Thursday, June 30, 2005

What Happened to Sir Paul?

I have been investigating the disappearance of Paul McCartney. You were unaware he was missing? I was too, until Saturday, June 25, 2005. He was supposed to be here in our little town, singing his heart out at a benefit concert for the victims of the recent landslide. He was supposed to be the Surprise Guest....And my daughter was to sing in his all kid back-up chorus, with nine other children. But, most of you know this. Hence, my investigation.

I have left no stone unturned in my quest for this missing singer, et al. I have emailed people in the know. I have checked local news outlets. I have phoned people. I have asked people I have seen. Not very many are talking. Hmm...Wonder if it was a hoax...Wish I could look that up online, hoaxes and urban legends...Perhaps it is my turn to report one....

I sent an email to somebody today. My sources are confidential. Sorry. I asked this person if we were duped so we would hang out all day, on a beautiful day, not too bad, and told with each act that Sir Paul was coming up next, very, very bad. Until late evening, when it was announced Sir Paul was not coming. All the while our child singers were kept behind yellow tape, confined together in a room. Just like real celebrities, not even the parents could get to them. Careful what you wish for people.

This person was quite informed, and in his opinion, yes, we were duped. Big time. Apparently, the same group of people who ran this concert pulled the very same lame ass trick the week before. Except, the big Surprise Guest was supposed to be Jackson Brown. Well, Brown makes more sense. He is in America for one thing. He did perform at a home here during the presidential run. So, that was not so far fetched. He is for the little guy as well. But Sir Paul has his mind on land mines and making more babies and was probably not even in the country. The words ethically challenged came up about somebody in the group who ran the concerts...Understatement and kindly put in my opinion.

Apparently, the sound stage and lighting cost twenty grand for the concert at our beautiful little coastal school. Although, underwritten, not something that goes with a fund raiser. The money would have been better spent on the victims themselves, yes? Of course, the local bands were stoked with their stage. I wondered why they did not name Sir Paul as a headliner, then justified it to myself by believing the concert organizers didn't want too many people. However, during the concert they advised the crowd to get on our cell phones and call our friends to tell them Paul McCartney was still coming! All the while knowing perfectly well they were fucking with our heads, time and wallets. I think this may warrant my next super-sleuthing abilities. This certainly does not bode well for future victims or future benefit events in our town. It is hard enough to convince potential donors that not all are rich here!

I do know they DID make a lot of money. I just wonder how much will get to the landslide victims. I am also concerned about this ruse to attract a bigger crowd. We would have donated to the cause. We didn't need to be blatantly lied to. It is unconscionable in my opinion. Why has the press not jumped on this...I dare say because there is one more fund raiser coming up this weekend? Surely the press is not involved in this plot to extort money from unsuspecting locals.

What I do know about Paul McCartney...He did purchase a home in Pasadena, CA in May for a mere 7.6 million. I think he is probably still renovating a dump like that, and not staying there yet. LMAO....He is scheduled to begin his US tour in September. On Saturday, he will lead the Make Poverty History march to Edinburgh, Scotland and then make his way down to play in the Hyde Park Live8 concert. He has written a children's book to be released in October, called High in the Clouds: An Urban Furry Tail.

So, even after my super-sleuthing, I cannot say for certain where he was this past Saturday. I believe from everything I have read, he is in fact in England, not America. It is not his fault that he did not attend a concert, he probably didn't know about.
Thus completing my search for him and ending our grimm fairy tale. Okay, bad pun...It wasn't so grim. Just made me curious. And, Sir Paul is not really missing. He has know where he was all along.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Dog's Pet Peeves

1. Blaming your farts on me... not funny... not funny at all!

2. Yelling at me for barking... I'M A FRIGGIN' DOG, YOU IDIOT!

3. Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly whose walk is this anyway?

4. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose... stop it!

5. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons... now you know why we chew your stuff up when you're not home.

6. The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! WhooooHoooooooo what a proud moment for the top of the
food chain!

7. Taking me to the vet for "the big snip", then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back!

8. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry, but I haven't quite mastered that handshake thing yet!

9. Dog sweaters. Hello ???... Haven't you noticed the fur?

10. How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth, you're just jealous.

Now lay off me on some of these things. We both know who's boss here!!!

I didn't write this. It was an email I received and thought it was funny and nine of ten are true!

What Would YOU Do?

I had a long convoluted dream last night. It is mixed up in my head, so I will give you the clearest summation I can.

I was working at a small private school, similar to a home. I was in the kitchen cleaning, thinking how lucky the picky woman in charge was, that she would not have to redo my work...Remember, this is a dream and has many meanings, is chopped up and just go with me here.

While I was cleaning with another woman, the "boss" came in wearing a tennis outfit. She was waiting for her partner, both meanings. In rushes her lover and says, "Duke is back." She was out of breath and she and the teacher were nervous upon the husband's return. They went outside and I was then in charge. BTW, this has nothing whatsoever to do with my question. LMAO

Two kids were arguing. I yelled at them to knock it off. The other woman I was with in the kitchen was ecstatic. "Finally, somebody who treats these kids as their own," she says.

Question: How would YOU have handled the arguing kids? Would you have given them a time out? Would you have quietly spoken to them? I needed to add these examples, cuz the huz didn't get it....

New Question: How would YOU discipline other people's kids, who were arguing?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Ophthalmologist

I have been up since four this morning. I thought I might have been able to go back to sleep, but my mind and thoughts turned on. Thoughts 1...Sleep 0....Sleep over.

Rambling thoughts. I was thinking about yesterday and today and the rest of the week. Orthodontist appointments, eye doctor appointments, Suessical rehearsals, grocery shopping, banking, gas station (yikes) and back to rehearsal to retrieve child. Home to make dinner and then drop into a sound sleep for a couple of hours.

I took Zoe for an eye appointment, which took 2 1/2 hours yesterday. She has a lazy eye and needs new glasses. We didn't know she had a lazy eye until the school nurse called me. Zoe was in third grade (almost six years ago) and the nurse told me Zoe could not read the top line on the chart. I told her she must be mistaken and she told me she would retest her. Well, it was true. She couldn't read the top line...Shit. How did the doctor miss this after every physical since she was born? I mean every physical, not one was missed.

I called the doctor and he said, "It must have just happened." No, she was either using both eyes or she memorized the freaking chart! The doctor was not happy that I blamed his staff for missing something that could have been corrected if caught early enough. By the time we caught it, Zoe was about eight. The muscles can be retrained and corrected on younger kids, but at her age, she was at the end of the scale. She did wear a patch over her good eye for about a year. Every afternoon. To make the bad eye work. It did work some. But her vision was till 20/200 with a corrective lens.

First I took her to the local optometrist. He wanted her to do eye therapy...I told our doctor neighbor and her scientist husband and they referred me to a well known pediatric ophthalmologist that they knew. He laughed at the idea of eye therapy. Told us to do the patching and hoped for the best. Then the well known ophthalmologist returned to his other office at Cedars Sinai in LA, full time and somebody new took over his practice locally, at UCI. The place is almost impossible to find on the campus. I get lost every time I go there. Yesterday was no exception.

We went through all the pre see the doctor stuff. She had her eyes tested, then dilated. We waited twenty minutes in the "dilation" area until she, the nurse, came to get us. One more test. Then taken to the room and the doctor would see us...... An hour later. She didn't even apologize for making us wait for an hour. Must be the norm not to apologize anymore. The doctor is the important person, our time is of no value, obviously.

She said that Zoe's eyes were 20/50 corrected. "What? How did that happen?" I wonder. "What do you mean?" asks the doctor. I told her that she was 20/200 before. "Oh, hmm. I will have to go back and pull that chart!" This one is a real winner, I thought to myself. She recommends a contact lens for the bad eye. She thinks it will help with depth perception and also thinks it will keep Zoe from being dizzy while wearing her glasses. The lens is so thick for the corrected eye and just glass for the other eye. However, if her prescription changed then that would be a reason for the dizziness. But, I am not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV.

She recommended an ophthalmologist in her practice who specializes in contact lenses. I use my outside voice on this one. "Well, I could take her to my optometrist. No, he is a wacko. I think I will use your guy initially." She asks, laughing, "Why is your optometrist a wacko?" I told her for starters he wanted Zoe to do eye therapy and tried to dissuade me from going to an ophthalmologist. Tried to convince me that eye therapy would work, even though it has no scientific proof that it works. Okay for some, but no practicing on my daughter! And he probably gets a fee for sending people to the eye therapist...But, worst is during my eye exams. He drives me crazy. He asks which is better while looking through the lens machine. Which is better? Right or left? Normally, this would not annoy me, but he says, "And right or left, and right or left, and right or left, in the voice of an undertaker asking what kind of casket you would like. Unlike the Fisher Brothers on Six Feet Under. The old stereotypical morose voice.....Droll sounding.

So, we are going back Friday to see the contact lens dude. At least initially.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Concert

Well, forget no show Jones. It turned out to be no show McCartney...

I don't know why yet. I heard a rumor about Sir Paul being okay with one TV station being there and was told when Sir Paul arrived there were other news vans there and he left. Although, news vans were turned away all day, except one station who was allowed to tape all day. So, until I read something concrete, I am clueless as to why he didn't perform.

