Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sleep, Who Needs It!

My camera has decided to take a trip to Provo, Utah in my daughter's room mate's car, so you, my two readers, may have to use your imaginations - or not - as some of the below visualization may be too nauseating.

Running on 2 hours (gross exaggeration!) of sleep, I was in a slightly grumpy mood this morning as I was getting ready for work. Why? Let's just say that my husband can be pretty active and loud in his sleep. Yes, I have ear plugs, sleep in a CA king bed, etc. - basically, anything I can think of in order to get a night's sleep, but on some nights, nothing works. I was running down my list of "Why John Really Bugs Me", when, in an unprecedented moment of self-reflection, I began thinking of a few of my cute (strange) little sleeping habits, which John seldom mentions but has had to endure for 32 years now.

So, in Letterman style-
(this is for you, Babe)

10. I frequently knit/crochet/talk in bed before I fall asleep.

9. I ALWAYS grumble about the sheets being too cold, and try to guilt John into laying on my side of the bed until he can warm them up for me which sometimes works. (we tried flannel sheets, but John's cotton underwear kept twisting around his neck, almost strangling him - a small price to pay for me getting some sleep.)

8. See previous: I have to sleep with a hot water bottle, woolly sock (really attractive, I know), 2 extra blankets, and sometimes a knit cap (again, attractive), and I won the birth-control pajama contest with my wide variety of modest (ugly) pajamas. One set actually had flying pigs on them.

7. I have to sleep with one knee up to my chest, the alternate leg straight, basically doing the splits on my side, with my arms over my head, sometimes smacking John in the face - and other vital spots.

6. For whatever reason, I only sleep 6 to 6 1/2 hours at the most a night, and no matter what time I go to bed, I always wake up at 6:25 AM.

5. Also see previous: when I'm awake, I'm awake, and when I'm asleep, I'm asleep; no semi conscious state - no wind down or snooze mode, and I'm impatient with others who are not like me- everyone else in the world.

4. I am told I snore, but I have never heard/believed it. All lies!

3. Once I'm asleep, nothing, NOTHING can wake me up forcing John to get out of bed for all strange noises, kids vomiting, pets barking, etc.

2. I am told I talk in my sleep - a lot.

1. (This is John's favorite) When I'm too tired to find my woolly socks or fill my hot water bottle, I put my ice cube- like feet between John's legs (well, up a little higher. Sorry for the disturbing picture) to warm them up, which causes him to spend an extremely painful, extra 1/2 hour trying to go to sleep with zero feeling from his waist down .

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Autumn in the High Sierras

Every fall, we try to take the Best Drive on the Planet, a back road in the Sierras from La Porte to Quincy, to see the changing colors of the season.

Until a few years ago, this historical road was nothing more than rough washboard only fit for 4-wheeling. Now that it's paved, the road can still be a challenge, plunging more than 1,000 ft. in places, but if you've maintained your breaks, the trip is truly awesome.

We literally travel along the spine of the Sierras. I believe that's Mt. Lassen in the background.
Beautiful forrest on either side.

Michael on the old bridge, which is a bit shaky, over Nelson Creek.

This was taken on our short hike to Frazier Fall, near Gold Lake.

Frazier Falls

We took a detour to historical Johnsville which lies along the old Emigrant Trail, home of an old gold mine, stamp mill...

and early ski resort. In those days as the Sierras are so rugged, I'm sure skiing was the only way miners could get supplies and mail.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pictures of the Bazaare

In honor of the most mysterious month of the year, I thought I'd share some very mysterious photos. I'm not sure who took them, and I'm not sure why -

I didn't take this picture, but I recognize this sculpture from DC.
Even the guides don't know what the sculptor was trying to say.
You decide.

Disclaimer: Kids, don't try this at home!
What kind of parent lets their kids do crazy things like this?

Sydney, with a blue eye?

And most mysterious of all...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Two Projects

Like a crazy woman, I am working on two projects at one time. The socks: after knitting thick wool sock for almost every member of the family, I'm finally getting around to knitting myself a pair. I started out knitting them for Aunt June who needs warm sock for birdwatching (like she hasn't gotten herself a pair already!), found they're much too big for her tiny feet, and decided they're mine - mostly 'cause I'm too lazy to unravel them and start again and I have big feet. Actually, they're a gift for John as I hold the record for the Coldest Feet (and Hands) On Earth, something he reminds me of every night at bedtime.

