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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Off to Bed

Just saying good night. I've been up for almost 24 hours to get my days and nights turned back around. I am now typing with my eyes closed and the next step will to fall face forward into the keyboard.

Good day for all today. I enjoyed my coffee "date" this morning. Girls are winding down at school with two trips to the park planned for the next to last day.

Elcie made it through one more day cheerfully.

Ray is still doing quite well although he'll always have problems. That's why they call whatever all this is chronic.

I have one cat in the hall, the other on the bed, both asleep.

And I'm becoming fuzzier by the moment.

More tomorrow. Take care.

Good Night.

What a Ridiculous Hour of the Morning

I did it again. Decided to close my eyes for a few minutes at 7:00 p.m. and woke up at 12:30.

I still have a couple of hours before girls wake up so I will get something on here and try again (or not - depends on how I feel).

The first two words out of Elcie's mouth this morning were toast and spaghetti. Toast was easy.

So was spaghetti once I thought about it. Not on my original plan but so what. I started making sauce in the morning planning to do garlic bread and green salad as well. By a little after noon, the girls were smelling sauce and starving so I cooked the pasta and let them dig in. Lots of sauce left - we'll have the salad with it for the next meal.

I took them to the Memorial in the square as we planned. I was able to find three tiny pots of flowers for them. The memorial has a large marker for each conflict from WWI through Vietnam and another marker listing the Revolution through Bosnia (including the small "interventions" such as Panama and Grenada). Nothing for Afghanistan and Iraq yet but they were certainly on our minds.

The girls read them all and learned that their Uncle Jim's dad was in Korea and his brother was in Viet Nam. They hadn't heard of Korea and had barely heard of Viet Nam. They had learned a little because of their Hmong, Cambodian, and Laotian classmates as well as our Hmong congregation at the church.

Then we discovered one tiny stone dedicated to the anonymous women who lost their lives (probably through WW II or Korea). By Viet Nam I think they were included as names. Two flower pots went there immediately - their idea, not mine - although I was inwardly cheering.

The final flowerpot was placed on the WW I memorial because there were no other flowers and the girls thought there should be. Then Rebecca and Rochelle made a trip around the green gathering wild flowers (weeds but to them beautiful) and aranged them around the other monuments with an extra batch for the women. No one was excluded.

Rochelle and Rebecca each said their own little prayer - Elcie listened. I was so proud of them. I didn't coach them at all. It was something they wanted to do.

By then Elcie was tiring so we dropped her off at home and headed for the only park in town which still has a tire swing. Tiny strip park but they've always loved it. I don't so much - no shade - but it has a couple of pieces of equipment that haven't been torn down in the name of progress. I stayed in the car (I could see them), worked a crossword puzzle, and listened to the Giants lose. Then Tim called begging a ride home from work (not far from where we were). We picked him up and by the time we got home I was as tired as Elcie.

Which explains the 7 o'clock "nap" that turned into 5-1/2 hours. Actually enough sleep for me. I can always lie down for a little while in the afternoon if necessary so I may just go take a bath while the house is quiet and stay up. Ray put the girls down which doesn't involve much except kisses now they're older. They can do baths, sleep clothes, and beds. Ray always tucks Elcie in anyway with a blessing - she expects it. She was pretty clean to begin with and I'll sponge bathe her (or she can) in the morning and do the whole works before she goes to bed tonight.

I'm meeting my journalist friend for coffee tomorrow (cancelled last week - too much going on -) and we can talk about local politics for a while. Nothing else pressing on the schedule so far as I know except reinstating my driver's license and that will go easier if I make an appointment.

Talk to you later. Hope all your weekends went well.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Fading Fast Tonight

It's not even 10:00 p.m. here yet but it feels like midnight.

And it was a good day, all things considered. Most of us made it to church this morning. Our pastors will be leaving in two weeks for separate churches in San Jose. At least they're in the same city. I wonder which Sunday School their little boy will attend. He's a cutie - extremely bright and loving.

Finally got the girls to the big park around five this afternoon. (Had to wait for the Giants to finish losing and Barry to finally hit 715). Elcie and I hung out and let the two little ones do their thing while we had a long "facts of life" talk. She can come up with some interesting questions. You should have heard me trying to explain the X & Y chromosomes in language a 13 year old can understand. They'd been studying genes in school but she hadn't heard any of that.

It started by my saying that men who blamed their wives for not having baby boys were incorrect. I don't remember what prompted that. Our conversations have a way of veering off suddenly.

Then we went for Chinese food. All but Ray - he stayed home with the peace and quiet. Except for the girls eating grapes by spearing them with chopsticks, all went well. They remembered "please" and "thank you", and had a great time. Elcie even learned a little bit about the chopsticks by the time she was done. They're intended more for a bowl than a plate so I brought her a little chow mein in a bowl and she did much better.

Didn't care too much for the baby octopi though. Ewww, they said. Me too.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a small ad about "net neutrality" without explaining what it is. Here's a link to the New York Times today explaining it fairly well. Basically the www will no longer be free if ATT and others have their way. Those of us who now access for just the price of our connection (expensive already) will either have to pay for access or receive slower service (or possibly none at all). Two tiers of service. Not unlike cable t.v.

It has nothing to do with porn on the net and everything to do with greed. The porn sites would be the first to cough up the extra bucks but people like me might have to think twice.

Anyhow, not a lot more going on today. Tomorrow we plan to walk down to our Courthouse Square park and stop for a few minutes at the war memorial there. Maybe take a few flowers. I'll check the paper first. They might be doing something official there.

The girls need to know that Memorial Day is something more than an extra day off.

Talk to you tomorrow. Thanks for the comments and the help with the blogroll. Anvilcloud and whoever else said it should be at the end were right. I missed it on the ones I actually typed instead of copying and pasting.

Take care everyone.

Meme for Trekkers - Keep Scrolling Down - Don't Know What Happened

Your results:
You are Geordi LaForge

Geordi LaForge
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Will Riker
Jean-Luc Picard
Deanna Troi
Mr. Scott
Mr. Sulu
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Beverly Crusher
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
You work well with others and often
fix problems quickly. Your romantic
relationships are often bungled.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

Thanks to Oshee and to Phantom Scribbler for this one.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Work in Progress

I may never catch up on the introductions and I apologize. I will try to backtrack through the comments and the posts for the ones I missed but too much time may have passed. Sometimes things get away from me. I think I did get all the newer visitors on the blog roll though.

There is one, however, that I am sure of. "Lois Lane" noticed my comment on another blog about my life growing up in the New York Mohawk Valley. It turns out that's her home as well and we've had a great time exchanging my old memories and her knowledge of what it's like now. Almost as good as a trip home or finding a blogger who lives 30 miles down the road from where I am now (Hi Lady Jan).

I have now taken the blogroll as far as I can without some outside help.

I started with the comments and then went through my bloglines list. I just heard from one person, (hi, Sothis) who I missed so there will probably be others. Let me know and I'll add you.

Beth and Gina, your links are now functioning. It must have been Blogger because I didn't change anything.

Some of the entries have double bullets - I don't know why. I couldn't see anything in the code but if anyone has an idea, please let me know. It's no big deal but I might as well fix it if I can.

Jen and Andrea, thanks again for setting it up and patiently adding names until I finally figured it out.

My next project is to move some of the right sidebar content over to the left. I didn't realize I'd have so much info over there but it's getting a little lopsided. I just need to figure out how to do it. And I may sort the blogroll by countries - but not tonight.

Our picnic dinner worked out nicely. The girls spent much of the day outside (even Elcie) and it was cool enough for Ray and me to start cleaning out the patio for summer. It's the equivalent of a garage with no room for the cars.

It was an ordinary day except for one Rochelle/Elcie squabble which caused me to turn the car around and drop them back off at home. They need a reminder from time to time that when I say "enough" I mean it. I gave them one warning and when they started up again we were homeward bound. Rebecca stayed with me - for once she had the sense to keep her mouth tightly closed and she hadn't been part of it begin with. As usual, it was over something silly. Elcie got bossy, Rochelle said something like "you're not the boss of me" and it was downhill from there.

