Saturday, February 28, 2009


Well, this is it! I'm going to try to stick with this. It has stuff I already have (for the most part) so that helps save money on the grocery bill. Every Monday is $5.00 pizza night, so that's easy. Wednesdays have to be quick, cheap and easy because that's Young Men's and the boy is outta here at 7:00 so I have to be able to have food "shovel-ready" as he goes out the door. Every Saturday is EMFH, which is "every man for himself" and that's definitely easy. I used the sites referenced on my daughter-in-law's blog and on her mother's blog as, you gotta love family!!!...and my daughter is jazzed about doing this as I'm actually pretty pumped about the whole thing. I'll return here April 1st and give a report on how it went...if we stayed on track...if it helped more than hurt...if the boys fell down and worshipped the ground I walked know, the usual....

Friday, February 27, 2009

Venus and the and Alex's nightlights...

As I was pulling into my driveway this evening, I got out of my car and saw the sweetest sight. There was Venus snuggled up right next to the crescent moon. It made me smile because during my last trip home to C-bus, my oldest grandchild, Alexander, and I examined those lights quite carefully when he spent the night with me. He didn't realize that Venus was a planet and could shine like a star. This was interesting to him. And of course, he is interesting to me. He's always been interesting to me...always...

So every time we came out of a building, we would look up in the sky and sure enough, there was Venus and the moon. He said, "Those are our lights". I was thrilled and agreed immediately. Yes! Anything that connects us, I thought, yes!...of course!...and I thought back to all of those days and nights that I rocked promise of any....and that horrid, bleak diagnosis....and how our family just refused it...simply refused it....

I don't know if we're stupid or stubborn or both, but I don't think we've ever met a diagnosis we didn't poke fun at...Tourettes'?...bring it on s--thead (see, we never learn), OCD...we'll count to three and you'd better be, wait, 123, wait, 123, 123, the way, regarding OCD, this is an actual quote heard many times in our house, "No, I swear, a circle has FIVE sides!"...and then this diagnosis of wanna play that?...fine...we'll just climb in there with wanna be quiet?....we can be think you can NOT smile around us?'ve just thrown down the gauntlet mister....

So, sure...he's in the spectrum....he swims around in there....and his future will require adjustments...on his part, as well as on the part of others...but we never lose hope...or joy...or laughter...and of course we never, ever lose love....because we know that we are all better people because of Alex...we've been blessed with lots of wonderful people in our lives...not that it hasn't been challenging 'cause it HAS!...but all of the challenges made us better because they required us to be patient...or unconditional...or forgiving (of others, as well as ourselves)...or, dare we say, more Christ-like...because we had the choice opportunity of getting to love someone without expecting any love back, and we were okay with that...all of us....even those stinkin' teenage boys...every single one of us signed on for that and never looked back...and we have Alex and his mom to thank, always and forever...

Fast forward a few years, and here's me and Alex, hanging out, renting movies together, laughing, calling dibs on the lights in the sky, staying up waaaayyyy too late for our own good...and that whole smiling thing....yea, he smiles....lots.


The Sixth Challenge

I have been challenged to participate in the "sixth" challenge which is where you:
1. Go the the photo folder in your computer
2. Go to the 6th folder.
3. Go to the sixth picture.
4. Put the picture on your blog and the description.
5. Invite 6 friends to join the challenge.
So, here's my picture:

This is Cahuilla (pronounced Ka-wee-ya) Indian sacred land. It's a scenic look-out that's located on the mountain the I cross as I go to Emmy's house. That's Emma Jane's head you see there in the middle. She and I were coming home from Em's house this past summer. Emma was going to spend the week with me and do some traveling (Grand Canyon, Utah, etc). We stopped off here so she could read up on some of the uses the Cahuilla Indians made of the plants. They were masters at using the indigenous plant life for food, medicine, clothing and even housing. We had a lot of fun here. I'm sorry this is the sixth photo because there were much cuter photos of Em, but this is pretty nice of the it is....and I challenge my blogging friends to do fact....I TRIPLE DOG DARE YA........BUWAHAHAHAHAH


I was researching the word, "dominion" for a class I teach on Sunday. I probably went waaaay overboard, because I teach "newbies" and they are just NOT going to ask really deep, probing job is to give "milk before meat" I don't teach deep doctrine...just the basics...but because "I yam what I yam" I always research stuff a little more just on the outside chance that I meet someone like myself (heaven forbid) who asks something that requires me to say something like, "Hey, that's a great question! Why don't we speak after class so I can give that answer the time it deserves"-translation: Oh my gosh, let's hang out more!!!!

