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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

There's No Stopping Her Now.

I didn't correct her on the "gramda". I think she's on a mission to create something new every day.

I believe those are angel wings surrounding the heart and the word chocolate is there as well. We had a small box of chocolate which may have been her inspiration.

Elcie brought home math tonight which was totally new to her. She had to calculate mode, median, and mean for a dozen problems. All was well until she came to negative and positve numbers on the same problem. 20 of them. I thought she would weep and I kept trying to show her. Finally, I thought about the weather and a thermometer. When she realized that although 80 is warmer than 70, -20 is colder than -10, she got it. I had to walk her through it step by step (I did the writing, the teacher will have to live with it - he should have done it in the first place) but when we were done she was able to go on to the rest.

On the other hand, she completed a week's worth of spelling assignments at once. It's what I would have done.

We also had a short discussion of grammar and manners. Elcie said "I have wrote". Ann said "I have written". Elcie - "whatever". Ann - "Excuse me? Didn't you mean to say "I have written"? Elcie - "I have written - whatever". I must have been like that but I swear I don't remember. It wasn't exactly snippy the first time and by the second she was laughing as she said it. There's just something about that word.

Rebecca is doing better. She starts her work on her own and doesn't seem to need much help. She received her award today with the rest of the class (all but one she says) for effort. There had been some doubt earlier. She tried to explain what the "one" did to lose out. It involved biting and kicking. ?? These are fifth graders.

She made me a drawing for the computer which has now disappeared.

Another one of those nights. It's so quiet that I lose track of time just putzing around. Dishes, laundry, other little chores which are easier after kids are down. I spent a good part of the day running errands. Tomorrow I have a steering committee meeting but other than that and getting the girls to their CATCH program at the church and Carol to her doctor appointment, it should be quiet. Just looked over that list again. More than I thought but I'll probably have another driver for the afternoon shift.

I was about to go to bed and the alpha kitty decided she wanted out. In 10 minutes she'll want back in so I might as well wait for her. It's been rainy and cold today with a lot of wind, at least for us. Supposed to rain for the rest of the week but at least it stayed sunny while the girls were out. I picked them up from school today. The school called and said Rochelle might have pinkeye. I'm pretty sure she doesn't. I've said before the doctor won't test for it; they just issue eye drops for any kid with a slightly red eye. I'm out of eye drops so I'll have to take her in tomorrow. If they can see her. I wish they'd just call in a prescription since they always give the same thing. Almost forgot about that trip. It's always something.

At least I took a nap this afternoon. Even when I go to bed at a reasonable hour and sleep well, I still fade in the afternoon. It's always my eyes, not the rest of me. They keep closing and I finally give up.

No cat yet. Five more minutes and she's on her own. Not true; if I don't let her in, she'll start beating on the window until I hear her. She's learned to count to three because if she's not in by the count of three once I open the door, the door closes again. She usually comes skating in on 2-3/4.

Okay, enough. Have fun with the meme if you decide to try it. Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 27, 2006

Another day - another meme.

This meme has shown up in several places. I was tagged at some point by one of the visitors to is america burning and I've been stalling. I share the other blog with Worried American so I'm posting my answers here.

Julian at Out of the Blue has some great answers and so does Tina at Fuzzy and Blue.

Anyone else want to take a crack at it?

1: Black and White or Color; how do you prefer your movies?
Color these days although I think movies that were filmed in black and white should stay that way. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. "Psycho" would be awful in color. So would "The Third Man", "M", or "Citizen Kane". They all need the contrast and the shadows of black and white. Color would distract, not enhance.

2: What is the 1 single subject that bores you to near-death?
Pro wrestling

3: MP3s, CDs, Tapes or Records: what is your favorite medium for prerecorded music?
I treasure my vinyl collection but I'm more apt to play my CD's or music DVD's. I'm even more apt to listen to a Rhapsody playlist which isn't one of the choices.

4: You are handed one 1st class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and $10 million cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going … Ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run?
No, although some days I'd probably look like the famous Jack Benny scene. Robber - "Your money or your life" Jack - "I'm thinking about it"

5: Seriously, what do you consider the world’s most pressing issue now?
Most pressing? Probably greed followed closely by the type of fear that causes bigotry and hatred.

6: How would you rectify the world’s most pressing issue?
By continuing to do what I'm already doing. I can't rectify anything but I feel a little less powerless.

7: You are given the chance to go back and change 1 thing in your life; what would that be?
I wouldn't because I like the life I have now. I have some regrets, but the past is the past. It should stay there.

8: You are given the chance to go back and change 1 event in world history, what would that be?
I'm copying Julian's who copied Tina's because it's darn good: "I would render Barbara and George H. Walker Bush infertile." Seriously, the same as number 7. I don't know what a change which seems like a good idea at the time will do to history. Maybe that's why my favorite Star Trek episode is "City on the Edge of Forever" even though I cry through it every time.

9: A night at the opera, or a night at the Grand Ole’ Opry –Which do you choose? Opera of course. The Opry isn't what it used to be in the good old days of me, my little radio, and WSM Nashville.

10: What is the 1 great unsolved crime of all time you’d like to solve?
Whatever happened to Judge Crater? I looked through all my closets and still couldn't find him.

11: One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be, and what would you serve for the meal?
John Irving and I'd serve lasagne with salad and garlic bread because it's the one thing I can be sure I won't mess up unless I burn the garlic bread. Or corn dogs and french fries?

12: You discover that John Lennon was right, that there is no hell below us, and above us there is only sky — what’s the 1st immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact?
Was there something immoral I missed?

Rochelle's Latest - afterthought

I just noticed she got her hair and her sisters' right. I'd noticed Rebecca's topknot but Rochelle has the shading, length, and style down pat. Hers is much darker and straightened. Wow. I didn't realize she was paying that close attention to detail.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Wrapping Up - My 3:00 a.m. Nights Are Over

At least I hope they are.

Hi to Bossy Britches, a friend of Susie who is a friend of Madcap Mum, etc. etc. Any friend of Susie's is okay by me.

I just reset my alarm for school hours. The girls are now back in their own beds. Elcie always is but the girls like to camp out in the living room with their sleeping bags when there's no school the next day. I don't know why the floor is more comfortable than their bunks. Must be their sense of adventure.

I made it through the Scripture (from the 8th Chapter of Mark for any who might be curious) this morning without yawning but with a brief case of stage fright. I was afraid nothing would come out of my mouth so I said "good morning". They all said "good morning" right back and after that I was fine. Very odd. I'm shy in social situations but I can face a hostile crowd with no external problems as long as I'm the one with the mike and I can chair a meeting because I'm the one with the gavel. That friendly bunch threw me for a moment. Maybe I was afraid I'd open my mouth and a yawn would come out.

Rochelle stays in the service with us and Rebecca heads for the Sunday School. I think it's because there's more activity there in addition to goodies. She's our worm in hot ashes and she's well behaved but she fidgets. Elcie decided almost at the last minute this morning to start back singing again. We managed to get her there an hour early to practice and still all make it back out the door on time. She said that they missed her and that Grandpa said he missed seeing her up there. Truth is, I think she's out of her doldrums, at least for now. I've been watching her trying to pinpoint some cause but I'm beginning to think it's just normal puberty stuff and I may as well get used to it.

Rochelle loves to sing and is wondering when she can start singing with Elcie. Probably anytime she wants to. It's very simple music, almost like the days of "lined" singing. Only one hymnal for a congregation so the leader would sing a line and the congregation would repeat. We're high tech and have the words on a screen at the front.

I don't know if there are still congregations somewhere who do the "lined" singing but I do know there are "shaped note" singers in the south. I love to listen to them. Off on a tangent again. I do that a lot.

They went with their mom to her Pentecostal Church tonight. She hadn't been in ages. They all know the girls and love them. No problem for me. Came home, had a snack and piled into bed.

Just paused to look at comments that came in. Hi to Janice, Missy and Mollie (ipodmomma). Janice and Missy are evidently night owls like me. Mollie is thinking about breakfast and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a lunch box. She lives in Yorkshire but is from Chico, not too far down the road from me. Heavens. Hi, Mother Damnable. The English are all arising.

I can't read the whole comment on the bottom of the screen but I can see the name and the first line which is pretty neat.

