The day after Christmas we were going to have pancakes for breakfast. Erica went through the preparations the night before, setting out the sourdough starter, milk, and flour. But that morning she was tired and I got up with Kent to let her sleep in. I decided that I could try to make the pancakes, knowing where to find Granny's recipe and being very hungry myself. The hardest part of the recipe was separating three eggs, which I managed to do using only three eggs; I had been pretty sure I'd have to set a broken yolk aside to scramble when I was starting out.

Kent watched the whole production without comment, but when it was time to beat the egg whites with the hand mixer he took a look at me and hollered "Mama! MAMA!" Apparently he was concerned that someone besides mom was in the kitchen and thought she should be aware of the situation. A moment later Erica came in to survey progress but by then the coffee was made, the egg whites were fluffy, and I was ready to put the pancake batter on the griddle.

Only after we were halfway through cooking the pancakes did I comment on how I had used the full recipe since the last time we made pancakes Erica said she would stop making half recipes. Except she forgot in the meantime, and the starter was only a half recipe. Still, they turned out ok and Kent got to enjoy pancakes for breakfast for several days in a row.


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Ride Your Bike to Work the Levee Day

Last week Erica and I heard that today was ride your bike to work day in our community. Erica got me a bike for my birthday a year and a half ago and I haven't been good about riding it, but when I got it one of the things I thought was that eventually I would try riding to work along the road that is on top of the levee that protects us from the Mississippi River. With a lot of encouragement from Erica, I decided to go ahead and try riding to work today, especially since it was the day after my exam.

One of the reasons I never actually got around to biking along the levee before is because it is around a mile away, and getting to it requires riding on some surface streets. I've never felt comfortable riding my bike where cars are driving, even when I was a kid. For that matter, part of the reason I felt like trying to ride along the levee, which is necessarily a longer more meandering route from our house to downtown Baton Rouge than most streets, is that there's a road on top and no motorized traffic. But this morning I put some work clothes in by bookbag, strapped on my helmet, and rode to the levee without any problems.

What I should have realized is how out of shape I am. Getting to the levee was fine, but once I got up on the dirt road that runs along the crest I quickly got worn out. I had to stop. And then I had to stop again. And again. The fact that we'd had heavy rain the last two days and the dirt was soft didn't help; my tires kept sinking in and I kept getting bogged down. After a mere two tenths of a mile (there are markers along the top of the levee) I decided that I was never going to make it to work before quitting time, and I was tired of my experiment. So I walked down the side of the levee and rode home.

I'm pretty sure ride your bike to work day is an annual event. Now that I've made it down to the levee once maybe I'll go ride more often, without such lofty goals. Maybe next year I'll be ready to go three tenths of a mile...


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Safe and sound

We've had a week and a half of work without further incident. I have heard that the head honchos are in on some progress but they can't share it with us yet. I'm willing to be patient. We received several candid and informative talks from our director and I expect that he'll address us again when he's got news he can share.

Our friends Lauren and Steve are in town for Memorial Day and our baby shower. Lauren is helping organize the shower with our friend Jennifer. We've had a great time so far going to the farmer's market and Louie's Cafe for lunch. The shower is tomorrow so we'll undoubtedly continue to have a good time :) Erica's mom will be arriving this evening to join in the festivities :)

We've been decorating the nursery. Today we found a cool metal lizard that was made in Haiti that we hung above the changing table. I'm sure Erica will post photos soon.


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Day three

Monday and Tuesday we got evacuated from the building around 10:30 AM, so when we got to 11:00 today I thought we would be ok. But right after I sat down to lunch they came and told us all to leave again. Another hour and a half sitting in an adjacent building, another explanation that it would be ok to go back this afternoon, another afternoon off. Like yesterday, we were given the option to go back to work—although yesterday they apparently ended up sending everyone home anyway, as the network was down. Since Erica is pregnant it doesn't seem prudent to take the risk, no matter how small it may be.

Yesterday I got some mowing done. Today I might go trim some branches. Maybe tomorrow I can actually get a full day's work in.






And again...

Day two. At least this time they evacuated the building immediately. After we sat around for a little over an hour in a nearby building they came and told us that they would not do the same sweep with the dogs as yesterday and instead were doing a shorter floor to floor inspection using officers and employees to try and notice anything unusual in the building. They said that they expected the building to be clear, and that if we wanted to we could come back at 1PM and return to work. There are some deadlines coming up but they're still a few weeks away, so I decided to come home. If it happens again tomorrow I may stay... We'll see.






Bomb threat

I am home early today because someone emailed several bomb threats to my employer. I'm fine, but a little frustrated because when the second email came and said something to the effect of "I see you haven't evacuated yet," they did not start evacuating us, though they did send out an email instructing everyone to turn off our cell phones. It wasn't until a third email, with another follow up threat, arrived that they had us leave the building. We moved to the parking lot, and then into some adjacent buildings while the authorities cleared the building of occupants and started sweeping it for bombs. Around noon we were told that they expected the full sweep to take another 3 to 4 hours and that we would be allowed to go home.

Tomorrow we're supposed to go to work as normal and we'll be turned away if the building is still deemed to be at risk. This also frustrates me because over the last year they've been rolling out a disaster recovery and staff contact plan, which has required us to read through many PowerPoint presentations about how they will keep us informed if the building is inaccessible etc. I understand that this is different from a hurricane or some other disaster that might force us to relocate for a period of time, but what better time to test the system and get us used to it? Instead I get to drive in and look for flashing lights in the parking lot. So it goes.