Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 236 - Aug 28th

Self portrait of my feet. In rubber mulch.

Little Bennett appears to have had a good surgery. So that's good! But if you are a praying type, continue to keep him in your prayers. And Jill's dad, Bill, apparently has sepsis and is in the hospital now.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 235 - Aug 27th

Giant spider above our trash cans. She creeps me out. Web is about 2 feet across.

Day 234 - Aug 26th

Painting boards

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 233 - Aug 25th

After work today, I weeded. First with the machete on the blackberry invaders. Then I used the weed eater on the strawberry and weed patch below our fruit trees. I got messy!

Jill and the kids went to a friends house and picked blueberries today. They had a great time. They found this branch with monster leaves. Not sure what it is.

All that aside, something serious. If you are a praying person, could you pray for little Bennett Lilly? On Thursday, Bennett is going to have some serious brain surgery to try to stop the debilitating seizures his young body has been struggling with - they THINK it's a brain tumor. You can view a short write up about it here. I should note if you poke around Ken's blog, Ken does not mince or filter his language. So if you are squeamish about words, well, oh well. I've made you aware :)

Day 232 - Aug 24th

Lydia spent the day with a friend in the neighboring town. We went and picked her up when the friends father was coaching football at the local high school. Our kids had fun watching. It was a beautiful day!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 231 - Aug 23rd

The three fishes had a temporary home while I did a long overdue thorough scrubbing of their tank. Peter had a great time waving to the fish and talking to them. The little fish was tough to photograph - he is one of those algae eaters and just zooms all over the place when there's no algae to eat. This was the only photograph I took where he was semi still!

Day 230 - Aug 22nd

Jill and the kids got to go to a picnic today for the "River of Joy" singing group that Jill and Lydia are in - see the blog post Day 212. The place the picnic was at had one of Jill's favorite things - a fast moving, rocky stream. It was beautiful! Lydia took a whole series of pictures and I liked the framing of this one.

Day 229 - Aug 21st

Lydia! "Dad, stop taking pictures of me!"

Interlude: From Sunday to Wednesday this week, Jill was in Eastern Washington camping with several friends and all the kids. Because of my work situation, I could not join them :( Here are a couple pictures Lydia took - such different terrain over there! It's just a few hours east of here yet seems like another world.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 228 - Aug 20th

Alexander! Doing the dishwasher duty.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 227 - Aug 19th

I was very excited about this! When I took the new job, they have a deal for remote employees where you get a dollar amount for their account at Office Depot to setup your home office. Well, my headset had died about 4 months ago and my office phone gave me a headache to use - it lacks a volume control and simply hurts.

So on the day I flew to Atlanta last week, I stopped by OD on my way to the airport and looked over their 2-line phones. Then I ordered this guy with this headset. It's charging now so Thursday I'll get to try it out!

Day 226 - Aug 18th

Went shopping for a couple hours tonight. Home Depot, mainly. Spent quite a bit of time baffling the plumbing guy. Finally got this. What is it? Well, for the fountains, my pump has a very wide dispenser while the fountain itself is very narrow. So I needed something that would step it down. Ended up with this contraption! My next free time slot is Saturday morning, so I may get a chance to try it then.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 225 - Aug 17th

On Monday, since the whole family is camping except me, I got kind of lonely over lunch. I looked outside and saw a butterfly, so I grabbed my camera and zoom lens and went out to take some pictures. I sat on our deck swing and waited. And waited. Apparently there were no more butterflies over lunch! So I started zooming in and shooting pictures of flying bugs. The wasps all came out slightly out of focus - I had center focus on and their skinny little bodies allowed the center point to focus on the leaf instead of the creature. D'oh! I should have expanded the focus to five points.