We're going to try for the park tomorrow - all of us. There's a nicer park toward the edge of town with better playground equipment and a yucky pond where they can watch whatever slimy things live in it. Occasionally they see a crawdad and there are always frogs. They love it.

It has much more shade than the one they're allowed to walk to so we can take our foldup canvas chairs and relax. Probably a portable radio for the ball game of course. They're old enough to play as long as I know where they are.

Midnight already and probably time to get some sleep if I'm going to be any good tomorrow. I want to have a relaxing day if possible.

Mollie - Giants won. Barry still at 714.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Saturday Morning Cat Blogging

I would've skipped this week but then Fidget decided to become a mantel decoration.

The picture in the background is my great-granddaughter who lives out of state with her mom.

Half-sister to the girls. They share a dad, my grandson.

Breaking News!!

But first, check out the post below this one if you haven't already. I'm plugging a new blogger.

Now, the excitement. Would everyone please take a look at my blogroll? Especially you, Andrea (with my undying gratitude).

I did it!! Two new names at the very end. They work. I'll worry about the alphabet later. They're there and they work. Why did I convince myself it was so hard? By the time you read this, there may be more.

Three questions. Is there an easier way than retyping all that code? I'm doing the blog name as a copy and paste but what about the html stuff?

Is it possible to add several names at once without republishing? If so, How?

And the alphabet. Andrea explained it patiently once before but I can't find the old email. Maybe I can figure it out. The blog roll itself took me only nine months. Like giving birth? To a blog roll?

Never mind. I've figured out the first two and I bet by the time I get done, I'll have figured out the alphabet as well.

Update: I figured out the alphabet and added several more names. Still more to go along with a couple that didn't work - they may have private profiles. If you're not there yet, it's because I haven't gotten to your name in the comments. I will - tomorrow or the next day.

I also deleted a few and changed the title to "visitors". It's not personal. Several of the blogs on the list were blogs I read but we don't go back and forth with comments. They probably don't even know they were there. I may add a section to my sidebar sometime called "recommended reading" or something like that. Meantime, I deleted them and stuck with the friends who visit here.

This all started this morning when my son (see post below) called and asked me how to do it. Boy, was he asking the wrong person. I copied mine from the template and sent it over to him. Then I really looked at it for the first time and realized there were just a couple of differences between that code and the code I use for links here. Duh.

Okay, enough of that.

I have back ribs in the crockpot for tomorrow and pork tri-tip on the stove when I realized how little meat would come from those ribs. I'm experimenting with "loose meat" (I think I first heard that expression on Rosanne) for barbecue tomorrow and Sunday. I emptied several open bottles of this and that into both pots, added water and now letting them mind their own business. Should be interesting.

We'll do the entire artery hardening thing with baked beans, corn, maybe potato salad, and, as a nod to nutrition and sensible diet, cole slaw. Watermelon for dessert. I shouldn't have to cook Sunday at all. Just went and tasted. A little spicy, I added some more water, and I'll drain most of the liquid anyhow so it should be fine. The girls like spicy.

Another trauma free day. I had enough of those earlier this week. Girls off for three days, back to school for four, and then out for the summer. I won't have to set an alarm clock for 5:45 for a while. Rochelle will be in summer school but I think it's at her own school this year so that will be simple. No bus. They rotate it and by now she knows the name and location of half the elementary schools here and points them out every time we pass one.

They were all asleep by eight o'clock. On a Friday. Not at my request. I walked out to the living room to check on them and Rochelle and Rebecca were snoring. (Weekends they like to camp out on the living room floor). I don't know why but it's okay with me. Elcie sticks with her own bed though.

I'm the only one still awake but not for long. I may try for a couple more names while I'm on a roll. The one thing I don't want to do is obsessively enter every single one I've missed before I go to bed so I'm starting with the latest comments and working my way back through.

You can help. If you've commented here and aren't on the roll but would like to be, let me know.

My son has several comments on his blog already. Thanks for that as well for all of your most recent comments here. I don't always get back to everyone, especially lately, but I always read them.

Enjoy your weekend and be safe.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging Will Return

Today I'm plugging a brand new blogger.

For cute baby pictures of the latest grandchild, go there and give my son Jim some love. He started the blog today.

Here's what he left in my comment box in response to my post with the pic of him sleeping while his wife was doing all the work.

Just to clear the record. After four hours of waiting I took a nap. In granny's family the bird or finger if you prefer is a term of endearment=) Jim

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Today Was Better, Thanks

Tuesday night my car was impounded. Wednesday Ray's cell phone was lost. By Wednesday night I was too frazzled to think and just went to bed. Then I woke up at 3:30 a.m.

Short version of car. I loaned it to Tasha's (girls' mom's) boyfriend to run a short errand.

He had a cramp in his leg a block and a half from here and the two of them decided to let Tasha drive it home. No license and missing brake light is a bad combination. They stopped her for the brake light and discovered she had no license. I do think the handcuffs were a little extreme and evidently so did they because they released her but not the car. The traffic officer was ready to release the car as well (they have some flexibility) but his supervisor was listening in and said no. I couldn't get a hearing until this morning but now, $310. later, my car is back and the brake light is fixed. I also discovered I have an expired driver's license. Could have sworn it was 2007 but I would have been wrong. I never look at it. I'll take care of that shortly - probably next Tuesday. They don't impound for expired license, it's a fixit ticket and the chances of my being stopped are remote. Meantime, I'll limit my driving as much as possible.

The cell phone was turned in to the girls' school this morning. A kid had picked it up at the playground when the girls set it down for a couple of minutes. His mom returned it. Meantime I'd suspended service.

Tim, the girls, and I met up with some of our PFLAG gang and went bowling tonight. I think it's the first time in 12 or 13 years I've bowled. Fortunately nobody else was much better. I had one strike, two spares, and we won't discuss the rest. I'm a little rusty and I never was incredible even when I bowled league in Arkansas.

Elcie was amazing. She's "bowled" with one of those ramps the ball rolls down but none of them had actually bowled before. The first ball of the first frame, our Elcie rolled a solid strike. We were all blown away. She stood up there balance on one crutch with a 12 lb ball in the other hand and rolled the ball. They all did fine for their first time and, most importantly, they learned bowling etiquette almost immediately. I was proud of them. We will definitely do it again once or twice during the summer. Had dinner at the alleys; usual bowling fare of hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries.

And, to cap off my last few days, my camera wouldn't work. Maybe next time.

The bowling alley is located on the former Castle Air Force Base, one town over. The Air Force hasn't been there for several years (a victim of downsizing) but the bowling alley remains along with a brand new federal prison and several new industries. I don't miss the B-52's that flew over several times a day.

Rochelle went on her final field trip of the year to a museum in Fresno. Had a great time. No more homework for the rest of the year. Rebecca's stopped last week and school will dismiss on June 2nd. Back August 14th.

That's about it for the day. I think I missed a couple of you in the comments and I still haven't caught up on visitors. Thanks for telling me being tired sometimes was okay and for the responses to Princess cards for little Nadine.

Matter of fact I'm becoming a little tired now; a few minutes past 11, so I'm heading for bed unless something intervenes. Laundry can wait for once.

Take care everyone.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Just Tired Tonight

Don't fret; we're all okay and I'll be back tomorrow.

Nadine in Montana

Nadine is a seven year old girl in Montana who was seemingly cancer free after treatment. A different type has now surfaced.

Her mom is asking for postcards for Nadine.

Here's the link to the Blogging Baby post today. The "Susan" Jen Creer refers to writes Friday Play Date . She suggests we hug our own little princes and princesses. I agree.

Thanks to all of you who wish to participate.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This Says It All For Me.

I just noticed these yesterday. There were so many pictures and I was concentrating on the baby. I waited until I had a chance to ask Melissa if she minded giving her editorial opinion to the entire blogging world. (Tim was there most of the time and took the pictures).

All is well, not much happening. Tomorrow is Writing Festival at John Muir (without their Principal who "resigned" yesterday). Strange and everyone is tightlipped. No great loss for me; he couldn't hold a candle to his predecessor and I got through the year by avoiding him except when courtesy demanded otherwise. He came in as a "new broom" when there was nothing wrong with the old one (he retired) and alienated many of us who were predisposed to support him.

Also the day we measure Elcie for her power wheel chair. It's in the middle of the day so I probably will keep her out. Not much goes on at the end of the school year.

Rochelle wants to go to summer school after all. Her beloved teacher will have the class. Fine with me but I still don't think I'll send Elcie. She's so tired and now that Rochelle has decided on summer school, I'll have a little more time to spend with her and so will Rebecca. It should work out fine.

I'm a little tired, Giants are getting slaughtered and girls heading for bed. See you tomorrow.

Quick Note Tonight

For anyone else, that would mean two paragraphs. With me, who knows?

Ray and I went out to run a couple of errands and annoy my younger son at the Barnes & Noble cafe. It's always fun to watch Tim work. On the way, I stopped to mail a letter. I think the "English as an official language" is getting to me. As I was leaving, an elderly Hispanic gentleman pushing a walker was headed in. I held the door for him. He said "thank you, senora". I replied "de nada". One of us was confused.

We split a Reuben and came back home. It's great when he's able to get out for a little while.

Before I forget. Succotash. Two different commenters said "what is it?" It's usually some combination of creamed corn and limas; originally from our Native Americans. Here's a basic recipe. I cheated with canned cream corn and frozen baby limas and skipped the whipping cream. Some people use green beans instead and some like a little nutmeg thrown in. Some make it as a casserole in the oven with bread crumbs on top. Google must have 500 recipes at least.

From Diana Rattray,
Your Guide to Southern U.S. Cuisine.


* 2 cups fresh lima beans (about 1 pound)
* 4 cups fresh corn cut from cob (about 6 ears)
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 1/4 cup whipping cream
* 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook lima beans in boiling salted water about 15 minutes or till almost tender; drain. Add corn, butter, whipping cream, salt, and pepper; mix well. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, 7 to 10 minutes, or until corn is done.

Makes 6 servings.

My friend Tina asked why Elcie is in a wheelchair. I forget not everyone knows our entire life story. She has cerebral palsy. Her legs are quite stiff and she's had two surgeries which have helped. She walks unaided but her balance isn't great and we don't want long term damage from her uneven gait so she uses crutches outside the house. Her middle school has a large campus so she uses her chair there and for walking trips with us or her sisters. She's had therapy for her fine motor problems and has learned to print slowly but neatly. The District purchased a laptop for her a couple of years ago. Her speech is fine except for a little problem with volume control when she's excited. She had two surgeries to correct a noticeable drift in her eyes. You can see from her pictures they were successful. She also has some problems which are too complicated to explain but have to do with the way she processes information. They don't call it a learning disability but the end result is the same; thus the special ed classes for the last two years. Next year, we'll experiment with mainstreaming and resource.If she falls too far behind, she'll go back to special ed. Everything about Elcie is borderline this and minimal that. She's at the head of her special ed 7th grade class and helps in another class of kids who are more severely affected. They love her over there.

See what I mean about a "quick note"?

She has a friend; a young woman we've known for years and trust. I talked to the friend today and she's willing to be a sounding board for Elcie. She's been doing some of that anyhow. I told her nothing had to be reported back to me unless she sensed Elcie was in danger but to take some of what Elcie says with a grain or two of salt. She does play people off against each other (what kid doesn't). It's a stopgap measure but it may help. Meantime, she's had a good couple of days. She seems happier. The weather's cooled down and I'm sure that helped. I have to remember Elcie has to work twice as hard to accomplish only part of what her sisters do so effortlessly.

Long enough for now.

Thanks to everyone for the comments and support and I'll probably be back tomorrow.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Here He Is Again

I promise I won't keep doing this but wanted you to see him with what little hair he has and without the purple face. He's shaping up nicely.

(The baby, not the cat. Photos reversed somehow and I'm not about to try to fix them.)

Elcie had a good day today. She blew up once at her sisters but that's normal. She's been cheerful and even laughed when I told her the story of the Pied Piper. Don't know how she missed that one.

Rebecca and I made it to church about 20 minutes late but in time to hear Pastor Charlotte talk about da Vinci (book and movie). Bottom line - if you like mysteries and code, you'll like the movie. Just don't take it as gospel. I learned a lot about Constantine and Nicea I hadn't heard before.

Rebecca helped me prepare dinner. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and succotash. She did every bit of the meatloaf (simple version) and learned what succotash is. She thought she'd eat around the baby limas but I think she ate a few.

Sh'e going to be a cook. She's neat and precise, remembers what I've told her from the last time, and cleans up as she goes along. That's my girl. She decided to clean the silverware drawer once she'd finished. Looks good although Ray won't be able to find a thing for days.

I have a couple of bookcases she can tackle when she gets bored.

Other than that, they all went for a walk in the rain to the school and back. Elcie held an umbrella over her chair so she wouldn't melt. They all learned that bumbershoot is another name for umbrella and on the way back from church I taught Rebecca the Russian words for yes and no. She made a song out of them. They may be the only Russian words I know. Except for Pravda which is truth, I think. It's been vocabulary day here although I'm not sure how much those words are used in everyday conversation. Rebecca likes nyet. She would.

It's been a good day. Rochelle's been a little draggy but I think she's okay. She hit her knee on the bike frame and it's still sore. I've said before she's the athlete and the one with the most bumps and bruises. The picture at the top is Rochelle with Fidget and Fidget with a stuffy (also a small stuffed tiger) on my bed which is at its worst in the late evening. I shovel it off to have a place to sleep. For those of you who haven't heard before, our bedroom is also our sitting room and the storage area for the girls' clothing. There is no way to keep it pristine.

The girls have the living/dining room as their area and Elcie has her own postage stamp bedroom with a t.v. and the other computer (parental locked). The little girls share the large back bedroom with their Grandma Carol. It's huge. Odd but it works for us.

Thanks to all of you for the good wishes and advice about Elcie. Several of you suggested Big Sisters or something like it. It doesn't exist here (or I don't think it does but I'll check). Something like that might help. All her classmates like her but she's not in her neighborhood school so at the end of the day they go their separate ways. She really is isolated except for the sisters. She needs a girlfriend. Most girls do. Project for summer - matchmaking. It's not quite that simple but I think having a friend that she can hang with will help. She's agreed to be a helper at Vacation Bible School this year and I hope she'll get back to singing again.

She's always been so brave and until this past year has seemed happy. She's still brave but I want my happy Elcie back.

Ray's still doing well and now it's Carol's turn. Her tooth abscessed suddenly and I took her to the e.r. this afternoon. They gave her antibiotics and she'll have a prescription tomorrow. She's already feeling better and managed to eat. We can't mess around with any infection because of the chemo and her compromised immune system.

Can anyone explain why I never see typos until they're green on purple? I'm typing this in "edit" and will probably be back at least one more time. Spell check doesn't help. My typos are usually actual words - just the wrong ones.

I'm still going to backtrack on visitors - I promise.

Note to Mollie - Giants 6 Oakland 0 Cain pitched a one hitter.

Long day, early bedtime - maybe.

Take care, everyone.

I've Been Reviewed!!

And I didn't even submit a post. A couple of months ago I didn't know people existed for the sole purpose of criticizing blogs. They do. In fairness, I had plenty to say about this blogger. This is his/her turn.


That Granny blogger who’s been cruising the Mummy blogosphere talking smack about Tearfree showed up in our very own comments section yesterday complete with authentic photo ID. (Scroll down to see)

Granny wants readers to check out her blogs -- Roc Rebel Granny and Is America Burning? – so they won’t judge her solely on the basis of the supremely dumb comments she made about Tearfree in all the Mother’s Day run-up hysteria.

In the interests of pursuing her academic research on emerging new media narratives, Tearfree went and had a look at Granny’s blogs and, frankly, she was not impressed. It was all George-Bush-is-a-genocidal-maniac and not even one mention of the country’s greatest hero, Jack Bauer. But, hey, if Bush bashing is your thing, you may like Granny’s blog and feel some cross-generational solidarity, so take a look and give her some traffic.

So far two comments (not here, on her/his blog), both of them about the template. They don't approve of purple, it's a sixties throwback, and it hurts their eyes. I am a sixties throwback of sorts.

The "supremely dumb" comment was to suggest that the blogger read more than one post (and both blogs) before she dismisses me out of hand. Obviously, he/she did.

