July 2003

July 31 — First thing I did today was finish Henry’s new Renaissance Fair costume! He’s going to be dancing at a fair on the weekend and his dad was picking him up today, so I absolutely had to finish by this afternoon. I made such a nice shirt, with a band collar and the sleeves pleated at the top insteaad of gathered, and I made a nice deep hem that we can let out when he grows. And then I made a hat out of the same gray velveteen that I made his breeches out of! I took a couple of photos (some digicam, some B&W). Too cute! And it’ll be a good Frodo costume, too :)

July 30 — Very stressful day, ugh. But something really nice happened in the evening after my last piano student was finished, and we went outside to wait for her mom — there was a huge, perfect rainbow in the sky. I ran in and got Henry and Grandma, and Kirsten and her student came out to look, too. It was actually a double rainbow. There was a faint extra arch just outiside the bright one! It was so beautiful, and such an amazingly rare sight around here. I doubt if Henry had ever seen a real rainbow before. I sure can’t remember the last time I saw one. I made Kara-style comfort food for dinner, my favorite soup. Here’s how you make it: In a big pot, cook a handful of barley and a couple of minced garlic cloves in a couple inches of water for a while. Then add a diced russet potato and a handful of sliced baby carrots, a lump of butter, and some salt and pepper. Cook until things start to get done, and then add a big can of tomatoes (I use the roma tomatoes with basil) and sort of chop them up if they aren’t already chopped. Also add a can of black beans, and a handful of whatever kind of pasta is handy. The pasta will soak up liquid, so add more water if it’s too dry or skip the pasta. Cook a little more until everything is just right. Eat with a large glob of sour cream. Oh yeah :)

July 29 — I finished Wind Waker today! Go me! What a wonderful game it was. I also sewed a new pair of breeches for Henry’s ren fair costume, using a gray velveteen tunic that Sally didn’t want anymore, and bought cloth for his shirt.

July 28 — Henry needs shorts very very badly — he’s got maybe one pair that actually fits him. So we dug out some nice red flannel from my cloth box, and together we made shorts. I made the pattern (by enlarging one that I made last year) and he cut the cloth out and sewed the main seams himself! He also threaded the elastic through the waist casing — he liked that part a lot. And I showed him all the various presser feet that my machine has, and he thought that was fascinating! Lots of fun :) He’s wearing his new shorts now while he watched Looney Toons. I sure love sewing. It’s so wonderful to start with a piece of cloth and then end up with something new to wear.

July 27 — I’m reading this book, “A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver”, that I grabbed off a shelf in the children’s section, and it’s so good! I shall go update my books page… When Henry got home tonight, he found the brand-new hardback copy of “Junie B. Jones, First Grader: Cheater Pants” and the audio cd I made of me reading it out loud — he was so delighted! He listened to it while he ate his dinner, while he brushed his teeth, and while he went to sleep :) He says it’s the funniest Junie B. Jones book yet!

July 26 — Peaceful, lovely day. I slept until 11 (well I was up til 2 reading the night before), then got up and finished the book I’d started last night — “My Kitchen Wars”. Good book, impossible to put down. Then, hmm… I made two pairs of underwear for myself out of a huge t-shirt that no one wanted, and recorded the first two chapters of “A Bear Called Paddington” so I can make Henry a new audiobook. In the evening we rented “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and had such a nice time watching it together! And I started another book — “A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver” which is excellent so far.

July 25 — We rented “The Big Lebowski” tonight — good movie! It’s nice to see a movie that doesn’t follow a predictable formula. John Turturro as Jesus Quintana cracked me up — I almost didn’t recognize him.

July 24 — All three balls of green yarn that I bought for my sweater were from different dye-lots. They were the last three balls they had, and they looked the same in the store… but after knitting a while I found that two balls matched nicely but the third was way off. So, I bought some black yarn to finish my sweater. Better a real contrast than not-quite-matching. Today I knitted the neck edging, but I cast off too loosely so I’ll have to re-do that but it won’t take long. Did one armhole edge too, which turned out great! I went to the new (large, lovely, tempting) Barnes & Noble bookstore and bought “Cheater Pants” as a surprise for Henry, and tonight I read it out loud and recorded it in .wav so he can have it on CD! I’ll leave the book and cd on his bed as an anytime present for him to find when he gets home on Sunday :) :) :)

July 23 — Pilot518 (aka Mike :) is in town for a business seminar, and he came over for a few hours tonight. Super-nice guy! It was great getting to talk with him again — last time we saw him was when we went to Philadelphia in spring of 2001. Before Henry’s karate class today, Sensei Paul went over the Kata with him, the one he needs to work on a little before he can try again to test for his blue belt, and then the class went over it again later. He’s very very anxious to test again, so it’s good they practiced that Kata. I’m so proud of him! He’s very enthusiastic about the library’s summer reading club, and his reading is getting better and better. He read a level-two Real Kids Reader to me today — I thought he’d need a lot of help but he got all but about one word. Yay Henry!

