Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year - Ring a Ding Ding

I am glad for 2007 to end. Major heart surgery notwithstanding, it has been a crappy year. Lots of personal anger and angst toward others, finding fault, resentment, I'll be glad for this phase to pass. Every year I hope and pray the new year will bring me inner peace. Still waiting.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Spoiling for a Fight

Too bad I'm not still married. Last night I went with Cassie et al to Red Robin and told off a couple of people there. Why do I have to wait until I get to the restaurant to put my name on a list for a table? They don't take call in reservations. The place is always bulging at the seams, and they choose to disrespect their clientelle by herding everyone into a small waiting area which is cold, drafty, and crowded, and has no seats. I noticed that at least half of the names they called for tables did not respond last night. So it isn't such a great system, is it? They told me they had too many people who called in not show up and honor their reservations. Doesn't seem to me that this system is an improvement.

And when Southwest Airlines started treating their patrons like cattle, they at least lowered the cost of airfare.

I don't see what Red Robin has given its customers as compensation.

Cassie said I was looking for a fight. Maybe she's right.


Jack is running around here with a Cabbage Patch baby in his fire truck. He says he is taking her to the doctor. That says a lot about the last several weeks. Since my surgery, we have made numerous trips to the doctor. It probably seems like the only place to go. He is a sweet little boy, whose mission today is to make his yaya crazy.

On another note, I'm cold, and can't find my robe. Anyone know where it is?

Friday, December 28, 2007

I made it!

Got into Seattle last night about 9 PM, after NINE hours sitting on that plane... most of the hangup was in Denver. There was a veritable fleet of snowplows working on the runway, and we had to sit in line to get de-iced before we could take off. We were fifth in line. Seems like someone might have anticipated that at 20 min per plane for de-icing, we would be there a while. I wish we had been able to stay at the gate and get off the plane briefly. I was so frustrated...I had a dead cell phone, and no way to contact DD and let her know we would be 3 hours late arriving. I bet I remember to take the charger in the future!!

Christmas with Steve and the Texans was about the same as I remember from previous years. Except this year, both Steve and his beautiful wife went to work every day (while Steve was a student, he had a little more free time to spoil his mom), and the children were still in school the first week I was there. It was ok, I napped a lot, and worked on rebuilding my breastbone. Falling down the stairs didn't help much. If I can't read myself to sleep, I tend to get up and prowl during the night. So, on one of my prowls, I fell down the stairs. It scared me pretty good, you betcha. I just miscounted and missed the bottom step, and landed on my hands and knees on the landing. I called my surgeon, and they didnt think I needed to worry, as long as I wasn't having any particular pain and didn't feel any shifting or grating in my chest. I think my shoulders absorbed a lot of the shock of the landing.

Anyway, I'm home, and I feel fine. I skipped cardiac rehab today and got my nails done instead. Priorities. There were 15 or more voice mail messages waiting for me. People who knew I was leaving, and when, called with prayer requests and one person called to get a friend's number. And cardiac rehab called to find out what happened to me. They also had been told that I would be leaving for Houston. People don't listen, or don't care enough but the people to whom they are talking to make a note of anything.

Jack spent the night last night. It was so sweet to have him cuddle up with me and say, "Oh yaya, I just wove you." It filled my heart.

Today, Abby's old daddy brought her home to me. He was sweet enough to keep her for me while I was gone, saving me a bundle in kennel fees. What a blessing. Anyone have any good ideas for how I can thank him and his family? Tonight she is lying next to me. The cat is hiding somewhere, very upset with me. She hasn't eaten her treats yet. Maybe after I deal with the catbox she will come out and visit with me.

Dorothy sure knew what she was talking about: "There's no place like home." I enjoyed my trip, and I am so glad to be back in my own digs.

My bed, with its extra pillows and soft, flannel sheets, is calling to me. I sure hate to have to go back to work next week.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No Luck

I thought I was going to post a picture of my most recent cross stitch finish--Jack's Christmas stocking. But I can't find it. I just uploaded it to Yahoo, but it seems to have disappeared. Instead, I found and I think uploaded the picture of Santa from the Santa Train last Friday.

This trip sure has caught me by surprise. I'm leaving at 7 am. Gotta get some packing done!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Santa Train was great fun. It's a family tradition that goes way back to when my children were little. We met up at the logging camp with some friends from church. I took pictures of John and Deana, Lisa and Eddy, little Tia and Liliana, and Jack, and my pictures didn't turn out at all. I'm so disappointed. Maybe Cassie has some that came out better. We can hope. It was a nice, sunny day, but bitterly cold.

PS I attached the picture I have of Jack talking to Santa. -Cassie

Santa Train - Dec 8, 2007

Of all the pictures I took at the Santa Train, this one turned out the best. Unfortunately, it is a picture of an anonymous Santa, who sat Jack on his knee and asked him his name. Jack whispered, "Jack *last name*." Then Jack told Santa he wanted a motorcycle for Christmas. Santa gave Jack a candy cane, reminded him to be a good boy, and Jack said Thank You, and went back to his seat next to mama. You can see the back of Jack's head, to the right of Santa. Jack was kneeling on the bench, looking forward. This was a really good Santa, gentle and peacefully quiet with the children. Boisterous Santas often scare the little ones.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ick! Ick! Ick!

My wound is really icky tonight. Dr told me to take the bandaging off when I shower and to wash it with soap and water and let it dry, then paint it with Betadine and rebandage it. I just looked, and it is draining again and looks really awful. It kind of reminds me of worms on the sidewalk after a drenching rain.

People keep asking me how my appetite is. I don't know what to answer. I have no trouble eating, but I can't come up with anything I even want to eat. I really have no appetite. I'm thirsty, though.

So it's a balancing act between taking all of my pills and checking my sugars and keeping everything 'right.'

I'm probably lucky and blessed to have been able to have this surgery and prevent any damage to my heart. The only choice I had in the matter was yes or no to the surgery. No would have meant an eventual heart attack. My back hurts all the time. Today I was thinking about how far I have come in the 3 weeks since the surgery. I enjoy being on the computer and sitting in my chair knitting and crocheting. Today I completed a bootie that looks like a bootie. I'm kind of lonely though. I think it will be nice to get back to work in January and reclaim my job from the sub. I've had a couple of very nice cards from my schools with lots of good wishes. Company for a little while with some gossip would be even better.

An email today from an old High School friend, was very encouraging. He says that yes, I will be able to lift the grandchildren again, and eventually I'll have more energy and interest in things. Dr Chen was very encouraging about my proposed trip to Houston for Christmas. I have to get tickets in the works for that. I've figured out what to give the grands, which helps me feel more enthusiastic about the trip. I start cardiac rehab on Thursday. I wonder what time? I'll have to call and find out. I know I wrote it down somewhere...

