Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Catching up

Somehow, I missed blogging for a couple of days, and a couple of days became a week, and a week became two, and now it is twenty days.

I may fill in a few old posts for specific days, to remember what we did, etc.
But finally, there will be fairly big gaps in the blog, and perhaps I can no longer have to worry about missing a day.

Yours, back,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Skibo's birthday, the school ediition

Skibo's birthday falls outside the regular school year, and so his teacher told us that we could celebrate is birthday at lunchtime sometime after the semester began.
We chose to go in today, so that both LOML and I could attend: we brought cookies (store bought), lemon bars (made by LOML)  and strawberries, just washed and hulled and sprinkled  with a very little sugar.
A lovely little gathering, and I think that Skibo enjoyed it.
I felt a little sorry for one girl, who was fasting for Ramadan, and had one more day to go before she could participate in such activities -- had we realised, we would probably have scheduled it for Thursday -- but I was tremendously impressed with how well she handled it: not a trace of sadness that she couldn't join in, just a strength of character that she could bring to bear.

This evening we went to our new favourite restaurant, the thai place downtown, and while the meal was delicious, we were rather put out that the service was dreadful.  And as this was the second time in three visits that the service had been awful, it may rapidly become our previously favourite restaurant.

Yours, happy with the day, except for the service,

Monday, August 29, 2011


A busy evening: the school district had a small get-together to welcome volunteers (which had been relocated  from the district offices to the school, at least partly because of all of LOML's hard work in the school's memory garden): we were surprised that they chose to take photos of us and give us permanent badges to wear when we are in the school.  Surprised and perturbed: had we known, we might have worn different clothes, brought hairbrushes, etc!  And I might not have cycled to the school!

We had to rush away from the gathering early (a shame, since the food was both nice and healthy) up the slope behind the school to the field for soccer practice.  I spent the best part of an hour walking, while LOML went back to get some stuff done at home.

Yours, rushing around, but fitting some exercise in there too,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pot roast and latkes

I like to cook.  And I'm not very good at thinking of gifts.  And so often I'll offer to cook friends their favourite dinner as a birthday gift.
This evening we went over to our friends the vets, since it was S's birthday yesterday, and cooked dinner for them.  Actually, we cooked most of it at home and then took it over: a slow cooked pot roast that I started at 9:30am, a bunch of different desserts that LOLM constructed with Boo (and to a lesser extent, Skibo) and then I made latkes at their house.

A lovely time, lovely friends, and, if I say so myself, quite edible food.

Yours, stuffed,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, S!

Happy Birthday, S!  Since we can't hang out today, we'll go over to your place tomorrow and make dinner!

Yours, continuing the celebrations,

Thursday, August 25, 2011


We took the kids to soccer practice this evening: the first time I've been able to attend this year (it's only met one other time, with one time being rained out).
In years past, we've stood and watched  the practice for the whole time, or chatted to other parents: but tonight we realised that we could take advantage of the running track around the field, although we walked rather than ran.  LOML had to disappear in the middle (we needed to get some stuff from the store for some cooking that has to be done this evening) but I managed to fit in three and a half miles of walking.  LOML managed a couple of miles in spite of having to run off.

I think that this will be a nice thing to do for the soccer season, at least until matches against other teams start.

Yours, taking this exercise thing seriously,

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet and greet the new grad students

While LOML took the children to soccer practice this afternoon, I had to go to a local park for a meet and greet with the new graduate students in the department.
Since the park is only a couple of miles away, I decided to cycle rather than drive: the weather was beautiful and it was early enough in the evening that it would still be light enough to not have to worry about lights etc.

Going there was not too bad: the hills were mainly with me, but on the way back, I had to admit defeat for a few feet near the top of one particularly steep stretch, and get off and walk my bike.  But I made it home okay, safe and sound, if a little stretched.

Yours, inserting exercise into the job as well,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Play Ball!

The summer is rapidly winding down --- the kids are back in school and work starts next week.  We'd talked about going to see a baseball game -- the local minor league team --- with our friends K&K, and today we managed, thanks to K&K's generosity and organizing of tickets, we squeezed the six of us into the van, and drove to the stadium.

It was a lovely time: hot, but not unbearably, and our seats were in the shade: the children behaved amazingly well, lasting the whole nine innings, and, I think, they enjoyed the game.  And they certainly enjoyed some of the snacks!

Oh, and the home team won.

Yours, having had a lovely day,

Happy Birthday, K!

Happy Birthday to our lovely friend K!  She and her lovely husband, K, are going with us to a baseball game this afternoon!

Yours, in continuous August celebration mode,

Friday, August 19, 2011

The return of potluck

Potluck is back!  Tonight I made spaghetti and meatballs, others brought bread, salad, desserts.  We've switched to Friday nights, which may or may not be better for some or all of our group: every night is bad for somebody or other, and so for a while we'll try Fridays.

Yours, happy to be back into the potluck season,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to school!

Another school year begins for Boo (entering third grade) and Skibo (going into second grade).  We're very excited for them, and they seem happy to be going back.

A big difference this year is that we are going to try to cycle to school as often as possible: together with a couple of other families, cycling in convoy.  The first day, it has been apparent that some bicycles need to be replaced, and the children need bike locks, and new helmets.  But given that, the cycling went relatively smoothly.

