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Friday, September 30, 2005

Learning disabled??

Rochelle, my middle girl with the slight learning disability, was moved back to the 4th grade reading class because her reading speed wasn't up to the level necessary to pass the standardized tests. She cried. I told her it didn't matter; we knew how well she reads. She was looking up coloring pages on the computer a few minutes ago and ran across a Bible site. She sat there and read the word "transfiguration" flawlessly. I'm sure she had never seen it before. I had tried to convince her teacher that deliberate and accurate was better than fast and sloppy (me, sometimes) but the teacher was locked into the "rules". The system is nuts. It set Rochelle back for a bit and she's still sad sometimes.

Rebecca went with a neighbor girl and her mother to Mickey D's and came in with a funny looking wart covered ball full of goo. Squeeze the warts and the goo pops out. She's enchanted; Elcie's nauseated. Poor Elcie has been ill all day and the sight of the green slimy goo just about did her in. All one kid has to do is let another kid know that she doesn't like something and the offender will keep it up forever. I separated them. It was Rebecca's first trip to McDonald's in a while. I'm not obsessive about fast food but we space it out. She had chicken and I'm sure she had french fries.

Gawdessness, I'm amazed when someone says they read all my posts and are still here speaking to me. I thought perhaps you weren't commenting on the same BB posts as I because I didn't leave any room. Feel free to say yeah, me too. You bring a different approach to topics even when we're agreeing, which is much of the time. I always enjoy seeing your name appear on BB. I know I've said this before, but it's great having friends out there.

Past bedtime for girls. We give them a little leeway on weekends. I hadn't planned to add more to this blog tonight but I was afraid I'd forget Rochelle and transfiguration. It was important to me, if not to anyone else. Have to go - I'm trying to think of a good answer to "why do they call Mother Nature "Mother Nature". This from Rochelle, my animal lover and ecologist. I told her it was because some people believe the earth has a mother. Best I could come up with on short notice. She's satisfied. I wonder how long they'll let me get away with simple answers.

My girls and other stuff

Gawdessness - you found me. We've been playing ping-pong on BB for a while now. I still wonder if that rescue plane was ever allowed to leave Canada.

Emmelinie - thanks. I like "your one" better than just "one".

L. - I'm accidentally following you around the blog world again. I was looking at a blog I'd never seen before and there you were.

I was right about Elcie. She's been asleep most of the day. Definitely the crud. She woke up long enough to take cold medicine and went right back to sleep. She was still asleep this morning when my alarm went off. She never sleeps past 5:00. I didn't even try to wake her up.

This was bulk shopping day. We who have one payday a month try to get it all done at once. I was putting groceries in the car at my last stop when I heard the familiar music "Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey". It's the theme song of the 3 passenger, coin op merry-go-round in front of the supermarket. Three little girls were riding. My girls used to beg each time we went to the store. It's a great deal - only a quarter for 3 to ride at once. Sometimes we even gave them an encore. I looked at those girls riding and realized how long it had been since mine had done it. Their feet would now drag the ground and the horses would buckle in the middle. Where does the time go? I've always wondered why the vendors chose that particular song but I ended up teaching the girls all the words. Shame on me.

The blog I was visiting earlier is written by a Caucasian woman, married to an Asian-American. They have children. It struck a chord even though our circumstances aren't the same. It was beautifully written. I think this link will take you there. Links aren't my strong point.

http://americanfamily.typepad.com/american_family/2005/09/seven_it_is.html

If that didn't work, you can find it on Blogging Baby.

Almost simultaneously, I was listening to Bill Bennett on CNN trying to justify his "hoof in mouth" disease. The reasonable part of me knows he didn't really mean that all black babies should be aborted to reduce the crime rate; the great-grandmother part of me came unglued. Those are my girls he's talking about. He's a public servant or at least a former public servant - those words should never have come out of his mouth. We've come a long way since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Brown v. Board of Education but obviously not nearly far enough.

End of rant - at least for now.

My one sort of funny Canada story. The first time I had to call our Vancouver office from San Francisco, I asked the person on the other end what time it was in Vancouver. We had a moment of silence and then she very graciously told me it was the same as San Francisco. I have no excuse - just temporarily brain dead.

Later - I should go do something useful.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Triumphal performance

Rebecca, who as you may remember, planned to do the hootch kootchy while wearing a two piece bathing suit, settled for a blue and white horizontal stripe polo shirt under a black sequin slinky dress. She remembered her shoes. Her hair was neatly done in braids. She danced the twist and the mashed potato (at least that was the music that was playing). The leader does the same performance every year, only his dancers and announcers change. Hoop dances, an eagle dance, a pitch against drugs and for respect, and the singing children. The PTC sold cookies and juice for the hurricane fund and then passed the hat. All in all a success and the last time I get to sit through it. Six years with Elcie, counting kindergarten, and two more with the little ones.

Rochelle stood at the side, very near the stage, and danced right along with them. Their mother came to watch which is always a plus. Elcie begged off; I think she may be coming down with the galloping crud. I'm trying to get her through one more day, even if the school sends her right back home. We'll see how she does in the morning. It's a little after eight here and she's in bed. Usually she makes it until nine but her tail was dragging. My tail is dragging too.

