aelfie: (Have a Nice Day)
Joe's talking to me in our bedroom.

Elli comes in brandishing a leek at Joe.

"Go put that leek away!"

Joe says an aside to me: "That is a leek right?"

Me: "Ha! She took a leek!"

Joe: "I'm appalled to the core of my being that I knew that was a leek."
aelfie: (harold the hoopty car)
I left home last Sunday with a fully packed van and four kids. And a dog. The dog got left with mom.

The ride to Reno was uneventful. We checked into Circus Circus with no problems. We were disappointed to find the buffet closed, so we ate at their in-house diner. The kids had hamburgers.

We got up early and started the drive to Salt Lake. I was warned by several people that there's not much to see between the two. I found them wrong. Gently rolling hills, little valleys, rivers, trains, livestock and gorgeous colors of vegetation! I was really impressed by the abrupt change in the landscape between Nevada and Utah. You knew immediately you were someplace different.

We spent two nights in Salt Lake visiting one of my friends. We went to This is the Place Heritage Park in the morning. The kids really enjoyed it. Its a living history park and the houses are either historic buildings moved to this area or are recreations. I liked how they showed both the homes of poor people and those who were better off. Ike was fascinated by the blacksmith. We also got to see the live version of "gotta piss like a horse" I've never seen that before and the kids were impressed. We spent the afternoon down in Temple Square. The history museum was interesting and the visitors center was fascinating. Then we walked around the temple. There are two sets of impressive doors that haven't been used in ages. If temple-goers want to go in, the entrance is a street away and you go underground. I shudder to think about how they would get everyone out case of fire. The other thing about the Temple that struck me is it's size. Or rather lack thereof. Now. It's tall. It's gloriously tall and impressive. However, the footprint is quite small. I think my Mom's parish church has a bigger footprint. I was expecting something like a Roman Catholic Cathedral size. It's not. I was told they spent 40 years building it. For some reason, I wasn't too impressed. They've been working on the Gaudi Cathedral for over 100 (131 so far with another estimated 13 to go (a couple of wars halted construction, go figure)). Gray decided that he was going to get sick that afternoon and spent the afternoon in my arms. Sleeping. He also decided to pop a pretty good fever that night. But he woke up the next morning bright and chipper.

We spent the 28th driving to Jackson, WY. I got to see wheat fields for the first time ever! Cool. I tried not to breathe too deeply. Pretty drive. I found a road [ profile] allanh s husband Randy needs to drive. Not only did it have the joy of curves and ups and got to dodge livestock! It was an uneventful drive. Jackson is gorgeous! We definitely want to go back. We only spent this one night and there's so much to do! Gray decided to get really sick on this night and we were up from about 1:30-4:30 with him alternatively vomiting and extreme EBS. Poor thing. I left a huge tip for the housekeeping crew, he threw up all over the bed several times (after Ike woke us up at 6).

We got up and went to this alpine slide I read about. It was awesome!!! First time I've ever ridden a ski lift. Then we hit the road. Drove through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Amazing thunder storm overhead as we entered Yellowstone park, and then we crested a hill, and the storm was gone. Blue skies and warm sunshine. Had to convince the children to stick around long enough to see Old Faithful. I had to bribe them with ice cream. Wow. Just wow. Drove out of the park to our next hotel. Gray was miserable by this point and needed to go to bed. Ended up seeing a bison just wandering down the road in the opposite lane before we got out of the park. Yes! Only wildlife we saw in the park. Got to the next hotel and put everyone to bed.

On the 30th we drove to Missoula, MT. There's all these little signs on the side of the road telling you interesting things to see. I stopped at one called the "Lake that Tilted". It kinda caught my attention. Serious earthquake in 1959 literally tilted the lake and created another billion gallons of storage area. It also dumped 80 million tons of rock on the north end and drowned a campground. The mountain damage is obvious and you drive ON TOP of the fallen rock. It was kinda eerie, but also fascinating. Got to the hotel in Missoula.

Everybody felt great the next day on the 31. Joe was flying in and we had time to kill. We had breakfast and then I started to feel awful. So did Ike. I finally got us out of the room and into the car and stopped at the Carousel for Missoula. There's a dragon for the kids to ride!!! Ike was sufficiently sick, he stayed in the car to sleep. The other three rode it twice. Then we hit the road for Kalispell and Joe. The drive was nice, but I was feeling too awful to really notice anything. I got to Joe an hour late. =( But we got to the next hotel and I went to bed while Joe took care of the 3 non sick kids.

