Sunday, January 31, 2010


This is from my daughter-in-law, Abby. She was tagged and in turn, tagged me and several others. I immediately developed a mini-panic attack because I began to narrow everything down...AAARRGGHHH....I'll have to be creative because there are so many more than 10 things....let's go....

1. First and foremost (and I have to get serious here), my membership in the LDS Church and all that goes with it and comes from it. All of it.

2. My children and their spouses. When we assemble, laughter ensues, spirituality increases, we are edified, buoyed up, humbled if necessary, and nourished-figuratively and physically.

3. My grandchildren-all of Each of them touches a special place in my heart. They each possess a smile-individualized to conquer their grandmother. Their eyes sparkle. They can see into my soul. I'm a better person when I am with them, when I think about them, and when I serve them and their parents. Their spirits are pure and their hearts and loving. And of course, they are brilliant.

4. My family of origin-Mom and my siblings, niece, remaining uncle. I mean, really! These are the people that shaped me. Blame them! But while you're at it, let them feed you and make you laugh.

5. Peter and his family. Oh my gosh. Marissa is hysterical. Peter Jr and Eli-Puhleese! I almost peed several times yesterday at our picnic...from laughter!!!!

6. Farmville. It does. Thanks Abby. Farmville is a wonderful distraction. I get to use different parts of my brain. I get to design, use color, get artistic, AND use my logic skills. It's perfect!!!

7. My books. Oh yes... my books...

8. I get to watch my favorite television shows: Modern Family; The Office; House; Community; and I love Project Runway, but that's on the Lifetime channel.

9. That said, I would have to say, my computer and the internet, because it connects me to all of that, eh?

10. much as I kvetch, I like learning. It makes me happy...

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Rats. Ping went home on Project Runway this week. I thought she was one of the more interesting of the designers. Rats. Rats. Rats.

Well, now I have to pick another favorite. Hmmmm.....who should that be. Who do I think has "legs"....

I'll have to give it another week. Jay Nicholas Sario looks interesting. I like his work. I tend to go for the designer who does truly feminine looking work. I don't particularly resonate with sports wear or pant suits. I love the gowns and dresses.

Anthony Williams is fun to listen to and watch, but I don't know how much longer he's going to be around...I just don't see him showing at Bryant Park ya know?

Whatever...I just know that P.R. is DELIVERING and I am in love!!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010


I was walking through Costco today with Emmy and the boy...picking up a few things for the house...lunch stuff for the hubs...snacks...just things...

Sure, like you can go there, grab a few things, and escape unscathed. Riiiggghhhhttttt...

And Emily and I shouldn't be allowed in public together anyway. It's awful. We laugh way too hard. We just know what the other one is thinking and at this point, all we have to do is make eye contact, but we would never behave in a conspicuous way or manner that anyone would ever interpret as disrespectful or mocking. We just shouldn't make eye contact when passing whatever it is that's going to make laugh, which could be yogurt, flower arrangments, salmon, or any number of other mundane items. We find humor in stoopid stuff. We probably shouldn't even make eye contact after eating a sample of whatever's cooking at the end of the aisle. Em can deliver a line so dead-pan straight, it just floors me. I'm amazed I didn't pass half a burrito through my nose. Bad Emmy!!!

And now that the boy can talk, he just adds to the humor of it all. We were standing in the check out line and this happened:

EM: Can you wait here while I grab some diapers and wipes?

ME: Sure.

CLARK: No Mommy! Don't get diapers and wipes!

EM: Why can't I get diapers and wipes?

CLARK: *smiles and holds hands together ala Mr. Smithers from The Simpsons* Cause....

EM: Cause why Clark?

CLARK: Cause I want you to buy candy.

EM: Well I'll buy more candy when you start wearing your underwear. Until then, I need to buy diapers and wipes. Are you staying here or coming with me?

CLARK: *smiling* Okaaayyyyyyy *running after his mom*

LADY IN LINE IN FRONT OF ME: I would have held out for the candy and leveraged the underwear.

ME: Good call. The mom and I will be here next week, wanna hang out?


