Sunday, September 28, 2008

Light theft

Stolen from an MDC mama's blog - at her request! The answers are my own. Feel free to copy/paste for yourself! :D

Four jobs I've had:

1. CS at REI
2. Workshopping for foresters in South Africa
3. working the register at the local HFS
4. translating a workbook for Girl Guides in Zimbabwe

Four movies I can watch over and over:

1. Star Wars. Pretty much any of them.
2. Lord of the Rings, all of them.
3. The Notebook
4. The Girl From Paris.

Four places I've lived:

1. Tsawwassen BC. CAN.
2. Delmar NY
3. Harare Zimbabwe
4. New Haven CT

Four TV shows I love:

1. As Time Goes By (disc.)
2. Heroes
3. Seinfeld
4. Northern Exposure

Four places I've vacationed:

1. Nederland Colorado
2. Brugges, Belgium
3. Siesta Key near Sarasota, FL
4. Kalalau Trail/Beach, Na Pali Coast State Forest Hawaii

Four of my favorite dishes:

1. Really good vegan lasagna (no mushrooms).
2. Mama's Minestrone (I da mama)
3. A very thin slice of goat cheese from France with a tiny smidge of quince paste.
4. Deep dark chocolate cake. With sprinkles.

Four sites I visit daily:

1. Gmail
2. MDC
3. Yahoo
4. Facebook

Four places I would rather be right now:

1. Here's pretty dang good - but ok, Hawaii might be better!
2. Robert's Creek BC
3. Musoma, on the shores of Lake Tanzania
4. Rafting pretty much any river. Almost - some of them get pretty rough!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Beebe Hill

In my capacity as coordinator of the Fall Family Hike for WHMS, I have checked out 4 trails/hiking areas that seemed appropriate. They were! It was hard to choose ONE, but one is really all we need - a short-ish, mildly challenging, very natural trail with lots of attractions for kids aged 3 - 13, and adults aged 20something to 60something. Not TOO demanding!

The first place I checked out with my family was Christman's Sanctuary. It was LOVELY! Ori and JAC both did great there, and enjoyed it a lot. My hesitancy was two fold: 1. a LOT of slippery rocks - seemed like a recipe for disaster with a load and a half of little kids. 1a. not a lot of parking. This isn't MAJOR, but it is a consideration. 2. it is kind of far from where most of the community this is geared at live. MOST are in the Chatham ->Bethlehem area, with a few in the Schenectedy/Guilderland area, and the majority in the Albany/Bethlehem/Greenbush area. So ...

The next place I checked out was the Pine Bush. LOTS of trails to choose from, easy to make it a loop, longer, shorter, and great parking. But I must say, that overall there is a lot of noise, and not a lot of variation in the terrain.

Third was a lovely trail in Thatcher State Park, it was a nice balance of flat-ish and hilly, but it didn't have very much in the way of interesting things for the kids. I probably could have searched other trails for a better variety, but I was running out of Ori-free time, and wanted to check out this last one, Beebe Hill.

Beebe Hill is on the NY - MASS border, in the Taconic Hills looking East toward the Berkshires.

Looking East

Looking West

Opal Pond

And this is the one I've chosen. There are creeks, a pond, lots of bridges, and at the top, a firetower (the hill is otherwise rather unimposing, as hills go!), 9 flights of 9 stairs - not for the faint of highted heart. There's a new composition book up there that a sprightly soul has left for visitors, and I really enjoyed taking photos there, my bento lunch in the box on top of the tower, and a lovely few hours of solo hiking.

The Family Hike is Oct. 4th, weather permitting - wish us all luck!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Holy cow - and I thought our basement flood was awful!!! It's really hard to 'imagine' how much of life there is inconvenient, uncomfortable, difficult, sweaty, thirsty, hungry, and cabin fevery. :( My thoughts and prayers to you all!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Schools in!

Ori's first week of school - he's done an awesome job of transitioning to 1) school 2) carpool 3) earlier bedtimes night before carpool (2 of the 3 days) and 4) being an all around amazing kid! He's supportive of Beca and her school experience, he's kind to the other children, he's a good sharer, is having fun, making friends (even knows someone's name in his class!), and is enjoying the class pet (still waiting to hear her name) - the guniea pig. In the next couple of months I'll sign him up for Gymnastics, but I will give him a few months to adjust to this schedule (and catch up with the gym crowd when the weather gets colder).

B is having a great start to the year. She is feeling very in the midst and amongst, as a 5th grader. She has Molly, the only 6th grade girl in her room, who is a friend, and Lorann, who is also a friend, though not as close a friend, and several nice 4th grade girls, as well as all the boy-ness in her class, which is boy heavy. She is looking forward to newspaper this year, and may have some more responsibility this year, since it's only 4th and 5th graders this year. We'll see... She's taking Hebrew/Religion on Sundays (9-1) and Guitar on Wed., as well as Aikido and an every-other-week schedule for Scouts. A busy kid!

I will have some pictures to post soon, hopefully. :D

Monday, September 01, 2008


I can't believe the entire month of August has sped by! We took one trip to Lake George, a good time, all in all, and otherwise we've spent every day here at home, going to the pool, running errands, library time, playgrounds. Seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago that we were waiting at the airport for Loreena! Well, in addition to the week in Lake George, Theresa and I had a fabulous weekend in NYC. We spent ALL day Saturday (9am till 11pm) walking! We figured out of those 14 hrs. 12 were spent on our feet - and it was AWESOME! We had 1 hr. in a spa/pedicure place called Green Tea, very very nice. The 10 min. chair massage was the best part for ME, but I can see why people go for the pedicures. We ate Dim Sum in Chinatown, gelato in Little Italy, watched the waterfalls at night, lit eerily and spewing river water like an overgrown urban maw. Seeing Mark at dinner was very nice too, although in just a very few moments I was reacting to his little kitties. He did a nice thing, loaning us some guitar books for Beca (who starts Wednesday!).

And yup, here we are - 10:30 the night before school starts again! It's amazing to me. We saw Tea at the pool today - she's so sweet to B when L isn't around. Bleh. I wish she'd stop being so catty and schizophrenic about her friendships! It's confusing to B who has a pretty good grasp of it, but it's still a lot easier to be friendly with someone who is just overall a nice person. le sigh. ANYway, we've had a wonderful summer! We are all tanned and leaner than when it started. Poor Zami is not well, but we are otherwise in good shape. Jerry is walking much better, and is really quite useful around the place these days. Having a big girl help out is wonderful, too. She helped schlep the big tote box up to the attic, and move stuff up and down from the basement to set up the playroom in the LR, now that the basement is unlikely to ever get fixed up. Another sigh.

And Gustav has passed by with only a smidgen of the damage that was expected. Le PHEW! Kathy and crew are all back home, which is awesome, and Sweet Ole Nor'leans is pretty much left alone. Looks like more work on the levees will happen, and that'll make the other side of the canals safer.

I've gotten into Goji berries lately, they're a wonderful food! I like to snack on a few now and then. I like to bake with them. I may toss them into a smoothie for B in the AM. Lots of uses. :D

And so September rolls in. It's super nice out this week, till Hurricane Hannah blows our way late in the week. We start our new schedule, which is looking busy.

M - school, aikido
Tu - school, nursery school, aikido
Wed - school, nursery school, guitar
Thurs - school, newspaper, Girl Scouts
Fri - school, nursery school
Sun - Religious School, Curling (maybe).

This mixed in with other odds and ends of life, plus me getting a few hrs. off a few days a week (whoopeeee!), it's all a rather busy place to be. Happy, but busy.

Next: fix the basement, chimney, and start taking paper off the kitchen walls.