This morning we got up and moving and checked out from the hotel with like 5 minutes to spare. We stopped at a local grocery store for food for a couple of days and made it to the house we are staying at. It's gorgeous. On a lake. The kids played. And passed out.
aelfie: (the motivator)
I'm lucky enough to live where there a weekend of yarn porn.

Stitches West from the Knitting Universe is a Yarn Con. Yarn, fibers, and more yarn. *sigh*

I decided to take a couple of market classes (1 hour learn something specific classes that are cheap) so if I had been so inclined, I could have gone to the pre-public market opening Thursday night. I decided after spending a day at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and I was already planning to spend both Friday and Saturday at the Con, I'd go home.

Friday morning we got up and go moving. The girls and I dropped Gray at KidsPark and we went to the shopping. We didn't have to waste time in the LONG ass buy market tickets 'cause I could go in anytime I wanted as an attendee and the girls are under 10 so they didn't need badges. And we shopped. And shopped...and shopped some more. Stitches West is held at the Santa Clara convention center, which has something like 100,000 square feet in the big hall....the yarn show takes the entire big hall for the market. It took us a couple of hours to go through the market. And even then the girls gave up before we saw it all. Gwen found a skein of really pretty loopy yarn in her favorite colors and then they found a new craft. Punch Needle Rug Hooking. If you've ever seen punch embroidery, same concept, except for using rug yarn on monk's cloth. The booth ladies were oh so kind enough to let them try and they got hooked fast (Ha!). So I bought 2 kits. Not bad priced $15.00. The punch needles on the other hand.OUCH. $35.00 each. Being a smart mom I bought 2. Which turned out to be a good thing because once I got those kits home and showed them to Ike and Joe they both asked for a kit too. The three big kids spent all of today (Sunday) passing the two needles back and forth. Those of you who know me well may ask..."why didn't you get a kit for yourself Jen?" Because I have a huge chunk of Monk's cloth in my stash and I figure by the time the other four get through their kits, there will be plenty of rug yarn left for me to use for my own project. And as a note, I got though Friday's shopping expedition without buying a single thing for myself. (please be impressed)

I went back all by myself Saturday morning. Took a class, shopped for an hour, took another class, shopped for another 2 hours. I came home with 1800 yards of sport/dk weight alpaca yarn. (Lovely stuff, so soft) 750 yards of a camel/silk blend in more dk weight, 750 yards in lace that's a linen/silk blend (lace "should" be soft, but they had a sample and OMG it looked so beautiful, the lace was just so crisp and easily seen) and 200 yards of this fancy silk/metallic blend from one of my all time favorite supplies of stitching silk.  I was just wandering around the show and I come across this little booth the title is "Victoria Clayton" from PA. And I'm like many Vicki Clayton's from PA can there be. I wander into this tiny booth and see some lovely shiny yarn. Hrm...maybe not the same Vicki Clayton. I look around a bit closer and see in the back her signature silk ribbon. And I turn around and go "OMG! This is Hand Dyed Fibers! I love stitching with your silk!!! When did you move into yarn?" We had a great conversation and I was the third stitcher she met this weekend. And the second mom who picked up knitting 'cause it's portable (unlike stitching). It was so cool to meet her!

It was a good weekend. I didn't buy too much yarn and the stuff I bought it stuff I've never stitched with before. I want to try different things. And I'm just SO glad we picked up yet another yarn craft, but I am glad it's one that Elli seems to enjoy. (cause she hates to knit)

aelfie: (Default)
Master Bedroom Day 3(?)

Today Joe decided to purge his closet and dresser. He went through all his clothes and filled 2 garbage bags of clothes for Goodwill. Go Joe! He still needs to rediscover the top of his dresser and the shelf in his closet. We might get to one or both of those tonight. I'm hoping to pull the dressers away from the walls and sweep the floor. I'm sure there are huge clans of the Vorpal Dustbunnies hiding under there.

I also had him pull all the stuff of the shelf in my closet. I filled a bag and a half of stuff to go to Goodwill. Go Me! I am now done with my stuff in the master bedroom. Unfortunately, a lot of stuff ended up in the spare room. We've decided to keep it as a spare room for the moment. We like having a room with an extra bed (and a lock) for guests, friends...whatever. But that means we need to purchase another dresser for the Boys room. The dresser that's in there now is small and barely big enough to hold all of Ike's clothes. If I want to get Gray's clothes out of the spare room (so I can use that antique for storage of my art/craft stash) we need a place to put his clothes. So we are either going to buy another small dresser (cheap) or buy one big dresser (costs more). There's room for either another small dresser or we can rearrange it to get more wall space to put in a bigger one. I'm leaning towards another small one, so the boys don't have to share.

