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This journal is friends only. Please leave a comment and I'll probably friend you.

And yes, for the record, this is much NC-17 rated Snack here. Heh.
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This journal is friends only. Please leave a comment and I'll probably friend you.

And yes, for the record, this is much NC-17 rated Snack here. Heh.
nwhiker: (Default)
So, introductions are going... mixed. BamBam appears to be terrified of the two little kitten, and meows and hisses at them. They ignore him.


Twisp is a big kitten. He hoovers down food and is growing like a weed. He was very nice at the vet, and let them take blood without complaining. Well, much.

Auri is a teeny little thing. We have to hand feed her at times, because she is a slow, social eater. At the vet, she was fierce, and they had to burrito her in the backroom to get blood out of her.

And she... OMG. She runs up to BamBam. And stares him down. She's barely bigger than this Auri loaflet photo I took last week, and BamBam is a big cat. And he's walking away from this teeny time little ball of fluff. Who is just sitting there. Staring at him.

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Today was (teeny tiny) Linnea's first regatta... when, skirmish, since it was just two teams. Rowing hasn't been going well for her... she tried it out this summer, and loved it, especially how quickly it got her stronger. Since she can't row with Perry's school team, we signed her up at the local rowing club. First few days went well... and then the deadline for pulling kids out for a full refund came... and all of a sudden, we found out we'd paid loads of money for our kid to row in-a-boat-on-the-water once a week, all her other workouts were land workouts. They can only have 45 girls in boats at a time, and while the additional 3 girls should be rotated in and out, Linnea was out, 3 days out of 4 (they're all on land once a week) over the past three weeks, leading to discouragement, lots of tears (at home), and misery. It was pretty clear to us that they wanted her to quit, and all she was getting from the coach was public shaming (*), which really, not ok.

However, she did make it into the girls who got boats today, not quite sure how. I expect, maybe, because she showed up on the two days this week when it was POURING. She was in the boat both those days, and so freaking THRILLED.

Friday she came out, and would have bounced out of the car and down the road without the seatbelt, she was so ecstatic, because she'd found out that she was racing today. We truly hadn't expected her to, and had been preparing her for the disappointment.

She was in their "D" boat, and yes, they came in dead last, but she was so happy to have gotten out and raced. It's a chilly and sunny fall day, and she had a fabulous time.

Us, well... Nobody paid attention to the time she needed to be there and we listened to her. Which is why we got there.... half hour early. And then there was an hour + delay because of the amount of fog on the lake.

It was good. I hope she continues to row, at least for a while. She truly loves it, and she's getting so much stronger.

And, as a shout out to my other two. Despite things taking A LOT longer than expected (they were supposed to be done by 10am, we didn't get Linnea until about 11:30), and it being chilly this morning, neither complained one bit.

(*) Singling out the girls who come in last on their warmup run, in a nasty way. It drives Linnea even more nuts because it's hard for her, she's much shorter than the next shortest girl, so already has to run faster, AND a few of the other slower girls have taken to waiting about 2/3 of the way into the run for Linnea and the other very slow girl to get back, and then run ahead to "beat" them.


9 Oct 2017 15:21
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Yes, another boring menus post... but it really helps me, when I lack inspiration to check out my "menus" tag and see what dishes we might have liked that have fallen out of rotation etc.

So. I'm finally making the matar paneer I was supposed to make a few weeks back. It's fine, nothing was fresh for it, so it kept on getting pushed back in favour of a quick fast meal when time was tight.

Monday: matar paneer with naan

Tuesday: jerk chicken, roasted yam purée, sautéed spinach

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: taco salad

Friday: pork roast (*), rice, green beans

Saturday: baked potatoes, broccoli cheese, sautéed mushrooms

Sunday: polenta with spinach and a fried egg.

(*) Trader Joe's has a pre-brined pork roast that is supposed to be pretty good. I figured I'd try it!
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Friday morning, I was woken up by the sirens of aid vehicles. They sounded close, but I was tired, and just assumed they were on the bigger road one street over. But then, when it came time to leave, Linnea came back in, saying there were garbage trucks on the road, and she was afraid to talk by them, and I told her, nope, dunno, but it's recycling was yesterday and it should be fine.

She came back inside a few moments later, in a panic. There were police, ambulance, and a firetruck next to the neighbour's house. She'd seen a whole bunch of people in blue.

That created, for all of a grab-your-stomch with anxiety, which lasted for a long time that day.

