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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

So I'm not perfect after all

At least most of it is yellow.

Any frustrated people? this is for you.

Once again Chicago Sun-Times Quick Takes

Quote

Using your head

QT News You Can Use:

T.T., an Albuquerque, N.M., reader, wants you to know that banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour.

End quote
(like that better Dave?)

So far, 7 people like the new look (no negatives so far) so maybe I'll leave that glaring yellow the way it is. VMC has offered to fix it for me so I won't have to do it manually every time. All I have to do is read his email at least 3 more times to make sure I don't zap something (like the entire blog) in the process.

dragonfly183

and family came through the Arkansas tornados safely. I'm relieved.

Elcie is having a homework hissy. She came home with a page of common denominator problems (oh no, fractions again - will it never end?) and no written instructions except to find the sums. She expected step by step directions. I said no problem, I'd walk her through it. She was too upset to listen and finally said she was starving. Lucky thing dinner was ready a little early so I fed her. Now she's back at the table still fuming. She doesn't like the way I do them. "That's not the way we do them in class". But she can't remember how she did them in class. She just knows mine must be wrong because it's simple. Her way involves drawing diagonal lines so she can't see the original numbers or remember what she's supposed to do next. I'll go back later to check them but right now I'm letting her do it wrong even though it takes every ounce of self control I possess. She's become skilled at finding the denominator but doesn't know what to do with the top half before she adds.

Of course I may be surprised and she will have figured it out on her own. I hope so. She's working on sentence composition now so one way or the other, she did something. When she gets in these moods, we're both better off if I leave her alone for a while. It always passes.

Rochelle hit her head on the bottom of the top bunk last night. She's fine today but we watched her for a while. (Some of you have already heard this - sorry)

Rebecca swiped Rochelle's treat a few minutes ago and has been presented with an opportunity to think about the error of her ways.

Eight more years!!

Elcie is now smiling. Finished everything except the mini reading report she does each day and usually she's up early enough (by choice) to do that in the morning when she's fresh.

We've lost our sunny CA weather I think. It's rained off and on and temps (high) in mid 50's (F). Our Santa parade is this Saturday and if the forecast is to be believed, it should be sunny and a little warmer. We'll bundle up. The girls are almost past Santa but we humor each other and it's a small town parade with lots of candy thrown out to the kids. In some ways I prefer the small town parades with the local middle school and high school bands, classic cars, and floats to the Macy extravaganza. The girls rode on the church float last year. Elcie was Mary holding the Baby. We were watching from the sidewalk when she went by and our pastor called out to Rochelle and Rebecca to get on board. He hauled them up and they rode the rest of the way. Great fun for them. I don't think they're doing one this year. Many of the kids from last year have graduated.


Santa also makes a trip through the neighborhood, usually on a fire truck, the first week in December. Busy man - I wonder when he finds the time. He's also maintaining at least two blogs in addition to his voluminous correspondence, phone calls, and other chores.

Ray and Elcie have just begun watching Star Wars (New Hope). It's new to Elcie if not the rest of us.

Rochelle needs help on sentences so I'd better close this out. First time she's asked for help in a while. She's blaming the bump on her head. I think they're all overtired and it's bedtime for the Bonzos early. Now she's decided to run an errand with mommy and have mommy help with sentences. Okay this once but mommy has a tendency to do it for her so I'll make sure that doesn't happen. At least it will separate them for a little while and I can start with Rebecca.

Let's see if I can turn it yellow again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Note to self

Type post

Highlight all

change color to bright yellow, change to bold, and change size to large.

Easier to read? I think so and I get to keep my beloved purple.

That was a test but I think I'llleave it.

If I sit here and type the regular way and then highlight the whole thing and change the color I can read it as I type it and it may be easier on the blog.

Somebody smarter than I can no doubt come up with a better way but my motto is whatever works.
test
delete
immediately

Drum roll for the Blog Roll

It's up to date I think thanks to Andrea (take a bow please Andrea). If I missed anyone, I apologize. Please let me know and we'll get you on there. I'm going to try for a cast of characters as well soon. My extended family can become confusing. Briefly: in Merced husband Ray, sons Jim (Army N. G.) and Tim;
daughter Carol (living with me), several anonymous grandchildren who live here and in New Mexico, the three great-granddaughters in the picture (I'm their legal guardian but both their mom and dad are back involved in their lives. My girls are Elcie 12, Rochelle 10 going on 11 and Rebecca just turned 10. The blog is named after the three. ROC REB EL.

V.M.C. and granny fiddler are new. VMC has been helping me with the technical stuff as well as has mary p. If you saw his comments, you won't be able to access his blog from clicking on his name; however, the link in the blogroll works. Thanks to all including "anonymous friend" who set it up in the first place and worked very hard fixing the original gitches.

I stopped by maison madcap the other evening to discover that I had been there and left a four word comment. Me? four words? Impossible. Granny fiddler who also signs on as granny lives in Canada and at the time of her last post was busy making soap. Wow. Shedropped a line to me - I'm Granny no-fiddle. Makes sense to me.

Anyway, welcome to both. I'm beind on comments and I think I've talked to most of you today at some time or another.

Roger, you're quite correct and maybe I should just stop worrying about the "experts". That's usually not like me so I think I'll just use my own judgment. Thanks.

Mom2EnK please lurk or comment whenever you wish. I'm glad you're still around.

The mysterious Geoffrey Wyne has never returned to take credit for his "whatever" comment that I still haven't found anywhere except my email. I googled the name just out of of curiousity and found:

Orientation Course for Int'l Studies as well as a man in Lincolnshire who apparently received some sort of subsidy. I didn't open the link for either - I wasn't that curious.

It's been an uneventful couple of days around here. Rochelle smacked the top of her head pretty hard tonight. She had crawled into the bottom bunk and according to her Grandma Carol, bounced for some reason, forgetting the other bunk was directly overhead. Ouch. She's okay. We watched her for a while before we let her go to sleep.

Maybe I'll be more inspired tomorrow. I'm tired and I think I'll make it a relatively early night. Basically, just checking in to say hi to all and to publicly thank all the people who have helped with this journal since my friends talked me into starting it.

VMC again

Hi and welcome back. I tried to access your blog yesterday and blogspot didn't recognize it. Weird.

White was the second color I tried (after bright yellow). Problem is I couldn't read what I was typing on a white screen. Any other ideas except for doing the whole thing on Word and then bringing it over here?

(Ideas from anyone actually). I'd really like to keep the purple if I can.

I'll be back time. Have to get Elcie ready for school.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Note to VMC

You said "it works" - I'm glad but I meant to delete it. I was just trying to find something a little easier to read against the purple. No luck. So, no it doesn't work.

Couldn't find your blog from the link.
test

Whatever

Hi Greg

Your one word comment came into my gmail but I can't find it on the blog. Maybe it isn't here yet.

If you come back, please let me know which post you were "whatevering". Or was it all of them?

Anyhow, welcome.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Time Correction

Last post begun very early - not finished until now - a little after six. No, I wasn't typing for 3 hours. Life interferes with rambling on from time to time.

Remembering my manners and introducing everybody

http://turtleguy70.blogspot.com/

This is Dave (from Alberta?) who began blogging just this month and wonders if there's anyone out there. I first noticed him on Andrea's blog. I'm sure he'd appreciate an audience of more than the three or four of us who have found him so far. He checked in over in the comment section as did:

http://a-witches-cottage.blogspot.com/

from the only totally self-sufficient state in the country, Arkansas (former home of me - 1970/1978). They have everything they need for survival, even a small diamond mine. Only thing they're missing is me and I'm sure many of them are breathing a huge sigh of relief. Arkansas (Ozarks) has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and not appreciated nearly enough. If you check out the link, you'll see some examples. She left a comment as dragonfly183 about black walnut pie (which I hadn't thought about in years) and turkey. I stumbled across her in the middle of http://maisonmadcap.blogspot.com/ I'm sure most, if not all of you, know her as madcap mum. I had mentioned the racial discussion previously. Many points of view; all well thought out.

First Sunday of Advent today which, in my church, involves lighting a candle. And making a small pot of coffee in the front of the church as part of a message on being prepared. Don't ask. It was a visual. Tire chains, flashers, a blanket, tow rope, and what I believe may have been Army MRE's.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee enjoyed their impromptu pajama party across the street last night. From what they said, they spent much of the night singing and dancing. They did, however, stumble back across in plenty of time to head out for church. I'll try to reciprocate, maybe next weekend if all goes well. Just make a big Arkansas pallet in the living room and line them all up. I have lots of blankets and they can bring their own pillows across. Not much difference between 2 urchins and 4. Elcie will have her room in which to hide out.

One of my friends from our local moveon.org group just turned up with early Christmas for the girls. She emailed me this morning asking me if she could get something for them and should it be games, books, or clothes. I emailed back to say if she really wanted to do it, they're the next thing to naked. Not quite true but seems like they're growing an inch a day. We guessed the sizes which worked out fine for Elcie and Rebecca; a little big for Rochelle. She was bound and determined to find the right size for Rochelle so back out she went. Nothing more determined than one of us liberals when we get our minds set on something. Their Uncle Tim will give them books with his Barnes & Noble employee discount and I'm thinking about inexpensive MP3's for at least two of them and maybe Rebecca as well. Rebecca loves music but she's more likely to sit at the piano and pick out songs by ear and sing. If we ever reach the point where we're not so focused on math, I may start teaching her to read music(which is math after all). One should help the other and she has already picked up some chord structure just from listening. She knows when she gets it wrong and messes around until it sounds right. It's one of the very few things she has patience with and I encourage her. If she stays interested, I may even get the old clunker fixed. The B flat below middle C is horribly out of tune, a couple of the other keys don't work, and some of the black keys are missing their tops. Naturally, all this is occuring in the middle of the keyboard where everything is going on. I have to transpose everything in my head to avoid the stupid B flat and the E flat above it with the missing top. Bummer.

