Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer's Heating Up

Summer is here! Can I get a great big, "Hallelujah!"? The warm weather and blue skies are making us all feel happier and more cooperative. I know weather is crazy everywhere, and considering we've not been hit by anything catastrophic, I have little room to complain, so I will just make an observation. We have gone from highs in the low 50's about two weeks ago to a possible 98 degrees this weekend. It might be nice to have had a real spring and eased into the high temps, maybe hung out in the 70's or low 80's for a couple weeks, or so. Anyway, glad both of our cars have air conditioning and that we should not need to replace the a/c compressor in either vehicle. We did some costly work to Wife's AC last year, I believe it was, plus had a heat pump installed in the house a couple summers ago, so we are ready for the heat! Get out the kiddie pool and bring it on! (Though I would be happy to not experience a true heat wave....just putting it out there....)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shifting from School to Summer

I wonder how many of my classmates are good at switching from academic mode to real life. I am doing quite well. I am feeling really good about not reading 200+ pages of case law each week and struggling to stay awake during night classes. I am loving driving home in the sunshine and seeing my family during dinner.

What I have discoverd is that my creative self starts getting very loud and demanding. Wife and I have both noticed this pattern. Once I can turn off a big piece of the regimented, linear thinking, my mind goes wild and wants to create - on the computer, in the garden, on the digital camera, on paper - anywhere, everywhere!

I don't want to think about serious things like politics and the economy, talk to mortgage lenders, or read the paper. I want to be surrounded by positive things, have fun with my family, spend time in the sunshine, and focus on creating rather than worrying about all the things in life there are to worry about.

Boy Wonder's last day of Kindergarten was yesterday. (How did that happen?) We celebrated with a trip to Red Robin last night (his choice), today is a gorgeous, sunny day, and it feels like summer can really begin. Though it is supposed to be a wet weekend, maybe by next weekend we can set up the tent in the backyard and really welcome summer with a backyard camp out, completed with campfire and S'mores!

I'm Baa-aaacck :)

I have battled a cold for about three weeks. At the end of last week it turned into a horrible sinus infection and possibly pneumonia. It wasn't such a great weekend, with my head feeling like it would explode every time I bent slightly to one side, but it was gorgeous weather! I got to spend some time with Wife enjoying our outdoor furniture, and watching the kids play in the yard.

This week, though feeling like I was successfully beating the sinus infection, we were unsure about my lungs and some other symptoms, so finally I went to the doctor. She agreed my body was fighting successfully, that I possibly had "pre-pneumonia" and to come back in two days if I was worse or not at all better. Fortunately, today I feel better than I have in weeks! I am still a bit drained, but in comparison with earlier this week, feelin' great! Wife and kids seemed to have avoided the worst of this, so we are now ready for a fun and healthy summer!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Sun is Here!

Being deprived of the sunshine for so long makes it that much sweeter when it finally arrives. People are leaving my work building in droves to soak up a little happiness. We are literally going outside, turning our faces skyward, and basking in the glory shining down upon us. This morning - gray, gloomy, cold (in the 40's). This afternoon - beautiful, sunny, blue sky, temps in the 70's.


Out of the Mouths of Babes

My sweet little princess was trying to trace her hands a couple nights ago. I was cooking dinner, and when she asked for help, I hurried over between tasks, traced her hands, and went back to what I was doing. She took the pencil and tried to do what I had done. I heard a few sounds of frustration and then "Damn it! I can't do this."

It took all I had not to laugh and to tell her that was an adult word (Damnit - one word?) and she was not to use it. I think she settled on "nuts" instead. As I was trying to recover, I ventured towards the back of the house where Wife was folding laundry or cleaning slipcovers, or something. We met in the hall since she had heard part of the conversation, and both of us burst into laughter when I told her what our darling daughter had just said.

I have to admit, I was very impressed with her proper use of the word, and perfect inflection, expressing her defeat and frustration. Too cute.

Free Time?

