Ottawa, eh?

I’ve been up in Ottawa, Ontario, this week for some fun at work. All of the locals are celebrating the fact that winter has finally loosened its grasp on the city. Apparently they have had 20+ feet of snow this winter. The sight of dirty snow piles in the shade of the big buildings is a strange scene, especially when it was nearly 80 degrees here yesterday. Needless to say the clothes I packed are a bit too warm.

Ottawa seems like a nice town. I’m sure it will be beautiful in about a month when things are cleaned up a bit and everything starts to bloom. Apparently there’s quite the tulip festival toward the middle/end of May.

This is the scene outside of one of the art museums. Julie would love this:

And here are a few more scenes from the Ontario tourism site:

Luckily it doesn’t look that cold outside my window.

I’ll be home very early Saturday morning, which should guarantee that I’m all but worthless for the weekend. It sounds like my lovelies are all doing just fine without me. Maybe Gwenyth is starting to miss me. Love you girls.

Gardening at Night

The mercury currently reads 92 in Surprise. It’s supposed to be hot again tomorrow and then go down 10 degrees once more. I read one forecast that taunted me with one more reading in the 70s for the foreseeable future. Of course that prediction is a week or more from now, so it could be wrong. In any event, spring has sprung and is a little warm. I was hoping to set a record for the going the longest without air conditioning, but when we got home last night, the upstairs thermostat said 85. Even my poor little lovelies can’t sleep in that. So, the no A/C record has stopped.

We planted a garden this year. I don’t remember if we’ve posted about it before. With food prices going crazy and inflation inflating faster than the fed can print greenbacks, we might be eating tomatoes all summer. They’re already starting to come on, which is pretty exciting.

Cherry tomatoes:


Early girls:


For stuffed peppers. Mmmm yummmm:


Chili peppers:


I told the girls that I would help them plant some pumpkin. So we threw some seed down and I kind of ignored it. A week later, we’ve got a full-on pumpkin patch, to go with the zucchini in the front:


Full view:


I’m heading out to Ottawa, Ontario, next week for work. I told them I’d be glad to go. In August. But I guess I’m needed there next week for whatever reason.

Happy Birthday to Woo

My wittle wucy turned 4 on Friday. On 4/4 she turned 4. We decided to be good examples to Abigail and Grace, cementing the good attitudes they are sure to have toward education, by taking them out of school on Friday to go to the zoo. Julie was sure that Friday would be much less crowded than Saturday. Seeing the 10,000 or so elementary students changed her mind. Luckily they didn’t stay much past noon.The sun was intense (it is the desert after all), but we were somewhat prepared for it. What I certainly was not prepared for was shelling out $16 for 2 ICEEs and a frozen lemonade. So much for saving money by bringing our own lunches.

The girls really enjoyed the zoo. The highlights were the petting zoo and the monkey enclosure. I had never been through it before. You literally go inside this exhibit and are walking around with these spider monkeys. They have the walkway sort of chained off, but the zoo folks that are in there with you encourage you not to touch. Because the monkeys touch. And who knows what else they touch. In these photos the monkeys were probably less than 5 feet away. Luckily I didn’t get unmentionables thrown at me.

they kept running past

pretty close to the monkeys

Lucy wouldn’t let us leave the zoo without experiencing that all-time favorite zoo exhibit, the carousel. Unfortunately I had spent $16 for hydration, so I only had money for 2 of them. Abigail was good to let Grace go in.

on the carousel

The petting zoo took me back a few years to when I would go there as a kid with my grade school classes. There was always some idiot kid who would try to ride, poke, push, or otherwise annoy the poor animals. And 25 or so years on proved that the tradition holds true. This one kid had a good time pulling tails. And when I say he pulled their tails, I mean he grasped the tails with his might, lifted them up as best he could, and they held on for dear life as the animal tried to run away. Julie decided she had had enough when the kid started choking the goat with his bare hands. Of course they didn’t react too well to Gwenyth approaching with a “brush” either:

this goat was trying to hide from Abby & Gwen

They seemed to take a little better to Grace:

I think she brushed every one of the goats

Somehow I was able to navigate traffic back to Arrowhead without falling asleep. Who knew that watching lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) could be so tiring? Maybe it was the lions and tigers and bears that I left the zoo with. Hmmm. We picked up the ice cream cake that Julie ordered from Baskin Robbins, they we went over to Fuddruckers for some good grease. Lucy really had a great time and seemed happy.

How did you know, Denise?

I love how she's holding the butterfly net like flowers

everyone wanted in on the action

We spent the rest of the weekend painting a few walls. Twice. The first was a little too Big Bird. It sort of reminded me of a restaurant in Tijuana. So we toned it down a bit. I’m afraid that it was just the beginning of the projects to come. Lots to finish.

I’ve been putting in some insane hours lately. We just went live with a project early this morning. So if you have a new rebate with Apple or you are needing to check the status of your recent rebate with Apple, it will hit software that I wrote. Very exciting.

Somehow the advent of the nuclear summer keeps getting pushed back. I can’t remember a spring as nice as this one. I’d better stop talking about it before I jinx us all.

More pictures here: