Sunday, July 31, 2005

A Decade Ago

As I type.... A decade ago chaos was erupting in the room when ALL OF A SUDDEN Emma decided that NOW was the time to enter in the world. She had been dithering back and forth about it for two weeks. Even a few hours earlier she had absolutely no intention of being born this day. Then "yea...let's go for it!"

She celebrated by having two brand spankin' new holes put into her head. I can safely say that her hair will be worn in an ear exposing do for at least the next week. I can say that because it is in such a style every day regardless of the sparkly new gold studs in each ear.

We capped it off with dinner at Chevy's because "they give you a hat". Right. Cause everyone needs a sombraro. Right now she is outside playing with her friends and showing off her new acquisition. Later, we will stick some candles into an angel food cake and top it with strawberries and whipped cream. This is the good thing about a summer birthday...strawberry shortcake for birthday cake!

Next weekend it will be Waterworld and an ice cream cake.... It's all about the Emma for her birthday.

Wait. No.... It think that is every day.....

Happy Birthday Em!

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Legend tells that we all have a twin somewhere. Many times I have been given proof that this is, in fact, a fact.

Recently a woman walked into the knit shop and I would have sworn on all that is holy that Betsy had just walked in. As I watched her and listened to her... I was POSITIVE that this woman was Betsy. Except for the not so minor detail... Betsy died several years ago. So that was a freaky experience.

I have been friends with Elaine for several years. We hit it off right away. And EVERY SINGLE TIME I talk with her on the phone.... I get discombobulated.... the sound of her voice, her word choice, her voice inflection.... all that stuff.... she IS Jennifer. Jennifer and I have been friends since 1981. (We'll just leave it at that and not count the years...) It is quite confusing. I waffle back and forth on whether or not Elaine and Jennifer should meet. Maybe they should...but I think it might make my head spin.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Little Yellow Bug

Yea. I love my bug. A 2003 New Beetle in Sunflower Yellow, to be specific. I am deeply disappointed it doesn't have a name. I'm not sure of its gender, thus no name....

But on nights that it is, according to my little yellow bug, 88 degrees and I'm sitting in road construction traffic on the Boulevard blasting Steppenwolf out my Monsoon sound system at a bazillion decibles and getting a friendly wave from the road construction workers ..... THOSE are the best times.

Hitting the gas when I clear the 25mph zone and taking the traffic "calming" circle at 40mph and my little yellow bug hugging the curve like he (or she?) was locked in a lover's embrace.... well, my friends.... That's just SWEET.

Yea... a magic carpet ride....

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Attention Shoppers! Please stay home!

File this one under "Pet Peeves".

I am not a morning person. Which means... I don't deal well with anything until about noon. However, I don't want to be out and about dealing with traffic and lots of people in the afternoon. Especially in the summer cause it's HOT and everyone is grumpier.

I want to get up and run my errands and then have "happy me" time when I am at home or doing something I WANT to do. I do not want to fill my "happy me" time with stupid errands.

During the school year, this means I want to take my child to school and THEN go immediately to run my errands. The child starts school at 8:15. Which means I can go to the grocery store and Home Depot. They open at 6am.

EVERYWHERE else opens at 10am. What the hell is up with THAT? Ok. Target opens at 8:30. And if I am to go to Target, it will be as close to 8:30 as possible. Before the screaming toddlers get there. (which will no doubt be later blog fodder)

Today. A Saturday. Normy and I wanted to go buy a Portable/Personal DVD player. Excellent. We are up. We are dressed. Let's go before I have to go to work, it gets hot and so we can deliver the DVD player to the person for whom we are buying it, so he can have it most of today.

Circuit City. Opens at 10.
Best Buy. Opens at 10.

Target is open, but they don't have the one that Norm has determined is the "best one".

So...Norm is pouring concrete. I am about to go to work. Later this afternoon, Norm will go get the DVD player and the person who is "waiting" for it (he doesn't know he's getting it...shhhhh) won't have it for most of today.

Y'all don't have to open at 6am. Just 9. Nine would be good. Nine is not too early, but not when the morning is....well, not really morning anymore.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Be Not Afraid

If you follow my links, you know The Great and Wonderful Cowtown Stacy is in Ireland. Or as her daughter likes to say "I get to go to London for my birthday!". Yep. They will go to London on her birthday. Significantly less significant when one is in Ireland to begin with. But it sure sounds good! I've already told Kaitlyn that no, we shall not be going to London for her birthday.

