Saturday, December 29, 2007


Preschool grandson had his first inkling of Santa this year, he actually asked him for something, Buzz Lightyear. There was an array of gifts under the crafty tree designed by Chicago daughter and decorated with finger paintings cut into ornaments embellished with sequins, and other shiny things. There were gifts for each adult and for the only child present. I, of course, am up at 5a.m. (that was a three hour wait) waiting for an unsuspecting preschooler to come downstairs, plus all the adults to see his first look at the display. His eyes caught Buzz Lightyear and that was it, nothing else was necessary, except "where's Santa?" "On to other homes," I say. H was so not interested in anything else except the one desired toy. I work with middle schoolers whose parents had better not make a mistake on all the stuff they think they should have for Christmas and I am sure many of the Moms took a lot of heat for not coming up with WII, or the correct phone, but H was in 3 year old delight. He had to be encouraged to look at anything else and he finally gave the riding toy its due. grampa made him a cubic foot of heavy lumber glued together with nails partially pounded in and a hammer. When he barely peeked into a box and caught sight of the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, he ran in anger and shock to the pounding block and did exactly what it was designed for, relieve stress. It was a long time before the Beast got more than a sideways glance from him. I hear he is now clicking away with his Fisher Price digital camera. Our babies are so photographed with the advent of digital cameras and easy point and shoots that it seems very appropriate for a three year old to have his own camera and enjoy it. It was a peaceful gentle morning of play and I really think our family gift (under the guidance of law-daughter) to the SIL very nearly brought him to tears..I think it will be a dream for him like the time we got together and got Uncle Jimmy a chance to engineer a real train, or when I gave DH his first set of glassblowing classes a few years ago.

At the Table

My law daughter and son-in-law host Christmas dinner each year and, because of their working schedules, we celebrated a day early. Chicago daughter came down on the train and the officially preschool grandson now has an inkling of the magic of Santa Claus. Law-daughter serves a scrumptious meal and I carry in a couple of things. We sat down at the lovely table where I proceeded to ask them how they got their Weed......pause....bugged eyeballs all around, except for the preschooler....well, "you don't have Showtime." Laughter all around. Maybe a story about the crazy mother-in law to tell for years. (That's me) I will separate this anecdote from the rest of the magic of Christmas. By the way we have rented the second season of Weed and watched it over two nights. We have definitely had a lot of endorphins in our brains the past two nights from laughter.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Back Home from Midsize City

Got there so early I thought I'd have to wait in the car for shops to open, I forgot, tis the season to open early so I went into a few shops, bought a few items I just fell in love with. Went to Target's, my city isn't affluent enough to have one, so we have to go over there, found a few more things I wasn't looking for and came on home. DH is still asleep. I guess I'll find out later if he knows I was even gone! Oh, and, secret code to my brother, you can finally prepare to fluff. I have actually taken the long-addressed box and put in on a slow boat to China, well that's the service I asked for anyway. Now I am off to make the third North Carolina Sonker of my whole life, it is fast becoming my new claim to fame. Before that, I was a famous non-baker, although my sibs may remember the many many cookies I baked in their childhood. Lets just say when my own daughter heard me slicing and baking for the 6th grade team a few years ago....well..shock is what you might label her reaction, shock and envy.I soothed her by saying, .."don't worry, it's just slice and bake."

I just want you to know, it took me at least 6 times to successfully complete every step to make a link. I do not have it memorized YET!

5:30a.m. as usual

It is Saturday, I am on break officially, and still got up at 5:30. I am ready to put my first load of the day from the silent washer into the dryer. I must bake and cook a bit, but first I may trek over to next city's shopping center. It has a BORDERS!! and I have a coupon....

Yesterday's program ran over, I was supposed to ride a bike into the gym as a gift to a student, I chose the largest bike, but my legs were still too long and they simply wouldn't bend that far. I have really gotten adjusted to a bike with a frame for the truly tall. Yesterday it felt like me trying to ride a trike. Luckily, there was somebody else. There were 12 happy and shocked children.

la la la the totally mundane.

Friday, December 21, 2007

My Toddler Grandson

Almost cancelled Christmas, but grannie would shed BIG tears over that! Thankfully he gave it some thought and still thinks we should all get together. Whew, dodged a bullet there.

The last day of school before this break is just aa struggle and we need to have a fire drill today!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

About the CoQ 10

I read in "The 24 Hour Pharmacist" that blood pressure meds and statins mug coQ10 and if you take any of those, you should add the coQ10 to your regimen. I am on BP meds and hubby takes both, so we are both adding the coQ10. I got mine at Sam's Club and actually got a bit more of a dose than she recommends. The author says the enzyme may help with the leg pain that might accompany statins and that have driven my hubby mad with pain.


This is my fourth morning after adding coQ10 to my morning regimen. It is suggested that you not take it at night as it is energizing.. I am here to tell you that combining that with a big slug of black lightning dark roast makes me want to TALK! It makes me want to writeinonelongunseparatedbunchofletters. Man, that is harder than it seems. My super duper 8th graders are so into their painting they are truly self-propelled and not used to seeing a 60 year-old head banging. My daughter over at Accidentally Jewish told me to blog it and I am, at top speed.

Monday, December 10, 2007

XM Radio

We have had it for a while, and it is even on the computer, but I haven't heard it before. Today on artist confidential it is Lyle Lovett--The rest of the world was wondering what Julia Roberts saw in him and we were wondering what he saw in her! I am listening to an amazing show with him talking and singing. Maybe it will be an hour, maybe two, but I will hear it all. I know he has some new music out and it is time for me to buy some. Was that Amazon's ears pricking up?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I Tried to Write

about this gorgeous book and make a link to it, but I kept leaving out a step. No I remember the step. The book is "Flotsam"
And it is a beautiful book of water colors that will take a child's mind on many trips in their imagination. There are no words and the concept is a combination of science and fantasy. There is so much to talk about and to enjoy with children of many ages. A mid grade teacher could have a lot of fun with this book and probably inspire some quality writing, some quality conversation.

My toddler grandson already has Wiesner's "Hurricane" and I have 'read; it to him many times. This guy is quite an artist.

No Babysitting

An ice storm or freezing rain is heading right for my little family's house. I could have made it over, but possibly not back in time for work on Monday. It is off. I did go shop for a baby gift for a good friend at school and got one of those cool changing pads my daughter has had and has used since the beginning of H's life. It is perfect for granmas and granpas and all kinds of portable situations. Use it on a bed, use it on a counter use it on the floor, use it anywhere and you have a totally safe and comfy changing place. A newborn can even take a nap on it if need be. It is a great invention, just enough of a curve of a side te prevent rool oevers.

I finished reading "The Higher Power of Lucky" in my hangout restaurant this a.m. and found myself unexpectedly with eyes full of tears near the end of the book. I am going to have DH read this one, he'll love it, too, although it is YA literature, it touches in some very familiar areas. I got it, I was forgetting tohighlight the title in the text itself.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Oh My Aching Back

I have had back pain for a few days, then we had the washing machine drama and I washed the clothes from just over a week. I didn't carry every single thing to the laundromat last week. I made a defensive snoring move to the sofa about midnight only to wake up crying at 3. DH applied bio freeze and I got in a couple more hours of napping. I struggled to the shower at 5, blasted the aching area with hot water-- then got DH to put the gel pads from my Dr. Ho's electrocutor. I went from barely walking to fairly normal. I stayed hooked up, am still hooked up, and vibrating all day. I have had a lot of relief, but I think I will sleep in it tonight as well and try to get in for an emergency massage tomorrow after school. I am really, really tired from the lack of sleep and the horrible quality of what I did get. I will soon be drinking some sleepy tea from Celestial Seasonings-- Maybe I should put two tea bags in it instead of one!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Welcome to the Machine

This Whirlpool Cabrio is so quiet and the noises are so different from the noises of my normal old washer, that I am not even sure anything much is happening. I guess I'll find out at the end when the computer control panel goes off and I am permitted to look in. It is all very NASA looking in there. My history of washing machines, laundromats or a little hoover that always broke down in the middle of a load of cloth diapers for twins. Years of laundromats with twins and the rest of us. I had a Maytag wringer washer on the back porch of this place I used for a couple of years also until I got a model that was automatic. It lasted at least 10 years, I think I messed it up, then this last one was at least 15 years or more old maybe more. Could be it was older than the cat who was 18. I actually think my dryer may be the original dryer I got with the first washer. oooh.. hmm. By the way, a rather lot of clothes go into this new thing, you put clothes in it up to the top of the stainless steel tub, and it holds a lot. I don't have the glass lid or I would know what was happening. It is probably just as well that I don't have that.

P.S. In the past couple of hours I learned the downside of keeping the old dryer. It is for a normal sized large washer, not for the large load of a top-loading front-loader. I have a basket waiting to be dried in two steps. Guess I will just have to be adjusting to that. It also seems that I haven't figured out how to get a cold wash. I thought I had that button pushed.

1:15p.m. second day

With much grunting and cursing and dripping of hoses, the BMW of washing machines is installed. I have the manual right here and am going to read it first!! I don't want the thing taking off. I went for deluxe delivery and basically, because of the plumbing, got nothing but the machine dropped off so DH had to break his bad aching back to get the thing installed anyway. I was trying to avoid that with $$. It looks good, ready to rumble. and tumble. and revolute.(I made that word up) something cool for the rpm's. And I must go get some correct detergent. I may hyperventilate.
DH and the dog are off to the country for a big run in freedom for her. All I did was check leaks for all the attempts it took to get the connections right. There will not be a next time, but if there were, I think a plumber might me involved.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Now It Begins

The big wait. And DH has gone glassblowing, a trip I'd like to be on even though I spent all my money and some future monies on this machine. HH called at 7a.m. to tell me they'd be here between 9 and noon. I think they leave from Big City warehouse and that is over an hour away. Suppose I am first on their list? Doubt it. At any rate, the corner is ready for its new washer and so am I.

