Saturday, October 30, 2010

Breakfast

I made breakfast this morning.  I like doing it.  I took our large bar pan and threw some bacon on it and into the oven at 400 degrees.  I then started my magic with the hash browns.  I diced the potatoes and an onion.  Threw that in the nonstick pan.  Then I withdrew from the fridge some fresh spinach.  Which I chopped up.  Then I added a little butter to the pan.  once the potatoes started to brown, I added a couple cloves of garlic, then a dash of New Mexico red chili powder and some basil.  Then I threw the spinach in.  Once that was nice and warmed up I dropped a couple spoons full of feta into it and mixed it around.  Then served it with the bacon.  Can I just say it was awesome?  Because, IT WAS!!!

Today, Cora is still down with her cold.  I think I will have her take it easy.  I'm gonna see if I can shampoo the carpets, since it has been awhile since that was done.  Plus, Gypsy seems to be shedding overtime.

I hope to buy a good book and maybe take some pictures, too.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's BACK! I can't believe it, IT'S BACK!!!

I got home this afternoon and there was a FedEx tag on the door.  I got hopeful for a moment.  I thought, "Maybe we got our Travel Approval for the adoption!"  Then, I thought, no, the agency would have called.  They haven't called.  I thought, "maybe it's my computer."  Nah...it didn't leave until Tuesday, so it didn't get to Texas until Wednesday morning.  So, they couldn't have fixed it and sent it off again on the SAME DAY!  So, I set the tag on Cora's chair and decided to ask her what she was expecting when she got home.

She got home sooner than expected.  Within a few minutes of me, actually.  So, I posed her my question.  She looked equally as confused.  I said I was going to run into town to get whatever our package was. She suggested I pick up dinner, too.

So, off I went.  I walked into the FedEx place and handed the lady my tag.  She disappeared and reappeared with my computer...well, a computer sized box.  I had her tell me where from.  She said Hewlett Packard...I dropped my jaw.  Unsure of whether to be happy or annoyed.  On the one hand they might have fixed it and sent it off.  On the other hand, and seemingly more likely, they probably just turned it around and sent it off again without even looking at it.

When I opened it up, it was obvious that things were a little different.  The cord seemed different.  I looked at the sheet and it seems they gave me a new battery, a new cord, and a new receptacle...free of charge!  TOO AWESOME!!  I was afraid that I'd be sharing a computer with Cora for another week!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Damned Computer

My damned computer is going to fly to Texas again for a little R&R.  I will remain here in frigid old Washington State.  I will not be posting much until it returns from warmer climates.

I WOULD like to wish my SISTER a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, though!  Happy Birthday Sis!  I can't believe you are SOOOO OLD!

So, if you see my sister on the street, wish her a happy birthday and ask her just how old she is! (Hint: OVER 30)

Now, I am off to warp teach young minds!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bizarre Bazaar

We are selling our coloring books, crayon rolls, and That's My Pan at a Bazaar!  We are situated in a local church's "gym."  There are about a dozen or so vendors.  We were really excited!

Until we got there.

Then within the space of an hour we had about four different people come through and be rude to us.  These were not younger people.  They were not people who seemed mentally challenged (Though I had second thoughts after hearing them speak).  They were not inner city uneducated poor people.  These were mature (post 45 years) and probably middle class people.  They must not have heard their mothers say, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all."  (Thumper's Mom was a very good mother, by the way[Remember Bambi?])

The comments ranged from what we've heard before to some that were completely new.  "Why China?"  is common, and I can answer it well enough.  "Why another country when there are orphans here?" is another good one, which I have answers for.  I was NOT prepared for, "They kill babies in China."  This stated as FACT not hearsay.  Then the lady would not listen when we pointed out very obvious proof that that is NOT the case (Chloe's picture).  She would hear none of it.

Another came by and said, "My daughter adopted three kids and it was the worst thing ever."  (I am paraphrasing)  Later, Cora said,  "We should have just said, 'oh, thanks for that!  We'll just pack up and go home.  You just saved us a lot of trouble.'"  It seems hind sight makes both of us clever.

Another said, "There are thousands of orphans here." and walked away.  He left us blinking at each other in amazement.