I don't have to obsess over baseball until next April. Giants lost to San Diego on Wednesday so their season is over even though they're still going through the motions. I'll cheer Boston on for a repeat but I won't hang on their every move.

More later or tomorrow. My tail is dragging too.

Rebecca the dancing fool & Rochelle - our own Dr. Doolittle

L. and Insomniac - I answered you on the comment section.

We're busy today so this may be short. I spent most of the morning doing political stuff. A small group of us met with Representative Cardoza's Chief of Staff. Originally we intended to present him with a petition but he fooled us and co-sponsored the bill in question before we had the chance. What was intended as a 15 minute formal meeting turned into an hour just chatting about issues. We represented a solid voting bloc he didn't know he had. We can make a difference.

Rebecca and Rochelle's school is presenting a program tonight as a fund raiser for the hurricane victims. They've also collected cans and money. The school custodian is Native American and will put on an ethnic dance (and song?) display complete with hoop dance. I've seen him many times before - not bad.

Rebecca has been invited to participate and tells me she can do any kind of dance she likes and wear anything she wants. I'm trying to convince her a two piece bathing suit and the hootchy kootchy may not be what he had in mind. He obviously doesn't know Rebecca as well as I or he wouldn't be opening that particular door. I've been to a few too many school programs - nevertheless I'm going to this one. They'll be over far too soon.

Rochelle is still too shy for this event although she's getting better. She'll take part in school programs now as part of a group and even recited her own poem once but isn't ready for this. It's okay - she likes to applaud. The safety patrol is a big step for her. They're both involved in that. She's one of these super good kids - almost too good. I worry that she'll be a follower because her mission in life is to please everybody. Her heart is planted firmly on her sleeve. Her teachers and I quietly rejoice when she breaks a minor rule in class or squabbles with her sisters.

When she was around five, she came into the house very gently carrying a bee. We praised the pretty bee and suggested she carefully put it back in the yard. She wasn't stung. She has a tender, loving soul. She will, however, stand up for Rebecca anytime, shyness or not. The girls are a team when they're not fighting each other.

If I remember, I'll let you know what Rebecca wore on her big occasion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My family tree - do I have to include all the exes?

L. You're right of course - I was answering questions as they were asked which took everything out of order.

Ann - 1938

2 mothers - one birth, one adoptive. family adoption - I know them both. My adoptive dad and my birth mom were first cousins. My adoptive mom still with us at 93. My birth mother lived in S. F. and died a few years ago. My adoptive dad died a little before the boys' dad - 1987/1988. We were dealing with cancer on both coasts. Not much I could do about my dad - I did manage one trip back while he was still doing fairly well.

Married Connie - 1955
Carol 1956 & Ricky 1957 (handicapped/instituionalized - I've told that one before)

Married Bobby - 1960

Sheryl 1961 - married and living in New Mexico - 4 kids. She's a sweetheart and too far away.

Married Jim - 1964

Jim 1968 - day of RFK assassination Tim 1972 Anniversary of JFK assassination. I decided I'd better stop having kids - Teddy K. was still around.

Separated in 1977 - back together in 1981. Jim died in April 1988.

Ray Adams - 1989 til death us do part

That's really bare bone and it doesn't count the situations I found myself in before I decided to stop being a victim. Or the child I gave up for adoption at 15 or the abortion at 40 that indirectly shoved me into AA at 41. Enough of that for now. It'll probably all dribble out eventually, posting by posting unless I chicken out on the true confessions.

Carol lives with me. She's quite ill with intestinal cancer and unless she cleans up her act for good, I don't know how much of a chance she has at beating cancer. She's spent years punishing her body and she's pushing 50. She doesn't bring it here but I'm not blind. She uses the revolving door approach to NA. Jim has 3 kids (mixed Philipino and Caucasian), divorced, remarried to a neat person with 3 children and one grandchild of her own. He's an Army National Guard sergeant, called up from Inactive Reserve and probably headed for Iraq. Tim lives in town too. I see a lot of him. I love all my kids equally but Tim and I are soulmates.

Do you still want to know me?

Ray the invisible man - sorry hubby

I never mentioned my husband? That's okay, most people who meet me (without the girls or my husband) for the first time assume I'm lesbian. You know, I have that "look". I think I'm straight but I believe we're all a mix of one thing or another. The whole "girl" thing of hair, makeup, and clothes is lost on me although I make a valiant attempt for the little girls.

Ray is a wonderful human being who leaves me alone to do what I want, brings me ice water, cooks, often beats me to the dishes, the floors, or the laundry, and thinks I walk on water. He still brings me roses. Silly man. After several false starts, I finally got it right. Our life stories are very different - he refers to us as "Yale and jail". For the record, high school and a little college and a lot of business training through the years is it on formal education for me - Yale and jail is just an expression. Oh and he doesn't drive so I have a builtin navigator, map reader, disc jockey, coffee pourer, and child manager. I'm a terrible passenger, too many control issues, so we complement each other nicely.