That is a problem here in the OC. We don't have any local news stations. We either have LA or San Diego stations! We are certainly big enough to have our own station, but we don't have one.... :(

It was a beautiful day. Mid seventies for the most part. Ocean was spectacular, which was a good thing because every hour we would hear the Paul McCartney was going to be up. Only one more act. HaHa to us. We saw several bands. Most local. Some more well known. The concert was supposed to be 12-7:00. We finally left at 7:30 and since we were one of ten families retrieving our children who were supposed to sing with Sir Paul, we knew to leave before they finished the raffle, and before the next band got to tell the crowd that Sir Paul would not be coming!

There were several pissed off people in the crowd, just from waiting. We all felt we had been had, waiting hour after hour for Sir Paul's appearance. We were originally told he would perform at 3:00. Our singer children were kept confined to the multi-purpose room so they didn't have to go find them when Sir Paul arrived. We felt sorry for them, being cooped up in a room all day.

At the end of the day, the wonderful teacher who had put together the chorus for Sir Paul and stayed with them all day rehearsing and supervising, was probably the angriest of all! She worked the night before arranging for the kids to be there and then morning rehearsal with the kids and then all of the concert when she could have been doing something else. Not only the teacher though, I heard several stories from folks who had plans and cancelled them because they had invested a whole day in waiting for Sir Paul to arrive and didn't want to leave too soon. Many kids were on melt down and wanted to leave as well.

If we had gone to the concert just to hang out and watch the bands we knew would be there, that would have been great. Gorgeous weather, great view, great locale, families with kids running around, frisbees flying everywhere, lots of money being made for the landslide victims, what more could we have asked for? But we were duped into a waiting game.

I felt worst for the children who supposed to sing. When my daughter came out of the multi-purpose room, she was happy as could be. The "talent," was catered to and got food, beverages, treats, somebody to entertain them, played lots of games. The genuinely had a fabulous time!

In the end, it was those of us who wanted to see Paul McCartney and didn't get to that I felt worse for. And for the kids who really wanted to be some place else....

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Surely, I Jest.....

I have decided that being an Orthodontist would be a good thing for my children. At least something to fall back on since one wants to be an actress. The other wants to be a therapist...I suppose she will have to study for that profession, and a good choice at that. Everybody needs a therapist, some just don't know it yet!

Why can't the other one go to orthodontist school, while acting on the side...Just in case! So many actors will never make it. Not saying my daughter won't. She is rather obsessed and will probably be able to support herself on an actor's income. But there is no need to add waitressing to her resume...Right? Okay, not saying their is anything wrong with waitressing. Been there done that.....Don't be throwing hate balls at me.

Every other wait person in So Cal is a wanna be, waiting for their big break, part time or out of work actor. Would it be so bad if they were an orthodontist, waiting for their big break, part time, and out of work actor? I think not! I think it would be brilliant. Yes, it would be brilliant.

If my daughter became an orthodontist, she could act on the side til she gets her big break. Then she could sell her practice, if she marries the likes of Tom Cruise and gets her name on the big time map. Or, if she remains as smart as she is now, she will not marry the likes of Tom Cruise, but she can then let her associate do the work for a while. She can still own the practice. Just act instead. Good investment all the way around....In my motherly opinion.

If she decides she no longer wants to act, and say she is rich and famous. She can put her photos on the walls to get new business! Perhaps grace the office with her presence once in a while! She will not have to stick her fingers in any mouths. She owns the practice for heaven's sake! She didn't sell it, she kept it as an investment! Yes, I think I will suggest this to my seventh grader. She will of course say, "YUCK!" at first. But I have many years to work on her.....

I saw probably three hundred mouths with braces at school the other day. Just one of the four schools here in town. If I were one of the local orthodontists, and been to the school, I would be thinking, cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching, times one hundred at least! And I would have shown off my perfect teeth with a huge gratifying smile....Chachingarooni!!!

Let's do the math...The orthodontist has 1000 patients. She gets $3000 per mouth. That is $3,000,000! Okay, they have overhead too. But holy crap, with that kind of income, they can own everything they buy very quickly. And hire competent help as well. Let's face it, the help does the work and the orthodontist gets final approval. Not like it used to be where the orthodontist does the wiring herself. Perhaps in the beginning, she will have to stick her hands in the mouths of her patients. Surely the yuck factor will fade with the chaching factor!

And then the siblings would begin rolling in. Their turn....Never ending patients. With all the multiple births these days, even better! Crooked teeth will never go away. It would be important to be in a smallish town too. That way she can get a bigger piece of the pie.

I believe this is a well thought out plan. Of course my daughter will have to comply. But, if she doesn't want to, then I will still love her. She will be a great actress and everybody will love her. That would be a completely different post.....

I suppose I should mention that no matter what road my children choose, I hope they have happy, loving lives. This was an in jest post!~

Landslide Benefit Concert

We got a call from my daughter's chorus teacher from school. She asked if Zoe wanted to sing in the concert in the back up chorus for a surprise guest, at the Bluebird Canyon Landslide Victim's Benefit Concert today at El Morro Elementary School here in Laguna Beach.

My daughter was told who the surprise guest was and was completely unimpressed. She told the teacher, "I guess so." I asked if she knew who he was and she said, "No." I said, "He was a BEATLE!" Again, not impressed. She has never heard of him. I told her more about him and his career. "Okay." And she heads to her room.

Well, I will be excited for her! And I will tell you the surprise guest. You may have already guessed it, since two of the Beatles are gone! The surprise guest is...

Paul McCartney! How cool is that???

This concert is from noon til seven and in the field of the school which over looks Crystal Cove. Of Beaches fame, and too numerous to mention movies, TV shows and commercials...It will be an awesome setting and an awesome concert.

I will never handle staying in the sun for seven hours, so I may just catch a couple of acts. One being Paul McCartney and my daughter in the chorus. Apparently he asked for an all kids chorus. Somebody was wise enough to call the music teacher from the middle and high school. She is also the community chorus leader, of which my hubby was in this year. School just ended on Thursday, so she should have had some luck getting enough for the back up chorus. A rehearsal will be held at ten this morning for the kids.....

I am very excited for Zoe and the rest of the town. Paul McCartney! I love him! And my daughter, well maybe after she sings with him, she will want to hear some of his music and be enlightened as to who he is! LMAO

I hope I don't get in trouble for spilling the beans! Frankly, he could bring more people to the concert if he were headlining! And at $25 a tix for adults and $10 for students with ID, it is a bargin!

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Graduate Zoe

Here is a photo of Zoe (TOP) and her friend after 8th grade graduation. It was a very nice graduation, as graduations go. Did need the tissues! I really should get some pretty handkerchiefs! I know as I get older, I will just cry more. Note to self: Look up the meaning of handkerchiefs!

Some of the kids made a cd for all 265 graduating eighth graders. It was very thoughtful and my cynical self thought that they would only have the cool kids or their buddies on the cd. I must apologize, because they obviously had a list of names and got at least one shot of each student. I felt bad for thinking poorly of these generous kids! Bad mommy! Bad mommy!

Today has been a lazy day....And that is okay....

Hair today, gone tomorrow.

Here is Katharine. Photos came out as during, after and before! Oh well. Katharine is the scout in green during a recent bridging ceremony with a brownie, who became a scout.

I took her for a trim yesterday and she wanted a little layering. Well, she got it and less. I cut off about three inches a couple weeks ago. Yesterday another nine inches gone. The result is good, but poor thing is grieving her hair! Twelve inches gone. One of her friends didn't believe her so she had me take a photo of her and she emailed it to her friend. The friend had her hair cut last summer and she donated it to cancer patients. But she made a conscious decision to do it. And how wonderfully thoughtful of her.
Katharine thought she might lose another four inches yesterday, but it was more. I feel bad for her. She keeps saying,"My hair is
so short." But, it will grow back quickly and it does look smashing.......

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Graduation Day

Today is the last day of school for my middle schoolers. We have to be at the school early for my eighth grader's graduation. Off to high school next year. I cannot believe how quickly this day came. I will be using tissues, watching my daughter sing in the middle school chorus for the last time and then graduate. She is going to wear a pretty new skirt, black with purple tropical flowers and cute new lilac top. She doesn't wear anything but shorts normally, so I will be taking the camera, not only for graduation but to capture the image of her wearing a skirt as well.

I think it will be a bit cooler today. We have the early morning low clouds above us now. Hasn't been cloudy here for a few days. I am not complaining about the weather, we have had beautiful sunny weather and not too hot. Nothing like the scorching heat in Bakersfield or even inland a few miles.

We went to a bowling birthday party yesterday. It was in the 90's. I am thankful for airconditioning on days like that. I drove six giddy girls to the party. No need for the radio. I was driving one of three cars of girls to the party. A total of fifteen. The birthday girl's actual birthday is not til later this summer, but it is difficult to get kids together for a party, during that time of year. So many are on vacation with their families or ensconced in scheduled activities. So, this year her mother sent invitations for an early party and it was quite successful.

After school today, the girls and I are going to get our collective hair cut. Nice way to start summer vacation. New do's. Not drastically new or different, just trimmed to healthy levels and maybe a bang here or there.

Tomorrow, it is sleep til you want day! This should be a national holiday. Nothing scheduled til another birthday party, sleepover, this one, later in the afternoon. I know one daughter will not appear until 10:00. I will be up at or before the crack of dawn, because that is what I do. I do love a good nap though. And, I reserve that right for later! LOL

I received a yellow mouse pad in the mail Tuesday. It is fun. I don't have a mouse. Maybe I will put it on ebay! ONLY KIDDING. But, some have. I rarely take things back that I buy with wrong sizes or not wanted, once home. I sometimes do, but I am very bad at it. I cannot even think of how much effort it would be to actually take a photo and upload it to ebay and then wait for a bidder. My time is more valuable than that. Unless it is a big ticket item that can reap a large amount of cash...Then, I might consider it. But, so far, I cannot think of anything I no longer want, to sell.

