Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Halloween week!

We've had a stay-close-to-home weekend, and it's just what the Partak family needed. Dave got Friday and today off as one of several passes he couldn't take when they were originally issued So let's catch up.

While we were traveling we learned so much more about the world according to Mason. Those of you who know Mason know he has used his own unique vocabulary to communicate. As a baby he called candy "neo" and to this day I don't know where that word originated. Before we took off for our cross country flights, our doctor advised us to make sure we had gum for Mason to chew when the plane began to descend. I brought gum and Dave not being a gum kind of guy, brought taffy. While we were at the hotel I ate the last three pieces of taffy and left the evidence on the bed beside me for Mason to see. He picked up the empty bag, looked at the wrappers and started this obviously fake cry. He through his head back, clenched his fists, and did his best to eek out a few tears. I immediately started to laugh. He looked at me and cried, "You ate all the landing candy!" "Yeah, and?" I replied, still snickering.
"That was landing candy, not candy just for eat'n."
I looked right at him and said "You've got to be kidding!"
He stopped crying and started to laugh and said, "Yeah mom, I was just kidd'n you. I wanted to see if you had some more candy to give me but now I can't keep my face strait." He got off the bed and went to play with his Legos.

The other funny one came after we'd already been home for a few weeks. Mason and I picked Dave up at work to go out for dinner for Mason's birthday. Mason asked Dave when he had another contreatment. I asked Mason what a contreatment was. He said, "You know, you do papers, talk on the phone, look at your computer. You know, a contreatment." I told him it sounded like he was talking about work. He said he was but not the kind you do here, you do it at a hotel. "Oh! You mean a conference." "Yeah, that's what I said, a contreatment." Is it just me or do conference and contreatment sound completely different? Like I said, this is just a glimpse inside the world according to Mason.

So we went to Apple Hill on Friday and bought apples and vegetables. Saturday, Dave and Mason decorated the yard for Halloween while I baked gingerbread skeletons. Sunday, I made my moms apple butter (which I'm sure she loved because even though she gave me the recipe, I called her every step of the way verifying that I was doing it right. Mom's love when we, in our 40's, still need them!), and Dave and Mason finished the decorations. We went for a walk around our neighborhood to see the changing colors and enjoy the evening. It was a really nice weekend.

Finally, my (our) friend Rod is part of Team in Training to help raise money to fight Leukemia. I know times are really tight right now and we all have our charities where we put our time and money, but if each of us could just donate as little as $5.00, collectively it would make a big difference. Go to to read Rod's story and make a donation.

This week, enjoy the last of your light evenings because next Sunday we "fall-back" and set our clocks back one hour. Today's motivator is a reminder about how you feel. I'm not attributing it to any one person because so many have said it in their own way. I know I feel it's true, do you?

"Nobody can make you feel anything. You're responsible for how you choose to feel about any given situation. Any feelings you have with regard to another's words or actions are your feelings. They emanate from your life and experiences. Look at them and see how you can feel or not feel. Again, you get to pick, so pick and do the appropriate work."

Have a great week!

Weekend Pictures

Colors in our neighborhood

No low hanging fruit for us!

Thanking the Harvest Gods for an abundant crop.

Skeleton Gingerbread

Dave and Mason's Graveyard

Mason and the witch.

Dave's Masterpiece after dark.

The Pumpkin Patch

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's New?

Hi Friends,

Happy birthday Mason and welcome to another gorgeous fall day. Here in the foothills we're looking forward to a sunny day maybe reaching the low 80's. The colors are changing and it just makes me feel like I want to explode with glee! No kidding, I see these trees that seem electric or neon in their reds and yellows and I want to just squeal. I love this time of year.

So what's new? We're getting back in the swing of things here at home and I'm feeling much better. After two surgeries (all the meds) and a ten day vacation (eating on the road), my body was begging for a break. I put myself on a ten day system cleanse, I'm eating lots of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and getting back to intentional exercise. It's amazing how fast we bounce back when we take care to put the good stuff in. The finger is healing but until the pin comes out, I'm having to be be very careful with everything I do with my left hand.

I've also applied for a new job. It's a contract position with the National Guard working with soldiers and their families before, during, and after deployment. I'm really excited about this opportunity and know I can really make a difference doing work like this. Hopefully the interview process will be swift and I can get to work soon.

