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Friday, January 1st, 2016 09:10 am
So, we went to Disneyland for Christmas this year. (This was partially a whim and partially not - we had savings for, and plans for, an eventual Disney trip. I'd been waiting until the boys were old enough to enjoy it, and when our Christmas plans shifted a bit we said 'why not?' I'd meant to do 5/8 for the ages, but 4/almost-7 seemed close enough.) The one bad thing about timing is that Ian is 41 inches tall at the moment, or perhaps 41.5 with shoes on, and that makes him a half-inch too short for several rides. He was very disappointed by this once or twice, but honestly, mostly he didn't miss it. I think the Grizzly River Run is the one thing he really regretted it on, and if he had ANY idea how cold Andrew and I were...well, he'd still have regretted it, because four-year-old excitement and practicality do NOT mix. Heh.

I am not going to try to describe the Christmas decor in the hotels, Downtown Disney, or the parks. It was GORGEOUS and AWESOME and I will have pictures up later and let them handle it because seriously, awesome to look at, probably boring to read about.

I'm including steps/miles walked, as registered by my phone, because they amuse me.

I'm cribbing some of this from text messages sent to other people to jog my memory, so some of you may recognize parts of this. :) Day by day, because I'm not sure I can keep it coherent even so.

MONDAY (11,112 steps; 5.22 miles):

Travel, hotel, and Downtown Disney )

TUESDAY (16,475 steps; 7.34 miles):

Disneyland )

WEDNESDAY (18,098 steps; 8.39 miles):

Breakfast with Mickey and Friends; Disney California Adventure; Laura's health (bah) )

THURSDAY (18,364 steps; 8.26 miles):

Chip & Dale, DCA, Disneyland, and the Rainforest Cafe; one lost item )

FRIDAY (18,759 steps; 8.27 miles):

Goofy's Kitchen, Disneyland, and DCA )

SATURDAY (6,919 steps; 3.32 miles):

In which small children having their routine disrupted catches up with us, and we go home. )
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Sunday, June 14th, 2015 09:30 am
Things that didn't used to matter when I worked my four-day week-of-doom (because I had Fridays off), but do matter now:
  • The vet my cats go to, here in town, to has full Saturday hours. Which reminds me, I need to schedule appointments for the critters. They will not appreciate it.
  • The dentist we see is here in town. And has occasional Saturdays, but I'm not sure how much I need to depend on that.
  • Our doctors are 15 minutes away, but no freeway/rush hour traffic need be involved unless the weather is bad. We have EXCELLENT doctors, so I am not likely to change this.
  • The eye doctor we see, who is perfectly fine, is 10.5 miles away but it all involves roads that can get ugly at rush hour. They are open only weekdays, except "some Saturdays" (call and ask) and the latest they are open is 6 pm on Monday - the rest of the week it is earlier. Meanwhile, there is what seems to be a perfectly good eye place here in town, which is open until 7:30 on Tuesdays and has regular Saturday hours. ...I need to change eye doctors for us, yes I do.
  • The affordable/easy store probably isn't, unless I ask Scott to go. They used to be right on my way home; they are now an 11 mile drive away. But they aren't too far from Scott's office, so when he's in the office I may ask him to stop on the way home. Some days. (Scott doesn't like grocery shopping, so this is an imposition, though.)
  • The Washington County library system has been my preferred library, both because picking up holds was easier (three days a week I drove past my "home" library in that system, Tigard, when they were open - they're not open Thursdays - whereas Friday was the only day I could go to Wilsonville's library without sorting out kiddos), and because they have a slightly better book selection system-wide, in my experience. Now, Wilsonville and Clackamas County is, because the Tigard library is holy whoa out of my way.

...yeah. Reorganizing my life around being extremely local, and having five days a week of job. On the whole I like it, it just needs some adjustments to fully make it work. The library adjustment I knew was coming; I didn't know about the local eye care place and how good it was relative to my schedule until I started hunting during a recent eye health crisis (when I luckily turned out not to need it, and may I never have a stye/infection on the inside of my lid again, because ugh). I didn't know the vet had Saturday hours because I never _needed_ to know, but it was right there waiting for me on their web site when I looked.

And hey, I get a Thursday farmer's market that I can actually get to. Which is nice, because suddenly driving to the Tigard farmer's market or Lake Oswego's looks like an even bigger pain. (Although LO is a good weekend option, but on Saturday, it's pretty close after the Thursday market. Tigard is on Sunday. Both of those are really good markets, IMO, but ... they require more driving!)