He and I married over 16 years ago, a little over a year after the father of my two sons died. Jim had been sick for over 5 years and Ray was one of our old friends who was always there for both of us. We met in AA when I was new and he (Ray) was 7. My late husband Jim met Ray later after Jim and I reconciled. Short version - I had done most of my grieving watching my husband die. We had just gotten back together, we were sober and making a good home for the boys, and then prostate cancer decided to move in. Meantime Ray had moved to Paradise (honest, that's the name of the town - up the hill from Chico in gold country). Another good friend lived there as well and I started driving up with Tim (Jim was already in Army) some weekends. Ray started turning up at my friend's house more and more and I imagine you can guess the end of the story. We moved in together in S. F. and decided quickly that while we didn't think a marriage certificate made any real difference, we couldn't figure out how to introduce each other to people. Significant other? Roommate? Shackup? We made a spur of the moment trip to Reno (real craziness for another time), got hitched, and came straight back, just in time for the birth of my son Jim's oldest child, Samantha. With Tim almost grown, I know Ray expected a quiet life with his very first wife but he never batted an eye about the girls - just calmly helped.

He's been ill for some time now[ not life threatening, merely debilitating which is still a shame. Some days are better than others. He's supportive of all my radical ways; he knew what he was getting into having known me for 10 years before we married (I think that math is right).

See - just ask and I'll write you a chapter of a novel. If I haven't mentioned him, perhaps I'm taking him for granted. Thanks L. for the reminder.

Political stuff - feel free to ignore

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/28/opinion/28wed4.html

Link to NYT editorial today

I've been yammering about this for a while now. The House has passed an amendment to Head Start funding allowing religious institutions to discriminate in their hiring practices and still receive federal funds. I'm ashamed to say my Congressman, usually a good guy, voted for it (one of the 23 Democrats who did). There must have been considerable arm twisting. The Senate has their own version of the Bill, without this provision. I have already written my Senators.

Head Start concerns me enough to start protesting. My two younger girls are alumni. They provide a pre-school program for parents living in poverty. If we suddenly have local Head Starts run completely by one denomination (no matter which), their views are bound to spill over into the program itself. This bill has other unfortunate provisions, but one thing at a time.

Head Start teaches or reinforces many things. Sharing, manners, working with a group, hygiene, acceptable behavior, and nutrition for example. Many of the kids don't learn these things at home. Their approach to moral values is doing fine or was when my girls attended. Whatever other problems they may have can be addressed without allowing discrimination and federal funding to be mentioned in the same breath.

We can have privately funded religious schools who are free to teach whatever they wish. We can have government funded schools who follow the Constitution on church/state separation. When we try to combine the two, we're in trouble.

I'm not trying to start a religious war on this blog and I'm not asking anyone to do anything. I'm just trying to get the word out for those who may be concerned.
Elcie has left "Fly Away Home" for something worse. I don't recognize it but I'm sure by this time next week, I will. Be careful of what you ask for, youmay get it. Actually, I think it's a cd I burned for her the other night. She was begging for Kelly Clarkson. Nope, it's Music Choice - soft rock. I've made copies of Journey, Eagles, Foreigner for her as well as much of my 60's folk music and some New Age things. I learned the hard way not to let her near my originals.

This is summer to winter clothing week at my house. Mornings are cool, afternoons warm. I don't have enough closet space for both seasons at once so little by little I'm transferring, sorting, giving away. The girls grew at least two sizes between last winter and this so Rebecca is receiving a bonanza in hand me downs and the older two are out of luck. She's not that much younger but she's tiny yet. Most of her size is in her mouth. I bought some too large things last year so they're not naked yet but I guess I have to start scouring the second hand stores again. I used to pass Elcie stuff to Rochelle but Rochelle caught Elcie on height. Now it all goes to Rebecca.

Elcie up and dressed with 15 minutes to spare. She needs help dressing unless I want to get her up about 30 minutes earlier. She wants to look like the other girls and I agree so it means help with the jeans and socks. She can do the rest. One of the things I have to start planning for is Elcie's eventual independence. My son Tim has agreed to continue raising the girls, if necessary, and in California, that won't be a problem. In Florida or Texas, I'm not so sure. I don't think she'll be able to be completely on her own but I could be wrong. We never thought she'd walk and some experts weren't sure she'd read. Wrong.

After Rochelle started walking, Elcie, who was using crutches and a walker, evidently decided her little sister wasn't going to get away with it. She started, first a step, then another, with a few falls in between. She walks unaided now. She uses crutches outside the house to prevent eventual damage because of the unevenness of her gait but by God she walks. I don't cry a lot but when she took the first steps from one of us to the other, I was standing there weeping.

How did I get started on this? Just signed a permission slip for safety patrol for Rochelle. 5th graders are the role models, the Principal tells us. The little kids should probably emulate Rochelle rather than Rebecca but Rebecca seems to have the larger following.