Ray just brought me a bowl of white beans, ham, and rice the size of a washtub. Must think I'm going out to fell trees. Good grief.

My friend who came to T'giving dinner is going back to New England in December to stay for a while. Greyhound told him he needs a passport. I said "to Vermont"? No, to Canada. We need a passport for Canada? I discovered not until December 31, 2006 but Greyhound wants one now. I'm not sure why Greyhound goes through Canada from central CA on its way to Vermont but I'm sure they have a reason. I may google the bus routes and see if there's a better way like up from New York. He doesn't know the first thing about looking things up so I sent him the government travel link and the address of the nearest passport office and told him to spend his evening reading. We used to drive from NY to my relatives in all the New England states without ever setting foot across an international border.

What bothers me the most is no longer being able to run across the border as casually as running across the street for coffee. That's all been spoiled now.

As usual, much too long. Jen - hi. Main reason I still cook at home for the holidays is the leftovers. Are you safely back or still enroute? Never mind; I'll go read your last post again and find out for myself.

Take care

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Leftovers - we have leftovers

http://tinyurl.com/8jkpt

Kid suffering from refrigerator blindness day after major holiday feast:

"there's nothing to eat in here". (thanks L. - It's a familiar plaint)

The link above from today's Boston Globe has a little political content but I put it on here because I think it will strike a chord with most of us entirely apart from the politics.

My ham is on the stove turning magically into white beans and ham. Plenty for a couple of days. It's cold and clammy here today. I'm sitting here wrapped in a cosy sweater with a blankie over my knees looking very like the granny I am (sans rocker).

Elcie will kill me for the following if she ever checks out the blog.

I owe a thank you to Wood over at Sweet Juniper and she doesn't even know it.
Elcie called me into the bathroom to show me the toilet water was red. No, not the obvious (she had just finished up with that), this was something else. I said "kidney maybe? How long has this been happening?" "Just today, grandma." Nobody was available on Thanksgiving night except emergency room and she had no pain, no fever. I said we'd watch over her and call pediatrician in a.m. Morning, more of the same. I was about to call the doctor when I remembered a post on Sweet Juniper about the care Wood (mommy) took investigating the content of baby's diaper. What goes into a child eventually comes out, even a 12 year old child. Lightbulb went on. "Elcie dear, you have eaten almost a can of plums, many maraschino cherries, a few beets, and most of the cranberry sauce. What do those items have in common?" "Oh yeah, Grandma Ann, they're all red." Eureka!! Much giggling and blushing. By later that day, she was back to normal.

I'll still watch her but I'm sure that was it.

Mother Damnable: Hollister? Honeymoon? Rabbit breeders? Never mind, just read your comment again. You were stranded in Hollister not honeymooning there. They've built a freeway of sorts around it now but I used to drive through on the way to Monterey when my son was still at Fort Ord. It has a nice village clock (landmark for my turn) and a claim to fame as the town which prompted "The Wild One". Marlon Brando on a motorcycle in 1953.

http://tinyurl.com/8jsa4 (movie review)

It also seems to be a magnet for many of the earthquakes in this part of CA. Not kidding now. They never received the publicity of San Francisco but their quakes were tragic.

I'm collecting comments on worldwide educational systems and I'll get back to them when I think I've put it all together. Thanks to all of you so far. Home schooling might indeed be the way to go if I were a little younger.

If you read Mother Damnable's comment on "oranges and lemons", we weren't discussing the Florida citrus crop. This started with a Blogging Baby post on appropriate songs and games for children and degenerated from there. Most of you from the U. K. or possibly Canada will recognize it as did I (although I couldn't remember all the words). Gruesome little ditty.

http://tinyurl.com/dd6kh

Every time I use tinyurl or the ¢ or ° signs, I think about the kind person who held my hand patiently while I figured them out. Mom2EnK , if you're out there somewhere, thank you again. I have this vision of someone waiting for me to cry for help (an internet guardian angel?). I haven't heard from her lately.

Calm day. Ray's spent most of it dredging the kitchen sink and has it running somewhat. I must remember to make sure the drain trap stays in the drain. The girls have raked leaves on a windy day so now most of their work has been undone. They did mange a good sized pile to jump in (also defeating the original purpose).

Past time to go feed the troops. We usually eat early but they've been nibbling off and on all day so no one is standing piteously in front of the fridge at the moment.

Take care, everybody.

Friday, November 25, 2005

What I forgot - there's always something

Messrs Amiel on decisions or as my sons' daddy used to say in his best Arkansas/Tennessee accent:

"Do something, even if it's wrong!!

Maybe he should have kept a journal.

More philosophy

The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel

I'll have to look this guy up.

Four hours later. Girls sleeping, second load of laundry in (only useful thing I've done all day except to rearrange refrigerator and food containers therein). I skipped the vigil tonight. Rainy and chilly and I finally seem to be shaking the cold which laid me low for almost a month. I knew some people were going to be there and it isn't quantity that counts so much as consistency. I'm only a couple of blocks away and if someone had called for help, I would have gone.

Messr. Amiel was a Swiss critic (of what I'm not sure but probably literature) who wrote something called Journal Intime. It was a failure during his lifetime (early 1800's) but has since been discovered. I read a little of it online (had to skip 30 pages of introduction first) in translation. Interesting person and some great quotes. I'll have to read more to see how much I agree with when the quotes are in context. He was also a Calvinist , as were many Swiss back then so he and I may not march in lockstep.

Blogging Baby has run a series of posts discussing homework. I had actually gotten away from the subject for a while. How much is too much help and are parents enabling, interfering, or contributing to a child's knowledge. As usual, the commenters ran the gamut.

I stayed out of it except for one comment on large projects such as science exhibits and constructing exhibits. My attitude is middle ground. I help but I don't do the work. We all pitched in on Rebecca's Native American village last year and I saw nothing wrong with that. We bought almost nothing and used common household stuff. We brainstormed but she was the leader. The other girls helped with glue and food coloring for various seeds, walnut shells, etc. We ended up with a village containing a "longhouse" for community activities (a shoebox), tule huts, pipe cleaner people and babies, walnut shells for cradles and food gathering, and a painted river with pipe cleaner fish. She made grass out of green sprinkles and "crops" out of seeds. (Our historical error - they didn't do much planting - more fishers and gatherers, famous for their baskets.) Oh well, it looked nice.

Almost all the other kids in the class were assigned to build California missions (mostly San Juan Bautista near Hollister) and they bought kits even though the teacher said not to. [Side note: The Native Americans in Rebecca's project were the same tribe who were shipped off to San Juan Bautista to be "civilized" and almost wiped out during the CA gold rush. Somehow, those facts were glossed over in her history book. We found it online. Now the few who are left run an extremely prosperous casino which we're trying to take away from them. I'm no big fan of gambling but the state's actions have nothing to do with morality; it's greed, plain and simple.]

I thought Rebecca learned more from our family project than the kids with their prefabs did. With her limited attention span and short fuse, it seemed important to make it fun for her as well as educational.

So anyhow, some would say we should have kept hands off. I say the important thing is what she learned by the time she finished her project. Her teacher had no problems with our approach and I think was glad to see one sort of sloppy, obviously homemade, exhibit. I was glad to see her enthusiasm and the family teamwork.

England is discussing (or has passed, I'm not sure) laws dealing with parent involvement. They feel there's too much and I think they're talking about the upper grades. Of course I won't do their homework and take their tests for them but I'll sit at the table and help them over the rough spots, especially with math. There is, to me, no point in filling pages with incorrect numbers because they don't know what they're doing. That is reinforcing misunderstanding of procedure. The more they do it wrong, the more it will be fixed in their brains and they will go through life forgetting to borrow or carry. (Or invert fractions - whatever they're working on). If the teachers don't check individual homework, then I think I must.

Just throwing it out here in case anyone has feedback.

I'm loving my new keyboard and mouse. The mouse turns itself off and it took me a while to figure out why it wouldn't work. Got it now. All asleep now including hubby; a good time to listen to my new Enya once more. I played it yesterday but there was too much going on to hear much. I have all her cd's except one copied from my originals to Music Match so I may just line them up starting with the newest and go to sleep. (After I finish laundry, of course).

What I forgot to say

I missed the comment from "madcap mum" in my earlier post. In addition to the things we have in common with husbands and plumbing, she has an excellent post and discussion on racial issues and stereotypes on her blog (November 23 entry) which can be found at:

http://maisonmadcap.blogspot.com/

or by clicking on her name in the comment of course. I misplaced her when I was "counting" my friends in Canada. One of the entries dealt with stereotyping by country and I admit I have an extremely idealistic picture of our northern neighbor. I'm very fond of Canada.

I also forgot to mention early Christmas for Ann. My son, Tim, brought me the latest Enya cd yesterday (whee). I copied it to the computer immediately and will burn a copy for Elcie. This morning, my grandson (girls' dad) showed up with a cordless keyboard and cordless optical mouse for my computer. He had told me about the sale yesterday and I said I'd love it but couldn't justify it this month even at $15.00. (great price). My wiring under the computer desk no longer resembles an octopus quite so much. The keys are a little larger which is better for me - it's closer to a typewriter size - but a little stiffer which will take some getting used to. I can live with that.

