings. (It was a great reason to keep the Wiz from throwing rocks.)

We saw all kinds of biology. The Wiz is holding the top of a horse tail. They are everywhere around here. (Well, along all of the streams and rivers, anyway.)We saw lots of dead or dying salmon. We did see one spawning, too. (Hence the sign. They are trying to establish a salmon population there.)

We saw a lot of snakes. This was the smallest one.
Other wildlife we saw included a flock of turkeys, and signs of bears. (Bear waste, as the other second grader put it.)
It was a beautiful day for a hike. We had a picnic and were able to go down to the water, as Game Boy is demonstrating here. We are definitely going to do this again.

30 August 2008

The Fair

Look--it's the fair!
Yesterday, we went to the fair together as a family. The Collar took Friday off, as he has to work on Monday (a holiday and his usual day off), which worked well. It was kids' day at the fair, so we were able to buy some ride tickets (all the rides were $1.50).

The boys enjoyed the rides. We all went up in the Ferris Wheel. Game Boy liked the Ferris Wheel. The Collar seemed to also.We also went into the petting farm area. There were no little girls on display this time. :) There were a couple of alpacas, though. This one seemed to really like me. Most of the time it was nuzzling my hand.The Wiz showed us his mad roping skills. Don't you love the outfit?
We saw all of the interesting exhibits (we're all going to enter something next year) and watched a reptile show. The boys all ate cotton candy and shared an elephant ear. I had tacos. (Yes, there is a theme about what Kate eats when we are out. Taco trucks are EVERYWHERE. Generally, they are gluten free too.)

It was quite hot. We went home, but we had a really good time. Next year will be even more fun, since we'll know more about how to plan.

Today we went hiking in Oregon. That will be another post.

28 August 2008

A Wiz Story

The Wiz's class went to the Fair today. (Confession: I've never been to one, and neither have the boys.)

One of his teachers told me this story:

The class was in the petting farm area, and the first thing the Wiz saw was a little girl in a pen. There weren't any animals in it with her. The Wiz looked with horror at his teacher and asked her, "Are we supposed to PET her?!?" The teacher told him she didn't think so. So he asked, "Why is she in a cage? Are they selling her?" The teacher said she didn't know why she was in the cage, maybe the person working in the exhibit knew. She assured the Wiz that the little girl wasn't for sale.

The Wiz, who is not shy, went and asked the exhibitor. The exhibitor told him that the little girl was her daughter, and she was playing in the pen so she wouldn't wander off. The Wiz duly told his teacher, with relief. Apparently it really worried him.

His teacher (the usual classroom teacher) made sure that the reading teacher told me this story because Mr. G thought it was a cute andfunny story. He's already shown them all his winning personality. Everyone in the school will probably know him by the end of September.

26 August 2008

First Day of School.

This was a big first day of school for both boys. It's their first day this year, their first day in a new district (#3 district for Game Boy), and Game Boy's first day of middle school. Game Boy rode his bike to school with a flotilla of boys. He likes that, quite a lot.

The Collar and I walked The Wiz to school. It is nice to be able to go to school by foot/bike. It's really good for The Wiz's teachers. He will be working out some of his energy before he even gets there. (I am walking at least 2.5 miles every day.)

The best thing about going to school here is that The Wiz leaves for school at 7:40ish and Game Boy leaves at 7:45ish. Last year, they caught the bus at 6:22 am. They were ready to go by 7:15 so they actually had time to goof off before we all left. It was quite strange that they were ready so far ahead of time. They even woke up AFTER they'd have gotten on the bus last year.

So, this year, no picture of the boys waiting for the bus in the dark. No picture of brain shaped meatloaf, either. The meatloaf fell apart. :(

So here's a song instead, that's all about eating brains.

25 August 2008

Another room

This time it's the guest room.
There are curtains on the windows, the bed is made, and there are even pictures on the wall. (We could use a few more in there--some how we have more wall space here.)
I want to reassure anyone who is worried they'd freeze to death up here in the far north that we do own blankets. (The winter temps here are similar to the ones central Kentucky.)
We also have a sleeper sofa, so there are places for people to sleep.
Note: This time, my office stuff is not in the room. (Well, except for the bio texts and files, which are neatly stacked in the closet in the boxes in which they were moved here.) We do want to find more artwork because the room is dull. The curtains do help, I think.