I've lost a lot of weight through the surgery, and I want that to continue. And I am nearly done with Jack's Christmas stocking, and will be starting the stockings for the girls in a few weeks. That will complete a series of six counted cross stitch Christmas stockings for my six little grands.

I'm tired. Bedtime.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm just Crabby

My Jack has a tee shirt that says, "I'm a little crabby." Mine would have to proclaim, "I'm a big crabby" or "I'm a Lot Crabby."

I hurt everywhere I have, and I'm lonely and bored. Daytime tv isn't very good. I'm partway through 3 different books, all of them excellent so far. No cookies, no chips, nothing in the house that tempts my appetite. The only thing that brightens these days is having Cassie and the babies come over. Jack was a Wild Child today. We went to Shari's for lunch, and he was lying on the table, playing in his plate of pancakes, sassing his mama. Mama was very patient. He tripped over my last nerve on his way to being in Big Trouble, Mister

I have been knitting like mad since I came out of the hospital. That was a trip: I had phone calls from all over the world: one from Perth, Australia, another from Jerusalem, Israel, and a third from Texas. Faces I haven't seen in years appeared. John, my other son, showed up, and I didn't realize who he was.. I have a major ugly scar on my chest, and all I really want to do is sleep. The drier is full, and so is the washer. Just try and have a clean nightgown, Old Woman. Good luck.

Dr Chen reminded me today that I am only 18 days out of surgery, and to be patient. He said the next 18 days might make a huge difference in how I feel and what I can do. I wish I could bend down to pick up stuff that's all over the floor. Cassie comes by and keeps up with the kitchen, bless her. Still, there is clutter everywhere around me.

I'm ready to move on a little bit.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I fell out of bed last night, and couldn't get up again. I landed on my knees, and fortunately, had cushiioned my chest with a pillow. At the time, I didn't feel hurt, just jarred. The hospital staff and visiting nurses had gleefully regaled me with horror stories of incisions coming apart, and stapled breastbones coming undone, so I was very frightened as I knealt there repeatedly dialing Cassie's number, and praying loudly that God would give her a shove so she would hear the phone. I was covered in a sheen of sweat by the time she got to the house and hoisted me back to my feet. I called the surgeon's office today to tell them what happened and ask what I should do about it... "Jerry" the PA, told me I was probably fine, and I was feeling fairly fine. He asked if I was having chest pain and if I felt anything shifting in my chest---ICK! Then he lectured me about not walking every day and not using the breathing apparatus 10 times every hour, telling me I wouldn't get better if I don't do the things that will help me get better. Here's what I want to know: will I ever be able to pick up Jack again? Will I be able to vacuum my house? Shove furniture around?There. I just did 10 deep breaths, and it does hurt to do that. I'm half afraid I'll have to start coughing if I do it. Coughing is painful; I have to press a cushion to my chest in order to cough.I walked after talking to Jerry, and got as far as the camper in front of the neighbor's house, before I had to stop and lean against it and cough. This cold, damp air, seems to make the coughing happen more.I don't even know for sure what day this is. My friend Mary has called to see how I'm doing. I have to admit to feeling just a tiny bit neglected. Church has been wonderful: people bringing meals every evening. Last night was a roast chicken and mashed potatoes, we've had casseroles with rice, macaroni, chicken, and veggies, some wonderful food. Now that I have been on the receiving end, I will be more willing to volunteer when someone else needs help. I'm craving chocolate cake tonight, and no one has brought that yet. Cassie wrote a lovely Thank You for the church newsletter to thank everyone for helping so much. I r4eally could use a little company. I love Jack, but our conversations are fairly limited. The visiting nurse is changing my dressing daily, and packing it with steri-strips. I really like the visiting nurses; they are competent, very pleasant, have a good sense of humor and help me to feel better

Jack and I have been watchng Veggitales: The Wizard of HA's (the story of the Prodigal
Son). If you aren't familiar with Veggitales, I encourage you to watch some of the videos. They are very cleverly written, and funny.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Coming Right Alongq

People keep being pleased with how well I'm coming along after the bypass surgery...I wish I believed that more. I'm darn tired of hurting. One, two years...for the scar to heal over. It gives me the creeps to look at it with those huge stitches that look like someone was sewing a saddle together. My blood pressure is excellent, and so is my pulse, and the oxygen I'm intaking...the surgery was a resounding success, according to the doctor. Apparently this depression is common with open heart surgery, and I understand that I will feel good again some day. I want to go dancing and buy pretty clothes. And find a wellto-do man to love me. And I want to eat ice cream with hot fudge. And enjoy my convalescence. Another doctor appt on Wednesday, this time with the surgeon, and maybe we will talk about how long the convalescence will last. My therapist is thinking I shouldn't go back until January, and I like that idea. It will make Christmas much nicer, to be able to go to Houston unencumbered with deadlines. I've been knitting a lot, without much success. Another thing that seems to be a by-product of the surgery. Today the dr said that the heart surgery for some reason really affects cognitive functioning. Which is probably why the knitting doesn't make any sense. I cam dp ot bu rpte. bit a, mpt gettomg amuwjere semsob;e wotj ot/// amd O cam
t tu[t amu ,pre/ t fomd tje rogjt leus. mp ,atter jpw carefi;;u O ;ppl/

Friday, November 9, 2007

y high school had it's 40th reunion in Oct. I have been in touch with old classmates, and it feels a little like discovering unknown relatives. Pretty cool, reallly. I'm glad to be back in toujch with many of these people.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

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Saturday, October 27, 2007


I wanted to let some of you know of three blogs that mean a lot to me, and that I read almost daily. They are listed in my sidebar: Jack's Mama, One Step Sideways, and Out of the Binjo Ditch. The first belongs to DD, the second to DIL, and the last to DS.

DS has some strong political opinions. Occasionally he writes about the 3 little Texans he is raising: The Boy, the Princess, and the Apple. I love his sense of humor and the wry style he uses to tell his stories.

DIL is a strong and creative woman. She has created three little ones (with some help) who are the southern apples in my eyes. She writes about various things that strike her, not always often, but always with heart.

DD writes about her life raising that funny little boy named Jack, and how the twinnies have added joys and complications to her life. She loves to tell stories about the northwestern apples I enjoy.

Please drop by and visit any or all.

Moving Forward

Today was a nice day. My dear friend picked me up for our 10 am Bible Study, and four of us (one is in China) fellowshipped and knitted and enjoyed each other's company. It was especially enjoyable to me after a week of fevers and chills and doctor appointments, and a lovely prelude to the new week and the upcoming surgery.

