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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Something New and Different

This has not been the best week so far but I'm not going to have another gloomy post.

The good news. Rebecca is Student of the Quarter and once again made the B Honor Roll.

The bad news. Another bus suspension - this time for 3 days. At least no bad language or inappropriate gestures. She was doing jumping jacks in front of the parked bus and compounded it by slapping the rear of the bus just as the driver was about to pull out.

Both serious safety issues of course. I'm driving them in the morning - they're walking home in the afternoon. Close to two miles but they're young and strong.

Does a flat tire and discovering I have to replace all 4 count for as many points as a defunct appliance?

The internet is still iffy but I spent part of today catching up on my friends and ran across this link from Tammy who in turn borrowed it from Laurie,a blogging friend of hers from my home state of New York.

I looked up Herkimer County in New York and found several old postcards of my hometown and the surrounding area. I remember many of them, especially the old Forge where Eliphalet Remington built his first rifle. The company he founded provided my dad with steady employment through much of the great depression and many years after.

I did my early driving in the Gorge they talk about. Lots of curves and a creek running through it. At least the road was at the bottom of the Gorge, not the top, and I never hit a tree.

Herkimer County is named after General Nicholas Herkimer who led his militia in the Battle of Oriskany, Revolutionary War. He was wounded and died several days later. His endeavors were required reading for all of us Mohawk Valley students back then. I wonder if any of the students there today have even heard of him.

For those of you interested in old photos and the history of the USA, this is a great site.

Thanks to all for the comments and take care.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Slow Week - Sort Of - Update

Not that I haven't been busy. There just hasn't been much going on around here.

Ray has managed to stay out of the hospital and Carol is settled in and content in Turlock. However, for some reason, she's supposed to see the doctor in Merced so that's one more thing I have to try to fix. I could make the drive back and forth but that trip would be hard on her.

The net went down again this morning but it's back now. Others are having the same problem with the off again-on again so I don't think it's anything here. Probably just something with their satellite or whatever makes all this work.

Tim called the other night to tell me my blog looked very lonely. I said "so write something". He hasn't so far but he's been checking out some of my blog reading recommendations. We had lunch together yesterday.

I've made it through an entire week without an appliance breakdown, not counting the net but I never did find my camera. If I ever replace it, I'll lock it in a drawer.

Anything else? Oh yes, Rebecca was suspended for one day on her second afternoon bus. Changing seats, talking too loud, "inappropriate" language (you can probably guess what word she chose to use), and putting her arm out the window and flipping someone off. Everytime I hear a teacher (or a bus driver) start off with "Rebecca is a great kid", I wait for the "but".

There's always a "but".

She's grounded until the weekend and I haven't decided about that yet. The driver says it's a bad mix of kids on his bus and Rebecca has picked up some of the behavior from them. Probably but she doesn't have to jump off a bridge just because everyone else does. On the other hand, neither of the other two drivers have complained about her. So part of it may be an unusually strict driver so far as the talking is concerned. And part may be that the afternoon trip involves two buses and by bus #2, she's tired and antsy. On suspension day, I drove them in the morning - they walked home in the afternoon and did fine. They had a phone with them just in case.

Anyhow, maybe she learned something. According to her, Rochelle isn't the innocent she appears to be - she just doesn't get caught. Sounds right to me so Rochelle and I had a chat too.

Other than that, the week has gone fairly well. I took Elcie to an open house at the high school she will probably be attending. It wasn't her first choice but it's a much newer school, just as close if not a little closer, and once she looked around and found a few friends from elementary school and the church, she was much happier with it. Both high schools have problems with gangs but these days it's hard to find one that doesn't. We have the two high schools and a "continuation" school so there's not a lot to choose from. I don't worry about Elcie and gangs (except for her being in the wrong place at the wrong time) but it's something I watch carefully with the other two. So far, so good.

Update. Some of you have asked about "continuation" school. It's called different things in different places. It's a school for kids who have been in and out of juvenile detention or expelled from the other schools and either aren't old enough to drop out or have been sent there by the courts.