This week, I made two trips that I expect to be atypical - I drove up to Tigard to Home Depot and the Farmer's Market on Sunday, and I drove to downtown Portland for a company event on ... I think it was Wednesday? Maybe it was Tuesday. Some day. And I only walked to work one day this week, Friday.

Even with that, my mileage for the week is under half my former _commute_ mileage (not including side trips or Friday errands). This is really sweet. Of course, this week Drew starts summer camp, which is further away. My route to pick up Drew-then-Ian-then-home is just under 15 miles per day, though - so 75 miles a week for that. Add another 5 miles once a week for the farmer's market. Add 2 or 4 miles per day I drive to work (depending on whether I come home for lunch). 100 miles is sort of the worst-case for all of this, before any attempt to add in errands such as grocery shopping. My former commute mileage, for 4 days a week only, was 200 miles a week. And during the school year, the whole loop from home to Drew to Ian to home is 5.5 miles (instead of 15 miles), and in fact next summer the same will obtain.

(We are switching child care for Drew next school year and summer from the YMCA to Club K, so he can stay in the school and go to after-school activities and such. Drew loves the YMCA, and so do we, but he's willing to try it because he also hears good things about Club K. And one of their summer camp locations IS Drew's school, so that will simplify a lot. Also, his school is close to the farmer's market, so the full round trip hit for the farmer's market won't happen in that case. This switch was already planned for the after-school activities, before I changed jobs, so.)

Reorganizing my life to be incredibly local and allow for my schedule turns out to be, on balance, fairly easy. And really rewarding.
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Sunday, February 8th, 2015 02:35 pm
These are of a gorgeous sunrise last month.

Over here on Flickr

No preview - but go have a look, if you like. I'm quite pleased with them. It was a very obligingly lovely sunrise.
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Saturday, January 17th, 2015 03:17 pm
Yesterday, I turned 40. Scott helped me celebrate by not telling our friends (who were over for our usual gaming night), keeping it low key, and getting me the DSLR I've been coveting for over a year.

I took it to the Japanese Garden yesterday (he gave it to me a bit in advance) and shot some photos with both the standard and telephoto lenses. Mother Nature gave me the only sun-break forecast for this weekend in the afternoon, meaning the telephoto lens was *useful* (for more than pictures of cloud and fog).

I was totally lazy and uploaded the JPG images exactly as they came out of the camera instead of processing the raw files and all that.

Two preview images, my favorite two )
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Saturday, January 4th, 2014 08:39 pm
When Drew was around two or a bit younger, we tried baby swim lessons at a semi-local pool. It...did not go well. He had fun, until the first time he had to go on his back. All kids, all the same, all the time. It ended when I stopped taking him after a few lessons because I thought they were doing more harm than good. I wanted him to enjoy the water and swim - I was a "water baby" as a kid, and I wanted to pass that on - and instead it was teaching a horror that actually made *baths* hard for a while. No. Thank. You.

But I do want him to know how to swim, for safety reasons. So...Children of the Sea. It is a local, decidedly not cheap, place that specializes in teaching kids to swim, with a good student/teacher ratio and a heated pool. 92 degrees. And, yes, a heated room around it, so you don't freeze the second you get out.

This morning was his first lesson, and for the last month he has wavered between saying that he wants to take the swim lessons and that he doesn't. Luckily, he wanted to this morning and was so excited that putting his hair back in a ponytail (required because of how long it was) was totally ignored. He normally hates having his hair back.

First lesson, and they had him blowing bubbles with his face partly in the water, and accepting being guided across on his back with his head supported with a modified swim noodle. Well, then. The lesson was a half hour, and as we left he was pitching a fit because he didn't want it to stop.

So we went back tonight for open swim, which I wanted to do anyway to get Ian in the pool. (All the lessons for his age range at times we could make it to were closed when sign-ups opened to the public. I'll have a better chance next session, since we'll sign up when member families do.)

One hour in the pool and the boys had a BLAST. Drew gave us quite a start early on, though. Ian and I went ahead to the pool while Scott and Drew got ready - and Scott couldn't find where I'd set his swimsuit. So he came in to ask, of course with Drew with him. Drew was already in his suit, and he saw the slide into the water, dashed to it, and went down it with us yelling 'no'. Neither of us were in the deep area to catch him, and I was by Ian, who was sitting on the steps - I couldn't just dart over. Scott managed to grab him and another mother helped him out, and he was fine and even happy with himself.