A little later in the afternoon I joined DD and Jacky and the twinnies at the Harvest Festival at church. Jack was so cute as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. His costume even had muscles. He ran and ran and played as hard as he knew how. What a joy to watch that child have fun! And when it was time for clean up he was right in the middle of it. He thinks of himself as a "bewwy stwong man" and does his best to lift, pull, heave, or carry. His enthusiasm outweighs his skills, but he gets an A for effort.

This evening we all went to Elmer's for dinner. That was nice. We often go to Applebee's because it's close, but it's so loud and busy that it often isn't fun. Elmer's was just the right note to end a long day. The babies slept through dinner (always a plus), and Jack was charming, although he refused to eat. Too much junk at the party?

I'm so relaxed and happy this evening. That's the way I like it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"It's Always Something"... Gilda Radner titled her book on her fight with breast cancer.

Indeed, on Columbus Day I didn't have much on my mind except being tired and glad that we had a 3-day weekend coming up. Last week I visited my new doctor for an initial appointment and the next thing I knew I was being scheduled for open heart surgery!


That'll teach me to switch doctors, I guess. She didn't like the symptoms I was describing to her--the same symptoms I had been describing for the past year to my former practitioner. Before I left her office that day, I had an appointment with the cardiologist for the next day. Before I finished with him he was scheduling an angiogram.

Five blockages in my heart. So the bypass surgery is coming up on Oct 30 at 8:30 am. The good news is that my heart muscle is strong and has no damage. More good news is that he can repair the five blockages with 3 bypasses, and he tells me that I fall in the 20% who won't need to be on a heart-lung machine.

With all that good news, seems like I wouldn't be so scared, but there you are. I am scared. And I need my children to be very careful because both of their parents have genetic predisposition to heart disease. I'm sorry, kids. But what was the alternative? If you had never been born, many people would never have had the joy of knowing you--especially me.

So on top of everythng else, I have a ginormous bladder infection, and my regular dr has put me on powerhouse antibiotics so we won't have to cancel the surgery. I'll be so glad to put all this behind me.

Any of you who are praying people, please keep me in mind.

Monday, October 8, 2007

October Thoughts

Today is Columbus Day. I seem to remember always getting off school for Columbus Day as a kid, but our school district doesn't recognize it and we have school as usual. The local military bases, however, do recognize Columbus Day as one of the Federal Monday-Holidays, so attendance is lower at many of our schools. On the other hand, this Friday is State Teacher In-Service Day, so there will be no public school. This is our first 3-day weekend this year.

This time a year ago I was already exhausted and ready for the year to end. This year I'm enjoying my job so much more. I think because of getting the sleep apnea under control. I went on a weekend trip to Portland a year ago, with some friends, to the Women of Joy Conference. One of the women who shared our hotel room told me she had trouble sleeping because she kept waiting for me to breathe again. Other people had mentioned my snoring was pretty bad, so I finally listened and did a sleep study. At the study I learned that I was getting only 60% oxygen while I slept, and a bi-pap machine was recommended.

Well, I've used the machine pretty religiously ever since I received it in January, and I must admit I am so much better rested than I remember being in years. I can get up and function in the morning; I don't fight sleep even on the drive (only 3 miles) to work, and I'm no longer sitting at my desk trying to stay awake. I'm more alert, and I'm doing my job better than I have in years. I never dreamed lack of sleep was affecting me so intensely. The only drawback I can see is that the machine is noisy--a kind of a white noise, that muffles everything and I think also contributes to the sleep, and sometimes the alarm goes off for 10 minutes before it filters into my awareness.

Now the I drag this humongous machine with me to Houston at Christmas? I really don't want to, because it is big and heavy, but I also want to be able to sleep well while I'm there. Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This and That

Time to post, as a friend reminded me earlier this week...she came to visit, and saw I hadn't updated in a while.

Wish I had current pictures of our babies to show you, but you can see them at Jack's Mama (link on the sidebar). They are gaining weight and plumping out. I swear, they are so pretty! They remind me of their mama when she was born, except for the masses of dark hair. Eyebrows are nonexistant, and their eyelashes are very light, so I'm wondering if the dark hair will be replaced by something lighter as they grow.

Mama has me knitting little caps for them. It takes a few hours to make one. That's probably because I watch tv while I knit. So, Jack's Christmas stocking has been put on hold, although I did get a few stitches in over the weekend. It should be done by Christmas, though.

The school year is off and running. In fact, it feels like nothing but running--there is just so much to be done. Public school is a busy place.

Last week we had supper at McD's so Jack could play and work off some energy. He decided to ride home with me, and as I buckled him into his carseat he said, "Listen, yaya, we gotta talk about my damn school." Honest--I don't know where that came from! We have learned to be very careful around Jack-the-child-tape-recorder. At any rate, gasping to control my laughter, I asked him, "What about your school, Jack?" "Well," he said, "there's just so many things to be done." Then he changed the subject. He doesn't go to daycare anymore, so this was completely out of the blue. He's right, though. There are a great many things to be done at school.

Payday is coming, and so is Christmas. I'll need to be thinking gifts over the next two months, and planning for the nearly-annual trip to Houston. Christmas with those little guys (and their parents), is an exciting experience!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Who, me? says I'm a Kinda Dorky Non-Nerd. What are you?

Monday, September 3, 2007


We knew for a week or two that there was a hive somewhere on the back porch. SIL said it was in one of the cardboard boxes stored out there, so I bought a can of wasp/bee killer and fearlessly went out to take down the bees.

As I peered over one box to look into the next I inadvertently disrupted the flying family. Suddenly bees were swarming everywhere around me and attacking with vengeance. Flailing my arms, waving, swatting -- none of that kept me from being stung at least five times. At last I made my way back into the house in a near panic. I am grateful that I don't have allergies to bee stings.

Last night Cassie and Brett came over and sprayed the nest. By bedtime, the backdoor screen was covered with bees. Would this nightmare never end? This morning they are mostly dead, with small, baby bees swarming... I guess we'll attend the hive again tonight. Meanwhile, my stings itch like crazy and make me feel a little insane. I don't dare let Jack out back to play at all.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I wish all the grandkids lived here.

There's a monkey in the bathroom,
and a rock, and plastic knife;
two firetrucks in the living room
ready to save a life.
Legos and a tricycle
add to my home decor,
and rogue, escaping marbles
sabotage the floor.

I have rubber ducks and teddy bears,
lots of trucks and cars,
a toybox in the corner
holds things like shooting stars;
but what's the big attraction
when Jack is here to play?
It's the vacuum cleaner
that really makes his day.

