Sunday, September 17, 2017

Go to Bed, Syd.

Sydney is a junior.  Syd is a laurel.

Syd has AP and honors classes that are kicking her butt.  She has seminary.   She is teaching herself piano and Korean.  She has 2 art classes.  She has an obsession with Asian boys that, to do it right (and she does), takes quite a bit of time.

Sydney also journals.  This was her journal entry.. late at night, after finishing homework and as she was falling asleep...

She apparently got the date wrong.  and (not pictured) right below the drawing it says

"And stuff." 

go to bed, syd.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Unusual Travel Suggestions You Should Say "No" To

I've been working a lot this week. It gets pretty slow at night, so I spend a lot of time at the computer in the little doctor's room, just hanging out. Every night at about 4am a really old guy named Norman rolls past my office on one of those motorized shopping carts, carrying a rolled up newspaper. He usually waves hello and I wave back. I figure he is probably in charge of delivering the newspapers to the hospital wards and I don't think much about it.

Last night, in addition to my usual polite wave, I said, "I always know the night's almost over when I see you go by." Then I turned back to my book.

About 15 minutes later, he passed by again, which never happens. "I could make your night go faster and give you a kiss," he said, as he rolled past my open door. I looked up, startled, trying to come up with a response that wasn't too friendly but wasn't too grouchy either.

"Well," I said, "that would be...(my brain raced, trying to pick just the right adjective)...memorable."

Memorable? All the adjectives in the world, and I settle on memorable? I mean, I was trying hard not to be insulting, but come on.

Just out of sight, the scooter screeched to a halt. Motor whirring, he backed up and stopped in the doorway. "Really?" he said. "Seriously, come on, lets go," and he made a vague head gesture towards the parking lot.

At this point I'm really flustered. I can't believe this 80 yr old man thinks there's a chance I'm going to hop on the back of the Elder-Scoot and motor on out to the parking lot with him for some snogging. I picture us rolling slowly past the nurses station at 3 miles/hr, their blank stares as they watch us go.

I shook my head to clear it and managed, "Sorry, I have a no kissing at work policy." He had the nerve to look genuinely disappointed. I think he said something else, but at that point I was slooowly closing the office door. I'm going to set an alarm to remind myself to close it tonight as well. Frankly, Norman makes me a little nervous. But I think I can outrun him.

Like Manna

Ever since moving into my new place I've wanted to get some big artwork for the walls. But I couldn't find anything that I loved, or that didn't seem I thought about painting my own but even buying a big canvas and framing it seemed expensive and hard. Months went by. Dad came to visit and asked what projects I still had for the apartment, so I told him about this among other things. Well, we were out in downtown SLC shopping for furniture and keeping our eyes out for big artwork...when suddenly out of the heavens came crashing down a large, framed, canvas painting. It bounced and rolled, stopping only feet away from me completely unharmed. I just looked at Dad, stunned; but he (realizing that we had best not dilly dally when accepting a gift from the gods) swooped over, snatched it up, and started booking it to the car. "Do we need to ask if this is ok??" I squeaked, hoping he'd say no. "Just get in the car!!" he yelled back. Right then a disembodied head popped out of the fourth floor window from the apartment building above. "Did you throw this out? Can we have it?" I asked, waving vaguely toward Dad absconding with the canvas. "Have fun with it!" the being yelled down, neither confirming nor denying from whence the canvas came, just giving us his beatific blessing.

So off we drove, giggling the whole way home. We bought paints, and I painted myself some art. Once I put it on my wall I hope that people will ask me about it so I can evangelize the story of how my wish violently landed at my feet from the magic dumpster of the sky. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The One in Which Rachel Kisses a Moose

OK, Rachel didn't kiss a real moose, but not because we didn't try hard to find one. We went to the Moose Visitors Center in Walden, the "Moose Spotting Capitol" of Colorado. Then we went on two different "Moosey Wildlife Nature Walks." Then we drove and drove to the Moose Viewing Overlook. Finally we did an auto tour through the Arapahoe Wildlife Preserve, but nary a moose did we see. We did have some other fun though:

- we made up Wild West alter egos. Doc Gregory (the town's perpetually drunk MD), Tessie B. Jackson (the scoundrel), Miss Maybelle (the saloon-owning, pistol-packing firecracker), Georgie Moon (the drifter), and the Sheriff (a lawman so mysterious no one knows his name), all met for a game of cards one evening which went well until Tessie got shot for cheating.