On the bright side, though, these people were an absolute minority.  It must simply have been chance that all of them appeared within the first hour.  The rest of the day saw us meet many people who were VERY supportive!  One lady simply gave us a donation!  We offered to give her a coloring book, but she would have none of that!  Others came and bought color books, color rolls, or expressed definite interest in "That's My Pan."

Overall, I think it has been a positive experience.  I am looking forward to tomorrow, it should be busier!!

We were gone for quite some time...when we got home, the kids (Dogs and Cat) swarmed Cora.  She was trying to check her email from behind a cat and a dog in her lap, while the big dog lay at her feet.

I would also like to thank all of our wonderful families who support us and love our lovely daughter so much before she is even home!  Chloe!  You are loved by so many people already, you will have a hard time avoiding hugs when you're ready for them, and even when you are not.  We want you home now and we love you.  
I see this picture of you that Lisa, of Long Road to China, took of you on Wednesday, and I just want to come get you, RIGHT NOW.  You just don't know how much we love you already!  (Thank you Lisa, you have NO IDEA how happy you have made us!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Computer Problems...Again

This is starting to become a reoccurring nightmare.  My computer power receptacle is not long for this world and no amount of 2X4s and duct tape will save it.  Fortunately, it is still under warranty.  I'll be sans computer for a week or so, but Cora is a gracious wife, and has agreed to allow me to borrow hers on occasion.  I paid an extra $16 to have it expedited.  So, for $16 it should take roughly half the time and that is well worth it!  Especially since I need the damned thing to get jobs and pictures of our girl!!

I had first graders yesterday.  What a day!  I was on my feet a lot.  But, I was happy to know I have never had my hair cut by kids in a class.  Maybe a few drawings lifted, but never have I come to personal harm or foul.  Not so one of the other subs.  Apparently one of the kids used scissors and gave her a little hair cut while she was not looking.  Amazing!  Either those kids have a lot of gall or she was lousy at paying attention to who was behind her.

Another sub was having trouble with one of her kids and I offered her the option of sending him over to me.  Apparently the threat of that straightened him up.  Too funny!  And I am SUCH a nice guy.

Now, let's all hope for a speedy recovery for my computer!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oldest Niece

Black and White Wednesday.
Congratulations to Lisa and Reagan!  May you come home fast and enjoy every moment!
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Newest Nephew!

Sacred Cow

I am a modern man.  I am a fairly liberal individual.  I need to be for my job.  Therefore, I am open to many things.  I understand that not everyone believes the same thing.  I also understand there are a few things you just cannot say or do or tread upon.  I don't talk about politics, religion, or how to raise kids, simply because most people disagree on the finer points.

It is one thing to disagree over whether it's colder today than last year, we can disagree and be okay with the other person disagreeing.  But when you get into religion, politics or some other things, you simply cannot be allowed to disagree with someone, they have to try and turn you or they will be mad at you forever.  I don't like that.

I don't, personally, usually consider myself as having a sacred area upon which others may not tread.

Until this morning, when I realized my coffee was weak.  Weak is an understatement.  It was more of a coffee flavored tea. In fact it was lightly coffee flavored.  So lightly flavored that my taste buds, armored from years of drinking strong coffee, failed to register ANY coffee taste.  Obscenely tasteless, really, more like hot water.  In fact not coffee at all, this was brown water.  I don't like brown water.  In fact, I HATE brown water.  This brown hot water in my cup was NOT coffee!  I was suddenly filled with rage at brown water!!

This constituted a deeply personal and gravely important problem.  In those three seconds where I took a sip in the dark in front of my computer screen, I flashed upon all the things I had just done.  I saw myself grinding the shit out of the fresh beans, I saw me placing a generous helping of ground beans in the filter, then adding a wee bit more for good measure.  I saw me adding fresh water to the reservoir.  I saw me turning off the light and going back to my chair to wait for it to brew, and start up the computer to check my email.  I saw me pouring that first cup in the dark.  I saw me tasting it right then.  I then imagined me standing up forcefully and becoming a Godzilla-type monster and throwing a super-big mega-atomic world-class temper tantrum.

I realized right there, I may have found my sacred place.  My moment that must not be messed with.  This is my sacred cow.