I waited years to have my house
just the way I wished,
colors all coordinated
and draperies nicely swished...
I found that what I needed, though,
was a grandchild's special touch
to turn my house into the home
where love abounds so much.

Friday, August 24, 2007


My NorthWest Grands: Erica, Megan, and Big Bwudder Jack. The girls' primary job right now is to eat and grow. Jack has discovered the immeasurable joy of turning on mama's breast pump, and woe betide anyone else who pushes that button! The lad definitely has a talent for pushing buttons! (mostly his parents')

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Up A Lazy River...I wish.

Summer has turned. Two weeks ago it was a lazy, uneventful, glide in a canoe along a peaceful, slow-moving creek. Every other day there was a pleasant stop to pick up Jack and play on the shadowy banks. Suddenly that lazy little creek has become a white-water rapids spilling over the rocks, and I've lost my paddle.

We had been lulled into complacency, certain we had another four weeks or so to relax before school began our twins joined us, but the Gwils had other plans, and decided to be born last Thursday. They are lovely, of course, with bright red complexions (just like their mama had at birth), and masses of hair. I've held one, touched both, peered at them through their isolettes, and I can't tell if they are identical or not. They're doing great.

These tiny little cherubs were 8 weeks early, and mama says they are coming out of their isolettes and off their IVs already. They've been off oxygen since the second day (or earlier, I get confused). Mom and dad are at the hospital daily to feed and hold them. With out of town company to see the babies, mama and daddy have been pretty busy. I figure I'll get my chance at them in time, so I'm willing to stay home until the excitement dies down.

In other news, school is starting. I have an in-service tomorrow, all day, and three days next week; we'll have students the following week. We have a new principal at one of my schools. It promises to be a busy year. I suppose it's good that the babies came before school began, but I do wish I could be around to help mama a little more when she brings them home.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Oh...I finished something...

It wasn't very long ago I was posting about some of the projects I have waiting for me here at home. It's been a busy week, and I have finished two of those projects. The closet is cleaned, the linens and rags are organized and residing benignly in their new plastic storage drawers. I even changed the placemats on the table, and found a couple of tablecloths I didn't know I owned (two still in packaging). It felt pretty good to see that mess cleaned up. Lurking among the rags and linens were lightbulbs. Bet I won't have to buy lightbulbs for a year...who knew there were so many hiding in there? AND, as I refolded placemats, I found a pearl ring I thought was gone forever. Maybe this is why some people clean house regularly?

The other major accomplishment is the unpacking of mom's collectibles. She didn't have much that was fancy, just a few odd pieces of Hummel figurines. I dusted them every week of my life growing up, and now they are unpacked and I can dust them again. What memories unwrapping these figures brought back! Periodically, mom would fill a dishpan with warm, soapy water and gently wash the pieces. That's a project for another day.

Mixed in among the figures were a couple of surpises: the figure of Fritzi, our dachshund, that I made in second grade, and a ceramic brown bear my brother sculpted when he was in grade school. Those sat on the mantel with the Hummels, and were just as valuable to mom as anything else she had. All these pieces were shipped to me by my brother, about ten years ago, after mom passed away. I'm only holding onto them for a time. They will eventually go to my daughter. In fact, my daughter helped me unwrap them this morning. It felt good to spend that time with her. My mother's memory, me, my daughter, and her unborn twin girls--four generations of women.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Friend Wants a Picture of a Rabbit

So I've done some sketches today. The top one is Winston; he was a live model in an art class I took several years ago. I did this pen and ink from several brush sketches I had done at the time. The bottom sketches are based on Herman, a German Giant Hare who made the rounds in emails a couple of years ago. He's completely adorable, with huge fuzzy feet and a round tummy. Not sure what my friend wants, but she is currently enchanted with Beatrix Potter, so I'm playing with cute.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I've been tagged...

These can be fun, because who doesn't enjoy talking about her/him/self? My DS tagged me, so I get to follow the rules:

The rules are simple…Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Me. The subject I know most about.

1. I doodle. If I am not reading, I usually have a pen in my hand. I doodle flowers, houses, and faces. I like many of my doodles better than my actual artwork; my doodles are spontaneous and done without concern for style or rules. Maybe that makes the difference.

2. My grandchildren brought me back to life. No, I wasn't suicidal or anything quite that dramatic, but I was just going through the motions, until my dear son married the woman of his dreams, and they brought The Boy into my life. The Princess followed soon after. Then my daughter and hubby contributed Jack, and next thing I knew The Apple had joined the mix. Now we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of The Gwils--Jack's twin sisters, who are due early this fall. With the addition of these little People into my life, I have regained focus and meaning. Their parents may not always believe it because, after all, they act like children, but these guys are Major Blessings.

3. I'm an introvert. What?? A person who reads, does needlework, stays home, avoids social gatherings, is happy alone?? Yes. And I work in a career that requires me to interact constantly with others. Ironic, yes, but I enjoy my work, and I enjoy my quiet and solitude. I need them both.

4. Being a Christian matters to me; going to church doesn't. I thought it was important when the kids were little, so they could learn things I might not remember to teach them. And it's a great social atmosphere, a good place for making contacts, an opportunity to get rid of excess money, provides a sense of belonging to something greater than the self, and, all that being said, does not provide me with the opportunity for spiritual meditation and service that I think I need. When I was a younger woman, I loved my church home, and my church family still is important to me, so please understand that I do value church; I just no longer attend the Sunday singing, praying, money gathering sessions--oh, I mean worship. (Maybe I don't attend because I am an introvert?)

5. I procrastinate. Everything. Right now I have a box of my mother's collectibles to unpack. It's been waiting about 10 years. This week I brought it in from the garage. In the hallway are two plastic 'drawers' for the contents of the bottom of my hall closet. I really need to sit down on the floor and sort that stuff into the drawers. Both my coffee tables contain books for work that I need/want/should read before school starts again in the fall. That sort of thing... and I'm sure those things will get done as soon as I set up some tasks I want to do even less than I want to do those. Like cleaning the bathroom.

6. My fantasy as a child was to live on a certain street, unnamed, on which every home held family. In this fantasy, all of my aunts and uncles, and my grandma, had a home on my street. Every home on the street was lived in by someone I loved... I was surrounded by people who loved me. I really wanted to grow up and move into middle Michigan, closer to family. Instead, the man I loved and married was in the Air Force, and I ended up 2500 miles from everyone. The fantasy has never completely left me. Which kind of leads me to...