I know they must have some success stories but unfortunately by the time most kids get there the successes are far outnumbered by the failures. If we can save even one kid out of ten or even one out of 100, it's worth doing. Kids are not supposed to be thrown away and so many are.

We have a high poverty rate, a volatile racial mix, and far too many gangs (formed strictly along racial lines), drugs, and crime. The schools try hard and so does law enforcement but it can still be dangerous to anyone caught in the crossfire. Almost all of it stems directly from poverty and continues generation to generation.

Of course this isn't unique to Merced but I was surprised to see so much of it in this relatively small city.

Golden Valley High was built since we've lived here - maybe 10 years ago. It has won awards for music and art which is encouraging since so much of that has been dropped from the schools in this country. Elcie was fascinated by all the choices she could make by the end of her freshman year. She thrived in middle school and I hope with some help she'll keep on keeping on.

The rest of the week was the usual. I managed to have coffee with my friend David. His trip is getting closer and closer and he'll be gone for a year. I still plan to write a post about it - maybe next week. He's leaving on the 15th of next month; first for a jaunt through the Pacific Northwest, then across Canada and back down our east coast, across the southern part of the USA, and then back here.

He's made a couple of trial runs. You can read about them here. The blog has links to his forum, podcast, photos, etc.

Sorry I haven't posted more or read more of your blogs. I'll try to do better if the net will cooperate. Meantime, thanks to all for the comments and I apologize for not getting back to everyone.

Take care everyone and have a great weekend.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Internet Problems Again

It's working again now but I don't know for how long.

We're all okay here but wanted to leave you a note so you'll know I'm not ignoring all your comments. I wasn't able to read until this morning and I don't know how long it will last.

Thanks and take care everyone. I'm calling Comcast today and screaming. It's supposed to be the best; it should work all the time.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Breast Cancer Awareness

Our friend Merle in Australia sent me this message:

Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle).

This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

I don't do a lot of personal email outside of my blogging friends so doing it as a chain letter wouldn't work too well. I'd rather spread the word here and ask you to pass it along.

Please click on this site to help provide free mammograms to the poor.

Here's a Quiz I Haven't Seen Before

What aristocratic title are you? Check here to find out. I'm Countess-Palatine Ann the Lachrymose of Deepest Throcking. Thanks to Mo-Wo for the link.

Welcome to Owens Family in Korea. I don't know her first name but she's married to an Air Force Captain, has 3 kids, and is with him in Korea. Oh, and she quilts - lots.

Saints lost badly in the snow of Chicago. I keep waiting to hear from Jim but he's probably sunk in gloom. Oh well, there's always next year.

Internet Problems Again - Updated

It seems to have fixed itself overnight, at least for now, but I'm putting a short note here just in case.

If it goes back out, I'll have Tim let you know.

Still cold here on a Sunday morning. I'm making a store run for a few things and then try to stay in the rest of the day. Might drop in on Tim at Barnes & Noble and treat myself since I'll be almost next door.

And then I'll watch my son Jim's beloved New Orleans Saints try to make their way to the Super Bowl. I think this is the best they've ever done.

Not much new around here. Never did find the camera. I wonder about that since the girls have friends running in and out.

It did occur to me I don't say much about Ray except to tell you he's in the hospital once again. A couple of friends commented on his warming my jacket which made me realize I don't think about all the little things he does for us. He just changed the kitty litter which I was going to do before I left. He's not well and the big jobs are a little too much for him (or me sometimes) but those little things sure add up.

Thanks, sweetie.

Important update. I've heard from a couple of friends and it seems like I implied Ray is in the hospital. He's not. I just looked at what I said - what I meant was that the only time I seem to mention him is when he's in the hospital or just getting out. Oops.

Take care everyone and keep your fingers crossed for Comcast and the internet.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Have Not Dropped off the Planet

But is sure must have seemed that way. Here's why, numbered so I don't forget what I'm saying once I've said it.

1. Ray has been home since early last Sunday and seems to be doing well so far. He just settled in for the night. I took a nap earlier so now am wide awake.

