Thursday, July 27, 2006

Trouble along the way...

It seems my father-in-law and his friend Bruce have had a slight mishap on their cross-country bike trip, and even made the local paper:
Steve talked to his father last night, and they are both doing fine and ready to continue on their way. They expect to reach Maine on August 22nd, so they are nearly there. We are so proud of them! It is pretty inspiring to say the least. Don't forget to check out their blog:
They have done a great job documenting their journey.

Not much to report from here. My OB appointment this past Monday went well -- Griffin continues to grow and grow. I can't believe he'll be here in less than 9 weeks now! We are anxiously awaiting the closing on our new house tomorrow afternoon, and then my father, Buzz, will arrive Monday evening. We can't wait to see him!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Back to work...

After I typed the title to this post, I had to go check the calendar and count how many actual work days I have left...only 15! August 31st can't come soon enough. I am so looking forward to being home with Camden.

Steve was able to get the city water hooked up around lunchtime on Saturday. In the picture above, you can see the boys filling in the gaping hole that Steve had to dig across the front lawn, and also the Haneys' garage sale in full swing in the background. There are a couple of problems remaining with the meter, and a couple of plumbing leaks, but those will be addressed after the Haneys leave, so that we don't have to turn off their water again. The city will be replacing the meter, and Steve will fix the leaks. Now, all that is left is the closing, which will take place on Friday morning. We are both getting pretty excited. The sad part is, Lew and Roberta will be pulling out of town sometime on Sunday. It doesn't seem real that they are leaving - - mostly I try not to think about it. We are going to miss them so much. This past Sunday, we had a brunch at our house for Lew, Roberta, their daughter Joan, and her partner Irene. We had such a nice time.
Not the best picture, but that's the back of Steve's head, Camden (wearing a party hat because he thought it was a birthday party), Roberta, Lew, Irene, and Joan. It was fun watching Irene run the yard sale over the weekend - - she is such a people-person, not to mention, a fantastic sales person! It sounds as though they were able to sell quite a bit. They will give it another go this coming Saturday, and see if they can sell a few more things.

Steve's 20th high school reunion took place this past weekend in Maine, and last night we had some fun looking at a bunch of pictures from the festivities that have been posted on the internet. We found that many of his classmates hadn't changed much at all, while many were utterly unrecognizable. There was a huge turnout, and it looks like everyone had a lot of fun.

Tomorrow I'll pay a long overdue visit to Jeff, my hairdresser. I'm hoping the man can work a miracle because my hair needs some serious help. We shall see. Then, in the afternoon I'm off to see my OB. Steve was supposed to be out of town this week, but ended up staying here, and I'm so glad. I'm having a hard time with my back these days, and I wasn't quite sure how I was going to get things done without him.

Off to bed...we have an early start tomorrow.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ditch Digging and Other Fun Things

Uhh.....yeah. So here is what is currently happening with us. The house we are trying to purchase has well water. The Veteran's Administration says that if you have city water available, you must be hooked up to it. The new house has been on well water for at least 32 years, probably longer. The city doesn't actually care if we have city or well water, but the VA does. So before we can sign on the dotted line, we have to prove to the VA that we are hooked up to city water. Unfortunately, making that happen is no small task. Steve spent 10+ hours yesterday, digging a 3-foot deep ditch, from the road to the house, and his job is far from done. The first picture shows Steve just moments ago, and as you can see, the man isn't too excited. The connection pipe is in bad shape, the water meter is old and outdated...not good. Steve assures me this is all going to work out just fine, but it is stressful none the less. I say this, and I'm not even the poor fool in the hole. The kicker is that this is going to be one of the hottest days yet this year. So, if all goes well today, we will be hooked up to city water by the end of the day, the VA will be happy, and we can close on this house next week. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind
and melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing,
but to free the breath from its restless tides,
that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence
shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top,
then shall you begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs,
then shall you truly dance.
-Kahlil Gibran
Please send thoughts of comfort to my mother Roberta, and her brothers and sisters, as they say goodbye to their mother today.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Age Three

