Thursday, December 31, 2009

it's almost a new decade...

sophie under the most majestic blue beech tree ever

...but not quite yet--still in december, still 2009. as previously mentioned, we've had tons of snow and sophie, rich, paco and i put it to good use a couple of days ago by going sledding down lincoln hill (gus was involved in a playstation 3 marathon at his friend jack's house). we'll be doing this tomorrow, too. here's hoping everyone has a safe and happy new year's eve and a fabulous 2010!

happy bunny in the snow...

...because she is being pulled by daddy!

as rich pulled sophie, paco pulled me up the hill

lincoln hill!

it is wicked steep...

...and the eagles were circling overhead (i think they were checking out paco more than sophie)

i would love to think that sophie might, perhaps, be having second thoughts about going down this hill, but i know better


all i could hear was rich screaming/laughing and sophie saying, "again! again! again!"

back up the hill...

...and back down...

...getting a little tired of climbing that hill... we headed home for some yummy hot chocolate.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

decembery iowa in the triangle

i have been seriously remiss about posting photos this y'all get 'em all at once! we've had a ton of snow this december that has decided to stay with us until, i'm guessing, next april or so. it is seriously cold. but, the all-white look does keep the gardening urge at bay--even the swamp looks tolerable in its frozen state. welcome to life in the triangle, winter-in-iowa style (as an aside, and on top of everything else going on in this overly crazy busy month, rich and i celebrated 16 years of triangleness last week...).

gus and i made some yummy christmas cookies at the beginning of the month...which lasted maybe four days.

december snow #1--and gus is kindly shoveling our neighbor's driveway!

december snow #1, looking out back

december snow #2

december snow #3...and i quit taking pictures of it after this.

so much snow, and sophie is so excited!

it's a little harder to walk in than it appears

the swamp looks lovely in a blanket of white

(considering this is what it usually looks like)

paco is just totally confused

elementmaster rich cannot let the snow go unattended...

...thus he built a bitchin' snow fort!

it was much appreciated by all

wild thing gus

gus in a winter theatrical production of "where the wild things are"

rich teaching gus how to cheat

christmas morning!

so many presents...

...and sophie took her time opening them all (thankfully!)...

...but gus got all of his done in about five minutes then had to sit and watch everyone else, which i think encouraged him to think twice about his speedy unwrapping

sweet sophie, maid of the crayons

Monday, December 21, 2009

doubly merry christmas greetings

i'm setting aside the PANDAS rant for a happier subject: art. specifically, art created by my former roommate, kristin--and it's a lovely piece at that.

does it look familiar?

it's based on my photo!

merry merry...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

the christmas gift none of us want

PANDAS. fucking PANDAS. FUCKING PANDAS. not as in copulating bicolor asian bears but as in the inherently evil form of the word, PANDAS: pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcal infection. i think gus has it again; rich thinks gus has it again. gus isn't sure, but he's not always the most reliable source. he certainly isn't himself but he isn't as bad as he has been before. at this point we're not even bothering with the strep tests anymore (for a multitude of reasons), rather rich just started him on a course of antibiotics and we're hoping for an improvement soon.

he isn't in the throes of utter paranoia and fear of contagion and needing to be reassured every waking moment that he isn't sick/harmed/damaged/poisoned/crazy, but he is compulsively finishing whatever random task or repetitive action his brain tells him to do. and no amount of telling him to "stop it. please stop it. please stop it, gus. gus, can you hear me? look at my face--STOP IT!" works. it is completely baffling, frustrating, and infuriating. so, antibiotics here we come.

i guess i should be relieved that he isn't in school and getting in trouble for these symptoms, as that has happened before (at the inexcusably poor manzano day school--big surprise), but at the same time i am really regretting the move to a much-smaller house right now. and further, at least he has a decent school to go back to if he is going to have problems rather than that expensive pile of pretentious crap school we were sending him to in albuquerque. i should also add that manzano left my child woefully unprepared for fourth grade in iowa public schools...but he's finally catching up and is even excelling thanks to the tremendous abilities of his teachers here in iowa city (THANK YOU!). i'm grateful for that, too. i should probably write about that as a separate blog post in the future...

fucking PANDAS.

Friday, December 18, 2009

indian jingle bells

i LOVE this video--this animator has mad skillz, yo. go punjabi santa!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

25 bald eagles on the iowa river

TWENTY-FIVE bald eagles! in the wild! fishing! how very, very cool. before this year i had never seen more than four or five at a time, and i would risk a car + river accident staring at them while driving down rocky shore. i am thrilled to see just one--in fact, in previous years, i would feel seriously cheated if i had to drag my ass outside in the freezing weather and there wasn't even a damn eagle on the river to entertain me! i don't know what changed--maybe there is going to be a big snow storm and the eagles are gorging themselves in preparation? in any event, here are some extremely poor photos i tried to take of them--i'm determined to get one decent shot per winter spent here.

(detail of above)

(detail of above)

(detail of above) 10 eagles!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

now wait just an apple pickin' minute!

oooh, that's bad! sorry. we've been stuck inside for a couple of days owing to the lovely iowa winter weather and i think my mind may have snapped...bad puns abound.

these are pictures from our grand apple picking adventure at wilson's orchard just before halloween. i love wilson's--they have something like 140 varieties of apple, including the grand dame of heirloom apples, calville blanc d' hiver. the first time i tried one i knew i had finally eaten an apple--it resonated perfectly with me. they are french, of course, and are traditionally used to make spectacular tartes and other baked yummies. pictures at the end are of rich's half marathon here in iowa city. enjoy!

rich and sophie after the iowa city half marathon, also just before halloween

sophie and daddy

sophie eyes those beads...

and gets them!