It's getting late. Oh, I watched the closing ceremonies tonight with the Mayor of Vancouver and that fantastic tenor singing O Canada. I'm a Yank but I was still misty-eyed watching and listening. Congratulations to Canada for their achievements in the Olympics (I like curling) and best wishes to Vancouver for 2010. We have several Canadian visitors here and I treasure every one.

Congratulations also to any of you reading from other countries and to our athletes from the USA. With our t.v. on the fritz much of the time, I haven't kept up with the Olympics as much as I have in the past.

Now I think I remembered everything. Thanks to everyone I hadn't thanked previously for the nice words about Rochelle. Speaking of treasures, she's another. Of course they all are, each in their own way.

Good night all.

Now she's showing off

When Rochelle saw I had put her drawing on here, she decided to write all of you a poem. I don't know if you can read it but the second verse says Rain is cold, Rain is blue like the dark blue sea
but who would I love. My family is who I Love.

And then she drew all of us.

L to R
Carol, Mommy Tasha, Johnathan, Grandma, Grandpa, Rochelle, Rebecca (with ponytail sticking straight up) and Elcie.

Pencil doesn't scan too well but you get the idea.

I'll be back either in a few minutes or tomorrow. I want her to see this when she gets up for school tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

There Has To Be An Easier Way

Tim sent these over to me on the 16th of this month and I finally have them on here. I can't even pin down an exact time but I think the one of the two of us was in Arkansas long before the one of us with the boys. Those kids are now 33 & 37.

First I couldn't find the email again. Finally located the .jpg files with search and then couldn't get them over here.

I printed them, scanned them, and then was able to import them. I did what cleaning up I could but they're old snaps.

I still have to figure out how to go direct from email here. ??? Or at least not have to jump through all the hoops I did. I have flickr but don't have a clue what to do with it.

I'm glad you enjoyed Rochelle's artwork. She was thrilled I was displaying them on the computer. Rebecca wants to know when I'll publish hers. Answer - as soon as she does some. She tends to crumple hers and toss them.

Quiet day today. Other than cooking and kitchen cleaning, I took it pretty easy. I went to sleep earlier and woke up for some reason so decided to check email which led to checking other blogs which led to a couple of postings on the other blog and then back to here.

It's insidious.

I told Tim I'd post the pictures. I look at them and at Tim who tops six feet now and Jim with his almost grown kids (another on way) and wonder where the time goes.

For that matter I look at those old photos of me and wonder the same thing. It doesn't seem that long ago.

I should try for a little more sleep. I'm reading the Scripture at the early service tomorrow and I don't want to be yawning through it. Haven't done it in several years but they asked me last Sunday so why not.

Classic Arts is doing the opening scene of Turandot, a production I don't think I've seen before. They are about to chop off the head of the Prince of Persia for not guessing the three riddles correctly. Now they're doing Nessun Dorma (instrumental with Rosetti paintings) - still Turandot. If I had to choose a favorite tenor aria, I think that would be it even though the premise is a little silly and the hero is an idiot.

I have it on Rhapsody and on dvd. Maybe I'll put it on to sleep by. Sometimes I can fall asleep better with something very familiar than with the switching around.

See you tomorrow probably. I may be a little more inspired. Oh, the roast and biscuits, etc. came out fine and I have leftovers for hash if no one raids the fridge between now and then.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Popular Demand - 4th and Last

This is John Muir School complete with cactus and sun.

I don't think Renoir has much to worry about (if he were still around to worry) but she might give Grandma Moses some competition one of these days.

Rochelle loves to draw and draw and draw.

Funny child. She's the athlete of the group and always the one with the most bumps and bruises. She also has this facet of her personality.

Her reading ability has gone through the roof. She could read this over my shoulder with no problem as long as she's not pushed. When we put her in Special Ed at the end of first grade, she had problems with "cat" and "dog". They pushed phonics and repetition and it worked. I can see her sounding everything to herself, finally saying a big word syllable by syllable and then the whole word. They're worried about the tests of course, bureaucrats that they are. She isn't as fast as they'd like. If this weren't a family blog, you'd hear exactly what I think of the tests and NCLB. I'd have to google dyslexia but I know many successful people are dyslexic. They compensate and so does she. Hers seems to be mild; she just needed the thorough grounding in basics and the time to get it right. Reading speed isn't crucial, comprehension is, and right now her comprehension level is above Rebecca's who gets in too much of a hurry and can't remember a word she just read. Rochelle can usually tell me the whole story once she's read it. She will still test below basic but I don't care. This year we've focused on math and she's doing well. Same principle - let her take her time and learn one thing before she moves to the next.

I make a lot of noise and sometimes people listen. She'll probably stay in Special Ed for a while at least. Middle School next year and they're already working on getting her into the best of the four we have here. Elcie made it into the second best. They offered to transfer her but she's doing well so she may as well stay put. She and Rochelle are Honor Roll working at their ability level.

How did I get started on this?

Popular demand was Dmitri and Andie D on my email so far this morning. Here the drawings are plus one.

I started to put the drawings on last night but it was late and I couldn't make up my mind between the scanner and the camera. Sometimes the scanner has trouble with drawings but these worked fine and I've learned how to adjust the settings somewhat. Also how to rotate so you don't have to stand on your heads. Picasa2 this time, it's the easiest to fool around with and my scanner automatically sends there. It still isn't working with multiple photos though.

Chuck roast on for dinner with a big onion, garlic, basil, and oregano. I'll cook a bunch of potatoes and carrots after a while and add some celery and mushrooms to the roast. Sometimes I buy a roast on sale and cut it up for stew - much cheaper these days than stew meat. An extra $/pound to cut up meat is silly. It's the same meat. This time though, it's roast which will turn into roast beef hash tomorrow if I have enough left over.

Counting down - less than two days before school starts. It means I'll be getting up around six again. On the other hand, Elcie is on her bus (door to door) before seven and frick and frack are gone by 7:45 at the latest. Everything's a tradeoff. Not that I don't miss their rowdy selves but the quiet is nice. Speaking of quiet, it's much too quiet at the moment. Perhaps I should take a look.

Ray still doing well. I'll get a photo on here eventually of him laughing. He's doing more of it.

Talk to you later. Posted by Picasa

Popular Demand #3

This one snuck in on me. When Rochelle saw what I was doing this morning, she started drawing more pictures. I told her this could be last one for the computer - at least for now. Posted by Picasa

Popular Demand #2

Rochelle 2-24-06

I think one may be a flying pig. I'm not sure. That's us at the bottom (I think) Posted by Picasa

By popular demand #1

Rochelle 2-24-06 Posted by Picasa

Oops - I missed two of you.

Eden and Caitlin both responded in the comments a couple of days ago (My Space).Eden is a mom, writer, and editor from Erie, PA and Caitlin is a SAHM mom raising a young son in the Washington, DC area. Once again, from Blogging Baby.

Afterthought. Eden writes several blogs so I linked to her profile. You decide.

Welcome and thanks to both of you. Drop in anytime.

There - I think that's everyone. I'd just forgotten to check the previous post again.

When There's Nothing Much to Say

I managed to skip a day without saying anything. My limit, I think.

I walked out into the kitchen at midnight to find Rochelle busy drawing page after page of animals with a real life animal joining her at the table. She had been asleep - something woke her up. Much have been too much Pictionary today. She's on a drawing kick and she's good. She had puppies, kittens, a couple of snakes, and a dragon or two (complete with fire breathing).

Last night she drew me a picture of her school transplanted to a desert with cacti and the sun shining down.

They all learned to play very quickly and so far it's a game they can play without quarreling. It took a little while to convince them it didn't matter how well they could draw. Most of the fun is in how bad the drawings can be and still be figured out. I set an excellent example. You should see my ladybug. Luckily Elcie guessed it before I had a chance to add spots and legs to my circle. She's good, that one.

Two more days until school.

Tonight was hot dogs and canned baked beans. I have a chuck roast thawing for tomorrow and I'll redeem myself. We had a large brunch around noon so no one was starving. Besides, to them hot dogs and beans are gourmet fare as long as I have a supply of catsup.

Rebecca woke up while I was writing this. She went back to bed and now Ray's awake. Am I typing too loudly?

I'm still working my way through the blog roll challenge. I managed to click on the dreaded template last night which helped. I can actually see what's already there. Maybe this weekend I'll try to add something and worry about the alphabet later. One thing at a time and I'm about three names behind.