I think I just saw Rochelle wearing a Christmas design sweater over a Halloween shirt. I must go nip it in the bud. They decide on their daily clothing within the dress code but Christmas and Halloween in September?

I'll be back. I know you can hardly wait.

Common ground

My husband is in the kitchen taking out his agressions on a block of ice and I'm up much too late listening to a morning after pill discussion on Nightline. We freeze water in milk cartons and he's breaking it up. Usually he takes it out to the back sidewalk and flings it to the ground. We've finally gotten used to it.

I just received a comment from an online friend talking about making a difference. Roger, you're right. I was atrophying here until I bought the computer. I found like minded people and rejoined the world. I was active in Arkansas with ACORN when they first started and worked for the Equal Rights Amendment which AR never did ratify in spite of a good governor who supported it. I stayed active in San Francisco but once I moved down here the only thing I did other than take care of the girls was vote.

We've begun working with moveon.org, we started a PFLAG group, we're writing letters and making noise. We held a vigil and have had petition tables around town. We're standing up for Planned Parenthood which isn't easy here. One of our people went to the Washington D. C march last weekend.

The best part of all this activism is that we're all so different. We have teachers, preachers, union workers, health professionals, non-profit workers, and me. We have all colors, genders, faiths or no faiths, educational levels. We have one thing in common - we all know there has to be something better. Some days I believe we can change the world. And we do it without making threats or bombing clinics.

ACORN started out in what was basically a storefront - we ran on a shoestring. It's been national for some time now. I see the good they're doing almost every day. It's the example I hold up when people tell me their voice won't make a difference. Yes, it will.

Roger, I'll probably get into more of my checkered past as time goes on. I said in a comment earlier, I have no secrets. Most people who know me well know all about me; I've just never told the whole world at once before. The girls know only the person who's taken care of them all their lives. Maybe they should know more.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I was looking for a gender neutral pronoun?

I promise not to make silly stuff a habit but this takes political and feminist correctness to a whole new level, even for me.

courtesy of Alternet who borrowed it from someone else.

"somebody better call
god/allah/buddah/assorted goddesses/etc.
because he/she/gender neutral being
are missing an angel/messiah/messenger.
*if atheist this line may not work"

If it missed anyone, I'm sure I'll be hearing from them.

Why my early retirement didn't pan out

Subtitle - life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.

Jen wondered why I have the girls. Elcie was removed from my grandson and his lady in San Francisco when she was 3 months old. No physical abuse; it's called failure to protect; a catchall phrase for the parents didn't have a clue what they were doing. I'd already moved from the city. Mistake maybe but I thought they'd be okay.

Tasha's (their mom) mother asked me to have my grandson and Tasha move here so they could get Elcie back. She has heart trouble among other ailments and couldn't handle it. Okay. Once Elcie's records had been transferred from S. F., no problem. They retained custody on the unspoken condition that I be around to supervise. They went on to have Rochelle and Rebecca, 10 months apart. For a while, everything was okay and then my grandson made the front page of the local paper and ended up in jail. Tasha went totally off the rails. When she decided to go live in a crack house, I bounced her and kept the kids. Illegal, but I can be intimidating. My first call was to Public Health, my second to Child Protective Services. We arranged for temporary custody and then the guardianship without much fuss. Tasha went on to have two more children before she finally got her act together. It took my grandson one more jail sentence but he seems to finally be on track. These days they live (separately) nearby and spend a lot of time with the kids. I had hoped to eventually relinquish guardianship but that probably isn't going to happen. I don't think either one will have the long term stability to handle everything involved with special needs children. Elcie has lived with me since she was 13 months old and frick and frack have never known anything else. They love both their parents (kids usually do) and this is working, at least for now. I love their parents too but babies come first.

I don't say a whole lot about my past; it's history and I can't go back and change any of the mistakes I made. I've been sober almost 27 years. All alcoholics, from Betty Ford and Dubya on down, cause damage to the people who love them. Some recover, others merely reform. The "Big Book" of AA describes us as "tornadoes roaring through the lives of others". They nailed it. I'm convinced that substance abuse runs in families. I also believe that whatever higher power there is has given me a shot at getting it right.

Aren't you glad you asked?

As to why the guardianship skipped a generation, "substance abuse seems to run in families". I'll talk more about my grandson's mother (my daughter) one of these days. Right now, she's quite ill (intestinal cancer) and living with us. I was the only family member capable of caring for the girls and I couldn't see those beautiful kids thrown into the system. It was a no brainer. I'd been pretty much doing it anyhow.

Beth - just got your message. You couldn't beat me off BB with a stick. I do have a tendency to preach and maybe this blog will allow me to get some of it out my system. Perhaps the "comment" shouldn't consistently be twice as long as the original "post".

(Updated 9-6-07). I no longer have the girls, now 11, 12, and 14 with me. My posts from early August 2007 through today tell the tale (or some of it).

Reading logs and other things

I haven't figured out which is easier - a comment or a new post.