I was just talking to a friend/co-worker who asked what I was doing with all my free time now that I am not in school. I just laughed and referenced my kids. By the time I get home, spend a little time with them, make dinner, play a bit more, do baths, stories and bedtime, it is about 7:00 or 7:30 and I am wiped out. It occurred to me last night that normally at that time I would still be facing an 8:00 class. There are so many summer projects I'd love to tackle - gardening, reading some mindless summer books, perhaps a writing project, and I won't even go into the disaster that is our garage, but wow, after working all day and only spending a couple hours with the kids, I am exhausted. Thank you, Wife. I know you do this every day, and I totally see how by the end of the day all you have the energy left to do is read or write blogs. At this rate, I'll need to go back to school to get some rest! I think, with the sun coming (yes, it is coming!), that should increase my energy level. I hope!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Helicopter Seeds

I love the little helicopter seeds from maple trees. You know the ones - you throw them up in the air and they spin back down like, well, little helicopters. A couple days ago I was out on a walk (trying to pretend it was a nice, sunny day, suitable for a walk) and the wind blew this down nearly in front of my face. I'd never seen a bunch of the seeds still hanging on the tree. I thought this was pretty cool, and I love how sharp the picture turned out despite the fact I used my phone to take it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not about the weather

I am guessing my readers would like to read about something other than me griping about the weather, which was my first thought. Out of sheer determination, I am avoiding that topic. I feel like I should write about something a little deeper than the weather (or the snow expected in the mountains today). Maybe I should discuss my thoughts about the meaning of life, what our purpose on this planet is, and how it is not about material possessions or power or who makes the most money. Sure, it is nice to buy expensive cars and jewelry and go on exotic vacations sunny locales, where there is not rain and temperatures in the 40's in June. Life is about feeling good about who we are and who we love and how much we enjoy spending time with them out in the backyard, huddled in our winter coats, using our umbrellas to block the wind as we plant our tiny tomoto plants which will nourish us in the fall (if they survive the cold temperatures and rain). It's not about the weather. No. Not about the weather.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Email Intruders - Spam and Such

Is there something about me that screams that I need Viagra? I think I've gotten about 50 email solicitation for the the little blue pill in the past 3 days. Is is so hard to believe I am not worried about improving my performance and increasing the size of my you-know-what in order to "make chicks go wild"? (Yes, pretty sure that was one of the headlines.) Do subject lines on emails that start with "You are stupid..." or "You are ugly..." really make so many people rush to open that email that it is profitable?

My email filter catches a ton of spam, but clearly, not everything. I recently found out I'd been spamming myself. (Yes, a dirty little secret I'd been keeping...) I got a sordid email, actually, several emails, and started clicking away in order to block the sender from sending more messages to my email box. Imagine my surprise when my own email address popped up under "sender". Great. Apparently my email address had been hijacked and was now being used to send nasty emails to half the population of the world. There goes my next job interview...

It is easy enough to delete the emails not caught by spam filters, but I am still bothered with wondering if so much money is made on spam ads that it makes them worthwhile, or if it is more along the lines of a virus? Do people just enjoy clogging up the email systems with junk? I don't know, but seems likely these people could use their powers for good and we'd all be a lot farther ahead. At the very least, maybe I'd be better informed about a kitchen gadget that slices, dices, makes dried fruit, creates the world's best smoothies, opens any can without creating sharp edges and comes with a fine set of knives if I order right away.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Trying to Embrace the Weather

The weather has me down. It has been a hard week for both Wife and I....not interpersonally, but rather hard mentally due to lack of energy brought on my the cold cloudiness. She heard that out of the past 4 months we have had only 5 days that were sunny all day long. That is a lot of cloudy days.

Yesterday afternoon I thought, "I'm going out on a walk anyway!" If it was a sunny day I would surely take a walk on my break, so I decided to go anyway. I walked. I took a few pictures on my camera phone. Am thinking I may need to stick a real camera in my work bag. I know we have a spare, just no memory card for it right now. Anyway, here's what I took. Notice that the one looking up through the trees makes the day appear to be sunny. It was not. At approximately the same time I was looking up, rain drops were trying to make their way down on top of my head.

After about 10 minutes, or so, my hands were freezing, and I was cranky that it had actually gotten so cold that I could see my breath. The moss on the tree was pretty cool though, so all was not a total loss. See the beauty where you can.

