Thursday, December 24, 2009


Today, when I went into the bathroom I heard the beginning of a particular Christmas song I really liked. So, in order to hear it better, I reached up and turned off the light. read that correctly. I turned off the light so I could hear the song better.

I'm doing screwy things more and more. In polite society, this could be considered "eccentric". In the medical field, it's considered problematic. In my head, it's frighteningly scary.

I have a pretty glass vase filled with gaily colored little gem stones. Thousands of gaily colored little gem stones. I use this vase to stick my lip liner and other cosmetics in that are pencil shaped. The other morning, I discovered my toothbrush there. As if that wasn't bad enough, I blamed Peter. If you know Peter remotely, he didn't even bother to defend himself. He just looked at me out of the tops of his eyes and continued what he was doing. 'Nuff said.

I repeatedly call my dog by my grandson's name. Nice.

I have to help my brother drive from Ohio to California in January. Ohio. To. California. I hope he can read the map. And I certainly hope he doesn't expect me to FOLD it.

Merry Christmas Eve my friends.

I wish you a joyous holiday full of family and friends who love you for who you are and nothing more or less...cause that's the best there is!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Another "play" experience with Clarkie.

I made up a game called "Tickle Spider". It's about what you imagine. My hands are tickle spiders. I run and chase the boy, but only just behind him, and then throw him on the couch (after several close calls) and then tickle him gently on the neck and sides...and sometimes on the piggies.

Everyday when I'm there, he will spontaneously look at me and say, "*Gasp*, chase me tickle spider!" Who could possibly refuse? Now, with the recent diagnosis of his asthma, as well as his over-the-top excitability, we have to stop playing when I can hear him wheezing. THAT'S when the game settles down and it's quiet time. He just gets soooooooooooo into it.

Today, after we played awhile, he ran into the kitchen and told his mom, "Mama, Moo Moo scares me!"

Without hesitating a moment (which is her gift), and keeping a perfectly straight face (another gift), Ms. Em says to her son, "Really Clark? Because she's short and weighs about 90 pounds. She's also old. Soon you'll be able to kick her out of your way with one leg. Now go play with Moo."

And how was YOUR day?....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I just want to say to the person who put chocolate, gummy bears and cinnamon together....thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And I want to ask you this: What possessed you to do it? Have you no moral compass? Did you not consider the ramifications of your actions? Did you not consider the weak wills and lack of resolve that your product would encounter? Well?

I hope you can sleep with yourself...because I know for a fact that I, for one, will be sleeping with your product...night after night after night, until it is gone...thanks chocolate-covered-cinnamon-gummy-bear-inventor. Thanks a lot.

Monday, December 21, 2009


One of the trending topics for Twitter last night was "three words for you". Apparently, they were asking people for three words that were important to them. Some were cool, such as "I am legendary" or "Happy New Year". Others were weird, like "pass the peas" or "monkey knife fight", which just makes me smile outright when I say those words together. MONKEY KNIFE FIGHT!

So naturally, I've been putting my three words together. I've never been good at stuff like this. And when I do finally settle on the words, or answer to the quiz, or whatever, I'll revisit it and think, "Doh! I could have said this, or that, or the other" and I feel bad, or stupid, or inadequate, and just DARN THIS RUMINATIVE NATURE!!!!!!

Anyway, three words, three words, three words....aarrggghhhhhh.....yeesh, this is I go with profound? funny? wise? pithy? sarcastic? cute? What if I'm misunderstood? I don't always speak my "voice". I am very often misunderstood. And anyway, who is so one-dimensional that three words can sum up an entire existence? Twitter-why do you mess with my life like that?

You want three words? I'll give you three are three words that sums it up for me!



Emmy and I were discussing how to more visually impact Christmas morning for the kids as opposed to simply purchasing more gifts. So we discussed covering the tree with candy canes after the kids went to sleep, etc. Em said it would be fun to cover the room in helium balloons. She was imagining helium balloons with pretty ribbons hung with different weights so that the balloons were at different heights-adding to the magical feel of the moment. She suggested filling the upstairs with the balloons and pretty ribbons and lettings the kiddos navigate through the festive strings and ribbons down the stairs to the tree and the gifts, la la la. I on the other hand, saw something different. The actual conversation between Emily and I went like this:

EM: I like the balloon idea. Lots of balloons with weights.

EM'S MOM: Cool! Yea! Fill the room with tons of balloons. Use different coins with different weights, like quarters, nickles, dimes, cause they all have different weights and the balloons would all be hanging at different levels. That would look so cool!

EM: Well, we could attach different sized weights to the bottom of the ribbons and that would do it too.

EM'S MOM: Oh! You want to attach ribbons? That would be pretty!

EM: What did you THINK we were going to do with the balloon?

EM' MOM: I was seeing orbs. You know, big silver orbs just kind of hovering.

EM: ORBS? Christmas orbs? That's right Mom. Everyone thinks of orbs when they think of Christmas. *looks around* Is everyone signed on for the big Christmas orb event?

MOM: Oh *laughing*. So, you want a Christmas that appears less drug-induced?

EM: Yea Mom. Magic, but without the drugs.

MOM: Whatever....
Our consensus was, "we want them to fart glitter, not poo their pants"...and that summed it up.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


On this particular evening, 29 years ago, Don and I went to see Robin Williams in his new movie, Popeye. I didn't feel so good. I thought I might be in labor. In fact, I was pretty certain I WAS in labor, but I didn't say anything because we had gone through some close calls and I didn't want to get Don's hopes up again. So...we went to a nice restaurant and then to the movie. I came home and sat in my rocking chair...the same rocker I had labored and nursed my two beautiful baby girls just 3 years hindsight, I should have probably told Don to go slow on the alcohol...alas...

At around 4:00 in the morning (if memory serves me correctly), I woke him up and told him to take me to the hospital because it was time. His hangover was still hanging....over..... But we got down there and around 7:00 a.m., Mr. Bubby arrived, at 10 1/2 pounds, gorgeous as all get out...fair, blond, and blue-eyed....just like two of my grandsons are today. He was a sight to behold. The first and only

So...since I probably wont post this tomorrow....Happy Birthday my firstborn son....happy 29th birthday. I love you so much. Your dad's feet didn't hit the ground for days. The doctor laughed the entire time I was in the hospital because of your dad's reaction. I was so happy to have my boy...and your sisters! Yeesh....they adored you....and they still do....

As we've said for years, the party doesn't happen until Bub walks in the door...

Don't get started on the memories: the bravery when protecting your little bro, "our" song on the radio when you were little (which can still make me misty), "not only are your ORIGINAL eyes gone", brekken, the IQ points, the arguments, the love, the compassion and the charity.

Don't get me started.

Happy Birthday.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Here's a fun little pass-along from my daughter-in-law, Abby. You can copy and paste it on your blog/email. Just copy and fill it in. Have fun!