Another week without toddler grandson--grit my teeth. Next weekend for sure--there is babysitting afoot. I should have some arrivals from Amazon today as well, Uncle Amazon I should say. We have a personal relationship. Uncle Amazon just throws books at me.

By the way, that medicine ball toss has my abs reeling this morning, just proves I have some in there. There was a time when I thought they did not even exist. Don't judge me until you have delivered close to 20 lbs of twins, and that placenta, it had some mass, too.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Week Down

TGIF. In the morning the washer comes and the laundry bin is full, very full. I am almost tempted to go to the laundromat so I won't have so much to do tomorrow, but then, I would miss part of the wonder of the new machine!

I have a class that is giving me fits, 8th graders. The last hour of the day to have a group that wants to work for 15 of the 46 minutes becomes a grind. I am switching from the skills I like to teach to 8th graders before they go off to high school to a project I normally don't have time for as my weeks have gone from 9 to 6. I love this project, but it takes too long. I used it last year for the same reason and got some spectacular results. This will change my interaction with them and take it from a power struggle to them just working away. Once they are secure in their designs, they will not need much from me. I even predict I can learn to enjoy this group of people again.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Bad Link

Got a tip I had a bad link over there on the right. I checked and I had several bad links. My bad, OK, OK, my badness. I have taken on some of the middle school slang. oops. And I exercise with an English teacher, sorry A. I think I have made adjustments and tested the links and they work now. I must have had a few extra characters or something.

Great exercise class tonight, even though I was having a hitch in my back all day. We did something new with a medicine ball. Only two of us showed up so we had this intense tossing of the ball standing sideways to each other and about 6 or 8 feet apart, however wide a keyhole is on a basketball court. A got me in the knee a couple of times, but it was mostly good throws and catches. Oh, and our elbows were tight to our bodies on our twist and throw. Wait until Saturday, it will set in. That doesn't count all the crunches and crunches and crunches and planks. I simply cannot do side planks and I am really doing a downward dog on the other---but it is all so much better than it was when I started a year and a half ago. My core is definitely stabilizing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Spending Money

Years and years ago I bought an inexpensive pair of lamps at service merchandise, as I remember, they were $39 for the pair. ginger jar style, very plain. I came home and went to bed with a migraine. DH asked me if I had ever noticed that when I spent money, I got a migraine. hmmmmm. Today after a little research and a lot of death rattle from the washing machine....I went out by myself and purchased, with my own hard earned $$$, a washing machine that with taxes, extended warranty, delivery and set up and removal of old machine a thousand dollars. OMG. This one will not entail a slight remodel of the kitchen to get it in. I don't have a migraine, a hysterectomy seemed to cure those, but I do feel like having a nervous breakdown. And maybe taking in laundry on the side! It will be delivered next Saturday morning, so no more trips to the laundromat. When my twins were babies, I went to the laundromat every weekend, I took up an entire row of machine with clothes, and two giant machines with cloth diapers. I am not too into the current romance with cloth diapers, but that never has to be my worry again... refer to migraine cure! The good thing for a laundromat is all your laundry is done at once, not load after load. And, really, it is nice to have a very clean well-appointed laundry nearby for such things as chocolate on the down comforter or numerous rugs to wash.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sonker Update

Success! More than half of it was eaten and I baked it in a lasagna pan. We brought the rest of it home and I intend to make it my dinner. I may be a baker, although the crust was premade, Ijust patched it together. Cousin Bob was there with his youngest daughter, Uncle Bob was there, and all the usual suspects. A good time was had by all, although I was disturbed by the 3rd grader watching Disturbia and left soon after.

Hey Ya'll

My readers, all 4 of them, will be amazed that I have in the oven right now a Carolina Sonker as seen in Hallmark Magazine, but not so pretty. Since I couldn't find rhubarb to replace the ex-cousins annual treat, I went for three berries-- I haven't made anything like a pie/cobbler since high school. You may all quiver in fear now. I also, at 60.4 found out the difference between defrost and regular on the microwave-- no --no I wouldn't even consider making my own crust, but defrost seemed a little slow. There's a reason for that, and it is great that those crusts come boxed two crusts to a box! I can tell you that the 10 minutes on 450* smells really good and I simply must remember to turn it down after I finish this to bake some more.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

So Yesterday.....

I went to school and out to the remaining snow plow blade. All night long in my dreams I was painting it one way, but when you are really there, a 60 year old woman of size, but with killer abs-- you can simplify, simplify, simplify. So there is a random pattern of semi-straight bold stripes in school colors and the colors of the high school we feed into. Sound Christmassy? No, I am at heart a separation of church and state person and a lot of the others will be snowmen and Christmas trees, cute even. But I think my 4 ft golden cat's eyes will be looking at snow all winter and will not be so bothered by road chemicals, I even think the county is going to call school and say what is that amazing paint you guys used, it's better than what we use! All that and wallowing around on the ground on a spectacularly beautiful November day, finding out those abs can pull me right up under a snowplow, whoo hoo.
What have I done since? laundry, extreme napping and reading. I also elicited a very strange scream from my washing machine. I think I brought it's life to an end by thinking about what I would want when it dies of old age....grrr

Friday, November 16, 2007


I did something in my workout last night that I didn't have a clue I could do. It was called a transfer crunch with the trainer standing on my toes and gently tossing me a medicine ball as I crunched. I expected to do 4 and melt into a shaking crying blob. I did three sets of 15, my arms hurt today, but the abs have not quite set in yet. I went to a friends house and sat on her very low sofa and chatted for close to an hour. When I tried to rise my quads bunched up in protest and I thought I was going to have to somersault myself off the couch. I did put on bio freeze and had no leg cramps. I guess I save the leg cramps for squat and lunge night and I missed that one sitting in a garage getting my brakes worked on. There were only two of us there last night so we got a lot of attention. And note to my sister in Omaha, no I can't do that deep squat you can do and I think I never will, but I am getting lower and lower as the months go by. And this whole paragraph is me wanting to say WOW! I can't believe I did it--birthing very large twins gave me a severe lack of muscle effectiveness in the abs and I bet they are a good 6 inches apart in there and need to be whip stitched back together, but last night, I was super strong and very proud of myself.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Painted a Snowplow Blade

I heard the temperature was dropping markedly today and the paint had arrived. I went out to do my simple strong design and left my students with another teacher. I had to call back in for student help and got a great helper. Crunching my 6ft long overweight body under a snow blade in the wind is quite something, I was having trouble taping my paper on it without another set of hands. S came out and saved the day for me. The whole thing was done in about 45 minutes and I was on time to my meeting. I was a mess, though, grass on my behind, paint on my hands, I got most of it off with thinner. If you ever find yourself in need of painting a snowplow blade on a county truck, One Time sign painter's paint really does go on in one coat and it covered really bright safety yellow just like that. Picture me sitting out in the grass, trying to pry the impossible lid off of a quart of thinner--couldn't do it, had to go in with dirty hands and get another teacher to open the can so I could get partially cleaned up. Today was also a day when two students pulled a fire alarm and we were outside during a good portion of the time I meant to be painting, but since the fire department actually had to come, I could not go back in and get my painting stuff and change my clothes. I didn't think I'd be able to finish before the 4p.m. committee meeting, but we did...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lazy Day

Laundry, magazines, sleep t-shirt, lanolin on raggedy heels and dinner prepared by DH in his classic style. A couple of new books, a couple of phone conversations, a few new blogs to read, and a lot of songs sung by girls. I actually made a list of all girl singers and have had it on. That's it, that's all. Oh, and a couple of hours of thunder in the morning, even some that shook the windows.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

UH OH Looks Like I Skipped a Day

Now the pressure is off. Good thing I didn't sign up for anything. Random thought: There needs to be a name for the effect Dr. Oz has on one's amazon purchases.

Unexpected YA YA

I drove DH to his glassblowing class and did a little shopping at the new Borders in the gigantic mall. WOW! No wonder they moved. I was shopping for baby books and got some really nice board books and a Baby Einstein CD to add to the bag of clothes I was giving as a gift. Pink is overwhelming when the sonograms say it's a girl. Not enough green and yellow. It took me way longer to get to the shower than I supposed, and I was lost, but only for one left turn. Not a record for me. The house was full of my girl cousins, their grown daughters, various fiances and boyfriends, good friends of the mommy-to-be, and about a dozen children from infant to 8th grade. Most of them looking like their uncles and aunts I had known as children.At least 4 generations of the father-to-be's women family members were there, too. All the third cousins were asking for H, where is he? I am pretty sure the windows would have blown out of that rocking, weeping, laughing house with the addition of one more toddler. A woman walked up the sidewalk and I realized it was a friend of Mom's and Sister's, the tears started, boy was I overwhelmed with missing them. How could Judy be coming up the walk without them trying to show that they were coming up the walk better and faster? I was shocked at my weepiness. It turned out I wasn't the only one this day who shed tears for our missing mothers. The only one not crying was Jessi, looking radiant, just like you hear about. Mandi said she cried for three days after she bought her wedding dress and got one that she swore she would never have, something princessey. She was wearing very high heels today and was taller than me. Her next older sister grabbed me and hung on tight crying because she had just lost another child cancer patient. She is one of those brave people who work in pediatric oncology, she says goodbye to one, and gets another one. I told her she was brave and I know from my sister-in-law that those nurses and doctors who care for the terminal child are so very important to those families.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Last Really Active Day

Today was my last full day with this grading period. We will have a half
day tomorrow with the morning dedicated to a Veteran's Day program. I
will meet with 3 of my 6 classes and they will finish up their work. I
had a boy greet me and tell me he was coming into my class next
week...HOORAY a ray of sunshine, an eager beaver. My exercise class was
cancelled and I got almost all of the rest of my grading done. I
haven't done 8th grade, though. So back to work.

