Thursday, September 29, 2005

Simply, He Made Me Laugh

I was at the gas station this morning and a man came up to me and I could just tell he was going to tell me a joke...I don't know why, I just felt it. He wasn't laughing or smiling even. He was unwrapping a pack of smokes and headed toward the trash bin next to where I was pumping gasoline.

He says, "A man tells his wife they are going out. He tells her it is a very expensive place. The woman gets dressed up and they go." Then the man asks me, "Do you know where they went?" I said, "No." He said, "He took her to the gas station!" I laughed. Not because the joke was particularly funny, but because I admire the way he just didn't give a shit. A joke was on his mind and he was going to share it. Period! I liked that.

Living in Laguna Beach, my mind started searching thru the rolodex in my head of all the expensive restaurants. I figured he must be talking about one of them...This whole thing took all of a minute, but he brightened my day. It is such a simple thing to do too. Just a smile or a hello can brighten somebody's day.

Last night I took Zoe and her friend to Chorus at the high school. Katharine and I sat in the car on PCH waiting for the studio to open and others to arrive for their rehearsal. I didn't want to go home all the way back up the hill, for a half hour and then go back down...So, a man gets out of a car and I recognize him from the very funny tongue in cheek plays called Lagunatics. The same theatre is producing The Sound of Music, in which Katharine plays Brigitta. Anyhow, he has done Lagunatics for years and is very funny and looks great in a dress. He put his head down to say hi to me and I said, "Hey." Katharine shouts out, "Mommy!" She was horrified that I spoke to him. I guess it is that embarrassing your teenager thing, which both hub and I do so well, and quite frankly, enjoy. Even though she is not quite thirteen yet.

When Katharine came home from rehearsal, she told me what a good job the man did playing his part. I was not surprised. Although, he pronounced Brigitta (Brageeta) as Brajeeta...I asked if she or the director corrected him. She answered no. I suppose he will hear it pronounced enough that he will do it accurately by the time the performances roll around. At least I hope so.

It is hard for kids who are told not to talk to strangers, to understand that even though mommy didn't know that man, she said, "hi." Or if a mother tells the little darling to say hello, after she is spoken to. Although at this age, it is not, it is more about being embarrassed. But for the little ones who are smart, they do ask, as ours did. "Why are you talking to strangers, when we are not supposed to?" And, "Why are we being rude by not answering a stranger?" Very good questions because bad guys don't always look bad. But, we told them that if we are with them, it was okay. That was basically all we could say. What about making friends? If they don't talk to strangers, how will they make friends? Talking to kids in their classes or play group or a social event is not talking to strangers. It is getting to know someone! Right? Just an observation...

But, the man with the joke this morning, he made me laugh. And that was nice!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Hot Hot Hot

Even the birds are thirsty!

Somebody send me a breeze please! Man, it is so freaking hot here today. Out of the blue, we get our hotter then, well, HOT fall weather. Santa Ana's are blowing somewhere, but not here. Even a hot Santa Ana is better than no breeze at all.

Fire season is really here when the Santa Ana's get here. In October 1993, about four hundred homes were destroyed here in Laguna Beach. We didn't move here until 1997, but were close enough to see the flames and get ash all over our house and in the pool. Although, we did have and air conditioner then. It was horrible for the homeowners and city though. Many sold their lots and people bought them up and put huge concrete style houses up. Many modern homes, that personally, I dislike. I prefer older wooden homes or a different siding. Cape Cod, Bungalows, Victorian, Colonial styles. Although if a fire happens in the canyon below us, I know I would wish I lived in one of the concrete houses. Let's hope that doesn't happen here in our eucalyptus grove. Euc's explode and have a lot of oil in them.

I wonder sometimes what I would take. I wonder if I should have it all ready in one area if I did have to run like hell. I know the baby books, but we have albums and albums and boxes of photos from the last fifteen years. I suppose having those in a place in the garage would not be such a bad thing. Right now they are scattered about the house. I would definitely get the cat and dog first, put them in cages in the car and then fill it up. I think I would take some of the art work for sure. Clothes can be replaced, but I could always grab some on the way out, if I had the time.

I think it is a good idea to get a video of the whole house and the contents. I wanted to start a business doing just that, and never did. I believe that there is enough money in this town for people to pay for somebody to tape for them. I know people have recorders, but how many of us actually do it? Film all the jewelry, artwork, appliances, upgrades to the house. The outside with the $60,000 landscape. Just about everything of value frankly.

I think it would be handy to keep all the receipts from the remodel that we did when we bought this house eight years ago too. That is all in one file. And we each have a personal file with various documents & passports in them. They should be near the photos to grab quickly.

Last week we had thunder and lightening. This week hot dry weather. Typical for this time of year though.

Okay, that is all I have time for. Time for this mom to pick up a couple of kids from Chorus. The other, who is at reheasal will not be done til I get back up the hill guaranteed!

Update...It got under 90 degrees last night after 11:00. It is 82 degrees at six this morning! Although the Santa Ana's are not supposed to blow like they did inland yesterday. But, it is still going to be a hot day and the sun just came up! UGH...

I am jealous of all of you who have a real colorful fall....And the cool temps we had earlier in the year, when you were all sweltering.

A very hot sunrise

Monday, September 26, 2005

Busy Bee

I have been a very busy bee today and tonight. I have been doing things that needed to be done for months! Like cleaning clutter piles. Three very heavy brown bags have gone to the paper recycling bin. One to go, but I will wait til it is light out in the morning. Raccoons like to pop up and I don't like that very much.

I am amazed at the amounts of junk that come to our house. I am sure yours as well! I threw away so much crap. I try to throw out the junk mail before it comes into the house. But I have had piles of junk mail and other paperwork that needed to be filed just piling up. When that pile got to high, I started a new one...It is very cleansing to do this...I cannot remember the last time I saw the end of my kitchen counter.

We gave our expresso maker to my stepdaughter's husband to use in his office and I thought how nice it would be to have the extra counter space. Boy, that was a joke! I just filled it with more piles....

I put things where they actually belong too. Not just dumping them into my clean garage. Well semi-clean. I need to get to a few things that are misplaced, put away and I don't ever want to clean it out again! That took two solid days. I like walking thru it when it is clean and not in a path that we made by pushing everything to the side. And I like to see the top of my pool table without any clothes on it!

I did little things like voting absentee and it is ready to mail. I registered Katharine's computer with the added warranty that was purchased when she got it on July 30th!!! That didn't take long. But it was just another thing to do.

A friend gave me a bouquet of lavender that she got for me near Monterey this past summer. She said when she got it, the bouquet was very purple. It is may be less purple, but it is beautiful, very fragrant and my favorite smell. I got it three days ago and just put it into a vase tonight. Zoe took the pieces that fell onto the table for her room. Not too much, just enough to make her room smell like lavender.

It is the little things that take up so much time. Paying bills, having the correct tool to repair the towel holder that fell down again, reading emails from troops that want to do booth sales, and actually saving the email, putting it in a file and writing the information in a notebook I have. Quickly perusing magazines and tossing them or adding them to the basket for future reading! Returning phone calls. Adding times and events to my calendar. Finding out that we are out of snacks again, and I just went to the store yesterday. Which means I will have to go tomorrow for lunches on Wednesday. I might order online later tonight though. It is very convenient. If they don't screw up the order, that is. All easy enough stuff to do, just time consuming.