We have new visitors. Gary who writes Within Sight and lives in Nelson, British Columbia, and Dem Soldier, a student at the University of Minnesota. Both are friends from the "other" blog and I'm glad they dropped by over here. Guys, if you've been here before and I've forgotten, oops. You're on the isamericaburning blog roll instead of this one.

Missy is a new blogger or at least this blog is new. She's a SAHM mom and a geophysicist from Seattle. Wow. We met on Blogging Baby where I've met so many people.

daddy d (ace detective) writes many of his posts about his daughter as mystery stories. To me, the mystery at first was how he found me. Upon reading the comments, I found three very familiar names, all visitors here. Another example of the blogging community.

Welcome to all of you and I hope you keep coming back.

Rebecca just came in and piled into my bed. She's already sound asleep. It seems to be a restless night for everyone and I'm not sure why.

Classic Arts is now playing "Figaro" (Barber of Seville Figaro) performed by a brass brand with the tuba carrying most of the melody. Different to say the least. I don't know how many of you remember Spike Jones but I can hear some similarities. Oh, it was the Canadian Brass. Just switched over to I Pagliacci (I'm really not sure of that spelling but it looks right) It's the prologue (update - not the prologue it comes in right before he runs amok), not the famous aria, at least so far. Sherill Milnes, one of my favorite baritones in his heyday. Now it's immortal Sarah Vaughn with "Send in the Clowns". I sense a theme.

It's past 2:00 a.m. As I said, a restless night but I should at least try for sleep.

Clowns have now been replaced by a witch's coven, complete with cauldron. Most witches I know are nothing like that at all.

Now I know it's time for bed where I hope most of you who don't live on the other side of the globe have sense enough to be.

Good night.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

On to Less Weighty Matters (see previous post)

My world seems to be so interconnected with this blog that this morning my son Tim invited me to lunch via the comment box. I accepted of course. We discussed Thai and Indian and eventually decided on the Indian buffet. I'd made him (and evidently several other people judging from the comments) hungry.

The bread served with the buffet here is called naan (thanks Roger, Tim, and others). Once I saw the name I remembered. Roger has sent recipes which seem to include hanging it from a hook. The links are included in his comments on that post. We inquired about dosa, they serve something similar with their dinners. We'll have to return for dinner sometime. Mollie has mentioned poppadoms (sp?) as well. Roger was talking about masala and Kathleen mentioned samosas. More googling. Aha - I ate masala today and didn't know it. Somosas - a mixture of chicken and peas with many spices including coriander in something like filo. That I haven't eaten yet I don't think.

I have just discovered it's much easier to do all the typing and then go back and add the code for the links. Wow.

I spent much of today catching up with paperwork (boring) and putting away laundry (even less exciting). Tomorrow I'll finish up with errands I've been putting off from day to day. Maybe. I seem to have run out of small coat hangars so the next project will be either to buy more hangars (where would I put them - see photo) or have Rebecca go through the jeans and make some painful decisions. Everything passes down to her. If she can select the ones she wears the most, I can do a better sorting job. Bear in mind each of those vertical rods holds five pair of jeans and you'll get the idea.

The shirts are almost as bad but take up less space. Yes, I know I whined about the closet once before. I'm whining again. At least it's a new photo. Where are those jeans coming from? I think it's because everything is washed and hung up at once. Usually the laundry is in various stages.

Andrea has sent wonderful instructions for the sidebar. I'm going to try the next addition myself. Have to tackle it sometime. The code seems simple, it's almost like what I already know. She assures me I can't mess it up unless I try really hard.

I'm watching Classic Arts as I type and listening to Un Bel Di from Madama Butterfly. It's animated and lovely. Butterflies flying all over the screen. Ends with her becoming a butterfly herself and flying away. They've just switched over to excerpts from The Mikado. Must be Japanese night although I'm sure neither one present a true picture of Japan. I do love this channel. Sometimes I don't want to watch a full opera and I don't want to just listen either. Classic Arts provides the best of both and full of surprises. A little of everything.

Puccini exiled one of his heroines (Manon Lescaut) to the "deserts" of Louisiana where she died of course. I love his music but his research left a little to be desired. At least nobody dies in The Mikado although it was a close call. Gilbert & Sullivan were great on satire, not so good on reality. It wasn't their intention.

Okay, I'm babbling. Time to close up shop for the night. They've switched once again - to Rachmaninoff. A piano prelude (C sharp minor for anyone who cares) that I know and could even almost play once upon a time. Notice the word almost. I think I learned it when I was maybe 13 or so and it may have been a simplified version. I'm not sure I ever had that hand span or the technical expertise. Stop babbling and go to bed, Ann.

I haven't said anything about the girls because, except for the usual, not much is going on. I must make time for Elcie and Pictionary tomorrow. I haven't looked at the Junior version but the Adult version works with teams. Rochelle and Rebecca? Playing nicely together? We'll see.

This week has run more smoothly than I expected and our weather is cooperating. The trees are beginning to bloom and the rain has left for now. They do much better when they're not cooped up. Darn it, the girls, not the trees although being cooped up wouldn't do much for the trees either.

Good night.

Kids, Computers, and Safety (continued)

I wrote a few days ago about Rebecca and her misadventures on the internet. I didn't happen to mention chat rooms although I've talked about them elsewhere. One of the commenters reminded me about My Space. I replied that I worried more about chat rooms than I did about internet porn. My Space isn't a chat room but it is the sort of thing that concerned me.

Melissa S. at Blogging Baby must have been reading my mind. Her post featured a link to a discussion of My Space, how it works, and the reasons teens are attracted to it. Its access is limited to age 14 and up so I have a couple of years before I need to become concerned.

I'm not convinced My Space is the greatest thing since sliced bread but the speaker made a few interesting points. She said kids have almost no personal space anymore. Their lives are micromanaged from waking to sleeping, the malls don't want them, and the local soda shop is becoming a thing of the past. Teens want to "hang out" and their hang out spot has become the net and sites like My Space.

If you read the BB post, be sure to read the comments, especially the second from Caitlin. She talks about the ease with which teens elude parental control. The technical language is way over my head but I get the idea.

I'd like to hear opinions. I sometimes feel like I'm in a time warp and some objective ideas from the younger folk (and my generation as well) would be helpful.

Splitting the post tonight. I'll be back to talk about food and other things.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Chicken Turned into Curry (with Tumeric)

and we have another visitor from India, this time from Mumbai. Arti is a lovely young woman who found us through Neets, also of India.

She writes in three languages and is a published author and poet. Welcome Arti.

I decided on chicken that was at least curry flavored, if not the real thing. And yes, I purchased tumeric today even though the curry powder I use contains tumeric along with many other things. It's a complex flavoring. I stewed the chicken in curry and ginger flavored broth, steamed some veggies on top, and cooked a pot of rice. It's almost all gone. I'm not sure why I added the ginger but it seemed like it needed something and I just guessed. It didn't do any harm. I must seek out that wonderful flat bread for the next time. The girls loved it when we took them to the Indian buffet. We have a sizable Sikh community here so it shouldn't be hard to find a deli or mom and pop that sells it. It might even be in the supermarket. I'm drawing a blank on the name right now but I'll either look it up, it will come to me suddenly, or ten people will tell me the name in the comments.

It's been a quiet day except for grocery shopping this morning. I try to plan for the whole month except for perishables but we were almost out of coffee, sugar, creamer, honey, and running low on cereal. My honey had spilled somehow. Fun. The little server had tipped on its side and the cap wasn't quite tight. Fortunately, there wasn't too much in there. I drink more coffee when the weather turns chilly and I have friends and my daughter who like a little coffee with their sugar and cream. Not I but I'll provide it and shudder. Ray likes herbal tea. So do I sometimes, just not as an everyday thing. I'm more apt to use it as medicine. Usually, I prefer the real thing.

Two of the girls went along with my friend and her five year old to "help". Elcie enjoyed the peace and quiet. Her mood has improved lately but we're still having problems getting her out of the house. She did go with her sister to the corner store earlier today and used her spending money to buy luxury cat food for Spunky and Fidget. Spunk was thrilled; Fidget isn't so sure. He's never eaten anything except dry food and an occasional bite of chicken or fish when I've served it.

I didn't see which child was responsible for the sculpture on the kitchen table. They were asleep early before I had a chance to ask. It was probably Rochelle. It's her style and I'm not sure Rebecca would have stood there patiently balancing all those pencils. It may have been a joint project.