Take Another Look

I took a fresh look at my word cloud today, and the phrase that jumped out was "kids law." Pretty funny!

Oh, see Wife's Blog for the lastest our Boy Wonder's big accomplishment! We are so proud!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Law School Mama's Word Cloud

Here is the current word cloud of my blog. I love the way some of these phrases flow together, like "fun garden getting girl" (that would be our little Princess), "weekend wife" (sounds abour right during the school year, right Honey?, "exicted family feel" and "workyear zoo."

created at

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Growing Things

Despite the lack of sunshine, it is finally almost feeling like summer. The past school year is behind me, I can register for the last section of my classes for next year today, we've already had a mini-vacation to the beach, Boy Wonder is almost out of school, the garden is underway, the sandbox is built, we've been to our first garage sales, and the propane tank on the barbecue is full. (I know this because I had to fill it after some hot dogs ended up conspicuously under-cooked last week.)

I feel myself taking nice, deep breaths and contemplating more than just getting through the next task - work, school, home/sleep, work, school, home/sleep. It feels like I have a life to live for a bit. Not that I am unhappy or not living life while at school, but summer is different. It is full of possibilities. It consists of my family, of days that last longer as the sun (?) stays out until late, of weekends that last for 2 whole days - not study day and then one other day to cram in all the chores and fun we can.

It is during this time that I feel the need to feed the non-academic side of my life. I want to let the artist roam free - create art in some manner - through writing, through gardening, through whatever strikes me. Wife asked me last night, after I'd decided to give up on the book I was trying to get into, if I'd like to read the one she'd just finished "unless I didn't want to be in touch with what everyone is reading and expand my mind."

Hmmm....actually, no, I don't want to expand my mind. I want to be entertained. She assured me the book was an easy read, requires little brain-power to get through, but does make you think. OK, I could probably do that, but it might have to wait until I get through the Kinsey Millhone alphabet mystery I picked up. No, I am not a big mystery reader - I like Alex Delaware (Jonathan Kellerman's creation) and Kinsey Millhone(Sue Grafton). I mostly stumbled upon each of them by accident many, many years ago. Still enjoy them when the mood (and time) strikes.

So, my mind is wandering to fun projects today - what I can create, what I can read, what I can grow. Now where is that sun??

Summer Update

We've gotten a few occasional glimmers of the sun over the past couple of weeks. Enough to make us hopeful that it is coming, but not enough to prevent the bitterness that it is not already here.

I'm working full time at my normal day job - up from the 32 hours I usually work during the school year. I've picked up a few hours from a local law firm that I am THRILLED to be working with. They are allowing me to do project work as they need it and as my schedule allows, which is perfect for me. So, I did not actually have to say good-bye to my laptop this summer. I don't exactly need more ram to keep up with all the work, but I've gotten a project or two a week so far. Nice people - fun work - great experience.

Started digging out a new area of the yard for a vegetable garden. Most of the plants are sitting in tiny pots waiting to be planted.

Built a sandbox (with benches!) for the kids. They have had a couple of "beach parties" despite the fact of no sun. They are adorable - and living testament to life being better at the beach :)

Last night we went to Pride Night at Boy Wonder's school. It was a chance for the kids to show off what they had been doing "all year" (but really only the last couple of weeks). Our son had a couple really nice books he'd made to show us - one on farm animals and one on zoo animals. We were really done in about 5 minutes, but encouraged him to give us a tour of the school to make it seem more of an event. He also got to demonstrate recess to us, so that was fun for the kids. It was really kind of disappointing that there was not much going on. Not sure what we expected, but we all left feeling that something was missing. Maybe some music, entertainment, games, refreshments...something would have added to the experience.

Anything else? Boy Wonder is rocking his swimming lessons! We are so proud and he is having a great time. They end this week, and it looks like the next class is already full, so he may be done with lessons for a bit. At least it has been a good start and he has had a successful experience.

We've just about got the new night-time routine down. Think we are mostly settling in to being a family with two parents home at night. I forget how much of an adjustment it can be - but sure is worth it for all of us!