1. WRAPPING PAPER OR GIFT BAG? Anyone who knows me and my super left-handedness will BEG me to use a gift bag...although I love a prettily wrapped gift. My sister used to do it professionally as I was growing up and they are still works of art. She is gifted....I'm...not. She received all of the creative, artsy, all of the beautiful Irish genes...I just got what was left over...

2. REAL OR FAKE TREE: Again, I don't environmental self argues with my traditional self, so I typically go with the fake. My Jewish dad was so tolerant of this tradition...we grew up in a Catholic neighborhood so he did a bang up job of showering up with Christmas, including the tree. We always had the biggest, gaudiest tree on the block. A couple of years we even had that big, silver tree in our picture window with the rotating green, red, and blue lights that caused the tree to change colors? Remember those? I think department stores used them a lot...It was very "George Jetson-y"

3. WHEN DO YOU PUT UP THE TREE: As I recall, I think the tree went up a week or so before Christmas. It just made the kids so dang hyper....yeesh....all those little yappers going off at the same time....of course, now I look back and it sounds like music....we would decorate it and have fun, but when the kids woke up on Christmas morning, it was covered with candy canes and many years, there were balloons strewn about and glitter where Santa walked. This often hid the fact that the gifts were lean...just the fact that there was more "visual" stuff happening was satisfying to much fun....

4. WHEN DO YOU TAKE THE TREE DOWN: Now? I take it down on the 26th..bah! humbug!. For real, I'll yank that sucker down the next day if I can. When Peter and I first got married, I did exactly what my father did and it blew Peter's mind. He came home from work and there was our real Christmas tree, out on the curb, complete with the lights still on it, waiting to be picked up. Frugal Peter went nuts. He came in dragging the tree AND the lights saying, "Did you know this was in the gutter!?" I replied, "Of course I knew it was there! I dragged it there. Why would you bring it back in here?" He couldn't believe it. I explained that the lights are a dime a dozen and why store them and mess with them when they're just a pain in the neck? Get rid of 'em! I think he got light headed on that one.

5. DO YOU LIKE EGGNOG: yes...oh yes....

6. FAVORITE GIFT RECEIVED AS A CHILD: Let me tell you about Christmas at the Katz house. It was sheer magic. Crazy, sheer magic. I wish it for all children. Some years, the gifts came from the far wall to the middle of the room, if you can possibly imagine such a sight greeting two little kids and a big sister (who was in on it)....just magic....One year in particular I asked for a doll called a "Shrinking Violet". Looking back she was just a big doll with a flat butt that could sit on a shelf. Not so special...but I loved her because I "saved" her all the time. I would design these elaborate IV systems with needles and threads. She always had leukemia and I would stick needles in her arms and legs and save her life every day. I was a sheroe. How come no one ever thought that was weird?

7. DO YOU HAVE A NATIVITY SCENE: I have a one piece carved olive-wood scene of Mary and Joseph with Mary holding the baby Jesus. That's all...but I keep it out all year. However, it's packed from the move.


9. WORST CHRISTMAS GIFT YOU EVER GOT: Hmmmmm....odd....I don't believe I've ever received a really bad gift...I'm really trying to remember office parties, etc and I can't think of one...I'll keep trying...

10. EASIEST PERSON TO BUY FOR: Mom. Gift certificate to Steinmart OR a restaurant that she loves...or something really sparkly....

11. MAIL OR EMAIL CHRISTMAS CARDS: Mail. I love snail mail.

12.FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE: A Christmas Story....I howl every time I see it.

13. WHEN DO YOU START SHOPPING FOR CHRISTMAS: I see things all year long that make me think of people I care about...all. year. long.

14. HAVE YOU EVER RECYCLED A CHRISTMAS PRESENT: Like regifted? Or actually used and then gave it as a present?

15. FAVORITE THING TO EAT AT CHRISTMAS: I do enjoy eggnog. I love Christmas cookies. I enjoy the love that goes into Christmas cooking in general....and there is a lot of enthusiasm and love that goes into it, don't you think?

16. COLORED OR CLEAR LIGHTS ON THE TREE: Don't care, just lots and lots of lights. lots. many. thousands.

17. TRAVEL AT CHRISTMAS OR STAY HOME: Well...this year I'll be traveling ON Christmas. Flying to C-bus all day and spend my momma's 90th with her.

18. CAN YOU NAME ALL OF SANTA'S REINDEER: No. And I will confess something here. I thought reindeer were fictional animals until I was in my 30s...yea....

19.ANGEL ON THE TREE TOP, OR A STAR: It just doesn't matter.

20. OPEN THE PRESENTS CHRISTMAS EVE OR MORNING: We always opened one on Christmas eve and then the rest on Christmas day. So....whatever works....

21. MOST ANNOYING THING ABOUT THIS TIME OF YEAR: People who refuse to go with the flow and remember the reason for the season. If everyone is being nice...please be nice....

22. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CHRISTMAS: I like the memories and I like watching my kids make new memories and new traditions with their families. I like sitting back and taking it all in as the generations transition. It's a nice place to be. :)

23. HOT CHOCOLATE OR CIDER: Both, but in separate cups....

24. WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR CHRISTMAS: Really? Wow. Well, my daughter survived a hideous automotive accident and it turns out she was we're expecting another beautiful baby next summer, my son made it through his medical challenges this year, my twin grandbabies reached their first year without major incident and in fact, have thrived (thriven?), my stepson is on his way to serving his mission in 2010, my husband is working, looks like Mom is hitting her 90th on January 4th and I'll be there for that, we all survived a lot of loss and we're still standing...I think I'm good.

25.(I made this last) FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG: Oh...don't get me started on Christmas songs....they were my "church" growing up....I learned about Christ through Christmas carols....after I was baptized (in August!!!) I was filled with the Spirit, but I didn't know any hymns, so I would rock my babies on my lap, sweating profusely, and sing carols, because they were the only religious songs I knew and I wanted to express my faith poor neighbors...but to answer the question...hmmm...there were a couple. I loved Little Drummer Boy when I was little because it made me feel like I was good enough, if that makes sense. And if anyone knows me, they know I like to rock...and I've "rocked" all my life...yea, I was one of "those" kids...and in the winter time, at Christmas, when the snow was deep, I would sit at the base of one of our big picture windows after dark, when it was cold, and I would hear "Silent Night" in my head...and I would imagine that Mary, the most perfect Mother in the world, was rocking the baby Jesus in our backyard...and I would rock with and Mary and baby Jesus...rocking....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This is an actual telephone conversation with my almost-90-year-old mother.

MOM: Debbie, I need you to do me a favor.

ME: Sure.

MOM: I found Ellen's "e" thing so you can write her a letter.

ME: ?

MOM: Here's what I want you to say.

ME: Wait, wait, wait. Do you mean you found Ellen's email address? And you want me to write her an email for you?

MOM: That's what I said!

ME: Oh!

MOM: Here's what I want you to write. "Dear Ellen, I love you. I have always loved you. I want to see your face before I'm dead. I want to see you by cane, by wheelchair, or by casket. I just love you!" Can you send that for me?

ME: ?

MOM: You know. I watched her shows when NO ONE watched her shows.