But what a difference. When the kitchen looks good and is uncluttered, it makes me what to spend more time in there and actually enjoy cooking. I detest thinking about what to prepare for dinner nightly. It is not easy to prepare something all four of us like. In which case, I add something for whomever it is that doesn't like what I am making that night. I am a short order cook basically. Even breakfasts are short order. Eggs over easy, scrambled, omelets, poached. Pancakes usually do pretty well. On school mornings, it is cereal, fruit, bagel or a muffin. Something fast. The girls have to be to school by 7:30.

Anyhow, that is all for now. Just feeling better about doing some stuff on my to do list! It will never end, but at least I can chip away at it and make it shorter.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Spam and when to throw the flag.

I received a spam comment from the UK. Guess this person has more time than most spammers. I thought the spam days were over with the word verification. Wrong! This poor sap sits in his or her flat and goes blog by bloody blog commenting so we will click his/her link. NOT.

I wondered about flagging and if the spammer or spammerette will know that I am clicking their flag. This could start a flag war! If I click theirs, they click mine....Along comes blogger and says, "We are sorry, but we have had too many flags on your account." Like in Football. Flags on the play and I am out of the listing game. Or perhaps just a warning. Maybe a five yard penalty for the first offense.

Me: I flagged the spammer/ette because they left spam comments on my blog.

Spammer/ette: I found her to be offensive.

Blogger: Why?

S: She cusses a lot.

Me: Well then stay away from my fucking blog!

Blogger: Listen Spammer/ette, you are not allowed to sell things in the comment sections of our customers' blogs.

S: Well, she should not be swearing on her blog...Anybody could read it.

Me: Bullshit! There are plenty of people who write worse things than I do! And trust me, this is watered down Asshole!

Blogger: Okay, knock it off! Spammer/ette, you are clearly using your blog for illegal purposes.

S: I am just trying to make a living. And if I don't comment on blogs, then nobody comes to my site!

Me: No shit Sherlock! Blogs are for people to journal, not to go to your lame ass site!

S: You see? She can't even stop swearing right now.

Blogger: Look, Spammer/ette, your site will no longer be listed on our site if you continue to do this. We may yank your account! You may blog, but we will not publish when you update.

Me: (laughing) Rock on Blogger!

Blogger: If you (me) continue to get flags for your questionable content, you will also be ostracized from our published list.

Me: Does this mean this loser can keep coming to my site and flag me just for the sake of getting me banned?

Blogger: If it happens to be just Spammer/ette, no. Only if it happens from multiple bloggers.

Me: What if this Spammer/ette has friends? I find that unlikely, but it could happen...Do you have a fix for that?

S: Grinning, with a light bulb above his/her head.

Blogger: We do not have a fix for that...But if they all come from the UK...Then perhaps we will see a pattern!

S: That is discrimination!

Me: What you have no friends outside of the Wiltshire? Oh yeah, you don't have friends!

Blogger: This case will remain in the pending file for six months. We will be monitoring both of you!

S: This is a bloody joke!

Me: Thanks Blogger. And for you Sapmmer/ette, I do have friends and if you start flagging my site, your ass is grass and I will be the lawnmower!

That was very silly, but I need a giggle this morning. And I did giggle! Of course, this would never be a three way (don't go there) conversation. However, it is like Blogger is the parent and the flaggers are the tattletale kids! I will just delete the lame spammer/ette's comment... Frankly, it doesn't even bother me anymore. After doing this little script, I have decided that it is silly to get remotely upset by a spammer/ette. There are so many other things in life to worry about. This has got to be the bottom of the list...I will no longer let them get to me, I will simply delete their sorry asses.

Wow, that was very cathartic! One written conversation with myself and I overcame my anger at Spammers and Spammerettes! LMAO...

Can you tell I really have nothing much to write? My back is better, yippee. A bit of pain only. I will be seeing my doctor on Friday, but I believe the cyst ruptured and went away, from the amount of pain I had, which is now gone. I will go to the doctor nonetheless. Just to make sure.

The birds are happily chirping and eating. The sun is out and feels warm on this cool morning. Coffee tastes good. Just heard the puzzler, my favorite part of Weekend Edition Sunday, on NPR. Hub is sitting next to me reading the paper. I am savoring the good things in my life today.

Have a great Sunday.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Not much going on!

Truly, not much going on. I have to wait another week to see my gyn. I will wait, only because I am feeling better after weeks of feeling like shit! The other day I told my friend I had just realized that I don't think about standing up from a chair. I just get up. Which was a great sign. I am continuing to get better. But, something is still wrong with my back. Lack of muscle control in my abs is probably the primary, but maybe not.

When I was all of 21, I was goofing around with a friend and he took hold of my brush. We struggled and he let go, sending me flying across the room and falling on my tail bone. Ever since, just pressing the area above hurts. The other day at the doctor, the nurse practitioner (NP) hit that spot and I told her that the area has been sore to push on since then. But it is above that which hurts now. It is better, but still sore when I stand up. Getting better. So, I think it is a cross between stress and lousy ab muscles. And I did something to aggravate it. The CT scan showed nothing wrong. Only the ovarian cyst.

Next week I will have an ultra sound and go to the doctor on Friday. But, I walk without hunching over, and can do more for longer before I feel like my back is going to break.

I am completely frustrated being the Service Unit Fall Product Manager for this town! Only a handful have responded to my phone calls and emails. I told the Service Unit Manger in an email tonight, it is hard to do a good job when the troops do not put forth the effort to even contact me, not to mention show up at my meeting when I felt like crap last Sunday.

These are women who signed on as troop fall product managers and they do not follow through. It really irrates me. Some have not even registered with Girl Scouts yet. Anybody who signs on to do these things are supposed to be registered. Sales start Saturday and I don't have completed forms or registration for five women...Why sign on, and follow thru?

I got an email tonight from somebody who first is not registered, and second didn't respond to my meeting invitation. She tells me she is co-leading with another troop and is seven short of materials. It took me a whole day to get all the envelopes done and I was very precise. No please, but call her tomorrow to arrange a time when she can pick up the materials...Frankly I am at the kiss my butt limit. How rude and completely unprofessional. But, for the sake of the unit, I will make sure she has all she needs, once she registers!

My stepdaughter and family are in Houston. Hub just talked to her. She is fine. They are staying put. Stocked up on batteries and canned food and froze a lot of water. They have a friend who was evacuating and spent twelve hours going eight miles, and came back. The school where she teaches high school is closer to the coast and they have all evacuated and backed up their computers. Covered them with plastic and are hoping for the best. She is somewhat fearful that Monday she will not have a job. They are hunkered down and feel somewhat safe as their neighborhood has never flooded. Doesn't lessen our fears at all.