Other stuff: School starts tomorrow. Tonight is the Wiz's school bbq/get together, so no brain-shaped meatloaf today. :( We'll have it tomorrow, instead, and I'll report how grossed out Game Boy is again. I met the Wiz's school nurse, and we filled out his medical plan of action. One thing we added is that he's fail-to-thrive (well, he is) and that he will be given high calorie foods in his lunch. (Not that he'll eat them--we put butter on his sandwiches to give them more calories, and he eats the meat or cheese, or he'll skip the sandwich and just eat his fruit and veggies) because the school has a food policy (low-fat, low sugar foods only).

Game Boy now has a lock for his bike (he's going to ride it to school! By himself!) and he's ready to go.

I've made cupcakes for their lunches (I did the math: 1 box cake mix, 1 container of icing makes dessert for just over 2 weeks) for the same as making cookies or buying cereal bars or what have you. They are cooling now.

I've also made buckwheat banana bread for me. I'll let you know how that came out.

Tomorrow's the best day of the year!

24 August 2008


One blanket, that is. I went with an ecru border. It seemed to me to need something a bit more subdued, since I had such bright colors in the blanket itself. (That, and I couldn't find the green or the pink yarn here.) I think it worked pretty well.

The "recipe" for the miter squares came from the Mason-Dixon knitting book and I used the knitted on miter border. It came out rather well. I think that it's going to be sent off for the SDA tea and auction in November.

It's either a baby blanket or a lap blanket. Either way, it's 100% cotton and completely machine washable and dryable. Both of the boys want one like it. If I knit another one, it'll be for our bed, not theirs. They can learn to knit themselves!

23 August 2008

What we're doing

Game Boy had his orientation on Thursday. He's ready to go. He's taking band and will be learning trumpet. We need ear plugs.

The Wiz is learning to ride his bicycle. Game Boy and I were cheerleaders/holders on to the bike.
I'd let go, and Game Boy would tell the Wiz I was still holding the bike. He'd go about 25 feet or so before he'd look down, pull his feet off the pedals or what have you and fall over. He'll get it eventually. He spent his allowance on a Webkin (a lime green gecko) and is pretty happy with that.

We went to the farmer's market today. We bought peaches, nectarines, canteloupe, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and yellow squash. It was also kids' day, so the boys were able to do a few things. It was a nice morning for it too. The weather has been much nicer this week.

Best of all, next Tuesday is the first day of school for the boys. Thank goodness.

20 August 2008

Crafty Things

When I'm not trying to figure out where the last few things go or I'm not working on my classes (school starts Monday for me and on Tuesday for the boys), I've been making things.

I made these two dishcloths from leftover yarn from the baby blanket. (By the way, I'm going to knit an ecru border. I think it needs a little subtlety. Ha!!) Dishcloths are nice, because they finish quickly. I knit these on our way to take Game Boy to camp, and on the way home. I especially like the ball band version.I've made a ton of panel curtains for the bedrooms. The Wiz's bedroom and ours have 3 windows each, when before we only had two. Game Boy's room now has 2 windows, and the guest bedroom has 2. Both of these rooms had one window each. They aren't all hung, yet, but maybe this weekend. (Right, because we never have anything to do on the weekends.) This is an example of the curtains I made for the bathroom windows. They are a bit narrow, but the muslin shrunk. Since I wanted to let light into the room, it'll work. Besides, if anyone is looking in our bathroom, they have to be standing in our wickedly thorny rosebushes.I used up more of the yarn from the Wiz's socks I knit him last Christmas. There is still yarn left over. He's not exactly very big, is he?
Finally, I made myself a couple of skirts, using instructions from this book.
Above is a "Breezy Beach Wrap" made from a cotton remnant I found at W*mart. I pretty much completely followed directions on it (no mods). It'll be cute with a little t-shirt.

This one is adapted from "Singing the Blues". First off, I did not add a patch pocket. Then, I didn't use rickrack. (I think that looks silly on adults. If you like, great. It's just not for me.) I also put the drawstring inside rather than on the outside. Last, after I tried on the skirt, I realized the this didn't look right. I added darts to the waistline. Apparently, normal women* don't have a 13" difference between waist and hips. Once I added the darts and re-sewed the waistline, it fit me much better. It's a comfortable skirt and I'll probably wear it pretty often.

What I learned, though, is that I really need to make fitted waist skirts. They are more adaptable, and it's easier to accomodate my curves.