Thursday, January 28, 2010


Hewo! Went to Disneyland yesterday with Em, Jacob, and the kiddos. Fun!!! Wow, Em and Jacob have this trip down to a science. Since they (and I can now include myself in this as my season pass was a Christmas present!!!) have season passes, they go 3-4 times a month. They have a "Disney backpack" that stays packed with the essentials: hand sanitizer, water, wipes, etc. Em packs dinner (they typically go late afternoon to evening), toothbrushes and pajamas. Yes. At the end of the evening, before the kids leave the park, they brush their teeth and when they are in the car, they put on their pajamas because they are asleep "before they hit the 91". Then, they are carried to their beds. What a life. They have a blast at the park, eat, and then wake up in their own beds. I want to be those kids.

Anyway, I had so much fun. There was so much to take in-talk about sensory overload. I was there once about 9 years ago. I took two of the grandchildren (Alex and Emma), and my daughter, Jette, with my late husband, Don. We had a blast there and I have to admit, I cried. I cried at the parade, I cried when I saw the Tinkerbell stuff, I cried when I saw the castle, I cried when I watch Emma geek out over the characters. The usual.

THESE kids are pros. They were showing ME around. They have favorite rides. They know the exact layout of the park. They know how the fastpass thingy works. Five-year-old Mae kept asking ME, "So, Grandma, how did you like that one?" when we got done with a ride or exhibit. The kids were definitely in charge. Clarkie spontaneously danced throughout the park-his happy dance, which involves lots of arm movements and singing. Did I mention there were virtually NO LINE!!! We basically just walked onto and into everything? Jacob warned me not to get spoiled by it, because it wasn't usually like this. I was charmed....the grand kids, the big kids, the castle, the characters, the cleanliness, the kindness, even the car ride home was fun.

I can't wait to take the twins!!! Let's see, they're one...they should be Disney-fied by age 4....yea...3 more years and they'll be ready....of course, they'll have DisneyWorld to play with, but Disneyland will be waiting....

I wanna go back...again and again and again and again.....

Monday, January 25, 2010


I was talking to Em about one of our most common topics: what's for dinner. This is an exasperating conversation for her due to allergy boy and, now that she's pregnant, she must follow his diet as a (hopeful) preventive measure for the next baby-preventive in that (hopefully) (s)he won't develop the same allergies. So...dinners are challenging....two (basically) vegans and two other picky eaters. Nice.

Anyway, I said, "So, I think I'll just have a hot dog bar. For the bar I could have chili, relish, other condiments and some kraut. For a side, what do you think...mac and cheese?

Em looked and me and said, "Could you GET more white trash?" *pause* "That sounds good"

Me: Yea...thought so.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I've been studying a lot about various tests this quarter; personality, intelligence, etc. There are basically two different types of tests, subjective and objective. The subjective ones are the ink-blot types, where the examinee gets to fill-in-the-gap type of tests. The objective tests are the more factor-analytic, true/false, yes/no, scoring types of tests. There is a need for both types, but being who I am, I'm a bit more intrigued by the subjective types, if only for the sake of the examinee's opportunity to ponder and self-examine the results. any of my family surprised? I think not.

So, one example of the subjective tests is to "finish the sentence". As I glanced at the sentences, (and because I think in pictures/videos and not words, I couldn't help but "finish" the sentences in a flash of images and the resulting emotions and insight that followed were relatively cathartic. I've been geeking out ever since. Guess who's the newest, biggest fan of subjective personality tests?

The first sentence was, "My father was...." and the second sentence is "My mother was...."

When I read "My father was..." the mental video starting dad's "head shot" at the piano, him standing at a mic, him on the screen in Body and Soul, him dancing "soft shoe" on the kitchen floor, him buying ice cream from the good-humor man for all of the neighborhood kids, him being on the most annoying commercial in central Ohio growing up ("Did you say nine cents?") it occurred to me. "My father was a star"...big personality, big drama, big hugs, big space.

When I read "My mother was..." then THAT video started rolling, and I saw my mother sitting and smiling...listening...because you see, my mother was the audience. There can't be two stars. Mother always listened. She listened to Dad. She listened to my sister talk about her Friday and Saturdays nights. She listened to my brother. She listened. It wasn't until her 90th birthday party that I realized that Mother was a star in her own right, with her own circle. She sublimated her star quality in her family because not only did she marry a "star", she gave birth to big "star"-type people...big energies....laughter, stories, big get-a-load-of-this kind of people...and she listened... I only really appreciated Mom's star quality when I learned that at her 90th birthday party, she was virtually adulated by her euchre club and mah jong club friends and neighbors. They adore her because of her spark and humor. They listened to her. She's the star.

