Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Horsing Around

Man, I have got to get back into the routine of writing.

Lately, it seems that I just can't be bothered unless there are photos to tell the story around.

And honestly? There are WAY more stories in our house that are not photo-documenaries.

So here's a few things that I've been meaning to remember:

Skip was invited to a math competition at Santa Clara University on Saturday.

Of course, he managed to remember to tell us on Thursday evening. Good thing that Ken was free, and could drive him down to the Uni at Oh Dark Thirty on Saturday morning.

He thinks he did fine. Of course when I asked him if he answered the Tie Breaker, he said "but it wasn't one of the questions..." Yeah, Mr. I'll Come In Second Because I Didn't Read The Instructions. But considering he's still a Sophomore, he's got a few more chances to catch the golden ring.

Ever since Nate got promoted to Red Belt at kung fu, he's discovered a new level of internal discipline and concentration. He's setting an example for the brown and black belts that he's working with now. And he's one of the youngest kids in the class.

Skip, too, seems to have a renewed sense of purpose, now that he's just one belt away from that prized black belt.

(yup, it's true, sometimes I get lucky and can get a photo of my eldest child)

Maybe the math competition was too much for him, though. When I picked him up after school on Monday, he looked like death warmed over. He just flopped into the passenger seat, and was nearly asleep by the time we got home. And his forehead was hot.

Not good.

He ended up staying home from school on Tuesday and today, and I'm still debating about whether I'll send him tomorrow. I just don't know if he can stand to miss three days of school without falling pretty far behind. He's emailed his teachers, and has been working, off and on (more off than on, actually) on trying to keep up with what's being assigned.

**update** Well, Skip put himself to bed at 9pm, which is about 3 hours earlier than he usually tries to have his bedtime. I think, if he's got any sleepies in the morning, I'll be keeping him home again.

I took Jewel to school yesterday.

He was going to spend the morning with Mrs. Henderson's class (Nate's teacher from last year), but when I walked into the classroom, there was a sub. Whoopsie. Looks like I might have passed on the lung ick to her before I was totally healed.

But I know the sub (mom of one of Kelly's friend), so the kids got to have a little bit of time with Jewel, but I didn't stick around for long.

Jewel was very well behaved, and only pooped on the carpet (white carpet) and on Mrs. Henderson's favourite chair.

The horse camp place is getting a bit of a face-lift.

But it's nothing official. The ranch manager, Jorge, is a very self-motivated guy, and he sees that there are lots of things that need to be repaired before winter, so in his free time, he's been doing carpentry, and fixing up the place, building shelters for the aging horses that may not make it through the winter without a dry warm place to be, and he's also decided that the Horse Camp clubhouse is in need of renovations,.

When we were out there on Saturday with the girls, we noticed he had pulled up the (old, rotting) floor, and was re-joisting it. I asked what he was going to do, and he said that he'd been asking around, and was getting small bits of salvaged lumber here and there, and was hoping to cobble together something by the beginning of next summer.

I looked at what he was doing, and thought "I've still got leftover building supplies from our remodel. And all they're doing is taking up space in my garage', so I asked him if he'd mind if I brought out the leftover lumber. He seemed thrilled at the idea, and kept saying "You don't have to! You don't have to!" but as I looked at what he was using, salvaging, to put together the clubhouse for the girls, I thought "My daughter spends much of her summer here, and if I can hand over something I'm not ever going to even use, what's the cost to me? Nothing!"

So Toni and I started talking about what we had left at home from our remodels (Toni and her Ken redid their kitchen just before ours), and by the time I got home, I was all gung-ho to empty out the garage.

But then I looked in the garage, and all the lumber that I *thought* was there just... wasn't.

Over dinner, Toni and the Kens and i were talking about all the fun that our girls had had over the years, and we thought "Hey, why don't we just donate some good quality lumber, so that Jorge can work uninterrupted on the clubhouse, and at the end, have something that's going to last.?"

So that's how, on Monday, after working out at the gym (first day back after the whole pneumonia thing), Toni and I found ourselves loading up Homer with the sparse collection of stuff I found in the garage (leftover laminate flooring from doing Skip and Nate's rooms nearly 5 years ago - yes, when was I planning on using any of that stuff again?) and heading over to the coast.

When we got to the ranch, we found the guys working on a shelter in the small pasture. It's Jorge's idea to have a shelter big enough to house the ten oldest horses on the ranch, who will benefit the most from having dryness and warmth during the winter storms. We unloaded the van, and then grilled Jorge about what, exactly, he needed for the clubhouse flooring. Once he'd told us, we took the seats out of Homer, and headed over to the local lumber yard.

"Two women walk into a lumber yard." There's a hilarious joke there, somewhere.

Anyways, we were able to fit all the plywood sheeting into Homer, as well as a half dozen 2x4's, just for added fun, and when we got back to the ranch, I drove Homer right in among the horses to get close to the clubhouse so we could unload the van without having to trek the plywood across the parking area.

Today, I realized that I had about a dozen and a half tiles left over from our remodel. Nice big beautiful porcelain floor tiles. We'll never used them, so after I picked up Nate and Kelly from school (Kelly was supposed to be having basketball try-outs, but the coach was off sick), I dropped Nate with Skip at home, and Kelly and I loaded up the van with the tiles, and we drove over to the coast.

The fog is starting to roll in.

I don't think that the weather will be as nice, come the weekend. But it was pretty darned nice this afternoon.

Alas, when we got to the ranch, the gate was locked, so we drove past, pulled into a beach parking lot, and turned around. Kelly was a little bit sad that she wasn't going to be able to visit with the horses, so I'm tempted to pull her from school on Friday morning to help me deliver the tile. I could get her back to school by second period. i'm still toying with it.

Nate had his conference yesterday.

Ken came in from work, so it was the three of us with the teacher.

I'm just not getting ANY friendly-happy vibe from her. She's pleasant enough, but just not going to make any sort of personal connection. And when asked for input about his work, we got a lot of "hm-mmm, yes" from her, and very little "Here's what I would like to see happen" Which, I suppose, can be a good thing. I just kind of wanted to have some insight that I didn't already know.

Oh well.

I was playing guitar at the library this morning, and I kept getting distracted by my reflection.

Yes, I guess I was a little bit vain.

But who could blame me? The window I kept seeing myself in had been installed at an angle, or was slightly curved, and it made me look So Freakin' Thin! You wouldn't believe the effect. I couldn't take my eyes off my suddenly-slimmer self.

In fact, I was so distracted by Thin Me that I lost my place in a song, and had to feign that I was having a coughing spasm.

Somehow, I've gotten onto the mailing list for B&H photography.

Their winter catalogue just arrived in the mail.

Oh, if I could win a lottery...

There are 37 days until Christmas.

I have this sudden urge to rifle through my (substantial) knitting stash, and pull out some heathered orange wool that I stashed in there several years ago, so that I can make a sweater for Skip.

Um yeah. First? Hello, Mrs. Weaseley.

Second? Thirty Eight Days? Right now, I doubt I could make a dishcloth in that amount of time.

I have started writing reviews for trip advisor. I figured I should weigh in on a few places that I thought were good, but that were getting slammed with bad reviews, and I should weigh in on places that I thought stunk that seem to be smelling like roses for some reason.

We'll see how long I keep up that momentum.

Catching up on a backlog of DVR tv shows.

Oh man! NCIS is a To Be Continued...?


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