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Thursday, November 30, 2006

World AIDS Day

Tim sent me this two days ago and I haven't been able to post it because of the modem/net problems.

It's a very small thing to do and costs nothing but a little time.

As World AIDS Day approaches (Dec. 1), we are reminded that millions of people need our help with the AIDS pandemic, but we often think, "What can I do?"

Here is one simple way you can help, and it costs you nothing but a moment and a mouse click...

Bristol Myers Squibb will donate $1 for every person who goes to their web site and lights a candle to fight AIDS, up to a max of $100,000 (chump change for them, but I'll take it). At this point, the counter is just over 31,000... so we need many more candles lit.

Please light a candle... and help spread the light.
Click Here To Spread the Light

This Is a Post

Maybe. The net has been off and on - mostly off. I'll try to get this at least drafted so Tim can send it out if necessary.

My daughter Carol is in the hospital. I can't tell you much right now because I don't know much but the cancer may have come back and spread. We took her in to the emergency room yesterday and they kept her. She's pretty doped up right now. I talked to her and she said to come over and then called right back and said don't. She'll try to call when she knows the doctor is coming in and maybe I can find out more. She said she overheard something she probably wasn't supposed to but the word kidney was mentioned.

I've been reluctant to write too much about Carol except to say that she's her own worst enemy and there's not a lot I can do about a 50 year old woman who refuses to do what's necessary to get well. Right now I'm torn between sorrow and anger and I think she's all but given up.

For those of you who pray, please add Carol (and the rest of us) to your list.

I haven't been able to read much of your email/comments because the net wouldn't stay operational. This is the best it's done for a couple of days.

Thanking you anyway right here for your support and your love. If I can post this I'll try to get back and read the comments. Forgive me if I don't respond for right now or try to read too many blogs. We're all up in the air right now.

Take care everyone. I'll get back (or Tim will) when we can. I'll probably add him to the team so he can write under his own name.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Missing Cat (see previous post) and a Meme

Mom's internet is down again but she had her post ready so here it is.
The handsome son, Tim
Our oldest cat, Spunky, decided to spend her day in the middle of my messy bed. Here she is along with a meme. I took the sleeping picture first and she woke up just long enough to give me the look only cats do to perfection. Now all the cats (at least for now) are present and accounted for.

From Kendra at A Word Fitly Spoken.

I kept some of her answers.

A - Available/Single? Married

B - Best Friend? Several good friends - no best. And of course all of you.

C - Cake or Pie? Brownies, silly.

D - Drink Of Choice? Decaf coffee in cold weather; ice water in the summer

E - Essential Item You Use Everyday? You're looking at it

F - Favorite Color? Need you ask? Purple!!

G - Gummy Bears Or Worms? How about neither? Chocolate covered cherries or truffles?
Peanut Brittle? Rice Krispy treats? Anything but gummies. The kids could have my share except that I don't want their teeth to fall out.

H - Hair Style? As short as possible. I hate fooling with hair.

I - Indulgence? Music (classical and opera but I like other types as well).

J - January Or February? Neither but at least February has Valentine's Day

K - Kids & Their Names? Carol, Ricky, Sheryl, Jim, and Tim (and the girls of course - Elcie, Rochelle, and Rebecca

L - Life Is Incomplete Without? I'll have to think about that one. My life is pretty complete right now although I went a little crazy when gremlins attacked the modem.

M - Marriage Date? July 1, 1989 (this time around)

N- Number Of Siblings? 1 brother

O - Oranges Or Apples? apples

P - Phobias/Fears? Acrophobia

Q - Favorite Quote? The one on every piece of email I send. I pasted it below.

R - Reason to Smile - Merle's jokes

S - Season? Fall and spring

T - Tag Three People? I don't tag - you're welcome to join in.

U - Unknown Fact About Me? Is there anything I missed in the last year or so? I was a brunette very briefly when I was 19 but I may have already said that.

V - Vegetable you don't like? Spinach

W - Worst Habit? Procrastination

X - X-rays You've Had? My broken wrist for sure. I've stayed pretty clear of injuries otherwise.

Y - Your Favorite Food? You mean when eating out? Chinese, especially Hunan and dim sum. Also Thai but it's harder to find here.

Z - Zodiac Sign? Aries (on the cusp of Taurus)

Favorite quote: (many of you have already seen this)

Albert Camus (from The Plague)

In the depths of winter,
I finally realized
that deep within me
there lay
an Invincible summer.

I'll have a Christmas meme up in the next couple of days. I was going to do it today but I was tagged for this one and didn't want to PROCRASTINATE.

Don't let me forget. It came from Sandy at Abandoned in Pasadena and it's a good one. Sandy, just noticed I never added you to the blogroll. Fixed as of now.

And hi to Chris at Rude Cactus. His wife Beth (So the Fish Said and Diary of a Playgroup Dropout) has been on the blogroll for a while now. Chris and Beth have a stunning 16 month old toddler named Mia and have some wonderful stories about (and pictures of) her on their blogs.

Somebody Asked About the Cats

I've been trying to get my camera to upload for 2 days now. Finally the light went on. My grandson had borrowed my computer to check out an MP3 player. He unplugged the camera cord to plug in the MP3. Fine, but he didn't plug the camera cord back in. Eureka!!

Anyhow, I walked into the kitchen a couple of mornings ago to find all this. The stripe/swirl is Princess, the little gray kitty who came to visit and never left is nameless but I've been calling her Moonbeam (as in Moonbeam McSwine because she never stops eating). The black and white is our very own Dipstick, (now Josephine - she's another female). She'll always be Dipstick to me. I woke her up taking the picture so I got the awake and asleep shots. She went right back to sleep. I have cushions on three of the four chairs. You can see which chair was left empty. I never said they were stupid.

I wonder if that's cherry pie or cranberry sauce on that one cushion. I'll have to check. Or it may be old magic marker. I've had those same cushions for years and they were from a yard sale to begin with.

Our other cat wasn't around. She's generally much too dignified to consort with kittens or half grown cats.

I've now broken Rule of Blogging #4 (I think) #2 - I checked. Your cats aren't nearly as cute to other people as they are to you. Who makes all these rules anyhow?

Looking for an Expert

My friend "L." has a problem and is reaching out to the internet for help.

Some of her posts are almost as long as some of mine. (Not quite, L.) Her visitors who are using Internet Explorer can't see the bottom of the posts.

I'm wondering if some of my visitors are having the same problem. Anybody?

Do any of you have a solution for "L." other than ask everyone to switch over to Firefox? If so, let me know (or you can leave a comment on her post).

I'll try to get back later. I'm about to leave for my weekly coffee "date". We missed last week. He drove to Southern California for Thanksgiving with his family. David is a little younger than I but we're almost the same generation and we always find enough to talk about. Before I know it, a couple of hours have gone by.

I have pictures on the camera that won't download (upload? - I never can remember which is which) from the camera to Kodak. I'll try again later but meantime anyone have any ideas? I have Picasa and Flickr but I don't know how to use Flickr yet.

Laundry caught up (and almost all put away) and I can walk from one end of the living room to the other without tripping over something. I did save some chores for the girls and they're back sleeping in their bedroom now that school has started. It makes a huge difference.