Anyway, we read in Genesis that man was given "dominion" over all the earth. So I was curious what, exactly, that meant. This led me to an article written by Hugh Nibley (it was a rather short, quick, sweet research) that was published in the New Era magazine, January...I think 1985 (forgive me)....but Nibley, who was a research wonk...and I say that with the highest respect...combined his knowledge of our sacred texts with that of ancient Hebrew texts and historical documents. This is what I found interesting....

"God’s rule is before all a rule of love: “I love my creatures far more than you ever could!” the Lord tells Esdras in a vision. 13 There is a tradition that Melchizedek, instructing Abraham in the things of the priesthood, explained to him that Noah earned his blessings by his charity to the animals, recalling how in the Ark, “We did not sleep because all night long we were setting food before this one and before that one.” Taking this lesson to heart, Abraham himself made a sort of Garden of Eden near Hebron, and there practiced charity toward all creatures that thus he might “become a possessor of heaven and earth.” 14 Adam, according to many accounts, was the great friend and companion of all the animals when they lived together in perfect peace and happiness, and they continued true to him even after the Fall. 15 Indeed, “Adam before he came to this earth was intimately acquainted with all the great spirits in heaven, and also with all the holy beasts,” so that he was peculiarly fitted in his priestly office to serve as mediator between the worlds as well as between higher and lower forms of life. 16"

I felt good when I read that. It resonated within me. I love the idea that great men of power and influence may have stopped what they were doing to pet a dog....or water their horse....or stroke the neck of a lamb...and it makes me feel okay with the fact that I smile at dogs....

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I have been fascinated by my mother's dresser since forever. I was always fascinated with my dad's chest-of-drawers as well...I believe I posted about that previously....that was a great adventure...

My mother's dresser was always fun. It always smelled always had sparkly stuff (dad was jeweler, after all), and I felt it was a capsized rendering of who mom was at any given moment. On the top of the dresser was her current jewelery-what was in the drawers were her pretty slips and nighties....and in the bottom drawer she kept our school work....little drawings and things we had written...which was nice.

I still like to visit Mom's dresser...and I'm an old lady myself....but that dresser still holds a fascination for's still current regarding Mom....her jewelery...her it holds her music du jour....there's no more school work in the bottom drawer, alas....but it's become a bit more sentimental....a little softer....a time or two ago when I was visiting, I decided to snap a picture...'cause that's what I do....just to have a reminder....Mom's dresser....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


ME: It's time to go. I'll take you. (I'm talking about Young Men's at Church, it's a weekly meeting that little Eli attends)

ELI: Okay. I'll be right out.

ME: *waiting...and let me paint the picture...I'm just dropping him off...assuming his dad will pick him up on his way home from work...I'm wearing a wrinkled shirt that's too big, a short, white cotton skirt, anklets and crocks...yea...*

ELI: *from the front seat next to me with the ever-present phone at his ear because we haven't had a two-way conversation in 3 years...there is ALWAYS someone else listening* Oh Debbie, I forgot. You have to attend the meeting tonight at Church. It's for scouts. Sorry.

ME: !!!

ELI: *while talking (again) on his phone* Can you just drop me off at Johns while you go to the meeting? They don't really need me there.

ME: *glare*

ELI: Um, John? I don't think I'll be going to your house tonight. I'll be at church.

ME: I HAVE to attend this meeting? You just NOW remembered?

ELI: *sweating* Ummm...I didn't know anything about it. They just called and reminded me it was tonight. I forgot it was this week.

ME: You've just given me three separate stories. Which one of these do you want me to believe?

ELI: Whichever one you want.

And thus ends another adventure in parenting this particular adolescent...this is the sixth and final...I mean it...for real this time....I'm retiring....I'm totally hanging up my seminary scripture mastery stuff...YM/YW meeting's over come June...OVER!!!!!....not that I won't miss it occasionally.....he is kinda fun....he makes me laugh....okay okay okay, I'll miss it....just don't tell anyone....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


It was warm today...too warm...what happened to spring?...we went from chilly winter to bueno! One of the things I miss the most about the mid west are the thunder-boomers...those big, dark, windy thunderstorms that rattle your house...I really really really miss those. I sat around today pondering what exactly it is that I miss about those, or rather, what exactly it is that I love about them. I remember how frightened my friends were about thunderstorms and lightening and wind. I remember how they would cry when they were happening or even shudder just talking about them. I have never, ever feared them. I was fascinated if it got suddenly dark in the middle of the day. I thought that was the coolest thing on the planet. So, I really tried hard to get into this old brain and really mine it for all it's worth to try to find out why I love those storms so's what I came up with....