I have purchased some items on ebay. I have purchased items from concert tickets to pee chees. Does anybody remember peechees? Folders for school work with all kinds of useful information on the inside flap. Always with sports figures on the cover. Different years, different covers. I bought two, because there were no single peechees to be found. Anyhow, my kids thought I was nuts when I described the folders to them. I told them how cool they were and fun to use. By the end of the year they were full of information. Phone numbers, times and locations of parties, nasty notes about a frustrating teacher, a note to a friend during class, the name of a hot guy hidden among all the other renderings on the folder. Should have saved them for look back in time! Nah, I already have to much clutter, clutter everywhere. Went off there didn't I? Sadly, I could go on....LMAO

I would like to shout out a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Sarah of Rosie's Blog Buddies. She started a board for those of us who wanted to get to know each other and it has been very successful and a safe place for those of us who are members.

And finally, HAPPY GRADUATION to my Zoe. Straight A student and all around very nice person. I love you Zoe, congratulations sweetie!

Off and running. Later

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Kern River, A Mean Piece of Water

The past twenty-four hours have been very long. And not because it is the summer solstice. Yesterday afternoon I got a call from my cuzsis (cousin/sister) Pam. She is actually married to my cousin Ronnie, but we are like sisters. Anyhow, she told me she needed me to drive her to Bakersfield. She was at work in downtown LA and needed to go home to Whittier, which is probably twenty miles south of downtown. I live in Orange County which is 45 miles south of Whittier...Got all that? Lots of driving. During rush hour.....

My cuzbro (cousin/like a brother, just for clarification) Ronnie and their daughter Lindsay had gone river rafting with some friends in the Kern River. My whole life I have been told, as has Ronnie, to stay out of that river. It is beautiful and hundreds have died in there because it looks deceptively calm in spots. People go swimming and the under current takes them under. Very treacherous.

Since we had so much rain and snow this year, the river is flowing at a rate unseen for many years. It has become a favorite among white water rafters. Unknowing souls, who think it will be just another thrilling adventure. An e-ticket ride.

Ronnie and the others were forty-five minutes into their adventure, when the raft turned over. One friend, who actually took the guide course a couple of years ago, grabbed Lindsay and immediately pulled her to safety. Ronnie and his friend were tumbling under the water in the current. They were pulled out of the water by the guide and Ronnie was flown down to Bakersfield and his friend was taken by ambulance up to the local hospital in Lake Isabella. Both are okay, and as of this evening been released from their respective hospitals. We did find out that the friend did have a mild heart attack, but when is not known. He is going to see his own doctor, so they released him.

Pam and I got on the freeway near her house and not long after, we heard a pop and thought a tire had blown. We pulled over to the side of the freeway and the tires were fine. Once driving again it was uncomfortably obvious that the a/c had died. We were going to the central valley where it is ninety at night. We made the three and a half hour trip to Bakersfield and I saw a dealership off the freeway, so we decided would head back the few miles to find a motel later. Then we finally got to the hospital in downtown cowtown.

Ronnie had been in the ER for seven hours and was finally getting a room. Once in his room, Pam asked the nurse how many times this has happened, that people were brought in from the river. The nurse said, Twice I think. Most people don't make it." That was very telling and so true.

We cracked up the nurses who were trying to get his heart rate. One thought she should get my autograph, because she thought I was so funny. All the while her coworker was telling her to stop laughing. She finally told her coworker, "Hey, our jobs suck, we should laugh when we can." Smart woman! When Ronnie, Pam and I get together, alone or with others, it is one big laughfest. I get laughing headaches and as much as they hurt, they are worth it.

Pam and I got to a Motel 6, "We'll Keep the Lights On," at 11:00 and I asked the woman behind the bulletproof Plexiglas if they had air conditioning. She said, "No, you need to keep the windows open and every so often we come by and blow air at you." I cracked up and told her I loved her! I remembered how much I enjoy the people in Bakersfield. So friendly and funny. Then I asked if they had cable and she said, yes, but no remotes. I asked who would take remotes? I suggested perhaps I could sell some of mine to Motel 6. There turned out to be a remote.

The beds were so bad. Two tiny pillows that were creased from being folded in half. Pam was nice enough to give me one of hers. I like lots of pillows. These pillows combined, were close to being the size of a normal pillow. Last time Pam and I were together at a hotel/motel, we were in MO for a Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt and Keb Mo concert. Heavenly beds....Not unlike my own....Missed last night.

Then there were the birds. Loud enough to hear inside the room with the a/c rattling and the windows closed. I was unaware that birds made that much noise at night. I saw them this morning and decided they were scrubjays...I could be wrong...But not likely.

This morning I was looking at my car and thought, something looks different. The pads I had on the roof racks were missing. Three years old and easily identifiable in the land of black SUV's. Now gone. They were not kidding about people stealing things like remotes there. Unbelievable.

We were at the dealership at 8:00 and I told them I needed to drive back down to OC and needed the a/c fixed. They told me it would be a couple of hours before they would know what was wrong with it. While outside the hospital waiting for Ronnie, who was having tests taken, I was told that the compressor, blah blah blah, had gone out. They had the parts and could have it done by 1:00 and it was under warranty...Yehaw! At ten til, they called to say my car was done, and when I got there, it had been washed as well.

Getting to Bakersfield or back home for that matter, requires going thru the grapevine. Mountains tall enough to get snow on them and be the worst nightmare to truckers getting from point a to point b and back again. The road is very steep and the trucks go very slowly with their heavy loads. On the downside, literally, they have their brakes on most of the way down. The smell of burning brakes linger in the air. There is a runaway truck ramp as well. Filled with sand, on a short uphill road. I have never seen it used, but it is comforting to know that it is there. When it snows, the grapevine is shut down and ties up traffic, for hours or even days. I don't think this happens in Colorado, I could be wrong.

The grapevine is also full of wildflowers and spectacular in the spring. I was surprised to see a mountain of purple on my way home today. It was beautiful. Seems the north side of the mountains still have color.

Anyhow, Ronnie, Pam, Lindsay and their friends should be home soon. I have been home for a few hours and know that I am going for at least four hours in a row tonight......I am thankful that Ronnie and all are safe. I am very thankful for Pam, that she still has her family, after being in the Kern River.

Merle Haggard has a great song about the Kern River, See below. He used to have a house at the mouth of the canyon, right next to the Kern.

I'll never swim Kern River again.
It was there that I met her.
It was there that I lost my best friend.
And now I live in the mountains.
I drifted up here with the wind.
And I may drown in still water,
But I'll never swim Kern River again.

I grew up in an oil town,
But my gusher never came in.
And the river was a boundary,
Where my darlin' and I used to swim.
One night in the moonlight,
The swiftness swept her life away.
And now I live on Lake Shasta,
And Lake Shasta is where I will stay.

There's the South San Joaquin,
Where the seeds of the dust bowl are found.
And there's a place called Mount Whitney,
From where the mighty Kern River comes down.
Now, it's not deep nor wide,
But it's a mean piece of water, my friend.
And I may cross on the highway,
But I'll never swim Kern River again.

I'll never swim Kern River again.
It was there that I met her.
It was there that I lost my best friend.
And now I live in the mountains.
I drifted up here with the wind.
And I may drown in still water,
But I'll never swim Kern River again.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Adoption

Today is a very bittersweet day for me. If you have read my Choices story, then you know about Lilly. Lilly was me.

I got pregnant at fourteen, by a nineteen year old guy. I saw him for a while before I actually went to his apartment. When I left his apartment, I was no longer a virgin. I never saw the loser guy again either.

When I realized I was pregnant, I became a very terrified fourteen year old. I was deathly afraid to tell my parents, so I didn't. I told no friends either. I continued going to school, most of the time, at least through the first two terms of the pregnancy. My mother put me on a diet. I wore smock tops and sweatshirts to hide my growing belly.

Three days before I had the baby, my mother asked me if I was pregnant. I told her yes. She asked if the baby was moving. I said, yes. I asked her if she was going to tell my father, and she said, yes. There it was the day I dreaded for nine months. I stayed in my room for hours. I finally went downstairs to get a drink in the darkened kitchen. I turned around with my glass of water in my hand and my father was standing there. He hugged me. I cried. This was not the way I thought it would be. The sky did not fall, the earth didn't open up and swallow me, I got a much needed hug.

My mother and I spent the next couple of days preparing for the baby. I had to get a pregnancy test, ridiculous as that sounds. I had to see a social worker because I had decided to give my baby up for adoption. If my mother had not come to me when she had, who knows what I would have resorted to. Having a baby in my bedroom? Luckily, I never had to find out.

The next day I began having contractions. I didn't know what they were though. Nobody told me anything about how I would feel or what to expect. Finally, very late that night, I woke my brother to get my mother. She and my father drove me to the hospital. The pain was unbearable. The nurses asked me who my doctor was. I told them I didn't have one. The were very unhappy with me, to say the least. I asked for something for the pain. They would not give me anything and told me they were worried about the baby.

I had a boy, he weighed nearly twelve pounds. Due to being on a diet and filling my purse with candy, no doubt had something to do with his size. The nurses took my beautiful little baby to another room and would not let me hold him, since I was giving him up for adoption. At fifteen, I didn't know enough to argue with them.

I was put on a floor away from maternity. It seemed like the longest two days of my life being in that hospital. My parents had told family and friends that I had an appendectomy. I started getting cards and flowers.

