Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday's Vlog

Today ends our self chosen run of vlogs because Davan leaves tomorrow.  I'm excited for her, but, also getting kind of sad about her going.  We might post one more vlog entry tomorrow about her leaving, but it'll depend on how the day goes.

Meanwhile, enjoy today's offering.

Wednesday's Vlog (on, um, Thursday)

So, we got our vlog all done for yesterday prior to my heading off to work.  It was in the process of uploading.  However, what with one thing or another, I totally forgot to publish the blog post.  So, it's a little late, but here's Wednesday's Vlog.

This one is by request.  There is a short and a long.  Once again, the long has everything the short one has, but you have an option of about 14 minutes or about 4 minutes.  Choose wisely.

The long one:

The short one:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday's Vlog

We had to run some errands today, so we decided on a field trip for our vlog entry.  Let's just say that Davan is much better at what we did than I.  I might be funnier, but that isn't necessarily a good thing.

We were busy all morning with errands and vlogging and now I have to run off to work, so this will once again get posted in the evening.

Meanwhile, though, Davan is all set for her trip as far as purchasing things goes.  We had to get her a new pair of shoes because her feet keep getting soaked in the ones she has.  What's that about?

Anyway, here it is.  Don't judge us too harshly.

Actually, I'm having trouble embedding it, so follow this link and watch it at YouTube.  Sorry about that.

Yes, we were trying things outside of our normal range.  And Davan and I did some choosing for each other.  (Guesses as to what?)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday's Vlog

Davan is still in the throws of illness over here.  I pitched the idea of interviewing her, but she declined, feeling a little punchy today.  Perhaps when she is feeling better, she will acquiesce.  Meanwhile, we tried to do something not too taxing.  It was still a bit of an ordeal.  You'll have to forgive us both.  It was a long recording session.  In fact, I've made a blooper real for today, so you can share in the joy.

The vlog for today:

The blooper real:

Yeah, so once again, it's many hours after completing the videos before posting them, but, hey, I'm just pleased we are getting one a day done.  They are time consuming!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday's Vlog

Our Vlog for today is done.  It was done relatively early.  However, it ended up so long that I did a long version of the video and a short version.  Additionally, another video I've never uploaded was referenced, so I'm uploading that, as well.

We recently went to Clear for our internet service provider.  It's been okay.  What we've found is that downloading works pretty well.  On my friend Chris' laptop it works amazingly well.  Go figure.  Anyway.  Uploading, though, is slow.  Thus, the three videos for today's entry are, at the time of this writing, still uploading.  I expect it to be about an hour (maybe more) before they are ready for viewing.  It's already been uploading for 30 minutes.  Ah well.  It's not like I have to sit here and watch while it happens, so, whenever it's done and I get back to the computer, I'll post them.

We had to choose something non-taxing for today's entry, as Davan is feeling quite punky with the illness I passed on to her.  That was pretty much the same pattern I experienced.  My first day was not the worst - it was day 2 or 3.  This is day 3 for her. 

We did an interview and it got rather long.  I've given you two options here.  One is short (4-ish minutes) and the other is long (10-ish minutes).  The long one contains all of the short one, plus more. 

Here's the short one:

Here's the long one:

Referenced in the interview is the following video, if you care to check it out.  Warning - this one is long, too.

(It ended up being nearly bedtime by the time I finally got all this uploaded and posted.  But, here it is.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Today's Vlog

We ended up spending a lot of time doing things other than working on the vlog post for today.  I had errands to run.  Davan had errands to run.  Anthony had errands to run.  Davan had Lena to Skype with for hours.  Davan and I both have still feeling sick to deal with.  I felt more functional today up until the whole running errands thing.  Now I feel a little whooped.  Better now that we're home, but still.

One of my errands was getting my hair cut.  See if you notice the difference in the video.  It's no big thing, just less shaggy, really.

Once we got down to the brass tacks of vlog making, Piccasa spazed out on us.  Grrr.  Anyway, finally, all was done and here you go.  (Or, rather, about four hours later after we got distracted while the video uploaded.)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday's Vlog

So, we may not have chosen the best topic for today's vlog, considering that we're both ill.  Indeed, I felt wonky in the tummy and a little woozy once we'd completed the filming.  Ah well, done is done and the video editing part was much less taxing.  At least physically.