I heard once, when I was very very young, that the darkness was a blanket that God was putting over you....that it was His way of "tucking you in". I thought that was a nice way of looking at things, and while it didn't work at night, it sure did work when it got dark during the day due to stormy conditions, so that may be one of the reasons....I'm not certain...

Also, there was something comforting about all of the racket going on outside while I was safe, warm and dry inside. It was a reminder that I was taken care of...I was out of the elements....even when the boomers made the windows rattle, I loved it...when that happened, I was very much a "bring it on" little nonverbal kid....what a weirdo...

I loved it that nature was exerting itself...does that make sense?...every day was so was warm, or cold, or drizzly, or this, or that...but when those big, dramatic clouds would pile up and the wind would bend the trees and smash your clothes against your body right before the rain would deluge the gutters and the was nature having a "come to Jesus talk" with the neighborhood saying she was large-and-in-charge-and-sit-back-cause-I'm-driving-this-bus-for-awhile-sister, and I was way all right with felt good to know that someone bigger was the boss, at least to me anyway....

Well, that's what I thought about today....not the economy, not any homework or exams, not housework....just why I loved thunderstorms so much as a kid growing up in the great mid west...

Monday, February 23, 2009


I took little Eli and his girl, Cassie, to Em's place to have his senior pics taken. Emmy was kind enough to schlep her SLR and her talent all over wine country and snap over 300 photos. Really. They were amazing. These are only a handful of the shots. There are so many to choose from, but I wanted to just put SOMETHING up and give a big SHOUT OUT to my girl for her talent, her patience, her willingness to share her talent (what good is it if you don't share it, right?) and her love. Her true talent is in post-production....what she does with color is amazing!!! AMAZING!!! It changes an entire shot....You should see some of the stuff she has of the kiddos....breath's the last kid....the final fella....and his girl....*sigh*....ENJOY!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


So I'm driving home from Em's house...I'm comin' 'round the mountain and I smell know that smell...kinda sorta like burnt....I don't know....burnt something....and I thought, hmmmmm, they're out already?....and just around the corner, there he is....Pepe' le' a heap...with that unmistakable white streak down what used to be his back....fresh....fur still blowin' in the breeze....kinda sad I swerved my car a little because you know, if you get that stuff on your grill or tires, your neighbors just aren't amused....but here's the thing....I'm just not that grossed out by the smell of skunk. There. I said it. Skunk does not gross me out. I've raised teenage boys. I've smelled worse.

I think I'm a member of some kind of unrecognized club. A small one, but we exist. The "what's the fuss about skunk? club". I don't get it. Back in the day, I used to fake like it was disgusting because everyone else was gagging and I thought, "Well, it must be bad and this is just more evidence of how weird my wiring is" so I would pretend to be grossed out, but it was really just a pretense. Now....I just process it and think, "oh yea, skunk".

I knew a guy back in the old stoner...who actually had grown to LOVE the smell of skunk because it reminded him of great weed he had smoked ONE TIME in his life. So...when he smelled skunk, he was reliving stoner heaven. He would smile if Pepe' jumped on his grill at 60 mph. He'd think, "Sa-weet! Roll one now while the smell is fresh. A boy can dream."....stoners....

And come many people out there still know part of the lyrics to Louden Wainwright's song about that dead skunk in the middle of the road? least you can hum part of it....fess know you can.....

All right....I'm going to kick back now and rest....I've done six hours of Church (3 at Ems, 3 with my own) and 2 hours with a fireside at the's been a good day...even with a stoner reference....even with poor Pepe' in stink....

