Thursday, April 26, 2012

a tale of 2 rooms

Look at the sitting area Jill has assembled in our bedroom!  The extra space was provided by moving Janny out of our room this week and into the girls' room.  We delayed this change not because we were glad to have Janny with us but because we didn't want her to wake Clara.  Sadly, she has yelled several times this week.  Clara wakes up and hangs out with mommy and Janny until Janny finishes drinking some water.
What does a lack of junk do for us?  We have lots of room for other peoples' stuff.  Our friends' stuff is in our garage until she finds a new place.  3 different families stuff in one house!  Our car has joined Fareshteh's on the driveway.
 The Halls came down from Michigan for a visit last weekend.  Brent and I took a short ride on Saturday, both of us on our shiny new bikes.  We're happy to see their whole family getting excited about riding together.
Spring has cooled quite a bit lately, but our garden is coming along.  Some spinach and lettuce is poking up, and we have some jalapeno plants in the ground.  One black rasberry bush has some flowers, so I really hope to eat some berries this year.

The girls love to play outside.  Clara loves to dig the dirt, and Janny wanders around pulling flowers and looking for sticks and rocks to put in her mouth.

 Our church softball team has started the season with 3 blowout wins in the B league.  Our team is basically the same as last year except that we upgraded our shortstop defensively.  Should we feel bad that he doesn't go to our church?  I sure don't.  You can check our stats out here (search for TCBC).

Saturday, April 14, 2012

a typical Saturday, sort of

Today is ending like most other days of late.  The girls are sleeping.  Jill is reading a book, and I'm typing up this post.  It's very quiet and peaceful.  

The day started similarly.  I woke up before everyone, checked the radar, and decided to get a bike ride started before the rain set in.  I rode to St. Joseph (does anyone know if the Mediterranean restaurant there is good?) and got wet on the way back.  I came home just in time to eat Jill's french toast with the family.

We took the kids to the library for some play time, then ate lunch at Crane Alley.  I get a flat on the way home, but the leak is slow enough to get home.

Then we helped a friend move her stuff into our garage.  More on this below.

Jill cooked a quiche for dinner.  Jill was holding Janny and enjoying her first bite of quiche when Janny threw up all over both of them.  Bath time!  Then back to dinner.

Play time with our tent and tube.  Jill can squeeze through the tube; I get stuck.

Janny goes to bed.

Paint.  Is someone getting sleepy?
Talk to grandma and grandpa on the phone.
Clara to bed.
Chad patches inner tubes.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Our friend's story starts with a broken closet door and today has reached this stage.  The story should have ended with someone (either her or the owner) spending the $40 to replace it.  That's not how it went and the ending is still way up in the air because the Section 8 housing authority, lawyers/judges, and egos were all involved.  Some possible outcomes are very scary.

Last night, we called a friend from church to get some advice about how to help our friend.  Once we decided to move her stuff to our garage, Nancy made a few calls, and 7 people, including one with a large pickup, agreed to help.  Say what you will about evangelicals having puzzling political views, but when help is needed, we help.  Only one of the 7 had ever met our friend, who has been to our church twice.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Homer Lake day

Weather again was fabulous this past weekend, so we rounded up the troops for a trip to Homer Lake.  Because of time and energy constraints, we drove rather than biked the 25 mile round trip.

We played on the playground.  Clara especially enjoyed the sand pit.  We put our toes in the chilly water and threw sticks and rocks into the lake.  We watched a dad and his son haul in 3 fish from the lake.
 Clara made friends with several groups of kids during our 3 hour stay.  The last group of kids was having a great time on the bench swing until a young boy put his head in its path.  That had to hurt, and it drew some blood and tears.  I'm hoping that Clara learned vicariously to stay out of path of all swings, especially 200+ lb swings.
 Janny snuck as many rocks from the lake as she could into her mouth.  I don't think Homer Lake has the worst water quality around, but there is a reasonable amount of algae already.  On a bike ride last month, I noticed some algal blooms in the streams (drainage ditches for non-environmentalists) collecting run-off (excess fertilizer for environmentalists) from fields.  Yes, it has been a warm spring.  Poor Gulf of Mexico fishes.
 On Sunday, the kids wore matching Easter dresses.  We had a very pleasant lunch with Nina, Neal, and Christine.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


A sea change has taken place in our household this week.  Janny is going to bed before 9p and Clara follows shortly after.  That means Jill and I now get a solid hour of down time at the end of the day.  On top of that, Janny is pretty regularly sleeping through the night, though not without loud moans now and again.  This all means that we get enough sleep and we get some time alone.  And there was much rejoicing.

What's more, this has been the most pleasant spring in the history of the midwest.  We have planted flowers and sown some seeds for our garden.  We've needed to water our garden.  We can stand in buckets of chilly water after daddy comes home from work.
 Janny eats solid food with her 4 teeth.  She enjoys just about everything, a welcome change from Clara's finicky eating.  She's walking well and loves to play outside, especially on our concrete step.
 Clara is getting proficient at tricycling.  She even managed to ride through some grass tonight -- perhaps some cyclocross is in her future?

And now for my prudish old man report.  During the last several years, it has become more common for coeds to sunbathe in bikinis in non-swimming-pool public places.  Since there are many coeds in this college town, this is quite a common sight-- grass fields near my office, next to basketball courts, in the quad.  Okay, fine, I can deal.  At least they aren't walking around town in them.

But last week just before communion, the view out the north facing window at church shows a number of bikini-clad ladies on the roof of their sorority.  What should the church do?  (1) Advertise this fact to bring more college/single men to the service?  (2) Ask the ladies to wait until after the service?  (3) Put up some curtains?  (4)  Pray for rain or cold weather on Sunday mornings?  (5) Ignore and hope that only Jill and I noticed?

Monday, April 2, 2012

new bike

Last summer, my supervisor told me that I could keep my job for another year.  Since this was my first successful attempt to work somewhere longer than 2 years, celebration ensued.  Why not celebrate by buying a new bike?  New is this case means new frame and fork.  And I mean new-new, like no one else has owned, touched, ridden, or blessed.  The last new bike I bought was when Jill was working at the bike shop in Los Alamos (read: employee pricing).

So I started emailing with Mike Kone of Boulder Bicycles and worked out a deal.  He had a frameset in stock that would fit me.  If I liked it, I would get a great price.  Otherwise, I could return it and get just what I wanted.  I didn't like the first enough to buy, so we hammered out the details on version 2.  It recently arrived.

What does one get for 5 times the price of a used frameset?  Desired tubing diameter and wall thickness (standard diameter with top tube wall thickness 8-5-8 and downtube 9-6-9 mm).  The right clearances around the tires and correct brazeons for fenders.  Enough water bottle cage brazeons (3!).  Vertical dropouts with correct spacing.  Pump peg.  Nice wiring capabilities (not using this yet).  Shiny new paint.  

Is it worth it?  Yes, as long as I still have a job...
It's a lighter shade of baby blue than Jill's.  No plans to change the blog name to account for the plurality.

I also got a new seatpost and binder bolt for the race bike.  It's surprising how such small parts can render a bike useless when broken.