2. I took Carol back to the facility yesterday. She did fine for the first three days but as usual she tends to overdo and between that and the general hubbub around here with the kids it was too much for her. She's made a lot of friends there and she kept calling it "home". The director said if Medi-cal declined it she'd resubmit with even more information until they approved it. It was obvious after a few days that she needed to be there.

She's mine and I love her but I told another friend earlier that if I say the sun is shining, Carol will insist it's pouring rain. Elcie is very like her and it makes me want to pull my hair out. She wants to be in charge of herself which is fine up to a point but she overestimates her strength (mostly a result of the medication) and then crashes. At the care facility, that doesn't happen.

3. My refrigerator gave up the ghost last night. We cleaned everything thoroughly and hoped by morning it would be okay but no such luck. I spent much of today buying another refrigerator, offloading both parts of the old side-by-side, throwing some things away, and stashing everything back in the new one. I lost a little freezer space in the deal because I no longer have a side-by-side but gained on the refrigerator section. I don't need that much freezer space because I have a tendency to overshop when things are on sale just because I had the space to do it. I have a 15' freezer and once I did a little reorganizing, everything fit with a little room to spare. I'll go through it and clean it out better at some point but may wait for a little warmer weather or a decent pair of work gloves. I was burning my hands from the cold and potholders are too awkward.

In a way it was good. We were forced to take down the Christmas tree from the living room table so we could bring the new fridge through the front door. Now almost all the Christmas is at least boxed except for the piano decorations which I'll deal with tomorrow as well as the bookcase in the front hall which we had to empty and move (fridge once again).

4. I took Elcie to the doctor yesterday. She's been having foot problems and one toe became infected. I've sent her to school in slipper socks since Tuesday. She now has them wrapped in gauze, soaking them in a peroxide solution, and will be taking antibiotics for the next ten days but she'll be fine.

She's 91 lbs now, 5'2&1/2" (you'll have to do the metrics - I'm feeling lazy - 6-1/2 stone, Alice?) and that's most of the problem. As she grows, she puts more weight on the front of her feet which in turn forces her toes up against her shoes (no matter how good the shoe or the fit). Once her feet heal up, I'll try her in shoes for school when she's in her chair most of the day and put slipper socks on her when she's on her crutches. We can't have her in pain from blisters. Also, she has a hammer toe which may require surgery (again because of her growing - it hadn't caused problems when she was smaller). Poor kid.

If it comes back, I may check on special shoes for her. There must be something out there that will keep the pressure off her toes. We'd like to keep her upright at least when she's not in school as long as possible. The more she depends on the chair, the less independence she has. She's very good on her crutches and I don't want her to lose that or what strength she has in her legs.

5. My car keys disappeared just as I needed them to pick Tim up from Amtrak tonight and reappeared in the dryer. Ray had tossed my jacket in to warm before I left (surprising the difference that can make) and the keys were in it.

6. My camera seems to have disappeared from my computer desk. I'll track it down tomorrow. Wanted to take a picture of the fridge because it will never look this organized again. And yes, I checked the dryer for it (the camera - I hate pronouns; it sounded like the fridge might be in the dryer) as well. No, it wasn't there.

7. Rochelle and Rebecca are in trouble for teasing Elcie during school breakfast about her "boyfriend". He's just a friend Elcie has known for years from class and the bus. A good kid and very shy. They were both humiliated of course and the girls were grounded. I told them if it happened again, I'd call the Principal just as I would if anyone bullied one of them. It's emotional abuse, not teasing, and I won't allow them to do it to anyone.

I asked Elcie today if it had stopped and she said yes and her friend was talking to her again. The girls apologized to him. Rochelle then said that someone had been teasing her and it almost made her cry. Middle school can be a horrible place. Those kids think they're so smart and clever when actually they know nothing. In some ways it's worse than high school.

8. Their report cards came today. All their grades are either the same or a little higher so all is not gloom and doom around here. Rebecca went from a C+ to a B in her math intervention scores. Rochelle is struggling with fractions and I finally found a little time yesterday to sit with her and teach her how to add fractions with a common denominator. It's so easy and the textbook makes it so complicated. They go into a lot of theory instead of just saying to add the numbers on top across but leave the bottom numbers alone. (She was adding both of them). Then they can teach the theory if they want to but meantime she'll be getting some correct answers.

