Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Some things I remember from 2008...good and bad:
Power outages in January from the high winds and being without power all day!
The Penguins playing great hockey.
Obama coming to Pittsburgh and Peg and Brody meeting him, sitting behind him on stage.
Randy Pausch and his remarkable spirit and will to live.
Obama winning the election and the elation of people in Grant Park.
The concession speech by McCain, a class speech.
The floods in Iowa and family members there.
Tina Fey and Sarah Palin...need I say more? Gotcha!
(I hear Bean does a good imitation of her)
On a more personal note:
Health issues resolved!
Sleepless night in O'Hara airport.
New kitten for Monkeyboy.
The collapse of the economy and all that goes with it.

I hope for the new year that everyone has their health and their loved ones nearby. Be safe and Happy New Year.

What are your memories of will you remember it?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning

Everywhere children awake with great anticipation. They scream with delight as they rip paper and open gifts. Parents sit in bleary eyed exhaustion, smiling, doing whatever is necessary to wake themselves from a long, pre-Christmas flurry of activity. Mippy just called and said that Monkeyboy woke up at 3:30 AM. Bean came in their room at 4:11 AM because they were bored and wanted to color. Those of us without little ones awake, have a leisurely breakfast, read the paper and enjoy the peace and quiet of the morning. I remember the first year I didn't get toys for Christmas, but rather, clothes. Clothes that my parents had picked for me. And we all know what that means. I don't remember how old I was. In our home, presents weren't wrapped, they were set out on card tables in our dining room, which was very large. The tree was always in the bay window, tied to the ceiling, because it would fall if not tied. I remember one tree that actually did fall over...on my mother as she was sitting there watching us trying to tie it to the ceiling. As we were older, we were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. The rest had to wait until Christmas morning. My father would go down and light the tree and run the trains, which had been set up in the den. The layout of the trains took up the entire room. More relatives, what few we had, would come in the afternoon, bearing more gifts. As a teenager I would go to Midnight Mass at St. Andrew's. I liked that, because it was always a peaceful way to celebrate the season. One was usually done with the hustle and bustle by then and it was a time to reflect on those things for which we were thankful. I am blessed to have a healthy family and to have wonderful friends with whom I can share the holidays. To everyone, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a healthy New Year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I'm on vacation this week, and it has been wonderful! Ginger and I went to Ikea yesterday for our semi-annual trip. I LOVE Ikea. They have such neat things there. And they are very reasonably priced. We got there at 10:50 AM and they had $1.49 breakfast until 11:00 AM. We raced inside and up to the cafe. The woman who was working there TRIED to ignore us, but we got her attention, though she was a bit cranky. We got our breakfast and headed on our mission. It took us two hours to completely tour the store and get our winter fix. My Christmas cards came yesterday and I got them all in the mail. Most of all, I have been just enjoying being home and doing things I don't usually get to do... eating breakfast and enjoying the paper, reading books, and of course, watching Judge Judy. The office Christmas Party was today, and everyone brought food. It was delicious! And kudos to Michele for putting it all together. Kitty missed it, but I ate enough for both of us. Today was the highlight of my week. I got to be the mystery reader at Monkeyboy's and Sprout's school. What fun! There are fourteen children in their class of second graders and people take turns surprising the children by bringing in books to read to the class. The kids are absolutely delightful and they giggled, laughed and shouted out questions when asked. Their teacher giggled when I brought out the book called "Teacher's Pet." It's been a busy week, but such an enjoyable one. Lunch everyday, Monday with a fellow Springsteen friend. We haven't seen a lot of each other, and I often forget how much I enjoy her sense of humor. It's the time of the year to catch up with old friends to see how life is treating them. And to be with friends and family. I am exhausted, but you know what? I can sleep all day tomorrow...I don't have to go to work! Happy Friday everyone.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho

Sunday dinner as usual. Well, maybe not quite so usual. I had more of an opportunity to watch children tonight. Between the Steelers game, that is. Whew, I can't deal with Ben waiting until the last five minutes to win the game...two minutes, actually. The kids are excited about the pending Christmas. It's fun to watch them. And then there is the flying elf, or whatever he/she is. Apparently, an elf that can fly about the house every night and watches over the children in the home to see if they should get gifts. (Wonder if he/she watches the adults going absolutely nuts and saying words that....well, aren't exactly in the spirit of Christmas.) And the children are not supposed to know from where he/she watches. But they look for the elf every morning, and if they find the elf, then I guess they can be bad in every other room in the house. Who knows, but it is funny to see them when they discover the elf. And Monkeyboy keeps adding to his Christmas list, which of course, is growing by the hour. We do a gift exchange where everyone buys a gift for $25. We put them in the middle of the floor and pick a number. If you get number 1 you go first and pick a present. Number 2 has the option of taking your gift or picking a new one, and so on. I, of course, always buy the best gift in the world which everyone wants. One year it was an ice scraper that you plug into your cigarette lighter. Mippy got that one. Shortly after she got it, there was a recall that stated you could get shocked with it. I called to tell her immediately, but her response was, "I gave it to co-worker as a re-gift." I suggested that she tell her co-worker immediately, and she replied that she didn't care, she didn't like her anyway. I believe it was last year that I gave postage stamps with my picture on them. Then there was the year that I gave the large autographed picture of myself. The picture frame was exquisite. I later gave the same present (Bird must have given it back to me) at our office party, and it was received with equal delight. I gave it back to someone in their family and it is hidden behind the cute pictures of the kids on the mantle, right beside the Elvis ceramic head that Monkeyboy painted and had glazed, an art object if there ever was one. Bird usually gets my gift, because he knows I give the best one. Bean got a really beautiful plate and mug and I got that one year (picture at the right). It couldn't compare to the postage stamps, but it was something that I treasure. So, I have to think of what my contribution will be this year. Something, no doubt, that will be THE BEST EVER present.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Donuts, and Not the Eating Kind

It's been a dreary day here in the 'burg. Rainy, cold, dark. Not my kind of day. I went out at lunch today and my boss took my parking place. You may remember, many of our parking spots were taken and reserved for the county police, because they are important. We, obviously, are not. So, on some days, parking is at a premium, especially, it would seem, on cold, rainy days. When I came back I parked illegally. Do I care? No. In fact, I dared them to tow my car. They didn't, of course. Our agency gets Christmas presents donated for children. Lots of Christmas presents. We have to unload them, check them, load them and deliver them. It gets a bit chaotic. Today was an unloading day. I have four bicycles in my office and I keep knocking them over. That is in addition to many other items. Picture to follow tomorrow. So, I left the office with my boss (did I mention she took MY parking place?) and we walked to the cars together as we often do. In the rain, the cold rain. We went our separate ways and I remembered that I had to stop at the pharmacy. As I pull into the parking lot, I hear a large bang and thinking that I hit something, I spew forth many obscenities. I notice, as I pull into a parking spot, that my car isn't steering right. Ooops, a flat tire. I call my mechanic friend, who comes and tells me that I blew a tire. DUH! He changes it for me, only to tell me that my donut spare is flat. How does that happen? I have never used it! He fills it full of air and as he is doing so a woman is berating three teens for picking on her daughter. Right there in the open parking lot. She is screaming that she has called the police, and dare they leave, because the police will chase her down. She continues to yell that the girls will go to prison for life for picking on her daughter as the police pull in. My mechanic mentions that the police didn't come that quickly when his car was broken into with his gps and other items stolen. The teen looks very frightened and her friends have taken off in spite of the warning. In this day of bullying, I admire the woman for taking action. I don't know what happened, but I admire the police for responding so quickly. My mechanic mentioned that the girl that was picked on would probably have it even worse now that the mother got the police involved. Bullies are not my kind of people. And as for donuts...I would rather talk about the kind I can eat, but alas, this is my donut for the day. Have a warm night.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

'Tis the Season???

If I hear Burl Ives singing "Holly, Jolly Christmas" one more time, I am going to pull his beard out whisker by whisker......oh, wait, he's no longer with us. Sorry. I had the day off yesterday. One would think that a day off is for resting. Not so. I began by cleaning the second floor. I then did some running around (a Pittsburgh expression) as soon as the stores opened so that I could beat the rush. Success. Came home and began to call Verizon about a problem with my bill. DON'T EVER BUNDLE WITH VERIZON. This was the second day I had been dealing with them...unsuccessfully, may I add. One can not find the right number to call and all of the numbers that Verizon gives you are wrong. One only finds this out AFTER you have been on hold for 21 minutes...count them...21 minutes, minimum. After two days, the problem is still not resolved, because now, they won't even answer their phone. It rings until it disconnects. I gave up and began to drag Christmas decorations from the attic. Put up the fake tree, threw some lights on it and went to watch Judge Judy. Mippy, Bean, Monkeyboy, Sprout and Buzz came then to help decorate the tree. Oh, my, what great fun! "There are too many red balls here." "Well, they aren't mine." "Yes, they are." "Are not." "Well, just move them." "Can't, they aren't mine." "Her pile of gifts are higher than my pile of gifts." The angel on the top of the tree is 25 years old. It's face was made from an eggshell, which has since broken. Cookies and hot chocolate topped off the evening. Kids being silly for pictures, excited about what was to come in a few weeks. Monkeyboy's last remark as he walked out the door was "Don't take that angel down." I won't, Monkeyboy. I promise.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Life Changing Decisions

