Twitter Tumblr FlickrFacebookContact me
This Month Previous Articles Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



 


Lunch with the Boys: 03/31/06

Yesterday Sean and Ian dropped by to have lunch with me. We met at Carl's and had a lovely time. At first Sean was a little grumpy because Ian has been promising him mac' and cheese all week and he thought today would finally be the day. Instead, he'll be having it for lunch today. A quick hug and carry across the parking lot cheered Sean up and then he was his usually funny self.

Putting Debugging Hat on:

Sorry about the temporary outage. I was monkeying with the htaccess and apparently dropped something somewhere. Oopsie.

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


Chicken Divan: 03/30/06

Last night with Ian's help (to chop the chicken), I made chicken divan. It's the first time in about ten years that I've made the recipe, though this time I made many changes from the way my mother makes it. The main change I did was to use a whole chicken, chopped up like we do when making a baked chicken. I also did no precooking on the stove beyond thickening the sauce. The meal turned out beautifully and the entire house smelled like I remember home smelling as a kid.

Comments (0)

Steps: 4500


Two Months of Rain and People Still Can't Drive: 03/29/06

I was late to work today because of a rainy commute. After two months of nearly constant rain, one would think that drivers here would have learned how to drive slowly but efficiently. But no, everyone decided to go at a snail's pace and with accidents here and there the commute took an extra twenty minutes.

Steps: 3500


Preschool Good News! 03/28/06

We've found a new preschool (Montessori style) that only charges $5 more a month than the current day care. Sean immediately made a new friend and got to play trains with him. Unlike the previous school, this one does actually help with potty training so they will be more than willing to remind Sean to go use the potty. And best of all, it is still in an area that is easy for Ian and me to get to. Sean will start there on April 10th. Tonight after work, Ian and I have to go there to fill out the usual paperwork.

Exhausted Again:

I went to bed at ten last night, an hour earlier than I usually do, but I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep and then staying asleep. Part of it was having to get up every hour in the first half of the night to head to the bathroom. The second half of the night I just couldn't get comfortable.

Comments (0)

Steps: 6000


Barn Owlets: 03/27/06

Fans of the barn owl cam will be pleased to know that three owlets hatched over the weekend. As of today there are still two more eggs to hatch.

Dry Night!

We put Sean to bed last night in underwear making sure he went potty before bed and then we woke him up three hours later for another potty break. We did this because he likes a drink of water before bed (just like I do). Waking him up at eleven worked perfectly. When he got up this morning he was still dry!

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


No More Diapers: 03/26/06

Sean is now going cold turkey: no more pull-ups. Yesterday we bought him five more pairs of underwear and an egg timer to help him remember to go potty. Fortunately Sean is finally willing to give up his pull-ups.

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


Need Another School: 03/25/06

Yesterday we got the sad news that Sean's day care is closing in two weeks. On top of potty training Sean next week, Ian will have to find a new school for Sean. For one reason or another Sean has never been at a single day care for more than a year. It's so frustrating!

Comments (0)

Steps: 7000


Vacation Time: 03/24/06

As of this evening, Ian will be on Spring break. After a hard week's work and of course all the other weeks in the semester so far, he needs the vacation. Sean will be spending next week with him as we've declared it Potty Training Week. Tomorrow we're getting a few more supplies to help Sean go cold turkey on pull-ups. Fortunately Sean is finally starting to get excited about wearing underwear.

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


How to Get a Balloon: 03/23/06

Last night Sean and I went to Trader Joe's to get some things for home but mostly lunch items for me at work. I had been wanting some salad fixings and some fruit. I found kumquats (one of my favorite fruits) and some other lovely things. Anyway, Sean was a huge help with holding our shopping list and reminding me of things that were on the list. When it came time to check out, he started reminding the checker about all the things in the cart: "Don't forget the milk. Don't forget the cheese." Etc. The checker and Sean had a nice time chit-chatting and then he gave Sean a white balloon. While I was paying, Sean and the checker started bonking each other on the head with the balloon! It was so silly!

