Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Patio Again

Just had to try and get a couple pictures of the finished product. These photos really suck to be honest, but hopefully the can give the idea. It was hard to get a picture because of the dappled light, but this section in the sun gives a decent image of the actual color.
And in this one you can kindof see the big picture, although it still needs cleaned off. I don't really care for the lines, but I guess that is how it had to be since it is concrete.
And the even bigger picture. I really don't like the way the edge is gray, so hopefully we can paint it to match. Notice where the doors are and how we need to build steps.
Ron got a couple of other neat projects done while I was in CA, but I don't have pictures of them, so I will have to post those later...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Some final shots

Our visit is winding to an end.... I took one final trip out to see my friend Jenn in Agoura and stopped at an indoor play space in the morning as she had a client and couldn't hang out until afternoon.

This place is called Jungle Land - you will see why in a minute! Orion loves these things. Funny thing is , I haven't seen him on one in ages, and he is so big for them now! Push it back up...
Ready, set...
Go! Would you look at them dangly legs?!
View of plastic hell! Notice Orion has chosen the wooden train table. Haha, just kidding. He did plenty of plastic playing. In one of the previous pictures and in this one, you can see some of the cool murals.

And here is a really good one.
Then I grabbed a falafel plate on the way up to Jenn's. It was pretty neat because it was one of my favorite places to eat when I lived in Oak Park. It also just happens to be the same exact thing I ate the day I was in labor with Orion (and wondered all day if it gave me indigestion and I wasn't really in labor haha.) I think it dawned on me because today is so close to Orion's bday and here I was having the same meal! Minus the pita bread no of course.

Then on the way home I asked Orion if he wanted to go by the condo where he was born, and of course he said yes. Then I realized he might not have any idea what born meant. So I explained it was when he went from living in my belly to living outside of it. And he replied that he wanted to get back in my belly! hahahaha When we drove by, he said he wanted to go in, and I told him we couldn't because somebody else lives there now. And he said, "But I want to go in and see the pictures. There are cool picture of me on the walls." !!! Could he possibly remember that? He was just over a year when we moved out! He never ceases to amaze me!

Back at Grandma's. He loves to steal his Grandpa's spot.
Ah, my oh so negative mother. She was never much of a smiler, and less so now. :( Some nights she just has wine for dinner instead of eating. Other nights, she just has ice cream. Part of me thinks, so what, she is old, what does it matter? But then I think she has cancer and she should be trying to be ultra healthy. Ah well, she is stubborn and won't listen to anybody anyway.
Orion was sure fascinated with these doors that opened and closed around the TV. My mom finally gave up watching this one and went to her bedroom when she wanted to see something.
And tomorrow, we will be heading home. So looking forward to another LAX security experience!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A visit with cousin Carter

We decided to go to the Santa Barbara zoo. We met at Christine's place in Ventura. I don't think Carter was too sure about me at first, although Orion jumped right into the plastic pit. As usual, the rocks at the zoo prove more interestin than the animals.
So cute! These lemurs were all snuggled up together.
Mandatory elephant picture
And mandatory penguin picture.
Zoinks! Not another train ride. This was pretty cool, though, because as we were passing some plants off to the side I hadn't even noticed, Orion started shouting, "Cactus!" It really is amazing how much kids pick up.

Awww, and although it looks like Orion is dragging Carter, they were actually walking down the path like that for a few minutes.
Highlight of the day for sure! You get to feed the giraffes at this zoo. We had to wait in line for a bit, but it was worth it! Here is our first preview as we got to see people ahead of us on the platform.
Looking like he is giving Carter the raspberry haha. He was not so sure about the giraffe either. And I had no idea they had such LONG tongues! Guess it makes sense.
Case in point. Crazy lizard tongues! If you look closely at this picture, you will see the biscuit in flight right by Orion's head! He missed that one and we had to try again.
"There you go, hungry giraffe."
This has got to be one of my all time favorite pictures. This was the guy next to us, but I just happened to catch a great shot. So funny how their lips pout out!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sprinklers and Big Green Things

We actually managed to come at a pretty good time for the temperature. It has been mostly in the 80s, which is nuthin for this area. Still, it is hot enough to run in the sprinklers! Mastering the jump.
Grandpa demonstrating the stealthy foot technique.
And Grandpa showing him how it is really done!