But I did get this fly on a strawberry leaf. He (she? - who can tell with a fly?) came out nice and clear.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 224 - Aug 16th

I despise moles. They are Satan's little helpers. Vile creatures. And apparently highly susceptible to ingesting rubber mulch. Sunday morning, we found this in our play area. I haven't been able to quite finish the distribution of rubber because of my travel and work schedule, so there is a small area that is still landscape fabric and here he was. Goodbye ugly, vile beast!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 223 - Aug 15th

Lydia recently got her hair cut short. She looks so cute! I snapped this picture moments ago while she was cooking an egg for Sophia.

Day 222 - Aug 14th

Jill and I (along with Peter) went to go see Carmen and her newborn and he was so cute. I loved his tiny feet - how soon they grow up! You forget how amazingly small they start out - and Anthony was 8 pounds, 4 ounces or so when he popped out. Such cute feet!

Day 221 - Aug 13th

Had a pretty good day of conferences, learned a bit, then hung out at the Atlanta airport until 9:30 pm. Flew home, engrossed in a book on the iPhone Kindle. Got home and found the Ikea catalog! I was tired, so my hand was a bit shaky, but I love the Ikea catalog! So many great ideas.

Day 220 - Aug 12th

After a day of conferencing, we had a group outing at a cool bowling alley called 10-pin, I think. This is a picture of the shoe rack. I liked the way the light came in.

And here is a picture of Shawn bowling. He's one of the bowling studs and studettes that were there. I didn't bowl that great, but I had fun!

Day 219 - Aug 11th

ARG! My picture for Aug 10th didn't record! So I missed a day!! Crud. I used my iPhone but for some reason maybe I deleted it or it didn't record right or something.

On Aug 11th, I flew again to Atlanta for a business conference. On the way to the airport, I stopped by the hospital because our friend Carmen was giving birth. Unfortunately I didn't get to see her because she was getting an epidural at the time. While I was in the air, she gave birth to a beautiful boy, Anthony, and texted me this picture. I pulled it up on my laptop and snapped this blurry picture.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 217 - Aug 9th

Spotted at work - yes, we have an entire pallet of these already.

Day 216 - Aug 8th

Watermelon! I love watermelon.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 215 - Aug 7th

The family went to Remlinger farms today and had a blast. You pay a flat cover fee then can ride as many rides as you want. Plus, being a farm, Jill brought home a nice huge watermelon :)

Day 214 - Aug 6th

We woke this morning to the sound of chainsaws. The two neighbors to the north had hired a professional tree removal service to come clean up some of their big trees. The kids were fascinated watching this guy shimmy up the tree and lop off branches to be carefully lowered 4-6 stories down to the crew below.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 213 - Aug 5th

Jill took Alexander and Sophia to a belated birthday bash at Red Robin. They enjoyed themselves!

Day 212 - Aug 4th

Every week, Jill and Lydia join a group that sings at a local nursing home.

Afterwards, Jill stopped and smelled the roses.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 211 - August 3rd

With the work we did Sunday and the work the kids did today, about 2/3rds of the first bag are in place. Here's how it looks today.

Day 210 - August 2nd

We worked hard on the playset area today. It took me about half the day just to get the site final prepped and weed blocked. Then I began working with the kids, teaching them how to do it. Here is Maranda emptying the wheelbarrow. Eventually Maranda took over primary duties of filling it from the bag and wheeling it back! Alexander and Lydia smoothed it out while Lydia hunted for any steel wires that might have slipped through the shredding of the tires. Until Maranda took over, I did the initial bag removal:

Day 209 - August 1st

Here are the two bags of rubber mulch that were delivered while I was gone. Each weighs 2,000 pounds and you can see the scale by 9-year old Alexander!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 208 - July 31st

Friday John and I sat with our boss, David, at the Corporate Office while he showed us things specific to our job. It was a really productive day! On the way out, I snapped this picture of the fountain in front of the office.