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


Sunny Skies: 03/22/06

At long last we're having a break in the rain, though more is predicted for Friday and Saturday. I'm hoping the sunshine and heat will convince my rose bush to bloom. It's been holding onto its first bloom since before this month long rainstorm started. Hopefully soon it will be dry enough for the painters to finish the carports.

Last night was our HOA's annual meeting, so Ian disappeared for three hours. He's been relected to the board for another term.

Comments (0)

Steps: 6000


Lots of Movement: 03/21/06

Since the weekend I've been feeling the baby on a regular basis. I'd forgotten what it felt like. Sean was a very active baby and still is as a child. This baby is active but hasn't reached Sean's level of activity yet but has developed a knack for bad timing. For example, if I'm trying to go to bed or take a cat nap, the baby is awake and doing gymnastics. The cat has even shot me a few dirty looks because of the kicks she has received when sitting on my lap.

Comments (0)

Steps: 4000


Spring: 03/20/06

Today is the Spring Equinox and the official start of the dry season in the Bay Area: it's raining again.

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


Birthday Dinner: 03/19/06

Tomorrow is Ian's birthday but Mondays are busy for us so I cooked his birthday dinner today instead. As it is a couple days after St. Patrick's Day, I made corned beef and cabbage (along with carrots, potatoes and parsnips). I started cooking it at noon and at two, turned it down to low where it slowly stewed for four more hours. Then at four-thirty I made a cherry pie (with homemade crust). Dinner was ready for Ian when he got home from Berkeley and it was delicious! We'll have leftovers tomorrow for his actual birthday.

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


Blue Skies: 03/18/06

We're having our first sunny day in about six weeks and we're stuck inside because Sean is still under-the-weather!

As it turned out, Sean was feeling well enough to venture out, though he's still not one hundred percent. We returned one of our rented DVDs and rented something else (War Games). Then we headed into Pleasanton to the mall to look for a copy of Howl's Moving Castle but didn't find one. We did, however, come home with a starter box of Legos for Sean.

Comments (0)

Steps: 10000


Home with a Stomach Bug: 03/17/06

Sean and Ian are home today. Shortly after waking up, Sean threw up. So he's at home, tucked under some blankets on the couch watching his favorite movies or maybe playing golf. Later if he's up to it, he'll be dining on Jell-o and ginger-ale. Fortunately Ian doesn't have classes today.

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


News: 03/16/06

Yesterday I got a huge and wonderful surprise: a raise! To celebrate all this good news, we went out to dinner which was a Herculean task. Sean did not like the change in the nightly plan at all. He started to fall apart when I honked the horn for Ian when we picked him up at home. Sean normally does the honking and he was incredibly miffed that I didn't let him do it last night. Then we didn't go to the restaurant he wanted to go to: Denny's is not my idea of a place to celebrate. So by the time we got to the restaurant, we had to carry and drag him to the building and to his seat. When it came time to order, he insisted he didn't want any food so we didn't order for him. Later he realized he was in fact hungry and he calmed down enough to politely ask for dinner. We then ordered for him so the meal wasn't a complete loss.

Twenty-one Payments:

I've made one more payment to my student loans. It's in the final race to the end and it's nice to see the total amount owed go down by significant amounts with each payment.

Comments (0)

Steps: 6000


BookCrossing: 03/15/06

Last night we had our monthly meeting at the Starbuck's in Dublin. There was a thunder storm brewing over my Livermore so the sky was lit up with lightning on my way to the meeting. On the way home it was raining again once I got over the hill to Castro Valley.

We had a full meeting. Most everyone showed up so seating was limited and space around the tables, even more so. In a year of attending, this was one of my first meetings where all the books I took were ones I had actually read. Also most of the books I released were books that had come to me from other BookCrossers. My goal this year is to work through the backlog of books I've been sent or caught in the wild and get them read and released.

Comments (0)

Steps: 4500


The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Nightmare: 03/14/06

Sean woke up this morning crying. He had just had a bad dream. He described it like this: "Alex ate my peanut butter and jelly sandwich so I had to eat Dempsey's!" I think this stems from a lot of the temper tantrums that have been happening at school. The rainy weather and some illnesses have kept the kids trapped in doors and they've gotten cabin fever. Sharing gets hard under these circumstances.