ME: Really Mom? Cause she's been pretty pop--

MOM: Yes, even when no one watched that one show of hers, I was right there. I just love her and I need to see that adorable little blue-eyed face of hers before I die.

ME: You know, I live in California, Mom, and you've never been out this way to see me...ever.

MOM: Well, I'll get out there for Ellen, by cane, wheelchair, or cask--

ME: Got it.

MOM: Now, if Ellen asks you if I want anything, you just tell her "No. I have everything I need and I'm not doing this to get anything."

ME: Okay.

MOM: Remember, if she asks what I want, you tell her nothing.

ME: I'm on it.

MOM: But if she stays after you about it and almost pesters you, tell her I really miss the pinky ring my late husband bought for me, that I lost. Tell her that.

ME: Gosh Mom...I just don't think that El--

MOM: Tell her I really miss my husband.

ME: You bet.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The other night my brother remarked that Peter resembled the younger Howard Hughes. I googled images of said Hughes and the resemblance was, indeed, remarkable. I always see Christian Bale in Peter's face...the same eyes, the same mouth, the same chin...but this was be the judge....

I'm not going to concern myself until Peter starts saving his own urine and begins wearing tissue boxes for shoes...maybe then...

P.S. Peter has NO idea I've posted this. I took these photos from my library. Drum roll please...

Sunday, December 13, 2009


So, the twin grand babies are now one year old. I can't begin to mentally and spiritually digest what their little family has gone through in that time. To simply bullet point the significant events doesn't do them justice and who would believe it anyway? Here's the thing about our family, we dislike drama, despite the fact that it follows us everywhere. And here's the other thing about our family, we will always get back up. It may take us a minute to dust ourselves off, but given some (brief) time and perspective, we're all, "Wow, THAT was a hit. I need a hug and then I'm going to check what's in the fridge."

I was going to explain their trials; the bed-rest, the struggle to save the babies in-utero and the gut-wrenching ultrasounds, the deaths of both grandfathers, the loss of a job on the day that they signed for their first home (bye-bye home), the new job, the new house, the babies' developmental milestones, Mommy's letters to the babies (oh my gosh, the letters)...all that....

But no. Everyone, but more importantly, "they" as a family, decided to move forward a year ago. And they have. Moved forward. With every seeming set back, they have indeed looked ahead. When their faith has been tested, they have submitted themselves without questioning, without resisting. They have simply endured with patience and unity and love. Eli's Dad, Don, used to say what an example they were to him. That he would look to Eli for the right thing to do and the right way to be. He would not be disappointed.

Happy birthday to Charlie and Olivia. What a year it has been...with every trial, there has been twice as much laughter, and don't get me started on the gratitude...and they are ready for the next year...and the next...and the next....come what may, they are ready.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


When my brother found this particular place, he said the EXACT SAME THING I said when I saw it the first time. He said, "Hey! This looks like a scene from the old Star Trek series back in the late 60s". Talk about a shared history...
Here's David "wrestling" a Joshua Tree....sure....
We thought this rock formation loosely resembled the Sphinx....loosely...
The fog rolling into the valley gave the above photo an other-worldly feel....
I love pictures of road leading off to who-knows-where. It makes me wonder where it leads.
I love the line of green in this photo...
Just more big rocks.
And more
And more
More other-worldly feeling landscape stuff...

All in all, a great day with David and Peter...We love Joshua Tree and always look for an excuse to go there...

Friday, December 11, 2009


I am having so much fun going to Em's house each day. I know that she worries that I'm getting tired or worse, burned out or something, but nothing could be further from the truth. She needs me. I need her. The kids are having a blast. Case closed.

Today, Em and I were seated next to each other on the couch relaxing and talking. Clarkie came up and climbed up between us dragging a big, warm blanket. He said, "I'm cold" and proceeded to snuggle down between the two of us. We happily accommodated him as he wiggled and situated himself down in the middle. Emmy stroked his head and I rubbed his feet and we tucked him in with the blanket. I mean....really! Sitting there between his Mom and his Grandma, getting kissed and hugged and all warm with the blanket....who wouldn't want to be him? Heck! I want to be Clarkie.

But the glorious thing about being a grown-up is this: it's so rewarding to give the love, maybe funner to give than to receive it. There's a time and place for receiving, certainly, and no one ever outgrows that...but being able to give love so freely and unconditionally nourishes the giver so much more than I ever realized. Maybe that's the consolation prize for old age...."Way to go kiddo...your teeth are falling out, along with your hair, but your heart is golden and your spirit's A-O-K".

Who would have thought that getting into Heaven could be so fun?


Conversation with my brother last night:

ME: Doov, if you didn't know me and saw me for the first time, would you think I was just thin or maybe skinny, like you know, too skinny.

DAVID: Oh...thin. Well, skinny. Wellll, thin skinny...maybe more skinny. JUST EAT SOMETHING, WOULD YA!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I saw magic the other day. I was going through an intersection on the way to Emmy's house. It was one of the 3-way-stops where the drivers are simply trusted to do the right thing. Typically I have issues with 3 and 4 way stops. It's like the city said, "We're tired. Play nice." And except for the good manners of the drivers, it could be vehicular anarchy out there. But anyway....

I was tooling along up to this 3-way-stop and an unfettered green helium balloon, kinda sorta on its last leg, was floating through the intersection. I had my earphones on and was already in a good place emotionally so there I was, stopped at the sign, watching this floaty, blowy, green orb making its way through the neighborhood stop. What was interesting was the reaction of the other two drivers. Each of us drove slowly and deliberately around the balloon. It was like we were afraid to disturb it. Obviously we were all adults, but we each appeared to be transfixed by this lighter-than-air traveler. We stopped, waited, turned, maneuvered, anything to avoid the balloon and allow it to continue traveling. When the balloon finally passed through the intersection we each traveled on our way and we were all smiling. It was just a little bit of magic in the middle of the day, shared by some strangers who got to be children for a few moments while stuck in the anonymity of our cars. Magic.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The brudder is in town. David. "Doov". When we were young, our father told us our Yiddish names. David's name was three syllables, so it got shortened to "Doov". Incidentally, mine doesn't change-you just have to emphasize "bor" and generate more phlegm on the "ach" sound at the end. Never mind.

Anyway, we picked him up last night and he'll be spending some time here while he goes to various job interviews and job fairs. I hope Peter can keep up. Doov is only 11 months younger than me. We grew up in a Catholic neighborhood. Back then we were called the politically incorrect term of "Irish twins". That was interesting. The only Jewish family for miles around. The kids in the 'hood regularly accused David and I of killing Christ. The first time it happened, I ran into the kitchen and asked my mother if it was true. She was cooking and she didn't even turn around to look at me. Her reply? "Tell them they want the Italian family down the street". Perfection.