*Actually, this probably explains a lot about why I can't find clothes that fit both my waist and hips.** What is a normal woman, anyway?
**Before you tell me to lose weight/get fit/or whatever, realize that this ratio doesn't change much depending on my size. No matter my size/measurements, nothing really fits me off of the rack.

15 August 2008


I am the mother of an eleven year old. How did this happen?

Happy Birthday, Game Boy. May you have many, many more that are just as good as today's.

A Tour of the Kitchen

I've had some requests for pictures of my house. The kitchen is finished, so I'll do that first. As we finish up rooms, I'll add pictures and commentary.My sign is appropriate, yes?My other sign which you can see in the previous picture. I want one that says something about coffee, too.One of the things that amazes me about this kitchen is that there are so many cabinets. I love that. There's one that was for drying food, but I have decided to use it as a pantry. Blogger won't let me post more than five pictures in a single post, so no picture of it.

Now you can all be sure that we aren't starving.

14 August 2008


The house will be unpacked and ready for people to visit. It's been hard, because what is left I can't do alone. Don't blame the Collar though--we've literally been crazy busy since we moved here! We've had festivals to attend, concerts to work, and people to visit every weekend since we moved out here. I'm not complaining (it's nice to be loved!), but it makes it hard for us to finish up. We're at the point of needing to take things to the recycling center and the dump, but it's not happening this weekend. Why, do you ask?

This is why:
Weather for Walla Walla, WA 99362
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 14%
97°F | 65°F
99°F | 67°F
103°F | 68°F
Mostly Sunny
103°F | 68°F

Um, yeah. We're going to the movies! (Besides, Game Boy wants to see the new Star Wars movie, so we're going to take him and a friend of his on Saturday afternoon, since we aren't going to have a birthday party this year.)

We are settling into the house. We're working on hanging art work (we have a lot more than I thought). I am sewing curtains for the bedrooms and we're getting those hung up, too. Luckily for the Wiz, I found the same planet fabric so I could sew a third curtain for him. :) As for the Collar and I, we now have three complementary curtains, but no two match. That's what happens when you use fabric brought back from Ethiopia years ago. I like it. I'm also knitting another loop rug for the downstairs bathroom as a bath mat. Game Boy requested one.

The boys are both enrolled in school now. The Wiz should be okay--the plan is to go ahead and start him using the Kentucky IEP. I'll probably get a phone call from the nurse so we can deal with the medical issues. He's doing fine, but he's lost more weight. So we're trying yet another ADHD medication. For those keeping track, that makes 4.

Game Boy is going to middle school. He has signed up for band (he claims he won't sing any more) and wants to play trumpet. He plans on running track and cross country. It will be good for him. I let them copy a lot of the material that the counselor back at the old school unofficially gave me, so he may even be put into the Explorers (gifted education) program from the beginning.

There you have it--an update! It may not be exciting, but it's been keeping me busy. Ciao!

10 August 2008


That's a word people use for me when they find out that I can't have gluten. I don't think so.

One thing that we're not used to is that blackberries here in Washington are now ripening. When we lived in Sewanee, we'd pick wild blackberries on the 4th of July, and make cobbler. It was our one celebratory thing that we'd do for the holiday. On Thursday, we went to Rook's Park and picked a lot of blackberries. Some of these aren't ripe, but they are fine when made into filling.
Here's my pie, before the top is put on. Pie filling is easy: water, corn starch, sugar and fruit. The important part is gluten free, any way. The pie crust had to be put together a bit more carefully.Gluten free pie crusts are fragile. But who cares?

It still looks like a pie. Who cares if it's a jigsaw puzzle?
It looks like blackberry pie ala mode to me. It tasted like it too!

09 August 2008

On our way home from camp

Game Boy went to camp here this year. He was able to spend a week at camp in Kentucky and then he got a week here. He had a good time, but he liked the Domain better. (It's bigger, the 4-square rules are better, the hikes are better, there's rock climbing, the cabins are better, etc.) He had a good time and learned to swing dance (the girls voted him the best boy dancer). He loved swimming in Lake Coeur d'Alene, and liked the food and campfires. Here is a view of the lake and the docks.On our way home, there were lots of little popup thunderstorms and it really made the scenery amazing. The light was incredible. My little camera can't do justice, but you can get the idea from these.

07 August 2008

An Annoying Predicament

Random picture of Game Boy and the dogs. It has nothing to do with this post.