Friday, February 20, 2009


So, today I went to Emmy's house. I took little Eli and his girlfriend Cassie. When we arrived, Emmy took them away to photograph them at various cool places around town while I stayed and played with the cool was that? For the first 40 or so minutes, it was just Mae and I. She was adorable. There are moments, priceless and unforgettable, when a grandchild will say something so seemingly inspired, so poignant, and so take-my-breath-away-full-of-soul, that I have to stop and mindfully try to stop the moment for time and all eternity and record it and hold it forever in my heart so I can call upon it whenever I need to feel valued, loved, appreciated...Alex has done that for me the last couple of times I've been back home...Strangely, Olivia amazingly and silently grabbed my heart during my last visit and while locking her eyes with mine, reached out and grabbed my finger-all this while I was telling her how much I loved and today (which isn't the first for this kiddo) Mae knocked me down....pure and simple....knocked me down.

We waved the car away, shut the door, and as soon as our hands lifted away from that doorknob, our eyes met, twinkled, and we actually ran to the great room, laughing with her saying, "Okay, let me show you my hip hop dance moves" and me saying "Cool" (because apparently I'm a big four-year-old). Then she stopped, smile disappeared, and she looked me dead on in the eyes and said this: "Moo, I really love it when you play with me because we have so much fun and I didn't want to dance in front of little Eli because I thought he might laugh at me and anyway, I miss you when you're in Palm Springs and when you come back tomorrow and you spend the night with me and you go to Church with me on Sunday, I want you to sleep with me in my bed because I want you to."

Now, that little run-on sentence doesn't mean anything to anyone else, but let me tell you something---that sentence meant the world to me...Mae's bed is sacred space and no one...NO ONE shares it with her except her brother and sometimes her for me to be INVITED to spend the night with her was an honor in deed...and what I didn't communicate was that the longer that sentence went on...with her little lisp....and her bouncy curls....and her big eyes...tears were forming...and her mouth was beginning to tremble....and I got the message loud and clear that I had spent far too long away from that special place and those special people...message received...loud and clear...

And then Clarkie woke up...okay, I kinda sorta went in there and said, "Hey Clarkie! Are you awake yet? HUH?" And then I came back downstairs and let nature take its course. Anyway, while he was wrestling around, Mae and I were playing "Dr. Mae". She sits at her desk and "doctors" me, her patient. I had a hurt knee. She writes on several different pieces of paper, tells me to "go over there and wait for someone to give you a scan" then I have to go back and get more paper, then I have to take paper home and color in a square a day and come back every day to see her. It's quite involved.

Anyway, Clarkie came down and he became a patient as well. He had a sick ear.
No one escapes Dr. Mae. It was "To the couch young man. You need medicine!"

I was on the other couch. I asked Clark if he wanted to share a couch. He like the idea.
But soon, he wanted to make a break for it. He slipped down and decided to leave against medical advice. He didn't care. He's a rebel.

Dr. Mae was all over it. No way Mister. Back on that couch....that ear will get fixed DESPITE your lack of compliance!!!

But it's hard to keep a good man down....go Clarkie go....

Later on in the afternoon, I should note, I was just drowsily sitting around on the couch in a dreamy state of joy, watching the kids play and interact and eat and just "be"...yea, that is SO me, right there...Ms. Perpetual Alpha State....*for my meditating friends*...anyway, I guess I wasn't actively participating with Clark....wasn't looking at him or engaging him...and all of a sudden...BING!!!....I got beaned in the head with a stuffed penguin.....I got shocked out of my dreamland state, looked around, and there was Clarkie with that slow motion grin....and he waved at could have knocked me over with a feather.....

And thus ended Moo's day with the kids over the mountain...The land of Mae and the honey....


So I had to delete all of the stored messages in my voice mail from when my cell phone broke back in November. There were over 40. FORTY! It took me almost 30 minutes. I know this because my cell phone told me how long I was on the phone after I exhaustedly hung up. And I know, one doesn't actually "hang up" a cell phone. In truth, I "pushed off" my cell phone....but you get my drift.

The funny thing is that I only caught parts and phrases of some of the messages. I had to just delete them all outright. I mean, it's February 20th and an entirely new year...nothing in there could be pertinent to today, right? And I had to make room for incoming messages. I was deleting the messages, I would get a snippet or two from various people, most of whom I love more than life itself, and a couple who are either relative strangers or outright strangers, one who wasn't even a human...and I boiled it down into a paragraph for my remembery pleasure....


