Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Grasshopper Update, Of Sorts

* Tap tap tap * Anyone still here?

We are.  We're all still alive.  Just getting through winter here, in the PNW.

I'm not big on introspection, so this will be brief.  The boys are growing up. Not so many cute/funny stories, and less desire to be the subject of a blog post.  I get that.  Healthy and normal. So the blog seemed like it was getting to be a lot of me-ME-ME! And what's the fun of that? But I realize how much I use this as a point of reference for our LIVES. (When did Tate have his appendix out? Check the blog. Do I have any photos of so-and-so's baby quilt? Check the blog.  etc.) So I'm giving it another try...

How about a family update?  Nothing embarrassing for the boybarians...

Wyatt - graduated (AA) December 2016, worked for a while at a small hydro-electric plant near Mt. Baker, then when that job ended he was kind of at loose ends. You can guess how popular that situation was from a parental perspective. (Ahem.) Meanwhile, he likes working on cars and seems to have a knack for it...

so we suggested and he got interested in a one-year auto-tech program. While he was going through the steps to enroll, Kerry heard from a friend looking for a "shop boy who could grow with the (HVAC) company". It took a little convincing (because testosterone says that working on cars is cooler than working on furnaces) but he agreed to give it a try for a year. If it isn't a great fit, the tech school will still be there, and he'll have made some money. And he likes it. And he's doing well :D

Tate - the overachiever, still taking 19 or 20 credits a quarter and getting straight A's at the tech college.  Featured in the quarterly college magazine :D This quarter, on top of his program classes, he decided to take pre-calc... for fun.

He's got finals next week, then one more quarter until graduation.  Woo-hoo!

Gunnar - plugging away at his sophomore year at high school / home school, playing in the school orchestra and looking forward to tour in SoCal over spring break (Disneyland!), and planning to go to community college for Running Start this fall.

My. Baby. In. College.

Just letting that sink in for a minute.

And, by the way, sporting a new haircut AND braces.  Love that metal grill.

Kerry - staying very happily busy with work, and enjoying Niko, the office cat.

You may look at, but not touch, his little bear.

Me - this is the story of why I haven't been blogging...
     * October - my gall bladder tried to kill me

      * November - I got to have surgery

     * November/December - recover from surgery, host Thanksgiving, celebrate Christmas, and....

     * December/January/February - become the somewhat reluctant volunteer "care manager" for elderly neighbor/cousins dealing with health issues related to aging.  They are the sweetest couple, but he's getting frail and forgetful, and she's deaf and older than he is.  It's been a rodeo... EMTs, ambulance rides, hospital visits, "care center" stays (ie nursing home for rehab), lining up all kinds of in-home help and therapies, adapting the home environment, etc.  What an education.

     * January - oh!  And in the middle of all that... Jury Duty.  I could just about write a book about that.  Ugh.  The details of the stalking case were hard to dwell on, but the worst part of the whole thing... well, let me just say there should be an I.Q. test for jurors.  We had one... one that drove us all to the Cliffs of Insanity.

So there you have it.  There's more, but those are the Big Things.

No promises, but I hope to be back in this space more regularly :D

In the meantime, Niko is watching...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Grasshopper Days, or a Reasonable Facsimile

Grasshopper Days

For today, Thursday, September 14, 2017

Outside my window...  a perfect fall day - warm, sunny, breezy, with the promise of a cool night to come.  Fall mornings look kind of like this:

a bit of haze, sometimes morning fog.

Hearing...  blessed quiet.

Pondering...  how much I love fall.
And Gunnar wants to learn to make pumpkin bread.
We can do that.

Praying...  for friends in Texas and Montana - whew!
So thankful to see a bit of this last weekend!
Please note that I was in the passenger seat ;D

Thankful...  my dad is doing SO well.  We went on a hike earlier this week!  Took it really easy - around 2.5 miles, in and out.

This bathroom has just about the best view in the world ;D

The Mountain Man is back in the game.

Mt. Shuksan, elevation 9100' +

Glacier Peak, elevation 10,541'

Fall colors!

Tasty snack!

Dad was doing better than he looks here.  Probably chewing something.

Met. Baker, elevation 10,781'

On top of the world :D

Dad and I have both summited those three peaks (only Baker together though).

The road to Artist Point isn't for sissies!

Dad and I both (in our college-age years) worked at the Mt. Baker ski area, so -
yes - that was my view from work, every (clear) day!

Going...  back to Bible Study Fellowship today!!!
Just started up, studying Romans this year.
Find a group near you :D

Looking forward to...  through Gunnar's orchestra teacher we are able to get "cheap" tickets for certain performances in Seattle this year, namely the symphony and the opera.  You might think that three boys would be less than excited about the opera, and you might be right.  But when it's Rossini's Barber of Seville... well, that's pretty accessible.  I mean...

And turns out it's the same day the boys' CAP group is touring the Seattle Museum of Flight,
so we'll make a BIG day of it :D

In the kitchen...  chicken, sweet corn, salad... sounds like summer :D

In the learning rooms...  Gunnar was supposed to go to school today, but he didn't feel well.  Not sure how much that had to do with staying up too late last night AND a certain distraction we've acquired (will introduce in a moment...) but after missing his morning classes he made it for his afternoon set.  Homeschool tomorrow...

