Category Archives: Ella

Random Dozen: Olympic edition

Random Dozen #8 for me!

Hosted by:
Lidna at 2nd Cup of Coffee

“Although this begins with a salute to the Olympics, you’ll notice about half-way through these questions that I turn the corner and go off on another path as fast as a luge rounding a bend. Hence the name: Random.”

(My answers are in bold today.)

1. If you could compete in one Olympic event (not necessarily winter sports) what would it be?
Sleeping (that’s an Olympic event, right?)

2. Do remember a specific Olympic moment from the past?
Nadia getting a perfect 10 in gymnastics (yes, I am old) and Eric Heiden totally rocking the Lake Placid Winter Olympics in 1980!

3. Have you ever known anyone who competed in the Olympics?
No, but I’ve known some who probably could have!

4. If everyday activities were Olympic-worthy, which activity would you have a gold medal in?
I believe I answered this in question #1.

5. Do you know anything about your ethnic heritage?
I am at least 1/3 German, with some Scotch and basic Anglo thrown in for good measure. I’ve been told I have Italian traits, but I can’t find any Italians in my family history.

6. Do you enjoy sleeping late?
See question #1  (however, I don’t enjoy it when I am supposed to be up early, because that rather messes up plans for the day).

7. Have you ever performed CPR on anyone? Do you know how? (Yes, that’s two, I know. Whatevs.)
I’ve only performed CPR on the manikins they use for CPR class. I’ve taken the classes for both regular CPR and infant CPR, but it was quite a long time ago. My 17yo was supposed to take a CPR/AED class (for professional rescuers) on February 6th, but we were snowed in that day. I’m still trying to find out the rescheduled date!

8. Name one country you’d like to visit and explain why.
I’m going to name 2 countries! I’d like to visit Ireland because my BFF went there last fall and it sounded absolutely wonderful! I’ve also read a couple of Nora Roberts novels that nearly made me book tickets, so I’d like to think I will make it “across the pond” someday.  I don’t know if my husband would want to go, so it might be a ladies only kind of trip.
The other country I’ve been wanting to see, ever since watching Mamma Mia (thank you, Santa!), is Greece.  Do you think they’ll sing and dance there just for me?

9. Have you ever fixed up a couple romantically?
Not to my recollection…

10. What is the last book you read?
Most of my book reading these days is for my book club. The last book I finished reading was The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I’m in the middle of What is the What? by Dave Eggers.

11. Do you enjoy sleeping late? NO, YOU write the question! How’s that for random?? Here’s my question: “Do you know where you’re goin’ to? Do you like the things that life is showin’ you?” (These old song lyrics just popped into my head seconds ago!)
I am pretty sure of where we are going in another 18 months (if my husband does indeed retire then) — back to the area we lived for the first 2 years of our marriage.  Or perhaps he will stay active duty for a few more years and we will be somewhere else! When we married, I thought we would live in Eastern Washington for the rest of our lives. I never dreamed we would be moving across the country –or world!– every couple of years.  But I have to admit that I have enjoyed this adventure, despite the times that it has been difficult.

12. What is your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant?
I really have a hard time with this question! We rarely go out to eat, so I will just have to name a couple of memorable ones (thanks, Melli, for jogging my memory!)…

I love eating fish’n’chips on the dock at Ivar’s Fish Bar on Lake Union in Seattle.  I prefer this to eating indoors or even outdoors at the Ivar’s fish bar on the Seattle waterfront.
I had an incredible lobster bisque with Melli and Ella at Brio.  The Tuscany decor was a nice touch, too!
And speaking of lobster, I still have vivid memories of eating lobster at a mom-n-pop “shack” in Salem, Massachusetts, back in the summer of 1981.  The name escapes me right now (it was named after their granddaughter) but I do remember choosing my lobster from the tank in the entrance — freshly caught that day– and then eating it over a long supper looking over the dock while seated on benches in a humble “restaurant.”  It was the first time I’d ever eaten lobster (one of the very few times I’ve eaten lobster!) and it was SOOOOO good!!

Funny, these are all about seafood — but I grew up near Seattle and I love salmon! I usually serve it with lemon and cornbread.  It might just be for dinner on Friday!

