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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On the eve of 2009

New Year

This night
of all the nights
is the year's last.
All, all
the other nights
are gone, are past...
the evening, with
its fading light,
put the lid
on the hour
and close it tight.
Close up
your tinavy eye;
close up the day.
Bid the old year
and come away.

- Jean Kenward

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow removal

Yesterday we watched as some young men slid their snow shovels lengthwise along their roof shingles and ripped the shingles off along with the snow and ice. Rick has a tried and true method to avoid this disaster. First you brush the top layer, the light and fluffy snow, off.
Then comes the difficult part. Scooping and lifting the heavy, packed snow. The *fun* part of this little chore is throwing the snow...
and, throwing the snow...
and, throwing the snow...NOT AT ME!! Just wait until he tries to get down and can't find his ladder.
Walking in and out of the house is a challenge. We anticipate another 4" of snow to fall tonight over our sidewalks and driveway which are already thickly crusted with ice. This is the wrought iron handrail leading to the front door. The is is about 2" thick along the top of the rail and I'm afraid to break it as the railing isn't very secure.
Another little snow removal project is keeping the sidewalks clear. Our rental contract requires this and Rick is concerned that soon the snowblower won't be able to throw the snow over these burms! We can't see Keeli behind most of them now.
The good news is that today I took my car out and had no trouble getting around town for errands.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A merry holiday

All sorts of preparations went into Christmas Day this year. The kids spent an hour or three making special candy cane cookies for Santa. It was an involved process that let everone get some hands-on time.We had cookies of all shapes and sizes. Rikard even tried to make his red and white twists spell Santa's name. Tatum's cookies grew to monumental size, a couple stretched the length of my cookies sheets.
Then, we finally finished decorating the tree. It was Keeli's turn to put the star on top. It was a little crooked for a few minutes, but dad just reached up and fixed it. Good thing because I can't reach it :).
We watched a holiday movie and consulted NORAD's Santa Tracker throughout the evening to watch his progress. We learned some interesting holiday facts and the kids went to bed when Santa was reportedly over the Dakotas. We figured he was hitting the Moore house and would be here soon. Everyone went to sleep quickly on Christmas eve.
Too soon it was Christmas morning and everyone was anxious to share gifts with one another. Nana Linda's package arrived in the mail in time for packages to be under the tree. The weather prevented Nana, Papa and Sadie from arriving.
The most interesting thing this year was watching and listening to Rikard. Each package he opened he would exclaim, "This is just what I always wanted!" There wasn't anything he didn't promise to enjoy to its full extent. This year Santa got smart and bought him a pack of rechargeable batteries.

And then there was Rick. He thinks if he acts like the poster child for The UPS Store it will gain him points with Jim. Whatever! What a suck-up he can be.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A boy and his toy

The snow has been falling and falling and falling, and piling and piling and piling. We have over 30" now in our yard and shoveling was starting to take a toll. We visited several local dealers and there were no snow blowers to be had. One of the larger department stores wouldn't even promise one if we ordered and prepaid!

So, we made a few phone calls, took a trip and brought home Ricky's latest power tool. It is red, shiny and loud. He made quick work of the driveway. And the sidewalk (yes, the snow is nearly as deep as the snowblower). He was very pleased that we cleared the driveway and sidewalk in less than an hour. The past couple days it has taken both of us 2-3 hours to clear away the snowfall.

We called the Sears store in Moscow, Idaho early Sunday morning and reserved a snowblower. When we arrived, the only one left had a sold sign with our name on it (yeah us for thinking ahead). By the time we returned home, a new 4" had fallen and it was time for that machine to go to work. We look forward to using this snowblower several times in the near future as several more inches of snow is in the forecast for the holiday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


