Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Bad, bad blogger that I am I've been tagged for awhile now but I'm just getting to it.  So, let the randomness begin....

1. I've got a freakishly strong gag reflex.  I literally can't even hold a pen between my lips without gagging on it.  I'm an uber nightmare at the dentist's office. 

2. I was a huge Princess Diana fan.  Yes I'm admitting it - a huge Diana Fan. Despite this, it's my friends and husband (who truly could care less) who had all the Diana encounters.  I had one friend introduced to her at lunch and another who ran into her coming out of Harrod's.  I wrangled a seat to her dress auction in NY (we couldn't have afforded anything and I have no idea why I got in) but it was my husband who attended when I very, very sadly couldn't.  My husband has even stayed in the same suite she had at a hotel in Chicago.  Me - nothing.

3.  I've been to the Oscars twice.   And yes, it was Awesome!

4.  I was an exchange student to Kenya when I was 16 and had a man offer my host sister 6 cows for me.  Apparently that was a pretty good price at the time. She turned him down.  I think she was afraid she'd have some big explaining to do later.  She was sad she didn't get the cows.

5. I can't stand the feel of dirt or sand on my feet. I have to stop and wipe my feet clean on grass after playing in the sand with my kids.  

6. I backpacked through Europe by myself when I was in college. I was braver then.

7.  I L.O.V.E. model homes. I love everything about them.  I will go with you to see a model anytime, anywhere and as many times as you want.  On occasion I have been known to pretend said model home is actually mine. Did I mention I love model homes?

And there you go!  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fire Drill!

It's been scary the last couple of days and nights but things have turned around and it's looking oh so good!! There has literally been an armada of helicopters and planes  involved in battling these fires.  Here are some of the images from over our heads and photos from the pond 2 minutes from my house where these amazing pilots where picking up water loads (and don't let the blue skies fool you, the fire was just over the ridge)...

And here's why the fires got so big so fast....

Dry, dry, dry....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wild Fires

I love living in California but the one thing I don't love is the Santa Ana winds and the wild fire season they bring.  This very moment I'm watching smoke and fire from the Porter Ranch fire inch their way across the mountain ridges straight for the community we live in.  There are water-dropping planes overhead and huge helicopter cranes dropping their buckets into the local pond scooping up water to drop on the flames. 

We're as ready as we can be.  If you live in Southern California you should be, need to be.  I already keep our photos and important papers in boxes that are easy to grab and load and I have a video tape of the inside of the house - our inventory of everything left behind.  

Hopefully this will all turn out to be nothing more then a 'fire drill' for us. Practice for another time when wind, drought and terrain conspire against us. But right now all we can do is watch the winds and pray this isn't that time. 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yep, She Has It

How could someone this cute 

have something this yucky?  But she does! After collecting 7 stool samples over the course of three days (yep that's right 7 and let me tell you my gag reflexes were working just fine during that little project!) as part of Tessa's welcome home medical workup at our pediatricians I got the call this morning and the beautiful Ms. Tessa has Giardia.  For those of you unfamiliar with this little lovely it's an infection of the small intestines caused by a parasite - the protozoan Giardia lamblia to be specific.  If you're really interested you can click here for more info.  
Tessa hasn't been having any of the diarrhea usually associated with Giardia so I was kind of shocked this morning but if I had known any of Giardia's other symptoms I wouldn't have been. In children they can include failure to thrive or gain weight. Tessa not only hasn't gained any weight in the last 3 weeks she's lost some despite a really good appetite and countless bottles. Looking back over my Gladney updates this afternoon I can see she really hasn't been gaining any weight for the last 3 - 4 months. So something was up.  Another symptom is foul smelling stools, and well, quite frankly, the girl's poops S.T.I.N.K!  I kid you not, I've literally been holding my breath during diaper changes and running those little bomb to the outside trash as fast as possible thinking it's been the change in diet and please God let the stench end soon. 
So there you have it.  Tessa starts her meds tomorrow and in three days she should be free and clear of Mr. Giardia lamblia. Then we get to start our stool sampling fest all over again! Good times. Meanwhile I'm just keeping my fingers crossed none of the rest of us is infected but so far so good - no symptoms in anyone else!  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If You Had A Wish What Would It Be?

Last night we tied our wishes to trees.  We were in Pasadena to see an art project called 'Wish Tree for Pasadena'.   You write your wishes on small pieces of white paper and then tie them to the branches of potted crepe myrle trees.  In November all the wishes will be collected from the trees and sent to Videy Island off the coast of Iceland to be combined with wishes from around the world as part of Yoko Ono's Imagine Peace Tower project in honor of John Lennon.  

There are so many wishes from so many people hanging from the trees that they looked as if they had thousand of white flowers dancing from their branches in the evening breeze. 

So what did we wish?   Neilan wished to meet Nemo.  I wished for my children to know real joy in their lives.  Tessa's wish...well, I wrote one for her too.   Neilan then helped with all the tying on duties. 
Other wishes that I saw ranged from the very funny to sweet to profound to absolutely heartbreaking - so much feeling and thought hanging from the branches of the trees.

So, what would your wish be?