Stacy's mom is probably scared out of her mind right now. After the bombings of two weeks ago, she wanted Stacy to cancel the trip. Stacy did not. They are not returning home early either. (and if she did....they'd have to get a hotel since there are Irish People in her house). (Note to self: may have to do that house swap thing....)

But part of the reason she continues to be Great and Wonderful is that Stacy IS NOT AFRAID. She will be cautious. She will be prudent. But she WILL NOT BE AFRAID.

Be careful out there. But be not afraid.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


No...not the kind you took in high school.

I'm talking about the kind that ENVELOPS the lives of some people. No matter how big, no matter how small..... it is all a BIG!!!!!! DEAL!!!!!!!

Good grief. I'm tired of it. I'm especially tired of the drama that is relatively easy to solve. Small actions to be sure, but significant actions. Small, significant actions that will make the immediate problem better, solved even, and have a ripple effect and improve other BIG!!!!! DEAL!!!!!! problems.

In otherwords; fix it or quit complaining. If you don't like your situation....change it. Move, change jobs, change churches, stop it, begin it, fire him, hire her, divorce him, date her. DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE IT.

I have had someone "divorce" herself from me recently. Excellent. I held up a mirror and she didn't like it. (me and some other friends) So ok.... that's fine. Go work on yourself and your life. I'm not saying the door is closed forever....but it's closed for now.

So stay out of my email box. Same drama. Same BIG!!!!!!! DEAL!!!!!!!!! {sigh} Filters have been created. I'll let her vent....but I don't have to read it.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hot Hot Hot

Well........ today it didn't make the 100 mark on the Official Thermometer. It is no longer "hot", but merely "warm". No one who's lived in the Sacramento Valley for more than one summer would dare call anything with two digits "hot". And so, 97 wasn't "hot"....

Oh well. I had planned on it being hot for dinner and so we went ahead and had ice cream for dinner. It's been hot for a was scheduled to be hot for about another week. I can't stand to look at another salad in the face. Ice cream it was.

It's an easy way to be a hero to your kids. No veggies. Nothing mysterious and yucky. No funky sauce that might be hiding something that might be yucky. Say "It's Ice Cream for Dinner Night!" and you are the BEST MOM EVER!

Of course my kids know that when it's been hot for days, it is quite likely that it will be ice cream night. It usually happens once or twice a summer. Sometimes I am lobbied in the middle of winter, but I just say "No. Stew tonight." And that's cool too, cause they love stew....

I love my kids. After a few negative utterences when they were small, they have come to like a wide range of dishes. I love that Kaitlyn will eat broccoli for dessert and Emma will make herself a spinach salad for her after school snack.

So sure.... ice cream for dinner.....

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Why am I afraid?

AM I afraid? I don't know..... But Harry and the Half-Blood Prince is sitting three feet away from me and I don't want to open it.

How strange.

No. We didn't go at midnight last night. We got home from Comedy in the Park at nearly 11 and we were just too pooped to go. Kaitlyn is still at SSP so SHE wasn't itching to go. Emma didn't care. Two more are arriving by Owl Post all three HP fans in the house can have a personal copy.

Last time, we got our books at midnight and spent the ENTIRE day reading. I finished it. Kaitlyn took another day. Norm took a few days. So I know I'm not intimidated by a nice thick book.

I've been looking forward to this. But it's kinda like once I start, I will be one book away from the very end. I'm almost wondering if I want to wait until #7 is published.... can I wait another two years? Hmmmmm.......

There he sits. Harry and Dumbledore looking into some sort of vessel that is glowing green....

Who IS the Half Blood Prince? (don't tell me!!!) Strange strange strange...... I would've thought I'd been half way through by now.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Be Careful Out There

Emma and I witnessed a car accident today. Not our own. Could have been our own had the van without brakes (either not available or not used...effect is the same) had chose OUR lane instead of the lane next to us. Nary a skid mark laid down......

We stuck around for about 30 minutes so I could give my statement to the police. The vehicle that was hit was from the Water Service. Water Service personnel responded before the police. Hazmat probably had to come to clean up the fluids, no doubt.

I drive like a maniac, to be sure. We've all had our heart pounding stops just in time. But come on people.... be in CONTROL. And quit tailgating ME when I'm creeping along the Boulevard cause the speed limit IS 25mph and the potholes are gonna send you and me both flying if we hit one at YOUR speed.

And if YOU see an matter how minor....STOP. If you can't stay, give the drivers your information so they can call you later for a statement. You'd want them to do that for you when some shmuck rear ends YOU while you're just waiting for the red light to go green. All those people in all those cars in that intersection? Yea....well, maybe I won't stop for YOUR accident. Nah.... I will. I can't help it.....

