Archive for April 4th, 2007


Lots of Excitement

April 4, 2007

The last couple of weeks have held both a lot of tension and excitement. On January 15 of this year Jeff was laid off from a company where he had worked for nearly 10 years. He had been unhappy in the position for some time, but felt that it was secure and so he stayed. Just prior to being laid off he had pneumonia. So while he looked for a new job, he was able to finish recovering without the stress of a job in which he was unhappy anyway.

He found a position that he thought looked interesting, but was unsure if he was truly qualified for it. He went ahead and applied anyway and received a phone call almost immediately to set up an interview. Jeff had an interview on a Monday, they called him with an offer on Tuesday, and he accepted on Friday after some discussion of money. The company is about an hour away from our house, but the entire drive is on limited access highways, except for the first and last minute of travel, so it really isn’t too bad. Eventually we would like to move, but I have to put the house back together and square away a few other things first.

So last week, the kids and I went to work with him on Friday. While Jeff was at work, we went to play. First we visited a power plant that was very cool. When we arrived the woman who greeted us asked if the kids had a day off from school. When I told her they are home schooled, she got all excited and started giving them information and activity books. As we wandered around, we ran into a noisy class of school kids on a field trip. The kids on the field trip where getting a demonstration of a Van de Graaff generator, and each one was given the opportunity to try it out. As I was thinking how cool it would be for my children to be able to try it, the woman from the information desk approached me to see if my kids would want to try it when the field trip kids were done. They, of course, were thrilled with the idea, so my kids got to try out the Van de Graaff generator as well. Each of them thought it was pretty neat. It was a small one, so they only had a slight “hair raising” experience.

Erin got the best results, as she has the finest hair of the three.

After a couple hours there, we went to meet Jeff for lunch and ate take out from Long John Silver’s. We don’t have one where we live, but Jeff loves their food every once in a while. So he got a bit of a treat.
After we dropped Jeff back at work, we went to the zoo. I love this particular zoo, as they have a few giraffes. I think giraffes are my favorite wild animals. There is something about them that makes them really neat to watch. Fortunately at least one of my children shares my fascination with them, so we spent nearly 20 minutes staring at giraffes.

I am not entirely sure what this giraffe was doing, but the picture was funny. It almost looks as though she is talking. Their antics were quite amusing. They had recently been fed, so they were snacking on hay that had been put into holders with vertical bars, attached to the walls. There was a baby that had a trough lower on the wall, and the adults were all eating from two that were up higher. One giraffe was separated from the others by a wall that was low enough that they could reach across it with their necks, but high enough that they could not walk over it. Most of the hay was gone and much had fallen on the ground nearby. Apparently one of the giraffes was too lazy to bend over and pick it up off the ground, so she would wait for the other one to pick up a mouthful, and she would reach over and snatch some that was hanging from the other’s mouth. Then when she tired of waiting for the other to get more, she would reach over the wall into the other giraffe’s area and try to snatch some out of the holder on the wall in there. The whole time this was going on, I was trying to get pictures of the baby, but she would not take her head out of her trough on the wall.

So here is a picture of all the “headless” giraffes at the zoo…LOL!

Normally I don’t get excited about rhinoceros, however, this one was cool!

How often do you go to a zoo and see a rhino running in its enclosure? This rhino ran and ran and ran all around the enclosure. I managed to get this one good picture. I really wish I had a camera with better zoom and less delay between pushing the button and taking the picture!

The last silly animal we saw was a hyena. She came over in front of where we were standing, looked at us, and laid down with her belly facing us. It was almost as if she decided to pose for a picture.

As we were leaving the zoo, I remembered that there is a Frank Lloyd Wright house very near the zoo, but I couldn’t remember for sure which street it is on. I took a stab at it and was pretty sure I had the right one. As I was driving down the street, I was a little concerned that I might drive by and miss the house. I had to laugh as we approached it…there was a huge chain link fence around it with a large sign explaining the plans for restoring the house. I took a couple pictures, but they do not do the house justice. The fact that the sky was gray and gloomy didn’t help. Oh yeah, I am a BIG fan of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses. I am not fanatical about it…I know little about the man and whatnot, but I just find his designs appealing to look at.

We had a fun day, but were all very exhausted by the time we arrived home.