Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hot Weather

I don't get much accomplished when the house is too hot. Everything seems to be a huge effort.

I didn't ride my bike at all this week, because the temperature in the house was around 90 most of the week. Ugh.

First thing in the morning, we set all (I'm talking 6) box fans up in windows and doorways to try to draw in as much cool air from outside as possible. The kids rooms have the fans that stay in the windows. Once the temp starts going up, we close everything up and just run ceiling fans (4 total). When the house gets above 85, we pull out the swamp coolers (we have two portable ones - thanks Rocky) and turn on the air conditioner.

Once the outside temp goes down below the temp in the house, we set up all the fans again.
Our bedroom is the only room that actually keeps the temperature pretty even, as long as we're closed off from the rest of the house. Until we can fix up the rest of the house, that's just how it is.
Not looking forward to the electric bill :(

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Lee!

Happy Birthday Lee!
I want to congratulate you on getting your weight down & getting employed again.
I love you very much and I'm proud of you :)
Happy Birthday!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Changed my mind

On the pie recipe.

That one had too firm a glaze. I think it had gotten too cool by the time I could spoon it over the blueberries. It didn't sink down into the berries at all and was too thick on top.

Next time, I'll put the fresh berries in a bowl with the glaze and blend them first, THEN put it all into the baked pie shell.

Guess I'd better make another PIE!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

For Sue...

First, pick a bunch of blueberries!
Lee helped this time :)

You gotta go first thing in the morning before it gets too hot!

Later, when it cools down, make your pie crust.

Bake the shell.

Fill with fresh blueberries.

Pour over a glaze made with blueberries: Recipe for one pie: One cup water + one cup blueberries. Heat and mash berries in water. Add 3/4 cup sugar & 3 Tbsp corn starch, heat to bubbling until glaze is thick and clear (mostly, I don't strain out the berry bits).

Allow to set. Serve with whipped cream, Kool Whip, ice cream, whatever.
The berries will be loose - just to warn you :) Not like a cooked blueberry pie.

YMCA PartnerSports Camp

Thursday we went to the Closing Ceremonies for the Special Olympics camp. Connor had a great time & his older partner, Jeremy, gave me his address, so he could keep touch with Connor :) Jeremy is moving to Texas, so I'll have Connor send him a card with our online contact info :)

This is Connor's friend, Bubba, another camper. And there were hula dancers too :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Show starts tonight!

There's Trevor in the lower right! Whee!

Tonight will start with a dinner, then the show at 7:30.

Friday, Saturday & next week also, Thurs thru Saturday, the shows are at 7:30.

This coming & next Sunday, the matinee is at 2:00 pm.

I think Trevor has had a lot more fun than he thought he'd have doing this show. He comes home rather late, but in a very good mood. I'm really looking forward to seeing the show - just gotta figure out which night...

Go Trevor!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For Renee....

They're still there.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Breakfast for Connor

Get your boots on, grab a small rake & a bowl. Go pick blackberries for breakfast.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Today's Inspirational Message

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always.
- Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stimulus help?

We stopped taking the newspaper. No one in the house was reading it and we didn't like the way it was slanted. However, being in a small town, we wind up in the paper now & then, so I was checking online to see if there was a story about Special Olympics recently (Connor was on the front page last year).

No mention of the sports camp (yet). So I putz around in case something else has happened, and after the dismal job opportunities (we always check that), I notice something about stimulus help with weatherization for your house.

Our house was built in the 50's at a time when energy was very cheap. No one insulated anything, and as we go through and work on the house, we bring it up to speed with being more energy efficient. However, we have a very long way to go.

So this article says our Umpqua Community Action Network (also supplies food for the needy) is going to be getting stimulus money to help lower-income families get their homes more energy efficient through weatherization & better appliances. Well, gee - here we are with all single-paned windows & crappy insulation! And we qualify as low income!! So I call the number in the phone book. The lady is on the phone, so I leave a message & my number.

