Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I have been bad about blogging for well over two months now. I think about doing it, but never got to it until today. All the shopping done, presents wrapped, cards, well, I still have half to go! I had the best of intentions and bought cards with a photo of the girls. Costco, what a great place, cards are so reasonable there. Upload from home and pick up the next day. LOVE IT. Anyhow, armed with cards and stamps I was ready to get 'er done. I could not find my eighteen year old phone book and it was essential to this task. I had some addresses on my computer address book, but not many. I remembered some addresses from memory after so many years. Others I looked up via google with names or phone numbers and then I was DONE. Of course that is when I found my address book. It was in the "fire" box. Those are boxes we all prepared in case of fire. This one had important papers, etc., ready to grab a moment's notice. Today is another one of those critical fire or red flag days. Winds whipping and stirring up soot from the fires a month or so ago. It is very warm, in the seventies. I know those of you in the snow might prefer the warmer weather, but it's Christmas! I envy you who get a cool or white Christmas.

We did have a lovely morning though and we are all very blessed.

Anyhow, as you can tell, I could go on and on, but I need to get a turkey in the oven. I think of all my blog friends often and really love that some of you still come by when I haven't posted in so long. I will try to make that a priority so I can keep up with you!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everybody. I wish you fun times and memories with your families and friends.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


We all know how things have changed since we were kids, if you are over 30 at least. Kids cannot play outside after dark even in their own neighborhoods without a parent around. Parents walk or drive their kids to school and back or meet the bus. These sorts of things show drastic changes from the days of my youth.

Years ago I refused to use speed calling and still do. I like to remember the numbers. I knew I would lose the ability to recall them if I stopped practicing them. Same thing is happening with GPS. More and more of us have one in our car. We plug in the address and a voice tells us where and when to turn or we can just follow in silence using the map on the dashboard.

When I turned 16, the very day, I got my license. Those days we had driver's ed in school. My daughter turned 16 yesterday and wants to drive too, but she needs to still get her permit and we need to make arrangements with a driving school to teach her. What a pain in the ass for kids today. It should still be a class!

Anyhow, since kids cannot run around like we did, they don't learn their own neighborhoods, let alone the city or county where they live. Part of the fun of learning to drive is discovering new areas. Areas the kids of today will not know how to get back to without their talking maps. I think they should be advised to use no GPS systems until they have been driving for two years so they can establish roots!

A new California law was just signed prohibiting teen drivers from using their cell phones while driving. And that includes talking and texting! We should all abide by that rule.

Happy Sweet Sixteen to my Zoe!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I just read that our country is buying more imported cars than domestic, for the first time ever. I say let's make it cool to buy American made cars again. We can make a difference. Shaming people who buy foreign cars won't be so hard. We did it with smokers, fur owners, SUV owners all for the greater good. Why not do it for our country? Why is it that American cars are for the most part, ugly? Not all, but many models are just matronly looking. Missing some blinds in the back window is all! For the record, I don't smoke any more and haven't for seventeen months. I don't have any furs, once had a sweater with a fur collar that I really liked though. I drive an American SUV. I would like my next car to be an American hybrid. Now, if only there is one I like.

We have hit the one trillion dollar mark for spending for this war. I have nothing nice to say so I won't.

On a lighter note, an old woman in a Camry (foreign!) pulled out in front of me yesterday. She had to be ninety. My first thought, after I honked at her, as did the person behind me, was that she really shouldn't be driving any longer. I honked at her not because she pulled out in front of me, but because she was going zero mph! Seriously. No gas. She was looking at a house under construction as she was going nowhere. There were four unhappy people in cars behind me. The elderly woman rounded the corner and when she could manage the wheel with one hand, she flipped me off!!! I started laughing so damn hard. She could see me laughing too. I didn't flip her off, I just laughed. As we rounded the next corner, she turned onto the first street and honked as if to tell me "Screw You" and I followed her. I was turning as well. I am sure when I turned she thought I was a woman with road rage and maybe she shouldn't have flipped me off. I stopped to drop my daughter off at her friend's and the woman drove on. Still, how funny that this elderly woman flipped me off. I suppose if I am lucky enough to make it to that age, I would do the very same thing.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

New Research About Fat People

As if being fat isn't enough of a self esteem killer, now this. New research says that if you are fat, you will make those around you fat. If you have a fat friend, you are likely to be fat too. Nothing to do with genes this time, no, this is contagious and caught by just being near a fat person!

It is already to the point of making fat people feel worse than they already do. Similar to how our society got the word out about the bad people who smoked. Yes, it is bad for us, so let's shame them into not smoking when we see them. Same thing now with obesity. It really makes me sick to think that nobody plays with the fat kid now. What happens next, the kids say they cannot play with the fat kid because they don't want to catch it? (Say that with a British accent for a little added effect)

Yes, we know what to eat. We know we are supposed to exercise. We know it could be years before we can look like we are supposed to look and that right there is the unbelievably hard part. It is such a daunting task for some that we go back to our old patterns. Some fatties actually have reasons other than they are not eating enough veggies and fruits. Should the lucky thinner people be able to treat us like lepers now that the new research says it is contagious? If we are to be banished to our own island, I already have mine picked out.

Where is the research that says that having thin friends makes chubby people lose weight? Maybe helps them learn how choose the right foods by example? Maybe the thinnies can choose a chubby buddy to exercise with? I would like to see somebody do that kind of research and then come back and announce to the world that being thin is contagious.

Who funds this stuff anyhow? Live and let live damn it!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Driving Lesson, etc.

Yesterday the girls and I did a little shopping, inland. I dropped Katharine off at rehearsal in the canyon on the way back to town. Traffic is a nightmare since the annual festivals opened. Pageant of the Masters too. All right in our little canyon, the main artery in and out of town.

