Monday, November 29, 2010

Cold Morning

 Cora stepped out the door this morning and showed me the spiderweb that has been outside our front door for the past few months.  It was totally cool!  Or, perhaps, SUPERCOOL is more correct.  Since that is what the water molecules that froze upon it were.  Since it was late-start Monday, I went outside after Cora left and took a few more pictures.
and found this in the doorway of the shed.
And then found our volunteer fern had frozen...
 Then I looked back at the alley behind the house and saw this...I like the mixture of shapes and lines.
 Then I went to work.  I taught music today.  I love it when the teachers use my strengths for both the good of the kids and mine.  (It makes it easier for me when it is something I know backward and forward)  All the kids know me and they know how I can draw, so they were all pleasantly surprised to find Mr. H giving them a combined music/art lesson!  It was fun!

When I got home I began a bit of cleaning and put dinner together.  I decided to take a few more pictures.  And this is what I saw out the front door!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Loving Nieces To Pieces!

I had the opportunity to see both of my nieces this long weekend.  I had a nice weekend.  But one of the best parts of it was when I got to see my nieces!  These two girls have their uncle wrapped around their fingers.  I am totally enamored with them!  If one of them were to ask for the keys...well, I would be hard pressed to say no.  How exactly DO you tell a niece NO?  I haven't figured it out yet!

This one hasn't asked anything to me yet,'s only a short time before she does...and I don't know if I am strong enough to tell her, "No, you cannot have that teddy bear!"  Or even, "No, you cannot borrow my keys and take the car."  Well, are you?  Look at that face!

...And this lovely young girl is my oldest niece.  She is a wonderful young lady.  She continues to grow up before my eyes.  I cannot believe how mature she is!  And, SMART!?  Yeah, she's got a way about her that makes it difficult to tell her no.  And the thing is she is so generous.  She is so...well, she is awesome.  When she was up here at the parade, they threw candy to the kids.  She was generous enough to make sure others got some.  She is sharp, too.  When she asked a question and Uncle Jim answers...she is all over the fact that her uncle is completely full of crap!  She will look me in the eye and squint one eye and say, "You're teasing me, Uncle Jim."  and she is usually completely right.  She is just a terrific young lady.
...and when she asked me to draw her a horse...who was I to say no?
 Yeah, I know, spineless.  It's ok, I can live with that.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving #2

We had our first Thanksgiving with my family on Thursday, but enjoyed a second one last night.  Of course, I could not be expected to leave my camera at home.  Especially if there was a chance that I would see my newest niece!  She is such a happy baby!  On the other hand, whenever there is an opportunity for photos, I will take the shot...
 The three sisters are always photogenic, though more often then not they claim otherwise.

"Ladies with an attitude
Fella's that were in the mood
Don't just stand there, let's get to it
Strike a pose, there's nothing to it

Vogue, vogue, vogue, vogue" 

 What a lovely face!

As usual, dinner could not be beat.  We made the salad(Cora and I).  

 It was a great evening.  We played some games, in which my awesomeness dominated the table, if not the game itself.  But, even my awesomeness was overshadowed by this little lady!!
It was a good evening!

Friday, November 26, 2010


Seems like yesterday's post, according to Blogger, was post 900 for me!  I guess I post a lot...probably too much, because I fail to separate the wheat from the chaff.  I notice many bloggers, the better ones, are very picky about what they share.  Me...not so much.  So, here is post 901.  I am showing a few more Thanksgiving pictures.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Awesome Thanksgiving. Thanks!

 Aunt Cora and Niece have a long and animated talk.
 My Mother looks beautiful, here...
 A little bit of dinner.
 My nephew doesn't mind being the center of attention!
 His mother doesn't either...
 This is the oldest generation we have in our family...they must be in their eighties...
 Cora encouraged them to be immature.
I am drawing a horse for my niece, here...
 Grandpa and grandson spend some quality time together.
And, here's the whole bunch!  Yeah, it was a good day!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Day Before Thanksgiving!

Set to work in East Valley, imagine my surprise when I discovered from a friend on Facebook that the district was closed because the buses would not start!  So, I had the day off.  Cora was jealous, obviously.  Still, I tried to make it up to her by buying her lunch at Panda Express...

Though I thought Pandas would cook faster...
 The traffic wasn't bad, but there were a lot of people out!  And, fortunately, they weren't QUITE as stupid as they were the other night.
 And the valley's finest were out, too.  This guy was plowing a road that few use and to top it off, he sat parked for a few doubt enjoying a cup of coffee.
 At least I got a few pictures, even if he didn't get much snow.