Now all I have to do is keep the girls from running off with the mouse. They do that with the t.v. remote in the living room when one or the other is mad at a sister.

ROTFLMHO

Two out of three of my friends from across the pond (now three out of three, Mother Damnable) have told me it means "roll on the floor laughing my head off". Silly me. Of course, in the United States, we say LMAO which is much less genteel and may have confused me. Or possibly it was too much turkey addling my already addled brain. Thank you Mollie and Alice. I'm trying to add to my blog library a little at a time. I swore I would never succumb to internet shorthand but I'm discovering it's lots of fun. Now the only thing left I swore not to do (besides join a chat room) is write in lower case (or all UPPER for that matter). The only person allowed to do that so far as I'm concerned is Cummings and he's not around anymore. Oh, and Archie the cockroach. I forgot about him.

I just went back and googled Cummings to make sure I was right about the lower case and that it wasn't just his name he did that with. I mistakenly attributed a quote from Cosgrove to "maybe Shakepeare" the other day, so I'm checking a little more. At least I said "maybe". It was "music hath charms", etc. Thank you, Uncle Roger for that one. Anyhow, I found this neat little poem and, since I'm not all that up on copyright law, I'm using the link instead of pasting the poem. It's short and you might enjoy it.

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15406

Just noticed, I do count a lot when I write. A teacher once told me I had a math aptitude. ROTFLMHO. However, he may have been at least partially correct.

Mother Damnable (now that your head is safely back with your body), do you (or anyone else) remember this one?

http://ingeb.org/songs/inthetow.html

I sing it to the girls from time to time. I'm rather warped. To me, it's no worse than "when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall". Many nursery rhymes and fairy tales should carry an "Restricted" rating. I understand many of the nursery rhymes were originally political attacks set to rhyme and we all know how civilized politics can be.

We had pumpkin pie for breakfast. I'll get them back on track tomorrow or so but pumpkin pie contains nutrition as well as calories. (I can rationalize anything, given enough time).

I'm taking today off as much as possible. I sure won't have to cook. The stores here in the States are having their day after Thanksgiving sales and I just refuse to join in. First place, money's too short this close to the end of the month, (we're pay as you go except for emergencies), and also, I hate the mob scene. We've always managed without joining the fray.

Ray's still sleeping. He works as hard as I do on holidays and he's much better to clean up the same day. I'm more apt to say that it'll still be there in the morning. (Except for dishes and putting food away - I'm obsessive about that). It wasn't too bad but that many people traipsing around can leave a lot of disorder. Even a little more than I usually have.

I put the pies in the dryer overnight for lack of space in refrigerator. They're not as perishable as, for example, the turkey but even wrapped I didn't want to leave them out. Elcie wanted a piece of pie for breakfast and I told her if she could find them, she had earned it. She returned triumphant about five minutes later. (I told her small room - not bathrooms as a hint.)

They're going back to school on Monday. It's more than enough time off.

Vigil tonight and rain forecast. As long as it's not a thunderstorm, I'll go. We stand under trees and I'm not that big an idiot. The rain may put out our candles as well. To those of you who no earthly idea what I'm talking about, check out the two November 12th entries entitled "Vigil" and "Vigil correction". It's simpler than trying to explain once again what I'm doing to get myself arrested.

Talk to you all later. At some point I want to get back to kids and homework. How much help is too much help? It seems to be a controversial topic in England and to some extent here. Maybe later or tomorrow. This is long enough already and I'm just reminding myself unless someone already has some ideas.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Good time had by all - even me

ROTFLMHO

Please, Mother Damnable, what does thaat mean? Is it the verification code or blog language I haven't learned yet?

Thanks to all who sent Thanksgiving notes. The last of my crowd (turned out to be 20 after all) left around six. One little neighbor girl came in with Rebecca and sampled a bite of this and a taste of that and said "your grandma can cook!" High praise from a six year old. Jim brought one of his step-daughters and two of my daughter's friends dropped in.

All went well except my plumbing picked today to stop up. It's hard to wash that many dishes, even with disposable plates, when the sink won't drain. We finally got it cleared enough to get through the cleanup. Old pipes, old house.

I took about a 45 minute nap and woke back up a few minutes ago. Checked out the mail and other blogs and then decided to leave a brief (for me) note here.

I think I'll make an early night of it for a change. From what I've heard, each of you had a good day as well. I'm glad.

Stealing from other blogs again

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Prayer

We return thanks to our mother, the earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their Light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, inWhom is embodied all goodness, and
Who directs all things for the good of Her children.
~Iroquois Prayer

This beautiful prayer came from the blog of "Mother Damnable" of the U.K., our newest commenter. Now counting three, I think, from the U.K.

I grew up in the land of the Iroquois in central New York. (Mohawk Valley). We knew the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga (county where I was born), Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora (sp?) very well but I had never seen this poem. I look forward to hearing much more from "Damnable".

I have about 30 minutes left of sanity before the horde descends. Everything done or almost.

The six of us
Tasha and Johnathan
Wesley and Stacey
Jim, his 3 kids and Tim
Britnay from the next town over
Assorted cats begging
Anyone else who drops in from the neighborhood.

I was counting 20 - It's always my best guess.

The girls all pitched in like champions on the cooking and cleaning. I'm so proud of them all. Of course, they were nibbling as they went. So was I. We have to make sure it won't poison any of our guests (lol).

L. If you were cooking for 20 or more and had been for more years than I care to remember, you'd have it down pat. I cheat some with canned things but much of it is scratch. Jim did the ham and mashed potatos at his house and just brought them over. He left again to pick up Tim and his kids who were spending the night with friends. His wife is ill so we'll send her a Care Package. She has problems with early pregnancy. As I've said somewhere before, I'm like a cow. Just squat, have the kid, and go back to what I was doing. Johnathan (girls' mother's boyfriend) will pick up my PFLAG friend from Atwater. He's alone for the holiday, very young, sad, and confused. No one should have to be alone like that.

Must go finish making gravy. Broth heated so all I have to do is thicken with cornstarch. Heat rolls, add marshmallows to sweet potatos, french fried onions to green been casserole, and I think I'm done except for standing back out of the way.

From our house to yours (even the ones who aren't celebrating today), have a wonderful time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Karo pecan and other stuff

Classic Pecan Pie Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 55 minutes Yield: 8 servings
3 eggs, slightly beaten (or dump everything except pecans and the pie crust together and use mixer)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Karo® Light or Dark Corn Syrup (1/2 regular size bottle) (any corn syrup - this recipe came from Karo, of course.)
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups pecans
1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen deep-dish pie crust
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In medium bowl with fork beat eggs slightly. Add sugar, Karo®, margarine and vanilla; stir until blended. Stir in pecans. Pour into pie crust.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

(If you get it quite as done as they say, it may dry out and become chewy). Its own heat will finish it cooking usually.) Also, you don't need quite that many pecans.

This recipe is on the Karo bottle and also on the Betty Crocker brand. It's so sweet, it'll set your teeth on edge but I make it a couple of times a year and my kids would be sad if I didn't. Pecans grew almost wild in Arkansas and we just raked them up off the ground. Here they're almost $5/pound.

I have cooked the turkey, taken it off the bone and have it resting in the refrigerator. Made 4 pumpkin and 3 pecan pies. Deviled 32 egg halves. Cooked turkey carcass for soup on weekend. Prepared celery and onions (ruthlessly, Gawdessness) for inclusion in dressing.

The party moved back to my house at last minute otherwise I would have waited until early tomorrow to cook turkey. Jim will do mashed potatos and ham and bring them. It's very confusing. Here will be easier and I've let everyone I can think of know to come on over. I'm happier now. The logistics were getting crazy. Control issues perhaps?

If I seemed a little obsessive about race, it's because there's been a lot of flak in this country about black kids being raised by caucasians. The theory is they will grow up not knowing their heritage. I don't want to be guilty of that. That's what the whole conversation the other day was all about.

Finally finished putting all the girls' camp clothes away and toiletries away. I can see my bedroom floor. Tomorrow, we'll do the fast cleanup on living room that I had put off when I thought we'd be having dinner at Jim's. Get the bikes and extra blankets out of there for the afternoon and turn it back into a living room once again.

Almost 11:00 p.m. I'm going to try for an early (for me) night so we can enjoy tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Christian Reconstructionists correction

The link on the second post for this subject is flawed (to say the least). This one works, or did when I doublechecked.

http://tinyurl.com/8lh3k

Sorry - don't have a clue what happened.

Just beginning making about 8 pies - 4 pumpkin, 4 Karo pecan. You may not hear too much from me for a little while.

Happy Thanksgiving (a little early or late)

I started to send this to a few friends rather than put it out here but then I thought after the gloom and doom of my posts last night, some hope might be in order. Maybe a little corny, but so am I.

To all the moms, dads, sons and daughters out there.

If this isn't true for everyone, maybe someday we'll have a world where it will be. It's not a bad legacy.

From Worldstart.com today - Anonymous

Today's Poem - When you thought I wasn't looking...

I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that little things can be the special things in life.

I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

I felt you kiss me good night and I felt loved and safe.

I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but its all right to cry.

I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything I could be.

I watched you, and I learned most of life's lessons I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

I looked at you and wanted to say, "Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking."

A little more on Christian Reconstructionists

I did some googling after I wrote the previous post. Evidently this group is nothing new. I found page after page on the web, each more frightening than the last. This one is an index of topics, followed by their proclamations on each.

http://tinyurl.com/dvaql

They don't just want to take over; the most extreme among them want to kill us. Stoning, hanging, anything goes. Slavery is fine. Enough. You all know how to read and it's out there for anyone to see.

