Month: February 2006

  • This afternoon while at school signing some LPAC forms, Dmitry's ESL teacher (who teaches English as well; I mean, she's not just ESL) told me she was utterly flabbergasted today when he finally consented to read out loud in class.

    He did brilliantly.  No hesitation, very little stumbling, proper enunciation, emphasis on the correct syllable...she swears he read better than most of the native-born students.  

    It heightens the dichotomy between Dmitry's verbal ability and his writing ability, which is dismal.   He can read like nobody's business; he can speak fluently; but when it comes to getting those sentences down on a sheet of paper or as pixels on a monitor?


    When researching FAE, though, that was listed as one of them....a strong verbal ability combined with a seriously deficient ability in writing.

    Oh, and she's finally acknowledged his difficulty in retaining knowledge, especially in math.  I suppose having spent months trying to teach him the same thing and having him grasp it, only to lose it again, has convinced her.  He is slowly improving, though.

    And when his class took benchmark tests last week?  He received the third highest grade on the science test!  e-ghost

  • Tomorrow's the day the would-be parents of Viktor and Vladimir head to Russia, hoping to return with them.

    This is not, shall we say, a Done Deal.  Not by a long shot.  The boys have an older brother, Sergei, who left the orphanage a few years ago, and is a truck driver.  Sergei does not want his brothers to be adopted, especially not to America, having had other siblings follow that path and he's never heard from them again.  The word is that he's planning upon submitting a letter to the court requesting the adoption be denied.

    John and Jacqueline are hoping to meet with him and allay his fears of losing his brothers completely, so he doesn't ask the court to forbid the adoption.  Plus, it would relieve Viktor's mind, particularly, if he has his older brother's blessing. 

    If y'all would pray for their safe travel (they have two sons here at home) and that Sergei's heart be softened toward them, I'd surely appreciate it.

  •  Well, dang.  The Olympic torch has been extinguished.  Has it really been over two weeks?  Doesn't seem like it!

    The story of the WWII Buffalo soldier finally receiving the Medal of Honor was incredibly moving, but also heartrending.  Black soldiers were banned from the PX and officers' club, though German POWs could enter them?  Horrible! 

    Wasn't it something that it took a hunter from Wyoming to sneak up the mountain when so many others had tried and failed?  And that the white captain abandoned the surviving men, taking the sole radio with him?  What a cowardly creep.

    The strange music to which the athletes entered the stadium continued.  And doggone if "YMCA" didn't show up again!  What's with the Italians and that song?  "Volare" is reasonably understandable, but "YMCA"?  What's up with that?

    How about that 125 mph wind supporting those guys in the air?  That looked like lots of fun.

    The Vancouver mayor in his wheelchair "waving" the Olympic flag was moving, wasn't it?  What an intrepid guy he must be. 

    The closing ceremony took a real nosedive when Ricky Martin took the stage, IMO.  Yuck.  e-thumbsdown

    Still, it was a super Winter Games on the whole, and there's no denying Bode Miller not managing to score a single medal added a certain element of amusement to them.  What a contrast between Apollo Ohno and him!

    On to Vancouver........

  • Well, skunks.  I got tagged by Elaine.  

    1. How many meals does most of your family eat at home each week? How many are in your family?

    There are just three of us at home now....Don, Dmitry, and me.  We eat dinner out maybe once every two weeks, though we "import" food from outside at least once, too.  Except for weekends the only one home to eat lunch is me.

    2. How many cookbooks do you own? How often do you refer to a cookbook each week?

    Define cookbook.  I have three to four dozen actual cookBOOKS, including some in a box that I unfortunately can't find from when we had the flooring replaced, but more cooking magazines than you can shake a stick at.  Maybe once or twice a week I refer to them; most meals I make from memory.

    4. Do you collect recipes from other sources?

    I get a lot of my recipes off the internet, mostly from Allrecipes and Recipezaar.

    5. How do you store those recipes?

    Print 'em out full page and shove 'em on top of cookbooks in one of my bookcases in the dining room.  I'm elegant, I am. 

    7. Is there a particular ethnic style or flavor that predominates in your cooking? If so, what is it?

    Italian and Mexican.  Dmitry's extremely fond of both, so we eat a lot of dishes with those flavorings.

    8. What’s your favorite kitchen task related to meal planning and preparation?

    Thumbing through books, magazines, and websites for new recipes.

    9. What’s your least favorite part?

    Doing the actual cooking.  I'm not now, nor have I ever been, and it doesn't look good for my ever becoming, an enthuiastic cook.  It's a chore, that's all. 