We did have
a really valuable visit today from a very exciting new professor in
reading, she was lively and had lots to share, I found myself wanting
to take a class from her. Someone else said she is always like that and
her student teachers are awesome, I think that means well-prepared.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tomorrow is the Last Day

It is the last day of this 6 week grading period and I will not be sad to see this entire group go on to their next rotation. All day I have kids on the bubble in math, and whatever puts them on the bubble seems to interfere with their development in art as well. I have been slogging for a week and a half, and I only have 6 weeks which isn't enough time, I should be running right up to the wire then letting them go, reluctantly.

Something woke me up at 2:30a.m. and I looked out into the light of the new dusk to dawn light to see the blue eyed dog trying to get into the shop. She was out when I left for work and a neighbor returned her a little later. I had been told that fences really mean nothing to Siberian huskies and this appears to be true.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Every Day

Six days in and I am already running out of words. This is the second time I have looked up at a blank page when all my typing has disappeared. What's up with that? I have written this twice and lost it. I must be hitting a magic button. I'll just say the lost writing was fabulous!

Monday, November 5, 2007

I Have A Crazy Outdoor Assignment

I pushed a button and it all disappeared. It is really a voluntary thing and the principal is funding the paint-- But we are painting county highway snow blades in a clever decorative manner as a bit of PR for schools and the highway department. The temperature has dropped a good 30* today and it will drop even more tomorrow. Just in time to paint outdoors! CRAZY. If you haven't looked in recent years, snowplows have radically changed the shapes of the blades. (I know some engineers changed them, they didn't change themselves. Would that be one of those elusive dangling participles I had so much trouble with in high school? I had a lot of danglers, but never quite got what they are without a definition at my side.)) They are a deep C and I will have to lie on the ground and roll paint on them as my knees do not go Indian fashion anymore-- Yikes. It isn't 3:58, it is 7:10p.m.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Just a Few

I am very timid in my explorations of computer stuff, so I have finally added just a couple more blogs to the side all by myself. No daughter around to remind me of the very very simple steps to do this. I am becoming more independent every day. Baby steps, I say, baby steps. Oh and a special note to my brother, the box is addressed. It can only be coming in less than a year now!

Extra Hour of Sleep

Hey, instead of waking up at 3a.m., I slept until 6:30, the old 7:30, later than I ever ever sleep! Must have been the excitement of seeing grandson on a backhoe, stomping the backhoe's front feet. (more likely the Tylenol P.M.) H may be arriving at the world's best children's museum as I type and DH is back on the backhoe having man fun. When I have a daughter in the house, one or the other of them will teach me a new trick on the computer that makes me a little more of a user each time. Now I actually have photos on my flickr account and connections to my kids so they can view the backhoe adventure.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

how to

put in a link for So B It

Law daughter and grandson are over for the afternoon and night and she taught me how to make a link to, say, Amazon, for a book I might like to name. This is my first attempt to do that and then iwent into an old post and linked to a book and to the author. I think I have it now, it's so cool. So B It is a book I bought at our school's most recent bookfair, it is for teens and I really liked it. It seemed like a Sue Monk for teens. There, I did it again and my daughter is upstairs asleep with the toddler!

Adrenaline Rush

DH is in the backyard using a backhoe-- I hear a very loud explosion. I think it is a transformer and go out back half expecting to see DH blown to kingdom come and wondering how I was going to behave if it looked really bad. He was stopped, he thought he had hit a transformer, too, but the local U scored a touchdown, one of the few in the last 10 years and they traditionally fire a cannon... I still feel the effects of the adrenaline in my body so I had to fight or write.

In An Attempt to Participate in NoBlo

I am taking the mundane even further. I am on my third load of laundry this morning, and DH and I just returned recently from our traditional weekend breakfast. We got home and the wolf started howling for attention from her sugar daddy. DH is renting a backhoe today, he thinks it will be entertaining for the toddler, and maybe he will be filling in that HOLE in the yard, or picking up dog poop with it! At any rate, it will be a step up in entertainment from all the digging toys the farm store had in stock. Watch out Mommy, H may want to be a backhoe for Halloween next year! I know, sue me for injudicious use of exclamation points. . .and superfluous periods.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Home in Time for Oprah

Great haircuts today on Oprah for a good cause. It is a stunning day, I did some shopping for a friend on bed rest, that felt good. The toddler is coming over tomorrow, I am looking forward to that. He will get to see all the big machines working on our street and he is the perfect age to enjoy them. I bought a pomegranate and followed the directions and ended up eating the arials. I normally would call those seeds. I still have my appendix, so it may sprout, or they may sprout.

Seventh Grade is in the Groove

They are mellow, the top 20 (cleaned up for their ears) is playing quietly in the background and the bark paintings are wrapping up. We have our third just over half day in a row, but today the teachers get to leave at the same time as the kids.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

No One Comes to See the Art Teacher Much

I have had only one blow by conference-- makes for a dull afternoon when I should be working in my room. I swore off handing out report cards after doing that for for 5 hours yesterday, as a kindness. All right, I'll go throw a few more things away. A kid least likely to be suspected of saying he enjoyed my class brought his group home manager to see what he is working on!! Hooray, he loves my class. I had no clue. In fact, I would have said the opposite.


I will try it. I missed the hundred things in a hundred posts. I didn't know about that until 132.

Embarrassing teacher moment--family steps up to the table all decked out for
Halloween, they were picking up report cards and I was helping pass
them out. One boy had a very clever costume even including a partially
missing arm, it looked pretty realistic, I was impressed. I said "WOW!
What a great costume! Where's your real arm?" I was sure I could see it
beneath his baggy sweatshirt. He wiggled the stump of his truly missing
arm at me and laughed. To make matters worse I once again said "Wow!
That works out really great for Halloween." "Yes." he replied, I get to
be darth ......who got his arm cut off." The only thing I can say is he
had a really good spirit about it and seemed to take my stumbling
stupidity rather well. Or maybe he actually enjoyed my thinking it was
a fake arm.........was my face red.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tripsit Sittrip

I was pining for the grandson, but he is coming over next weekend so Daddy can can beer--then the call came. "We'd like to go out, could you come over?" Of course. DH
was already sacked out in his boxers with his pint--of Ben and Jerry's-- I threw my blood pressure meds into a bag and grabbed the bag of treats and surprises that builds up around here between visits, books paints, whatever, oh, a Muppet movie--and off we went, yes we. DH hopped into his clothes and joined me. We had about an hour and a half of playtime, grandpa crashed before grandson, and H went to bed in his usual way for me, easily and he slept all night in his own bed, no middle of the night trip to mom and dad's bed. Grandpa and H made their traditional trip to the sugar shack and H was sound asleep when he got back to his home. Another nap!! Wow, two naps in two days. We came on home, got H another pair of shoes on the way home, don't think he'll grow out of them before next weekend. I was forced to turn on the furnace for the first time, it was 63* in here. I know some people keep theirs at 63, but not me, I like 68 or 69. And a message to my dear little brother who occasionally looks at this, I have your towels in a box suitable for mailing.;^)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Not Writing Much-

Saturday morning, 8:00a.m. I was watching the news on the firefighters who had to get into their reflective life-saving toaster ovens, it was so horrifying that when I answered the ringing phone I said help instead of hello. I think they all survived, but what does it take to face death like that on your job at all times?

Another week has gone by at school. My 8th grade plans were screwed up for two days, my own fault, didn't check the wrapped boxed clay to see if it was moist for me. We did some "crafty things" they were happy, I was not.

I volunteered for a committee to look at middle school curriculum inequities across the corporation. That takes up Wednesday evening, 2 hours a week for 20 weeks. Actually it is interesting to see what differences there are in offerings and minutes in a big corporation, particularly in my area of fine arts, and practical arts.

After sitting for two hours, painting faces, and worrying about MRSA my left foot swelled up like a balloon. My latest BP med can cause that and of course the sitting didn't help. The only other time that happened was when I took the med in the daytime. I have learned to take it at night so my feet don't swell during the day. It is still somewhat puffy today, bad really but so much better than last night, I am going to get off the computer because sitting here doesn't help either.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Had a Great Time

Our daughter came down from Chicago to help her dad with a little moneymaker idea he had. It was good to be with her, but the poor girl was nearly eaten alive by fleas. I have sprayed and sprayed but I think the starving and the hatching continues as the ancient cat left over a week ago. This particular daughter was always a banquet for biting insects, they seem to prefer her over any other and she was a red spotted mess when she left here on Sunday afternoon. I must get a flea bomb to set off when we both leave for work to end this nightmare.

I am ready for another week at school, grades are due. I have only one class left to do, the new computer program for grades is not as easy as the last version of the program and you really have to search for where you want to put grades and behavior grade.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Parade

The parade, which used to be the largest student run parade in the U.S. has deteriorated to one decent float that won all possible prizes just because it existed, and really bad timing, gaps a block or two long and no trains to blame it on. The parade goers stood well into the street, the ushers did not push people back out of the way. And yet, the marching bands still get me all teary eyed. I have missed about 6 parades in 42 years. Today the weather couldn't have been more perfect and my middle school's marching band, dancers and cheerleaders were wonderful. Our permanent float is so cute, our principal was beaming and pulling the float with his truck. Both of the in-city high schools were present, and both looked great and sounded good, too. Something about those flags snapping through the crisp fall air, and the drums.....I also got to stand with my daughter, a former drum major, and we got all ferklempt together as her alma mater marched by in nice new uniforms. Now the university students' energy goes into walking from bar to bar in the direction of the "big game"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

We Got Our Full Share

We got the total time in exercise today, but all games and after school activities were cancelled. All students had to be out of the building by 5 and adults by 6. I have yet to see any of the bad weather, but, better safe than sorry. Law daughter got the exact job she wanted today! Hooray and hallelujah.
A boy, not a boy anymore, but a friend of my son's from the old days was in the obituaries today, it was a shock to see his name there. I am sorry for the pain his parents must be feeling now. They are nice people, not that that matters, nothing much worse than losing a child.

Is It Here Yet?