Roger, thanks for all the information. It helps and yes, your link was correct. I drifted over to one of the sites you mentioned to find a man talking about sopapillas and Austin, TX. Instant nostalgia and the first time I've thought much about Albuquerque where I lived briefly when I was 20 years old. The only thing I miss about that place is the sopapillas. Haven't had a decent one since; even living here where one would think they'd be all over the place. They evidently don't travel out of the southwest very well. Or I just haven't looked in the right places. I found one place that had them on the menu but they weren't what I remember.

I think I understand what you're saying about making a production about black accomplishments as if it's an anomaly. It is right up there with "some of my best friends". On the other hand, I'd like the girls to know that there were many blacks as far back as the Revolution and before who made important contributions to the country and who haven't received the acknowledgment they deserve. It seems to be a balancing act doesn't it. So, I play a dvd of Jessye Norman and mention that she reminds me of royalty. Or I talk about Marian Andersen who quietly broke down the walls of the Metropolitan Opera. Or Paul Robeson who sent his kids outside the U. S. to be educated rather than have them subjected to the Jim Crow laws here. And I try not to make a big deal or a lecture out of any of it, I just let things come up in conversation.

When Elcie was much smaller and not sure of what she would be able to do, I found a video of Izaak Perlman on stage with his violin in his hand and his crutches beside his chair. I told her he always walks on so people could see what was possible. Maybe that's what I'm trying to do now with race. Hold up examples of the finest and that includes families raising kids, teachers, doctors, truck drivers as well as celebrities. I don't know - I'm just rambling and trying to make some sense out of it.

I think it makes a difference in the reason for mentioning race. Roger, in the case you mentioned, you're absolutely right. When I was writing about our Bishop a couple of posts ago, it would have been wrong of me to say our black, female Bishop without a reason for mentioning it. In that case there was, we were talking about discrimination and her race and sex were pertinent.

Sometimes I'm at a loss so I just wing it and hope for the best. I can't and wouldn't want to ignore their heritage and I wish I were better equipped to handle whatever may come up as they grow older. I can't walk in their shoes; I'm a WASP. All I can do is love them.

Roger, we were following each other on BB again. I like your idea for the holiday. When I cook here (and I'm still not sure about going to my son's), it's an open house and the whole neighborhood know to drop in.

Andrea, just got your comment. I had the same reaction. I go back to his blog because of his current postings and had read enough of the past history to know what had happened. Now there seems to be much more joy in his life and I'm glad for him.

It's 2:00 a.m. and why am I up? Because I was afraid I wouldn't have a chance to write this or in the morning I'd talk myself out of it.

By tomorrow, I'll be back to talking about kids and all the trivia that surrounds three kids, several cats, a husband, a daughter, and me.

Oops - Alice just surfaced. I've been following her around too or she's been following me. Alice, just read your comment - it comes into my mailbox before it gets here and I sent you a long email. Welcome - I was beginning to think we'd spend the rest of our lives chasing each other around Zero Boss and Blogging Baby without direct contact. Much better now. This makes 2 commenters living in the U.K., 1 in Japan, 3 in Canada, and all the rest of us. I think that's right; at 2:00 a.m. my counting skills become fuzzy. If I missed someone, I'm sorry.

Now I really am going to bed.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The United States of Iran

http://tinyurl.com/8rnbx

This is from Mother Jones this month and is scary. It's an interview with a member of the far out religious right. They call themselves "reconstructionists" and are headquarted in Atlanta. They've been operating under the radar and have insinuated themselves into positions of power. It might help explain the recent actions of my church (very out of character for us). One of their leaders is running for governor of Alabama and our President and Tom DeLay think they're wonderful people.

This is not a Mother Jones opinion piece as such; it's an actual interview with one of the leaders of the movement and it scared the pants off me.

It's a little long but you could skip over parts of it and get the idea. The entire issue of the magazine (online) is devoted to the religious right.

Not much going on today so I may wait until tomorrow but wanted to get this out.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A New Blogging dictionary?

I love this column - it's the main reason I have the Sun-Times in my mailbox every day.

Chicago Sun-Times Quick Takes today:

Quote

All blogged out

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language (cont'd):

*BuzzWhack, www.buzzwhack .com, warns that more and more businesses are starting to use the words "proceduralize" and "productize."

*"Blogcott." "Blogolalia." "Bloggadacio."

Stop it.
Stop it now

Unquote

Okay - that's my silliness for the day I hope.

Except for my usual two trips to church this morning - one with Elcie for choir at 8:30 and another with us a little after 9:00, it's been a relaxing day. Rebecca got mad and broke Rochelle's pumpkin, Rebecca got to think about it for a little while and then we tossed the other two pumpkins. They were still in good shape (painted - not carved, remember?) but still - Thanksgiving is coming up and Christmas lights are already appearing. It was time for them to be retired.

They enjoyed "Chicken Little" last night I think but they weren't raving about it. They got there late and saw the end before the beginning. I was surprised the theater let the kids go into the next show; usually these days if you're late it's just too bad.

Our Hmong congregation had their famous egg rolls on sale this morning between services. They are so good (the egg rolls although the Hmongs are as well). The egg rolls always turn up at pot-lucks and picnics and they're usually gone while I'm still waiting in line. This time we picked up a couple but I had forgotten to bring cash. Darn it.

Don't know if I've mentioned the Hmongs. We have a third Sunday service with a lay Hmong minister. It's not a segregated group; just the difficulties with language. We join together on everything except their church service and it's everyone's choice about which service they wish to attend. Lovely group of people. I'm not sure what the population perentage is here but we have quite a few as well as a sprinkling of Cambodian and Laotian.

We're trying to plan a Christmas Eve pot-luck for the community as well as the congregation. There are always groups providing meals on the holiday itself but spending Christmas Eve (or any occasion where families normally gather) alone must be very sad for people who once had family. The poor, of course, but there are others as well who are lonely and might enjoy a meal with people. I'm making lasagne for at least 12 people (if we decide to do it - depends on how much response we get) and will probably double that. It's no harder to make a humungous pot of sauce than a small one.

My son Tim is visiting an out-of-town friend this weekend who is estranged from his family. Tim invited him for Thanksgiving but he's a nurse and works the holidays so others can have the time off. It's sad. I can't imagine turning love on and off like a spigot. I might be unhappy about the paths my children have taken (not you Tim) but it wouldn't change my love for them.

And, speaking of love of family, you may have noticed a new commenter today. Welcome Mike. I met Mike when I followed him as a commenter on Blogging Baby and was so taken by what he said that I checked out his blog. That's how I've met many of the friends I've found. If I ever learn to add names to the blogroll, his will be there but meantime you can find him at http://myloveactually.blogspot.com/ . Mike has a wife he adores and a beautiful little boy. Sometimes it seems like the loving dads are taken for granted.

I've been quietly following another blog and I can't remember whether I mentioned it here at the time. If I did, put it down to my advancing age because it was a while back and it won't hurt to mention again. http://www.californiahammonds.com/ Greg lost his wife to breast cancer over a year ago and is raising two little girls. His blog is a testimony to his love for his wife and daughters. His latest post commemorates what would have been their 10th wedding anniversary.

When Mike left the comment, I temporarily confused him with Greg. I've got my act back together now. Their stories are different but both are examples of men who are not too "macho" to express their feelings and who love their families dearly. It's a nice thing to see. I'm glad to add Mike to the guys who comment here from time to time and also think their wives and kids "hang the moon". Now that I think about it, the spouses or partners of the women who comment here sound great as well. Many of us are blessed in our choices even if, like me, it took us a while to get it right.

Seven more days of 3 girls at home. I'm still digging out from their camping trip. Laundry clean and folded but not hung or placed in drawers. All their miscellaneous hygiene and beautifying products have to find a home in the drawers. Still haven't dropped off cameras at Walgreen's. Leftovers for dinner tonight. We had a French Toast brunch here after church so no one is starving. I skipped our usual Saturday brunch so I could finish up grocery shopping early in the day. Afternoons are harder - my energy flags even though I normally get a second wind later. I've always wished this country would follow the siesta tradition.

Trust you're all enjoying your day and that L. is not on her hands and knees scrubbing floors.

For what it's worth

This just came in on Instant Message from my grandson:

wes: OK. ONE MORE MESSAGE TO ALL IN MY MESSENGER LIST. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW ANY LINKS THAT ARE SENT TO YOU FROM ANYONE. IF YOU NEED TO GO SOMEWHERE, PLEASE NAVIGATE IT MANUALLY THROUGH YOUR BROWSER. THERE IS SOMEONE STEALING PASSWORDS AND TAKING INFORMATION. ONCE AGAIN DO NOT FOLLOW ANY LINKS SENT TO YOU THROUGH YOUR MESSENGER. IF YOU GET A MESSAGE LIKE THAT PLEASE COPY IT AND PASTE IT INTO A NEW MESSAGE TO YAHOO ADMINISTRATION. ALSO PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE OR SEND ONE OF YOUR OWN TO EVERYONE IN YOUR MESSENGER LIST. THANK YOU.

Okay Wes, it's done.

I asked him if he was sure and he said he received the same message from three different people. I just use IM for maybe a dozen people. I like it but many of my correspondents don't.

Anyhow, if you don't already know this, now you do.

I'll be back later.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Pajama party night

I'm back down to one child again. R & R were invited to a movie "Chicken Little" with their friend from across the street. Once they came home, they asked if they could spend the night. It's a back and forth thing sometimes on the weekends so I said sure.

