TRI to keep it WILD - Raising funds for Nature Conservancy of Canada

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ack! Beatrice is here!

Here she is on Monday, Dec. 13th: 0 days old.

8lb-10oz (whoa!). 20.5 inches long. Lots of brown hair! Hooray!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Done with Dots!

"What?" you say! Yes, Horst is still in there. Here we are at 40 weeks + 3 days.

Since I'm still just waiting around for her to show up, I had time to put the last few polka dots on the border of this quilt top. So it's done! I don't think I'll take up the quilting just yet, though. I don't feel quite mobile enough to set up the batting/backing sandwich; plus I have to think about the quilting pattern. That was a lot of applique!

Now I have two pretty big tops that need to be quilted plus a full-size quilt that's just tied that needs to have new batting and get quilted and bound too. I think that means I'm not allowed to start a new quilting project yet. Bummer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Sorry the photo is sideways! Here's the blanket I knitted. It's pretty uneven and the seams are ugly on the back. I'm just glad to be done with it. We can use it for whatever I guess, maybe in the stroller or on the floor.

I am more excited about finally learning to do quilt bindings properly. I took a class Tuesday night and here's my practice piece. I used a piece of practice hand-quilting and some leftover polka-dot fabric for the binding. Now what can I use this thing for?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ready for Horst-Maria

My awesome mentor from my summer job at Lockheed Martin sent us these furry leopard Gap booties for Horst (temporary funny unborn baby name from Swiss-German book on pregnancy for expectant daddies...). I love them, they're so tiny and fun!

So now that we have these and the carseat is installed I guess we're ready! Time to take some brisk walks around the neighborhood to get things going :) Tuesdays and Thursdays are my usual swimming days - I think tomorrow will be my last swim. The due date is Dec. 8th, but I would feel just fine if she decided to come sooner!! Are you listening Horst?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nothing to do but wait

Here's a 36-week shot. I'm home sick from school today. Body aches from a bad cold + giant pregnant belly = misery. I guess I'm glad I'm getting this cold out of the way before the baby gets here. I have no more tests to do at the doctor's office and I'm all pre-registered at the hospital. I will feel much more organized and ready, though, when we get our dresser/changing table next weekend and I can put the clothes and diapers and stuff in order.

Can you tell from the picture that I have crazy "mask of pregnancy?" I thought I was just getting a lot of freckles from swimming but I changed my mind since I use lots of waterproof sunscreen on my face when I swim and I've never had freckles on my face before. I look like a reverse raccoon with white circles around my eyes. Ack. Supposedly it will fade after the birth. I sure hope so.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November Roses

Despite our previous neighbor's vicious hacking-down of the rose bushes behind our duplex, one or two of them have come back and here are some of the beauties we're getting now. Roses in November - weird. Even weirder... I haven't killed this bush yet.

In the meantime, ski resorts in Tahoe are opening up already. Wish we could get out to Royal Gorge - maybe we'll see if we can take the baby for a snowshoe trip before the end of spring :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

We didn't get many trick-or-treaters this year, maybe because the World Series was on during prime candy hours? More candy for us, woo!

Here are some shots of the baby's costume and our cool jack-o-lanterns. 5 weeks to go before our due date! Better yet, 3.5 weeks before I stop teaching :)

Here's one of the bibs I've been making. Gave this one to a friend. They're fun and quick!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Long Time No See!

Since school started we've been pretty busy with things not terribly exciting. I've been knitting a baby blanket and made a few cute bibs but I don't have any pictures right now.

I've been swimming 2 or 3 times per week at the school pool - which is a beautiful Olympic-sized outdoor pool that I get all to myself during the school day. I'm getting quite a nice tan even though it's October. Ahh... California :) With less than 8 weeks to go on the baby countdown, I'm still feeling great and swimming feels really nice.

Super Steph and partner in crime Jen threw us a really fun couples baby shower last weekend. It was great to get friends together from all different parts of our lives. They went crafty berzerk with a fall/woodsy theme and we had chili, cider, cupcakes, and lots of owl decorations (so cute!!!). We didn't let the 85 degree temperatures spoil the fall spirit.

Here's a shot of the wreath they made out of paper and then let us take home. If you don't know about the store Paper Source, you should look it up. That place is fun and DANGEROUS!

