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Friday, June 30, 2006

G is for Granny!! Update

I thought I'd managed to avoid this one but I've been tagged by Montchan.

The object. 10 words beginning with the assigned letter.

1. Galoshes. What I haven't seen since I left upstate New York more than 50 years ago.

2. Grumpy. How I felt the two days the blog was kaput.

3. Grateful. To all of you computer whizzes.

4. Geniuses. See number 3.

5. Grits and eggs. Any questions? Such as what is a grit?

6. Goulash. What I make on refrigerator cleaning day.

7. Guinea pigs. For further information, I recommend this expert. (Hi. L.)

8. Green. The color I turn when I think about adding guinea pigs to my collection of 3 girls, 4 cats in assorted sizes, and one overweight white rat.

9. Google. How else can I do this and look up words at the same time?

10. Giants. The baseball variety of course.

Whew. That was harder than I thought.

I don't normally tag people but in honor of Canada Day (tomorrow)

A is for Andrea (now in BC)

C is for Cali Girl (Prince Edward Island)

R is for Raindrops Hi, Anvilcloud (Ontario)

S is for Sarah Elaine (Alberta)

T is for Turtle Guy (Dave) (Alberta) because we can't have one without the other.

You'll thank me later. Sure you will.


I should have said anyone who wants to join in, please do. Use the first initial of your name or your blog unless it starts with X or something equally peculiar.

On Second Thought

I may have posted this before but since the photos are missing from the banner, here are the girls.

From left to right
Rochelle - age 11
Elcie - age 13
Rebecca - age 10

This was taken in early May. That strange looking thing in the background is a stuffed animal named "rhino whose name is hippo". And yes he's made from patchwork quilt. Whoever originally named him (I've had him for at least 20 years) wasn't sure what kind of animal he was supposed to be and covered all the bases.

I have two more posts following this one. The usual Friday Cat Blogging (Dipstick this time) and an update on life around here.

Friday Cat Blogging

Say hi to Dipstick.

So Where Do I Start

First, thanks to all of you who have managed to keep up with me in spite of all this. Bloglines has its little quirks but it sure came through for me. All the encouragement and good wishes helped.

Next, to everyone who pitched in with suggestions and took a look at my template beginning with Mollie's husband who managed to get something other than a blank screen here. I'm afraid I'll leave someone out. Andrea, Jerry, AC have all pitched in and I can't even remember all of the people who said "it's happened to me and here's what I tried".

And then there's my baseball buddy Angela who has worked off and on for much of her day patiently experimenting until it finally worked. I'm not sure how she did it and I might not understand if she told me but it had something to do with working from her template to fix mine. I wouldn't have known where to begin.

The only thing missing is the pics of the girls and they were at least a year old and should be updated at some point. For anyone who hasn't seen what they look like, there are lots of pics back in the archives.

Write this down somewhere. Never make changes to your template before you have the original copied and stashed in a safe place. I'm sure I inadvertently deleted a crucial bit of code trying to move one small section of my sidebar above the blogroll. It was all downhill from there.

In the meantime, life around here went on. The girls have gone to the lake every day this week. A friend of mine goes with them. Ray came home on Tuesday afternoon as some of you already know. He hasn't been feeling well since and tonight the dizziness and chest pain returned. I took him back to the hospital and now I'm waiting to hear something. It probably won't be until morning and I'll get over there early to see him.

Rochelle and Elcie are asleep. Rebecca decided to bunk in with me tonight and she's wide awake sorting pictures. And singing to herself. It's okay; we're all a little up in the air again and I'm not going to make a fuss about bedtime. She can sleep in tomorrow.

Normally I'd have more to say but I'm rather tired.

I'm behind on blog reading so may check in with some of you I've neglected the past couple of day and then try for sleep.

Thanks to those of you who have already left comments about Ray. I'm trying not to fret but it gets a little harder each time.

Take care everyone. I'm sure glad to be back.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

This is Ann Testing

Crossing fingers and toes.

Update. It works!!!

I'll be back.

This is Ann

Testing but I don't think so.

I Still Can't Post

And we can only read through the 22nd of June. Briefly, Ray home from hospital yesterday and we're all okay.

It's coming through on bloglines which means something is still working. I have a couple of ideas but not until morning.

Meantime, if anyone wants to email me, the "Contact" information on the sidebar is working.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

To anybody picking this up from bloglines, I was trying to make one small change to my sidebar and much have erased something way down at the bottom of the template. It has all disappeared.

I'd welcome any suggestions. My email address is

Can anyone see my blog?

It disappeared. Help!!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I Should Just Recycle an Old Post

He's home and the first thing he did after he sat down was to remove the collar for a few minutes.

Star Trek is on for the first time in days and I don't even mind.

More later.

Hugs to all


Recipe Time

Yesterday, it was a moth hanging around the computer. Now it's an itsy bitsy spider.

When Carissa isn't blogging and staying busy with her kids, she's making ice cream. I'd intended to post these yesterday but I was too busy feeling sorry for myself.


This one is the recipe my mom always used.

4 eggs
a cup of sugar
2 TBS vanilla
1/2 pint whipping cream
2 cans condensed milk
1 & 1/2 quarts dairy milk
1/4 tsp salt

Combine eggs, cream,, sugar, salt and vanilla in a bowl and mix thoroughly with mixer. Pour into, add condensed milk and stir well. Add dairy milk and stir. Freeze in canister of ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. (Takes about 1 hour in my machine.) Makes 4 qts.

(Gently stir in chocolate chips after it comes out of the ice cream machine if you'd prefer chocolate chip ice cream. The "mini" chips seem to freeze best.)

Mmmmm.....homemade dark chocolate ice cream

2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips


In large bowl, stir together sugar and cocoa. Add egg yolks and blend with electric mixer. Add cream a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Chill mixture in refrigerator.

While cream mixture is chilling, grate chocolate chips in blender or food processor or using a rotary grater, until fine. Stir into cream mixture. Freeze in canister of ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.


I may be forced to purchase an ice cream freezer. We had one on my uncle's farm (hand crank) and that ice cream was so good. My brother and I got to lick the paddle (after we did the cranking, of course).

Ray's still in hospital and still no idea what they plan to do. He was having some difficulty with his speech but he says it's because of the collar. He's probably right. I don't see how he keeps from choking.

I made up for my petulance (and sitdown strike) of yesterday with housecleaning today. My friend Dawn came over early and the two of us (along with the girls) started in. My daughter was feeling well enough to help too. Not a perfect job but it looks much better. It's so hard to keep up when they're on vacation and running in and out.

We have too much stuff and too little space.

Another friend came over later and took them all to the lake. I took them, went to the store (more milk, juice, and ice), visited Ray (with the ice melting in the car - I didn't think that one through) and came home. The ice was fine; I didn't stay long because talking was so difficult and I hate asking him to repeat and repeat. Picked them up around 6:00. They love the lake and their swimming is improving.

Before I forget, hi to Jeanette, another visitor from Australia with a brand new blog.

I've fallen behind on visitors once again. Blame if on the heat. I'll try to read back through and catch up. I'm sure I skipped a couple.

I'm beginning to yawn which is probably a good thing. My spider buddy has vanished; I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I think I'd rather know where she is. She's no bigger than a pin head (not counting her tiny legs) so I don't think she's a real threat. I just don't want her down the back of my neck.

Thanks to all for your patience with my snit temper tantrum yesterday. If I missed replying to comments individually, it's because I didn't have the email address and just didn't have time today to get back to the individual blogs. I don't usually reply to comments in my comment box because I'm never sure how many people actually backtrack looking for a reply.

