February 2005

February 2005

28 — We watched two more episodes of Twin Peaks Season Two last night… Creepy! Here’s a link to the crocheted edging I’m making for my blue dress: crocheted edging. Did all the housework this morning while Henry played his bass! His arm is feeling ok and he is able to play with only a little awkwardness. This evening Henry was playing Minish Cap and I was working on my buttonholes and we were listening to my mp3s on random, and then he asked for “Blood on the Coals” so we put that on and he got all excited about the vocal harmonies, and was singing along and making up new harmony parts. Very fun :)

27 — Got up early to play WoW with Henry — we played for a couple of hours and got our Tauren characters up to lvl 10, and did the pet quests. Yay! Hunters are fun. And then Henry went out to play with Fargo and I made breakfast for Dan, and then worked on my buttonholes. I the afternoon Henry and I did the grocery shopping and Dan hauled it all up for me when we got home, and then I made dinner and finished making my buttonholes, all 21 of them. Mercy. They are sewn but not cut yet, and I still have to hide all the thread ends. And then I can sew on the buttons!

26 — Lisa and Matthew stopped by this morning on their way to LA, and Lisa gave Henry a really cool Lego RC car kit! He spent all day putting it together, with very minimal help, and now he’s driving it around the house. It is really extremely cool!

I went to the fabric store this morning and bought a whole pile of buttons for my jumper. I wanted shell, but the online place that sells them would take too long to ship them, and the fabric store only had 4 shell buttons and I needed at least 24. But I found some plastic ones with a pretty pattern around the edge and I’m happy with them. Then I came home and made a ton of practice button holes. I HATE making buttonholes! But I think I’ve fiddled with everything until it’s all just right and I should be able to make them ok. If I didn’t have to make so darn many of them I might do them by hand.

25 — Friday… We had such a nice day! Henry’s not allowed to go back to Karate until his bones have no chance of being knocked back out of alignment, so we had no activities today. We did chores and stuff in the morning, and then we played World of Warcraft together for four hours, oh my goodness. Time does fly :) We played our Tauren characters, and joined a guild with a lame name — SpeciaL ForceZ. The people in the guild are super-nice, though, so the name doesn’t matter :) We did a TON of quests with one of our guildmates, a druid, and had a great time. In the afternoon we went out to get my blood tested, then came home, did some housework, and then took a walk together down to the prairie. It’s lush and green down there after all that rain, and mudpuddles everywhere! We had fun sailing leaves down the gutters, too. And then on the way back home we met a sweet gray cat and Henry sat down on the sidewalk and petted her for about 20 minutes. It seemed like 20 minutes, anyway — my phone had a strange problem so I couldn’t check the time. It was a nice walk. And then we came home and watched the Antiques Roadshow together, and then Dan came home and I made him steak, and then we all went to bed and Dan and I watched Curb Your Enthusiasm and Twin Peaks. It was a good day :)

23 — Took Grandma out to do errands this morning, then came home for lunch and house stuff, and then Henry and I played WoW together for a couple of hours! We haven’t had a chance to play together in a while and we had a good time doing quests in Westfall. I’m sure Henry will tell all about it on his blog tonight! Oh, and I got to the boss in the Wind Ruins (Zelda: Minish Cap) but I died so I have to try again later :) Ok I need to go start dinner and then work on my blue dress! Oh, forgot to mention that I filled up my gas tank yesterday, did the calculations, and found that I got 32.92 MPG on my last tank of gas. Woohoo! Yay little Scion XA!

22 — Henry and I went to the free museums in Balboa Park today! It was very rainy all day but we managed never to get rained on. First we went to the Aerospace Museum, where we found that they had set up a new exhibit of the Apollo 9 Command Module! Very very interesting. We looked at that for ages. And then we went through the museum a little way, and found that, near the reproduction of the Wright Brothers’ plane, they had set up a flight simulator for kids — $2 for about 2 minutes of flight. They had a set-up so the kids could lie on their stomachs like the Wright Brothers, and control the flight of a plane on a large projection screen in front of them. It was staffed by nice elderly volunteers who coached the kids so they’d have a fun and successful flight. Henry did a couple of loops and then the guy cut power to his engine and he had to land the plane without power, and he did it :)

After the Aerospace Museum, we wandered through the Automotive Museum and looked at the nice old cars, and then we took the tram up to the Cafe and I bought Henry a cheese danish for a snack, and then we came home. It POURED on the way home but we felt nice and safe in my lovely Scion XA. We had a wonderful day together. More photos from our museum trip here: http://kayray.org/gallery/feb2005.

19 — Dan got an office at work, yay!!! He really needed one — his cubicle was way too crowded for everything he needed to work on, and he had to be on the phone a lot which was bothersome for the programmers near him. So now he has a nice office :) Today I helped him figure out how to arrange everything for maximum comfort and productivity.

I think I forgot to mention that Dan bought me the new Zelda game, The Minish Cap, for Valentine’s day! It’s extremely fun. I played quite a lot today, and once I got terribly stuck. I was about to ask the internet for help (gamefaqs.com is my friend) when Henry called up to say hi. I explained my situation and he gave me a suggestion which turned out to be the answer to the problem! (get tiny and go INTO the statue and hit the switch) That’s the power of being 9, I guess :)

I also forgot to mention that a few days ago I got completely FED UP with my big expensive ($40) T-Fal “non-stick” skillet. The handle fell apart while it was still nearly new, and now the teflon has worn away so that it is more “extra-stick” than “non-stick”. I treated it with gentle care, too. So I did some research and decided to try a cast-iron skillet, and found a nice large 11.5″ one at Target for $14 (total). Googled around for info on how to season it properly — it came pre-seasoned but from what I understand the manufacturer’s pre-seasoning is not so good. So I rubbed it with bacon fat and stuck it in a 300 degree oven for 2 hours or so, then let it cool, and rinsed and wiped it out. I adore it. It feels sturdy and solid (it must weigh 8 or 10 pounds!) and is remarkably non-stick. With my old T-Fal pan I had to scrape Dan’s omelettes out, even when I used tons of butter. They just slide right out of my new cast-iron pan! I’m going to look around for maybe an 8″ one and a 6″ one, and then I can get rid of my crappy old non-stick (HA!) pans and use good solid cast-iron for everything. If you switch to cast-iron remember to season them properly (most people recommend seasoning them several times, which I will do eventually), never use soap or a scouring pad, and make sure they’re thoroughly dry before storing. I just rinse it out while it’s still hot and rub gently at anything that doesn’t rinse right off, wipe off any obvious water, then return it to the burner and heat up again to make sure it’s dry.

18 — Henry had an appointment for more x-rays this afternoon at 2 (although we had to wait until 3:15 to actually see the doctor) and they say he’s doing fine. He needs to be careful of his arm still, so the bones stay aligned, but so far so good. He needs weekly x-rays for a while. They took the spacers out of his cast and gave him a fresh new wrapping around it. There were two colors of blue to chose from, but he couldn’t decide which he liked best so he went for green, which does match his shoes beautifully. I was very proud that he didn’t get tied up in knots about making the choice, as I would have at his age. I would have wept from the agony of having to choose… but Henry is more sane than I was at that age I guess :)

Dan had to stay very late at work tonight, getting everything ready for a planned power outage on the weekend. Henry went home with his dad after the doctor appointment, so I went home by myself and played WoW for hours — Kayray the Rogue is lvl 22 now. I did a bunch of Darkshore quests that were too hard for me last time I was there at lvl 19 or so. And I made a nice dinner for Dan when he got home, and we watched a bit of Twin Peaks in bed. Very nice. We do love watching old tv shows on a laptop in bed!

Yesterday we helped Mom clean out Dad’s room… He wouldn’t ever let anyone do any serious cleaning in there so it was quite something! But we helped her make a huge pile of stuff to give away, and got it all dusted and cleaned and nice. She’s been stuck in a tiny bedroom for so long, but now she can enjoy the big master bedroom with the pretty view and plenty of elbow room, so it made us all happy to help her make it nice.

The hardest thing for me, right now anyway, about Dad being gone is no more email from him. That’s how we communicated, mostly, and we’d exchange several emails every day, usually. But now there aren’t any. I miss him so much.

16 — Dad died this evening. He went into a coma in the morning. We sat with him and talked to him all day; the hospice nurses said he could still hear us, although he couldn’t respond. Mom called Ken to say goodbye to him, and Dad raised his eyebrows while Ken was talking to him. Dan came home from work to be with us. The hospice people were really nice and made sure there was someone with us all day. He was ill and miserable for such a long time, so we’re glad he’s out of pain now, but we will all miss him so much. Frank Robert Shallenberg, 1930 – 2005.

13 — Well here I am sitting with Dad and Kirsten, so I might as well write a respectably long entry for a change. Apparently Dad’s morphine gives him hallucinations so that might make things interesting. Poor Dad. I got enough sleep last night, for a change! Yay! Henry and I came over here at 10:45 so Kathy could take a break and go to church at 11. Matthew picked Henry up at 11 to take him to lunch and to see a movie and get out of the house, so that’s good, Henry won’t have to sit here with me all day.