    10. Do you plan menus before you shop?

    Sometimes.  All too often I find myself standing in the grocery store, peering at what's on sale while trying to remember what's necessary for some dish and whether I have it or not.  Usually guess wrong.

    11. What are your three favorite kitchen tools or appliances?

    My wooden spatulas are my most used anyone manages without them I can't think.  My stoneware bake stones, both round and rectangle.  And my coffee maker.

    12. If you could buy one new thing for your kitchen, money
    was no object, and space not an issue, what would you most like to have?

    That's easy....a freezer.  No room for one at Chez Ivy, though. 

    13. Since money and space probably are objects, what are you most likely to buy next?

    A sifter.  I don't own one.

    14. Do you have a separate freezer for storage?

    No.  See #12.

    15. Grocery shop alone or with others?

    Alone.  Years ago, of course, it was a group activity as trailing along behind me would be the four children (this predated Charles).  The checkers at the grocery stores said we looked like a mama duck with her ducklings.  

    16. How many meatless main dish meals do you fix in a week?

    Maybe once, counting tuna as "meatless".

    17. If you have a decorating theme in your kitchen, what is it?

    That's so cute.  "Decorating theme"! 

    18. What’s the first thing you ever learned to cook, and how old were you?

    Barbequed hot dogs when I was 18 and dating Don.  Take hot dogs, put 'em in a shallow baking pan, cover them with bottled barbeque sauce and bake.  Still like those, AAMOF.

    19. How did you learn to cook?

    Got married and relied upon the Good Housekeeping cookbook I was given.  And calling Mom. 

    20. Tag two other people to play.

    Beth and Lois....y'all are up, dears.   The first has only been married a few years, while the other's been married since Hector was a pup.  I'm interested to read their responses. 

  • [glowering]  Let it be known that I dislike the Cowtown Marathon.  Why they can't, just once, find a route not affecting me, I can't think.  This morning Dmitry had tutoring, so off we went a few minutes before 9 a.m. 

    What is normally a pretty short trip took nearly twenty minutes due to the combination of my attempts to avoid the marathon and being held up when I failed.  Unfortunately I neglected to check the route before I left, for had I done so I'd have realized there was no way for me to get Dmitry to Eagle Academy without running into the marathon:


    It didn't turn out terribly well at this size, but see that black dot sort of in the middle?  That's labeled "Home".  The blue line indicates the marathon route.  Eagle Academy is off to the left, past the westernmost point of the route.  As you can tell, it didn't matter in what direction I went, there were barricades, police, volunteers, aid stations, and most of all, runners.  All blocking the way and impeding traffic.

    Can't the dumb thing be inflicted upon the eastern half of the city?  Or the southern?  Why is it inevitably the western section where I live? 

  • I was at the Ridglea library the other day and you know what I'm wondering?

    What the heck happened to silence in a library?  People just talk nowadays, and one man was yakking away on a cellphone.  e-7_mad

  • Give the Russians their due, they can show true elegance; case in point:  Plushenko's gala exhibition skate with music provided by a live violinist on the ice with him.  It was wonderful!  

    And wasn't Sasha Cohen fabulous?  Okay, she didn't jump, considering the injury that caused her to fall, but she was still absolutely stunning.   e-thumbs

    Can you believe the Winter Games are almost over?  It's hard to believe two weeks ago tonight was the opening ceremony.  e-aw

  • Well, by jingo!  A dark horse won, can you believe it?  The favored American and Russian skaters took silver and bronze, respectively, while gold went to a Japanese girl of whom I, at least, had never heard.  

    Japan's very first figure skating gold. 

    Not to mention it was Japan's first medal, period, in these particular Winter Games.  That country's been having a really depressing time of it, up till last night. 

    Felt rather bad for Sasha Cohen, though....the jinx continues, doesn't it?  She simply cannot seem to pull it together at crunch time.

  • Now, this is the sort of on-line coverage I appreciate, i.e. when a
    news organization refrains from putting the Olympic results right smack
    where one cannot avoid them:


    Okay, I know Sasha Cohen fell, but that's all.  Maybe it was one of those times when nearly everyone
    in medal contention falls.  That's not unusual.  Point is, I don't know
    who took the gold, so I can watch the skating tonight in a state of
    pleasant anticipation.

    The Startlegram doesn't do much right, but give 'em their due....they did this right.

  • [irritably]  What's
    up with NBC's dogged determination to tell their viewers all about the
    feud between Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis?  I managed to avoid it
    during the Olympic coverage tonight, but darned if the local news isn't nattering on about it!

    So I changed to the dining room computer.