"Mom? have an appointment tomorrow with Dr...Jerkface...Just wondering if you made it home all right...Deborah!...Mom?...Aunt Dee Dee?....This is Time Warner Cable....Hey Moo? your son because..Mom?...David wants to know if you got on the right plane..This is your mother...Deborah!...we wish you a merry Christmas....Moo?...Hey Dawd...happy birthday....happy birthday....happy birthday...This is Time Warner Cable...Moo?...I'm calling from Representative Tom.....Momma *singing of Queen song*...Call me...This is cousin Jesse...If you feel you've reached this number by mistake...I just wanna chew on dem babies...Moo?...Debbie, this is your mother....DEBORAH!...

Message deleted


Thursday, February 19, 2009


I was cleaning up my office space (this needs to be done at the end of each quarter-it's downright refreshing) and I found my (actually Eli's) Paul Reiser's book, "Babyhood". This is one of the most pleasant books on the planet. Now, since Adam and Liz have added Anne to the mix, (and the Hebdon kids keep going) I thought I would take some notes from his chapter, "Just a few things to worry about"....enjoy.

"When you first have your baby home, your brain is seized with a plethora of potential dangers.

"I could drop him. I could drop something on him. I could roll on top of him in my sleep..."

These are big fears you can instantly envision. But there are plenty of ways you can harm a baby that you don't even see coming.

I'm changing my son's pajamas, and he starts screaming. I panic. "What? What could it be? I've done everything right. I'm blocking him so he can't roll off, I cleared away everything in a two-mild radius that he could pull down on top of him, I dimmed the light so as to not damage his little retinas, I put on soothing music for his listening and dancing pleasure..."

I even did the little thing where you gather up the sleeve at the cuff, so you can pull him through in one shot, as opposed to the go-in-the-sleeve-with-him and snake his arm through inch by inch, like a little arthroscopic camera. So why's he screaming at me?

Apparently, when you pull a baby's fist throughout a sleeve, some of his fingers don't always make it. Halfway through the process, a pinky can jump out into the middle of the road. So while you're singing a catchy melody from Peter Pan to his face, you're quietly breaking off a good one-fifth of his favorite hand. You can't see that coming."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

X(3,n=100)=136.32,p<.05..MEANS "GIVE ME THE ROCKING CHAIR!!!"

Yea. That was the final equation on my final post in my statistics class this quarter. I submitted it this morning. I still have some homework to do, but that was my on-line post. I make a fuss about math, but when I get it, I LOVE it. There is a comfort in numbers that is difficult to explain. There is no arguing about the outcome. There are no gray areas. There is no ifs or maybe's or fuzzy borders. That is refreshing to someone like me who really can see everyone's viewpoint (typically). So, when I truly understand the equation, I enjoy it. And I really understood that above equation. In fact, I had to design my own mini-study. So I designed one about the furniture in the neonatal intensive care unit. Basically, all it said is that people preferred to sit in rocking chairs when they held their babies...that's all. It went something like this:

Research Question: In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), when parents and grandparents come to hold their children, they have four seating options. They have a rocking chair, a recliner, a couch, and a straight chair. The department is interested in restyling their visiting center and wishes to know which piece of furniture is preferred seating for visitations so they can redecorate accordingly. A chi-square, goodness-of-fit test was conducted. The sample included n=100 parents/grandparents.
Ho=There is no preference in seating types.
Ha=There is a preference in seating types.

recliner: 15
couch: 7
straight chair: 3

critical chi squared=7.81

fo, fe, (fo-fe), (fo-fe)2, [(fo-fe)2]/fe
Rocker 75, 25, 50, 2500, 100
Recliner 15, 25, -10, 100, 4
Couch 7, 25, -18, 324, 12.96
Straight Chair 3, 25, -22, 484, 19.36


136.32 is greater than the critical chi squared of 7.81, therefore we reject the null hypothesis.

The participants showed significant preferences among the four seating arrangements for holding babies in NICU.
X(3,n=100)=136.32, p<.05.


Yea....fancy schmancy talk for "Dibs on the rocker!"...who needs a statistic course for that?

Monday, February 16, 2009


Yesterday at Church, the seminary teacher was giving a talk. These are always a treat because seminary teachers are just about always the best people in the ward. I had a bishop once say that that's why they're called. More specifically he was told to "...look for the best people in the ward and call them to teach seminary". That's pretty clear. ADDENDUM: I'm going to embarrass someone...actually two people...Emmy and Jacob were seminary teachers when they lived in the OC....just sayin'....proud momma points.....

