From Yorkshire To Virginia

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My hallowe'en costume

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mobile Flash Cards

To encourage Gwyneth with her reading, whenever we're in the car we have her read the license plates of other cars around us. She loves it, and it's helping her with her letters. In fact, it's got to the point where she has to stop in a parking lot and read out the license plates of all of the cars on the way back to or from our car :)

Beastie Bazaar

One week to go until the Beastie Bazaar, we went for the first time last year, and had a fun time. It's way out in the Virginia countryside, with the parking lot being a distance from the actual event, so there are 2 tractors constantly running to give you rides back and forth from the event. The cost of admittance is a bag of dog or cat food, which is donated to local animal welfare groups.

The problem this year, is that it rained on Saturday, so Gwyneth's soccer game has been postponed to next Sunday, this means that we have her game at noon on Saturday, another one at 11 on Sunday, an event that our vet is holding on Sunday from 11 - 3 , and with Kim driving to NJ on Sunday for training for her new job it's going to be tight. It looks like we'll have to go to the bazaar on Saturday after her game, so we'll get maybe 2-3 hours there...

Pumpkin carving

Work has decided to have a pumpkin carving contest along with the usual costume contest. So here's my effort... (SEM is Search Engine Marketing for those that don't know).

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Corpse Bride...

There were a couple of neighborhood parties going on today, where kids were expected to dress up, so Gwyneth decided to get into costume. Ever since the movie came out she's talked about nothing other than being "The Corpse Bride" :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Kim gets a new new job

So last Thursday Kim found out that the temp to perm job that she's been doing for the last 3 weeks really is just a temp job. Today she went for a 2nd interview at a large national bank, and got the job. So next Tuesday Kim will be starting her new job as a recruiter. Again it's a temp job, but this time it's truly temp to perm, and the money is slightly better than what she's getting paid at this job, so it's good news :)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

14 years on...

So Tuesday was our 14th anniversary, with Kim being ill we didn't do any celebration, instead we decided to go away this weekend. We'd actually had plans to go away this weekend, with it being Kim's 20'th high school reunion, but we were really wavering about driving up to New Jersey for a day to see people that she didn't really like back then anyway. So we pulled out the B&B gift certificate that Kim's parents got us for xmas last year, and called around. We couldn't decide whether we wanted to go out into the country, the mountains, or into the city. Room availability decided it for us, so off to DC we went.

About noon on Saturday we arrived at the DC Guesthouse. The place looked small from the outside, then we went in... by heck the place was massive. As soon as you walk through the door, the first thing that meets your eye is "the pit". They've taken a chunk of floor out of the main level, and put in stairs to a finished area in the basement. The house is full of antiques, with one stone sculture being over 3,000 years old (and yes, they were using it as a doorstop before they found out how old it was).

After checking into "The Purple room" (guess what color it was), we went for a walk around town. Later that night we ended up at Coppi's organic restaurant, where we had an excellent pizza, and italian deserts. Interestingly though when we arrived at the restaurant they asked if we had a reservation, we told them no, and they advised us that it was an hour wait. We asked to put our name down, whereupon the reservations guy mentioned that some people liked to 'cough' help make their own reservation. We were in no rush, so our response was that we'd take a walk and wait for him to call us on our cell. The wait ended up being 5 minutes...

This morning we came downstairs for the 2nd B in B&B. A nice cup of fruit, and french toast souffle, then it was back to real life...

Maybe a cruise for our 15th?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I don't like the waiting...

Kim left for the ER 9 hours ago for a problem that I'm not going to talk about. We decided that I'd stay with Gwyneth, since Kim was able to drive herself to the hospital. We stopped by the ER waiting room at about 6 o'clock and dropped off a bottle of water for her, about 1/2 hour later she was finally called to the back to be seen by a doctor. The last time I talked to her was 3 hours ago, when she told me the preliminary diagnosis. I've called the hospital, but they won't tell me anything, but they say they'll get a message to her to call me when she is done with whatever is going on (that's been over an hour since they said that). At least Gwyneth fell asleep quickly so she's not sitting up worrying...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Congratulations Doctor Bryn

I just received an email letting me know that my best friend Bryn has had his doctoral studies accepted, and he now has a PhD in Political Science from Swansea University. For those who don't know, Bryn is the same age as I, and has been living the life of professional student / bookseller / Edmund Burke expert / lecturer at 2 universities / travel guide writer / single malt whisky tester, for the last [censored] years. Now that he's officially a doctor, I wonder who will be the first to ask him to look at their rash? ;)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Goodbye Katie

Gwyneth and I went up to PA on Friday night to visit her grandparents. As usually happens when one of us is away from the home, one of the animals took sick. Katie the cat started out with a bulge on the side of her face, by Saturday morning her left eye was distorted and bulging, so Kim took her to the vets. The vet expressed concern and gave her some high powered antibiotics, but did discuss quality of life with Kim. Gwyneth and I came back last night. This morning we noticed when we woke up that there was no Katie pestering us for food. We went downstairs and saw Katie sitting still moving her head back and forth, with her eye really bulging out and now bright red.

We took her back to the vets and, after finding pus in her ears, nose, and eye, they explained that the most likely diagnosis was an exceedingly aggressive tumor that was just eating away at her bones. They explained that we could spend $4500 on an MRI and surgery on the tumor, but with her diabetes she may get another 2 months of life, but there was no guarantee on the quality of that life (she would definitely lose the eye). So we made the only decision that we could. All 3 of us sat and held her while they gave her the sedative, then we had Gwyneth sit in the play area of the waiting room while they gave her the final injection.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kim's job status

For those that don't yet know, Kim was offered a couple of jobs last weekand accepted one at Raytheon. She will be going back into HR, with her first day being Tuesday, so tomorrow Gwyneth starts at a pre and after-school daycare, which now means that one of us has to get her from daycare by 6.30 pm every night.

Should we be worried???

As I mentioned in the previous post, we spent parts of the weekend at the PWC Farm Tour. On Saturday we went with friends, here's a pic of Gwyneth and Zachary looking at the horses.

All very innocent right? Well, look at this next picture of the two of them...

Ok, they were out hunting horse poop...

The PWC Farm Tour

Every year, Prince William County has a farm tour. About 8 different local farms open their doors for the public for 2 days. We've gone every year for about the last 4 years. It's a fun day out for the kids, and you get to see places that you wouldn't even know about. For instance I had no idea how many Alpaca farms there are within a few miles of my house.

In fact, the farm that we visited today - the Double 'O' Good Alpaca farm - has over 250 Alpacas. We spoke with the owner, and she told us that she'd just bought a female for $180,000... yep $180,000...

Another farm that we visited was a horse farm that was offering free manure to one and to all, which was something that my rose growing friend was absolutely thrilled with. What they did at that farm for the kids was set up the show jumping fences at kid height.

The next stop was at a pumpkin picking farm, we didn't actually pick any pumpkins, but we did walk through the hale bay maze, and Gwyneth got to ride in a cow, pulled by a tractor. What more could any kid want?