The farther away you are moving, and the more changes you have to make, the more likely there will be at least one disaster. All of these disasters are things that can be dealt with, but it is pretty annoying/crazy-making all the same.

On June 30, I received a letter from our credit union, telling me that my new debit card PIN was ####. Well, this is odd. Why would they change my PIN without my request?

It turns out that Visa was hacked, and my debit card was one of those stolen, along with its PIN. (It was nothing that I did--just bad luck. For those of you keeping count, mine has been stolen from Visa 3 times now, and The Collar's 2 times. The only time we had any money stolen was once.) Because of this, my debit card had to be cancelled. The Collar's will be cancelled eventually, but not yet.

Yes, the day before our house is being packed up for a cross country move. No access to money at all for me. (I still don't have any access--we have a temporary ATM card for our new local account but no debit cards or checks yet. There's a modest limit on how much you can take from the account, too. Maybe today all the other stuff will come?) Is there any worse time for this to happen? I'll set up online billing as I can.

Of course, since we have had our mail forwarded, these can't be forwarded on. There is also no point to forwarding it, because you must use these debit cards in the credit union's ATMs.

So, here we are, and I still can't just go out and buy groceries. (Well, we're buying them, but it's just enough to get us through a few days.) However, it's nice to have some cash around, because the farmer's market here is just wonderful. I like living close to where the food grows!

I still have about 4 boxes of stuff to deal with. One of them is full of music tapes. We don't have a tape player that works any more. Why'd we bring them along? I have a bunch of things we're going to donate to goodwill or the like. It's amazing what shows up when you pack up a house! Because there's always things on top of cabinets, or in the cabinets that you don't actually use, or...ahem.

Oh, and we still have to figure out how to help Game Boy unpacked. Apparently, he decided to unpack each box partially by dumping things on his floor. His room is, according to the Wiz anyway, a disaster area. It's not that bad. Well, maybe it is...

02 August 2008

What Game Boy Made

Game Boy built a dam in the stream at the house we were staying while we were waiting/unpacking/etc. The dam made a pretty big pool of water, and it ran faster after he did it. He also spent a lot of time clearing weeds from the stream back, too.
Then, we had a lot of boxes. We believe in reduce/reuse/recycle. A lot of the boxes went to a parishioner whose son is moving. The really big ones we let Game Boy have. This is his first construction.
He has a roof and doors, too.
Sadly, the wind blew it over. I think that there will be a new construction later.

Back Garden

We have no grass, but we have a lot of potential.We have grapes (and an apple tree), chokecherries, and crab apples. The grapes are doing surprisingly well for a neglected vine. There are a few apples on the tree. There are a lot of chokecherries, and we'll have a lot of crab apples for the birds.

There are also roses, lavender, and a really huge butterfly bush.

We will need to seriously prune things, though. We shall see how things look next year.

01 August 2008

While I was waiting

I knitted, quite a bit, in fact. Once your house is packed up, and you are in a car for hours and hours, there must be something to do. Then, of course, our closing was delayed, so I had more time to knit (and no tv or internet, so what else to do?).

So, here's what I did:

The socks are Spring Forward from Knitty. My version should probably be called Fall Back. The yarn is Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock yarn in Brown Sugar. Very autumnal colors, I think. They'll look good with my tan clogs when it's cool enough to wear them again.

I started these socks at camp, and literally wove in the ends as we drove into Washington. I really like the colors. My pictures aren't so wonderful, but they'll be great socks.I have finished all of the mitre squares for the dishcloth cotton baby blanket. It needs a border, but I'm waffling on what color to use. Suggestions? It's going to be very soft, and machine washable once it's finished.

I am almost finished with this, too. It needs to be blocked, and I've decided to use some sort of clasp, rather than the buttons that are called for. It will be good for throwing on when I'm too cool in air conditioning or at night. (It really can get cool at night here, even if the days are in the 90's).
The color is closer in the second picture. It's not the best picture of the sweater, but it's not too bad considering it's a mirror shot. :) (I think I've lost weight during the knitting of this sweater!)

I think that I'll be wearing it a lot. It's the Hexacomb Sweater from the Spring IK, and I knit it all in one color from Knit Picks Merino Style in Crocus, which is no longer available. I used Addi Turbos for the first time with this sweater, too.

Later, I'll post pictures of the boys' projects. Next week I might be ready for a "tour" of the house.