Take care everybody. Talk to you later.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Public Education

I had intended to post this to the other blog but pushed the wrong button by mistake and it ended up here. After thinking about it, I decided to leave it here, slightly edited, and cross post. It is now in both places.

Most of us have kids and most of you have heard me talk about my struggles with the girls' education. The hours of homework and the focus on tests rather than learning.

I talk a lot about the sorry state of public education on this blog, on is america burning, and many other places, including my kids' parent teacher conferences. I could devote pages to No Child Left Behind.

Carissa, one of the visitors here, blew me away with her post about public education in Indianapolis. It could apply to much of the country and it's well worth reading. Much of her post concerns the drop out rate between the first and last yers of high school.

Coincidentally, while I was typing and listening to the local news, I heard that our Superintendent of Education (CA), wants to add $10,000,000 to the state education budget to help high school kids pass the exit exam.

Why is it all about the exams? What happened to teaching? For that matter, what's happening to education? My oldest granddaughter, then around 13, didn't know where Canada was and didn't know Utah was a state. Frightening.

Thanks Carissa.

Staring Blankly at a Blank Page

A moth just flew up my computer screen. Glad I didn't have my mouth open. We get a lot of them in the summer and of course they're attracted to light. Idiotic things.

I have a load of clothes in the washer and just finished the last of the dishes. I am dripping with sweat and it's midnight. This is the coolest spot as long as I keep the fan pointed in my direction.

I thought there would be less laundry during the summer. I was wrong. They seem to change clothes a dozen times a day. It's mostly Rebecca. She hates even a speck of dirt on her clothes now. Until last year, she was the one up to her neck in a mudpuddle. Of course they're in and out of the hose. Rochelle will keep the same shorts and shirt or wear her bathing suit but Rebecca doesn't like clammy clothes and I can't convince her they're cooler.

So, I did absolutely nothing for most of the day. I did a little necessary housework before the day really heated up and then I sat down and watched the Giants. I have an online friend who likes the A's and we "watched" the game together. A's won. It was almost more fun than watching with someone who's cheering for the same team.

I never did leave the house after I got home. Ray wasn't expecting me back until tomorrow. I'd planned to go over anyway but it was just so hot. I ran out of milk this afternoon but I always keep evap and powdered around so that can wait until tomorrow too.

I'd thought about hanging out at the Barnes & Noble cafe for a while but even that took more energy than I had.

Speaking of B&N, a friend asked who they were. I forget sometimes that not everyone lives in the USA. They're our largest (I think) bookseller and they usually have a small cafe on the premises. Sometimes it's a Starbucks. Ours uses Starbucks products but keeps the B&N name. My younger son manages the cafe.

I didn't think I'd like the huge megastore but they do a good job here. And they treat their employees well. Both my sons and my dil work for them.

Supposed to be a few degrees cooler and then continue cooling through the week although it will stay in the 90's for a while. Tomorrow the girls need to get cracking on their messy area before they do anything else. We'll all pitch in while it's relatively cool and I'll get over to spend a little time with him.

Rochelle fell asleep in Elcie's bed. I moved her. Everyone is asleep now except me and I won't be far behind.

I started to skip writing tonight but I didn't want to let that last post stand as my final word for the day. I'm usually much more flexible when things don't go as I would like. I'm probably just a little tired.

Take care everybody.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Trip Cancelled - Everyone Still Squabbling

Everything that could go wrong did. Thirty miles down the road I realized we couldn't possibly make it and turned around. Crying. I never do that. I was being a brat. I took the back roads back home instead of the freeway. Much safer when one is upset. I'm just about over it. There will be other parades and I'll plan a little better next time. We still have the Giants game in July and I won't be driving. We've charted a bus.

My San Francisco friend says it's foggy and drizzly there today.

Oh well. On a scale of 1 to 10 this is not even a fraction. It just hit at the end of a very bad week and it was the crowning touch.

End of whine once again. I was already getting comments about the trip so thought I'd explain once instead of 15 times.

Talk to you later.

On My Way

With two sqabbling girls. One is afraid of trains. We'll be riding Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) from the outskirts of the city to downtown. I don't think BART has had an accident in all the years it's been around. She isn't sure she wants to go. There's only one way to avoid all bridges and it adds at least 30 minutes of winding mountain pass to the trip. I told her we'd go across the lowest bridge and now she's fretting about being so close to the water. A shark might get her. Not that close, Rebecca.

I think we're going to be riding in a London style double decker bus as well. I'll deal with that when we get there.

If she were a native San Franciscan, we'd never get her out of the city (except straight south) which is incredibly boring. (Sorry San Jose: not you, the trip there).

I'm supposed to meet friends there at 10:30 to join in the parade. It's 7:15 and a two hour trip at best. Ouch.

Talk to you later.

Too Hot to Sleep

So I got back up, took another cool bath, washed my sweaty head one more time, and am sitting in front of the fan with a glass of cold water.

Still nothing new with Ray. I haven't decided whether to go to San Francisco tomorrow. My son has to work which means I'll be driving and taking the two younger girls along. Elcie would rather stay here.

I'll decide when I wake up (if I ever go to sleep, that is. If you don't hear from me tomorrow, assume I went. I may stay over now that my son isn't going and come back early Monday.

Meantime, I found this at adoption blogs.

It's a great site, written by all manner of people who have anything to do with adoption.

My line spacing is looking very peculiar. If it comes out this way on the post, I won't try to fix it. It probably has something to do with the copy and paste job.

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it's usually something more interesting.

A woman over 40 knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 40 give a damn what you might think about her or what she's doing.

Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.

A woman over 40 has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn't trust the guy with other women. Women over 40 couldn't care less if you're attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won't betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40. They always know.

A woman over 40 looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one! You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

And over 50? Hey! We just keep getting better and better!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Does This Strike a Chord With Anyone?

I thought it was just we grannies and great-grannies who couldn't remember why we walked into the kitchen. Evidently not. Read on.

From Erin via Blogging Baby.

Mommy Brain - As I've heard it referred to was something I never felt as unappealing as you suggest. The term "Mommy Brain" came about years back through a Mom from an online Mom's group who wrote a piece to celebrate our first year of mommy-hood. It was a tribute to all that we had experienced as mostly first-time moms. I am proud to be a part of, and the creator of that group. The piece is below...

Mommy Brain
If you've left the crayons to melt in the car,
And forgotten just where the car keys are,
There's a perfectly good way to explain:
You see, you've come down with "Mommy Brain."

When you're not sure where the past 8 hours went,
Or whether the phone bill check's been sent,
If you've left the laundry drying in the rain,
It's just--you guessed it--Mommy Brain.

If you find yourself chatting for hours on end
About diaper prices with your cyberfriends,
You've just caught a particularly virulent strain
Of that affliction known as Mommy Brain.

If you left your bags at the grocery store
Or completely forgot what you went there for,
If you called the cat by your baby's name,
You can bet that Mommy Brain's to blame.

And if you know the words to "Goodnight Moon" by heart,
Or you study your sleeping babe like a work of art,
If you're always surprised by how time is flying,
And the thought of that first birthday starts you crying.....

It's unavoidable girls, and I feel your pain,
For I, too, suffer from Mommy Brain.
But I'll admit one thing--of this I'm sure:
I hope they never find a cure.

© Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

Break in the Weather

It's supposed to drop to 101 by Tuesday. Whoopee!!

Just letting you know nothing has changed since yesterday. I'm on my way to bed. I'll be a little more inspired when/if it finally cools down a little.

Good night.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Finishing What I Started

The post below wasn't complete but blogger was giving me problems and I didn't want to go back and copy that weather again. Once was enough.

All three girls were out in the sprinkler at 11:00 p.m. (clothes and all). They're sound asleep so that was obviously what they needed. An ambulance just came for my next door neighbor. I bet it was heat related. I'll ask her daughter tomorrow. We stood out long enough for her to see us if she needed anything and then went back inside.

