Friday, January 29, 2010

Woke Up This Morning - Alabama 3 - The Sopranos

Ha.  I woke up fairly early.  DH was already off doing his work day.  I took my time, made a pot of coffee, lazed around watching the Sopranos.  I miss that show.  I never did see the entire series.  We came into it two seasons from the end.  I think I may hulu it from the start and work my way to the end.

Yesterday was nuts.  My work day was fine.  But the mechanic had promised to have my car ready by 3:00... so I could make the drive in daylight.  It wasn't ready.  When I got there, he was just leaving to go get the four inches of replacement hose.  Sheesh.  I was not going to walk home.  I was not happy at the delay.

I am not a very patient person when I really want something.  So, in the interest of not allowing my car repair to continue into the following day, I sat myself on a bench across the street from the mechanic in full view.  Yesterday was windy.
I was dressed... according to Jeff Foxworthy in the garb of an Oregonian... meaning wearing shorts despite the weather... and my little light weight hoodie.  My bags were next to my feet.  A little guilt to motivate seemed required.  But then again, maybe its because I can be a real brat when I don't get my way.

He did not finish until 5:09 as it began to get dark.  In my head I am doing calculations on my arrival time.  DH was expecting me to leave around 3:00ish.  Max had shown up to sit with me and to get a ride home when the car was done.  As we were gassing up, X showed up and began asking questions about the car repair.  My brain is thinking that all I want to do is get on the road.

Finally I let Max out and started for the freeway.  Oregon recently passed a law that says you cannot use a cell phone while driving.  I should have thought to take the time to call DH and let him know that I would be two and a half hours late.  When I picked my cell phone out of my purse once I was on the freeway, I remembered the new law.  Crap!  Too late.  I was not pulling off the freeway and adding even more time on at that point.  Once you get to the metro area I have to pass through, traffic gets tight.

I am a person who believes in letting people know that you will be late.  X used to drive me nuts with not bothering.  Its rude.  People worry.  

Traffic was also crazy.  It was steady but not too bad if the nuts had stayed home.  You know the type of drivers I mean... the truck going 58 MPH passing the truck going 57 MPH that block both lanes forever.  The guy who gets into the passing lane and sits there going exactly the speed limit, backing up cars behind him like a mother duck with ducklings.  The guy who passes you, gets in front of you and then slows down to a speed below yours.

But I made it.  The car ran well.  DH was waiting and though getting concerned, was not angry.  He had not called me because of the no cell phone law too.  There was a nice drink and a bit later some soup.  All I had to do was walk in the door and the tension of my day melted away.  Good stuffs!

I won't be posting this weekend after this.  I'll be back on Monday morning... or maybe Sunday evening if the mood strikes me after my return drive home.  It depends.  Big grins!

So what are all of you plannning on doing with your weekend?  I hope whatever you do, you are doing it with someone you care about and enjoy every second.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Cool beans.

What an interesting and somewhat exhausting week.  As it turned out I did not get to meet with my favorite frog.  He was three quarters of the way up and into my state, when he got called into work on a new job.  In construction, you have to work when there is work.  I understand that.  So he pulled into a motel to get some sleep before he had to turn around to get back in time for work.

My work week was pretty good. I didn't damage any children this week.  No one cried.  We had a sub one day in Special Ed... and that makes the kids go bonkers.  But the sub was happy to let them and even joined in a bit.

One of the coolest things about my job is when a student has an ah-ha moment.  Today one of the kids that I am helping to learn how to print clicked on how to write a "g".  He got so excited that he was jumping up and down saying "I did it!"  over and over.  We let him and everyone clapped.  Remember when drawing a "g" right could make your day?

I have been making plans with DH to go there for the weekend.  Last night he asked me when I'd come down.  I said Friday after school.  Then as a joke I said unless I have a day off... I did not think so, but I'd check.  It turned out that I don't work on Friday.  So I'm off tomorrow as soon as school gets out and heading south.  The weather is even cooperating this trip.  I haven't been there since New Years.  Almost a month.  Sanctuary is sounding great to me.

So tonight was a cookie baking marathon.  I find that I cannot bake DH cookies and not make some for the boy-os.  They protest loudly now that they know I can make cookies.  The last batch of macaroons is in the oven as I type. 

Squeaky is mad about the oatmeal cookies.  I simply did not have enough time to bake all six dozen.  Their half went into the fridge as dough.  They can bake them.  Besides, I made Squeaky's shish-ka-bobs and pilaf for diner. I shopped for all their favorite foods and snackers earlier.  They will not starve or want.

I have to wait for the dryer to finish before I can complete my packing.  I am always afraid that I will forget something... here and there.  I ususally take too much stuff too.

DH will work on Friday, so I'll have the run of his home to myself.  I enjoy that. I'll probably go out for a walk if it does not rain there.  I can get some writing done that I have not had time to do.  Maybe a long hot soak in the tub free from phones and kids.  We have the same taste in music, so I have tons of that there too and a great sound system.  It really is like a vacation for me when I go there.