I am very concerned that the levees in New Orleans will not withstand another major hurricane. Even a 3, has winds of 150 miles per hour. And this monster is 350 miles wide. Major water coming from the sky. Flooding is a big concern. I am just thankful that most have left the parish. I am sad for those who went to Houston, only to be moved again. I am thankful that Houston and Galveston have evacuation plans though! Even if there are lines of traffic leaving the cities. I know that Galveston is pretty much evacuated, but Houston is a different story. I just hope that people took Katrina seriously and do what they must for themselves and their families.

That is about it for now...Hope all are well and safe. Good luck and speedy recovery to Annie tomorrow. All of you are on my mind, even though I have been delinquent in my posts lately, not to mention replying to those I normally read daily...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Looking for the end of the Rainbow

faint double rainbow at sunset

Unfortunately, the sky was not a good color to get a great shot of the double rainbow, but here is one photo.

It was a very long day! My doctor's nurse practioner saw me. She said I need to get an ultra sound and see my gyn. And she said that I need to see my orthopod for my back. She says I do have two problems, not just one. My cyst and my back. Two separate sources of pain!

I wondered why I went there in the first place but she insisted it was the best thing to do.

I called my gyn, they cannot see me until the 30th! I told the woman on the phone that I had acute pain and she still insisted that I can be seen on the 30th.

I got ahold of a doctor friend and she told me what a mill my gyn runs. How she is out of town and still gets booked solid and everybody gets to see the nurse practioner. She has told me this before. She told me to call today and tell them, my husband is an attorney, I am have acute pain caused by a ovarian cyst and they are refusing to see me for ten days? Then she told me to go to another ER and have them call her and if she is not on, somebody in her call group should be. Then if nobody shows up, she is in big trouble with the head doctor at hospital, because by law, she has to have a back up doctor for her patients who end up in the ER....I decided I would stay out of that cat fight!

So, I have to schedule the ultra sound, and make an appointment with the orthopod. My friend did say if the cyst doesn't go away this month, that it probably will next month.

I do feel better, I actually got up a few times yesterday in my travels, and didn't think about standing up. I got to the point where I would get up slowly and hunched over and then I would stand erect. So, this could be a sign that I am finally healing.

I went to the hospital and ran around collecting labs and films. I had to pay $15 for my labs. The woman told me that they could fax them for free, but she didn't know how long that would take and I was headed to my doctor's office.

The report said that when I left the ER, I no longer had pain in my abdomen. It also said I only had back pain when I moved! Duh!

So the saga continues. I am stressed about all this medical stuff. Have I mentioned I don't like doctors? Only friend doctors.....

Single rainbow at Sunset

This one has more colors, the way it should be!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Thunder last night, Doctor today

We had an awesome lightening and thunder storm last night. Very rare for us. Came up from Baja California, which is in Mexico.

The lights went out after one thunderly boom and came back on pretty quickly. Gone were the set alarm clocks though. It was very cool, as we hardly ever get weather like this. Got some rain too. This went on all night and will be the same this morning. Hub just asked the girls if they heard the lightening and thunder last night. The girls both said, we didn't hear the lightening! Hub said, I knew you were going to say that. No comment has time to be corrected, before somebody in this house points out the error!

I took some photos of the rainbow after the rain arrived. Even a double rainbow. It was quite spectacular. I will post those maybe tonight or tomorrow.

Today, I am going to pick up my records from the ER and then head over to my doctor. I expect I will be there most of the day. I have a feeling they will want to do an ultrasound to see the cyst in my ovary, which I believe is the cause of my pain and back pain. One day I would feel I was better, then the next back to feeling horrible.

Saturday and Sunday I worked on Fall Product stuff for the Girl Scouts. I had boxes of papers to sort and put into envelopes for each troop selling nuts and magazines. I only had three people show up at my meeting on Sunday evening. Now I need to have a one on one with the no show Fall Product Troop Managers, aka, nut moms. I have to train those who have not done this before and update what is new for moms who have done this before, and refresh their memories a bit.

So, off to the doctor. Maybe even more than one. I am not looking forward to this, I hate going to doctors! I have to be very very ill to go to a doctor or the ER even. So, I am in for a long day.

I decided to do a quick post this morning because somebody emailed me and wondered if I was okay, because I had not posted since Saturday. How sweet huh?

Hope everybody has a great day and nobody is in the path of Rita!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I'm "It"

Jaded tagged here goes:

7 things I plan to do before I die:

1. Raise my children.
2. See them become happy productive women.
3. Waste away to a size 8. Although 14 would be nice too.
4. Fish in as many lakes as I see.
5. Take a tour of the country in an RV.
6. Learn to love exercise.
7. Learn to play an instrument.

7 things I can do:

1. Knit.
2. Win at Backgammon, yahtzee, poker, etc.
3. Out fish most people I am with.
4. Garden.
5. Sew.
6. Mediate, when people argue.
7. Install cable, Tivo, DVD recorders and VCRs.

7 things I cannot do:

1. Speak another language. A bit of spanish.
2. Lift heavy things.
3. Tolerate stupidity
4. Handle a compliment without looking for an underlying reason.
5. Stand discrimination.
6. Draw or paint.
7. Keep my opinions to myself.

7 things that attract me to the opposite (or same) sex:
1. Hands
2. Arms
3. Intelligence.
4. Kindness.
5. Humor.
6. Smile.
7. Confidence.

7 things that I say most often:

1. Umm.
2. Zoe, empty the dishwashers.
3. Knock it off Charlie.
4. What is Charlie eating now?
5. I need to write a post.
6. Damn, I have to figure out dinner, again!
7. I love you.

7 celebrity crushes:

Ed Harris

Timothy Olyphant

Will Smith

Keiffer Sutherland

Johnny Depp

Russell Crowe

7 people I want to do this:

1. Any
2. One
3. Who
4. Hasn't
5. Done
6. This
7. Yet

The photos are a bit askew, but oh well! Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Birthday Girl Comments

Very fragrant lilies

Zoe said...
You are a great writer mommy, that's where we get it from. I didn't inherit your good memory though. I got your sense of humor, kindness, and so much more. I'm not sure where I got the reading from.

When I came upstairs on my birthday morning, daddy's lips were all blubbery, he had just read your post. You made daddy cry! Not that that's hard, I've done it several times myself. But way to go. Thank you very much for the post, it's one of the best presents I could have gotten.

Zoe's flowers from her friend

I'm still working on your poem. When I read your explanations of my Katharine torment I laughed all over again. If we were still little, I'd do it all over again.

And of course I'll be good to mommy, she deserves the best. Thank you very much for the birthday wishes.

Mommy, I love you so much. Thank you for the post, it's things like this that I love more than anything you could buy me. Just knowing you're thinking about me and feeling your love is better than anything else you can give me. Thank you very much,

Sincerity and love,

Zoe commented to me and thanked you all for her birthday wishes.

How terrific is this fourteen year old? How lucky am I to be her mother? Very!

Just wanted to share. I am so proud of her.