July 22 — We got a couple of the nice “Real Kids Readers” from the library for Henry… he likes those a lot. They are illustrated with photos of real kids, and they have short, fun easy stories. He read two of them to me in the car! We also looked for “Junie B.Jones: Cheater Pants” but the librarian says they won’t get in for at least a month. Bah! Might buy that one as a surprise for him :)

July 21 — Hmm, it was Monday today… what happened… Oh, we went to the library and got a lovely stack of books! Mmmmmm new books :)

July 20 — Henry and I went to Beatlefair today! We had a nice time together. Mostly we hung out in the big main auditorium, watching whatever was happening on the stage. Henry was very excited about the raffle; we didn’t win anything but it was fun anyway. Tony Sheridan was there again this year, and he played more music than last year! He’s a cool old guy and really rocked. The Pete Best band was there but they were kind of odd.. hard to describe. There were two drummers — is Pete Best not good enough? Maybe not. All the young members of the band looked like gangsters, too. Wouldn’t want to meet them in a dark alley. Yeah that part was kind of lame. Oh, there was a band called Lighter that I really liked. They were all really young, maybe early twenties, looked kind of garage-bandy. They weren’t technically perfect, but they played with GREAT energy and were a ton of fun to listen to! I really hope they are there again next year. The bands who try to sound exactly like the Beatles are sometimes kind of dull. Arthur was there again but always playing in a room where we weren’t, so we never heard them. Next year. Rockola was there, and they were wonderful of course, but only played a short set (maybe 45 minutes) because the whole thing was running an hour and a half late. (Would have been juuuuust fine w/ no Pete Best) Henry knows a lot of Beatles music (of course) but he’s unfamiliar with Rubber Soul and Revolver so I need to play those more! I have them on LP, but my records are at Mom’s house and my turntable is still at Matthew’s house because I don’t have a stereo to hook it up to, heh. So I guess I should get those on CD at some point.

July 19 — This morning I drove Henry down to SD, and dropped Ken at the airport. Traffic was hell. It took almost 1.5 hours to get from Sal’s house to Matthew’s — usually takes maybe 45 minutes. And it was hot in my car; it’s like a greenhouse-on-wheels :) This afternoon Dan and I went to the new Fry’s just for fun. It’s nice, a lot nicer than the one down in SD. Lots of giant fishtanks and good lighting.

July 18 — Daniel was feeling yucky today so Henry and I sat with him and watched cartoon network all day. I knitted a lot of my sweater! So far, so good. Sleepy, bedtime.

July 17 — Still coughing up crud, but feeling a bit perkier. Bought water, took Henry to gymnastics, started my green sweater (guided by the excellent, indispensible book “Knitting From The Top” by Barbara Walker, available from Schoolhouse Press) My brother flew in from NY for a quick visit while Kathy & family are here! We ate pizza and watched a little of The Fellowship; more visiting tomorrow. I love my family! They’re the best in all the world. Forgot to mention that Dan baked chocolate-chip cookies from scratch yesterday, under my minimal guidance. Yay Dan!

July 16 — Sick, but better. Hung out with family again, Henry played and swam with Daniel, nice time. Felt well enough to take Henry to karate, and on the way home bought some kiwi-green cotton to knit a little sleeveless summery sweater.

July 15 — Sick. Bah. Hung out with family some more, then came home to rest while Kathy and Scott looked after Henry so he and Daniel could play some more.

July 14 — Sick. 3/5 of the Thile family came out to CA to visit, so Henry and I hung out at Sal’s house with them for a long time. Henry had great fun with his cousin Daniel!

July 13 — Feeling a lot better today, but very weak and exhausted. Sore throat is gone, yay! Lazed around, managed a little housework, played a little roller coaster tycoon. It’s hot. Henry came home in the evening and we watched Star Trek together (“Spock’s Brain”). What a great show!

July 12 — Sick. Ugh. Felt a bit better by night time though. Spent the day watching bad tv (there really is nothing on, ever) and listening to my “To Kill A Mockingbird” audio book.

July 11 — Sore throat. :( It started in the afternoon, and now I feel awful. We had a good day though. H and I did watercolor painting together in the morning and I played some Zelda. Tonight everyone was sweet to me and Henry took care of me while Dan was out and we watched Justice League and Star Trek and he sang to me and read me little stories. Ok I feel terrible, time to try to sleep.

July 10 — Oooooooo I found a good website! www.word-detective.com! I was googling for the origin of the phrase “23 skiddoo” and I bumped into the Word Detective. That’s going to be one of my daily stops, now. It’s hot, I made pizza for dinner, played some Zelda today, Henry’s got a cold, time to go to bed and read some more Hillerman!

July 09 — Had a new piano student today — nice little girl! She caught on really fast to everything I taught her today, so I think she’ll do well. Henry was at Matthew’s house this morning so I had to do the grocery shopping without my helper! But I survived :) I picked him up in the early afternoon and luckily had time to drop him off at home before I went to teach all my students. He has a little cold so I didn’t want him to have to entertain himself at Sal’s house the whole time… he hung out with Dan at home instead :)

July 08 — I installed Roller Coaster Tycoon on Henry’s computer yesterday, and that reminded me how much fun it is, so today I installed it on my desktop… but it doesn’t like win2k. It runs ok but then if you try to load a savegame it crashes! Ick. Luckily there’s a patch you can get that fixes it. Now I’ve got it running just fine! What a great game. Dan bought me some special broad-spectrum, unscented sunscreen, which we hope will protect me better. Oh jeeze it got late while I was playing… darn it. Bedtime!