Anyway, being that close in age (in fact, part of this month we'll be the SAME age), we tended to do everything together, as you can imagine. In fact, last night, at 2:00 in the morning, we were eating soup and during the course of conversation I quoted a line from a Bugs Bunny cartoon that's probably over 50 years old. I said, without any context whatsoever, "You meet so many interesting people" in a nasal tone and east coast accent. David started laughing because he immediately got it, but I'm relatively certain Peter was lost as to meaning. It's going to be an interesting 8 days here at the casa...."I say, I say, I say...."*

*Foghorn Leghorn (for the uninitiated)

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Okay. Here's the deal. Here's what I've been avoiding. The THING. IT. Here's why I've been posting light-hearted, happy, kinda sorta funny stuff. I don't want to go to the place in my head and heart where I can "let go" about what happened to Em. I try to avoid drama as much as possible and that's why I'm just going to stick to the facts...the trauma without the drama, if you will. Let's see how that goes.

Emily was involved in an auto accident the Friday before Thanksgiving. She was at a standstill waiting for the light to change when a young man (18 yrs old) reached down for his cell phone, accelerated, and hit her stopped car while traveling 70 mph. Her car traveled a city block. The jaws of life had to cut her out. The car is totaled. Had her children been in the car, which they were supposed to be, they would not have survived. Had she not suffered her miscarriage some weeks ago, she would have been 5 months pregnant. Big "ifs". Incredibly big "ifs".

She suffered multiple fractures-in her neck (yes, Em has a broken neck-but the news is good), her second rib (fractured in the back) and she had 25 staples in her head and the E.R. physician still managed to miss a few spots that needed sutured, including a HUGE GAPING WOUND at the occipitocranial junction of her head. Nice. Her spinal cord is intact. She is still suffering from her concussion and memory is a consistent problem. At night she gets to choose between sleeping on the side of her lacerated scalp or broken bones. But she's alive to make the choice. SCORE!

Most of the time, she and I are laughing. Sometimes we are weeping in gratitude and awe of the tender mercies of the Lord. The rest of the time I spend burying an incredible amount of emotion---swallowing all of the guilt for not being here when it happened, not being able to take her pain from her, sublimating my anger at a young man who, after breaking my daughter's neck due to his freaking cell phone continued to text his friends while sitting outside of her hospital room (I know, I know, he's young and was probably freaking out), and caving to the unfathomable, almost crippling level of gratitude that I carry with me constantly...CONSTANTLY...

I cannot take a step or a breath without being acutely aware that I have, right now on this earth, all four of my children with me. All four. I'm also keenly aware of how perfectly fragile and fleeting these mortal relationships are. But I am comforted in knowing this: that this is not the end and if I would have lost my daughter that day, I would not have LOST her. And this is all I can write without crippling and inconsolable tears, once again, of gratitude-to a most kind and gracious Heavenly Father and most noble and loving Savior that allows for families to be eternal and never-ending and whose power transcends, without question, 18-year-old boys with cell phones who some may think have the power of separating us from our loved ones, but who have no power whatsoever...


Friday, December 4, 2009


Through a friend of mine, I discovered a delicious new blog entitled, "Crazy Things Parents Say". It's ridiculously funny...sometimes a little naughty, but let's face it, sometimes some parents are. Sometimes parents behave badly, just like kids. I'm going to quote from the site....DIRECTLY from the site. These are actual quotes that people have shared. By the way, when a person comments on a quote, it's referred to as a "sassback"...

“Stop laughing at your brother! Can’t you see he’s trying to get a dumpling out of his nose?”

…long story

Mom:”What is this?!?A condom!?!?Are you sexually active?!(Holding up a yogurt wrapper with the silver side facing her)
Me:”Ummm…That’s a yogurt wrapper, mom..”
Mom:”(turns the label towards herself) ohh…well..Don’t let me catch you eating in here!!”

(This particular comment garnered 13 "sassbacks"

“I must have been on drugs when I did this! …It looks like something a hobo would do!”

- My grandma, looking at an old piece of embroidery.

You can’t get a cat, a cat would pee in the butter and not tell you

Parents(talking to me and siblings): All we’re saying is that we would and will accept any of you if you’re gay!
(parents look pointedly at me)
Me: I’m NOT gay!
Mom: But Honey! It’s okay, just say it! it’s nothing to be ashamed of!

“Where is your pornography section?”

- My father, upon entering the bookstore I work in for the first time.

Mum: “He was one of those people who wear black tight jeans, with that weird hair that covers one eye. You know……..nemo.”

My mum as she walks into my room: “It smells like incest in here. Oh no wait, incense! INCENSE!”

We were being loud in the car when my Dad said

SHUT UP I CAN’T SEE!!!! (personally, I almost understand this...)

Grandma: This baby isn’t as cute as her sister is. She’s going to have problems in life.
Me: She’s seven hours old?

me: why are you pushing the buttons on the phone so hard?
grams: well the phone number is on the other side of the river so you have to push harder to send the signal all the way over there.

Gran: “Well, no wonder he needs pills to get an erection! They’re in separate bathtubs!”

- My 90 year old grandma, after watching that Cialis commercial.

“Great grandma? Do you think my dress is too short?”
“Not at all, honey. You’re young. Your mother just doesn’t remember what it’s like to be young. She always was a bit conservative. Unlike your grandma. Now, she was a hussie”

The website is:


Friday, November 20, 2009


I'm writing to you from Heaven. No...not THAT Heaven. The one located in Ohio. In fact, I'm one room over from the "main" room of Heaven. It's where my twin grandchildren are sleeping. I just laid Lulu down. My feet are still not hitting the ground. Too bad that I'm an idiot and forgot my camera. AARRGGHHH.

I was here last night and saw them. My son, their dad, wanted to be here to see my reaction when I first laid eyes on them after NOT seeing them for several months. WOW. It was just incredible. I walked into their living room with my big fur coat on, turned around and there they were, the both of them (they're twins), just looking up at me. They were in the hallway. We all just stopped and stared at each other. I immediately took my warm and fuzzy coat off and laid it in front of them (I wanted them to associate me with "warm and fuzzy") and I stayed on the other side of the coat. I quietly got on the floor across from the coat and smiled at them and murmured. Lulu smiled and reacted excitedly as she processed everything-nothing gets past that girl. And Charlie Bear, whose smile encompasses an entire subdivision- crawled like a bullet-over the coat-right up to my face and then reached up and touched me. I am forever charmed by this gesture.

All of my imaginary conversations with these babies have paid off BIG TIME. I'm back here today spending time with them. Charlie was tired when I arrived but he allowed me to hold him and rock him and kiss him for quite some time before he retired and Lulu played and played with me until she dozed off while I was rocking her, which compelled me to lay her didn't exactly compel me because I could have rocked her while she slept for hours. What finally made me lay her down was my mother who accompanied me. She finally said, "Debbie, good Lord, lay that baby down in her own bed!". Whatev. Next time I'm totally NOT bringing my Mom....what a buzz kill.....