Next birthday....MINE...UGH....I will have to change my profile to age 46!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

School DaZe

You know, when I was in school we went from morning
Til afternoon. Period.
These kids do zero period or a seventh period and
That seems normal.
But the Block Days and Minimum Days put me in a DaZe!
Zoe had minimum day yesterday.
That, I have gotten used to thru all the previous years.
Although, her minimum day ends an hour before Katharine's.
But now she has block days. Thursday and Friday.
Every week. Thursday is for kids or parents who want
To talk to the teacher. They set up appointments on
Thursday between 7:30 and 8:30. Friday uses that
Same hour for staff meetings with the teachers.
So, she goes to school at 8:30 and gets out at 2:16.
Instead of 2:30. And being there at 7:30.
Katharine has no zero period on Friday so she
has to be there at 8:30 instead of 7:30.
You getting all this? Neither am I.
I believe they do the timing this way for traffic
Reasons and teacher contract reasons as well.
All three schools are on the only two streets
Up and Down the hill. And traffic is a nightmare
When just one school lets out. I get that and
It makes sense. Getting used to the different
Times on any given day, will take getting used to.

I spent hours in Fall Product Service Unit
Manager class yesterday for Girl Scouts.
Class was okay, but I came home with even
More piles of paper to be distributed to the troops
And the prizes, oops, I mean incentives. I get to
Show these to the moms who are in charge of
Nut and magazine sales for their troop, who
I am supposed to have a meeting with by
TOMORROW...Like that is going to happen!

I spent hours reading and working on scheduling
this meeting. Then an email arrives with
Katharine's rehearsal schedule for the
Sound of Music. One document was when
Each scene was to be rehearsed. The other
Document was who was in what scene. I
Simply sent it to Katharine and told her to
Figure it out and give me a hard copy and
I would add it to my calendar. She complied
Nicely. I could not handle one more paper
Or schedule.

Today I need to arrange a time that will net
The most moms for my meeting. I need to
Get permission slips signed and Adult
Responsibility forms and I promise I am not
A child molester forms signed. They are to
Get all their girls to sign their permission
Slips by the beginning of the sale on the 24th.
I know I can do this, but it will be difficult!

So, yesterday was minimum day for Zoe on
Her Birthday. Thank you all for your birthday
Wishes for her! Hub had to pick her up at 11:30.
Cuz I was in the class. He took her to lunch then
to court with him, so she could see what he does.
Then he came home and picked up Katharine to
take her to get a gift for Zoe. Then back to the
Office for him.

I left the class and headed to the store for dinner
And cake. I walked into a Vons and they had a
Panda Express. I ordered dinner and a lunch for
Myself. All the while my back feeling like I could
collapse at any moment. First time in ten days
I had been anywhere but the ER. I digress. I was
Waiting for somebody to write Happy Bday on the
Cake. It took a while for the manager to find the
Lady who worked in that department. A few other
Items and I was on my way back home.

Last night was back to school night. Hub went.
I took Zoe down at 6:00 to sing in the chorus,
Which she loves. Zoe and hub got back after 8:00
And we had cake. Sang Happy Birthday to Zoe.
A very long day indeed. But a good one for Zoe.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

14 Years Ago Today

Fourteen years ago today, I was lying in the hospital after being there since the evening before. We knew we would be there for a while, so we stopped at Bob's Big Boy and had their 2.99 special. A burger, fries and hot fudge cake! YUM. Plus they had vinyl seats.

We were having our first baby. While David slept in the chair in the middle of that late Sunday night, I couldn't sleep. I watched TV, pre-cable in a very nice comfortable room. Nothing on TV. It was a very long night. The next day, at nearly 1:00 in the afternoon, we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. No hair, big blue eyes and pretty. Already pretty. Not all babies are pretty when they are born, but she was.

Our hearts swelled as we held her for the first time. Nothing on earth is like holding your baby for the first time. Something surreal about going to the hospital as a couple and coming home with this new little life. Now entrusted to us. To raise as a good person and to be loved thru anything, for all eternity.

David had take a bunch of photos to our neighborhood photo store, while I slept. He brought back a lobster and steak dinner and a bottle of Champagne. Little did we know, the hospital also sent us a steak dinner for two as well. Luckily my parents were there to eat dinner with us!

The next morning, less than twelve hours later, we brought her home. We couldn't be more in love with this perfect baby girl. She was 7.7 pounds, being a former bartender, I never forgot the size! I was a week past my due date when she decided to make her entrance into the world.

We brought her to her new home and just stared at her in awe. Her tiny little fingers and toes. I remember looking at her fingers when I held her for the first time and thinking her fingers were miniature versions of mine.

I had trouble nursing. A nurse came by the house to check on me and showed me how to get her to latch on while nursing. I thought I had it, but after the nurse left, the frustration grew as I could not do it. I went to a breastfeeding class where all the mothers sat around in a circle and a nurse would help us teach our babies to latch on. We had to wake them to get them to eat on command. It all worked out well, she and I figured it out!

We didn't let her out of our site. We had a bassinet in our bedroom and her car seat nearby for her to nap in as well. Eventually she lost some of her almost nonexistent hair from the back of her head. It grew back. We took her to the office at two days old to show her off. Then we headed to Nordstrom and I got nasty comments from old women who thought a two day old baby should not be shopping! We figured she would turn out to be a shopper. Nope, that was reserved for her future sister.

She was a smart baby from very young. We read to her from the first day we brought her home. David would come home early and have her lying on his chest as he talked on the phone to people at the office. We were in love. Deep unconditional love.

I enjoyed dressing her in different outfits and taking photos of her. I thought she looked darling in a bonnet we bought when I was about six months along. Old fashioned but cute.

We would take her out to dinner with us and she was very good. We walked into one restaurant and she shook excitedly when she saw all the fans on the ceiling. She laughed like crazy when she say my parents dog. She would sit in her little car seat and smile up at me and my heart melted. Big blue eyes and a toothless smile. I felt such love and warmth in my heart.

As she grew, she proved to be very smart. She was funny. She loved dressing up. She loved singing. She was just a pleasure to have around. When she was seven months old, I found out I was pregnant again. She was going to have a little sister. We had planned on giving her a sister close in age, as were one of my brothers and me. We were very close and I wanted that for my first daughter. Also, I had heard once they hit two, we might change our mind!

We continued to read to her and then both girls when her sister came along. She went to sleep at 6 PM and woke up at 6 AM. She got to a point where we thought she needed more socialization, so we enrolled her in Montessori school at three. She loved school and it was our invitation to meet parents and some became friends. She didn't like the very first day of school though. She got under a table and had a tantrum. After that little episode she settled into a very nice schedule.

By the time she was four she was reading on her own. She was asked to go in and read to the kindergarten class, and she was still in preschool. Books were a huge part of her life then and still are today. By the time she was in first grade we moved to Laguna Beach. Only one town over, but we still took her back to Montessori for two more years. We just felt the foundation of Montessori was a good start and a lesson in a lifetime of learning. It worked. We finally enrolled her in the public school up the street and she was ahead of the third grade class. She made the transition very easy. We were nervous, but the director of the school told us that after third grade, they were pretty much ready to take the Montessori method into real life. She was right.

She has always been an A student. We were lucky there. We still read at night, but the girls would read to us. It was a nightly ritual that we didn't want to end. Those were wonderful moments.