Let me say first that again on the way to work, the sky was incredible. I think sunrise and sunset are my favorite times of the day. I love the way the sky changes color. When at the beach, the one thing I like more than the waves hitting the beach are the sunrise and sunset. Sometimes, I just pull over in my car and watch the sky change. I had a friend once and her life was in such turmoil that she felt the only way out was to end her life and that's what she did. It was tragic, and I miss her to this day. But the thing that struck me most about the tradgedy was when a co-worker said he was driving through the mountains and saw a spectacular sunset and thought that our friend who took her life would never see a beautiful sunset again. He was angry with her for taking her life. He was sad that she would never see the beautiful things in life again. Klever Kitty and I talked about changes and choices in life today. Those small decisions that change our lives forever. And the big decisions. Who knows at eighteen what one wants to do with their lives? And yet we make some choices at that young age that can impact us forever. I am soon, well, maybe not too soon, going to embark on a new that I look forward to with some trepidation, but also with excitement. After all, it is not the destination, it is the journey that makes life interesting and exciting. In ending, Michele has a new blog that is fun, visit her at Have a great evening, and enjoy the journey!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I came home this morning to find these in my yard. The mother deer is extremely calm and let me come very close to her. There are now five wandering the neighborhood, plus a buck that occasionally can be see chasing the deer. They are beautiful, one of the benefits of living in the burbs (remind me of that when they eat my garden). I have come to accept that we live in harmony now and I plan to plant next year with that in mind.
Oscar and I had a good, long walk at the cemetery today. It was cold, crisp and sunny. It's been hard for Oscar, not knowing what to expect. There is always someone at home with him usually, and I am between two houses. Flurry has accepted me, even sleeping on my lap last night as I read my book. The family bed poses a bit of a problem. Oscar is large....and heavy. Not fat, just heavy, probably over 100 pounds. Flurry is quite small, but a queen size bed poses some problems for the three of us. Oscar won't move. That means that one has to accommodate him. The first night I got out of bed and dragged him off, which injured my back for life, I am sure. The next night I just used my feet to shove him over. That worked for a hot minute. The third night I tiptoed quietly into Bean's bed and left Oscar and Flurry to the big bed. No sooner had I settled in when I heard a tap, tap, tap. I felt something looking at me, then sneaking up onto the SINGLE bed. I waited till he was settled, then made a mad dash for the queen bed, stepping on Flurry on the way since she was on her way to the single bed. Her howl woke up Oscar and we raced for the queen. I dove onto the bed, moved quickly to the middle and prepared myself to not be shoved over. It worked briefly, but this morning....he had most of the bed. Oh, and did I mention, on night one every hour on the hour I heard a loud beeping sound and thought it might be an alarm somewhere. It was the smoke detector, which I did not discover until the next morning. But I have to say, these morning walks are wonderful. All is quiet, the sun is shining and the air is crisp. It has been a very good morning. By the way, when asked what type of calendar Ginger wanted this year (I make them a calendar each year), Ginger replied that she wanted a calendar with sexy firemen laying out their big hoses. Hmmmm. Be safe, Skipper on your sojourn this week.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I have much to be thankful for, my family, my health, my friends. Today is a day to reflect those things, and it is a day to eat! I don't remember if it was last year or two years ago, but dinner was here with Mippy and family. Got up early, threw the bird in the oven, prepared ALL of those trimmings that go with the bird. The aroma that permeated the house was delightful. All day envisioning sitting down and eating. Anticipation. Guests arrived. Oohs and ahhhs abounded. The table was set with fiestaware, ready to be adorned with wonderful food. The bird was taken from the oven and set on the platter to "rest". Side dishes were placed strategically around the table. And the moment arrived. The turkey was sliced, and alas.....IT WASN'T COOKED! Not only was it not cooked, it was kind of raw. We all stood there looking at it, debating what to do. Mippy suggested we all say something that we were thankful for. She got looks that would have killed. She began by saying she was thankful we had side dishes to eat. No one else had anything at that moment to be thankful for. All got quiet as we passed the potatoes, slaw, jello salad, veggies, etc. Finally the silence was broken by Monkeyboy who said..."I really wanted some turkey". We told him he could have it at his grandmothers next week when he went to visit there. Here's hoping your holiday is wonderful and your turkey is cooked.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Approaching the Holiday

If one were prepared, one would have had her camera with her with a walk with Oscar tonight. It has snowed a bit here and we were walking at the cemetery. Oscar was rolling and frolicking in the snow. It was such a great sight! Running free and loving every minute of it. I am dog/cat/fish sitting this week for Mippy and family. And I am using their laptop this week while at their house. It is pretty neat! They are in Norfolk tonight and will be in North Carolina with family for the Thanksgiving holiday. Back to Oscar, I shall try to get a picture of him in the snow tomorrow. This is the time of the year when I order lots and lots of things on the net. Most of my shopping is done. There are some things that one has to go and buy...I don't much like those things. I am pleased with the things that I bought this year, none of which I can share on here yet, because of who reads this. I met, well, actually I work with him, a new photographer at work today. He shares my passion for black and white photographs. So does Michele, whose site I have linked to mine in the past. Kitty likes black and white photos also. I gave her one for Christmas one year. It was the one I will post tomorrow, the Bridge of Sighs. It is in Pittsburgh, and it connects the courthouse with what used to be the county jail. The story has it that the prisoners would walk across the bridge on their way to their trial, and if they were found guilty one could hear them sigh as they walked back across the bridge to the jail. We have some wonderful old buildings here and the architecture is wonderful! Well, I am going to take the dog out and feed the cat. Have a great day tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Bean took the picture of the snow on the tree. I still get excited when I see the first snowfall, not that a dusting counts as the first snowfall, but when I looked out the window in my office yesterday there were big, fluffy snowflakes falling. I really love the wet snow that clings to the trees and shrubs. And I like it before the salt trucks come around. I love to watch Bird make a sled track for the kids with bumps that make them laugh with glee. And Oscar the dog, running and barking along side them. As kids we used to spend hours playing in the snow, coming in only to use the bathroom (what a chore that was!) or to get dry mittens. We had at least three pairs, and it took an awfully long time for them to dry. I remember igloos and asthma attacks, snowball battles and snow angels, and of course, snowmen. I remember, Molly, the sheepdog and how I put boots on her so her paws wouldn't freeze. She ran down the hill at the cemetery and all I could see in the moonlight were the boots flying through the air. As a pre-teen, I remember throwing a snowball at a car and the driver chasing after me. My brother was asked by that driver if my brother had seen a boy running past. My brother said no. I don't know if he said that because he was asked about a boy and I was a girl, or if he just did it to protect me. I do know that he yelled at me later and I ended up telling my parents because I was afraid he would. I remember the big snowfall the snow in March, 1993 that paralyzed the city...24 inches of snow over a two day period. It was the day of the St. Patrick's Day parade, and they still had the parade. The city was virtually closed down immediately following the parade for several days. Now, that was a bad winter. I hope the first real snowfall is a pretty one.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bean's Demands

I turned on my computer today and was checking my email. There was one from Bean, demanding a new post. This happens...and not just with Bean. So, here is my Sunday morning post.
Went out to dinner last night to River Forrest. It's a wonderful restaurant hidden in the forrest above the Allegheny River. They had a wine tasting party, which was unknown to us until we got there, so we couldn't partake of that. But the dinner was wonderful. As we wound our way back to the main road we were on the lookout for deer. None were spotted. On the drive home I made a remark that the lights of the small towns we were passing reminded me of a train layout. We have a large train layout here at the Carnegie Science Center every year. It takes up the whole room and there are miniature villages with people walking babies inside their homes, miniature people skiing down slopes, with a wonderful amusement park nearby that has a Farris wheel and merry go round. It is magic, and as we were driving last night, the lights in the small towns reminded me of the Carnegie. At the museum here they have a display of Christmas trees, also a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The weather has changed drastically here today. Good football weather Ben and Bill, but Kitty better wear something warm to cheer on the Steelers. Most of the leaves are down now, and the raindrops on the trees threaten to turn to ice drops. Winter coats are being dragged out, and it's amazing how many people begin to smell of moth balls! It's dark now when I come home from work. I like that. I like that I come home and everything seems cozy and warm. I can close the drapes and wrap up in a blanket on my chair to read my book.
I took Bean to her dance class on Thursday. I do love to watch these kids dance. It was cold. I listened to the head of the studio talk about casting of characters. The Prince in Cinderella was a young man of color and the Princess was not. Someone had written a very long letter (unsigned, of course) stating that the studio was promoting interracial marriage. WHAT? Ken (the head of the program) was most upset, rightfully so. These kids are extremely talented and work very hard to put on a production that is professional. How sad that someone would focus on something that no one else seemed to notice. There are many children of different ethnicity and cultures that participate in this particular theater, and for the most part, they all have the same goal. To bring pleasure to those who watch them. So, kudos to the kids, and to those who refuse to sign their name to letters, perhaps you should not come to the theater to watch them.
Yesterday I watched "Flashdance", not so much for the plot of the movie (was there one?) but for the great scenes of Pittsburgh. The South Side slopes, the bridges, Trees Hall, the Museum. I have to figure out what movie I want from Netflix next. It's a good day for movies. Have a great Sunday!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Four in a Row