-we found a place to car camp and spent a while constructing a bathroom privacy wall out of sticks and leaves.
- Theo, on seeing the moon through the trees: "Now THAT'S a nice waxing gibbous!"

- we played 'operator charades' in which Barbie on a submarine became robot Queen Elizabeth in an ostrich slaughterhouse.

- Theo asked for a pinecone war, but no one wanted in except him, so the rest of us collected ammunition and made Theo run a gauntlet under pinecone fire.

- Carrie wanted elk horns (long story) but was too shy to ask about them, so she paid Theo $20 to approach a pair of hunters unloading their wares at a big game processing place. They didn't have any, and didn't seem inclined to discuss it much either.

- Rachel wished she'd brought a warm hat for camping so she wrapped her church dress around her head and slept like a baby. "Any night that ends with your dress wrapped around your head is probably a pretty good night." -Christopher Gregory

- We thought about getting haircuts at the 'Crosshairz Salon,' with an awesome logo of gunsights, antlers coming out of a rose, and a frog, but didn't.

- Lastly, we ate a lot of cheese.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Scenes From An Eclipse, Rachel

Theo had the right idea by wanting to run to WY to catch the total eclipse - it lives up to the hype. I wasn't that set on going until I figured out that I could finagle my schedule to get Monday off, and then I figured I had no excuse. But I wasn't sure what to expect - all the news reports were about how many people were going to be swarming to these little Idaho towns, how terrible the traffic was going to be, how we should pack extra food and water and gas, etc. Also, the weather report said “partly cloudy,” which made me afraid that we wouldn’t even be able to see it. But the drive up there had zero traffic, the day dawned with not a cloud in the sky, Rigby was small enough that we had no trouble getting around, and the lake we found was perfect and had just the right amount of people. We got my camera set up just in time, though that was a little stressful - the tripod I brought is not the best, it was hard to find the sun and focus it on full zoom, and we had to jerry-rig a solar filter for my lens by dismantling a pair of solar glasses* was just a little embarrassing to be next to all these pros with their high-tech equipment. But hey, we did it! 

The total eclipse itself was SUPER cool. I had seen a partial eclipse before, but I was surprised by how different it was between even 95% eclipsed and the totality. It got suddenly drastically darker, the temperature dropped 15 degrees, and the fish freaked out right beforehand (who knew?). It was otherworldly to look at the sun completely covered - the colors were all off, the corona was mesmerizing, and it felt awe-inspiring to stare wide-eyed at the sun with the naked eye. The 360 degree “sunset” was incredible and eerie, and even though it lasted 2 minutes 17 seconds it felt like it was over in 30 seconds. It was so overwhelming I forgot to even look for the stars, but people around me said you could see a few of them.

Everyone cheered and whooped and hollered, and it felt like a bonding experience - afterward, everyone started chatting excitedly with each other, looking at each other’s photos, trying to describe the experience and how they felt about it. Our neighbors consisted of a family from CA, a father-son duo from AZ, a couple from the Netherlands, a man from Germany, and a couple from the UK. So crazy that people from all over the world all converged on the same small town in Idaho for this unifying event. As a result, the traffic back was admittedly crazy, but was still better than I was afraid of. All in all, it was totally worth it!

*Thanks Krissie!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Scenes From An Eclipse

Waiting for the real action to begin.
Eclipse based snacks.
At the last minute, Theo decides to run to Wyoming.

It was worth standing in a field for. Kinda wish we'd run to Wyoming with Theo and Rachel though.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Settled In

We are feeling settled. Some things I like about our new place:

The Colorado State marching band practices 2 blocks away and the music carries so nicely on the afternoon breeze. Is there anything more American than a university marching band?

Our house is nice. We are going to ruin it, but right now it's great.
drawers- they magically close by themselves.
leaves. There are a lot of them around.
lucas. Is hilarious and friendly. "Do you guys want to have a rotten tomato fight?"
biking to school. Feels healthy.

Summer 2017

Let's just make note of a pretty awesome summer. Some things that happened:

Summer started with Sarah's birthday trip to San Francisco. Wonder Woman (Beth sitting on the edge of her chair, punching her fist in the air), breakfast at Nini's, Magic Show (How did he DO that?! "I don't know, I don't KNOW!" - Claire), Vivian tickling Sarah ("I. WILL. KICK. YOU."), Rachel unable to wear her contacts and trying to play games while blind.

