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Monday, April 30, 2007

It May Finally Be Over

I have to write this post.

The care facility just called and I'm on my way with Ray and Tim. They think my Carol is very near the end.

I'll be back when I can.

Much love to all.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

One Day of Silence

I just saw this, it's late and I'm tired so I won't try for all the graphics.

In memory of the students at Virginia Tech and all victims everywhere, a movement has been started to observe a day of blog silence.

Here's the link for any who wish to join in or pass the word.

See you on Tuesday.

Testing for link color


Nope, it's still green here and orange on the sidebar. Back to fiddling some more. The links aren't standing out here unless I go back through and add color and italics to each one.

Aha. It's fixed. I'm not fond of the yellow but at least it contrasts with the green which may make all of our lives simpler.

The actual post is below this one. Dawn I. and I have been messing around with my email address on the sidebar and I think we've turned it into a link.

I can't tell because somehow Elcie has made Neopets my default email so that's what comes up when I click. I have to get her password from her and change it. Hope it's simple.

Anyhow, it seems to be working as a link now. I think I'm done with creativity for the day. I should stop before I zap something.

Spoke too soon. It inserted some very strange code between ann and adams where there should have been just a dot. ??? I fixed it but it went right back. Ideas, anyone? Dawn's going to see what it looks like in IE.

Y'all don't have to read all of this by the way. It's just my way of keeping track of what we've done, what works, and what doesn't.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Something Lovely for All of Us

I just came in from running around all morning with Elcie. A little necessary shopping (toilet paper, etc.) but mostly having fun. Her sisters went to a Christian hip hop (no that's not an oxymoron) concert in the park last night, spent the night with a friend, and have been invited to another concert in Modesto about 45 miles north of here. They'll ride with some of the people from the sponsoring church. I know them from their summer children's programs so it's fine with me.

Meantime, they came home long enough to dash off to the local park which has free ride and zoo admission all day. They've all but outgrown the rides but still enjoy our little zoo and know each of the animals by name.

Elcie picked out a book on hieroglyphics marked down from $15 to $6. (less my Barnes & Noble discount). If she ever decides to study archeology or the related fields, she'll have a head start. She has some odd interests and, at the moment, Egyptology is one of them. I found an inexpensive cd by Chloe (one of the Celtic Woman group) with some lovely songs. Then we stopped at Goodwill and found 3 pretty short sleeve shirts, 2 video recordings, and a small, vibrating, stuffed shar pei with a bone in its mouth. Elcie fell in love and I didn't figure another $1.50 would break the bank completely.

I just looked at that last paragraph after I published it. We did not purchase a stuffed shar pei. I'm not into taxidermy. I meant the shar pei equivalent of a teddy bear.

Note to Anvilcloud:

(And to everyone else but I know Anvilcloud is a Celtic Woman fan as am I)

Chloe recorded this cd (Walking in the Air) when she was 14. I think she's 16 or 17 now. Some of it is classical; Brahms, Dvorak, Franck, Vivaldi, Bach, and some are also on the Celtic Woman cd's. At not quite $10 American for 15 tracks, it was a bargain and I've already copied it to MusicMatch. Definitely a keeper and I've discovered if I don't copy them straightaway, strange things might happen.

It's been a good day; the best I've had for a while. The happiest thing I can think of to say about the week just past is that it passed. Rebecca received a bus suspension (for singing, of all things) and a referral at school for playing with a soccer ball without her student i.d. I didn't know hers was lost and it's almost too late in the year to buy another one.

Actually, the week wasn't that horrible. Ray's health stays good (for Ray), the weather has turned quite warm, and the Giants moved into first place for one whole day. It's just that I've been lacking in energy and enthusiasm lately. I need to work on that and also counting my blessings.

Carol (my daughter for any who don't know) continues to struggle on. Either the cancer or the drugs (or both) have begun to affect her mental state and she's delusional much of the time. She begs to come home, she's convinced I can do something to end the pain and she cries when I tell her I can't. They have increased her anxiety medicine once again and tell me that most of the time she's okay and that what I hear on the phone from her comes when it's almost time for her medication and the last dosage has worn off. Visiting her makes it worse or so it seems. They suspect the cancer may have spread to the bones and all they can do is increase her meds as much as she can tolerate, and try to keep her as comfortable as they can.