Tomorrow - white beans and ham. Next week turkey soup. We're getting a little turkeyed out so I'm putting the soup off for a while. Of course by that time I'll be ready to start over with Christmas.

Thanks for the comments and glad you enjoyed the joke.

Take care everyone.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bloglines and Beta Blogger

According to my friend Beth, Beta works only with "atom", not with "rss". You realize I don't have a clue what that means but I'm sure she's correct.

Here's her solution for those of you who have been unable to get Beta blogs to show new posts on bloglines.

Beth says:

If you are one of the people who are having trouble with a subscription to this or other Beta Blogger blogs, I think I have figured out the problem.

Go to the blog itself (the one you want to subscribe or resubcribe to) and scroll down to the bottom of the page. In fairly little letters you should see:

Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)

(It's there on the Beta blogs or is on the ones I checked - Ann)

RIGHT CLICK on the link and select "copy shortcut". (Mine says "copy link location" - Ann)

Go to Bloglines or whatever reader you are using and subscribe by copying (pasting) the shortcut/link location into the window. (The first window that appears after you've clicked on "ADD" - Ann)

This has fixed the problem for me with respect to several of the blogs for which I have not been getting new information for a while. I don't know if the problem rests with Blogger or with Bloglines or what, but subscribing using the name of the blog does not always seem to work.

I tried it with Beth's and Merle's blogs. It worked. The non-betas are Blogline problems. For example, some people aren't seeing my posts come up on Bloglines. I don't have beta yet and I do have an atom feed as well as rss. It might make sense for everyone to switch over to atom when possible for everything.

Now will someone please tell me what the heck "atom" is? I know "rss". I guess I could google and find out.

Okay, I googled. Here, courtesy of Wikki, is an explanation I can't quite understand. Well, sort of.

Making Up For The Lazy Weekend

Today will be busy catching up and shoveling out the house now that the girls went off rather reluctantly to school.

I have a living room full of leaves. We have no easy back door access so in and out the front they all troop bringing more leaves each time. I didn't even try yesterday; I would have been bailing the Pacific with a teaspoon. Ray is sweeping, I'm laundering and cleaning surfaces.

And stopping to check on my friends inside the computer of course.

In case I don't get back later, here's a joke I just swiped from Merle in Australia. Since we share some visitors, some of you will have seen it but I couldn't resist sharing.

We’re getting a divorce.

On December 23rd an old man in Melbourne calls his son in Brisbane and says, " I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Dad, what are you talking about? " , the son screams.

"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father said."We're sick and tired of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Perth and tell her." And he hangs up.

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone, ' like hell they're getting a divorce," she shouts, " I'll take care of this."

She calls Melbourne immediately, and screams at the father, "YOU ARE NOT GETTING DIVORCED! Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, Don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and she hangs up.

The father hangs up the phone and turns to his wife. " Okay," he says, "they're coming for Christmas and paying their own way."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

modem problems again

Hello everyone Granny's favorite son here to let ya know her internet is offline again. She will be online as soon as possible.
peace love and buttercups, tatootim

8:30 p.m.

And now I'm back. The gremlins have crept away. I finally turned everything off, waited a while and then turned it all back on. It worked. We're having some rain but I'd think if the net went down, the t.v. would too and it didn't. Weird.

I had a houseful of kids this afternoon. They were all singing along with Christmas music on one of the music on demand channels. Must have been eight of them in there. I got into the spirit of the thing for a while and played along on the piano. I know all the Christmas stuff so it's just finding the same key. Actually wouldn't have mattered; each of the kids had their own which were entirely different from the t.v. I tuned to the television version at least somewhat. My old, battered piano is slightly out of tune and the B flat below middle C is horrible. We managed though and we'll probably be doing more singing between now and Christmas. I don't play much these days but the sing-a-longs are fun. The neighbor kids were so surprised when I started playing along with the t.v. "How Do You Do That?" they said.

After the second run through of Twelve Days of Christmas I'd had enough fun for awhile. It was worse than the time they got hooked on "American Pie"

Now it's quiet, the girls are almost ready for bed, and school starts back tomorrow. I'm hoping the rain stops by then but they're predicting more plus a temperature drop.

Hi to Old White Lady who writes Morning Somewhere.

I'm keeping this short in case the gremlins attack again.

Thanks to all for the comments. Jim never did show up over here. Means he missed out on the pie. Serves him right. Seriously, he had a very short time, wanted to visit his other kids, and spend time at home. I can understand that and he'll have much longer over Christmas.

Take care everyone.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

He Finally Surfaced

Do you see the baldheaded person in the picture with the "blue tooth" hanging off his head? Is he sitting at his mother's house where he belongs?

No, he's sitting at Barnes & Noble messing with favorite and handsomest son (see other picture).

He didn't get into town until almost 4 yesterday after working a graveyard shift followed by an 8 hour drive from El Centro. All he wanted to do was sleep.

I tracked him down about 9 this morning and joined him for coffee (which he bought along with a slice of pumpkin cheesecake). I wanted to get a picture of me pretending to smack him for ignoring his poor old mommy while he cavorted around town but Tim was too busy to snap it.

Finally got a shot of Jim and Melissa in the same frame. If I had another one, I couldn't find it.

He'll get over later today; hopefully with Jonathan in tow. Melissa's working and her middle girl (Marcella) is babysitting. Jim's going to pick up the baby in a little while and run errands.

All is well, we're still winding down from the holiday. The girls have managed to make it through 7 full days without a serious meltdown and school starts back Monday.

We still have far too many leftovers but the pie is disappearing fast. It always does. Tomorrow I'll probably make meal size ziplocks of ham and turkey and freeze them. Might even have enough ham for Christmas. Next week or so I'll make turkey soup out of the carcass and white beans and ham out of the hambone (which still has quite a bit of meat on it).

Then I'll think about Christmas.

I skipped "Black Friday" yesterday. I refuse to stand in front of a store from midnight on for the privilege of being run over by maniacs.

This is short because I accidentally hit publish (or Blogger just decided to do it on its' own) and it looks like I left off half the title and stopped in the middle of a sentence.

Thanks to all for the comments and enjoy what's left of the weekend.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Yesterday went very well. We had dinner ready by 1:00. I ate, hung out for a little while, wrote a short post, and took a nap. Picked Tim up at Amtrak around 4 and brought him here for dinner. He brought most of a cake and truffles with him. More dessert.

Good news. Jim has a last minute 3 day pass. Too late for Thanksgiving but he started out early this morning and may be here by now. I haven't heard from him yet but I'm sure he'll turn up for leftovers. More apt to be tomorrow; he's going to be exhausted when he gets into town. I said if I'd known I would have switched our dinner to Friday or Saturday. He didn't know he could do it either until the last minute.

Today I did almost nothing. One of the advantages of older children, in spite of the turmoil, is they know how to open a refrigerator door, use the microwave, and rinse (even wash) a dish. One of the disadvantages if they how how to open a refrigerator, etc. They may have had pie for breakfast. Pie has milk and eggs and I'm sure pumpkin is nutritious. Anybody remember Bill Cosby's monologue about chocolate cake? Same thing.