My friend JW from Phoenix just sent me a chart of Phoenix temps compared to Merced. He's got us by about 5 degrees but I remember their dry heat (unless that has changed along with the air quality over the years). It's been almost 50 years since I lived there.

Just came into my mailbox from Jerry (JW)

Current humidity:
Phoenix: 22%
Merced: 40%

It does make a difference.
Ray has one more diagnosis to go along with what they've already determined. They've found 2 fused discs in his upper spine that may have been there for years. Their theory is he didn't notice them when he was generally healthy and working. Aches and pains were part of his normal day. Now that he's weaker, they're showing up and may be responsible for the radiating pain, the weakness in his hands, and the dizzy spells and fainting episodes. Amazing, if true.

They haven't yet decided on procedure. He's wearing a collar and they're treating the pain. Tomorrow the various specialist will put their heads together and determine a course of action.

Meantime, they've lost our Durable Power of Attorney and sent me home with another copy to complete. They want it for their files. Fine, but the first time around was depressing enough without going through 4 pages of terminology in order to get to the bottom line.

Today is better than yesterday. We were all suffering from heat and stress I think. It was just as hot today but somehow it didn't bother us quite as much.

I may get to San Francisco over the weekend. Tim is planning to go, so is Jim and family and we're talking about me riding along with Jim, Melissa, and Johathan, taking my van (larger) and splitting gas. I think it may be a little warm there as well.

And then there's the Giants game coming up in July.

It will depend on how Ray is doing and whether I'll have someone for the girls. I might take Elcie but she doesn't know that yet.

It's still warm. I haven't gotten around to most of the blogs today so I may do a little reading through Bloglines and then call it a night. It's almost one a.m.

Thanks to all once again for your concern. Back problems aren't great news but it could have been much worse.

Take care everyone.

Friday Cat Blogging

I think that's Spunky but it's a little difficult to tell.

 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Send Ice Please. Lots of It.

High: 103°
Low: 67°
sky: sunny


High: 105°
Low: 67°
sky: sunny


High: 107°
Low: 70°
sky: fair (day)

Mostly Sunny

High: 107°
Low: 72°
sky: partly cloudy (day)

Partly Cloudy

High: 105°
Low: 73°

Today through Monday

I'll be back if I haven't melted.


Hi. Not much has changed but Ray has seen the neurologist and we may have some test results tomorrow.

I think the heat and the stress have caught up with me and I'm going to try for a cup of tea and some sleep.

Thanks to everyone for their concern and good wishes.

I'll be back tomorrow.

End of whine.


6-29. Testing edit. I don't think it will work.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Little Better Today

Nothing much has changed since yesterday. Ray seemed to be feeling a little better and they were spending much of the day running tests.

I took Elcie with me for coffee with my journalist friend, picked her up "Eight Below" (which Rebecca calls "Eight Feet Under Below"), came home, picked up Tim, came home, took Tim home, drove kids to VBS, came home, picked up kids from VBS, and came home I hope for the last time today.

I feel like a soccer mom without the soccer ball.

We're dining on hard cooked eggs and tuna sandwiches. Too hot for cooking.

There's fruit, carrots, and celery to munch on too. They'll be fine.

And this is short. Thanks to all of you for the wonderful comments. It all helps and I'm doing okay, just trying not to project. Stay in the now, Ann.

Talk to you tomorrow or when I have something less vague to say.

Monday, June 19, 2006

I Am Getting So Tired Of This

I spoke too soon about Ray doing better. It may have been like talking about a no hitter in baseball. Just don't do it. The Giants announcer learned that tonight.

He's back in the hospital again. He's had some dizziness and two actual fainting spells (when I wasn't around to see them). We called his primary physician today after he told me aout the second one two days after it happened. He didn't want to worry me, he said.


So they're running tests again. His doctor doesn't know what it is; he's an internist but I imagine by tomorrow they'll have the neurologists involved. He's in the CCU just as a precaution.

Other than that Rochelle and Rebecca stayed busy all day and Elcie hung out here. She has an email correspondent now and is learning how to manage all her mail (one). I made her a folder for it.

And I'm trying to get them off to bed in their own beds tonight. They're cranky and overtired. And so am I (as well as worried).

I took Ray to the doctor around 1, picked him up at 3, took him to the hospital at 4, took R & R to VBS at the part at 5, and stopped at KFC and picked up chicken. No cooking or much of anything else tonight.

I'm making a correction to the previous post (about identity theft, etc.) Regardless of what the attorney said about not signing your credit card, you may be required to in order to use it. I don't know enough about it and I've always signed all one of mine. There are differences of opinion on it and I'll go back in and say so.

That being said, I'm glad the list was useful.

We have new visitors. Desert Darlyn has been here once before and I missed her that time. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three very cute dogs. Check out her recent post on menopause if you have a chance.

Jenny, a new mom from Texas. Don't be confused by the link. She shares a blog in the Houston Chronicle.

anonymous, the writer of The June Cleaver Diaries who is the mom of a pre-schooler and toddler twins. Ouch.

Kristen who writes Home on the Fringe along with her husband John. She has a couple of cute boys.

I skipped a couple other commenters on the Father's Day post and I'll try to get to them tomorrow. The links are getting a little blurry.

Molly - Giants squeaked through 2-1.

Take care everyone. Tomorrow will be a less whiny day.

Identity Theft - Update - again

My former neighbor, who has provided some of the funny stories I post from time to time has sent me something serious for a change.

I'm sure most of you know all this but I'd never thought of copying my wallet contents and I didn't know about the Social Security hotline.

Some of these won't be applicable to non USA visitors but some would.

Here are the tips, just as she sent them.


A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company.

1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID

Note: Monday 11:15 p.m. There's a difference of opinion on this one. Check with the issuer or your local bank.

2. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT
put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the
last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number,
and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the
check processing channels won't have access to it.

3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you
have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a
PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks.
(DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed,
anyone can get it.

4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides
of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your
wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel.
Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport
when I travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about
fraud that's committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security
number, credit cards.

Unfortunately, I, (the author) have firsthand knowledge because my wallet
was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive
monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit
line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to
change my driving record information online, and more. But here's some
critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or
someone you know:

5. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But
the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you
know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

6. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit
cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were
diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever
is one).

But here's what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought to
do this.)

7. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place
a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line
number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called
to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.
The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information
was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft,
all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks
initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before
placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the
thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems
to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet,
etc., has been stolen:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

3.) Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289

4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

Since I posted this, a couple of commenters have recommended shredding documents and one pointed out (thanks Emma) that the bank will do it for you. Her entire comment is worth reading - she worked in the banking business.

If I get any other tips, I'll add them.

Update: A lot of good tips in the comments as well.

Long Day

For anyone who hasn't seen it, I wrote a Father's Day greeting right below this post.

It's late and I've spent the last two hours dismantling my computer and putting it back together with the assistance of an online friend who may prefer to remain anonymous. (You know who you are and I couldn't have done it without you). I'd picked up a hijacker that was not only spitting popups at me but was freezing the whole system, usually in the middle of a comment on someone else's blog.

It had to be something the kids installed without asking. The games are notorious for it. Crossing my fingers, but it seems to be gone and the girls and I will have a little chat tomorrow.

I had my computer desk pulled out from the wall and the tower turned around and lying on its side. I was plugging and unplugging cords from the tower, the modem, and the router without the first idea of what I was doing. (While holding a cell phone to my ear). I don't want to think what he was going through on the other end. At least I could see what we were working on.

The good news is I may be able to do it myself next time and I understand somewhat how all the cords work. Just somewhat.