It puts me between a rock and a hard place. I want to see her as much as possible but she seems to do better when I'm not there. And of course there's the guilt if I don't go. She needs some lighter garments with the change in weather so I'll get there in the next couple of days with a package for her. Perhaps that will help.

Anyhow, I came in this afternoon and decided to catch up with some of my online friends. I stopped by Vicki B. to see what she'd been up to lately and found some lovely water pictures. Water and the surrounding environs is the theme for April "Good Planet" and Vicki's A Mark On My Wall is the host blog. Here is the link to the Good Planet archives which has archives of the previous themes.

I included the link to Vicki's blog rather than the individual post. She has a couple of short posts right beneath the Good Planet post with some very cute animal pictures.

Thanks to all for the comments and encouragement. I noticed a couple of new names in the comment boxes. Tiffini, hi and I'll check out your web page very soon. Ginny, you're not new of course but you don't have a blog so if you're reading this hi and thanks for the vote.

I have some new pictures but this is getting long already and once again the "publishing may fail" warning keeps showing up so I'd better not push my luck.

Have a good what's left of your weekend everyone and take care.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Day After Birthday Photos

We decided to not try for the birthday dinner so Dawn brought me a cake and everybody sang. We found a leftover "9" candle and used 6 regular candles. Everyone can tell that means 69, right? And I didn't have to burn the house down lighting them.

We'd just finished up the cake when Tim called from work to tell me my oldest granddaughter (Jim's oldest child) was at the store and could I drop in? I gathered up Rochelle and Rebecca and we went. Elcie was visiting a friend and missed it. Had a great time catching up with Samantha who will be 18 in July and will graduate from high school this year.

I can always keep up with her birthday. She was born one week and two days after Ray and I married and shares a birthday with my brother. She was one of the most beautiful newborns I've ever seen and she's grown into a lovely young woman. She's just as sweet as she is beautiful (I'm a granny so I can say that of course). I don't see enough of her and her two brothers (3 brothers counting little Jonathan). They stay so busy. With summer coming up though, maybe we'll see more of each other. She wants to spend some time with her cousins. I'd like that too.

The girls were thrilled. They've always adored their older cousins. The two boys were at middle school with Elcie but, by the time Rochelle and Rebecca started this year, the youngest, Michael, had moved on to high school. Elcie will be in a different high school so she won't be seeing the boys on campus.

Anyhow, it made for a nice day after birthday surprise.

I'm putting the pictures on last so I don't know how they'll show up. The first one should be the cake with the teddy bear and flowers Dawn's 6 year old daughter, Destiny, bought me with her own allowance. The others are Samantha by herself; Samantha with Rochelle and Rebecca; and Rebecca with our neighbor Dennis (Dawn's brother-in-law), and Ray. I took some other pictures but they didn't turn out. I was having trouble with the flash on a couple and on the other I had the camera too high. Didn't even get the tops of their heads. Meantime, the candles were burning away and melting the frosting so I couldn't keep trying. Oh well.

Well, it took me three tries but the pictures all posted, if not in the order described. I'd better quit while I'm ahead. Update: I just looked at the published version and see those little squares that might mean the pics showed up twice even though I see only one of each. I have no idea what's going on but I'm going to settle for what I have right now.

Thanks for all the comments and have a great weekend everyone.

Update: 8:14 p.m.


My picture and email are now on the sidebar. I like the one of Elcie and me in her middle school classroom (about a year ago) so that's what we're going with for now. My hair is much shorter today but not much else has changed.

I may do some rearranging to get my pic and the girls together but this was enough creativity for one night.

Update: Thanks, Angela for doing that for me.

As for the email address, it's not a link but it is correct. When I figure out how to bring up a compose page by clicking on the email address, I'll change it. For the moment, I'm patting myself on the back for not zapping the blog one more time.