I took another nap and I'll run over to Greyhound in a few minutes to pick up their mom. She was supposed to stay at her mother's until Sunday but she got homesick.

And then I'll do nothing some more.

It was a great day though and worth the effort. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

Thanks for the comments and take care everyone.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


That's my plate. I'd already been nibbling on turkey.

Dessert later - no room now.

The dressing muffin worked but I overcooked them a little. I'll know next time.

Thanksgiving Day and Koolaid Pie - Update

Turkey in oven - Pies stacked on washer. I'd better grab that bird out of there. (Update for pics at 11:00 a.m. Turkey is now out.)

I should have prepared this post yesterday but I didn't.

It's 7:00 a.m. here on the west coast and the turkey is in the oven, the girls and Ray are still asleep, and I'm catching my breath for a few minutes.

Twelve pies are wrapped and sitting on my washer. We finished up at about midnight with all of them. My neighbor asked if she could swap two Koolaid pies for a pumpkin and pecan. I had to google them of course and then realized I'd eaten them at potlucks in the south without knowing what they were called. Basically they're koolaid, condensed (not evaporated) milk and Cool Whip poured into a graham cracker crust. She made them in Red, White, and Blue. A little sweet for me but the girls will love them in very small servings.

I'll probably send a pumpkin pie over to my son's family along with a little turkey and ham since they can't make it here this year.

Tim called me a couple of days ago to tell me he was watching Rachel Ray on Food Network prepare a 60 minute Thanksgiving Feast. She prepares her stuffing but instead of baking it in a standard dish makes individual servings in muffin tins. I never stuff a bird either so I drug (dragged?) out my tins and going to try it with at least part of the stuffing. She may be on to something.

I spoke too soon. Elcie's awake.

Sometimes I get so caught up in day to day stuff with it's associated trauma I forget to be grateful. The girls are healthy, usually happy, and growing up quickly. Ray is doing okay considering the year he's had in and out of hospital.

We don't have much money but we always have food and shelter. Many don't.

My Army National Guard son Jim is on the Mexican border but Southern California is not Iraq. And, speaking of Iraq, a local friend sent me this link yesterday. It's a way to provide moral support to our troops with correspondence.

Tim is healthy and working at a job he enjoys. Yesterday was his 34th birthday and I forgot to mention it here. I did send him a silly card about monkeys and tattoos. Belated Happy Birthday Tim.

Carol still seems to be in remission although she's had some problems lately.

And it's my second year of writing in far too much detail about the minutiae of my life thereby breaking blogging rule #3. I think I'm breaking 6 out of 10.

I look over at the blogroll and my email list and wonder where all these wonderful people came from. Thanks to all for the loyalty and kind words.

Ray is stirring around. I wouldn't exactly call it awake just yet and cats are gathering. They smell the turkey.

I'll try to take some pictures or I may just let Rochelle do it. She's the best with the camera so far.

Have a great day. I'll be back tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Almost Thanksgiving Here

The turkey is almost thawed and the ham just came out of my messy freezer. I'll get some things done today and tomorrow will be easier.

Rebecca spent the night at her friend's, Rochelle is piled up on the couch where she fell asleep, and Elcie is wandering around somewhere in the house. Four cats just came in to eat. They'll be overjoyed tomorrow even though they don't know it's an occasion. I'll probably have to put them outside most of the day and let them in for turkey later; otherwise I'll have a cat for every lap or sitting at our feet with pathetic looks on their faces. They are not to be trusted when they smell turkey.

Tim won't be back until around 4 tomorrow afternoon so I'll run out today and pick up eggnog if I can still find it. I mentioned skipping it and the girls got a look on their faces I couldn't stand. No eggnog?

If we follow previous years, Ray and I will make the pies tonight when it's relatively quiet. Sometimes we've had them done on Tuesday but the week got away from me a little. It doesn't take long when we have our assembly line going and he enjoys doing it. I'll chop celery and onions, cook the giblets and neck for the gravy and dressing, devil the eggs, and then all I'll have to do tomorrow is assembling dishes and putting them in the oven.

Elcie just brought me the smallest cat and Rochelle just woke up. Quiet time is over.

Here's a greeting for all of you in the USA. Canada, consider it a belated Happy Thanksgiving. Everyone else, you might enjoy it as well.

Take care everyone. I'm going to find a few minutes somehow to reflect on gratitude and let that be my post for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another Way to Help - Update

I read this post a few minutes ago and decided to copy it here.

My online friend "Baggage" (who will always be Cubbiegirl to me) is the adoptive mom of a pre-teen girl she calls Bug.

Her post reminded me of my experience with Elcie when she first came from foster care to live with us. She arrived with one small bag of clothing (purchased by the foster mom). That was it. I had almost no notice and made a flying dash to the thrift stores for clothing and toys and then to the grocery store for food suitable for a 13 month old baby.

Baggage experienced much the same thing with her adopted girl. The children in group homes have little to look forward to during the holiday season (or any other time). The money for more than basic needs just isn't there.

Here's her post. She and Bug will contribute $5 for each person who links to her post between now and Thanksgiving. If anyone can do more, I know the kids will be grateful.

Update: New visitor da poppins asked about a link to the Little Wishes website. Here it is .

I told you all about this last year and I hope you will consider making this part of your holiday giving this year as well.

The program is called Little Wishes. It is a program in the St Louis area which grants Christmas wishes to children in foster care. The wishes vary from action figures, art supplies, popcorn parties, sweaters, a class ring, and art lessons.

In Missouri, most foster parents receive less than $300 dollars a month for foster children. That money has to pay for everything the child needs. Many people are under the false assumption that you can make money doing foster care, however, $300 dollars doesn't begin to pay for just the basics, much less compensate a foster parent for the time they spend caring for the children. Most foster parents aren't rich. They just want to help a child. In addition, many children are living in group homes or residential homes like Bug was, and they don' t have foster parents to buy them any Christmas gifts.

When Bug gave to live with me, she came with two pairs of underwear, three pairs of socks, and a suitcase of clothes that didn't fit her. She had a few dolls, a book, and a pack of play dough. She had never taken dance lessons, gone to mall and picked out a wardrobe, or got to go to an amusement park.

There are over 1,000 waiting children in the St Louis area alone.

If you would like to grant a wish, click here. You can also help by purchasing holiday cards. The money goes to help the Little Wishes program.

Also, if you are going to do any online shopping, please do it through this page.

Each time you do, the online store will donate a portion of the money to Little Wishes. For instance, if you shop at Amazon through that page, 12 to 15% of your total order will be donated.

You can choose a wish by category, child's name or price. Also, there is an option for you to donate additional money in order to help the cover the cost of finding families for children who are waiting to be adopted. You can also give a present in the name of someone else, and the organization will send you a card to give to the recipient.

Please, please consider donating to this very worthy cause. Please tell your friends and family.

Also, from now until Thanksgiving, for every person who posts about Little Wishes on their blog and comments here to let me know, Bug and I will donate an additional $5 dollars. Let's see how much good this one little blog can do.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Now it's down for maintenance. Perhaps they will fix it.