Here are a couple of the promised links.  The Indo Board website is here.  Ours is a homemade version that Anthony made for me years ago for a present for some occasion, but I no longer remember which occasion exactly.  And here is a video of a girl doing much cooler stuff than we did.  She's on a differently shaped board, but they do also make ones more similar to our homemade one.


Davan and I just finished up watching the Crash Course World History series.  We'd started watching back when they were pretty new after seeing it over at Homeschool Girls.  Then we got distracted.  However, we thought of it again at Christmas time in discussion with our visiting family.  Once we started watching again, we flew they them.

This started us down a whole rabbit hole of NerdFighters and Vlogbrothers.  We've been watching past Vlogbrothers vlogs and it's inspired us.  In fact, I've sent a couple of video messages out to friends/family.  It's so fun actually seeing and hearing the person you're communicating with, even if it's recorded.

Davan and I have decided to do a vlog a day until she leaves for Switzerland.  Now, today, you'll have to forgive us. We're sick.  I'm sick enough that I didn't go to work, which is rare for me.  I usually push through.  And I probably could have today, as well, but I really, really didn't want to.  So, we've been lounging around watching Vlogbrothers, reading books and taking turns on taking Ranger out today.  Well, I did make soup for us.  And we made muffins.  But, it's been a lot of lounging.  Now, all of a sudden, we're going to create a vlog from mostly new footage we take today.  Hopefully, we look better in future ones, but we're going for it anyway. 

We're about to start, but haven't figured out what we're doing yet, so I can't give anything away.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Week of Walks and Work and Whatnot

It's been cold here this week.  Cold, but dry, which is a change for us here in the Pacific Northwest.  It's better than rain in my opinion, at least for a change.  Davan and I were both hoping for snow, but, other than the flurries I shared with you, it's been a bust for snow.  It's supposed to get warmer, but also wetter starting tomorrow.  Actually, as I look outside now, I see clouds gathering, which wasn't the case when we were out walking this morning.

We've been walking a lot, but not necessarily walks from the book.  I like walks from books, as we often discover new things about our town, but I also really like walking in our neighborhood and not driving anywhere.  My various foot injuries are either improving or maintaining, so I'm trying not to be shy about actually using my foot for mundane things like walking.  And standing.

We started out to do a walk from the book on Saturday evening, but ended up doing a different walk. 

 Still, it was a lovely evening out and we had a glowing dog, so all was well.

On Sunday, we did do two walks from our walk book.  Both were out toward Gresham.  One of them was in an area we've never spent time, even though we lived in Gresham for many years.  It went through an urban wilderness area that was nice, then through a neighborhood that wasn't so nice.

The second one was only a mile right in downtown Gresham, which we are well familiar with.  I suggested we invite my MIL to join us then go out to dinner after, as she lives in Gresham.  She was up for it.

We see her a lot less now that I'm working.  She used to come over for dinner every other week, but doesn't like to be out late, which makes dinner after I get off work not good timing for her.  We haven't figured out a good substitute yet.  This worked well for Sunday, though.

And we got to eat at one of our favorite Gresham haunts - the Szechuan Open Kitchen.

Ranger had to brace herself from falling off the seat on the way home.

Davan has had some ongoing scholarship application things to deal with.  I got a call Tuesday evening from a representative for the German exchange program people wanting to schedule an interview with Davan.  We scheduled for the very next morning, which totally freaked Davan out.  After she got home from Zig Zags, we looked up interview questions and did some practicing.  We looked up college interview questions, which seemed like the most applicable.  She did great with them right off the cuff, but was able to do some polishing.  Still, she was quite nervous.

Wednesday morning I made her take Ranger for her morning walk alone (I was feeling my ankle that morning and decided on a bike ride for myself instead), which turned out to be a good, calming thing for her to do.  We drove there and it was, well, really informal.  All the preparation and worry was really for naught.  I tried to give Davan and the rep some time to talk without me, but the rep kind of drew me in and we just pretty much sat around and talked.  I guess we'll see.  If nothing else, it was a good introduction to interviews.  Some preparation was done, but it was also very non-threatening.

We celebrated the successful interview with lunch at Noodles and Co, as we were near one. 

Also on the scholarship front, Davan got an email on Thursday saying that one of her recommendations was missing for the scholarship that is her top choice.  She was nervous about going to the person who was recommending her and asking him about it, but she did, he was great about it and they both tackled the issue.  He had already submitted it, but not only re-submitted it, but called to talk to them, which Davan did as well.  However, they were closed on Friday causing them both to just leave messages, so Davan spent the weekend worrying about it, as that was also the deadline for the application.  Yikes!

