Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dan's last day

It's Dan's last day of work at the Dept of Finance, after 7.5 years! I hope they give him a good send-off.

Two Picasso paintings were stolen from his granddaughter's house in Paris. These thefts of major art works are mysterious to me. What is the motivation to steal a painting you will never be able to sell or display publicly? Did the thief just want to hang it on his bedroom wall?

The rain seems to be ending for a few days at least, which will be nice to be able to spend some time outdoors again (although it is cold; it was 32 this morning). The mountains got a ton of snow. It came down as low as Auburn. Truckee got 5 feet between Thursday and yesterday.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Owen took a fall

Yesterday Owen had a bad fall in the bathroom, landing right on his chin. He ended up cutting the gum beneath his lower teeth, inside his mouth, and there was a lot of blood. He was spitting mouthfuls of blood into the sink. Poor guy. The shock of the fall and seeing all the blood really got to him - he turned white as a sheet and became nauseated. I gave him a bag of ice and had him lie down in bed while I read to him for a while and that helped. After a half hour or so he was able to get up and walk into the family room, at least. By this morning he had totally recovered, fortunately. He didn't knock any teeth out but he said some of the ones that were loose felt looser and another one that hadn't been loose felt loose after the fall. We'll see whether it gets him any closer to having a tooth actually fall out.

He is progressing well with the guitar. Last night we dragged our old Phil Ochs CD out of the back of the cabinet and he was really enjoying some of the songs, especially "I Ain't Marching Anymore." We figure the anti-war indoctrination can get started as soon as possible.

It's raining now and rained on and off most of the weekend. I guess we need it, but I'm ready for some warmer weather.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Goal Getters

Yesterday was Douglas's first day at Goal Getters, which is an indoor soccer class that runs for several weeks, an hour a week. The coach who runs it is REALLY great with little kids. Douglas ran around like crazy and had a lot of fun. Owen and I enjoyed watching him from the stands (there are bleachers above the field with a window so you can look down on the kids). He did really well - learned how to trap the ball and shoot almost immediately. I think his favorite part was playing red light/green light, when the coach said "Rainbow light - act silly" so they all waved their arms and stuck out their tongues. Very cute.

I am in charge of the Birch Lane raffle, which is part of the spring fundraiser. We are gearing up so there will be quite a bit to do, mainly in March and April, with ticket sales and so forth. I obtained the prizes already (a $2000 travel gift certificate from AAA travel, a bike, and a 2-night stay at a Tahoe resort). Now we have to have tickets printed, sell them, keep track of all the stubs, and so on and so forth. Last year it raised about $14,000 for the school so it is a pretty good fundraiser.

Owen found out that he will be on the Little League Phillies farm team. The first team meeting is Monday night. He knows several of the kids already as well as the coach (who is the dad of one of his best friends). Hopefully he will have a good season for the first season of "real" baseball (albeit with a pitching machine).

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Well, we had an exciting afternoon. On Monday I called one of Owen's classmates' mother for a play date with him. I knew his parents were divorced but I wasn't sure which one to call so I just called the mother (both were listed on the class contact sheet). He goes to after-school care so I never see either parent at pickup time. She said Wednesday afternoon would be fine, so I planned to pick him up this afternoon and she said she would come over in the late afternoon to get him.

We were about to leave for the park when I got a phone call from the teacher asking whether the classmate was here. I said yes. She said that the police were at the school thinking he had been kidnapped. Apparently the dad has full custody and the mom should never have told me I could take him home.

The dad then called and subsequently came over. He was very nice about it but told me his ex-wife was 'unstable' and that the judge had given him full custody. Apparently the mom just sees him a couple of days a week. He said he had talked to the mom yesterday and she never mentioned anything about this play date.

Oops. Well, he said it wasn't my fault and that we could plan another get together for another time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Le Tour

Here's a shot from the Sacramento Bee of the winner for the second stage, passing the finish line by the state Capitol (in front of the big row of palm trees there).

The guy in green behind him is probably the one I saw in the lead back in Davis.

Tour pics

I went up to Russell Blvd. around 1:00 to see the Tour go by. Douglas got to see it also and came running up to me when I picked him up saying, "Mommy! Before the bikers there were police officers!"

This guy was in the lead, fighting it out with one other cyclist.

After the first two there was a space, and then came a big pack of cyclists.

After the pack went by, they were followed by a lot of cars like this with bikes and extra tires on their roofs.

It was pretty cool to be able to see it all!

Tour of California

The Tour of California bike race is going right through Davis and Sacramento today. It started Sunday in San Francisco. Today is stage 2. They are starting in Santa Rosa this morning, and then are expected to come right past UC Davis around 1 pm and will bike into Sacramento around 2 or 2:30. They will do some loops around the Capitol and will go right past Dan's office window. They're also going to ride up F street so Douglas will be able to see them from his preschool yard. Should be fun! Several well known cyclists are participating. After Stage 1, Graeme Brown of Australia was in the lead (by 2 centimeters).

Monday, February 19, 2007

Spring is here

Things are starting to bloom. I took this yesterday in Golden Gate Park.

I'm ready for gardening to begin. I went to Ace today and got some edging to put along the front of our yard by the sidewalk to keep the dirt from washing away onto the sidewalk. The slope there keeps wanting to erode. I have been looking at garden catalogs. There are so many things, it's hard to pick!

Douglas enjoyed looking at the ducks in the lake.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

San Francisco

It was a beautiful day today and we went to San Francisco. We had a really nice time and got home late. The kids fell asleep in the car on the way home.