When she was sixteen months old, we brought home her sister. We had purchased a real life sized doll for her as we were going to have our own. The first day we brought her sister home, she bopped her in the head. We had to let her know that it was okay to not want to share our attention, but hitting was not allowed. So, she thought of other ways. When her little sister was napping in the car seat, we would put her in the play pen. She was safe when we did that with her. But, she opted to throw stuffed animals into the play pen and not let her sister sleep. Or the narcolepsy swing. It worked wonders on her, but she would stop it when her sister was in it. We put it back in a corner and still, she climbed up on the couch to stop the swing. But she loved her sister and they were indeed close.

I continued dressing her in cute little outfits not only because she looked so darling, but also because at some point, I new she would not allow me to dress her anymore. And that is what happened. She chose her own outfits and I let her wear what she wanted, providing it was appropriate for the weather.

Today, she is a very smart, witty, sarcastic, beautiful, loving, caring and ever changing fourteen year old. She just started high school last week. She wear shorts and t-shirts year round. She is not a slave to fashion. She has confidence enough to not care what other people think of her, something I learned, sort of, around forty. She is her own person and is not influenced easily. She is a wonderful poet. She reads prolifically. She enjoys Anime. She has become quite good at cooking. She is a really nice girl. She loves to sing. She loves music. We are so very proud of her and we love her with all of our heart.

Today she turns 14. Happy Birthday my sweet Zoe!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Crazy parent drivers, etc.

I swear I take my life in my hands every time I drop off or pick up the girls from school. These parents are crazy! They are in a hurry to get to work, or maybe back home to their beds. I don't know, but they need to slow down. It is bad enough when everybody gets to school around the same time, and the traffic is bumper to bumper. But along comes somebody who thinks their time is more important and they zoom past the traffic on the wrong side of the road and almost hit three kids in the crosswalk! I am amazed by the lack of consideration and safety. Safety most importantly. Put down the damn cell phone and watch what you are doing people.

While picking up Katharine, I wait up the street until she can get to me. Thankfully, she doesn't have to cross the street. The school actually put a sign in the parking lot telling parents not to use cell phones while driving in the school. This seems like a no brainer to me. The line of cars waiting to pick up is amazing and then somebody who doesn't want to be too far up the hill, starts a new line by double parking next to the first car and the craziness begins when everybody tries to pull out at the same time. The bus is probably a good thing, but it costs a fortune and the schools are very nearby, just too far to walk.

Anyhow, I don't know why it surprises me, I watched it for years while the girls were going to the elementary school at the end of the street. But people need to slow down, not apply makeup and stop using their cells while driving. Especially when kids can jump out from behind a parked car at any moment.

In other news.....
There is a black out in LA. My cousin just called from the 48th floor and told me about it. She is hoping the electricity comes back on soon because it is hot up there with no air! And she will have to walk down 48 flights of stairs, which takes twenty minutes she says...I looked at the local news sites and they say there were two power surges. No news about the black out beyond that. I hope it is back on soon. The traffic is a nightmare as you could imagine.

My back is better. Not completely, but is improving. I am very grateful for this because I am tired of being in pain and just feeling like crap. I hope within the next couple of days, all the pain will be gone for good. It usually ends the way it starts, which is out of nowhere, or at least it seems that way. But, seeing improvement has been a blessing!

And finally....

Mike Brown just resigned from FEMA...I am happy to hear that. The man has to have nightmares about his response to Katrina victims. If he has a conscious.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sunrise and Canyon Photos

I took some of these photos the other morning at sunrise. Sun thru the eucalyptus trees. Others were taken later in the morning, of the clouds in the canyon below us. Like looking at the lost City of Atlantis emerge.

Sometimes we are in the fog, as previously shown in other posts. This morning we were above the fog and clouds. No two mornings are the same. The previous owner of this house told me that eight years ago. He was right.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What has happened to work ethics?

Is it just me or does anybody else find themselves constantly fighting for good service? People no longer seem to take pride in doing a good job. They seem to go thru the motions as if they are doing us a favor for purchasing from their employer. Do employers know what a crappy job their employees do? Does it seem like employers just put up with getting the best of the worst because they feel that is all they can do?

What has happened to the work ethic? One who goes to work and understands that by doing a good job, it reflects well on themselves. Perhaps makes them feel proud of a job well done. Makes them feel like they are earning their wages and not like they are entitled to get paid just for showing up.

I used to see things that were wrong and write letters to the paper. Always trying to fix an injustice. I am so tired of doing crap like calling customer service to complain about not getting something. It only results in more anger, as the customer service departments seem to be a place to placate the pissed off customers only. Yes ma'am. We understand. You should have gotten better service kind of thing. I bet they even have certain pre-approved incentives to give customers based on how much business they do and how angry they are. I do, I bet there is a little chart! And if they weren't being recorded for educational purposes, they probably wouldn't be so "helpful." It is their job to be helpful and successful companies know this. There are some places that exist that do have good customer service. I am not saying all are bad, just many of whom I have encountered lately.

After having a horrific experience at the ER yesterday, I was just so very tired of it all. I could call and complain. Who really cares what I have to say about the hospital staff? Good help is hard to find right? Well, I did get a follow up call this morning from another doctor who was almost done leaving a message on my machine. She was telling me in a very robotic voice, that she hoped I was feeling better and that if there was anything else they could do, to call them. I picked up the phone and caught her before she could hang up. Oh, yes, this woman was going to make another attempt at righting a problem. She asked how I was feeling and I told her not very well. She seemed surprised by this. She asked if I felt better when I left the ER, than I did when I went in. I told her, No, I most certainly did not. She asked if I was given pain meds and instructions. I told her yes, but I got the distinct impression from the doctor that I should not be wasting her valuable time by being in her ER. I should have gone to my own physician. Who would have sent me to a lab for blood work and to another facility for a cat scan. And by the time he got the results, I would be healed, or worse dead! This poor doctor really didn't want to talk to me. She did seem to care about what I had to say, but in the end, she will cover the attending's ass, as the attending would cover hers. So, I could complain all I want and know that nothing was going to change. I am wasting my breath and time. OHM and let it go.

People who work on commission seem to work hard. They have to, if they want to make a living. They will do and say anything to keep a customer happy. I think some genuinely mean it. After all, referrals are nothing to sneeze at. I have referred our Realtor to several people. He sold us this house eight years ago and is a friend now. He understands customer service very well. And he really enjoys what he does and seems to get great satisfaction in doing a good job.

Is it because people hate what they do that makes them do a poor job? I hated a job I had and worked my butt off to get a better position. I also did a good job because that was what I was getting paid for and I wanted to do good work because I felt good about doing so.

We had gutted and remodeled our kitchen when we first moved in. The guy doing the granite promised to have it done by a certain day. He did and he worked hard to do so. Right after he left, I saw a crack around the faucet. I called the guy and he didn't return my calls. I called the bank to stop payment on the check I had written him. You can bet he called me back then. And he fixed the granite, and he got paid. But, he was pissed! HE was pissed because I had called him on a shoddy job. To this day, that is a bad spot in the kitchen. It needs to be sealed and is a problem. It was not fixed properly and I knew he would never come back, once the check was cashed and by the time I realized that it would be a problem.