Update: Angela can't figure it out either so we'll leave the email address as is. At least it's there.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Additions to the Grandparent Ranks

Please join me in congratulating my good online friends Anvilcloud and Cuppa of Ontario, Canada on the slightly overdue arrival of their first grandchild, a girl they've been calling Smudge from the time the pregnancy was first announced. She weighed in early this morning at 8 lbs 6 oz.

Mom and daughter are both doing well. Grandparents are coming back down to earth, cameras in hand.

Pictures of the beautiful baby and the proud first time grandparents can be found at both their blog sites. (see links above).

Of course I'm thrilled to share a birthday with this little blessing even though I'm sure her parents didn't plan it that way.

Speaking of birthdays, thanks to all who posted birthday greetings. Most of you I know, I few I hadn't met. To the visitors from Pea's Corner (another Canadian friend), thanks to you for the good wishes and to Pea for the post.

I'll go back through the comments again later. I know not all of the first time visitors came over from Pea's post but I can't remember them all at the moment. Their names are in the comment box and they know who they are.

Mixed in with the comments were at least one person singing Happy Birthday (hi mo-wo - wish you'd sent the audio along) and two blessings which I hadn't heard before so I'm reposting them here as my wish for all of you as well.

From Sometimes Saintly Nick

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

And from Granny Fiddler. She always refers to me as Granny No Fiddle going back to the days of late 2005/early 2006 when she and I were commenting on the same blogs with the same user name. She added "Fiddler" to hers.

Lang mae yer lung reek
an mae the wee moosie
naer liv yer kiln wi a
tair en is ee

long may your chimney smoke
and may the wee mousie
never leave your cupboard
with a tear in his eye

Our dinner was postponed until tomorrow. I took Elcie to the pediatrician this afternoon. She hasn't been exactly sick but she's lost a couple of pounds, she has mysterious aches and pains in her joints, she has a hammer toe which is causing her problems, a recurring tummyache, and a canker sore on the inside of her mouth. Each of these things, taken separately, wouldn't warrant a doctor visit but taken together are cause for concern, if not worry.

They ran urine and blood tests and x-rayed her shoulder. We should have the results tomorrow and go from there. It is probably nothing serious. The aches are most likely a result of "growing pains". Some of it is normal with cerebral palsy. Still, I want to be sure.

I did manage to make the spaghetti sauce before I left. I always start it early because it needs to simmer. Ray cooked the pasta and made garlic bread. He didn't prepare a salad but I had lettuce and tomatoes in the fridge if the girls wanted them. They certainly know how to find the refrigerator. He had the two younger girls and himself fed before I came home. At the moment, Rochelle and Rebecca are leading cheers in the living room and Elcie is all but asleep.

Angela emailed me yesterday to remind me I had just passed 1,000 posts. She was quite correct. This will be 1,003 if I ever finish it. That's a lot of running off at the mouth since the fall of 2005 and a milestone I missed. Thanks Angela.

Leaving now to pick up Tim who is arriving on the 9 p.m. north bound Amtrak. Correction - train a little early - he just arrived. Out of here.

Updated at 10:30. Just came back. Tim bought me a birthday burger and fries at In and Out which gave us a chance to chat for a little while.

Take care everyone.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Is It Okay to Say Happy Birthday to Me?

Probably. It's my blog after all. I'll be 69 tomorrow. It's about time to begin counting backwards but then I remember saying that same thing at 39, 49, and 59.

My friend is planning on having us to dinner and baking a cake. Should be fun.

Our 3 little kittens have their blue eyes wide open, their bat ears standing up, and their paws into everything. We'll have them for another 3 or 4 weeks before they go on to their new homes (I hope). I'll have the momma kitty spayed somehow. The last time this happened, I took the momma and kittens to the no-kill shelter. She isn't my cat but she doesn't seem to be anyone else's so it should be my decision.

My friend Dawn (same one who's cooking the dinner) and I went to see Carol today. It was too painful to write about now. Maybe later or maybe not. She wants to see me but it makes her feel worse instead of better. I signed yet another directive since Carol isn't capable now of doing it for herself.