I got a call back about 5 hours later. She has taken over 200 calls since the article appeared in the paper yesterday (I think). She's now at 2-years on the waiting list. AND she's still trying to find contractors who will do a decent job. They won't allow do-it-yourself due to the restrictions the money comes with (this is 'creating jobs' remember).

I'm thinking by the time it's our turn, A) they will have run out of money, B) we will (hopefully) no longer be low-income or C) we actually get our taxes back in the form of windows. I'm okay with B or C.

I'll keep you posted. :) Betcha they wouldn't let me do the bay window in front anyway...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sporto Boy

Connor is really loving the Special Olympics camp. He is up and dressed, packs his lunch and brushes his teeth so he's ready to go in the morning.

He wears his Special Olympics T-shirt all day, so much that I have to run it through the laundry and get it dry by morning.

Yesterday he came home with his eyes bothering him. He'd opened his eyes in the YMCA pool, and they were burning from the chlorine. In the past, he didn't open them so much so it wasn't an issue. We used some saline solution & eye drops, and then took him to Wal-Mart for goggles. He was so excited this morning about having goggles to wear in the pool!

When we asked Connor at dinner last night what he did, he related the following:

"I said, 'Bubba you will be a Star!'" "Bubba said, 'What?'" "I said, 'Bubba, you will be a Star!' and Bubba laughed."

That was a LOT for Connor to say! Plus he did the whole back & forth on the conversation.

This is the kind of thing we need for Connor to progress with language - experiences that tie the language to the actions. The more experiences Connor can have, the better he learns. That's why we're so excited for next year, when it's all about hands-on learning, getting out in public and EXPERIENCING new things!

In the meantime, he's really enjoying the sports & interaction with his peers on a level where he is participating to the best of his ability. He's totally accepted as who he is, and he has that same acceptance for the other kids. It's really great. That's what Special Olympics is all about.

I gotta get a photo of Bubba...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bill & Rita celebrate 65 years!

Ever since their 50th wedding anniversary, Mom & Pop Kiester have celebrated their anniversary with a Hellgate jet boat ride. We went as a family on the 60th celebration, and Trevor & Diana went on the 62nd or something, I think. Today, it was just Lee & I, as Connor is still a bit of a handful at something like this, and you don't really get to relax & enjoy yourself. There's a champagne brunch, and Lee & I wind up bolting down our food to chase after Connor, who doesn't eat any of the brunch anyway.
Today it was rather chilly on the river, but on the way back up to Grants Pass, it had warmed enough that when Bo, our driver, did the donuts & sprayed the boat, it wasn't that bad anymore.

Anyone coming to visit this way should do this at least once :)

Watch the cool video!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Graffiti Weekend

Newspaper Write Up on Graffiti Weekend

The car on the cover of the special section belongs to the husband of a fellow TOPS member. Maybe she'll let me ride along in the cruise tomorrow night? :)

If we had the time & money, it would be way cool to get an old husk of a classic car and restore it. A LOT of people do that around here. It's just a project folks like to do because there's such a great venue to show them off after you're done.

Graffiti week starts Thursday and goes through till Sunday. The big cruise is Saturday night, and there are plenty of places to go and look at the cars close up around town.

If you're a fan of classic cars, come & visit the weekend after the 4th of July. You won't be disappointed :)

(I'm bummed I missed the ice cream social today tho...)

Special Olympics Camp :)

Last year, Lee took Connor for the registration day. I was able to go this time, so we were at the Y at 8:15 to get Connor squared away for everything.

They are thorough, altho nowhere near MTV standards :) Connor had his teeth checked by a dentist (everything looks good!), then did the physical tests with a step-test, wall push ups, sit ups, balance & the doc checked his flexibility. Then off to the nutrition table so they could know Connor eats well & where he gets his calcium (he doesn't drink cow milk). Next was the hearing test, and he made his hands into a bird (like for shadow play) and would wiggle the 'wings' when he heard the tweet in his headphones. Then off to the eye doc. He needs to see our optometrist soon - I will make an appointment. Finally, the nurse & doctor checked his lungs, blood pressure, temperature, reflexes, etc. It was cute when the nurse told Connor she was going to 'hug his arm' for the blood pressure. She leaned in and he gave her a big hug :) That made points.

