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?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Guns and things

Bean and I planted today...well, actually, she planted and I directed. Mippy and Monkeyboy came by to pick up Bean. Monkeyboy looked tired from Cub Scout Camp. I asked him what he liked best about camp, and he said "shooting the gun". When I picked myself up from the dead faint, I thought about this. Grobus, aka Poppy, was president of the rifle club when he was in high school. I tried out for the rifle club, but couldn't even hit the target. Since then, I have not had much contact with guns. Bird was in the Marine Corp during the Gulf War. He fought and did a fine job of that. I was so very proud when he got off the plane and people cheered him as he came through the airport. Bird is a good person.....well, most of the time. He has a great sense of humor, is a kind and gentle person and a wonderful father. Monkeyboy thinks his father is the best thing ever and wants to be just like his father. Monkeyboy could not have a better role model. HOWEVER, there is this matter of guns. Bird and I had a "discussion" tonight about guns. Bird said he would never teach Monkeyboy to kill any living thing, that Bird likes guns, but he doesn't like killing anything with them. So, on this matter, which I feel so strongly about, I will trust Mippy and Bird. I have seen the gentleness and love in Monkeyboy--with Flurrie, the gentleness, and with his family, the love. I don't like guns, but I'll keep looking to the gentle side of Monkeyboy.....that's the side I love, Monkeyboy attached to Flurrie and worrying when some other child wanted to hold him........that they may not be as gentle as he was.

New Food for the Deer

Bean and I decided growing deer need more food. So this morning bright and early, (well maybe not so early) we went to the garden center and said, "We want to spend lots of money to feed our deer friend." The gardener rubbed his hands together and said, "You should spend lots of money to feed your friends, and I have lots of expensive plants to sell to you." So Bean and I came home, and have been planting ever since. Bean whines, "This is harder than cleaning the attic!" Little does she know the best is yet to come...while Mia gabbed on the phone all afternoon, Bean was made to work her fingers to the bone in the garden. Jumping on the shovel, trying to get a hole dug through the rocks and clay. Well worth the effort. Hope the deer enjoy. We took pictures because we are pretty sure it will be gone tomorrow.