Good Sleep:

I actually slept the night through. Ian agreed to stay up a little longer to let me get to sleep first and it worked! I slept through the entire night. Even the baby didn't get me up for a bathroom run. I had the best night's sleep I've had in weeks.

Comments (0)

Steps: 4000


Exhausted: 03/13/06

Due to a combination of factors last night, today I'm tired. I got about four hours of sleep after Ian was nice enough to move upstairs to the couch. If I go to bed before he does and fall asleep before he gets in bed, then I can sleep through his snoring. Last night that didn't happen and the combination of being cold and hearing his snoring kept me awake until two in the morning.

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


Soccer and Golf: 03/12/06

It's another rainy day and we're trapped inside. While Ian worked downstairs in his hobbit hole office on homework, Sean and I pushed aside the furniture in our living room and played a little indoor soccer on the hardwood floors. Then we were tired of chasing the out of bound ball down the stairs, we settled in for 18 holes of Mario golf. We had a lot of fun!

Comments (0)

Steps: 6000


Howl's Moving Castle and The IslandHowl's Moving Castle: 03/11/06

This week we rented Howl's Moving Castle (from the book by Diana Wynne Jones) but will clearly have to purchase a copy of it for ourselves soon as it is another wonderful animated film from Studio Ghibli. In fact, the film has inspired some artistic creativity in Sean: he has been drawing pictures of his favorite character, Calcifer.

The Island:

Another good film we rented this week is The Island. It has some stylistic similarities with Logan's Run and "Blake's 7" but the basic plot is more like Coma. The film did a good job of making the near future look plausible while having futuristic devices and vehicles.

Comments (0)

Steps: 4500


Sleet at Five Hundred Feet: 03/10/06

Snow (or at least sleet) is falling in places around the bay as low as five hundred feet (which includes the entire Golden Gate Bridge and the high rises of the bridges). I had sleet on my way across the bridge and the threat of black ice. At one thousand feet, the snow is sticking: all the local mountains are dusted white including the San Carlos hills behind where I work. Above one thousand feet, the snow is accumulating in inches but probably won't get thicker than three inches.

Comments (0)

Steps: 4500


Practical Joker: 03/09/06

I had my second prenatal appointment. We tried the Doppler to listen for a heart beat but didn't find it. So we did an ultrasound and it explained why we couldn't hear the baby's heat beat: he or she was mooning us. I have a picture of his bottom in the air which I will scan but it doesn't really look like much of anything. If this early full moon is a sign of this child's personality, he or she will fit in fine with the rest of us.

Mark Your Calendar:

The baby will be born via planned C-section on or about September 4th. It will certainly happen a week before the due date (September 11 or 12). Grandparents are welcome meet the baby and babysit Sean.

Comments (0)

Steps: 6000


Frost: 03/08/06

Last night was our first one without rain in over a week. Things managed to dry out somewhat but it was cold enough for frost to gather on roof tops.

Insomnia:

I don't remember having this much trouble sleeping this early when I was pregnant with Sean. Every night I go to bed only to find myself awake until one or sometimes three o'clock in the morning. It's a combination of just being awake, being uncomfortable and Ian's sporadic snoring. If it were just Ian snoring I'd either ask him to spend a couple hours on the couch or go upstairs myself but it's not.

Comments (0)

Steps: 4500


Croup: 03/07/06

As I got in this morning, I had a frantic phone call from Ian saying that Sean's day care is closed. Alex, the son of the day care owners, is in the hospital for a bad case of croup. Another of the kids was out yesterday for croup too. They're keeping the day care closed until Thursday morning.

Today Ian is substitute lecturing for his advisor so there is no way he can easily take Sean to Berkeley (although he will be able to tomorrow). Instead, I will be coming home at noon to give him time to get to Berkeley to teach this class.

Rain Again:

We were expecting rain tonight but it has started early. It is now pouring rain. I hope it lightens by the time I have to drive home at noon.