7. collection of houses. I collect(ed) little David Winters cottages, wooden tole-painted house, any kind of miniature (but not doll) house I could find that I could afford. They all are sweet and cozy in appearance. They all look like the people who should live in them would be happy families. And they all remind me that " my father's house are many mansions," which is a promise to me that in Heaven I will be surrounded by love, and there is a little spot just for me.

8. A friend recently told me that my home reminds her of a Beatrix Potter house. She said she almost expects to see little bunnies peeking out from around the corners. I'm flattered. I think it means the place is cozy. (It may mean the place is a cluttered mess, but I get to decide how to interpret her remarks.)

So, who shall I tag? I'll bet this has already been to a bunch of people I read, so I will say if you are reading this, please tell me and consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

WOW! Look at this blog!

Thanks to Hannelie, the most super blogger-friend ever, my blog has an exciting new look that I think is a lot more representative of Me. The color is vibrant, the flower header is vivid--this is a feast for my eyes. I love passionate colors, the flowers represent the fullness of life, the background color provides a wonderful backdrop for my art.

Hannelie, how can I thank you? What a lovely gift you have given me.

Which Harry Potter Character Am I Most Like?

Which HP Kid Are You?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

With Pen In Hand, I Am ...

Teddy's in the rocker
He likes it sitting there
He feels just like a big boy
A growing up teddy bear.

When I sit in the rocker
I'm a big boy too.
But rocking takes a lot of time
And I have so much to do!

I'll let Teddy do the rocking
And I'll vroom-vroom my trucks,
And help my gramma vacuum
And make a sink of suds

I can fill the pool with water
And dig up dirt and plants
And make my gramma happy
When I don't pee my pants.

I'm such a big boy now
With lots of things to do
I'll sit in that rocker
When being three is through!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Seems like summer should be a time for guilt-free relaxing. I worked hard all year in two schools, doing two jobs to the best of my ability, often waking during the night to worry about students or something left undone. I spent many days at work long after my official quitting time, taking care of details, making phone calls, writing reports, analyzing information, filing, etc.

So why do I feel guilty for doing nothing now?

I think I'm being hard on myself. If I go back to bed, take a nap, lie on the couch and read, I fret. Seems like I ought to be weeding that mess out front where the flowers hide, trimming the suckers off the cherry trees, running the vacuum.

When I have Jack I don't feel like that at all. I can easily justify coloring with him, or doing play-doh. In the last two weeks, we spent a lot of time out back with the hose. We've planted some flowers, played with the hose, cleaned off the porch and patio. He can't do much damage with water, and all he really wants me for is someone to talk to. When we need to be quiet, we come in and color. I just love Crayola Color Wonder!

Grandchildren really gave me a new lease on life. I know, that old bromide is so trite, but so true. Since the first day I met The Boy in Houston, I've had a new reason for being, and each subsequent child has added to the focus of my life. I really do thank God for my grandchildren.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Fourth of July

I enjoy the 4th. It's always meant a lot to me to be an American. Growing up during the Cold War years, and the child of a career Air Force man, I was acutely aware of the freedoms we have. My dad was a first generation American, born to immigrants who escaped the devastations of middle Europe early in the twentieth century. According to the story I remember my dad telling, my step-grandmother, the only Grandma I knew (and loved fiercely) escaped by night with her family, hiding in ditches. When, at last, they arrived at Ellis Island, her family told her not to talk. She had a stutter, and immigrants who were less than perfect could be refused entry to the land of "your huddled masses, yearning to be free."

Grandma married my grandfather when my dad was about 2 years old. His own mother had died in childbirth during the great flu epidemic (1918) in Chicago. She was a wonderful woman, who cured every ill with food. "Eat, eat. I got lots," I remember her saying. Whether it was my homesickness on a weeklong visit, or a Sunday family dinner, food was always plentiful.

I'm proud of my heritage, what little I know of it. I'm proud to be part of people who kept trying for a better life.

This is not right...

I'm already thinking about school starting, and that's just wrong. We have a new principal, and maybe that's why it's in my mind so much. It will be another year of transition and learning a new person's style and expectations. I hope our philosophies mesh.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I can't help but notice... blog links disappeared. Has anyone seen them? I remember them being right there, to the right of my posts, but they seem to be gone now.


Officially, Day Two of my summer break. I already feel broken. Yesterday was very busy! After running errands, I picked up Jack and took him to Target with me. He was such a good boy! He stayed with me, held onto the cart and walked alongside it, and he wanted everything. To help keep him involved I handed things to him to put into the cart, and it backfired just a little when he decided that meant he could put anything in the cart...still, he was very well-behaved, and helped me drag in the packages when we arrived back "at yaya's house."

Then we played with Crayola Color Wonder, played a matching card game, blew bubbles, hosed off the patio...give a 3-year-old a hose! I was certainly ready to drop him off at home when the time came, but it sure was a fun and busy afternoon. Today I am expecting him in about 2 hours. I'm going to get him busy with the vacuum cleaner, another one of his joys. Listen, he loves vacuums, and even wanted to look at "da bacuum cweaners" at Target. Well it makes perfect sense, doesn't it? It has wheels and a motor.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

One Step Closer

I found the password for OSPI, and to my delight, I was able to do a lot of the renewal process online. I still have to drive it to Olympia in the morning, and I hate the thought, but I can do it. So I feel better about that. Son in law came over and unloaded assorted odds and ends (a chair and two beanbags from my office, a humongoid bag of clothes) that I can't lift. Jack and I played with some number tiles.

Cassie is just about at the milestone at which, if they had to be born, the girls could survive. She said that it is 25 weeks for twins, and she is at 24 and 3 days. I'm beginning to breathe more easily. So I plan to pick up Jack about lunchtime and bring him here, so mama can sleep. She is very tired--I suppose because she's busy growing spleens and brains and things--and she doesn't feel too great. Now that I am on summer break, I can help by keeping Jack occupied in the afternoons so she can rest. If she goes into hospital, I suppose I will really have to step up to the plate.

Someone sent this to me. Enjoy.

Australian Tourism Q & A

The questions below about Australia are from potential visitors. They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a sense of humor.

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? ( UK ).

A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street?

A: Depends how much you've been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks?( Sweden)

A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay ?( UK)

A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ?(USA )

A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is North in Australia ? ( USA)

A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia ? ( UK)

A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA) )

A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is. Oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? (UK)

A: You are a British politician, right?
Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)

A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.
Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)

A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia , but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)

A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia ? (USA)

A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)

A: Yes, gay night clubs.
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia ? (France)

A: Only at Christmas.
Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)

A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

Doncha just love the answers? Imagine what the questioner thought

I'm Expiring

That is, my teacher/counselor certification is expiring on June 30...this means I have to find my password to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction's online renewal, download and complete the correct form, and take it, along with my verification of clock hours, to Olympia tomorrow to be registered, then take the newly endorsed certificate to my district to be logged in. It's not a difficult process, but guess which part I'm having trouble with?