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Tornado Warning

October 18, 5:45 a.m. We have a tornado warning. Should be really bad by the time the product in my hair is dry. I may get a good look today. Yesterday on the way to a 2 hour meeting at the administration building, I broke off a crown. I happened to be eating at least 2 milk duds at the same time and one of them had a hard crunchy center-- was it that stale? No it was part of my dental work. There's a reason I haven't had them since high school! I called the dentist from the coffee shop and they got me in in an hour. I had to leave the meeting early and the dentist, I call him the best dentist in the world, worked for about an hour. I am glad I didn't lie and say I broke it on celery or carrots because I had to go to the car and get it to see if it was all of a piece. It is hard to melt off the milk dud in a sink with no drain cover-- and the crown was ok, but not the piece of tooth that went with it! While I was there, I learned that in the history of teeth and dentistry, the Scots liked to get all their teeth pulled by age 25, that might explain my dad wanting all my teeth pulled at 17-- not just innate meanness, and that the horrible conditions and pain of dentistry is why dentists had the highest rate of suicide in the past. I have often thought of my grandmother who had all her teeth out well before good anesthetic.

My girls' cat that they got in 7th grade, and now they are 30, has left the house. She had turned from a youthful acting and looking cat to an aging cat in the past month and went out one day and did not come back. I think she has done that cat thing of going off and dying. She was not a cat to leave the yard or go in the street. She had two or three generations of special cat knowledge to not ever go in the street or step out the front door when a vehicle of any kind was coming down the street. We once had a cat who ran under the wheels of a snack time truck and the tire actually touched his fur-- I saw this. He became a cat who would not go out the front door if there was a car on the street, and all other cats who came here to live learned that from him. Then it was passed down when he was gone. That generational knowledge is gone. Whenever we had a cat that disappeared, Yoshi would stay in the house for a year at a time, she seemed to get that something "out there" had happened and she wasn't taking any chances. We got the name from "The Sign of the Chrysanthemum" by Katherine Paterson. I am not in the mood to have another cat, maybe not ever. We'll see how I feel about it in a few years. Ok, I have been up a long time already, I have forgotten to check the water for my oatmeal twice! and it is time for my reliable cell phone to ring its alarm to get me up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

what kind of blogger am I"
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well, I was able to get this card from there to here--not perfectly, but it is a first! I notice I have some garbage around the card and the button doesn't work, so I am really not getting it perfectly. And then, when I tried to fix it, I got gibberish.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Autumn Days Have Arrived

Last weekend it was 90* at the crossroads of America-- maybe a hundred year record. This weekend it is crisp and cool and normal, but it seems cold going from the 90's to the 50's. I spent a good three hours in two favorite art stores, one favorite bookstore, and in a danish modern furniture store where I realize I can afford some pieces I really like. I can switch from rolling steel kitchen racks holding all our clothes, sheets and tv, to perfectly straight, simple WOOD dressers and the sofas that look so modern and lay down into a bed are nice AND affordable. hmm. I shall think on that for another 3 years. It takes me a long time to make a decision. Yesterday I bought that fabulous pop up dinosaur book that is really a work of art for a mere $10-- won't break my heart when the toddler gets the dinos the worse for wear. I had a great time in the capital city yesterday and DH blew a really nice big platter. It was hair-raising. I sat in the hall and watched, glassblowing is really hot and all those flying twirling puntees scare me a little,(a lot) hence sitting in the hall to observe.

This is my official fall break, extra time to do laundry, maybe even put it away and possible see another movie.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Dinner with Cousins

DH's cousins are in for a couple of days to visit remaining relatives, old friends and see what is new in town. To hear the improvement of our city through their eyes is actually eye opening. They are seeing it all at once and are impressed. We met at our fabulous Thai restaurant and it got great reviews from them. We sat and gabbed for 2 hours, you don't have to be blood to yaya. I had the eggplant dish that I already knew I loved and haven't had for 2 years. yum. I tried the coconut soup, another yum and we tried two or three appetizers. Their presentation is always so beautiful it nearly requires photographs. DH did not show up, he stayed at the retreat, though he said he was coming. That's ok, I can talk enough for the both of us!

Now I am off the be grandmommy supreme to the boy who thinks I am all that. I have a beautiful book about chameleons from the book fair at school with fabulous color photos and just enough text to enjoy,but not overwhelm. I read one of Walter Dean Myers' book, "A Handbook for Boys", fantastic, not new though,or I would recommend it to Cybils. One of my boys who has a broken arm was reading it in class on Friday, but he gave it back as he said he couldn't read it any further, it was too upsetting to him. I think it is because he lives that life. Nothing is new by the time it gets to the book fair. I am reading a Sarah Weeks book called "SO B It" and it is off to a heart rending start. It is about a girl surviving with her mentally ill mother.

I am off to get a specific sweatshirt for the little grandson then off on the 2 hour drive to see him. I hope my sister was here yesterday to visit the dog, because she had been moved out of her kennel and into the yard and the gate was closed. I had left her in the kennel and the gate was ajar when I went to the movie. I thought it was dh back in town to meet his cousins for dinner, but that was not the case.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

3:10 to Yuma

I thought I remembered a slice of a review for this movie, so I took myself to it. Much to my surprise, I loved it. I loved a bloody, gory, action-packed cowboy movie. I can hold my breath for 2 hours, at least. I welled up for the final scene, some people call that crying, then laughed, and restrained myself from clapping.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I said I Wasn't Gonna Do It Again

But, I think I will drag myself, no wait, hop out of bed in the morning and ride to school again. Tomorrow is a day when a group of our students pick up trash in their neighborhood and some adults are needed to be around to watch things. I have decided that biking around might be just the thing. About the weekend, I am having a bit of a resentment. DH brought a dog into our lives and he is gone all weekend to a retreat. I feel I cannot go where I want to and spend a couple of days cause I have to dog sit. When will we EVER be able to spend a weekend in Chicago again? She has all her shots, so we can board her, but there is no hopping in the car and taking off for two days for me. EEEHH, quit whining and get over it. Can you believe it is near 90* at the end of the first week of October?

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I rode my bike across town to my school to grade papers. About an hour into the work, I thought no one would see a car in the parking lot, so they might reset the alarm. As I was leaving an hour later, I set off the alarm, it had been reset. I found that I was so nervous riding the bike to school rather than being on the biking trail, that I may not do it again. There is too much traffic and it is not bike friendly. I did get a lot of work done, though. I got all of my 6th and 7th grade work evaluated. That just leaves 8th grade, I think I will drive down tomorrow and finish it up! It is such a gorgeous day. DH got the yard fenced in for the 5 month old Siberian husky. I have heard they are really not fence able, I went out this morning and she greeted me on the back porch--out of the brand new fence. hmmm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Day One Down

My group of students followed directions very well, they did not end up needing all of their extended time for IEP's and we got three tests done. I am worried about one student who's handwriting in 8th grade literally looks like that of a three year old just beginning to make letters. Asking him to plan and write an essay...... We spent the afternoon watching movies, drawing, and I started a Gary Paulsen book students usually love, "A Soldier's Heart." or Soldiers Heart, addressing what is now called post-traumatic stress disorder and was called a soldiers heart in the civil war. This book breaks your heart as all Gary Paulsen books do in one way or another. I did hurry home after school, as it makes a boring day for a teacher. Oh well, most of it takes place in three days. Next Tuesday we will do the last section, a separate test.

Monday, September 17, 2007

High Stakes Testing

It starts tomorrow. Each teacher in our building tests a group of students. That cuts down on the size of the group and everyone has to do it. We did that last year and I thought it worked out rather well. I have a special ed group with only 10 or 12 kids in it. I teach art now, but I was an academic teacher for 11 or 12 years before that, so giving this test does not freak me out. After that, we have one more week in our 6 week grading period that my group called related arts has. The academic teams have 9 week grading periods. My projects are coming along just fine and, with the kiln repaired, I may be able to squeeze in a little mud in 8th grade in the last week, They will have to wait for their pieces to be fired, though.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

This Morning

H slept until 9:30 and that is late, even with the hour's time difference. We had a yogurt smoothie to tide us over until Gimpa was ready to go to breakfast, which turned out to be after Fantasia and up to the scary bits of lion king-- We had a half hour wait at the restaurant and H and I had to take a long stroll as his patience was wearing thin. Once he got a few bites of food in him, all was well. He was exhausted by then so we took a detour through one of out picturesque parks as he has a love for forests, then home to play with the pup/dog for a while, the dog is an excellent ball retriever. Now they are off on their 2 hour drive home. DH is going kayaking and I have to decide what I am going to do. It will not be laundry--that I got done yesterday at 5a.m. for some unknown reason. Must be the habits of aging women! I may read with my fabulous new lenses that can even view the tiny names in the phone book!

New Glasses

I got them yesterday while awaiting the arrival of my daughter and my grandson and I am back in the world of really great vision. Unfortunately, the frames are slmost identical to the ones I had before, I wished daughter had been with me to pick them out. I like them and I really like the vision.


A record number of cousins, second cousins and third cousins were together in one spot yesterday including my daughter and grandson. We had lots of cousin food and several things made that my aunt would have made so we had the hints of the missing generation. H spent hours running through the "forest", he loves the forest! It is a small woods with about 4 well travelled tracks circling through it and first he and I walked round it a few times, then tiny little Hayley took him by the hand and walked him around it many times.. Soon a whole gang of 2's to 10's were running through the forest. H now knows that leaves of three-leave it be-- and he told his mom "there is poison ivy everywhere, so stay on the path." Jessie was there with her baby bump, Mandi, Amy, NINA!!! fiance's, fiance's nieces, It was running with the big kids heaven for H. We drove home on "bumpy" roads (read that hilly) that tickled H and we even swung through to see the very last bit of vivid sunset at Grandma Jean's resting place. He wanted to know if we were going to sleep there, he is rather fond of dead people's parks. It was too chilly for that, but the view from that gentle hill was really beautiful. As we arrived back in the dark, there was an acrobatic airplane swooping and streaking and dropping spectacular fireworks, a really nice last ten miles on the interstate.

