Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Like THAT!

 Chloe figured out how to open the door today.  She has known that you twist a door knob, but until today did not have the height to do so...she figured it out.  She demonstrated it to Cora.  Cora said, "How do you open the door?"  Chloe's answer was, "Like that!"  And I was fortunate enough to capture it.
I took this yesterday.  I was playing with over-exposure...

Shortly after Cora got home, we were sitting in the back yard and I looked up and saw this: 
It's a sun dog, or as one of my mid-western friends might say: A partial or incomplete rainbow.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Click on over to Barn Charms and see the other barns!!


Cora, Chloe, and I went to see the cousins on Saturday. That is, we saw my sister's family.  We had to forgotten to get gas first though, so we made a detour through a local town that has low prices.  On the way there we have to cross a bridge.

As we were coming around the long corner, we both saw a large Great Blue Heron.  These birds look like dinosaurs, and fly none too swiftly all over the valley.  They are a bit skittish and rarely stand stiff for a picture.

This fellow started his flight low and seemed to be ready to fly under the bridge, but apparently thought better of it and began to fly above...into our path.  This HUGE bird suddenly began to grow rapidly in our windshield, and at the last second, he realized that there was a car coming.  He put all he could into turning, but I swerved to miss him anyway; no use tempting fate.

If you could have seen him you would have seen him, one moment he was a large, king of his realm and then the next minute he was wide-eyed, cramming on the power and shifting on the flaps and using every trick he knew to get turned around fast.  I think his eyes grew to the size of dimes!  I never imagined I'd see fear in a bird's eyes!

It was really funny.  I am just glad we all survived.

Yesterday, Chloe got really quiet.  That's a bad sign.  We walked in and she had been trying on Mommy's Make-up.  It was one of those moments that you don't dare laugh.

We also found her sitting in this box....reading.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday Afternoon

 We went to a BBQ that my sister invited us to.  It was fun, and magical.  I had considered taking every one out for a portrait, but decided to take anyone who presented themselves.   Those who presented themselves were mostly kids.  Fine by me.

 But, my mom DID make a showing!
 My nephew caught in the act.  :-D
 Both of the two youngest were discussing ways to overcome obstacles.

 And, finally, here's the youngest.
It was a good day...Now, I want to sleep.

Simply Corking!

Cora and I put together about six years of corks and glued them on a backing.  This is the final product.   This is not the best picture, I used the Little Crappy Nikon Camera (From now on LCNC).  Yes, there is a cork missing...that will be replaced this weekend.  Also, I think we will move this piece of art so it is centered over the door...our house is not...perfect.

Saturday, Coming Up!

AH!!  Bring on the weekend!  We are going to visit my sister for a BBQ this afternoon and I hope to get some pictures taken of everyone.

Chloe likes her hot milk.  She asks for it by name.  "Hot milk, please!"  So, as I'm standing next to the counter I tease her and tell her it's hot juice, or hot water, or cold milk.  She doesn't fall for it because she is smart.  I then call out in my best short order cook's voice, "Hot milk, coming up!"  She repeats it and then we repeat each other a few more times.

It's almost as fun as our "I love YOU" game, in which we increasingly louder tell the other that we love them.  It's fun. I love you. NOO!! I love you.  No, I LOVE YOU! NO, I love you.  No. I LOVE you!  NO, I LOVE YOU!  NO!  I love YOU!!!  I LOVE YOU!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

It's the best game ever.  No one gets hurt and everyone is loved.

I hope it isn't windy today.  Should be nice!  Hope you all have a good weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012


I contemplate mortality from time to time.  I don't usually consider it much, since I retain the feeling that i am invincible from my teenage years.  But, from time to time, it comes to mind.  It preys on my happy thoughts and makes me feel mortal.  Another thing that does it is the fact that I have a child, one whom I love beyond all others.  Particularly during this time of year, I get this feeling.

Why do people die?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why do bad people get to live so damned long when good people die at the age of 23?  It's not fair, there's no rhyme.  There's no reason.  It's just sad.

My best friend, ever, was James Damon Coder.  He died young.  He was my brother, or may have well have been.  The stories I could tell fade as every year goes by.  I could tell you how he described to me in detail Star Trek the Next Generation episodes that I did not see until years after his death in such detail that when I saw them for the first time I felt I had already seen them.

He died, for undetermined reasons, on June 2, 1997.  It was the early morning hours.  I had spoken to him the day before.  I spoke to him at least daily at the time, and for months afterword, I had the distinct feeling that if I called his number he would answer.  I tested the theory.  He never did.  It hurt.  I know I never explained to him just what a big part of me he had become.  It continues to hurt, some fifteen years later.  The difference is that I don't cry every day.  I cry a few times a year.

This weekend promises to be a good one.  I will spend it with my lovely wife and my beautiful daughter.  Still, mortality is brought closer by the happenings of someone I know.  Or rather someone I should know.  He was recently diagnosed with a tumor.  He has two young sons.  He has about three years, according to the doctors. I can't help but assess my own health and loved ones.  I feel fine, but I have made a doctor's appointment to check me out.

I also recall a particular song.  Johnny Cash sang it prior to his death.  It makes me sad.

But then I think of the rainbow I observed near where Openshaw Road cuts across 149, between Chico and Oroville, California.  I was listening to local radio, returning from classes.  I was thinking of Jim.  This song came on, and there was a rainbow, the likes I have seen never before nor since.  I pulled to the side of the road and stood beside the truck thinking hard of Jim and missing him Oh So Much.  I will never forget that day.

So, while I enjoy the weekend with my wonderful family, I am not lost on the fact that this is but a fleeting moment.  I cherish it always.

May you all have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The End is Nigh!