It is not really a matter of working hard. It is a matter of doing a competent job. Even better, a good job. Just because you will be on the freeway by the time you realize your fast food order is screwed up, and you probably wouldn't take the time to go all the way back to the restaurant, doesn't mean it is okay to do a lousy job. When you have little ones, not getting a happy meal toy can ruin your whole day! Having a couple in the glove box has saved tears in our family.

I want my kids to know that being proud of what and how they do things is important. It speaks to their character, in my opinion and I don't think this is old fashioned thinking here. I think in doing chores, volunteering and their school work are the stepping stones to character building. And hopefully, this lesson will carry on to other generations.

What happened to saying thank you? You see signs that say, "Thank you and come again." But it is not spoken. Now days, it's you're welcome. After we say thank you. I believe I just said that line in a previous post. Oh well, it is worth repeating. If this lesson was not taught to my employees by their parents, then I would make sure they learned it from me. People remember good service. People also remember bad service. At least I do!

The day to day stuff is enough to deal with. Competent service should simply be a given. Not shoddy service and then calls to customer service. Too much time is wasted on this, not to mention energy. On the other hand, if not pointed out, it continues.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Update on Back and Grocer

Spent the day in the ER. Back pain and abdominal pain scared me enough to go! I thought it could be a kidney infection or something easily cured with an antibiotic...It was the worst. The nurse had the worst attitude I have ever seen. The doctor was not very comforting. First they took blood and gave me an IV. Gave me pain med called Diloted (sp?) and it gave me a horrible headache as it began to work. Felt like my head was in a vice. The headache started to go away and the pain subsided. But, I think it was an allergic reaction. After I am nice and mellow, they want me to pee in a cup. No assistance to or from the bathroom, I could have easily fallen. They wanted to make sure I was not preggers...

I get back in the room and somebody came to take me for a catscan. I told him they were supposed to make sure I was not pregnant first. He told me they did that. I told him I just brought in the cup...He said they checked thru my blood. So, that was good news...Holding my breath four times til I thought I would explode was no fun during the scan though.

I get back to my room, and I have a drug addict room mate in next to me behind the curtain. Coughing up who knows what. Finally three hours of listening to him, in an unairconditioned room, with the sides up so I could not move, the pain med had worn off and I wanted to scream. I was so hot and in so much pain and nobody came to see me once. The doctor came in to talk to him and finally I got her attention. I had been there since 9AM and it was 1:45. I asked if I could go. She said the radiologist was looking over my catscan again because he thought I may have a kidney stone...She promised to come back in ten minutes. She came back in thirty. Told me that there is a cyst on my right ovary and that the pain was from Siaticia (sp?) and radiating around to the front. Finally gives me prescriptions for meds and leaves. I was crying when trying to get out of bed by myself and get dressed. The nurse came in and I asked for some water. None had been offered all day. She gives me lukewarm tapwater. I took a sip and put it down. Walked out and waited for my very kind neighbor to come pick me up. Dropped of the script, picked up Zoe and came home.

Just a horrible day, still in pain. The doctor told me to follow up with my doctor or one she suggested. I disliked her so much that I would never use somebody she recommended. I told her I had taken Vicodin three times and mentioned six pills and she thought she caught me in a lie...After talking to the guy next door I suppose I can somewhat understand where she was coming from. But, I told her I took two pills three times and stopped. I felt like the Vicodin was masking the pain. She said that is what it is supposed to do and I should have kept taking it...I got no points for putting ice on my back for days and using meds wisely. Instead she made me feel bad for coming there in the first place!

I just got a call from and they guy said he had my food from yesterday...I asked how that happened and he said they filled my order and were bringing it to me...Good news since I had not made it to the store today. Don't know why this happened, but I will be glad to get the groceries I had ordered! Dinner tonight, yeah....

OUCH and UGH!!!

My back has been out for the past few days...It has put me in a shitty mood! Along with other stuff going on in. No need to spell this out, as most of us have experienced the same. I believe stress is directly related to my back pain. Not much doubt there.

Yesterday I ordered for groceries, as I mentioned my back was out, and I could not grocery shop. In the middle of the night last night, I did so online. Vons seems to be hiring the biggest imbeciles of late. The last two times they have screwed up. Last time I vowed not to use them again. Well, we need milk, cereal, lunch stuff, school has started. So I spend my precious insomniac hours ordering...granted in a vicodin haze.

The driver is lost, I see him on the street below. I asked the neighbor down there to tell the guy where we were. Go around the block and come to the driveway. We see him walking toward the house...Oh, I will go get the truck! Why he hoofed it instead of driving is beyond me.

He drops off the goods and I question where something is... Uh, I dunno, call the 877 number....By the time the steam stopped coming out of my ears and I had seen he didn't have any dairy products, no meat, no produce, no dinner, no lunch, nothing of importance, which was the reason I ordered in the first place, he was gone.

I call the store that the order originated from first. The manager is livid. Tells me to call the 877 number which is where the big wigs are, and she will call too. I go over the order with a very patient man on the phone. They owe me $96! The guy tells me he will give me a credit of $25 for the next time, in case I dare shop there again. He actually said that. And they will eat the delivery fee as well....He asks if I would like them to bring the items today...I tell him, no thanks, I think I need a break!

So, we now have cereal, no milk. We have bread, nothing to put on it for lunches for school. Amazing incompetence...

There is a driver I really like, and the last time I saw him, he told me the store was very screwed up from all the new help they hired. Non English speaking and couldn't figure out how to substitute, so they just omitted items. He said customers were leaving in droves...I think this must be true. When I called, I got the high volume hold message. No shit!

I know a where can find some decent employees who are eager to work and speak English. The country is full of unemployed people from the Gulf Coast. Perhaps some that have come to our area will seek work there. Maybe then, I will use there delivery service again...Not likely before that!

Oh, and I had ordered an online gift certificate for the hub's daughter's birthday from Barnes and Noble...Yesterday, I get an email saying my card had been rejected and to call them immediately. I do. He runs the card again. Nope, still won't work. I give him another AMEX card number and it goes thru. I call AMEX and she said they were running a periodic security check on my card. I didn't ask why. I answered the questions she asked, one being, what was my last address. I told her and she thanks me and tells me I am free to continue to use the card I have had for 15 years! Gee thanks for that! The birthday gift certificate was one day late!

I did take some awesome photos of the cloud cover and sunrise this morning. I was trying to load them to play a slide show. I will probably just post some and put the rest on Flickr though. Since I have a Mac, some may not be able to play the slide show. I was on the phone describing the clouds below us to my friend. Then land emerges and it looks like the lost city of Atlantis. The sun thru the eucalyptus trees was beautiful. So, hopefully, I will post those later.

By the way, school is off to a roaring start. All is going well in middle and high school! This is very good news.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Good Housekeeping 1955

This is from an actual May 1955 Good Housekeeping Magazine. Fifty years ago. I think it has much to do with the high divorce rate of today....Well, it could!