I did finish up holiday shopping today except for celery which I'd rather have not too wilted. I can get that at the corner store for less than the super anyway. Everything was on sale so I have most of Christmas groceries except for perishables as well.

Our group raised $150 for the Rescue Mission T'giving dinner. Not bad for something done completely on line and very short notice. That's 15 small turkeys if they use it all for that - it's a gift certificate - they can buy what they need.

It's been a lazy day for the most part. Spent a lot of time (maybe too much) chatting with online friends and generally goofing off. Cooked dinner of barbecued country ribs with rice, baked beans (from Bush's) and corn. Picked up Tim and dropped him at Amtrak. He's spending a couple of days with an out-of-town friend. Forgot to drop off film which is nothing unusual for me.

Welcome Sarah Elaine - I'm glad she's reading more. It's been uphill for her but she's finally enjoying it. Gawdessness, if you can locate that book I'd love it. It's a challenge filling in the educational gaps in the system. They learn very little about civics, geography, or history and much of the history, of course, is slanted. Of course, so is my point of view.

Hi L. Elcie was listening to a children's choir today singing hymns, including some Christmas music. She's starting early. Speaking of which, two of my neighbors have their Christmas lights up already. The older I get, the faster the years go by. We don't decorate until a couple of weeks before Christmas at the earliest. My lights in front that stay up all year round don't count. They're there for security.

I have to think about Christmas shopping. It's going to be low key this year. My car needs to be fixed to pass smog and the overheating may be the water pump. That one's easy; my grandson will get one from Pick'nPull and install it for me. The smog I've got to find out about and I've been stalling. CA will provide financial help if I qualify but first I have to find out what's wrong. Darn it anyhow.

Carol is becoming really fatigued from the chemo. She has small bursts of energy but then goes back to sleep. No reason for her not to - the rest may help. She still has at least 4 months to go.

Elcie's asleep. She was a little unhappy about Chicken Little but she decided it was nice to have the sisters out of her hair once again. They took her to the store today in her chair along with a couple of neighbor kids. They're really good with her most of the time but the age difference shows and patience is not Elcie's or Rebecca's strong suit. Rochelle does a little better - the peacemaker once again.

All three will definitely see Harry on the big screen; it'll be around for a while.

I had something in mind earlier to talk about but I've forgotten. I told a friend earlier today that I should start a draft when these ideas occur to me and go back and clean it up later. Couldn't have been too important, whatever it was.

Have any of you ever heard of someone plagiarizing posts from a blog? I encountered it for the first time tonight. Not just a recipe that Angel or Mollie has posted and I copy over here (I mean that as a compliment, not a theft) or an inspirational sentence or two I've picked up somewhere (same reasoning for borrowing). These are entire posts with only the names changed. Why would anyone do that? I guess the phony blog was deleted but the original blogger was understandably unhappy. The original blogger is a fine writer and I envy her talent but to steal her words? How strange.

People are so peculiar. If I didn't want to sit here typing, I wouldn't do it but I'd just go away, not pass someone else's writing off as my own. First place, it's cheating, second place I don't see any big paychecks rolling in for the rambling I do here and I don't look for that to change no matter whose literary skills I "borrowed".

It's almost midnight here. Hope all of you enjoy your "day of rest" tomorrow (or today in some cases).

L., take a breath.

Good night.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Found - one camera

The 87¢ flashlight still hasn't surfaced but at least it didn't contain a roll of film (used). Rochelle told me she "wasted" all her film. It's her expression for using something up. Rebecca took one picture. Maybe I can remember to drop Rochelle's camera, along with the one from Halloween, off tomorrow.

I won a free dinner at Hometown Buffet so we took all three tonight after the vigil. After that ran to pick up cat food and laundry detergent and then back home.

Rebecca fell asleep on my bed while petting the kitty who homesteads my pillow until I remove her at my bedtime. We woke her (Rebecca) up long enough to fall asleep in the living room. I think Rochelle is asleep as well. Haven't peeked in for a few minutes, but it's very quiet.

They had lots of stories to tell. Rebecca doesn't like walking across bridges - neither do I. She got a prize for something, and she almost got sick on the bus. She saw one dead deer (darn it) and one family with a fawn. Lots of squirrels. No bears. Many tall trees (redwoods).

Rochelle is quieter. She did say she had a good time. She dribbles information - Rebecca lets it all fly at once. I've said before she never met a conjunction she didn't like. I don't know how to end a comment or a post - Rebecca doesn't know how to end a sentence.

Rochelle is worried she might wake up tonight and think she's in her top bunk at camp. Better that, I told her, than actually being in a top bunk and waking up thinking you're home. (At home, she has the bottom, Rebecca the top). She giggled. They sang all their camp songs for us. They danced the dances they learned and showed off their crafts. Same ones Elcie learned two years ago. I remember the one about the big blue marble. They each brought home a huge cookie and most of a sack lunch from the bus trip.

Laundry done. Their sleeping bags and pillows came home clean but everything else was jumbled together and it's easier to wash it all than try to sort it out. A few socks and undies were still in their zip lock bags and I skipped them. Ended up with two loads which wasn't bad at all.

I'm sitting here yawning.

L. and Gawdessness - maybe the reason I sound so active is because I write about it step by step in excruciating detail. It isn't nearly as frantic as it sounds. Both of you leave me in the dust I think.

Gawdessness - I'll use one of the leftover exposures on Rebecca's camera and take a picture of the peg board. It may take a while since my cameras are the photographic equivalent of the pony express.

Andrea - When my boys' dad died, I played Amazing Grace at his memorial service in Arkansas. His brother sang. We both got through it but I still have problems all these years (18) later hearing that song.

I think I'll be sensible for once and call it a night. Tomorrow should be laid back - no alarm clocks ringing and no real schedule. I have things to do but I can set my own pace or even procrastinate one more day.

I'm sure the girls had much more to say - I'm just too fuzzy at the moment to remember much ot if. Good Night.

Laundry day (and possibly night)

Girls came in almost an hour early - safe and happy. Rebecca doesn't like walking across swinging bridges - she got that one from me. Missing - one camera and one flashlight. I'll have to ask Rochelle. Anyhow, all well and more later (if I ever finish up the camp laundry).

Elcie and Reading Log

Elcie's reading log finally makes sense. She is reading books that count toward her grade and are geared toward her capabilities. She reads and then writes a 3 sentence summary for each section she reads. Someone out there finally got smart and it's only taken them six years.

She has sunk the Titanic one last time, finished up Harriet Tubman and started on Dr. Martin Luther King. I'm glad she's heading that direction and I'll check with her teacher to see if there are other books on some of the lesser known pioneers and black history. I want the girls to know their heritage and it's difficult, even with the best of intentions, for me to really understand how hard the struggle was and in some ways still is.

I must be ready for girls to come home. Just wandered out to kitchen and rearranged my 6 foot by 4 foot pegboard. Every kitchen utensil with a hole in it hangs there - big on one side, small on the other. Ray puts dishes away faithfully but has yet to grasp the concept of big and small so once in a while when I'm restless or thoroughly bored I shift it all around. I've had that pegboard for at least 25 years; repainted a few times (it's light blue to match the kitchen at the moment), and it will probably outlive me. It's my trademark. I hate drawers where I can never find anything and I've accumulated far too many kitchen gadgets. The pegboard saves me.

Now I'm done unless I think of something else. I should start doing this as a draft and just keep adding to it. Oh well.

Three hours until chaos reigns supreme

If Rebecca hasn't been ejected from camp by now, she probably won't be unless they make her get off the bus and walk home. I'm anxious to hear how it went for them both. They should be on their way in.

Yesterday was beautiful except for crossing my fingers with overheating car. We noticed at about 25 miles out, stopped checked fluids, added coolant and oil just in case. For a while it was fine, but at about the point of no return (Stockton/Lodi?) it started again. For some reason, it's related to speed and as long as I held it to 65 or 70 (speed limit on CA freeways), it was okay. Faster made it mad. I'm not a speed demon but I'm usually at 75 just to keep from being run over and even then I'm driving too slowly in fast lane for most folks. I switched over to the slow lane (there are only two lanes through most of that stretch) and just moved out to pass trucks. We discovered after we got home that we can turn the heater on and the engine won't overheat. I can't get to it today but it's fine around town and maybe Monday someone can look at it. I've driven clunkers most of my life so this is nothing new. Sound familiar Mollie? This clunker is 14 years old so I have to expect a problem once in a while.

The service was awesome. Not a bad attendance for one day notice, the day was sunny and mid 70's, and I made some new friends including a former pastor (late 60's) from my church. It took me back to the civil rights actions of the 60's. I know some of you will laugh and I don't blame you but for us older folk, there's something about singing We Shall Overcome, Marching to Zion, and Kumbaya that signifies a singleness of purpose that would be true even in a non-religious gathering. This was a combination of an "open" Communion service (all of ours are) and civil rights rally. My son Tim and I were holding hands and a little teary eyed. Our beautiful, fearless, Bishop left absolutely no doubt about how she felt about our leadership and their discrimatory actions. It was worth the trip.

I had about an hour to rest before Ray and I took Elcie for her promised pizza. It was fun even when my head kept hitting the table. I came home and crashed about 8:00 and then woke up at 2:30. By the time I was sleepy again, Elcie was up. I got her off to school and then piled back into bed until a little after nine.

I looked for an article in the Sacto Bee today but nothing so far and we no longer receive their t.v. channels. Maybe they'll run it as a Sunday feature. If they do, I'll post the link.