Elcie's home from school and I'm waiting for the other two to show up. They should be racing in just about now. She's angry because she brought home work I don't understand. She wants to know how I got through high school. She yelled, I left the kitchen after telling her my high school days ended in 1955, I've never had occasion to use that kind of math, and her yelling at me doesn't help me remember where to start.

She'll get over it and so will I. The school year is winding down and we're all tired. She brought home a lesson the other day and said the teacher didn't understand what the lesson was about. The teacher is a mentor, has a Master's and she doesn't understand it but I'm supposed to? Something's wrong with that picture.

I think my internet just went down again so I'm going to copy this and paste it to Word which doesn't require the net to function. The modem looks fine but my gmail icon has a big exclamation point in the middle. I still haven't figured out why I can't view some pictures but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with Picasa somehow.

Speaking of email, I still haven't fixed the sidebar to show my email address. It's if any of you don't have it and would like it. Haven't posted my picture either but I'll get to it eventually. Maybe.

I've fixed the makings for BLT's (with avocado) tonight. The girls are old enough to assemble their own. Spaghetti tomorrow (special request from Elcie and 3 yea votes from the rest of the crew). Elcie's two favorite meals are spaghetti and tuna glop. I could serve them on alternate days all week, every week and she'd never complain.

Update: I'm continuing this a little after 5:00 p.m. Girls home, everyone has eaten, and Elcie has forgiven me. She brought me one kitten at a time to pose for the pictures. It looks like I'll have to try a separate post for kitten #3 - it didn't come through here.

Hope by now most if not all of you are having a break from the rain and snow that's been affecting most of this country and Canada. Australia's enjoying autumn of course.

Thanks to all for the comments. Please understand I'm reading them all even if I don't respond personally.

Take care everyone.

Here's Kitten #3

See post above I don't know why this one showed up first. It was supposed to be a supplement. This one is the runt and he's none too happy about being held in midair.

You can look at Elcie's hands to see how tiny they still are.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I Am Sick at Heart

I've been glued to CNN since early this morning. In the worst school shooting in this country's history, 32 (and counting) are dead and at least 29 wounded at Virginia Tech. I still can't take it in.

Please join me with your thoughts and prayers for the students, faculty, and their families. I can't begin to imagine their pain and horror.

I'm sure all of us will want to give our kids an extra hug today.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How Did This Happen?

Some anonymous person has nominated rocrebelgranny for a Blogger's Choice Award for Best Parenting Blog. Wow!! At the moment I have 2 votes, one of which is probably the person who nominated me. I don't know who the other one is. Not I - I'm not sure if it's ethical to vote for oneself. Besides, at least a couple of my friends are there.

Update. Thanks, Eden for this direct link.

While you're over there, you might take a look for Wandering Dave's blog. He's my friend here in Merced. I've asked him to send me the categories; otherwise that's a lot of nominations to sift through.

I recognized several names on the list and had thought about publishing them here. It's not possible now but I'll go back when I have more time and see how many of you I recognize. I wouldn't have known about it if a blogging friend hadn't mentioned my name on her own blog. There are at least 20 or so categories and over 1400 nominations altogether. Anyway, since I presume the nominator reads this blog, thanks. It's an honor.

I wouldn't dream of asking for votes but I wouldn't be insulted either.

Our Easter went quite well. The girls had a great time with the egg coloring and the hunt. WE had 8 for dinner; not bad considering the number I've fed some years. On Monday, a neighbor girl turned up with her own basket of eggs - unboiled. I sent them all outside and explained to her that boiling them first probably made sense and asked her to please not egg anything.

She, Rebecca, and Rochelle had a second egg hunt with the raw eggs. Later that day Tim asked me to help him take a couple of small tables from Barnes & Noble to his place. I was finishing my coffee while he took the tables to the van. He came in laughing. As he and his co-worker were standing by the van and dropping the tailgate, an egg came out of nowhere and went splat on the pavement. I knew exactly where it came from of course. When I asked Rebecca, she said "Oops- sorry". They'd lost count and she'd forgotten it was there tucked under the license plate. I still haven't figured out how that egg made it all the way across town unbroken.

Why does spellcheck know how to spell Rochelle but not Rebecca? And why can't it spell spellcheck? Does it need a hyphen? Is it two words?

