Wednesday, March 28, 2007

One other thing I wanted to say

Happy Birthday, Pop Pop!

Living at low pressure

Something I never imagined when we made the decision to move to Colorado was the trouble with air pressure. Oh, sure I'm an atmospheric scientist, and yes I know that we're living at 5000+ feet above sea level, and of course I know that the atmospheric pressure decreases exponentially. I knew about the headaches, and acclimatizing, and the need for frequent hydration.

Though I tend to forget that coffee might not be the best source of hydration.

But what I never really imagined was the fun of imported foods.

Imported to Colorado that is.

It's kind of like being on a airplane all the time.

As we were traveling across the eastern half of Colorado, I learned the hard way that mustard bottles can spit when they're taken to altitude.

Thank goodness for spray 'n wash.

During our first summer here, I found out that single-serving yogurt containers with foil lids can be considered an armed weapon.

But something I realized just recently is that the hardest thing about the Easter season at altitude is finding a Cadbury(TM) Easter Creme Egg that hasn't leaked all over it's own wrapper.

It's even more difficult at 9000'.

So the next time you go rooting through the Easter Creme Egg bins at the checkout line looking for that perfect yummy chocolately creme egg goodness with no exposed chocolate and no signs of creamy egg-gut residue, just remember that it's taking me a lot longer to succeed, and that I might just have to settle for second best.

Thankfully they still taste good.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

making my cake and eating it too

i have been thirty-five for exactly one week. last wednesday i went to work and someone i work with asked me what i did for my birthday. i answered "becky and i went out the night before my birthday for ethiopian food and then a big piece of cheescake, and on my birthday kai and i made my cake. then becky and kai decorated it when she returned home from work." i then heard one of the most annoying things i can think of, a big pity sigh "you had to make your own cake", i answered with a polite "no, i didn't have to make my own cake, i wanted to make it with my son." but in my head it came out in a much harsher tone. since when did it become sad to do something that is out of the ordinary with your child? i thought it was a very fun thing for the two of us to do together and as you can see kai did enjoy himself.

the cake did end up having a more decorative look to it by the time the two of them were finished.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Worm rescuing 101

Step 1. Wait for a rainy day.


Step 2. During a break in the rain, don bright yellow rubber boots.


Step 3. Locate a puddle with worms.


Step 4. With an old pine needle, rescue worms and relocate them to grassy regions.


Step 5. (For moms) Repress impulse to dislike slimy invertebrates.

Uh... check.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Book Meme

aka Either I don't read very much or I've just read lots of books that aren't popular enough to make book meme lists

I saw this meme over at two lime leaves, and I thought it looked like fun. Then I prepared my own version and it became very apparent that I'm not into either (1) classic literature or (2) popular fiction. I kind of knew this already, but I've think this will prove it to everyone. I think the original meme suggested that people mark books of interest as read, read again and again, and want to read. I'm following Kirsty's lead and I'm just bolding the books I've read, and leave those I haven't plain. Brace yourself:

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) – I’ve only read the first 3 pages. I don’t think that counts. It’s not a religious issue, it just didn’t catch my attention and I am easily distracted.
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)

6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings:
Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving) Matt – I still have your copy. I’m sorry – I still haven’t read it. I’ve eyed it a couple times recently, though.
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling) I know enough about this series only to change “Sorcerer’s” to “Philosopher’s”, because it is only Sorcerer in the US, and I was in Canada when I read it. Much to Shannon’s dismay (and others, I’m sure) I’ve still never read more than the first book. It just didn’t do it for me. Partially, it was because I was irritated that people were comparing it to Tolkien and I found it rather one-dimensional, very unlike Tolkien.
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) – I’ve only actually read the first half, but I do intend to finish it. It is one of three books that I’ve literally been halfway through for about a year.
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible - Most of it, at least.
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) – many many many times. Highly recommend it, and the other 3 books in the series, and the 4 books in the parallel series. But start with Ender’s Game.
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davies) – gosh. Thank goodness for high school required reading, or I would look like a complete dunce here…
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding) READ
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlottes Web (E.B. White) - apparently there is a very good chance that my fuzzy memory of reading this book is correct, as it is required reading in grade 3.
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) – again, required reading.
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I don't like the idea of tagging people, but I have to admit, I'm curious about what Bub&Pie's list would look like. If anyone else wants to play along, leave a comment and let me know.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

walking in a winter wonderland

today was a day to climb a mountain. the weather was great, almost no clouds in the sky, a balmy 0 deg C. the only thing that really made it feel like winter was the wind howling at 65 km/h. but we were prepared. our original plan was to climb mt. bierstadt, but the road was not passable so mt. sniktau 4036 meters (13,243 ft) would have to do. the elevation gain from the trailhead is about 381meters (1253 ft) but as i said the wind was nasty. there were definite gusts pushing 80 km/h. it was a short hike up and back but certainly worth the trip to get some experience in wintery conditions.

a big thanks to james (pictured with me on the summit) for taking me, and offering the kelso trip. more on that at a later date. and yes i am a knight who says "Ni".

If someone...

could invent an X-ray plate for teeth that doesn't dig into the bottom of a person's mouth, I for one would be very grateful.

Just thinking.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Signs of spring

Happy Irish Day, everyone... Look what I saw this afternoon while I was sitting under the tree in our front yard:


I should really go to bed... it's been a long, rather productive, very enjoyable day. Except for the part where we went to the dentist. That was just necessary. Kai has a cross-bite, which I kind of figured out myself a few weeks ago. I had one, too. We can expect to have to go to an orthodontist someday.

Speaking of signs of spring, I went garage sale-ing this morning and found this pretty little mirror:

It's not very big, but I've been wanting a mirror for my office, and I think this one will do the trick.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Unenviable Travel

I went to a meeting this week in Virginia Beach. Isn't it pretty? Don't be fooled. It was 36°F. And HORRIBLY windy. But it was pretty, so it was photographed.

Even the palm trees need blankets in Virginia in March:

During the three nights in I had in Virginia, I spent one entire 24-hour period in my hotel room. I think it was a bad scallop. Not fun... not at all. Quite unpleasant, in fact. Thank goodness it wasn't the day I was to fly home.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Back from the mountains...

We just spent Friday afternoon and Saturday at a friend's parents' condo in Silverthorne - four families: 7 adults and 11 kids. It was relaxing, stimulating, and well... just great fun!