Yeah, the darn password. I know what it is, basically, but I can't remember the variation of it I had to use, and can't find the scrap of paper on which I wrote it. So, instead of ransacking the house, I have been reading, looking at blogs, stopped by church for a 50th anniversary party, watching tv, rethreading my sewing machine.

I'm just about out of delaying tactics, unless I want to clean house.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Talk About Hard Work!

I have been trying for a few weeks (since April 22) to post on my blog...but somehow I forgot who I was and what my password was. Duh. Actually, I knew, but for some reason I couldn't quite get the combination right. I have user names and passwords for a lot of accounts, here on blogger, on various lists, at work...and I do have a system for remembering, but somehow the right combinations weren't coming up.

Also, haven't been able to post to anyone else's blog, so the internet has had to survive without me. The fact that it actually HAS survived without me is kind of a blow.

Today was the last day of school. I spent half the morning at the first school, hugged some kids, signed autograph books, and got checked out for the summer (that means my office was packed up properly, not that someone was taking a look at me). I ambled over to the other school in time to wave good-bye to the kindergarteners. I finished closing up that office, then joined the staff for the traditional wave. That particular school is about 85% free and reduced lunch, which is how the government decides we get extra money to close the achievement gap. About 1/3 of our population speaks Spanish, which is new in the last 3 years for the area we serve. We have a wonderfully mixed population, ethnically; much like working in a little United Nations, but no perks.

Two weeks ago the principal of the second school resigned to work closer to his home. This week the superintendent resigned. Today the staff met a candidate for principal of our building. Lots of major changes in a very short time. People have been short with each other. Tempers are frayed. Laughter has a hollow sound, and there is a sense of holding on by the fingernails. I don't know if education is getting harder as a career field, or if I am getting to a point where I'm tired. I look forward to doing nothing...

...except looking after Jack at least part of the time, so his mama can rest and grow those little twins into good, healthy babies. I also hope to do some sewing, finish my quilt, read a few dozen books, do some painting and drawing, and write some poetry. I wonder how much of this list will be complete by the time school begins?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday, Sunday

A lazy day spent reading (Withering Heights by Dorothy Cannell) and napping (on the couch with the dog). Late in the afternoon I turned on the tv and sat down to fold laundry, and that's when the phone rang. It was DD calling to say, "We have pancake mix and bacon. Do you want to fix supper?" So they came down and I made pancakes and bacon for supper. A friend at work had given me Apple Pie syrup--it carries the Safeway label, and tastes just like the juicy part of an applie pie! It went pretty fast between the three of them. I made do with my sugar free maple syrup.

It was a nice evening, relaxed and simple. I'm noticing more and more lately how much I miss having a family to take care of. Jack wears me out, of course, but beyond that I miss the focus that having people around the house gives to me.

In four weeks my Wonderful Son will graduate from Law School. I'm so proud I could bust. I was there when he graduated high school, of course, and Cassie and I went to Monterey when he finished DLI for the Air Force. Now I get to see him graduate with his D.J. Now, at first, I was sure that meant that he was going to be on the radio, but he says no, it stands for Doctor of Jurisprudence. I said, "Steve, you are the first doctor in the family!" He said it's not that kind of doctor. "I wonder if you can help me with my back," I said. "I know I need to lose weight, but until I do that, is there anything you can do for the pain?" He said no, he's not that kind of doctor. So...he is either a D.J. or a doctor, but he won't be on the radio and he won't tell me what to do about my back. I love him, but he can be a little stubborn.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I've been working on Jack's Christmas stocking for at least two months, and have quite a bit yet to go. The scan shows basically the toe of the piece. Behind the slumbering mouse is a Christmas tree, and to his left are packages. Upon the tree and on 'notes' will be the words "Not a creature was stirring." I found this pattern in the UK magazine, CrossStitcher.

Of course, this was the last of the four stockings I was stitching for my grands, until DD announced that she is pregnant--joyful surprise!--and that she is carrying twins--OMG!!! Now the search is one for two more stocking patterns. I'm pretty sure I could design my own...but will I? Getting around to things seems to be problematic for me. Still, where my grandbabies are concerned, I'm a little more likely to follow through.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bye G'amma

The twins left today. The 3 year old twin boys who lived across the driveway from Jack. These little boys, who Jack referred to as "Robby and the other Robby," were Jack's sunshine companions. As long as they lived there, every sunny moment the three little boys would be outside on their bikes (which they all referred to as motorcycles), riding and and playing. The other day when the temps were in the high 70s, their moms let them play in the sprinkler. "We pwayed in da spwinkles" Jack told me. He was quite proud that he could turn the "sprinkles" high or low with the faucet.

I know he doesn't understand, and I know he will miss "da boys." It probably hurts me more than it does him. So many changes in his life right now: saying good-bye to his binky, potty-training, new babies in mama's tummy (say what?, and now his buddies moving away. I had grown to love those little boys. They called me G'amma from the beginning, and I was fine with being the neighborhood gramma. I hope another good little friend moves in so Jack won't miss da boys too much.

Who knew I'd turn into such a sap about little ones?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Of Daydreams...

My cat sits in the window
Watching the falling snow
I thnk she dreams of summer things
That happened a while ago.

One soft white flake might make her think
Of butterflies floating by
Another may remind her
Of moonbeams in the sky.

Or maybe she just sits and dreams
And doesn't think at all
Maybe she just quietly sits
And watches snowflakes fall.

I think I'd like to be my cat
To sit like her and dream
Of all the things I've done or not
And all things in between.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Spring Break

A week to laze around and relax. Time to refresh the spirit and renew the soul. Time to catch up on housework and needlework and reading. I spent half an hour yesterday combing and brushing Abby, my yellow dog. She enjoyed it so much she began making little noises that sounded like "Mmmm..." I took off about half a bag of loose hair--totally amazing to me that a short-haired dog could have that much loose hair. She already was devoted to me, but now I'm tripping over her with every step. I guess we bonded.

On the other hand, now that I have a dog, the backyard needs attention that it didn't need before. I know how to clean it, I just don't know what to do with the landmines when I pick them up.