Discovery.... same sentiments as yesterday for Saturday. Or whenever you fly again....

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


God speed. Return safely.

Monday, July 11, 2005

UFO Sightings

We have several UFO's at our house. Too many UFO's, actually. But we are 99.9% down by one. As soon as Elaine sends me the button she says is "perfect", I will sew it on and have one UnFinished Object....Finished.

The Big Pink Thing is knitted. I am working on the cording. Which probably could be more tedious, but I don't know how. Two cords. 60" each, minimum. Then I will felt it all. After it dries... another UFO gone.

Then there is the hat. Remind me not to do anything with STRIPES ever again. I made good progress on that hat during Annual Conference....but I'm not sitting and listening to people talk all day long any more. Nor am I sitting in the car for several hundred miles. Other things tug at me. Like other UFO's and laundry and checking to see if the mail came.... But I will finish it too.

I'm not nearly as productive as Elaine in MY frenzy but I will NEVER be as energetic as Elaine either. And she feels guilt when she spends a day being a slug. I don't suffer from that at ALL. Frittering does not bother me one whit.

I wonder if after I deplete my supply of UFO's if I will move on to UFProjects. I don't hold out much hope, but one never knows, does one? I rather suspect I will create more UFO's......

Friday, July 08, 2005

Zoo Thoughts

I watched a Polar Bear watch me today. I was FAR more impressed with the polar bear than the polar bear was with me.

But we watched each other rather intently for several minutes. Then he decided to go put his front paw in some water and chew on it for a bit. He bored of that and came back to look at the people. Then he went for a swim. It took several minutes of contemplation before he went IN the small pool, but finally "swim" won over "watch the people".

What do the zoo animals think of the people who peer at them. Surely they detest those who yell at them to wake up. I'm also sure there is a barking dog in the middle of the night for those people, just waiting for the proper timing. Animals are karmic like that.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Lunch Fairy

The only meal worse to deal with on a daily basis than dinner, is lunch. It can get very boring very fast. There are just so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you can eat before you go running from the house screaming.

Lunch takes too much time to prepare for the result. It's not a large meal...just a little something to keep the tummy grumblies away.

If you are away from home all day at work, lunch is a pain. Where to go TODAY? Or which Lean Cuisine do I toss into the microwave to eat at my desk? At home, it's not much better. Open a can of something. Peanut butter between bread. Look at the leftovers and think "we could have that for dinner if I don't have it for lunch".

More than a dinner fairy, I need a lunch fairy. She would bring something light, but tasty. Low in calories, high in good for me stuff. It would be something new every day. At the very least, her menu would be extensive.

*sigh* I think I'll go fix a peanut butter and jam sandwich now.

God Bless the United Kingdom and keep them in His arms.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Summer...2004...a year later.

I started this entry the other day. Then I deleted it all. Then I started it again in my head. Then I decided against it. Now...I just talked to The Great and Wonderful Cowtown Stacy. So I suppose I do need to write about this.

Summer 2004 is a period of time between June 11 and August 31. Not your normal time frame for summer, but it is what will be considered summer for me for many summers to come.

On June 11 my friend Donna told me (and Stacy and others) she had terminal pancreatic cancer. "And it looks like it won't be long", she said. It was late evening and I was supposed to be packing to go away for a long weekend with my family. I walked into our bedroom and Norm looked at me and said (in a slightly panicky voice) "What's WRONG??" and I burst into tears and choked out Donna's news. She was right. She died the morning of August 31, 2004.

The flurry of emails that ensued after that June 11 email was only the beginning of a summer that will mark both an end and a beginning. And it pains me that it was Donna's dying and death that marked that beginning.

You see.... I never met Donna face to face. Stacy and Sherilyn drove from Texas to Winnipeg and back again in four days to visit Donna in the hospital. I will always regret not going with them. But it was the only time we made a real effort to meet each other. We discovered in the worst way, how wrong that was. And so.... we do make the effort now.

You see.....these women......they are my best friends in every sense of that word. I speak with them EVERY SINGLE DAY. Not a day has gone by since June 11, 2004 that I have not spoken with at LEAST one of them. I bought a laptop computer so I could remain in contact with them and it is some of the best money I've ever spent. We are East. We are West. We are North. We are South (bless their hearts). None of us live down the street from another. Some of us live within a 30 minute drive. But most of us need an airplane to meet for coffee.

