Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 86 - March 31st

We bought Maranda's Easter dress tonight. She's part of the choir at Easter service at church.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 85 - March 30th

Over lunch, I planted a fuchsia hanging basket. I can't hang it outside yet because it's still too cold at night. Three different kinds of fuchsia's - two that are pretty and one that attracts hummingbirds. It's going to hang right outside the kitchen window.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 83 - March 28th

It is not always easy coming up with something to take a picture of - especially when you work all day. But this little guy has been wanting me to take his picture for a while. He's one of four penguins who will live in our fountain area when I build it (hopefully) this summer.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 82 - March 27th

I noticed the other day that Maranda seemed taller. So we checked. Sure enough, in two months she's grown about a half inch.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 81 - March 26th

One of my favorite photo sites is the Boston Globe's Big Picture. I LOVE it and check it constantly. Recently they had a series called "Signs of Spring" and it inspired me. Today was a beautiful sunny day in the mid 50's (hopefully last night will be our LAST freeze of the winter). I went out looking for signs of spring here - it's running a bit late because of the cold. But I found a few and these were my two favorite pictures.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 80 - March 25

At my sink in our bathroom, I have a collection of African and African-inspired...stuff. Some I have from a great shop when I was in college, some picked up here, some brought back from Africa by Jill's folks. Some I forget where. One or two are from childhood. Here's a little picture of some of them. A wee bit dusty.

Day 79 - March 24th

I didn't get a chance to upload this on Tuesday, but here is Peter with his hot dog. Why is this special? Because he was HUNGRY. They were fresh off the grill and he kept asking his mom if she would blow on them, can he get her a knife so she could cut it up? He kept touching "his" gently with his fingers, waiting for the moment he could move it to his plate. It was just too cute.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 78 - March 23rd

Come little birdy, come out to play
Before the sun fades your house away
Nature is calling, return I must
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 77 - March 22nd

The regional spelling bee in Seattle was today! Maranda represented our town and was one of 60 contestants from King and Snohomish counties. We're very proud of her! This is a picture of her in round two. Round one saw few eliminations and Maranda's word was "prattle", which she rattled off quickly. Round two saw significant eliminations. Maranda's word was "incognito" which she also got quickly. At the end of round 3, which she got the slightly harder "corpuscle", there were only 24 contestants remaining.

Unfortunately, Maranda missed "madeleine" in round 4. At the end of round 4, there were only 12 left. At the end of round 5 - six. And those six were GOOD. Real good. Around the record breaking round 11, one finally was defeated. By round 13, they were down to 3. Finally, in round 16, a winner was declared! For a spelling bee, it was pretty exciting with those final six competing fiercely for the prize. They spelled words I've never even imagined, let alone heard. The winner is going to Washington DC for the National competition.

We were so proud of Maranda. She did well and we were excited to be there. Well, maybe not for the entire four hours it took! Peter got pretty tired and Sophia was sick all day, so at one point, both of them were asleep on Jill's lap. But at least Sophia didn't get physically sick during it.

Oh, and on the good news front, Peter ASKED to go to the bathroom several times today. After over 13 continous years, I think we can finally glimpse the end of diapers coming up...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 76 - March 21st

First off, Jill's home! Yay! We are glad she went, though. She had a memorable time with her family and it was good. She got to spend some great time with her dad most of all.

Today was a decent day AND I had the day off. Incredible. This year, as of tomorrow, I will have had five entire days off of both jobs. It was June before I had that many days off last year. So I, of course, worked. I have four pictures today. The above is a picture of my miter saw. What would I do without that!?

This was my staging section - where I attached the clips to the bottom of the boards.

Here's a shot from underneath - showing the first boards attached to the table.

Here's the work in progress. I got this entire ring done today including final varnish. Well...not quite done. I got the next ring fully cut to size and marked for the clips. Then the sky turned gray and I could smell rain coming, so I packed up.

What is left on the inner ring? Well, tiny inconsistencies in the heights of the supports exaggerated to the top. So after I get the entire top built, I plan on planing or sanding it level smooth and re-varnishing. Maybe. That's the current tentative plan.

As for the center? I need a proper planer to finish that piece - it's a solid, large piece of teak wood that is rough smoothed. I have wanted a planer for a long time and we are considering allocating some of the tax refund for a mid-range one. Can't really justify the higher end one I really want. But we'll see. Weigh the advantages vs. unnecessary bells and whistles and see where it all shakes out.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 75 - March 20th

Today I let Lydia, my 11 year old, take the picture of the day. I liked these two she came back with.

Day 74 - March 19th

I asked Maranda to take Thursday's picture of the day. She really wanted a picture of her gerbil, Frodo, on my blog since Alexander's fish was on earlier. One thing both Maranda and Lydia have is the ability to learn every feature of a piece of equipment, it seems. So this is a picture straight off of Jill's point and shoot Samsung. Maranda did the colation and editing in-camera. So I give you - Frodo, the montage.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 73 - March 18th

Birdlett #7 in a bath

The Birdlett is a limited edition (only 20!) figure designed by the fantastic UK artist, Okkle. I received it yesterday and am thrilled by it's cuteness. I photographed Birdlett #7 in the top piece of our main fountain, which is still dormant for the winter. You can check out Okkle at these two sites:

A few updates:
-I don't know how the shoes work yet. I came home from work early because of illness last night.
-Jill's father is now in a care center. He is making progress and we have faith he'll recover well.
-One of my most frequent "commenters" on my blog is my friend Ken Lilly. Ken's been going through some rough patches with his second son, Bennett. Bennett has been diagnosed with a brain condition and is currently undergoing an experimental, highly expensive treatment. If you are the praying type, could you keep little Bennett Lilly and his family in your prayers?