I have been very lazy this weekend, I think. Did some cleaning of drawers and things, got some tires for the car, did some Christmas shopping on line, went to the mall (yes, Sassy, to the mall). What a mess the mall is! We got a new Nordstroms, Tiffanys, some other very up scale stores and people are flocking to the mall. Add to that the sales for Veteran's Day. I came home last night determined to never go to the mall again. At least until the end of January. And people are rude, they really are. Fighting over sale items. I thought that security would have to be called, but they calmed down somewhat. I went to a neat website for kids. It's and it has a great selectio of toys for kids. And the toys are arranged by age. I think between that and I have all my Christmas presents done. Today the car was in the shop all day, so Ava and I hung out, reading, watching Judge Judy and going for a walk. Oh, and watching Boston Legal on line. It wasn't on in Pittsburgh last week, so I had to pull it from their website. I laughed till I cried. What a wonderful show, and now it will be going off the air. Four days off in a row is a wonderful thing. Very relaxing and restful. And for all those who served or are serving in the military, thanks very much.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Lazy Sunday

Judith Penzer did the mural. It is actually painted on the side of a building, but looks so real, so 3-D, as though it is a separate home entirely. We have a number of them in the city, and I think it's a great way to display art. Ms. Penzer died in a plane crash, which makes this particular mural special and well worth preserving. I believe this one was her first one. Penn State lost, but they lost to Iowa, so my brother will be happy. Steelers did not win, but that's okay, I guess. Bean's run at the Byham has concluded. She caught a bug from Monkeyboy and wasn't too sure that she would be able to perform, but as the saying goes "the show must go on", and she did her part. Sunday mornings for me are sleeping in, reading the paper, watching Meet The Press and the Steelers, and of course, Sunday dinner. Today will be a little different, but I love Sundays. Total kick back day. It's been a dreary weekend here, so it's nice to grab my book or watch my latest Netflix movie, Bull Durham. I was thinking today, how life is a series of ups and downs and how the extreme highs make the lows worth while. I remember the family reunion and sitting around the pool on the night of arrival. The kids were all in the pool and the adults were sitting around talking. I turned to Poppy and said, "this is what it is all about". It was truly a time of being together as a family and kids meeting and being with their cousins who are scattered throughout the country. What were your highs? What do you remember best with fondness?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Good Things

I don't want to say too much about the election, just that when I said to my co-worker that it's was quite a night and one to remember, she said, "it certainly was, it certainly was". She then came back to me and said, "I am going to the cemetary at lunchtime to tell my mother and father". It was truly a historic event, and I do hope we can all pull together to make some changes...the course is a tough one.
When I have a busy day at work, I try to think of good things. Today it was Bean's opening night tonight. She is in Cinderella at the Byham Theater and I can't wait. I called Z Florist and told him that I needed a "presentation bouquet", which he did beautifully as always. I told him I am coming to work for him. His florist shop is one of the most peaceful places in the world. And what a talent he has. I love to go in there, said I would work for nothing! (I didn't really mean that, of course....well, maybe I would).
There was a brief (?) period of discussion about speeding tickets at work. I've gotten two in my life and both were traumatic. People all say that I drive fast, but I don't think so. I made it home in eighteen minutes tonight.
Gasoline is $2.45 a gallon. Interesting, isn't it? Wonder what happened to bring it down. It was nice to fill my tank for less than $30.
Well, I am leaving now to go see Cinderella. It is a wonderful thing to see, Bean on stage doing something she loves. It's been a very busy week, with football, the election and now the theater. But it's been a nice one, too. Have a great evening!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Thanks to Mippy for the beautiful picture of the sunrise last week or so. I love to sit and watch people. And listen. I was in a restaurant last week and spent time watching four men eating lunch, talking about the economy and then their families. I presume at least one was divorced. As he spoke he said he wanted a woman with no children, because children were "baggage". This was a man of about fifty. They all nodded in agreement. One other man said his female friend wanted to get married, and he couldn't understand that at their age. Why would they get married at their age? I watched a woman of about thirty and the man with whom she was eating. He had on hospital scrubs. She had on a suit. He talked a lot on his cell phone, while she was on her blackberry. They didn't talk much. When finished eating, the stood, kissed and went their separate ways. I caught the eye of a man across the room who appeared to be doing the same thing I was doing. And then came the women in red hats. And purple dresses. They sure looked like they were having a wonderful time. And they even ordered drinks with their lunch! Today I watched three men at Kentucky Fried Chicken drive the poor man at the register crazy. They wanted the sixteen piece meal, and they began to argue about sides, mashed potatoes vs. macaroni, corn vs. green beans, crispy vs. regular. There was quite a line behind them, and just when we all thought they were done, one of the men ordered a meal to take home. They were delightful to listen to as they talked about everything under the sun, a great, spirited discussion. One time when I took my car to be serviced I went to a local restaurant where senior citizens gather in the morning for coffee and breakfast. They move about freely, talking with one another, laughing and seemingly having a wonderful morning ritual. There are people having very serious discussions, one woman crying as another held her hand. People in their own world. I think I am becoming a student of the human condition, watching and learning. Don't forget to vote could you?????

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Time Has Arrived

No, not the photography class final tomorrow. Two of the pictures are here on the blog and I have a total of four. Michele has assisted me with her critiques of my photographs, and I am pleased with the outcome. Two in color, two in black and white. I have enjoyed the class to a certain degree, but some of it has been boring. For instance, last week, we critiqued each others photos, then spent 1 1/2 hours looking at photographers that are famous for their portraits. BORING. I have learned a great deal about my camera and all of it's settings, so the class has been worth while. Now I want to learn how to make mats for the pictures. I had to take a break is Halloween, you know. I don't remember my best costume, but I do remember the best was a candy apple from the family that owned the local bakeshop. I remember my worst trick, it was soaping some one's car....not their windows, the car. I was called into the office the next day by the police and the principal investigating the incident. How was I to know that soap ruined the paint job...and it wasn't just me, it was my whole sorority. Monkeyboy was a hockey player and Sprout was a pumpkin. Not sure about Bean. She may have had rehearsal for Cinderella. And I get to go see her on stage in the theater next week, can't wait! I remember a certain child having butterfly wings made for her for Halloween. She was two years old, and they were hand painted with great care. When she saw them she ran screaming....and I am pretty sure she never wore them. Maybe she wore them tonight, ten years later. What was your favorite costume or your favorite treat? Or do you have a trick about which you would want to keep secret? Have a great weekend and Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


There are times when everything crashes down. This would be one of those times. I will just say that work is awful, this thing that happens should not happen, but it does. It hurts us to the core and never goes away. And for Amy, I feel so sad. Has anyone asked how she is doing? Everything else pales in retrospect. But it all comes together. And then there is the election. I am attempting to assist in this election, albeit small as the attempt might be. I am trying to complete my photography assignment by Saturday, with the help of Michele, who is critiquing my work and assisting me in presenting the best of all the photographs I have taken. Baseball Mom hurt her hip at the rally the other night, rotator cup or something, so I have volunteered to do her work for the campaign this weekend. I am not sure why, but I feel as though this election is so very important...more so now than ever. Poppy said he is more concerned about this election. Have I told you that I value his opinion more than most....and he scares me when he says this. He and Mime have already voted. So has Wacky Mommy and Hockey Dad. We can't vote early here. Wish we could. I think I should take Bean's idea and hide in the car. In case you haven't read her reply to my blog on the subject, here it is:
Okay, here's my side of the story! I got home from dance/acting/singing classes. A long day it was-as usual. Mom told me to hurry up, get in the house and get ready to go to dinner. Well, I didn't really feel like it. So, I layed down in the car-enjoyed it too. But, Monkeyboy just had to ruin it!! He began to throw his little bouncy ball at the car window-BANG, BANG, BANG!! It got sooo anoying! Then, he tried to get into the car, that's when I locked the doors. Monkeyboy got the keys and brought them to the car and that's when the battle began-he unlocked the doors, I locked them, he unlocked the doors, and so on. Finally I let him in the car and and went into the house. Mom got real mad!! Listen: All I wanted to do was lay down in the car and enjoy my "alone time".
I love it, thank goodness for children. I have to keep telling myself that kids say it best....all I want to do is lay down in the car and enjoy my "alone time". It's been a bad week, but the downs make the ups so very much better. Wouldn't it be boring to have all "normal time"? I want normal time. My cat just crawled up onto my lap and is purring. Night, and have very pleasant dreams.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Conversations in a Car

A friend of mine said that she didn't mind running around to hockey practices with her daughters, because they told her things in the car that they might have never told her before. She also said there is a wealth of information shared by teens in a car on a long trip to a hockey game when they forget there is an adult in the car. I have heard some of the best things in the car with the kids. On our road trips, they sing, they talk....oh, yes, and they argue. Bean and I get very silly in the car, but we also get pretty serious sometimes. This week we talked about the election. She was telling me that in her civics class they had to make a presentation on one of the presidential candidates. They researched them, read about their policies and did a PowerPoint presentation regarding the candidate of their choice. I asked her if there were discussions about the presentation per se or if there were any arguments. She said that it was kind of funny (her words), but that the kids not only discussed it, but some kids took it outside the classroom and had vociferous discussions outside of the classroom. There was an incident here in our city where a supporter of one party said that she had been mugged and when the man who mugged her saw she was a supporter of that party, he carved an initial in her face of the man representing the opposite party. It was all a hoax, but it caused quite a stir for a while. People called into talk shows, saying this was indicative of what would happen after the election. I am old enough and I have been through many elections in my time. I have never seen a country more polarized regarding this election. A friend of mine said that when she and her seven year old walked to the store the other night he began to say how he hated people who had a certain sign in their yard. Apparently he got very loud and passionate about it. A seven year old. I believe our country is in a very sad way right now. In every way. I wouldn't want to be president. Where would one even start? There are so many things facing us now. I hope when November 5 comes we put aside our differences and all work towards getting this country back on track, whatever that may be. I have heard many people say that they will leave the country if their candidate doesn't win. It doesn't sound like people are ready to come together and try to make this work. In the meantime, I will listen to the kids in the car. It is a lesson not to be forgotten. Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Did you ever?