Thursday, November 19, 2009


Mom lost her driver’s license. It was the driving portion. She had previously squeaked by on the written portion about a week ago. She was a little anxious about it last night. She thought she was going to have to take a 3-hour driving test, which of course, it wasn’t. The young woman who tested her was wonderful. I wasn’t there, but my niece was (thank goodness for Tiffany), and Tiffany said that the driving instructor was very tender and kind-hearted when she explained to Mother that she could no longer have driving privileges. Mother took it very hard. She wept bitterly. She grieved for the independence she has fostered and, quite frankly, has fought for, for almost 90 years. She overcame the Depression, she overcame sexism (in her day, a woman couldn’t have her “own” credit-she was considered a “non-person”-FOR REAL!), she overcame widowhood-TWICE. She lives on her own and in her own house, thank you very much. It’s amazing to me what that little rectangular piece of paper signifies. It’s not that she often flew out the door at the spur of the moment to go shopping or playing cards with her friends, or out to lunch-oh wait-that’s exactly what she did...whenever she wanted...where ever she often she it’s gone. But! It’s been going slowly, I suppose. Here a little, there a little. It didn’t make it any easier.

I remember being taken to grade school in our big old Lincoln Continental. Mom would just whip into that huge car wearing her nightgown and robe. She would stop in front of the school and my brother and I would pile out of the back seat all warm and toasty. I remember the ladies of the neighborhood whispering about it. I'm certain Mother knew they were "discussing" it, but did that cause her to change her behavior? Heck no! There she went...flowing chiffon through the carport while David and I trailed after her with books and lunch boxes...

One Christmas morning, my Dad had one delivered to the house...yea...the man had class....

And then there was the time Mom and Pops were driving up from their home in Florida and when they got to Atlanta, Mom decided she had just had it with that particular car, traded it in, and arrived in Columbus with a completely different car. She actually changed cars mid trip. My brother asked her if she sold the car because the floor mats were dirty.

When my son Eli was younger he was attracted to certain rocks. He would pick them up, look at them, feel them, hold them, and if they felt right, he would keep them. If it was a "special" rock, he would even give it to someone he loved. A particularly special rock went to Grandma Wendy. She told him she would always keep it close to her. And she has. It's been in every tray of her car since that day long ago when he was perhaps 5 or 6. Every time she got a new car, she would transfer that rock. Yesterday, when we discussed selling her car she said, "Oh! I'll have to take my rock and bring it inside. That's my rock from Eli". She really "got" the specialness of that rock. I wonder if even Eli understood how special that rock really was?

You know that sad sad sad verse in the New Testament that just breaks your heart because it reads, “Jesus wept”? Well, one of the next saddest things in the world to hear is, “Mother wept”.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

C-BUS 11/17/09

And today it's Tuesday. I'm dying to see the twins, but Eli wants to be there when I see them. AARRGGHHH. But I understand...he wants to see my reaction to how gargantuan they've become and that's cool. I told him I could just run over and hang out with Abbykins and the kids and wait for him to come home, but he said, "Well....I kinda want to be there when you see them"....awwwww....I think that's cute. So...I'm going to see them this week for sure. I love baby boy....THE BABY....that kid had to be cut from my hips....he was stuck to me for the first year and a half of his life. Yeesh....And now? Now he's a successful business man, homeowner, husband and father. Good boy.

It's "Michigan" week here. The Buckeyes are battling the blue up north on Saturday, but since we're already going to the Rose Bowl, people are wondering if it's anticlimactic. It'll pick up!!!! This town is crazy over the Bucks....carazy.

I finished my last term paper of the quarter and some other academic obligations and came over to my niece's house (she's the kindest human on the planet) and uploaded everything to my classroom. YAY!!!! That was hanging over my head.

Mom's taking her driving test, so everyone is waiting to hear about THAT. This is a huge day for're waiting.............

I think my sister Steph and I are taking her to lunch, regardless of how it goes....just because....She a tad obsessed with that McRib sandwich from McDonald's right now, so we'll go there....

I keeping wanting to purchase some groceries and cook mom dinner, but she only likes "noshes" for dinner, which means "snacks". It also means she likes to get sandwiches for dinner. It would be so much less expensive if she would allow me to cook but at almost 90....huh uh....I am NOT changing her mind....she brags about eating cookies for dinner if she wants to...BRAGS!!!! Who am I kidding about schooling her on nutrition? She's almost 90!

Yeesh. I can lecture her to kingdom come and all she has to do is stare at me and say, "I'm 90", what's the point?" and she's absolutely right. When they removed her skin cancers (when she lived in Florida), I heard that she was back out by the pool sunbathing. At the time she was about 83. I said, "Mother, you still have the bandages on from the surgery. Why are you out in the sun?" She said, "Debbie, those cancers took 20 years to grow. Do you think I'm going to live to be 103 and be around for the next crop?" How does one argue with that? Her mind was made up. I don't like arguing with my mom anyway. Heck, I have her car keys in my purse and I already feel guilty. I feel like I'm hiding pot in my bedroom. It's 1973 all over again. And for the record, I never hid pot in my bedroom. It wasn't mine anyway. It was that weird girl that my brother, David, was dating.

That's what's happening today.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm in "The Ohio" now. Took a red-eye out of Ontario, CA and got here Sunday morning. Oh glorious Fall morning....

Picked up at the airport by my ever-present and supportive sister, Stephanie. This blog will serve as a journal of my stay here. After she picked me up we spent some sister time together so she could update on things (we totally laughed our way through lunch cause we're wicked). We went back to mom's and my brudder came over with his wife and daughter, which was crazy fun. After they left, my son Eric and his wife Holly came over. I am so blessed to have daughters-in-law that I absolutely adore. Absolutely!!! We sat around and ate pizza and drank pop till I wanted to explode. After they left, I went to bed and watched the movie "Away We Go" on my computer.

I drifted off into a dream filled sleep about German Village and trying to purchase an loft there. I've dreamt it before. I don't know what it means, but I'm always trying to purchase this upstairs loft. My husband (who is never around in the dream, just always on the sidelines) wants it to, but it's a frustrating dream cause it seems impossible to land this rather shabby residence that I want. Also, last night I had a baby girl that I kept losing...also frustrating.

Anyway, that was my first day. Today we had mother's home teachers from Church visit and now I'm at my niece's house doing a huge term paper (as well as my blog), some other homework, and doing it quickly so I can visit with my sister and niece when they finally get here. I'm here alone...well...with the dog Max-a huge Golden Doodle....HUGE....and friendlier than all get out. I'll post a picture. He doesn't look real, he's that gorgeous.

Me out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


So...I was reading my friend's blog again, "". A discussion ensued about irrational things that we fear. Not all the time, just maybe those times when we're laying around in the dark and can't sleep....stuff like that.

I had a moment like that yesterday. I was laying in an MRI tube. I was in LA. I had taken my bra off (because of the metal snaps) and put it in my glove compartment in my car. I know, I know, why didn't I just do it in the lab. It's a long, boring story. I ran into the lab, and was in the MRI. Well, as I was laying in the MRI, I couldn't help but think of "THE BIG ONE". I mean, really! I was in LA, earthquake central. And what if it happened when I was in the tube? And me without my bra? Oh! The humanity!