I have this crazy fear of developing carpal tunnel, so I'm trying to vary my repetitive handwork by teaching myself how to crochet. After days of watching youtube tutorials on Granny Squares, I think I've finally got the basic idea. I began making squares using a whole bunch of crazy colors, but I think I like this better. My plan: to make one Granny Square a night until I have enough for ????


Lonely road in the Sutter Buttes
Michael tickling the keys
Sydney sporting a flower
Heike, the family dawg
Michael and Jules in - um - a bathroom (big mirror) shot. Derek Zoolander's got nothing on these two!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Life and Times of Michael!

Sleep, his favorite activity!

Being carried around, another favorite activity. When he wasn't walking at 15 months, the doctor's diagnosis - huge feet!
At 6' 4", he eventually grew into his feet, whew!

Loves his mama!

His unique style: only Rugrats shirts. Chucky was his hero.

Swimming - with big feet, a perfect fit!

future lounge singer and pianist

More style....


Happy birthday, you cutie!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Uncle David and Granddad England

Its hot, Hot, HOT outside, so I thought I'd share some pictures of two of my favorite people, both who've sadly passed away.

This picture was taken of Uncle David by my Aunt June, who is a talented photographer and poet. Even though his face is not discernible, this picture says a lot about him. He absolutely loved the outdoor, and he would only go to spots where he could take his dog. With no children of their own, they both loved their dogs! He and my aunt spent as much time camping (in their custom trailer - is that really camping ;-) as possible. For years after he retired, he took my boys and my nephews for a week to "Camp David" somewhere in the Sierras. He and my Aunt June built their dream home in the foothills above Sonoma, CA, and every time we visited, they would take us for walks around their rather large piece of property, which overlooks the north bay, identifying every plant and bird.

Uncle David majored in music in college. He was a phenomenal jazz musician who played the piano - he and my mom, both tremendous pianists - and trombone. However, somehow he found his way into becoming an airline pilot for United, which he did until he was 60, but his first love was still in music. Being a pilot, he had a lot of off time. At one time, he played and arranged music for for 3 different jazz bands. To me he was always strictly 'Uncle David', so I was shocked when, on the back of one of his CDs, I noticed he was listed as 'Dave'.

He died of a short illness a couple of years ago, and I still miss our visits. He was always the voice of calm reason, and he really loved us all!

Here I am years ago (see my 80's sweater and hair!) just after Lindsey was born, with my Granddad England. That's Kristin in the foreground. I remember this particular trek north well. There was a sudden brutal storm, and the electricity flickered on and off for some time. During the longest outage, my mother, who took this picture, told the kids a couple of ghost stories. The best listener was Granddad!

Granddad was a teaching principal (spelled principal, not principle, because he was a pal to all the kids - not) in the small town of Durham, just outside of Chico. He was known as 'The Prof' and for a couple of years, he was the president of the California Principal's Association. His parents were very poor, so he had to earned a music scholarship in order to attend college. He believed that music made better students, so all of his students had to play an instrument. At 5 PM every evening, he could walk around their small town and hear all the students practicing. For year, he was the grand marshal of the town parade, a parade he instituted so that the kids march and play.

He also loved the outdoors, especially the Sierras. He spent every summer in the Sierras with my (long-suffering) grandmother. One year he spent weeks observing a particular meadow for a botany class he was taking. His observations were so in depth, his teacher later said that it should have been his master's thesis. He later taught botany at Chico State. He could identify every rock, tree and plant in the mountains.

The very best thing about him is that he never stopped learning! His other hobbies included woodworking, photography, Rotary Club, birding, music - he was concert master for the Chico Symphony - the list goes on, and if he had lived longer than his 95 years, I'm sure he would have had more! In short he was one of those small-town heros who are the back bone of America. He really, truly made a difference, and it is because of him that my husband decided to become a teacher.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Afternoon

With my husband and kids out of town for the day, I'm home alone. I plan to spend the afternoon with my favorite author, George Eliot. I first read Eliot's Silas Marner when I was exceedingly morning sick with my daughter, Andrea, and since then, I've read everything except Daniel Deronda. Mary Anne Evans (aka George Eliot) fearlessly and realistically recounts some universal moral and ethical dilemmas, pretty unusual for a woman of her time.
"The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone."
George Eliot (quotes)

Who is your favorite author?

Saturday, August 21, 2010


A few weeks ago, we had a visit with my sister, her daughter, Becky, and Becky's sweet baby. She took some fantastic pictures. Thought I'd share her blog with you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010