I still have stuff to do yet.  I'd like to say that I am usually more organized than this... but I'm not.  My plans tend to be thwarted by my brood.  Squeaky's clothes were in the washer when I went to do mine.  Things like that happen.  But I am excited and won't sleep worth a darn anyway.

I will not post tomorrow.  I want to spend the evening with DH.  But look for one by about 10:00 AM on Friday.

Hey does anyone else have yahoo?  My mail has been freaking out.  I keep getting delayed emails.  I just got one that DH sent last Monday.  How weird is that?  Does anyone know how to fix it?  Is it my mail or is it his computer?  I don't know.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Sometimes I am too nice.  Its been a problem over the years.  The truth is that I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings and I do like to help when I can.  Goodness knows that I have been helped enough times in my life that payback of some sort is due.  But there have been times when helping has turned sour.

There was a young single mom who lived across the fence from me in a nearly identical apartment building to my own.  We stared into each other’s window.  She had a boy who was Boo’s age at the time… 6.  The Bear was bran spanking new.  It was not uncommon for the moms in our complexes to trade babysitting time.  So when this woman came to me and asked me to watch her son so that she could apply for a job, I said certainly I would.

X was out of town for three weeks on a job several hours away.  We did not have a phone at the time, nor did I have a car while he was gone.  Not a big deal.  We were just a few blocks from the market and anything else I thought I might need.  In a pinch I could walk to the phone booth at the corner and call one of my relatives or friends if something went wrong.

The day arrived that I was supposed to watch Slick, as the boy was called.  The mom showed up, looking very nervous.  Interview jitters, I thought and waved her off.  Slick slipped past me to sit on the floor next to Boo and was lost in the world of Ninja Turtles.
Bear slept soundly in her bassinette. When I turned around, Slick was still in his coat, with a big scarf wrapped around his head and neck that would have made Dr. Who envious.  This was in Fresno, where we might have had a bit of fog that morning, but it was no where close to freezing or even particularly cold.

“Slick, why don’t you take those off… you must be overheating.”

The boy shook his head and did not say a word.  Slick was a normally quiet boy.  I turned my attention to the dishes.  After a time, he was still sitting there all bundled up.  I walked over and tugged at his coat.  He allowed me to remove it, but when I tried to unwind the scarf, he held on tight.  Odd.  I insisted, my mom senses were tingling.  Slick looked up at me with very sad eyes.

“Did your mom tell you not to take the scarf off?”  I asked as casually as possible, not to let my anger show.  It was unlikely this boy’s fault.  He nodded.  His cheeks were so swollen that they vanished down his neck into his shirt.  I knew from past experience what caused that… mumps.  There was not a darned thing that I could do about it.  I felt his feverish head.  I made him stand on the scale and gave him the appropriate dose of children’s fever reducer, then made him comfortable on the sofa.

None of my children ever had the mumps.  They had all been religiously vaccinated.  I was not worried for them.  I was worried for myself.  I’d never had the mumps, but my brother had.  When Slick’s mother returned, I complained.  She said, well she thought he looked funny, but thought it was just a bug.  Who sends a child with a “bug” into the home of a new born?  Someone desperate to get a job, I suppose.  I hoped that I would get lucky and escape. 

For a few weeks it looked as if I had.  Then one of the guys where X worked stopped by to say the job was going over an extra week.  We were getting short on money, but I could stretch things by making bread.  I spent Bear’s afternoon nap making bread for the week.  By the time she woke up, my head was killing me.  By the next morning I looked like I was sporting Jabba the Hut’s head and could not turn my head in either direction.
Feeling ill does not come close to the feeling I had.  Wishing I’d just die and get it over with does. 

X would not be home for at lease four days.  There was no way on earth that I could pack the baby up in the  stroller and head for the pay phone a block away.  I was seriously considering using Bear’s Huggies to keep from having to get off the couch and visit the bathroom.  I thought… surely someone will come by.  Not a soul.  For three days Boo took care of me and his tiny sister.  He mixed formula like a pro, fed and burped her, changed her and all with no complaint.  I did not feel much like eating, but he made and fed me luke warm soup from the microwave… I did not want him to burn himself if it spilled.

The fourth day, a friend showed up.  I had promised to baby sit for their anniversary that evening.  Kathy had come by to make sure it would be alright to drop her sons off a bit early.  She took one look at me and said “Oh my god!”  All I could do was cry, I was so glad to see her because I knew that I could now die and my children would survive.  She spent her anniversary taking care of me and my kids, while her husband babysat their own.  When X returned the next day, I hardly noticed, except for his ranting and raving about how mad he was at Slick’s mom making my head hurt even more.

I tried to thank Kathy before she left, but she insisted that she had been thrilled to be able to play with a girl baby for a few days and waved it off.  The following work week she showed up every morning to take over when X left until I was well enough to take care of my family again.