L. - you may join me in my days of depression any time. We need to talk more about square pegs in round holes. Maybe when I get back to this. Laundry and running intervene. And I still have to finish the minutes for last month's PFLAG steering committee. Next meeting tonight. I was going to do it yesterday but the great Yahoo fraud got in the way. Can you spell procrastinate?

On my way out - taking daughter to doctor. I haven't talked much about her. One of these days maybe.

Seven minutes to the next shift 6:55 pdt

The Yahoo fake is still sending email and my Yahoo is still working fine in spite of my "suspended account".

Does anyone have an idea for a gender neutral singular pronoun? The English language is missing one. "It" sounds very odd, "he/she" is silly, and "you" sounds like I'm singling someone out. "One" sort of works but it sounds too much like tea at the Ritz.

Yesterday, in the midst of the Yahoo panic, Rebecca came home missing her reading log and Rochelle lost her spelling words. Elcie couldn't find her glasses. I think they're buried in her desk at school. Probably both pairs. First time ever for Rochelle, she's obsessive about getting everything right. Too obsessive, she cries sometimes when everything isn't perfect. Rebecca could use a little more of that and Rochelle could use a little less. I finally remembered I had stashed Rebecca's reading log because she was forging my name. Now I can't find it. More about reading logs in a minute - have to bounce kids out of bed.

Kids out the door. Laundry whirling and I'm goofing around until my friend comes back for our morning coffee. Rebecca is unhappy because I wouldn't let her redo her log. She will miss recess today. That happens a lot. Bad as my handwriting is, it's better than her forgery. She has to learn that actions have consequences and I won't cover for her with something like this. I will, however, be at the school in a heartbeat when she's right and the school is wrong. I need to schedule a conference with her teacher but I think I'll wait until report cards come out. I hate reading logs; they're easy to fake, so why bother. Kids should be free to read once they're at home without it turning into one more piece of homework. Elcie's teacher agrees; I initial date and duration but we don't have to keep up with page numbers or even titles. Rebecca needs to learn that cheating is wrong and that she has to obey the rules until she's old enough to work for change. I can already envision her in Union Square with a picket sign. She has written her campaign speech for class President (just a writing exercise). No homework, more recess, you get the idea. She tags along to some of my political action meetings and takes in every word. She's been a pint-size version of me from her very first word. Oh dear.

Rochelle found her "words", finished her homework, and left for school a happy child again. She has a slight learning disability (probably mild dyslexia) and has been in "special day" classes since second grade. Now she's in 5th, still not quite caught up but getting there. For her, special day was a miracle. I watched her go from beginning to shut down to blossoming. Let's hear it for good teachers and compassionate administrators. They're out there.

Today I get to push cooking off on the church ladies. The girls go to a once a week after school program which includes dinner and then bell choir. They usually take a couple of neighbor kids along so I never know how many I'm going to be trucking. The van holds seven legally. I have to remember to send canned food for our food distribution program. It's fairly new - we used to coordinate with one of the community agencies (which folded) so we're trying it on our own along with a clothes closet.

I must learn the art of a closing sentence. I guess this is it.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Yahoo and spam

My normal day turned into chaos this morning with an email from someone identifying themselves as Yahoo telling me my computer was being used to send spam and threatening my account with suspension. I freaked and then spent most of the day trying to reach Yahoo to ask them what was going on. Finally, these same people told me my account was suspended. Funny, because everything was still working fine.

Meantime, I had told most of the people who know me to use my alternate email address just in case.

I finally shipped all the mail over to my bright younger son, Tim, who immediately said this is fake. He managed to get through to Yahoo who is investigating.

If there's a moral to this story, it's don't believe anything ever. I know enough to never give out personal information or passwords, but this one looked real. No harm done but I just knew the spam police were coming after me. Plus I wasted most of my day and the day of my anonymous friend who has been helping me with all this.

I don't think any of you would be taken in by this scam but I'm putting it out here anyhow. I've had my Yahoo account ever since I've had the computer and I had heard about hackers taking over computers to send spam. Using Yahoo's name was new to me and probably to Yahoo as well since they didn't seem to realize their name was being used in vain.

Putting girls to bed now. Later

Elcie out door - next shift starting 6:50 a.m.

Afterthought - I'm going to keep up with the ways I'm losing it. It's a party - anyone is welcome.

How come I can remember that the Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066 but I can't remember if I put laundry detergent and softener in the machine? Now I may have put it in twice.

How come I can remember (fill in the blank) but I can't keep the girls' names straight? I start with Elcie and work my way down or I just say "whoever you are". I can rely on them to tell me.

One of my on-line friends was commenting yesterday about his toddler and the adorable things coming out of his mouth. Elcie, who is 12 going on 20, engaged me in an Alice in Wonderland conversation about angels and did they watch over her in the bathtub. She's maturing quickly and was worried about her privacy. I said something about too many kids taking baths at the same time for the angel to focus on her and that no one on this earth really knows much about angels. She countered with "Angels in the Outfield" and I reminded her that movies are fiction. Possibly so are angels, but I won't get into that now. She'll make her own decisions when she's older.