Coming up the hill, I asked Zoe if she would like a driving lesson at an empty parking lot. She was not too keen on the idea, but agreed, I think. We switched seats. I explained the pedals and what they do. Taught her how the steering wheel doesn't need to be touched much to turn. I boast about my car's steering ability often, it is simply the best steering vehicle I have ever had. Turns on a dime, does U-turns better than little cars! Anyhow, Zoe was very brave. She was understandably nervous, being her first time ever. I told her to push the button that moves the brake and gas pedal up and down. She moved it up to be more comfortable. Then it was go time. I had her put it in third to start. She asked how she would know how much to turn the steering wheel to get around the curbed corner. I told her I could not tell her that, she would have to go slowly and get a feel of how it is done. She got the hang of it quickly. She did several laps around the parking lot, turned, straightened out the car, stopped, signaled, parked, backed up, looked for cars coming (humoring me) around corners, the whole nine yards. I figured it was best to get my pet peeves from loser drivers out of the way on the first day. I hate when people don't signal. I am a good driver, we will see how good I am at teaching. When I wanted her to step on the brake, I didn't want to say it, so I made so strange, eeeeeeeeh sound. As if she had decided to stop on her own. In the end, she did great and did stop and go on her own. I suppose it wound not be as daunting if I had a smaller vehicle, but if she can drive my Navigator, she can drive a small car easily. Next, using the gas pedal a little more.

One of the reasons I am teaching Zoe to drive before letting a driving school intervene is simple...My niece was taken the very first day she drove with an instructor, onto a very busy road and then the freaking freeway! Zoe will have some experience before she goes out on the roads. This is beneficial and a must for us and for anybody else on the road. I wish they still had driver training in schools. Nope, now we have to pay for a special school. It would be helpful if she could use the simulators we had back in the seventies. Those were cool. Kind of like the video games of today, I guess. Zoe will be sixteen in September and she does need to learn to drive, but she doesn't have to get her license on her birthday. I did, but I needed a car a lot more than she does at this point. We have a great little bus system here. Up and down the hill, all over town and all for free right now. David took it to work last week and liked it very much. He can do that on days when he stays in town.

The Fourth of July was unspectacular. Instead of watching fireworks from our deck, or from our normal vantage point, where new homes have been erected, we went somewhere new. We ended up on the back field of the middle school Katharine just graduated eighth grade from. We were right on the canyon, watching the goats do weed abatement for us. They leave it looking like Lebanon, but it helps keep the parameter of town in better shape in case of a fire. With less than two inches of rain this past winter, that is a real threat. Anyhow, the goats of all different shapes, sizes and colors were fun to watch until the fireworks began. Then the poor things were scared and huddled together in some trees. The booms echoed throughout the canyon from various locations of colorful explosions in the sky. It was nice for us, scary for the goats and all over in about fifteen minutes. Seemingly fast to us and probably and eternity for the goats. Probably a lot like the first driving lesson for Zoe, from her mother.

Friday, June 22, 2007

School's OUT

Today is the last day of school for my girls. Poor Zoe the tenth grader has two last finals today. That is no way for a last day to end! She has worked very hard this year and I am happy she will not be doing hours of homework every night. High school is different from when I was there. We didn't spend all our time studying and thinking about what we needed to do to get into college. It is insane that they can't just be students and have some fun as well. I hope she has a good summer and does lots of stuff with her friends. I am so proud of the young women she is. She is sooo smart, works super hard and is beautiful inside and out.

Today is also Katharine's last day of eighth grade. She graduates this afternoon and doesn't have to be at school until then. She is still sleeping. It will be a tissue day for sure during graduation. I remember getting all choked up when Zoe graduated eighth grade, and of course I will do the same with Katharine. Difference is this year, all of the girls who have been in Katharine's girl scout troop since first grade will graduate too, among other close friends. It feels like they are "our" girls too. All of the troop moms feel this way. We all look at this group of smart, lovely and talented girls as "ours" and will absolutely need tissue! I am very proud of Katharine too. She is also smart and has energy to burn, especially if it has to do singing or acting! In fact, she begins rehearsals for the next play on Monday.

Cheers to a very happy summer! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Longest Day of the Year

Happy summer. Today is the first day of summer. I always remember this day on the calendar. Thirty-two years ago I was in a horribly run hospital recovering from giving birth to a baby boy the day before. I always remember the date of June 20, 1975, too. It is his birthday. I was fifteen. I remember it all, as if it were yesterday. No meds for the pain because they didn't want to harm the baby who was about twelve pounds. I had no prenatal care. I hid the pregnancy for nine months. I was in a profound sense of denial.

Yesterday I caught part of an Oprah show about a girl who gave birth in her bathroom and then went down to dinner. She did the unthinkable with her baby. She went beyond leaving a baby in a basket. She is in prison for killing her baby. She was scared and hid the pregnancy too. Although, her baby daddy knew too and was the one who disposed of the baby. To most people this is the most unbelievable thing anybody could do. To me, it could have been my reality.

I have sympathy for girls or women who get rid of their babies. I am sure most hope somebody will discover their baby and give him or her a good home. Unfortunately, it doesn't always turn out that way. I know the fear of getting caught being pregnant at such a young age. It was enough to force me to hide my pregnancy until three days before I had him, and then my mother asked me if I was pregnant. I didn't offer up the info. She saved me from being the girl who gave birth in her bedroom and hid the baby or put the baby somewhere so I wouldn't get caught. She saved me from possibly dying during childbirth from blood loss or any number of complications. She saved my baby too. Who knows what I would have done in a couple more days. I was not a terrible person. I was a scared child having a child!

You may wonder how somebody could hide a pregnancy for nine months. You may wonder how my mother or father could not tell I was pregnant. Why my friends didn't know. Why my brothers didn't know. Perhaps my parents were in denial, I don't know. I do know I was excellent at concealing the bump. I wore smocks or sweatshirts. Yes, it was coming up on summer and quite warm, but I managed.

Still, I know the fear these girls face and am thankful for the safe haven laws that let newborns be brought to churches or hospitals, no questions asked. I would like to think I would have chosen this path. I was lucky. Somebody noticed and took action before the birth. I gave my baby boy up for adoption. He turned thirty-two yesterday and I hope he is a happy man with a good life. I hope he has great parents and wonderful childhood memories.

