This sock monkey guy has a story and a sibling sock elephant that is too homely to photograph. My friend, Barbara, had a yearning to make these and a pile of socks so she and I spent a couple of afternoons together, sewing and catching up. It was a fun project and I have found a four year old that might appreciate finding these under the Christmas tree. I dunno - lovable creatures to some? Those super soft fleece plushies have much more appeal, I think. Maybe someone likes the idea that they used to be socks but most kids are not going to care much about it.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Saturday, December 16, 2017
|Sawtooth Range - Idaho|
Friday, December 15, 2017
My running and bicycling days are behind me, I guess. 😐 But everybody needs exercise.
This is a nice town for walking with good trails and decent year round weather. I have two friends that are my main walking buddies but, of course, I don't have any good pictures of them. Dave comes with me sometimes and often I go alone. I like walking around the harbor right in town but also really like the Tommy Thompson trail and the trail out by the ferry terminal. The loop road in Washington Park is closed to cars until 10 am so that is a great place to walk as well. The last main trail that I use is the Padilla Bay Shore Trail, aka the Dike Trail.
There are so many other places to walk - Mt. Erie and the three lakes that are right in town - Little Cranberry, Heart Lake and Whistle Lake. It's great to have so many lovely choices.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Did everybody like the Great British Bake Off as much as I did? I watched all of the seasons that are available here and I'll probably watch them again. There is drama but it is never hyped and the food photography is fantastic. When technology changes and we are all able to smell and taste through our screens, we are sunk. It's hard enough to resist just looking at the treats.
I've been inspired by it all but haven't gone overboard. We really shouldn't be eating bread and dessert every day so I usually wait until there is company around to share the caloric load. The holidays are a good excuse, too.
|Cinnamon Star Bread (Savory version)|
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Ray's winter break starts today. It is always good to see him and I'm so glad that he still comes home when he isn't at school. Even so, we don't see him much. He has friends and his girlfriend to spend time with and he needs to sleep in. Empty nest syndrome is a real thing. It's kind of a heartbreak...
Ray is a junior this year and will graduate with a degree in Chemical Engineering in May of 2019. He has five more quarters. The time has gone by so quickly. He has an internship lined up for the summer at a oil refinery in Ferndale, about 60 miles north of here. His girlfriend's apartment is about 20 minutes away so he will stay there while he is working. Last summer, he stayed in Seattle as he was working an unpaid research job at the University of Washington campus. He works there during the school year, too, studying very detailed chemical properties of perovskite solar cells.
I have learned to remember the names of his classes but that is about as deep of an understanding that I have of any of it. Transport Processes in Chemical Engineering, Thermodynamics and Quantum Mechanics are pretty serious subjects. He is doing very well, though at the moment, he is nervously awaiting his final grades for the term. We are proud of him. He is organized and works hard and he calls us once a week. And he is happy!
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
|Random picture in the public domain|
I'm still a fan, eleven years later.
High school basketball season starts a little earlier in the year here in Washington, about three weeks before the teams in Juneau get going. When we moved down south, I had to change my allegiance to the home team here in Anacortes, and it took awhile to adjust. The boys team is well coached and has had a string of successful seasons, going to the state championship almost every year. The girls did well one year but really haven't built a great program yet. I hope things will improve in the future.
It isn't as dark and cold in the winter as those years in Alaska but going in to the gym for a game is still a welcome contrast to the dreary weather outside. Our son played in the band for 4 years which added a super fun element to the experience. The school here has a fantastic drumline but no dance team. Otherwise, things are pretty similar - kids working hard and enjoying their commitments and activities.
Two of my friends love to go to the high school games with me and they often come over to our house to watch NFL games on television. They don't have cable so we record the Minnesota Vikings for them and we usually watch the Seattle Seahawks games as well. We've learned a lot about the game from them as they are more tuned in to the rules and better informed about the players and the teams. It's pretty fun - some of the games are really exciting and some of them just seem long.
Monday, December 11, 2017
The kids are there for 16 hours a week over four mornings. They have breakfast at school and leave after lunch. We eat together family style at little tiny tables. They serve themselves food and pour their own milk and it can be a real mess. Learning is messy! It is an atmosphere of mad fun and controlled chaos. Clearly, it helps to have another adult in the mix. I clean a lot of tables and chairs and sweep the floors but most of my morning is spent interacting with the kids and helping them get through the day.
I have also enjoyed getting to know the teachers and staff who work there and meeting the parents of the kids. It has expanded my social circle, too, and I did swing an invitation to the birthday party of a boy who turned five.
During the last school year, I went in every day but this year I am going in two mornings a week. It seems like a better long term strategy - I didn't want to burn out. This week the children are all excited about Christmas and are getting three songs ready for a holiday program. It's pretty sweet!