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 72 - March 17th

Once more, trying new shoes for the second job. I ordered these via mail. Will give them a shot.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 71 - March 16th

My friend's baby bump. It's their third and I'm so excited for them! This is my first ever camera phone picture I've taken from my phone. Thought I'd give it a try.

Day 70 - March 15th

I didn't get to post this yesterday. So here is yesterday's picture. I sold a bunch of stuff on eBay and it closed on Sunday. It's been a while and I had forgotten just how much work it is to do this. Bunches of boxes for the USPS person to pickup!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 69 - March 14th

Dropped Jill off at the airport this morning. Had to use the flash because it was still dark. Safe flight, sweetheart! She's going to help out her folks for a week since her dad is in physical and speech therapy as well as beginning dialysis.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 68 - March 13th

It amazes me when I look at the new flowers growing up at how my brain filters out everything else. The camera captures the dead leaves, random grass and invasive strawberry vines while what I saw with my eye was several flower bulbs around one of my yard sculptures.

I was looking at my "big wall" and noticed it's no longer straight. And the backs of the concrete blocks was starting to decay a little. Both things are now in the "pondering what in the world can I do" part of my brain. Yikes.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 67-March 12th

Lydia working on improving her Wii tennis skills. Our kids love the Wii. They have such a blast on it. Someday, we'll add Mario Kart and Animal Crossing, but for now, they still really enjoy the games we've got!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 66 - March 11th

Two pictures today.

Sophia was not supposed to play in the mud. Nor is she supposed to be riding her bike when it's only 33 degrees. Even if it's sunny.

Jill's been on the phone a lot today and yesterday. For those that don't know, her father, Bill, suffered a pretty good sized stroke in the mid-brain on Monday night. Plus his kidneys have failed and his blood isn't in good condition. He's doing speech and physical therapy and starts dialysis on Friday. On Saturday, Jill flies to Colorado for a week to help out and be with her folks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 65 - March 10th

It's always on my mind now. Soon....soon...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day 64 - March 9th

Same Hyacinth as yesterday. Yes, we are getting snow. Coming down fairly vigorously right now. Here's the view out the back.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 63 - March 8th

The first flower of the year - a Crocus in our backyard. And the Hyacinth's are poking their heads out now. Yay! Spring is coming!!

Update on yesterday. Thought I'd share this:

Yesterday's picture of our girls was actually partially inspired by a photograph of Jill's great-grandmother, her sisters and her mom taken in the early 1890's. Jill's great grandmother, Carrie Foulkes-Blanz, is on the far right of this picture and her great-great grandmother, Mary Parker-Foulkes is on the far left. This picture was taken shortly after their arrival from Wales, if memory serves me. And, ironically, this Carrie was about the same age in this photograph as my sister Carrie when my sister died. The below picture is from 1910 and Carrie is in the middle - you can see why the sisters are so much taller than their mom when you see their dad, Peter, on the right! Carrie is in the middle with her son, Jill's grandfather, James. James passed away about 5 years before I met Jill - he was 72.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 62 - March 7th

Our two redheads, Maranda and Lydia, looking at the light snow we got today.

There is a redhead missing from this picture. My sister, Carrie, would've turned 37 today. Carrie had beautiful red hair. Instead of celebrating her 37th, Carrie will always be 19. I miss her. Happy Birthday, Carrie.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Day 61 - March 6th

Alexander likes to practice golf. I have some pretty poor skills in this arena, unfortunately. But I've helped him a little. We are getting three books and a DVD next week from the library to help him on his skills.

Day 60 - Mar 5th

Sophia was running around outside - most interestingly dressed. That is a plastic phone stuck in her waistband so she could talk to "some very interesting people".

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 59 - March 4th

Yesterday, it was a beautiful day and I decided to hang a few things outside - my brother and his family gave us a set of chimes for Christmas and I recently bought a spinner that looks like a hot air balloon. They look nice :) I tried to frame the picture and think it came out well.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 58 - March 3rd

Da fishes new home

It's really hard to capture a moving fish using ISO 100 settings! But I prefer 100-200 over the more noisy higher ISO's. So I just set it on rapid photo and took about 30 pictures. This is the one where he was not only standing kind of still, but showing his colors. He REALLY likes his new home and zooms around it a lot.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 57 - March 2nd

I've cut my own hair (and most of the families) for a long time. Once in a while, I've had someone else do it, but for the most part, I do. My hair grows fast - I just cut it three or four weeks ago and it was time once again. I keep a very simple haircut - #3 or #4 on top, #2 on the sides. I like low-maintenance. Takes me about 10 minutes to do it. Here's the result - I found a spot afterwards that needed touching up, but for the most part it was done.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 56 - March 1st

Peter had his third birthday party today. Lots of kids! Here's an action shot.