I then wandered up the road a ways and took a few pictures.  This one I ran through the paint program...pretty, huh?
 These apples were out the window as I drove by, see how the center is mostly focused, but the edges are blurred?  That was all to do with how I took the shot and no computer shenanigans!  Which begs the question, why weren't these harvested?  Cora could tell you...
 I was a few feet from home when I took this one.  I like the way someone didn't get the memo about whose house would be painted what!  Can you imagine the conversation?  "Honey, I did NOT know the Hendersons were going to choose THAT shade of tan!  I know, it's unfashionable...Yes dear, I'm sorry..."
So, I spent a few hours cleaning.  I did some laundry and dishes and made a grilled ham and cheese sandwich...and then folded clothes...and then took the wife lunch and got a few last minute groceries for tomorrow's dinner...and we talked to the Agency.  We might actually have gotten somewhere!

It seems that our immigration officer marked our homestudy off because, while she had it for a month, she waited that extra day to stamp it bad.  Why?  Well, it turns out that our homestudy expired on the 16th of November.  I know, I feel badly about that, too.  But, she had had it since OCTOBER 13th!   She waited until NOVEMBER 17th to look at it...does that seem petty or is it bad luck?  Me?  I deem that to be petty...and like I said a couple posts ago, OFFICER L. I would LOVE to visit you in your home and tell you all about the finer points of adoption.  Then I would like to take away your favorite possession and replace it with a turd.  Then I want to see how you feel.

On the bright side, our agency seems to have actually DONE something today.  They are apparently working to help us as fast as they can.  I know, I was surprised too!  It might help that we called them a couple times today...-oh, well.  We will get there eventually!

Tomorrow, we get to spend Thanksgiving with my lovely sister, my lovelier niece, and my awesome little nephews...of which there are three to choose from!!!  This should be a good day!  Obviously, I will be taking Precious!!  She served me well today, despite the cold...

Oh, and I got a remote control for my camera!  It is totally awesome.  I have already surprised Cora a few times, but I am waiting to make the best surprise shot possible before I post a shot...also, I really want her to have her clothes on...ok, just kidding.  The first time i tried it the stupid camera had turned off that option because of the amount of time I had to wait for Cora to get into position.  The second time she was out of the frame.  The third time...well, it was good, but it was on a different card and I am lazy.

Look forward to some awesome Thanksgiving Day pictures!  I will be seeing my Niece and Nephews tomorrow and my OTHER favorite Niece on Friday!!  How LUCKY AM I??!!!!

By Request!!

As I have mentioned, I have made great use of the white boards over the years.  Here are just a couple that I have recorded.  This first shows my poor pumpkins and scarecrow under attack by some ninjas and a pet dinosaur that a particular student drew up in response to my placing a sword and dead ninja in the scarecrow's hand.  That because I knew he liked to draw ninjas...guess I deserved it. 
 The Disney movie, "How to Train Your Dragon" came out on DVD recently, so I drew a dragon for one class.
 Another student was getting smart, so I drew a portrait of him.  He settled down and his classmates enjoyed it!
 and finally, a warning:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What a Week!

I taught at Wapato Monday.  Music.  I got an e-mail from the teacher thanking me for the notes I leave.  She also noted that she didn't think the doodles I left for her qualified as doodles.  She argued that they were art...OH...SHE's GOOD!  I will sub for her again.

Then, today, I subbed in Selah.  It so happens that our little spat of snow so vexed residents and staff of Selah that they decided they needed an extra two hours to get to work, so they called for a two hour delay.  I did not complain.  However, it messed with the carefully laid plans of one teacher and the day of one sub.  I ended up letting eight kids sit with me through my plan period simply because I was unsure of whether something was going on or not...I DID finally get an updated schedule...shortly after lunch.  During my last block...way to go!!  Thanks for your help!  I managed to figure it out though and everyone lived to greet a new day.

I have a new  fifth-grade fan-base, now, though.  A few simple drawings on a board and suddenly I am their favorite sub...ah, I wield magic spells and don't even know it!  I am the Harry Potter of the White Board!  My marker is my wand!

Apparently that particular teacher enjoys fishing...there were fish all over the classroom.  The kids said i should draw a fish picture for her.  Not being one to pass a chance to befriend a new teacher, I drew an Alumiweld on the white-board trolling.  In the background were local basalt cliffs and a snow-capped mountain in the background.    

Tomorrow, I sub music again, but back in my favorite school.  Where I seem to be the auxiliary music teacher...No complaints here though!  I will have taught in three districts in three days.

Then, tomorrow...well, it's only a half day, but it will be the start of a Thanksgiving weekend that will see me relaxing and loving life.  Even though we are still sleeping all the way through the night and don't have daycare, we will be happy dammit!

Oh, and that picture up there?  That's My Lady Cora, sporting her new do.  Perty, no?