It's really nice to have a dog again. Abby is exactly the kind of dog I hoped for, too. She is content to lie next to me on the couch while I stitch, she snuggles close on the bed at night. She is calm and peaceful, doesn't get excited about the cat, and is happy to see me when I get home from work. I guess praying about finding the right dog was a good idea.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


______ is ______ — See how creative you can be when filling in the blanks.

I found this exercise on Poetry Thursday's blog.

Typing is talking.
Talking is communicating.
Communicating is reaching out.
Reaching out is being in relationship.
Relationship is primal need.
Primal need is to know God.
To know God is to be in relationship with God.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pulling Weeds

What a nice day. The weather is turning to spring, and in honor of that, I worked in my flower bed this afternoon. For a solid two hours I clawed at the weeds, digging down to grasp the taproot, hoping to yank it whole from the ground. Taproots grow deeply, and it isn't easy to pull one up whole. I succeeded only once or twice on very young dandelions, not yet fully entrenched.

Three sad primroses, left to fend for themselves inside a plastic grocery store bag, were rescued and planted in a newly cleared space. Whether they survive remains to be seen.

Rhizomes have broken the surface of the earth. A few years ago I planted some nearly dead irises. They grew! Maybe they need to be thinned...

Listen to me! I sound like a gardener, don't I? Almost as if I know what I'm doing. I've picked up bits and pieces here and there, but mostly I just play in the dirt and pretend. My garden gloves are black with the rich, moist soil. I filled two boxes with stray grass, last year's oak leaves, bits of pine trees, and dandelions. When I look at the flowerbed, I can see what I did. That's what I miss in my job. I work hard for hours, and at the end of the day I can't see what I did. Chores can be very satisfying.

I like this score better.

Testriffic IQ test

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dream Makers

We are the dreamers, the weavers and spinners,
Singers in a minor key.
The smoke and the mirrors
Hide in our minds:
We twist them and bend what you see.

We give you nightmares and daydreams,
Giggles and fears,
Braided and woven together
Into a crazy old quilt to hide your head under
While we shape the wind and the weather.

And the moon trills its tale
While Hecate spins
Threads invisible and free;
Gossamer strands entwine you and bind you,
We control what you think and can see.

We are the dreamers, the weavers and spinners,
And our siren cry beckons
Through the mists of a scheme,
Enrapturing, capturing,
Bewitching, beguiling,
Luring you into a dream.


Saturday, March 3, 2007


I love to write. I love turning a phrase to make its meaning just exactly right. But I don't write much these days. My last post, Murder by Omission, was written for a competition in my writer's group. The challenge was to write a two page horror story. It's pretty hard to set a tone, a mood, and develop a plot in only two pages. I'm not sure how well I succeeded, in spite of the positive comments I have received.

The writer's group, Writer's Roundtable, is a great place to try out different things. Members can read their work and invite criticisms from other members, although the people are so nice they don't like to take a chance on hurting anyone's feelings. This group has published two anthologies, in order to give ourselves an opportunity to experience being published. My poetry and short stories are included, and I did most of the illustrations for both books.

Unfortunately, I don't attend anymore, although I still consider myself a member. The group meets at the local Borders, and getting there involves driving in the dark on the freeway. I'm just too nervous these days to face the traffic under those conditions.

It would be great to find a writing partner. I would like to work with someone to develop a good story. I might do well on a scene, but don't know where the story is going. Often, I just don't know what happens next.

I've joined an online reading/writing group through Yahoo. Some of the members are authors I have read over the years, and I love seeing this 'person' side of them. Who knows...maybe someday I really will be an author.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Murder by Omission

Fallin love with him had been so easy. He was long and lean, with a crooked Elvis-grin and a Nashville drawl. He called her his Hey-Baby, with a lazy wink of his eye. Yeah, he drank, but probably all he needed was the right woman to really, truly love him. If his cup of self esteem was filled with love, she thought, who knew what worlds he might conquer?

And so she loved him, invited him into her home. And she'd been right, of course. He made repairs, put in a garden, fixed her car. He praised her drawings and her cooking. She craved his approval, and felt all wriggly inside. At night he made her feel beautiful and desirable.

When did everything change? Their wedding day? He hadn't come to bed that night--had sat up listening to the stereo, promising to be in 'soon.' Finding him on the couch the next morning, he looked so vulnerable it was easy to forgive him.

She didn't understand that he had simply dropped his camouflage. The predator had bagged his prey. There was no longer a need to pretend.

For months she refused to see what he was. He was her husband, and she was loyal. The first time he kicked her, when she shouted at him, hurt and angry, he laughed. "I was just playing with you baby. Don't take it so seriously."


It's been nearly two years, she thought. Nothing ever gets better.

"I ain't leaving!" he roared, when she told him she wanted a divorce. "You're just like all the rest; nothing but a bitch. You're my wife and I ain't leaving!"

For months his rages had been more frequent, less controlled. She felt like she was losing her mind. She needed help, but she couldn't tell anyone how bad it was.

He'd been sick for weeks. She was sure he had pneumonia, although he refused to see a doctor. She knew it was because he couldn't take the chance he'd have to leave his bottle. Driving home from work she felt exhausted and defeated. She hadn't slept in days, between caring for him all night, and dealing with her job all day. She even found herself wondering how she could kill him and not get caught. The thought terriefied her.

Everything looked normal when she pulled into the drive. Or looked like what had become normal. The bass rumble of the stereo greeted her as she walked up to the door.

The door was locked. He probably hadn't been off the couch all day.

Inside, the dog cowered behind the couch. "I don't like the noise, either," she murmured, rubbing his ears.

She steeled herself as she marched into the family room. Without looking at him she turned off the stereo.

He didn't say anything.

Surprised, she turned around.

He was in his usual spot on the couch, his cigarettes and tequila within arm's reach. A half-burnt cigarette had fallen out of the ashtray. He lay so still...she felt a flutter of hope mixed with fear and watched for the rise and fall of his chest. His eyes opened and he stared at her. She waited for the cursing, but when he opened his mouth he seemed to convulse into a fit of coughing. She stared, horrified, as blood belched from his mouth.

Somewhere in her mind she thought, esophogeal hemorrhage. Call 911.

Slowly she backed out of the room, eyes fixed on the blood.

At the door she whistled for the dog and put him in the car. "Come on boy. Let's go to the park."

Saturday Evening

I wish I knew how to go back and edit because it drives me crazy that one of my headlines says 'faborite' instead of 'favorite.'

So it's Saturday evening, and I am home. I visited a few blogs I enjoy. Hannelie had a video on hers, and I loved it. I'm not a very good dancer, but always loved dancing. In my mind, I'm still 20-something, but I only dance in the privacy of my home now. Well, I never go anywhere that there is dancing, either.