Happy Anniversary to us (10/15)! We've been married for 5 years - woo!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wisconsin and Ontario

The week before school started we took a whirlwind tour around Wisconsin and Ontario to visit family. We didn't get many pictures in Wisconsin, got a few at the Cubs game in Chicago, and more in Ontario...

Bleachers on rooftops across the street from Wrigley Field.

The pregnant lady gets a kiddie ride in the tube.

Gran and Michael witness Scott on one ski.

A boat ride for ice cream :P

Captain Gramps and Skipper Scott.

Gran gets a ride too.

Michael helps Gramps do some work.

McClennans, MacDonalds, and Ayersts

Scott gets the non-kiddie version of tubing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Yosemite Weekend

Yosemite in the summer. Hmmm.... we made a valiant effort to avoid the hordes of people and I think we did pretty well, especially since we planned our little weekend getaway at the last minute. You can't deny it's amazingly beautiful, despite the zillions of people showing off their flabby bods draped in expensive gear as they shamble around in the parking lots.

Bridge troll at the base of Wapama Falls. That's Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in the background.
You can see that my preggo-belly (23 weeks) is not that impressive yet.

This time they were releasing water downstream of the O'Shaughnessy Dam instead of from its face. The water spraying up from below looked crazy. Check out the picture from our last visit to Hetch Hetchy when Scott's sister and mom and Michael were visiting to see that (scroll down once you click).

Our own little sitting area at our front door was a good spot for happy hour and watching chipmunks and marmots.

We snagged one of 4 wooden cabins at the White Wolf Lodge off Tioga road. Heat, bed, private hot shower... ahhhh :) Otherwise the "lodge" consists of canvas tent cabins and a campsite. We met lots of REALLY interesting people during breakfasts and dinners since you sit at big tables with random people instead of getting your own table in the dining room.

A quick 15-minute stroll from the lodge Friday evening brought us up close and personal with a stony-looking black (but actually brown in color) bear sitting right in the trail. He must have been in a food funk after raiding someone's campsite.

We hiked out to North Dome from Tioga Road (a pretty easy 4+ miles one way). North Dome is directly across Yosemite Valley from Half Dome. There were great views! Here's the valley looking west from the top of North Dome. See the Merced River and the river of cars and buses down there?

We could pick out (er... got smacked in the face by views of...) Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Glacier Point, Illilouet Falls, and the valley from North Dome! You can only see Half Dome in this picture.

Next we're off to Wisconsin and Ontario. Hooray for vacation!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Solar Schoolhouse Summer Institute for Educators

I spent this past week in Petaluma at a teaching solar workshop. We made lots of cool gadgets, including a "solar lunchbox" which can charge an iPod or other electronics with just two little solar panels. It works great! There was lots of soldering and stripping of insulation off of wires, and I learned a lot.

The workshop was put on by Solar Schoolhouse. I've gotten a lot of materials from them before and they are really helpful and enthusiastic about solar education.

We even took a field trip to the Straus Dairy in Marshall, beside Tomales Bay. Now THOSE are happy California cows. The dairy is organic and environmentally friendly and has a methane digester which they use to capture the methane from the cow manure and generate electricity. Pretty cool.

This is where they trap the methane under a tarp-thing after separating the solids from the liquids in the manure.

We sometimes buy their milk and cream which are sold in the old fashioned reusable glass containers, and their yogurt is sooooo good!

The babies were the cutest. There was one that was only 2 days old (not this one).

I took the scenic route home down route 1 along the coast so I could stop at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station to get lunch and some yummy cheese: organic and made with Straus milk. Yee ha!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Spicer Meadow Reservoir Part III

We headed back to our favorite canoe spot for the long weekend this weekend. After stopping for breakfast in Copperopolis (ok, I just wanted to type "Copperopolis:" so fun to say!), we arrived to discover that the reservoir was a lot more crowded than other times we'd been there so we had to scout out a new campsite. Apparently some nudists beat us to our usual spot. Despite a bit of wind, the weekend turned out great. The water was close to the high-water mark; right up to the top of the dam, so we had more lake to explore!

Indian paintbrush and some other pink wildflower were everywhere. Mmmm, reminds me of Dunkin' Donuts.

Only had to refill our water bag once over the weekend. It's pretty handy for canoeing.

Our site featured a nice perch for pre-breakfast lake viewing.

Icy snowmelt fills the streams that feed the reservoir. We cooled our feet here on our hike.

Look how square this granite boulder is!

There was a TON of driftwood and bark in the water this time. This tree was just below our campsite.