Around the house...  stuff, stuff, and stuff.  The detritus of three sons.
Time for a Saturday clean up.  Imagine how excited they'll be.
Tate's last day of work is tomorrow, then a couple days off before school starts.

Something to remember for later...  went out to lunch with my mom today.

I'm pretty sure this guy wasn't shopping where we were shopping ;D

Texted the photos to Wyatt and Tate.
Wyatt's response: "For sale?"

Yah, keep dreaming, Wyatt.

Something fun to share...

something new in Kerry's office...

... more than a cluttery table.

Look under the table...

Meet Niko.  We think he's pretty cute.

And that's all I got...  how's your September unfolding?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thursday Brain Dump

1.  High School.  
Yes, this is our last year of public high school.  Our district has made some decisions I think are stark-raving-crazy, but they've been so accommodating to us part-time homeschoolers, that we're not making a fuss about it.  (Things like starting school nearly an hour later so the babies can sleep longer - meaning Gunnar doesn't get home until about quarter to four, and having an 8-period schedule, etc.)  We're getting used to him going every-other-day for a full-day and it hasn't been pretty.  He comes home... HANGRY.  Tired and grouchy.  But we're working through it.

2.  Neil Armstrong...
in Civil Air Patrol, the "Neil Armstrong Achievement" is the last one before becoming an officer, and has additional requirements for the cadets to complete (namely, an essay and a speech) besides the drill test, PT test, aerospace and leadership tests that are normal.  So it's kind of a big deal.  But in typical military logic, they don't get new insignia or a new grade, so their grade is "Chief Master Sergeant Sustained" (because they were already C/CMSgt).  I'm glad they have to make sense of it and I don't.

Turns out that Gunnar earned his promotion
the same night as his best buddy at CAP :D
Since Tate was acting Cadet Commander that night,
guess who presented his award?
Yep, his brother.

I love it when the brothers have to salute each other.
You can be sure that's NOT happening at home ;D

And here's AJ :D

3.  Strings...
now that Gunnar's in the orchestra at school,
we've dropped his private violin lessons.
I'm debating continuing with the same teacher
(love her, but she's not overly directive)
or looking for someone else.
In the meantime, I'm keeping up on my practicing...

4.  The boys testosterone-laden outing...
I mentioned that they were heading for Deception Pass
in a small boat on Labor Day...
All went well.  Lots of fun.  Everyone got home safely.

I snagged this photo from Tate's Facebook post...

It was a gorgeous evening.

5.  Smoke...
but I bet you noticed something about that photo.
That amazing red sun is brought to you by...

Who knew that the weather app had an icon for smoke?
We're inundated again.

I often snap a photo from this point along one of my normal walking routes.
Isn't the lake pretty?
And all the foothills?
This was in May.

Now everything looks dirty brown.
And where did all the hills go?
The smoke is so thick we can smell it and taste it,
and the air is gritty.

And here - again, from May.

And yesterday.  Ugh.

It's sooooo dry.
I had just filled the bird bath with water (to the left of the bamboo)
and as soon as I went around the corner three deer showed up for a drink.


6.  Dad...
continues to get stronger.
And he can drive again (allowed after surgery)
so that is a huge sanity-saver for him and my mom both ;D

7.  The Mother Load...
making progress, but things keep piling up.
How does that happen???
And what are we going to have for dinner tonight,
because in the middle of seven errands this morning
I forgot to plan anything.

Which just about sums up my day perfectly.

Monday, September 4, 2017

It's 98 Degrees, Otherwise Known As "The Temperature of the Sun"

Washington is known as The Evergreen State for good reason.
Rain.  And lots of it.
This year?
Less than half an inch in June and none since then.
So we're a little obsessed.
I hear people walking by outside,
talking about the chance of rain in the coming days.
(Next to none.)

See my lawn?

It's all brown, except for the weeds.
The weeds are green.
Because, of course.

Kerry brought me this cute little (non-edible) pepper plant.

It's kind of fall colors, but I'm not thinking about that yet.
(Well, maybe a little.)

Mostly I'm thinking about the lake, and when can we go again.
Because if normal body temperature is 98 degrees,
why does 98 degrees of air temp feel so dang hot???

My folks have had us out to their beach recently.
It's a treat for us, and a bit of a sacrifice for them,
as my dad isn't supposed to swim yet.

I'm not sure if they're more concerned with the muscle movements involved
pulling on his chest where they split it open,
or if they're worried about infection in the incision -
which has healed beautifully.
But, either way, better safe than sorry, so he's staying dry and in the shade.

It's Labor Day weekend, and you know what that means?

Everybody who owns a boat is OUT IN IT.

Between their house and the lake... it had just dropped from 98.

Thank heavens the evenings are cooling off nicely.

Today Kerry, the boybarians, and a friend with a boat are out in Puget Sound somewhere.
Apparently the friend really, really wants to 'shoot the rapids' below the Deception Pass bridge when the tide is at full ebb.  I'm not sure that's a fabulous idea, but I was not consulted.

Here's a picture I snagged from the interwebs to give you an idea of what that might be like.

There's a LOT of current pulling through there.

But testosterone calls, and they must answer.

Meanwhile, in case you need a giggle to distract you from

And apropos of the hot weather...

That will be all.