I never used to fear MRI tubes like that. But when I worked at Eisenhower, specifically NEXT to the MRI magnet, we had a quake...a good-sized quake, and we had a gentleman in the tube...right before we lost power. Thank goodness he was unconscious. But I thought, poor dude! Yep. I thought, "poor dude" as I grabbed my purse and was heading for the door....which I didn't get through because my big, strong, Viking co-worker (who lived her life in the desert ON the San Andreas fault) grabbed the back of my shirt and slammed me back onto my chair. She said, "we're going nowhere, just get under your desk". At that time, I heard the tech yelling for us to help him get Mr. Dude out of the tube manually. Nice.

So, needless to say, I shudder when I go into the tube...not for the claustrophobia...but for the potential of being stuck in there during the big one. *shudder*

But as I said on Rachel's blog, just in the event of the big one, I keep a change of clothes on my dresser next to my bed to put on just in case. I also keep a pair of good walking shoes next to my bed that will protect my feet in the event I have to walk around in post-earthquake conditions (shards of glass, ickiness). You just never know around here. It's a little creepy...

I'm also afraid of getting an electric shock. I've been shocked pretty bad in my life and it's so disturbing to me, I can't overestimate how much I dislike it. When I was pregnant for Emily, I got shocked so badly in our kitchen it threw me backwards and then down. No bueno. I think that explains Em's electric blue eyes....or recessive gene baby.

I fear dog vomit.

I fear having something stuck in my teeth. I guess that's not a fear as much as maybe just neurotic kind of worry. Same with the dog vomit.

Hey, this isn't a very uplifting post. Sorry. I'm just killing time and procrastinating writing my paper on false memory syndrome. LAME.


I wish I would have taken pictures. I took my camera, but since I was driving, I couldn't snap the darn thing. I was all by myself, so I had no "other arms" to help me... rats....

I love going into L.A. I thoroughly enjoy that city. I'm such a tourist!!! And when it comes to Beverly Hills,'s over. I love that city. I love Santa Monica Blvd. I love Wilshire Blvd. I love looking up to the Hollywood Hills and seeing those beautiful houses. The architecture of the businesses is just stunning. They make beautiful use of gold and white. It's so rich looking, which it's intended to be.

Today, I had two appointments there and they were several hours apart so I had to kill time. I wish now that I would have driven up into the canyons and done more sight-seeing, but I enjoyed my afternoon. My first appointment was on Overland, right off Wilshire. I saved $9.00 in parking by using the lot down the street and walking. Yeesh, guys! Then, I drove down to La Cienega Blvd and grabbed a subway sandwich and sat in my car in a pretty neighborhood and ate it while I did a sudoku puzzle. It was pretty-the neighborhood, not the puzzle. And then it occurred to me that Beverly Hills is not all glamor. Beverly Hills has a "bad part of town" to it. It has more than one zip code (shocked gasps)!

So, I'm sitting in my car and I'm looking at these beautiful homes and I'm thinking, "Gosh, these houses are kind of small. They're pretty as all get out, and really charming, but not what one would call grand." And then I started to look around at the people. These weren't the same people I saw "uptown". These were old people that were stooped and bent over. These were young couples with baby carriages, just starting out. There were lots and lots of students. There was much more diversity and a lot more pedestrian traffic so I kept my eyes open and....yep! there it was...a bus. So I thought, these people have a mailing address of Beverly Hills and it's the seedy side of town. I almost laughed. People must assume so much about someone that lives in B.H. For instance, if you go to buy a car and they ask where you live and you say, "Beverly Hills", do you think they're going to cut you a break? Then you feel compelled to say, "No, I'm not rich. I take the bus to work and my kids go to public schools!" Sure fella....

Wow....I guess everything is was quite the eye-opener. I don't have any big insights, I just felt compelled to share my thoughts, as that's the purpose of this's my journal and written more for my kids and family (and posterity) than for anything else...

So there it is, my daily nugget of knowledge and insight...more like a crumb...maybe even a atom?.....quark?.....I'll stop now....

Friday, November 6, 2009


John Sebastian and The Lovin' Spoonful. Remember them?...mainly, remember him? I fell in love with Mr. Sebastian's voice. I was young. First off, I was a quiet kid (yea, I know)-but I spent several hours a day just listening to my transistor radio. John Sebastian's smoky, velvety voice was a fixture in the 60's. One of his songs in particular just spoke to me. It was called, "Do You Believe In Magic?" It was about the power of music. Some of the lyrics went like this...

Do you believe in the magic of a young girl's soul?
Do you believe in the power of rock and roll?
Do you believe that music can set you free?
Do you believe like I believe?

Thank goodness we lived in Ohio! I would have followed him into the ocean...

Flash forward a few years and there I was at the old Mershon Auditorium at the Ohio State University with B.J. Hartman who had scored a couple of tickets to Steve Martin's comedy show. Guess who his opening act was? Yea....John Sebastian. I figured B.J. must have been in serious love because his shtick was scoring rock concert tickets so for him to go to a comedy show, well....

Anyway, Sebastian came out, sat on a stool, played his guitar, and sang all of these songs from my childhood. I was caught up to 7th heaven. I heard him on the radio the other day and was carried away to another place and time and I thought, "what the heck is wrong with me? It's 2009, I have ITunes...yeesh". I am....writing this post, listening to Mr. Sebastian's beautiful voice...and hovering over my chair as I write this....

Thank you ITunes....thank you B.J......and thank you Mr. Sebastian....don't anyone call me for a little bit...I haven't quite hit the ground yet.....apparently I still believe in the magic.....

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I had to go to the desert (my previous neighborhood) early this morning. While traveling there and back, I made a startling discovery. Actually, it wasn't so much a discovery, as much as it was a confirmation: I am losing my sense of smell. This is disturbing. My sense of smell is not entirely gone-it's diminished. I don't know if it's going to stay at this diminished level, or if it's going to leave entirely. I know how, you may ask? As the boy and I were driving into the desert at 7:30 this morning, we encountered what appeared to be a "foggish" substance in the atmosphere. As we live in southern California, what could be a fog, could be smog, but it could also be smoke. As I wasn't particularly keen on driving into a raging wildfire that early in the morning, I woke up the boy and asked, "Hey! HEY! HHEEYY Do you think that's fog or smoke outside"? He looked around and said, "Why don't you roll down the windows and sniff"? I snorted in reply, "Well sure, if you wanna do it the easy way!" So, we rolled down the windows and....I couldn't smell anything. Nothin'. Faking it with ease, I looked over at him while rolling up the windows and asked, "So...what's your take?" He said he didn't think it smelled anything like a fire so it was probably just fog and I agreed with him. I totally faked it.

My grandmother lost her sense of smell and I have a cousin who lost his. I did some research and while there are some genetic traits associated with familial anosmia (loss of the sense of smell), we don't really fall into that pattern.

I'll follow an "Occam's razor" approach and go with the simplest explanation before moving onto alien abduction. And how embarrassing would THAT be?...get swiped by aliens, get experimented on, get a "new guy" that's training-have him totally mess up your sense of smell so that you're basically no good to them anymore and then YOU become the "throw back" human....way to go newbie....