For any of you who might not know, Jack Bauer is the "hero" of 24, a t.v. show I gave a couple of years of my time because I like Kiefer Sutherland (and his daddy). I have now given my first and last plug to Jack Bauer and "24". I've used a lot of words to describe the Commander-in-Chief but I've never directly accused him of genocide.

All this has nothing to do with anyone but me but these things have a way of taking on a life of their own. I'd rather put my own spin on it before that happens. Just ignore any snarky comments that turn up here. I made the decision to become involved and I'm responsible for the outcome.

I'll be back later on. No meltdowns from anyone today so far and tear free has provided a moment of comic relief. It's all good.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Backing Up To Thursday

I think I left off with Elcie's Middle School Open House. All three girls will be there next year so Rochelle and Rebecca tagged along for hamburgers and hotdogs, games, and visits to the classrooms.

This is Elcie and me admiring the castle she helped build in Social Studies class. I have several other good photos with her teachers but I'm one of those people concerned with the privacy of others and I forgot to ask. If I can figure out a way to add little masks, I'll post them at some point. We ran into her favorite teacher from elementary school who has a child attending Rivera and took his picture with all three girls. Then we did the same thing with her 6th and 7th grade teachers.

I think they all had a good time.

Friday was a little crazy with errands but finally settled down. I spent much of the morning dropping Elcie at school, heading for another school at the other end of town, picking up her partly repaired wheelchair, taking it back to school #1, and then heading to the super for milk and cereal. Then over to the girls' elementary school to drop off money as our contribution to their walk-a-thon. Then home, I think.

A friend of mine from the church called Friday evening to tell me she had unused tickets to the United Methodist Women Spring Festival Salad Luncheon and Art Exhibit (pause for breath) on Saturday. The girls' drawings would be on display. Would I like to go? Sure. I used to be a member in Arkansas but hadn't done much with it here. It's another one of those things I never seem to remember. The meeting date would go by and I'd say "maybe next month". I've been a church member here since Rebecca was tiny so I've been doing "maybe next month" for a while.

Lunch was delicious, everyone (except me) had displayed examples of their crafts, and the speaker was an artist from Ghana , Nana-dictta Graves, who has lived here for a couple of years. She works in various mediums, using non-traditional materials such as candy bar wrappers, seeds, and almost anything others might throw away. She also teaches dance. She's well enough known that a well known actor is purchasing one of her works. Fascinating woman. She talked about growing up in Ghana and her almost accidental discovery of her artistic talent. The link is to our local paper with her photo and an example of her work.

Maybe I will tat something for next year. Not much tatting around these days.

The other photos at the top are the girls' drawings for Easter. If you look closely, you will see Rochelle's "signature" (the little sketch of a bird) in the center.

Elcie didn't want to go (what else is new) so she missed that and our visit to Jim to see the baby. Oh well. Jonathan is looking more human by the day. He's no longer purple at all and I got to see his hair (what there is of it) and his eyes. He's a cutie.

I still haven't decided how much to write about our Elcie. Much of it, but not all, is typical teenage stuff. That's the easy part. The rest involves her sudden sense of non belonging and I haven't put it together well enough to say much. She gets angry and wishes her life was different. Elcie, I wish so too but we love you. She has just now realized that she spent most of her first year in foster care (she always knew that but somehow had forgotten). She's angry about that. Why her and not her sisters? Because they're younger and were born here. She's angry that she's not with her parents. She's angry she's not still in her first foster home (which she doesn't remember but idealizes). And nothing I do can heal that empty feeling. No matter what, it's not enough. Sometimes I run out of patience and good will and get into feeling a little sorry for myself. Never for long, but it does surface from time to time.

I said more than I thought I would. I'll see how the summer goes - part of it may be fatigue and probably most kids wish from time to time they had any parents/caretakers other than the ones they're stuck with.

So enough whining for one night. Today wasn't bad. Rochelle took her to the park and the school playground. Rebecca joined them and they walked around downtown and then to the store. I could drive them but they enjoy the walking and Rochelle loves taking care of people. Rebecca's good about it too.

Giants 4 Oakland 2. Barry finally caught the Babe at 714. I watched the tape because the game and my luncheon conflicted.

Take care everyone.

Posted by Picasa

Jim & Tim (how did I manage those names?)

They just dropped by to borrow the camera again. Jonathan is making faces and they want to capture every hiccup. While they were here, I took their picture in front of the house.

Tim is the taller, younger one. Jim is the older (by 4 years). Can you tell they're brothers?

More later.

Friday, May 19, 2006

No Time to Blog?

There's always time to blog.

Just ask Ava

The link is to her blog - today's post. If she has a permalink to each post, I couldn't find it.

Update. Thanks, JW. The link is on the # sign. How silly of me.

This should take everyone to her post.

Public Schools

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I've made a new friend here but I didn't say too much else. We "met" when I emailed him about one of his articles that I was afraid might be misconstrued. It was and flack followed. We meet for coffee once a week and talk mostly about local issues. Last week he invited me to lunch and to see "Elvis". He's a free lance writer who submits articles to the local paper but he's not a reporter.

Today, he wrote about public schools here. He could have been talking about almost any city in the country.

His final paragraph grabbed me. At a time when this city is growing rapidly, we're laying off 63 educational workers.

We could do so much better.


From J.

She calls it pumpkin - it's butternut squash (long story on J.'s blog)

Ma's Curried Pumpkin
1 tblsp (approx) vegetable or olive oil
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped fine (this is a pain - I never cut mine as fine as Ma does)
1/8 tsp or less cayenne pepper - remember, you can always add more, but you can't take it out.
1 tblsp regular sugar
1 tsp good curry powder

Heat oil over medium-low heat in a pan. I use a wide bottomed pan, not a very deep one. Add cumin seeds, garlic, and onion. Sautee until onion browns. Don't rush.

Add remaining ingredients, mix well, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until squah is soft. Smash ingredients together with a fork or a potato masher. Simmer until ready to eat. Serve warm.

We like to eat this with rice, Roti (Naan), daal, and curried lamb. If you're a vegetarian, omit the lamb, and serve more of the veggies. Boy, it's yummy. Good luck.

And from Autumn's Meadow

Turkish Spinach

Yield: 1 casserole
1 1/4 lb Ground beef
2/3 Stick butter
1 c Diced onions
4 10 oz. boxes of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 cn 28 oz. Progresso Crushed Tomatoes with added puree (or sauce or Rotel's okay)
1 tsp (rounded) salt
1/2 c Water
1/2 c Rice
1/4 c Water

Start by putting the 1/2 cup of rice in the 1/4 cup of water. In a one cup measure, this should bring it up to the 3/4 cup mark.

In a large spaghetti pot, brown the meat in its own fat. Remove the meat and pour off the fat. In that same pot, melt the butter and lightly brown the onions. When done, add the cooked meat.

Add the spinach. Add the tomato sauce, salt, water, and the water and rice that has been soaking. Mix thoroughly, and then cover and let simmer on a low flame for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. If needed, keep juicy by adding a little water or tomato juice.

Serve with yogurt or sour cream and some French bread. As with other casseroles, it tastes better on the second day.

Thanks to both of you.

Saying Goodnight - Updated 5-19

Between finally catching up on the clean laundry, the heat, and spending two hours at the middle school open house with all three girls, I'm about done in.

I'll be back tomorrow or even later tonight if it's too hot to sleep. Right now my eyes are closing. I can type with my eyes closed but I can't when I'm sitting here asleep.

Heat wave supposed to break over the next week with possible thunderstorms.

Maybe we'll all feel a little better. Hot, hotter, hottest - at least for the middle of May.

Traumatic day with Elcie which didn't help. I might get back to that tomorrow or maybe I'll just let it go. Nothing alarming; just teenage extremes.

Note to peppy lady. I enjoy your comments on both blogs. Your blogger profile doesn't show a blog. That doesn't matter so far as you commenting but if you do, I'd like to visit. Can you let me know; either by email or another comment?



Welcome to peppy lady from Idaho. Thanks, Madcap for the heads up. There she was, right on your blogroll. Neat blog too with lots of flowers. I'm sure she'd enjoy some more visitors

Andrea - Safely Home in Canada

Here is her latest post - from Canada.