So sometimes I am too nice.  I get that.  But on the other hand, if I had not been a nice person and traded babysitting with Kathy, who would have shown up to help me?  That is the thing about payback for kindness.  It is not on time, but it is certainly timely when needed.  I guess its not so bad being too nice.  You can argue that I never would have gotten sick if I had said no and you would likely be correct.  But then again, maybe I would have gotten another illness off a shopping cart handle when I rubbed my eyes. You never know when you will need help.  Best to keep that kindness bank full… and always, be thankful.

I bet this guy knows where the best bird feeders are located.

Okay.  Short post... hurried post.  Yesterday was fun.  M got into town about half an hour before I got off work.  I gave him the twenty minute tour.  We had a beer and sat around his room talking.  Then we had a nice diner at a little place across the river.  I went home for the night.  This morning we had breakfast together, then said good bye.  He's off for Nevada by now.  I had a great time. 

When I got home, my oldest son was missing.  The saga began while I was on my date.  Bear called to ask if I had heard from Boo.  He'd had a flat and no one knew where he was.  They could find the car... but no son.  So when I got home from my date, there was a son to be found and much excitement.  So while our keystone kop bunch ran around with their coats flapping in the wind, Boo walked all the way home.
Oh well, at least he found himself.

I think DH's computer has gone insane.  Last night he was sending emails around 10:00 PM that did not arrive until 5:38AM.  You could see the time stamp from when they were sent.  It was like they were suspended somewhere.  Very odd.  

Well there you have it.  My odd mutterings for the day.  I am tuckered out... and I still have to go teach children and pretend to know what I am doing.
Have a great day everybody.

The first thing I am doing when I get off is take a nice long nap.  Do you have any special plans ?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Wow. What a perfect song for this post.  Funny how I got it too.  This morning when I was considering what I wanted to do with today's post, I went brain dead.  So I emailed DH and said... don't think... just tell me the first song that pops into your head.  This was it.

Its funny because I did not know what I was going to write about yet.  I was going to use whatever song he gave me as a prompt. Nor did I look at his email until I knew what I was going to write about. It turned out to be so perfect!
I love it when stuff like that happens.

I know I get wordy and I will try to keep it brief. But I am what I am.

Date one was with a very nice man.  When he arrived... half an hour early, I was just stepping out of the shower.  Max taps on the door and tells me there's an oopaloompa at the door. Max was wrong,he wasn't blue. 

We went to see Extraordinary Measures with Harrison Ford and Brandon Frasier.  It was a good movie... made me cry of course.  Pizza.  Nice drive after.  Bear texted me during the movie to see if I was hacked up and neatly packed in glad bags yet. I made it home in one piece.

Today's date (Sunday) arrived an  hour and a half early.  I am seeing a trend here.  I am an exactly on time person.  X's family can't tell time and are up to two hours late.  Used to drive me bonkers.  This one I told to hold tight, I was no where near ready.

We met for lunch.  The conversation was good.  He was nice,a bit older than me, but not too much.  We talked in the restaurant for a long time.  Then I took him on a tour of the town... which took about 20 minutes because I drove slowly. Then we sat next to his car and talked a lot longer. Sigh.  Sweet man. Owns a lot of property, nice cars and three homes. But I am not looking for sugar toppings.

The problem with dating is me, I think.  I know in my head what I want.  I know when I see someone and talk to them for a bit if it will work for me.  I have settled in the past.  I am too old to settle now.  I know that I am no fantastic glorious pie in the sky catch. I'm also not looking for a perfect person.  I still want the right one.  Better alone than sorry... and I know me.

And so, as the song says... I know what price I am willing or not willing to pay.  Unfortunately, the price this weekend was telling two very nice men that I was not interested.  I hate that part. I feel guilty that they have spent money, time and effort on me. But I owe them the truth.

On the flip side, I expect to be told in person at the time if its not going to work for them too.  I enter this with no expectations, other than to see what there is to see.  I prefer honesty. I am not offended by it.  I do not give my heart away easily anymore.  I learned that lesson a long, long time ago... and tried for too many years to make the best of a unwise situation.

The first one listened to me, then said "Well can we at least go out some more?  Maybe you'll change your mind."  I had to say no.  But he took it fairly well. I slept okay.

The second one did not.  He looked offended, sounded offended and left in a huff.  I feel like scum!  Crap.  But there's the price.  I cannot please anyone until I can please myself on this issue.  That may be cold, I don't know.  I tell myself that it would only become harder to do and more awful if they are allowed time to get invested. I am not pulting either of them.  It just didn't work out... time for them to find a new pond. So it goes.  Two less frogs.

There you have it.  I'm still motoring.  Meanwhile... train two has left the station.  It sounds like he may land stop here by mid-week.  I'm really looking forward to this meeting.  One way or another it will end well... we are already friends anyway if nothing more happens and that is fine with me.
Like I said, it has to be right on both ends.

The only thing that can really go wrong is if the two trains collide and arrive at the same time.  Cross your fingers. I'm not even going to think about what happens beyond that.  There is no point until you know.

What did you do with your weekend?

(BTW... this is Monday's post.)

Thanks to some wise words from DH... I will be alright tonight. Big grins!