Anyway, I'm going to assume first and foremost, that possibly it's temporary. Maybe it's just a cold or something. If not, I'm going to assume it has to do with age. I know I have a hearing loss that is, indeed, familial and bilateral. I'm on the bubble for a hearing aid (according to the physician who told me this and who also happened to sell hearing aides), so I'm not worried for awhile. If my loss of sense of smell (I can't say "loss of smell" because that sounds like a good thing, right?) goes with age, there's nothing I can do about it. In fact, the alternative is to not age and we all know how THAT works out....

If the loss of the sense of smell (LoSOS) is related to the temporal lobe epilepsy (the temporal lobe is in charge of that particular sense) then, again, there isn't much I can do about it. I take my medicine and that's all I can do. Pssssttttttbbbpppppp<----------- raspberry. I have skated about as much as anyone can with that issue. I don't have "fall down" seizures or anything like that, but I know that in time, I'll have to "pay the piper" for getting off so easy. I'll have to send a search party out one day for my shrinking hippocampus. Here little hippocampy....come to momma.....leave a trail of bread crumbs....debbie droppings.....something....

On the way back to the desert, as I was rounding a mountain, the traffic started slowing down. Soon it came to a complete standstill. I didn't understand why until I slowly drove past the flashing lights of the fire truck and saw the blackened vegetation and the billows of smoke. I was driving through the birth and death of a wildfire. I didn't smell a thing...and I was driving right through ground zero. The firefighters were still there! The cops were directing the traffic. Not even a sniffle.

But I was heartened when I was rounding the next curve and almost gagged when the vineyard I passed had covered several hundred acres with manure....I've never been so happy for that much poo since I was a new mommy.....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I have been cursed in my life. Only a couple of times, but apparently there are "lifetime" curses. One of these curses is this: "You will never own a toaster that functions properly"... and I don't. I'm sitting here with slices of toast that are beautifully tanned on the upside of the bread and shiny with real butter (American butter, not the Irish butter that attracts so many global hits on this blog...sheesh, what's that about?). But this toast is absolutely white and totally non-toasted on the bottom. Absolutely untouched on the bottom. How does that happen while it's in the toaster oven? It's hot in there, right? Shouldn't it get a least a little crunchy? But nooooo, I'm putting butter on a crunchy, normal toasty side while the other side is...well...soft and "giving"'s like biting into a beef sandwich and hearing the cow said "moo"'s not normal...

The other curse is brownies. The curse must have gone something like this, "You will never make a perfect batch of brownies for as long as you live"...and I don't think I have. They're either too moist or too stuck to the pan or too dry or too something. I just don't get it. It's not like rocket science. I don't even make them from scratch; they're from a mix, for cryin' out loud. But do you think that appeases the brownie gods?....huh uh...ZAP! Another batch bites the dust...and by "bites the dust", I mean we eat it with spoons if we have to...we're not stupid...

Make-up. I don't understand it. I never will understand it. I purchased some foundation yesterday. I bought it because Diane Keaton was on the cover. Why did I do this? I know better than anyone that she looks great on that cover because 1. air brushing. 2. she's probably had her faced "professionally" peeled, scrubbed, fired, sand-blasted, lifted, tucked, folded, molded, and anything else that one can do to prolong their youthful appearance. Puhleese. At that level, beauty can be rented. If beauty was a luxury apartment, I'd be living under a bridge. Emmy suggested mineral make-up. "It's all powder" she said. I don't know if that's good. With my lines, I'm looking into spackling compound.

Walking in a noble manner. Nada. I do not possess a queenly demeanor, nor do I have a royal bearing. I walk like a 12-year-old. My spine, which has somehow remained flexible (thank you Lord!) is kind of all over the place, so my stride resembles a gangly adolescent, as opposed to the confident, professional woman I'm trying to pretend to me. Let's hope "walking" is never part of a job interview. Combine my walking with my schlepping of a big computer shoulder bag and an equally large purse and I resemble a mule with an attitude problem. Lovely.

Cooking. Can't do it. Don't particularly want to. Haven't got "the touch", the time, or the temperament to toss tasty tidbits together to create a terrific get the picture. The boys are lucky to get a "home-bought" taco for dinner. Yea...guess who ISN'T a Stepford wife?

Well, it's getting late and I'm getting depressed thinking of all of the things I can't do. So, I'll practice a game I learned on one of my favorite blogs:

It's called, "The Glad Game"; where I list something I'm glad for.

I'm glad for my family. I'm glad for my blog so I can record my thoughts. I'm glad for my little, "emergency back-up" dog, Buddha, who loves me and follows me everywhere *I guess he's the next shift after Snoopy :)* I'm glad for my children and grand children and their health. I'm glad for my mother and mother-in-law and siblings and their families. I'm glad for lots of things-many more than my curses. In fact, I'm feeling gladder and gladder.

Who needs double-sided toast, perfect brownies, perfect make-up and a perfect stride? I've got a blog about Irish Butter and international hits...I don't even want to tell you the hits that Christian Bale brings....I'm feeling better already....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Shhhhh....there's a little 2-year-old asleep on my couch. No one wants to wake him...well, except the dog. My dog really wants to wake him up. He can't understand why the person closest to him in size isn't playing with him. The dog just stands there and stares at the couch. He put the ball next to the couch in an attempt to waken the boy. It didn't work. Then the dog stood next to the ball and stared at the boy in an attempt to use his canine vibes to magically stimulate the boy into wakefulness. That didn't work either. So of course the only logical thing left for the dog to do was to begin to groom himself. And I'm being polite here.

So I thought I would just come over here and begin to do some know...catch up on one of my classes and write some more on a paper that's due at midnight on Saturday. But I can't seem to concentrate. It's like having a picnic on the San Andreas Fault....something could happen anytime. Any squeak, any move, any anything and I jump and run or start and stop. I can't concentrate. I can't do anything. I'm typing this post right now but fortunately, I don't have to look at the keyboard when I type...because I'm staring over the couch as I type this...

Okay....apparently I am a slave to this child. I. am. a. slave. His blue eyes rule me. It's over. Game goes to Boy. Forget about homework. Forget about my term paper. Yeesh....I'm glad the Yankees don't have to face him...

Monday, November 2, 2009


Remember this song by the "Mamas and Papas"?

"Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh Monday Monday, how could you leave and not take me?"

I loved loved loved the Mamas and Papas. I adored their harmony and I wanted to be Mama Michelle so bad. I wanted to be THAT hippie girl. The beautiful, long-haired, blonde with the gorgeous, flowing clothes or skinny jeans that sang like an angel and floated about two feet off the ground. Yea, I realize now that she may have been tripping her brains out or higher than a kite, but I wanted to be her....passing out love beads or flowers and singing in that voice of hers....yeesh....

She's the only surviving member of the group now. Mama Cass (who had her own incredible voice!!!) died in England after the group split up and she was pursuing her solo career. Papa John, the genius behind the harmony and the organization died a few years ago from liver failure secondary to years of alcohol abuse and drug addiction (according to the press reports). Denny (my personal crush) died fairly recently.