Anyway, she was talking about the various names of the Savior. And there are hundred. HUNDREDS of names that refer to Him. One of the ones I like the best is "The Good Shepherd". It's rather outdated now, but in Christ's time, that meaning had MEANING. This was brought home by a story she told. It was recounted by Elder John A. Lasater, a member of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy, which will mean little to nothing to readers who aren't members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And frankly, I wouldn't have recognized his name either. He is one of the rare, full-time clerical members. We are a lay clergy, which means we have full time jobs and don't get paid for "running things". His full time job is running things. So, I researched it and these are his words, adapated from a General Conference talk and taken from the Ensign Magazine, Ensign, May 1988, pages 74–75.) I thought they were worth sharing...because this Good Shepard individual isn't just mine, He's yours too. It's short-Enjoy!

Some years ago, it was my privilege to visit Morocco. As part of that trip, the group I was with traveled at high speed in five of the king’s limousines across the beautiful Moroccan countryside to see some ruins in a distant desert. As we topped the brow of a hill, we noticed that the limousine in front of us had pulled off to the side of the road.

An old shepherd, attired in long, flowing robes similar to those worn in the Savior’s day, was standing near the limousine, talking with the driver. I noted a small flock of fifteen or twenty sheep nearby. The king’s vehicle had struck and injured one of them, and the driver was explaining to the shepherd the law of the land. Because the king’s vehicle had injured the old shepherd’s sheep, he was now entitled to one hundred times its value. However, under the same law, the injured sheep must be slain and the meat divided among the people. My interpreter hastily added, “but the old shepherd will not accept the money. They never do.”

Startled, I asked him why.

“It’s because of his love for each of his sheep,” he explained.

It was then that I noticed the old shepherd reach down, lift the injured lamb in his arms, and place it in the large pouch on the front of his robe. He kept stroking its head, repeating the same word over and over again. When I asked the meaning of the word, I was informed that “he was calling it by name. He is their shepherd, and good shepherds know each of their sheep by its name.”

There can be no greater example of a good shepherd than Jesus Christ. He knows each of us by name. He suffered for us because He wanted to provide a way for us to return to Him and to Heavenly Father. In return, we can be good shepherds by loving those around us, being good examples to them, and doing all that we can to help them return to Heavenly Father.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


So after the movie we ran past the grocery store because "Saturday day is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday". We had to pick up a few items for breakfast the next day. We were tired so the hubby said, "I'll go over this way to get the milk and I'll meet you in the cookies"....apparently he realizes I have my, I head over to the best aisle in the entire store to make the hardest decision of the day and what do I spy with my little eye?....yea...someone vaguely familiar...okay, very very familiar... zooming past on a shopping cart, feet up, aerodynamically hunched over, wind blowing his hair back....yea...the hubs...

It's nice to know that there's still a kid in there not too far away and that we're not as old as we may feel...or even look sometimes...take THAT gen x-ers...

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I refuse to believe that my ears are so outrageously and genetically malformed that the ear buds that are generically designed to fit the "average" ears of all humans on the planet won't fit mine! I won't believe it, but it be the case. Am I the only one that can't use the ear buds on an IPod? What's the deal? They fall out. They won't go in. They just simply refuse to go into my ears. Now, I'm not forcing them at gunpoint into my auditory canal...okay, I've THOUGHT about forcing them...okay okay, maybe I did force them a little, but they wouldn't GO IN....they just won't go in....I think they sprout arms and legs and just block the opening....I need some kind of tiny camera for proof, but I'm telling you, something is blocking them from going in.... When I complained to the girl at the Mac Gallery she said, "Oh, I know huh (this is California-speak), they make my ears hurt"....then no, you don't know...because if they make your ears hurt, then that implies that they are staying IN your ears....mine won't stay in, because they won't go in....they just sit right there on the outside of the ear canal and then simply fall out on my shoulder, taking my music with's maddening....MADDENING.....

I know that there are far bigger problems out there....but when one complains about an annoyance, it feels as though everything else is okay and the universe is balanced and this is the only thing gone awry in a big scary is my little problem du jour.....this and the mammogram...and the final project for my statistics course....and my continued lack of a phone...and missing my mother....and the economy....and my husband working too hard for too many hours a day but we can't complain because he's working....ya know?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


So we're in the market for phones. Duh. Long time, no speak. And we're in the process of purchasing some. I don't make it final until I have the number in my hot little hands. But it appears that's it going to be something called a "curve". That sounds comfy and hand-friendly, yet somehow sleek and modern. We were originally going to purchase a "storm" , which sounds dramatic and I think, a tad threatening. I suppose it's the next big thing on the horizon but I'm from the MidWest and the next big thing on the horizon was usually a tornado and I don't particularly want to hide when my phone goes off.