My age shows sometimes - I'm not all that incredible. Counting getting lost in Elk Grove (while on spur of moment visit to old friend and baby) and turned around briefly getting back to the freeway in Lodi (potty and nacho stop), it was a 250 mile round trip. I used to think nothing of driving from S. F. to Eureka or Crescent City (twice the distance from here to Sacramento) on the spur of the moment. I'm afraid those days are gone. The round trip was almost too much, especially with the car acting up. I'll have to plan more around allowing two days or a second driver for some of these things. Tim didn't feel comfortable about attempting Hwy 99 and if he wasn't comfortable, I sure didn't want to be in the passenger seat. Note to myself: Pizza and nachos on same day may not be a great idea. Thank heaven for Tagamet.

Much as I joke about the girls, I'll be glad to have them back. Only problem; they're REALLY, REALLY back. They have the next 9 days off for Thanksgiving break or whatever they're calling it these days. They'll have twice as along over late December through New Year's. Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, winter solstice, or just a long vacation? Did I miss anything? Probably. We'll celebrate in any event.

Laundry caught up, house as reasonable as this place ever gets, still six kittens on patio (I have to make a decision about that), boarder cat still boarding. He's become part of the furniture just as I had feared. I'm killing time waiting for time to get the urchins.

I found an interesting article while I was checking out my daily newspapers. I sent it to BB. If they don't run it, I may post it here in a a couple of days. It's about Islam, separation of church and state, and promoting understanding and tolerance. Lofty goals but too much for some.

Vigil tonight. I have to find my candles again. My friend is picking me up a little after four and I'll see who wants to go along. Nothing else except for finishing up T'giving dinner shopping tomorrow. I gave myself a day off today. There's still time to get ham and whatever else I forgot.

Have a pleasant day, morning, or evening everyone. It's wonderful really. This blog so far represents (in alpha order) Canada (two provinces), England, and Japan (also one commenter who posts in Irish but not usually when commenting ) as well as a large cross section of the good old USA. If I have Japan right, Andrea may still be sleeping. I used to know but I'll have to go back and look that one up. We used to call Tokyo from S. F. as we were leaving for day and catch them opening their doors. London was the opposite. We'd call first thing in morning to catch them still in their offices. Time zones make my head ache and the int'l date line is right up there with the theory of relativity so far as I'm concerned. I'll just take their word for it.

Have fun y'all.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sacramento today

Back safely by 4:30 p.m.
Car overheating - will look at it tomorrow. Fan belt maybe?
Got lost twice - once in Sacto suburb and once in Lodi, of all places. (lol)
Took Elcie for Pizza. Yippee says Elcie.
It's 8:30 p.m. - falling into bed now.
Last night without little girls. They should be home tomorrow afternoon.

The trip was wonderful for me and Tim and I'll tell more about it tomorrow. Right now, my eyes are crossing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Be Careful What You Ask For - You May Get It

First things first.

Worried American, below, in case you never found it, is info on the "Pickle" Amendment. He was one of your more celebrated Congressmen - I read his obit earlier this year I think. From Austin - 31 years in the House and very interested in seniors, social security, and pension reform. I gather he was revered in Texas.

http://tinyurl.com/bcbtq

Gender neutral - I think I've given up and I'll just apologize in advance for any lack of political correctness on this blog although "L." makes a good case for switching everything to plural and going with "they" or "them".

Cohabiting - Ray and I kid that one of the reasons we married was because "Significant other" was too much of a tongue twister. I don't know. Partner is what some of my same-sex friends call each other (at least until the laws change). The newspapers used to say "long-time companion". Now there's a euphemism for you. I don't care for "lover" because relationships are much more than that.

Elcie enjoyed her first sisterless day. Bounced in, did her homework, ate homemade spaghetti, took a leisurely bath and shampoo, and is now in bed. The early bedtime is her choice. She's on a bus before 7:00 a.m.

Ray and I have cleaned up the kitchen and are washing one load of clothes. It's different with only one chick in the nest. I said to Jay on BB earlier that I'd never admit it to the girls, but the house is almost too quiet. I said "almost".

Tim and I are heading for Sacramento tomorrow if all goes as planned. Our United Methodist California/Nevada Region Bishop is holding an outdoor Communion service celebrating openness and acceptance. She's using a wooden door as the Communion table. You may or may not have heard about the two recent church decisions concerning a lesbian pastor and a gay man who was denied membership. Our Bishops (all of them, I think) disagreed with the powers that be and our Cal/Nev Bishop decided evidently that a letter wasn't enough. She's a lovely Afro-American. The only reason I mention race and gender is that her letter said she knew discrimination first hand, both as black and female and never wanted to see it used against another child of God. I'm paraphrasing but you get the idea. She announced this today - the service is tomorrow noon. Luckily Tim's off tomorrow so it won't be too bad. A little over a hundred miles to Sacto, not as far away as S. F., and a straight shot down our Hwy 99N. (I'll be thinking about you as I drive, Mollie). Tim has his learner's permit (one more time) so if I fade, I might have a second driver. We should be back in time to take Elcie for the pizza party I had planned for her. I'd love to take her to Sacto but she can't miss any more school and I don't think I could convince them that this would be a worthwhile life experience for her.

We'll be going past Lodi which reminds me of my former boss. He told me, with some alarm, that his daughter was stranded there. I started singing "Oh Lord, I'm stuck in Lodi again". He thought I was making it up. (He's from India). I swore I wasn't and made a cassette tape from my treasured CCR album for him. His daughter was fine, btw. I think she attended UC Davis at the time and had car trouble in Lodi on her way to S. F.

I just went back and read over the comments to my question from last night. The general consensus is that a personal blog and a public blog (like BB) are different in some respects and the contributors on BB (or any other) have learned to expect some hatefulness. They don't, however, have to like it and they can delete or even close off comments when things get too out of hand.

It's much less acceptable in personal blogs. I don't think when I first posed the question that I realized there are blogs and then there are blogs. This is a personal blog, BB isn't. Many of my regular visitors have chimed in and all seem to feel that rudeness and personal attacks are wrong no matter which blog they're written to. They also agreed there isn't a whole lot we can do about it. If I didn't want to hear any voice but my own, I'd buy a diary with a lock and key. Hostility sometimes goes with the territory. Thanks to all of you, especially Jen who is a BB contributor and presents her side of the issue. Jen, I still think even on the "controversial" posts, we can disagree vehemently without being horrid (although I've pushed the envelope once or twice). Debate is fun until it turns personal or ugly. Gawdessness is right; there are posts I've given up on because I wasn't convincing anyone and it's not always necessary to have the last word.

I'm going to finish up my T'giving dinner shopping Friday since tomorrow is spoken for. Hams have gone on sale as have frozen Sara Lee pies. I'll make pumpkin and probably Karo pecan; but at buy one-get one, we'll buy the others. I couldn't buy all the fruit and other ingredients at that price and Sara Lee is a good brand. I'll save purchasing (real) whipped cream until day before - those cans aren't safe around here. I hid the olives (second jar) for much the same reason. I'll make the beets after all. My daughter looked wounded when I said I thought I'd skip them this year.

This was a rather one-sided survey since the people who either followed me to Granny from BB or discovered me somehow are not part of what I consider the "lunatic fringe". I'd probably get an entirely different set of answers from others who consider me part of the "lunatic fringe" and have been quick to say so (usually not quite in those words).

Stay safe and well everybody. I'll probably check in tomorrow after I get home.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Freedom - almost - there's still Elcie

The girls arrived at school without incident and without forgetting anything. I got them settled with their belongings and watched one teacher carefully checking to make sure all possessions were labeled. (Ours were). If I missed anything, it's too late now. By now, they're probably tucked into their purple and royal blue sleeping bags giggling. Tomorrow will be their first "exploring" day. It's such a wonderful opportunity and I hope they love every second.

Andrea - I haven't made it to Yosemite yet - ridiculous when it's only 80 miles away. Maybe in the spring. The girls are all one up on me now.

When Elcie went, I waited until the buses left and had planned to this time. However, the girls were trying to have a good time with their classmates and I was putting a damper on the whole thing so I hugged them one last time and left. One of her classmates said to Rochelle, "boy, you sure are a huggy family". Yep, we sure are. Another year or so and they may be embarrassed but not yet and I'm taking advantage while I can.

Ray's lung specialist was worried about some weakness in the left arm so today he went to see a cardiologist. Good news - nothing wrong with his heart according to ekg and ultrasound. Bad news - may be a little angina so he now has a prescription for nitro. When he had surgery three years ago, he had a couple of small strokes while in hospital so when something unusual happens, we worry. Mollie, further to our conversation earlier, the small strokes were some weakness in his arm and considerable distortion of speech. He recovered from both except for some minor speech problems. I do most of his phoning for him but, in person, he's understandable. He's had several health problems over the last few years; none life threatening in themselves, but all debilitating. Good days, bad days, so-so days. It's hardest on him because he was so active and still wants to do things that physically he can't.

While he was at the doctor, I picked up Tim and we went to sign some legal papers for PFLAG to incorporate here. Second time around. Our treasurer had copied them double sided and the government wanted them single sided. Great - they can kill twice as many trees that way. One of the joys of dealing with the government. So, back to square one. We never did find the small print that said no front and back copies allowed. Ray still wasn't out so we headed for Long John Silvers next door to the doctor's office. Very convenient. Ray called just as we sat down and came over and joined us. Elcie had eaten so my evening became suddenly simple.