Would you believe I woke up at 5:55 on a non-school day?

I'll be back - just giving the heads up about bloglines. Kids already running amok, Elcie was up five minutes after me so no point in going back to bed.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Grandma Bob

Hi there!! You came in without a link to your blog or an email address. Thanks so much for the cranberry recipe. I think I've seen that at a pot luck somewhere and it was great.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Just in Time for the Holidays

Any holidays of course. I know some of you have already celebrated Thanksgiving and others don't but this Holiday Loaf from Junie Rose would fit in anytime, anywhere.

While I'm stealing material from other blogs, take a look at what my friend Beth has to say about perfect parenting.

It's a quiet day and I'm taking advantage. Played some cards with Rebecca, the girls did their own breakfast (one of the advantages of older kids that almost outweighs the constant teen turmoil), and we're about to watch the Niners and Seahawks. Seattle's on a roll so I don't hold out a lot of hope but one never knows. (Right now we're ahead 3-0 in the 1st quarter.)

Cooking starts Tuesday with defrosting the turkey and ham. I just looked back through November 2005 for my menu. Could have sworn I wrote about it. It doesn't change much year to year.

Turkey and ham w/pineapple and cherries
dressing (homemade)
mashed potatoes/gravy
sweet potato casserole (sort of like a souffle)
green bean casserole (recipe on onion can or green bean can or mushroom soup can).
Harvard beets? (haven't decided yet)
deviled eggs
cranberries in one style or another
bread or rolls
pie (apple, cherry, pumpkin, Karo pecan (recipe usually on Karo bottle or their website - if you want it let me know)
plain eggnog? Maybe

I do more cheating than I used to. I throw the turkey in an oven bag (make the dressing separately) and use canned sweet potatoes. Haven't decided on the mashed potatoes yet but I'm leaning toward instant since the kids are fine with them. If I were cooking for my generation, I'd do a little more actual prep. I make my own giblet gravy though and enough gravy will cover up anything.

I don't see a single healthy, low-cal food there except for the cranberries and possibly the beets.

We can recover between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I think for once I got back to everyone so far on the comments. Bloglines is acting up and many of your blogs aren't showing new entries. I've been trying to check blogs as people comment, read the ones Bloglines shows, and guess at the rest. If I've been missing you lately, I apologize.

Take care - I'll probably be back tomorrow.

Gremlins in (or on) my Computer

Pea is blaming gremlins for my computer woes. She may be correct as you can see. He's been hanging around for at least 25 years now - first on my office computer and now here.

His name is Gizmo after the little guy in the movie "Gremlins" and he's probably to blame for the typos as well.
I wouldn't be surprised if he caused my fingers to zap my whole blog a few months ago. Naughty Gizmo.

(My friends from Australia will recognize him as an Australian frilled lizard.) One of the girls dressed him more years ago than I can remember. They're responsible for the stickers as well.

The pecan shelling party was a huge success. Once they got the idea with three nutcrackers, 6 picks, and a tack hammer (which worked the best), they (along with friend Dawn and her daughter) had it done in record time and ended up with a lot of perfect halves. Excellent so we may do it again. I have enough for 2 or maybe 3 pies. I'll measure them later and compare the price with buying them already shelled so I'll know if it's worth the effort (and the mess).

I almost forgot. Jo asked me in one of the comments the other day about soft shelled pecans Click on the link if you don't know about them. I didn't realize they were so hard to find.

I taught Rebecca how to do over easy eggs this morning and the two of us made pancakes as well. She's still the most interested of the 3 in cooking. Please pray for patience (for me) as I allow her to flip the eggs and pancakes. It's very hard to refrain from grabbing the spatula.

I finally took Rebecca to lunch to celebrate her B Honor Roll achievement. Chinese buffet followed by a hot drink at Barnes & Noble and annoying Uncle Tim for a little while (for any of you who don't know he manages the B&N Cafe and my dil Melissa works there as well). They were both behind the counter when we arrived. Melissa manages one of the book sections but pitches in at the Cafe when they're shorthanded or extremely busy. We did a little window shopping through the kids' book section (I have a few more ideas for Christmas now), and then over to Save-Mart across the street to pick up the few things I'd forgotten for Thanksgiving, especially the marshmallows and whipped cream (essentials of life). The Sara Lee Dutch Apple and cherry pies were both on sale (they weren't the other day) so we grabbed them while we were there for both Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

My usual Thanksgiving crowd has shrunk considerable considerably (Gizmo strikes again). My grandkids (Jim's older children) and their mom will be out of state, Jim has decided on Christmas for his leave time, and his wife Melissa was tricked into cooking by her middle daughter. They all (including the "exes") usually show up here so that takes at least 8 people (not counting baby Jonathan who might gum some mashed potatoes but not much else) out of the picture. The girls' mom (Tasha) is going to her mom's in San Francisco for the week. That leaves us, Tim, my friend Dawn who cooks but also stops by with her husband and daughter for a small plate, and the drop-ins from the neighborhood. Possibly the girls' dad (my grandson) but I'm not sure. He knows I always cook and he's always welcome.

I told Melissa I'd send her a Care package if she didn't make it over here.

It's not a problem but I'm not used to cooking a holiday meal for so few. Fortunately I have a full freezer (rather small) and a side by side. Right now the freezer is holding three turkeys and a 10 lb ham. I bought 2 turkeys (buy one - get one) and then a friend gave me another. Almost 60 lbs of turkey. Yikes!!. The Mission often runs short for their Christmas meal - maybe I can find a home for turkey #3 then. They're okay on food for Thanksgiving or I'd do it now.

My goal between now and around Tuesday is to defrost the full freezer and reorganize both (see above). I think I'm going to need all the space I can find.

Why oh why didn't I defrost before turkeys instead of after? Maybe I can do it the day after Thanksgiving or after I've taken turkey #1 out to thaw.

Anyhow, enough out of me for one day. I leave you with this thought.

Today is National Teddy Bear Day. Sorry it's almost over for this hemisphere and completely over for the hemisphere to the south.

Thanks to all for the comments and take care everyone.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Stupid modem

Hello all!
Granny's favorite son here,
Once again she is unable to get online. If it lasts much longer we will have to get her a new monitor...because of the large heavy object she has thrown at it. Granny will be back online as quickly as possible. mine and Granny's love to all!

7:37 p.m.

I''m back. We unplugged it and plugged it in (one more time) and it worked. Weird. It's a brand new modem and it's picking on me. I'm trying so hard to do that one post a day thing but it's hard when the computer won't cooperate.

Thanks, Granny's favorite son for the post by proxy. Just don't tell your brother that.

The girls woke up in a much better frame of mind today (so far). We'll see how long it takes before they're bored with vacation.

Have a great weekend everyone. I'll be back tomorrow. Right now I seem to be falling asleep. It suddenly turned warm here again.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another Long Day

Ever had a day when everyone was crabby? At once? Oscar the Grouch times 3? That was today beginning at 4:00 p.m. They're almost ready for bed now (8:00 p.m.). They have one more day of school before the 9 day Thanksgiving vacation so I hope they have it out of their systems by then.