Carol is out of the hospital and back in the care facility. Tim, Rebecca, and I went to see her today. She knew all of us and was able to stay awake for a few minutes before drifting off. She fell twice yesterday so now has assistance for the little walking she's still able to do. Her speech is impaired from the medication and her short term memory has been affected. She'd called me early in the morning to make sure we were coming and by the time we arrived, she was surprised to see us.

Rebecca was a trooper throughout although I know she was sad. She came back to the car, laid down in the back (with her seatbelt on), and put my jacket over her head. We let her stay that way until she decided to rejoin us. The other girls haven't wanted to go and I certainly won't insist.

She was subdued but otherwise okay by the time we came back to town and was ready for lunch. We ate Chinese buffet, stopped for a cold drink at Barnes & Noble (Tim got to be a customer for a change) and then she and her Uncle Tim took a quick walk around the Mall.

Elcie's spent a lot of time reading the new books we bought her. Rochelle and Rebecca went with friends to shoot pool on Saturday. Rebecca learned nine ball of all things and won a game. I used to play nine ball many years ago. I might go with them one of these evenings and make a fool out of myself.

Ray's doing quite well. This is his longest stretch at home (without a hospital stay) in some time. I'm almost afraid to mention it. It's like talking about a no-hitter during the baseball game - just not done.

Our spring has left to be replaced by chilly rain and some wind. Hope it doesn't last long.

Blogger is sending that nasty little note saying "publishing may fail".

Thanks to all for the comments, the thoughts, and the prayers. Take care everyone.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Peeps, Peeps, and Even More Peeps!!

Love them or hate them? Whichever, this latest post from Cape Buffalo should brighten your day. It certainly did mine.

Elcie is watching the new Charlotte's Web. I'll be interested to hear her review. She's in love with the original cartoon version. The other two are at the roller skating rink until ten. It's a once a month benefit for the PTA and a chance for them to have fun. The rink is closed to all but the kids from two of the middle schools and their parents. Kids pay $4.50 for 4-1/2 hours; parents get in free. The girls are old enough now for me to drop them and pick them up.

Did I mention we have kittens again? One of the neighborhood strays who drops in for a visit from time to time decided our living room would double as a delivery room. I was afraid of that. Three of the little varmints; one calico, one sort of tiger stripe, and one orange. I'm pretty sure I have homes for all three and then I'll figure out what to do with the mama. Meantime, we moved them to a box in Elcie's room.

Ray and I went shopping earlier and then stopped for coffee. I've missed his not being well enough for the two of us to get out even if it's just for errands. Now that the weather is better, we'll do more of it.

The girls are out of school for the next nine days. A friend gave us 4 new board games, I have a few cooking projects planned, and possibly a picnic depending on the weather. This weekend is supposed to be damp so we're not sure. They have bikes and skates, jump ropes and sidewalk chalk. Crayons, paints and books. They'll still probably be bored by Tuesday. Elcie has a camp-out (Mayor's Friendship Camp) on Thursday and Friday courtesy of the City of Merced Parks and Recreation Dept. That might be a good time to plan something else for the siblings.

Rochelle went on a field trip to the University of California, Merced campus today but we were in such a frantic hurry to get them to the skating rink, I forgot to ask her about it. I've been out there for meetings and social events but I haven't toured the (incomplete) campus yet. It's a work in progress.

No new word on Carol as yet. Ray and I plan to go early tomorrow and Rebecca wants to go along. I have some misgivings but she said "I really need to see her". I'll talk to her again in the morning but if she persists, I'll take her. She's old enough to know her own mind. I think she wants to reassure herself her Grandma is still alive even though I promised her I would never keep something like that a secret. She's asked me that more than once so obviously it's something to take seriously. I'm never sure what Rebecca's thinking (or any of them for that matter).

Ray and I are enjoying the relative quiet with two of the three girls out of the house. Watching the Giants vs the Dodgers at the moment. I can type and watch t.v. at the same time but I'll need to make sure my fingers didn't start off on the wrong keys.

Thanks to all for the comments if I don't get back to all of you. Take care and have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Maundy Thursday and Pesach (Updated)

I borrowed this beautiful picture from Delilah Boyd.