Lying in the hospital the day after having my baby, it was June 21st. I was not in the maternity ward because I was giving my baby up for adoption. I was moved into the general population area. In those days they didn't release you within twelve hours of giving birth. I had to live through the longest day of the year, the first day of summer in the hospital with my family telling everybody I had an appendectomy. Things have changed a lot. I was one of the lucky ones. The hospital is being replaced by a new modern hospital and the old one sits next to it, for now. One day soon, when I pass by, I will not be reminded of that horrible place.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sopranos Finale

When the finale ended tonight, I thought it sucked. After thinking and talking about it, I decided it was an okay ending. Instead of killing everybody David Chase left it up to our imagination.

The family seems to have come out alive. Meadow will become a mouthpiece with a starting salary of $170,000, Carmella and Tony were thrilled. AJ went, hook line and sinker for the entertainment industry and got himself a nice BMW M3 and told his friend how great the gas mileage was. This after he wanted to save the planet. Carm had her house to fix up that she got at an estate sale. Tony survived, or so I imagine. Pauly was fine, not so happy being a skipper again, but walking around fine. Creepy Janice hit up Uncle Jun to get his money. Tony was very emotional seeing Junior not remember anything or anybody.

We got to see Tony take a therapy session about AJ and make it about himself, while Carmella had daggers in her eyes. Makes me think he has a new shrink, if he wants one.

The cat staring at Christopher's photograph and annoying the hell out of Pauly was hilarious. Nine lives, reincarnation of Chris? Who didn't love Anthony and his sarcasm about Pauly seeing the Virgin Mary at the Bing?

I have to admit, the scene in which Phil was shot was pretty funny. Normally I would not laugh as an SUV rolled over somebody's head, but for some reason it was his appropriate comeuppance.

So, I was not upset with the ending. I actually liked it.

Anaheim Ducks

Well, how about that? The Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup. Yes, the ANAHEIM Ducks. No need for the city of Los Angeles to be connected to the title. Amazing. First Disneyland was good enough to be in Anaheim and then the Ducks. So, why the need to put LA into the name of the Angels of Anaheim? More recognition? I think not!

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Sopranos Next to Last Episode

I was disappointed in the Sopranos last night. I was left asking if that was it? It was as if they were using the hour to set up the final bloodbath, I mean episode. It's okay to use the show in that way, of course, but there were so many things out of character, which didn't add up for me.

The Sopranos are portrayed as a strong family. At any given meal or at the Bing, there are plenty of them. I realize some have been killed off, but did the rest leave when Christopher died? Last night, only four or five and all alone. Why was Tony alone without a body guard until the end? They were walking around without taking precautions. They knew before the FBI dude told him, that the hit was on. Why didn't Tony and Bobby get Carm and the kids and creepy Janice and her baby and step kids (God help those kids with Bobby gone) and move them to safety immediately? Why wait until Phil and his family had time to plan? And why did they all go to one location so they can just exterminate them all at once. Only a cockroach can survive that kind of thing. That doesn't seem so smart to me. Plus, the first thing Tony does when he gets to the safe house is go to sleep! No planning? Even Paris Hilton planned her entrance to jail with minimum paparazzi present....

I wonder what supersonic aircraft the Italians took to get to Jersey so quickly. It took us about 17 hours to get to Italy. The beauty of TV. But, this is HBO and this is supposed to be quality programming.

Bobby was alone, buying trains when he knew of the hit? How freaking lame is that? I know his phone was in the car with his coat, so he was not told to shake up his routine. That was a given and I would think if he wasn't thinking about moving his family, the least he could have done, was keep the phone with him as one of Tony's captains.

I thought it abrupt and unnecessary for Dr. Melfi to fire Tony last night too. Are you telling me that she read that he would be worse with talky therapy last night, for the first time in seven years? I think some continuing education would have served her well if that is the case. Good thing she was at that dinner party with all her shrink friends, or she would have never known it was time to fire him.

Maybe she will take him back when the movie comes out. That is of course if Tony survives. At the rate they are going it doesn't look good for him. I heard they filmed three different endings. It has to be tragic, so I would think at least one Soprano has to die. Maybe AJ as he wants to die anyhow. I hope they leave Carmella alone. It could also be Meadow too, cuz she is with her boyfriend as if nobody will know to look there for her. As of last night, did anybody tell her not to go home to get a home cooked meal from Carm? I really hope they are not going to have Tony stay in the room and flashback on the last seven years and then shoot it out. Lots of loose ends left untied. Hopefully we will be rewarded with a well written finale, but at this point, I am skeptical...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I forgot my password!~

It has been so long since my last post that I FORGOT my damn password! That is just crazy. Why have a blog at all if I am not going to post exciting, funny stuff?

Truth be told, (I never use that expression in real life) I haven't blogged lately because I just don't have anything much to say. I am not feeling particularly funny either. I prefer funny posts to the mundane crap of the daily hustle and bustle. But, I have to work with what I've got, or I will forget my password again.

Yesterday, I went to Costco. I don't go as often as I used to for several reasons, but mainly, I don't really need to buy five pounds of muscles. But, I did. David said, "I can't eat this many." Of course he could if he froze some for a later date or ate some today too. Nobody really likes to mess with seafood though. Eat it as soon as it arrives or it is suspect. Once suspect, it will sit in the freezer for a year. But, they were soooo cheap!

I do like buying meat there. Excellent prices for meat that freezes well. And bread. My youngest enjoys the miniature loaves of bread. Six to a bag. I put them in the freezer and she takes one out the night before and has it for breakfast the next morning. Just like it came from the bakery. It is worth the time it takes to freeze things. Much cheaper than the grocery store, especially in this town.

