Friday, September 29, 2006

So long, constitution

We cannot believe the torture bill and throwing away the constitutional provisions for habeas corpus and all the rest of it.

I knew this administration would be bad, but somehow I never imagined they could shred the constitution in broad daylight and be supported for it.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Farmer's market

We went to the Wednesday night "Picnic in the Park" farmer's market last night. The Wed. night ones will be over soon. It was fun.

Poor Dan went to the periodontist yesterday and is going to have to have a gum graft in at least two places where his gums are pulling away from the tooth roots. It's going to be fairly serious surgery (but won't have to be put all the way under, apparently they will give him Halcyon). Apparently fair skinned people are particularly susceptible to this.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A's pics

This was the view we had, behind 2nd.

me and Alisa



Kids & Dan


we went to Oakland with Alisa, Paul, Duncan, and Liam to see the A's play the Angels. The A's could have clinched their playoff berth (is that how you say it?) but unfortunately lost 7-1.

Douglas and Liam seemed pretty excited about the idea of going to the A's game, but once we were there were not quite as pleased about it. Owen and Duncan enjoyed it, though.

Our roof seems to have a small puncture as a result of the huge branch that fell on it during the windstorm. A handyman we know is supposedly going over this morning to see if he can do anything about that and the still-stuck antenna. The huge branch is at least down now.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


We had a big windstorm yesterday that caused fires around Yolo County that resulted in deaths among quite a few sheep and three houses being burned down. Luckily, not in our part of Davis (although there were fires elsewhere in Davis and Woodland).

We ended up with a couple of big branches on our roof, and the old TV antenna that had probably been up on our roof since the 60s came down.

We still need to get up there and get the branches down, and see whether there was any damage to the roof.

The kids spent a lot of their free time playing indoors. It was pretty windy to be outside. They did eventually help me with some raking up a million sticks last night.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cool archaeology news

3 year old girl's skeleton found in Africa
I thought it was interesting that her upper body resembles an ape whereas her lower body is more like a human's. Very cool.

Yesterday Owen's new first grade friend Jamey came over. They had fun playing at Chestnut Park with another boy there that Jamey knew. It was nice for Owen to meet another nearby kid. He's in kindergarten. His name is Nathaniel and he lives right near the park. Maybe we will see him again.

I went to a Montessori parents' meeting the other night. We are learning more about the program. It will be interesting to see how they manage to follow the Montessori method while still incorporating the California standards. They have to do a modified Montessori I guess since they can't just 'follow the child' and still get in all those things they are supposed to be learning. It's different from a regular first grade; for example they have no math book but are instead using specific Montessori math materials. We'll see how it goes.

Douglas is doing just fine and seems to be eating to make up for all he didn't eat last week.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

News from the Onion

New bill would defend marriage from sharks

WASHINGTON DC—Senator Bill Frist (R–TN) introduced a controversial new bill Tuesday that would severely limit the ability of sharks to "mutilate the institution of marriage until it is completely unrecognizable."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Violet is funny

I walked with the kids to the nearby park, 3 blocks away, last night and she followed us all the way there.

I've seen the kind of cats before who will follow you as you take a walk, but never had one. Violet appears to be one of those cats. There was one in our neighborhood in Seattle named 'Football.'

Overheard at school today:
Mom to kid: What are you going to tell the doctor about how you broke your glasses?
Kid: I'll tell him my mom did it.

That made me laugh.

Douglas had his face painted to look like an eye patch today in honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Soccer and stuff

Owen had his first soccer game yesterday. He played for three quarters of the game (one kid sat out each quarter). His team won 5-0. It was a little over the top, really. They try to balance the teams, but Owen seems to have ended up on something of a dominant team. (They won last week as well, when we were in Berkeley.)

Dan and I planted the two trees yesterday. It will be nice to have them in, once they really start to grow.

Douglas seems to be all better, which is quite a relief. We all went to Old Navy in Vacaville to get them some fall clothes this morning (and to stop off afterward for lunch at Baja Fresh). Douglas was quite excited to get a t-shirt with a big dump truck on it. On the way there he had told us in the car that he was going to be a dump truck driver when he grows up. Followed immediately by telling us he was going to be a firefighter when he grows up.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Douglas is doing better

He woke up cheerful, no vomiting or diarrhea. We think he is on the mend. Finally!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A few moments ago

Douglas on the futon watching Sesame Street. He's been pretty listless all morning. He doesn't seem to want to get up and walk anywhere. Poor guy.

Still sick

Douglas seemed like he was getting better yesterday afternoon, but he woke up during the night and threw up again. This morning he had some more diarrhea, had breakfast and then suddenly got very listless. Now he is asleep again.

I have emailed our pediatrician to see what he thinks. This illness has really knocked him flat. It seems like a really long time to still be sick with a GI infection.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Some leftover pictures

These are from labor day weekend.

Douglas with our neighbor, Willa

The labor day weekend block party

One of the alpacas that Douglas and I saw at West Valley Alpacas

Douglas was hospitalized yesterday

Douglas had been having diarrhea for a few days and Monday afternoon he started having pretty painful intestinal cramps. I called the pediatrician on call Monday evening and she said to bring him in, or at least to bring him in if he got any worse. Tuesday morning he woke up at 4 am and threw up, so I took him to the ER. They took some blood work and said that he was dehydrated and his blood sugar was low. Around 9 am they decided to admit him to the hospital. They were giving him IV fluids, which helped a lot, and they gave him some sugar water intravenously to try to increase his blood sugar. Then they took his blood every hour or so to see how he handled the sugar load.

