Archive for October, 2011

A Halloweeny Saturday

Posted by julie on Saturday, 29 October 2011, 23:54

At noon, I said, “I should carve the pumpkins, or switch the silverware, or make some soup. But I don’t want to do anything.” Chris had just popped popcorn. I looked at him and said, “Hey, do you wanna watch a movie?” His reply: “I was going to ask you the same thing.” Well, the kids weren’t crazy about Gentleman Prefer Blondes, but that’s okay. Sylvan played a video game, Elena played with play-dough, both watched some musical numbers with Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe that just confused them. But we watched a whole movie. In the middle of the day!

Yay, Alder Bikeway! I wouldn't have attempted to take my new cyclist downtown before this. He impressed one group of football fans, who said they were twice his size before they biked on the road.

Then Sylvan and I headed downtown to see thousands of pumpkins. A few of my favorites:

Sylvan looked at more pumpkins just to humor me. He was patiently awaiting a doughnut.

Then on to the Porter Party! Halloween at the Porters is worth dressing up for: prizes, lots of other great costumes, praise. So, Elena was a princess, Sylvan a member of the Residential Unified Air Force (RUAF) in his shorts and a sweater, and I was finally Holly Golightly for Halloween. Boy, no more false eyelashes for me! What a hassle. For the folks who got my costume, I received high praise.

Sylvan is holding Cat the cat, which I carried all night.

What we did on October 23 in Eugene

Posted by jonesey on Sunday, 23 October 2011, 20:02

One of us, anyway. She was a little sandy after building four castles, so she decided to “wash the sand off.”

What do you mean it's 63 degrees?

She got all the sand off.

Thought for a Thursday: Small Adventures Are Still Adventures

Posted by julie on Thursday, 13 October 2011, 19:12

This afternoon, with no preparation (in my household, that means with no snacks), Elena and I drove to the Dover Firehouse and parked, then walked up the sidewalk to the official Stone Church trailhead nearby.

This was translated from the original Korean at a sign-making facility in Greece. The cavern was killed by Mohawks? Who really knows how a comma should be used?

We walked down the new stone stairs to the freshly-mown path, lined by deciduous trees planted in just the past couple of years. Tufts of milkweed seeds sat in bright white clusters atop the dead, waist-high flowers and grasses. I took only a few, stuffing them into the memory card pocket of my camera case, the only thing I carried. When we walked through the older trees—certainly there and huge when I was a kid, over 30 years ago—peepers called from somewhere in the canopy above us.

My little rubber boot sprite

Elena and I walked upstream, chatting about what this trail was like 30 years ago, muddy boots, and where Daddy and I got married (legally, right here, it turns out). She powered on, not once asking me to carry her. It’s a short hike, maybe a mile round-trip; and we took it slowly, looking around. She posed for photos, asked about the downed tree that had been cut into rounds, and said, “Ooh, that’s pretty” when the stream steepened and turned to whitewater. She was surprised when I told her that the Stone Church is a cave. When we got there, I pointed out some names etched into the stone, one from 1860. It turns out 151 years is a bit too much for a 3-year-old to grasp.

Stone Church October 2011

One of my favorite places, and so easily shareable. I tend to turn outings into BIG EVENTS. Sometimes, it’s good to remember that all you need to do is step out the door. Would it be nice to have some peanuts in your pocket to stave off the grumpies? Sure. But, really, it doesn’t take much. We were back in the car in an hour, and we certainly hadn’t hurried.

Good thing I wore a button-down shirt

Posted by jonesey on Wednesday, 12 October 2011, 22:12

So there I was, at work, pretending to edit a report, and this guy started filming me.  One thing led to another.

Guess I could have cleaned up my desk a bit...

And would you look at those sideburns? Groom yourself, man!

DVD Bonus Material: Here are closeups of the two items pinned directly above my phone:

Image stolen from Hyperbole and a Half.

Image stolen from Wire Inspire (some images NSFW, of course).

Wild Wednesday: My Husband Fixed the Masthead

Posted by julie on Wednesday, 12 October 2011, 21:27

No, really, thank you.

Family Friday: Welcome, Dominic Carter.

Posted by julie on Friday, 7 October 2011, 20:49

Although my sister might say that my (un)finest moment as a sister was when I told her that the mole on her back was actually a mole nose, that the rest of the mole was living inside her back, I might contend that missing my nephew’s birth by a mere four hours was in fact my biggest blunder.

Dominic Carter Calabro. Born 6 October 2011. 7 lb. 9 oz. Perfect.

D.C. couldn’t have chosen a more perfect day to be born – sunny and cloudless, in the 60s, the leaves just beginning to turn scarlet. His tough mama labored for a mere four hours and five minutes, the hardest of her life, she’d undoubtedly say right now (and she doesn’t yet believe that she really will forget that). She did it without drugs, much to her dismay. By the time they’d driven to the hospital and an I.V. had been inserted, it was simply too late. Natural childbirth, here we come!

Here’s to a life full of strong women and sunny Thursdays!

Eugene street scene

Posted by jonesey on Thursday, 6 October 2011, 20:42

Traveling from school to home. Two kids, two bikes, one bike trailer.  A little rain, and lots of sun. Stopping to check out lacrosse practice across the street from Agate Hall, where the Vaux’s Swifts nest in the chimney during their spring and fall migrations.

Also, I took this picture WITH MY PHONE. My PHONE. If you're over 30, stop and think about what the word "phone" used to mean. Not to get off topic, but thank you, Steve Jobs.

Either way, I want the t-shirt

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 4 October 2011, 22:03

The University of Oregon is going tobacco-free next fall, and they have unveiled their (possibly temporary) logo for the education campaign:

STFU. Really. Google it.

That’s right. Somebody in the UO administration is either very hip, or very clueless.

If you still don’t get it, you can Google it. I’m not going to link it here, since this is a family weblog. You have been warned.



Saturday Wisdom: The Yard

Posted by julie on Saturday, 1 October 2011, 23:11

In the last year, I’ve done two things for the yard that have significantly added to my happiness and decreased my stress level:

  1. Mom and I added a lid to our compost bin and wrapped the whole thing—even the bottom—in 1 cm and smaller mesh. We had had a problem with rodents of unusual size, and, after the unscrupulous murder of a whole family of these rodents—along with an unsuspecting squirrel who was in the wrong place at the wrong time—I just couldn’t take any more death, but I had to make sure my kids didn’t get bitten by marauding ROUSes. I needed to keep the mammals out of my compost, and the mesh has worked like a charm. Do I have fruit flies and slugs? Sure, but we’ll have loads and loads of carbon-heavy leaves to take care of them in a couple of weeks.
  2. I bought a $25 hose timer to water the garden while we were away in July. It watered for 20 minutes every morning at 6 a.m. I left it on until tonight, when the rain started—this time in earnest, I think. My garden has been too abundant for me, consequently. One cucumber plant has produced at least twenty cucumbers, and there are probably half a dozen still out there. I’ve let some melons rot and feed the slugs, to my dismay; but we’ve eaten five or so. I might have sweet potatoes waiting for me to dig tomorrow, before it gets too muddy. Too many tomatoes, plenty of basil, pretty sunflowers, a few strawberries (but plenty of plants and runners; next year, it’s going to be strawberry heaven!). All in all, a fantastic investment and a great time saver.

That’s my wisdom for this Saturday.