I was happy to see my dad had planted some tomatoes and zuchinni. I didn't know he was still gardening, and I have such good memories of all the veggies he grew. We found a giant zuke that he hadn't even seen because of his poor eyesight.
It is time to be educated in The Way of The Big Green Thing.
Ahhhh, I see Master. I am ready to accept this great responsibility.
It is time for you to take up the mantle of the Big Green Thing.
Yes, I will treasure it always.
And use it for a spiritual tool... Gaze deeply at the beautiful green flesh... it holds the secrets of the universe.
And then... use the force, Orion!
Alas, The Way of The Knife was mightier than The Way of The Big Green Thing.

Seriously, the journey to the frying pan was no simple one! From the moment I saw that lovely, large one, I remembered the fried zucchini my dad used to make on the BBQ and started craving it. But the fact that Orion and I are both gluten free complicated matters. My first thought was to head down to Lassen's to see if they carry the gluten free bread crumbs I buy at New Seasons. No luck, so I spend several minutes perusing the cereals for something to crush up. I decided on one made from corn and amaranth as I thought that would give a better flavor than the rice cereals. I was worried it would have a bunch of sugar, but it was just right. My dad crushed it up with a rolling pin, and I mixed it with garlic powder, salt, pepper and basil. I dipped the slices in egg whites, then in the crumb mixture and on into the frying pan. They turned out dang good!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Griffith Park

I wanted to take at least one day to get over to LA and do something fun with Orion. I remembered how much Sarah used to love going to Griffith Park and that seemed like a good idea on a small budget. He wasn't ready for the horses that go around the big track, but he was comfortable with the little ponies that stay in the small circle.
Here is blowing out through his lips to make a horse sound. :)
Then it was on to the little train of course! Being one to never miss an educational moment, I noticed all these cacti planted at the station and we spent some time talking about them and why they like to grow in hot and dry places and if he thought they would like to grow in Portland and why...
Our conductor. I can't imagine a better man for the job or driving a mini train! He already looked like a character out of a children's movie, but he was also only about 5 feet tall. He was just a perfect fit!
Ah, the kitschiness begins.
And only in surreal LA... a bunch of deer statues standing near cactus. ???
Then on to the wooden horses! This picture of the carousel is really bad, but it is the only one I got.
Orion almost didn't ride. He got on the horse just fine, but when I went to put the seatbelt on him, he started screaming. I have no idea why, but when I asked if he wanted me to ride right behind him, he was OK with that. So this was our horse...
Even thought he loved the ride, he still wouldn't let me take a picture of him when it stopped. He started crying again the minute I got off, so I took him down right away. Then he said he wanted to sit on one of the benches for a picture, but even then he got scared. Maybe he thought it was going to start up again suddenly. He sure is a puzzling mix of fearless and fearful. I accept it for whatever it is in that moment, but sometimes I wish I understood it better!
Ah, Travel Town. Real trains to climb on - the highlight of the day for sure! I saved the best for last.

This is one of my all time favorite pictures. It doesn't look very impressive small, but it is really neat when you look at it full screen.
"Look at me!"
In these next two, he was singing, "I've Been Working on the Railroad." hahahaha

Random neat shot

Scary ghost car. You could only look into this one from the outside.
This was inside an old caboose. It had these little cubbies, not sure about the function.
Another random neat shot.
Um, not much to be said about this one....
Hehehe, for some reason, this guy reminded me of Mike Mulligan's steam shovel.
Oh Lordy, not another miniature train. But he looks happy about it.
Conductor number two. This guy actually looked like an LA hipster. He did not fit the job so well LOL, but he was cute.
Um, Winnie the Pooh and Chuckie? Why???? They both seem to be holding something. What is the hidden meaning? I must know!
Is it just me, or is this statue totally homoerotic? It was a tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps, cuz, um, yeah, they all worked just like that I'm sure.
These cards were a trip! (They were posted in a huge glass wall case.) I would have sat and read them all day, but Orion was getting restless. This one was by far the funniest.
And some were very poignant.
I wanted to get Orion's picture in front of these flowers, but the wall was way more interesting to climb on. So in closing, Orion says, "Talk to the back."