I am up and showered and awaiting the awakening of the long lean nearly three year old.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Eye Exam

Yes, it is that kind of a week, stem to stern, not in that order! I have the very very early beginnings of cataracts and it should not bother me for years. Getting home dilated with no sun glasses was a trick and I am staying in the cave for the rest of the day. Now I have to find out where I can get my prescription filled and use my very minimal vision benefit.

By the way, the 2.75 grandson got a hooba hoop from his dear little neighbor friend who gives him all of his outgrown toys and he was so excited about it.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Towel Tale

I am hauling a dozen towels and some floor mats to the EH room --they actually have a shower and bathroom when students need that and could use some of the dwindling towels.

Good News

The kiln is ok, did I already say that? The kiln guy reset the thing where it is supposed to be and gave me the ok to use it even with the crushed fire-brick. In the meantime, the 8th graders have already started their paintings but we may be able to get some clay in after the big tests which take place all over the state at approximately the same time. He got the external to internal thermometer back in the correct location. It is in pretty good shape for all the use I have given it over three years. Whew! dodged a bullet. I just remembered, he has a really fun two or three day project that will fit right in with the test and the amount of time we have left inthe 6 weeks! YAY!!

Cool Cache

My cool cache is up-- accidentally jewish twittered me on the Samual L. Jackson You Tube Comeback video and I think it is fun. Props to Dooce for me even finding it as I don't just search You Tube.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

I arrived for my appointment early, as I am wont to do and the building was locked tight. I sat outside at a picnic table until my appointment was 15 minutes late. I got the hospital number and called admissions to see if there had been a mistake and they were looking for me. The letter of instructions sent me to the wrong place so I was a half hour late. After that nerve-wracking wait--thinking all that prep for naught, things went very well, very efficiently and I am cleared for 10 years. Not one teeny tiny polyp. I am tired from the sedative, and I think I will try to take a nap now.

An Hour Away

Not so bad, but the many trips to the bathroom are rather tiring. I am already planning a long nap after the procedure. I am wondering if a clear liquid day once a week or every two weeks isn't a good idea-- it really didn't bother me, although that frozen pizza laying on the counter left by dh looks pretty darned inviting, even if the cat sat on it! But I'm not hungry. Rest assured, there'll be no video. Alert to children, DH is back to glassblowing officially, as of yesterday! Hooray!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Now It Begins

The saline phospho fleet laxative has been taken. I know it isn't as disgusting as when you had to drink a gallon of stuff, but for the novice, damn it's salty. Now I am drinking a bottle of propel. Wonder if I should take a shower now before the fireworks begin? A day of clear liquids hasn't been nearly as difficult as I expected it to be. Not much chance I'll starve to death.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

4 Days

Four days without my arthritis meds in preparation for the colonoscopy. OOOOH, I'm stiff and achy. I swear things were popping and breaking in my feet in exercise class tonight. Clear liquids tomorrow. I have to remind myself, no Friday morning omelet at the best little restaurant in town. I think I am going to crip to bed after my shower. then really crip out of it in the morning. I did my acrylic painting demo today and the kiln guy came and put my kiln back together. He told me all was well and to go ahead and use it. YaHoo!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cloth Mache Day

Much to my surprise, the layer of cloth strips we put on the Oaxacan animals (papier mache version) went rather well in both classes. This is the hardest step because the Elmer's is pretty messy and the kids really think it is icky. This may have been the very best overall cloth mache of this small project I do with 6th graders. The layer of cloth and Elmer's makes the animal very very tough. Regular papier mache is rather fragile. I learned about this in a book called "Make Something Ugly."

Cell Phone

I am very untechy, but I have learned, on my second cell phone, the joys of a calendar alarm. I now put everything on it. Yesterday I remembered to go buy sheets to rip for the last coating of our Oaxacan animals made in paper and cloth mache. I am ready to rip. I have to buy because I have used up every old or aging or merely disliked sheet in the house. I now get white because they are more easily painted in bright colors. I am ready for 6th grade today. Every day next week has a purple light on the number including clear liquids on this Friday.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Do Not Read if You Can't Tolerate Whining

I am 60 years old and today I found out it still hurts my feelings to be given a size related nickname. And of course there was a student who felt he had to give me this information. As a kid I was called beanpole, when it fit, followed by crane legs followed by the jolly green giant. (I had to wear a green formal to a convocation at another school where we installed their honor society) and today I find I am big bird-- do I get some yellow feathers and wear a hat? I can't believe that it still has the power to cut. OK that's it. I shall let it go now and start looking for a hat.

Monday, September 3, 2007

What to Do?

The messed up kiln really screws up my 8th grade curriculum.... I need to remember what I did before I had clay.

Beautiful Morning

The temperature was 55* so I tied my shoes and got my ID and rode to the end of the trail on one of the most beautiful mornings ever. I met several other teachers that I know from my school and others, the trail was very busy with runners and bikers. Yesterday I did the Western ride and today I took the long Eastern ride. There were no deer today, too many people, I think. That's OK the deer are surprisingly huge. I love my new bike, it has suspension and a really nice seat. There is enough distance for my legs and my back so riding is not so uncomfortable. I have had 2 or 3 $100 huffies over the years, but I finally got a bike that is tall enough for me and it makes a world of difference. Does that make up for the Krispee Kremes? I don't think so.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


We had a blast today in central Illinois. My cousin and two of her grandchildren joined us and it was the first time she'd seen our toddler grandson since he has been here. We had really good food, our daughter and her husband are wonderful hosts and cooks and I took a berry salad I think I found on Kalyn's kitchen. Children ran and shouted and squealed and swam and nearly toppled over in exhaustion. Dh made a secret trip to the sugar shack, otherwise known as krispee kreme as this was one time the grandson didn't need to know about this trip. Too much excitement already. Chicago daughter came down and taught me how to e-mail myself some photos I took with my phone, and what was in my mailbox when I got home? 5 photos of a local fundraising art project! Success. The quality of the photos leaves a lot to be desired, but at least I got it done. Who knows, in two or three years I might be able to text message somebody.

I had a bit of excitement at school on Friday. Some of my 8th graders wanted to look in the kiln. My kiln room has seemed strangely spacious the past few weeks and when I opened the kiln, I realized why. The custodians had shoved the kiln up against the wall, it was knocked a couple of inches off its base and some of the firebricks inside are somewhat CRUSHED. I was really really mad and I don't think the kiln guy will be able to come and fix it in time for this grading period to get to do clay. grrrr. On the other hand, the kiln is not school quality and maybe I will be able to get a better one, not a hobby kiln. You would think I would be a little more observant, after all, I am supposed to be an artist and don't we observe? Something was just not right, but until I looked inside the kiln, smashed up against the wall on its big electrical umbilical cord, I just didn't notice a couple of inches of kiln bottom showing out from under the edge of the stacked walls, where it should not have been.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Towel Tale Continues

Not really the towels. This morning before 6a.m. I filled the little green wagon with a box full of motel sized 4 cup electric coffee pots. These were also slated to go to the dump in Maine. Teachers loved them to have hot water for tea or make a spot of coffee at their convenience. There may be more pots out front, I will have to look because I have way more carafes than pots. I took in two medium sized boxes full of three ring binders to one of the special ed teachers who wanted them for her kids in her classroom. I still have towels to deal out to my daughter, my brother, another special ed teacher, and, of course, US! I haven't taken ours out yet.

We Lost One Today

A good one, a sweet one, one from my very first year at my school which has been 14 or 15 years. That makes him about 27. He did the right thing, he worked hard in school. He went to the military. He got a college education and had good jobs. He was living his life. This is the worst thing about teaching. Hearing one of your students has died.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Up At Four A.M.

did some laundry
took out the trash
took a shower
read my favorite blogs
played two rounds of spider solitaire
checked my e-mail--no sign of Leah
got dressed and headed to school
noticed it was 5:55a.m.
too early
went to my favorite local restaurant for coffee and the paper
still got to school at 7a.m.
good day of teaching
a really good (for a change) convocation
hour and a half working out
can barely walk
hour and a half watching our girls get stomped at volleyball
but they played harder tonight
home now
looking for Tylenol p.m. and bed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

First Time Cross Country Scorer

I get a little panicky when I score even the simplest athletic events and I screwed up twice. You are in all this noise with people crowding around wanting to know their times and their parents wanting to know their times and one is receiving numbered sticks from runners and you must get their name and on run on run on sentences.... I got stick one and stick two, BUT there happened to be an unnumbered 1.5. Two girls finished literally 0.001 apart-- so my list was one off from then on. Then the boys, I got all the sticks and names right, but didn't notice the first score was an inch or so higher on the ticket than all the other scores, so I was off again. At any rate, I got it all fixed and I will do better next time.

Then off to dinner at a favorite spot with DH and SIL. it is almost 8:30 and the only thing keeping me up is this writing! Man it's hell turning 60. Truth is I have been like this for several years. At least Ben Franklin would be happy about it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Strange Thing

When your MIL who is suffering from dementia, threatens another client, scratches an aide and threatens another aide, she becomes a nursing home criminal...that is one of the most disturbing things I have ever heard. She can't even stand up. It is freaky and it is so sad what dementia does to a human being, ever so slowly picking away at parts of their humanity. The meanest thing she might ever do under her own brain power would be to hurt someone's feelings.