Thou shalt not screw with the morning's first sip of coffee, for it is written that Jim will become unhinged!!

As it turned out, my emergency filters (the ones I use when I run out of or cannot locate the regular filters) are just a little too large and when the hot water rushed out of the port, it pushed the filter over so only a portion of the water actually mingled with my finely ground coffee.  The water, thus bypassing the coffee, came out a sickly looking brown color.  I would have noticed this if I wasn't accustomed to pouring my coffee in the dark.

I'm really quite good.  I have noticed that I can safely pour almost to the rim simply by listening to the sound of the coffee as it enters the cup.

So, now I know what is truly sacred in this world.

 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Welcome Little Nephew!!

My sister has been pregnant…for about 9months.  Well, yesterday, she finally became “un-pregnant” and gave me another nephew!  Let me just say, I called the day.  Just like my adorable niece, some almost seven years ago, I called the DAY!  HELLO!  I AM awesome!  Of course, with her, I also called the sex.  This time, I was only mildly disappointed with my psychic abilities.  At least I got the day right.  So, with no further ado, let me welcome Jonathon to the world!!  He shares his uncle’s good looks, and hopefully, his uncle’s love of airplanes.  For those interested, he was nine something pounds and is pink, which I am told will stick with him for awhile, but he will eventually attain a more manly color.  As to other details?  I heard the important ones:  BOY, Born, nine something, something, something, Jonathon. 

So, there you have it!  I am an uncle again, and you won’t believe how much effort I expended to become such!  I strained and I heaved and I texted my sister to ask her when my niece was coming (OK, I already said it, I was right about the important part:  the date).  That wasn’t hard work you say?  Well, I did it several times!  Yeah, I did.  I even have sore muscles!  you ARE welcome, little Jonathon!!

Now, on to me.  I am awake at a quarter after 1AM.  Why you ask?  Well, in the aircraft industry, I have developed what they call a flutter.  An aerodynamic flutter to be exact.  When I breathe in, especially when I may have some minor allergy or cold symptoms, certain parts of my breathing apparatus develop a flutter, creating a buzz at a fairly slow frequency.  This buzz, when heard by my beloved wife, is described as a snore.  It doesn’t really matter what side I sleep on, the aerodynamic flutter sets in when I approach REM sleep, and then her sleep pattern gets disrupted.  As does mine, really, since I woke myself up with the flutter last night.  So, in the interest of a happy marriage, I took a sudafed and some cold meds before bed time…I was out of night-time meds, so took day-time…well, that wasn’t enough to counteract the sudafed’s effect of waking me up.  So, here I am awake.

Hopefully, I will tire in a little while and go back to bed, otherwise I may have a miserable day ahead of me.  On the bright side, this is excellent practice for having a baby, right?   

Saturday, October 16, 2010

P-38H Wreck!!

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I got an email a few weeks ago from a fellow wreck chasing enthusiast, asking me if I wanted to go find that P-38H wreck that managed to elude me last summer.  Of course I said, “Yeah!”

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Wearing hunter orange for safety.

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Above is a cylinder case, the five plus inch cylinder ran up and down this!! 

Below is the exhaust manifold from one of the engines.

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I’m not positive, but this might be part of a machine gun.

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Below is what seemed to me to be the channel for the flaps.

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This next photo is of something that was very exciting for both of us.  It’s one of the turbo-superchargers!!!  This took exhaust gases and used them to compress incoming air into the carburetor, allowing the aircraft to fly higher and faster.  It appears to have been still spinning when it hit the ground. 

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The big find of the day was this: 

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It is the head from half of the engine.  There are still plugs in it. 

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This is definitely part of a machine gun.

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below are a few rounds from the machine guns.

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We probably hiked about three or four miles, up and down a VERY steep hill side.  We climbed down from the top, descending about 3-400 feet, possibly more!  I am pooped!