On the glove front, we got the second round of prototypes on Saturday. They look good, but still need work. My plan is to land this new job while still building our glove empire, pay off the bills we've incurred with patents and such, and sock away as much extra cash as we can. In today's economy, it doesn't make sense to turn away a (good) paying job while we wait for our glove venture to start paying.

Tell me, what's new with you? Do you have a favorite season that makes you feel like fall makes me feel? Do tell!

Today's motivator:

"It doesn't matter where you live, happiness is anywhere your heart is smiling." KP


Happy Birthday Mason! We had dinner in Morocco while at Epcot.

The "Tree of Life" behind us was really something to see.

Mason and the red Power Ranger. This was a high-point for Mason!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Got a Spare Camera?

Hello All!

Well, we're home and it was certainly a long day yesterday. We left FL on a 6 PM flight, stopped for dinner in TX, and were back on our way to CA just after 9 PM. That put us in Sacramento just after 11 PM where we found our car in the parking lot with a very dead battery. This of course compounded the emotions of an already weary group of travelers (mostly me), and added to the tight time frame we were already working with. You see, Dave was suppose to be home today and then have to travel via a short flight to LA for work on Wednesday. Instead, his commander changed the plan while we were in FL making it necessary for him to be in Sacramento at 7 AM this morning to make the trek south by car. Sheesh! With just a few hours sleep and his bag pre-packed while we were at his dad's house, he's not getting a moments rest.

As for Mason and me, we got a bit more sleep and have to contend with all the stuff you have to do when you return from vacation; laundry, groceries, mail, plants, e-mails, phone calls, appointments, etc. With that said, watch for another e-mail in the next few days with some funny stories and hopefully pictures. I say hopefully because apparently this Partak family in under a dark cloud when it comes to our cameras. The last day of our trip, I had my hand uncasted while sitting by the pool. I reached for our older camera (the one we had before I got my Canon that was stolen in August) and as I was passing it to my injured hand, I sent it strait to the bottom of the pool. I'm currently looking into a recovery service for the memory disk and will happily accept any donations of your "old" digital cameras! As sickening as it was to see the camera sink to the bottom of the pool, the way my hand was up to receive it but did literally nothing was very funny. Talk about a mix of opposite emotions at exactly the same time!

So I'm off to work and will be in touch in a few days! Have a great week!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kids Are A Constant.

Kids are a constant. A constant pain in your ass or a constant joy, sometimes both at the same time.

By the way it's Dave writing. I'm giving Kathy a break since she has to hunt and peck with one hand, although I have found she makes less errors that way as she has to concentrate more. Any rate, back to the story...

Mason has a special friend. His name is Johnny Test. Now Johnny Test is real, on TV, as a cartoon character and maybe to Mason's imagination can be real from time to time. Johnny Test has been a friend and mentor to Mason. Johnny Test has had items put on him in the car and has been locked out of the house on occasion. He is particularly useful at dessert time. Now that you know who Johnny Test is, here's the rest of the story.

A few nights back we put Mason to bed. After his bed time story he started fussing because he only got one story from his book. After numerous ups and downs and into our room Kathy gave him the what for and sent him off to bed crying. As he lay in bed he was going through fits of crying interspersed with totally calm and rational talking. It turns out that one of the voices was a very upset Mason (or Johnny Test, we're not sure) and the other "voice of reason" and calm, the other. It was hilarious to eavesdrop on this.
Crying voice - "Mommy is never nice, she never lets me do anything"
Calm voice - "Now you know you have to go to bed. You shouldn't make your parents angry". This went on for a few minutes until he walked back into our room.
Mason asked, "If daddy puts me in my room (after I fall asleep) can I lay with you guys? I promise not to talk or move or anything."

Pause in the story for a moment and understand that we completely realize that we have set our son up. We both know he will not keep his word...he cannot keep his word. Now back to the story.

Well, after the good laugh we had at his expense we couldn't say no, but Kathy said, "If you move or talk once, it's straight to bed." Which he agreed to. He jumped in between us and settled down. We were watching "My name is Earl" so we turned it back on. Not one minute into hes agreement, he asked what they were doing in the program. In unison, Kathy and I said, "Okay, you talked off to bed." Which brought off a new round of crying.

Kathy is busting up laughing because she said, "You are my son because you can't keep from talking" (which of course I say amen to). As he trundles off to bed defeated, dejected and crying disconsolately you hear the voice of reason, "You know you weren't supposed to talk, why did you talk?"

P.S. The photos is an older one, but still completely accurate at any given time. Also, we've recently learned that Johnny Test is the voice of reason. We're glad somebody is!