Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Neewalloh Parade

This has been going on for the last 35-40 years in town. Rain or Shine. It wasn't raining tonight, so there were lots of folks.

We started gathering at 5:00, and the parade started at 5:30. Once you parade thru the town, you turn around at the end and start collecting your treats from the shop owners. So it's similar to trick or treat in a mall, only you're still outside.

Connor was a cowboy, as you can see. He wore Trevor's hat, but the rest of the stuff is his. He really enjoyed going along in the parade, and then once we got back to the beginning, he was pretty much done. We did stop at a very decorated house on the way home, which was fun & spooky, but once we were home, he really was finished.

This guy's costume was pretty cool. He freaked out some of the little kids at first, but then they got used to him and he was moving very slowly so he wasn't too scary after a bit.

He came over to me from behind and put his "hands" on my shoulders. Connor backed up but still held my hand. I laughed and he could see I wasn't scared. Then I said "bye" to the guy & he moved on :)
The spot on the chest is where the guy could see thru, and he operated the head & arms separate somehow. Big ol' cape and he wore dark pants underneath. This would be a good costume for a haunted house :)

Diana had a good run with the Haunted House. She got to be done at 10:00, which was good, since it could have gone to midnight, and she has school tomorrow!

Happy Halloween

We are changing Connor's costume. He was going to be Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes), but the tiger fabric I ordered from ebay hasn't arrived yet, and the mail drops off about an hour before he's going trick-or-treating. So, Diana's Hobbes costume has no chance this year (maybe next year?).

Connor will be a cowboy instead. Diana could have been a cow again... but she's going to be getting ready to do her Haunted House stuff instead. This works out better for her, because it gives her more time to eat dinner, get ready & do any homework before she goes from 7:00 to midnight tonight.

I'll take Connor through the Neewalloh Parade, and then we'll come home & he can play Lego Star Wars & help me pass out the 1-10 pieces of candy (no one likes walking up our hill). Then I can go back into Warsong Gulch or Arathi Basin while I twink up Suella (altho, if she's earning all the twink gear - it's not really twinking, is it?).

They don't do Halloween at school anymore (there's a Harvest Party), but Connor's school is doing a "Don't do drugs" campaign this week, and as part of the awareness, the kids are supposed to wear/do different things. Yesterday was wacky socks (Sock it to Drugs!), and today is Crazy Hair (It's Crazy to do Drugs!). So I've got his hair all spikey with gel & hair spray (we'll see how long it lasts...).

I'll have photos tomorrow of Halloween.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Connor's take on things

He processes sounds differently, I think.

Yesterday, he went around with his ears covered because of the startle with the train whistle.

Today, we were in the kitchen and the radio is on. Lee & Connor had just gotten back from grocery shopping. Diana had brought home some cupcakes from the Haunted House goodie booth (they didn't sell and the next time they run is Halloween - too long to hang on to a bunch of baked goods).

When Diana gave Connor the cupcakes, he said it was time for a party, since the cupcakes were all decorated for Halloween. So Diana had to sit and have a "party" with Connor. When the cupcakes were eaten, Connor said, "It's time to dance!" and starts jumping around and laughing. Diana had to join in (because it's a party), but when I tried to dance with them, Connor held up his hand and said, "No dance, Mama." (okay...I didn't get a cupcake either)

Then Connor exclaimed, "I love this song!" He was going through some kind of little spiel from something or other - the cupcakes, party, dancing - and apparently someone says that in the spiel.

One clue was that there was a commercial on the radio - no song.

Yeah - we were laughing.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The other pumpkin patch

Living in a rural area like we do, there are plenty of places to get fresh produce outside the grocery store.
One of our local farms has a pretty big stand (they also have a bakery with fresh pie, etc), and this time of year, they go ahead and do a corn maze and take people out to pick pumpkins in the field on the "hay ride." Kindergartners from all the schools in the area do this as a field trip with their classes.
It's not anything scary, just fun. Usually it's really muddy, but this year it was nice & dry. If you get a pumpkin from the patch, it's $4.00 for the ride, corn maze & all. But if you don't, it's free. So we told Diana not to get a pumpkin. She came back with a white one. Those are free, because no one wants them. We're gonna make it look like a skull or something else white. Hee.
This maze was actually pretty long & narrow, so it was easy to see where you were & not get lost. Some farm places do really big scary mazes that are open at night & people jump out & scare you.
Today was just a really nice day to get out & do this kind of thing. I'm glad we went!

Camp Millenium Pumpkin Patch

Today we thought we'd go check out the pumpkin patch that's run by a couple on their property. It benefits Camp Millenium, which is a local camp for kids with cancer.

Apparently, when Santa's Village shut down in California, these folks went and bought up a bunch of the stuff they used to use there. The pumpkin coach still has the sign from there.

The only trouble was when we got there, the little train blew its whistle and caught Connor off guard. The rest of the time we were there, he covered his ears.

It's actually pretty interesting to see him eat and keep his ears covered. He uses his arm and wraps it over his head to cover one ear with his upper arm, and the other ear with his hand.