Just want to get away from everyone? Bean has a very full schedule. Dance, rehearsal, school, instrument, friends. Saturday Bean gets up early for a full day of Pittsburgh Musical Theater. Mippy and Monkeyboy go to Sprout's eighth birthday party and then leave to pick up Bean before meeting Bird for dinner (a Saturday ritual). As they arrive home, Mippy tells Bean that she has time to shower and practice instrument before they leave for dinner. Monkeyboy and Mippy get out of the car and move towards the house. Bean doesn't move, just sits in the car. Mippy yells "come on". Bean says "I don't want to". Mippy goes into the house and Monkeyboy goes towards the car. As he does, Bean locks all the doors. Monkeyboy races into the house to "tell" on Bean. He gets his ball and goes out to the car and begins to bounce it off the car window in hopes of eliciting a response form Bean. When that doesn't work, he yells quite loudly "If you don't come in, Mom's going to make you go to bed early", which is the threat Monkeyboy hears quite often. Bean then lies down on the seat to have some quiet time away from everyone and "just rest her eyes". Sometimes all I want is some quiet time. I don't have small children running around, but I have to talk to people, sometimes very, very angry people, all day. It's nice to leave the office and not have to talk on the way home. And when I get home, I just need a little quiet time. I don't much like the telephone at night...I have it all day. Just give me HGTV, some wine and quiet. I think Bean has the right idea. What makes a perfect evening for you? A night out with friends, a book and a cup of tea, or just some quiet time in the car with the windows up and the locks down? Happy Birthday Sprout!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I was supposed to take Bean to dance class tonight, but Mippy took her instead. And took Monkeyboy to his annual physical. Mippy is the mom that I never was, although when Monkeyboy was two and Oscar was new, she was chasing each of them around the house screaming obscenities. So, I went to a basket party. My neighbor, baseball mom, had this thing where you go and look at baskets and buy them. It's a fun time to get together with neighbors and such and just have some wine and talk. Baseball mom said it wouldn't be political, but it was. And I bought something...well, lots. Because of the wine. But it's okay. Beacause when women get together, it is fun. When we went on the family reunion, wacky mommy planned a breakfast for moms. I didn't want to go, but it turned out to be such fun. Wacky mommy can knit, have I told you that? And Cedar Rapids mom, the travel agent, had her daughters (the monkeyboy's love of his life) knitting hats. Anyway, it is the joy and fun of women getting together and just laughing, talking and having a good time. It's generations of women, sharing thoughts about children, husbands and life. And it was fun...tonight and in Vail. Bean, you are the next generation, along with wacky girl, and the three blondies. Keep the connection, with your generation and past and future genereations. You will never regret it. To Mime, I really like the time you and I have together without Poppy, I like getting to know you and talk to you. The walk we took together was really the best. The baskets....did I tell you they cost a fortune.......while they were nice, were only a conduit to the conversation. I learned about a man and woman meeting on the Internet and becoming friends. I listened to an older woman talking about her Christmas traditions. I listened to and eighty year old woman who works one day a week in a candy store so she can be around people. And I talked to a woman with whom I have had conversations with at work for years and finally met. I am so grateful for the women in my life, for their friendship, for their ideas, for their struggles as women, daughters, mothers and friends. We argue, Michelle is of one belief, Clare of another, but we respect each other as women. And here's to Ginger, a woman who is my role model, a great sense of humor and commitment. AND TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN BUGGING ME TO POST. Here's to us all..........thank you for your friendship and for your being a part of my family, both of blood and of friendship. And here's to Wicked Kitty, who challenges me and makes me think, even when I don't want to, who always makes me think I can do better, both personally and professionally and is an inspiration to me with her knowledge and her talents.......Happy Boss Day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dancing, Parades, etc.

I took Bean to dance on Thursday, because Monkeyboy had a game. We got there early and Bean and a friend were talking about call backs. I watched them in their dance clothes, laughing and moving. More arrived from a class...advanced ballet, I think. Tired, sweaty, but very happy. Bean's class started and the ballet went off their break. What a joy to watch these kids and young adults. To have the ability to watch a teacher do a complicated step, to watch them learn...the process...and then it happens. They get it. And all move together. Limber. Able to move in a way I barely remember. I'm sure there is competition among these dancers, singers, actors. But you wouldn't know it to see them together. Today was the high school homecoming parade. We never had parades like this. The Dr. Seuss float was done by the band, I think. It was spectacular. And what a day for the parade. Warm enough and sunny enough that the Queens and their courts didn't have to wear a winter coat or carry an umbrella. Monkeyboy met a friend and his friend's brother. The three of them got much of the candy that is thrown. Then I went and took pictures for my photography class. I still have more to take, but this is such fun! Another perfect day in Pittsburgh. Hope your weekend is wonderful and sunny.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What Goes Around......

 Walking with Mippy, Bean and Monkeyboy. First it was rocks that Monkeyboy picked up. Smooth flat rocks, round rocks, big ones and little ones. Too many to carry in his small pockets, so distributed to those who had "deep pockets". We had an assignment for photography class to photograph something that illustrated texture. Sunday dinner...a bag on the table filled with acorns and buckeyes. Monkeyboy is very particular about acorns. They have to have the "hat" on them. And yes, I could borrow them for my picture. So, I take them home and try different pictures, different settings on the camera, and come up with which I am somewhat satisfied. Alas, the cat found one and knocked it to the floor with her gigantic paw and alas, the "hat" fell off. A dilemma ensued. Do I glue the hat back on, hoping he won't notice (I think I once replaced a goldfish that died so I didn't have to face the kid), or do I come clean and offer to try to replace it? I'll face Monkeyboy and suggest that we try together to find a new one with a hat. He likes Ava, so maybe he'll forgive her. Did you collect things in the fall as a child? I liked leaves and always tried to preserve them as we learned in Miss Frey's biology class.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday again

Mippy and Bird celebrated their 16th anniversary on Friday and Bird gave Mippy the beautiful vase of flowers in the picture. Another beautiful weekend in Pittsburgh with some rain early yesterday. Went to photography class and learned that I had done most of the assignments wrong, but I am learning. Last night was movie night.."Rain Man". Great movie. It amazes me what a talent Dustin Hoffman is. Today I played in a poker tournament on line. Out of over 7000 people I came in 2oth. Took just over three hours. Then to Sunday dinner. Flurrie is growing and has the most beautiful coloring. Mary Rose, Bean, Sprout and Monkeyboy jumping on the tramp, giggling and having the best time. Then we all gathered around the computer (well, most of us) to watch the political episodes on Saturday Night Live. Whenever I feel blue, I just have to watch them to go into gales of laughter. Does Tina Fey not have Sarah Palin down to the wave, the look, and of course, the wink? I think we may have a visitor in the attic again...a mouse, not a bat, thank goodness. Ava was looking longingly into the attic this morning. I have kept the door closed. Not in the mood for mice tonight! Hope your weekend was great.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I don't like to talk much about politics, but I feel it is crucial at this time. As both candidates are saying, it is time for change. Each have their own agenda, but there has now emerged a new candidate. He is also proposing new changes. Monkeyboy has announced his intentions of running for president. He announced this right after he took a shower and sang "Oh, Canada" at the top of his lungs. He doesn't know all of the words, but he has some unique ones of his own. When asked about his platform, Monkeyboy has stated there would be less freedom. When asked to elaborate he said no guns except for the military. I think it's a start, and a darn good one. No more killing. Monkeyboy for President. Let's start a write in campaign. If it can't be Denny Crane, then let's vote for Monkeyboy. By the way, he knows the words to "A Star-Spangled Banner".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Great Race

5:30 AM
Wind and rain coming through the bedroom window. Pulling covers up over my head.
6:30 AM
Alarm goes off and I peek out the rain, seems cloudy. Get up, pull clothe on, brush hair and teeth and ready to go.
6:50 AM
Pick up Bean and Mippy...oh wait, Bean had to go get something. Piling into the car and we are off.
7:05 AM
Park the car and walk to catch bus to the start line....where the heck did all these people come from????
7:25 AM
Arrive at race start. Head for portapots. Bean doesn't want to go, but she must. Not too big a line...ewwwww, what's that smell?
8:20 AM
National anthem, ready to start.
8:30 AM
gun goes off, people begin to jog in place. Takes us 3-4 minutes just to get to the start line and then we are off. Very cloudy and a light drizzle. Bean leaves us before we hit the mile mark and she takes off. Mippy and I slowly run....okay, jog.....along, picking people ahead of us to pass. Bean calls us from the finish line, she finishes about 8 minutes ahead of us.