They're probably just tired as am I and they've all had colds. I was going from one to the next breaking up battles. Rebecca wadded up her math homework. She said it was too much. She was right but that didn't mean she shouldn't do any at all. I finally told her she was the one who'd be grounded from her recesses, not I, and let it go. She was close to meltdown for the first time in a while. I've learned when that happens to not escalate. Just leave her alone. She'll learn about consequences, she already has, but may need a little reinforcement. I'll write a note to her teacher. Incidentally, she read most of the comments about her Honor Roll and thanks you all. She was so tickled that so many people had heard about it.

So why am I sitting here? It was better to give them all a chance to get over themselves and have a little quiet time before bed. At the moment it's calm.

Thanks to all of you who sent cranberry recipes. I was a little embarrassed to admit I know next to nothing about the cranberry in its natural or dried state. It wasn't something that was native to upstate New York (or at least not anything we grew). New Jersey, I believe, is famous for cranberries.

Now I'm tackling pecans. It seems California has never heard of the soft shell pecan. I tried 3 different stores before I finally gave up and bought 2 pounds of hard shell and two nutcrackers to go with the one I already owned. The girls can have a nutcracking party this weekend. At least they're not Brazils which take a larger hammer than I own. (Usually I buy them shelled but they're like buying platinum this year). I was so spoiled during the years I lived in Tennessee and Arkansas. My brother-in-law had two huge soft shell trees in his back yard and we could rake them off the ground by the bushel. I moved back here to see $5/lb and almost fainted.

Ray had his followup doctor appointment today. All seems to be well for now. While I was waiting for him, Tim and I had coffee and then wandered around Best Buy drooling over lap tops, plasma t.v. , and the combination printer/scanner/copier/fax I'm been wishing for. The price has dropped and I bet it'll drop even more after Christmas. My printer is barely functioning (it's the feed - paper goes through crooked).

The laptop is something else again. I don't need it and can't justify it. Tim has one; I have a desktop with high speed net connection and I have no complaints. Still, I look at those neat little machines and think maybe someday. I can be so silly. A little over two years ago, I'd never used Windows and now I'm throwing around terms like I knew what I was talking about. Modem, router, all that stuff.

Brief pause. They're all pretty much settled in and I'm going to keep Ray company for a while watching CSI.

Tomorrow is another day and they'll probably wake up with all the squabbles forgotten.

Take care everyone.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Recipes Wanted

Some friends gave us an assortment of dried fruit. We have prunes, two kinds of figs, cherries, and sweetened cranberries.

I've been thinking about tackling the cranberries for Thanksgiving but I've never done it before. My mom opened cans and so do I.

I've been googling recipes but thought I'd ask my cooking buddies who live in my computer.

Anyone have a good recipe for whole berry cranberry sauce or relish? With or without other fruit; that doesn't matter. I've found a couple with orange that look interesting but they call for cinnamon and that sounds a little odd. Beside, I'm using cinnamon in some other things and it might be too many spices for one meal (counting the desserts of course).

Any ideas?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Short Post

This will make up for yesterday's lengthy post. I just came in from a meeting and I'm a little tired.

I'm glad you enjoyed the poem and a little family history. There's more back in the archives and I may recycle some of it (at least the links) one of these days.

And now I'm breaking my rule of never writing in all caps. This piece of news deserves ALL CAPS.

For the very first time, OUR REBECCA MADE THE B HONOR ROLL!!!

She's five feet off the ground. She and I will have a private celebration later in the week. This is the girl who barely passed 5th grade and has always struggled with staying on task. Something about Middle School must have been part of it. I don't really care what happened, I'm just glad it did. Now she knows she can do it.

Take care everyone. Talk to you tomorrow.

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's A Small World After All

I don't know if any of you read Wystful1 "Thanks for the Memories". She's wonderful. Another granny of course (from Texas) with lots of pictures and memories. Check her out when you have time. I think you other grannies especially will enjoy her.

She left a comment on my earlier post saying she'd posted about a "granny" today. She sure had. She wrote about her husband's grandmother, born in 1870 in England. (Wystful, I think I have that part right). Amazing woman.

Then she printed a narrative poem. Nothing unusual about that except it was the exact poem my own maternal grandmother used to recite to me when I was small. A three handkerchief rendition and I loved it.

She was a country schoolteacher before she left to marry, move to a farm, and raise five children. I always thought she learned it as a schoolgirl or taught it to her one-room class but evidently the poem was written in 1887 so I'm not sure. My mom was born in 1912, the youngest of the brood so possibly my grandmother took her love of reading back to the farm when she left teaching and learned it there. I know she loved poetry and had several books she shared with me.

It's one of those pieces kids back then memorized to recite for special occasions; the more dramatic the better and my grandmother pulled out all the stops for me. We spent at least every Sunday on the farm and I'd ask for two things. (Three - I almost forgot the homemade ice cream - from our own cows - with chocolate syrup). First, the poem and then the piano. I've written before that she taught me to play from old church hymnals and I can't remember when I learned to read music. Probably about the same time I learned to read words.

I memorized that poem but I could never do it as well as she did. I've been looking for it ever since in old poetry anthologies with no luck. Never occurred to me to look online and of course there it was along with biographies of the poet.

We don't memorize (or even read much) poetry anymore and I think we've lost something. Not that this poet is up there with Yeats and Keats but she was very well known in her time. She wrote two narrative poems; this one is the better known. She wrote children's stories and articles for the Ladies' Home Journal.

Here's the poem courtesy of Women's History. Corny? Probably, but I'd like to think there's still room for drama and heroines today. I had tears in my eyes, which doesn't happen too often, the minute I read the first line on Wystful's post. Partly because of Bess, the heroine, and partly because after all these years I still think of my own amazing grandma who gave me so much.

Thanks Wystful1. You made my day without even knowing it. The internet can be a glorious place.

by Rose Hartwick Thorpe (1850-1939)

Slowly England's sun was setting oe'r the hilltops far away,
Filling all the land with beauty at the close of one sad day;
And its last rays kissed the forehead of a man and maiden fair,--
He with steps so slow and weary; she with sunny, floating hair;
He with bowed head, sad and thoughtful, she, with lips all cold and white,
Struggling to keep back the murmur, "Curfew must not ring to-night!"

"Sexton," Bessie's white lips faltered, pointing to the prison old,
With its walls tall and gloomy, moss-grown walls dark, damp and cold,--
"I've a lover in the prison, doomed this very night to die
At the ringing of the curfew, and no earthly help is nigh.
Cromwell will not come till sunset;" and her lips grew strangely white,
As she spoke in husky whispers, "Curfew must not ring to-night!"

"Bessie," calmly spoke the sexton (every word pierced her young heart
Like a gleaming death-winged arrow, like a deadly poisoned dart),
"Long, long years I've rung the curfew from that gloomy, shadowed tower;
Every evening, just at sunset, it has tolled the twilight hour.
I have done my duty ever, tried to do it just and right:
Now I'm old, I will not miss it. Curfew bell must ring to-night!"