I am not sure where Garfield fits in - it's a costume, it's orange, what the heck. I think whoever was in Garfield might know Diana, because he/she came right up to her. Or maybe he/she just liked Diana's cat-ear hat she made herself?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Diana helping at the Haunted House

Way back when T & D were in elementary school, pretty soon after we'd moved here, their school started doing a Haunted House. It was a simple little PTO-type fundraiser, not really well attended, but just for fun. I remember kids covered in sheets running around in the gym of the school - not hugely scary or anything.

In time, however, it grew. By the time T & D were in 5th & 6th grade, it was being held in an old building downtown, and the year Lee got involved, it morphed into a full-blown, scare-your-pants-off kind of haunted house. Now the proceeds went to Camp Millenium, which is for kids with cancer.
Diana really liked to help out, so through most of her Jr. High years, she got to man stuff like a big spider that she'd skitter around by people's feet. Lee was in his skull mask, and would really freak people out. Toward the end, the Haunted House was being held at the fairgrounds and it was a really big deal.
Well, our principal from the elementary school wound up having to move to a different school to fix the disciplinary problems they were having. It was too much to continue the Haunted House, so it was put to the side for a while. This year, however, he retired, and at the retirement party, we heard they were starting the Haunted House up again.
Lee is not able to be involved this time, due to the busy schedule with all the moving around at his new job, but Diana was able to get involved through National Honor Society. She gets 5 points for every hour she puts in (it's about 4 hours a night, for 4 nights, plus whatever time it took for set up). She should have at least 20 points at the end.
Diana is thrilled, because she gets to be a guide now. She's the one who leads the groups through, who tells the HH people who to scare for the most reaction. It's being held in the Elk's Lodge downtown this year. I'll bet they do great.
In case you didn't figure it out, she's the victim of a hanging.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rainbow Boy

It's a little blurry since I had to do it without a flash, but he was having so much fun with it.
This is from the sun shining through an etched glass award Lee got from Dell that's on his windowsill.
At first, Connor was cupping the rainbow in his hands (from the opposite wall & up to the window to let it go) and then when I told him I wanted to take a picture, he put his face in for me.
This kid can have fun with anything.

I guess it rubs off...

I'm referring to comic book trivia. I don't read them all, but if I can score 10/10, it can't be too hard, huh?

Encarta Superhero Quiz

Good luck!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A note from Trevor

Things are doing fine, except Joe got sick again.

My immune system is freaking godlike. I haven't even been congested once.

Most classes are going fine, and I had a meeting with Joan. I will now stop by her office every tuesday.

Last speech class was cancelled as well.

And I met a girl who was in a video in speech class who likes to draw. she also extolls the thriving ability of geraniums.

I love you too!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Dad's doing better

I didn't post it before, because it wasn't great news.

The Thursday after I got home from Canada, my dad landed in the hospital again. He still hadn't eaten anything since he'd had his radiation therapy, and now his kidneys had shut down. So he had to go to the emergency room, and after a couple of hours, he was placed in a ward.

He had to have dialysis done for his kidneys, but the doctors were hopeful that since the failure had come on so fast, his kidneys might recover on their own after a few dialysis treatments.

All in all, not a great thing to post on the ol' blog.

But I got an email from my sister, Connie, yesterday.

My dad is still in the hospital, but it looks like the radiation therapy that was so difficult for him did better than hoped on the lymphoma.

He is still on watch for dialysis, but the doctors are saying his kidneys are starting to function on their own again. They are keeping him in the hospital for observation, and to make sure his kidneys are okay.

I'm not sure, but I would guess he's eating again, or they wouldn't be considering letting him come home (right?).

We've all been praying very hard, and I'm extremely grateful to everyone sending their good thoughts my dad's way.


Friday, October 12, 2007

They're REALLY missing Teemu

The Ducks have lost all 5 of their home games since the hockey season started. They won their first away game.


I wonder if that makes Teemu Selanne feel like he was all that, or if he feels bad that he retired?

On a related note, if you haven't looked at Keeka's blog lately, take a quick peek.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Girl Guides!

Just so you know, the US Girl Scouts are part of the "Worldwide Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts" (aka WAGGGS). There are all kinds of names for basically the same organization, no matter where you are in the world. When our girls celebrate Thinking Day, they research other countries and learn about the 'scouts' in those regions.

These girls were selling their Fall Sale cookies. They only have one kind. It's similar to a Thin Mint here, except the mint part is a cream on top of the cookie - then the whole thing is "enrobed" in chocolate. The basic taste is the same though.

In the Spring, these girls will sell the Other cookie (which I think the leader said was a shortbread something or other). But still, only one kind of cookie!

In case you're not aware, US girl scouts sell 8 varieties, with the 6 main cookies and 2 that trade off (which is why they don't always have the lemon cookies, or the apple cinnamon - those cycle through). They ALWAYS have Thin Mint, Samoa, Tag-a-longs, Do-si-dos, Trefoil and All Abouts, although they are known by different names in different councils.