Anyhow, that was my week in review. By the time I reached the end of each day, I couldn't string two words together, let alone try to write anything except a few short comments.

Welcome to the new visitors.

Maven a mom of three from Canada (Ontario?).

Lushgurl the mom of a teenager, also from Ontario.

Carin from somewhere in Canada. I'll have to go back and read more of her posts. She's very funny, I discovered that much.

Kimberly is an old friend with a new blog and url. She has two little girls and is also Canadian.

Canada seems to rule here tonight, doesn't it. Someplace I have a new visitor from Australia and Diane's sister in Arkanasas. I'll keep poking back through the comments. (Found a couple more while I was backtracking).

Spadoman from Wisconsin, USA. He's been commenting for a while now but I don't remember introducing him. Lovely, gentle, man in the best sense of those words.

ZZtop from Arkansas, Diane's sister. I became acquainted with Diane when I noticed she lives about 5 miles from where I did in Arkansas back in the 70's. Her sister's blog is brand new and I know she'd appreciate y'all dropping in to say hi and welcome.

Rosa is the mom of two sons from Nashville, TN, USA.

Lee-Ann from Victoria, Australia. Lee-Ann is a mom of four, granny of eight, a volunteer in a thrift shop. Not all my Australian visitors are grannies (or granddads - hi Lindsay), but many of them are and we enjoy writing back and forth.

And finally from Merced, CA

David Burke. I hope the link will get you to his MySpace blog. I'm going to give him a post of his own soon with a link to the rest of his journal.

David is a journalist and retired teacher as well as my Tuesday morning coffee "date" I mention from time to time. We met when I commented on a piece he'd written for the local paper, we met for coffee and became friends.

I know he's commented on a few of your blogs about the cross continent trip he's been planning and, now that my lips are unsealed, I'll write more about it as soon as I have time to do it right. In the meantime, if he comments on your blog, please welcome him. He's not spam, honest he's not.

Wow. I should have done a separate post just for the new visitors. Welcome to all. If I missed anyone, please let me know. I'll try to get you on my blogroll but it's been cranky lately. Keeps telling me when I try to save and republish that I must sign in to do that. I am signed in. I think it's a ploy to drag me kicking and screaming over to the new, improved, Blogger.

Thanks to all for the comments over the last two or three posts. I hope I responded to most of you.

Take care everyone. I'll try to get back a little more often.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Let Freedom Ring - Martin Luther King, Jr. 1-15-29 - 4-4-68

Here's a little history and a short biography for those of you too young to remember the occasion.

"On August 28, 1963, under a nearly cloudless sky, more than 250,000 people, a fifth of them white, gathered near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to rally for "jobs and freedom." The roster of speakers included speakers from nearly every segment of society -- labor leaders like Walter Reuther, clergy, film stars such as Sidney Poitier and Marlon Brando and folksingers such as Joan Baez. Each of the speakers was allotted fifteen minutes, but the day belonged to the young and charismatic leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had originally prepared a short and somewhat formal recitation of the sufferings of African Americans attempting to realize their freedom in a society chained by discrimination. He was about to sit down when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson called out, "Tell them about your dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!" Encouraged by shouts from the audience, King drew upon some of his past talks, and the result became the landmark statement of civil rights in America -- a dream of all people, of all races and colors and backgrounds, sharing in an America marked by freedom and democracy."

I'm sure most of you know from looking at the photos on my banner that I'm raising three beautiful mixed-race great-granddaughters and some may know that the mother of three of my grandchildren (Jim's kids) was born in Manila.

This is for them. No matter how many times I hear it repeated, it never becomes stale.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Friday, January 12, 2007


Hi to Dianna, Connie and Carin who have unlurked.

And to all the rest of you of course.

Dave, thanks for checking in. Yes I know you don't like long posts but it just seems to be my way. I enjoy seeing your name pop up even when it's not often.