I didn't want to do this, could you tell? But what a feeling of elation to cross the finish line. Bean felt a little sick to her stomach at the end, but said she wants to do it again. The tradition lives on. Later, Monkeyboy was 4/4 at his baseball game and caught some awesome catches to get people out. His birthday followed and I sit here exhausted. Such a wonderful Sunday. Can I go to sleep now? Hope your day was as great!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, no, it's time

I was in court today, so on the way back to the office I stopped to get the race packets. I arrived at 10:30 AM and walked in to get our numbers. Found them with no problem. Strolled inside along with other real runner looking types, you know....running pants, $200 shoes, the works. Went over to get our tags and alas, was told "We don't open until 11:00". I tried to give them a sob story and they sent me to a very mean lady, who said the same thing. I asked her why I couldn't get my packet and tag now since all seemed ready to go. "No," she said. "We start at 11:00." "But those people got their stuff," I whined. She raced off and began yelling at them. They looked startled and began to walk quickly out the door. So, she began yelling at the volunteers. Finally, at 10:55 she gave the go ahead. Now, by this time, everyone was cranky. The women who gave us the tags were fine, BUT the ones who handed out the packets were very cranky. The woman who handed out the bus tickets directed everyone to the table for old Great Race t-shirts that were only $1. You can imagine what chaos ensued. Fighting my way back out of the hall and to the car, I discovered that I had forgotten a map of the pick up site, but there was no way I was going back there! I called Mippy on the way home and told her I would deliver her packet and Bean's packet. After much fumbling around and trying to figure out who got what shirt, I arrived at home to examine everything. Whoops, got the wrong shirt. Called Mippy who informed me that Bean was cutting the shirt in her packet was too big. Oh, well, they aren't my colors anyway. I'm not ready for this, you know. I'm old and I had surgery not long ago and I think I am still having side effects from the anesthesia. Oh, and I know it will be foggy and my hair will droop and my picture at the finish line will be awful. How did we ever run a marathon? Think of Bean, Mippy and I as you wake up Sunday in your nice, comfortable bed. I'll surely be thinking of you...and it may be that your ears will be burning. I'm going to go rest up now for the race....I'm really not ready for this!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I am a morning person. I love waking up to sunshine in the window. I love autumn. I don't know if I love autumn better or spring. The seasons are the reason I could never live where there are not four distinct seasons. This has been the best weather that I can remember. Cool, crisp mornings, sunny warm days. I love driving up the street in the morning and seeing the sun streaming through the trees as it comes up over the horizon. I love walking in the park and seeing the fog blanketing everything, then slowly rising as the sun breaks through. The trees turning colors, slowly, but surely. The days are growing shorter, but I don't mind that. I like curling up with my book and feeling cozy in the dusk. Things have been very sad at work, so I truly try to find beauty in the world outside. Flurry, Monkeyboy's kitten, got spade (if that's the way you spell it) the other day. Survived and is as peppy as ever. Bean had auditions tonight...will see if she gets call-backs tomorrow. Go, Bean. And Monkeyboy has a birthday on Sunday, his eighth. Sprout follows in two weeks. Papap had one yesterday, and Iowa niece and nephew had anniversary yesterday. We have all of these celebrations coming up...birthday's and anniversaries. Makes some happiness where there is sadness. The good and the not so good. I'm going to go read my book and escape. How do you escape?

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Poppy and Mime came to visit. They were on their way back from Chautauqua and came here to visit...well, I'm sure it wasn't JUST the game. Mippy went to U. of Iowa and Poppy worked there for many years. However, Poppy went to Pitt also. Mime and Poppy arrived on Thursday to me baking chocolate chip cookies, which everyone ate, warm from the oven, and even before they were cooked! The thing I love best about these visits is just sitting around and talking. I miss them tremendously and it is always great to see them. On Friday we went shopping in Shadyside. We ran into Ernie, the sheepdog. What a beautiful dog! Poppy said my sheepdog smelled, and how pretty this one was. The owner looked at me and said "he's not a dog lover," to which I replied, "no, he isn't". Poppy immediately said he was, and she looked at me again and said "no, he isn't". Made me miss my sheepdog, but not all the grooming. She said she gets him groomed once a month. Saturday morning was gorgeous. We all met at our house and the nine of us piled into cars to head to Heinz Stadium and the Iowa-Pitt game. Mippy lead us to the parking lot and we all walked through the tailgaters and to the stadium, where we got spray on tattoos. I got a panther, Poppy got a Pitt one (yeah!) and the kids got a Pitt one. MR went with us and she was such fun. She went because Bean had musical theater and Bird had to work. We always like to have her with us, she is funny, pretty and Sprout loves her. The game was quite exciting, and Pitt won 21-20. Monkeyboy shed tears everytime the Hawkeyes got points. He was quite vociferous during the whole game, challenging calls and cheering. We all came back to the house then headed out for dinner. It was a most wonderful visit with my brother and sister-in-law, and I just can't wait to see them again. Although, when I said to Mime that I would see them next summer and maybe sooner, she had would I describe it.....look of panic on her face? Hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine. Happy Sunday.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Few of my Favorite Things

1. Looking at the clouds in a blue sky with kids and identifying what we see.
2. The sun rising on a crisp autumn day.
3. A child catching bubbles and laughing as they try.
4. Men sitting on the park bench talking and laughing while their wives think they are exercising.

5. The first snowfall.
6. The first flowers of spring.
7. Succeeding and being surprised.
8. Watching a good movie while eating popcorn.
9. Laughing until I cry.
10. Being with people I like.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dancing With Myself

I found this awhile ago on YouTube and loved it. Just thought I would try this on the blog. Let me know if you like it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hot Summer Nights

It still is summer, I think...until the twenty-second of September. And it is quite warm here. I haven't had a guitar lesson in a couple of weeks. Monte is getting the school kids back and rearranging his schedule, so we have been missing. I haven't practiced much (I know, shame on me) and I dread lessons when I don't practice. Not that Monte cares, but I do, because I feel like I am wasting his time. I try to have questions when I go, because he likes that. He said many of the kids come in and just go through the motions...never asking questions about anything. Monte plays a variety of instruments. Tonight he had a keyboard lesson, a guitar lesson (several, I believe), a banjo lesson and he tells me he also teaches violin. Anyway, we hand an excellent lesson tonight. I asked Wicked Kitty about taking a break, and did she think I should do it. Never one to give advice (darn her), she merely talked about when she took piano lessons and had a summer break. So, Monte and I talked about it before the lesson began and he said to take a break. He thinks a month off will do me good, re-energize me, so to speak. Said he will always find room for me if I come back after a month, and if I don't, it's okay. Tonight we ended up playing two Springsteen songs together, and I ALMOST kept up with him. It is fun. I signed up for photography classes and I am looking forward to those. It is for digital cameras and I called and said I had and SLR and could I use that and the instructor got all excited because it is the same camera she has. I don't think the camera makes a lot of difference. Michele uses a point and shoot, as does Bean, and their pictures are as good as my camera takes. Hmmmm, maybe it is the photographer and not the camera.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Beginnings

School started today for Monkeyboy. This after a weekend full of fun things. Labor Day was spent buying roller blades for Monkeyboy and Bean. Bird held onto Monkeyboy by the scruff of his neck so that he could use his arms for balance. New things to learn. It has been a big summer for championship, learing to ride his two wheeler, new kitten and now his rollerblades. School went ok for him today. David threw something and didn't get a card pulled...has he already been deemed a problem? Kids get labeled pretty quickly, both by other kids and by teachers. Mippy and I got new walking/running shoes yesterday. So many to choose from, but we settled. I got Nikes, I forget what she got. I love to go to the park in the morning on my way to work to walk. I love to see the elderly gentlemen walking, always chatting, always friendly. It amazes me to see the runners who really run, and very fast. It is peaceful there in the morning, a very nice way to start the day. The track comes later, and harder since I am tired. I'll keep trying. I registered for the race tonight. Here's hoping.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Planning and Preparation

I am a planner. Can't help it, it is the way that I am. The Great Race is coming up here in Pittsburgh. Bean and I have been doing the race since she was four years old. Last year we took Monkeyboy for the Steeler's race. He was enthralled with the thought of seeing some Steelers and with the thought of running through the tunnel and into Heinz Field for the finish. And seeing himself on the Jumbotron. We got to the race early, Mippy, Bean, Monkeyboy and I. We saw some Steelers, but they were Dwight White, Woodruff....from the 70's, no current Steelers. We must have asked Monkeyboy....oh, I don't know......fifty times if he had to go to the bathroom. He insisted he didn't. As soon as the gun went off, he had to go to the bathroom. We passed a hotel and Mippy went to take him in, but you had to have a key. Of course, they didn't, so Mippy stood off to the side, and as soon as someone came out, she dodged in. Getting back into the race, Monkeyboy lamented that "this is the worst day of my entire life". This said at six, almost seven, years of age. Somewhere on the course, he got a burst of energy and forged ahead, leaving Mippy in the dust, yelling for him to slow down. People all around Monkeyboy were watching him in amusement, running far ahead of his mother, who when pushed has an asthma attack. Well, the race ended and Monkeyboy has no desire to do another race. The Great Race is a lot of fun. Bean has bettered her time every year. Bird was going to do the race with her this year, because she is getting too fast for me. Bird isn't able to do it, so I decided on the track today that I will do my best to keep up with her, which will entail a lot of hard work between now and then. Planning and preparation. Of course, there is the chance that Bean will not want to do the race, so I'll check with her at Sunday dinner. Perhaps running will again become a passion for me....but then, perhaps not.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Everyone should have a passion...Wicked Kitty's is art, Michele's is photography and the table she is building, Wacky Mommy's is her new job, Hockey God's is his hockey, Bean's is her theater, Monkeyboy's is his sports. I love it when I hear about someone's passion, it pleases me to see the joy that they feel when they talk about it. Michele is building a table for her new apartment and her face lights up when she speaks of it. Wicked Kitty was featured in the newspaper for her art...what a thrill and to see her doing her art with children is inspiring. Visit and listen to her speak of her new job and how excited she is. And of course, I need not mention Monkeyboy and his passion. Bean, the child who sat in ballet class in the corner crying because she didn't want to dance, is now a wonderful dancer who has appeared on stage at the Benedum in Pittsburgh dancing, singing and acting. Hockey God's passion is both hockey and politics in Portland, Oregon. His sister is passionate about competing in mountain bike races. Hmmm, let me try to figure out my passion....what is your's?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Walk in the Park and So Forth