One day the social service woman called and told me she needed to get the father's signature on the relinquishment papers. Unless I wanted to list the father as unknown on the birth certificate. I didn't want that. I also told her if he didn't sign the papers, I would not be giving my child up. There was no way, loser guy was getting my child. He signed them, quickly and quietly, from what I was told.

When my baby was eight weeks old, I finally got to hold him. My mother and I went to the social services office so I could sign the relinquishment papers. I remember asking my mother if I wanted to keep him, could I. She said, of course, and that they would raise him as my brother. I didn't want that for my son. I wanted him to have a loving home and be raised by a real mother and father. Not for him to be raised as my brother. And certainly not by his grandparents, whom he would think were his actual parents.

I got non identifying information about the adoptive parents. They already had one son who was adopted. They said they would let their kids know they were adopted. I liked that. Not that I expected a knock on my door one day, but because it was honest. I signed the papers and kissed baby Michael Paul goodbye. I was sure his parents would rename him. He was on his way to a new loving home and I was going to be a regular fifteen year old again.

I have never regretted that decision. I was so unprepared to be a mother. I was so young. But, I will forever remember the day.
June 20, 1975. Today, is Michael Paul's 30th birthday.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day

When things were good, they were very very good, but, when they were bad.........This can be said of my relationship with my father.

Growing up, I was scared to death of my father. My brothers and I used to get whipped. With the belt of our choice. While that may sound flip or as if I am joking, neither are true. I am serious. And I can tell you, the thinner belts hurt worse.

My father was raised to discipline that way. His brothers and sisters would line up to get a whipping when one of them did something wrong. There were just under ten siblings and the thinking was, if one of them did something wrong, chances are the others did as well, and perhaps just hadn't been caught yet.

My father was a musician. Country music. Played the guitar and sang. But he could play most any instrument. Never learned to read music, played by ear. He was good. He played the violin at three. Most of the family played one instrument or another. There was a lot of music in their house in Oklahoma.

My father's mother died when he was five. He was he youngest. My Aunt Dorothy took over as mother, even though she was 15. In that respect, he was one lucky boy. To this day, she is the kindest person I know. She is the reason he left Oklahoma and moved to California when he was nearly 20.

My father met my mother on a blind date when both were 23. The got married six weeks later. He had a son from a previous marriage. His son Danny, was living with his mother Colorado. My parents went on to have three kids together. I am the middle and the only girl.

We used to fish often. When my father taught us how to set up a line, he made sure we knew, he would only show us how to do it once. He wanted to fish too and didn't want to be setting up our lines if we lost our hooks and sinker on rocks. We quickly became quite adept at fishing. We loved it. My mother never did, but she got to relax from her grueling job at the bank.

I mentioned my father was a musician. He played night clubs, bars and pretty much any gig he could get to make money. I used to love him coming in at four in the morning with a pizza and then he turned on the TV. Sometimes I would get up and sit watching TV with him. All the commercials seemed to be Cal Worthington selling cars. You know he is still alive? Seems like he wouldn't be....probably still wearing his ten gallon hat too. Anyhow, I loved those times with my father. He was fun and animated, likely three sheets to the wind.

My father would sleep late in the mornings. My brothers and I prayed none of our friends would knock on the door. He didn't like being awakened. We all paid for it if he was. That was the scary father.

My father played music with famous country singers and some not so famous. We met some of them, sometimes at our house. They would sit around playing music and it was great, our own little concert.

When I was about eight, my mother finally made him get a real job. One with benefits and a regular paycheck. He began working as a maintenance mechanic. He could fix anything. Electrical, woodworking, construction, making guitars, violins and mandolins. He could do it all. All with only an eighth grade education. Never thought about how young that truly was until right now. My daughter is graduating eighth grade next week.

We had a huge garage the was beyond full. He made all of our bikes from parts in that garage. He taught us how to ride them as well. He would tell us he was going to let go, and he did. Forgot to mention how to use the brakes until the last minute. But we learned fast! I made a bike once myself out of the parts in the garage. Of course, he helped.

When I was ten, we moved closer to a new plant that his company was opening. We got a big new house. Two story in a new neighborhood. A new county. It was probably one of the best things my folks ever did for themselves and my brothers and me.

He was then on the swing shift and during the summer, he would wake us, at four in the morning, to go fishing. I never minded getting up for fishing. We would make doughbait the night before. We would drive forty-five minutes to the lake. Wait until daylight and fish for a few hours and drive home so he could get a nap in before work. We did this at least three days a week. We loved it. There was a limit on how many fish one person could catch, based on the kind of fish. Since there were four of us fishing, we could get twenty bass. Or one hundred bluegill. No limit on carp, we loved to catch them for fun and gave them away. If we hit our limit, we put some in the trunk! There was a great lesson for the kids!

Later, after we had grown up and moved away, my father became a locksmith. We visited my parents often, didn't live too far away. We seemed to get along with him much better as young adults. Aside from the fishing, we were afraid to piss him off when we were younger. That changed when we grew up. We spoke our minds more freely and openly, without fear of retribution.

I enjoyed my father best as an adult. He was funny. He was beyond a doubt one of the brightest men I have ever known. Not educated by school, but from books, which he read avidily, and by trying and failing, by life.

My mother got Alzheimer's and had retired. He had since retired too. They decided to move about three hours north of my brothers and me. He wanted to move back to Oklahoma, but my mother was not too far gone to allow that. He was there to take care of my mother. We always thought he would be.

On the day after Thanksgiving, my brothers families and mine would load up our cars and spend the night with our parents in their new home. It was always difficult to get everybody together before that, but the day after worked well for all of us. We would hang out and really had a nice time. We started looking forward to our once a year sleepover at their house. Our kids could all play and really get to know each other. We lived near each other, but never took the time to really see each other. So, those Thanksgiving's were very special.

I got a call from my father one day. He had been to the doctor and had cancer. It was in his lungs and had spread to his brain. We were up there for him when he got radiated. I had taken over the bills by this time. At that point with three months to live, my father turned all of our lives upside down. One brother and I got my folks to sign powers of attorney for both medical and financial decisions. That was not easy. He didn't want us to have the power to tell him no to anything.

My father put the house on the market. It sold in days and he was packing everything up and moving to Oklahoma. He used some of the cash from the sell of the house to buy a brand new caddy. Cash. My mother could no longer drive and he was dying. I suppose this could have been known as denial. He and my mother left for Oklahoma. First thing he did was trade in the caddy for a big ole pick up truck. About three weeks later, my brother got a call from a dear cousin, who suggested he come get my father and bring him back to California.

My brother flew out there. He called my older brother, whom we had not seen since I was six years old. Danny came down to Oklahoma from Kansas and really met my younger brother Dale, for the very first time. He was madly in love and wondered why he had missed so much time with his brother he never knew. And with our father, who was dying.

My brother brought my father home. Not really home, because he didn't have one. We got him off the plane and took him straight to the hospital, kicking all the way. I think he knew he would never be on his own again. We brought my mother home with us. We took her to the hospital every day. We were finally told to put him in a nursing home. Which we did. We took my mother and visited him daily. It became a routine for about two months.

We knew the end was near and called some family to come say their good-byes, the saddest being my Aunt Dorothy. I had gotten his burial instructions when my mother was out of the room one day. That was excruciatingly difficult, but necessary. He was finally going to be put into a morphine induced coma, but was able to tell my brother Clark that he loved him. I never thought he would wake up again so I never dreamed I would hear those words said to me. I did hear them though. He woke up and pulled me down toward his face and told me he loved me. He never awoke again.

We got a call at four the next morning that he was gone. Forever gone, the man I loved and feared my whole life. The only good thing that came out of my father dying, was that my oldest brother Danny came back into our lives for the long haul!

He came out for the funeral and got to know my brother Clark and me and our families. He wrote us letters when he went home and said that a hole in his heart had been filled and it was one he never knew was there.

It has been almost seven years since my father died. Seems like yesterday. I miss my father often, but especially today, Father's Day. For there is still a hole in my heart, that will never be filled again. Happy Father's Day Pops.....

Saturday, June 18, 2005

PMSing, Close this page now....

For the last couple of days I have been PMSing. Bad enough to be premenopausal as well. I know, more than you would like to know! Like in the movie, Steel Magnolias, I feel like Ouiser, who said, "I'm not crazy, I have just been in a very bad mood for the last forty years!" Maybe not forty years for me, but for the last few days and I DON'T LIKE IT!

I have been overly sensitive to everything. Feel like crying at the drop of a hat. Have absolutely no patience at all.

Can't stand constant yacking. Dogs barking. Gardeners with blowers, which are outlawed in our town. Tree trimmers with chain saws on Saturday are particularly pissing me off. Telephone ringing off the hook. Somebody a couple of houses away using a table saw, that is getting on my nerves too!

I just want to go into a dark room and hide until this passes! I don't recall ever feeling this crappy. Could be from stress as well, I suppose. Not enough aspirin in the world to take it away either, and believe me I have tried! Caffeine didn't work this morning and I have been up since four!

I have a mound of laundry to do, that could be depressing me. Have to think about what to have for dinner tonight and that gets to be annoying after fifteen years or so! I wish I could afford a chef who prepares healthy meals and serves them to the family nightly....Oh, that would be the life. No more shouts of, we are out of milk! The chef could do all the grocery shopping! Oh, I can dream, can't I?

I have to decide on a new car. That has been a thorn in my side for weeks. I have til August to make up my mind. I just don't know!!!!!