Angel left me a comment warning me about My Space so far as the girls are concerned. I actually belong to it and I've never used it. A friend invited me and I signed up. One of these days, I'll unjoin. I've heard negative stuff about it too. No chat rooms for the girls except for Nick and Disney (or any others like them) until they're older. I'm more worried about chat rooms than the porn.

KatieK, currently living in Turkey and Midori of Japan were featured today on Blogging Baby. Katie was kissed by a horse, I believe. Nice going. They're both over on the blog roll.

Alice just left a couple of comments about the earlier posts. Alcie and I are both Italian food and so far we have one Mexican and one French as well. She identifies with #13 on the other silliness. If it doesn't work, get a bigger hammer. That #13. A couple confessed to being mouse potatoes and jw especially liked #19.

Alice and I have a small window about the time she's going to work and I'm going to bed and another as I'm having my morning coffee and she's finishing up her work day. We do an amazing amount of conversing in a short time. It happens with ipodmomma in England and Andrea in Japan as well. Just the way the time zones work.

It's late, I actually made it through the day without a nap, and I'm feeling it.

Good night everyone.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Obviously I Have Nothing to Say

You Are Italian Food

Comforting yet overwhelming.
People love you, but sometimes you're just too much.

Five Minutes of Your Life You'll Never Get Back

but they're funny and as offcolor as you will ever see me, I promise.

Sent by one of my local friends who knows the offline Ann only too well.


Essential vocabulary additions for the workplace
(and elsewhere).

1. *BLAMESTORMING*: Sitting around in a group,
discussing why a
deadline was missed or a project failed, and who
was responsible.

2. *SEAGULL MANAGER*: A manager, who flies in,
makes a lot of noise,
craps on everything, and then leaves.

3. *ASSMOSIS*: The process by which some people
seem to absorb
success and advancement by kissing up to the boss
rather than
working hard.

4. *SALMON DAY*: The experience of spending an
entire day swimming
upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

5. *CUBE FARM*: An office filled with cubicles.

6. *PRAIRIE DOGGING*: When someone yells or drops
something loudly
in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the
walls to see
what's going on.

7. *MOUSE POTATO*: The on-line, wired generation's
answer to the
couch potato.

8. *SITCOMs*: Single Income, Two Children,
Oppressive Mortgage. What
Yuppies turn into when they have children and one
of them stops
working to stay home with the kids.

9. *STRESS PUPPY*: A person who seems to thrive on
being stressed
out and whiny.

10. *SWIPEOUT*: An ATM or credit card that has
been rendered useless
because the magnetic strip is worn away from
extensive use.

11. *XEROX SUBSIDY*: Euphemism for swiping free
photocopies from
one's workplace.

12. *IRRITAINMENT*: Entertainment and media
spectacles that are
Annoying but you find yourself unable to stop
watching them. The
J-Lo and Ben wedding (or not) was a prime example
- Michael Jackson,

13. *PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE*: The fine art of
whacking the crap(!)
out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

14. *ADMINISPHERE*: The rarefied organizational
layers beginning
just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall
from the
adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or
irrelevant to the
problems they were designed to solve.

15. *404*: Someone who's clueless. From the World
Wide Web error
Message "404 Not Found," meaning that the
requested site could not
be located.

16. *GENERICA*: Features of the American landscape
that are exactly
the same no matter where one is, such as fast food
joints, strip
malls, and subdivisions.

17. *OHNOSECOND*: That minuscule fraction of time
in which you
realize that you've just made a BIG mistake. (Like
after hitting
send on an email by mistake)

18. *WOOFS*: Well-Off Older Folks.

19. *CROP DUSTING*: Surreptitiously passing gas
while passing
through a Cube Farm.

Monday, February 20, 2006

More food - sort of

When I was over visiting madcap mum today and drooling over her new blog, I ran across bohemian troubador who visits there frequently. I can't remember if he's been here but I'm pretty sure he drops in on is america burning (the other blog) from time to time.

We all know about garlic's healing properties but I may be the only person out here who didn't know about the healing properties of tumeric.

It's especially appropriate for me after my little lecture about prostate cancer the other day. I googled it of course and there's a wealth of information out there and many studies. Most were over my head but I got the general idea.

I just checked my spice cupboard. Lots of cumin but no tumeric. I think I'll do something about that soon. Along with the garlic, of course.

Angel is right about the movie title. Elcie went to see 8 Below and loved it. Along with every other sad movie ever made. I was telling a friend I'm much the same way. I cry in happiness, I cry in rage, I almost never cry in sorrow (unless it's someone else's) and I wish I could. I cry over sad songs and movies. It's probably a good thing. Yes Angel "An Affair to Remember" is certainly on the list. Do you remember the original "Moulin Rouge" (Jose Ferrer as Lautrec)? I think my favorite as long as I have a box of tissues beside me is Nevil Shute's "On the Beach". Great cast (at least for my generation) and a scary, very sad, story. Many others - I seek them out.

Rebecca got back into a porn site again today and we've now put parental controls on computer number two. This time was an accident and the others may have been as well. Her mistake was not leaving the site immediately and telling us.

She had been playing a harmless game with three options, the first two innocent. She clicked on door number three and up popped a pornographic cartoon. She's grounded from the computer for a couple of days, no longer, because she told the truth. She's not enough of a hacker (at least not yet) to override the controls. If they need to research something that's been blocked, they can either use this one or I'll override for them.

Rochelle uses the computer primarily to download drawings she can paint or color. Once in a while she plays a game but she usually goes back into "favorites" to find them. Elcie feeds neopets and enjoys research. I know both of them would come running to tell me if they stumbled across something they shouldn't be watching but not our Rebecca. This was her third strike. She's locked out, I hope.

I'm not a fan of censorship but I do think porn should be labeled as such. That game site had me fooled. It was a race car game for heaven's sake. As for porn (the real thing, not just a suggestive scene or two in a movie or the accidental exposure of a nipple), whatever makes your boat float. I don't want the kids watching it. It has nothing to do with reality, at least my reality, and they aren't mature enough to understand that.

On the other hand, we already have too many unenforceable laws. Perhaps I just need to be a little more vigilant.

How did I get started on that?

They've all been asleep for a while, R & R in the living room again. Ray is lying down, we're both sort of watching a Without a Trace rerun and taking it easy. I took a large package of chicken thighs out of the freezer to thaw for tomorrow. Maybe chicken and dumplings this time or some kind of stew. The last time I aimed for chicken and dumplings it ended up as a sort of teriyaki so who knows. Certainly not I. Maybe I'll purchase the tumeric and do something quasi Indian. My blogging friend from India, neets, said she was going to post some recipes and I haven't checked back with her in a while. Doing that now.

No recipes from Neets but she's been on a wonderful trek, is trying to convince her mom to make chutney, and was discussing pickling a pepper. Seriously. I love chutney but I've never tried to make it. My birth mother used to. I remember she put a lot of effort into it but she also made pesto with an authentic mortar and pestle. She was a strict cookbook (usually gourmet) cook when she cooked at all. She'd prepare for a week, make herself a nervous wreck, and then be too exhausted to eat.

I checked my blog meter (or whatever it's called) today. They sort by geographic location and omitted India and New Zealand unless they consider India as part of the Middle East and New Zealand as part of Micronesia. ?? There's nothing "micro" about New Zealand, it has a different government, and I don't think it's even close to Micronesia. I don't think I've had any Micronesian visitors. Did they just dump NZ in with Australia? Sorry Caroline and Lindsay. Maybe all of Asia is lumped together which would explain the absence of India. They don't do that with North America. Canada is separate. Strange.

I've been tagged by several people for a meme which everyone except me has completed. I haven't forgotten it; however, I seem to remember it when I'm nowhere near the computer or when I'm reading someone else's great answers. Someday.

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I've discovered I'm not the only novice out here. To anyone else new at "pasting" links to blogs (not posts, that's different), if the link doesn't work, see if there's a / after .com. If there is, delete it and it should work.

Thanks to everyone for the comments. I always read them, usually as they come into the mailbox. Lindsay just left me another poem.

Pleasant dreams to all of you in the same general time zone (PST USA)

New Blog from an Old Friend

If anyone out there hasn't met madcap mum yet, she's a treat. She's begun a new blog devoted to food.

