31 December 2009

Good Bye, 2009

You turned out to be a pretty good year.

We didn't move.

We did sell a house.

I started a new job.

The boys are doing really, really well.

The Collar still loves being here.

To all who didn't have a great 2009--May 2010 be a better, happier year for you.
For those who did have a great 2009--May 2010 be more of the same.

22 December 2009

December 09

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December 2009

We have had another busy few years.

Last year, The Collar accepted a call to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Walla Walla, Washington. In July, we moved from Richmond, Kentucky . We were able to visit Kate’s family in the Kansas City area on our way to Walla Walla. It was a long trip, and we learned a few things: the West is a beautiful place (even better than Kate remembered from a family vacation in 1976), the boys get along surp

risingly well in the car, travelling with a zoo is tricky, and Twin Falls, Idaho is a favorite place to visit.

Once we settled into our new home in Walla Walla, we began to explore our new home. Walla Walla may be small, but there is a lot to do. Between wineries and outdoor activities, we are constantly busy. When school started, our new lives began in earnest. Last year, Game Boy began middle school. He began to play the trumpet and made a lot of new friends. Wiz began second grade at his new school. Both did well, and are continuing

to do so. We also experienced an unusual winter for Walla Walla. There was a lot of snow. For the first time, the boys were in a snowfall that they remembered that was more than an inch deep!

This year has been one of beginnings and endings.We sold the old house in Kentucky. The Collar continued in his ministry at St. Paul’s. Kate has stopped teaching online and has begun a new job as manager of a food bank. Game Boy has started jazz band and played basketball (where did we go wrong? :D) and is a generally busy seventh grader. Wiz has begun to play piano and is enjoying third grade.

The Collar's Parents parents visited in June. We had a wonderful time. All of us went to the Olympic peninsula together (Sequim) and saw glaciers, Pacific beach, and Hoh Rainforest. We also saw a Mariner’s game, and Game Boy was able to see his favorite player play again (Ken Griffey, Jr.). It was an amazing trip. The boys want to go again.

In July, we went to Kansas City for Kate’s parents’ 40th anniversary. We saw a lot of family that we don’t often see. It was wonderful. We stayed at Kate’s sister Maggie’s home and the boys had a wonderful time playing with the cousins. On our way back, we spent a day at Rocky Mountain National Park and went to Shoshone Falls in Idaho..

Wiz has been doing relatively well this year. He finally saw a neurologist due to his severe headaches. He has been diagnosed with migraines that we are trying to control. Because of his symptoms, he has had an MRI of his brain and spinal cord. We did find a problem, but it’s not serious at this point, and it has nothing to do with his migraines. In the new year, he has an appointment with a neurosurgeon to discuss treatment options (which could range from nothing to watchful waiting to surgery) and he will have his annual bone marrow biopsy. We are grateful that he hasn’t had any severe illnesses this year.

We hope that everyone has a blessed Christmas season and has a wonderful new year.

Love from The Collar, Kate, Game Boy, and Wiz

P.S. Maybe next year Kate will have a tripod so she can be in pictures too.

19 December 2009

What's New In Pictures

and a bit of text.Woo! New bicycle. (Game Boy has adopted my Kona Dew. I need a bicycle to ride around town. Therefore I bought this.)

New hair color--really red in the light. More subtle when it's not.
And new glasses. With new lenses. Aren't those ear pieces fabulous?
Meatloaf, striped hat shape. It was quite nice.

In other news, we shed a few things around here. We SOLD THE HOUSE. After 18 months on the market, it finally sold. We are so relieved. It was a good house, but it needed to be someone else's good house. Now it is, and two families are having happier Christmases because of it.

I also have turned in my last set of grades for the forseeable future. I just couldn't keep up with two "part-time" jobs, so I gave up my teaching job. It will be better for me, because I won't be as busy as I was. It will be better for all of us.

Sometime next week I'll do an end of year wrap up. Maybe. Who knows? I certainly don't.

05 December 2009

New Nephew!

Which means, of course, baby knitting. I knitted him a blanket. I wanted to use richer colors, and all of these are named for food. I've been referring to it as the foodie blanket.
This is the button that I chose to sew to the blanket for the attachment loop (aka attach it to carrier, the stroller, whatever, so it doesn't get lost loop). Dream seems like a nice sentiment for a baby. This is the softest blanket ever. I hope that E loves it, and it gets dragged around and tattered like a good blankie should.

Welcome to Earth, E. It's pretty nice here.

28 November 2009

What I've Been Up To

Working, mostly. In two weeks, I'll turn in my last set of grades, and I'll only have one job. This will be a relief. I have two part time jobs, both of which really aren't. It will be good to have less juggling! (O, hai, free time. I miss u.)