Golden Toilet Brush

I picked up a toilet brush at the dollar store and a can of 24 karet gold paint, too. I presented it to the "winner" of the toilet decorating. This was at a faculty meeting and got quite a laugh. That was fun.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Teachers Are Silly, Too

We have a new person on our floor and she always brings good smelling things with her to make the bathroom more pleasant. This time she added a desk with a table cloth and a small lace table cloth over it plus a small bunch of artificial flowers. Hey, it is a place to put your things besides putting them on the floor. The team leader dressed up the staff bathroom on the other end of the hall with MORE flowers, lots of green vines, a table cloth, and a framed photo of the team on display. (we are not the only team who uses that bathroom) THEN someone, some mysterious person put in a partition. If you have ever gone to the bathroom and you hear 160 children changing classes and you realize you have forgotten to lock the door, well, you immediately understand the thrill of the partition. Suddenly we hear reports that the 8th grade team upstairs has gone with a theme, a cabin at Christmas theme, with lights in one bathroom and a yellow lagoon--what could that mean--in their other bathroom. This bathroom fever has flown around the building in less than 24 hours and it takes "no child left behind" to a whole new place for teachers' behinds behind a partition. I wonder if the other teams will step up to the stool, how far will it go? At any rate it is fun and there is a lot of laughing even though our high stakes testing starts in the middle of September.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I was sound asleep when my cell phone alarm started going off, it is set for 5:30 to give me time to go to the pool if I want., Then the real phone started ringing and it was the ultra cheerful voice of my DIL__"hi!!" I said its 5:30 a.m.--she was confused, I was confused, then I realized the NFL game was still on TV, it was only 9:30p.m. My three hours of sleep the night before with a whining puppy and a snoring hubby sent me to la la land really deeply. At any rate, I had a lovely conversation with my oldest granddaughter who has another 2 weeks of summer vacation. We can talk books. Much to my amazement, she is going into 8th grade. I don't know how these babies grow up so fast, it seems my own daughters should be in 8th grade instead of 30, let alone a granddaughter! I struggled back to sleep and did not want to get up at 5:30 AT ALL.

DH brought home some absolutely fabulous carvwed wooden animals by a Bolivian artist, the colors are brilliant and the animals themselves are very humorous. I expected them to be a lot smaller than they are, they would certainly intimidate a very small dog~

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Another vegetarian site for Amy and Dondi

Beautiful, beautiful, maybe not gluten free though.

I've Been to the Pet Store

I wanted some tough toy that you stuff treats in and dogs work it out for entertainment and I wanted something better to teach her to walk and heel from the leash department. I was almost successful except that, even with many illustrations, I did not get the gentle leader on correctly. Even without using the nose thingy, we had a good 7 to 10 minutes of walking practice and she sits nicely. DH must have taught her that already. The expando leash was so unsuitable for training. We may be bonding a bit, I came home from shopping and she was quietly crated and gave me a few minutes to read directions before I attempted to get the gentle leader on properly.

It's back to school in the morning and I am going to make a concerted effort to get up at 5:30a.m., get to the pool by six and swim for one half hour only. If I can improve my laps my even one lap in that time, I will feel good. I better pack for it now as my really tough workout is tomorrow evening after school. Won't I be a goddess of exercise if I get both of those things done! Do you think I could also get my hair to look cute instead of ending up with one wisp standing straight up like Alfalfa? That may be too much to ask. I have the easiest haircut in the world and yet I cannot seem to manage it very well.

Knock Knock

Who's there? A long lost husband and a four month old puppy that hasn't been housebroken or crate trained. And I am back in school. I slept from 4 to 7 this morning and had to pick up poop in the night. grrr. This is going to be tough. Lots of groovy objects from various artists in Maine, wait till you see those!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

20 Laps

I did 20 laps non-stop and it either took 30 minutes or 35 minutes, I forgot to look at the clock when I started. I had a mantra--working on one, working on one, working on five, working on you think that is meditating? I think maybe it is. my mind was clear, or empty, however you prefer to see it, except for my mantra. That is why I am so sure it was 20 laps, and yes, I know the difference between laps and lengths. A couple of years ago i could swim one mile in one hour, maybe I can get back to that. My present goal is to swim laps for one half hour before school at least two days a week, maybe three. My face and particularly my left cheek were red and hot by the time I finished. Now I must go try to wear my new flip flop sandal birks for 5 minutes, building up from 5 seconds!

First Week

You'd think I'd have a lot to say. I am tired, my feet hurt, I had a fabulous massage after school and forgot to go to the first football game of the season--too relaxed I guess.

Dh's one month job on the east coast turned into three months, but he WILL be home tonight. I am clearing all the clothes and books and magazines off the bed and I will certainly have to move my new bike out of the little hallway that leads to his bathroom. Hmm, what am I going to do with it now. I am not keeping it outside like my huffy and it is too big a mess in his shop/garage. I never stepped in this summer, just reached in to retrieve the gas for the mower. I should mow, but I think I will go swim some laps. later dude

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

First Day of School

I left home at 6:30 a.m. to go to the teacher rally. We got a nice contract and really did have an inspirational speaker.. an incoming high school freshman who suffers from brittle bone disease. He looks like he is 7 or 8, then this amazing funny routine comes out, he actually cracked a joke at the expense of our superintendent who is always very well dressed. He also relayed a story about a teacher who made him and his class recite a poem every week and gave vocabulary tests every week, but credited that teacher from bringing him out of a case of terminal shyness. These speeches are usually boring, to very boring. This was the best in 15 years and I think the kid may have a career in comedy. It was a LONG day, and that was followed by open house, two hours of standing around after working all day. I think I forgot to take my arthritis medecine this morning! It is almost 9:30 p.m. and I have not been home long. Maybe tomorrow I will be ready for school! And I am gong to try to swim for one half hour before school. I am not going for a mile, just one half hour. My goal is to do that at least twice a week with the rest of my exercise program. I just must drag myself to the Y early enough.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Movie Summer

I have never been to so many movies in one year. In fact, I may go a couple of years without attending a movie, or I may see one a year. Today I saw "Becoming Jane." I was a lovely gray damp period piece, The sun shone three times, only once bright enough to cast shadows. Ann Hathaway was a wonderful Jane and I think fans of Jane Austen are going to love it, as did I. I spent my youth reading the likes of White Fang, Big Red, Lassie, Beautiful Joe, and many, many, many many horse books, I never picked up Jane Austen, even in college. I looked at Les Miserables and was such a bumpkin I thought why would anyone read a book called less miserables (American pronunciation) I expected to enjoy this movie, and I did, I did not expect to have tears spring into my eyes in the last 5 minutes. See it, and once again, wedding and prom dresses will be empire waisted.

I took "Gossamer" to a restaurant and read it in one sitting. (Lois Lowry) Many of you will know her from "Giver" fame. She is a wonderful writer for human beings. I was very touched and moved by the sweet story she weaves from a place we suspect might exist, and it brings us our dreams. Another emotional work, but this one fiction to top off my day. You could read it out loud to third graders, and 10 year olds would probably love to do it themselves. I love it when literature for children moves me as an adult. This was recommended by my dear friend and mentor who is preparing young people to teach at the University of Wisconsin. Those students probably know how lucky they are. Thanks Tamara.

Friday, August 10, 2007


A huge fantasy fairy tale with humorous bows to "The Princess Bride", "Titanic", "Witches of Eastwich" and maybe some Jules Verne, though I can't be sure of that. Michelle Pfeiffer is not afraid to "go there." She is a force to be reckoned with this summer. DeNiro is a hoot, and Claire Danes alternates between the ethereal and the clumsily otherworldly. There are great special effects, there is a lot of humor, and, though I felt for a moment, a bit of dragging, I was ready to cheer for happily ever after.

20 Years, No Flip-Flops

OUCH! I am just trying to learn to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen in an 800 sq ft house. Will I ever be able to wear them to the car? I don't know. I am feeling a little tougher already, but my gait is weird. and the little owie sounds I am making are not very flattering. I felt of those things that run between the toes and they are surprisingly soft, so I will soldier on for the sake of cuteness.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Green Gifts I like to buy my dear Seattle niece gifts from this site, bamboo rocks.


This is where I like to get my birkenstocks. I haven't had a new pair in over three years. These are the shoes the podiatrist recommended for my very painful plantar fascitis, and I swear by them. I am CURED as long as I wear them most days of the week. I also shop at to get my Brooks Addictions for severe over-pronation. These shoes keep me pain free most of the time. That said, I got a pair of birks with a thong style because it looks girlie, and believe me, if I can find something for my very large feet that "looks girlie" even a little bit, I am going to snap it up. I have not had something go between two toes in footwear for over 15 years, and I am definitely going to have to break these in. ouch. Tender in there, I used to live in flip flops in the last go round of flip-floppiness, until I realized that most of my ankle pain came from the spongy lack of support that those things had and I swore off. Then, after years of working on cement in flats, I had to move to sensible (possibly ugly) shoes to get through the day. So, no flip flops for me, but I do have a cute skinny strap shoes that can pass as a girl's shoe in any company. This year I am going "back-to'school" with NEW SHOES! remember the thrill? Maybe I should go get a new box of crayola crayons.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Physical, Physical, 72 1/4in

Here is a first, I am just 60, and I am 1/4 inch taller than I ever have been. Is it better posture? Is two days of yoga improving my spine already? I go whew each year that I do not lose height as I know that means my spine is not crushing down upon itself..but taller? The nurse did say she was so short she could hardly reach the stick. But I can tell you, she did get it flat to my head. I was old enough to have the vaccine against shingles, and after having shingles, I gladly take the vaccine. Don't want any more of that, and I caught them early so treatment worked pretty well.

I spent the rest of the day with school friends and their children at one friend's pool up in paradise. It was a lovely relaxing day, the last Wednesday before school officially starts and daily swims stop.

We have had several days with humitures of over 100*, even 110 or 112, so it is HOT and miserable out there, if you are not in a pool of water!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Ladies Who Lunch--or Breakfast

After my 90 minutes in the pool, I stopped at my favorite locally owned restaurant for breakfast where a colleague spotted me and we had breakfast together. I had a plan to meet up with another friend at a not so near by metropolis. I didn't call her until I got within two blocks of the house she is general contracting on for her aunt. She wouldn't be there until after the time I needed to get back to town for my exercise class. What could I do? I was forced to go shopping for school. I HATE shopping, but there I was. I got a great parking spot in the new modern all the rage shopping center and went into my favorite national chain fat girls shop. I must say, the gauchos this year are GREAT! I did not get them, if I got paint on them in the course of my job, I would be very upset. I have plenty of pants for that and two new pairs of long shorts with cuffs from wal-mart that are at a paint proof price point. I got several fresh new tops and the new longer t-shirts that are finally coming out. Nothing more uncomfortable than the last couple of years rises combined with the short t's and the worries of THAT combination.

