Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dead Bunny (Day 76)

(I don't care if you are 50, you'll always be "Johnnie" to me!)

I redid my blood type test, and this time it worked. I'm O positive. My neighbor had to help me. She pricked my finger, and just like last time, it hardly bled. But she squeezed the crap out of it and we got enough blood. Now I just have to email OCDF our blood types and that part will be done.
Rachel and I ran to Walmart today and got to check a lot of the stuff off my to-do list. There is still more to do, but I'm feeling like I'm closer to being ready to go.

Monday, June 22, 2009

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! (Days 73, 74, 75)


We wish we could have spent it with you, Dad/Grandpa!

You, too, Dad/Pawpaw!

Along with a couple DVDs, Whoppers and a jacket, Fred also got lottery tickets. I think these were his favorite. Rachel helped him scratch them off, but he didn't win anything. :(

Violet checked to make sure they didn't win.

Ferris was rather bored by the whole thing. He said "pfft, if I'm not getting a present, I'm going to bed.

Friday was Rachel's last day of 4th grade. She looks thrilled, doesn't she? But she came home with report card full of A's, and she got a teacher for 5th grade that she really likes, and one of her good friends will be in her class. She's already excited for 5th grade, and on Sunday Fred let her buy a few school supplies at Staples.

Saturday Rachel had a surprise visitor. Her former coach, Ashley, came to visit us. Ashley moved to North Carolina after our season ended last year. Rachel had gotten really close to Ashley and was sad when she moved. It was a nice visit with Ashley, but Rachel wasn't feeling 100%. Her mouth is really bothering her from canker sores and her braces. Then Saturday night we realized one of the brackets had become uncemented and was not attached to her tooth anymore, but it's still attached to the wire. Our orthodontist's office is only open Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the orthodontist is on vacation this week, so I'm not sure what's going to happen. I got up and called first thing this morning. I'm waiting for a call back, but I'm not holding my breath. I have a feeling I won't hear from them until tomorrow. I really hope these sores in her mouth clear up before we leave for China next week. She can barely talk or eat.

I've been busy trying to get caught up on all my work, get caught up on laundry and get things ready for our trip. I still have shopping to do, but not really for anything big.....dog food, cat food, toiletries to take with us, little gifts for the orphanage staff, a fanny pack for Fred, Ziploc bags, extra luggage locks. And I still need to transfer about 1,000 pictures from my camera card to the hard drive, write instructions for the neighbors taking care of the cats, instructions for family taking care of Ferris and PACK, PACK, PACK!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Are You Kidding Me? (Day 72)

Are you kidding me with this rain?!?!?!?! It's crazy! I better not hear any complaints when we're washing the cars and watering the lawn as much as we want this summer. I usually enjoy rainy days. I sit at my desk, watch the rain, and get lots of work done. And I love thunderstorms. But I'm just over it right now. Enough is enough. Today was supposed to be field day at school, and they had to cancel it, with no rain date. It's the first time in 23 years that's happened. Sure, everything is nice and green, but my corkscrew willow tree is starting to look more like a weeping willow. And Fred (and the competitive neighbor *wink wink*) have to mow the lawn every four days.
It did stop raining periodically throughout the day, and Rachel did some weeding for me to earn some money for China. She found this little weed alongside the house. And please note that she's wearing a hoodie in the middle of June! It's not a fashion statement....it was chilly outside!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Two Parties and a Cat (Days 69, 70 and 71)

This is Delaney and Haleigh, my sister-in-law Dawn's girls. Dawn had a reception on Saturday to celebrate her wedding last November to Brian. Fred was taking pictures at the party and somehow managed to NOT get a picture of the bride and groom. Sunday I took Rachel to a friend's birthday party. This is not the friend having the party. This is another mutual friend. Because, like Fred on Saturday, I managed to not get a picture of the guest of honor at the party.
Sunday night we were sitting out on the deck for a while and let Violet out with us. She normally stays on the deck with us, but this time she jumped into the grass. I think at first she was chasing a mouse or a mole or some small critter in the grass. She had a mouse trapped the other day in the grass, but I distracted her and she lost it. This time she lost the mouse or whatever all on her own, and then started stalking the birds around the birdfeeders. In this picture there is a robin on the corner of the shed that was not too happy about Violet being there. The robin had food in its mouth and was apparently trying to get to a baby in the nest under our deck. A couple other small bird (wrens or finches maybe?) landed on the grass not too far from the basketball and I thought for sure Violet was going to get one.
Violet has a tough life. If she's not outside stalking prey, she spends a lot of time here, on her perch, hanging around. She's looking a little annoyed here because I had the nerve to wake her from her 45th nap of the day. Poor thing.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Night Swimming (Day 68)

Rachel had some friends over for a little night swimming tonight.
Know why "J" is smiling like that? He's the only boy swimming with five pretty girls! His parents think he doesn't care about girls yet, but I think this picture tells a different story!
This is what the grownups did while the kids swam. I love our impromptu neighborhood get-togethers!
But who invited this knucklehead?!?!?!?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Doogie! (Day 67)

They were shooting a movie outside my building this morning, and though I didn't realize it at the time, I walked right past Neil Patrick Harris, aka Doogie Howser! See the lady in the green jacket on the phone? I walked between her and the dude in the red hoodie. I knew they were shooting a movie, but like an idiot, I didn't think to look at the actors. When I got to the door of my building I turned around and surreptitiously took a picture, which is why it's a little blurry. I did it really quick. When I got upstairs they told me the movie is "Beastly" and that Neil Patrick Harris is in it. Then I looked at my picture I took and said "Holy crap! I got his picture!"
This is part of the crew that was camped out on the sidewalk in front of the building. I had planned on going back down to take more pictures, but they were done within like an hour of my getting to work.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ningdu Album (Day 66)

Click here to view this photo book larger

This is the album I made on Shutterfly to give to Rachel's orphanage when we visit in a few weeks.