The girls spent part of the day at the lake with one of our friends. I drove them and picked them up. Tomorrow morning they will go to Vacation Bible school with the little boy across the street and to a kids' activity at the park in the early evening. Just Rochelle and Rebecca; it cuts off with kids beginning 6th grade I think.

Elcie sent her first email yesterday. I may have created a monster.

It's hot still at 1:00 a.m. and I'm really tired.

Thanks to everyone who left comments on the Father's Day Post. I tried to get back to as many of you as possible but with the computer locking up every few minutes, I may have missed a few. Tomorrow I'll sit Ray down at the computer so he can read the greetings from everyone. If that doesn't work, I'll print them out.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Happy Father's Day to Ray

Ray & I married almost 17 years ago with thoughts of working for a while longer, retiring, maybe do a little traveling, the usual stuff. Elcie is now 13; she's lived with us since she was a little over a year old and her sisters have never lived anywhere else. I've had the guardianship since September '96.

Which leads me to Father's Day. Ray knew I had kids; Tim was almost grown when we married and Jim was still in the Army overseas. I don't think he anticipated a houseful of great-grandchildren. He has never once in all these years hinted he got a raw deal.

Father's Day is Sunday and I was torn betweeen talking about my dad who was a great father in many ways or talking about Ray (or both). My dad's been gone now for 20 years and I've talked about my life growing up on many other posts so this time I'll talk about Ray (who will probably never read this). He watches me sit here typing all the time and I show him photos and talk about my friends and what's going on in their lives. I read him the funnier jokes. I've tried to show him how to access the blog anytime he wants. He's not uninterested; just a little afraid of computers.

I cheated a little for this post. One of my first posts was about Ray because one of my earliest visitors (Hi. L.) had known me from Blogging Baby for months and never realized I was married. I had to straighten that one out quickly.

He's been my good right arm over the years; loving and supportive to the girls and to me. He does everything he can to make our lives as comfortable as possible.

As a family, we've never bothered with "step" this or "half" that or even "inlaws". We're all just one big extended family. My older son Jim said (from Johnston Atoll) when he first heard about our marriage "she married who? Ray? Ray from Paradise? That Ray?" but he and his brother are fine with the whole thing. It was just a little surprising. The girls call him Grandpa Ray and me Grandma Ann (just to keep the grand and greatgrandparents straight). So far as they're concerned, he's Grandpa.

It's worth repeating what I said in my earlier post. It took me a while to get it right but I finally did.

Here's what I wrote almost a year ago. It's part history, part tribute, and nothing has happened since then to change my mind.

Ray, you're as much a father as most birth parents and this holiday is for you as much as them.
Happy Father's Day!!

Late September 2005

Ray the invisible man - sorry hubby

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

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

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

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

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

Friday Cat Blogging - Oops - that's Rochelle

Not the top, that's Rochelle. The next one is the cat. I did something goofy with them again.

She's so close to my feet right now that if I uncross my ankles, I'll probably kick her. That's Spunky, the old lady of my kitties. I think she's around eight but we've had so many cats wander in and out that I'm not sure when she showed up. I know the girls were all little and so was the cat.

She hasn't wiggled since I took that about an hour ago. She's not what you'd call a cuddly cat but she likes to be close to us (at her convenience of course).

I found a new (to Rochelle) dress at Goodwill today. Palest green two piece. Still adult looking but much more age appropriate. Wolf Baby, the "V" isn't down the back. It's at the hem and would look like a tail but it's on the side. If she'd been standing, it would have shown up better.

Thanks for the comments about her and once again I assure everyone it was just for fun; there is no way she'd leave the house in something like that. Amazing how much older she looks. She puts on jeans and a knockaround top and she's right back to our little girl again. Transition is scary and they grow up so fast.

I cut the top of her head off but I put the picture up anyhow. Managed to chop off her feet as well but at least you can see the dress. Equal time for Elcie and Rebecca tomorrow if I can get them to stay in one place long enough.

This was whip cracking day around here. All three instructed to CLEAN UP THAT MESS, including Elcie who protested that "her leg hurt". It didn't bother her until I said housecleaning. After I told her she'd lose privileges if she didn't shape up quickly, she cleaned. Mean granny.

Thus the new clothing - jeans for Rebecca, a pair of those satin looking elastic waist pants for Elcie, and two more pair of shorts and a top for Granny. I was dropping off donations to Goodwill and that's always dangerous. Leave 4 bags with them and bring 5 back to the car. Not this time, I was really good. (Oh, and a brand new bike helmet (a spare just in case).

Picked up canteloupe and apples (Granny Smith, Alice - they were on sale). The girls chomped through almost a 3 lb sack (with a little help from Katie who is sleeping over tonight). Rebecca carefully removed the green peel from hers so it looked more like an apple. She and I think apples should be red or something like it.

The clothing wasn't a bribe; they didn't know about it until I came back home from meeting the two boys, Melissa, and baby Jonathan (in his S. F. Giants uniform). They're starting that child off right.

I was having problems still with the new phone so we met for breakfast and advice. All my incoming calls were going direct to voice mail and the ringer wasn't working. Turns out with a flip phone you don't have to push any buttons to answer. I was pushing the green button as I did with my old phone and sending everything to voice mail.

Also, when the phone is open, it doesn't ring, just flashes.

I have a lot to learn, Luddite that I am. While Jim was messing with my phone, he took a picture of Jonathan for my phone display. Cute and looking more human every day. I think we'll keep him. Nagged Jim about his blog - all two posts.

So, after all the activity, I didn't vacuum in here but the rest of the house isn't bad and I cleared off that kitchen sink - again. Ray wasn't feeling that great and the vacuum is noisy when one is trying to rest. The floor will still be there in the morning and so will the clean dishes in the drainer. The laundry was put away this morning but there is now more. It's unending. Tomorrow is time enough. Like the dishes, at least the laundry is clean and not piled on top of my bed. Not even a cat there tonight. Fidget and Dipstick are with the girls and Spunky still hasn't stirred. She's breathing - I checked.

And now I think I'll go to bed. I keep thinking I'm forgetting something but how important can it be if I don't remember.

Mollie. Giants 8 - D'backs 2. Barry sat it out.

Good night and good morning everyone.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Rochelle the Flapper.

Or the hootchie, however we want to look at it. That dress comes down to a V point at the bottom. It doesn't show so well in this picture.

And she could have used a more attractive background.

At least those are clean dishes you see. I'll put everything away when I'm sure I've seen the last of it for the night. I hate doing things twice.

If we hadn't been among friends last night, she never would have left the house with that on her back.

She and I met Tim for lunch today - Chinese buffet. Then to Ross for Tim to pick up a couple of things and to the Verizon store so they could show me how to set the voice mail password for the phones. They did it for me so I still don't know but that's okay. I'm still having problems with Ray's phone. The buttons are so small I can't work the toggle for the menu. I'll practice tomorrow. If I can get the basic dozen numbers he uses on speed dial, it doesn't need anything else.

I don't think I mentioned Rochelle was the first to figure out the picture taking capabilities of the new phones. I told her we'd look at the book after a while. She just picked up the phone and started pushing buttons. Geek.

Then home to laundry and other things. Rebecca spent the night at a sleepover last night but is back home today.

Elcie is either trying to come down with a cold or is suffering from our lack of air quality. Not crabby, just sniffly. Even I'm having a few problems with it especially when I'm outside. Other than that, we're all doing well. She's continuing with her much improved disposition and still getting out much more. I let her go to a friend's house 1-1/2 blocks away yesterday. She did fine. The more she does, the more she wants to try.

I've been a little busier with the girls out of school and didn't get a chance to get back to everyone who commented. For those I missed, thanks.

