Friday, September 26, 2014

Just an "E"

I expect most people who read this blog are people I know.  But in the interest of internet privacy I am going to be cryptic anyway.

Blondie's real name is spelled with just an E at the end.  Let's pretend for a moment her real hame is Blondie but we spell it B-L-O-N-D-E but pronounce it like 'Blond-EE."  When she was born there was some discussion about how to spell it because while the way we ended up spelling it is the correct way for the word, it is popular to spell it with an EY at the end.  Hubby insisted the E is the correct way to spell it, and he is right, and we shouldn't cutsie it up and misspell it.  And he is/was right so that's what we did.

This morning she told me there was a little girl in her class who spells her own name with a pronounced E at the end.  We'll call her Trixe pronounced Tricks-EE.  She informs Blondie that her name BLONDE should be pronounced BLOND.  To really be "Blond-ee" she needs a Y at the end like other Blondeys she's seen.  Blondie says "So then your name is really Tricks, right?".  Trixe starts to argue.  Blondie says, "Do you know what Greek Mythology is?"  
"No."
"Do you know who Hercules is?"
"Yes."
"Hercules came from Greece.  My name is a Greek word which means "Life."  And that is how it is spelled in Greek.  If you change the Greek word it won't mean "Life" anymore, it will just be a plain old word."
Trixe was impressed, and informed Blondie that she likes her name spelled with just the E.

Score one for the Blondes of the world!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Horse, of Course

Right after school started there was a horse show for Blondie and Bones.

She was competing in the "Intro" level, which means the jumps were about 2 feet high, in the "Junior" division which meant 19 year olds and younger.

It involved missing a day of school to go down and practice doing the cross country phase, since there isn't a cross country field at the barn they ride at.  She and I camped at the fairgrounds with the rest of the people from the barn.
She got to take care of the horse all day and wake up and do it again the next morning.  She was in heaven.  The little girls all took their horses for a walk before they tucked them into bed that night.


The next day both of them - she and the horse - did very well.  I had worried about her Dressage, but to her credit she really had been practicing with him.  And the dressage field was out in the open - nothing to shy at. So they did great.

 She nailed the stadium jumping - and had a great time on the cross country.

They came in 2nd place in a field of about 20 kids.
She was so happy she nearly burst.

It was a good day for all of us.

Summer Wrap Up

Summer has come and gone!

The girls are back in school and I am looking around and taking a deep breath and it is so nice to feel like my life is not as hectic as it has been the past couple of years.  Don't get me wrong, the house is still and probably always will be something of a disaster, but I, Personally, am in a happy place.

Probably the biggest highlight of the summer -  our trip to Oregon.

This is the 2nd annual trip to this house.  It is an amazing place and when confronted with not getting the house when we wanted next year, we chose to come a different week rather than find a new house to come to.

We were watching summer slip away from us so we planned a quick trip down to Zion's Park.  This is the first trip we have taken the girls down there since Red was a baby.  We stayed at the Hampton Inn, which was nice, and hiked around.  The first day we sort of accidentally missed the turn off to the shuttle parking lot and ended up driving out the other side of the canyon without actually going up into it, so since that took up most of the day, we went back and swam in the very nice hotel pool until dinner.  The next day, though, we caught the shuttle and did a bunch of hikes and had a very nice day.



Red and Blondie are in the same school now, catching the same bus and on the same schedule.  They were both put into groups of students without many of their good friends this year.  That is kind of normal for Blondie, but for Red she's always had at least one really good friend in most of her classes.  This year all of her good friends are in another group, she's mostly alone in this one.  Same with Blondie, who was bothered by this more than Red.  They are having good days and bad, but for the most part things are going well.

The week after school started was Blondie's biggest horse show to date.  It was a schooling show, still, but required her to miss a day of school and she and I camped over at the county fairgrounds where it was held.    But I haven't uploaded pictures from that yet… it will be for next time.

Oregon Again!!!

We stopped at a recreation of Stonehenge on the Columbia River on the way over.




 The Stonehenge looks out over the Columbia river


 My brother's girls - they were an hour or two behind us on the drive.

Hubby and I and our girls made it to the house first, and picked up the key from the rental agency and then headed to the house.  Just walking in the door of that lovely home and looking out to see the ocean from the back windows made me happy.  It is a lovely place.

Grandma, Papa, and 3 nieces
We went for a hike but it was so foggy we couldn't see the view

My cute niece on the swingin' tree
 My brother-in-law (on the right in the red shirt) is famous for his huge hamburgers.
Blondie and my youngest niece spent two solid days boogie boarding

 We celebrated Blondie's birthday while we were there.

We went to the maritime museum in Astoria.

We relaxed, we slept, we read, we ate, we walked on the beach, we collected sand dollars, we ate and slept and relaxed some more.

My brother created a treasure hunt this year, on three planks of wood, one containing a map and two scribed with a very clever poem.  He wanted to do the "Take ten steps to the west" sort of map which  follows the pirate stereotype but totally stumped the girls.  Which way is west, anyway?  We say "The sun sets in the west."  They look at us blankly.   It took quite a lot of help to get them to figure out where the treasure was buried, with the older girls looking on saying "There should be a time limit!  If they can't get it in 10 minutes it's our turn!"  I am curious if the older girls could have figured it out.