Wiz has been to the doctor a lot this month. We saw the neurologist, the hematologist, the gastroenterologist, and the cardiologist this month. Neurology will want to see him again (unless the neurosurgeon needs to see him/do surgery), hematology and gastroenterology are pretty much permanent, and cardiology has signed off. Wiz has no heart problems. WOOHOO!

I've been knitting little things. First, I've knit 20 ornaments:I've knit a tam/beret.
Bottom of the beret. The brim. The top. (Mountain Colors, Weaver's Quarters in Sagebrush, which seems appropriate, since we are right on the edge of sagebrush habitat.)

I've knit a pickle. (This is for a tasteless, silly ornament exchange. I think it fits the bill.)
Finally, Game Boy made a boat out of duct tape (and got a hair cut). I think that the boys will both get duct tape in their stockings this year. There is just so much fun out of a roll of it.

21 November 2009

New Frames

Not a planned purchase, but completely necessary. I think I like them. I know I like seeing.

07 November 2009

Now it's November

and I have more pictures. Right now, weekdays are really busy. I haven't felt like blogging because I'm tired of doing anything much on the computer.
We had our usual skull shaped meatloaf--later than usual but we had it.

We had the first Saturday in forever when we didn't have any place we needed to be. So we went to Rook's park.
We saw a Great Blue Heron, who seemed to like to pose.
Wiz wasn't actually annoyed at this point. Maybe he was--I had just told him that it wasn't bamboo, but horsetails on the bank.Here are all three of the guys.

And here are the Blues, from town. That is snow up there. It seems to fall, then it melts, and it comes back. I don't mind the snow--if it's up there.

01 November 2009

Halloween! and other things

Um, bad blogger here.

I started a new job. Did I tell you? Between that, the courier job and the teaching online gig, I've been a wee bit busy.

We had Halloween (and a party at church) complete with pumpkin carving. The Collar made the famous kitty litter cake (I've never been so glad to have an excuse not to eat gluten), and the kids (and me!) carved pumpkins. (Mine's the spider, Game Boy's is the one with the saw sticking out of the head and the tongue, and Wiz's is bottome left.)

Game Boy also carved one at a birthday party. Blades in the head are apparently this year's theme.A blurry picture of my jack-o-lantern, all lit up.

Game Boy is playing basketball this year (and I avoided even seeing Kentucky play when I attended) and he's in jazz band (someday I'll send you to the link of his concert). Wiz is in crazy medical time (this month, so far: neurology, hematology, and cardiology--January already has a neurosurgery appointment), and I'm busy with the new job. The Collar is ALWAYS busy. I suppose we have no time to get into trouble.

I'll try to post more often. It's been a crazy time this year.

18 October 2009

Legos For Dinner

Meatloaf, again. (This ground beef seemed fattier than usual, so the pre-cooked picture is better.) Both the boys love legos, so, what better kind of meatloaf than a lego brick?

I finished a present for my niece K. Poor K. I sent two sets of fingerless mittens to her house, for her sister. Well, one pair wound up her brother's so she was left out. This pair is just for her. The picture doesn't show it, but there's a slightly sparkly thread in the yarn, so I think that they are perfect for her.

This morning I started another ornament. I think if I can make at least one a week, I should be doing all right by Christmas. They don't take long, but I really want shorter needles.

Time to fold the laundry. I won't have time later this week.

17 October 2009

Saturday Sum Up

It's been extremely busy around here. It doesn't seem as if I am doing very much, but when I blink, it's already the weekend. I know I've been saying this a lot, but it's always true!

This week was full of busy. I've been applying for jobs (I want something steady and that I can count on), and it finally paid off. I am going to start as the manager of a food bank close to home. One of the things I've become interested in due to my own dietary issues and to feeding Wiz, is food security. The food bank will allow me to work to help others who don't have that, have a bit more security in knowing where their next meal will come from. As the boys have gotten older, I've really wanted to do something that will make a difference in the world. I hope that this will make a difference in my little corner. I'm really excited about it.

The Collar is at convention and spent the week setting up a demonstration about resources for it. He's giving this seminar 3 times this weekend. He'll be back on Sunday afternoon.

Wiz's MRI results have come back. He has some issues, but hopefully they will be something that is monitored rather than corrected. I am not happy that there were abnormalities, but I'm trying to see this as a good thing to catch, rather than just bad news.

And I've been knitting. Lots. I finished the spumoni socks. They are soft, comfortable, and cheerful.
I'm knitting my niece a pair of fingerless mitts. I'm done with the cuff on one, and just need to add the thumb and weave in ends on the other. They are kind of sparkly, so K should just love them.
When I really want to finish something quickly, I've been knitting Christmas ornaments. This year, it's tiny little socks. (It takes about an hour to finish one.) I am going to buy myself a set of 4" dpns because of this:Yes, it's really annoying to have these long needles to deal with when I'm knitting such a tiny thing. Besides, I want to knit gloves, and fingers are about as small.
That's the Saturday Sum Up.

