Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Nice Lunch

At 12:10 I got a call at work. It was Rachel, asking if we wanted to come have lunch at her house. Yay! A nice hot meal in the middle of the day, that I didn't have to cook. However, there was a price to pay--washing the dishes--but it was well worth dishpan hands.

She is taking Wednesdays off from subbing so she can do two regularly scheduled babysitting jobs, and laundry.

Her big brother has offered to help her set up an IRA when she gets her first pay check. I wonder if she will do that.

David finishes his latest block of classes today, and gets a long weekend. We thought about going to visit him, but Gary has to be back for choir on Sunday, so that didn't seem to work.

I guess that's the news from home.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Will I Now Be Able to Sleep?

I was just settling in my cosy bed at about midnight when my cell phone rang. Rachel wasn't feeling very well (I think it was that Ball Park hot dog she ate at the Rangers' game tonight) and asked me to bring her some medicine. So I ran over to her apartment to see what she needed. On my way back to my door, I noticed there was a rattle snake in my way, laying right on the sidewalk between the two doors, where I had just walked. Not a big one, only about 18 inches long, but it made a nice rattle sound telling me to get lost.

So I walked around it, got Rachel taken care of, then took after it with a broom. It curled up behind my fossil and birdnest display, so I took some photos. Then I shooed it away, but I didn't really see where it went.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Slow Week

There hasn't been much family news to report this week. I've only heard from Andrew and Laura one short email. They did say they were enjoying staying at a hotel that Miguelina had arranged for them. I believe at about this hour they are flying out of DR to St. Louis for a few days with college friends before back to work in Honduras.

I haven't heard much from David either, but I think he's taking exams at the end of his latest block. He did say he's getting some new couches delivered from Ikea today since he gave his botique ones to a Ugandan friend of his roommate who had none. "That's what you're supposed to do with Wyco furniture, isn't it?" he said.

Rachel has had a good week with sub jobs and babysitting. She's thinking about planning to deliberately not do subbing on Wednesdays, and use that day for laundry and two other babysitting jobs. It is looking like she can easily get at least 3 sub jobs per week, but some of them are only half days. Her pay for babysitting is actually more than for subbing in most cases.

Gary and I are trying to write a newsletter. Gary finds that kind of writing exceeding slow and difficult. Now if you asked him to write an academic paper, that's not quite so hard. :-) While I'm waiting for him to finish his part, I'm cleaning up mailing addresses, etc.

The weather has cooled somewhat, but it still is too warm to enjoy being outside in the middle of the day. Gary mowed the lawn last Saturday with our 3-wheeled backup mower. He has to hold it up while he pushes it. Our "good" mower isn't working, though we tore it apart and put it back together. We're afraid it will cost more to have it repaired than we paid for it. :-(

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Testing, Testing

I'm testing a new feature that Picassa came up with--online photo albums that are coordinated with Blogger. This might be an easy, lazy solution to the fact that I've run out of webspace for my website.

I wonder how this works if you have dialup instead of high-speed internet. Let me know, OK?

Click on the photo below to see an album of photos from Andrew and Laura's recent visit.

Andrew and Laura's visit Sept 2006
Sep 13, 2006 - 15 Photos

Friday, September 15, 2006

Substitute Librarian

Today was the first day Rachel actually got a last-minute, morning call for subbing, this time for a library aide. She is not one to get up in the morning unless she has to, but this morning she managed to get herself ready and package up a set of tickets for mailing too (for those who might not know, she is Andrew's assistant in his ticket resale business). And she didn't even call me to tell me she was going until after 7am. This is her third subbing job this week, plus a couple babysitting jobs, so it looks like she is going to be having enough work to keep herself solvent. Yay!

Andrew and Laura accidently took my cell phone with them to DR on Wednesday, but I got an email from Andrew saying he had already FedExed it back to me and I should get it in a day or two. Tonight is Nicole's wedding for which Laura had a beautiful dress made and Andrew bought a new suit. I hope they send me a photo or two of them in their new outfits. (HINT!)

Gary is in Waxhaw again. He travels too much. But he'll be back tonight.

In other news, Rachel and I did some errands together yesterday, then tried out the rotisserie feature of her toaster oven by roasting a whole chicken. It turned out good, but it is a lot of work, so I doubt she'll want to do it very often.