Ella’s Appalachian Trail Adventure

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Most of you know that Ella has been visiting me for the past 6 weeks, and we’ve had a lot of fun (even when thoroughly embarrassing my  teenagers, LOL).

Embarrassing MusicMan

This past weekend was her last hurrah with my family before going home to Melli , because Ella needs to get ready for her next big adventure with Jientje!


Our Sunday was a busy one. The group I sing with leads worship on the second Sunday of each month and while I brought Ella along in September (that post is here), she was just feeling too frisky to be let loose this time!  Obviously, I had to plan something to help her get her wiggles out!

By 3 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, Ella was dressed in her best hiking attire and SnakeMaster was in his scout uniform.  (Ella seems to behave best when SM is with her.  She knows an elephant lover when she meets one!) Our first stop was an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for a young friend of ours.  Ella BEGGED this handsome young Eagle Scout to pose for a picture with her. 😛

2009 October 078  Ella Scout1

After a lovely reception (with a meal to fortify even the heartiest elephant for what lay ahead), we jumped into SuperDad’s truck for Ella’s Appalachian Trail adventure!

2009 October 080  Ella Appalachian Trailhead

Here she is at our “trail head” (since the A.T. runs from Maine to Georgia, these are really just jumping-on points).

Happy Hikers

Happy Hikers

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When Ella saw SuperDad’s roomy backpack, she climbed aboard! 😛

"I'm ready -- let's GO!!"

"I'm ready -- let's GO!!"

Who wouldn’t want to hike on a beautiful day and on a beautiful trail like this one?

This photo taken by SnakeMaster

This photo taken by SnakeMaster

2009 February 025  creek crossingOf course, that lovely scene above is a tame portion of the trail — some of it is MUCH rockier.  There were several creeks/ creekbeds to cross, with fallen pine needles and leaves hiding the wet spots.  Are the rocks in the middle stable or wobbly?  Step on one and find out! 😛
Mercifully, the mosquitoes had been chased away by our recent dropping temperatures.

Time for a break!

Time for a break!

We named this stop “Ella’s Rest.”  She had worked up a thirst!

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Then it was time to resume our hike.

lichen, fungus, and rock

Ella thought the lichen, fungus, and rocks were quite interesting.
And who could resist views like this?

Collage of pictures made by me, but photos taken by SnakeMaster

Collage made by me, but these photos were taken by SnakeMaster!

The purpose of our hike was to view the beautiful Autumn scenery and to enjoy the sunset on one of our last warm fall days.  We stayed at our favorite turn-around spot until dusk had fallen.

Look closely, and you will see Ella & SnakeMaster

Look closely, and you will see Ella & SnakeMaster

I had to brighten the above picture to the point where it looks like those 2 hikers are in deep shadows during daylight hours; in truth, the sun had set and it was time to start our return trek to the truck(Say that 5 times, fast!)

We made it back to “Ella’s Rest” in time to enjoy the final vestiges of afterglow in the western sky.

Ella's RestWhile Ella sat with SuperDad and SnakeMaster, I was text-messaging friends across the country:

“Hiking the Appalachian Trail in the dark!”

because I’m a geek.  😛
[Isn’t technology fun?]

Still, this geek managed to NOT trip badly enough to bruise anything and I only wandered off the trail once.  SnakeMaster chatted about the infamous evil deer each time we heard rustling footsteps in the brush but no glowing red eyes actually blocked our path home.  FINALLY Ella confessed to sitting on the 2 small LED headlamps, which we used off-and-on for the remainder of our journey.

I wish I could have taken a photograph of what I saw when I looked straight up:  starlight shining in a clear sky amongst the treetops. It was absolutely Beautiful.


This is the end of my adventures with Ella Phlint here in Kcinnova’s World.   She has been chomping at the bit to return to her own home and is ready to ride off into the sunset.

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Doesn’t every cowgirl need a pair of pink boots? 😉

If you want to continue to follow her adventures (and you are not already a member of Ella’s fan club… and why not?!) just add Melli to your reader.

WWC #102: Squares Go Green

Even Melli played this week… and on time, too!  Yes, I know I am late again this week.  I’m in the midst of a couple of superCRAZYbusy weeks… well, to be honest, September and October are superCRAZYbusy months.