I've done some reading today, and some cross stitching. I'm working on Jack's Christmas stocking. Now I will have to begin a search for a new pattern for Jack's sister or brother. I'm determined that each of my grands will have a hand-stitched Christmas stocking to keep.

Gradually, I think I am feeling a little better. The exercise 2-3 times a week, and the healthier eating are paying off. It seems like hurting so much in so many parts of my body would be incentive to keep me on my eating program. Still, I catch myself on search missions in the kitchen, trying to find something I can eat. Something that isn't salad. I catch myself noshing on things that are at hand. It's much easier to leave food alone when I am at work. I'll keep practicing; maybe I can get it right.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Not much in the mood

to write, but it seems to be time for a new post.

I have a new dog. She is a fat old girl, a yellow lab named Abby, and she has been here a week. I think I love her. She is kind of slow, content to take it easy, and kind of like me. In fact, we're both short, fat blondes...

One of the things I like about Abby is that she snuggles with me at night. The house doesn't seem so empty now, and she is so happy when I come home from work. Even Maggie, the cat, seems ok with Abby. Abby seems to know there is a cat here, and she doesn't seem to care.

My friend, Kathy, sent over a gift basket for Abby. In it I found a variety of dog treats, two tennis balls, and a squeaky furry football. Abby loves the toys, but won't let go of them. She gets the tennis ball so far back in her mouth I'm afraid she will asphyxiate herself. She brings the toys to me, shoves at me, but won't let go. When I finally do get hold of one and pitch it down the hall, she is ecstatic and tears after it as fast as her bulky old body will let her. She's not that old--probably about 8 years (that would be 56 in human years, and I'm 58, so that's pretty young).

I'm really glad Abby came here to live.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pick a Favorite (You may choose more than one)

1) (On an infant's shirt): Already smarter than Bush.

2) 1/20/09: End of an Error

3) That's OK, I Wasn't Using My Civil Liberties Anyway

4) Let's Fix Democracy in This Country First

5) If You Want a Nation Ruled By Religion, Move to Iran

6) Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.

7) You Can't Be Pro-War And Pro-Life At The Same Time

8) If You Can Read This, You're Not Our President

9) Of Course It Hurts: You're Getting Screwed by an Elephant

10) Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?

11) George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight

12) Impeachment: It's Not Just for sex Anymore

14) America : One Nation, Under Surveillance

15) They Call Him "W" So He Can Spell It

16) Cheney/Satan '08

17) Jail to the Chief

18) No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade

19) Bush: God's Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full Of Crap

20) Bad president! No Banana.

21) We Need a President Who's Fluent In At Least One Language

22) We're Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them

23) Is It Vietnam Yet?

24) Bush Doesn't Care About White People, Either

25) Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Handbasket?

26) You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.

27) When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46

28) The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century

29) 2004: Embarrassed 2005: Horrified 2006: Terrified

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Religious Wrong and my Self-Righteous Rant

I was reading my son't blog today. He has some thoughts about vouchers and education. Kind of in a nutshell, I believe he was saying that the current governor of Texas supports vouchers in order to enable certain religious groups to send their children to private schools at public expense.

There is no question that the voucher system will take money away from already under-funded public education. The same public education that, by law, must take every child and provide an equal and adequate education for each.

(WARNING: massive generalities here) Private schools, on the other hand, have the power to deny any student entrance to their enchanted cloisters. Many private schools do not/cannot/will not provide special education to children with learning disabilities. (my friend's child attends a local catholic school, but comes to a district school daily for remedial reading not available in his private school) Private schools have the ability to refuse to enroll a student who is a discipline problem. Private schools have the option of not being bound by state requirements for the teachers they hire and can hire people who are not certificated teachers. They also have the option of paying those teachers low wages. Private schools are not bound by state requirements for passing state mandated testing.

People who think a private education is a better education need to check into the particular school to be sure it does indeed provide a quality education.

A lot of interest in vouchers is coming from the 'religious right.' These are the same people who tout Family Values. But whose family? When I see articles and letters to the editor about family values, I come away with a feeling that these are the values of a few fear-ridden right wing Christian conservatives. The same people who send me endless and stupid email poems about not having prayer in school, about (HORRORS) honoring the Muslim religion with a postage stamp, and chain letter emails that berate me if I don't send them on to "at least 11 friends in the next ten minutes" or something dire will happen.


This stuff is embarrassing at best. The religious right is kind of embarrassing. I'd rather not call myself a Christian if it means being lumped in with fear- and hate-mongers.

Prayer in school? Every child can pray in school. The law restricts a teacher from teaching religion in public school. No one "took God out of school." The teaching of religion is a parent responsibility.

Family values? Our family values honesty. We value a loving and supportive home where all people are welcome, and where all people are honored. What kind of values are being taught where incest or battering occur? ("values" which occur regardless of religion or socio-economic level)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Poor Me!

We are having some freak weather out here. Windstorms, snow,, I don't think it is global warming, nor do I think it is God's judgement. I think every few years we have freaky weather, and this is our year.

School was canceled Wednesday, started with a 2-hour delay yesterday, and is canceled again today. And I am stuck here in this warm, cozy little house with a fireplace, a tv, a stack of books, my xstitching, and my quilt. With school closed Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr, I am enduring a four-day weekend. I don't care for the idea of going to school until the 4th of July to make up missed days, but I'd rather that than to be out driving on icy sheets of glass.

The next big question is what to do first? I worked on my stitching while I watched Ellen; she is a favorite, and I don't get to indulge in her show very often. Now I am thinking of getting dressed. You can see the struggle.

Sunday, January 7, 2007


This is one of my most favorite cartoons. Like the woman in the cartoon, I'm not very good at establishing boundaries. I have a tendency to go too far one way or the other: either not firm enough, which then has no effect, or I go overboard and build a wall.

Moderation in all things is a philosophy that makes a lot of sense, but I don't know how to achieve that.

Thank you, Australia!

My blogger friend, Hannelie, has used her Aussie magic and fixed my blog. I know all she did was try to post, and it worked, but it must have jogged something back into place, because until just now, my cursor would not appear in the 'compose' window. And, I'm pretty sure, that extra tab that says 'edit html' was not there last time I checked.

So, I have been trying to post for some time now; in fact, ever since I switched to the new blogger from the old blogger. I forgot that I had sworn to never touch anything again, and I switched templates, then tried to add a new header...wrong, wrong, wrong. This is my solemn vow: I will never try to fix anything myself again.

Oh yeah, Hannelie, the sleeping koala isn't there.

Testing via Australia

Posting text: Testing: 1...2...3...
Results: Successfull

Posting an image: testing: Sleeping koala
Results: Successfull