12 October 2009

Good Bye, Summer Food

We've had a couple of freezes. Saturday I picked all the rest of the basil (about a gallon bag) and tonight's dinner featured basil. The tomatoes are the last from a friend's garden.
Dinner tonight:
Caprese Salad, Pesto and Pasta (corn/quinoa), and Italian sausage. So good, and so seasonal.

08 October 2009


The Wiz had an MRI today of his brain. It was both with and without contrast, so it took a while. Because he's a wiggly little boy (46 pounds--the nurse weighed him because she hoped I was wrong, but nope, I was right) he needed general anesthesia, so it took a bit longer than it might have otherwise.

When he woke up, I reminded him he couldn't have breakfast to which he responded that he knew, because he'd done this before. We drove the 5 minutes to the hospital (shortest hospital drive for us EVER).

We arrived at 6:30. We checked in and he helped give out his information: full name, birthdate, and so on. He knew exactly what they were going to ask, and just started answering the questions. We sat for about 5 minutes before we went back for his prep. The nurse would tell him he's brave, and he informed her that he was used to it. He told her his memories of other times he'd had anesthesia.

I'm really amazed that he did nothing when his IV was inserted. Usually he screams bloody murder, but he did very well. He chatted with the anesthesiologist about how HIS hospital was better than this one, but this one was okay. (His hospital is still Cincinnati Children's--even though we go to Seattle Children's now.) Even without his ADHD meds this morning, he was pretty self-possessed and able to carry on a conversation that the rest of us were also in on. It's times like these when I see how mature he can be. Medical tests and hospitals always bring that out in him. At the same time, he was clutching a stuffed animal. He's really not that grown up.

After he went to MRI, I went out to the waiting room. The Collar had two parishioners (Wiz is his most frequent hospital visit) at same day surgery so I got to talk to him too. It was nice to have someone to talk to while waiting. He couldn't stay the whole time, but I was happy to see him. He stayed about a half hour with me, which was great. I knitted the whole time I was waiting for Wiz to go to recovery. I knitted quite a lot of a sock:
My finger is on the spot where I started this morning. I have about 25% left and I'll have a new pair of socks. Waiting room knitting is always productive for me.

Finally, after nearly 2 hours, I went back to recovery. He was trying to wake up, and giving us all palpitations because he kept trying to get up before he had muscle control. He also kept trying to talk to us, which is new. He'd never tried to talk to me before he was fully awake. His waking up process took a pretty long time--at least an hour after I went back.

He was happy though--he was given a couple of toys, allowed to eat cookies, and he and I went to breakfast (Coffee Connection Cafe--his choice) and we were back home at noon. It's been a quiet day since.

Now I need to get cracking on his other medical stuff for this fall. We have all his Seattle appointments to set up.

After that, I can pretend he has normal health for awhile. Denial can be useful.

06 October 2009

Keeping Busy

It's fall, the boys are in school, I'm teaching, and we are always, always busy. The grapes are ripening and the leaves are starting to change.
I knitted another Christmas stocking, single row stripes, using a new to me technique that required no weaving in ends.
Finally, I found a laptop desk that will work extremely well for holding patterns.
Saturday was a nice day. We didn't do anything that we had to do. We went out to breakfast, we went to the farmer's market, we went to Sheep to Shawl, we went down to Milton-Freewater and wandered the pottery studio and went to the cidery. I forgot my camera, so there aren't any pictures of any of that. Sigh.

At some point, things will have to slow down, right? It might be nice to go out and do something fun without feeling like we're playing hooky.

02 October 2009

Again With the Busy-ness

It's been a busy week, again. I feel like I'm running on a treadmill. Luckily, I was able to ride once this week. I took some pictures because it was really pretty on Monday.
That's a dust devil, off to the east of where I was. You can see which fields have been harvested, which are ready for harvesting, and which ones are ready for burning. The sky is quite blue right now, and it goes on forever.

I do wonder sometimes how they can farm some of the hillsides. They can be quite steep.
I've been knitting Christmas ornaments. Last year it was miniature sweaters. This year it is socks. The pattern I've come up with that will be the "official pattern" fits a GI Joe's foot quite well. They are a very fast knit, so I'll be able to knit them pretty easily.
Another pair of fingerless mitts. This is the fourth pair I've knitted this fall.
Skull and crossbones washcloth, knit on Talk Like a Pirate Day.
A jack-0-lantern dishcloth.

I've also finished a sock (to wear) and started a stripey Christmas stocking. The stocking's at the foot, so I should be finished with that one soon.

Today it's cold and rainy, and Wiz is home (sent home yesterday with a fever) so it should be a relatively quiet and peaceful day. Of course, he's not actually sick today...