According to the later accounts, and personal interviews, Denny and Michelle were caught up in a huge affair, which John (Michelle's husband) found out about. Meanwhile, Cass was madly in love with Denny as well. It was a crazy time and for a little midwest bound girl like me with a gorgeous older sister who was going to Janis Joplin concerts and dressing in mini skirts and feathers, fantasies were all I had....

Anyway, it's guarantees....just me and my little Midwestern heart and soul out here on the west coast....somethings just never change....

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Today we dragged the boy with us back to the Palomar Observatory and this time we actually took the tour. Good thing we went today. Tomorrow is the final day for tours until next April. The tour was pretty interesting. It lasted over an hour. Peter was like a 5-year-old. Eli was like a bored 18-year-old. I was It's very very cold in that observatory. And what some people don't know is that there are multiple observatories on that mountain. There are four, including the big lens that's so famous, and three little Monopoly-shaped houses that connected via aluminun-type piping. These little houses actually contain their own mirrors and telescoping equipment. They combine their lights through the silver piping and can render images from space that have greater resolution than their super huge neighbor.

The guides explained all of the genius and IQ points that went into the mirror that is used at Palomar. The lens is 24 inches thick with a 220 inch diameter. It's shaped like a bowl. The mirror was made by Corning in New York and shipped via train to California before WWII going only 25 mph and only during the day. People lined up along side the tracks to watch it go past. Everything in that building speaks to the glory days of American manufacturing and industry. The wooden doors, the tiles, every piece of construction and work is a piece of pride.

And props to the four tour guides; 3 physicists and one docent-all great guys. They have to answer all of the questions of the tourists. One of the people (bless their heart) asked, "Why don't you do something to modernize the mirror, you know, UPDATE it!" The guy waited maybe, .00025 seconds before answering, "This is the one of the most advanced pieces of technology on the planet. It can't BE updated. It's the perfect machine." I was waiting for an imaginary pie to fly down and hit the tourist in his face. Somethings are better BECAUSE they were made 60 years ago. That, combined with today's technology to KEEP them better, equal one dynamite piece of machinery...I'd like to include myself in that equation.... :)

The lens has photographed some of the most amazing scenery ever created using technology that I can't understand, let alone explain. The heavens often take my breath away. With boundaries that big, it takes God to make you feel that you're secure-it does for me anyway. And maybe that's why the following quote resonates with me:

What is essential is invisible to the eye, Antoine de Saint Exupery

Friday, October 30, 2009


Well, it's 5:00 a.m. here. I've been up since 4:00. Just can't sleep I guess. I stayed in bed as long as I could-all cuddled up in the comforter that Emmy was kind enough to loan me. I wrap myself up in it, in addition to really warm pajamas, for the warm & cuddly factor. It keeps my bones and joints from aching. (Thanks Em...I know I know, I must return it to you someday...) So as I was lying there I was thinking of words. I thought it you put the words "food" and "cat" together, you can reasonably come up with "fat". I also thought you could come up with "cood", but that doesn't make sense, unless it's a nickname for an Appalachian uncle (Hey Uncle Cood!) or an Amazon rodent (The diminutive cood is often devoured by the more aggressive rodents that inhabit the lower canopies of the rain forest).

Out here in the living room, where I have vertical blinds on all of the windows (and plenty of outside lighting going on) and mirrors everywhere (bad feng shui people....bad) my walls are covered in reflected vertical stripes. This is an interesting effect. This gives the effect of my walls being dressed in bad prison clothing-not too awful when you consider the slimming effect of the vertical strips. My rooms have never looked thinner.

Snicker doodles never tasted more satisfying than they do before sun up.

The Yankees won last night against the Phillies. I'm not that big of a sports nut, but I have an emotional attachment to the Yanks. I'm not anti-Phillies, I'm just pro-Yanks. But there's a lot of people out there that are I-WANT-THE-YANKEES-TO-DIE kind of thing. I don't think that's sports. I think that's displaced rage. Get some therapy. Maybe your parents bought you the wrong bike when you were twelve or something.

I'm going back to my toaster oven bed. I should be fully cooked by 8:00. According to this post, I'm half-baked.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I receive a catalog that refers to itself as "The Most Important Gift Catalog In the World". It's called Heifer International. It IS an important catalog and it admits that its statement is "bold". Here's the idea behind Heifer (taken from its inside cover):

* You decide to donate a sheep in honor of your mother, who has always loved these gentle animals.
*Your mother receives a holiday gift card from you describing the generous contribution you've made in her honor.
*Thanks to your gift, one more family is on the road to self-reliance.
*Once the family has completed training and has prepared appropriate facilities, they then receive a healthy female sheep.
*Throughout the year, the sheep provides soft, warm wool and the promise of new hope for each family.
*The family gives one or more of its sheep's offspring to another family in need in the community. That's part of the Passing on the Gift tradition that participants agree to when they become partners with Heifer International. Heifer also ensures there's a healthy male sheep in the village for breeding.
*The 2nd recipient family agrees to contribute one or more of their sheep's offspring to a family in need-who then ALSO agrees to Pass on the Gift.

and on and on and on...

This is GLOBAL...

But! When my daughter, Emily, was browsing through my Heifer catalog, she didn't know any of this. She just found a gift catalog called "Heifer". It didn't have pretty, sparkly things in it. It had pictures of small, brown, wizened people holding chickens, or little girls with pretty smiles in Eastern Europe holding goats. Emily said, "Gosh, how come I don't get these kinds of catalogs sent to me"?

Because, Emily, you have never inquired about the Masters Degree program in Maharish Vedic Science at the Maharishi University in Iowa, which was founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, which would have put you on the mailing list for Heifer Catalogs, OR taken that Transcendental Meditation course I was raving about back in the mid 90s, maybe THEN, you would be sitting with your OWN Heifer catalog in your home right now....just sayin'...I can hear your envy, girlie.....HAHAHAHAHAHAH

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I had the following conversation the other night when I babysat Mae and Clark at their house. We were eating marshmallows out of a bag that we found sitting (opened, thank you food elves) on the kitchen counter. I should preface this with-Mae and I have an ongoing conversation about the existence (or nonexistence) of fairies. I, for one, am a fairy proponent. Mae, on the other hand, maintains that fairies do not exist. I realize that this appears counter-intuitive and that we would be on opposite sides of that particular argument, but this is Planet Moo Moo is what it is... So...that said....

MAE: *biting into a marshmallow* Grandma, do you know how to make marshmallows?

ME: No. No I don't. I would imagine it involves lots of sugar.

MAE: I wish we knew how to make these. They're very good.

ME: I think marshmallows are fairy food.

MAE: *after a long silence and a sigh* Grandma, I don't believe in fairies. They're not real.

ME: *one raised eyebrow and nodding head* Then how do you explain marshmallows?

MAE: *stunned silence*

I may have looked calm and reflective, but inside,