On to vitamins. Holy moly, it takes me forever to choose vitamins. I bought some vitamin E and some fish oil, which I was okay with, because I liked what I bought a few months ago. Some has more omega 3 and some has more fish oil, but the decision was made and I wrote down the name. It saves time and angst. However, it happened again when I needed a new bottle of multivitamins.

If you put the "supplemental facts" next to each other, they are different in quantity of various vitamins. Easy enough right? Not exactly. The bottle I replaced was MEGAVITAMINS. One a Day don't even come close to the numbers of the mega doses. But, do I need 5333% of my daily value in Thiamin? 4706% Riboflavin, 1333% B12? Maybe I do, but I am betting 100% is okay too. So, no more megavitamins for the next few months while I finish the One a Day tablets.

I just realized why they do those frustrating math word problems in school. If a train is going 100 mph and you left the station at 3:00, how long would it take a duck to fly the same distance, with a wounded wing? I just realized those MEGAVITAMINS said to TAKE 2 a day. At least One a Day is obvious....Right?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day 2007

I am very blessed to have two wonderful daughters. Both healthy. Both smart. Both beautiful. Both loving. Both funny. Both sarcastic, one a bit more than the other...They each have very bright futures. I have no doubt they will each become whomever they want to become, unless some loser guy leads them astray! Joking....hopefully.

Everybody is still asleep. I hear the chirping of Tivo downstairs, so I think the hub is up. The girls wanted to make breakfast in bed for me, but I get up at five and they get up around ten. I can eat at the table with them. Just being with them is the best.

I don't know if it's hormones or depression, but these past couple of weeks have been hard on me. I have been letting things build up inside me until I finally exploded the other day. I felt horrible after and went to bed. Had a good cry, apologized for snapping. I felt like the worst mother in the world. I know I am not the best, by any stretch, but I felt horrible. I know mothers are not perfect. We do the best we can and hope they find a good therapist when they grow up. Or sooner, as it is more socially acceptable now days.

It is difficult to let them make their own mistakes when we know what to do. We must let them make their own mistakes though. These are important lessons. Yesterday, while in the car with the girls and a friend, I mentioned that they cannot get away with anything. Their grades and attendance are posted online and checked by the hub often. Not because he is concerned they did anything wrong, but because he is proud and curious. I used to steal the cut notices out of the Saturday mail every week! My parents didn't have a clue. I told the girls it was too bad they cannot get away with anything. They asked why, as they don't want to get in trouble. I told them it is just sort of a right of passage. I learned a lot growing up the way I did. It showed me another side to things. I think it makes me more rounded (no pun here) as a person and especially as a mom.

My mother died eight years ago and I miss her. She died to soon. Alzheimer's. Horrible horrible disease.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful Moms.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

For nothing to say, this is long...

Between not having much to say, nor the inclination to blog on a regular basis these days, my blog is quite boring. I can write about my busy schedule, my family, funny things that happen, silly things that make me laugh, how bad I feel that I don't blog more often, how much I miss going to all the blogs I love for a daily read, what drives me nuts, who drives me crazy, confess to being bipolar opposite and being sad that the days are so long and a hot dry summer is upon us again....See, I just wrote a whole paragraph about nothing!

My mother had this place on her mouth, that when touched, she would get the hiccups. My brother and I knew this and used her less known secret for our own amusement. We would rub it to show our friends and to make ourselves laugh. She didn't mind. She didn't get the hiccups for long. Well, now my daughter thinks it is fun to make me laugh to the point of tears streaming down my face. I can't blame her, they love it when I laugh. Obviously, I don't do it enough, as this seems to be a phenomenon. I love the kind of laughing that is out of control and infectious to all around us. Even if what I said is silly.

We were on the freeway coming back from LA and there was mucho traffico as usual. Bumper to bumper. We were in the car pool lane and still crawling along. The motorcycles weren't though. They ride in an unsafe manner between the lanes and at one point I noticed that not all of them should be doing this...Not for the reason you might think. Of course a car can switch lanes at any time or somebody could open a door and swat the motorcyclist like a fly. But it was this person's ass that got me laughing...I then blurted out, "Yer motorcycle might fit, but your ass duddunt!" It made me crack up. I said it every time a motorcycle went by. Then my daughter repeated it to get me going all over again. It worked, it still works. I spelled duddunt for her too. DUDD-UN-T. Not u n, but un. Anyhow, it is probably one of those had to be there things, but that's okay. The laughing has been cathartic.

We went to the Excellence Awards at the High School and Zoe got Outstanding Student in Honors World History and fitness. She really has no childhood. She spends all her time in school, doing homework and lately she has taken some practice tests for the SAT. These are set up by college board and are very much like the real thing. She took one yesterday for literature and said it was easy. Listen to her schedule next year, as a Junior, she will be taking Spanish 2, Honors Pre-Calc, Physics, AP English, US History, Mock Trial and Journalism. I asked her why she is doing Journalism again, after not enjoying it this year, and she said, because she doesn't want the paper to die. Nobody will be back next year and it will be a new teacher. She will be senior student on the paper next year. I did mention that the paper had been published for seventy years, but she wants to make sure it keeps going. Admirable, I think. What a great young women. I am very proud of her.

Katharine got to miss school on Friday for a film shoot. It was all fun. We left the house before six a.m. to get there on time. She really loves this stuff. Who can blame her? The crew asks repeatedly if she wants anything and then they say it's a wrap and all the crew applauds. It really could give anybody the acting bug...except me.

Happy Sunday....

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I am very depressed because of the shootings at VTech. I didn't know anybody there. I don't know anybody who knows anybody, that I know of. I believe I watched too much coverage the first two days and it knocked the wind out of me. I remember people telling me they felt this way after Columbine. I understand better now. It is especially hard now that the media is playing the videos of this mad man. I will not watch any more of his rants. I wished him dead after listening to him. He is already dead. I wish everybody with the amount of hate this man had, would all go away and take their troubled minds and souls with them and let the rest of us be. Don't take us with you when you go. You are dead. There is no glory in having your name repeated over and over on the news. We tune you out, apparently just like we did while you were alive, at least in your own head. If you feel the need to be on the news, climb a tree and rescue a cat. Have a friend video tape it and put it on youtube or myspace. On a slow news day, you are sure to get picked up.