He spent the day in the hospital. The IV fluids really helped a lot. He seemed to be feeling better. They released him around 7:30 and we came home. He is home this morning and I have been attempting to get him to drink (with limited success).

Monday, September 11, 2006


I went to the nursery yesterday and bought two trees, a zelkova and a pink crepe myrtle (approximately this color). One of our rather hideous hackberries bit the dust a year or two ago - the city took it down because it was dying - after dripping sticky and stinky "honeydew" from the hackberry aphid invasion all over the street and sidewalk. The websites I see claim that hackberries live 150 to 200 years, but most of the ones on our street seem to be near the end of their lives at around age 50-55 and I've seen several others around town around the same age coming down as well. UC-Davis seems to be claiming the aphids don't do any real damage to the trees, so I'm not sure what's causing the demise of our neighborhood hackberries.


On Friday afternoon I spent an hour and a half in Owen's class. It was fun getting to meet the kids. The class is a K-1, and the kindergarteners go home at 11:45, so the only ones there were the 11 first graders. They are a fidgety little bunch. They were doing a math project. I was supposed to write down numbers and they were then supposed to go get items from what they call the "45 layout"(see an image of a similar layout here) which is a set of beads, wires, and blocks representing numbers from 1 to 1000. Some of the kids clearly got it and others didn't, including Owen. Apparently they used these same items last year and most of the kids were in the Montessori kindergarten, which Owen wasn't, so he was a little behind, although most of the kids actually didn't seem to get it, so he wasn't alone. I spent a few minutes this weekend trying to explain the "units", tens, hundreds, and thousands places and I think he is now starting to understand it. Hmm. I wonder what the teacher told them about the places before that activity; am suspecting little to nothing.

Saturday we went to Berkeley for Duncan's pirate birthday party. Arrr, matey! Poor Liam was sad that the big kids were getting all the "booty" in the treasure hunt. He burst into tears and wailed, "I want booty!" Dan suggested it was a booty call.

Did nothing much yesterday. Actually, we should have gone to Home Depot to check out the Hardiplank and Hardishingle, which are cement fiber board and might be a possible siding option. Maybe next weekend.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Optho scheduled

The pediatric opthalmologist's office called and scheduled Douglas for mid-October. The appointment is likely to take two to four hours. Yikes.

We have determined that our house exterior is cedar shake, not asbestos - phew! That's a relief. Now we just have to decide whether to paint it or whether we'd like to have it (or could afford to have it) resurfaced since it's cracking and we don't really like how it looks anyway.

We're considering taking some family guitar lessons (Owen, me, and Dan). Apparently children's guitars are not too expensive online - I looked at some in the town music shop yesterday and they are $200 there, but the online ones are quite a bit cheaper.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Douglas and Owen seem to be getting into the Beach Boys. Douglas likes "Help Me Rhonda" best, while Owen really likes "Surfin' USA."

Douglas loves "Don't Fence Me In," which was part of the impetus for the cowboy CD. I see on Amazon a couple of other possibilities for cowboy CDs that might be a little better than the one Borders had.

They both really like "Folsom Prison Blues." Not sure if that is necessarily the most positive influence to be hearing But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, but hey, it's catchy!

They also like Green Day's "American Idiot." We had to turn the stereo down for a second to avoid "the subliminal mind**** America" though.

Weekend update

We had a nice weekend. I have some pictures but will have to try to upload them later on. Douglas and I went out to West Valley Alpacas in rural Yolo County on Saturday to pick up some raw alpaca fiber to bring in to Owen's class. I am (hopefully) going to be teaching knitting, or something like that, to Owen's class this year, and wanted to get some unspun fiber to show them. They have 11 alpacas but are having a hard time making ends meet apparently because the fiber can be obtained much more cheaply from Peru. The alpacas were cute.

Yesterday morning our block had a block party brunch for labor day. We had a good time at that.

A Dollar Tree just opened up in the space that had been vacant for years a few blocks away. Whoopee. Douglas and I went to check it out yesterday while Dan took Owen to soccer practice. I managed to get away with only spending four dollars. Douglas wanted a recorder, which was a bargain for a dollar, and a cheesy knight helmet which was perhaps overpriced at a dollar. Some band-aids and bubble bath rounded out the purchase.

We've been reading some cowboy books so I wanted to get an album of cowboy songs. We went to Border's and found something called "Classic Cowboy Songs" by Sons of the Pioneers. It's ok but I suspect there is something better out there.

Meanwhile, our neighbor across the street had her dubious daughter move back in with her lowlife boyfriend and his pit bull, and there seem to be some strange activities going on there. Last night I woke up at 2 am and there was a pickup truck going up and down the street and idling in front of their house, and the driver was whistling to try to wake up the two of them. He didn't manage to do it but came back 45 minutes later. I called the police but they came 20 minutes after the guy left, unfortunately. I dropped by the mom's office today to discuss it and she said the two of them are planning to move to Montana except that none of their three cars are running. I told the mom that I heard their car go by around 3:30 this morning, which seemed to surprise her. Hopefully they will be gone soon.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Douglas last night

Looking down while sitting on the potty: "Why won't you pee, little penis?"

I cracked up.

Owen had his first soccer practice yesterday. It was hot (95) although apparently this was the first August in 15 years that it hasn't hit 100 degrees. It's supposed to cool down a bit over the weekend.

Douglas and I went out to the UC-Davis sheep barns yesterday morning and got some raw wool to bring into Owen's classroom. It was fun seeing the sheep. Douglas kept wanting to feed them the wool, and didn't seem to believe me when I told him they wouldn't eat it.