This week’s WWC is all about SQUARE and how to GO GREEN:



Well, *I’m* square (or round with legs and arms, whatever) and I have this SQUARE magnetic dry-erase board in my kitchen to help me stay on track.  I have 4 different pens (blue, red, black, and green) — one for each kid– to color-code scribbled information.  The blue scrawl refers to SnakeMaster’s tick bite last Spring: the dates when he was bit, when we found the tick, when he was tested, and the test results (negative) at one month.  We live in an area with a lot of Lyme Disease, so I’m not ready to erase that information quite yet.

2009 September I Shop Green

One of many bags I keep stashed in the car… or the house if I haven’t yet unloaded them…

2009 September Go Green

SnakeMaster & Ella are GOing GREEN!  Note the “Pirate Booty” sticking out of the top of the bag.  Of course, I was late in getting that, too, or we would have had it on Saturday for Talk Like A Pirate Day.


Thanks to Jay for keeping the Weekly Words Challenge going in the blogworld side of things while Tink is hosting over on facebook and  flickr.

**The words for NEXT TUESDAY are “favorite quote” and the letter L.**

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!
September 22nd is (oops!) was Elephant Appreciation Day!

What perfect timing: Ella is here for a visit during Elephant Appreciation Day! Really, truly, it is wasThis website told me so!  I know, you are SO marking your calendar for next year so you don’t miss it!  😛 LOL

Another busy weekend for Ella [sept 13]

No rest for the weary (unless the weary spend half the day in bed on Friday)…

Let’s review the weekend, shall we? Starting with Thursday (because if college students have it right, the weekend really does begin on Thursday)

Ella went to PWOC with me on Thursday morning.  It was our fall kick-off (Bible studies start next week) but there was music

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and decorations


and a nice luncheon.

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Clearly, Ella has a sweet tooth!

Clearly, Ella has a sweet tooth!

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Ella makes  new friends wherever she goes!

here is Ella with my carpool buddy

here is Ella with my carpool buddy

On Friday evening, there was a high school football game to attend.  Ella tried to join in with the trumpets (she DOES have experience with trumpeting, you know)

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And then she tried out the drums:

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But the tuba turned out to be her favorite instrument:

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She was dressed as a cheerleader –in proper colors!

Ella helped sell game programs

Ella helped sell game programs with the freshman cheerleaders

(Thanks goes to Dr. John for Ella’s cheerleading uniform)

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The one on the right is my friend's daughter -- a beautiful girl inside and out!

Ella was given the opportunity to join the varsity cheerleading squad! 😀

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Look at Ella way up high!

Look at Ella way up high!

And then there was more time to be a band groupie…

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Note that MusicMan REFUSED to look!

Ella made a lot of friends!

Ella made a lot of friends!

Did I mention that Ella loves the tuba?

Did I mention that Ella loves the tuba?

Saturday was the day for another birthday party!

EB’s birthday was on Friday (but he had cross-country practice and half of us were at the high school football game that evening) — and SuperDad’s birthday is tomorrow, a.k.a. Monday (but we have back-to-school night at the high school) — so we celebrated with a joint party on Saturday evening.  Ella had hoped this stack of presents was for her…

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but in the end (after a small tantrum), she was convinced that a piece of homemade pumpkin pie was something to be happy about.  (Yes, birthday pie had been requested.)

Sunday saw us back at church.  The music group I participate in leads worship on the 2nd Sunday each month.  Ella was more than happy to rehearse with us

some of our group

some of our group

Then she helped our talented young organist with the postlude

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And she helped Pastor Jessica with the children’s sermon, too!

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Back to School

Ella went to church with us for the first time on Sunday morning. There were a lot of people doing double-takes when they saw an elephant in the building!  I don’t know how she behaves at home, but she did a great job sitting nicely on the pew, and there was a collective sigh of relief. I think the pastors were afraid she would trumpet loudly during the sermon! But no, she sat quietly and unlike the 3 menfolk next to me, she did NOT turn her bulletin into a paper airplane.
Perhaps this is because she did not eat chocolate cake for breakfast?

dressed for church in her Sunday best

dressed for church in her Sunday best

Charmed, I'm sure!

Charmed, I'm sure!

