Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mornings without alarms

Jump out of bed, get in the shower, make a green smoothie to share with Vicki, brush teeth, head to work...that is what most work mornings look like. I would prefer something more leisurely that does not involve my alarm going off, and maybe not even the heading to work part. Don't get me wrong - I appreciate and enjoy my job, but I don't so much embrace the mandatory nature of it, you know?

I write this under the influence of app world. It is 10:30 at night, I would love to stay up playing some more, but know the sound of the alarm will come all to soon. Maybe just a short entry into my journal, check out the piano app Vicki just found, and look up one item on the Internet....

Monday, September 26, 2011

Caught by my own challenge

Diem, as in carpe diem, is not an easy word to start a post with, and I am pretty sure that by pointing out that I am starting this post with the notation of what I am doing somehow breaks the rules of the very challenge I threw down. On the other hand, I didn't really include many rules, so maybe I am OK here.  I see that my blogging friend has accepted the challenge and is rising to the occasion, if writing a blog entry can be an occasion.  (Am I the only person who always wants to put a double "s" in "occasion"?)

The rain seems to have begun. Is this the beginning of what could be a nine-month season of rain, clouds and darkness?  Sometimes, living in Portland (or Seattle, Olympia, Everett Salem.....) feels like one big rainy season. In all fairness, our summer was quite decent, it just did not really start in July. It started in August and is ending about now. So, six weeks-ish of the season, plus some teaser days prior to that in June and July.  I actually kind of welcome the first few days of cooler weather and rain.  It feels refreshing, and the sounds of the rain outside the still-open window are nice. It makes me want to curl up with a good book and laze around in front of the fireplace, dozing on and off all day. Oh, who are we kidding....Vicki and I would be sitting with our iPads in front of the fire, looking at free apps, maybe reading online news or a magazine, or maybe simply checking up on our dragons. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pocket Frogs

Tonight Vicki and I got the kids involved in two of our favorite iPad games - Pocket Frogs and DragonVale. They were so excited about hatching eggs, racing frogs and raising new dragons. It was very cute.

OK, I confess, I am trying out the Blogger app. It is very simple and think I am better off going through a web browser. No way either place, that I have found, to add photos and cannot even preview from this app. It is basically like sending a text.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Writing Motivation

Game on - a little challenge was sent out to a specific blogging friend in my last post, but I would welcome anyone else who wants to join in.  Simple, but maybe a little nudge for those of us who've not been blogging but want to get back into the writing habit.  At this point, I need to get into ANY writing habit.  I can use excuses of  being busy with work, kids, reading emails selling the  cheapest term life insuranceand  becoming very familiar with the app section of iTunes =, but when it really comes down to it, it is more about procrastination than anything. Sometimes I feel like I am waiting for the perfect idea to come along to write about - but I know that unless I am writing, the ideas will not flow. Maybe there is a chicken and egg thing happening there, and I am not sure which I am, but I am sure that writing in some form needs to start happening. It is a creative outlet I need.


OK lurking blogger friend who recently confessed using me as an excuse for your own lack of commitment to blogging regularly. You know who you are.

Here is a challenge for us both, and for anyone else who wishes to play:

Write a minimum of three blog posts in the next seven days.  Your blog posts must start with the last word of my most recent blog post, and I will use your last words to start my posts.

You game?

I will start my next post with the word "game" so that I can start tonight.

The iPad Addiction Continues

Vicki and I just had a whole weekend dedicated to lazying the days away lost in App World, playing games, researching, learning new apps and the like. We did manage sleeping in late, eating good food, napping, and even watching a Netflix DVD.  I've recently discovered the ABC app so I can catch up on missed episodes of ABC shows - most of which I don't watch anymore, but confess that I do love CougarTown.  I also found out the iPads work like portable radios - tune in to local or distant radio stations. Fun!

We did make an unexpected road trip to a town about an hour away to pick up a pair of special shoes Vicki needs for Tracker School - the Vibram Five Fingers shoes.  That was our big outing for the weekend. What a nice, relaxing way to spend two days. I could go for another two - paid, of course!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Sucked into App World

As those of you on my FB friends list know, Vicki and I both got iPads so that we could easily communicate while she was in Mongolia...plus she needed one for work.  Oh my goodness! I do not have an iPhone or a htc incredible s phone, so I never knew how amazing all the apps could be! I have a Blackberry and there are apps, but without the touch screen, it is just not as engaging.  Also, let's face it - big iPad screen - way friendlier on over-40-year-old eyes than a tiny phone screen. 

I never imagined how easy it would be to get sucked into App world and spend hours browsing from one app to another, and barely even check out the actual game/tool themselves.  I am enthralled with the games, the productivity tools, educational programs, art programs....so much more!  Last weekend the kids and I downloaded kid books, watched penguins from a live cam, checked to see what time it was in Mongolia where Vicki was, and then they started getting sucked into all the free stuff, too!  They each found games, music, videos and more.  SO MUCH FUN!

By the way, using FaceTime to video-chat with each other worked like a charm!  Vicki and I were 15 hours apart, but still got to "see" each other every morning and every night. It was so much better than even our regular phone calls when she is just traveling to the East Coast.  I am a huge fan of the iPad. I have even created a few templates for work forms I use, particularly when I am on-call during personal hours.  The iPads are already getting more and more integrated into our daily lives and we are both on the search for accessories to protect and expand the capabilities of our new favorite obsession. 

A Week of Ups and Downs

Just when we thought it was time to go out an celebrate the sale of Vicki's VA house with a box of fuente cigars, the buyer backed out.  She is claiming there were too many problems with the inspection, but will not let us see a copy of the report, or negotiate to fix anything, and her real estate agent admitted that the inspector was the potential buyer's relative, who may or may not be licensed.  It is disappointing to come this close to feeling like Vicki and I were getting free of her Virginia obligations, including her ex, and to have it snatched away.  I guess things happen for a reason.

On the bright side, the kids  have successfully started school, and Kaylen has entered first grade with smiles and laughter - leaving behind the anxiety of much of last year. Yeah, Kaylen!  Kelton is missing his lazy days of summer, but I think will get back into the swing of things with time. His teacher seems like he is very dedicated to getting the kids excited about math, which is Kelton's favorite subject, so hopefully that will engage him. 

Work is busy and often challenging, mostly because of the learning curve rather than true challenges, but that is OK. It is a good job and I am grateful to be at such a wonderful company with good people who mostly actually enjoy what they are doing.