Wild her eyes and pale her features, stern and white her thoughtful brow,
As within her secret bosom, Bessie made a solemn vow.
She had listened while the judges read, without a tear or sigh,
"At the ringing of the curfew, Basil Underwood must "die.
And her breath came fast and faster, and her eyes grew large and bright;
One low murmur, faintly spoken. "Curfew must not ring to-night!"

She with quick step bounded forward, sprang within the old church-door,
Left the old man coming slowly, paths he'd trod so oft before.
Not one moment paused the maiden, But with eye and cheek aglow,
Staggered up the gloomy tower, Where the bell swung to and fro;
As she climbed the slimy ladder, On which fell no ray of light,
Upward still, her pale lips saying, "Curfew shall not ring to-night!"

She has reached the topmost ladder, o'er her hangs the great dark bell;
Awful is the gloom beneath her, like the pathway down to hell.
See! the ponderous tongue is swinging; 'tis the hour of curfew now,
And the sight has chilled her bosom, stopped her breath, and paled her brow.
Shall she let it ring? No, never! Her eyes flash with sudden light,
As she springs, and grasps it firmly: "Curfew shall not ring to-night!"

Out she swung,-- far out. The city Seemed a speck of light below,--
There twixt heaven and earth suspended, As the bell swung to and fro.
And the sexton at the bell-rope, old and deaf, heard not the bell,
Sadly thought that twilight curfew rang young Basil's funeral knell.
"Still the maiden, clinging firmly, quivering lip and fair face white,
Stilled her frightened heart's wild throbbing: "Curfew shall not ring tonight!"

It was o'er, the bell ceased swaying; and the maiden stepped once more
Firmly on the damp old ladder, where, for hundred years before,
Human foot had not been planted. The brave deed that she had done
Should be told long ages after. As the rays of setting sun
Light the sky with golden beauty, aged sires, with heads of white,
Tell the children why the curfew did not ring that one sad night.

O'er the distant hills comes Cromwell. Bessie sees him; and her brow,
Lately white with sickening horror, has no anxious traces now.
At his feet she tells her story, shows her hands, all bruised and torn;
And her sweet young face, still hagggard, with the anguish it had worn,
Touched his heart with sudden pity, lit his eyes with misty light.
"Go! your lover lives," said Cromwell. "Curfew shall not ring to-night!"

Wide they flung the massive portals, led the prisoner forth to die,
All his bright young life before him. Neath the darkening English sky,
Bessie came, with flying footsteps, eyes aglow with lovelight sweet;
Kneeling on the turf beside him, laid his pardon at his feet.
In his brave, strong arms he clasped her, kissed the face upturned and white,
Whispered, "Darling, you have saved me, curfew will not ring to-night."

*From Ringing ballads, including Curfew must not ring tonight, Rose Hartwick Thorpe, 1887

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It Didn't Exactly Rain on Our Parade

But it did sprinkle a little. It's supposed to be raining by the time we wake up tomorrow.

The girls (Rebecca and Rochelle with their mom) had a great time marching. I did fine until almost the end when everyone speeded up for some reason. I said no way, peeled off and walked home at my own granny pace. They finished it out. Elcie begged off and I'm just as glad. It would have been to hard to keep up, even with the wheelchair. We'll probably do it again in January for MLK Day but we'll plan ahead a little more and probably have a flatbed truck instead.

Other than that, we've had a quiet 3 day weekend. I finished up most of my Thanksgiving shopping, caught up the laundry one more time, cooked a little, the usual.

Ray still seems to be doing well.

Elcie's morning pickup has been changed from around 7:20 to 6:55. Ouch. The other two have to be at their bus by 7:10 which means that someone will have to be here to make sure Elcie is on hers. I can wait until a couple of minutes after 7:00 and hope for no trains but it's a little tight. The management has changed. Previously, the county handled the ortho kids and the city did the regular buses. Now it's all city which will be less confusing in the long run and should save money. We'll manage somehow but it will be tricky.

I have one funny Rebecca story which I shared already with a couple of you. I took her to the store with me on the same day she was all dolled up with the lipstick. She said:

"I'm beautiful"

"Not in a hootchie kind of way, in an adorable kind of way"

"It's my eyes"

Then she giggled. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I said "Yep, and humble too".

Every once in a while I sing "You're So Vain" or "Oh Lord, It's Hard to be Humble".

Thanks to all for the comments. I'm slowly catching up with your posts. Just told a friend that tomorrow I'll start with W on bloglines and work my way up.

Talk to you tomorrow. Take care everyone.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veteran's/Remembrance Day

Today will be very busy so if I don't get back here later, Here is a reminder of the Day (a little less serious than the last one)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Too Cool for Words!!

The cat is not ours and Rebecca's glasses are just for show.

In case you haven't figured out who is who yet, Elcie has the sunglasses, Rochelle is wearing a black shirt and Rebecca is in prison stripes.

They're all dolled up for a trip to Target; thus the smiles. I've begun allowing them a little lipstick on the weekends; still not at school though.

They'll be with their mom. I'm taking my husband out for a late breakfast and picking them up later.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Blogger Will Be Down at 9:00 p.m. PST

If you want to post anything, now is probably the time to do it.

To "anonymous". Thanks for your comment on my January 19th post. Fortunately we've been lice free ever since but I agree with you on staying away from the chemicals. Come back and visit anytime.

Ray came home from the hospital today with lots of new prescriptions, one of which has a huge co-pay. Back to the doctor to see if he can prescribe something similar which will be covered. If not, we'll figure it out somehow.

They still don't know what's going on with him.

Halloween is now behind us, Veteran's Day is coming up with it's parade on Saturday. They have forecast rain of course. We're supposed to march but I'm not too sure how I feel about getting soaked. I did buy four small flags which I stashed in the back of the van.

And I'm beginning to think about Thanksgiving. Jim doesn't think he'll be able to get leave for that and Christmas so he'll probably opt for Christmas. Tim will be around though and all of us. Possibly Jim's older kids as well. They usually drop by with their mom. I do a very casual buffet. Whoever shows up eats (sometimes as many as 20). I've started doing a little shopping and will pick up two turkeys for the price of one sometime in the next couple of days. I'll have to spend $25 (without the turkey) to do it but that isn't difficult with my gang. I'll use turkey #2 at Christmas. I have to go through my stash of canned goods and see what I already have and what I need and then look at the sales. Almost nothing changes year to year and I can almost do it in my sleep. It's usually Jim's job to do the mashed potatoes and ham at his house so if he's not here, I may cheat and go with instant. The last minute nature of mashed potatoes when I'm trying to do everything else is a pain. I did see a recipe today that explained how to cook them ahead and reheat. Simple - just put the bowl in hot water. I didn't buy the cookbook (was surfing through it at Barnes & Noble with Tim earlier today) but I bet I can find the same idea online.

Speaking of Tim, he thanks you for the kind words about his post.

