Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Days...

No words necessary - pictures speak for themselves. Been home from school for 2 days - too treacherous to drive into work - schools closed. Yeahhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Ice Hockey aka Ice Boxing

Did you know that ice hockey is a very treacherous sport? Not only is there the distinct possibility that you might get one of your facial features sliced off by a skate blade or a hockey stick, but you also run the risk of being beaten to a pulp by one of your opponents - in full view of the spectators AND referees. I discovered this fact on Saturday at a game between the Silvertips and the Cougars up in Everett. Apparently, as long as gloves and helmets are removed - players are allowed to brawl (and when I say brawl, I mean full on boxing fists, blood on the ice, flesh-to-bone contact) UNTIL one or both hits the deck. Amazing. Had I not seen it with my own (delicate and naive) eyes, I wouldnt have believed it. Thankfully, we were sitting far enough away, that I neither suffered any permanent psychological damage, nor ran the risk of inhaling a puck.
See what a deprived childhood one has living on an island with a temperate climate. Although I guess we always have rugby to feed our violent voyeuristic natures!

Birthday Bowling Bonanza!

Cortez loves bowling. So when there is even the remotest excuse for an excursion to West Seattle Bowl - we're there. As it happens - we didn't need an excuse this time - he turned 33 on December 7th so it was a done deal!
As usually happens -we always 'go early' so we can 'get home early' - but end up bowling until we can hardly feel our fingertips, are usually so drunk we can't see the pins, and have crossed the threshold into GlowBowling (or Twilight Bowling as it has now been christened by Tiff - not that we are obsessed by Stephanie Meyers at all!).
It was the usual suspects plus Diane, Cortez's co-worker from Realtime - and as it turns out a rather demon bowler herself. She was a mine of information and tips; 'hand to your face', 'don't even try to hit the sex-pin' and if you happen to be 7 months pregnant 'bowl slow and low'
The boys stuck to their funky-ignore-the-holes-spinning-sneak-attack, technique with Deruki on his usual shite-hot form. We girls bowled a little, gossiped a little, took a few photos, discussed fashion - that kind of thing. It's our differences which make the world interesting after all!
Footnote: Jenni was using an 8lb bowling ball. She is due to give birth in 2 months......I'm just saying.......

Gainful employment!

I have a new job - yeah! I am officially a Teacher once again - at a Special School on Mercer Island in Seattle. It really is on an island - albeit a big one - in the middle of Lake Washington.
The Children's Institute for Learning Differences (CHILD for short) is a private school which accepts students from 4-17 from all over the Seattle area - and for whom their own school district cannot provide adequate services.
I came across the school by chance when I applied to do some supply work there. I walked in for my interview and felt as if I had been transported back across the ocean to Ridgeway! It has a very similar feel to it - high student/staff ratio, great atmosphere, wonderfully supportive staff, and a real sense of humour (born out of realistic expectations in an extremely challenging environment!) Needless to say - I supplied for 2 weeks and then somehow convinced them to offer me a job - still not sure how I managed that - but I'm here now - and I love it. I have 3 fantastic members of staff as my class team and we have a grand total of 4 students! Even with my dodgy maths skills that comes out at a 1:1 ratio! I'm not ashamed to say that even at that we struggle sometimes - not least because the students exhibit some fairly extreme behaviours - the most challenging I have ever experienced. That is good for me though - it is keeping my mind busy with all the strategizing and problem solving - which has to be good for staving off the Alzheimers!
I'm getting used to the early starts (slowly!) - although I'm not sure Fergus is too enamoured with the 6am walk in the dark so Mum can leave by 7. The 30 minute commute means I get to listen to KMPS (country radio for the uninitiated!) in the morning which always puts me in a good mood - so you see every cloud has a silver lining!!!

Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving went mobile this year when we decided to load up the vehicles with all the fixings and head up to a cabin in them there hills. 'Them there' was just outside Leavenworth - a very cute German style town (when I say German style I mean all the buildings look like Bavarian chalets and even the MacDonalds in a wooden shack with a funky Olde Germane 'M').
There was nothing shack-like about the cabin however; hot-tub, woodburning stove, fully fitted kitchen, fire-pit, games room, entertainment centre - you name it, it had it!
The muts came with and had their own personal doggy annex (otherwise known as the garage) as well as a tree-filled Chuckit arena at the back of the house.
Sadly we were not blessed with snow this year - although it was pretty chilly at that elevation. Consequently - apart from a few brisk walks with the dawgs and some pretty hardcore Chuckit sessions (Sydney's split pads will attest!) - the most activity the majority of us got was raising a glass from the counter to our lips and wielding a controller for the very intensely competitive MarioKart tournaments which provided the signature entertainment. There were a couple of other notable highlights; the food certainly - we all did a little bit and the sum of the parts turned into a feast fit for some Yanks and a Lime; the boys doing simultaneous chin-ups on the internal chalet beams (sadly I have no photos) and the double lunar eclipse provided by my husband and Cortez for the pleasure of Mr Leigh. Boys will be boys I guess!