We took full advantage of the snowfall and a sunny afternoon for an exciting outing to the park for some sledding (or skidding as Keeli calls it). It was only 12°F at the peak of the afternoon sun.
Rikard bombed down the hillside, hitting all the jumps kids had built into the hillside.
He was trying very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very hard to "catch some serious air" under his sled. He actually did a few times.
Keeli was a bit wary when we first arrived, but had no fear by the end of the day. She took her first trip down the hillside on her daddy's lap.
Then it was all about doing it herself... ...even walking up that big hill with those short little legs.
Tatum was up and down the hill all afternoon. She even taught Keeli how to sled in tandem, with their sleds next to one another holding one another's handles and zooming down the hill together.
Our celebration of snow isn't relegated to the great outdoors. Tatum created a fabulous display of paper snowflakes to adorn our window.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The weather outside is frightful

It was a record snowfall week for us, 27 inches in 29 hours. The local news - all three stations - had nothing but weather coverage for hours and hours and hours. Rick described the on-going coverage as being similar to a low speed freeway chase in southern California. We were constantly warned to not leave home unless it was an emergency. It was like nothing was happening in the rest of the world, that this snow storm eclipsed everything.

I shoveled the driveway every two hours during the day to keep it clear enough for Rick to get home from work and get his truck off the street. Rikard offered to help me out after school. The next morning it was like we never shoveled on flake off the driveway.

School was cancelled due to the amount of snow and the unplowed streets. A neighbor arrived with a snowblower to help. Rick went straight out to buy one, but there isn't one to be had in this town! So, we rented movies and went home.

We did catch a glimpse of a man in a red jacket on our roof. It was a false alarm. Rick decided to brush the snow off the chimney to help us build a fire without the smoke being blocked by the snow. We started a fire, but it certainly didn't do anything to warm us. The heat just went straight up the chimney.
Before getting off the roof, Rick made sure to clear a path to the chimney for Santa's pending arrival. Keeli was pleased with his efforts.
We had a stack of library books that had to get back this weekend. The icicles at the library were fantastic. Rikard wanted to get out and break them all off.
During the storm our good friends Shawn and Kara and their kids arrived. We got up at 0-dark-thirty the next morning and took them to the airport. They are flying off to Disney World for the holiday. At least they will be warm this week.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It was a great holiday, family, good food and a quiet evening. We enjoyed a houseful of people with a visit from Nana, Papa, Kelly, Bailey and Baby Tabitha for the day. We are thankful they all traveled safely.

Rikard and his teacher get the big, creative award for preparing the most unique and Thanksgiving-themed decorations this year. This round turkey has a 3-dimensional neck and was a study in repeating patterns (a lot of his math homework is quilt block patterns lately, so I'm enjoying math).
He also made this little guy, who sat on the mantle for the weekend and is kind of like a pinata. The paper bag he is made from is filled with sweet treats to share. He lost his foot on the way home from school, but thankfully he doesn't have to do much walking.Kelli made this great little turkey at preschool. The handprints are supposed to be wings and he apparently is a "cycloptic" turkey. She may spend the holiday break brushing up on her bird anatomy.Tatum had to solve a series of math equations to get the specifics to draw her coloful holiday bird.Thanks to everyone for the input on keeping one little boy busy. We have used and plan to use many, many of the suggested ideas for keeping Rikard busy in a couped up house. My best idea, to get him an outside toy that flies, didn't work well. Rick warned me of this inevitability, but I didn't listen. We got three good flights out of the hand launched helicopter thing-y and then had a distraught little boy. You guessed it, the darned thing landed on the roof.

Your ideas that worked out included going for a hike. There are miles of trails here and we set off and explored one. This cairn, or rock stack as Rikard calls it, was along the trail. When we returned someone had knocked it over and the kids spent a good 30-45 minutes trying to rebuild it.

Another idea came from my sister. Let the boy bake! When we visited them - oh so far away and oh so long ago in South Dakota - she let him knead dough and make cinnamon rolls with her. He was up to his armpits in flour and then sticky from head to foot in icing.

We took the easy route here at home and just bought a tube of refrigerated cinnamon rolls. He enjoyed this project a lot!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coup'd up kids

Adjusting to life without a large yard where the kids are free to roam is proving quite challenging. As the days get shorter, darker and much colder we are finding they don't have enough time or space here in the city to release all their energy.