Since I am inept in the making it larger for the blog post department, I retyped the written relic instructions. Of course, I am doing this while thinking about what color ribbon to put in my hair this evening. And you can be sure I will be putting on a dress, stockings and high heels...Even though I am miserable and my back is way out (NO LIE), it is not about me. And, yes, I do know my place....See the tongue in my cheek? My how things have changed in....Fifty years.

The good wife's guide

* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious
meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know That you
have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men
are hungry when the come home and the prospect of a good meal
(especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

* Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he
arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-
looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

* Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need
a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house
just before your husband arrives.

* Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc and then run a dustcloth over the

* Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for
him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and
order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will
provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

* Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and
faces (If they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their
clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the
part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the
washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

* Be happy to see him

* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please

* Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the
moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his
topics of conversation are more important than yours.

* Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to
dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to
understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at
home and relax.

* Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and
tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

* Don't greet him with complaints or problems.

* Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night.
Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

* Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have
him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

* Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing
and pleasant voice.

* Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or
integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always
exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to
question him.

* A good wife always knows her place.

Monday, September 05, 2005

What Women Want

This is from an email I received. At least What Some Women Want.....

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question?....What do women really want? Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.

Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer.

But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.

The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend!

Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc. He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life.

He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur.

He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus:

What a woman really wants, she to be in charge of her own life.

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared.

And so it was, the neighboring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding.

The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.

Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day....or night?

Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

What would YOU do?

What Lancelot chose is below. BUT....make YOUR choice before you scroll down below. OKAY?

Noble Lancelot said that he would allow HER to make the choice herself.

Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

Now....what is the moral to this story?

The moral is.....

If you don't let a woman have her own way....

Things are going to get ugly!

Shopping and Food

Katharine had a friend spend the night Friday and Saturday night. Saturday they asked me if I would take them school clothes shopping...I laughed. "I don't shop at noon on a Saturday in the best of times, certainly not the weekend before school starts!" I replied. I did tell them I would take them yesterday (Sunday) when the store opened. I told them they could not stay up til 2AM and that they had to be in bed by 11:00. I was asked, "Does that mean we have to be asleep by 11:00, or just in bed by 11:00?" I told Katharine, "If you are asleep by midnight, I will be happy." I told them I would wake them at 8:15.

I took Zoe, Katharine and her friend to Mervyn's first, only cuz it was open before Kohl's. Nobody had breakfast, but normally they would have still been asleep anyhow, except for Zoe. If you ever want to speed up the shopping experience of girls who love to shop, don't give them breakfast! LOL We were searching for shorts for Zoe, who only wears shorts. We found none at Mervyn's. Katharine found a couple of items, her friend a shirt. While I was paying the most annoying checker in the world, the girls began to laugh uncontrollably. Fortunately, the took it away from the check out counter!

This checker was an older woman who went into a spiel about how to get the best for my buck. What was on clearance and what else was discounted, in case I was not done shopping at Mervyn's. Then she saw my name and said, "Oh, Nancy Epstein. Are you Jewish?" I told her, "No." She proceeded to tell me how she just loved Jewish people and how she didn't see very many around there. She told me how she used to work for a couple of Jewish men and she just loved them. She told me she was from NY and I made the mistake of saying that hub was too. "He is, where is he from?" "Manhattan," I told her. Some weird words sounding rather derogatory about Manhattan came flying out of her mouth. I wasn't paying that much attention, but I got the gist. She told me that she worked and lived near the garment district and how she had been a design student when she got married. Then got pregnant and, her words here, "When the little monster was born, I decided to stay home to raise him." I swear my mouth could have been used as a fly catcher! I couldn't believe that I had to endure this woman's life story, nor the way she referred to her son. I was wondering if the cameras trained on her check out counter had sound and if this was okay with management. I couldn't wait to get the hell away from her. Finally did and the girls were cracking up all the way out of the store...Yeah, real funny.

The odd thing about that was that hub and I were at the store the night before and a teenager was buying a Red Bull drink and a Bic lighter. He was told by the checker that he had to be eighteen to buy a lighter. The girl bagging groceries went off, as did hub. "What, he cannot buy a lighter? But if he asked for matches, you could give them to him?" The checker who obviously needed her shift to end very soon, replied with a droll, "Yes on the matches, no on the lighter, that is the law." How dumb is that? The grocery bagger wouldn't let it go. She kept on ranting, even after the teen had left the store. Finally, she hit a nerve and pissed off the checker. She told the grocery bagger that she was going to have a talk with her. The bagger says, "Just tell me now." Checker says, "No, I will do it later, not in front of the customers." I told the hub that the poor girl was going to get the wrath of the overtired checker. He didn't pick up on this little soon to be cat fight. But, here I have this woman telling me her life story and nobody reprimanded her for being unprofessional. Then a girl who voices her opinion will probably be written up! I told the hub, I would not take it if I were the girl. He told me,"You would never last in a job where you could not give your opinion." And I would never let somebody talk to me the way the checker spoke to the grocery bagger. I don't care how tired she was.

Anyhow, the girls and I went to Kohl's next. We found two pairs of shorts for Zoe. Out of more than I could count. At least she already has some and with a couple more, she will be fine. We got her some shirts and Katharine got a couple of things and a pair of half priced Reeboks for PE. I think we are set for school clothes now.

While we were in Kohl's, Katharine's friend asked me a few times if I was hungry....I told her yes and we would get some lunch after we left Kohl's. We went to a food court and you would think this would be perfect. I should have known that I should have just said, "We are eating here and pick something from the menu!" No, that would have been smart. We ended up with nobody wanting the same type of food. Finally, selections were made and we ate outside, because we had food from different restaurants. It was fine though because it was a beautiful day to dine al fresco.

Last night, Zoe, Katharine and I made a homemade chicken and noodle dinner. A huge mess, flour everywhere, but fun. "Thanks for teaching us how to make noodles again mommy," said Zoe....Oh yeah, I had already taught her that. But doing it together was good. Hub got home just in time for dinner.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Today has not been such a bad day. We have a home, our health and we are safe. Unlike so many others.

Today I have seen many rescues in the disaster zone. I actually spent an hour watching the Army arrive too. All good, finally.

Today we sent a few boxes of childrens clothes to Houston. David's daughter is a school teacher at the high school there and says they need school supplies and clothing for the kids. She will make sure they get distributed.

Today Houston is the 100,000 people bigger. And Houston is so welcoming and organized. Truly an awesome city.

Today there is no jackhammer noise in my little corner of the world. Although somebody is weed wacking! LOL

Today David has taken the girls to shop for school supplies. Yippee.

Today I got the grocery shopping done by 10:00. And Katharine and her friend were still asleep when I got back.

Today we woke up to fog and the sun is shining now. Brighter today.

Today I did not post first thing. I wasn't sure what to say. I didn't want another hurricane post. I did blog surf though.

Today I received a special surprise in the mail from Cindy. She sent me a Michael Stanley CD. I think I have five now. Thank you Cindy! For no reason at all, she sends me the CD. Very sweet of her huh?

Today there were no bills in the mail! Oh yeah!