My heart goes out to all the families and friends of the victims, and those of us who grieve from the residual effects of this despicable act. It also goes out to the rest of us who worry about our children going off into this crazy world. And I do mean crazy.

Love and Peace. How hard is that?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Over Commercialized Religious Holidaze

I received an email this morning from an online shopping site that said, "We miss you." I thought, sheesh if they miss me, it has been way too long since my last post! This is me, making the time to write about nothing really.

The stores have had Easter candy out since Valentine's Day. The Valentine's Day candy was the day after Christmas. It is all too commercialized. At least prepackaged egg dye is cheap. Even teenagers still want to dye eggs. Have you dyed your eggs today or have you had a nice chunk of Gefilte fish with some matza? All on sale this time of year, of course, so enjoy.

We are all fine. Girls are excited that next week is Spring Break. Who wouldn't be? Remembering that "ski week" was only two months ago, it seems to me they get a whole lot more time off than I did as a kid. However, they get much more homework than I did. The amount of homework astonishes me. The class is not long enough, so they send home what doesn't get done? Or is the class long enough and not being managed properly? Other classes watch films on days they have substitutes. Why don't the students just do a study hall for that period? Even better, why doesn't the teacher have a class plan so the substitute can follow it? How hard is that?

These kids are much more stressed than I was at their age. Eighth grade GATE classes don't seem so tough. Homework load seems pretty light actually. Tenth grade honors classes are much tougher. Then there is all the stress of what college to choose and what to do to get in one. We are being besieged college paraphernalia. Some are from colleges we have never heard of. Being a sophomore, we still have time to choose, but not much. It really screws up being a kid to have to deal with all this instead of just enjoying their high school years. Sucks really.

Anyhow, happy spring break to everybody and safe travels for all who get to go somewhere for vacation. Hopefully, none were on a cruise ship in Greece. We are staying put this year. Happy Passover and/or Easter too.

Monday, March 19, 2007

True Confessions????

Does anybody believe any of these confessions that are so plentiful right now? The latest being a detainee at Gitmo who confessed to plotting the bombings of the USS Cole and two embassies in Africa. Everything tied up into a nice little package complete with a bow. I sure wish I believed it!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Looking on the Bright Side

I am looking out the window and the first bird I see is a Woodpecker. It is climbing up a Northern Pine. What a nice way to start the day.

Yesterday was different. The school called to say that my daughter's friend had lice and they were going to check my daughter next. Then came the call back and not the kind we wanted. My eighth grader had lice. I thought we'd missed that bullet, but we didn't. I picked my humiliated daughter up and took her to the pharmacy. I love our hometown pharmacy. One of the older women who works there is a hoot. She told me all her kids had it and it happens everywhere, even our little chi chi (SP?) town. I suppose that could be the bright side. Why would I think it couldn't happen here? Afterall, it has been in the schools year after year.

I called the number on the box of Rid because I had a question. The directions say to put on shampoo dry, then lather and shampoo. I wanted to know if that meant with the shampoo I had already used or a nice 2006 Paul Mitchell shampoo. It turns out either is fine. Great. I sent her to the shower to just wash with the shampoo already in her hair. I did get lots of tips from the helpful woman at Rid. Since my daughter has long hair, and lots of it, it would probably take 6 to 8 hours to comb out. I have to admit, my jaw did hit the floor. Not much can make that happen.

Another tip was to section all of her hair and make about 20 braids. Then comb through each section, rebraid and keep away from the other braids. I thought it was a clever idea. We did so and it took us a goof FIVE hours to comb out her hair. Back to the shower for another wash, this time with a very nice 2007 Pantene and conditioner. Meanwhile, in lieu of burning all the bedding, clothing, pillows and stuffed animals, everything had to be washed on hot. The lady at Rid told me that all the stuffed toys could be put in the dryer to kill the lice. I asked if the heat kills that creepy little buggers, why can't we just use the blowdryer on her hair. Apparently it needs to be 130 degrees to kill them. I suppose that is a little warm for a tender head...

Anyhow, it was quite a bonding experience. That's the bright side! Lots of time together! Her friend asked my daughter if she wanted to have a lice playdate....I thought that was funny. So far, it seems contained with just her. She had her hair cut last week and there was no sign of the little critters, so we think it was a recent infestation. How gross is that???

Monday, February 26, 2007

Anniversary, Cleaning and the Academy Awards

This is a biggie. I just celebrated my ONE YEAR anniversary of no smoking. Actually it was on the 18th of Feb. So another week has been added. I am so happy I don't smoke anymore. I do feel as if I have been a bit depressed but unaware of it. I have wanted to do nothing as far as cleaning or organizing. Yes, I am getting flylady daily and I delete them after I get too many.

I am beginning to se signs of Spring though. Cleaned a storage closet in the garage with the girls yesterday. That was all I wanted to do and it took the three of us an hour. Today, I cleaned out three junk drawers! I found a necklace I have been looking for, among other things. I have a long way to go. One cabinet and drawer at a time. It will take a long time, but it feels good.

I enjoyed the Academy Awards last night. I would have liked to see more Ellen though. She is so funny. I was happy Alan Arkin won. I love surprises. I get bored with shows where the expected happens. I was happy with the outcome of last night's show though. I am over the awards for now though. It is time to give it a rest finally!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Kids and Cell Phones

When we got Katharine a phone four years ago, at the age of ten, it was still a big deal. I think only one of her other friends had one. Some of the mothers were probably thinking what a nightmare it was going to be until their daughters got one. I know first hand how some of the mothers felt. They thought their kid was too young, they would loose the phone or it would cost too much. But, since then things have become more commonplace. Every child we know has a phone now. There are family plans to add a person for a mere ten bucks. For the record, Katharine never lost her phone. Also for the record, not all kids want one. Zoe still didn't want one last year as a freshman. We pushed for her to have one when her schedule warranted phone calls for rides home. She still only turns it on when she calls me to come get her.