We started a puzzle and finished it.

I served Davan breakfast in bed and with a nod to nostalgia, made her a teenage version of the toddler trays, then kid trays I used to make her.

Davan is reading The Year of Living Dangerously by Quinn Cummings, which we both read, enjoyed and laughed out loud with.  While it's not necessarily my favorite book on homeschooling (I have a soft spot for The Teenage Liberation Handbook, for instance), I do recommend it.

There are some changes at work I'm not loving, but I'm trying to give it time to see if I come around.  Still, that made the fact that Anthony had a four day weekend while I not only did not, but had a day camp (not my favorite work related duty) to do on Monday kind of difficult. 

Davan's trip is coming up soon.  As she updates each day, right now, she only has one Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and Monday here before leaving.  I'm excited for her, but trying not to think too much about her being gone so long.  Anthony and I are queuing up movies we want to see that she wouldn't like.  Other than that, we've promised to just sit around and stare at each other, doing nothing fun and only talking about mundane things while she's gone.  LOL

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Flirting with Snow

Yesterday morning I woke Davan up and invited her to walk with Ranger and I.  She came along.  We just walked in the neighborhood, as she had a class to teach and needed to be back in time.  We had some lovely snow flurries, but, sadly, no where near enough for a real snow day.  Sigh.  With a snow day from school comes a snow day from work for me, which we are both hoping happens a couple of times this winter.  Not yesterday, though.

After Davan went to teach, we bundled up and went for another (short) walk from our new walking book.  This one was Lloyd Center/Sullivan's Gulch.  We actually remembered a few houses from our previous walk in that area, but this one, clocking in at 1 mile, was significantly shorter.

Heading out and figuring out where to go:

It started snowing again just as we were heading out, which made for a lovely walk.  I tried to get a picture that showed the snow and this is the best I came up with.

You can kind of see it a little against the darker backgrounds, like Davan's hat and the darker strip on the bottom of the van in the background.  As you can tell, though, it was not enough for any sort of snow day.

We saw this surprising yard display along the route.  You can see the snow better here, actually, and it's not even what I was trying to get.

Davan, contemplating the above yard.

It was a short walk, but we (and Ranger) were happy to have gotten out and enjoyed the snow while it was happening.

No walk for us today, at least out of the book.  Of course, Ranger is getting in at least her minimum walking needs.  I took her out this morning, but we had to be back quickly because it's Tuesday, which is our baby morning.  The little bundle slept in his car seat for his entire visit today, much to Davan's disappointment.  Last week she was busy with her application when he came and didn't get to spend much time with him.  There's always next week.

Now I'm off to class and then work and it's a Zig Zag night for Davan.  No snow today and it's a little bit warmer out, too, so it doesn't seem like it'll happen.  Sigh.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Back to Walking

A while ago, Davan came across another book with walks around Portland.  This one has more walks and more walks that are spread out across the metro area, but they are also mostly shorter and there is only a small introduction followed by a map and directions, so they aren't as much of a tour guide as our previous walks were.

After my ankle was healed enough to walk and before I had the warts removed (sigh), we got in two of the walks from the book.  One started and ended literally out our front door, right at our intersection.

Here is Davan, as we were starting our walk, with the Belmont Library behind her.  This is the library that's kitty-corner from our place.

As you can see, she's holding up the book, which is called "Walk There" and Amy (the snowman that was one of the advent gifts from Lena) is peeking out of her pocket.  Amy is going on all the walks with us in lieu of Lena being able to, I believe.

The other was in Hollywood and was really short, which was good due to the icy rain that started while we were walking.

Now that I'm walking again, we all decided to do one of the walks today.  We chose one of the longer ones because the day was nice, we had time and the drive was short.  We went to the Alameda neighborhood, which has a lot of nice houses and hills with hidden public stairs.  It was lovely and we took a ton of pictures.  Here are a sampling.

Davan, Ranger and I just starting out:

Heading up our first staircase:

One of the many cool houses.  We all thought this turret would make a cool room:

Another staircase:

Anthony and Davan are doing the "kimchi" V here.  We've hosted a couple of exchange students from Korea for a summer program in previous years and they all did this, along with the serious face.  We finally asked about it - "Is it a peace sign?"  No, we were told it's the "kimchi" V, which is a brand of kimchi and they, apparently, all do this for pictures in Korea.  Okay, then.