I lost my train of thought along with the other things I seem to be losing these days. What I wanted to tell my friend from BB, if I hadn't been saying far too much already, is to enjoy his toddler and listen, listen, listen. I know he knows that so maybe I'm just saying it to myself. Years (and generations in my case) go by so fast. In a year or so, my goofy conversations with Elcie will have changed and, if she's like many teens, I'll have to drag three words out of her. I'll never forget the "angel" conversation and he'll never forget the first conversations with this toddler, no matter how many kids we have raised.

5:00 a.m. pdt - Elcie is up already and people are findng me

That's a lie - it's now 6:00 a.m. I just finished typing (keyboarding) about 45 minutes of really profound stuff, hit "save draft" and this dumb thing made me sign in again and I lost everything.

L. You're welcome to butt in whenever. I was hesitant to start a blog because I prefer dialogue to monologue and there are only so many ways to describe what we all do every day. Get up, get kids ready, break up fights if there is more than one kid, (three are the worst, trust me - they gang up) get them out the door, and breathe.

Hi Roger - I can't imagine the tragedy of the Holocaust or the pain of the survivors and their descendants. To say I'm sorry isn't enough, is it. It's still happening, on a smaller scale, all over the world. Did we learn nothing? Rhetorical, obviously we didn't learn much.

I'm your number one fan (without the hatchet). I've been finding peoples' journals or blogs as I become a little more blog literate. We share so many of the same concerns and I don't know about you but so often I feel powerless. Maybe that's why I run my mouth so much on BB. I may not change any minds but at least I'm not silent. One of my favorite quotes, probably misquoted here but I'm not going to go back and look it up right now, is "the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". I'm trying to answer evil with good, if that makes any sense.

37 (and counting) comments on private religious schools and almost as many of the Pledge of Allegiance, many of them vitriolic (in fairness, from both sides). Including one of mine, I think - I almost lost it and that's not like me, at least not these days. I can usually disagree without being snotty. Hatred begets hatred very quickly and vitriol encourages vitriol.

The one thing I've decided for sure is that I'm going to do a fast proof read through what I've written and let it go. Unless I say something inaccurate, a typo is a typo, I haven't figured out spell check on this yet, and anyone who bothers to point them out one by one needs to get a life.

Later - thanks for the encouragement. Elcie's been up since 4:45 listening to the theme from "Fly Away Home". I started writing about the ecology, what's left of it, but I lost the post into computer Neverland so I'll save it for another time.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Why am I awake at 5:00 PDT on Sunday morning?

Maybe because it's the only quiet time of the day. Even my husband is still asleep. I never used to be a morning person except by necessity. Old age sneaking up, I guess. I'm watching/listening to a wonderful channel called Classic Arts. My husband is usually up later (he's a t.v. addict - anything with litle green men) and the last thing he does is switch the t.v. over to the classic channel for me. I woke up to "Love for Three Oranges". That would wake anyone up. It was followed by a scene from the original Man Who Knew Too Much (1934?). Now they're into Wagner.

L., I wish I could take credit for the great title but it all goes to my "anonymous" friend. I'm ashamed to admit it took me about five minutes to realize he/she had worked the girls' names in. I was straight back in the 60's thinking it was
rockin' rebel. Another blogger had suggested "kickass grandma" which I loved but I chickened out. My only contributions were the color and the pics. The girls are cuties aren't they. Those pics are almost a year old. I have newer ones once I'm ready to fight with my scanner again. I refuse to admit a dumb hunk of plastic and metal is smarter than I.

This is a much better day. I think I'll try to stay away from the news for a while. There are times when the things I can do nothing about get to me. My older son had called to tell me one of his Company in Iraq had been killed. This makes 3 killed and 14 wounded out of about 80 in his Nat'l Guard Company alone. Jim was supposed to be there but his hearing disqualified him. I thought he was secure but the Army fixed his hearing - funny they never bothered when he was first injured in the early 90's. Now he has state of the art hearing aids, the better to hear the bombs as they go off.

Why "Anvil Chorus" at 6:00 a.m? Don't they know some people are sleeping? Not now they aren't.

I think today is going to be lazy. Nothing scheduled after church. Elcie is singing in the early service choir (guitar and bongo type music) which gives me incentive to get there on Sundays. My denomination has been condemned by Pat Robertson so I figure it's exactly where we belong. I'm doomed - just ask him. On second thought, we don't need to ask him, he'll tell us anyway.

We try to find things she can do that her sisters can't because they're younger. She's a bit of a showoff but at 12, that's okay. There are worse things she could be doing. We had tried her with a clarinet in 5th grade but there wasn't enough instruction time at the school. I can help her with reading music but I don't play any of the woodwinds so she was on her own there. We had picked the clarinet bcause it's lightweight and you don't have to hold it up in the air. She's fairly mobile but she has some problems with balance. If she's standing unsupported, she's using all her muscles to keep herself upright. It would be too much to add holding a violin or flute. And if she's balancing on her crutches, how would she hold the flute? Sitting all the time isolates her. Sometimes the little stuff is harder to work around.