Her first post was a winter salad which I would call slaw because it's similar to mine. She, however, can provide a recipe. I couldn't because my cooking depends on the contents of my fridge.

She then wrote a treatise on garlic. Don't know about you but I'd feel very deprived without garlic. It might not make those I come in contact with happy but it certainly brightens my day.

I know she'd enjoy some company so if cooking or reading about food is your thing, check her latest labor of love.

Another new friend and another recipe - corrected

And another day I made the mistake of "resting" for an hour which turned into almost five. At least no alarm to set for tomorrow - girls are off this week.

Days Like These lives in Southern California, around San Diego. She has an 18 year old daughter and a 15 month old son with an amazing variety of hair styles. Very like Rochelle - his own person even at that age. He's adorable and it's a lovely family. Welcome to another BB reader and commenter.

Gawdessness posted a recipe on Saturday but I didn't want to just write it out because a) it comes with a photo and b) Her instructions are half the fun. She has a unique style of describing her preparations. Squidge? Sometimes I'm relieved not to be physically sharing her kitchen as she attacks. I'm going to practice my newfound skill and try to link directly to her post. It's for Brazilian cheese balls and looks yummy. It's also gluten free I believe - tapioca flour?

All but Elcie made it to church this morning. She was sound asleep. I turned the light up in her room and rummaged in her closet looking for a sweater to wear and she never stirred. Her mom and my daughter were both here so I let her sleep. Maybe she can rest up over next week. I have to remember that she puts in a lot of work to get through each day (not even considering homework) and she probably is worn out some of the time. It may be that simple but I still don't want her to isolate too much. Her grandma Carol took her to a movie this afternoon - something about snow dogs, can't remember the name but it's new. She told me she cried in the theater and I said that's okay, so does everyone. Including me sometimes. Elcie adores movies she gets to cry through. She's memorized Titanic and Fly Away Home.

The girls had their first lunch out for the month. Wendy's nuggets for one, cheeseburger for the other complete with french fries. 1/2 of their monthly allotment. We brought a care package home to Elcie.

Alice in London (update - I did it again. Alice is from Kidderminster in Worcestershire, a four hour drive from London). just popped up - I'll be back. I'm back. She and I are having a friendly discussion on the merits of Granny Smith (Alice) or Macintosh (Ann). As a former New Yorker, I think our "Macs" are the greatest. How about anyone else? Any favorites for either eating, cooking, or both? I like Fuji and Gala too but they're not red. I think apples should be red.

I digressed again. Our co-pastor took his talk from the Song of Solomon (as written, not as interpreted by those who don't want to believe it has anything to do with human love and intimacy). Ray told me afterward how impressed he was. High praise from my quiet husband. It was beautiful. A husband and wife read the scripture smiling at each other. Our pastor being the wonderful person he is (it was his turn to talk this week) referred to "committed relationships" throughout. I will miss them so much.

One more day without a major battle and the girls made a new friend who spent part of the day playing here while Elcie was at the movies. Nice little boy.

Ray feels better every day. He snuck out to the kitchen and did dishes earlier. He smiles more and more. I'm crossing my fingers but it looks like being able to breathe for a change is making the difference. I won't let him move the furniture or scrub down the ceiling but he's always been a partner with the house and the girls and it must make him feel better to be back doing a little more.

Take care everyone.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Eureka - Thank you and Merci - Hands Across the Border

Between Ms Sisyphys (sp?) and Mary P. it's worked. Mary showed me how to access the link in the first place and Ms S sent the html code which I had previously learned from yet another blogger but didn't know what to do with it here.

The link in the previous post will now take you directly to Mary P. and the mitten post.

Excelsior!!! The motto of my home state of New York. I think it means ONWARD!! I may beccome a blogger yet. Next - the sidebar.

Testing a link - I picked a good post for it.

I was talking earlier about grungy red mittens Mary's post on the subject is hilarious.

I would have linked to it but I didn't know how. Ms sisyphus just sent me instructions and I expect by the time I finish this Mary will chime in right behind her with the same thing. They both emailed me.

Darn - it's so simple. I may even try to start on my own sidebar so Andrea in Japan can finish her packing for her joyous return home to Canada.

Didn't work the first time. Mary said right click on the post date. Trying again.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Fashion Statement herself

Rochelle loves to put on half the closet when she dresses for the day. The cat is almost lost in the different layers. Had to take two pictures to get the boots in.

Welcome toms sisyphus .

She and I "met" while commenting on the same Blogging Baby posts. I met many of my online friends there. Many of us have remained friends since. She's an educator and mom from Canada and we have some wonderful discussions about kids and education.

My son Tim loved the pictures I posted last night and has emailed me a couple more. I'll try to get them on soon. First I have to figure out how to get them from email to here. Every day something different.

Some day I have to find out how to link to a post in another blog. I see people do it all the time and I know I did it once here. I just can't remember what I did.

This is brief I think. It's only 6:30 but it feels later. Not an eventful day and I haven't left the house. I fixed brunch for everyone and spaghetti for dinner tonight (and probably tomorrow). Kids are settling in with no major brawls so far but it's only Saturday.

Our house is set up with a small entryway - one way goes toward the living room and kitchen, the other to a long hall with bedrooms and baths strung out. Our bedroom faces the street at the front. The living room is large and runs from the front of the house to the back with the front meant as a dining room. The kitchen (with dinette) and laundry room are along the other side of the living room. Odd setup but we're used to it. Think three mobile homes side by side by side. The "dining room" has become the catchall for the girls' gear. There's really no other place. Anything left on the patio would disappear. Just now I walked through and counted four bicycles and two pair of roller skates. Plus a fair size dining table with chairs, one piano, one etagere and a large desk/bookcase and a wheelchair. Oh, and a small bookcase/room divider that holds their dvd's (when they're not all over my bedroom floor) and another small set of stacking plastic bins for their treasures or whatever I throw in there on my way through. I think that's it.

Not sure what got me started on that except that I just walked through and said OMG, and counted the bicycles. They're breeding in there. Can't leave them alone for a minute.

Church tomorrow probably. Ray's already talking about shaving. He is really so much better. His medicine arrived today for the nebulizer. He's getting used to his umbilical cord and all the gear that goes with it. It is so good to see him cheerful once again.

Trying for photos now. Good night I think until tomorrow.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Photos first - post below

I wasn't sure until I saw the whole thing.

This is for Jim & Tim with love from mom

As well as for my daughter Carol who loved him, his daughter-in-law Espree who was my good right arm, all the grands and greatgrands he hasn't yet met and of course all of you.

This was taken on our last trip back to Arkansas while my husband Jim was alive. He was recovering from surgery on his leg for the cancer which had started in his prostate and spread to the bone before he had any symptoms. Any guys reading this - checkups are crucial and prostate is one of the most curable of cancers if it's caught early enough. Jim was 54. He died much too young. Partners - you nag if necessary as well.

We didn't know how much time we had so we took the boys back for a visit while Jim was still well enough to do it. He fooled everyone and stretched "maybe" six months into five years. Tough guy. He made one more trip alone so he, his mom, and his two brothers could have the time together. I'm so glad he could. On our next trip in April 1988 we carried his ashes back.

I didn't mean to end on a sad note and this trip wasn't sad at all. It was a time of mending fences, taking pictures, and generally enjoying ourselves once again as a united family. Even given what followed, I wouldn't trade that time together for anything.

Believe it or not (and knowing me you probably do) there's a full length post buried under the pictures. At least I think that's where it will turn up. I saved it as a draft in case some of these didn't turn out. Posted by Picasa

Famly stuff just because I wanted them here.

I could have done a better cropping job with these but I was pulling my hair out. I'll get better as I go along.

I don't have many good photos of my daughter Carol. This was back when it felt like we had triplets.

As usual, Elcie and Rebecca (foreground naturally) are hamming it while Rochelle looks like she'd rather be anywhere else.

Bottom all three on trikes (and me). Elcie's was designed for her and has pullies to help her with the pedals, pedal straps, and a seat belt. She still had a little trouble with it but at least she could ride with the little girls. Her therapist and p.e. teacher set it up for her.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

The road leading up to my uncle's farm, halfway up the hill. Sometimes we slid right back to the bottom and turned around and went home.

In the background you can barely see the outline of the Adirondack foothills. We were in the Mohawk Valley.

Obviously the two of us were showing off for the camera. Jim had the high drift all to himself. Nobody could get me up there and I haven't changed much.