I will be fine in a day or so, I realize. So, I suppose I will go watch Into the West again. I really like this series, but had trouble concentrating on all the people in the movie. It is so full of characters and I truly have to concentrate to remember all their names, so when they die, I will mourn them appropriately! I can email Cindy. She will answer any questions I might have about Into the West!

Okay, enough woe is me shit! Later.....

Friday, June 17, 2005


I have many things running through my head and decided to just blog them all down today. No order. No reason.

Yesterday, I picked up my daughters from school and a gave a friend a lift up the hill, not too far from the school. She is a tiny thing and struggles carrying her backpack and oh so cute purse to her house. Only 7 or so houses from the school, but uphill, on the way home. Anyhow, she always has trouble with the door of my car, as she is on a hill and it is heavy. Yesterday, she had no trouble with the door and it seemed lighter to her. She said, "Did you, like take all the mechanisms out of this door?" I said, "No, I didn't take anything out of the door, like or otherwise." She just stared at me and didn't get what I said at all. If she can use the word, mechanism, to describe the inside of a car door, she sounds like a pretty smart sixth grader. Now add the word like to the sentence and she doesn't sound very smart anymore. And she is a very bright girl.

As are my daughters. When they tell stories, I silently count the number of times they say like. When the story is over, I say, "Do you realize you just used the word like seven times?" Instead of commenting on the story first. It really bugs me that even the brightest kids and adults alike, use the word like inappropriately, in nearly every sentence. No matter what their IQ is, it simply drops by at least twenty points every time the word is used. I am determined to rid my daughters of the habit of saying, like in every sentence they utter!

Backpacks. I hate seeing all those kids bogged down with heavy backpacks. Lost long ago are the lockers of yesteryear. Too much trouble to keep drugs and weapons out? There were locker checks when I was in school. Why can they not do it now? Oh, lawsuits and reasonable cause to search lockers....Unbelievable. Think students cannot carry drugs and/or weapons in their backpacks? Can't search those either, so put the damn lockers back in!

Business plan....Start Chiropractic practice.

I wish I knew how to do the HTML. I could ask my daughter, but she is getting ready to spend the day at Knott's Berry Farm, with her eighth grade class. And from what I understand, all are graduating! LOL

The eighth graders are taking a school bus to Knott's. About twenty miles away. I wonder about safety belts. Should the bus have them so the kids are buckled safely in their seats? Or, should they not be buckled in and be able to escape quickly? My answer is, they should be buckled in for safety… Seems like a no brainer. We know it saves lives in auto crashes, why would it not save mass quantities on a bus?

I just read that Tom proposed to Katie. No surprise. What is a surprise, is how quickly he turned her in to a Scientologist. In the name of love? It's good enough for Kirsty, John T and his wife Kelly P and of course, Tommy, right? C'est la vie....

Birthday presents. How much to spend? Seems to be a rush on to get all the birthday parties in before school ends next Thursday. Three upcoming. How much is appropriate to spend on each girl? Twenty, forty bucks? It can get very expensive.
Gift certificates or a present to open and make much over? Movie gift certs are good. Cost more than a cute outfit these days these days.

Graduation gifts. If I have a graduating eighth grader and my friend has one as well, should we just take the kids to lunch? Should I give her daughter $20 and she give my daughter $20? Unless there is a card coming and going, what is the point of that? Seems moot.

Strange occurrence last night. I looked on site meter and there had been more than twenty visits to my blog in the last hour. This baffles me. Why or what would make all those people come to my blog all of a sudden? People from around the world as well. This has happened before. Very strange and even stranger referral sites. Don't want to click them though. Not sure what is hiding behind those links. I am not listed with any blog webs that I know of...My husband is jealous of the number of hits I get. I think it is funny. I get a lot of hits, but not a lot of comments. That's probably a good thing, I visit enough blogs already. Not looking to add to this time consuming hobby.

Fact. If you google my blog title, Wifebear, google asks, Do you mean Wife Beater? Maybe that is why so many people came to my blog last evening!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

My New Rule

Our house is on a hill. Only homes and school on the hill. Have to go to the store, get gasoline, have your car washed, grab a cup of java on a corner, gotta go to town. Down the hill.

I needed to get a few groceries yesterday and was going to make a quick trip to the store, but once there, loaded up with the weekly groceries for a family of four, a cat and a dog. No reason to go back twice. Same thing when getting gasoline. No reason to put in twenty dollars worth and do it again in a few days, fill the damn tank and forget about it for a while...

I went to the store while the elementary school was still in session. Perfect timing, because I would be going back up the hill as the plethora of parents would be going down with their kids safely buckled in their seats. And it was an hour before I had to go get my girls at the middle school. Plenty of time to drop the groceries at home and even put them away.

I was okay at first, but then I started thinking of more things we were out of or soon to be. I made mental notes and decided to go isle to isle. The store got busier and busier. Not just because I was now with the parents who made it down to the store with their kids in tow, but with all the people with the same idea I hit the store before school got out!

I finally get to the front of the store with a full cart. Only two cashiers open. I do the nice thing and get in the line where the people have more items, leaving the other for people in a hurry or with a few items....Here is where it gets difficult. I am in line behind two other women with not as much as I have, but enough to take a few minutes to ring up. Behind me comes a woman with two items. I graciously let her go ahead of me and she and the checker say how nice I am...Not looking for kudos, but I understand how it is to have two items and get behind somebody with a full cart, who inevitably writes a fucking check. I tell the woman, no problem.

Next comes woman number two. She has one item. I tell her to go ahead of me as well. She tells me thanks, she is in a hurry. At that moment, I thought, here is my next post. When do I cut off the line? I could be there all day letting people with one or two items go before me. Why don't they open the damn ten items or less lane? Anyhow, woman number three comes up and I am still unpacking my cart. I do it again and ask if she would like to go ahead of me. Oh, thanks, she says. You're welcome! I decide that's it. Nobody else gets to cut. I look behind me and there are five more people and all have few items. The lane next to me is full of the same. I want to tell those in line, I already let THREE people go ahead of me or I would let you go too. I really think it would have been nice for the checker to, A) Call for another checker or three or B) At least say, "it was so nice of you to let three people go ahead of you!" Just so I didn't feel bad.

So, I have decided my new rule is, if somebody gets in line behind me with a couple of items that can be rung up before I unload my cart, then I will let them pass. Otherwise, forget it Bub. Not gonna happen! And to those people standing behind me, hating me because I did not let them go ahead of me, whether I did let others cut, or not....Too damn bad. First, because it is terribly rude of them to be thinking unkind thoughts of me and Second, if they can't take a joke, well you know the rest!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Local News and Lack of Local News

Last night I was wiped out and actually hit the pillow by 7:00. I awoke at 11:00 and turned on the TV to see what was happening in the world while I was out for four hours. Four hours in a row is a long snap for me, when it comes to sleeping. Anyhow, I hear the tail end of a tsunami warning on CNN and think, Oh crap, where the hell was that? I let it go thinking I will hear more later. I fell back asleep, on the couch this time, and awake for the end of the tsunami story on CNN again. I got up at 4:00, turned on yesterday's AMC from Tivo and decide to see if I can fall asleep again or if I should hit the on switch for the coffee. I fell back to sleep for an hour. Finally up at 5:00, I went straight to the computer to see if CNN had anything on the tsunami. Well, they did and I see the tsunami warning was for us here on the West Coast from the Mexican border to BC. Now cancelled. Apparently, the quake was not the kind that can cause a tsunami.

I was not surprised that such a large earthquake hit last night near Crescent City in Northern California. 7.0 is a big earthquake. Even if I were awake, I wouldn't have felt it down her in OC, Southern California. But I was out of the loop and that is scary. Mental note, perhaps fear of missing something is the root of my insomnia! Hmm.

I mentioned it to my husband this morning, he said, "I told you that last night." I didn't remember. And I missed all the calls from friends, who called to make sure we knew about the tsunami warning. Katharine was upset by her friends calls. My husband reassured her that we are a 1000' up and would be fine. If there were a tsunami, I suppose it could have possibly hit Main Beach, which is pretty flat.

I went to the local paper site online and there is a headline about Phil Jackson coming back to coach the Lakers...Off to the side is a small article with the headline, 7.0 quake brings tsunami warning....What is wrong with this picture? A tsunami for the first time since 1964 and it affects all of the coast and it gets a measly little side story!

On Saturday we had a micro quake. What was strange was that I didn't know definitively that it was an earthquake. I have lived here my entire life and I have always known when I was in an earthquake. I heard a large window rattle and the china cabinet glass rattle. I thought somebody was in the neighbor's yard. I saw nobody when I looked. Then the whole house shook and a loud boom sound. I told my daughter Zoe, "Okay, let's go." Taking her to solid ground, she asked me what that was. I told her, "I think it was an earthquake." It felt different, no swaying back and forth. I even thought it could have been a mighty eucalyptus branch falling on the house. We do live in a grove of eucs. The frightening part was that when it hit, I was reading an article about Bluebird Canyon where the landslide was a couple of weeks back. In the article I read, that geologists said the ground is still moving there. So, I began to wonder if our house was sliding too. No news, we checked. Nothing on line either. I thought, I must be crazy, but my daughter was with me and heard and felt it too. Finally, I see my friend Jana online and call her. "Yes" says Jana, "I felt it too." Thank God it was confirmed by somebody! Then comes a Caltech report to my email. 5.6 earthquake near Palm Springs. Then the local news finally found talking heads to come on the air and talk about the earthquake. That is a problem on weekends. No local news. Must be no news on the weekends. If it were a weekday, the talking heads would have been on the air instantly and for hours.