My church (United Methodist in case any of you are wondering) has a traditional foot washing observance on Maundy Thursday (today) of each year.

Last year we combined it with a Seder in observance of Pesach (Passover) which this year is from sunset of April 2 through nightfall of April 14. We'll be doing the same thing this year which I hope will be the continuation of another tradition. Unless something changes between now and this evening I'll be taking the girls and Ray if he's well enough.

I'll probably go to see Carol today since Tim has the day off. They've increased her pain medications once again. I hope it helps. We went last week but she was sleeping. I wouldn't wake her up and I won't this time either. The high power medication helps with the pain but leaves her disoriented much of the time so she may not even remember we were there. It's hard to watch but I'm glad the pain is still manageable.

(Update - the care facility called right after I wrote this. She's having some problems and they're sending her over to the hospital. If they don't need me before then, I'll take Ray and go in on Saturday. Dawn will watch the girls and supervise the annual egg coloring mess.)

Rochelle and Rebecca engaged in their usual tug of war over clothing this morning. No matter what I buy for one, the other covets it. Rebecca went off to school in Rochelle's clothes and vice versa. Elcie was sounding off about her stubborn sibs. A clear case of the pot and the kettle, I told her.

We finally got Elcie on her bus and I headed out with the others. Now I have a few minutes before my friend Dawn comes back. She's been helping me with the house. I keep up with the daily grind but I have several projects that need doing. We're whittling away at them little by little while drinking coffee and playing cards in between. Yesterday we cleared out all the papers the girls bring home from school, straightened out school supplies, etc. I mopped floors and washed down the most offensive woodwork while I was at it.

The next is to go through the linen closet which is bulging at the seams. I know that I have at least 20 more sheets than anyone could possibly need. They stay at the bottom and take up space. And then we'll do the same thing with the girls' clothes; most of which will go to Dawn. Some will go to Goodwill and some to our church clothes closet. When she came in this morning, her daughter Destiny was wearing a t-shirt which had been through all 3 of mine and still going strong. It will be passed down at least one more time before it turns into a dust cloth.

And sometime in between I'll pack away the ornaments which are still on the piano. We did everything except that in a timely fashion. (Update - that turned into our task for this morning. It's done along with a lot of sweeping and dusting, Now I'm on my way to meet Tim for lunch.)

Easter dinner will be simple. I have a turkey breast and a small ham. Both will go in the oven with no frills and I'll buy potato salad (unless I get ambitious suddenly) and cole slaw mix. I'll probably make candied sweets and possibly a few deviled eggs the day before. Unless Tim has the time off, it will be just us and maybe one neighbor couple.

I still haven't solved my "picture viewing" problem completely on the other blogs. It may be fixed here. I installed Adobe one more time and it came with a free "photoshop". I now have all my photos and images there. It seems to be working but I haven't learned much about it yet.

I'll test it out later with the two pictures everyone but me can see. Maybe Picasa is the problem as some suggested. Firefox has never given me problems before and I don't want to switch back to IE because strange things happen to the color and the sidebar (it disappears).

To those of you who observe Easter, have a blessed day and the same to all who celebrate Passover. And to everyone, thanks for the comments (I'm behind in replies once again), be safe, and have a wonderful weekend if I don't get back before then.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Testing - Continued (Updated)

Since so many of you like the "granny" photo, my friend Angela will add it to the sidebar below the girls.

Thanks to all who have commented. Everyone but me can see the pics.

I have some votes for IE and some for Mozilla Firefox. I've been using Mozilla for almost a year and this is the first problem I've had. I'll check out the suggestions and see if I can get the computer to cooperate.

It isn't just on this blog; it's happening with many of yours as well. I'll see a couple of the pictures, skip one, see a couple more, etc. Frustrating.

I'll be back later. Have a good day and take care.


I'm going to try to put the other picture on. It should be interesting. The last time I messed with my sidebar except for the blogroll, I zapped my entire blog.

I have step by step directions from Angela. She's a good teacher so if I zap the blog again, I have only myself to blame.

Wish me luck.