Short again tonight if you don't count the meme (scroll down) and Merle's contribution on cats and teens (scroll down further).

Mollie - Giants 11, Diamondbacks 4, Barry 717. Sorry Oshee, it was one of those nights.

See you tomorrow. I'm working on a Father's Day post - probably before the actual day. Just haven't decided on the best approach. My dad died over 20 years ago but there is still quite a bit I could say about him. Or maybe just devote a post to Ray who certainly didn't realize he was going to be raising 3 little girls when he married me almost 17 years ago. I didn't realize it either.

Take care, everyone.


I Know It's Too Soon For Another Meme

But I'm apt to find almost anything over at Zee's Sunburst. Today it was this meme. Zee is a teacher, photographer, and all around artisan who lives close to where I grew up in upstate New York. He's a regular commenter on the "other" blog but I'm not sure if he's ever dropped in here.

I think of myself more as a Golden Retriever. Young kids would crush me? ROTF etc.

You Are a Chihuahua Puppy

Small, high strung, and loyal.
You do best in the city with a adults - young kids could crush you!
What Breed of Puppy Are You?

I'll be back with some sort of update on the day and, by popular request, a picture of Rochelle in the dress I actually let her leave the house in last night.

Check below for sage advice on dealing with teens and cats.

More from Merle

Teenagers and cats are the same.

1. Neither teenagers nor cats turn their heads when you

call them by name.

2. No matter what you do for them, it is not enough. Indeed

all human efforts are barely adequate to compensate for

the privilege of waiting on them, hand and foot.

3. You rarely see a cat walking outside of the house with an

adult human being, and it can safely be said that no teen in

his or her right mind wants to be seen in public with his or

her parents.

4. Even if you tell jokes as well as Jay Leno, neither your cat

nor your teen will ever crack a smile.

5. No cat or teenager shares your taste in music.

6. Cats and teenagers can lie on the living- room sofa for

hours on end without moving and barely breathing.

7. Cats have nine lives. Teenagers carry on as if they did.

8. Cats and teenagers yawn in exactly the same manner,

communicating that ultimate human ecstasy; a sense of

complete and utter boredom.

9. Cats and teenagers do not improve anyone’s furniture.

10. Cats are free to roam outside sometimes have been known

to return in the middle of the night to deposit a dead

animal in your bedroom. Teenagers are not above that sort

of behavior.

Thus if you raise teenagers, the best sort of advice are not other parents, but veterinarians. It is also a good idea to keep

a guidebook on cats at all times. And remember this, above all

else, put out the food and do not make any sudden moves in their direction.

When they make up their minds, they will finally come to you

for some affection and comfort, and it will be a triumphant

moment for all concerned.

Giving Up for Tonight

Lots of stuff went on today but I'm too fuzzy to think about any of it.

Tomorrow, okay?

For now, it's bedtime.

Florida seems to have been spared the worst of the storms. I'll pray that's true.

Giants lost.

Rochelle has outdone herself fashion wise but I forgot to take a picture. I think she was disguised as a flapper.

Oh, I spent half my day at the cell phone store trying to renew my contract. Now have two new phones. Not too fancy but they will take pictures. It's hard to find them now that don't. Both also have speakers which I appreciate.

How's that for brief?

Good Night all


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Father's Day Tribute

I don't do this too often but sometimes a post just stands out. MIM has written a guest post for The Blogfathers which is heartbreakingly beautiful. You can find it here.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Just Saying Hi

Busy day today and I'm going to try for an early night.

Tomorrow will involve a lot of running around.

Hi and welcome to Smiley . She's from Sri Lanka and we met in Ipodmomma's comment box.

Sri Lanka to England to the USA. the internet is a wonderful thing.

Thanks to everyone for the comments. Glad you all liked Rochelle's boots. The second pair of feet belonged to Rebecca.

Talk to you tomorrow. Please hold a good thought for the southeastern USA. I hear they're having tornado warnings as well as the threat of hurricanes. Florida in particular but hurricanes and tornados can skip off anywhere.

Any Ideas for Double Knot?

Here's what she wrote today.

I don't know what I did now but my blog isn't acting right. The info that is suppose to be in the side bar is acting like it is on another page waaaay at the bottom of the posts. I tried to redo my template thinking this may fix it and lost all my list of bloggers so I have been trying to redo them. Also for some reason now my past posts and archives are in a bigger font then everything else. Oh well - I have the storm on my mind and really feel like I shouldn't be on my computer but it isn't doing anything but raining right now.

If you have a solution, send it either to me or to Doubleknot

Also, she's in the hurricane area and I know she'd appreciate your good wishes

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday Pot Luck and Farewell

This time I'm going to try typing first. The pics are of our pastors with the girls at the potluck and of my good friend Cindy, a second grade teacher at the girls' elementary school and the guitar player for the early service choir.

I was having problems with the lighting but you can see who they are. Charlotte was mugging with Rebecca in the one shot.

It was a success until we came home (skipped the picnic at the beach - one thing too many on the day and Ray wasn't feeling too well). Rochelle burst into tears because Charlotte and Andrew were leaving. I'd just gotten her calmed down when my neighbor called to tell me the church was on t.v. Sure enough, last Sunday's early service (the tongues of fire episode). We started watching and Rochelle started crying again when they reached the part where Andrew picked one girl up under each arm. I knew we televised but they'd changed the day and time and since we're usually there (and we can always borrow the tape) I hadn't thought about it. It had a wonderful shot of Andrew picking up Rochelle and Rebecca and the two of them dancing in the aisle to Days of Elijah. Great hand clapping song.

She's okay now but we all really loved those two.

Rochelle changed her mind again about summer school. She doesn't want to go to the school where it's scheduled and I said fine. I hadn't planned on doing it this summer to begin with. If she wakes up in the morning and decides she wants to go I'll drive her over there and pick her up. I'd posted about that school before. It has a high incidence of problems and I was relieved to get the girls into another middle school for the school year.

She's on the silver honor roll for the year and summer school is all repetition, usually of the earlier part of the year. We can spend time here reading and working on math. She'll be able to go to Vacation Bible School (their last year) and a week long activity at the park. She would have missed both of them.

The rest of the day was lazy. The girls all went to a yard sale down the street and came home with more stuffies (just what we need) and a whole sack of shoes and boots for a quarter each.

I almost forgot - I have a couple of pictures of their taste in shoes and boots. I'll get them on here. See if you can figure out which feet belong to each sister. Clue - Rochelle = unusual. I did mop the kitchen floor - tomorrow I'll get to that rug. I don't know how those little bits of paper get scattered in here but there's a new batch every other day or so. The box contains clothes to be put away from the other day - tomorrow or Tuesday for that as well when my friend is here to help. She and I do things in 30 minutes that would take me a couple of hours by myself.

Not much else. Giants lost again and I think the rest of the world is going soccer crazy. I've never been sure why it hasn't caught on much here. It's a good game.

See you tomorrow, probably.

Elusive Breakfast Rice (no raisins)

I think Tina, formerly of Prague and now back home in Colorado, and I are starcrossed. First it took me six months to post a photo of the lovely necklace she sent me from Prague. Then I confused her with Katie K. of Bosphorus Ramblings. I do know that the Czech Republic and Turkey aren't the same country. Finally I forgot who posted the Breakfast Rice recipe and compounded the error by insisting it has raisins. It doesn't although I'd probably throw a few in anyhow.

Here, from Tina, is the recipe. Too late for Five Ingredient Friday but I'm going to try it. My girls love cold rice.


Tina says:

Actually, I eat this at all hours of the day. Soy yogurt makes it vegan-friendly. Use whatever quantities you like, depending on your preferences and how many you're feeding.