I told Linnea she didn't have to take the bus to school, that I'd take her in later, even though it was pretty clear that the vehicles were blocking the road and she'd probably be late.

So we waited for things to clear up. We briefly considered going over, but it doesn't ever seem like there is a good time to insert oneself in a crisis, so we waited.

There were two possibilities, once horrible, the other one worse. By then, I think, most of us understood that there was no good outcome coming from this.

This was confirmed when we drove out, dh taking the olders, me Linnea, as saw the vehicle with a sign that said "Chaplain" in the window. I did explain to Linnea that it meant that someone had died. We didn't know who it was. I offered to let her stay home from school, but she wanted to go, and said I needed to let her know as soon as I found out anything.

I took her to school, and stopped by the office to tell them that she might be distracted or need to come home early, or who knows? And when I tried to talked, I started to cry. The women I was talking to, who turned out to be one of the counselors, had me in her office with Kleenex and a shut down in less than 10 second flat, and was able to get most of the story from me. She was kind.

When I got home... there lots of cars, and a medical examiner's car. I parked down the road at the library, since I couldn't get through, and walked home, crying, my legs shaking. No matter what had happened, it was a life changing even for one or both of two teens I've known since they were barely out of diapers (if indeed they were...)

AC got the news through the reliable "kidnet" later. Anni, the mom, had died. She was sick, I don't know with what illness, but, as we found out later, this was entirely unexpected, and came as a shock to everyone.

It's been rough. I really liked Anni. She was fun, and loud, and loved her kids and was just all around one of those people who clearly enjoys life, even as she dealt with some limitation. She was an awesome mom to her three kids, and proud of her new grandkid. She was a fierce advocate for her son, and she will be missed. The good thing is that the kids' dad is pretty great himself, and has always been involved in stuff, and they have a good support network. I suspect, and I hope, that we'll be part of it. The kids in the cul de sac have truly grown up together, and they will all feel this loss as well.

Of mine, Linnea had the hardest time, but of course, being Linnea, was able to express the feeling of vast emptiness that Anni's death meant, the feeling that nothing would ever be quite right again, that her friends' lives were irrevocably altered.

One last thing. You know that feeling of joy you get watching someone who is truly competent at something do that thing? Watching as someone dips chocolates and each comes out glossy, with a perfect swirl on top, as a piece of wood fits snugly in its spot? Anni drove a large pick up, and every summer would haul a large camper behind to all sorts of places around the Pacific Northwest. When she came back, each time, she would back that trailer into its spot in the driveway, up a hill, around a curve, down the driveway, in very tight difficult conditions. It was always such fun watching her do that, confident and accurate.
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Dh and I will be hauling our asses down to Northern California to pick up kittens next weekend. I'm SO freaking excited!

Still figuring out how we are going to break the trip up into the time we have, while minimising trauma on the kitties.

I'm horrified that we're taking them away from their mama and their current human, ya know?

But OMG, so excited!

Poor BamBam. Doesn't have a clue as to what is about to hit him!

I need to get teeny collars. I need to dust off the carriers! I need to buy another Cat Genie!

Oh. And I have a whole bunch of homework too!

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Rant: 4:30 am wake up.

Rant: I have fucking cold. Grr.

Rave: It did not rain, which is critical because I was outside from 5:30 am until noon at....

Rave: .... a regatta where Perry placed 3rd in his single. Which is really good.

Rant: they were doing SO well in the double later, having passed three crews, and on track to do really well, and... his partner caught a crab (*), which ended up breaking his oar, and Perry had to row the next 2km by himself. He looked dead tired when they came in, poor boyo. They were well last, though they were "only" one minute behind the last crew on a 18 minute or so race, and considering the circumstances, that's not horrid.

(*) From wikipedia:
Crab, or Catch a crab
A rowing error where the rower is unable to timely remove or release the oar blade from the water and the oar blade acts as a brake on the boat until it is removed from the water. This results in slowing the boat down. A severe crab can even eject a rower from the shell or capsize the boat (unlikely except in small boats). Occasionally, in a severe crab, the oar handle will knock the rower flat and end up behind him/her, in which case it is referred to as an 'over-the-head crab.'

Btw "ejector crabs" are spectacular. I've been lucky enough never to have seen a rower get hurt on one, which can happen, so seeing them has just been like OMG, I can't beleive that kid just went flying!