She says she'll try to post daily from now on with all kinds of news. I'm overjoyed she's safely home as I'm sure are all of you.

Friday Cat Blogging

Cats can get the most arrogant looks on their faces. She has no doubt about who runs this house and who she merely suffers to live here. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

We're Having a Heat Wave

New baby pics two posts below this one for anyone who hasn't seen them!!

96° again today and I.m absolutely zapped. So are the girls. Elcie didn't finish up homework and I didn't even care. I'll send a note tomorrow. We were trying to divide decimals into decimals and neither of us could focus. I can do it; just couldn't put together an explanation that made sense. Her book wasn't much help. I will google and we'll work on it tomorrow.

Managed to put together a one dish stir-fry; cheating every step of the way with frozen veggies and rice-a-roni. Only one stove burner working. They ate it with no complaints; even Elcie who doesn't like rice-a-roni (or so she says). It was covered up with broccoli and cauliflower which she loves along with 6 or 7 other veggies.

Mom and Jonathan were doing fine last I heard. I didn't stay long this afternoon. Two of Melissa's daughters were there plus me, Jim, and Tim. Too many for a new mom. I'll see her tomorrow and maybe the next day I'll take the girls or they might even bring the baby over here.

We have several new visitors between yesterday and early today but I'm dripping sweat into the keyboard, even this late at night, so I'll try to get back to them tomorrow.

It's supposed to start cooling down to the high sixties by the weekend. Maybe I can accomplish a little more. Clean laundry piling up but the girls aren't naked so I'm ignoring it. Tomorrow maybe.

Elcie's wheelchair is in for repairs so she was on her crutches today. We're trying to charge her electric enough to make the day tomorrow. Darn thing has never worked. The agency which provides her needs is shopping for a replacement (we finally gave up on sending it back) and she'll be measured next week. We wanted a scooter for her but there is no way to tie them down to a school bus. So the wheelchair it is. She should have the electric by the time school starts back in August. She'll be mainstreamed for the most part which means classroom to classroom and a lot of pushing with the manual chair. She managed on crutches in elementary school but this is a big, crowded campus and I'm worried she'll be pushed around.

Thanks to all for the comments and compliments about our little "monkey feet'. I'm afraid that name may stick. Discovered it's because he had his toes firmly wrapped around something (the cord?) on his way out. Jim says he has a fantastic grip for a newborn. He has Jim's bull neck but at least missed the ears. Adding Dumbo to watermelon head and monkey feet would be too much.

Giants swept Houston, Mollie - now tied for last place. Barry didn't play. He'll be the DH when we play Oakland in Oakland over the weekend. Long road trip - about 10 miles across the bridge and over to the Coliseum.

I'll try for a little more inspiration tomorrow. Just too darn hot tonight.

Words of Wisdom

Once again, from Merle

I've had this as a draft for a while and became sidetracked with baby excitement. Also have a recipe using spinach - probably tomorrow. I think there's enough here for one day.

><><><><> Some phrases of Wisdom.. <><><><><>

1. If you are too open minded, your brains will fall out.

2. Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

3, Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.

4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

5. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.

6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

8. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.

12. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

14. Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it.

15. No husband has ever been shot doing the dishes.

16. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.

17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

19. Junk is something you’ve kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it again.

22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.

23. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.

24. Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world.

25. Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.


Here's Jonathan Steven Anthony Clark

He's a redhead and still a little purple from his fast trip into the world. His shoulders got stuck. The purple has already faded a lot since the older pics from last night.

He looks like Jim. Melissa says it isn't fair that she did all the work and didn't get one that looked like her. I had a good shot of Melissa with the baby but didn't realize she has a big rip in her hospital gown right at the nipple. She'd kill me.

Jim looked like Alfred E. Neuman when he was a baby. In the right light, he still does. He has no room to talk about watermelon heads and monkey feet.

Melissa's doing fine. They'll go home tomorrow.

More later. I may try for a nap before girls come home.

Thanks to all of you for the good wishes if I don't get around to everybody today.

Hugs from
Koolaid Granny (yes I've arrived!!)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

He's Here and All Is Well

Jim just called. Boy - we think named Jonathan. Eight pounds nine ounces. Mom and baby doing fine. Jim says he has a watermelon head and monkey feet. He's probably right but they change quickly at that age. Had a little problem coming out.

Talk to you later. I might get back or it might be tomorrow. Pictures as soon as I get my camera back.

Thanks to all for the good wishes. Jim and Melissa thank you as well.

This makes 10 grandchildren and the three greats.


Baby? Maybe!

My son Jim called to ask if he could borrow the camera - again. I said "for baby pictures?"

Probably, Melissa is completely dilated and waiting for a hospital bed (while pigging out on breakfast with Jim at their favorite restaurant).

I'll let you know more when I know more. Ultra sound says boy - doctor says big boy.

Jim's youngest and Melissa's youngest are 13 and 14. It's going to be an adjustment for them.

Talk to you later.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Usual Thing and Some Links to Past Posts

I've been sitting here trying to reconstruct the past three days so I could write something sensible. I know I spent a good part of Saturday trying to put the two Mother's Day posts together. I still have to file those photos back in their albums.

Thanks to all for the comments. I'm not sure if I got back to everyone but I appreciate your kind words. It was not the easiest writing I've ever done but I'm glad I did it.

Let's see. New visitors:

Pertitia is Nerdine's sister who also lives in Norway and has just begun her blog.

And Saija from Canada who writes a spiritual blog.

And Meredith . She and I are frequent commenters on Blogging Baby but I'm pretty sure it's the first time she's visited here. We've been teasing each other back and forth in the BB comment boxes for a while. She has a beautiful little girl and I think she's Canadian but I'm not sure. Not everyone posts that information and if she did I couldn't find it. Meredith, correct me if I'm wrong.

We've had a good few days. I managed to get to church Sunday morning with Rochelle and Rebecca and then stopped for fast food (shame) with the two of them. You've heard me say before I believe in moderation and this was Rebecca's first treat of the month; Rochelle's second (and probably last). They made their first trip to the park later in the afternoon (pushing Elcie) and this time didn't get lost. On their first attempt on Saturday they forgot one turn and ended up at the school playground (even with my written directions). Rochelle usually has a builtin compass but not this time. Rebecca told her she should turn but Rochelle didn't want to hear it. They enjoyed the playground so no harm done.

I talked earlier about the girls' field trip to the Learning Center of Heifer Int'l. The Pastor announced Sunday that the Sunday School kids had collected $500., most of it in small change. They purchased a water buffalo, a llama, and some small unspecified critters. I hope another group purchased a second water buffalo and llama of the opposite sex. They were quite rightfully proud.

I couldn't reach my mom yesterday. My brother quite often takes her out for the day. I'll try again - probably call my brother first to make sure he will be there. She has a slight hearing problem so they are on both phones when I call.

After school today, their mom took them to the lake for a little while. That water is still cold but they don't care. They came back home, had dinner, did homework, had baths, and then to bed. They were ready. Elcie is catching up her work from last week - mostly repetition of math that she's learned so not too bad. We had to go back over long division a couple of times. She knows, she's just a little scared of it.

Oh, Rochelle went on a field trip as a reward for a year on safety patrol. The arcade in Modesto once again but much less expensive. The school must have found some money between the time I paid $25 for Elcie and now. She spent $5. and had a great time.

Elcie's feeling much better except for the 95° (F) temps which are getting to all of us. We didn't have much of a spring. Our swamp cooler is up and running which makes all the difference in the house and we have fans going as well.

One of the commenters (Hi Mo-Wo) mentioned that she didn't know much about me. Way back in September of last year, I posted a chronology of sorts; updated it a few months ago and, for anyone who's interested, here it is . I can't remember when I did the update but not much has changed.

And this post talks about my marriage which came as a surprise to some of my early visitors who knew me only from Blogging Baby.

this is why I'm raising three great-granddaughters. Much has changed with their mom - she's quite involved with the girls now although I don't think the guardianship will change. Who knows though?

I've drifted away from writing about myself and more into a "granny" blog of the "koolaid" variety. This should catch anyone up who wants to know more about my extremely checkered past.