Cold cooked rice
Yogurt (any flavor; my favorite is vanilla)
Chunked fresh fruit (anything you like or have on hand. I like nectarines best)
Chopped nuts (any kind!)

Mix and enjoy. It's sort of like a breakfast rice pudding. The rice has this great chewy texture that I love, and the fruit and yogurt are sweet and the nuts add a little bit of crunch. I could eat it for every meal in hot weather.

Cats and Kids - New Meme Follows this Post

I have no idea in which order these pics will turn up on the finished product but at least they're on here.

Rochelle & Rebecca, looking much too cool, are on their way to a meeting with me carrying part of our share of refreshments. Rochelle managed to combine a vertically striped shirt with a diagonally striped skirt and get away with it. Broke every fashion rule in the book as always. Rebecca is the much more extroverted child but more conventional in her attire. Made up for it with the hairdo though. Rebecca did her hair and Rochelle copied her.

One of our members is moving and this was more of a party than anything serious. Ray, in background, is standing by the van in his sexy shorts. Obviously, he's feeling better. He no longer is tied to the oxygen 24/7 which makes it easier for all of us, especially him. He's doing much more but I still watch to make sure he doesn't overestimate his strength. I honestly think we may be past the worst. Thanks to all of you who were around during that "worst" for your support and caring. I know I said it before but once again won't hurt.

We're having a farewell potluck for our pastors at the church tomorrow after the later service and I made a large tuna/ham and macaroni salad. I usually put the tuna cans down for the cats. You can see the result. Little Dipstick chased his can around the kitchen for a good ten minutes trying to drain the last of it while Fidget looked on as if to say "what can you do with kids these days". Spunky missed out this time - she was outside somewhere. Yes, I know the floor needs mopping - tomorrow.

Been a busy couple of days but today I got to just hang out except for giving Tim a ride home (in exchange for a cold, creamy drink from the Barnes & Noble cafe) and picking up a couple of last minute things at the store. Took Elcie and Rochelle along and they shared a strawberries and cream something without coffee. I can never remember which drink is which.

Still haven't figured out how to type around the pictures or to skip underneath them so I just keep typing.

The girls were invited to a birthday party and barbecue at the park this afternoon. They came home soaking wet. Turns out the primary entertainment was water balloons. I don't usually let them do it here, not because of the water but because I hate those little shredded balloons all over the place.

We have some new visitors in the last few days. Marsha is a military wife with five kids (kindergarten to college age) who has recently moved to Phoenix.

Montchan was born in America, grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Sweden with her husband and two cats. She has a couple of hilarious Purina ads (Swedish version) on her blog. Check them out when you have a chance. Some things definitely lose in translation.

Double Knot lives in the southern USA, crochets everything from small items to afghans, gardens, and has two cats (one of which looks almost like my Fidget and Dipstick).

Overwhelmed With Joy, who I mentioned the other day, is looking for contributors to her Five Ingredient Friday recipe exchange. I was going to try for Friday but Blogger was down (so what else is new) and the day got away from me. I had a borrowed rice and raisin dish I was going to post (with credit to the creator of course) and now I can't find the link. If anyone reading this recognizes rice for breakfast, let me know and put it down to a senior moment.

If you have a recipe with five ingredients or less (I'm not sure but probably basic seasonings don't count as ingredients) you're proud of, check her blog for further information.

I think Elcie's going to start back with the choir again tomorrow. She's become much better natured lately (I think she was exhausted from her school year and the female problems she's had) and is going out more both with me and her sisters. She's begun asking to go along. She made her first trip alone to the corner store the other day in the wheelchair and did just fine. My daughter followed from a distance on a trial run first. Far away enough not to interfere but close enough for rescue if Elcie ran into problems. She didn't. (Cerebral palsy for those of you who don't know).

Eventually she'll be navigating by herself almost everywhere and I think 13 is old enough for her to begin practicing. She was so proud that she no longer needed a younger sister (or two) to help her. She thinks she could do it on crutches and perhaps she could but her doctor worries about long term damage to her hip. Her gait is somewhat stiff and lopsided (how's that for medical terminology) and she puts much more weight on one side than the other. The crutches are fine for short distances and she doesn't use them at all in the house or even outside in the yard.

Mollie - you don't want to know about the Giants. Tomorrow is another day.

This turned out much longer than I anticipated considering I didn't have much to say. Oh well.

Take care everyone and enjoy what's left of your weekend. All of you from Oz, hope your weekend went well and you're not freezing just yet.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Another Meme


Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

I must say Valerie fits me fairly well although I would have preferred someone a bit more photogenic.

Thanks to oshee for this one.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

You can see how tiny the kitten is who showed up at our door a few days ago. Fidget, the larger cat, isn't full grown. Dipstick has made himself completely at home. And baby makes three.

That gray contraption taking up half the room is oxygen. The feet in the background of the first photo belong to Rochelle who is the clunky shoe person. The clutter is always there but at least it's fairly new clutter. I go through once in a while and make order but it's Ray's side and when I do that it takes him days to find anything. I try not to look. This room is too small to hold everything we've crammed into it.

Welcome to Atasha, an online friend of Tanyetta. She's originally from Trinidad and now lives in California with her husband, son and daughter. She loves classical music which means we have one more thing in common.

And to Susan of Friday Playdate. Susan lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two extremely energetic sons. I've been a fan of hers for a while and here she is.

You're both on the blogroll.

The girls' mom turned up with a large bag of clothes for them tonight. A few days ago, she gave them an assortment of tops that she no longer wore. Elcie and Rochelle are her size now, shoes and all.

This means it's triage time once again, with clothes. I don't have drawer space for all of it unless I put some of it in Elcie's dresser (which currently holds things I haven't gone through for discard recycle). That will mean she must take responsibility for her clothing once it's clean. I'll hang dresses and jeans but she can put the other things in drawers and keep up with them. The other two are already doing some of it for me and it's time for Elcie to join the party. And they can all sort socks. I'll try to stay out of their way and not be compelled to prove I can do it faster.

Tomorrow they decide what will fit who the best. Rebecca has hers staked out and in a box. It's easier because she's smaller and this last batch of clothing came in several sizes. They were all given to a friend of their mom's whose kids are heavier than the girls so nothing fit. Perfect for these three though and current styles for summer. They were dancing for joy. One would think they were naked up to that point but there's nothing like a new wardrobe (new to them in any event).

Other than that, nothing new. Rebecca's had a tummy ache much of the day but she seems better now. I'm keeping an eye on her.

It's getting late, Ray is asleep and I think all three girls may be by now. They're all in the living room. All were restless for some reason and as long as they're settled in they'll be okay. Probably still whispering. Yep, just checked. One asleep, one cuddled with cat (Fidget I think) and another with kitten. Told them time to go to sleep. Past time actually and usually this doesn't happen, even in the summer. I think they're a little over excited. They can sleep in tomorrow.

School starts Monday for Rochelle. I just found out she'll be in 6th grade summer school at the local middle school. Wish I'd known before. I'm not sure if she's ready for the adjustment without her sister there. They may squabble but they stand up for each other as well and this school (where they will not be going in the fall) has some serious gang problems. One whiff of trouble and she's out of there. She's been to summer school every year and done fine but middle school is different. She'll be in the youngest group and have to contend with some tough 7th and 8th graders.

And I'm probably worrying over nothing.

A couple of people have asked about the ergo keyboard. It's a Microsoft 4000 and I read a couple of very good reviews this morning (after I bought it of course). I'm no longer tripping over the center section and it's become comfortable. One or two more days and I'll never want to go back to anything else. The mouse is performing as a mouse should and the lithium batteries seem to be working in the camera. For now I'm not swearing at any modern technology except Blogger.