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


The Fog: 03/06/06

FogLast night Ian and I watched the remake of The Fog and enjoyed it thoroughly. It is a fairly straight up ghost story. The plot reminded me a great deal of the middle section of Ring (the 1991 Japanese novel) in that a woman is called back to her home by vengeful spirits entombed in the ocean. The film, though, predates the novel by eleven years, so I have to wonder if Suzuki saw the 1980 film.

Rain:

We had a heavy rain last night but it had cleared up for this morning's commute. Looking at today's local paper I can see that we expecting rain for the rest of this week except for Wednesday. Our patio garden seems very happy with all the recent wet weather. I had one pot of berries that wasn't draining and those vines are now a little stunted compared to the other pots. On Saturday I poked a few holes into the pot with the poor drainage and it seems to have fared better through yesterday's storm than previous storms. I hope this change will allow those berry plants to catch up with the ones in the other pots.

Comments (0)

 

Steps: 4500


Socks: 03/05/06

I thought Sean's new socks would have some growing room in them but when he put on his first pair today they fit perfectly. The socks are a boys' (not toddlers') size four. The next time Sean needs new shoes (probably in June), we'll have to look in the Boys' department. My goodness, he's getting so big!

Rain and Wind:

It is raining again. Sean and I decided to stay home. He's run down from a growth spurt and the weather didn't look very inviting. Just as he went down for his nap the wind picked up and has been howling through the trees ever since. The rain has been falling on and off all day.

Owl Nest:

This morning at breakfast I noticed that one of larger oak trees has a Great Horned Owl nest at the very top of its canopy. Without binoculars I can't see if there are any babies in there but I have heard from the folks at Sulphur Creek that there are nesting Great Horned owls along our street. So why not in our complex?

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour: 03/04/06

Toadstool TourLast night after a lovely dinner at Bakers' Square, we tried again to rent Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour. They had the box on display but no game behind the counter. The game is either damaged or lost. Sean was beside himself and it was too late at night to try somewhere else. As the game is only $20, I promised Sean that he and I could go look for it today.

My best bet seemed to be the large Target in Dublin so we went there first. We didn't find the game there but did manage to get some other things: two pillows (one for Ian and one for Sean), a new baking tray, larger socks for Sean (now wearing size 4 in boys'), and two more pairs of novelty socks for me.

Sean was very good when we didn't find the game right away. He didn't cry or fuss. On the way back to the car, I noticed a Toys R Us in the same parking lot as the Target. We decided to walk over there to see if they had it. The store was a hole in the wall compared to most Toys R Us but they had a large selection of video games. Within seconds of looking, we were able to find the golf game!

As I was paying for the game, Sean was telling the cashier all about the game. When he had rung up the purchase, he handed the bag to Sean saying, "This game is clearly for you." That gesture made Sean's day.

Comments (0)

Steps: 10000


Snow: 03/03/06

On the drive in I heard that the snow finally arrived. It is snowing in the usual spots like the Santa Cruz mountains. It is also snowing in some less likely spots like Palo Alto (where it isn't sticking) and the Sonoma county (where it is sticking and chains are now required). Here at work and at home it is just raining. We could get thunder storms later along with some small hail.

Comments (0)

Steps: 4500


No Snow — Just Rain: 03/02/06

The snow didn't get as low as one thousand feet. If it had, it would have been one of the lead stories in today's news. Instead, it rained. The rain started around nine thirty last night and finished sometime over night. We are still expecting more rain today in the form of a thunder storm. In fact the rain should continue to fall on and off through Monday.

Grumpy Boy:

Sean has been extra grumpy this week. Last night he was tired and extra hungry and that made for a long temper tantrum. Fortunately he spends much of his tantrum in his room (his choice). We call these tantrums previews of his teenage years. After he calmed down, he came up stairs and scarfed down all his dinner and wanted seconds (a very rare event). My best guess is that he's going through another growth spurt.

Comments (0)

Steps: 3500


Happy St. David's Day: 03/01/06

Eat some leeks or wear some in your hat if you're so inclined. It's St David's Day.

Expecting Snow:

Our local paper reports in today's edition that we could expect snow as low as one thousand feet tonight and into Thursday morning. The town of Tracy is the most likely spot to receive snow but the local hills could get some too.

Comments (0)

Steps: 4500