Rant and Rave:: C. caught the crab just as Perry had finished negotiating a turn, which, because Perry is a master at turns, had them very close to the buoy, and very close to perpendicular to their previous course.... and a crew was coming up straight at them FAST, since they were dead in the water, unable to get broken oar from under the boat or move. Perry tried to get them moved, while SCREAMING the other crew to yield that they were stuck and could not move. The other crew kept coming at them, Perry completed his avoidance measures and the other crew just glanced them, not damage to either boat. The other crew, btw, came by the boathouse later to apologize and offered to pay for the non-existent damage on the boat, which was majorly decent of them. Perry and C. were technically at fault, I think because they'd stopped in the water way, but they could not move and Perry did all he could to avoid a worse collision. C. said he was panicking and sure they were going to end up in the water with a quad on top of them.

Rant: I don't often get pissed at Perry's coach, but I'm a bit pissed at her today. Yes, Perry was bow, and thus responsible for the boat, etc, but holding him 100% responsible for all that happened? Not quite fair, since he didn't catch the crab, and there was nothing he could have done to prevent that. He's rather upset at that.

Their last race was a quad. Perry started pretty tired (he'd already rowed twice, once in the single, and one in the crab-cursed race), and he and the stroke seat did well, but C and the other kid in the middle of the boat were "all over the place" and unable to match the pace the stroke was setting, going too slow for one or too fast for the other. It was absolutely PAINFUL to watch.

But yeah. I'm proud of my boyo. He's pretty upset this afternoon, to be honest, and is discounting completely his really nice singles race because of how the other two races shaped up.
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I'm about to start reading a paper for my RNA-based Gene Regulation class, and I was picking it up, got that little burble of excitement, of anticipation, of learning something new.

I won't be saying this in a few weeks, as I drown in homework and other stuff.

I have a long post to write about some sad stuff (not my family) and it needs to be written, I need to write it, but I'm not looking forward to it.
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So. I signed up for a class this fall. I don't need it for my masters, but it's an incredibly interesting topic and in a research area that is becoming very important.


This fall, in addition to this class I have to:

- shepherd Perry through his college application progress
- go to Boston Wed-Sun one week, missing a class
- get kittens
- finish my effing RESEARCH
- get my thesis outlined, planned, and writing well on its way.

Remember that much of this involves a 90 mile each way commute.

There are two other reasons I signed up. The class' major requirement is a 40 minute presentation. I was supposed to have done one of those already but because of time constraints, I've never done more than 30 minutes by myself. Since I will have a thesis presentation to do, hopefully Winter quarter (I hope!), I'd like the practice of a longer talk.

The final reason is that I tend to function better with deadlines and structure. I can manage my own time, but I do find it easier to do stuff that is not on a deadline when I have other deadlines. Time becomes a precious commodity.

Still, I may be slightly manic by the end of October or early November.
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Saturday: pizza out

Sunday: leftover pizza/pick up after hiking

Monday: mapo tofu, stir fried bok choy, rice

Tuesday: pork tenderloin, with vinaigrette potato salad, green beans

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: matar paneer with naan, roasted cauliflower

Friday: beanie weanies with green beans <-- Perry request

Nothing too inspired, but it's all relatively easy considering the amount of stress and degree of "hectic" we're dealing with.
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Perry bombed the math at the ACT, not finishing 14 of 60 questions. We didn't expect much as a result.

He got his scores yesterday.

His composite is in the 97th percentile.

I think he was as shocked as we were. Turns out his flat out excellent scores elsewhere mitigated the not stellar but not as horrid as it could be math.

It isn' t fix-all to a lower than it should be GPA, but it does take off some of the pressure on all of us. A meeting with his college counselling team has finally convinced him that he doesn't need to know what he wants to do with the rest of his life to pick a college, and the team set up a meeting between them, Perry, and his rowing coach to draft an email for him to send to rowing coaches, something he just could not do himself. He also finally sent a rough -very rough- draft of his essay to his writing coach, and she a significant part of it was good.

Tuesday morning, I wept as I was writing up the state of his college search, before the meeting with his team. Now? We are NOT out of the woods, but Perry's attitude has taken a 180 degree turn, from refusing to even acknowledge that is something he's supposed to do about this college thing to "ok, I can do this and this and this...."

Fingers crossed. Yes, he could have done community college. But he can't really row at the level he wants to in community college, and that is just not something that would make him happy.
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... and I'm linking to flickr. Mostly dreamwidth is pretty good as an interface, though not as polished as livejournal, but where it is REALLY lacking is media embed and upload. Yes, I can upload a photo, but it's a painful annoying process.