School is coming to a close.  I am slowly learning the expectations of teachers at the end of the year.  What a pain in the butt.  I think I should be paid for the simple fact that I am awesome.  And, no, I am not from "THAT" generation.  I simply know the value of people, such as myself, to the rest of society, and I think it is time I am compensated for my awesomeness.

Alas, not many others seem to think so, and those who do are not wealthy enough to support my awesomeness in the way it should be.

I am looking forward to a little time in the next few weeks.  I have not been taking any photos, simply because I've been busy.  I leave school and get Chloe...not much time for a photo, unless a building is burning down on my way home.  I know photographic opportunities are out there, I just haven't had the opportunity to look for them.

This weekend will be welcome.  A three day weekend!  Summer is creeping in and I like that...except, I haven't been out enjoying it.  Hopefully the weekend will see us outside enjoying our time together!
Next Friday marks a big change for Washington State.  We get to buy liquor in grocery stores!  Maybe not a red letter day, but something of interest.  Finally, Washington State is catching up with others.

This week and next we are testing the kids 2 days a week.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunday at the Park

 Sunday, we went to the park.  Chloe likes the park.  Where else can you feed ducks, play on the playground and run across a wonderful open patch of grass?

 The picture above is my favorite.

 Then we came home and I watched the eclipse...which turned out to be a general darkening of the sky behind the clouds.  So, I played with a long shutter speed and being a ghost.
 I grilled turned out pretty good!
 So good, Cora took pictures of it with her camera, too.
 And then Chloe sang to us with her mouth full.

 She has quite the repertoire!

I did get sort of a picture of the eclipse...I might have missed the best opening in the clouds by a matter of seconds as I grabbed the camera, but this kinda shows it...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Little Girl

We went to China and brought home a baby.  That baby is growing up faster than we care to admit.  She is a smart, independent, loving, funny little girl now.  She is no longer a baby.  She still seeks comfort in our arms, but I can see that she is growing up.  I understand now, why parents lament their kids growing up.  We just don't get time to appreciate each stage.

Those are big girl panties.  She is pretty much potty trained.  We have night time diapers and for trips to town we use a pull up, and even then she manages to keep that dry most of the time.

As I write this she is playing alone in her room.  It is 8am and her Mommy is sleeping in.  I got up with Chloe and we have had a quiet morning, unless you count her singing a few songs to me exceptionally loud as not quiet.  Ah Po Po, Oh No No (AKA The Cave, by Mumford and Sons) is usually sung at the top of her lungs because she wants to get the best range of her voice.  The ABC song has to be sung out loud or you miss the subtle intonations and structures of that complex ballad.

We re-arranged her room yesterday.  We took out the big girl bed and gave her room to have her toys in her room.  Our reasoning was that her toys being in her room might unclutter our living room which had become a mine field of ever encroaching toys and doll clothes.

She is enjoying playing by herself, and I had to check on her because she was being so quiet.  I could not find Cora's camera, which is quiet, but mine was within reach, so I snapped a couple shots.  This one shows our little girl looking up at the sound of the shutter.  I often wonder to myself, just how we were so lucky to get such a wonderful child.  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Saturday

 Chloe, Cora, and I decided to stay home today and work on the house.  That's a shame, since there were a couple towns in the valley that were having festivals.  But, we DID get the house cleaned up a bit.  Here you see Chloe getting ready to go to town.  We needed a few things about lunch time, so we went in for a few items and lunch.  Chloe insisted on having two braids.  I guess one isn't enough.

 When we got home it was nap time.  Chloe fell asleep in the car, for like five minutes.  Then she spent an hour and-a-half crying and fussing and being annoyingly difficult to put down for nap.  Her mom suffered more than I.

While she was down to nap, Cora and I turned our attention to a project we've been working on for about 6 years.

WAYYYY back when, we went to have dinner with a friend.  At her house she had a basket hanging above her table.  It was full of corks from wine bottles.  She explained that she was going to make a wreath out of the corks.  We both got this vision in our head of what to do with the wine corks we had.  At the time it was a hand full.  In the summer of 2006, I took a Geography of wine course at the college.  It made us more aware of, and appreciative of wine.

After that we drank more wine.  Especially since we didn't have a kid.  We had a lot of time and extra income to spend on getting drunk appreciating wine. So, since about 2006, we have been saving our corks. Every weekend we added to that.  Then many weeknights, often depending on the stress levels at work.  We have a spot above our cupboards that is not taken up by anything more than a few empty wine bottles.  That space became the place we would loft our corks to.  Earlier this year, I spent an hour up above our kitchen retrieving all those corks.  I placed them in a diaper box and Cora and I discussed what to do with them.  We wanted to use them on some sort of artistic wall hanging, but we could not decide what.

Today, we finally did.
 And we worked and we worked...
 We sorted.  We arranged.  And, finally, we glued.

 It is a record of six years of wine drinking.  It is evidence, also, of of our continued economic improvement. Some of our early wine preferences were decided by our pocket still is, but not nearly so stymied by a lack of funds.

 I think it turned out well!  I will show you the picture when we finally hang the thing up.  For now, though, these will show you what we are attempting.  And, yes, we plan to count them.

Chloe got up, and after her mom dressed her, we went outside and she ran around a bit...all that napping gives a girl energy.  Here are the photos of her going 100 mph!  LOOK!  She's flying!
 Can anyone here match that look of wild abandon?

 That dress has been with us longer than she has!  It looks amazing on her, I think!
 She decided to run away from Daddy at one point.  And she thought it was pretty darned funny.
We finally got her to go to bed and we finished the cork board (words that have never been so self-explanatory).  Now we are about to hit the hay ourselves, but we go to bed with the knowledge that today was a good day.  The effort we spent on making our tiny house habitable was not wasted, and since we spent it together, it was that much better!  So, HAPPY SATURDAY!!!