I don't think that was a natural drift. It was probably created by the plows.

The last photo (middle) is of my mom, dad, brother and self on my last trip home while my dad was still alive. Probably early 1987. He died about a year before the boys' dad. Mom is still hanging in there at 93. She and my brother both live in Albany.

Two more to go. I decided to put them all on tonight. I have a tendency to forget so I'd better do it now.

So it's my night for photos

I have a lot of old albums. My brother Jim was born in July 1940 so this was probably the summer of 1941 when he was 1 and I was 3. Or maybe we were 2 and 4. That's my adoptive mom probably still wondering how she ended up with two when they had told her she'd never have kids. She was looking at Jim as if to say "how did you get here".

To her credit, she never sent me back and neither of them ever referred to me as anything except theirs. My dad and granddad built the house from an old Methodist chapel. It was in a permanent state of construction. My dad worked full time for Remington Arms until he retired and my granddad did carpentry work. I've said before they were both craftsmen and perfectionists so that house was a work in progress.

We slid down that cellar door and threw bean bags which my mom sewed through the bean bag game which my dad built for us. Or maybe my granddad.

The locust tree in the foreground was one of a pair which came crashing down on the house during one particularly vicious thunderstorm. The house was so well constructed the only damage was to a few shingles and our nerves.

I'll be back with the snow and maybe one other photo for my son Tim who has begun leaving comments.

Someplace I have a photo of the house as finished as it ever became.

In many ways, those were wonderful times. Posted by Picasa

What's wrong with this picture?

Getting these on the other post didn't work this time. Probably because I was working from the scanner and I'm not as used to it yet. This watering hole is (or was at least) on the main street of Eureka, CA and is a landmark of sorts. Posted by Picasa

Modern Art and other things

Rebecca brought me her outgrown favorite shirt earlier and asked me to take a picture of it. This is it. I picked it up at a yard sale a couple of years ago and she fell in love. No accounting for taste.

Blogger has been down (at least at my house) more than it's been up so it's been frustrating trying to do anything. Plus I had writer's block.

Cat photo - I took another look at my laundry room window. They sure looked like big cobwebs. They were guy wires from the antenna on the roof next door. I do have some cobwebs which I attack from time to time but I didn't remember ever letting them overtake the window like that.

Tasha cooked for us tonight. Chicken with a honey barbecue sauce. Yum. Paper plates and napkins - even better.

I'm gradually getting my act back together a little. This second hospital stay almost did me in and I wasn't the one who was ill. I begged off another activity today. A coalition group of progressives and conservationists was meeting with the "press" - that would be the local paper. I'm a member but not the leader of any of them. Numbers help but they're not essential and our leader does an impressive job of speaking for us. I stayed home, let Tasha's boyfriend Jonathan do the driving for the day, and generally flaked off except for essentials.

The girls are out of school for nine days of boredom. Rain is predicted for the entire weekend and it's turned chilly - at least for here. A couple of my on line friends, one in Montana and the other in Canada have reported 20 below zero (F). Funny, I read the Canada post first, did the conversion to Fahrenheit, couldn't believe my own calculations and looked it up. Yep, it was 20 below. When I saw Montana, I finally believed it. I'm sitting here with my blankie tucked up around my neck and they're saying Oh Good, it's snowing. Our temps dropped to the mid to high 40's (F of course, otherwise we'd be in bikinis) late this week.

Some day I'll go back and find the photo of my brother Jim and me up to our necks in a snowdrift. Oh well, no time like the present.

Forty five minutes later. Tick tock. Started rummaging through the albums looking for the snow picture. I found a couple, not the one I wanted. I did find some others as well and pulled out a few. I think I did this once before, put them in an envelope to scan and then misplaced the whole thing (or Rebecca got to it first). She's making her own albums - little thief.

Digression. I just walked into the front bathroom (Mary P will appreciate this if she drops by) and, on the theory of never make a trip emptyhanded, picked up one dirty sock and one pair of filthy, used to be red, mittens. I don't want to think about where those mittens had been. I picked them up with my thumb and one finger and deposited them in the washer.

Back to photos. It's early enough to fight with the scanner and Picasa and Blogger all in the same night. Eventually they'll all show up here. I had to look through a few albums to find the old photos. Naturally I forgot that in a fit of organization I had labeled them by date. The albums, I don't always remember to label the photos. Future generations will really appreciate me. Who the heck is that? I ran across some more pictures from the late 1800's. I know one is my grandmother and the other her sister but I would be guessing at which is which.

One album was full of photos of the girls at different stages. Another was my kids from birth on and several were my family (birth and adoptive). I finally remembered I was looking for snow pictures so I wiped my eyes, put the albums away for another time, and came back here.

I found one funny photo from Eureka, CA which I'll probably post just to see if anyone but me gets it. I'll get the snow photos on as well. They still tell the story of my Mohawk Valley home. No, I don't miss the snow. I don't dream of a White Christmas although I could live without our wet ones.

Ray is feeling much better all over. Two hospital stays at three days each would have bought a lot of home oxygen. He's all hooked up and has an auxiliary tank for travel. They've also given him medication and a fancy nebulizer to treat the bronchitis. He was laughing out loud today. I can't remember the last time I heard that. The little cat had done something that struck him funny. He's also talking. As you might have guessed, I'm still angry and sometime I'll post an entire rant about Ray's illness and the stupidity of bureaucrats.

We (Jonathan and Ray) took our t.v. (under service contract) back to Circuit City today for repair. I couldn't convince Ray that for that big a set they'd come here. They said "why didn't you just call, we would have come out?" Oh well, I bet they'll deliver it back. Meantime, he remembered we had an old (30 years or so) set stashed that works somewhat. Thanks heavens. Ray without television is a fearful sight. He paces, if not physically, then mentally. He caught up with his sci-fi shows tonight and tomorrow will probably watch the ones I taped for him last Friday. Backwards but he doesn't care. He'll probably watch the new ones again to have them back in proper order. I have no room to talk. You should see me when Comcast goes down.

This is getting long for someone who couldn't think of anything to write for the past two days. I'm going to see what happens if I try to post the Eureka photo to this and put the snow pictures on separately. Saving draft just in case.

P. S. Posted them all - dont' worry there are lots more where those came from. I'm giggling.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cat on a cold shingle roof

Her royal highness, the empress of all she surveys. The snap was taken through my laundry room window. I need to take a broom to those cobwebs. She loves that roof.

Update - good news

The oxygen will be delivered to Ray sometime this afternoon. Hopefully Medi-care will cover but for now I'm just happy it will be here for him.

Small blessing of day.

Nothing in particular - gmail working - thanks

L., that is two coffee cups and a cell phone. I will display a vacuum bag one of these days. First, I have to purchase one.

Angel, that kitchen table will be history as soon as the girls come in.

Julian, and it's not even my phone. Mine lives in my pocket.

Ray went to his followup doctor appointment, the girls haven't returned from school, and I have cancelled all activities for today (I think). Actually there was only one, I misread my calendar.

Finished the laundry (even put it away), did some general straightening, and poured another cup of coffee. My exciting life goes on.

Several of you have asked about Ray and the oxygen. His doctor is trying to push it through, he didn't come home with it and is already feeling the effects somewhat. Our air quality is awful as I've said before. If we have to, we'll pay for it and cut back somewhere else but when did breathing become a luxury?

End of rant. Again.

JW, Beckster, and JennyBee - thanks for the input on gmail. I discovered the reason I couldn't do it was I was reading html instead of "standard view". I have now dumped all my trash and many of the archived periodicals on the theory if I haven't needed the old news items in 30 days, I never will. I wasn't running out of storage, I just hate clutter.

I might be back if I don't fall into bed at 7:00 p.m. again. Girls have one more day of school and then off for a week. However, the high schools and the adjacent school district observe the standard President's Day and Lincoln days which were two 3 day weekends in a row. Parents are upset because they have kids in elementary, middle, and high school. I don't blame them. Let's get our act together. It's a lousy time for an entire week off. I'd rather they start the school year a few days later which is what the high school does. Different districts.

Talk to you later.

Kitchen Table

Look closely and quickly. It will never be seen again.

I'll be back but in the meantime

To any or all gmail users out there.

Does anyone know how to check all the little boxes in the email at the same time? In order to delete or move anything, I have to go through and click each one individually. That's silly - I can do it on Yahoo, why not gmail.