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Cora and her sisters were shopping.  I assume emptying the bank account on baby items…of course, they may have been registering at Target, like she said they were.  Whatever, she let me have my fun!  AND I DID!!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Wreck

So, this weekend, a friend of mine invited me to come along and visit a wreck.  It is one which I have attempted to visit in the past, but my lack of a 4X4 kept me from it.  He has a 4X4 and has been to it before, so I expect that we will have a better chance.  The P-38 in question was one of those that experienced compressability, something the P-38 is famous for (when it was in a dive it approached the sound barrier and its controls lost the ability to change the craft's attitude and therefore the craft just kept going until it broke apart or hit the ground), and broke apart shortly after the pilot jumped out.  It is spread between two valleys and should be an interesting day.

Yesterday, was my second day back to one of the local schools.  I was met with more love and affection than I expected!  It was nice!  My fifth grade class was awesome, too.  The staff was a pleasure to see, and it was just a good day.

A friend of mine was in a severe accident this last weekend.  He is in Harbor View Hospital on the West side.  It sounds like he is going to be ok, despite many broken ribs, a punctured lung, and an arm broken in two places.  The guy just can't catch a break.  This spring he broke his foot/ankle when a horse stepped on him.

We cleaned all weekend and I worked on it further on Monday.  The house is looking good.  I also added some baby proofing to the cabinets.  I soon disabled some of the baby proofing because, let's face it, it's annoying not being able to open things when you want.  And, it may be a couple months before the bay gets here.  I guess I jumped the gun.

Music for me for the rest of the week, the usual!  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Anniversary Gift

 This is how we looked eleven years ago.  We look so young when you compare it with the next photo.  It is great to share your life with someone who can finish your sentences and read your mind.  Even last night I was going to ask her a question, but managed one word and then paused, she answered the question as though I had said the entire sentence.  I am still in love!
 And then, this morning we got the best anniversary gift ever.  This is a photo of our little Chloe.  Someone who is going to China soon for their daughter had some photos of Chloe from someone else who had been there for their child.  All from the same orphanage!  How COOL is that?  She recognized Chloe and sent us the photos!  Our agency hasn't been able to provide more photos yet, but perfect strangers have come through for us!!  THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!
Isn't she simply beautiful?  I can't wait to hold her!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A New Dawn


Behold the first Dawn after we signed the Letter of Acceptance.  Looks pretty, huh?

We have a lot of work to do this weekend.  Carpet cleaning, child-proofing, general catching up, and celebrating our eleventh anniversary are on the docket this weekend!

May all your mornings be so beautiful!

Happy 16th Anniversary!

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It is difficult to believe that some 16 years ago today, I took a gorgeous redhead to a movie for the first time.  Who knew that five years and one day later I would marry her?  Still, it has been a most rewarding 16 years.  Thanks Cora, for sixteen wonderful years!

The pictures, by the way, are brought to you by my wallet.  I keep these pictures with me at all times.  These were taken shortly after we first met.

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Yesterday, Cora and I signed our Letter of Acceptance!!  Signifying our willingness to adopt Chloe!!  We cannot wait!  It seems only a matter of months before we will have her in our arms.  After so many years, it’s almost surreal.  Cora’s coworker snapped this photo of us just after we had signed it.  Cora did not waste any time sending it back!  She went to FedEx during her lunch hour. 

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

World, Meet Baby!

This is Little Miss Chloe Joy!!! 

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We think she is cuter than a bug’s ear!!

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We can’t wait to see her in person!!!!!!

F-f-fall is Here

Yes, it was a bit chilly this morning.  A wee bit chillier than yesterday.  If I don't put on a little more blubber I may actually need to wear a jacket in the coming mornings.  I may also have to turn on the heater...damn you Winter!  This is where living in a cave might be a good idea.  See, caves are underground and you might as well live underground if it isn't summer or spring.  Does anyone have a cave for us to live in?  Huh?  No?  Damn.

I got to sub for first graders yesterday.  It is fascinating to see the relationships between kids.  I had one kinderg√§rtner a couple years ago, and I had his younger brother yesterday.  Amazing the similarities in appearance, but as usual, they have such different personalities that you could never mix them up.  Both were quiet, but the older brother was a little more prone to acting out toward his peers.  Maybe little bro has a better idea of what is expected from watching his older brother make the wrong decisions...or maybe he's just naturally better at interpersonal relationships.  Hmmm, probably a subject better left to people who care.  Sorry for ruminating.