Yours, pedalling furiously,

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meet the teachers

This evening we spent an hour or so at the school meeting Boo's new teacher, and getting Skibo re-acquainted with his teacher: she taught his first grade class last year, and has moved up, with an essentially intact class, to teach him in second grade too.

The kids are excited about getting back to school, and so are we!

Yours, in anticipation of the first day,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Skibo's birthday

Skibo's birthday was quite lovely!  Together with some of his friends, and their families, we went to a relatively-local water park, and spent several hours riding on huge inflated toroidal tubes, going down super-fast water slides, playing in fountains, and generally enjoying the park.
A lovely day, made possible by our friend E, to whom we give many thanks!

In the evening, we had friends over for pizza -- essentially all the folks from the earlier part of the day, plus some others who couldn't make it to the water park, but who were will and eager to help Skibo celebrate.

Yours, thinking that the celebrations were just right,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Skibo!

Skibo turned 7 at 7am!  Happy Birthday!

Yours, continuing the string of celebrations,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wild Salmon

Last time we had wild salmon, it tasted, not exactly bland, but perhaps in need of a little brightening.  So, tonight, I'm experimenting: I juiced two small oranges, with the zest of one, and grated an inch of ginger into a small sauce pan: reduced it over low heat for a few minutes, then added a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce and a splash of toasted sesame oil.  Drizzled over the salmon, it is lovely.

Yours, playful in the kitchen,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Reading to the kids

I have missed reading to Boo and Skibo for a little while.  Not that they don't get read to, but that they consistently want LOML (who is more likely to lie down with them and  fall asleep) to do the reading.
But the last couple of nights, I've read to Boo from the third Harry Potter book, and it has been absolutely lovely.  Hopefully, Skibo will turn around again soon too.

Yours, thrilled to be reading again,

Happy Birthday, Mum!

A very happy birthday to you, Mum!  Hope it's a wonderful day!

Yours, celebrating birthday number three this month,

Monday, August 8, 2011


I took the kids to Target this afternoon to get them soccer boots, socks and shin guards.  They are signed up for with the town recreation department to play in the kids soccer league, and their try-outs were this evening.
Unfortunately, Skibo got into rather a snit, and refused to go.  Boo just got back, having had a fun time: and fortunately for Skibo (who now does want to play, he says) they put him on the same team as Boo (to make it easier on us).
So, he hasn't lost the opportunity.  Yet.

Yours, occasionally finding his behaviour difficult,

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Heat of the day

In an attempt to outwit the weather, we gave in today and went to the pool at 1, in the heat of the day, and managed to stay for an hour.  And it wasn't even the rain that drove us away, it was other commitments that afternoon.
It almost looked like we might be able to go again this evening, but unfortunately, the rumbles returned, and we lost the opportunity.

Yours, only losing to the weather 1-4 now,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rumble grumble mumble

Two attempts to get to the pool, once at 5-ish and once at 7:30.  The first time, though the sky was clear, we heard thunder just as we arrived.  The second time, no thunder, a little rain, but the pool was already closed.

Yours, getting frustrated,

Happy Birthday Dad!

Another birthday in August.  Have a very happy birthday Dad!

Yours, continuing the month of celebrations,

Friday, August 5, 2011

Grumbles of thunder

Attempting to go to the pool again this evening got shot down.  Rumbles of thunder again.  Of course, rain would be welcome.  Unfortunately, very little rain came.

Yours, gritting my teeth and grumbling,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rumbles of thunder

Finally, a little rain today: LOML and Boo have been making jewellery together --- mainly earrings --- and decided to sell them at the market on the square this afternoon.  Unfortunately, the skies decided half an hour into their sitting there, having only sold one pair, that it was time to drench the town.  Skibo and I had gone down to see how they were doing, and got there just in time to get wet.
Everyone there, dismayed as we all were to see the market shut down, was delighted by the fact that it was raining: we've had very little for the past few weeks, and while we're not in a drought like we were a couple of years back, it was beginning to get a little worrying.

Unfortunately, it also chose to thunder a little --- and only a little --- right at the time when we had planned to go swimming, and consequently we didn't manage to get in the pool this evening.  Perhaps tomorrow.

Yours, singing, and dancing in the rain,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, LOML!

Happy Birthday!  May it be a lovely day!

Yours, celebrating,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

And the debt limit deal is done.

What a disgusting show in congress.  The only marginally positive thing is that the debt limit has been raised, and the country is not in default.  But we are in a poor economic state, at dire risk of a double dip recession, and the republicans are forcing cuts in stimulative spending: not extending unemployment benefits is not just mean, it's stupid economics.
The way to reduce the deficit is for the economy to grow, to get people taking unemployment benefits to instead be paying income taxes.
But instead of a clean debt limit bill, we are forced to accept a disaster of a bill, sure to lead to ugliness in congress, and likely to lead to less growth, and possibly even a second recession.

Yours, Tunbridge-Wells-ishly,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Meet the swimmers

The last proper swim meet being over, this evening the swim team got together for a little party at the pool.  It was a very pleasant evening, culminating in the adults versus swimmers relay races.  I'd intended to swim backstroke, but there was no backstroke race: instead, there was dolphin diving, running (which I did), kickboard (get a kickboard from one end of the pool to the other any way you like), chain races (one swimmer swims with their arms, the other holds her legs and swims with feet), etc.

Yours, pleased to meet,