Mollie, Giants redeemed themselves - Feliz grand slam, Barry still sitting on 713.

Take care everyone (those of you who are still speaking to me after reading all that ancient history).


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mother's Day (Part II)

This is my birth mother, Marge.

I thought of her as my exotic cousin from San Francisco until I was 17.

She sent the most wonderful presents but never visited. My folks were afraid first to tell me about the adoption and then to tell me the circumstances. Very different times and what is considered almost routine today was anything but then.

Ingrid Bergman was barred from this country for almost the same crime (plus adultery of course). Unmarried and pregnant? Covered up at all costs. I blamed them until I grew up enough to know they were trying to protect me. We've long since made our peace.

I finally met her when I came out here the first time in 1958. I was 20 and she was the most exciting person I'd ever met. She had an office job, she was married to a black man, she'd lived almost everywhere and done everything.

She and Henry introduced me to so many things; especially San Francisco with its beauty and their friends, flaming liberals all and most in mixed marriages. I was already on that track and I embraced all their causes as my own.

She was a wonderful person in many ways and I'm always surprised at how much I'm like her. Definitely nature, not nurture in some respects. (Although my folks by no means were hatefilled bigots - they weren't radicals manning the picket lines either). Marge worked for a Socialist paper in the forties, may or may not have been a Communist for a while. She was certainly a fellow traveler until she realized their ultimate purpose. She let go of them quickly but kept her ideals. She and Henry were together for years but stubbornly waited for the law to change in CA before they married. She wouldn't sneak around.

Marge was a gourmet cook when she wanted to be, not too interested in housekeeping, and may have been bi-polar. I adored her (when I was speaking to her - I think we were too much alike). Her mood swings could be frightening.

I will always love her. We lost her to cancer several years ago but I'd lost her before that. I said I wouldn't be negative but she was an alcoholic who never admitted she had a problem and who bitterly resented my recovery. She was angry every time I visited, she wanted a drinking buddy, and finally I put some distance between us. I did offer to care for her when she became ill but she wasn't interested and I said a quiet thank you to whatever powers may be.

I miss the woman I first met in 1958 and am grateful to her for giving me life and then a happy, secure childhood. It was an act of unselfishness made even more difficult by remaining silent all those years. It must have hurt terribly to see the pictures and send the letters and gifts (to both me and my brother) without blurting out the truth but she never did.

Happy Mother's Day, Marge. I hope you found the peace in death that was missing in life.

Happy Mother's Day (Part I)

I'm splitting this into two parts - one about my adoptive mom and the next about my birth mom.

Those of you who have heard the story can skip this part.

Mine was a family adoption. My adoptive dad and my birth mom were first cousins.

My mom (Marge) was pregnant in 1938 with no resources. She tried for two years to provide for me while at the same time caring for her mother who had terminal cancer. She worked as a waitress and turned me over to a Catholic orphanage until her situation improved.

Meantime, my folks had been told they probably wouldn't have children. It seemed like a perfect solution for both and in many respects it was. This is not a day for negatives.

I was adopted when I was two, about the same time my mom (Florence) realized she was pregnant. Yes, it's one of those stories.

The photos are my mom and dad on their 50th (my brother off to one side), my brother and I on trikes, me in a gown my mom made (nothing unusual for her), and my mom with my "second mom", her sister, my beloved Aunt Ruth.

I didn't appreciate everything she did until I was long grown and away from home. For starters, she never wavered on the adoption even though she was going through pregnancy while getting used to a strong willed toddler (in the heat of the summer - my brother is a July baby).

She was never still. She cooked, cleaned, sewed all my clothes, kept up with laundry with a wringer washer and set tubs until the late 40's when the first Bendix came out. In her spare time, she was helping my dad (who worked full time) build our first house (and the second and third). When she wasn't working at home, we were on my uncle's farm doing more cooking, canning, taking care of baby chicks, cleaning chickens (yuck). My Aunt Ruth worked even harder - she was on the farm and you can see from her shoulders what the years did to her.

My mom was a deaconess in her church and almost never missed a Sunday. For better or worse, neither did we. My dad was a factory worker and I'm sure they must have been counting pennies but we never lacked for anything we needed. We read constantly, we listened to classical music (which started me on one of my lifelong loves) and they taught us what they could about the arts. Not bad for a high school graduate and a man who had to leave college to care for his family during the depression.

They made sure I had piano, violin, and French horn lessons even though the only one I succeeded with was the piano (and organ). The gown was for a choir performance. My mom must have stayed up until all hours putting it together. She made dolls and later made Barbie clothes to sell for charity. I can't imagine when she slept.

We watched the skies when everyone was sure the Russians were coming. Once a week in a converted school bus atop of one of the highest hills in the Mohawk Valley. Nobody was coming, of course, but it was the beginning of community involvement for me. They taught me hatred was wrong and that we were all equal.

They were angry with me many times (I could be a pain) but they never wavered in their love and support.

My mom (and dad) taught me the moral values I still possess and they contributed to my liberal outlook as well.

I look back in awe at what she accomplished. She's still with us at 93, now living in Albany, NY close to my brother. She writes her own letters and remembers the girls' birthdays with a couple of $ tucked in an envelope.

If there is one thing to be grateful for (and there are many) in my life it's that she and I knew each other far better as adults, even with the miles separating us, than we did when I was the rebellious teenager who couldn't wait to leave town. Some remember what I wrote last December, for anyone who's interested, here it is.

My birth mom and my adoptive mom are special in very different ways. Happy Mother's Day to both; the one who is gone and the one I will call tomorrow.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Almost Forgot Friday Cat Blogging

Had to be one of the girls who took this picture of Spunky. I'd never point a camera that close to a cat.

Let's see, other than my Elvis sighting, what happened today?

Not a lot. A few errands, a loss for the Giants (sorry Mollie), and finally a word from Andrea (formerly) in Japan.

Our District Attorney may find himself at the defendant's table instead of his usual spot. Much excitement around town.

Over the past year or so he has (allegedly):

Impersonated an investigator to settle a dispute between a relative and a local shopkeeper
Used a government cell phone while taking money for his private cell phone expense
Served alcohol to an underage person at a country club party who was subsequently killed by a hit and run driver while walking home (he thought the person at the door had checked i.d. so this by itself might have gone quietly away)
Used an SUV purchased with a Federal grant for his deputies and at the same time collected money for use of his personal car on the job.

(All of this has been part of an ongoing series in the local paper so I'm in no danger of a slander or libel suit).

Wow. We still have an old boy's network around here but it's beginning to crack in places. We're waiting for the next shoe to fall.

Conversation with Rochelle who was sitting drawing at the kitchen table with a ball point pen.

Rochelle: Would you put this on the computer later?

Ann: Sure but maybe tomorrow okay?

Rochelle: Okay - I don't have no pencils.

Ann: I don't have any pencils.

Rochelle: Me neither.

Ann: Right.

Thanks to all for comments. Today was busy and I may not have gotten back to everyone. I especially appreciate all the kind words about Elcie and her problems. The support and ideas have been helpful. Poor kid has enough going on in her life without this.

Take care - talk to you tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

Finally, A Word from Andrea (not) in Japan

From Andrea: Drop her a comment - she'll probably be able to access them at some point.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Still alive!!

In Shanghai still. We land in Vancouver on Wednesday morning. I only have two seconds here in this computer. Just wanted to say hi and that we are all well. I will try to write more later.
Tons of pictures to show you all!!
Hugs and hope everyone is doing good.

See Who I Was Hanging Out With Today

This is The Hampshire, an upscale senior residence here.

A friend invited me to a special "50's" lunch today and promised entertainment. This was it. The menu was hot dogs, hamburgers, and a milkshake. I saw one poodle skirt but most of the people who thought they were wearing 50's attire had the 50's and 60's mixed up. Doesn't surprise me since most of them were teens in the 40's. I wasn't the youngest in the room - that would have been my new friend who invited me and just barely makes the age qualification there - but I didn't miss it by far.

The impersonator was very good. He was actually singing with a karaoke setup - not lip synching ** and he had the sneer and moves down pat. I told my friend the boys' dad went to school with Elvis in Memphis (true - they were friends but not bosom buddies). He also knew Conway Twitty (Harold Jenkins) when they both lived in Helena, AR as very young kids. I thought he was making it all up until I met his mother and she confirmed it.

