Another fine end to another

Another fine end to another fine day…
Dorothea had class today, Liam was at his cousin’s until 6:00 pm, and other than Madeline’s basketball game, I have had an extremely relaxing day. I have learned/stolen enough CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) knowledge to tweak the layout of my blog. My main objective was to picture of the Blair Arcade with attribute to the artist. So here it is.

Took Madeline to her basketball

Took Madeline to her basketball game. There are two left on the schedule. She’s improving, running up and down and court better, getting the ball, taking and making shots.
Her team lost a close one–17-14. Afterwards, she was bummed that she didn’t get to play as much as the other “5” — I suspect that this means center–on the team. But I actually find that encouraging, that she is still in there and interested.
There are two girls, guards that always come up the court with the ball. The one always goes around to the right, gets trapped down in the corner, and losses the ball. The other girl does a great job working her way into the basket, right down the middle. It is like she sloloming around the other players; she keeps the ball too low to the ground for them to even get it. But she never passes. Once in awhile she’ll get a basket; but usually it ends up that there is a rugby-style scrum and the other team comes up with the ball.
Mimi is the other “5” (center) on the team. She is a bit taller than Madeline, and just plain bigger and more athletic. She’s great on defense and often steals the ball or gets the rebound. She doesn’t dribble, but she does shoot. She almost always misses, but her shots have been getting closer every week, and finally this week she made a shot. I was screaming.
This is the right level for my athletic intelligence–5th and 6th grade girls. They already play way better than I every could.

Liam was all wound up

Liam was all wound up last night because he planned on a “big day” today. Primary is that his class is going to see Circus Juventas. We’ve gone a couple of times as a family to their performances. It really is amazing and cute what children can do. And it’s library day. And for the first time he’s taking his violin for the school violin lessons. I hope that works out well.
The web says -13 degrees and on the porch the thermometer is -5. So his violin will get cold on the way to the school bus. It is so cold outside that car tires are make that certain slow, cold, loud crunching noise as cars are parking.
I couldn’t find my glasses this morning. M. couldn’t find hers yesterday. Karmic justice for having chided/teased her? Found mine in Liam’s room. When I went to put him to bed, I actually was ready to fall asleep.
Putting the children on the school bus lets me see what they’re doing in the morning, which I usually don’t do. M. has to find her glasses (D. found them later yesterday–M. and I looking for something, not a good combination), L.: hat, mittens, snowpants, boots, shoes, and on and on. He is actually very good about it. Much better than I am at remember to take my pills, put on my hand cream, get my badge, wallet, pager, pen, palm pilot, whatever. (And glasses.) I have forgotten all of those things.

Here’s a great reason to blog: yesterday a long lost friend left a comment and suggested 4H for L. Ramsey County Extension Service is the link. What a great idea. Hopefully I will be looking into this. Comments are welcome!

Still on dialup. Called Earthlink

Still on dialup. Called Earthlink again on Monday, seven days after they said they were going to overnight me a replacement for the defective modem they originally sent. Right back to square one; it’ll arrive in “5-7 days.” Reminds me of the scene in Harry Potter where they are stuck in the vines; the more they struggle, the longer it’ll take them to get out.
This is the third morning that Dorothea is working, and I am atypically home with the children. Liam, when he wakes up, asks me why I’m not still in bed. He said that he usually gets in bed with his mom in the morning and she reads to him. And I am doing this instead.
Several times, he has come up to me with a section of the morning newspaper, saying “this is cool!” or asking “what’s this?” or reading aheadline or caption. One was a picture of a huge dredge at a phosphate mine in Florida; another was a picture of pennies that kids have stuck in the walls of the Winter Carnival ice castle.
Last night Madeline counted how many boxes of cookies she’s sold (51). I have 17 entries in my blog email group.

Heard reports from people that

Heard reports from people that the Comments weren’t working, so just finished re-doing my blog template. Think they should be working now.
Have added more people to my notification email list, and have gotten some responses back from some of them.
Don’t know how valid the comparison is, but thought of blogging as akin to ham radio. made me think of our old neighbor Harry.
When we used to live in Little Falls, we had a neighbor, Harry, who was a ham radio enthusiast. That was 1994 to1998 that we were neighbors. He’s 90 years old this year. By the time we met, Harry was legally blind. He’d back the car out of the garage, but then Louis would drive. He’d mow the lawn with his LawnBoy, and go over and over the same spots cause he couldn’t tell if he’d mowed there before. And he’d miss big chunks. Pretty soon after we moved in, he gave up on cutting the grass and hired a neighbor kid to do it for him.
Anyway, Harry got interested in ham radio in the 1930s, got his ham license when you had to know morse code to pass the test. Was a radio operator in Novia Scotia during World War II, and that’s where he met Louis. Was just thinking what a great choice of a hobby that turned out to be for him. This writing stuff wouldn’t work.
Blogging and hamming seem similar as in a way to keep in touch with people.
Hopefully, now that comments work (and will keep working!) people can communicate back, too.