I never fail to be amazed at the words spell check doesn't recognize. Triage?

Girls now sleeping soundly and it's probably past time for me to do the same.

Mollie - Giants went into bottom of 9th tied 4-4 and won on a walkoff wild pitch. That Pirates pitcher is probably still crying in his Gatorade.

Take care everyone.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

How to cross out.


Thanks Anvilcloud. I now know how to criss iytcross out a misteakmistake.


I already received a couple of requests for the "secret". Send me an email. I can't show you here because the html code will turn it into a crossout and not show up as code. It's very simple which is why I couldn't figure it out. Simple gets me every time.

Dratted Blogger

I wanted to do something short earlier but Blogger wasn't having any.

Now it's late and I can't remember what I wanted to say.

The new green on purple is here to stay. One visitor (hi Elizabeth) sees the dark purple as black but says it's easy enough to read. Everyone else so far sees it as I do and likes it.

Success. I'll probably change the Title color to contrast with the post but not tonight.

Tomorrow will probably be another day like Tuesday. Today my shoulder was giving me fits, probably from all that around town driving plus the heat plus getting used to this keyboard. Typing speed almost up to normal but the space bar is a little stiff and I still lose track of the home keys from time to time and don't realize it until I've done a whole sentence hujw thud.

I'm beginning to like it and I'm sure in a few more days I'll wonder how I got along without it. That's how I felt about correct-type and whiteout. And the cell phone.

I'm really tired and this was more to thank all of you for the input that to try to describe a day in which I did as little as possible.

Mollie - Giants fell over their feet today.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Today I

Met my friend for our weekly coffee and conversation. Took Rochelle along.

Went to Best Buy for a new mouse. Left with lithium batteries, compressed air, a cordless optical mouse, and an ergonomic keyboard (on sale). The keyboard is split down the middle and my typing speed dropped to 25 wpm. It's picking back up a little at a time.

Bought hair straightener for girls and miscellaneous other stuff. Not my idea, the girls want their hair long and straight. I want it short and naturally curly. I lose. Again. They look good and I hope their hair doesn't fall out. Elcie's will never be straight and she insists on growing it out so we tried it one last time.

Dropped our absentee ballots off just in time. California primary today. Update - 3 of my measures lost - one of them preschool, one to help libraries, and one local to improve the assortment of potholes we call roads here. Couldn't get 2/3 on a very small turnout. 63% yes.

Pick up their Uncle Tim, pick up ice, stop for hamburgers to go, and come home.

Tim installs keyboard and mouse and then straightens three heads of hair.

Meantime, I start saying ugly things about my keyboard in between household stuff.

Take Tim to pick up his bike and "a few other things" from his old apartment (He's staying with Jim, at least for a while).

Leave with my extended minivan packed stem to stern with the bike, Tim, and the "few other things". Drive him home and watch (while working a crossword puzzle) while they unload.

Come home, dig out the emergency frozen pizzas. Ray heats them up.

Watch the Giants win, continue fighting the keyboard. Speed up to maybe 40 wpm by now and I'm not constantly watching my fingers.

I go back to the days of manual typewriters, from there to electrics, and then to "keyboarding". I'm a typist - I will never graduate to keyboarder but I think I can learn to love this thing if I don't fling it through a window first. It has a zoom key right in the middle between the two halves. Even with my bifocals, that will come in handy. It's not cordless but that doesn't bother me. I don't need to take it anywhere - this is not a laptop and it never moves from its cozy little home.

Decide to do something about the colors of the blog. Write a post and begin consulting with online experts via comment box.

Angela pitches in long distance and between the two of us my blog color is now changed. She sent directions and I somehow pushed the right buttons. Updated the SOS post to reflect the new color. I have inched along a little more toward nerdiness.

Took a "nerd" test on Lady Jan's blog. She scored 56% in nerdiness, I was a lowly 12%. Much work yet to be done. Jan, you are one of the least nerdy people I know. How did you manage it?

Read a few blogs, left a few comments, started laundry, answered some email and then decided to post something before bed. I'm almost too tired to sleep.

Someplace in the middle of all that I had a little time with the girls and Ray (still doing fairly well, thanks).

Will anyone who is still seeing aqua please let me know? I'm not sure how much more fixing I can do but I'm curious to know if it helped.

I'm thinking about changing the color of the titles. Not tonight but maybe they can become bright yellow.

Remember Sleeping Beauty and the dress that changed from pink to blue, pink to blue, pink to blue over and over? My blog.

And now, I'm going to put on some quiet music (Rhapsody playlist - probably baroque again), unwind for a few minutes and try for sleep.

Take care everyone.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Color Scheme - Update

Several of you have said my bright green font against the purple background is showing up as a pale aqua and is hard to read. I would certainly think so.

I need to know

a) How many of you are seeing aqua?

b) How many see green?

Any other colors I should know about? It should be green on purple.

c) Does anyone know why some computers are colorblind? Could it be the browser?

d) If so, is it fixable from my computer or theirs (other than highlighting which must be inconvenient for the reader)?

I don't want to continue with an impossible color combination but I'm not sure what to do now. I'd like to keep my purple for sentimental, silly reasons but if it has to go, it has to go. But first, let's try to fix it.

Yellow font works but it's a little garish. White shows up well too. Nothing else will.

I'll be back later but wanted to get this on early.


Updated 1030 p.m. PDT

Mo-Wo I just finished changing the colors to dark purple and brighter green. You are the first to see it (except for Angela who was holding my hand and sent me a palette with color codes).

Everyone I hope will now see green against a much darker purple. Even if you still see aqua, it should be easier because the pastels won't fade into each other.

Thanks for the responses. All who offered suggestions were correct of course and we may never know why individual computers react so differently. I don't know how much more fixing I can do but I hope this helps.

I'll be back.

Triage Somewhat Successful

We started in fairly early on, under, and around the dining room table. I got rid of all the loose papers and recycled them. That took about 50 lbs off on the spot and filled an entire large wastebasket.

Next, I had Rebecca sort books from not-books. Elcie kept wanting to look at individual books and had a small snit when I told her she had to wait. Rebecca did a great job and there were fewer than I anticipated once they were neatly in two piles.

The glitch to my plan came with Elcie. She decided she wanted to keep them all so we found a container to hold them and trucked them into her room. After a few days, when she's not so crabby, we'll discuss them again (along with all the books on the bookshelves).

Rochelle took responsibility for the floor. I can see it once again. We still have a few things like their school notebooks to glance through but, for the most part, it's done.

After that we all went to what I call the "used bread store" and then for lunch. I caved on McDonald's I'm afraid. First time in months we've been there but it's almost next door to the bread store and of course they all know that. Rebecca decided on a fish sandwich like mine and was willing to give up the toy in the kid meal to get it. Elcie had chicken and Rochelle a cheesburger. All with fries. It was a reward they didn't expect although my original lunch plans did not include McDonald's. Once again moderation - an occasional french fry isn't going to hurt my slim, healthy kids.

Then a stop for ice and back home. It's still hot and I haven't had a lot of energy. The dining room was enough for one day. Even with them doing a lot of the work, I was helping and supervising.

And now it's just past two. Ray has fallen asleep with X-Files (they're fighting witches, I think). I'll wake him before he gets a crick in his neck. Not necessary he just woke long enough to fall into bed. The 2nd episode just came on and I'm trying to ignore it so I don't get hooked into watching it. No more witches; this one involves voodoo.

Strange thing about the X-Files. I didn't like it (or thought I wouldn't) when it was new. Now that Ray's watching it in syndication, I've been paying a little more attention. Of course it's all new to me.