Yeah, so, anyway, back to this oppressive dark coming season:  I am ready for spring.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Switcher Hit

 I stopped and took these pictures the other day.  I really like train engines as photographic subjects.  it might have something to do with my father's preoccupation with train engines.  To this day, he takes photos of them.  It's a learned action, I tell you!
 I taught middle school again.  This time math.  I enjoyed the time I got to draw...as one might guess, and they would be right, that I was an accessory to their math worksheet.  Still, it was good of them to remember me from last year!

I came home and began working on cleaning the house...which saw me turning on the Netflix and watching documentaries...err-I mean working on the house until Cora came home.

We keep getting closer to being parents.  I can't wait.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Silent Killer

The silent killer these days is the bout of digestive system distress I have suffered from today.  I was able to go shopping with Cora and I was also able to operate the camera a little.
this last one is from Thursday.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hops Rock

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OK, a friend of ours called a local radio station and won some tickets to the 8th Annual Fresh Hop Ale Festival.  She doesn’t drink, but offered the tickets to us.  We do drink.  So, we took the $35.00 each tickets and went to see what it was all about!

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We are not exactly outgoing people.  We don’t go out to concerts.  We don’t go out to bars.  We don’t party.  We are just boring people.  Still, it’s good to try something new.  So, we went and had a few beers!  We also had dinner.  I had a brat and Cora had some Thai food.  I went and got us both a beer.

They had live music.  It didn’t last as long as it should have.  It was fun getting out for the night.  And can I just say, it was hotter than it should have been on October second!  We came home and it was HOT in the house.  We sat outside for a good hour watching Jupiter rise above the neighbor’s house.  The animals sat out with us and we enjoyed each other’s company.  It was nice. 

We began by watching the first part of “Inglorious Basterds” and we are now watching “Zombieland” yet again…how can you not fall in love with this movie?  It is fricken cool!

I hope your weekend is as good as mine.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Morning is Too Early...

Yesterday I awoke, much to my displeasure, at 4:30am.  Today my alarm went off and I could only hit snooze before I sank back into oblivion for five minutes.  It was not actually five minutes.  Of that I am certain, because a second later my adrenalin was pumping because the alarm had gotten past the snooze time of "five minutes" and was buzzing again.  I hit cancel and rolled back to sleep.  10 minutes later, with haze in my head and fog in my eyes, I meandered down the hallway, thankful that I had taken the time to premake coffee.  All I had to do was turn it on and it would do the rest!

I sat in a daze until the brew was sufficient to fill a cup.  I clumped in with one eye open and poured a cup.  Only now am I beginning to feel more human and less zombie.  Not that eating humans was at all a possibility, simply that I felt unclear and unfocused until the coffee kicked in.  How humans exist on TEA alone in the morning is beyond me.  I need that full flavor to creep into my flesh and make me whole after a too-short night of sleep.

Middle school today and a trip to Naches this afternoon over a potential long-term sub job.  Wish me luck.

On a different note, I think we are going to be staying home to clean the house.  To this point we have not had to clean except for company and what surpasses our ability to ignore mess.  I am proud to say our capacity to ignore mess has grown and might now make our mothers faint.  I think, also, I have, over the years, come to a conclusion:  Why fold the clothes and put them in a dresser if they are just going to come right back out again?  Saves time to just leave them in the pile.

  Another important development is the coming of "Steamfresh."  This nifty little ability of our dryer makes ironing certain clothes completely and utterly un-necessary!  In 21 minutes your clothes are unwrinkled and fresh and warm and I look like a hundred dollars (I not gonna lie, it'd take a good deal more than fresh clothing to make me look like a million dollars, and I set low goals, so I am often pleased!).

Well, maybe I'll take some photos this weekend.  Seems there is always something to take a picture of.  Yesterday, I saw two helicopters in formation.  I had my camera ready and snapped a few.  I'd show you, but the pictures were for identification purposes and not for the viewing of discerning people...which could also mean they helicopters appear as insignificant dots, but when enlarged will show enough detail for me to verify the aircraft type.  Usually, very boring for normal folks...but then, do I really have "normal" readers?

Well, time for another gallon of coffee and maybe I'll be ready to face the day.  Happy first day of October!  And happy Friday!!!!!