Out with Sisters

The Saturday before my dad's birthday, we needed to get some stuff done, so we took off in Connie's car to do some shopping, etc.

We stopped for lunch at the Pheasant & Quail, and here we are with our mimosas. We also went to the mall since I wanted to get my passport photos done, and we had to get cards & stuff.

There's a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company store at the mall, and this caramel chocolate apple just looked too good to pass up. We brought it home and cut it into slices. This thing cost about $10. But it really was pretty tasty (the apple could have been a bit more crisp).

My dad's 80th birthday

My dad has cancer, and he'd just had radiation therapy a few days before we arrived. It was really tough on him, so he didn't get to celebrate the way we'd all hoped. However, we did our best to make it a happy birthday for him.

The present he's opening here is the biography he'd written that I edited for him. Staples will bind your 8 1/2 x 11 paper into a book for about $15.00, and include a photo on the cover (or whatever else you tell them).

Carolyn & I went in together on a digital voice recorder so he can continue the biography more comfortably. It saves files into a .wav format, so he can just email me the files and I can do the editing then at home. I think my dad was happy with both presents :) Of course, the biggest thing was Carolyn & I being there to celebrate with him. :)
In the afternoon, 3 couples that are good friends came over to visit and have cake & coffee. My dad got some really nice gift baskets with tasty stuff. Hopefully he'll be feeling better soon & able to eat that stuff!

My sister Connie got a flag made that bears the crest of my dad's hometown. Carolyn, Connie, my mom & I all worked together to put the flags on the line, and then put up the flag pole. That would have been an interesting shot - the four of us managed to get it up & in the base that had been made in concrete.

In the evening, my dad's friend, Al from California arrived with his lady friend Terry. They were going to be sticking around until Wednesday, so they also helped on Monday with Canadian Thanksgiving.

I think my dad had the best 80th birthday he could have - I hope our visits all helped perk him up and that he's feeling better soon.

Love you, Papi!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Long Drive

I went up to my folk's house for my dad's 80th birthday (more coming on that later).

I left from work right after I was done at 3:30, and then drove to Portland to go pick up Carolyn. Her flight was a little delayed, but we got out of the airport by 7:30 I think. We then crossed over the Columbia river into Washington. After a bit we tried to find a Shari's restaurant, but ended up at Applebee's instead.

By the time we left there, it was 9:30, and we still had to get to Everett where our room reservation was - we arrived about midnight. Good thing was we missed all the construction between Tacoma, Seattle and Everett! The hotel was very nice, and they had a great free breakfast.

We drove into Canada & crossed the border fine. The drive thru the Canadian Rockies went fine too - there was snow on the ground alongside the road, but the road itself was bare (yay!).

We got to my folk's house in the afternoon. We visited & stuff in the evening. My dad had radiation therapy for his cancer on Wednesday, and it hit him pretty hard, so he was in bed. He wasn't able to keep solids down, and very tired. While we were there he improved to being able to get up and visit a bit, but he wasn't eating solids yet by the time we left on Monday.

Saturday Connie joined Carolyn & I to do some shopping. I needed to get my passport photo done, since I still don't have my Canadian passport. I had to have someone be my "guarantor" to verify my citizenship - that's my mom. So she had to fill out & sign things for me to submit later. In the evening, Carolyn & I went over to Connie's place to watch a movie & give our parents a chance to rest. We saw "The Importance of Being Ernest."

Sunday we had people come over to visit. The original plan had been to go to a favorite restaurant, but since my dad obviously couldn't do that, the same people invited to join us came to the house to visit instead. We had cake & coffee for them, and my dad got some really nice gift baskets with some super-yummy stuff, which I hope he can eat soon!!

In the evening, a friend from California came for dinner. He flew in with his lady friend and they were going to stay until Wednesday. We had a nice visit with them as well. Since Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving, they were going to help my mom with that too. I'm sure they all had a nice dinner on Monday with Connie's family.

The drive home went well. Since Carolyn had flown in at Portland we had to get her back to the airport by 3:00, since her flight was 5:00 pm. That meant we left Kelowna at 4:00 am. The crossing at the border was interesting. I've never had anyone check the car before, but he wanted me to unlock the doors so he could see what we had. He also wanted to know what we did for work. Then he said everything was fine & to have a nice trip!

We drove the 97 home, since we'd had all that construction on the 5. The weather was clear, and we only saw snow on the volcano mountains in the distance (Mt. Rainier, Hood, etc.). By the time we got to Hood River along the Columbia in Oregon, we had enough time to stop and get lunch - finally at Shari's! Then I took Carolyn into the airport, and once she was in the line for the security check, I left again.

The drive home solo was long, but I was glad to be back. I took a quick shower, and then I headed out to bring Diana to her Astra Club meeting for the installation of officers. This is the first Astra club (sponsored by Altrusa) in our area, and Diana is the treasurer. Once that was done, though, we came home. I was pretty tired!