Today David is mailing the expresso machine we have not used in eight years, to his son in law! We only told him we would mail it in July! We used to use it all the time, when it was new. I don't know why we stopped using it. It makes very tasty expresso.

Today I have more counter space in my kitchen...That can't last!

Today we are making pizza for dinner. Katharine's friend's family owns an Italian restaurant, which just so happens they taped an episode of "Laguna Beach" in and it was on TV and the girls got to watch it. But to make pizza with her here and her father being such an awesome chef.....Perhaps we will get some pointers! I have known this child for six years and I have never been nervous cooking in front of her before! LOL

Today is just about three days away from the beginning of school! Ah shucks. ;)

Today I still feel bad for all those homeless, injured, sick and helpless. I am thankful they are being moved and that the military has moved in to help. I am thankful for cities like Houston and others. I am thankful for every day people doing the right thing and bringing people under their roof. I am thankful for every day people who have gone to the Gulf Coast to help out with whatever their expertise is. Be it nurses, doctors, a helicopter pilot, everybody who is helping. I look forward to some healing and good news ahead.

Today I feel very blessed and very lucky.

Today I just finished a post that I felt like I had to end each sentence with but I still feel bad. It is okay that I feel blessed and lucky today. This is just my opinion, my feelings and my blog.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Government's Reaction Too Slow

At first I was saddened to see all that was happening in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. I was sad to hear of all of those who lost their lives and who lost their homes and everything they owned. I was rather jaded to this, as hurricanes cause death and destruction every year. Some years worse than others. This doesn't mean I didn't feel bad for all those affected.

I have not spent endless hours watching the news and flipping channels to see primarily the same stories told with a different talking head, or a bit differently. However, tonight I watched for a while and the more I watch the more depressed and pissed off I got. Watching the squalor our own citizens are living in was more that I could take. Listening time after time to people saying help was on the way. That the National Guard had been activated and soldiers would soon be helping with the looters and the other assholes with guns who are shooting those who are helping.

Excuse me, but how long does it take to activate some National Guard units? It's not like they are out of the country and those poor people have to wait til they get here. They are already here! Why are they taking so fucking long to take over a renegade group of criminals who have guns and are making matters much worse? This to me is more than just about what it happening down in the gulf coast, but what lack of planning our government has in place, in case somebody has a smart bomb or some other form of terrorism planned. To see our country so dysfunctional, is extremely frightening to me. I know there are many of you who already knew how screwed up our government is, and I did too, to some degree, but not like this. Not on our own soil.

To listen to the talking heads asking who's fault it is that this disaster was not dealt with more swiftly and effectively are very good questions. We will all get the answers at some point. No finger pointing right now. Get to the gulf coast and help those people. I still blame our government as a whole, not one individual or even a few. This has always been a possibility and for them not to have a plan of action was asinine. New Orleans is below sea level. We all know that. Why did we allow the city to be built there in the first place and why was it allowed to grow bigger every year? Why didn't the government devise a plan in case a levy or two broke?

To watch all the now refugees in the Superdome for days and days, in deplorable conditions of a third world nation. To see beloved elderly people die and piled up on the side, if they were noticed at all. To all who did not or could not evacuate to have to live under these conditions, waiting to get the fuck out of the filthy water, the stench of sewage, bodies starting to rot in the hot humid water. Being unable to shower or even eat. Not knowing where other family members or friends were. To see mother's who were separated from their kids. To take critical personnel away from looking for survivors, to deal with looters. To drown in their own homes....This is despicable, and our government should have taken immediate action.

We all knew by Sunday how catastrophic this hurricane was. We saw the pictures. We saw New Orleans fill up with water so fast and still nothing. No National Guard units there. The Red Cross could get there. They can get to any disaster and our own government is sitting on their hands thinking maybe they should send some help. Perhaps not that simple. But that doesn't matter. What matters is all the thousands of people that need our help in their own country. They did not get it. They still have not gotten it.

In Houston, they had a plan in place to use the Astrodome in the event of a similar occurrence in Galveston. Thank God they did! At least some people have been moved to the Astrodome and are finally being treated as they should be. Not just because of their injuries, but because they should expect to be treated with dignity as an American in their own country. They should expect to be safe and taken care of. What is happening in New Orleans shows me that we are such a target for terrorism. We are so behind in rallying the troops. And if you have a gun, you can take over a whole fucking city and loot til your hearts content. Police officers have walked off their jobs. Those left are now protecting their police station instead of protecting and serving their communities. They need help. Where the hell is it? How much longer are people supposed to wait with no food, water, help.....

I am so ashamed of my government right now. This is not a Republican against Democrat problem at the moment. We have the senate and the house and they should have come up with ways to get all of our citizens to safety and the President should have had his people more organized to help out. Did we learn nothing from 9/11? We are vulnerable to a fault. It scares me to death to think of what could happen. It embarrasses me, that other countries can see that we are not as powerful as we say we are. We cannot even help our own people for God's sake!

It seems to me that maybe our government should take a Red Cross course on how to deal with disasters! Thank God for the Red Cross, but even they can only do so much. With all the chaos going on we have heartless gangs who are taking advantage of this situation. They are raping women and using weapons to take over a city? And they are getting away with it so far! WTF? This whole thing is just wrong. I am thankful for all the cities that are taking in all those who lost everything. Putting the kids in school as if things are normal and will again be one day....Well, they will never be the same. As with 9/11, our world has changed, yet again.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

One Flaw in Women

By the time the Lord made woman,

He was into his sixth day of working overtime.

An angel appeared and said,

"Why are you spending so much time on this one?"

And the Lord answered, "Have you seen my spec sheet on her?

She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,

have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable

and able to run on diet coke and leftovers,

have a lap that can hold four children at one time,

have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart

-and she will do everything

with only two hands."

The angel was astounded at the requirements.

"Only two hands!? No way!

And that's just on the standard model?

That's too much work for one day.

Wait until tomorrow to finish."

But I won't," the Lord protested.

"I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.

She already heals herself when she is sick

AND can work 18 hour days."

The angel moved closer and touched the woman.

"But you have made her so soft, Lord."

"She is soft," the Lord agreed,

"but I have also made her tough.

You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."

"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel.

The Lord replied,

"Not only will she be able to think,

she will be able to reason and negotiate."

The angel then noticed something,

and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.

"Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.

I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."

"That's not a leak,"

the Lord corrected,

"that's a tear!"

"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.

The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy,

her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,

her loneliness, her grief and her pride."

The angel was impressed.

"You are a genius, Lord.

You thought of everything!

Woman is truly amazing."

And she is!

Women have strengths that amaze men.

They bear hardships and they carry burdens,

but they hold happiness,

love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.

They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy

and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in.

They stand up to injustice.

They don't take "no" for an answer

when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel

and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about

a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They grieve at the loss of a family member,

yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss

can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you

to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love.

They have compassion and ideals.

They give moral support to their family and friends.

Women have vital things to say and everything to give.



PLEASE remind your women friends and relatives

just how amazing they are!

I JUST DID......

I got this as an email. Only the ending was changed by me. I do believe these words though. And I pass them on to you, my sister friends and other women as well. As a reminder of how strong we are, especially together!