Then we got to the airport and our flight to Atlanta was significantly delayed - like to the point I'd miss my flight to Seattle. So we all got on the wait list for an earlier flight. Which we didn't get on. There were over 95 people on that wait list!! Finally we got on our plane - I sat next to David - they closed the door then announced that Atlanta had shut down all flights coming in for two hours because of a rain storm. Off the plane. Had dinner. Back on the plane. Fly to Atlanta. Late.
My flight for Seattle had taken off on time. One and a half hours prior. So I got in line for customer service. There were FOUR HUNDRED people ahead of me. All told, some 1500-1600 people missed their flights, but they were spread out amongst the other terminals and cs desks. I got in the line at 11:15 pm on Friday night, stuck my iPhone in the air and snapped this picture. And we crawled forward. Between 2:00 am and 3:00 am, we moved less than 20 feet. At 3:00 am, a supervisor FINALLY came to terminal B and started barking into his phone. Shortly thereafter, we went from 2 Delta reps to 10 Delta reps. FINALLY we could do more than shuffle forward every 10-15 minutes.

I was confirmed on a flight that left at 9:30 pm the next night. Sunday night. Fortunately, I was also put on a rolling wait list for each flight prior to that. I laid down on the hard floor - and it was not good sleep. Because every five minutes, some HOMELAND SECURITY announcement would come blaring out the speakers at a much higher volume. So I downloaded an app to the iPhone that was "white noise", plugged in the headphones and listened to a waterfall. My back still hurts on the lower left side from that experience. I got maybe an hour sleep.

Did not get on the 8:30 am flight. Then for the 10:15 am flight, after they did the final boarding call, there were four empty seats and I was number five. I about got up to shuffle down to the 1:00 pm flight terminal when they called my name! One of the four that got called no showed! Woohoo! At about 2:00 pm Pacific time, I pulled into our town exhausted. 24.5 hours after I left the Corporate Office for the Fort Lauderdale airport.

I slept for around 15 hours Saturday night.

My sister tells me that soon Alaska airlines will start non-stop flights to Atlanta and I am thrilled. YAY! An airline I like! And if I have to go to Fort Lauderdale again? I'll fly to Miami direct via Alaska Air and drive the extra 20-30 miles.

Day 207 - July 30th

My hotel room had a bidet. I've never been close to one. I never did figure it out nor look up on Google "How to use a Bidet". I'm not 100% positive I wanted to know.

Day 206 - July 29th

A rather intense day of formal "New Hire" training followed by a party.

This is a tree outside the hotel. I found it too fascinating to not take a picture.

After the training we had a tour of the corporate office by the incredibly energetic Viv and we got to meet the CFO, Scott Scherr, and the COO, Marc Scherr. We then had a dinner at a local delicious restaurant called Capriccio's that had very possibly the best tortellini I've ever tasted. There was some Karaoke. :) Fortunately for all attendee's, I did not sing.

Day 205 - July 28th

Tuesday: More training. The Hyatt hotel complex had a beautiful pool in it with a waterfall. Unfortunately, I forgot my bathing suit! I flew all the way to the Miami area and I forgot that!! D'OH!

Day 204 - July 27th

Monday, I met quite a few new hires and had a great training. We had three tables and a team building effort was that each table had to build a house out of straws and paperclips. Each person at the table was given a sheet of paper on it with your "role" and instructions. You then had to work together as a dysfunctional team to build it - meaning that you could not reveal your role - you just had to do it. Roles like Administrator, Task Manager, Project Leader.

However, our table just rocked. We clicked. The others created something akin to an abstract sculpture. Ours had two doors, windows, a palm tree out front, planter boxes and a flag on it. Not that I'm bragging....but I am :)

Day 203 - July 26th

A bit of catching up to do! This week's pictures are all iPhone pictures. So some may be a bit blurry. Sorry!

On Sunday, July 26th, I flew to Fort Lauderdale for a week of training. It was a long trip - first to Phoenix then to Florida. I then met my coworker, John, for the first time in baggage claim. We then drove to the hotel and crashed. This was taken moments before John and I connected.