There are "kraves", which I'm sorry, that just sounds pathologic and sorta medieval and dark and "goth", which would make a good phone for maybe an emo crowd. "So, Darius, is that a phone in your pocket or a switchblade? the black fingernails". And "charcoals", but I'm not an artist and "titaniums", which I don't get at all...does that mean it's tough and hard enough to take a beating?

There are "silvers", but I'm not a jeweler...I'm a daughter of jewelers tho, but do I really need my phone to be called what its color is? Isn't that kind of juvenile? That's like calling my car a "stupid green"...."Hey honey, I'm going to go tank up the stupid green before we leave on our trip". See? It doesn't work.

There are "razors". Yeesh, no thanks. Good luck boarding a plane with that in your pocket.

There are "pearls" and "slates"...the former is loverly but the latter?...really?...roofing material?...not so much.... And we have "shines" and "rants". These don't sound so much like phones as much as they sound like rock bands...or the names of quantum material named by very young and brainy physicists who no longer feel the need to name things based on Latin.

So...maybe I'll be holding a "curve", maybe I won't....ewwww.....

I think my friend on facebook said it best. When I pondered who named phones, her one word answer summed it up......"MEN"!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Here's the link to a friend of mine who lives in the city and who is looking for work. She is a writer. She is recording her experiences and hoping to get a readership going. You can link over there and check her out at wordpress. She's a lovely, bright, intellectual and compassionate young woman with a lot on the ball who struggles with the same things we all do...she's very human and I love her for it. Sarah-in-the-city: enjoy!!!


I'm procrastinating doing homework. I can't focus. I'm just wiped out. Gone.

I did have the energy to purchase new phones and a new plan from a phone company...over the computer and by phone. We "own" our own phone store, food store, gasoline, etc.; stuff you never actually pay off, and we get discounted prices, plus points for using it so we'll see how this works out...we'll see....we've already purchased airline tickets from our Travelocity site and now our I need to purchase my monthly food bill on a card from "my" food store, etc....a good way to track expenses and if I get bonuses at the end of the month, well WOOT!

Anyway, that's it for my energy level...

Soon, I'll have to pick up the boy after rehearsal for a play he's in for 10 seconds and will cost us $8,000.00 in funds to support-way to go Mr. Drama Teacher. The boy is a big source of stress for me. He's a step boy. One day I hope he'll be a "real" boy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Mouse

I purchased a mouse for my laptop today. It's a wireless, and in today's vernacular, that word is now "bluetooth". Good luck future anthropologists and linguists. I brought home my new mouse. I unpacked it from its Fort Knox of cardboard and industrial strength plastic...but that's another post. I clicked on my "seeking bluetooth devices" and got it all arranged...after it told me to "insert the batteries, you moron", tho not in that nice a way. I finally got it hooked up and I noticed it was acting strangely. Weird...when I move left, the cursor goes right, when I go up, the cursor goes down...It wasn't at all like my "traditional" mouse in my non-Mac days. Hmmmm, this would take some getting used to...but, whatev, I'm used to "getting used" to things...*sigh* I used it a felt funny too...Man! I thought MacBook was supposed to be the warm and fuzzy computer...this isn't way...and then I looked at was upside down...

Humbling moment...I'm rethinking grad school....

It's raining.

It's raining. I have things called "puddles" in my driveway. It smells funny outside...I think it's called "wet desert vegetation". I like it. A lot.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

David after the dentist....

I do NOT advocate drugging children for fun and amusement-sometimes that's just an unintentional in this instance. This young man had to have dental work performed. His father took video before and after, with the young man's knowledge, to alleviate his concerns. David was still groggy and Dad kept filming...this has been a relative "hit" on youtube. He's cute. And funny. Really funny. And you know what?...if I had a video camera when my kids were goofy...well...

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'd like some traffic jam with my toast please?

I was tooling through downtown Palm Springs the other day, not long after I had returned from the MidWest and the snow and ice storm (which was stunningly beautiful, by the way). The day was incredible. It was sunny and the wind had that velvety feel to it when it blows across your skin...not too hot, not too cool...just baby bear perfect...