Last year most of us went deep sea fishing.  My mom and dad and sister opted out.  Hubby and my sister's husband were horribly sea sick, and my brother's wife and two of his daughters were moderately sea sick. We brought back so much fish we ended up feeding it to the seagulls because it was going bad and stinking up the house fridge.  Even though he spent a lot of the time leaning over the rail, Hubby said it was something he really enjoyed doing and looked forward to doing this year.

This year the only ones willing to go fishing were the four of us, my brother, and his youngest daughter.  I bought some different nausea medication for Hubby, and he was not sick at all!  That was probably my favorite part of the fishing trip.  My niece and I caught a bunch of fish, this year Blondie didn't get nearly as many fish as she thought she should.  She was standing right in between me and my niece, but just didn't get the bites.   Red was on the other side of my niece, she caught quite a lot.  Mostly we were catching black sea bass, but my brother and I both caught a ling cod, a big ugly fish that fought a lot harder than the bass.  All in all we had a really nice trip, and a great fried fish dinner that evening.  This year we were smarter, too, and we packed all the fish we didn't eat in ice and drove it home.  We probably got 12 fish dinners out of it, and that was just 1/3rd of what was left.

 Red would catch 'em, but she wouldn't touch 'em.  The captain came out to help her reel that one in.
 My brother, on the right, pulled in a crab trap.

When Blondie FINALLY caught her first fish of the day, the woman deckhand helping told her she had to kiss it to make sure she'd catch more.  She did catch more eventually, though she did not kiss that first fish.

Thank you Grandma and Papa for a most wonderful trip!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

6th

So the woman who 1/2 leases the horse we now own took him to an event in Wyoming last weekend, and the two of them took 6th place!  She is a really nice lady and she just couldn't stop saying nice things about Bones.   She said he didn't refuse anything, and obviously performed really well.  It was her first real competition.  She did the Intro level, someone told me that means she won't be nationally ranked, but she was still thrilled.   She sent me this picture.

Awww they are so cute!!!!

She is leasing Bones until her own horse comes in, sometime in August.  But she loves him very much.       I hope she likes her new horse a lot, but Bones will be a tough act to follow!

I Can Prove Global Warming is REAL

When we lived in the valley I developed a system of air flow management in order to maintain a comfortable temperature inside our house.  When it got to be 80 degrees in the house I would turn on the swamp cooler above the kitchen table which would send gale force cooling winds through the house.  80 degrees was my breaking point, anything above 80 was too darned hot and I simply couldn't stand it.  We lived in an old house that did not have central air on the main floor.  It did have it upstairs, thank all things holy, because the upstairs had been remodeled in an era of sanity.  The swamp cooler wasn't perfect but it did move the air around, and it raised the humidity in the horribly dry air and it made me feel better.  It also cleaned all the girl's artwork off the fridge and anything not nailed down was blown all over, but you get used to that.  If I turned the swamp cooler on just after dinner and ran it all night, it would drop the temperature in the house enough so that it wouldn't reach 80 degrees until I was making dinner the next day.  Sure, I closed up the house and drew the blinds like a hermit when I got up, and we all put on sweatshirts to to eat breakfast in, but it made the house tolerable.

Then we moved up to the mountains. It's supposed to be much cooler up here, so 35 years ago when this house was built it didn't get central air.  And the homeowners association thinks we're way too classy to allow for window air conditioners.  So when it hits 83 degrees or warmer in the house by 4:00 or 5:00, I start to melt.  I am not actively sweating, but I become a heat slug.  I can't think, I can't function, I don't clean, cook, or much of anything.   All I can do is sit and feel lethargic and be miserable.

It is even warmer upstairs where the bedrooms are.  "Intolerable" on the main floor is usually my clue to start airflow management procedures, which involve going upstairs, where temperatures are reaching 87 or so, and turning on the mobile swamp cooler we bought last year - it does help.  It is in the master bedroom. I need one for Red's bedroom too.  I open the windows at the back of the house, load up the swamp cooler with water, and crank it to high.  By the time we go upstairs to bed, the temperatures can drop down into the low to mid 70s.  75 is uncomfortable to try and get to sleep, but as the night goes on it will drop a few degrees cooler.

After I turn on the fans and the swamp cooler, I go down and hide in the basement, where the temperature is in the high 60s or low 70s already.  There isn't much to do down there but sleep or watch TV or read.  

I should be packing or cleaning, but I just can't seem to find the motivation for any of that.  I just want to melt.  It's an amazing effort just to type this.  It's time to start heat management but I do not look forward to that climb up the stairs into worse heat than I'm sitting in now.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Psuedonyms

I have been trying to call my girls Thing 1 and Thing 2 and in many ways it works, as I think of them that way and we got matching Dr. Seuss shirts!  That they long ago grew out of.

But I reread my old entries and it is Just Confusing.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 are so similar that it is easy to mix them up and I find it confusing, even when I know who I'm talking about.

From Now On I am going to call them by their hair color, as it has been a distinguishing feature for both of them.  Thing 1 shall henceforth be called Red and Thing 2 will answer to Blondie.  It also eliminates the need for explanation as to who is whom in pictures.

Consider yourself informed.  And because I like pictures in blogs, here is the most recent one I have of the two of them together, taken at the Arts Festival in April or May.  Red - the artist formally known as Thing 1- was selling her polymer clay baubles at a booth.  Blondie was helping and selling her Grandmother's American Girl Doll poncho and hat sets.
Aren't they just the cutest?