Monday, June 8, 2009

(Day 65)

I stopped at CVS today to pick up some of the prescriptions we're taking to China with us. This does not include the meds Fred and I take every day. These five bottles represent amoxicillin for Rachel, Macrobid for me and an anti-malarial for all three of us. What I didn't notice until I got home was that Rachel's anti-malarial prescription is for 10 pills, while Fred's is 5 and mine is 4. What's up with that? When I got the script for Rachel, the pediatrician said to take the first dose the week before we leave and take one a week, continuing for four weeks after we return home. I wish I'd have noticed while I was still there. I'd have asked the pharmacist about it, since I already was talking to him about Hepatitis A vaccines. I'm still looking into that. I wish I had records from 1998/99 or remembered if we'd completed the Hep A series back then. If I have my doctor order it from CVS, it's $95 for each shot, so almost $400 for Fred and me to do the series again. I also forgot to ask my doctor for a script for both Fred and me for Cipro. I feel like I'm spending as much on meds for this trip than I have on airfare!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lancaster (Day 64)

We went to Lancaster today to celebrate Fred's grandparents' 70th wedding anniversary. 70! Can you imagine!?!?!? Holy smokes. I have no pictures of the grandparents to share at this time, because one of their other grandsons was acting as official photographer and is going to share DVDs with everyone, so I didn't bother. I did get this cute one of Rachel and her cousin, though. Even though they're four years apart, these two are like two peas in a pod.
I remember going here as a kid, and sadly what I remember most about going here was being very little and my parents bringing one of those little potties with us. That's really about all I remember of Dutch Wonderland. Kinda sad, isn't it?
It's always cool to see the horse and buggies in Lancaster. We saw a lot of them today as we were driving down Route 30.
This was also along Route 30. We don't have a sonic anywhere near us in NJ, so we stopped in for a snack. I got a peanut butter shake, Rachel got an orange slushie, and Fred got a burger and onion rings. So original, isn't he?
After we got home we made little brownie bites and put a candle in one. Why? 'Cause it's my birthday! Woohoo!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Parsley! (Day 65)

We had a lot of rain (again!) this week, and our little herb garden loved it. The parsley really shot up in the last couple days. So did the weeds. I pulled most of them, and then discovered we only have one or two green onions growing. Last year I planted way too many seeds and didn't do a very good job thinning them out as they grew. This year I obviously didn't plant enough seeds. The basil doesn't seem to have grown much at all since we planted it. The mint (not shown) is doing really well in the pot.

This young robin sat on the stones in front of our house for the longest time this morning. He had a couple siblings with him at first, but they scared more easily and flew away as soon as they saw me watching through the window. This one, though, plopped himself down and got comfortable. Then he started calling for his mama.

And she came back and fed him, which I wasn't quick enough to get a photo of.

Friday, June 5, 2009

(Day 64)

I took some pictures of the house today for a photo book I'm making to give to the orphanage when we go to China later this month. It feels like I've been working on this book forever, but I'm almost done. I just need a picture of Rachel's room, and I'll be ready to order it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Traffic? (Day 63)

This is something you don't see every day. This is the New Jersey Turnpike, heading north toward Newark. I had a job in Westfield, about an hour and a half away. I drove for several miles without passing anybody or being passed. I didn't think that ever happened in New Jersey.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

For Mom (Day 62)

This is the rose bush that we planted last year after my mom passed away. My in-laws gave it to me, and it's thriving. I think I'll plant another one this weekend. I can't believe it's been a year since she died. That feeling that a good cry was just under the surface finally went away after I visited her grave on Easter. Must be a closure thing. I don't know. We miss you, Mom.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Big Job (Day 61)

This is the stack of steno notes for the job I'm working on and have to have done by Wednesday, 6/3. I started working on it this morning and worked all day, out on the deck again. The job will be about 230 pages when done, and I have about 50 more pages to go. I proofread 70 pages of it at Rachel's tumbling tonight, too. It'll feel so good to have this job done and out!

When this screen pops up, I usually have a melt down. Me personally; the computer. It means the software is having trouble reading my steno notes off my steno machine. Every once in a while it absolutely will not dump the notes, and I end up having to re-write the jobs, which really stinks. It might be time to upgrade. My machine is (yikes!) 23 years old, and my software is version 1. I think they're up to maybe version 9 now. Definitely gonna have to look into upgrading later this year.

Just Keep Swimming (Day 60)

Ferris loves to swim. Well, at least he loves to jump in the pool to chase the pool toys. Here he's trying to get a bat. He kept swimming in circles as Dennis went in circles with the bat. Ferris is actually a bit OCD about the pool toys. Foam noodles? They get completely ripped to shreds.
This is Sammy, Dennis and Amanda's yellow lab. Sammy loves swimming, too. Sammy and Ferris get along pretty good. Every now and then they'll have a tussle over a toy or bone. Ferris seems to be a big dog trapped in a little dog's body. He just loves playing with big dogs, chasing them, etc.
Sammy has a ball in his mouth in this picture, and about a second after I took the picture, Ferris jumped in to try to get the ball. We throw the ball to the other side of the pool from the deck, and Ferris will run along the edge of the pool and then jump in near the ball. He's been known to dive under water if whatever it is he's chasing sinks.
Rachel and her friend "E" swam for a while with some other friends. Then they got cold and went to sit in the dog pool.

I worked out on the deck again today for a few hours. I'm getting so much done out there! I think I'll go out tomorrow, too. I don't have a job, but I have 250 pages to get done by Wednesday!