One of the things I love about the spare room is the built in counter and shelves. That room was once used as a craft room by a former owner. It was a big selling point for me, as it's currently a perfect set up as a changing table. As the counter is tall enough for Joe and me not to kill our backs while changing children. Once we get Gray potty trained (and school starts in the fall) a lot of the diapers, wipes and various baby things can continue to move out and the shelving will be available for art/craft supplies. Eliminating the need for more furniture in that room so we can keep it as a spare room (Whew!). 

Last night Joe and I had a date. (Whee!) Our church had it's annual auction last night. We ended up with a pair of San Jose Opera tickets for Die Fledermouse (I've never seen an opera live before and have always wanted to go), two tickets to Great America at about 60% off, and a couple of dinners with other members. We offered up a couple of movie nights that we are going to end up hosting in our house. Since less than 10 people signed up for both, our living room will hold that easily. Its a very silly night with lots of commentary from the crowd. We are too broke to hire a real auctioneer, so two members took turns. They had this very silly hat they passed back and forth between the two of them, and at one change, Joe and I yelled out "Griffyndor!" which made the house laugh. The other big laugh I got for the night was when the auctioneer apologized for spelling Joe's name as Jo for the entire booklet. I yelled out "It's no big deal, it just means I'm a lesbian now". All in all it was a good night and we had a great time.
aelfie: (Default)
Ever hear Jeff Foxworthy's bit about the Courtesy Sniff? Basic concept: guy finds something smelly, gags on it, and invites friend to smell it too. That was a courtesy sniff. The part of the bit that is important to this post is this:

"You ever seen a car sitting at a red light, and there's like, five guys in it? And all of a sudden all four windows go down and there's four guys hangin' out the car just cussing like crazy? And there's one guy sitting in the middle in the back just laughing. You know why he's laughing, he's cashed in his courtesy sniff! And the only thing that could make him happier was had he been driving and in control of the window lock."*

Friday Joe goes out to lunch with his work group. They went to a South Indian Restaurant. Hot and spicy food with lots of dal. Saturday he starts leaving air biscuits everywhere and its awful. Almost Carlinesque. ("A fart that could end a marriage!") In the late afternoon, we take the kids to the park and on the way back home he lets one fly. He mumbles "excuse me" and then makes the mistake of inhaling and gags.  Then it wafts over to me sitting shotgun.  My eyes water and I'm desperate to unroll the window...but it won't go down! The windows are locked shut. I try to get out a "Unlock the windows!" but I'm laughing too hard to get it out. Finally I gasp it out and Joe goes "Oh! They are locked. Let me fix that." The windows open and the air is breathable again.

Except I still can't breathe 'cause I'm laughing so hard. We laugh and laugh, tears rolling down our faces and the kids (lucky them!!!) have no idea why we are laughing so hard.

I have absolutely, no idea why Ike finds bodily functions the height of comedy at the moment...I truly don't. =)

*find this quote at at

aelfie: (Default)
And it has been too long since the last time we did so. And thus, it was awesome.

In January I hired a local SJSU student to come by 3 afternoons a week to take Ike, Elli and Gwen to the park while Gray napped. Every once in awhile, I left her with the kids and either ran errands or went to appointments (like the dentist!). So, once school started I didn't need her as often anymore. But I did, however, set up specific times for her to come by during the month so that Joe and I could spend some time together. Last night was the first time we went out on this new schedule.

We went to the mall and had dinner (Panda Express for him, Kalamata for me. They had orzo in the Avgolemeno dammit!) and then we went to the first theater movie in 2 years. Cowboys and Aliens is a very silly movie, but good. I enjoyed seeing it. I really enjoyed sitting next to my husband and holding his hand.

After the movie, we hit Cold Stone (The peanut butter perfection is, in fact, quite awesome.) And came home. All was quiet, and Gray was asleep on the couch in the office. We paid A and sent her home. Then I noticed that she'd been busy while we were gone. Not only had she swept up, I think she mopped. But she did, in fact, scrub the table, counters, and stove. Then I noticed she had also scrubbed the cabinets clean. OMG. I love this girl. And I am so tipping her the next time she comes by, she is sooooo worth the money we pay her. She likes my kids and cleans my house. I only hope that I raise my kids to be as thoughtful (okay, and enterprising. Cleaning does equal more money.)

I finally made a connection on part of the reason why my hands are hurting so much, its not the knitting or the computering...its the driving. I'm spending at least 90 minutes a day driving. The other part is that Gray is over 30 lbs. Nursing him is killing my back and hands. I'm in the process of weaning him. I'm trying to confine the activity to our home only, I'm mostly sucessful. I am, however, not nursing him at the kids school. If I end up teaching and have him in my class, I don't want to be nursing him. It annoys him, but he's getting used to it after 2 weeks.
aelfie: (Default)
Did you know I have the best husband in the world? Better than anyone else ever? Well, let me tell you I do.