That was a horrible summer and it was a wonderful summer. We had some horrible things happen (Donna's death being the greatest, but there were others) during that summer. But there was a point in August that we knew that we would be so much better in a year. We knew we would be closer than ever, in a year. We knew we would still miss Donna. We are stronger than we thought we were. We are more capable than we thought we were. We are each other's strength. A year previous we didn't know that. Now...we do. I think we all walk a little taller now.

I hope Donna is resting in peace. I hope she looks down on us and smiles when she watches us. I wish she was here to be part of it all.

I wish for you, my reader, friendships like this. For far too long we knew each other only through the words typed into a computer. Now...... we try to get together whenever possible, we rely on free long distance from our cell phone companies to allow us to just call anytime, even just to ask a question about a recipe or how to send a music file. And we "talk" every single day. We can debate the great issues that face our nation and world, we could seek parental advice from those who have been there done that. We can share great ideas for quick lunches or a knitting pattern that is too easy not to do. Or we can just talk about a lot of nothing. But I know that if I need advice or an ear, a shoulder or an atta girl.... these are my people.

I am blessed. And I will always remember Donna when I think of these women. And I will always be sad that she was not here to know us as "us". For she was the best of us.....

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Fractions are handy. Unless you're making a pound cake (traditionally, a pound of each ingredient), fractions help you cook and make change and do all sorts of handy things. Fractions and the ARITHMATIC involved shall never ever be confused with bullshit math like algebra. Algebra is not handy...... (no matter what Elaine says).

Fractions have vexed Emma all year. Cannot understand them. They make no sense whatsoever. Teacher couldn't explain 'em. (which is another topic all together, but I'm trying to let it go...) Parents couldn't explain 'em. So Emma finds herself spending 2 hours a week in tutoring. Our neighbor, Jennifer, is a teacher and we have enlisted her as tutor. So when SHE relates fractions to something like MONEY it makes sense. When someone like, oh.... Emma's MOTHER, relates fractions to money, she is an idiot. Fractions and money?? Mother, mother, mother, you are just so dimwitted.....

Of course Emma does not WANT to spend 2 hours per week in tutoring. But she went and she, shock of all shocks, LEARNED SOMETHING. I think Emma was just amazed. She now thinks she's got one over on her schoolmates. I think she's got a long way to go until that happens. But the lightbulb is now at least screwed into the socket. The power to light it up is online. Now just to flick the switch.

And 5th grade is a whole new year......

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Today I think of those who are making the greatest sacrifices. Children who have BOTH parents in combat.

I know two teens who's parents enlisted with the NATIONAL guard and now find themselves in combat on the other side of the world. They never thought they would be in international combat. They never thought they'd leave their children behind and come home to a young man and young woman. They never thought they'd have to rely on other family to raise their children. They were will serve in California. You may have to go to another state in case of natural disaster. Then they were sent to Iraq.

Happy Fourth of July. I pray that the next one will see our troops home. God willing....

Friday, July 01, 2005


These are really really REALLY good fireworks.

Really. I wouldn't kid about this. I know they look like rather ordinary fireworks. You really need to go and see them for yourself. Get a plot of real estate on the hub, as in front of the castle as humanly possible. Watch out....fireworks extraordinaire.... in front of you, above you, behind you. Watch the Matterhorn. Listen to the soundtrack. They really are really good. Small detail worth mentioning: you gotta buy a ticket and the price of tickets went up on June 20. Someone's gotta pay for all that boom boom boom. And it sure as hell ain't gonna be Michael Eisner. He has to watch his expenditures cause he's gonna be out of a job soon. Looming unemployment makes you stingy like that. His excuse during the previous 20whatever years? No clue.

These are NOT really really REALLY good fireworks. THESE are "Safe and Sane" fireworks.
Safe and Sane fireworks are adequate. You do not need to sit on the curb in front of your house for hours and hours on end to ensure a good seat. You can plop yourself down mere seconds before the show. This year, as in many years previous, we will ignite enough of these puppies to cause a Stage 4 smog alert in most major metropolitan cities. Three families, each buying enough to entertain the masses by themselves. We blow up small explosives for hours. It is legal arson. On no other day, except July 4, can you just blow up small boxes of gunpowder and no one really cares. Except for the kids who have spent the day playing really hard with their friends and had to wait until it was D.A.R.K. (and that happens around 9pm at that time of year in these parts) and would really just rather go to bed, thankyouverymuch. But no, dammit, you are going to stay up and you are GOING TO HAVE FUN watching Dad blow up small boxes of gunpowder.

Salute the flag. God Bless America. Let's blow stuff up.