Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

Gretel was a monkey for Halloween this year. She had a great time trick-or-treating (below with our friend Jaime) and also enjoyed answering the door to hand out candy to kiddos.
We also attended a Halloween party with folks from our birthing class and there was a pinata! Here's a video of Gretel at bat, along with a monkey making snowflakes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

GSI Water Solutions - Liesl's New Job!

In October I started a new job working for a team of hydrogeologists. It's a step up for me as I'm no longer doing any bookkeeping and just strictly focusing on analysis. My official title is "Financial Controller" and I get to spend hours pouring over the numbers looking for things that aren't balancing or mistakes that were made somewhere along the way. I also spend a great deal of time finding new and interesting ways to present numbers to management in order to impart some piece of knowledge about the financial health of the company that they were not previously aware of. GSI is about three times as big as either of my two previous employers which adds levels of complexity that I haven't experienced before. It's a lot of fun and I'm really enjoying the work as well as all the new people.

Above is the view from my office that I get to stare at whenever I need a little distraction from my numbers (it's hard to see but Mount Hood is off there in the distance). I'm quite pleased to sit next to a window for the first time in my career, and a view of the Willamette and Mt. Hood is more than I've ever dreamed of! Daily I can hear the sounds of children playing out in Waterfront Park and once I even spied Gretel walking by on her rope of other 2-year olds from school! I feel incredibly lucky to have been handed this opportunity to advance my career. It's my first real lesson in the value of a personal network and that integrity and honesty in your work will really pay off.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October, In a Nutshell

Well, October has been another busy month, but let me start off by saying, have you noticed how cute this kid is??! Yep, after all this time she is still the apple of our eye, despite some rotten behavior here and there. Every day brings new developmental changes and new joys and challenges. But now on to the rest of our world.....
October marks the completion of our new pantry! Our cabinetmaker, Doug Vincent, threw this together for us and it has changed our world. No longer do we need a gorilla rack blocking the door in the kitchen. No longer is our recycling in a mess on the shelf of said gorilla rack. No longer are our cupboards stuffed to the brim with items that belong in a proper pantry. We had Doug build it with two deep drawers that hold our beans, grains, cans, etc., which are my favorite feature, other than the recycling area. Anyway, we are very pleased, to say the least.

Here are some shots of our (early) October garden. Casey and I had a moment of snobbery as we remarked how beautiful OUR garden is, even in October. Of course, we've had to eat our words since then, as we've yanked out most of the tomatoes and many of our beds are empty with a layer of fresh compost on them. But we had our moment in the sun and here is what we were so proud of....Speaking of shameless pride, have I mentioned how much canning we've been doing lately? At last count we had done around 125 jars so far this year!! (Well, Casey gets the credit for most of this; my role is to keep the kid out of his way and to help prep the veggies.) Within these jars are the following pickled items: cukes, green beans, okra, beets, asparagus, zuchinni (including trombolina squash) and green tomatoes. Also on our shelves are cans of salsa, hot sauce, peaches and beets. We still plan on canning applesauce and perhaps some little pickled onions. Between all of this and the 12 gallon bags of tomatoes, the umpteen packages of smoked salmon, the 45 jars of freezer jam, the 1/8th of a cow that is on its way, and perhaps some portion of a pig that will end up in our freezer, you know where to come when Armageddon hits! (and no, we are still not affiliated with the Church of Latter Day Saints!)
In other news, we had a nice visit from Auntie Sally L. and Uncle Roger a few weeks ago. Sally was en route to France/Italy, via Maine, and kindly dropped by to eat, drink and be merry, as well as read Gretel some Little Bear books (which Mommy is so sick of reading that she must flat out refuse most of the time). Thanks for stopping in Sal and Rog!
More on Gretel, she has recently graduated to a "Big Girl Bed". Casey and I bought ourselves our first new mattress this month and decided to throw one in for Gretel as well. She was hesitant to sleep in it at first but for the past week has been consistently in it every night. Last night she took her first tumble out, but without much of a fuss, thankfully. Oh and the green and white polkadot polyester sheets were her choice, certainly not mine!
Last, but certainly not least, we said so long to our little friend Alistair this month. As most of you know we had been struggling with his behaviour for many years and despite our best intentions, we were still moving backwards. Both trainers that we hired to help us indicated that he needed more attention, more exercise, and more consistency, none of which were were able to provide for him. He has gone off to the breeder from which he came, who knows families that are looking for adult corgi dogs. He will find a much happier life than we have been able to provide for him, with lots of attention and purpose. We already miss him terribly in certain ways, but are happy to have that element of chaos out of our lives. Adieu sweet Al.