I truly believe that exercise is a cure all for anything ailing one. I love being out in the morning when all is quiet and peaceful. Monkeyboy started fall baseball practice last night, and I'm really not paranoid.....but, he draws very nice pictures for Wicked Kitty (see picture at right), and makes all kinds of crafty things for Mippy, Bean and Bird.....but do I get anything? No. And last night he was throwing the ball to first base, and I'm pretty sure it was meant to hit me. He said no, but who knows. This boy has a very strong arm. He can throw from left field to home plate with no trouble. Kids are starting back to school soon. I think they are excited, although they don't like to admit it. Monkeyboy had a rough time in school when Mippy and Bird went on vacation for their anniversary. He truly missed his parents. I was remembering it and talking with Mippy about it on Sunday. He sobbed because he missed them so much. I had to take off work because he refused to go to school. All of the grandkids are excellent students, so I wasn't too concerned, but it became a problem, even after the parents got home. He got back on track, thanks to the perseverance of Mippy and Bird. His comment to me when I asked him why he didn't get upset when we went on a road trip was that "Mom and Dad are always supposed to be at home."
I remember my first day of school. I was in the first grade ( I did attend kindergarten, but I don't remember any trauma associated with that) and my mother walked me to school and dropped me off at the first grade room. Miss McGreavy was her name. I remember going to the door and watching my mother walking down the hall, and how very sad and scared I felt. I got over it fairly quickly, but I can still see her walking down the hall. My favorite teacher was Miss Dressing, my fifth grade teacher. She was elderly (probably 40) and she always had a smile on her face. I remember that her class was fun, and she always kept us enthused about learning. My least favorite was my brother's favorite, Miss McCrum. Boy, she was tough. Kicked me out of Algebra 2 for some silly reason, like my doing English homework during her class. Who were your favorite and least favorite teachers? Do you remember your first day of school?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

In the Quiet Morning

Because I still have these odd things happening to my body since all of the surgery I have been through this year, I decided it was time to get back on track with exercise. When I think that Mippy and I used to run at least five miles a day, and sometimes as much as fifteen miles, I wonder how we did it. We used to run in zero weather and ninety-five degree weather. And I have to admit, the endorphins that kicked in were a wonderful thing. So, early this morning, after Ava bit me on the nose telling me she was out of food (Wicked Kitty called her fat, so she is on a diet), I put on some shorts and a t-shirt left over from the racing days and headed for the track. I would love to run the way I did at one time, and hopefully, I can get back to that, but it was nice to be on the track with only a couple of people there. I know we need rain here (sorry, Wacky Mommy, I know you have had LOTS of rain), but the weather this summer has been absolutely splendid. The only thing to ruin this quiet Sunday morning is the man behind us running his STUPID WEED WACKER. In talking with Ginger and Skipper last night we were lamenting about holidays never being holidays anymore. They are days for sales and shopping for bargains. Some of the stores here even open late Christmas day for sales. Kids sports are that way, too. Little league games, soccer games. Not that I don't enjoy all of those things. I do. But maybe we need to re-evaluate how we prioritize things. Meanwhile, the weed wacking has subsided, thank goodness, and I am going to sit in the back yard with my camera waiting for my friends, the deer, and enjoy the quiet of a beautiful Sunday morning. Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pets and Such

Over the years, we have owned many pets. Saucy was our first dog...a Welsh Terrier. Fat, mean dog. Always constipated. Then we got an Airedale. Mike. He was a mean dog too. Went after Poppy's girlfriend at the time. My mom then got a terrier named Skippy. He bit people too. We got a German Shepherd mixed and had to have her put down because she had some disease. We got Molly#1. She was a good dog, except when Poppy came to our house and called her, she ran in the opposite direction peeing across the whole room. He thought it was hysterical and continued to do so during his whole visit. We adopted a dog named Scuddles. She was a sheep dog. Mippy brought her then boyfriend with us and I believe Scuddles bit him, but I'm not sure. (It's the anesthesia, not old age.) Scuddles was a good dog, although she didn't like to be left alone. We had to buy her a wire cage, and it became a contest with her to see if she could get out of it. The first day she simply lifted off the lid by banging her head against it. When I pulled into the drive, she was sitting on the dining room table wagging her butt. (she had no tail) We finally gave up on the cage because she got out of it every time and ended up tearing up our bed, dragging sheets around the house. Once we left the door open to the cage, she was fine. Scuddles died very quickly of cancer. We found out about it and she died two days later. Cancer of the lungs. We didn't get another dog for a while, but then we got Molly #2. She was also a sheep dog. The main problem with her was that when she drank water, it didn't all go in her mouth. We have a tile floor in the house, which turned into a skating rink when wet. Need I say more? It was when we had Scuddles that we got Abbey. I believe I lied (hard to believe) and told Papap that I found her. Actually, Peta friend and I got her at the pound. When Papap walked in the door from work that night....well, let's just say, he was upset. Molly #2 didn't take too kindly to her either. Abbey took ONE LITTLE piece of dog food and Molly grabbed her by the head and flung (is that a word) her across the room. Abbey was in intensive care for two days. She seemed fine after that, and she and Molly became good long as Abbey didn't go near her food. Mippy, Bird and Bean came over for Sunday dinner at Christmas time...not sure if Monkeyboy was born yet. Abbey didn't like Bean much, so I decided to give her some cat nip to mellow her out. She got very goofy, which put everyone into gales of laughter, so I gave her a little more. (Bird said they had lots of cats and cat nip wouldn't hurt her, so it was his fault). She got goofy again, spun around three times and fell over dead on the train tracks. I mean really dead. The vet wanted to do an autopsy, but we passed on that. Molly missed her, but papap said no more animals. Molly was with us for quite a while, but old age took her from us. Now we have Ava, and she brings us great times and much laughter. Pets are a wonderful thing and everyone should have at least one. I was at Mippy's house tonight and tried to get a picture of Flurry. Impossible, she is a fast little kitten. We did manage to get one of Oscar. He's a great dog and seems to be tolerating Flurry quite well. Any pet stories?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sport or Not

OK, here it goes. Is trampoline a sport? How about floor gymnastics? What constitutes a sport? Big discussion today and I said I would open it on the blog. I think some of the things that we have in the olympics are stretching the word "sport". Got into an argument about cheerleading, but I can agree that high school cheerleading is more of a sport than....say, the Dallas Cowgirls. It's more gymnastics. Opinions? Bean cut a baseball diamond with the lawnmower in the yard to surprise Monkeyboy. When he saw it he became so excited and was jumping for joy. Then Bean had to tell him she ran over third base and chewed up the base. He immediately burst into wails of disappointment. It was somwhat alleviated when Bean began to paint the lines to the bases. Another Sunday dinner.....I love it!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Fun Night Out

There is nothing worse than standing in court all day, and I do mean all day. But it surely is worse for the families. I left court at 5:00 and rushed to get home so we could go the the theater. Bean, Monkeyboy, Mippy and I went to see West Side Story. Monkeyboy watches the orchestra more than the production, but that is fine because he is a drummer after all. As we were eating dinner, the waitress told us she was expecting her third baby. Not missing a beat, Monkeyboy asked her the baby's name. She replied and he seemed satisfied. Later Mippy said that Monkeyboy asked his father where babies come from. Bean was there and Bird said something about when the "men" were alone together they would talk about it. Good out. Bean, I am told, giggled a lot. I got an email joke about this and sent it to Bird, thinking it would help broach the subject. I don't think he is going to use that particular joke. I just called Bird to ask him if I could blog about this and he said he didn't care. I then asked him if he had talked to Monkeyboy about this, and he said Monkeyboy is more concerned about football. So, Bird is off the hook for now. And Bean is still giggling. I remember being handed a book and told to read it and ask questions if I had any. Monkeyboy and Bean are coming to my office tomorrow since Bird has training. I swear, if Hockey Caseworker says one word to Monkeyboy about NHL or NFL channels on TV for $7.95 a month, I will choke him. I think ESPN sports every morning for the updates is enough. What is scary now is that Bean is starting to spout sports memorabilia. Have a wonderful Sunday and how were you told about where babies come from.........don't get too graphic, just generally. ;)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Time Flies

