A few days ago, my older son went on a field trip with his classmates. They all rode their bikes to the place and a few parents rode with them too, to chaperon. I really wanted to go with him, but I didn’t have a bike of my own. In fact, it had been a very long time since the last time I even owned or rode a bike. You see, I was nine years old when I had my first (and last) bike.
Keith and I had talked about getting bikes for ourselves before, but we never did. Then yesterday he finally convinced me and I picked this one from Walmart.
It’s a mountain bike, but I’m not really interested in climbing any mountains on it. I just wanted an affordable bike to ride with my kids at the park; this one seemed sturdy enough and was selling for a very good price.
After adjusting the seat all the way down to compensate for my (very) short height, we took it out for a test drive. Man, was I ever nervous! I was wobbly and unsteady, and it actually took me a few tries to get it going, but I managed not to crash into anything or kill myself in the attempt. It felt really good to ride a bike again after so many years!
I plan to get out again this week and maybe go around the nearby park. I feel like a little kid with a new toy!
A few more of my favorite things in the garden.
My hibiscus is blooming! It looks so colorful and happy.
The sweet aroma of this pink jasmine reminds me of my dear grandma Florita who passed away back in 2007. She had a pink jasmine in her own garden, right next to the kitchen window, and every day she would place a few flowers in a cup of fresh water on top of her night table. I miss her.
Yes! It’s January! It means we somehow survived Christmas and New Years Eve. December is always hectic, anyway, but this year it seemed to be never ending and busier than ever. Andy celebrated another birthday.
We set up a nice Christmas tree with few unbreakable and shatter-proof ornaments that we tried to secure to the branches the best we could, but the cats still managed to knock several of them off the tree and scatter them all over the place. And of course, there were pine needles all over the floor, as well. I love Christmas, but I honestly couldn’t wait for that tree to be out of here, so my living room could go back to normal.
My classes will start in a few days and I’m getting pretty excited. I’ve been reading a bit by myself, just to get a head start. Here’s the little library I’ve been collecting. Am I excited or what? Yeah, I know, I may be getting a bit ahead of myself here.
The Java book is not among those in the picture because I’m using it right now. I’m really enjoying exploring this new (for me) programming language. If you don’t believe me, ask my trusty coding companion, Goldie.
I have also been doing some knitting on those days when Andy has hand therapy and I have to wait around. I don’t get much done, but it’s fun just the same. I’ve been working on Knitscene’s Brise Soleil cardigan. The one that appears in the fall 2010 issue. This is how it’s supposed to look like when it’s finished. The back of the cardi is also worked completely on lace pattern.
This is what I’ve got so far.
But I won’t get discouraged. After all, I did finished all the pieces for the grey cardigan I had been knitting for so many months. Now I only have to figure out the way to put it all together. That’s why I got this little book on finishing techniques.
Last week was very hectic. Andy had his second surgery on Friday, and it all went really well. He’s now recovering and waiting to see the doctor in two weeks to remove the dressing and check the progress. Perhaps, it was because we weren’t as afraid as the first time around, but this second surgery seemed to go a lot faster than the previous one.
On Wednesday, Ethan took his belt test and advanced to stripped yellow. In order to pass the test, the kids had to do push-ups, demonstrate their form, show self-defense techniques, and break a board with a side kick. Ethan actually broke two boards with one kick! He was very excited to be finally moving on, and I just hope this achievement will motivate him to work harder and attend class more often.
Thursday afternoon, I attended an orientation session and finally registered to take a class at the community college. It may not seem like a big deal, but it actually took a lot of thought and courage for me to take that step. Going back to school after fifteen years or so feels strange, specially the part about being surrounded mostly by very young people, although I did manage to spot at least another mom like me. What did feel really good was realizing that I still got it when it comes to Math, which allowed me to clear the pre-requisites for most of the classes I want to take.
Since I’m a new student, I was only able to register for one class this semester. All the other classes I wanted were either full or had schedules that just didn’t work for me. I actually think it’s better that way, because it gives me a chance to start small and see how it goes. So… I’ll be taking Java Programming this semester, and hopefully next semester I’ll be able to register two or three more classes and, in time, earn a certification in software development.
I’m excited because I’ve always wanted to learn how to program a computer and develop useful, professional, elegant, intelligent, and creative software, beyond the mere number crunching I used to do in C++ years ago as a mechanical engineering student. This is one of those many things in my life that I kept thinking about and wishing for, but leaving for later, because it wasn’t what I was supposed to do at the moment. And so over the years I obsessively collected compilers, books, articles, videos, tutorials, and all sorts of information about computer programming for “someday” in the future. But “someday” is usually a lie, it just means it will most likely never happen, and I continued doing what I was supposed to be doing then. It took a few disappointments, a lot of courage and some encouragement from friends and family for me to say “someday is today”, but I think it’s a positive step that may even lead to a new career… or at the very least keep my mind busy.
Meet Precious! She’s more or less eight months old and simply adorable. We adopted her during the Thanksgiving break. I must admit, I was really on the lookout for an orange kitty, but she stole my heart because she’s so sweet and cuddly. Just what I always wanted in a cat!
I had my doubts, though. Since we already had Troubles, our older male, and Goldie, our dog. I wasn’t sure it was going to work out and, as a matter of fact, after seeing how badly Troubles reacted to her and how scared she seemed of Goldie, I was already considering taking her back to her adoption group almost as soon as we got her, but I’m really glad we kept her.
After a week or so at home, she made friends with Troubles and they now play together and share food and litter box. She also got used to Goldie, although she won’t really play with him, like Troubles does. She’s a lady; she doesn’t play rough.
She’s the sweetest thing you’ll ever find. She loves to spend time with her people, purring non-stop and kneading with her tiny paws. She’s so different from Troubles! It’s like day and night.
Here are a few more pics of her. Look at those beautiful eyes.
She’s got a beautiful fluffy tail.
And, you know, there’s always the jealous dog that wants to appear in the photo…
It’s been a long time since I last updated this blog. So much has happened in these few months. Andy had his surgery to release the carpal tunnel in his right hand and is now scheduled to have the same done for his left arm. He’s been really good and really brave about it, by the way.
Ethan earned his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do and recently participated in his first tournament, where he won second place in the form competition and a medal for breaking a board.
Halloween was enjoyed by everyone and there was a lot of candy to go around.
We adopted an eight month old female kitten who is adorable and sweet, unlike our older male, Troubles. We named her Precious. Pictures coming soon.
I finally finished sewing a robe for Andy using Simplicity 5931 and a piece of fleece that I bought at Joann. Andy loved the robe and I think it turned out really nice, if I may say so myself. My plan was to make one for Ethan, but the pattern sizes for kids were too small for him and I had no idea of how to modify a grownup pattern to fit him, so we bought one for him, instead.
And that’s it… My dress still sits inside my closet, unfinished. I need to hem the skirt and then the dress will be all done. There’s no rush… it’s a Summer dress, anyway.
Keith spent every single evening last week teaching Andy how to ride his bike without training wheels.
It took Keith (and Andy) a lot of effort, and many trips up and down the grassy areas of the park to retrieve the bike after a crash, but it was all worth it in the end.
Andy finally conquered the two-wheeler, without even falling down… too many times.
It was a big accomplishment for Andy. I would usually stay home while they were at the park and enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet, but one evening I went along and took a few pictures and even filmed Andy riding his bike. It felt really good to see him go all by himself, pedalling confidently… at least until he knocked against a wall, pole or tree or fell inside the grassy area or the tanbark area at the playground, that is. Nevertheless, with time and practice he improved, learned how to turn just in time, and now he rides all by himself and we’re all very proud of him.