Live Wishes Bootleg, Los Angeles 1986. From the 7 Wishes Tour.

Kelly Keagy
Jack Blades
Jeff Watson
Brad Gillis
Alan Fitzgerald

Both teams did a heck of a job playing.  Best game I have seen all season. Vikings played well and it could have gone either way.  My hat is tipped to both.
I was rooting for the Vikings, but I am not dissipointed in the Vikings playing. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I don't normally do this sort of thing.  But I got an email that made an impression on me.
I will paste it in below so that I can share it with all of you.

Please take note:  It does not matter if you are pro-war or anti-war.  These men deserve our respect.  It's not about the war.  Its about pride, honor and service.

So let it also be noted that while I do welcome people's opinions, today I request that no negative comments be made about our military on today's post.  If one is left anyway, it will be immediately deleted.

Red  Shirt
If the red shirt thing is new to you, read below how it went for a man...

 Last  week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together..

 After we boarded our flight, I  turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and  inquired if he was heading home.

 No, he responded.
 Heading out I asked?

 No. I'm escorting a soldier home.

 Going to pick him up?

 No. He is with me right now.  He was killed in Iraq , I'm taking him home to his family.

 The realization of what he  had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that,  although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his death to the  soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days.

 I turned back to him, extended my hand,  and said, Thank you, Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do.

 Upon landing in Chicago the pilot  stopped short of the gate and made the following  announcement over the intercom.

 "Ladies  and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have  had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this  flight He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family. I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to  allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the  seat belt sign."

 Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant  saluting the casket as it was brought off the  plane, and his action made me realize that I am  proud to be an American.

 So here's a  public Thank You to our military Men and Women for what they do so we can live the way we  do.

 Red Fridays.

 Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every  Friday. The reason? Americans who support our  troops used to be called the "silent majority." We are no longer silent, and are voicing our  love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.

 Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of  showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday ...  and continues each and every Friday until the  troops all come home, sending a deafening  message that ... Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red.

 By word of mouth, press, & TV let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming  football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with  acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once  "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

 The first thing a soldier says when  asked "What can we do to make things better for  you?" is. "We need your support and your  prayers." Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear something red every Friday.



One Way Out-The Allman Bros. Band

Here's to angels of all sorts.

What a great day.  I got my car back at long, long last. I cannot tell you how great it feels to drive after dark and be able to use my headlights, wipers and the defroster all at the same time without worry that I will not make it home before the battery gives out.  As far as I am concerned, the mechanic who fixed it is an angel for certain... so thanks Mark.

It was even a good day at work today.  But then, everyone is generally in high spirits on Fridays.  I am writing this on Friday night... late.  The kids were good.  Our special ed teacher was gone for the day and a fun sub was there to take her place.  A few minor confusions, but nothing that anyone needed to get upset about happened.  That is a good day in my opinion.  I didn't make any children cry today.  Instead, they were all angels.

With my own car back, I did not have to play Bullwinkle to Rocket J. Squirrel, who has been very nice to me.  You know there is nothing like independence.  Still... here's to Rocket J. Squirrel, yet another angel of sorts.  My gratitude is in the right place.  Thank you sir! 

Train A has left the depot.  Had a good chat with him before departure.  Train B has yet to depart.  Granted they are going via different routes and each has others to see on their journeys.  I am a stop on the way up or the way down.  Oddly enough both are headed for the same point north as well as departing from the same southern location.  What are the odds of that?  Still with different departures, it's my hope that the time lines will not meet here. What a pickle that would be!  I do not know if they are angels or not.  Right now they are only frogs.
Guess time will tell eh?

So who do you think will end up at the Superbowl?
I don't know much, but would be happy with any combination of The Vikings, The Jets or New Orleans. 
Fun stuffs to look forward to anyway.

Meanwhile, DH abides.  I'll be going there next weekend... and Superbowl weekend for certain. I'm thinking I'd like to make boudin (pronounced boo dan) and dirty rice for the occation.  Ever had either?  I bet at least Cube knows what I am talking about... maybe secret agent woman too.  Good stuffs!

Well you all know what I am up to this weekend and there is no use talking more about it until after the fact.
What are all of you doing to fill your time? 
Happy weekend everybody!  Enjoy! 

Thursday, January 21, 2010



My first date was well... one of those things I'd rather forget, but darn it, it hangs on like a tick.

I grew up part of the boys.  I played hard ball, football (tackle, much to my mother's dismay and my father's mirth), Combat, and a rather violent form of kick the can that involved shoving and tackling.  My neighborhood was predominately Catholic at a time when the rhythm method was the birth control of choice, so there was never a shortage of children.  Unfortunately for me, most of them were boys or older and younger than me if female.  As per the custom in our house, the older sibling was responsible for the younger.  My poor brother, only a year and a half older than me was elected to be my caretaker.  His friends were pretty good sports about it because I was not a cry baby.  I was able to play rough and give as well as get.