July 07 — The Fair is over and today was exhibit pick-up day, so Henry and I drove down and got our stuff. We each got a red ribbon! Traffic was awful on the way home because a semitruck jack-knifed off the road. Bleah. Poor Henry’s bee-sting started to itch really badly tonight and that part of his foot got swollen, red, and hard. It was kind of worrisome but I looked it up and the internet told me that it’s normal, and that we should put a cold compress on it, so we did and it helped a lot. It seems that after the first time you get stung your body makes antibodies, and so the next time you get stung the reaction seems more severe. Or something :) Anyway he’s fine. We bought him some surfer-shoes at the sporting goods store today that he can wear to the pool, in the pool, and home again and never worry about stepping on a bee while he’s swimming. He walked all over the fairgrounds on that bee-stung foot and barely complained. Poor little guy. He’s super-paranoid about bees now… there were FOUR in his room tonight but I got them for him and closed the window. I think I’ll ask the apartment people to replace his screen or something.

July 06 — Started a new-to-me Hillerman mystery last night, and finished it this morning. “Fallen Man”. Very very good, and now I just put another one in my IIIc for tonight (until I can get to the library). Poor Henry stepped on a bee at the swimming pool and was almost hysterical, it hurt so bad. I carried him home and Dan and I comforted him as best we could. Poor little guy. Then we watched two episodes of Star Trek (“Arena” and “The Lights of Zetar”) and that cheered him up a lot! Time for quesadilla and bed.

July 05 — Well, moving the servers out of the bedroom was quite helpful. It was only 81 in there when I woke up! Finished my shirt this morning, and then when Dan got up we went down to San Diego Technical Books so he could get a couple of, uh, technical books :) And then we went to hideous Home Depot for another fan so we can have one in the livingroom pushing out hot air and one in the bedroom pulling in cool air. But the Home Depot fan is awful so we’re taking it back tomorrow. Grrrrr. Never go to Home Depot if you can help it. Go to Ace or True Value instead. And then we went to see the new Charlie’s Angels movie (Full Throttle) which was so much fun! It’s very goofy and silly and ridiculous and we laughed and laughed and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. When we got home I ate split pea soup and watched “On The Town” (1949, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Ann Miller, Betty Garrett). I’d never seen it before and liked it a lot! Boy the some of the women’s costumes were nice, especially the green dress with plaid lining that Ann Miller wore in the “Primitive Man” number. Mmmmmmmm. (Great song, btw :)

July 04 — Happy Independence Day, citizens of the USA! Be thankful for the freedoms you have and work to preserve them! We had a great day. I worked more on my shirt (done except for armhole finishing), read to Henry, baked oatmeal-raisin cookies for Dan, gave both my men a haircut (flowbee!), took Henry swimming and played marbles with him, and helped Dan move our servers out of the bedroom and into the living room, to try to cut down on computer-generated heat at night. It was 89 in our room when Dan got up today. Henry and I had fun tonight watching Mister Rogers and The Justice League with our feet on an icepack :) I finished my book last night (World of Pies) and now I’m starting a Hillerman that I’ve never read. So, time to go to bed, eat a popsicle, and read!

July 03 – Blogging a little earlier tonight, before I’m too tired to think of anything to say. Two years ago today Dan flew out here to CA to live with me. It’s been a great two years! Henry has been yearning for a pretend scythe (he wants to be the Grim Reaper for some reason) so today we made one. We used a nice long dowel for the handle, and made a blade out of cardboard covered with duct tape, which looks really cool :) He’s delighted! I worked on my shirt for hours and hours and got it almost done. It’s a little big, though, so I need to take in the side seams a couple of inches which means I need to unpick the hem facing, etc. No problem, it’s just going to take a little while so I think I’ll do it tomorrow. The collar was HARD. It has this collar band that had to be set into the neckline in a slash. I did it by hand, ’cause I knew it was too intricate to be done well by machine. Turned out ok. I can hardly wait til it’s done!

July 02 — Well I felt great this morning and did the shopping and everything, and then I took Henry to the pool and he swam for two hours and had a great time with his friend Kaysha. They made up a game called “tidepool” which provides seemingly endless fun. I hid in the shade, in my long sleeves and hat and all, and discovered when I came in that I had gotten a sunburn anyway. And the chlorine fumes gave me a headache which I still have, so I’m not feeling too perky right now. Dan and I just watched half of the Antiques Roadshow and now we’re going to bed nice and early.

July 01 — Really sleepy, it’s late… Hmm what happened today. Kirsten came over and we played Settlers of Cataan which was great. She won! I worked on my complicated shirt; got all pieces cut out and marked. Can’t think of anything else right now…

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