I think I'm going to like this once I figure out what I'm doing. I was never a diary or journal person because I hate pen and paper writing. I can type well enough to keep up with thinking and I love the delete key. Looking at the length of this, maybe I should use it more. (Still hasn't kept me from running my mouth on Blogging Baby though. When they deal with issues I'm passionate about, I get carried away.)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Wow - I have a banner

My anonymous friend, who would prefer to stay that way, has given me a banner with pictures and remembered that I like purple. Thank you "anonymous friend".

I was looking at the pictures of the girls and thinking about the world they will face. To me they're the most beautiful children in the world; others may see only miscegnation. Will they will have to deal with hatred from people who will despise them? The oldest girl has cerebral palsy; will she face discrimination? Will my much loved gay son be allowed the same rights as any other citizen or he always be a victim of homophobia?

I've spent far too much time today reading about the justification of bigotry and I don't have any good answers for the questions my girls are sure to ask as they grow older. In spite of all the theories, I don't know why people hate. I can help change the law but I can't legislate love.

I refuse to believe that intolerance is the norm and I'm the one out of step.

I've probably said far too much, as usual. I'll go stir the spaghetti sauce now. My hollow legged girls' tummies think their throats have been cut. They've only been nibbling since early morning.

For once, I'm speechless!

To all who said "get a blog Ann" (in the nicest possible way) here I am. You know who you are. Thanks to the (so far) anonymous person who set it up for me. I wouldn't have known where to start.

I'll have some pics up soon so anyone who's interested can get a look at the three great-granddaughters I talk about ad nauseam. They've just returned from the corner store and a yard sale and are wrangling over who got the best deal for their dollar. To all three, life is a contest. I think the girl who brought back a quarter won.

If you had told me a year ago I'd be doing this, I wouldn't have believed it. I had to google "blog" to find out what it was. I stumbled across Blogging Baby and fell in love. So much has changed since my own kids (youngest 32 - oldest 49) were little and the different perspectives are fascinating.

Small bit of autobiography. I'm 67, married for 16 years (this time), have 5 kids, 9 grandkids, and the three greats. My husband and I are raising the greats. The girls are 9, 10, and 12 (10 months between the 2 youngest) and I've had them forever, at first with their parents and then not. My oldest daughter lives with me and two of my sons and one grandson (the girls' father) are living in town as well, although the older boy may be Iraq bound with the Guard shortly. I'm keeping my head in the sand and thinking about everything but that.

We're in a small city in the CA central valley; a big change for me and one of the reasons I latched onto Blogging Baby like a liferaft. I have coffee-klatch neighbors but once we cover our kids, the weather, the Giants, and the news headline of the day, we're out of conversation. Lately, I've become more involved in local politics. No one thinks of me as a native, but I'm no longer the "liberal" kook from San Francisco.

I'd love to hear from anybody and if there are grandparents or great- grandparents who find themselves starting over with kids, please join in. I know you're out there.

As many of you know, I have lots of issues and opinions; mostly about the treatment of kids and the world we are bequeathing them. With that wide a spread, surely I can find something to write about. For now, I'm just saying hi to everyone and thanks for the encouragement.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ann's Friends - Updated 11-13-07

  • Alice - A Growing Delight (Australia)

  • Alice - One Girl and Her Cats (England)

  • Alissa - Life's Little Adventures - new site

  • All Gawdess - All the Time

  • Andie D.

  • Andrea In Canada

  • Angel - Give Me Something to Sing About

  • Angela - Adventures of a Nanny

  • Ann - Ancient One's Place

  • Ann - Lather, Rinse, Repeat

  • Anvilcloud - Raindrops

  • Arti - Straight from the Heart

  • Arwen (East Coast) - Anthropologist for Corporate America

  • Arwen (West Coast) - Rants for the Invisible People

  • Atasha - A Meyerific Life

  • Aunt Josefina - That's Life Too

  • Autumn's Meadow

  • Ava - Fun for Me, Music for You

  • Baggage and Bug

  • Barbara - Writing From the Inside Out

  • Baraka - Rickshaw Diaries

  • Bebe - Oi Vavoi - Being Bebe

  • Beckster - Gather Your Ideas

  • Bele - Dem Soldier

  • Beth - So the Fish Said

  • Brenda - What's Up Down South

  • BridgerMama

  • Bright Minds

  • Caitlin - Confessions of a Geeky Mama

  • Caloden

  • CaliGirl

  • Carin & Steve - Vomit Comet

  • Carissa - The 5 Dollars

  • Carol Cooper - Shrink Wrapped Scream (Isle of Man)

  • Cassie - Uncommonly Common Cassie

  • Cecil's Place

  • Chris - Rude Cactus

  • Claire's Garden - Scotland

  • Cluttergirl - Founding a Family

  • Crazed Mom of 4

  • Cuppa - Brown Betty Brew

  • Daddy, Papa, and Me

  • Da Poppins

  • Dave's Armchair - Turtle Guy

  • David - Author Blog (Melbourne)