At the fold of the paper is an awesome photo that I wish I could upload for you all to see. It is a photo taken from the air and shows hundreds of surfers on their boards. Another photo shows surfers holding hands in a huge circle. The event is called a paddle-out. They were paying tribute to Dale Velzy who helped create the surf industry. He was the first to open a surfboard shop in 1950. Other firsts include, making surfboards maneuverable, first to put a logo on a surfboard and to put a shop name on a T-shirt and first to sponsor a surfer. Dale Velzy was 77 when he died.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Michael Jackson

Well, Bonny took my idea for today's post. Will do that another day! Thanks for that Bonn! LOL...In all fairness, she was up and posting long before I was. And, she really didn't "take" my idea. We just had the same idea! Weird that our minds are so alike.

Michael Jackson was acquitted yeseterday. On all counts. This morning on NPR, somebody said, "Michael Jackson is going to stop sharing his bed with young boys." Seriously. Who could not learn after that inordinately expensive circus. It took a toll greater than cost though. MJ's health. The families of the accusers and the jurors definitely had to deal with being in the public eye for the last four months. To me, it would be very painful to lose my privacy. The poor residents of Santa Rosa who had to deal with all the wacko fans and media traffic in their beautiful town. Although, good for the local economy.

I am not going to be popular with what I am about to write. That's okay. I am not in a popularity contest and just stating what I think. So, bring on your disdain for me and I will live through it.

I want to believe in my heart of hearts, that Michael Jackson never molested these young boys. I am not sure whether it happened or not. But, I also believe that MJ has a huge heart and likes kids, young boys, because he never got to be a kid himself. I think in his eyes, trust belongs to these kids. Kids are nonjudgmental and trusting. Some adults, are highly judgmental and some are not very trustworthy. A way to make a buck. Or just want something from the MJ, the megastar. Who can he trust, where adults are involved? How can he know who is sincere? Who likes him for being just Michael?

I think the kids liked MJ for being fun and childlike. He treated them like contemporaries. Weird, yes. But, we did not grow up as he did. These kids he surrounds himself with, "like" MJ. Not the famous MJ. Bu the fun one. The one who rides on the rides with them. The one who runs around and plays with them, in a playful, childlike way. There, I said it. Get out the rocks and stone me if you must. But also know, that I was molested when I was eight. So, I do know something about that.

I do wonder where HIS kids are when he has young guests over. I also wonder about mothers who would bring their kids to Neverland and approve of the sleeping arrangements. I do think that it is weird that he has sleepovers with boys. I have also heard that he will take the floor and let the kids have the bed. I have heard many things and I do think he is a strange one, no doubt. But, being strange is not crime. If he did molest boys, then he will get what is coming to him in the end.

Final note. What is with the wacked out fans who sold their homes, came from far away countries and quit their jobs so they could hang out at Michael Jackson's home or near the court house? Not your average fans are they? No wonder he cannot trust adults. Everybody wants something from him. That has to be hard and I realize it is part of being a celebrity. But, his fans are scary and stalkerish. I think he was smart not to make a comment after court yesterday. We all remember when John Lennon was shot. Who knows which fan or non fan would shoot MJ to become the famous person who shot him? Demented minds and all that. Scary huh?

Perhaps I just want to believe the best in him and I am a wacko as well. Frankly though, I am not a huge fan.

Okay, let the comments rip.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Another Poem by Zoe

By Zoe....My 13 year old...Nancy

I pulled this from the poems folder, I did it a little while ago. Not much to change though. Any suggestions are welcome. I'm working on one right now called Remember the Future.

Shared Sky

If there ever was a chance for good,
if ever existed dreams,
I will search the endless skies.
Until I find the means.

If I can find the pot of gold,
the clouds will leave the sky.
If I can make the joy appear,
The sun may once more shine.

If the great winds that split us cease,
and our colors blend as one,
then that alluring whirlwind of silver and gold,
will no longer decide who’s won.

Together we can do it,
together, not apart,
together we are something,
life’s truly peaceful heart.

If you choose to fly above,
our self advancing games,
We may find a way to heal the nations,
and a way to end the pain.

If we work together,
and truly, with our hearts,
fix our eyes and set our minds,
we will no longer be apart.

If I try my hardest,
if we all do our best,
then we can make a difference,
and the rain may do the rest.

Though it seems so far from reach,
it’s really not so hard.
Just fix your eyes and set your mind,
we can do it, we can start.

The bounty of the open sky,
the endless blue and white.
If we search, and call as one,
we can end the fight.

We can make it happen,
from now on, it’s up to us.
when we all work to meet our goals,
we can get there with little fuss.

I choose to make a difference.
I’ll fly above the clouds.
To make this world a better place,
it’s you and me that hope enshrouds.

Some Things I Do Like

"Is there anything you do like Nance?" asked Bonny after reading yesterday's Pet Peeves post. This is for you Bonn....

I Like...........

My family...A great group.
Living in Laguna Beach. Truly a beautiful place to live.
Putting peanuts in my coke...Before it was cool. Don't tell me it's not!
Being in Tahiti. Swimming in the beautiful water.
Listening to birds chirp. Even the crows.
Beautiful gardens. Wish I had one. Well actually, we do have very nice yards.
Rain. Like it is now. Light, but still raining!
Weather. I am a weather nut. Early morning low clouds buring off to afternoon sunshine. For months.
My weather station from Phoebe. Got it at cost from her Wild Bird Center store in NJ.
Bargains. Only Gentiles pay retail. I broke that myth.
Online shopping. Simply the best and most relaxing way there is to shop!
Seeing the smile on people's faces when they get gifts they like. Especially after all the time took to find it!
Okra. The fried variety.
LMAO with friends. The kind that give me laughing headaches.
Listening to old people talk about yesteryear. And, yes, I do stay awake.
Sleeping. I have insomnia.

Drivers who use their signals when turning. Very polite. And it's the law!
Drivers who drive well. Actually learned the rules of the road....and apply them.
Drivers without guns. Seriously, it could ruin your whole day!
Drivers who pull over to use their cell phones. Admirable quality!
Drivers who stop at crosswalks for pedestrians. Just because they can.
Drivers who drive buses full of elderly folks. They save so many lives. I applaud them.

People who can spell. Love that.
People who write silly stories that make me laugh. Can you see me laughing?
Jokes....I adore a good joke.
Caller ID. No, I was not monitoring my calls!
Music. Lots of music. Country most.
Fishing. Very relaxing and I always get the biggest fish, always have!
Gardening. Mostly in pots so Charlie the dog won't eat the beautiful flowers.
Snairol and Deadline. Snail's last meal. But keep away from the dog!
Tivo. Especially the season passes. Can watch a soap in twenty minutes or less.
The Lword and QAF. Even though I am straight.
Into the West. Great new six part show on TNT. Just ask Cindy!
Six Feet Under. The show.
Photography. Love to shoot the unsuspecting.

People who trim their trees to preserve our view. Isn't that nice of them?
Coffee. Gotta have it.
Ice tea. Been drinking it since I was a kid. Had to make it after school, every day! No suger, yuck.
Fabreeze..Wonderful stuff. Works great in the rinse cycle.
Mr. Clean Eraser Bars. A fucking wonder.
Really good sheets. High thread count. Fabulous.
At least a dozen pillows on the bed. Or more, like we have.
Cool days. I just do better on cool days.
Curly hair. That has changed since I was growing up. Wanted surfer bangs and straight hair then.
Chenille socks. Who wouldn't like them? There so soft.
Chenille throws. At least until Charlie the dog ate them.
Calculators...When was the last time you added something without one?

My computer. Brand new hard drive for free. Two days before the warranty expired. Priceless.
The fact that I taught myself how to use the computer. Something I am proud of. Less than ten years ago they scared me!
Emails...Any kind of mail. No junk or spam, thank you.
People who replace bathroom tissue and paper towels. Because, well, you just should!
People who clean up after their dogs. Even the people with monogrammed bags and shovels, they make me laugh.
Therapy. Used to think I had to be crazy to go to a shrink. Nah, just messed up!
Writing. Some day I hope to be a great writer. One can dream.
Talking in my sleep. Makes my husband and kids laugh.
Making people laugh. Because I am funny, I really really am.
People who have their payment ready for the checker. Doesn't that just make you smile?

Meeting stranger friends and checking out their blogs. Seriously, it has been great fun.

More than enough for today...Feel free to add what you like! Cheers :)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Pet Peeves


Bad drivers
Bad drivers with guns
Drivers who don't signal when turning. Wish I had a gun.
Drivers who don't pull over when they are holding up traffic. Looking for an address or are lost. Pull over and call onstar!
Geriatric drivers. One of these pedals makes the car go. Oops, I thought I hit the brakes. If you shrink so much you can no longer see over the dashboard...It's time to give up the old license!
Drivers who cut into your lane at the last minute to enter or exit a freeway. Hey asshole, I waited my turn.
Did I mention road rage?....LOL
Drivers who slam on the brakes when they realize, this is the street! Go around the block or make a u-turn!
Drivers who put on makeup while driving. Get up earlier!
Drivers on a cell phone who don't pay attention. You especially need to pay attention at a 4way stop. Cuz it's not your turn!
Drivers on a cell, putting on makeup, smoking a cigarette and have a manual transmission! The worst!!!!