After all that stuff, his peer partners showed up to play with him. Wryland was his partner last year too, and Connor also has a high school guy, Jeremy, as a partner. They remembered Connor sometimes will wander off, so they assigned two partners. They played some basketball, then went upstairs to use the game room. They have pool, ping pong, air hockey, etc. After an hour of that, they came back down for more basketball.

Most kids were done with the exams by then, so they all went out to play kickball. I sat & watched the game just to see how Connor did. Most of the other parents had already left, though a few were hanging around. By the time the pizza showed up for lunch, I figured Connor was fine and I'd go since the afternoon was going to be swimming anyway.

When I went to pick him up around 3:00, he was happy and still had damp hair. He's looking forward to coming back on Monday for more Camp :)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sunday's hike

Connor decided we should go on a hike sometime last week. We figured out the best day would be Sunday after church. I checked the geocaching website to see if we could hike & find a cache at the same time. Wolf Creek offered 2 caches along the trail - a winner! On the way up, we stopped at Subway to get some lunch for our picnic.
There was a picnic bench at the trailhead & parking area, so we ate first, I used my Off! and we headed up the trail.

This trail offers a lot of bridges, as well as a number of spots to cool your feet as it goes along the creek. There were little parts that would be good for swimming a bit too.

We managed to find the first cache, without the help of the GPS, as I couldn't get any signal there. The description was enough to help us find it anyway :)

We then passed a couple of ladies, one of whom was sitting down. She had fallen & couldn't put any weight on her leg. We asked if they'd called 911, and they said a friend of theirs had headed off to get help. So we said good luck, and continued to the falls.

We spent a good chunk of time exploring the area around the falls. There were lots of butterflies, and some crawdads & salamanders in the water. Connor practised his balancing and managed to slip & get wet. Lee stayed dry, although I thought he might fall once or twice too!

After we were done at the falls, Trevor and I went to find the second geocache, but there was a couple nosing around near the site, and I think they were looking for it as well. I didn't notice a post for that cache on the website, so I'm guessing they didn't find it. I guess we'll save it for next time.

Then we head back toward the car & on the way, the ladies are still waiting! The one lady is actually an older lady, and she still can't put any weight on her leg. There's no bruising or anything that I can tell, but who knows? We figured their friends must be coming with help soon...
A little later, we see a friend coming back. With a wheelbarrow. She's having difficulty getting it up the steep part of the trail. I'm thinking - this is not a good idea. I ask if she called 911, and she said she didn't have service out here. There are other friends coming to help still. So I'm thinking, okay... hopefully they went to a house in the area & called.

Then we pass the other two friends. With more wheelbarrows. One has a big one with two wheels in front, and the other has one of those things that looks like you use it to spread grass seed, but big enough to hold a person. What the heck? I again ask if they called 911. "No - we don't want to embarrass her." Um, yeah. I'm thinking it will be a lot MORE embarrassing when three people need a rescue with multiple injuries from trying to get an old lady down a steep trail in a wheelbarrow!!

So we got back to the car & Diana has been trying to get a signal thru to 911, but she can't get anything. We decide to stop at a house, but no one answers. Same thing for the next couple of houses. So I finally figure out we passed a little market on the way to the trail, and we'll stop there. So we did, and Lee had them call 911. And we got ice cream.
I have no idea what happened with the older lady, but dang - I would never move anyone who couldn't move on their own. That's what emergency services are for. I hope Search & Rescue got her out okay without further damage to whatever was wrong.

Could be screen savers

Pictures from Sunday's hike at Wolf Creek Falls.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fourth with Friends :)

Diana made LOTS of sushi.

The kids did chalk outlines :)

This is Rocky & Sue's backyard.

Melly really liked playing with Connor.

Melly :)

Libby :)

The girls with their Nana.

Silly siblings.