Carrie/Beth/Viv and crews went camping near Santa Cruz. Jackson tried to drown in the ocean but didn't. Hugo "I threw somebody's keys" Thomas almost caused a vehicular disaster but then fessed up. After spending most of the rainy second day crammed into Vivian's tent with 9 kids ("so, what are we going to do now, Mom?") we packed it in and drove home.

Carrie and Jerry went to see the Mountain Goats. Jerry was so inspired that he quit his job and got a new one in San Diego.

Eric came out to Colorado and behaved himself very nicely.

Theo picked up the wrong thermos and got a mouthful of beer by mistake.

I think there were some scout/sport camps. (Eric went to pole-vaulting camp)

Beth and Viv both went to girls camp. Viv developed a love for giant creepy bunny suits.

There were multiple trips to Big Pools and the river and the caves.

Rachel had a work conference in LA that was pretty terrible but the trip was saved by the weekend visit to the Rees's before.

The Gregorys came to Utah for the 4th of July and met up with Rachel for Mexican food and fireworks. “Remember Thailand? There may have been government censorship but at least they didn’t have this song." - Lucy, re: Proud to be an American

Gregorys took a rafting trip down the Main Salmon river. Carrie rescued a drowning guy.

We all went to the beach. Viv and Tim took the teenagers to jump off of Cayucos pier. Everyone went on an epic kayaking trip. Sand snow-boarding. Hal made the ladies wait to pass him on the path until he finished dancing. Mae was consistently adorable. We saw a whale, otters, seals, sea lions, a baby elephant seal, dolphins.

The Rees family bought a new (to them) car. Welcome to the family, Toyota Prius.

Beach trip quotes:

"Popsicles. Well, they're a thing, but so is salad." -Sarah

Eric: What do you call a cow with 3 legs? Tri-tip!  What do you call a cow with 2 legs?
Lucy: Your mom!
Eric, eyes huge: She's. Standing. Right. Behind. You.

Carrie, punches Rachel in the face.
Rachel: "Mo- om!"

"Hufflepuffalo!" -Rachel, in a series of amazing buffalo jokes

"I think I'll sit here on the chair's lap." -Hal

"Hal, can you count to 10?" "Yes. H-A-L-7...I mean 12!"

"Water Cans!" Carrie, under pressure, trying to name something found at an elementary school.

Cousins camp was pretty good. Most notably, an amazing game of charades. Ed Gruberman/Boot to the Head skit, the confessional board: "I used the Haskins toothpaste".

After some concern over where Mae was, Carrie finds her in the upstairs bathroom with a toothbrush she has used to slick back her hair with toilet water.

Thomases were homeless all summer, having moved out of their apartment and still being in escrow for their new house in San Diego. Who wants to sleep on the couch?!

What am I missing?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Remix aftermath

I thought this should be shared.

After Sydney sent out the Hal Remix, Hal commandeered my phone to listen to it over and over again. Sometimes, his fingers would hit things they shouldn't, and he'd lose the video. And he'd desperately try to get it back by talking to the phone.

Luckily, he would click on the microphone icon, which would then transcribe some of his pleas. (Some emphasis added)

that's not working 
you're not working
so that's so I think you're having a hard time 
and I think you're running out of battery 
and I still want to watch that show sydney sending me 
you're not working are you 
maybe I should go back where I work 
okay I was going to do 
okay me okay I mean robot okay 

okay okay okay baby 
why go back for you okay 
funny send me games okay go back to sydney's
go back where you were please 
the song sings it please 
go back where you won't let me send rap song about stuff made out of grass 
please right now please do that right now please do that 
go back to that song please please go back where you were 
the song shimmy scented (Sydney sent)
please do that one now back

Not you again 
not you again but I don't like it 
I want to sing that song!