I don't hang out at doctors' offices with Ray. It makes him more uncomfortable, not less. He's more relaxed if I just go do something else. Took me a while to learn that one and then I had to pick it up from body language. He'd tell me I didn't need to stay and I'd insist, thinking he was just being polite. I bet one of my commenters here can relate to that.

Elcie is now sitting behind me clipping her toenails which may sound fairly mundane but for Elcie is an achievement. She's been dressing herself (except for shoes) much more as well. It's not quite like pulling on jeans with legs in casts but it's similar. It's a lot of work and she should be proud.

I don't know if any of you have been following the ongoing "room painting" post over on BB. I'm not sure why that would be controversial but it turned into a discussion on how much control parents should have over their kids' choices. It was a continuation of a discussion a couple of weeks ago about "out of control" kids which became an attack on parenting.

Anyhow, some of the comments on both posts bordered on nasty which led to another exchange on acceptable blogging behavior. This led me to wonder what acceptable blogging behavior is. I know I wouldn't have hung out at BB the way I did if the nastiness had become commonplace. If I want that, I'll head over to the political blogs. On the other hand, if I ask for opinions, I don't want to hear only from the people who agree with me. I learn nothing that way. People can support me as a parent or guardian by pointing out a different way of doing things. That's not attack. I think I recognize the difference.

I look at BB as a forum with many viewpoints, a variety of topics, a lot of humor, an opportunity for learning, and usually a lot of civility even when we're fiercely opposed. I'd like it to stay that way as much as possible. That's just me.

Since I have no real blogging experience, I'm wondering what my friends over here think. If one of the contributors to BB puts a topic out for discussion, does he or she leave him/herself wide open for attack? Should the contributor just "suck it up" and move on? Is she or he justified at feeling hurt? Asking once more, is there such a thing as a decent gender neutral pronoun? This he/she stuff is driving me nuts. Political correctness can border on the absurd. Is there such a thing as blog etiquette? I think there is and it varies widely from blog to blog.

Should I even be bringing this up here? Maybe. Am I a little thin skinned myself? Possibly. Just wondering what others may think.

Monday, November 14, 2005

11 hours to go

Rochelle and Rebecca need to be at school at 8:00 a.m. ready to load onto buses for Yosemite and Camp Green Meadows. If it's anything like Elcie's trip, the bus won't get out of there before nine.

I think everything is packed. I didn't forget the p.j.'s but almost forgot hairbrushes and had to buy two small ones at the last minute. I went back down the check list I think. I showed them where everything was stowed. They noticed I had mixed up the colors on their ski caps (toboggans?) so we did a last minute switch. I could have sworn that Rochelle was purple and Rebecca orange.

They're each taking one duffel bag, one backpack, one sleeping bag in its case, one pillow and possibly one extra blankie. Some people never outgrow their blankies. Not bad, I've seen kids show up with enough baggage for a safari.

I packed more than they'll need of course.

Elcie's nose is a little out of joint and I have to keep reminding her that she went two years ago and she doesn't get an extra bite of the apple. She'll be fine and maybe I can take her out for dinner once while they're gone. Tomorrow, possibly.

Today was nuts. Carol and Ray both had doctor appointments, I managed to let the ATM machine eat my card, had to leave groceries and come back, had to deal with the last of the summer to winter clothing transition so I could make sure they had sweaters and warm jammies. I've been putting that off as long as possible. I don't have closet space for both and I need to have enough of both out for a while to allow for weather swings. Now all summer is put away and I think all winter is out (and hung up and in drawers). I pile it all on my bed which forces me to deal with it. Throwing it all on the floor or sleeping on the couch doesn't count as dealing with it. It's been warm here for November and Yosemite shows 60's during day but I know the nights will be chilly.

Just remembered what was missing - envelopes and stamps. Not that R & R will write letters you understand but they were on the list. The stamps were what caused me to lose my ATM card. I bought stamps from the machine and left the card. With cash, you have to remove the card to get the money; with stamps you don't, and I got a little scatterbrained. It's so humiliating at the checkout counter. Anyhow, it meant an extra trip to go back after the purchase which included their cameras or I might have decided to forget it.

Ray asked me how the machine ate my card and I told him it was because I'm an idiot and he still wanted to know the details. I felt like a felon allocuting in court as part of a plea bargain. He never gets mad, just curious. You'd think my admitting I'm an idiot would be enough.

They now have stamped, but not addressed, envelopes. If they don't write letters, I don't want to waste the stamps. I think they're asleep. It's about 9:30 here now.

Mollie, you may sermonize all you wish over here. I do it all the time. Just share a recipe from time to time and I'll be ecstatic.

Our Rescue Mission is about 300 meals short with a little over a week left before Thanksgiving. My group is taking up a collection and we'll buy a gift certificate for them to use from the store which has the buy one-get one on turkeys. We meant to do it at the last meeting and it slipped through the cracks between our discussions about the raceway and Walmart. Oops. I sent a message to the yahoogroup website and we'll see what response we have. Another member will pick up money. Usually we're a little more organized.

Gawdessness, I have now worked my way through the new Neil Young cd twice.
I will probably buy it; meantime, I have it to listen to. Thanks for that.

Hi Dutch - you're right. He gets to have dinner with Presidents instead. Andrea, you're correct as well.

It's almost ten and I'm beginning to fade. I imagine the girls will be dashing around like wild things tomorrow morning and if I'm not paying attention will repack everything or count socks. Rochelle is a stickler for detail and following directions. If the list said 4 pair of socks, I have to convince her that 5 pair is still okay. She's the one who was reading over the list and asking questions. Rebecca managed to stuff her pillow into her duffel bag and was happy. It wouldn't work with Rochelle's which is canvas and not so flexible.

10 hours to go now and counting. Good night.

Now Here's an Idea

Chicago Sun-Times Quick Takes today:

Quote

News Item: Pat Robertson warns that such sinful events as National Gay Pride month will "bring about destruction" and "terrorist bombs."

News Item: Pat Robertson reviews book critical of the State Department, saying, "When you get through, you say, 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer.' "

News Item: Pat Robertson warns residents of Dover, Pa., that a disaster could be next because they "voted God out of your city" by ousting school board members who favored teaching Intelligent Design.

Why is a man who makes so many terrorist pronouncements not residing at Guantanamo?

Unquote

Enough about Pat. I'm listening to The Byrds singing "Turn, Turn" and thinking that the pendulum is beginning to swing back.

I had two sick little girls last night. They went to a birthday party down the street and evidently ate something that disagreed with both. One barfing into a bowl, the other into a wastebasket. I was worried they might lose out on camp but they seem to be fine today. They think it might have been the salsa - I think it was the salsa on top of everything they managed to eat during the day.

We're about to start packing now that they're off to school. I think I have it together somewhat.


Andrea, I have three teenage grandchildren who live in town and I actually get to be granny sometimes. You're right, I have legal custody of the three "greats".

Mollie, I've heard of Ian Paisley somewhere. He must make the same kind of news Robertson does. The kitten came out. We have this cat that lives somewhere else (probably an alley) and just shows up to drop kittens. I haven't been able to catch up with her when I've had a little extra money to have her spayed. Poor cat. This last time it was six; five black and white and one calico. I don't know what I'm going to do with the kittens. Maybe the shelter bad as I hate the idea and take her along as well. She's decided to have her last 4 litters here; 2 in the house and 2 outside. The last litter before this one died (all but one) and I can't keep finding homes for them. I've lost track of how many stray cats I've had neutered but it's several and it adds up.

Gawdessness - your church is more liberal (and always has been) than mine but we're working on it.

The girls leave for camp tomorrow and come back Friday I think. I'll have to check.

More later maybe - have to start assembling their stuff.











Sunday, November 13, 2005

Be the change you wanna see

The title came from a commenter on HollyReah's blog and I borrowed it and used it as a title so I wouldn't forget it. It would have taken me a couple of paragraphs to explain myself and this commenter did it in six words. Awesome.

My cold seems to have returned with a vengeance. I made it to church this morning with the girls (Ray's feeling puny too) and then came home and caved in. I was supposed to take the girls to a birthday party but ended up sending them with their mom. If this is a cold and not just the lousy air quality, I don't need to be spreading it to a bunch of kids. Elcie stayed home too - someone will bring her cake.

Mollie, I don't like I-5 either but the last time I drove to Chico on 99, I ran into a horrible stretch of road that was closer to gravel. I came back on I-5 that time.

The Sun-Star used to be horrible, one of those papers with nothing in it. It was purchased by the company who owns the Sacto, Fresno, and Modesto Bees. Don't know why they didn't change our name while they were about it. They copy many of their editorials from Sacto and Fresno, but they have some decent writers of their own.

Here's a description of the company. Normally I'd be worried about one company having a monopoly on all the local papers, but they're not too bad and are giving their local editors a lot of freedom so far.

http://www.mcclatchy.com/about/

We've had a lot of luck with media coverage on progressive issues. At the same time they include some ranting, but that's why we have a 1st Amendment. They actually came out against Prop 73 (parental notification). They copied the Sacto Bee's Editorial but that's okay. The same woman who wrote the "vigil" article interviewed Tim and me about "coming out" and families of gay children. A brave topic for Merced. We're waiting to see what she does with it.

The girls are back and brought enough chocolate cake with sprinkles for everyone. Yummy.

They're counting down to camp. So am I. Two more days. I'm putting off the packing until tomorrow. I remember when we sent Elcie two years ago. We packed everything perfectly (almost) for her and she came back with a jumbled up mess. I understand that's typical though, not just Elcie. I'm already envisioning multiplying the mess by two. I've about decided to spring for a couple of cameras. They may want their own photos. Elcie took about five pictures of the same redwood but it's her camera. It will be interesting to see the difference between what Rochelle and Rebecca do with film.