We started out at the Exploratorium, which has all kinds of really cool interactive science exhibits. Most of them are related to some aspect of physics. In the one at left, the silver disc spins continually and then you can try to roll the other wheels across it to see whether you can get them to stay on the rolling wheel. Fun.

Next we went to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park, where we saw the Chinese Pavilion.

Owen enjoyed a little tree climbing.

Dan and Owen rented a paddle boat and rowed all the way around the lake.

We ended up in North Beach, the Little Italy of San Francisco, for an old fashioned Italian meal. At least some of the spaghetti remained on Douglas's plate.


Below are some pictures I took yesterday.

The daffodils are starting to bloom in front of our house.

Lovely Violet taking a walk on the little stone wall between our house and our neighbor's. Isn't she cute?

Owen and Douglas saw a boy at the local park who was playing roller hockey, and ever since then they NEEDED roller skates. So yesterday afternoon we went to Target and got some cheap skates. Owen actually did pretty well. I thought he would fall a lot but he only fell once.

Douglas tried some regular skates but it didn't last long before he wanted his sneakers on again.

My mother had some fun playing with the Power Ranger yesterday.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Happy valentine's day and happy birthday Dan!

It was about 70 degrees and sunny yesterday afternoon. Beautiful. It is starting to feel like spring here. The kids and I went to Slide Hill Park, ran into a couple of acquaintances and played. Then off to the library for another zillion books.

It's getting near planting time. My Annie's Annuals catalog came yesterday. (Click through to link for a catalog.) There are some great choices in it. This apricot colored cosmos is one thing that caught my eye.

Several of the things I planted in the fall, or that were already there, got stomped on by the guys who did our stucco job, so I'm hoping they will recover.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I took the boys to get their hair cut yesterday afternoon. Douglas was sitting in the chair closest to the window at G St. Barber Shop and he looked so cute sitting there with the big robe on that several passersby stopped to look at him. One woman said to me through the window, "He's adorable!" He did look cute, but then the barber put some gel in his hair and he came away looking like Spanky from Our Gang.

Douglas had a checkup yesterday morning. He was in the 17th percentile for height and weight, up from the 14th in September. I guess he is growing, but slowly.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Beachy day

Yesterday we went to the Berkeley Marina with Alisa, Duncan, and Liam and the boys had a grand old time playing on the beach, digging in the sand, building dams and so forth. They got plenty dirty and wet but had a great time. It was a really nice day, sunny and in the 60s, which was nice after several days of rain. They were really ready for some outside time. (Sorry we didn't have a chance to stop by, Mom!)

On the way back we stopped at the Westfield Mall in Fairfield in hopes of hitting a food court since no one wanted the same thing, but it didn't have one. Even the pizza they had, which was our hope for Douglas to eat, was weird and in the shape of a hockey puck, so he was really mad about it. That was a bit of a disaster. Well, now we know.

Owen and Dan saw the play Johnny Tremaine in Sacramento on Saturday with a friend from school and his dad. They enjoyed it. Apparently the book has never gone out of print but it has never been made into a play before. Owen thought it was pretty cool.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Chinese Rock

Owen spent the morning singing the Ramones' "Chinese Rock" while getting dressed. Of course, he couldn't understand the lyrics so needed us to remind him.

I'm living on a Chinese rock
All my best things are in hock
I'm living on a Chinese rock
Everything is at the pawn shop

So far, fortunately, he hasn't asked us to explain what it's about.

So we were discussing misheard lyrics and Owen giggled at Dan's telling him of Liz's friend thinking "I always feel like somebody's watching me" was instead "I've got a spear gun, somebody's watching me."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Go Heels!

We enjoyed watching the Tarheels come from behind to beat Duke last night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Take that, ratboy!

Another mother in Owen's class seems to be on a vendetta to get him in trouble, which has been quite irritating. I'm hoping she tells her kid to stay away from Owen so that we won't have to be hearing any more about it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

It's Official

I've formally accepted an offer to work for the state's Senate Appropriations Committee. I'll be analyzing bills for fiscal impact and advising the Senate on education issues. I think it will be a nice change of pace. I'll be doing more of the analysis I enjoy and less of the technical work I do at my current job that's starting to bore me. The Senate also offers a better work schedule as the fall and winter months provide more down time. I've never liked the fact that the Department of Finance is so busy during November and December when everyone else is enjoying the holidays.

Nevertheless, I've had a good experience at Finance and have worked with some really great people, but I'm excited to try something different after 7+ years.

Starting date is March 1st.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Mare Island

Yesterday we went to Mare Island, near Vallejo in the north part of the San Francisco Bay, to go to the SF Bay Flyway Festival. We got to go on a short birdwatching hike for families. Mare Island used to be a naval shipyard, and is gradually being converted to housing.

Owen borrowed some binoculars from the festival folks and checked out the birds. We saw about 10 or 12 different kinds, generally all regular types like hawks, sparrows, a kite, ravens, a black phoebe, and turkey vultures. We also got to check out some cliff swallows' nests.

Douglas enjoyed running around on the island.

It was pretty there. We saw some owl pellets below these palms and got to check out the mouse bones therein. Pretty cool.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Little Blue Scoop

The other morning we were listening to the Beach Boys and Douglas started singing along to "Little Deuce Coupe."

Only of course, he has no idea what a deuce coupe is (actually, I don't either, other than some kind of car) so he was singing "It's my little blue scoop, you don't know what I got..."

I suppose it is appropriate for him to be thinking about shovels, what with the beach motif.