Thanks to all for the suggestions about our extra books. Once I pry some of them away from Elcie I'll follow up. Of course there's always Goodwill or the Salvation Army. I'll dump and run. I'd rather make it a little more personal though. I see books at the Sally that have been there so long they're gathering moss. Even at $.25 each or less, no takers.

Mollie, I think I emailed you the baseball score. 14-3 Giants. Barry has 716.

Tomorrow, I'll try for coffee with my friend and then get some business errands run and turn in our absentee ballots right under the wire. There is one race here that even now, I haven't made up my mind. It's become uglier as the campaign winds down which is discouraging. I may go eeny, meeny or I may decide a plague on both their houses. It's just the Primary.

Maybe I'll have a little more energy just from not having to face the dining room tomorrow as soon as I wake up.

Good night all.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Tongues of Fire and My Adventures With Mice

The verses below are quoted in the event anyone who reads this isn't familiar with the meaning, according to many Christians, of Pentecost. Trust me, I would never preach or try to win converts; at least not here. A funny story about the girls will follow.

Acts 2: 1/4 NIV

1 When the day of Pentecost came, they (followers of Christ) were all together in one place.

2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Yesterday, for many Christians, was Pentecost Sunday. Many believe it was the beginning of Christianity. The symbol of my denomination is the cross and the Pentecostal flame. Rebecca and Rochelle were treated to a dramatic explanation of the scripture above by the male half of our husband and wife pastoring team.

They were a little concerned about his description of the rushing wind, especially when he told them he was almost blown off a mountain in Colorado by gusts. However, when he described tongues of fire resting on each head in the congregation, I saw each of them look at the other all wide-eyed. I think they anticipated bursting into flames on the spot. Kids are extremely literal.

I'm glad he stopped there. I don't know what they would have made of speaking in tongues. It would be an unusual occurrence for my denomination although, knowing my church, we'd probably be fine with it.

They recovered in time to go running up to him after the service for hugs. He's a bear of a man and he picked one up under each arm with no effort at all. They were giggling and I was laughing.

Next week will be their last Sunday with us. I'll miss them both. It is possible to be Pentecostal in spirit and progressive in actions.

63 days and counting. To what? School of course. No, I didn't start the countdown, Rebecca did and I'll trust her math. Sounds about right to me.

So far so good except for minor spats, much running in and out, and a lot of noise. It's easier now that they're older and I can give them a little more freedom.

My computer blew up this afternoon. The cursor froze and no matter how many times I turned the computer off and back on, it remained frozen (and invisible).

I called Tim (who I had just picked up at work and taken home after a brief stop here). Did he think it was the mouse? No, he didn't. We tried to work on it over the phone and gave up. I decided to unplug the mouse and plug it back in, just to eliminate it as a suspect. No luck. After several minutes which seemed like forever crawling around trying to get the stupid thing to fit back in the slot I had just removed it from, I called him back. He still didn't think it was the mouse but said they had a spare. I picked him back up, he switched mice, problem solved. He then tried to fix mouse number one and bent the little prongs even more and snapped something plastic. Not his fault, it was a cheapie to begin with.

Of course I had totally forgotten about computer number two in Elcie's room with a perfectly good mouse connected to it. Sometimes I wonder about me.

I'd been having some weird problems from time to time but I think we may have solved them all at once. I was blaming everything (including some unknown virus or worm) except the mouse but once it stopped functioning completely, the mouse was the first thing I thought of.

That was my day in a nutshell, almost. Ray and I spent much of the afternoon cleaning and rearranging countertops in the kitchen. I cleaned the refrigerator tonight. It gets done once a week; not perfectly, but old food is removed and I take inventory of sorts and wipe down shelves.

I've warned all three girls tomorrow is clean out the dining room half of the living room day. Mostly books and papers but they're overwhelming. Books are everywhere. We need to do triage. We've been given so many I know they'll never read (neither would I). We can box them and send them to someone else (who may never read them either but who knows). I can't bring myself to throw a book away. Someone, somewhere, will enjoy it.

If I can just make room for all their books in a couple of bookcases, I'll be thrilled.

Two good recipes following this post for those who haven't seen them. One for chili verde; the other for raisin pie.

Thanks to all for the comments and hope you all had a good weekend.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Recipe Time Again

Welcome to our newest visitor Sue at Susie's Space. Not to be confused with Susie at My Gobhole.

Sue is from the San Francisco Bay area, has two grown kids, and four grandchildren. She's in the midst of kitchen remodeling and is on the lookout for simple recipes which can be doubled easily, prepared in appliances such as a crock pot, and frozen.

Here's her chicken chili verde. I have used lean pork as well. As she says, either one should work out beautifully.

Chili Verde
2½ cup salsa verde (I use Trader Joe’s brand, yummy)
1 4 oz can diced mild green chiles
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 lb boneless pork loin (both equally good)
14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
14 oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed
Place 2 cups of the salsa verde in the Crock-pot. Stir in the chilies. Add meat. Cook on high for 4 hours. Take meat out and shred with two forks. Add back to crock-pot along with remaining ½ cup salsa*
and the 2 cans of beans. Stir and cook on high for 30 more minutes.
Serve as filling in tortillas or over rice.
*I usually add about ¼ cup water to salsa at this point.
My husband loves this and it freezes well. I also double my rice and freeze that in a Ziploc. It reheats in a snap!

Upon reading further I discovered this link to a blogger who calls herself "Overwhelmed". She's an adoptive mom who has launched a feature called "Five Ingredients Friday". The Chili Verde Recipe came from her. Check her out if you'd like to join in.

Here, from Pea is her gran's raisin pie recipe.

GRAN'S RAISIN PIE (Double crust - 45 minutes @ 375 ° F)

1 cup raisins
3 cups water
1 cup brown sugar

Put the above ingredients into a pot and bring to boil.

add 1/4 cup molasses and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Let boil for 20 minutes.

At the last minute, thicken with cornstarch that's been mixed with some water. (Note from Ann: Pea doesn't specify amount of cornstarch and I'm no help because I usually go by instinct. Most cornstarch boxes have the amount to thicken one cup of liquid for gravy and you could probably multiply by 3. Or perhaps Pea knows. I'll ask her. Meantime, better too little (in a small amount of cold water) than too much. You can always add; it's hard to take away.)

Note from Pea:I usually use 2 heaping tbsp of cornstarch and mix it with enough (cold) water to make it runny. Hope that helps! lol

Take off element (burner) and add 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp butter and pinch of salt.

Put in pie crust, cover with top crust and make slits for steam to escape. Bake at 375 F for about 45 minutes or until crust is browned. Let cool completely. We like it even better when it's been in the fridge and is completely cold. Enjoy!!

I'll probably be back later with the day's excitement.

Mollie - Giants 7, Mets 6. 12 innings.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Not Much of Anything

But first, welcome to wolfbaby who has been blogging for a couple of months now. She doesn't have a Profile up so I can't tell you too much about her except I know she's a mom and she has two blogs. Oh, and she thought the WD40 story was funny. That's good enough for me. Glad everyone else enjoyed it too.

The girls are back home. They'd wanted to spend a second night but changed their minds. I took them all to the $.99 store today to spend $2.00 each while I stocked up on things I can't find anywhere but there.

Let's see. Took Tim to work, picked up girls (without getting lost this time), went to store, and came home. My exciting life once again.

Ray had started chicken cooking while I was gone (involved one cookie sheet and one oven) and I finished up. First asparagus of the year (on sale - only way I will buy it). Rice, peas, and sliced avocado. Raspberry sherbet for dessert a little later.

It's only 10:00 but it seems like the end of a long day. Still hot here. Elcie's asleep, the other two are in the living room settling down for sleep. Tomorrow, I'll move them back to the bedroom. They do have beds, honest.

Not inspiring at all - really time for bed for me I think. Good night.