Now I am home writing this and watching something disturbing about identity theft and job loss on blogs......maybe I should pay attention. Then it is off to the hot sweaty gym for me.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Third Time's a Charm

I made three hot sweaty swipes at mowing the yard today. The first time lasted until the wet grass choked the mower. The next session finished off the back yard. The third session took care of the front and the street. Whew. I got it as done as I can. Well, I could get out the weed whacker but I am not. (maybe tomorrow) The entire block breathes a sigh of relief when I get this job finished. As we love to say in the Midwest, it's not the heat, it's the humidity.

That Was Yesterday, This is Today

Today I stubbed my toe on a cardboard box and down I went, turning my little knee bruises from yoga into one nice big bruise. I do think I really bounced nicely from all the weight training and cardio work I have done in the past year and a half! Oh, what caused it? Besides the boxes of goodies we have saved from the landfill, I just got off the phone with the nursing home where my teeny tiny mother-in-law, who is slowly disappearing with dementia, tried to attack her roommate with a pencil. That is not who she was. They have kept her in a room alone because of her recent propensity for violence against roommates, so I don't know what possessed them to put someone in there. I felt for a second they were going to put her out on the sidewalk, but of course, they were making an incident report. I hope they just let her live alone in her room reading books and working crosswords. Yes, she still loves to read and do crosswords.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


I got to Pi-yo and it was just yo/yoga. Many planks and downward dogs and other things I cannot remember hearing the names of-- I was literally dripping with sweat, it was falling off my head onto the floor. Yo mama. If 60 is the new 40 then I better get a little more limber,that said, I did not fall down. I could have slept on that hard floor as we did our last relaxation breathing at the end. I will go back. And maybe I will find when the Yoga class is being taught. My year and a half of working out vigorously has prepared me for this challenge. Soon I forsee lifting that toe off the floor for 3 seconds.

Friday, August 3, 2007


I thought I'd come home from a massage and mow....that turns out to be not very likely! I am so relaxed, I am nearly in a trance. Maybe I'll mow before Pi-Yo in the morning. I have one week left of my summer vacation, time is winding into school time and I keep feeling little zips of eagerness. UH oh, I am almost ready to go back, but first a pre-sleep nap.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Life Is Not Fair"

I said to the almost 31 month old grandson, "no", he replies, "life is a highway." I am still laughing 24 hours later.

Towel Saga

The largess of towels have come to a fork in the road. I still have some boxes on the front porch with goodies from the east coast, too much to bring inside. Someone came up and took the case with the most towels packed in it. I sure hope there was a need. At any rate, I checked and I still have enough for Chicago daughter, and for us, whew. What a bummer that would be to end up without towels after bringing so much terry happiness to so many. Please tell me why it pisses me off?

Birthday Joy

Yesterday H arrived bringing his mommy with him and about 20 matchbox cars. We prepared a tasty lunch and went to our favorite park about noon. We have a wonderful park with fantastic equipment, but at noon on the hottest day of the year there are no kids, why? They have already figured out the slides are HOT, the spongy ground is HOT the benches are in full sun and HOT. H did meet up with another teacher's 3 sons and they ran and ran until their faces nearly melted, then we cam home to rest, hopefully nap, but at least rest and cool off. The heaps of pillows from Maine are too distracting for naps, you can practically build a castle with them. I thought a little PBS might help, and it was enjoyed, but it riles the boy up for some reason. We went out for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant and over to the baskin robbins for a birthday treat. H was adorable decorated in brilliant blue icing, particularly a perfect circle of blue transferred from the frozen clown treat to his own clown nose! Sleep was hard won as H wanted to go home and sleep in his own big bed, he slept in my extra big bed until about 1:30, when he woke up and realized I was not mommy, whoo-- he is sleeping with her in her childhood room. I may hear little noises up there right now and he is sleeping at least an hour or more longer than usual. And he is missing the fact that a back hoe is hard at work on the closest corner, a dream come true for him. He better get down here before they take a break!

Another Dozen Down

Friend who was 18 when we knew him--stopped by, he had the gall to say he is 45 now! How can that be? I was 30 when we met him, my now 30 year old daughter was here and I was gobsmacked by the passing of time, at any rate, he deserved a dozen of our finest fluffy off-white towels. He said his daughter uses two a day every day and don't even get his wife started on the towel situation, so I hope she enjoys an extra day of freedom from laundry! Go for it Beth!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Decade Starts Tomorrow

My little sweetie pie grandson and his Mommy are coming over tomorrow to spend time with me on my birthday. We will have fun. We have wonderful parks here. I think I will be stacking my towels in a more orderly fashion so he can get in the living room, although there is much more room in here since giving two dozen to my friend and her daughter. At 40 I was working in a pizza shop and had my birthday on the sign outside, at 50, I was at a math workshop at a big ten school and my friends surprised me with a party, at 60 I have spent the entire summer swimming and exercising and laying about watching TV and reading. Maybe I will suddenly be ready for school to start in two weeks. I am having my very first twinge of readiness right this minute. That's how it begins. First a twinge, then "Let's get going!" If this keeps up, DH will have been gone the ENTIRE summer to work on this job in Maine and I can tell you that is a damn long time.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Definition of Sweetness

I was leaving my toddler-care days and I told him I was going home. He said "Oh, Nonnie, don't go I miss you so." Head on my shoulder, sweet hug. Jeez, that makes leaving 3 days of playing with 80 matchbox cars on my hands and knees and getting quite a bit of reading done, some of it challenging, (David Mamet) almost impossible to walk out that door.

By the way, the bar is behind us! Whew.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


YES, to both of you, towels aplenty, at least a 10 year supply. and bathmats, too, and how about some 2 cup coffee pots? Get the picture, the living room is a literal Alps of off white towels, even after all the giveaways! And I haven't taken out my share yet!!

As for today, the little prince is napping. I took a darn long time to get to it, too. We played outside for about 2 hours first thing, and I mean before 7a.m. Sorry, neighbors if our singing got too loud! Then we watched some Sesame Street and what I hoped would be a fresh Caillou, it wasn't. We played trains in Daddy's office AND I got the music to play. All this plus some dancing took place before bath time. I promised Daddy I'd do the bath. That was fun until the hair. of course, but I got him to play past the hair and stay in the water for a while. It was 20 till one before story and nap, whew. In 10 or 15 minutes he was sound asleep and I only had to say, in a Billy Goat Gruff voice one time, "get back in that bed.. " I am leaving something out, oh yes, there was food, mostly a hot dog day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Bar

Untold thousands of law school graduates have converged in Chicago to take the high stakes test of their young lives. I myself am supplying care to my little prince of the Midwest whle his Mommy, law-daughter is taking this test. Today he is having his first nap in several days. After a few hours of rolling around on the floor playing with matchbox cars with him, among other things, and a hearty lunch of steamed garden veggies, a fresh peach, two hot dogs, and a glass of milk, off he went, somewhat reluctantly, but successfully for a NAP. I have had a much needed shower and some time to read blogs and even write on my own. I have washed a few windows and hope for a noticeable response to the missing toddler noseprints! Since this is not my home, I find it much easier to do a few chores. Things look better easily here as compared to my dark cave with 30 years of odds and ends built up. I do watch those shows where people come in and organize one into comfort and beauty, but my house isn't quite bad enough to qualify, except for the recent heap of towels which I am dispensing to the meagerly toweled as I meet them, I still have a path!

About those towels:
daughter, 10+10 handtowels+4bathmats
teacher 1 same
teacher 2 same
friend from the pool, 6
trainer, 6, no hand towels, no bath mats
Aunt B. 12, to share with cousin T and boys
Oh yeah! my cousin ya ya 10 or 12, I forget
just a small accounting of really nice towels that were going to the DUMP!
....and I still have plenty of towels to find homes for. They are housebroken and don't bark at the neighbors.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


What a wonderful day with my cousin/friend, we sat on her bed and yaya'd, we went to the kitchen for some tea and yaya'd, we went to crackerbarrel and ate and yaya'd, then we sat out on the porch of the crackerbarrel for 2 more talk talk. 9 hours of talk, how do we do that? Childhood, children, grandchildren, work, moms..... what a super time, and her new digs are nice, too.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I Don't Stagger Home

from exercise class anymore, I can mow, I can shop, I can sit at the computer and say how strong I am getting. My lunges have gone from 13 wobbly steps to the white line to 9 strong steps to the same white line. The first time I tried lunging, I couldn't even take 3 steps to any line and felt as if I were going to fall over at any second, I couldn't even pull my back foot up to my front foot! Progress is being made every day. I might be ready to take my 30 minutes on the elliptical to 45 minutes.


My dh just sent me 6--yes 6--skeins of alpaca yarn from an alpaca farm in Maine. It is the softest yarn I have ever touched. I have no idea what do do with it, maybe make a baby blanket for ME so I can cuddle and touch it for the rest of my life! It is amazing. I looked at their site, and it isn't very helpful yet, but it does tell you where it is.

I had breakfast with friends from school today and gave away another half dozen towels, found future homes for more. It is easier than finding homes for puppies! or kittens. My weight loss was noticed, it in combination with a year of hard exercise is starting to show. That was somewhat gratifying. Yes, really gratifying.

I will soon be sitting for the prince of the Midwest while his mommy takes the bar. I have requested some tivos of reading between the lions, I am tired of Caillou's whining. The lessons are always good, but, let's get real, he whines! I watched Reading Between the Lions--research-- and it is an excellent replacement for that old classic, The Electric Company, for which I have pined in H's behalf. This is H's last week in day care until a law job is acquired and I think he will miss the other toddlers. I LOVE the school he has gone to, it has been such a good place to be in day care.