Friday morning started the last of my Lifeways weekends down at Hill of the Hawk Farm. We were scheduled to be sleeping outdoors in the tents, but there was some discussion back and forth as rain was predicted. In the end, we were instructed to bring equipment consistent with sleeping outside. For me this meant taking this huge ass battery pack for my CPAP. Now I don't have to bring it. The owner offered to run a power cord from the kitchen out to the tents (maybe 30 feet) the first weekend we had back in October. Since I really hate being a pain in the ass, especially since I kept feeling that my food issues was making life a hassle for her, I planned on bringing the battery pack.

And I then left Friday morning without it. And I didn't realize it until about 2 PM when we unloaded the cars (after it being decided to sleep indoors. Good thing too. We got 5 inches of rain Friday night and wind strong enough to knock down trees.). Oh shit.  Oh well, don't need it anyway. And then just went upon my day.

We spent the afternoon wet felting landscapes for a story apron. The rest of the group went on a short hike. Then we made dinner. And of course, we were having a great time. During dinner, we hear kids voices, I look up at the window and don't see anything. I go back to my dinner of salad and talking to classmates. Then another classmate spoke up. "Hey, there's a heavy set guy in a plaid jacket wandering around".

The owner got up and went outside. And we all heard a "Can I help you?" About a minute later she pops back in and says "Jen you have visitors"

I get a half second to think WTF? And I'm bombarded with 3 kids. And Joe walks in the door. "Why are you here?" "To bring you this!" And he holds up my battery back. And my stomach sinks, I didn't think to call home and say not to worry I didn't need the battery pack. I felt so guilty "I don't need it." To my surprise, he didn't blow up. He responded "Well, maybe you'll have a power outage. I don't know. I just know you needed it."

Joe managed to drive down to Big Sur (a 2 hour drive) with no instructions on how to find the place. All he had was the name of the owner and the name of the farm which he found by rifling my email. (Tuesday morning we discovered that had he gone through the sent folder he would have found the instructions and the phone number). I'm still seriously impressed. We had a hard enough time finding it with instructions. (For his take of the adventure, look here.)

The stuck around about an hour. The kids ran around a bit. Elli bat cleanup on the dinner salad (her favorite food). I nursed Gray (eliminating the need to pump), and then changed him. And then sent them home. It was getting dark and the fog was coming in and that makes PCH really treacherous. And that stop light were the section decided to fall into the ocean didn't make it any safer.

All my classmates were seriously impressed. "My husband would never do that" "Mine would have said "you are SOL"". I got lots of compliments on how cute the kids are and how beautiful Joe's and my relationship is. And its true. I have been truly blessed by that wonderful man.

And one day soon, when the kids go to bed early and he's home....I'll show him. =)
aelfie: (Default)
Forgive me Mother for I have sinned. I took thy Worship and made a mockery of it...

Let me set this up.

On the 7th our UU church was visited by the Dustbunnies. I missed their last visit and was sorely vexed as its [ profile] kineticphoenix , [ profile] riseorbleed  and [ profile] dragon_spirit  's Circle? Coven? Group! And they led our staid congregation with the Old Pagan Tent Revival! I had a great time. It was awesome. At one point, Brother Phillip began to tell us their Creation Story. And he mentioned something about "Staring into the endless vortex of time." (Don't actually quote me on that.) Without thinking and without pausing I started to tap out Da, Da, Da, Dum on Joe's leg with my index finger. It only took him three iterations to realize I was tapping out the rhythm of the heartbeat of a Time Lord.

Please give us the applause we deserve because we did NOT make a sound. Not one giggle. Not one snort. Not one little guffaw. Sitting in the back row, Joe and I were rocking and shaking with laughter.

We are such geeks.
aelfie: (rose wtf)
and others.

Sometimes I wonder how in the hell Joe was able to feed himself for those years when he wasn't dependent upon someone else cooking for him. We all know about the time when Joe made pizza for the kids and forgot to put the cheese on? I didn't think it could get worse. But he did an even better one tonight.

I've been feeling awful all day. So instead of me cooking something healthy, I had Joe pull out some cans of Campbells Soup (I can't eat ANY of their soups...but I keep a few cans around for just this reason. I'm sick and they need food.) The kids refused to eat it, Joe ate it and thought "man that tastes salty", goes to put the last can away and realizes he forgot to add the can of water!

Only Joe would forget its condensed soup.
aelfie: (Castle Fob)
Maybe it should be an anniversary present


aelfie: (Default)

January 2016

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