Yesterday, I was watching my video iPod while waiting for Katharine at her voice lesson. I sat in my warm car with the window down. I half watched and listened to three seven or eight year olds playing basketball, while watching a free download of the Top Designer. The boys reminded me of my childhood. Living on a cul-de-sac, where less cars traveled, making it somewhat safe. Carefree, teasing each other, just being boys. I was half expecting a shout from a sister or a mom telling one of them it was time to set the table, wash their hands or that dinner was ready. That never happened though. At least not the old fashioned way, with a nice belt from the diaphragm, or a screech from a put upon sister. It came in the form of one little boy getting a phone call. He told his friends he had to go home for dinner. He walked about sixty feet into his front door. Another boy was going home too and the remaining boy said dramatically, his life was over. He was joking, but he did tell mention that he was bored. I guess he just went in to his video games.

So, a seven year old has a cell phone. His mother calls him without looking out the window to actually see the boy. I don't suppose this is much different from when I am calling Katharine and she doesn't hear me. If I text her or call her cell though, I can get through. My how times have changed!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Last on the Agenda

Want to get screwed? Be last on the agenda!

Last week there was a city council meeting that went on and on. David was not supposed to be up until the very last item on the agenda. He was representing a client.

Just to be honest, I would of course want his client to win. However, this really has nothing to do with that. This has to do with a very tired city council, who just wanted the meeting to be over so they could just go home!

I had listened to several items on the agenda. I do this from time to time, to find out what is going on in town or not. I listen because I need a good laugh. I listen because I love to see how the rich or powerful get their own set of brand new rules. I listen to see how the little guy can't get a five foot deck added to his house, yet a McMansion can be built into the side of a hill after it was said we were done allowing McMansion's in town. Often times the council listens to DRB (design review board) issues because they are in dispute. And in case you forgot, one of those in the DBR is Jan Brady.....Seriously, I mean Eve Plumb, a la Brady Bunch fame.

After listening to issues and both sides, the council would debate and come to a conclusion. This went on all night. By the time the last issue was addressed, the council listened to both sides again. What happened next, is what pisses me off. One of the members said, "Oh we have heard this issue before. I agree with DRB." Motion made and passes, without discussion. Meeting adjourned until next week. Somebody calls out from the audience and the mayor says, "You will have to bring that up next week, we have been her seven hours!" So, basically, if you want to be heard by the city council, don't let them put you last on the agenda to be heard at 11:30 PM.

I am not sure if the guy should have gotten the city council to review the issue, but it seems to me, that their minds were made up long before the issue came up. Probably while doing their homework. Why then, do they even have the item on the agenda? From what I heard during the arguments, one lady was not allowing her neighbor's work to be done due to the principal of the thing. He had a plan and now he wanted to add more. (In my book, that is what additions or improvements are for!) That turned out to be the bottom line. They listened to her, somebody who's house is basically a rental anyhow. They did say they were going to move back to town and inhabit that house though. All the while, the other person, doesn't get to do what he wanted to do, even though, his architect did everything to appease the woman and he had neighbors in favor of what he was going to do, saying it would not impact that woman's life at all. It came down to two things, the principle of the thing and the fact that the city council members were tired. This is not fair. They should have continued the item if they were to freaking tired. If they were going to deny it, they really should have said why, other than, they had heard it before and it was late. They missed a chance to show that compromise does work, even if they would have had to force it!

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Today is our 17th wedding anniversary. No gifts. Money back into the business, which is fine since I am still not over the craziness of shopping and spending at Christmas...Anyhow, a real marriage works like this....I am so tired from listening to the three girl sleepover til three AM...Would you mind going to Costco for me? That is where he is now. Frankly it is cheaper to send him for a few things we need, than sending me, who would find other things we would need. Isn't that sweet?

I am sure I mentioned how we met and married on a year ago post, so I won't go there. I am just happy to have had my husband in my life for the last 17 years and want to say, Happy Anniversary and I love you!

Blogger says it is scheduled outage time....Gotta run!

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Perfume is Very Irresistible

I just changed over to the new blogger thing and couldn't get back on after I posted and left a couple of comments yesterday. Not a good start eh?

Anyhow, running out to pick up one of the girls, so this will be brief.

The perfume I was wearing the other day and am currently enjoying very much is Givenchy's Very Irresistible. I actually had to go look at the bottle. I told somebody the other day it was De-Lovely. Lovely is from Sarah Jessica Parker and I like it very much. But it was the wrong name of course. I don't know where De-Lovely came from. I also thought this perfume was Liv Tyler's, but I think she is just the model...I dunno, but I do think it smells yummy....

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


You know how you apply perfume or cologne and think how strong it is? I do this and I know that the smell will grow faint in time, to where only I can "really" smell it. Then I'll get the compliment from somebody about my perfume. Or the question asking what I am wearing. Of course this brings up the question of whether I am wearing too much or not. I put it on this morning and even I can barely smell it after a couple of hours.

Today at lunch, the waitress came over and asked which of us (three) were wearing the delicious smelling perfume. She literally smelled all of our necks and then couldn't figure out who was omitting the scent. She tried two other tables full of women, finally said it was stronger at out table. I told my friends jokingly, it was me, to which one replied, "It probably is, you always smell good." Again, I wonder if I am over doing it and nobody has told me. I know how awful it is to be around somebody who is overwhelming the air we breath with their scent. I don't want to be that person. On the other hand, I am a lot like the waitress when I smell something I love. I want the name and I cannot wait to wear it.

Well, it turned out to be me. She asked to smell my wrist and that was the scent she had to know the name of. She came from across the room and asked which of us smelled so good. That meant it had to be strong right? Not good, especially when people are trying to taste their food and not my perfume!

