This is my site where I will be sharing my thoughts, feelings and happenings. In the words of Austin Powers, "It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out...yeah!" Enjoy!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rain and Thunder

We've finally been getting some rain, which is good. However, it's been ruining our plans a lot lately, which is bad. We've missed 2 of the free Saturday night concerts in the park because of the rain. Last week we were all packed up with a picnic dinner and on our way with friends and then the gray clouds rolled in and it started pouring so we turned back. Yesterday, Alisa and I were on our way to an ice cream social/kiddie pool party when it decided to rain. We had gone 1 mile south with sunny skys but then got into the rain. It started raining and raining hard--so hard that I had trouble seeing the road and the light at the intersection I was at went out as I was sitting there. It was strange to me because the light went out and then the traffic going my way started going. I ended up doing a u-turn after the light to go back home and the traffic going north with me was going through the light. I'm not sure if anyone going north to south was ever going to stop and let the east to west cars go. I thought if the light is out you have to treat it like a stop sign.

The sky was sunny with a few puffy clouds over our house and to the north and northwest, but the sky was as dark as it could be to the south and southwest. Since the party was to the south, I decided we should turn back because we were already running late (Alisa took a long afternoon nap) and I didn't want to drive 20 minutes in the hard rain only to get there and discover that the ice cream was all gone and everyone was leaving. I've never seen just a defined difference before between the dark and rainy clouds and the sunny and puffy clouds. It was as if a line was drawn at the east to west road where the light went out. It was really wild because usually when it's raining in town, the rest of the town will at least have grey clouds overhead. All the dark clouds and rain started a mile south of our home. I ended up going north to a baby consignment store to try some sandals on Alisa before going home. The sky remained sunny and it didn't rain a drop there or at our house until maybe 11 PM.

If Alisa gets a worried look on her face after hearing loud thunder, we start quoting the part of the Dr Seuss book "Mr Brown Can Moo, Can You?" that says "Boom, boom, boom! Mr Brown is a wonder. Boom, boom, boom! Mr Brown makes thunder" because it helps her to relax since she always smiles at the part.

The thunder was so frequent and so loud last night around the time I was going to bed that it seemed like it could wake the dead. Our whole house was shaking. Once I was in bed, there was a really really really loud boom right over our house and then it rumbled around to the north and east for about 15 seconds, which is a long time for continuous thunder. I prayed that Alisa wouldn't wake up with all that noise and she didn't. We are due for more rain today (and every day this week), but right now the sun is shining.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


We got a new pet at the end of May. Craig has always wanted a turtle and his friend's sister's friend had a baby turtle she needed to get rid of so it was a perfect match. It is a 1-year-old Sulcata turtle (also known as an African Spurred Tortoise because it has spurs on its back legs). It is the 3rd largest kind in world--if it's a male, it will grow up to 30 inches long and if it's a female it will grow up to 20 inches long. In a few years, we will be able to tell if it's male or female by the shape of its shell. It has a lifespan of 150 years!

We have been feeding it clover, chickweed and blades of grass from our yard and Spring Mix lettuce and shredded carrots from the grocery store. Every other day we sprinkle calcium powder on the lettuce. Its terrarium has a water dish, bathing pool with live grass and a tunnel. We change the water and rake/sift out any remaining food and poop every morning. Alisa and Minga like watching the turtle, which is the cutest little turtle we've ever seen.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fun in Tallahassee

I love Tallahassee! There is a lot to do here year round (thanks to the mild winter weather) and many events are free. From March through November, there is the downtown marketplace every Saturday morning/afternoon where you can buy art, crafts, jewelry, local produce and listen to live music. All summer long there are free concerts downtown every Saturday night where you can enjoy live music while eating a picnic dinner on the lawn. During June & July, there are free kid movies 2 days a week at the 2 main theaters.

There are lots of lakes, parks, public pools, etc. and the gulf/beach is 45 minutes away. Several local farms offer berry picking. All the libraries here have a story/music time for the kids. And of course, there are the typical city activities such as movie theaters, museums, festivals, nurseries/gardens, kid play places and even historic sites.

One interesting thing is that Tallahassee is the capital of Florida but there is not a highway that goes through or near downtown (I-10 only runs north of the city). We don't need one as the city is not huge and it's easily accessible. There is one 2-3 lane road that circles around the entire city (with I-10 making up the northern part) and most of the main roads branch off of it and lead to central downtown like the spokes on a wheel.

We have lived here for 2 years now. Craig has finished taking all his classes and now all that remains is his dissertation (which will take 1-5 years). Craig had a job interview in New Jersey (where he grew up) last week and we thought we'd be moving there next month (he had a 50/50 chance of being hired because there were 4 people left in the running for 2 positions). It all happened so fast--reading about the school online, sending his curriculum vitae, having a phone interview and then flying out for a 2nd interview. We just found out today that he wasn't offered the job because they wanted someone who could commit to teach there longer than 2 years and wouldn't have their attention divided (as Craig would with working on his dissertation while teaching at the schoool). We were shocked because the 3-day interview process (observing, teaching and interviewing) went well and the teachers and students really liked Craig.

However, we are very glad to be staying in Tallahassee for at least another year. We didn't want to try to quickly sell our house in this market and pack and move in a frenzy. We will be more thankful for what we have here since we thought we were going to suddenly leave before we had originally intended. It's weird because I feel like I've been given a 2nd chance here (weird because it's not like I've blown anything that would cause me to need a 2nd chance). I've been discovering new things around town lately and was sad about having to miss them when I thought we would be moving soon. I was pregnant during the 1st 9 months that we lived here so we didn't get out as much as I would have liked (I became carsick so easily). And then after Alisa was born, I was so busy nursing her all the time and adjusting to being a mom that I didn't really get out and do things around town until last fall. Lately, I've been having a blast going out about 3-6 days a week with other moms and babies. I didn't want to give that up so soon and thankfully I don't have to.

I want to take Alisa to the beach a lot this year now that she can walk and really enjoy it. We haven't been since she was 6 months old and had just learned to sit up on her own. We've got to take advantage of our proximity to things here in Florida while we are still here!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Curious George

I've been recording the cartoon Curious George for Alisa lately. She loves monkeys and cartoons so it's the perfect combination. Today, she watched an episode that had me chuckling a lot. It was about a new traffic light that was just put up in the country. Here's some of what the narrator said:

"George noticed that people seemed to like red a lot, because they all stopped to look at it. People who liked red, didn't like green. When the light turned green, everybody drove away. And when it came to yellow, so far people only slowed down enough to look a little bit. The lights were always changing. People didn't get much time to enjoy their favorite colors. So George thought of a way to make it more fair for everyone. George made a special green side because someone who liked green was bound to show up. A yellow side, for those who might prefer yellow. And a red side, which George predicted would be the most popular."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

20,000 Pictures!

I've had my digital camera for just over 2 1/2 years now and I've taken just over 20,000 pictures/videos with it! I know this because it labels the images with a 4-digit number (0001 through 9999) and it has just lapped back to 0001 for the 2nd time. That averages out to about 22 pictures a day (which happens to be my favorite number!). So yeah, you could say I'm a picture-loving, picture-taking maniac.