I am having fun playing with photos. This particular one is a picture of "The Gates", an art exhibit in NYC's Central Park. The gates were created by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 2005. Their flags covered over 23 miles in Central Park and took over 24 hours to unfurl all of the flags. "The Gates" alluded to the tradition of Japanese torii gates which were traditionally constructed at the entrance to Shinto Shrines. I liked them because I think they added color to the landscape in the dreary months of winter, but there were many complaints about them also. I decided to play with the photo and leave the color on the flags and turn the rest of the picture to black and white. I remember these flags, but I had no idea that it was three years ago that this was on display. The older I get the more time goes by much too quickly. I am reminded of it daily when I see Sprout, Monkeyboy and Bean. They measure their age in years, months, days....12 1/2, 7 1/2, etc. I don't do that much anymore. Comes too quickly for me. I like that I am again pulling out the camera and looking at the world through the lens again. I had lunch with friends today and one of them brought pictures of the mountains in Colorao. I remember Papap and I being at the Grand Canyon and me taking pictures and saying that no picture could do this justice. I think the real thing is the most beautiful, but every once in awhile, one can capture that beauty with a camera and that's what I strive for...a picture that captures the moment. I hope you enjoy the picture, it reminds me that there is brightness even in the darkness.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday Dinner

I love Sunday dinners. It is usually a fun time and the kids seem to enjoy it also. Yesterday was no exception, except Sprout didn't make it. Tacos were the meal of the day. Excellent choice, Mippy. Monkeyboy has made his birthday list, though his birthday is over a month away. He would like tickets to the Steelers game, to the Pirates game and to the Penquins game. Oh, yes, and the Yankees game. He also wants some game and other items, but then he was very dramatic when he said...."Now, just think about this, because I really would like this, so just think about it......A baseball field in the back yard." I love it. He was very serious. And so what if he and dad need a road trip to see the Yankees play ball. Bean worked very hard this summer to earn money for Ugh (?) boots and got them over the weekend. I think they are ready to go back to school. She got a pair of Converse sneakers also. I told her to get them last year, because I think they are neat, but she wouldn't hear of it. Now she has a pair. Hmmmm. OK, another web site to visit. Neat artwork, also for purchase. The picture of the hole in the ground was seen by Mippy and I on our walk. It keeps growing. What a great Sunday, they should all be so good. Happy Monday.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


My friend, Michele at work, is a really excellent photographer. She has a neat site that I will post after I get her permission. After looking at her pictures, I am inspired. They are so good. So, Michele at work was explaining how to do black and white and add color. I got the black and white down, but now I have to get the color. The incline is one of Pittsburgh's unique tourist attractions. It is functional in that it gets people from one place to another...from Mt. Washington to Station Square. It scares me to death. One time when Poppy, Mime and kids were visiting we went on the incline. #1 son of Poppy's was a little hesitant, as was I. He and I got caught in the doors as the rest of the group went waltzing off to see more sites. I close my eyes on the incline, as I do on roller coasters and other things that are high. So, if and when you come to our fair city, ride the incline. It offers a wonderful view of the city...but of course, you have to keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Feeling helpless

When I hear something that someone tells me and I am not sure I want to hear it, I do one of two things. I put my fingers in my ears and sing loudly or I totally tune them out. I went to my mechanic yesterday after work and as I walked in the door he looked sad and woeful. "It's not good," he said. "Not good at all." I asked if it was the timing chain. "No, and it's not the fuel pump." *fingers in ear, beginning to hum softly* "There is no compression in the cylinders." *humming getting louder*. "Don't know why, have a call into someone to see what it is." *singing now......"raindrops keep falling on my head"* He tells me he will call as soon as he hears back. I leave, singing at the top of my lungs, fingers in my ears. I CAN'T HEAR YOU. Fast forward to today. Cell phone rings and it is my mechanic. "Car needs to be towed to dealership." Tuning out, since cell phone is to ear and I can't put fingers in ears. I later find out from the dealer that the car is going to be very expensive. Alas, I dislike intensely the granny car I am driving. I like my little pretend sports car. So, I hung up on the dealer man without saying goodbye, waited 10 minutes, then called back and said "fix it". *sigh*.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Car Trouble

I have an eight year old car that I really like. It's kind of sporty, and they don't make them anymore. I've had little trouble with it until today. I went to the library at lunch and got a couple of really good books, I think. Then I went to pick up a salad to take back to work. As I am driving I noticed that there was no....what....gas to the car? I downshifted, thinking I had slowed down too much, and then ALL these lights came on in the car. Luckily, I was able to pull over. Now, it is about 85 here and very humid. I tried to start the car once and it wouldn't turn over, so I called my quasi-mechanic who asked a series of questions a questions, said it wasn't the electrical system since the lights and radio and air conditioner were working. He asked about the temperature, then told me to call for a tow truck. As I have said before, I have wonderful people I can call on in an emergency, so I called my mechanic, Jim. Jim owns a garage, not a gas station, and he is wonderful. BUT....Jim wasn't there and there was only one mechanic and the other one was out on a call. So, I had to call directory assistance, who can be charming, but wasn't. She connected me and a nice gentleman said someone would be there in 10-15 minutes. NO, I DON'T HAVE AAA. I was mostly concerned about the lettuce in my salad wilting in the heat. An hour later the tow truck driver appeared, put my sweet little car on a flatbed. He offered me a ride back to the office and when I got in this monsterous truck, his telephone rang and we spent the entire ride back with him arguing with his wife. He would hang up, and she would call right back. By the way, he wouldn't accept credit cards or a check...only cash. A lot of cash! I arrived back at the office and rented a car, but I already miss my car. I hate breaking down on the side of the road, but at least I had no children in the car and no pets! I stopped to see Jim on the way home...he was reassuring, saying he could fix it and it really is worth getting fixed. I think it's going to cost a LOT of money. Oh, by the way, the salad survived....whew!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Judge Judy

I turn the news on when I get up in the morning to catch the news. Earthquake in LA yesterday. Imagine my surprise when Judge Judy popped up on screen. Apparently, during the filming of the show, the Earthquake hit. I believe the good Judge was lecturing (she does a wonderful job of that) and everything started to rumble. She got off the bench and left the courtroom, while the plaintiff and defendent stood there, shaking with the room and looking very puzzled. I think they were afraid to move. I love Judge Judy. I love how she doesn't mince words. I have begun to tape it, because I don't get home in time to watch it. She has little tolerance for stupidity. Monkeyboy and Bean watch it when they are with me. Their mother won't let them watch it. Monkeyboy giggles when Judge Judy yells. So does Bean. I would never, ever go before Judge Judy. She has a way about her, and I wouldn't want to catch her on a bad day. So, I'll just watch and enjoy. But it was funny when she left so quickly and left those poor people looking so bewildered. Ginger, I hope your daughter didn't have any problems.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back to Work

I keep thinking of Wacky Mommy and how excited she is about work. I went back today. Had to go to the main office to check in...guess they wanted to make sure I was alive. I arrived in the city through all the traffic, parked the car for $8.00 an hour and trotted down to the main office. Had to sign in, go upstairs and wait for the personnel man to arrive. (I got there at 8:15, he arrived at 8:40 for our 8:30 appointment. He took me back to his office, gave me a new timesheet and said "if anything comes up, give me a call." I trotted back to the parking garage, just making the one hour deadline and zipped back to the office. All so they could see that, indeed, I was alive. They are demolishing a building next to our office. Because of this, the police have to move their parking. So, they took...oh, I don't know....50 of our parking places. So, often there is no place to park. One man in our office parked in one of their spots (clearly marked "police only") and got a warning. Doesn't matter that there are always at least a half dozen spaces open...we have to park elsewhere. IF I were the type, I would key everyone of their cars. But I'm not the type. ;) As it is, I just glare at them as I pass them. And I want to ask them if the longer walk is helping them lose the weight from all the donuts...but I don't. We have people transporting small children, carrying them in infant seats with diaper bags. They now cannot park near the building, because the police, who sit in their office a lot, can't walk. Here's to the police.......what is it that they do? Not a bad first day back at work, nice welcome from everyone. Meet with the auditors tomorrow. What is it that they do? Stay as enthused as you are Wacky Mommy...Wicked Kitty, Bird and I are cheering for you. Have a great Monday! And Ginger, that Buck, Buck games sounds like a killer....who thought of THAT one?????? OUCH!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Good Job Monkeyboy!