While I was watching both boys - on the steps - while Scott got his suit, Ian jumped off the steps unexpectedly and ducked under and I go to fish HIM up - so they both took unexpected dives, but Ian's was a lot less nerve-wracking, IMO. And both were quite happy to stay in the water for the remainder of the hour.

Drew put on flippers and floaties and swam back and forth between the walls, with one of us next to him but not touching, and was SO pleased with himself. LOL. Ian mostly sat on the upper step and played with a couple of pool toys, but he was happy. He did insist on going down the slide - about six or seven times! Unlike Drew, he did it with me waiting at the bottom to catch him. Once or twice I caught him without his head going under, but mostly he got ducked briefly, and he was game to go right back. Drew didn't try the slide again, even when offered - but I don't *think* it was fear. He was mostly game until we told him he had to take off the flippers and floaties for it. He loves those things now.

I do wish open swim were earlier. It's from 6:45-7:45, and Drew resents the idea of getting home and going straight to bed. Our normal bedtime is 8 pm, but we're flexing it tonight. (To be fair, he took an inadvertent 2-hour nap in the car earlier, and he usually doesn't nap. So, that's part of it too.) We may have to flex it whenever we do open swim. I hope he doesn't expect it every week. It's not cheap. It is fun, but it's not cheap.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Saturday, September 24th, 2011 02:34 pm
I really, REALLY appreciate a co-worker of mine now. W asked to take the on-call phone for the weekend for the fees. I was so glad to hand it over to him. Being nice to me was a side effect but I owe him one all the same.

But I appreciate him even more now than I did this morning. Why? Because today has been incredibly wonderful, all stuff I wouldn't have done if on call because it took me too far from home.

It's World Animal Festival at the Oregon Zoo this weekend, and we wanted to go. Knowing it would probably be VERY busy, we elected to show up at 9 when the zoo opens (the festival mostly doesn't start until 10), also in the hopes of seeing the caracal kittens active and playing (as the zoo web site notes they are most active early in the morning).

So, zoo memories from today:
* Zoolights are already being put in. It looked to me like it's mostly fences so far, although some leapers near the lions.
* The leopard lying down, tail toward the viewing glass, a couple feet from the viewing area. He then walked off and the other leopard walked right past the view glass, slowly, and then around to the far side of the pond. (Drew was fascinated!)
* The tigers, active and playing with a ball, tossing it in and out of the pond (until it floated in the middle, neither seemed to want to go get it then).
* The giraffe eating its breakfast in the enclosure inside, making it much more up-close viewable than when outside.
* Hippos having breakfast (and a couple of grade-school-age kids making jokes about 'hungry hungry hippos' which was actually at least as good entertainment as the hippos).
* The lionesses play-wrestling.
* As we came around to the other viewing area, one of the lionesses coming right up face-to-face with those of us at the glass there. I mean, arm's-reach close except for the glass. Wow.
* The caracals out and active. Got to see the kittens dashing about in a quick round of 'chase' down the log, up the hill, and to the edge. One of them hopped over another.
* Mongoose having breakfast in the little enclosure, then burrowing into its blanket. VERY up close view: inches away.
* The actual festival, including ribbon dancers, a balloon ball, a Chinese dance group (that was the only one we stayed for), freebies for members (collapsible water bottle; neat!).
* I missed it but Scott and Drew were very happy: close face-to-face with a polar bear! (I was worn out by then and sitting to rest. Alas.)

Then home. Drew was having trouble settling down to take his nap after lunch, so I took him for a quick car ride (quick because we didn't make it very far before he was out like a light), and back home. With a stop at Sonic because it was just a bit after 2 pm, and their drinks are half-priced 2-4 (though not at the mall Sonic, alas). Large lemonberry slush for $1.05? Yes please! :)

It was an incredibly good zoo trip and a good day so far. And had I been on call - I think Scott and Drew would've gone to the zoo still, but I'd've missed out on it. I'm glad I didn't. It was a blast.
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Friday, May 13th, 2011 05:48 pm
We have keys to the house. I got there about 3 pm today, our realtor met me and gave me them. While I was there, I met our new neighbors a couple doors down (very friendly, holding a garage sale), our next-door neighbor and her daughter (nice people, friends of my realtor as her son is in the same class as the daughter at school), and another neighbor from the end of the cul de sac who was getting her mail. They were all very friendly and welcoming, and assured me we would love the neighborhood.

I love the fact that it IS a neighborhood. I also, of course, promptly forgot all their names. Argh. I stink at names.

Anyway, since I had access again, some more pictures of the house. Pictures are thumbnails, click to view larger on Flickr.