I may be back later but wanted to get this on.

** That spelling looked strange so I sent back and checked. "synching" has twice as many google entries as syncing and Wikipedia adds the "h". They both look strange. How about Lip Sinking? Posted by Picasa

Moms Rising

This is something you may be interested in. It consists of a cover letter, a Mother's Day card to email, and Ellen Goodman writing in the Boston Globe about the Mommy Wars. She's as tired of them as I am.

Happy Mother's Day to all. (I'll probably be back before then but just in case).


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Long Day

Ray saw his doctor today who sent him straight over for an MRI. No problems except they have to do another one tomorrow - they missed a spot. Oh well.

Girl's school held their final open hous tonight - pizza, elementtary school band concert (cringe) and visit classroom. I made a flying trip through and then headed for the meeting. Hadn't been in four months what with everthing going on here. My friend Dawn walked the girls home and I set off in the other direction only six minutes late.

Anyhow, it's not even ten here and I can't keep my eyes open.

Why is Vonage suddenly popping up on my sidebar?

More tomorrow. Everything's okay - just tired.

Giants won, Mollie - Barry did zip.

Take care everyone.

Political Message

Save the Internet: Click here

Another Trauma Free Day

I just looked back through the comments. Everyone seemed to approve yesterday's non soap opera post so here's another one.

Rochelle and Rebecca are still joined at the hip and still getting along except for one minor squabble. "She choked me". "No I didn't". "Yes you did". "I didn't mean to, I'm sorry". "Okay - sniffle". And off they went.

Elcie missed school today. She was having a bad time with cramping. I've been hesitant to start her on any medication at her age but she does seem to be struggling. School will be out in early June and I think I'll consult with her pediatrician. It's been close to two years now which is long enough for her system to adjust. She may need some help. We'll see what happens.

Ray is still doing well - much better than any other time since the beginning of the year. So am I - it's contagious.

It's hot here and the girls are all itchy and uncomfortable. A cool bath helps for a little while but not long. I let them stay up a little longer tonight and Elcie fell asleep on the couch.

I have a cat asleep in a laundry basket again.

I sorted more summer clothes today and moved the winter clothes into storage. Makes quite a difference. Cooked a pot roast with potatoes and veggies for dinner. I probably won't do too much more of that kind of cooking for a while. We prefer lighter meals in the hot weather but the roast was on sale and I couldn't resist.

One interesting thing happened online. I'd left a comment on another blog this morning and happened to mention the village in which I spent my early years. A little while later I received an email asking me if I was talking about East Frankfort, NY near Utica. I emailed her back and said yes. We exchanged half a dozen emails and discovered that my uncle's chicken farm that I talk about so much was on the same road where some her relatives live.

This is a tiny village we're talking about (East Frankfort no longer exists) and one rural road in that village. What are the odds?

I love the net.

Mollie - You don't want to know. Our winning streak has ended and Barry did nothing. We spent nine innings tripping over our feet.

Talk to you later. Take care.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Koolaid Moms Unite

I wrote a few lines the other day talking about the visitors to this blog. It was nothing I hadn't said before and I meant every word of it. I didn't just pick that paragraph out of the air; there was a reason. It was my quiet show of support to another blogger without making unnecessary waves.

I have no idea what prompted a blogger (who I will not link here) to launch an attack on many of us in general and one blogger in particular. We're the Koolaid moms and we should go quietly away and stop annoying our betters.

I've read through this person's posts and I still don't have a clue what he/she is talking about. It seems to be against some blogging "rule" to share our concerns with each other and to look to each other for support. I do know that her bad mother wrote very movingly about a sitiuation in her life which was troubling her and was slammed in the comments. It went downhill from there. There is now a contest underway to select the worst of the Koolaid mom blogs. I said I should win hands down. I'm corny on occasion, I write about kids all the time, I'm always talking about the ongoing soap opera at my house, and I consider everyone who visits here my online friends. I'm doomed.

Here's an excerpt from Her Bad Mother's post today in response to the contest:

So I am announcing my own contest, which is not so much a contest as it is a call-to-celebration. This is a summons for love letter posts to your bloggy friends - the bloggers you love or think that you’re gonna love or that you maybe just wanna fool around with a bit - to be tossed around the Internet in a big, kissy, KoolAid slurping, mommyblog-loving frenzy in which we all get celebrated as Mothers of the Week. So: sometime between now and Mother’s Day (Sunday), write a post about the women in the blogosphere that have made some difference in your world. It doesn’t have to focus on just one blogger (I don’t know that I’ll be able to restrict my celebratory post to just one blogger), but you absolutely must single out the objects of your celebration and give them lots of linky love.
I'm giving it my best shot. I can't possibly list all my online friends who've become so important to me so I'm writing about one (after I let her know what I'm planning. I won't put her on the spot either). If she's uncomfortable, I still have time to back out. Please know that with this one example I'm including all of you and at the same time keeping you out of a situation you didn't choose. It's my decision to support another blogger if I can.

If any of you are interested, the link is to the one post describing the contest. The rest of the history is on that blog. If you want to read the other blog, let me know. I'll send you the link - just have no interest in giving him/her more publicity.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Don't Know if This Counts for Decaf

I just pretended I drank real coffee (and had a life like the one they describe).

You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high
What Kind of Coffee Are You?

Thanks to Katie K. at Bosphorus Ramblings for this one.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Very Short Post

Trying once again for an early bedtime. This has been one of those days when absolutely nothing has happened, including Ray's tests.

I took him over this morning for what turned out to be an MRI in one of the older machines. He's claustrophobic - his doctor must have forgotten they've been down this road before. Now we wait to be rescheduled on one of the less confining machines.

So much for that.

Kids asleep, Ray sleeping in chair. I'll wake him up soon before he gets a crick in his neck.

R & R still playing togther nicely and Elcie has been little miss sunshine most of the day. Still no homework except for Elcie. We went over long division one more time and I helped her with a crossword. One of the words was "deal" and she couldn't make it fit because she was looking for something like Let's Make a Deal and they wanted something like distribute cards. Oh. English can be peculiar to say the least.

All this is refreshing but it leaves me with not much to write about. Where is the angst? Not even a recipe today although I'm thinking about a meme for tomorrow - just have to decide which one.

Mollie - we tried to lose it in the top of the 9th but pulled it out 7-5. Barry didn't play, Alou is on dl, and Winn hit himself in knee with foul ball. Can anything else go wrong?

I wish I felt more inspired but maybe it's okay to have a day with no drama.

Thanks to all for the comments. Take care.

Very Short Post

Trying once again for an early bedtime. This has been one of those days when absolutely nothing has happened, including Ray's tests.

I took him over this morning for what turned out to be in MRI in one of the older machines. He's claustrophobic - his doctor must have forgotten they've been down this road before. Now we wait to be rescheduled on one of the less confining machines.

So much for that.

Kids asleep, Ray sleeping in chair. I'll wake him up soon before he gets a crick in his neck.

Mollie - we tried to lose it in the top of the 9th but pulled it out 7-5. Barry didn't play, Alou is on dl, and Winn hit himself in knee with foul ball. Can anything else go wrong?

I wish I felt more inspired but maybe it's okay to have a day with no drama.

Thanks to all for the comments. Take care.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Weekend Almost Over Here.

Girls are asleep and I'm doing (you guessed it) laundry.

Rebecca and I were the only ones who made it to church this morning. Rochelle was planning to go with her mom to a special service for kids (which they ended up missing - got the time wrong). Ray was getting ready and was short of breath so he stayed home. He's okay now. I think he just hurried a little too much. Our Hmong congregation was having their egg roll sale between the services so Rebecca and I indulged. The proceeds go to the youth activities, I'm pretty sure. Their small group is active and thriving.

Never did make it to the lake today. The water will still be too cold. It's supposed to hit the 90's here next week and we'll try it again then. It's hard to be that close to the water and not let them in.

In spite of my long standing ban of toy weapons, I picked up squirt guns and a whiffle ball and bat today. I decided last year as long as the squirt gun looked like something from Star Wars it was barely acceptable and they do have a lot of fun with them. Nobody could possibly mistake it for anything other than what it is.