This did little to prepare me for dating.  You'd think that I would know how to talk to boys and have nothing at all to fear from them.  But a funny thing happened when my brother went to junior high school and he and his friends discovered girls.  I was dropped from their activities like a hot potato.  I spent a year in limbo, having only girls to hang out with from school. But they did girly stuff... took dance lessons, went to charm school and talked about boys as boyfriends endlessly.  Yech.  If a boy had dared to kiss me at that point, I'd have slugged him hard enough to rattle his back teeth.

A new girl moved in within a block of me the year we began junior high.  Let's call her Euglena. She was the only child of much older parents that I was used to seeing.  We happened to have the same exact birthday... born in the same hospital and within an hour of each other.  Her parents were nice and treated me very well.  Bithdays were spent every year at the Ice Capades and a fancy diner after. I got to go on trips and out to do fun things.  It was a way to keep Euglena happy with company.  Worked well for me too.

They worked for an organization that takes in troubled boys, saves them from time in juvy and returns them to their parents as changed fellows. (Yeah... right!)  Euglena was crawling in bad boys turned Christians.  Hey, you do what you have to do to escape incarseration and you are thankful.  They were everywhere that we were.  Euglena had charm and selfesteem to beat the band.  I was the awkward second.  The bad boys would flirt with me and I went instantly stupid... no clue what to say or how to act.  I giggled.

Euglena and parents were intent on getting me hooked up with one of the boys so that Euglena and I could double date.  Safety in numbers you know.  One day Euglena informs me that we are double dating and I have a blind date with B.  Oh my god... B!  Yikes... only the most drooled over guy in church.  He was a good three years older than me... a high school guy.  Handsome and somewhat stuck on himself.   Looking back now I wonder what huge favor the guy owed them or what bribery it took for him to consent to this date.  

Saturday afternoon we were supposed to go ice skating with Euglena and her current love interest.  Now my folks had a rule, no boys over a year older than us could date us.  So I kept my trap shut and only admitted to ice skating.  They picked me up.  Euglena's fellow was driving and I was placed in the back seat with an uncomfortable looking B, both of us hugging our respective doors and gazing out the windows to avoid looking at each other. 

This was just past Christmas and I was wearing the new pant suit my mother had given me as a present.  I'd never worn it or one before or let me tell you... since.  It was very girly... gag a maggot.  I'd have been much more comfortable in my levi's and one of my brother's jerseys.  I'd allowed Euglena and her mother to put make up on my face... another huge no-no in my family for girls my age.  I could not have been less at ease.

We got to our destination... the ice skating rink out in a par of town that I was not allowed to see or be in.  Once inside, the others put on their skates quickly and hit the ice while I was still trying to figure out how you laced the damned things.  I could roller skate backwards as easily as forwards and was trying to convince myself that ice skates must be similar.  Finally I wobbled onto the ice and took some careful strides into the traffic.  Dorthy Hammel had nothing to fear from my lack of talent. 

B passed me twice, doing turns and twirls, showing off I suppose, though unlikely for me.  For anyone who wanted to admire him.  On the third pass, he grabbed my hand and drug me along.  I tried to smile and keep up, one arm milling around to keep me upright.  A more graceless being was not in the rink that day.  Somewhere soon after, we took a sharp turn to avoid some slower skaters with common sense and I lost contact with B's hand... the only thing between me and the bane of my dating years.

Arms flailing and no control what so ever... I crashed into the side of the rink and did the splits on my trip to the ice.  A nice older couple stopped to help me to my shaky feet.  I felt a draft of cold air and unwilling to check it out there and then, I wobbled to the side of the rink and into the girls restroom.  

As a young child just starting school, my mother lined up her brood every morning as we were about to leave the house for inspection.  Now my mother was a bit of a fanatic about her children and how they presented themselves.  I do not know which child it was that had decided one day to skip underwear, but someone had who was older than me.  So inspection included a check for underwear... and to be sure it was clean underwear.  It was an odd and unsettling event each school day, but we always did as she asked and showed her our panties.  I assure you she was not a pervert, just unwilling to take a chance that we would be found without them.  At least she took our word on weather they were clean or not, but she did ask.

Let me tell you, I silently thanked my mother for that odd ritual that day in the rink.  My pants were split from one inner knee to the other inner knee... leaving me with a very weird "chaps" sort of effect, with my clean and lovely pink panties with the eyelet lace trim wide open for viewing.  Heaven only knows how many people had viewed them on the way into the restroom.  

Well, I was mortified beyond my ability to deal with that situation.  I sat in a stall until Euglena arrived to see if I was okay.  NO.  But at least she had some sort of solution.  We dug into our purses and pockets and bought a bazillion kotex pads from the vending machine for the safety pins that came with them.  It was certain that I would not be skating more that day.  Safetly pins are not all that safe, as I found out a few times in the miserable hour or two that we remained at the rink.  Nor could I even look B in the face.  I must have looked very charming that lovely shade of scarlet.

At long last the date ended and we got in the car to leave.  Originally we were going to go out for diner after, but that was scuttled.  I was dropped off and B acted the gentleman and walked me to my door.  We mumbled good bye.  I'm sure he was just as glad as I was to be done with the whole awful mess.