  • David Burke - Wandering Dave

  • Dawn Marie- Lavender Dreams (Texas)

  • Dawna Marie - Family and Other Such (Ohio)

  • Dee - Fuzzbunnies

  • Deep Green Seas

  • Della B. - Turning 60

  • Depressed Single Mother

  • Desert Darlyn

  • Diane - Diane's Place

  • Dimitri - Cafe DA

  • Dongurigal

  • Dragonfly 183 - A Witches Cottage

  • Dreaming Again

  • Dutch - Sweet Juniper

  • Emma - Fueled by Coffee

  • Erin - Busy Mom of Two Boys

  • Expat Traveler

  • Family of Choice

  • Foster Abba - Navigating the Maze

  • Friday's Child (PI)

  • Gail - Cloud 9 (Texas Dawn's mom)

  • Gary - Within Sight

  • Gina - Just Another Day

  • Granny Fiddler

  • Granny Insanity

  • Granny P

  • Green Mountain Country Mama

  • Heather - Faith's Mom

  • Her Bad Mother

  • Horizon - Message in a Bottle

  • Illahee - Illahee's Blog

  • J. - Thinking About

  • J Blue - Nvisible Woman

  • Jacqui - Bears Galore

  • Janice - Lady Jan's Home

  • Janice - Langbehn-Pond Family

  • Jel - My Place

  • Jen - What's Your Name, Mommie

  • Jennifer G G - Pinwheels

  • Jenny - Mama Drama

  • Jerry Wightman - I Was Asked

  • Jessie

  • Jim - Big Poppa(Granny's Kid)

  • Jo - Tangled Me

  • Jobthingy's Jungle

  • Josie - Time After Time

  • Judy - Judy's Journeys

  • Junie Rose

  • K C - Rogue Planet

  • Karen - Karen's Korner (Caraway, AR)

  • Kari - 500 Miles to Nowhere

  • Karrie - One Weird Mother

  • KatieK - Bosphorus Ramblings

  • Katt In The House

  • Kendra Lynn - A Word Fitly Spoken

  • Kerri - Colors of the Garden

  • Kimberly - Sanity & the Solo Mom

  • Kitten Pie

  • Kristen - Home on the Fringe

  • Kuri and Ping

  • L. - The HomeSick Home

  • Lauren - Gripping the Dashboard

  • Lee Ann - Pear Tree Cottage!

  • Life as Lushgirl

  • Lindsay Lobe

  • Lion Mom - From 0 to 5

  • Lois Lane

  • Lori - One Whipped Mother

  • M I M - Morphing into Mama

  • Mad Cap Mum

  • Mama, The - Two Little Bursons

  • Mama Christy

  • Mary - Mary's Writing Nook

  • Mary P. - Daycare Daze

  • Maven - Stay at Home Mayhem

  • Medea - Medeafication

  • Megz Mum

  • Melodee - Unretouched Photo

  • Meow - Varieties of Life

  • Merle - Third Time Lucky

  • Michelle - A Little Bit of This and That

  • Midori - Babe in Kyushu

  • Mimilou

  • Missy - House of Pudding

  • Mollie - Ipodmomma

  • Mama Christy

  • Mommy off the Record

  • Montchan - By The Way

  • Mother Damnable

  • Mother Woman

  • Mr Eddie - Blueberry Patch

  • Much More Than a Mom

  • Nancy - Uncollaborative

  • Naomi - Here in the Hills

  • Neets - Oxymoron Personified

  • Nerdine - Norway

  • Old White Lady - Morning Somewhere

  • Oshee - Hallucinations

  • Pat - Past Imperfect

  • Patricia - Morning Martini

  • Pea - Pea's Corner (Ontario)

  • Peppy Lady

  • Peritia - Norway (Nerdine's Sister)

  • Peter - Holtie's House

  • Puma - Past is Prologue

  • Puss in Boots

  • Rachael Byrnes

  • Rositta - The View From Here

  • Rowan - Rowanilainen

  • Sandy - Abandoned in Pasadena

  • Sarah Elaine.

  • Sheri - Life Here

  • Siri - Diagonally Parked

  • Smiley - Sri Lanka - Random Thoughts

  • Sothis - Chasing Orion

  • Spookalot

  • Stefanierj - Mommy Matic

  • Stephanie - Surviving the Workplace

  • Subversive Librarian

  • Sue - Susie's Space

  • Susan - Friday Playdate

  • Susie - My Gobhole

  • Suzy Blue - Penless Writer

  • Tammy - My Gentle Retreat

  • Tanyetta -Days like these!

  • Tearfree

  • Theresa - Controlled Chaos

  • Thordora - Spin Me I Pulsate

  • Tina - Fuzzy & Blue

  • Tom - Highland Farm

  • Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

  • V M C

  • Val - Australia

  • Viamarie - Nightingale (PI)

  • Vicki B - A Mark On My Wall

  • Virushead

  • Wolfbaby - Dreaming and Believing

  • Yondalla - Thoughts from a Foster Family

  • Zee - Sunburst

  • ZZtop's Little Piece of Heaven
  •