So, we've turned to crafty stuff. Tatum is working her way through learning to crochet. She has an instructional book made for kids, but like her parents, is doing it her own way. She spent hours and hours over the summer crocheting chains. Four skeins of yarn fell prey to her crochet hook. Now, she has some inexpensive variegated yarn and is attempting to make rows. There are some gaps, but she calls them ruffles and plows forward! We like her style.

Keeli gets these great rewards at daycare for good behavior. This week she brought home a princess paint by number project.

Our girls haven't watched many of the Disney movies, so their concept of the princesses needing to be painted or colored certain trademark colors is lost. Plus, much to Keeli's delight, this kit came with "wet paint," no need to add water and control the amount of paint that could spill or otherwise find its way all over the place.

We enjoyed several hours of self-entertainment tonight. Thank goodness for crafts. Any suggestions out there for little boys who want to dig tunnels under houses?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Cast Your Vote!

Grafitti is often times a good thing. Remember to vote today.

I found this fantastic piece of GRAFFITI along an arterial street in Northwest Spokane. I think it is a great rendition of the two major party candidates. All the work appears done in traditional spraypaint, most of it with simple black and white.

According to various dictionaries:

Graffiti [gruh-fee-tee]
1. Archaeology. an ancient drawing or writing scratched on a wall or other surface.

2. markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or public restroom, or the like: These graffiti are evidence of the increased interest in national politics.
Remember to vote. Your voice counts.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

more/Moore lions/Lyons

On a recent hike around the neighborhood, we discovered we live very near the intersection of Moore and Lyons Streets.

The way the streets wind around in this neighborhood, we actually live between Moore Street and Lyons Street. Which is funny because my sister's family's surname is Moore and my maiden name, thus my parents' surname, is Lyons. So, I'm kind of between Moore and Lyons all the time. Odd coincidence.

This street name issue amused me as our last home was on Dunn Street, near the intersection of Dunn and Brad Streets - a fiscal fact which amused my parents.

And, the world needs to protect its lions and to enjoy the Lyons in their natural habitat. Alas, I have no lions with wild manes roaming the backyard to photograph, so my new neice will have to suffice.

This is a shot I stole on Halloween in her cute little holiday outfit while she was out visiting. It was the first time I got to hold her. She is precious.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloweenies

Here is the troop seconds before the descended upon the neighborhood in search of piles, loads, pounds and gallons of candy.

What? Yes, there is an extra in the photo, our nephew. He was a zombie skeleton or a skelton zombie, I'm too old to remember which it is supposed to be and apparently the order is very important. Rikard, of course is his favorite Seattle's Mariner, The Midget is a Care Bear and Tatum is in her Hannah Montana get-up.

Woops! Tatum wasn't in her complete costume. Apparently you are only a diva without the wig. Now she is a true imitation of HM. It took me just a couple hours to stitch up the little sequinned dress and, you can't see it in the picture, but the boots are patent leather purple - apparently very HM.

All through the neighborhood the decorations were ghostly and ghastly. However, we all agree this was the best, most unique jack-o-lantern of the entire evening. The cyclops was watching over an unattended candy bowl a few blocks from home.
I was fairly impressed with the skill and creativity that went into decorations around the neighborhood this year. The picture window in one nearby house had several suspended ghosts illuminated with black lights and some dry ice pouring "smoke" around the display. I sometimes wish I wanted to decorate for the holidays. This year we didn't even have uncarved pumpkins on the front step. I can be such a fuddy-duddy.

The best costume seen along our trick-or-treating adventure was the Hound Dog King. This full-sized poodle was sporting a sequinned satin jacket and trick-or-treating along with her people. We also saw a pair of great danes walking their master and a corgie named Music, but they weren't dressed for the holiday.

Rick and I are off to rifle through the candy bags and eat all the Reese's Peanut Butter cups now that the kids are in bed.

Monday, October 27, 2008


How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the groundTo lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.

Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.
poem by Elsie Brady
photos by Kate' Lyons-Holestine