So flickr, for the latest Twisp and Auri photos. Auri looks fierce in one of them!

Auri and Twisp

For a while we thought they'd be able to come home earlier than expected, but Auri is apparently more fluff than cat right now, so needs more fattening up. Eat, Auri, EAT!
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... of the menus post.

It's chaos here. School has started, the kids are all over the place, I'm all over the place. Normally Wednesday is leftovers night, but it's being moved to Thursday, because dh, AC, and maybe I will all be home Very Late on Thursday, and nobody is going to want to cook.

Saturday: chili cheese dogs, roasted cabbage.

Sunday: grilled pork tenderloin, roasted potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts

Monday: pasta with ground beef, onions, mushrooms, and tomato sauce

Tuesday: chicken sate, roasted cauliflower, saffron rice

Wednesday: strata with applewood bacon, onions, apples, cheddar, and poppy seeds (*)

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: buttermilk chicken, broccoli, roasted potatoes

(*) The poppy seeds really add an extra finishing touch to the dish. Now, granted, I love poppy seeds, but I do think they're worth adding!

Next week, I'm going to start clearning out the freezers to get some of the older stuff gone. I just don't have time this week.
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Oh snap, Linnea got Perry this time.

I wrote this, to quote myself, a few days ago:

Linnea names things. It drives Perry nuts. He carefully refers to Linnea's named objects as "it" to make sure he does not get caught in the family dynamic of referring to Linnea's travelling pig, Pinky Pie as "she" or to his own slow-the-boy-down-when-rowing buoy, Simon, as he.

Texting today, Linnea mentioned that she'd never given Oinkster, her USB drive a gender.

Perry followed up with three texts about how she was trying to put Oinkster in a box of he/she, and that Oinkster preferred "they/them".

I sense that a new front has been opened in this conflict. Heh.

So. Linnea texted yesterday that at her rowing club, they'd christened a new boat: No, but seriously, we got a new boat. His (or they're (sic)) I'm not assuming anything) name is Spencer Bros, dedicated to these rower dudes..."

Perry texts back: "She. Boats are female."

Linnea: [Flat affect emoticon]

nwhiker: (Default)

Linnea names things. It drives Perry nuts. He carefully refers to Linnea's named objects as "it" to make sure he does not get caught in the family dynamic of referring to Linnea's travelling pig, Pinky Pie as "she" or to his own slow-the-boy-down-when-rowing buoy, Simon, as he.

Texting today, Linnea mentioned that she'd never given Oinkster, her USB drive a gender.

Perry followed up with three texts about how she was trying to put Oinkster in a box of he/she, and that Oinkster preferred "they/them".

I sense that a new front has been opened in this conflict. Heh.

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Ugh. As if we didn't have a zillion reasons to hate him, but the blatant stupidity and cruelty of Trump's actions on DACA are just... beyond the pale.

Let's assume that you want to throw the book at illegal immigrants. I do think that is ill-advised, but there is some minor justification in that "they broke the law!". Though, again, I think we need them, so legalization is a better long term plan.


The so-called Dreamers. They came here as children. Children. They were not responsible for being here. They did nothing wrong, and if the data on them as a group is anything to go by, they are doing a lot of things right, as adults, and young adults.

This is flat out stupid and ridiculous. Continue DACA or, even better, give it up, and just grant them US citizenship.

The man truly is putrid scum, and Jeff Sessions is no better.
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Linnea starts high school today. She barely let me take a photo! She marched herself off to the bus stop! She was in a foul mood!

What gets me? The new late start high school still has her bus pick her up at 6:40am. Late start? I shudder at how early things must have been last year. Her pick up time is very early, but then again,she gets back early.

And in more makes me want to cry, it's Perry's last first day of high school. I'm feeling very emotional about that.
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There is video of Perry in here.... there is more of his teammates in doubles, he's by himself in a single, wearing a yellow-gold ("athletic gold") shirt, with a pony tail. The cool footage is him trying to prevent an 8 from passing him. He failed. But he put up a good fight!

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The things nobody tells you:

That if you choose an instrument other than a string instrument, you don't get to play music in high school, you get to service the football team and play peppy! shorts each time someone gets a concussion or a traumatic brain injury!

I despise football.

I despise marching bands of all sort. Stupid, ugly costumes, ugly music.

And major conflicts with just about everything this fall because Linnea has to be out there paying homage to the most stupid Americans aside from Trump voters: football players.

So much for real symphonic band.

Fucking liars.

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