The upside of my boycott of the neighbors is that R & R are getting along with each other much better. They play together, have begun calling each other Becca and Shelly (fine with me), and managed to get through the weekend without a fight. Elcie feels a little left out and I'll try to figure out ways to include her more. Some of it is Elcie being her teenaged self. If I ask and she says no, I'm hesitant to ask again too soon. I don't want to pressure her. Of course then she says "but nobody invited me". I explained all she ever has to say is "me too" and that we sometimes don't take her because she so often doesn't want to go. Can't have it both ways, kid.

The joys of puberty.

Now that their first unchaperoned trip to the park (all 3 of them) has succeeded, I'll let them go again on the weekends and they can play in our back yard after school. It's small but they'll be okay. Once the dust has settled, I'll let them go out front on our side of the street more often. I really hate all this. It's stupid and unnecessary.

Still almost one more week of tests for Rochelle and Rebecca. The school year is winding down and I still haven't heard about summer school. It may be their grades (Elcie and Rochelle) have been so good they won't need it. I'm not sure Rebecca would benefit. She might learn more just from hanging out with me.

Just returned from filling two more baskets of clean laundry. I'll probably find cats on my next trip. (The clothes are still warm - how can they resist.)

I've seen Claire's Garden before but, since I can't remember if I mentioned her and I don't want to dig back through the archives, better twice than not at all. She's from Scotland and has beautiful photos of her gardens. Makes sense, doesn't it? The "search" function on Blogger sometimes works and sometimes not.

And of course Junie Rose has a blog. As a matter of fact, she has three. Somehow, her Blogger profile doesn't list them. I knew I remembered the name but it was late and I was fuzzy. Sorry Junie. I should never take Blogger's word for anything. The link takes you to her home page which lists all three blogs - one with poetry. She's a grandma too.

We have a very new blogger as well. Della B is a grandmother from Queensland, Australia who shares a blog called Turning Sixty with two other bloggers. (Della, correct me if I got any of this wrong and welcome.)

Just went back through the comments and discovered I'd missed Nancy . She and I were raised in the same part of central New York. She's a mother of two living in the Washington, DC area.

I'm officially the last one awake here. It's a little past midnight Pacific Daylight Time and I still have clothes in the dryer. I'll get them out to make a softer spot for a cat and then probably call it a night. I can put things away in the morning after I take Ray for his tests. Sounds like they will take a while. I'll let you know when I know something more.

Already emailed Mollie with the sporting news. We're sinking.

Good night all.

What was Rebecca Doing to Her Sister?

Mollie sent pictures of our lunch and Mall trip in Stockton. I'll get the rest of them scanned and some of them on here eventually but wanted you to see the shots of the two goofs.

I'll be back - blogger acting up - and want to get this on before I lose it. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Can't Trust These Two For An Instant

Saturday Night

Rochelle and Rebecca have gone to the races (stock car?) at the Fairgrounds with a group. Not including me. Elcie is asleep (or was - she just came back out).

Welcome to her bad mother from Toronto, Ontario. She has a daughter, two Siamese cats, and an extremely interesting blog. I've been running into her comments often and I'm delighted she joined in here.

And to Junie Rose who doesn't seem to have a blog. (Correct me if I'm wrong, Junie. Your Blogger account didn't show one).

And to Autumn , a wife, mother, and grandmother from Virginia.

And finally to Ginny a mom of two and trumpeter in the Idaho National Guard.

Has anyone but me noticed what an amazing group we are? I take a few minutes to check out each new visitor because I like the idea of all of us here knowing a little about the others. It blows me away. The accomplishments, the diversity, the collective intelligence, and most of all I think, the caring. I can't imagine a group of people I'd rather spend time with.

Fixed brunch this morning for the first time in a while. We used to do it every Saturday but with Ray sick and everything going on I'd gotten away from it. We're slowly getting back to normal. Pancakes, sausage and eggs today.

Dinner and the peach cobbler went over very well with lots of leftovers so no cooking tomorrow. We're planning for church and possibly a trip out to the lake later. Maybe the Sunday night movie at the church. I'll have to see what they're showing. Not that I object but if it's one they have or at least have seen, we may skip it.

Today I dropped the three of them at the park on their own for the first time. They had thought about walking (and pushing Elcie) but changed their minds. I sent the cell phone with them, took a deep breath and let them go. Dropped Tim off at work in exchange for a cold drink at the Barnes & Noble cafe, hung out for a little while, and was waiting for the red light a block away from the park when Elcie called. Perfect timing. I picked them up - they'd done just fine. I know they're old enough to do it but it's still a little hard to let them out of my sight. I can always count on Elcie to tattle so as long as she's along I'm sure they won't go anyplace they shouldn't. The playground and picnic area is safe - other areas aren't - and they know which is which. If they can be trusted at the park, summer vacation will be much easier. There just isn't much around here and we're once again having neighbor problems. I finally said enough - they just couldn't play over there any more no matter how sad it makes the girls or the other little girls. I can't deal with it any more.

I give the girls a little more leeway each year and see how they handle it. If they abuse the freedom, they go back to square one and start over. The park is the latest in a series of small steps toward independence.

Backing up to Friday. I splurged on a new vacuum cleaner. Most housekeeping doesn't bother me - not my favorite thing but I do it. Except for floors. I hate floors. Ray and I used to have a division of labor - he always did the floors. Now it's too much for him. I was trying to get by with a broom and dustpan and a small electric broom. I finally said enough. It works very well - nothing fancy but it's okay. A bagless Dirt Devil and the price was within budget - barely.

Mollie - when do you suppose we'll win another game?

Girls just came in shivering. It still gets chilly here at night and it's now after ten. They sound like they had a great time watching the wrecks.

Take care everybody.

More on Hats - Purple This Time Update)

One of our friends just sent me this in an email. Update: The friend is Lady Jan who emailed me. I'm never too sure of blog etiquette. I borrow from other blogs all the time (with credit to the blogger) but I'm not so sure about something sent by email. Anyhow, she says fine.

If you haven't visited her, I' think you'll enjoy it.

Beautiful Women's Month
> Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.
> Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.
> Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mum
> I can't go to school looking like this!)
> Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin,
> too short/too tall, too straight/too curly"- but decides
> she's going out anyway.
> Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin,
> too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" - but decides
> she doesn't have time to fix it, so she's going out
> anyway.
> Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "clean" and goes
> out anyway.
> Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am" and goes
> wherever she wants to go.
> Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all
> the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror
> anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.
> Age 70: She looks at herself &sees wisdom, laughter and
> ability, goes out and enjoys life.
> Age 80: Doesn't bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat
> and goes out to have fun with the world.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Just Checking In

Glad so many seemed to like the cobbler. Blackberries work too. I remember my mom used to use them although her cobbler recipe was quite different. The one I posted is very popular in the south. In the north we're more apt to make a dough more like actual biscuits and plunk it on top of the fruit. They're both good.

I've really sleepy all of a sudden and have no reason to stay up.

W're all fine.



Peach Cobbler

Mollie asked about the cobbler. I may have posted it way back when but that's okay. Here it is, more or less from scratch. It says fresh peaches but canned work fine and probably so will frozen.

Anybody with allergies can probably adapt it. We're lucky - we can eat just about anything and usually do.

It will work for berries too. It's easy.

It will also work fine with Bisquick or any other biscuit mix (or even self rising flour).

All depends on how much work you want to put into it.

Grandma's Peach Cobbler

* 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
* 1 cup flour
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup milk
* 3 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches, with their juices (or large can)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Put the butter in a 9x13-inch Pyrex baking dish and put the dish in
the preheating oven. While the butter is melting, mix up the batter by
combining the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and milk.

When the butter is completely melted, remove the pan and pour the
batter into the melted butter. Then, carefully spoon the peaches and
juice evenly over the batter. Return dish to the oven and bake for 30
minutes. (Carefully? Obviously they haven't made my acquaintance - important thing is DO NOT STIR)

As the cobbler cooks, the batter will rise up and around the peaches.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.

They say Pyrex but any 9 x 13 pan (standard cake pan) will work and so will a cast iron skillet.