I forgot to mention Rebecca's homework assignment for election night eve. I would have thought at least one of the girls would mention that they talked about the election in school. Nope. Rebecca's assignment (for P.E. - homework in P.E?) was to watch part of the Oakland Raider's football game. She would be tested. I know just about enough football to follow the game so I sat with her and we watched. She now knows the team who has the ball is usually the offense and the other guys are trying to stop them. And she knows the difference between a punt and a place kick and what a yellow flag signifies. She also knows that she finds football intensely boring and hates "flag" football at school. If I'd known that assignment was coming up, she could have watched the 'Niners with me on Sunday. At least we won - the Raiders lost.

I choose my issues and I won't register a complaint with the school but it may come up for discussion at some point. Maybe I'm missing something but it sure seemed silly. What about the parents who either don't have t.v. or would prefer their kids not watch the rougher contact sports?

The girls have a 3 day weekend coming up and a good thing because Elcie isn't feeling well. I picked her up early today and she'll have some time to recover.

They were so funny last night. Their mom was over and the four of them were in the living room with the kareoke machine singing "American Pie" - all 93 verses. Then they liked it so well they sang it again. By that time I'd decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em and went in and sang along. They're always surprised when I know some of "their" music. Kids, it was mine long before you were dreamed of.

Thanks to all for the comments. My new modem seems to have fixed some of the problems I was blaming on Firefox or Blogger or anybody I could find to blame. I have, however, picked up a hijacker which I have to eliminate at some point. Big pain and doubtless due to the girls and their downloading of games.

I'm going to post this before Blogger decides to change their mind and shut down earlier. Take care everyone.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'm Back

Stupid Modem. The good news is that is was a Comcast problem and not something I did so I saved $50. The bad news is that I was down for 24 hours. I've become so spoiled.

I'll try to get back later. Meantime I hope Tim's emergency post last night counts as a day. I was on one phone while he was on the other leading him by the hand through signing in as me, typing the short post, and actually posting it.

Thanks Tim. Now you know how to start your own Blog.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

those darn machines

Hello all,

This is Tim Granny's youngest son penning a brief post to let everyone know that she will be offline for a least a day and a half until her modem is fixed. As you can guess she is pulling her hair out waiting for it to be fixed...She will be on as quickly as possible.

Monday, November 06, 2006

National Peanut Butter Lover's Day

Elcie's field trip was a great success. There were five, not four short plays. She liked The Monkey's Paw the best. Scary story but Elcie's fond of those.

Not much else going on. We finally got Rebecca out to pick her present. She opted for the Dollar Tree and picked up a little of this and that. The others ended up going along with a couple of $ each. Usually I try to take just the birthday girl for her present and lunch but this has been a crazy week or so. Rebecca was fine with it and willing to count our Friday night pizza as her night out even though her sisters were along.

Tonight I have to finish up our absentee ballots. Election day is tomorrow here in the states and I've been procrastinating. You'd have to live in CA to understand just how complicated the elections can be (and how ugly this year). I'll be glad when they're behind us.

Ray's still in the hospital. I'm hoping they might let him out tomorrow. I was there briefly today but they were about to do an EEG so I dropped off his clean clothes and left again. I'll get back over in the morning.

It's the girls' bedtime which means I'd better start them settling them down. Thanks to all for the comments and take care everyone.

Tomorrow is bittersweet chocolate with almonds day. How do they come up with these?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Another Occasion

And this time I have the date right. Guy Fawkes Night November 5th.

Hope my friends in England, etc. (I think it's the UK this time) are looking forward to the bonfires and fireworks of Guy Fawkes Night.

Or possibly dreading it if bonfires and fireworks aren't your thing.

For everyone else, have a doughnut.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Let's See What I Can Mess Up Today

I'm grateful to the people who taught me to do a strikot strikeout. I sure needed it yesterday.

If this works, I found a picture which describes my state of mind beautifully. Click on the link.

We're almost back to normal except I woke up feeling rotten and went back to bed for a while. I'm still a little fuzzy so this may be short. Just catching up a little.

Yesterday was rollerskating for Rochelle and Rebecca and pizza for all afterward. We've used up our junk food allotment in three days (not counting Halloween which was last month).

Ray seems to be doing okay. Some of it may be regulating his medication which can only be done in the hospital or so it seems. I have to fill out his absentee ballot and take it over for him to sign and do my own at the same time. Procrastination and I think we have at least 13 Propositions to wade through. I know how I'll be spending tonight after the kids go to bed (or early tomorrow). Don't think I could concentrate on it today. We've already agreed on candidates and we'll agree on the rest once I understand them. Who am I kidding? I never understand them - just make my best guess. I'll be glad to be see Tuesday when we'll be rid of the commercials. It's one of the uglier campaigns I've seen and I'm sick of it.

Josie from Vancouver, who closed down her "Boring Little Blog" (which was anything but) a few days ago is back and can be found at Time After Time. She missed us and I certainly missed her. Welcome back Josie.

I think Rebecca's birthday cake may be tomorrow unless someone else volunteers to bake or I get a sudden burst of energy. I've been up for about 30 minutes now and all I want to do is lie back down.

Tomorrow will be better. I'm not sick, just tired and stressed out. It always passes.

Thanks for the comments and take care everyone.

Friday, November 03, 2006

To My Many Canadian and other UK Friends (corrected - again)

November 5th 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada. Note: No, it's the 11th like everyone else. The 5th was a Memorial Service at a church and some hold various observances leading up to the 11th. Sorry - I'm going to let this post stand anyhow with the correction. Thanks, Thordora. As in the United States, it began as a tribute to the end of the "war to end all wars", World War I. For the USA and several other countries in the UK England, Australia, and other countries, our Veteran's (formerly Armistice) Day and their Remembrance Day are traditionally observed on November 11.

Note again: I should never try do anything when my mind is still out to lunch. "Anonymous" just said "UK - ???" I was thinking of the Commonwealth (I hope) which includes Canada and Australia among others rather than just the UK. According to Wiki, this is the UK.

The United Kingdom is a political union made up of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom also has several overseas territories, including Bermuda, Gibraltar, Montserrat and Saint Helena among others.

I'd delete this, start over,and hope no one else saw it but when I mess up I admit it.

Laura's post includes a lovely song called "A Pittance in Time". I hadn't heard it before but I'm sure many Canadians know it.

When I was in grade school, Veteran's Day was still Armistice Day and we all knew the reason. I'm not sure how many young people today have any idea of its roots. We memorized this poem which I may have posted last year as well:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I don't think I knew until much later that the poet was Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (or if I did, I've forgotten over the years).

As we all pray or hope for peace, let's take a moment on the upcoming Day to remember the brave men and women both then and now.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Murphy's Law - Update

Good. Unless I have some lurkers, no one has been here yet except me.

Ray's doctor appointment was this morning and they want him back in the hospital - again.

Meantime I discovered my phone wasn't working. I have to find out why the bill isn't shown as paid but first I have to rescue Elcie from the bus (which isn't here yet), wait for the other two to come in and call the doctor with an emergency contact number.

Bus just pulled up with Elcie. One thing out of the way.

The girls' mom ran over to my friend's house to make phone calls for me. She's back and the doctor now has emergency phone #'s so that's two things. As soon as the other two arrive, I'll go find out what happened to my phone. My grandson was supposed to pay it on the 31st and I thought he had. (Update - still don't know what happened with him but the bill is now paid (maybe twice?) and it should be turned on in a few minutes. And the other girls are home.)