One house had this awesome gate on their back fence:

Coming down one of the staircases and checking directions:

The crew, minus me:

My girl:

Going down one of the staircases:

And, Davan going down in her own style:

My other girl, waiting at the bottom, wondering what the heck Davan is up to:

My guy:

Davan loves her daddy:

My girl again because she's just so cute:

Then Davan took over the camera for a while.  So, there's one of me:


And ones of Anthony and I (here's just one sample):

Ones of Amy (also a sample):

Toward the end of the walk, we went by a house for sale with an open house going on.  Davan and I went in to look while Anthony stayed out with Ranger.  The house was fine - cute, but way expensive and with a finished basement that felt very basement-y still to me, but the kitchen was very nice and Davan absolutely feel in love with this attic room.

There was also a little alcove where she'd sleep, cool low windows at either end.  It really did suit her personality, minus soaring ceilings for rigging aerial apparatus. 

Back at the car, Davan took a few more shots:

And then it was back home!

In non-walk related news, Davan seems to be recovered from her application marathon.  She took a day or so to do nothing but read, then moved on to library trips, cooking, encouraging walking, working on her German for her upcoming trip and going on bike rides with me.  We rode 12 miles yesterday afternoon while Anthony was off riding 25 with a friend. 

It's been a great weekend, but it's not over yet.  We're all invited to a birthday party at Do Jump this evening - it's a party for one of the directors Davan works with.  There will be food and trapezing and dancing.  It should be a lot of fun, but Anthony and I only get to stay for a half an hour because tonight is also the winter party for his office.  He and I will head over to Marrakesh (a restaurant) for that party while Davan stays at Do Jump.

Tomorrow, it's back to the grind for all.  Davan teacher the homeschool class in the morning.  I've got work in the afternoon.  Anthony is back to work as usual.  Davan, though, will also be preparing for her trip.  Work on her German is high on the list.  Preparing her in-flight entertainment is also there.  She's started, but has more to do.  I'm guessing those two activities will fill her time in between events such as classes, Ranger walks and me distracting her.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

My How Time Flies

It seems to have been quite a long time since my last blog post.  These things happen.  A quick run-down of the in-between time with some pictures:

- I had 5 warts cut off of my foot.  That was on December 18th.  I'm still very much in recovery.  I had no idea.

- Ranger had her newest tumor removed.  She had it done under sedation and it was much cheaper (although, still, yikes!) than the last experience, not to mention there doesn't appear to be a scar.

- Davan spent time with friends at various open workouts, swimming and sleepovers.

- We had company for Christmas.

- We made gingerbread cookies and everyone helped to decorate.

Davan really loves her Oma.

- Davan had her closing weekend and cast party.

Each cast member got a mixed pair of socks as a closing weekend gift.

- On Christmas Eve, we had a scare.  Ranger seemed to have been poisoned.  She threw up, was leaking pee, was listing to the side along with several other symptoms.  Because of the timeline, which included us being out for a couple of hours, by the time we figured it out, it was too late to induce vomiting and we didn't know what it was.  I was feeling about 75% sure she'd pull though, but we really didn't know for a while.  Then, suddenly, she did.  We've been thankful ever since.

- Christmas Eve at my MIL's (with one of my aunts staying home to keep an eye on Ranger)

Putting out the stockings when we got home.

- Christmas!

Anxious anticipation!
I had Davan in our family Secret Santa drawing and I made her a travel themed "stocking."
Anthony's traditional Coco Pebbles and Cream (this year it was half and half).
Anthony got his nails done.
Davan put us all in hijjab.

- Our company started leaving on the Thursday after Christmas.

- New Year's Eve

- We've gotten back into puzzles.  We used to do them all the time, but we haven't much at all in the last couple of, ahem, years.

- Davan sinking huge amounts of time and energy into applying for several different 100% scholarship programs to do an exchange next year.  Her top choice is Ghana!  We really have no idea of her odds of getting in, but it's better than the odds for getting into the circus school for sure.  She just keeps trying to leave home.

Places under consideration for exchange at one point.

- Back to work for me.

-Davan is gearing up for her trip to Europe.  As things stand, with her ticket purchased, she's leaving on Feb 1st for three weeks in Switzerland with Lena followed by two weeks in Germany with my mom, who will be there for work. 

- And, of course, puppy snuggling.

Whew.  Now I'll try better to keep up.  :)