Rochelle's going through a clingy stage lately, She's always been the love bug but lately, she's at the car door before I can pick up the keys. Today, she stayed in church with me while Rebecca went to Sunday School. I should enjoy it while it lasts. Tim was much that way too; hanging out with me while his brother Jim was off and running on the skateboard. Today, we had our fellowship hall set up with tables featuring the various "ministries" of the church (complete with snacks). Rochelle almost wiped out the corn chips and guacamole single handed. I had to caution her against licking the dip off her chip and re-dipping it. I may start making guacamole now that someone other than me (and Ray who will eat anything) will eat it. Theother girls love avocado but not mashed up. I've been a member for 10 years and didn't realize how much community work we do (very low key - no preaching). They want me on the Social Action committee and I've just about decided to try it. Our PFLAG group is part of their outreach. The Committee meets while the girls are in school so it won't take time away from them and I like the direction the local chrch is heading, especially in view of some the national headlines we Methodists have been making lately. It will be the last thing I join. If I try to do too many things at once, either nothing will be accomplished or it'll take time away from family. Everything seems to be a balancing act.

Rochelle and Elcie just left for the corner store and Rebecca is heading for yet another party with one of the neighbor girls. It's so quiet.

Once in a while I get discouraged about Christianity and then I remember that the person who said "blessed are the meek" and "blessed are the peacemakers" (along with "suffer the little children to come unto me") must be as appalled by the Robertson shenanigans as I. I decide to hang in a little longer. Robertson doesn't speak for me.

We're trying to coax a scared kitten out from under the bed. I'd leave him alone - he'll get curious soon enough but Ray feels he must do something. He just went and got the mama cat to see if she has better luck.

I think I'll lie down for a little while and see if I can shake a little of this feeling lousy without sleeping half the night and waking at 3:00 a.m.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Vigils - correction

My mistake - this link takes you straight to the whole story. I must have fixed it and then forgot I did.

Vigils

http://www.mercedsun-star.com/life/story/11472631p-12212355c.html

Since I've announced my city to one and all, there's no reason to keep this a secret. That's Rebecca and right behind her, the person with the white hair and glasses, is me. This was our last week's vigil. Took about a week for the paper to print it but the weekend edition attracts a lot of people. Our version of the Sunday NYT.

Very sympathetic article. I hope Liz keeps her job. She's working on a PFLAG article as well. We have at least two supportive people on the paper and few who are openly hostile.

You have to click on the title of the article somewhere to get the whole thing. Just move the mouse around and you'll find it. I hunted for five minutes; thought they missed it and then went back and found it.

More on toboggans and sunny CA

This one never showed up. If you see two of them, please ignore one.

Ann 12:42 p.m.

Hi Gawdessness (and anyone else)

California, the land of palm trees.

It's also the home of a huge mountain range with lots of skiing. I would have preferred to find ski masks but didn't have time to check out sporting goods stores. It wasn't for the cold, we're expecting 70° F (pleasant, but not warm) here which means Yosemite, 80 miles (approx) away shouldn't be much cooler.
I was thinking about protection from wind and sun. What I found was what I sent the photos of. Did you know Cat in the Hat wears a toboggan of sorts? What I couldn't find were shower shoes (flip-flops). Out of season, they say and truth is I wasn't up to searching through more than two stores. I settled for easy-dry scuffs with flower design and rubber soles.

Our new friend Mollie wrote about pizza and fast food the other day and I couldn't figure out what all these places were doing in England. I had it pictured as the old novels and mysteries describe it. She was sympathetic and posted pictures of the England of my fantasies.

No digital yet - need to get more technical info.

Our population has grown since more people are commuting longer distances. It's expected to double within next several years. New subdivisions and strip malls are sprouting like weeds. We're already experiencing traffic problems that didn't exist when I came here 12 years ago. The University is expected eventually to add 25,000 kids. Setting aside disdain for Walmart and auto racing, it's not sensible to allow businesses of this size in what are largely undeveloped areas without planning improvement to the infrastructure (which they expect the city/county to fund). And, of course, there's the environmental impact of those huge facilities. Our planning commission needs to give serious thought to short term gain (in jobs) vs long term damage.

Oh, I also bought cute little notebooks and pens. Only one exposure left on Halloween camera. I may forget about it. I don't want to buy two and they'll fight over one. I have a couple of days to think about it. Maybe I'll see a two for one sale in the meantime.

My bed is the catchall for everything. It's two twins put together so it's large. Sometimes I'm so tired I just push everything to the center and deal with it in the morning.

Barnes and Noble bought out B. Dalton a couple of years ago. They closed the store in the mall and opened another in our newest shopping complex. I thought I would hate them because of their size but I was wrong. Their staff is well trained, they have a huge selection and will order anything they don't have in stock, they have comfortable reading areas both in the adult and kids' sections, and they have the cafe. They encourage hanging out. They're a "blue" company which means that the majority of their political contributions, in their case almost 100%, went to Democrats. They have excellent benefits and the pay, compared to other retail establishments, is good. Their anti-discrimination policy is real. Tim and my daughter-in-law both say it's the best company they're ever worked for. They have high standards, but they're fair.

Best of all, they didn't displace our used bookstore downtown. It's a different type of store and people who love books patronize both.

Elcie' watching the earliest Star Wars in here and holding a cat.. Harrison Ford looks so young. Rebecca just woke up and I think I hear Rochelle. Carol is out there with them chattering about something. Ray's still asleep. Once he wakes up and Elcie leaves, I may try to start packing for camp. Or, I may wait until Monday when girls are in school. Ray will help. He has a good eye for space - I have a good eye for efficiency. Between us, we'll get us done. Yes, I know it should probably be the girls' job but I don't have enough dufflebags for their version of "packing". Maybe I'll let them label their clothing, a good excuse for playing with permanent markers.

Carol made hot chocolate for breakfast. Ray now up and fiddling with a video recorder. I should go be social for a while.

More than you ever wanted to know about toboggans

http://www.pseudodictionary.com/pseudoboard/viewthread.php?tid=107

http://stores.ebay.ca/The-Bobbskii-Toboggan-Hat-Store

Hi L.

We're both right. I always thought the toboggan hat was called that because we wore them while riding toboggans back where I grew up. This dictionary gives the etymology. The other link has lots of pictures. I bought two of them today - one gold with purple trim; the other solid purple.

We came home with two new pillows, two sleeping bags, four new undershirts, a dozen pairs of socks, a six pack of cute underwear, chapstick, tissues, toothpaste and toothbrushes, flashlights, and possibly something else. Oh, shower shoes. I forgot the camera but they can use the rest of the film on the Halloween disposable. The teachers usually make a video and copy it for all the kids.

Fortunately, they have warm clothing, jackets, shoes, and night clothes. It's almost like sending them away to college and I know I'll pack twice what they need.

We stopped off at Barnes & Noble for soup and sandwich and to say hi to Tim.
Discovered Jim sitting there in full uniform as well. His wife is a manager on the book floor; Tim manages the cafe. Real family reunion. We spent it making T'giving plans. We'll hold it at Jim's this year unless something changes. He'll cook the ham and mashed potatoes, I'll do the rest and he'll be responsible for getting it to his house. It should work and it will cut down on the crowd. Even a former Army cook should be able to deal with putting a ham in the oven and mashing taters without dirtying every dish in the house.

You were right about BB but sometimes I have a way of pushing buttons or maybe they'd respond to anyone who challenged their beliefs. When Nancy asked me to explain, I thought oops, I've done it this time. Turned out she was just curious.

The girls were thrilled with their new goodies and tried to fit their new sleeping bags into their backpacks. Nope, sort of like Cinderella's shoe.

I like your new user name as long as I don't have to type it.

Mollie, be very glad the televangelists haven't invaded yet. Carol's total chemo is supposed to be six months so she still has almost five to go.

Tonight's vigil had increased by 10 people from last week and many more horns were blowing. From there a friend and I had coffee at Starbuck's and then on to our local progressive group. We're talking about a huge raceway and an equally huge Walmart distribution center building on opposite ends of town at about the same time. The increase in traffic will be horrendous and we don't have the roads to support it. Our "freeway" CA 99, is two lanes each way through that area and part of it still has cross traffic. Mollie will remember 99 very well. The proposed year round raceway is about 5 miles give or take from 99 on the site of the old Castle Air Force base. There is no good way to get there from 99 except for surface streets. They plan a parking lot for 25,000 cars and anticipate attendance from all of northern CA.. Walmart will be sending a truck a minute to their site. The central valley already has the worst pollution in CA and the most severe asthma problems. Replacing our cows with trucks and traffic won't solve the problem.

I'm all for planned growth but neither of these things sound like a great idea; at least at the proposed sites. I'm going to hang back and listen for a while but I may jump on the "no on pollution" bandwagon eventually.

Actually got away with leaving girls at home. Rochelle went to the vigil but was willing to go back home afterward. It's been a while since I sat in a pleasant coffee shop with a friend and just chatted. It was the first time I've been in a Starbucks. B&N serves their products but it's not a Starbucks affiliate. Came home to find that all the Camp Green Meadows stuff (see above) that I had left in the middle of my side of the bed had been neatly stashed in the corner by Ray. He is so good to me. He's asleep now and I hope I will be shortly.

Tomorrow, unless there's something I've forgotten, should be fairly laid back. There's nothing on my calendar but there usually isn't on Saturday. Maybe I can actually sleep past six.