Henry’s arm seems to be doing well. His fingers are less swollen, and he’s had no pain at all. We hope that means that his bones are remaining properly aligned. We’ll find out on Friday. I’ve been letting him play a little more World of Warcraft than usual, since it’s something he can easily do one-handed. He got Zinny to level 20, so he’s happy about that. He’s also been drawing left-handed a lot, and making some nice pictures of Pokemon guys and stuff :)

12 — Difficult day, not enough sleep, got up on the wrong side of the bed (four times) but the day ended very nicely with Dan and Vertigo :) If you are a fan of Napoleon Dynamite you will want to go to the Napoleon Dynamite Soundboard. Do the chickens have large talons?

10 — Henry is doing well today. His fingers swelled up a little a couple of times, but elevating his hand helped a lot. He discovered that he can play World of Warcraft left-handed, so that provided him with hours of entertainment, heheh. Sooo tired — I sleep now.

09 — Henry broke his arm this afternoon, poor child. I was teaching at the time, and Ken and Henry took a little walk around the block. Henry was wearing his Heelies, those shoes with the wheels in the heels — his cousins gave them to him in November, and he just recently learned how to use them. Anyway… his feet flew out from under him on the hill, and he landed on his arm and broke it. Ken made him a paper-bag splint and helped me get him into the car and to the Tri-City ER, and they x-rayed him and everything. And then they sent us down to Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Matthew met us at Tri-City, so he dropped Ken back at the Shallenberg house while Henry and I picked up Dan from home, and then we all went down there. Everyone was very nice and Henry was the bravest little boy in the world. And they finally got his arm set — his bones are mostly lined up now, good enough they say, and in a week we go back for more x-rays so they can make sure things didn’t shift around. We didn’t get home til after midnight. Dan carried Henry upstairs and we made him a little bed on the couch so he can sleep with his arm on a pile of pillows.

06 — Here’s a guy who made a Lego Dulcimer. Neat! And here’s a link to a Lego harpsichord, which looks a little better than it sounds :)

Kathy and I finished watching Wives and Daughters this afternoon. Ahh nice movie.

05 — Dan came with me to sit with Dad all day. Kathy and I watched most of another episiode of Wives and Daughters, and I knitted, and Dan played WoW and his guitar. A nice guy came with oxygen for Dad, and I think it’s helping him have enough breath to talk, which is good. It’s neat, it’s a compressor thing which sucks oxygen out of the air, so we don’t have to have big tanks everywhere. I started reading The Hills at Home again — good book.

In the evening we left to go do our grocery shopping, and Dan helped tremendously because I was getting tired. Did all the shopping, toook the stuff home, put it away, then ordered tasty pizza and went back to sit with Dad some more until Kathy came home from visiting her friend.

04 — Decided to stay home today and rest and let my cold get better. Henry and I did stuff together all morning, very nice. He played his bass and guitar and listened to music while I worked on my blue dress, and then we played a little World of Warcraft together :) We took Zinny and Ramona to Auberdine and did some of the quests there. Matthew picked up Henry nice and early (Henry is senpai for the Tiny Tigers and they’re testing today, so he was worried about being late) and then I had a quiet afternoon to myself. Very nice. Rob helped my warlock get her succubus! It was a long long walk. I wouldn’t have done the quest at all if he hadn’t offered to help me and walk me across the world to the quest guy. The succubus seems like a handy pet, although her slap/squeal move is annoying :)

02 — Sitting here in Dad’s room, keeping an eye on him while Kathy takes a break to sit outside for a while. We just watched the first part of Wives and Daughters on my laptop, yay! Last night I made a gigantic vat of tasty pasta and vegetables to bring along today and everyone has been eating and enjoying it. So that makes me happy. On the way over here I stopped at JoAnne’s to get a new tiny crochet hook and some fine crochet cotton so i can make some lace to go around the neckline of my Molly Jumper, and I’ve been working on that today. I’ve got about 2.5 feet done so I guess I’d better stop until I can measure the dress and see how much I need! It works up so fast that I might make enough to go around the hem too.

01 — Feeling slightly better again. Planned to spend the day sitting with Dad but it turned out that Henry’s friend Fargo stayed home from school, so I let them play together all morning and we went over to Mom’s house in the afternoon. While the kids played I worked on my new blue corduroy “Molly Jumper” — got the bodice sewn, lined, and turned. I think it will turn out well. Maybe tomorrow I can work on the waistband. It’s nice to feel well enough to sew again, although I still have a stuffy head and a deep juicy cough. Lovely.

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