I'll be back later. Carol is doing much better than I expected. She is now trying to take care of me. Of course we don't know much except day to day but she's enjoying being home so much.

We did some switching around so she has a bedroom to herself. Elcie is being gracious about it and her sisters are okay with having her bunk in with them for the time being.

Meantime I have to run out to the store for a few things and it's still cold.

Talk to you all later.

Is this short enough Dave?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

National De-Lurking Week

The week is almost over and I almost forgot to ask for lurkers to show themselves.

Are you out there? If you are, drop in and say hi. I'd love to know who you are.

And yes, I do allow anonymous comments. So far it hasn't caused any problems.

If you don't know, a lurker is blog language for a person who reads without commenting. That's perfectly okay but once a year we ask them to delurk. No pressure of course and no rules.

So far so good with Carol. We'll see how it goes day to day.

Thanks to all of you for the responses. Blogger comments have been acting up again so I'm reading as many of your posts as I can in bloglines but haven't had much luck trying to leave comments. It seems to be better now so maybe I can catch up with a few more of you.

Much love to all.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Blogger Outrage Outage - 7:45 a.m. PST

Let's see if I can get this on here. It's 7:25.

We put off the cake and ice cream until Saturday because Carol came home for a few hours. We sang Happy Birthday to Rochelle and then she took all three to see Happy Feet.

She did okay but by the time my friend drove her back, she was really hurting. She'd originally planned to stay over but it was just too much. It gave us an idea of what she can and can't do and it was good to see her here. They had been talking about sending her home but I hope they rethink it. I don't see how she can do it, especially if 6 hours was too much.

They think she's too independent to need full time care. That's just not true - she tries to keep her spirits up which leads them to believe she's better than she is. They had to call the doctor late last night because of an infection in her stitches (which should have healed by now but haven't). It's all about money of course. The facility is afraid Medi-cal won't approve the charges as long as she can still crawl out of bed on her own part of the time.

This was a series of errors. When the facility sent her to the hospital in Turlock, they didn't sent any paperwork with her. The hospital didn't realize that Carol didn't want further treatment and she was too sick to tell them. She signed a surgery form without realizing what she was signing. She thought it was to remove a small cyst - it wasn't. They repaired the blockage and confirmed what we already knew from the Merced doctors. Of course they didn't realize there had already been a diagnosis and that the surgery was left undone for a reason.

Now, barring miracles, she has to go through the whole thing all over again. She's distraught and we aren't thrilled either.

(If I've already said all that, I apologize. I can't remember right now what I said on the blog and what I've said in email to a few friends).

Rochelle still hasn't done her shopping trip but we will. She's remarkably patient.

It's cold, cold, cold. Supposed to drop to 20 (about 6 Celsius) by Thursday or Friday. I've scraped frost yesterday and today. We even have a possibility of snow. I know to those of you in the Denver area this is nothing but we're not used to it and the houses aren't built for it. I'm sitting here with a blankie around me I just heated in the dryer. By the time I got back from taking kids, I was shivering.

Yes, they're finally back in school but they have a 3 day weekend (MLK Day) coming up. They'll be in the march and I'll be working a booth at the fairgrounds for PFLAG. My friends said they'd keep an eye on the girls so I wouldn't have to walk the whole distance. They'll have fun.

I'll try to get back to everyone I've missed on the comments but with Blogger down it may take a while.

This is short but the weekend got away from me and so did yesterday which was very busy although looking back I'm not sure what I accomplished. It must have been something.

4:45 p.m.

Having done all that with ten minutes to spare, Blogger shut down early and I've been waiting most of the day for it to come back.

Hi and welcome to Jobthingy from Ottawa, Ontario. She's the mom of an 8 year old girl with mild cerebral palsy so she and I have that in common.

They've officially decided Carol will come home tomorrow on a trial basis. Tim and I will go pick her up.

I'll talk to the hospital social worker tomorrow and see what can be done with respite or in home services. I know I can't do it all myself.