Another step up in the world of blogs, I actually put in a link to somewhere and it turned blue! You can click on it! Wahoo,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I saw it yesterday evening and it was lovely. It was strange to hear Natasha Richardson speaking with Vanessa Redgrave's younger voice--exactly! The girl who was represented in old age by Meryl Streep looked as if she would age right into Meryl Streep. Claire Danes is fabulous. I thought the movie was touching. One thing that was off-kilter was that the "girls" in the movie, were growing up in the fifties, yet they are still of childbearing age-- I am sorry, but their eggs should really already be gone and grandchildren should be in the wings-- still, it was easier to suspend that disbelief, though it jarred me, than rats in the kitchen. I never got over the calf in the Billy Crystal movie being a Jersey calf instead of a Hereford, it pains me to this day.

2 days ago I spent 1 1/2 hours sitting with my MIL at the nursing home. She seemed especially cheerful and has a new chatty table mate who keeps conversation going, whether anyone is listening or not. I found it entertaining and she still remembers things that are downtown currently. I thought we might take a roll around the block, a very large block, NO in no uncertain terms-- nap time. I stayed a while longer, but I was really invisible and finally left. I should say all the table mates enjoyed their lunches and my MIL says the food there is great.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Saw the new Pixar--cute--but I simply could not suspend disbelief and found it creepy and disturbing on so many levels. Rats touching food in restaurants... It is definitely several years away from Henry seeing it, there were many things to frighten the very young child. I saw some not so very young ones who seemed disturbed. I am doling out towels and realizing the magnitude of the number of towels a 30 room inn would need to have on hand. There's a guy walking down the street, maybe he needs 10 large bath towels! I can't imagine that all this good stuff was going to the dump! The towels have a good ten years left in them.


DH is working at an inn in Maine and they are changing their decor from off white to pink. I have all the towels that were going to the dump--absolutely nothing wrong with them except they were not the chosen color. I have expanded my idea of toweling my family to also toweling colleagues with families. Sets of 10 with bath mats, too, and hand towels. I am fixing a box of towels and bed pillows for law-daughter and family. I also have enough two cup coffee pots, Mr. Coffee to give one to each faculty member at my school so they can brew a cuppa if needed. I have been bringing things into the tiny living room and the sofa is completely covered up to the window with towels and pillows. Soon my feng shui friend is stopping by before we go see the new pixar movie to pick up her life-time supplies of towels. Turned out to be in the nick of time for her with her two swimming teen daughters. She'll take those cute crochet lace pillows that adorn some people's beds, people who make their beds and pile them with pillows. She does that, now that surprises me more about her than any of her wild teen stories!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Extra Perfect

I have felt the noticeable regaining of flexibility in my hips in the past two weeks, so much to my happy surprise, I was able to get my leg over the bike in a normal but slow fashion. The trail is in beautiful condition and the smells and sounds are those of my late childhood in the country, lots of blooms, and birds calling. I even saw a real bluebird. I took ID and quarters to get water at the end of the trail--no water--no fountain, no Next time I will take water. We are supposed to have several low humidity days in a row here, so I will not be unprepared again. A huge deer appeared on the trail in front of me, 15 or 20 yards away, I have read enough of Gary Paulsen to never underestimate the wildness of a deer and rode with caution, I even barked a little bit as I neared where it might have been. That phrase you always read about deer melting into the brush? So true.

Talked with DH today, he has shipped all the boxes of goodies the inn owners were taking to the dump instead of giving to goodwill or something. Towels for the whole extended family and even friends! He says our number one grandson is a perfectionist and very very good at making models. DH said he is amazing. Maybe that will help inspire him to get the grades to stay in school, I mean the hope of learning something that he can do with his hands. He is plenty smart, he just hasn't learned to value education.

If I don't do a single other thing today, I feel good about this day. Oh, and Leah should be back in Chicago by now, that is unless the flights are delayed, what's the chance of that?


Today is one of those rare perfect days in this part of the Midwest, low humidity, medium temperature, and nice breezes. The water at the Y felt like silk this morning and I stopped at my favorite restaurant here at the crossroads and had my once a week omlet. It was exceptional, then I carried my coffee out to the new outdoor seating to read and enjoy the lovely breeze. It is pleasant enough that I am going to take a mid day ride on my bike when I finish up here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


A friend introduced me to Nioxin brand shampoo for fine hair and I love it, I lost my last bottle at the Y--There were just a few teaspoons left, but the stuff is so expensive and takes so little to wash my wash'n'go hair. Today at Kroger they had a gel for thin hair and I bought it, and boy it works, I think I am going to use this often. I haven't been doing one thing with my hair this summer except washing it and wearing it completely flat and very very short. It is supposed to spike. Now I found the thing that makes it do what it is supposed to do. Remember, I promised in my first post that this would be a boring blog.

Monday, July 9, 2007


I remember the grasshoppers of my childhood in California as gigantic. I saw photos of them this week saying they are as big as your finger, they really were that big! I wonder if the carnations that grew everywhere really smelled so spicy as I remember? Not hybridized out of scent.

Something for Rose

Something flitted through my life yesterday that made me think of my grandmother we called Mammie. At 1604 she scrubbed and waxed the stairs to earn money to buy at least 12 grandchildren identical Christmas presents of the underwear kind. She wore shirtwaist house dresses and black clunky shoes size 10 with a quad A heel. Her hair was always carefully brushed and contained in a bun with a part on the side and a slight lift to the front before it was wound tightly into its bun then secured with hairpins and covered with a hairnet. I suppose the apartment was tiny, it was two rooms, a kitchen with her tiny white enamel table and her sturdy wooden box that she used as a stool. After she would wax the kitchen floor, she would cover it with newspaper to keep it clean. There was a dining section of the room with a table and chairs and one of those white metal cabinets where she kept our olives and our alka seltzer which Rose and I thought was a great treat. Alka Seltzer! I don't think we had much pop, so that must have been the lemony tingly thrill. Above that cabinet she hung a framed drawing of a horse I had done, it was so wonderful of her to do that for me. We could have a whole jar of those green olives with pimento as a treat. The tall skinny jar about the size of a 50 cent piece in diameter. WOW! those were the days! There was a "front" room with Papa's bed and Mammie's sofa bed where we slept with her when we stayed over.

The ice man actually still came to this apartment and carried blocks of ice up the back stairs. The bathroom was shared amongst the apartments on the floor and had a huge claw footed tub. My grandmother may have kept that clean, too. I think I remember four apartments on the floor. Everything was very dark. It was so much fun to get on the bus with Mammie and go downtown to Woolworth's. That special smell that Nancy Griffiths says smells like bubblegum on the bottom of a leather shoe ground into the wooden floors. She's right. My other grandmother took me to L.S. Ayres. Papa would come home from work, the machine shop, and throw his keys up to us from the sidewalk. He may have whistled. Papa was pretty scary and stern then once in a while he would surprise you. He took me downtown once and bought me a real drawing table--and a couple of learn to draw books by Walter Foster. It meant so much to me that they noticed my interest.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Just got back and they have 200 watt equivalent energy saving bulbs, now I can READ! Almost every bulb in the house has been replaced with a fluorescent bulb, but they never seem bright enough for a boomer to read by.

I got here just in time to get a call from my daughter in Israel, she is having a great time and will be headed back to the states next week. midweek.

My lawyer daughter once had a really bad allergic reaction to preparing fresh mangoes, did you know they can give you something similar to poison ivy? (in your mouth) I ate three in one day and my lips are verging on that Hollywood star injection look, just a bit. Maybe I shouldn't peel them either. This may be a warning to me! When I was in college, I didn't know mangoes were a fruit, I thought they were a green pepper, so imagine my surprise when the new Baskin Robbins in town had mango sherbet--and it wasn't green, I was mystified. A year in Florida cleared that up, the mango tree in one of the biggest trees down there and the fragile fruit falls all over the ground. Who knew?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Appropo of Nothing/Random Thoughts

1. I hate the new Home Depot commercial with the Asian family where the little girl is manipulating Daddy then Mom pays her-- yuchhh. I get angry every time I see it and want to run in here and write it down. So there.

2. I forced myself to go out and chop weeds in that hole DH left a year or two ago for the future studio-- actually the studio will exist by the end of this summer. Some people call it yard work or gardening, but it was merely weed chopping.

3. Spider Solitaire is a cruel invention.

4. A friend has the theory that summer break is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and I am on saturday and we go back to school early Sunday afternoon. June is Friday, July is Saturday, August is Sunday. That really makes it seem short.

3. I am reading a Chris Bojhalian book, I loved "Midwives".

4. I read for a couple of hours in a local coffee shop today and noticed I am not the only person there just to read. It is a way to ignore the relentless distractions of home.

5. My niece who is awaiting her baby girl from China wants to get together this week and that sounds like fun!

Friday, July 6, 2007


Great tough workout last night, and the rain poured down sounding like buckets of bricks on the school's roof. I did stagger home last night and could not have mowed like I did on Monday. 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 on the treadmill, plus half hour of rather difficult floor exercises. I am feeling more flexibility coming back into my hip joints, it is noticeable. This morning I went off to the pool, it was closed and I was wearing sandals, but I went into the fitness center with another swimmer and we rode the new semi-recumbent bikes for half an hour followed by a two hour breakfast and chat with a colleague from school. I got to see all of the pictures of her new grandbaby on her new digital camera which is the same brand as mine, but much more compact, very nice.(Camera AND baby) It is a gorgeous day but it is fast becoming terribly humid out there. I have a bag ready to go to the park and draw. Maybe I will just do that and I will feel like I have accomplished one of my summer goals, or a step of my summer goals.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


I am addicted to the morning swim classes, my whole sense of well-being is around that in the summer time. That may be unacceptable, I must work on that. I always feel fresh and new in the water when getting some laps and stretching out my muscles. Tonight is my really tough workout and I am going to try to get a full hour on the elliptical. I am not getting my summer reading done. What is it when there is too much time and you don't get things done? I can't really say that to anybody because that is not a problem for most people, they have too much to cram intheir day. I have many things I want to cram in my day and don't. If I had known what this summer was going to be, I would have scheduled some classes at the university, I need to get that done for next year.