People who say anyways...please use anyhow, if you cannot refrain from adding the S.
People who pronounce the t in often. I know you can spell it, no need to pronounce the silent T.
Excessive use of the word like. Example: I was like very late for work.... What? You were very late for work!
People who say go in place of said. Example: I go, I told you so...Try this... I said, I told you so.


E-mails that promise you riches if you send it to ten people. Seriously folks!
E-mails that say if you delete it, you will have bad luck. Come on!
E-mails that tell you if you send it to 5 people, something good will happen in 2 hours. Send it to 10 and something great will happen in two days....Ah, who believes this crap?
E-mails that tell you, try it, it works. Something will appear on your screen if you send it on. Has this ever been true????
E-mails that promise Bill Gates or Outback Steak House will send you money if you pass it on. How will they find you people??
E-mails for erectile dysfunction....I don't have this affliction...If I did, I would be rich.


People who leave their little kids in the car, while they run errands...Not even for a minute!
People who don't pick up after their dogs. How about I collect it and deliver it to your yard? Not that I really want to!
People who think road kill can be dinner. Some states actually have this law on the books! If YOU kill it....
People who wait to write a check until after the checker has rung up their purchase. Think ahead! At least get the damn checkbook out ahead of time. You may sign your name, date it and make it out to the store, then write in the amount when the checker is done....How hard is this to do? Better yet, use the ATM card, that's what it is for! But, get it out!
Same goes for people in drive thru's. You know you have to pay. Get the fucking money out already!
People who can't decide what they want to eat....Then step aside and wait til you do know!
The fact that insurance pays for Viagra but not birth control. This is seriously fucked up!
Dry cleaners who charge more for a woman's shirt than a man's. WTF? Most women have smaller shirts! Though, not I.
People who don't replace the bathroom tissue or paper towels when they use the last of them. It only takes a second!
People who don't shut cabinet doors and drawers. If you can open it, you can shut it!
People who sell you something and YOU say thank you. They say, you're welcome. Bassackwards! Teach your employees to say thank you to the customer!

I think this is enough for today! But believe me, I could go on....LMAO

Friday, June 10, 2005

Jokes...Only Three

Use yer best Irish accents on this one...

Two guys sitting in a bar.... One says to the other, "Hey, where did you grow up?" Ah, says the other man, "I grew up in Dublin." "Wow," says One, "So did I!" "Just wher deed you go to school?" asks One. "Oh, I went to Saint Marys," says Other. "No way, I went to Saint Mary's too," says One. "Okay, what yeer wer ya born then?" asks One. "Well, I was born in 1965." answers Other. "Holy Mother of all that is sacred, SO WAS I," says One.
A guy walks into the bar and asks the bartender, "So, what's going on tonight Jerry?" "Oh," says Jerry, "The O'Brien twins are fucked up again."

Again in Ireland...A man sits down at the bar and tells the bartender to give him three shots of whiskey. He drinks the shots and leaves. He continues to do this nightly for a couple of weeks. Finally, the bartender asks him, "Hey, you come in here every night ask for three shots and then you leave. "Why three shots?" The man tells the bartender, 'Well, my two brothers and I made a pact years ago, since we cannot be together, then we will all have a shot for each other." That sounded reasonable the bartender. About two months go by and one night the guy comes in and asks for only two shots and goes to sit at a table. The bartender feels awful. He takes the drinks to the guy and says, "I'm sorry about yer brother." "What are ya talking about?" asks the guy. The bartender says, "Ya come in here and have three shots for yer brothers and yourself and tonight only two, so I was thinking something must have happened to one of yer brothers." Says the bartender. "Oh, no, my brothers are fine." says the guy, " I just quit drinking."

A woman takes a photo of her husband to have it retouched. The photographer tells the woman that double breasted suits are out of fashion and would she like him to make it single breasted. The woman agrees. Then she says asks him if he can remove the derby hat. The photographer says, "Sure, but what does his hair look like?" The woman says, "Take off the hat, you'll see!"

I don't remember many jokes, but these three stick in my head. The first two are from my cousin Ronnie, who always remembers jokes. The final one is an old one my husband told me years ago and refreshed my memory this morning. Three of the best joke tellers I know are, my husband, cousin and my sister-in-law Phoebe. Hopefully, they will add more to the comment section!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Endless To Do List

My To Do List is endless. As it should be. If my To Do List gets done, then it must be time to die. We should all have a To Do List. But never this long!

My To Do List

Make a To Do List. Another. Because the last one is lost. (one down, 25 or so to go)
Fix handle on bathroom sink.
Rehang towel rack in kids bathroom.
Fix the kitchen faucet that still moves since installed.
The headboard on the bed has a piece that came off. Needs to be glued. Antique, is this okay?
Put away clothes.
Get rid of clothes.
Wash clothes.
Reorganize the linen closet.
Saw in half the broken umbrellas and put them out for the trash.
Take the chewed up wicker chair to the trash. Dog is nine mos now. He can stop chewing, the chair at least.
Give the dog a bath.
Wash his bedding.
Return items to the stores, I bought them from, that are sitting in a bag, for just that reason.
Clean out he junk drawers. Should not be more than one.
Rearrange the kitchen cabinets.
Fix the pull out drawers in the kitchen cabinets.
Clean the garage, with a dumster nearby. I would actually like to use my pool table.
Pay the bills.
Find out why my Photo was not installed on my new hard disk.
Pick up birthday presents for a couple of girls.
Download airline boarding pass.
Have my car detailed.
Decide what new car to get.
Clean the glass on the kitchen cabinet doors.
Replace some drawer pulls.
Make eye doctor appointment for myself.
And finally, match all those fucking socks that must to have a mate somewhere!

Like laundry, A To Do List should rear its ugly head every few days. Never truly done.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

School's Winding Down

I believe it was Alice Cooper who sang, "School's Out." I just thought of him when I wrote the title. Looked up the lyrics and decided to change the title of this post. The lyrics are too apropos to "todays" schools. I won't write the lyrics here as they are even more relevant now. I don't remember school being so violent when I was going. I don't remember the words being so right on. Were there scary things going on back in the late 70's? Must have been. Or perhaps, just in Alice's head.

I find this time of year to be bittersweet. I looked forward to summer as all kids do. Fun to do whatever we liked. Days on the beach gone by. Hanging out at the mall. Staying up and out late on hot summer nights. Nothing was planned for me by my parents. No activities to keep me busy, hour after hour, day after day, to keep me from being bored. I was not bored often. I had to learn to deal with my boredom on my own. It was a self taught lesson that kids today never learn. It is sad.

Kids today, are so wrapped up in what activities their parents and sign them up and pay for. Kids are easily bored. Game boys, video games, computers, cable tv, dvd players, cell phones, text messaging, all new to the kids of today. Going out to play and making lifelong friends with the kids in the neighborhood? Gone. Too many scary things out there. Or is it just the media telling us about the scary things 24/7. We had an hour or two of news a day when I was a kid. Not this endless stream of talking heads in different outfits saying....blah blah blah.

The nervous energy of going to a new grade or new school. The anticipation of things to come. Thinking about new school clothes, new friends, all near the end of summer vacation. But for now, the anticipation of summer. Trying to keep the kids from becoming bored is now my job. Or is it? I think my job this summer is to let them learn how to deal with boredom and figure out how to have fun, alone or with somebody else. How to make their own plans. How to deal with sometimes doing absofuckinglutely nothing! Yes, that is what kids should learn this summer. No special programs set up to keep them busy and over played. Let them use their brains and figure things out or God help us when they grow up. Bored adults. No, I will not let them become bored adults. Quality time, lifelong lessons are on tap for this summer upon us.

My oldest will begin high school next year. The time has flown by. I was told when they were little that the time flies. But I didn't know it would be jet propelled. High school. Wow. Take the time to cherish your little ones. On those long nights where you think you will never sleep again, you will. Looking back, I miss those times now. But, I love the young women my girls have become.

So, this summer....Learn to make fun for yourself. Have a blast. Enjoy it while you can. Take each day as it comes. Make plans for yourself. Keep busy. Be idle. Be bored. The world will not come to an end. Just the summer.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

My 13 year old's wise poem

The Tears that Flow

You ask me why I weep?
You wish to know what makes my tears?
Well, while I hide in my mind’s keep,
through my eyes flow out my fears.

Maybe you should find a mirror,
maybe there you’ll find the cause.
For the society into which I peer,
makes me sadder than I once was.

I cry because you’re how you are,
a slave to others, who are slaves to you.
The words you say can eternally scar,
I cry due to the things you do.

You may mean it just in passing,
you may consider yourself kind.
But the kindness isn’t everlasting,
and I’ve seen the workings of your judgmental mind.

You judge them by the way they look,
you don’t consider other’s thoughts.
The people with a different outlook,
the good ones who’s happiness, society clots.

I cry due to the world I live in,
I weep for the innocent days of bliss.
Tears flow for the world that could have been,
but now it’s unfairness in this world, so amiss.

I weep because I remember times,
when the young were really kids.
And distant from this world that grinds,
individuality down to all but what 'cool' forbids.

This is a melancholy time,
where we should be united.
So why is it, that sadly I’m,
or rather we’re, still undecided.

So if you wish to know the source itself,
and why I feel so grim.
Then take a good look at yourself,
and look past just a whim.

So if you dare to ask me why,
as if you’re unrelated.
Then I’ll reply with a big sigh,
“for the world that those like you've so desecrated.”

-- Zoƫ Epstein

Here's a new poem for you all to examine. Think about it.

And a Landslide Brings Me Down....

As you all know, there was a devastating landslide this week, here in Laguna Beach. I have seen best and worst come out in people over this.