And we're waiting for a hospital bed for Ray once again. He seems to go along for a little while and then get sick again. Back in hospital, feels better, out again and we start over.

Sorry this is so scattered. We're doing okay, the girls are home from school and behaving themselves. At least two of them are, Rebecca went to the after school program at the church, followed by bell choir.

Take care everyone.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Silly Rochelle - Update!!

What a 12 year old looks like just after everyone has sung Happy Birthday.


No, she didn't break her pretty nose. That's what happens when frosting is applied to face.

Sorry for the confusion.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy Birthday to Rochelle - Twelve Years Old Today

My beautiful, serene (usually) Rochelle LeAnn is twelve today.

The two younger girls are ten months apart - both born in 1995. Rochelle is today of course and Rebecca is Halloween. Elcie was born in March 1993 so she'll be 14 soon.

I started this post around 8 this morning and then our power went out. It's back but I lost most of what I'd written. I didn't know for how long so we went out and bought decorated cupcakes and ice cream. By the time we came home, the power was back. It's very windy today and it was more of a brownout. Our lights were on but flickering - same with the t.v. Nothing else worked.

Rochelle is such a good kid, at least most of the time. She's always been the most openly affectionate. We call her the cuddle bug. She loves animals and they love her. She has been known to carry a bee in her bare hand, almost giving me heart failure.

She does have her moments. Just look at what used to be thick, lovely eyebrows. Her friend plucked them and I went ballistic. They all got to hear about it. I'm sure they'll grow but it will take a while.

While I was at it, I discussed tattoos and body piercings, just in case they get any other ideas. You don't remove anything that's attached to your body or add to what's already there should cover it. I hope. They can mess around with makeup on the weekends. It washes off.

Her Uncle Tim told her once they grew back, he'd treat her to a professional shaping. I told her they were already perfect as was she. I'll go along with the shaping. Maybe one experience with wax will cure her.

Aside from little things like that and being too much of an eager to please follower, she's a joy and a delight. She has a wonderful sense of humor, she's artistic and musical. She has a learning deficiency that's slowed her down a little in school but she's a hard worker and is overcoming it.

When she was tiny, she spent hours on my lap and was one of the best natured babies I've ever known. She still comes running for hugs and I hope that doesn't stop. Now I can almost sit on hers. She passed me in height a year ago and hasn't stopped growing.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Rochelle. Cake and ice cream tonight and your shopping trip and lunch maybe Sunday.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cell Phones - Update

I may have inadvertently published some outdated or conflicting information. Several people have told me the link was outdated and the phone number no longer valid. Update - It's a valid number - I just called it. Others have told me they've received telemarketing calls on their cell phones so the concerns are real but probably a bit exaggerated. Update - true - no plans so far to publish anything but a "voluntary" directory; however, I'd still keep an eye on it.

The latest info I had from the FCC said that telemarketers are not allowed to use auto dial to reach cell phones.

It's all very strange and I'll try to check it out further tomorrow. (Now done - see below).

Meantime, anything published by our FCC is applicable only to the USA. Much as we might like, we don't rule the world just yet.

Sorry if anyone is confused but at this point so am I.

Update: I found what I hope is the latest FCC advisory dated 12-14-06. It still shows the same phone number, 1-888-382-1222 and it contains some interesting information.

Update again: I called that phone number. It's active and I registered my new cell phone even though it has unlimited minutes so I don't have to worry about charges. I wanted to see if the number works. It does. And Mama Christy (hi and welcome) just registered her phone online so that still works as well.

I remember when I registered the phones, I did it online but that's been at least a year ago.

Do Not Call List

My fellow Americans.

If you haven't already done this, now would be a good time. It's bad enough to have one's dinner interrupted by snake oil salesmen without being charged for the privilege. It doesn't help to not answer the phone because with many of the cell phone systems, voice mail (receving and listening) all keep the clock on your "minutes" ticking.

This should never have happened but it did. You can find out more here

REMINDER...About Jan. 1, all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sale Calls…YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS, To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222. It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a Minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I Am Hopelessly Behind

I tried to catch up with a few of your posts today and I think I've responded to most of the comments but I'm not sure.