Office's built-in shelves Living Room Kitchen Dining nook Family room Master bedroom Back yard
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Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 08:51 pm
A long long weekend is a good thing. we flew to Minneapolis for a reunion/gaming convention with friends from a gaming club at college. (Well, friends and strangers; it spans all the years of the club and some of them were unknown to us before the gathering, plus some friends and spouses/partners were brought.)

Over-detailed description of weekend, with lots of baby-related babble, yo! )

There were many many photos. None of them are presently online. I'll fix that some other time, later this week I hope.
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
Sunday, February 14th, 2010 11:55 am
So, last night from 5-10, Drew's daycare did a special session the kids could go to for an extra fee - a "pajama party" while parents had a nice night out for Valentine's weekend.

We took Drew. And then we came home and played World of Warcraft, cooked beans, and did laundry. LOL. The date part was WoW - we hardly ever dare to do anything like an instance any more, even a short one, as they're all too likely to be interrupted. It was fun! Silly, but fun.

Also yesterday we got Drew new shoes - he does need them for if he's outside as he does stand and cruise and will presumably toddle soon - which went surprisingly well. He likes his new shoes. Alas, he shut a thumb in a toy at the shoe store. No damage done except that he was VERY unhappy for a little bit.

I let him have a bit of my (unsalted) soft pretzel. He promptly leaned over and tore off a section about 2 inches long. LOL! I guess he likes pretzel, and I guess I should be better prepared to protect mine. ;)

Then we went to the YMCA swimming pool. We skipped the lesson this morning and will for the rest of this session. He is getting too upset at them. Instead we'll go during open/family swims. Early in the baby lesson they put them on their back. He hates it. And he hates being forced at their pace. And the lessons are pretty much ON his morning nap time. He was starting to dislike water and not trust us. So we took him in the afternoon - he slept in the car and when he woke we took him in and swam. He was VERY wary for a minute or so until he realized he wasn't having to do anything he didn't want to, and there wasn't a circle of parents-and-babies, and hey look the water bubblers and splashers are running and there are bigger kids and things to watch....

We stayed in for about 45 minutes and you could just see him unwind over the first 15 until he was having a total blast. And we still practiced lots of swimming stuff (kicks, splashes, blowing bubbles, climbing out) - we just didn't force, we coaxed, and we didn't flip him on his back. That'll come in time. For now, I'm glad to have his trust back in us in the water.
kyrielle: (Joy)
Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 07:15 pm
...I have an iPhone now! I have slowly come to covet one. It took me a long time to want one because, heck, I didn't want a cell phone this time two years ago. But having one has grown on me and I've wanted a data/smart type phone a little more over time. One problem: I disliked the form factor on every one I saw for some reason. I like the look and feel of the iPhone, and unlike a lot of the phones I've seen, it also seems usable as a phone. Of course, I've had it less than two hours and I may wind up hating it for some reason, but I don't expect to. (I had a lot of exposure to it - one of my coworkers has the previous-gen iPhone and has had since, basically, they came out. She doesn't evangelize, but she does quietly use it for all sorts of tasks, and it seemed pretty darned useful and cool.)

So yes, I'm excited. New toy for me to play with. Hopefully I like it as much as I think I will, but we shall see.
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Tuesday, May 8th, 2007 04:54 pm
Just got back the results of my yearly cholesterol check, and every single measure is back in the normal range, with not even one hanging out in the marginal range. So yes, the changes of the past several years are definitely working. Glee!
kyrielle: A close-up of a white, five-petaled flower on a dark background (flower)
Friday, April 20th, 2007 08:13 pm
I've been listening to Orson Scott Card's Worthing Saga as my audio book. Why I do this I do not know: I don't like Card. He tells a wonderfully powerful story, he crafts an amazing tale, and he hurts to read. Consistently. This one is no exception, and in audiobook format, you can't SKIM. You can skip, but you can't skim. But I have to hear the end. I'm almost there. It's a very good book, just...very Orson Scott Card.

Meanwhile I just finished Jim Butcher's Academ's Fury, the sequel to Furies of Calderon. Both are very good high-fantasy books. I am placing a hold on the next book post-haste.

I went to the Gardens today. I'd planned to anyway, but got an email before I left - the calendars were in! So I also got a copy of my CD (which I'd asked for since I lost my last one; and now I have it; they rock!) and my copies of the calendar. It's not on sale yet. Apparently there will be a members release first, then a general sale through the gift shop. There are small accent images as well as the main page images throughout; of the four photos of mine used, one is an accent and three are the main month photos. May, June, and July. (This makes sense: it is easier for me to go to the Gardens in the summer months due to the later hours, as well as more tempting, so more of my photos are from that season. That was even truer in the past than it is now.)