Of course we stopped in Angels Camp on the way home for lunch and ice cream. It was wicked hot there as usual. Last time we stopped there it was 110F! This time it was only 97F. We paused to remember Dan'l Webster - the clebrated jumping frog of Calaveras County. Here's the word on Calaveras County from Wikipedia:

"Calaveras County is a county located in the Gold Country of the U.S. state of California. Calaveras is named for the Spanish word meaning skulls, reportedly for the bones of fighters left behind after an Indian war that were discovered by Captain Gabriel Moraga. As of the 2000 census, it had a population of 40,554. The county seat is San Andreas. Angels Camp is its only incorporated city.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park, a preserve of Giant Sequoia trees, is located in the county several miles east of the town of Arnold on state highway 4. The uncommon gold telluride mineral calaverite is named for the county.

Mark Twain set his story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", in the county. Each year, the county hosts its County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, featuring a frog jumping contest, to celebrate the association with Twain's story. The celebrated California Red-legged Frog, feared absent from the county by 1969, was rediscovered in 2003."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Not Much to Report

I haven't had much to photograph lately, so I haven't posted anything. School ended and I started my summer job at Lockheed Martin (Space Systems), so Scott and I have just been busy with work mainly.

Some turd-person rammed our car while it was parked on the street last weekend and didn't leave a note. The driver's door wouldn't open so we spent our spare time this week getting that taken care of. We have been really happy with our insurance company, though (AAA). They made everything really easy.

In the meantime we've been watching the World Cup as much as possible - mostly on the internet ( which works really well. Have you forgotten as I always do that Scott is Brazilian? That makes us legit. fans, ha ha ha. I'll root for the US as long as they hold on, though. Here's our window for now...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park

This weekend we drove up to the northeast corner of California to check out the volcanic landscape at Ahjumawi State Park. On the south side of the water it's private land so the only access to the park (the red lava-covered part in the picture) is by boat. A perfect chance to bring Thistle out of the garage.

We found her a nice grassy bed for two nights.

Our camp was near the Ja-She Spring, supposedly the largest in N. America or something like that. Fed by groundwater and snowmelt from 50 miles away, the water seeps through the porous lava rock and pops out here.

We experimented with chemical-free bug deterrent methods. How do you like my head net?

On the non-rainy day we hiked out to find the volcano action. Check out the lava tubes and spatter cone! It was an eery, dry, black and red landscape.

It was pretty rainy our last night and morning so we headed out early and found breakfast at a friendly local place instead of eating wet oatmeal. The new dry bag/portage pack, waterproof map case, and water bag were a hit! Boating and camping in style!

One last stop on the way home: Burney Falls. Apparently Teddy Roosevelt called it the eighth wonder of the world. Hmmm.... The water pours over the top and also comes right out of the rock face all the way down since it's porous lava rock. Pretty cool.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fun on the Patio

This jasmine is actually on the front of the house. It really smells good right now, I'll have to leave the windows open so we can get a whiff inside. The picture's a little fuzzy.

This plant claimed to be an annual but I've been torturing it for years! Scott thinks I should put it out of its misery but I'll keep anything that makes flowers.

Same with the plant in the center below. The flowers get shaggier-looking each year. These sweet peas have yet to deliver.

Here's the big blooming blob of sweet peas. I like how they look messy. They don't really climb or attach to the lattice stuff. Those tendril things are fakers!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Polka Dot Quilt

I meant to spend just the morning of today (the first day of my Spring Break) finishing up the last few dots and getting the border on my quilt top, but I ran into some obstacles [#1, Why did I sew that piece on backwards? #2, Where is my seam ripper? etc...] so it took all day.

Now I'm putting it away until after break since I can add the dots that go in the white stripe one or two at a time on school nights. I've got other things on my vacation agenda! strawberry jam, cleaning out my closet, shopping, playing with the plants on the patio, lots of grading...

We estimated that I have done about 12,000 applique stitches so far on this top. I think there are 22 more dots in the border and we assumed 100 stitches per dot - YOU do the math.

ps: about the sweet peas in the previous post - notice that all the other pots on the table that don't contain spiked plants or other squirrel defense (chicken wire) are empty and sad. And the chives I planted in the sweet pea pot last year seem to have decided to wait until now to grow. More evidence of the gray thumb.

pps: I wish the squirrels would eat the snails instead of both of them eating my plants.