What bothers me most is the worst that I have seen. A fund was set up to help the those who lost everything they own. Apparently, thoughts from here and there are that these people do not deserve financial help. Mostly, because it is perceived that everybody in Laguna Beach is wealthy. Or because they bought a home on a hill that they thought was safe. It is simply untrue that all here are wealthy.

Many of the victims purchased their homes 30 years ago and more. Others are people who worked hard to live in their dream homes. Of course, many are rich, and some may have earned money easily. Through various endeavors, or inheritances. Who knows, who cares? Should we not have empathy for the "rich" people who lost their homes, filled with memories and cherished items?

I have heard comments about people being astonished that a fund was established to help the victims of the landslide. "Oh, help the multi-millionaires get their mansions back, yeah right." Most homes are not mansions. Most of the homes lost were modest in size, but big in value, do to a real estate boom. Old folks who have retired and have lived a lifetime in their homes. Raised their families and call Laguna Beach home. Should these people have cashed out and moved somewhere else? In hindsight, perhaps yes. Because now they have nothing and will never be able to afford to rebuild due to property values and high construction costs. They may never again be able to live in their beloved town.

The fund was not designed to help the rich stay rich. It was established for those who truly need it. And so many do.

The best of what I have seen is so typical of Laguna and why we love it here. Offers from those who have space to house the victims have come forward in droves. Clothes and other necessities have been offered by neighbors and strangers alike. Stores are offering free clothing, restaurants are offering free meals to families affected by the landslide. Hotels have waived their huge room fees and given shelter. There is a huge fund raiser this morning. It is a pancake breakfast and all over town people are cooking items to take to the park. Anybody can go. Donations of $10 are being asked for, from those who can afford to pay.

I know there will always be people worse off than some of the victims. But, for those who truly lost everything, their homes, their land, normalcy of life, their financial security.....These are the people my heart aches for.

Friday, June 03, 2005

No Helicopters!

For the first time since the Laguna Beach landslide, I am not hearing helicopters! I am so happy about that!

I went to a concert last night at the high school. My 8th grader was singing. She came forward and sang beautifully with three others.

I told her that her solo was beautiful. She told me that she sang with others, and it was not a solo.

Never the less, she sounded great! The whole program was awesome. High school chorus with my daughter's middle school chorus.

My husband takes chorus with my daughter's teacher. We will hear them on Sunday night.

And, my little actress was upset for not being in the chorus, But she is so busy with, girl scouts, acting in local plays, and so many other activities!

It has been a busy season! is still pretty quiet! Many people got to go back to their homes yesterday! Some did not.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

David aka Grumpy Old Man

My husband wanted me to tell you all how we paid for our trip to Alaska and BC.

Well, he was on Jeopardy for five days and won $47,000 and a bunch of other stuff.

This was 14 years ago. He was one player away from being in the tournament of champions and to this day, will not watch Jeopardy. He got a wee bit greedy on the last day and over bet on the final question! But, he still did great.

It was very cool. It was during the gulf war (not cool) and he got preempted one night. Banished to late night! But, we were able to find the show and tape it.

We announced on the show, that I was expecting our first child. We knew it would be a couple of months before it aired. We started getting calls from NY where the show aired first, to offer congratulations.

Anyhow, we used some of that money to take our Alaskan cruise.

Grumpy is very intelligent and knows several languages as well. Actually, he is truly not as grumpy as he lets on!

Cruise to Alaska

My husband and I went on a cruise to Alaska when I was six months pregnant with Zoe. She is now 13, so it was a long time ago.

The ship was huge and beautiful. One full week on the ship sounded fabulous to me. All the wonderful food and the great ice sculptures were a plus! LOL

We left out of Vancouver and headed to Alaska. Our cabin was upgraded. We had a nice window (port hole) to admire the view from. We met some really great people and had dinner with the same two couples every night. Luckily, we liked them. One couple was from the Bahamas and another from Ohio.

It was quite something when we finally got to Alaska and it didn't get dark til nearly midnight. Really throws off a person's body clock. I was awake often in the middle of the night. I would head up to the Eagle's Nest bar at the top of the ship. It was closed and I was not drinking at the time anyhow. I would sit in a spot in the bar that was walled with windows. Looking out at the glaciers was so relaxing and they looked blue in the moon light. I did that every night of the cruise. Just the cleaning crew and me, hanging out in the middle of the night, while my husband slept.

We stopped in Juneau and got off the ship. We walked around Juneau and had to buy an umbrella because it was raining. The rain didn't stop us from walking around. At one point we were walking behind a couple of women who were speaking a foreign language. My husband started talking to them in Portuguese and they were shocked and excited that somebody in Alaska knew their language. It was pretty awesome.

We also took a tour to some small inlets that the ship could not fit it. I had never seen so many bald eagles. Which at one time were almost extinct. It was nice to know they were thriving. And so much unspoiled wilderness was fantastic to see, as we don't have much of that left here in California!

We also stopped in Ketchikan. Got off the ship again. This time to go fishing. I love to fish. We got on a local fisherman's boat and went out into the deep water. Everybody was given a rod to fish with and it was freezing! We spent several hours out there and nobody was catching any fish. Finally, I got a halibut on the line and the local fisherman put a belt around my pregnant belly and I worked hard to finally land my 45 pound halibut. I was the woman on the boat filled with men and I was the ONLY person to catch a fish! We had it smoked and sent home. Fortunately, the fish, packed in dry ice, arrived home after we did.

When we got to the glaciers, I was napping. Remember, I was six months pregnant! My husband came down to tell me to I had to see the glaciers. I was so out of it, I told him to take pictures. He left the cabin and I knew I had to get up. I found him and it was such an awesome experience floating through the huge glaciers. To this day, I hear the phrase, "Take pictures" come out of my husband's mouth. Never to live it down, but I did get up! LOL

We took a helicopter ride to a glacier. First time in a helicopter. We got to the hangar and we were given a form to fill out. Had to tell our weight! I was horrified. "Good God, I have to put down my weight on paper and somebody has to read it?" was all I could think. I did it though, I wrote the number, and you can't lie about your weight when they have to know the total weight that the helicopter can handle!

When we were about to land on the glacier, it was all white and I had no sense of direction. Luckily, the pilot did. We walked around on the glacier and it was truly spectacular.

We finally arrived back to Vancouver. Actually glad to be off the ship. Seven days was a long time. We got a room in Vancouver and got to tour the gardens and take the ferry to Seattle. I was not too keen about being on another vessel. That night, I got sick. High fever, shakes. I sat under the heat lamp in the bathroom and didn't want to go back to bed. The next day, we were supposed to go shopping. When we got to the parking structure and I told my husband I needed to sleep. I got in the back seat of the car and slept til he came back from shopping.

Still out of it, we waited for hours at the airport for our flight. I was as miserable as I could ever recall being. Then on the flight home, my ears popped and it took weeks for my hearing to return to normal.

The last leg of our trip was not so great. But the cruise and seeing BC was outstanding and unforgettable.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

And it All Came Tumbling Down

We had a devastating landslide in Laguna Beach today. Many homes were destroyed or are damaged. Some of the homes are dangling with nothing but air under them, just waiting for the weight to take them down. These homes are not in the same area as our home. But, as the crow flies, not too great a distance from us.

The good news is that only a couple of minor injuries happened and no fatalities. The bad news is that the hill is still sliding and that most people do not have landslide exclusions included in their homeowners insurance.

These are mostly older homes that cost $20,000 or less 50 years ago. Most have been remodeled and made bigger. I would guess that not one was worth under $1,500,000. The biggest house is owned by a client of my husband. He is on vacation, and his house is tumbling down very slowly. It is a massive home. Well into the multi millions on this one, I would imagine from what I know of property values in Laguna Beach.

One of the problems here in our town has been the Mcmansionazition of the homes. Many of us complain about it and the design review board (DRB) still lets it continue. One person on our DRB is none other than Eve Plumb, of Jan Brady fame. People buy smaller houses and tear them down to one wall and rebuild an enormous house in its place. A lot of them are concrete or concrete looking and look like restaraunts, more than homes. Ugly, in my opinion.

They leave one wall for tax purposes. If they tear down the whole house, then property taxes would be based on the cost of the construction and current value of the land. If they leave a wall, it is a remodel and taxes do increase, but only on the total amount of the value of the house. Basically on the construction costs and not the land value.

There was another landslide in 1978, a 100 feet from the one today. Back in 1978, they rebuilt the hill and shored it up for a mere two million dollars. Not one of those homes, that have been rebuilt, moved today. It is another finger of an ancient landslide area, from my understanding. No one knows for sure yet, as the hill is still moving and just within the last hour have the experts been allowed up to the area.

They are going home by home looking for people who may have been trapped. The believe that everybody who lives there has been accounted for, however, to be on the safe side, they are checking anyhow. And they will be red tagging homes no longer inhabitable.

The whole area looks like a major earthquake hit. One woman with a two and four year old, knew her house was sliding this morning and got her kids out ok. She didn't know where to go, as one house was sliding and the road down was buckled, she came down the face of the hill. She got to a house and when asked to come inside, she told the man, she just wanted off the hill.

We have had helicopters over us since six this morning. It has been a very loud day up here. I am not complaining though, just a fact. We are lucky we are not among the people who lost everything they own today. Although, my heart goes out to each and every person affected by this tragedy. It will be many years before their lives become "normal" again.

Finally, I wanted to add that this such a wonderful tight knit community and the outpouring of support has already begun.