(In later years when my folks knew that I was on a date, my dad would watch out the window for my arrival and would flick the porch light on and off rapidly until I was inside the house and my poor date fled.) 

I still find dating to be a horrible nerve wracking event.  Here I am a grandma with clear understanding of the interactions of men and women... and it does not help an iota on a first date.  In my head I keep thinking about everything that can go wrong.  I also carry a small roll of duct tape in my purse... no safety pins required!  But you will not get me on ice skates.  I can promise you that. 

Okay, I think the weird creep issue is taken care of now.  No worries.  The frogs were less frisky tonight.  Good, because I needed a break.  I have a date on Saturday with one I have dated before who lives within an hour of travel.  A first date with a new one on Sunday.  I had fun on the phone with my favorite frog for a bit.  Meanwhile the frog trains keep on rolling...

Live @ San Quentin Prison

 Gosh I love Johnny Cash.


Two trains on the same track moving toward each other.  One travels from the east at a leisurely pace, the other will arrive from the west, only God know when.  Both are leaving the same area at the same time but taking different routes. It seems that I have a little math problem.  Arrival times for both are unknown as yet... but within days.  Yikes.  I know what happens when trains collide.

Someone crashes.  I'm hoping they are more like ships that pass in the night... and I don't end up smashed in the middle.  Life in the pond has suddenly become quite complex.  Well I wanted more excitement, but honestly, I thought it would be more spread out.  Both intend to call when they get in my area on the way to other places and obligations.  I am anxious to meet both.
The more the merry-o... providing its not the same day.  They are only dates... first dates at that... not life commitments.  This is calling it close.

What a freak of an evening!  After several calm and sedate days, things exploded.  I had no time.  My oldest son showed up for a visit.  I had two marathon phone calls (two different frogs), missed calls, voice mails, emails, texts and two invitations to travel south to meet frogs.  I made DH some macaroons... goodness only knows when I will have time to deliver them and get some peace.  (Good lord...  Avoid the obvious pun please!)

The whole day was a freak.  It began with no ride to work... my car was in the shop at long last.  Called a friend's son and woke him up, begged a ride.  The head librarian showed up to work with me for the day.  I made three children cry big wet tears.
Worked up library supply orders, book orders and filled out P.O.s.  The mechanic called to tell me that my car would not be ready until tomorrow afternoon instead.  Begged another ride to the store and then home from Rocket J. Squirrel... my friend's son who is a whole different trip himself.

I have been baking, yakking on the phone and even chatting on line for time with two.  I am exhausted.  

Nights like this in the pond are very rare.  Is there a full moon or something?

Now, there is a real frog outside my window croaking.

But the truly eerie part of my day arrived via an email at my work.  I have a secret admirer... yeah, right.  It's the same one.  More bizarre than any I can recall.  This is the one who likes to write my name on its parts... and email me photos.  I'm sure that I mentioned it before and really, I did laugh it off.  

But that was on my personal email.  Not my work email.  How did it get my work email?  It says it has seen me on my myspace.  Well all it can really see are my feet on that site.  That is the only photo of me there.  My feet!  How does it know my feet?  It says that it knows me, and misses me.  It says it wants me to look at the photos of its parts with my name on them and guess who it is, then I can approach it... because it is shy.  To get to my work email you must know my entire name... first and last.  

When this happened on my personal email I was a bit unnerved.  I did not look at the photos.  Yes, I have pin feathers and I cluck.  If it knows me and misses me, then it can't have seen me for a bit, right?  How long is a bit?  From where does it know me?  Worse yet... would I know the parts?  Is that how I am supposed to guess who?  I don't exactly know many parts... if you get my drift.  How do I deal with this one?  Any ideas?

Welcome to my weird world.

Sequence of Clash photos set to the song, Train in Vain (Stand by Me).

 This song is here because it has the word train... and well, because I like it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


My father was an interesting dad. One of the things he did that drove my mother insane was to sit down when we are all watching TV and open up an encyclopedia. He would read quietly for a time, then impart some interesting fact he’d found. I loved it. I am sure that this is the reason that I developed a love of learning for fun.

 One thing that made my siblings groan were our trips to historical places. We spent most weekends traveling up and down California seeing what there was to see. Much of this time was spent on the gold highway. Like it or not, historical education with my father was a required course in our family. Few events could get you out of these outings. He believed that we needed to know our history to understand the present and possible futures. Likewise we were also assigned reading material to be discussed after finishing the books he selected. But that is another matter.

It was not the most comfortable travel, which is the major reason they groaned, but also because they would rather be hanging out with friends. By this time I was in junior high and they were both in high school. The two oldest sisters were off and married. The three of us teens were jammed in the rear seat of a 1965 Mustang.