As you can see, she was wearing the lovely dress and bonnet that Dr. John bought for her to wear on Easter Sunday, and she received several compliments on her attire. 😀  I hope that Quilly especially notices the lovely flip-flop charm that Ella is wearing. (Melli, I found it attached to the cowboy hat.)

Sorry about the poor photography.  I grabbed the old camera and MusicMan has messed with the settings. Only he knows how to use it now!

If you haven’t yet figured out who Ella is, just click the link on her name  and you can learn all about her. The short explanation is that Ella is a little bit like a Flat Stanley for the Blogosphere, LOL.  At least that is how I explained her at church Sunday morning!

The school year begins on Tuesday. It is going to be a really busy couple of months here with one kid in cross-country and 2 kids in marching band, 2 new schools (moving on up and a boundary change) and just back-to-school in general.   MusicMan is a senior this year, Encyclopedia Blue is a junior, Humorous-Juniorous is in 8th grade, and SnakeMaster has entered the 4th grade.  I’m grateful to only be juggling 3 schools again this year!  (When we first moved here, each kid attended a different school.  It was a bit overwhelming for this mama.)

I’m glad that Ella is visiting.  She is making sure I post SOMETHING at least 3 times each week, and her fresh look at life makes it easy to post. Besides that, she is cute! 😀

A day late and a dollar short

I’ve been told that elephants NEVER forget, but apparently Ella has been distracted by all of the testosterone in my house…. because Ella forgot to tell me it was Melli‘s birthday yesterday!!

So, we got right on it and mixed up a chocolate mocha birthday cake.

Dry ingredients? check!

Ella bakes cakes from scratch!

We were missing a few ingredients and decided to “wing it” — because elephants do that, she said! LOL 😛  — and Ella assured me the batter tasted fine.  She kept dipping her trunk in whenever my back was turned!

She dipped in her trunk when I turned to set down the camera!

She dipped in her trunk when I turned to set down the camera!

I was going to make a traditional double-decker round cake, but Ella was feeling impatient and insisted that a 9″x12″ pan would do just fine.

blowing out the candles

blowing out the candles

Ella 007Ella got to blow the candles out!  And of course, she enjoyed eating cake & ice cream. 😀

Melli, Ella wants you to know that we ALL sang the Happy Birthday song to you… and she tried very hard to NOT spit when she blew out the candles. 😛

Earlier today I took her shopping.  She was supposed to go shoe shopping but the girls got left at home.  (Apparently the boys didn’t want to look at girl shoes.)  We were sad at first, but then we decided to make our own shopping adventure, so Ella and I went around to a few garage sales instead. Here she is checking out the neighbor’s yard sale:

Ella admired the Barbie doll shoes

Ella admired the Barbie doll shoes

AND…. That was our Saturday!  Hopefully we can find something fun to do tomorrow.  I’m doing my darndest to NOT eat more than one piece of that birthday cake.  I might not make it. It is SO good!!  Why oh why would anyone bake a box mix kind of cake when homemade tastes like that?!

Ella, Melli, and me!


Meet Ella!  She has come to celebrate September here in Kcinnova’s World.

A special hello to Ella’s fans from Melli’s place. My name is KC and I’m glad you’re here following Ella’s adventures with me. 🙂

I met Melli for lunch and the handing over of Ella and her big backpack of belongings.

Ella, Melli, and me

The backpack doubles as a booster seat:

Ella eats garlic fries

We checked out a few stores at the mall, including Build-A-Bear, of course!  Ella tried to ride the carved horse in the Arhaus store:

Ella at Arhaus

We also stopped in Hanna Anderson, where once again my husband is very grateful we do not have any female offspring… but Melli’s Luz is a very lucky girl!

Then Ella went to Trader Joe’s with me.

expensive tastes in cheese

She has expensive tastes when it comes to cheese, but she was also happy to point out the 2-buck-Chuck.  😀


On the ride home, I discovered that Ella is not a fan of TobyMac.  When I could safely do so, I put in a Chris Rice CD to please her. 😛

SnakeMaster and his elephants welcomed Ella to our home.  Here she is with Tantor, Hansa, Pounds, and Floppy.

new friends
Welcome, Ella!  I’m glad you came to visit. 😀