The calendar has haiku for some months. And it is GORGEOUS. This calendar is absolutely GORGEOUS. I am so pleased to have my photos in it!

And while I was up there I got some more photos. With luck, when I transfer them over and look, some of them will also be good. *grins*

So yes, I am just a wee bit hyper tonight, I am. :)
kyrielle: (Joy)
Sunday, April 15th, 2007 11:11 am
When I was at the Gardens on Friday, I did not take very many photographs. It was one of those moments that does not feel like it can be captured in a photograph, when too many things felt or heard but not seen play a part in the totality, and when, for that matter, the moment and the things around you are so vividly there that to put a camera between you and it would be to lessen the experience. (The camera almost always enhances it for me, by helping me look deeper, or has no effect - but in this case, not so much so. It was one of those endless long moments when I was just there, wholly there, and didn't really care to step back enough to frame pictures.)

I took a few photographs, mostly when the mood broke or for a few other reasons. And I sat and wrote, on a bench by a little waterfall.

What I wrote )


After I wrote that I continued up to the Pavillion, where I did take some photos as they are remodelling it - new wood, mostly, but also replacing the stone stairs that faced toward the entrance gate with wooden ones. Inside was the doll exhibit, which I wandered through but took no photos of. It felt a little disrespectful to do so, which is why I put the camera away as I entered (though there was no sign saying not to), but also once I was inside, I did not find the dolls all that interesting or attractive, so I soon wandered back out.

The pictures I did take and upload:
Pond in the strolling pond garden - near the iris beds.
Waterfall pond in the strolling pond garden - other end of the iris beds, with a nice framing (my opinion!) of the lantern.
And the front and back (new steps) of the reworked pavillion.
kyrielle: (kitty yin yang)
Friday, November 24th, 2006 11:44 pm
I spent Thanksgiving with my parents - it was a lovely meal and lovely company also. (Dad can cook. Rather better than I can, not that this is any surprise since I don't actually enjoy cooking, and therefore don't try often.)

Basta and Babe, their two cats, are still cute, pushy, utterly spoiled, and (in Babe's case) mind-bogglingly silly. What they are not is objects I can only barely dare to touch. I have held cats on my lap, cuddled them impulsively, buried my face in their fur, and NOT had a bad reaction. Yes, I have had allergic reactions (I've sneezed! And my nose has gotten stuffy! An eye even itched!) but they are very mild and soon go away by just removing the cat from me for a little bit. As opposed to, you know, this time last year where the reaction was indescribably, horribly, visibly worse. This latest from the last couple weekends is, please note, WITHOUT taking the prednisone (first or after). JUST with the regular claratin antihistamine I always take. I sense progress! So do Babe and Basta, who are taking shameless advantage of my desire to cuddle cats now that I can again....

So, three photos. A Christmas tree from the office building, and Basta and Babe.

Christmas Tree at work Basta Babe
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Saturday, November 18th, 2006 08:46 pm
For our anniversary, my parents bought a cake. More accurately, they bought us a replica of the chocolate raspberry cake that was served at our wedding, with only the decorations changed to reflect that it was a first anniversary cake. Made by the same place, and the same woman, who remembered the order from last year when Dad got part way through the description! Dad dropped it off today. It was gorgeous, and just as yummy as the wedding cake was. Of course, it took us a little bit to find that out because I insisted on photographing it first:

Anniversary cake Anniversary cake

Scott made spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner. Yummy.

I won't say the day has been productive - we've mostly spent it playing WoW and hanging out - but it's been fun.
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Wednesday, September 12th, 2001 08:21 pm
And, in an entirely different vein from the news of the past days, some stories of when I was little. A bit of background to this: less than a week ago, I started (I don't recall how just now!) telling a friend (aka captive audience) a few stories about me as a child. I was a really...fascinating...child, I think. And I don't necessarily mean that in a positive light! I think raising one of me would give me grey hair. All at once. All down the length of it.

But it amuses me. I like these stories; they're part of my life. I like sharing them. So I decided that I would write them up and post them here. And then I realized: tons of these are when I was little. Some of them I know from my memory, some from memory of my parents' stories, some from both. I might actually (gasp!) be wrong.

So I emailed them off to my parents, for corrections and additions. I actually had the responses back a couple days ago, but I didn't get around to it, and then I was following the news.

Warning, this is going to get long. )