We did have a nice lunch. One friend, P, had her birthday the first part of December. We have tried to get together for her birthday lunch since then. Our other friend A and I gave P her birthday gifts over the holidays, but P refused to open them until her birthday lunch. She said otherwise we wouldn't have gotten together and she is probably right. I told her when she opened her gift that I had forgotten what I gave her. Plus, she brought her gifts to open. It was pretty funny.

It was a different sight to see so many people with sweaters and scarves on coming in and get a table near the fire at the restaurant. We have had some cold weather this winter with less than a couple inches of rain, until last night. We got about an inch. Still, we are way behind where we should be. Every storm seems to stop north of LA county and we are south of LA. Holding out hope for some more precipitation before winter goes away. I have been wanting sweater weather and it is truly here for us Californians. Most would laugh at this being only 52 degrees. But, that's okay, it was such a beautiful cold day. At one point during lunch I asked my friends to look out a window at the picturesque view. Relentless fall colored leaves still hanging on the trees, wet from the rain, with a mix of dark clouds and blue sky in the background. So striking. It is lovely to stop and smell the roses, but it is breathtaking to gaze at such beauty and remind ourselves how lucky we are to live where we do.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Spell check

So, I was writing a note the to the PE couch so Katharine didn't have to run the mile on Friday. She stubbed her toe and then reopened the injury with the corner of a door...Ouch.

I write the note and immediately question the spelling of one word that I wrote. No spell check in sight, I go to the computer and click dictionary. Check the word and it is correct, but while I am there, I decide to check a couple more just in case. Second guessing my spelling is something I rarely did before spell check, because I have always been a good speller and had confidence.

I have never gotten into using speed dial due to the trap I am now in with spelling. I wanted to remember the numbers and I was proud of the quantity of numbers I could store in my brain, for most of my life for some numbers. I didn't want to lose the ability by using speed dial.

Here I am, do I stop using spell check so I remember how words are spelled and make myself think? I actually do the best I can with spelling still and think I do a pretty good job as I always have, but with that little click of the button so easily accessible, I will double check my spelling every time. Except when I am handwriting something.

Now calculators are a completely different story. I would die without one of those! They have made doing math by hand, obsolete. Sad really, but then, I never thought I would need all the crap I learned in high school!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


When I was a girl we spent two weeks of our summer vacation going to and from Oklahoma. The drive there was not so bad. Two of my brothers, my parents and I, would be excited to get in the car and drive away from Longworth Ave. We would take two days to reach our destination. It was always sweltering and we often had a broken a/c in the car, one year after the next. We would stop at a motel, always Best Western's with a pool. We stayed in that pool until we were literally dragged out. My father would get us up at 2am or 3am to hit the road. We were used to this kind of behavior, because it was a normal thing for him to do when we were going fishing or if it was Christmas morning and we out slept him...In this case, it was more to do with the heat. We drove all day and about 3pm we got to stop at another motel with a pool. Heading to Oklahoma or heading back to Longworth Ave., this was the routine.

Our destination was Bob's house. Really a farm or ranch. Mostly horses raised and hay grown. We called Bob, Uncle Bob. He was not our uncle, he was my dad's first cousin. All my life, he was my second cousin. His kids were my third cousins, and so on. At least until I met David and he told me that Bob was really my first cousin once removed. UGH...I will never get that. This really threw a wrench in things because it seemed half of Oklahoma and I were related. My father had a huge family. His grandparents had huge families. You get the picture.

When my dad's mother died, when he was five, he was left with his siblings to be raised by his father. My father was the youngest of the lot. Around the time his mother died he lost a sister as well, both of them to TB. My grandfather's mother in law swooped down and tried to get them all in the car so she could take them to an orphanage. My grandfather didn't let that happen. It was tough, there are hundreds of stories that I would love to tell you some time, but for now, I will just tell you of about my dad and Bob.

Bob's mother was the worlds best cook according to the masses. Aunt Dewey and her sisters were instrumental in helping feed my father and his siblings and keeping them together. My dad and Bob were the same age and like brothers. They all lived very close by each other. Bob was always there for my dad, not matter what trouble he got in. And he got in plenty. For the longest time, being cute and the youngest got him out of a lot of situations, I have been told. In later years, it was Bob who helped get him out of scrapes.

Years later, it was no wonder that Bob's would be the top spot for our yearly vacations. We would arrive to the warmest of welcomes and sun tea. Bob's wife Jeri was the second best cook in the world from what I was told. At least until Aunt Dewey died and Jeri was given the tiara. Jeri and Bob married very young. Around 15 I believe Jeri was, when they wed. She learned everything she knew from her mama and from mama Dewey. She was a good match for Bob, who pretended to be all gruff and grumpy much of the time. He wasn't though. He was loving and he listened.

Bob and Jeri had a big spread. Ponds where we could fish was just icing on the cake. We could go on the horses with help because we were not used to horses from where we came from, but I was used to fishing. We would catch plenty of fish and then Jeri would fry them up along side fried potatoes and biscuits, always from scratch. Other days it was okra we would cook up. Fried okra. I remember picking it from their garden and it tasted better than ever.

Bob would sit on the porch and tell us stories. He was quick witted and dry, with a quiet and unsuspecting delivery. With that Oklahoman twang to boot. He could bring us to tears from laughing so hard. He told me I would get warts from handling the frogs that came out every night. It slowed me down, but didn't deter me from catching the little critters with my brothers and cousins. One time we were fishing on Lake Texoma or actually in a river near there. I remember him telling his night crawler to get on the hook. I did the same thing. I said, "Get on the hook, you little bastard." I got spanked and Bob told my father that I was just copying him. Still, I was told not to use that word. We loved going back there and seeing Bob when were young. Sometimes we would see other relatives near Bob and other times we would go to a lake and have family reunions while camping.