Monday, November 22, 2010


Folks, please.  I know this white stuff coming from the sky scares you, but it isn't new.  REALLY!  It is just snow.  You remember, last year, about this time, the same thing came out of the sky and covered to roads and you acted JUST as surprised as you did today.  I know you folks have what they call nervous systems; I saw them operating in the most peculiar way today.  You were all...well, gun-shy.  Some might have called you retarded, but I prefer to use more sensitive descriptors.  you were afraid that you might...lose control.

Here's a thought, people, take your car to an empty parking lot.  In the snow.  Now, get into your car and play.  Yes, play.  Jam on the accelerator.  Stomp on the brakes.  Turn the steering wheel! See what happens!  Yes, it's exciting.  NO, it is NOT a video game.  You need to do this.  Also, next time you think it's slippery outside, take a moment when no one else is around and just jam on the brakes, see what it does.  Play around.  Don't do it on a 500 foot cliff, just a flat parking lot will do.  REALLY!!  This is practice.  When you figure out how to drive your car in a parking lot in snowy conditions, well, then you can do it when it matters and you won't be half as stressed.  Amazing reasoning, I know!

And, you know what??  It works!  It's true!  When you had driver's ed that many eons ago and they told you to turn into the skid, well, it's true.  I am here to tell you.  DO IT!!  Try it in the parking lot, then you'll be all, "I'll be damned, they were right!"  and you know what?  Next time you are in a situation when you're skidding?  You'll automatically turn your wheels the right way.

You can drive at a higher speed than you think and still be safe.  If you know how your vehicle behaves in snow or ice, you'll feel more confident and you won't jeopardize the lives of others.  You'll be home by the time the idiots come out and get into wrecks!

Honestly!  I went into town and found more idiots on the road than I could shake a stick at!  And I can shake a stick really FAST!!!  Yes!  One guy slowed traffic down SOOO much that once I got past him, even at the leisurely pace of 30 mph, I was ahead by a quarter mile in nothing flat...and those that chose NOT to pass him...well, they were still behind him, cursing his mother for not having a headache that night.  They also qualified for being stupid, unless, of course, they were simply surrounded by idiots, in which case, well, they were in the same boat as me.  I hate stupid people.

Oh, and speaking of stupid people, what about you people that work for US immigration?  Did you know that I-600 Adoptive Parents should be placed in a different category than I-800s?  YES!  You need to judge them by DIFFERENT standards.  Is that too complicated for you?  It isn't my idea, it's just the way it is.  But, if you don't know how to perform your job, you suck.

Because, now?  I want to come and visit you in your home Agent L.!  I want to explain to you every up and down that we have had.  Every up followed by a cataclysmic down.  Every smile that has been dowsed with a flood of tears.  Every time we think it's gonna be OK, we find out that we just made another mistake.  Maybe, you'll see we can't take much more.  Maybe after I explain to you all of the pain and suffering we have gone through.  Maybe after you cry at our losses and our pains, then you'll see that each of those are not just numbers or pieces of paper, maybe then you'll see a family.  Broken, waiting to be put together.  Maybe then you'll see.  Maybe you'll see that the guy who always makes jokes and tries to keep the spirits up is the one that is crying tonight.  Maybe you'll just pass that piece of paper as acceptable.  What do'ya say?  Is that too much to ask?  I just want to be a dad.  Or maybe you'll just send us a note that says "something" is wrong, but you won't say what.  Yeah, that's a good idea, why don't you just fuck up our life some more.  No one notices, no one cares.  Just go have a nice evening and forget.  I wish I could.

I'm sorry.  It has been a long and arduous day.  Maybe I can make you forget you read that last paragraph by showing us in the snow.  yeah, it's still coming down.  Cold.  It is friggin' cold out there.  My toes are just now coming back to life.  What?  You don't walk out into the snow just because your wife suggests it?  It seemed like a good idea before the circulation stopped.

  oh, and I wasn't the only idiot in the snow tonight, yet, I did not figure out a way to look so darned cute, like she did.
Yes, that is my wife.  She IS beautiful...even in the snow.  Of course, she had the forethought to put on a pair of Crocs, so she isn't grimacing, she is actually smiling.  She is beautiful isn't she?  Yeah, maybe it's time for me to go read a book and try and forget adoption for one night.  At least I can spend my time with a wonderful woman.  In the meantime, I hope you didn't drive like an idiot tonight.


So, it took all day and most of the evening, but we finally got some snow.  It finally calmed down and stopped about 10pm.  However, it picked up again sometime after 3:30AM because, now, we have more.  Here is the view from 6:50AM.
So, CORA got her wish.  Apparently lower in the valley, from Prosser to the Blue mountains, snow came down even harder.  Schools are closed in that area.  No such luck here.  Our area doesn't close for a skiff of snow, no way, no how!  Which, actually, is a good thing when you are a substitute.  Gives "real" teachers a chance to get "sick" on bad weather days.

Cora would probably like to see a few more inches of snow.  For now, I think we will have to see what the weather gods bring us.