It seems that seasoned parents love to frighten novice parents with tales of "The Terrible Twos", yet, I dare say, nobody ever mentioned Age Three. Sure, when Camden turned two he started talking a whole lot more, could get into more trouble, etc., but was relatively mild-mannered, looking back on it all. Since Camden's third birthday last month, life has taken on a new sort of direction in our household. I dare say, we are now living with a midget who seems to think he is in charge. Other changes that have occurred: increase in sassiness, increase in tantrums, decrease in all sense of reason and rational (I'm talking about Camden, not me). You may be wondering why our dear son is sporting rabbit ears in the above picture. That would be due to the fact that he has seen "Wallace and Grommit and the Adventures of the Were Rabbit", and for about a two hour stretch yesterday, insisted that I call him, "The Were Rabbit" whenever I addressed him. He further informed me that he would be addressing me as, "Maaaaaaaaa", in the same manner that Babe the Pig addressed his dear friend Ma, the Border Lester Ewe, in the movie, "Babe" (you would be correct to deduce that we've watched a couple of movies this past weekend).
Oh, and did I mention the talking? The NON-STOP-NEVER-PAUSING-TO-TAKE-A-BREATH talking? Witness a recent conversation between mother and son:

(Setting: in the car, on the way to Boise)
Camden: "What's that, Mummy?"
Heather: "That's a tractor, Camden, but you know that!"
Camden: "What he doing?" (he refers to everything and everyone as "he")
Heather: "He's working."
Camden: "WHY he's working?"
Heather: "Because that's his job."
Camden: "WHY that's his job?"
Heather: "Because that's what tractors do."
Camden: "WHY that's what tractors do?"
Heather: (feeling slight tinglings of brain that is about to explode) "Because it is."
Camden: "WHY because it is?"
Heather: "I don't know."
Camden: "WHY you don't know?"

Now, you may be thinking, Get A Grip, Lady. Kids Ask Lots of Questions. They Are Curious By Nature. Okay, while that is true, the above is just one example of about 537 identical conversations that occur between my son and I, whenever we are in the car, in the house, at the store....when we are awake, is probably a bit more accurate.

Steve and I are currently regrouping and doubling-up on our efforts to ensure that we guide our Dear Son through this "phase" (oh please Lord, let it be a phase), so as not to end up with one of those children that cause other parents to cringe when they see him coming. I'm quite sure he will turn out just fine. I've had many parents tell me, "Just when you think you know what you are doing, things change." Boy, is that true.

All of this being said, there is still no place I'd rather be than with my son (okay, sometimes I'd like to be in a silent room, preferably in a tropical locale, sipping a large glass of perfectly chilled Pinot Grigio, but that's a post for another day). May I also say that if you attempt to inform me that your child is smarter, cuter, or sweeter than my child, I'll wrestle you to the ground and pin you, until you take it back.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Alberta C. Dunphy

My grandmother, Alberta C. Dunphy (known to most as "Bertie") passed away peacefully and quietly this morning in Pittsfield, Maine. She was born on October 19, 1904, so she would have turned 102 years old this year. My Grammy was a wonderful, strong, stubborn woman, who valued her independence. She made great yeast rolls. She was an expert knitter. She had the best sense of humor, and had many, many friends. She liked to call me "Heather Jane". She had seven children, and is survived by five of them. Please keep my mother and her siblings Winston, Eldon, Shirley, and Jean, in your thoughts. I loved her dearly, and will miss her. I'm so happy that I was able to spend the morning with her, when Camden and I visited Maine last year. The first picture is from that visit. The other is from when Camden met his Great Grammy for the first time, when he was about 8 weeks old. I'm so glad he got to meet her. I wish Griffin could have, too. I love you, Grammy. Rest in peace.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Griffin update, and more pictures...

Had my follow-up ultrasound this morning to check on Griffin's kidneys, and they look fine! Also had my glucose tolerance test and passed it with flying colors, so I'm happy about that. Now I start seeing my doctor every two weeks. This pregnancy has flown by!
After my appointment, we took Camden to the Boise Zoo, and now we are home relaxing.

Here are some more pictures that I had wanted to post yesterday:

Here are the boys, working on the trim

Camden, holding his cousin, Banzer

Giving Banzer his binky

Banzer, almost 7 weeks old

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Man's Room

The house we currently live in is technically a 3-bedroom home, but in the 5 years that I've lived here, the third room has never had a floor, ceiling, or electricity - - it has been mostly closed off to the outside world, and used as a huge storage closet/junk room. It has been a source of embarrassment for me in the few times we've entertained, when Steve has happily included it on the "tour" of our house. The plan for this third room has always been that it would be an office for Steve - - a place where he could study, work, and scheme (a family trait from Steve's side). He's fantasized about having a recliner and a "globe bar" in there too. Therefore, this third room has always been referred to as "The Man's Room". Alas, when we found out we were having a baby back in January, it quickly turned into "The Play Room", when we realized we needed somewhere to put all the toys and extra baby gear that we would soon be dragging out of storage. Then, life threw us another curve when the opportunity presented itself for us to purchase our next door neighbor's home. Now, Steve is working hard to finish the house in general, and we had a major development this weekend, when he hung the new window in the Man's Room. It use to have a very tiny, narrow window that let in virtually no daylight. The new window is huge, and as you can see, really brightens up the joint:

This is a view of the new window, through the glass door to the room. Those familiar with our home (mainly our folks) are most likely gasping as they look at this picture. I'm sure it isn't quite as thrilling for the rest of you. I think Steve and I are both feeling a bit sad about the fact that finally, after all this time, things are coming together around here, just in time for us to move out. Due to multiple circumstance (mainly, two deployments) this house has been under construction since Steve purchased it in 1999. Someday I'll compose a blog about the changes that have occurred here over the past five years, to give you a better idea.

As usual, Blogger is only allowing me to post this one picture - - I will try again later and hopefully I'll have better luck. Today it is 113 degrees in the sun, so I have pretty much stayed inside with the air conditioning. Tomorrow I have a glucose tolerance test (for gestational diabetes) and a follow-up ultrasound (to check on Griffin's kidneys), so I'll post about that tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

In the Kitchen

Tonight, we had marinated chicken breasts on the grill, and I had fun preparing some side dishes and dessert, earlier today. I thought I'd share some recipes. I tend to make Steve a bit crazy, because I'm forever tearing recipes out of magazines, or printing recipes off the internet, and he wonders why I don't just refer to my gigantic collection of cookbooks. What can I say, I can't help myself.

Best Potato Salad (from Cooking Downeast, By Marjorie Standish)

Pare and cook eight medium-sized potatoes. Drain and cool enough so they may be handled. While potatoes are still warm dice them in a bowl. Pour the following dressing over them, doing this while they are still warm to insure better flavor:

8 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
a shake or two of red pepper (*I omitted this)
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 tbsp. parsley (I used dried parsley)
2 tbsp. finely minced onion

Stir salad with dressing so that each piece of potato is saturated. Cool, then refrigerate. Leave in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. When ready to serve, mix with mayonnaise. Serves 8.
**I halved this recipe. Steve isn't a fan of potato salad, but said that he loved this. I added a sliced hard-boiled egg to the top.

Grandmother's Pound Cake (from

  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp. + 1 3/4 tsp. milk (I used heavy whipping cream)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan (or spray with nonstick spray). In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour alternately with the milk, mixing until just combined. Spread batter evenly into loaf pan. Bake for approximately 60-70 minutes - - start checking around 55 minutes by inserting toothpick until it comes out clean. When done, remove from oven and immediately loosen cake edges from pan with knife. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

(**To serve, I sliced the cake and lightly brushed each side with melted butter, then grilled each side lightly on the grill. I made a warm fruit sauce from blueberries and blackberries, and poured some over each piece, and topped with whipped cream.)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Friends, etc.

Yesterday, my dear friend Joy ( came to visit, along with her beautiful son, Antonio (a.k.a. "Paco"), and we had such a nice time. Joy was one of the first friends I made when I moved to Idaho in 2001. Back then, she was the assistant to the President at Albertson College of Idaho, and I was the assistant to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the Dean of Students, so we worked across the hall from each other. Joy is a wonderful friend, and I feel lucky to have her in my life. We don't get together as often as we'd like, but I am hoping once I am home full-time, we might get the chance more often. Paco and Camden had fun playing together. Paco is a full year younger than Camden, but nearly as tall! Not only is Paco handsome, but the boy is bilingual (Spanish and English), and smart as a whip. Anyway, it was great to be able to catch up with Joy over coffee...I'm hoping we'll do it again real soon. Here's a shot of the boys, as Joy and Paco were leaving:

Joy, I hope you all had a wonderful time in McCall! Talk to you soon!

Today, I took a little time for myself and headed for the Big City. First stop was Starbucks, for a bagel, Frappuccino, and the morning paper. What a treat! After that I did quite a bit of browsing at various stores, spent some time at Barnes and Noble, and then started making my way back home. While I was out, Steve and Camden went to the dump, and to the lumber store for some building supplies. Steve will be working on the house for the remainder of the holiday weekend, but we do plan to cook out on the 4th. I have some cleaning to do tomorrow, but mostly Cam and I just plan to hang out and have some fun. Hope you are all doing the same!

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