I couldn't get any answers from their help section.

Busy day, Ray doing well so far. I crashed and burned at 7:00 p.m. last night so no post.

Thanks to everyone for the good thoughts. If I haven't answered you personally, I appreciate the time you took to respond.

Be back later. Love to all

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

9:21 a.m. PST

He's home!!!

Disaster photos

If you refer back to the last post, these shouldn't require much explanation. My chip lid actually contains a couple of Lay's Salt & Vinegar chips this time around The coffee cup says "Love Me, I'm Liberated". I think I brought it with me from San Francisco almost 13 years ago. Maybe not, but I've had it for a while.

The last photo doesn't do the kitchen table justice. It's much worse than it appears. The valentines were there this morning but not the rest of the stuff. It's mostly homework I think which should already be in their backpacks. I hope they can find their own.

Good night once again.

Valentine's Day and other stuff

The girls had a wonderful time, all except for Rebecca who forgot to take her treats to school because I "forgot to remind her". I reminded her that wasn't in my job description. They brought home enough junk to hold them until the Easter bunny arrives.

They all went to CATCH, the Tuesday after-school program at the church which also feeds them dinner and then R & R stayed for bell choir.

I had a PFLAG meeting tonight so I've hardly touched base with the kids today. It was my turn to provide the goodies so I took Oreos and Hershey's kisses. At least 4 other people remembered it was Valentine's day and showed up with goodies as well. I ended up bringing most of the cookies and some of the Kisses back home. I have hidden the Kisses although I've never been too successful at hiding anything from Rebecca.

A movement is afoot in California to overturn our domestic partners' act. We're calling up the troops. These people lost in the CA Supreme Court so now they're starting over. Why are they so interested in what's happening in other people's bedrooms?

I have no idea whether their homework was done. They were asleep when I came in a little after nine. I have just taken a picture of my kitchen table (actually no, the kitchen table isn't visible). It wasn't like that when I left. While I was at it I took a picture of my "office" to qualify for this leg of a meme. Many of you have seen it before. Last week was my spectacular garden of mint and cat.

I'll get them on as soon as I finish this up and then I'm bed bound.

They also managed to hold a dvd search on my bedroom floor. I swear they're part gopher - everything flying everywhere as they dig. They can pick it up in the morning. I wouldn't touch that mess with a stick. I just can't figure out why they brought their dvd's which were in their own case in the living room all the way in here just to throw them on the floor. Harry Potter everywhere.

Fidget is the proud owner of a collar with a bell. I might as well resign myself to having him around.

Ray called early this afternoon to say he might be coming home so I didn't go over. I waited and I waited some more. Finally I picked up Tim after grabbing up goodies at Albertson's and went on to the meeting with my phone in my pocket. Ray called right at the break to tell me they had moved him it might be tomorrow. He said he felt like a mushroom. Everyone was keeping him in the dark and covering him with s--t. He must be feeling better. For old stoneface, that's a joke.

Now they think it wasn't pneumonia but a severe form of bronchitis, chronic and very hard to treat. Probably less dangerous but once pneumonia is gone, it's gone. At least the crisis may be over until the next time. If it's bronchitis there will no doubt be a next time.

It's almost two a.m. No fires, fights, or anything else exciting to report.

Good night (except for a brief trip back with the photos).

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Try to Raise Your Kids Up Right and See What Happens

Three separate comments on three separate posts. Tim told me he had been lurking around the blog. Today he pounced. He publicly accused me of eating all the Peeps. "Mom, I almost died at birth". Let's see, that was 33 years ago. My three pounder now tops 6 feet and I don't know how many pounds but his frailty hasn't been a major concern for a while. Maybe I should ground him from Peeps - they're very bad for the teeth. All that sugar. And here I was planning to ask the Easter bunny to bring him some.

I got him back though. In his comment about the powwow, he misspelled Mariposa. His loving mommy was kind enough to point it out. As I never fail to do on Instant Message. It's for his own good after all.

Tim,I love you more than life. Get a blog so I can add you to the blogroll. And keep visiting - you brighten my day.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sacred Run - Was that a pow wow in the photo?

It's been a restless night. I took a long nap this afternoon (thus pizza for dinner) and sometimes when I do that, I have trouble sleeping at night.

Janice left a comment about the Sacred Run and I didn't know the answer. She asked was the gathering in the photo a "pow wow". I didn't even know if that was a real word or one invented by Hollywood. I just checked one of the 940,000 references on google and the link goes to a Native American website with some wonderful information and photos.

Pow wow is a corrupted version of a Native American word. Janice was evidently correct in her understanding (they were chanting and teaching the kids at the same time) but my idea that a pow wow was a meeting or gathering wasn't too far off either. It's come to mean many things and the web site tells it better than I.

Click on the title to find out more.

Cobwebs - the final word for now

I don't know if I mentioned my microwave experience to my former neighbor (my age) who moved to San Diego and now sends me jokes. I don't think so; however, I received her latest this morning. Here is an excerpt:

"Now that I'm older, my memory is not what it used to be. Also, my memory is not what it used to be."

Thanks Pat - I needed that.

Finally figured out what happened with the microwave because I ran into the same thing this morning sans cobwebs. I'm a creature of habit, especially when I first wake up. Pour coffee, open door, place coffee cup in microwave, push "minute plus" button. My daughter has the annoying habit of leaving time on the microwave instead of clearing it. One too many operations for me. I cleared it and couldn't remember what to do next. I was like the centipede who walked happily along for years until someone asked him how he did it. He got confused and fell into a ditch. That's me all over.

isamericaburning and the Chicago Sun-Times

Note: The family update post is right beneath this one. I split them because I wanted separate titles.

I've included several items from Quick Takes both here and on isamericaburning since I've been doing this. Zay Smith seems to share my sense of the ridiculous and he's just as capable of poking fun at liberals as he is conservatives. I'll admit sometimes we liberals are a little over the top as well. After my personal email and the breaking news emails in the morning, his is the first column I read. Not everything he publishes is funny; some is very sad. He brings an original point of view to both and one I enjoy.

Today he outdid himself although I'll admit I'm biased.

From Chicago Sun-Times
Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes

Not this one:

News Item: "Internet users can give Web sites a thumbs up or thumbs down in less than the blink of an eye, according to a study by Canadian researchers."

This is probably true of many things, from TV shows to newspaper columns . . .

Hey! Wait! Come back here!

This one:

Hold your tongue

Is America Burning? -- -- quotes Howard Dean:

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

Then again, what do you expect from --

No. Wait.

The weblog was quoting Theodore Roosevelt.



For any of you who haven't noticed, is listed on the sidebar as Granny's other blog. It actually belongs to a nice woman called Worried American. I joined later. We agree on some things; disagree on others. As a whole, we work well together and we like each other very much. The other evening we posted the same news clipping within five minutes of each other. It was bound to happen. We work independently. Oops. Great minds work together, Worried American replied.

We began with talking to each other and, over the months, we've picked up several commenters and linked to other blogs. We've developed some online friendships as well. It's very different from what I do here but I'd like to think we're making a contribution.

I promise there was no bribery involved. I'd written Zay as a courtesy to thank him for an item I used on isamericaburning and he wrote back saying he enjoyed reading the blog(s). He also said he'd like to work isamericaburning into his column if he could find a way to do it. It always surprises me to receive a personal response from a columnist; especially in a publication like the Sun-Times. They must receive hundreds of emails. Today, there it was. Wow.

There are thousands of political blogs out there. Some, like KOS, are huge and influential; others, like isamericaburning, are small. It may have been the idea of two great-grannies, separated by geography but able to work together, that caught his interest. Or it may have been the content. Perhaps both. I don't know. Whatever it was, we appreciate it.

Kids in bed, house quiet, I miss Ray, but perhaps he'll be home soon. I'd never admit it but I even miss the sci-fi programs. Over 16 years we've grown accustomed to each other's little quirks. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

You've heard of the extended family?

I came home from visiting Ray this afternoon to find a house full of people who weren't there when I left.