I do not know what my brother and the Medusa were grumpped over because I was the one stuck in the middle. If you know vintage Mustangs, you understand. The rear seat rests on the drive shaft in the middle. I had about two inches of padding under my rump that topped what amounted to a steel pipe. My legs had to straddle the “hump” of the drive shaft on either side, which led to foot fights for space. In the end I often laid my legs down the hump to rest just to the rear of the shifter. Meanwhile my butt went numb. I was always happy to reach some site and jump out of the car if for no other reason than to get the feeling in my fanny back.

One time he was on his way home from a race. My dad was pulling the race car behind on the trailer. I cannot recall what track he had been on, but they swung by Santa Cruz to pick me up from a month of bad behavior with my funch bunch. I squeezed into the middle of the rear seat… myself in my first year of high school now and the Medusa in college, my senior brother a football back. My legs drifted down that hump to rest against the shift.

Some fool opted to cut my dad off. Two things happened in rapid succession. First, my father grabbed my foot and shifted. Well that didn’t work out well! Then my father, who never uttered a swear word in my hearing in my entire life said some very shocking words. All of the occupants of the car dropped their chins in disbelief while I reeled my legs back into the back seat. He deftly steered the car and trailer off the side of the road, escaping disaster by inches. The car sat there in silence for many minutes. No one would have dared to say a word. Not even my mother, who was queen of the world in dad’s eyes. We may have been an hour down the road before anyone tried to speak… and then it was my father, who apologized for his behavior.  I admired that.

All my life my father had chosen his curses carefully. There was “dad gum it, dog gone it, for the love of Pete” (Who was Pete that we did things for the love of him?) and my favorite, “cheese and rice!” Now that we are all adults, I do hear him swear like he was born to it. But not then. I was shocked despite my own colorful language use at the point in time. Somehow I deluded myself into thinking that he did not even know those words.

My father believed in educating his children himself. Some day I tell you how he taught me to drink. Ha. Or how he taught me to drive… very entertaining, both. C4C was a participant in the drinking training. Not to worry, her folks had a similar attitude. Kind of like the plan to keep me from smoking on street corners. Sometimes our plans backfire. Enough said.

It's shocking when we realize that our parents are human like the rest of us. If I had been another person, I might have thought worse of my father. Instead, I found his being human being with all their flaws a comfort of sorts. That perhaps I had this thing in common with a man that I had previously felt was so far above me that I could never manage to measure up to his level of quality. Yes, it did open my eyes a bit, but not at all in a bad way. In a very odd way, it made us more equal and gave me permission to be human too.

Monday, January 18, 2010


As I have said before, I was the last of five children.  Both of my parents worked at a time when most moms were still on site.  My mom tired to make it home before me, but that did not often work out.  All I had to do was let myself into the back yard, pat the slobbering basset and get the key off the back porch.  Even when my mom did make it home, she was generally tired and took a nap before making a big family diner.

We had a system of sorts that made the older children responsible for the younger ones.  The older you were the more power you had over those below.  But the younger you were, the less responsibility you had.  The system worked.  All of us girls… four of us… looked after my brother.  We cleaned his room, did his laundry and if he was hungry, we fed him stuff.  He was responsible for the yard work, unless he was in training for whatever sport he was playing.  Then that became girls work too.  Clearly he was the prince.  But he was a good brother too.  I have no complaint about him.

The worst thing about being the last of five is that my parents were tired and busy.  When I would whine about wanting to learn this or that, my father hired someone.  Art lessons, music lessons (I was awful at music!), YWCA, Red Cross swimming lessons.  Or there were the do it yourself lessons.  My dad was fond of that vein. So when I looked at my older sisters… who all three had matching Hercules 3-speeds and my brother with his goose neck bike, I whined that I wanted a bike.  I wanted to learn how to ride one.

I knew how that was done.  You got on a bike and your dad ran along next to you until you could cruise away on your own.  My dad said… "There are three girls’ bikes out in the trash yard doing nothing. Use one of those."  I looked at them, laying in a tangle half leaned against the trash yard fence.  All the tires were flat.  I reported back the bad news.  He handed me a tire patch kit and told me to use the air compressor.

They were full of cobwebs so I picked one and gave it a bath.  I lucked out when the tires stayed up after adding air.  Back I went into the house to report that the bike and I were now both ready for the lesson.  My dad lowered his paper and looked at me.  “Well, go figure it out.”  He said, snapping his paper back open and getting back to the news.

It took me all day to get to the point where I could stand up and pedal.  I had to stand up.  The seat was too high.  I fell down fairly often, but was good at laying the bike down as I went to minimize damage.  Then came the magic moment when I not only wobbled along, but got to speed up.  I was flying! 

The first corner was scary, but I managed to get around it with only minor correction.  I flew down the back side of the block with the wind tossing my hair.  I was congratulating myself on learning how to ride in just a day, when Mrs. Wynn walked out her door and stood at the corner, waiting for traffic to clear on Whison… one of our busiest streets. Mentally I willed the cars to vanish and urged Mrs. Wynn to get a hustle going.  The cars continued and the old gal didn’t budge.  Crap!  I gripped the hand brakes and squeezed for all I was worth, teeth gritted and bared. 