I was asleep before midnight New Year's eve and not good for much of anything the next couple of days. Yesterday was a little better. I managed to get out of the house for a while, had coffee with my friends, and picked up a few necessities. Oh, we drank the Martinelli's on New Year's day. Or the girls and Ray did.

Before I forget to mention it, an early Happy Birthday to my sweet Rochelle who will be 12 on Friday. I'll try to write something special for her between now and then.

Elves left me a printer/scanner/copier/fax a short time before Christmas and Tim and I have been trying to install it ever since. Should be simple, right? Wrong. He tried it with another computer, finally downloaded the software from the HP site, still the same error code. Finally, he tried turning off the modem and voila!! It had something to do with the incoming stuff getting in the way. I don't understand it but I'll know if it ever happens again. While he was here, he reconnected the router so Elcie has a functioning PC once again.

The printer is wonderful. Mine gave up completely a couple of months ago and I was waiting until I could afford what I wanted when the elves showed up. I have to get a landline back to use the fax (hadn't thought about that) but shouldn't be a problem. Maybe next month. Hadn't thought I'd need one.

Today we met for lunch and he came back over, fixed my speakers (plugged them in), hooked up a cordless mouse, gave Elcie her mouse back, and fixed her speakers (also unplugged). Now all I have to do in the way of technology is figure out how to remove a cd which is jammed in the slot. It will not open. Any ideas?

I've been using an old coin-op dryer for a few years now and nursing it along. Jim and Melissa's washer broke down so they replaced the whole set and gave me their dryer which is much newer than my antique although a little smaller. Tim and I moved it today in the van and he hauled it in here and set it up. It's nice to not have to reach in, pull a lever, and then push the start button and this one has more than one temp setting. I'll probably offer the old one on Free-cycle. It still works very well if somewhat noisily and someone out there may find it a treasure. I certainly did when it was given to me.

So with all that you'd think I'd be all happy and carefree. Not today. I've been close to meltdown and wanting to scream and pull my hair. Nothing specific - just the blues and wanting to hide out somewhere and be anti-social. The girls go back to school Monday. It's been far too long a vacation. Things that usually would be no big deal suddenly seemed monumental.

Carol is planning on spending part of Saturday and Sunday here this weekend if she still feels up to it. She's had a good week so far. I think she's overscheduled herself but she'll find that out for herself when she's here. I can have her back there in 30 minutes if necessary. The medication causes her to feel better than she actually is which a good thing of course but this will be her first time home since she went into the hospital right after Thanksgiving.

She wants to shop Saturday afternoon (don't know what for - probably little things for the girls' Christmas), and then go to church on Sunday and take the girls to a movie. We'll see how it goes. I worry about her doing too much and then I think if she has some happy days, what possible difference can it make if she overdoes a little.

She asked a friend of hers (her former Home Teacher who now lives out of state) to perform Temple rites for her (I'm not Latter Day Saints but she is) and I spent part of today working on a genealogy (or the beginning of one) for her. I understand the belief and the reason for the genealogy and it seems to make her happy thinking about it. My Mormon friends will know what I'm talking about and it's too complicated for a non Mormon like me to try to explain. I think that got to me more than I realized. Everything I do for her I think I may be doing for the last time. and it all hits me again.

So, tomorrow we'll start working on clearing out the aftermath of the holidays and the girls. Rebecca cleaned our front bathroom including drawers and cabinets last night - all on her own initiative. I'll put Rochelle to work on the back bedroom (Carol's) and Ray and I will take down the Christmas decorations and clean the living room. It's been hard with me sick and the girls home to maintain much order. I'd like her to come home to something resembling what she left.

I did not start out intending to sound this depressed. I've had a little time of relative peace and quiet. Elcie and Rochelle are asleep and Rebecca is spending the night across the street with friends. Ray's doing well for the moment and physically, at least, I seem to be improving a little each day.

And tomorrow will be better.

Thanks to all of you for the comments. I haven't abandoned you - just not up to reading or writing very much lately.

Take care everyone.