I had the windows down and the moon roof open...the radio was on and blasting 70s rock with 106 minutes of commercial-free rock greats...needless to say, I was loving life. It was just special, ya know? I'm setting up the scene for you folks here...

So I'm driving down the road, the usual suspects are darting in and out of the traffic...the 108 year old blue hair who should have had her license taken away about four face jobs ago because her eyes are pulled so tightly, she no longer has the peripheral vision to see my car driving down the center of the road, where it has every right to be if I'm driving it at 50 mph, I mean, as opposed to doing that sort of thing on the sidewalk...anyway, she just rolls her little Mercedes out there at about 8 mph without regard to me or the semi barreling down on her...but that's okay, cause it's a breezy, easy day and it's all's okay Maude, have a nice day, you and your new face, just get home safe...

So I'm continuing to drive and the mountains are beautiful and even the air is clean and clear and the traffic is slowing down and...oh! look!, there's one of those cute little Smart For Two cars right next to me...little yellow thing with a black roof...."hi!"..."cute car"...I'm waving...a little blonde is driving....she waves back...we're communicating....she probably gets this all the know, with that car and all...people just LOVE those cars....oh! we're still side by side here...hmmm...we're past "our" moment....don't look at her....I'm driving an SUV...obviously, I'm not as "green" as her....maybe if I drive slower she'll pass me by and it won't be so's still there....eyes la la....oh cool, she's turning left...whew....moving on...

I think I'll get in the far left lane now...oh! road work ahead...bottling we go...interesting...these guys working...they don't look one looks fact, what is that look? that? that? that okay-ness?...are those burly dudes okay with their jobs?...could they even be ummmmm "pleased" to be working?....I think they are!....that's my take on this....that's absolutely the feeling I'm getting....their body language is fluid and big and they're cohesive in their movements, they're chummy, they're actually working and expressing a kind of friendship...this is pleasant to watch...this is a new perspective on being in a traffic jam...if it means that people are working and supporting their families, heck yea, I'll wait...go on big guys, tear up that street and put it back together...take home that paycheck...

Tough times are here, but so is a new perspective...we just have to keep it in front of us...appreciate what we have, be tender with the people we love, and look for the laughter every day...Long work hours may be difficult but they're WORK hours, not IDLE hours...somethings are way worse....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association...I love these guys

I had heard of them but I had never actually seen them or been at an event where they were attending. I know they are sometimes considered controversial...for whatever reason...but puhleese...give me just a little break...remembering a fallen comrade?'ve got my vote, okay?

When Peter picked me up at the airport on Sunday, and as I disembarked from the escalator to collect my luggage, I walked through a group of assembled bikers, each holding flags, each wearing leather, and each looking quite individual and "non-conformist", if you get where I'm going on this. I don't think you'd find these guys seated at a fancy-schmancy dinner party and I think they'd prefer it that way. As it turned out, they were waiting for some one. A special some one. A comrade. A veteran. This veteran was alive and well. He was serving in the Middle East. But he was coming home. Early. Because his wife has cancer. And these gentleman...and I'm using the word "gentlemen" in it's highest, most noblest intended meaning, were there to greet him. And I stood there and watched. And my soul felt nourished for the opportunity of doing so. I left soon thereafter because it was their moment, not mine. But as we exited the airport, there were those bikes...all shiny and lined up neatly in a row, just outside...ready to carry those men to the next veteran that's returning...who knows in what love these guys...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

MENSA maybe I wasn't invited, but I can still enjoy the fall-out...

These were sent to me by my friend Flo. They've been around awhile, but they always entertain...the "lymph" definition cracks me up every. single. time. And I'll start with my apologies to my cousin Bobby, a MENSA member...not only a member, but a member who designs and writes the brain teasers for his local chapter...yea...So! Let the fun begin....

Here are the winners of this year's Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj.. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulance, n.. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

Monday, February 2, 2009


We had to share a bed in Pittsburgh. It was dark. I hadn't seen her in a couple of months. She reached her little hands over and caressed my back. Red Flag!

MOM: Is that a brace you're wearing?

ME: No. That's my ribcage.

The following two weeks were spent gratuitously gorging myself. GORGING. Enabled by the winter storm that crippled the Midwest, the South and the Northeast, we couldn't leave her house. Mother smiled when I ate a plate of food. And there was nothing else to do. No internet. No leaving. Nothing but food, 24/7. God loves my mother.