October 2006


The Halloween of 2005 is remembered with an extravagant storm that rolled in, oh, just minutes before we were to leave for the big neigbhorhood parade.   Did I mention that it was big?  Joelle got to go to three houses that year  –  yippee.

Chris wishes they had just gone to three houses this year because the Halloween of 2006 will be remembered as the Mosquito Swarm of 2006.  (Steve:  “You should have sprayed up before you left.”  Chris:  “It’s just like flavored human to them.”)  The mosquitos chased Joelle and I all day.  They were in the car, the house, the forest at the Titmouse club, we batted them while carving pumpkins…  I have so much “tropical DEET” on my skin I feel like I could take a shower and I’d still smell this sickley sweet odor. 

I lit four citronella candles on our porch, but they managed to thwart that and make it into the house whenever I opened the door to give out candy.  Chris and I literally killed over 20 mosquitos in the house!  Joelle got into the game and ran around the house yelling at us whenever she found one.  Oh, and this sickley sweet odor is apparently just for my smelling pleasure, because they’ve been landing on me all night – I have four coats of the stuff on and they usually don’t bite me anyway! 

I wonder what the Halloween of 2007 will be like?

Our church had a little “trunk or treating” event tonight where all the pastors pulled up their cars and handed out candy from their tailgates. Joelle thought this was an incredibly interesting and entertaining experience. She would walk up to the car and gawk. We’d prod her to say, “Trick or Treat.” She didn’t know what to do when faced with the incredible decision of which candy to take.

Each time she secured a piece of candy, it was like a new victory. She came back proudly displaying her prize to us. We’d then say, “did you say thank you?” She’d walk back to say thank you, making each trunk a two step process.

What a strange experience for kids. They walk up to complete strangers (however; in this case, not all were complete strangers) and are encouraged to take candy from them. I’d really be interested to know how trick or treating came about. I’m glad Joelle got in this practice round before trick or treating a bit with daddy on Halloween!

Joelle: (Daniel Powter’s ‘Bad Day’ playing) “Boy, he really must have had a bad day.”

Chris: “He’s saying, ‘YOU had a bad day.’ Maybe he didn’t have a bad day.”Joelle: “I didn’t have a bad day. I just have fun days. ”

Chris: “Good, all my days are good, too.”

Joelle: (45 second pause) “Well, the day I had four shots was a bad day. That was my only bad day.”

I know that there was at least one other time when Joelle had to get 4 shots, but she was a baby and somehow it’s easier to give a baby a shot.  Sure, they cry (ok, wail), but they don’t have a memory of it afterwards.  (I will say that the heel jaundice test was an absurdly awful experience for both Chris and I.  Joelle was less than a week old and that woman dug at her heel for blood for what seemed like hours).

Joelle, being 4, remembers these four shots and is walking around with an air of authority that the world owes her something for the injustice she suffered.  In general, I agree with her.  Four shots.  Oh, and she had to get the flu mist.  Who knows what that feels like, having been personally given the shot again this year. 

Don’t get me wrong… I’m 100% for immunizations – I just wish there was a less painful way to get them or spread them out.  (It had been two years since her last immunization).  Maybe they could give two in year 3 and two in year 4?  My main point in posting this is as a reminder to myself to make Chris take baby #2 for her four year shots!  🙂  

I used to have this talent. I used to be able to plant pretty much anything anywhere and it would grow. I’ve always loved to garden and “owned” my parents atrium from a pretty early age. Sarah and I would plant flowers in pots to decorate our tree house. (We won’t mention where these flowers came from…)

My talent continued with only limited exceptions at Kobi Park (the Pecan tree and chinch bug incident are the only notable exceptions over the 6 years we were there.) I like to mow, trim and plant. Weeding is mundane, but given good weather, I don’t even mind that. Weed eating is another matter. Not sure why I refuse to learn how to do that.

Apparently, I’ve met my match with the Barryknoll ecosystem. The previous owners of Barryknoll used Chemlawn. Perhaps in discontinuing that service we immediately inherited a weak lawn accustomed to monthly fertilizing and chemcials. Or, maybe it’s the shade. Kobi Park had no shade and now we’ve got these huge Oaks covering almost every inch of our yard. (which I love and would gladly trade for the gardening mishaps.)

I write this with hopes that our yard, which is half dead, will recover by spring. We’ll have a new baby and replanting the yard may not be an easy feat. We still don’t know if it was brown patch, carpet worms or grub worms, but we tried everything and it’s still dying. My favorite though was when I planted $50 worth of new flowers in the front before Chris’s 30th birthday party. I should’ve done this planting the night before because they were ALL dead by the next weekend. Nice. The dead stubbies are still in the front bed as an albatross for my gardening skills.

I’ve found myself busy lately and haven’t picked up a book in a while (besides studying for the CFA, of course). So when I saw an article about DailyLit in my RSS reader I was intrigued.

DailyLit is a service that takes literature in public domain and breaks into e-mail sized chunks so you can read the classics via e-mail just a few minutes at a time. You’re reading your e-mail anyway – just pretend it’s another forward that you have seen before but find mildly amusing so you read it again (you know you’ve done this). Can’t you spare 5 minutes a day? If so, you can read some great books.

I just finished Frankenstein. I found that at first I would read one e-mail a day when I came into work. As I got into the story I started using the “send next fragment immediately” feature pretty often because it was such a good book (could be because it was a thriller as opposed to something a little more slow-paced). Here is what the e-mails look like.

You can search by title or author. The number of books is limited enough to where you can easily browse through all the titles to see if something interests you. Here is a screenshot from the site (very bare bones, which suits its purpose).

You can schedule delivery for any time of day and have the frequency be daily, weekdays or every other day. I would hope that they add “twice daily” in the future – who really is going to take two YEARS to read War & Peace and who wants to click on “send next fragment” that many times?

Anyway – I recommend it, let me know if you try it and what you think about it!

Like most Americans, Joelle enjoys her TV viewing experience.  Her current favorite, much to our dismay since we now have cable and this is “free” on PBS, is Dragon Tales.  A surprise to me – I have no idea what makes her like a show or not.  Anyway, we do allow Joelle to watch TV during breakfast and she had it on one Saturday morning.  We were all sitting at the table eating and Joelle kept commenting on parts of the show.  Chris said, “I can’t really see Joelle, but I’ll watch after breakfast.”  She was very perplexed about him not being able to see.  If it’s her favorite show, it stands to reason that it’s daddy’s favorite show.  She said, “You have the bummer chair.”  I think she’s still working out a way to fix that.  It’s likely that mommie will get ousted from my premium viewing chair and daddy will secure that spot. 

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