Sunday, March 30, 2008

Aiwa, it's Iowa

We are not team sports fans, not in the slightest. We barely pay any attention to college or national games of any kind, and yes, that includes big things like the Superbowl. This means that we do not wear team logo gear of any sort either.
Brian was reading a catalog and found a page of logos for some college sports shirts. It was interesting to hear his commentary. You can tell that he's still not comfortable with States as a part of 'our' America... he was reading the state names, but then asked where the American team was? They're all American. Ohhhhh! I guess it doesn't help that we don't really consider any particular state as 'home'.
Then he said, the Lowa shirt is cool. The Lowa? I looked. Iowa!! Brian said, "Iowa, isn't that Arabic word for yes?" Yep. Ai-wa!
I think that eventually reaquainting the kids with our native culture is going to be an interesting experience!

Friday, March 28, 2008

I guess it isn't almost finished.

We've been watching this building go up behind our apartment since we've been here - yes, since 2004 - it's still not done. But, we thought they were getting close and we were looking forward to it being completed. It looks to be a 5 or 6 story apartment building. They had added the trim, painted, put in windows. We have enjoyed the whole construction process, and were looking forward to FINALLY seeing the finished product. Then they got out the sledge hammers... what the...???
They bashed all these holes in one day's destruction. Maybe somebody lost an heirloom watch while the upper floors were going up? Maybe they hadn't bothered getting the proper permits and have to remove a couple of floors? Maybe somebody got the address wrong and the building the sledgehammer guys were to go to was a different road and house number?? (Look closely at the 2nd picture and you can see one of them swinging a hammer.)

Looks like the show will continue a while longer. Good thing we've enjoyed watching - even if we do not understand!

Monday, March 24, 2008

It lives! (and bears fruit)

Have I ever mentioned that I think not having a garden really stinks? Maybe I have not said it here, but I say it a lot, and think it even more often. I hate not having a yard and garden. How is a nature-based spiritual type supposed to live without some nature? Ah well, I am trying to teach our kids a bit about plants and respect for life through what we can grow in the apartment and on the extremely-shallow balconies. In addition to the basic life cycle of seeds, plants, fruit, and more seeds, we try to teach the kids to respect plants as living creatures. I think we've had some success as Honor recently told me about instructing her pre-K classmates not to pluck leaves off of the bushes and trees as, "it's not nice".
Today, I noticed that we had another little success to get excited about. Our bean plant, the lone survivor of six that we started from beans from a dry soup mix, a plant that I thought had been doomed by a cold snap, has not only managed to survive, but has produced a little baby bean. Not much of a meal in the making, but at least the kids think it is very cute!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Ramses (11yo Chocolate point Siamese) LOVES rides. He loves riding in boxes, and especially laundry baskets! Once upon a time, probably until Honor was 18mos old, Ramses would want to get in the baby stroller and go with us - where ever, he didn't know, he just wanted to ride. We couldn't actually let him though because we didn't want him riding loose outside, under or on the baby!, around dogs. We had to sneak the stroller outside unopened in order to use it for walks.

He used to always ride in the laundry baskets. Misty would sometimes join him. Nothing like 'housework as exercise' when you have a multistory house, laundry room in the basement, and 30+ pounds of cats added to your baskets! Especially as they would not be content with one ride. Take one load up, and they'd beat you back downstairs for the second trip! Or, they'd stay in the basket the whole time and ride down too. It was heavy, but sweet as anything, so we spoiled them and let them have their rides.

When we moved here, a single-level apartment, the nanny took over laundry duties and she didn't let the cats in the laundry baskets. It's been 3 years, but I am home again, and have taken the job back... and guess who is back in the basket?! Either with me, or with the kids (how brave is that?!), Ramses has been hopping in and meowing until someone picks him up and carries (or pushes) him around for awhile. We had a ton of laundry pile up over this long weekend, and I was folding the kids' clean clothes into the basket, to be put away tomorrow. Ramses hopped in and waited, very impatiently (meowing and tapping me with his paw), until I was done folding the whole pile, stacking it all in on top of him. Yes, I gave him a little bit of a ride... spoiled little kitty!

Monday, March 17, 2008

5 Green parakeets

Haven't been posting much because our internet is still incredible slow on uploads... has been since the cables were cut awhile back. I should try to get back on board though.

We've been busy, and have been enjoying the warmer weather. The tree are in bloom, and yesterday, as I walked home after dropping the kids at school, five rose-ringed parakeets flew over my head through the trees. This isn't my photo, I found it on-line somewhere when I was looking for the name of these birds. We see them all over, but generally up high in the trees and are hard to photograph.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hit points and gold

Ok, since when did life become a role playing game? I do not remember rolling dice and keeping scores when I was in preschool or even elementary school. It's a true sign of our kids' computer generation though.

Yesterday, Brian decided to give Honor swordsmanship lessons. Not that he has had any formal training, but he was quite a good instructor and they enjoyed practicing. Somehow, that turned into an RPG. They got their notebooks and pencils, decided how much gold they got to start with, how many lifepoints, how much certain toy weapons cost, etc. They also debated the strengths and weaknesses of each weapon or shield. I am not sure if they ever got around to playing anything, but it was a very interesting set-up.