From left to right

Tasha, Jennifer, and Rochelle (with hat)

Elcie and Rebecca

Isaac (sp?), Kyla, and Emerald

Tasha, of course, is the girls' mom. Jennifer is the girls' dad's ex-wife (everybody keeping up so far?) The three kids in the bottom row are hers; the oldest, Kyla, is my grandson's youngest daughter which makes her the girls' half-sister. I don't distinguish between halfs and steps and all that stuff. Kids are kids, they all say Grandma Ann, and that's fine with me. They can sort it out later. My girls are old enough to know which kids are actual relatives and which ones aren't but they don't care. Jennifer moved to Washington State when the youngest was tiny. They're back visiting families for a few days and decided to surprise us. They certainly did. Jennifer's a good girl and I'm glad life is working out well for her.

Kyla remembered me and the girls. She spent a lot of time with us; lived with us for a while and then next door but she was quite young when they moved. She's a cutie and looks as much like her mom as Rochelle looks like Tasha.

It's odd. I've always been able to get along with the exes in my grandson's life and they all like each other. I have one rule with exes (any exes). They're all welcome with or without their new partners and any other kids they may acquire along the way. They must, if they happen to turn up at the same time, be civil or leave. (Oh, and no badmouthing, especially in front of the kids). It seems to work. Actually I think they may put their heads together and compare notes from time to time. They sure giggle a lot when they get together. I like them all and there have been several. So far as I know, these are all the kids except for Tasha's two younger ones who live with their dad (not my grandson). Long story - another time. Victim turned into criminal by the capricious family court system.

Ray was feeling better when I was there. They've increased his oxygen and of course they're treating the pneumonia. I hope when he gets out they'll finally let him have oxygen at home. He needs it, his doctors know it, but it wouldn't clear Medi-care. If his oxygen level is low enough to qualify when they test him, they test him again until it's at a level to exclude him. We will try again. I can see the difference in the way he feels.

Surely someone with a brain must realize that providing an oxygen tank for home use has to be cheaper than two hospital stays in a month.

I just discovered two gummy worms (where the heck did they come from - they're usually on the verboten list - cavities) on my computer desk. Yuck. Now I have to find out which culprit was eating here. Rebecca? Probably she just set them down and forgot them. They were intact - no bite marks. I took them (girls, not gummy worms - I hate pronouns) to the store late this afternoon and let them each buy a small container of Peeps. Everybody know what those are? The yellow or pink marshmallow chicks and bunnies that come out at Easter? I discovered five of them on my rocker, still linked together. I called one "rent" and ate it and then tracked down the owner.

Pizza tonight. Cooking tomorrow. The cobwebs have left. I opened the microwave this morning without even thinking about it. I internalize a lot, probably too much. I've always been the go-to person, the one who is calm in a crisis. It's not true of course; it just seems that way. We all have meltdowns one way or another and I'm sure the cobwebs were my version. It was a little more than absent-mindedness or distraction but it passed.

If you have a chance, check out L's latest post on She's on the blogroll. I can't remember the title but she starts out talking about blogcleaning. Then check the links in her post. I won't say anything more.

I'm going to split this because I have something totally unrelated to add and it may deserve its own title.

Thoughts from a Fostering Family: How to make pizza for 9, 10, 12, 13!

Thoughts from a Fostering Family: How to make pizza for 9, 10, 12, 13!

First time I tried this let's see what happens. The title will take you to a great pizza recipe along with the creator's ad-libs. Funny.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I did this backward

The longer post should have been above the photos. My fault. Drop down below the photos to read.

Sacred Run photos

The bottom photo is too dark to see much but it's the group of Native Americans and friends in a circle with their drums singing. Rochelle and Rebecca are part of it. I can see them in the larger photo but not in this one. At least you can get the idea.

We had a great time.

More detail follows.

Qualifying for meme - updated again

On the right, the only thing that will grow in my yard (other than dandelions, a little clover, and crab grass). It's mint - lots of sweet smelling, good tasting mint. Complete with cat. On the left is the person who snuck my camera out to take the picture and then took a picture or her pretty self. Any time you see a hat on a head, you know you're looking at Rochelle. I may appoint her official photographer.

Note: The photos started out on the same line, one beside the other. They published one underneath the other. I think you can figure out what I meant.

I discovered where the flower meme came from. It was virushead - over there on the blog roll. She has some lovely photos. Evidently it's a different category of photo each week. I'll try to keep up and any of you who wish may join in.

I Think I'm Just Tired

This morning I stood in front of the microwave and couldn't remember how to open it. Later, I could find the latch on the car door. Part of me said okay, I was half asleep still at the microwave and I haven't had the car very long - it's easy to get the old confused with the new. Both true of course but I've had a cobwebby feeling most of the day.

Not much change with Ray except they've increased the oxygen. I talked to the nursing station tonight and they didn't seem alarmed. I'll head back over in the morning. Haven't decided about church yet. I think it depends on how the girls feel.

Anyhow, I had a commitment to help feed 50 people for the Sacred Run which started yesterday in San Francisco and will eventually end up in Washington. We arrived to discover the 50 had become 150. We sort of looked at each other and then said it just goes as far as it goes. The runners were more than an hour late. It was a simple enough explanation. We didn't allow for the local people who helped coordinate (plus their families). Of course no one told us to expect them. For you Christians out there, it was an updated version of the loaves and fishes. Whatever, we had plenty of spaghetti, bread, almost enough salad, and enough cookies to take a few home. There was a little fresh fruit left over as well. We were cleaned up and out of there a little before nine.

Rebecca and Rochelle went along and participated in the Native American songs as well as being helpful and generally good. I had invited Elcie first but she wanted to stay home so I took the little ones instead. I'm beginning to worry a little about Elcie. Our co-pastors are dropping by next week for a chat. I'm almost sure it's just the age but there's a lethargy about her lately (outside of school) that bothers me. In any event, Elcie adores both of them (husband and wife) and she might just want to be wanted. I don't know.

She's not so handicapped that she can't participate in many activities and if she's having specific problems with other kids, she sure hasn't told me. Charlotte and Andrew are thoughtful, caring, and not at all "religious" or preachy. It's a starting place anyway.

I got sidetracked once again. Once I arrived at the church, the cobwebs seemed to lift so maybe what I needed was to be out with friends doing something. I've had to cancel some of the things I would normally be doing; partly because of Ray's illness and partly because there just hasn't been time. I've been pretty much housebound except for errands. That's okay, it goes with the territory. I just needed a break from it for a little while I think. Slicing a zillion mushrooms wouldn't normally be my idea of a good time but it was.

Elcie was asleep when I came in. Rochelle and Rebecca are settled down in the living room and I'm sure Rebecca is already asleep. I'll check in a few minutes.

I just posted two sets of pictures. One to qualify for a meme if I can ever remember the originator. Someone with a lovely garden and with a thumb as green as mine is purple.

The other set was taken at the church tonight. Not the greatest lighting or photos but you can get an idea. They do have a website, with much more info. Clicking on the post title will take you there.

Early bedtime once again. I'll see if I can wake up tomorrow remembering how to open the door on a microwave I've had at least five years. No kidding, I just stood there.

Good night all.

Friday, February 10, 2006

On way to bed I hope

It's a little past 11:00 which is early for me but not tonight. Just a fast update and I'm out of here.

Ray has pneumonia (some of you already know all this). I don't know what that has to do with the headaches but they're treating the pneumonia and continuing to run tests. I was over there for a little while earlier but he was eating dinner and then sleepy so I came back home. I'll go back tomorrow.

He thinks they'll probably keep him for the weekend. I brought his clothes home and they're washed and back in the bag. I'll take them tomorrow so they'll be there. I almost forgot them when I went to pick him up at the Modesto hospital a couple of weeks ago. At least here the hospital is only 10 blocks away. Modesto is over 40 miles.

All except one child asleep. We had a fire a block or so up the street while Rochelle was still awake. I've convinced her we're safe but she's still restless. I think the house was badly damaged but no one was hurt and it didn't spread.

Earlier we had an ambulance next door which worried her too. She'd just gotten over that when along came four fire trucks right down our street. I wouldn't let her go rubberneck and we couldn't see much from our porch. A friend kept us posted.

Thanks again to everyone for the good wishes. It seems like an ongoing soap opera around here lately.

Welcome to g-man. I think we had another new visitor as well but I'll have to back and check the older posts. Tomorrow.

Girls almost recovered from their roller skating fun. They were both a little sore this morning but I think it worked itself out. They're becoming quite skilled but they still go boom once in a while.

Tomorrow I help serve dinner at the church for about 50 people participating in the Sacred Run. At least I don't have to cook all that spaghetti.

Good night.