Home. The bedroom. The freshly

Home. The bedroom. The freshly painted bedroom. Dorothea is back from her cross country skiing with her sisters. Madeline and Liam helped out a lot with painting. Madeline especially was actually useful. Liam has gotten a good start. He needs to think of a paintbrush as a brush rather than a hammer, but he’ll get it.
Got a call from Liam’s Sunday school teacher around nine o’clock this morning about the sledding party I had forgotten about. My back was really sore last night, though felt better in the morning. Painting was harsh on it. Then the thought of adding sledding on top of the painting was not appealing. But a real life something to do. Good thing that he called or I would have completely missed it. I was totally focused on painting. And a good thing that we went. There weren’t many others there. And we had fun.
I always smile when I see it snowing (unless it is April. Well okay, there are other times when snow doesn’t make me smile. Snowing often makes me smile?)
And I always smile when I see the moon for the first time in the lunar cycle. Even the second or third . . .
I see a connection to the people in my blog email list that are accumulated just as M. and her cookie orders are accumulated for her. Don’t suppose that people want to be compared to boxes of Girls Scout cookies. And am not even sure what the comparison means. Just putting it out there.

Girl Scout cookie season is

Girl Scout cookie season is in full swing. M. is interested in selling 150 boxes this year. It is all such a weird concept.
Last year, M. sold 100 boxes, and my co-worker’s daughter, who M. has met from their both coming to “Bring Your Daugther to Work Days,” she sold 150. Her marketing, a la her father, was pretty over the top and cute. He set out on the wardrobe of his cube a picture of his daughter in her GS uniform in a frame that she made as a project. Killer marketing.
But GS has been very good to M., and I do like the organization. Much better than Boy Scouts. I tried that last year with L., just didn’t like it, and couldn’t make myself do it again this year. With GS, it is hard not to image that many of the professionals–the camp leaders, counselors, administrators–are lesbians, and that is fine. BS, holy smokes.
And BS seems always to be affiliated with churches, which I am not. So another thing that works well with M. and GS is that her group is her school peers, and that just isn’t happening for L. Go to some other church-related BS group, and all the other kids there (mostly) are school chums and L. is outsider. Oh well.
Of the seven people in my group at work, three of us have daughters in GS. So most people by a box or so from each of us.

Took the van to gas

Took the van to gas it up for Dorothea and her sister trip. It was snowing pretty good, looks like we’ll get an accumulation, so washing the van didn’t make sense. Tried checking the air pressure at two different gas stations, neither of which had air pumps that worked. The first gas station had a car wash but no vacuum. I gave up. That is about the level that I give up.
Leaving the minivan at home, I drove to Nina?s in the Honda Civic. Wow does it handle poorly in snow. It has very poor traction on the snowy streets. Seems like for a good portion of the drive the steering wheel was turned ninety degrees to the left or right just to keep going straight. Kind of fun but kind of dangerous.
At Nina?s. Streetlights just turned off, 21A pulled up. The snow outside blowing even more fiercely, and then there was a guy outside the window on the sidewalk, looked like he was pouring out a container full of snow. Turns out he had one of those blower things like people use for leaves in the fall.
At the Highland Grill for lunch. Al, Jim, and I met Amy there. Jim was the master of ceremonies and interviewed Amy. He finished his meal; she was last because she was talking, answering questions. Definite political tilt, anti-Bush. Very much unlike my coworkers. Amy says she got the Rookie of the Year Award at her real estate office last year. So things seem to be going well.
Computers at work just keep getting the blaster virus. It seems some peoples’ sole purpose in life now is to go around and fix machines that have it. So when I see a particular young LAN Admin, I think he?s after me because one of my computers in the lab is infected.
Low carb diet is really catching on with coworkers. At the Highland Grill, Al had a meal that was essentially steak and salad. Another coworker, who is really big ? like 6?5?? and, as it turns out, 270, said yesterday that he?s lost fifteen. But then looking at the front page of the food section of the Pioneer Press on the table in front of me and the feature is about slow cookers–potatoes and oatmeal are featured.
Talked to my sister and she said that her son already made the reservations for us at the Westin in Seattle. We’re in. Should be really nice. Dorothea is having trouble with it all though. She is cheap by nature, and this vacation thing, which is not shaping up as chearp, is hard.
Forgot–didn’t take my pills or put on the cortisone hand cream this morning before leaving home. Oh well. The pills are Lexapro, a Prozac relative, and two Shaklee things–Vita Lea (multi-vitamin) and a cholesterol helper outer. Don’t know how either of the Shaklees are working. The antidepressant thing has been great, much better than just being depressed and anxious most of my life.

We received a letter from

We received a letter from [Someone] from some [Small Midwestern City] today. Enclosed in the envelope were some photos and a cryptic note about [Someone] visiting [Someone Else] in some [Medium-size Midwestern City] and saying something about a [Shrine]?