OK, I need to go to work, but it has been kind of lonely there this week. Joan is out with having had surgery on Monday, Gary and Freddy are in Waxhaw. It is just me in that big office.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Another Picnic at the Lake

Monday, September 11, 2006

Family Reunion

We had a nice weekend with the whole family together, the first time in 13 months. I wasn't too happy with the photos from the event, but you get the idea.

Andrew and Laura are doing some shopping, visiting with friends, and taking care of some business too. David went back to Houston last night, arriving safely around midnight. Rachel is teaching today, and I'm blogging and avoiding doing some real work.

Yesterday evening we had a gathering of mostly old Kimball church folks here for pizza. It is always nice to see our old friends, and it is nice for our kids to get together with each other, and we always miss the ones who can't be here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Andrew and Laura Are Here

They have arrived safely and none the worse for wear. Travel from Central America is a piece of cake compared to travel from Africa. They were able to be in 1st class on the long leg due to Andrew's "Elite" status with Continental. Nice.

David arrived here at 5pm, but wouldn't go to the airport with us--"I have to study." Yeah, right. Anyway, the four of them have now gone off to Los Lupes for dinner. I declined.

They really liked Rachel's apartment remodel, esp. the nice paintings that Doro did.

My mom phoned this evening too. She's still in pain from her back. The dr. thinks some of the pain might be due to a tailbone injury more than 50 years ago!

Rachel has signed up for two more sub jobs next Monday and Tuesday. Both are half days only, and at two more new schools. Her third job yesterday didn't go quite as well as the second one, but still it went pretty well, and she is feeling good about the job as a whole. I guess we will just have to see of often she gets called.

David tells us he can't decide whether to join the Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics Department or the Neuroscience Department to do his Ph.D. He has to decide by the end of this semester. The deciding factor could be which department will give him a new laptop.

We have a few things planned for the time Andrew and Laura are here: picking Gary up at DFW tomorrow night and then going out for dinner, a pizza party on Sunday night, and maybe a BBQ at the Lake. They have some shopping to do and on Monday they have an appointment with Immigration and Naturalization Services to maybe start the process of getting Laura a green card.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"I Can See Myself Doing This"

PTL! Rachel came home from her second sub job smiling--not crying like last time--and saying it went well and she liked it and could actually see herself being a teacher. The class today was 2nd grade bilingual (which she isn't). She also went to the district administration office and got her electronic time card, and found out that in this district she gets $15/day more than the other district because she is certified. So I'm happy that she had a good day. Tomorrow it is subbing for another 2nd grade class at a different elementary. Both school districts use some software called Aesop to manage the sub teacher process, and it turns out her account shows jobs from both districts--it is nice when life is integrated.

She has also gotten hired to do childcare at our church for every Wednesday night this fall. So, little by little she is finding ways to pay the bills.

I got a call from Gary in Orlando. He's doing well. About 30 people are taking the Enterprise Architecture classes. He will be lecturing tomorrow.

I talked to Andrew on Skype today. We'll be seeing them in just a couple more days.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Rain has finally come to Dallas. We had two days of slow rain, and we could use a week more, but it was nice to walk a mile in it last night.

Gary has gone to Orlando for the entire week. He travels too much. Laura and Andrew should arrive before he does, and we expect David home for the weekend too.

Rachel has made more progress in getting set up for substitute teaching. Today she got two jobs in our local school district even though she hasn't even completed their orientation. That happened because the substitute secretary from one district found Rachel's name for subbing for another district. Sneaky. Rachel plans to go tomorrow to complete that orientation, and tonight she does orientation at a local Christian school. So, with two public school districts and two Christian schools, there is hope that she can get enough jobs to keep herself alive. Pray she will have the strength and wisdom to do a good job as a sub, esp. in the area of classroom control.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Back in Town

My flight back to Dallas was uneventful, although I did get to the baggage claim before Gary and Rachel arrived, but we all had to wait on the luggage. With the new rules, I guess more people are checking bags instead of carrying them on.

Last night mom and I ate at the favorite Mexican place. Since it is summer and not winter, we could find a place to sit.

I spent some time watching the hummingbirds. They aren't that easy to photograph, but you get the idea.

Mom's back is still pretty sore, but maybe getting better. I took her to the chiropractor, grocery store, eye doctor and bank while I was there. Her friend drove me to the airport. She doesn't want to drive yet.

Rachel did her first official sub job last Friday. She said it was terrible! One explanation: Kindergarteners haven't been socialized yet. Maybe there are other explanations, but let's not go into that.

In other news, I watched March of the Penguins with Rachel after I got home. Pretty good movie.