Years later, after my father died, we went to Bob's a couple of times. I took my family and my brothers went too. Then my mother died and again we went to Bob and Jeri's, only this time we brought the ashes of both my folks with us. We were getting ready for our kids to spread the ashes and another cousin, Bob's age, and his wife were there. They are very religious and were appalled by what we were doing. I told Bob I felt uncomfortable and he said, "Well, Nancy, by God if they don't like it, they can leave!" He knew that it was my father's desire to have his ashes spread around Bob and Jeri's pond. We then let the kids spread the ashes of my folks around the pond. It was very memorable.

We went back to visit and spent a lot of time swatting flies and drinking beer. It was a vacation after all. It was way too hot to fish. Bob would sit with us and share stories about growing up with my dad, among other things. The music he heard would make him tear up at times. My father and his whole family were musicians and Bob's were not, but they were around the constant music and he had many fond memories. My youngest brother plays and my other two brothers like to sing and that is what we did.

There was a very destructive tornado very near Bob's one night. It leveled a whole town. Bob, around 70, got on one of his tractors and drove over there and dove right in, helping move debris from the roads so emergency vehicles could get through. He spent days and days helping. He also did something he had never done in all his years of living on the property. He dug a hole in the ground and put a railway car in there. It was well stocked and he was ready for the next tornado that came through. Helping at the nearby town finally convinced him of the damage tornadoes cause.

When my father found out he had cancer and only a couple months to live, he put my folks home on the market and sold it. He had originally wanted to move to Oklahoma, but my mother wouldn't move that far from us. She was okay with Bakersfield which is about an hour and a half north of LA, or two hours depending on who's driving. Anyhow, they sold the house and Bob and his brother Pete came from OK with a horse trailer and filled it up with everything my folks owned and off to Oklahoma they went. Bob and Jeri hosted my parents (did I mention my mother had advanced Alzheimer's at the time?) until one day Jeri called me and told me my dad needed to come back here and go to a hospital. Bob came out for the funeral and said he would never come back to California again. No need. We could go see him. I had never seen him so sad.

About two years ago, their youngest son died. Jeri died a month later. Bob and Jeri had put up a barrel racing arena on their property for the whole town to use. Jeri, who was in her seventies, still barrel raced weekly. She was doing it one night and her horse had a heart attack and fell on her, killing her instantly. Bob knew she was gone. He sat down on the horse and lit a cigarette. Jeri died doing what she loved.

Jeri always took care of Bob. After she died he didn't use her kitchen once. A few months ago, my youngest brother went to stay with Bob for a while and did his best to cook Jeri's food. Bob was the happiest he had been since Jeri died. Everybody was happy to see him come alive again. This went on for weeks and my brother and Bob adored spending time together. It was probably a lot like it was when my dad was at his side when they were young. It was good for Bob. My brother moved up to Kansas to live near my other brother and left Bob. It was time, Bob never used that kitchen again though. Not long after my brother left, some other cousins came to stay with him while having their home renovated. This was in November, they are still there. Still, the kitchen remains unused.

Friday night there was a voice on my machine, I hadn't heard in years. It was my dad and Bob's cousin Ruth from Bakersfield. She and her husband were a God send to my parents. They were beyond helpful and loving. Anyhow, I heard her voice and knew something was terribly wrong, but who else in Bakersfield was I close to anymore? (Her brother and family are the one's still at Bob's) She told me that Bob had passed away and had not been feeling well, but refused to go to the doctor. His daughter finally came to over to force him to go to the hospital. He had a heart attack and died in ICU. As devastating as this news was to me, after a really good cry, I realized he is together again with his beloved Jeri and my dad. At least I hope so. I will miss Bob very much and am grateful that he was in my life.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I like the sound of 2007. I think it will be a good year. So far what I remember most is that we have had very little rain and every couple of days we have cold Santa Ana winds! Boring. I want winter. Our lower yard is a good twenty five feet from our upper deck. We had winds so crazy last week that one of the umbrellas went from the top deck to the lower yard like an arrow. It is still upside down in the grass down below. I did put the other two up a couple days ago, but last night, it felt like they were going to take flight again. Down they came. This time they are laying down. Last week when the umbrella that went to the yard below, it was also down, however not laying down. I am not sure how much time one can get for using an umbrella for a weapon, but I don't want to know. And knowing how I feel about creepy neighbor guy would not help my case!

Isn't is amazing how we think our houses are cluttered and then we take out the tree and decorations and it looks huge? I love that! I had to get the tree out two days after Christmas because it was so dry. In fact I got all the decorations and the tree out of the house, vacuumed too and not one child came upstairs. Zoe was sad to see the tree gone. Katharine was a bit sad too. I just wondered if anybody would notice. We gave away two cats to a place that keeps them til they are adopted, years ago. The kids didn't notice for weeks.

I cut off the top part of the tree and stuck it in green waste and the bottom went to the city where they have huge bins. We let them take the stand off the bottom. I am telling you, this was one of the prettiest trees we have had in years. Of course, it was real and the past five or so years we have used the fake one. But the fake trees are easier. No needles all over the place. No fire worries from the dry tree. Still, I think I would do it again. We used colored icicle lights that were on the house last year, for the tree. It was the best kept secret in town. There are three times the number of lights as a regular strand and the pieces that come down as icicles are great because you may push them into the middle of the tree. The results were stunning and gorgeous. So much color. I think I would even put it on a fake tree if I go that route next year. Seriously, next year, remember to use icicle lights for your tree, you will be pleased.

School's back in session tomorrow. The girls are sad, of course. Vacation went fast. As I told them, they only have seven or so weeks before they get another week off for ski week. Then they get a week for spring break and then it's June. Vacation did go fast though. David worked though. He works so hard. He did get some time off though.

I am not doing the resolution thing again. I don't play that game. I did quit smoking last year and it has been almost 11 months. I didn't resolve to do it. It was something I had to be ready to do and I did it. Period. Now I would like to lose weight this year, but I am not making a resolution to do so. I think instead of being an incentive, it is a hindrance and puts too much pressure on me if I don't make it. Better to do things when I can, if I feel I can. No need to beat myself up about it by starting a perfectly good year with a list of things to do. I know what's on the list already, no need to publicize it!

Happy 2007!