Nothing.  It had never occurred to me to check the hand brakes.  Never.  I hadn’t really needed them when all I was doing was starting and falling down.  Well shoot… time for a quick prayer before impact.  Miracles do happen.  It felt like one when the traffic cleared and Mrs. Wynn stepped off the curb. I jerked the handlebars left and whizzed around the corner, safe.  This was the short end of the block.  I stopped pedaling and cruised, navigated the last corner and continued to slow as I did the last long side of the block toward home.  When I got to my house, I let the hill of grass in front slow me more… jumped off sideways and hit the ground running.   The bike fell on its side and the rear wheel continued to spin, as I caught my breath and silently thanked God that I’d made it back safe.

I reported my progress to my old man.  My mother beside him said “George, get those brakes fixed tomorrow.”  My father nodded and went back to his paper with a sigh.  Satisfied, because my father always did what my mother said, I began the climb to my room up the stairs.

“Rebecca…” My dad peered at me over the top of his paper. “I better not find that bike lying on the lawn.”  I tromped back down the stairs and opened the door.  “You can bring it up on the porch, but don’t leave it where someone will fall over it.”  I nodded and he stopped me again.  “I’ll make you a deal.  You get straight ‘A’s on your summer school report card and I will buy you any bran new bike you want.”

My dad had a way of making me work hard at things.  Teaching myself to ride the bike was not a bad thing.  I developed confidence and found out the value of being tenacious. Using it to motivate me in school was a master stroke.  I was a very stubborn child.  I did get all A s on my report card that year.  I lost my report card on the way home from the last day of summer school.  I cried when I got home and told my mom I’d lost it and dad would never believe me.  Okay, so he didn’t automatically believe me, but he called the principal who gave him the good news and he came immediately home, taking time off from work to keep his word.  Summer school ended at noon.  By 2:00 I had my bike and it was beautiful.

“I don’t ever want to see it laying on the lawn and you keep it clean or you’ll lose it.” He told me as we pulled into the driveway.  That bike sparkled until I gave it away when I started high school.  I used to think at the time that he was mean as dads went.  Not big on affection.  But looking back I see he made his choices with me according to my personality and what worked on that stubborn kid.  I think he did alright.  He certainly fed my dreams and helped me to become strong enough to handle what life has thrown my way.  

Crosby Stills & Nash - Teach Your Children 1977

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Tax-mas arrived with a bang!
The Bear picked me up as promised and we went to the town on the left, where I did my taxes and did my other little errand... ick.


Turkey was in good spirits.  Squeaky accompanied us as well.  We had to celebrate right?

We love Mexican food.  That California thing that infects our lives.  I grew up with it... Bear is married to it via the original "green bean" in our lives.  My grandson the newest "green bean" dips his straw into the hot sauce to drink it.  

I tried like the dickens to show you how large my margarita was!  This is "Raptor Jesus" according to Squeaky, who...  after I took this photo to prove how huge this monster drink was... commented that dinosaurs come in varying sizes.  Okay, so that did not work. 

This is my last effort to prove its size.  That is a normal table knife and glass of water.  30 oz. of margarita!  Need I say more?  If so, I'm out of ideas.  But it was a big fecking drink and I felt pretty darned good by the time I left.  It was a day worth celebrating.  I can think of no better way... okay I might be lying about that... than to be with family I love and have a good time.

I made great strides in my sorry little life today.  I arranged immediately for my car to be fixed by a real mechanic on Monday.  Yay!
I got a new phone that works, a land line with unlimited minutes, better internet, paid some bills that were in need to be paid,added to my savings, got my own battery charger... that told me that my battery was dead as a doornail...and spent time with people that I enjoy and love. Progress is a good thing.  Fun is also a great thing.  That I had.

Spent some time with DH on line.  Talked to my favorite frog twice.  Batted back some emails from other frogs.  All my boy-os showed up to visit tonight as well.

Now I am on the edge of a 3 day weekend... with Monday paid.  I have some plans that are not exactly interesting, but should prove to give me some satisfaction... housework, laundry, and cleaning up the newest mess that the smelly dog made on the porch.  May as well get those things done while I have time and no transportation.

Inspired by Churlita, I think I will get some paint for my room and maybe hit that too.  I like positive change.  I like being busy.

On Monday I have promised to join two lunitics from my work in their maddness to exercise.  They have joined some "Biggest Loser" deal in the area.  I am not joining, but I will exercise with them and we will be each other's trainers.
Ought to prove interesting if nothing else.  Ha.  Tomorrow I get back to walking again.  Yay!  I have missed that so much.

Then I will sit down and write a bit of more serious stuff.  I have not done that in some time now, as you may have noticed.  Time to get back to that.  So look for much more entertaining stuff tomorrow.

Now I will hit the hay... early but after my day, I am beat.  Maybe a bit liquid if the truth be told.  But happy.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend.  Do you have 3 days off?  What will you do with your weekend?

Here is a nice photo of my gorge.  Enjoy!

Gosh what a beautiful day it was!