Monkeyboy has mastered the two-wheeler. Bean and friend (MRG) ride their bikes with some frequency and Monkeyboy has ridden his tractor, following behind. Apparently, Bean said "enough" and told him it was time, so he learned to ride very quickly. Now, they can't get him off the bike. I remember for my 7th birthday, my grandmother bought me a bike. She also bought my brother a bike, which I resented, because of course, it was MY birthday. AND, my brother got a speed bike. Mine was red and white, a Schwinn, I believe. I rode it all the time and I loved it. It was shiny AND red, what more could one ask for. The freedom of riding down the hill on Emerson Avenue, hair flying in the wind. Mippy used to ride her bike to the pool every day and had the same sense of freedom, I think. Well, it's back to work on Monday. No more afternoon reading, playing poker or watching movies. I enjoy most of the people I work with and the challange of the job, which is what keeps me from quitting, but Ginger found a job for me, and we could do it together. Funny, but Wacky Mommy is about to begin a job and she is so excited! It's fun to see and listen to her plans. I am about to watch "A Few Good Men". I am on a Jack Nicholson kick. Next is Flashdance, because I love the scenes of Pittsburgh and the museum. Any suggestions on movies? I am really enjoying this Netflix thing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Part of what I value most in a friend is a sense of humor. The ability to find humor in the most mundane things. A woman standing and waiting for a bus when a friend and I were on our way to see Bruce and that friend saying very seriously "She's devastated because she couldn't get tickets." That same friend when the waitress took her glass to be refilled saying "that woman over there has my lipstick on her straw". It's wicked kitty saying she doesn't mind running the vibrating sweeper at the office, with a wicked grin. It is laughing during a very serious meeting and trying not to let anyone see that you are laughing. It is remembering Bean in a taxi in NYC crying that she wanted to take the bus.....for an hour in the taxi in the rain. It's remembering Monkeyboy being sick in NYC, but wanting to ride the double decker bus and us having to get off and RUN to a bathroom for him. It's Mippy and I getting tipsy in Tavern on the Green and laughing when Monkeyboy took his shoes off and put his feet on the table. It was Monkeyboy at age 2 weeks urinating in the air, having it land in his eye and me laughing hysterically while Mippy screamed that she thought he might go blind. It's hearing Ginger laugh hysterically when Skipper said I had a Prince Valiant haircut. So, what makes you laugh the hardest? And what do you value most in a friend?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Plumbers and such

Monkeyboy, Bean, Mippy and Bird went on a camping trip this weekend. Tented it. I don't like tents much, put one up in a hailstorm in Vail one year, only to take it down two hours later in the thunder and lightening to go back down the mountain. Then there was the storm in Bedford with our friends. No, give me a bed, tv and wine. This picture was taken by Bean, they got up early to fish (they throw them back, Peta friends). I watched Flurry, the cat, and Oscar, the dog. We had a good time, the three of us. I come home, of course, to shower. So, how was I to know that the shower was clogged. Mippy came over with some fresh corn and said she couln't wait to get in the shower. Two hours later she called and said the shower was clogged. Now, we live in a neighborhood full of very capable, albeit expensive, plumbers, roofers, home construction workers, etc. Our plumber, Jim, has come on New Year's Day to unclog a drain for us. He has also gone to Bird's house for emergencies, such as the commode leaking and causing a ceiling to fall. Recently we had to have our entire sewer line replaced. We also had to promise our first born grandchild to the gypsies (didn't know that, did you Bean) to pay Jim, our friend the plumber, who kept apologizing for the tremendous amount of money he had to charge. But, it's ok, because after he cashed the check, he bought us a plant. A large plant. Seems to be the thing now. When we got our new furnace, we got a coffee cup with half dead flowers in it from the furnace repair man. Got a message from Mippy....seems Bird and Jim together fixed the shower drain. Wonder if they will get a plant or the half dead flowers.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

On a Quiet Morning

I was in the kitchen on a quiet summer morning and looked out the window to see two fawn eating in the garden. I have come to accept that my garden is why these two babies look so healthy, so it is a good thing. I got my camera and went outside to take pictures. I watched in amazement as Mom just stood there looking at me. As I moved closer, she continued to watch me, not moving until I went towards the babies. Then she rapidly went beside them. She allowed me to take seven pictures and to just watch her guide her young. She is beautiful and the babies are growing. What's the solution? Our neighborhood has many deer now and they are very comfortable here. Our garden is becoming depleted, and our neighbors won't even plant anything because of them. We have moved the deer out of their habitat with our clearing of land and building of houses. We have forced them to graze where they used to live in peace among the trees. I wonder, who has the right here? For now, I will treasure the warm summer morning and sitting...watching a mother and her two fawn grazing in the backyard. I wonder if they can just leave the flowers in the front alone...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

And the Winner is.....

They did it...won four games in a row for the Championship. The guys looked tired tonight, but Monkeyboy said he wasn't. This team has come a long way since the beginning of the season. An excellent coach who taught teamwork as well as the here is to Coach Glenn and the team...GOOD JOB! Bean and I sat on the hill overlooking the ballpark. BB's mom was there with her dog, JJ, aka Jade. Jade is a black lab who is very sick. In fact, they aren't sure JJ will make the night until tomorrow when she can see the specialist. So, here's hoping JJ does better than she has been doing. BB's sister, about age 6, came running up the hill with a bottle of coke and some chips. Her mother asked her where she got them and she said "daddy bought the chips, and I found the pop". Her mother freaked and said "don't drink the pop" to which BB's sister replied..."I already did". Oh, the joys of motherhood. Little sister number two was throwing up dirt from the field as the players got the trophies. Just picking it up, throwing it up in the air, having a ball. Ahhh, to be a child and find joy in throwing dirt up in the air and drinking from a found bottle of pop. Congrats to the team!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Summertime, and the living is GREAT

A wonderful dinner with Ginger and Skipper and a beautiful, albeit hot day in the burg. Saw "The Bucket List" last night, what a great movie! Love Jack Nicholson in anything.....well, I didn't see "The Shining", but most of his stuff. Two things from the movie that struck me....don't read if you haven't seen movie and want to be surprised. First....laugh till you cry. Isn't that great? I have done that and it is the best feeling in the world. The other is to find joy in your life and bring joy to someone's life. This week will be a week of cars...Bird has to get his fixed because Mippy is tired of going thru drive through with the window duct taped in the closed position. Buzz's engine light now not only comes on, it stays on. And I need an oil change. So, back to the Bucket three things you want to do before you kick the bucket. Boy, is that loaded! One thing...I would want to take a cross-country road trip with the kids. I want to stop in Iowa (at least three places there, one by myself), Denver, Portland, Tucson, and hundreds of places in between. Not the interstate, the back roads to see the country. What about everyone...what would you want to do?

Friday, July 11, 2008

One tournament completed

Buzz and Sprout took me out to dinner the other night. Delicious. We went to Station Square where they have the dancing fountains, among other things. It was a beautiful night and we watched the fountains dance to Frank Sinatra's music. Sprout was enthralled. It is truly relaxing to sit and watch the water, see the city across the river, watch the inclines go up and down to Mt. Washington and just enjoy the city. I love Pittsburgh, don't think I ever want to leave. The seasons thrill me...there is nothing better than the first day of spring and later, watching the trees turn colors. We were off then from Station Square to Monekyboy's championship game. At least, the one for this week. Excitement abounds. When we arrived, the score was 2-0, Monekboy's team ahead. Then it was 4-0. At the end of the game it was 4-4 and they went into extra innings. Everyone held their breath as Monkeyboy's team had 3 up and 3 down. The opposing team smashed us...kept getting hits and ended up winning. I think I have mentioned the competitive spirit that I possess. It was a good series. Monkeyboy was pleased with his trophy and this week is another tournament. It remains a great way to spend a summer evening. Thank you Monkeyboy, for playing a wonderful series. And thanks to Buzz and Sprout for a wonderful dinner that I am still exercising off....well, at least thinking about exercising off. That triple chocolate cake was the BEST!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tournament Ball is Here

I love to watch Monkeyboy play ball, what a pleasure to see how this team has progressed. I am a bit exhausted from all of the screaming and doing the wave for his team, but gosh, they are the best. Championship game is Wednesday. Did I mention I am competitive? Bird had control of the power locks in the car last night, funny how this family is into power and power gadgets in the car. He tried to lock Bean out of the car, would let her get so close, then move the car a few feet. Lots of rain water on the field, a bit of a pond in right field. A lovely evening for baseball, and hopefully they will have as much fun on Wednesday. I enjoy people watching also. There is a lovely lady there and I think she borrowed her teeth from a horse. Honestly, they are very, very large. And the little girl (who outnumbered me in trips to the concession stand) who, for some reason, had to hold up her shorts AND hold her food. Quite a feat. There is the toothless man behind us who yells at the umpire a lot, because the umpire seems to blow with the wind. We have a line up for our team and we are starting the WAVE when someone does well.......actually, Bean and I are doing the WAVE and one time we actually got others to joing us. I am feeling well and continue to be amazed at this laproscopic surgery...if you ever need surgery and this is an it! Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't know which are my favorites...chocolate chip or oatmeal raisen, but we did the choc chip. What wonderful times we are having, Bean and I. Tonight Mippy drove us all to my office to pick up some things. The kids were silly, being tired and all, as were Mippy and I. Mippy and Bean were singing a chorus of "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music" as Mippy was pumping $40 worth of gas in her car. I think Monkeyboy was yodeling, but I'm not sure. As we drove down the road Mippy explained that it had been a bad day at work and she was exhausted. At the same time, Bean was singing, Monkeyboy was playing with the power window in the back seat. I could see that Mippy was going to her happy place, a fog beginning to form over her face. Suddenly she said, "I have very little power in my life, BUT THE ONE PLACE I DO HAVE POWER IS OVER THE POWER WINDOWS". She didn't shout this, but said it very calmly as she locked Monkeyboy's window. It took him a moment to notice, and he was quite indignant when he did. I asked her to put my window up, and she got this very odd look on her face and told me to put the hood up on my Tasty Taco sweatshirt. It was kind of a grin, but not quite. Monkeyboy began to complain that he was hot. She just kept driving, mumbling something about power. Bean kept on singing. I think we all need a good night's sleep. Choc chip or oatmeal raisen...your favorite?