It's not an emergency with Ray which is a good thing but he's had several different things going on which, taken together, have the doctor concerned. The last time the doctor called for a bed (you'll remember if you were reading a month or so ago) it took three days. That won't happen this time because I'll be taking him to the e.r. tonight whether they have confirmed a bed or not. (Update - they had a bed almost immediately and another friend drove him).

If this were not a family friendly blog, I'd be using some inappropriate language right about now. (Update - immediate crises have now passed and I'm stopping to breathe.)

Anyhow, this may be my post for the day. The girls have finally wound down from Halloween, have finished their homework, and we're all taking it easy. I think we may have breakfast for dinner tonight - simple and fast.

Thanks for all the comments, take care, and I'll be back later or tomorrow. Probably tomorrow (or after midnight if I can't sleep).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Three Posts of Pictures Underneath This One.

I'm stalling until after midnight to post this so it will be my first post of the 30 day marathon. Let's see how well I do with it. You may be inundated with recipes, jokes, memes, and even a poem or two. If Merle can do it, so can I (but not nearly as well). Her blog is such a joy to visit. I never know what I'll find there.

They are finally asleep. What a circus the last few days have been.

Rochelle and Rebecca went to a Halloween carnival and then a small haunted house over the weekend with my friend and their mom. It seems like they did something else in between but now I can't remember what it was. A whirlwind of social activity in any event, most of it without me. I stayed home with Elcie whose leg was bothering her a little and tried to start feeling better.

I taught the girls a new (to them) card game called Spite and Malice, a form of double solitaire. If you've ever played Skip-bo, it's the same game with three regular decks of cards. I was growing weary of Go Fish and Crazy Eights. When I talk about my friend Dawn and I playing cards, it's what we play. No thinking required and the right thing for a school day morning.

Monday was more or less normal except for the great pumpkin painting on Monday night followed by cleanup. They did it all but somehow I have green acrylic paint under one fingernail.

Someplace in there we managed to eat and I'm sure I'm missing something. Oh, my cold (or what I thought was a cold) came back with a vengeance and I was sick most of the weekend. We'd been cleaning cupboards, woodwork, hit the high spots on the walls, trying to reorganize the girls' work area. You know, all the fun stuff. I'm sure much of my illness was a combination of dust and the fumes from cleaning supplies. Does it every time. I'm fine now and planning on cleaning bookcases and finding the rest of their winter clothing sometime this weekend. The days are still pleasant but probably not for very much longer and the mornings are chilly.

We decided to skip the theater production put on by the local high school this year. Good thing. It was cancelled because the theater backed out and there was no other place large enough. I think our clamshell in the park would have worked. I wonder if anyone thought about it. The stage is large enough and I've seen many small shows performed there (including Shakespeare in the park). If we'd gone yesterday, we would have wasted a trip and the girls would have been disappointed. Since they hadn't mentioned going, neither did I. It's always at least an hour and sometimes more standing in line and they've seen what is basically the same show every year for at least six years now. I was checking the paper today and discovered a new haunted house which more than made up for it.

Oh, did I tell you Elcie waited until 7:00 a.m. today to tell me she needed to bring an ingredient for nachos? I found one can of refried beans in the pantry and sent it. She told me later it was the wrong kind. It wasn't but it was a little different (black beans with lime) and the teacher used a can of her own. Fine with me. I could have run to the store and taken something over to the school but at some point she needs to learn to tell me these things a little sooner. She'd been carrying the paper around since last Friday.

Tonight we all (including my two friends and their kids) piled into two cars and went to "Trunk of Treat" at the Latter Day Saints church parking lot. They had a wonderful time so we went on to the haunted house. It turned out to be one of the best I've seen. A group of fairly young parents put it together. Free with a donation box at the end of the tour. Rochelle and Rebecca screamed at all the appropriate times and so did their mom. Elcie was forcing herself not to scream. I told her later the screams were a complement to the people who put it together. It meant they succeeded. She said next time she'd scream whether she meant if or not.

What else? We came home for hot chocolate which I let boil over when I turned my back just for a second. One mess. Then their dad was teasing Rebecca causing her to bump into Rochelle who was holding her full cup which then hit the floor. Another mess but nobody burned. By that time we had a kitchen full of people of course and a river of chocolate not counting the chocolate still on the stove which had been only partially mopped up. (It's done now along with the floor).

I'd bought a tray of Halloween decorated mini-brownies (on sale of course) earlier today on impulse. We'll celebrate the birthday on the weekend as planned but I stuck 11 candles in the brownies, and all (including a couple of neighbors who dropped in and both her parents) sang Happy Birthday. She loved it but could barely stay awake. She'd already fallen asleep in the car coming home.

Rochelle, on the other hand, was wired. She was bouncing all over the yard. Her happiness has been returning lately and she's much more like her sweet self. It was so good to see I didn't worry that she was overstaying her bedtime. Once she hit the bed, she was down for the count.

And now I'm beginning to wind down somewhat. Tomorrow is once again major shopping day for the household. Just took inventory and we're in pretty good shape for once. I may look for an outfit for Rebecca and a couple of long sleeve shirts for the other two. No jeans until we have a chance to go through what we have (still procrastinating on that one) but I may see some sweats on sale. I don't have much luck convincing Rebecca to stay in one place long enough to try on her older jeans to see what fits so I'll measure her inseam and go from there. It will be much simpler.

Of course it's almost time to be thinking about Thanksgiving once again. It's the 4th Thursday in November here so I have some time. I may pick up most of the staples tomorrow for both T'giving and Christmas. It's basically the same meal but Christmas is much simpler. The menu never changes. I wouldn't dare. All my gang are sticklers for what grandma cooks every year and they notice if something is missing. They each have their favorites.

Is everyone asleep yet? This is what happens when I don't write for a few days. November 2nd may consist of a few lines and a joke if I can find one.

I had a pleasant surprise the other day. An anonymous (unless he says otherwise) online friend noticed my phone number on the bottom of my email. He asked if it was real, I said of course, and he called me. We must have chatted for 30 minutes. It was great. He's a little distant for a face to face meeting but that was the next best thing and one never knows what may happen.

Elcie's class will be going to the theater in Fresno on Monday to see four productions of short stories. She'll see an except from Huckleberry Finn, Poe's "The Telltale Heart" and Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace". Oh, and I just remembered - Mark Twain again. "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". I hope she'll enjoy them all. I certainly would. I'll have to go back and reread The Necklace. Haven't thought about it since I was in Junior High myself. The others I still remember fairly well. She'll get to eat junk food. I'm sure that's what most of her class will choose rather than the school lunch or one packed at home and, as I've said before, a chicken nugget and a french fry won't kill her.

Thanks to everyone who commented. I'll try to get back to all of you in the next day or two. I hope. If I miss anyone, I apologize. We've been so busy lately and time gets away from me.

It's now 12:19 by my trusty computer clock and this will count as November 1st without cheating.

Take care everyone. For those of you who do Halloween, I hope you had a great time. I know all your kids were adorable and I'll be checking out pictures as soon as I can.