Hahaha. Poor kid.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Eric Comes To Town

Eric came to visit, and had some adventures:

- He got on the roof
- He licked a couch
- He used my leaf blower
- He sat in the hot tub. Twice.
- He herded chickens
- He did a puzzle
- He ate buffalo
- He was nice to our cats, even the dumb one
- He offered Theo a penny to climb into the movie theater fountain, but he didn't pay up
- He got my kids hooked on The Flash
- He went through a car wash
- He followed the maps I drew for him and never got lost
- He won Settlers of Catan
- He rode a bike to the library
- He and Theo got mauled by a dog and then Theo drank beer
- He helped me put things on high shelves
- He went to a hipster coffee shop
- He didn't get up too early
- He ate tamales from the farmers market
- He helped Lucy babysit Theo overnight all by themselves and he wasn't even scared
- He went on a very steep hike

- He made his bed when he left

I would definitely have him come to stay again.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pomp and Awkward Circumstance

I thought I should give an update for posterity - I graduated with a Masters in Public Health and started working for the Refugee Health Program at the Utah Department of Health! I actually started my job in November and finished classes in December (which was not a fun overlap, especially since I was doing extra schoolwork to graduate early) but just walked at convocation in April. It was nice to have something to commemorate the end to a very hard couple of years. Mom, Carrie, Lucy, and Theo drove from Colorado and Vivian flew in for the weekend, and we had a grand time.

The real story, though, is that Vivian and Carrie presented me with a meritorious award - a real dead crunchy frog from the halls of Blue Heron Lane. I was so proud. But after I dropped Viv off at the airport I realized to my horror that I had forgotten the box containing the frog at the Gregory’s house (as in, Martin and Glynis Gregory with the nice British manners and impeccable taste and absolutely no dead animals lining the halls of their home). AhHHHH! I hurriedly called Carrie in the hopes that she was still at their house, but no luck! They had driven away. So I called the Gregory’s home number, hoping beyond hope that they hadn’t found the box yet and that I could recover it before they realized what was in it. But when I said “Hi this is Rachel! I forgot something at your house...” Glynis responded “Oh, is the frog yours?” Mortified and giggling hysterically, I drove up there and collected it. They were very nice, of course: “Your family have such wonderful senses of humor…” but I wonder if I’ll ever be invited back.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Sun Will Come Out...

I have crawled out from under my blankets and suddenly I feel like skipping, and singing, and planting stuff, and writing a blog!

Although, it may have been too soon on that planting stuff part. The warning sign on the tomato plants at the nursery said, "It's too soon!" Our neighbors who stopped by as we were planting on that warm Saturday afternoon said, "It's too soon!" My friend Joann took one look at our little vegetable garden threw her head back and laughed. "It's too soon!" But it was 65 degrees outside, birds were chirping, Chris and Theo had bought 16 tomato plants that were taking up room in the kitchen, and Gregorys are optimists.
It was too soon.

On a more successful note, I was looking at Theo last night and something seemed weird. Finally I realized that I could no longer see his ribs. I ushered him over to the scale and determined that Theo now weighs in the 52nd percentile for boys his age! He's practically robust! After years of languishing somewhere between the 5th and 25th percentiles for weight, 52 warms a mother's heart. "That's some good parenting, that's what that is," said Chris.

Theo had a dream that he had a beloved pet pig. One day he came home from school to find that I had decided to make pork green chile out of it, in order to save myself a trip to the grocery store. Because he really loved his pig, he put the pork green chile in a little bag and carried it around and talked to it. Then he woke up kind of mad at me.

Lucy would like to know if anyone wants her to sing all of the songs in Hamilton? Because she is willing.

Lastly, the tree in my backyard is about to be spectacular.
Happy Spring, Everybody!

Monday, March 6, 2017

"I have an idea. Let's make...."

Hal has been wearing me out. He has a very creative brain, and loves to think about how things work, and how they are made. For the last few weeks, he has been wanting to "make" .... well .... everything. All day. Every day. He's asking if we can make things. And he doesn't just accept a simple "no." He will ask multiple times, and days in a row. 

Here is a list of things he's asked to make in the last week. MAKE. Not grow, or visit, or buy. Make. Some seem relatively easy, like lemonade. But others seem pretty impossible, like beach. And it seems endless.

I've starred the ones we actually did, to varying degrees but at least to his satisfaction.

*Ant house
Gopher house
*Easter eggs
*Bed (3 different times)
*Spider trap
Underwear (out of a diaper)
Garlic bread
*Lava lamp
Ice cream
*Playground for Mae
*Party decorations
*Trash can
*Dog food
Blankets (one by knitting, one by quilting)
*Salt shaker
*Flower holder



Gopher house

Beehive and Piñata 

Easter Eggs (we hid these three days in a row)