I'm so grateful to know that. I hope it isn't too late to let that star power shine. This spring Mom...the mic is all yours....

Friday, January 22, 2010


It hailed today, here in SoCal. There's weird weather all over the country. Sure, it's winter and all, but the patterns are out of control. Hurricane season is harsher than it used to be. Good luck getting hurricane insurance if you're a homeowner in Florida, or anywhere else down there in the risky areas (from what I heard from a couple of friends). Floods and fires in the west are out of control...tho I wish I could have taken a picture of Smoky the Bear the other day as I rounded the mountain. It was raining pretty hard and the clouds were hanging low. There is a daily indicator that Smoky holds that tells motorists of that day's threat for fire. As I passed the bend, through my windshield wipers and the rain I made out that the day's risk for fire was "moderate"....sure....

Anyway, as I thought about the weather changing and the huge debate that typically ensues after such a statement I thought: you know, I don't really know why, or have any interest whatsoever in establishing blame or shame, I just know that this is not the weather I grew up with. It is different weather than the weather I knew in the 60s or 70s. I know I live on the other side of the country, but things are different...just different...

Winters are warmer, springs and falls are wackier...I'm not complaining, I'm only making an observation...and I think it has import and we need to look at it...

That's all...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I'm recovering. From what? From spending several hours down in the Coachella Valley, first at a doctor's appt and then spending 5 hours...FIVE the courthouse in Indio (a city in the Coachella Valley) taking care of a speeding ticket I've had since 2006.

The doctor is ordering me to go to a Ear/Nose/Throat specialist for my "adam's apple" that I'm growing. Whatever. I asked him what he's looking for and he shrugged and said, "Hey, I stay in my own specialty. I don't venture guesses." Well...thanks for having me drive down here for that...

The courthouse fiasco was well and good. That's probably a post in and of itself. Five hours. I deserved it, I suppose, for letting my ticket go for almost four years. The only reason I'm taking care of it now is because my license finally expired and I can't renew it until I clean up this ticket mess. So....there you go. An unintended consequence of having a warrant out for your arrest is: one becomes an excellent driver. EXCELLENT!

Also, it's raining. Monsoon-type raining. The desert can't handle the rain. Much like the military can't handle the know, in that movie with Jack Nicholson...whatever, it sounded way cool in my head when I heard it...

Indio was flooded...big, muddy swirling eddies of water right there in the streets, typically the intersections. I'm thankful for my little SUV with the truck got me through the floods, but not without some trepidation...Did you know that the leading cause of death in the desert is drowning? I know, it's counter-intuitive isn't it? There's just no where for the water to go when it rains. The ground doesn't absorb it like the heartland it's supposed the Good Lord meant for it to, the desert ground just lets it accumulate right there on top until it spills over the sidewalks and streets and yards and eaves and everything. The upside to all of this? It's absolutely stunning. The clouds, mist and fog on the mountains look absolutely Biblical. When I describe it to my mother, I assume the deep Appalachian accent of her aunt (my great-aunt) Merble (real name) and say, "Oh, honey, it just looks like Moses is a-talkin' to God on the mount up thar!"

It's really very dramatic and lovely. On the way home, I pulled over and snapped pictures on the way up the mountain. Loverly indeed, but difficult to capture with a camera. I also snapped a picture of my groovy boots that kept my feet warm and dry and allowed me to walk through puddles with confidence AND a goofy grin-a combination that is hideously annoying to others when performed by a woman "of a certain age". Let this be my legacy to my children and grand children: Never let your age dictate your behavior. There!
These photos are only at a little over 2,000 feet. You can imagine as I drove up to 5,000 how pretty it must have looked, but it was getting to dark for me to get out and take, I'm a wuss because it was cold. Even I have my limits.

The above photo shows sunlight hitting the top of a bank of clouds that I could see where I was on the mountain side, but I don't think the people in the Valley could see it. Bonus to driving up so far, I suppose....
In the above photo is Palm Desert and the southern end of Rancho Mirage. Palm Springs is way up and to the left in the photo at the base of far mountain range. That's one of the switchbacks I take going up the mountain. That's how low the misty clouds were. And they were fast. They moved like smoke. It was great.
And lest we not forget my knee high, rubber boots. You can see how wet my pant legs were at the bottom from puddle forging. When will I learn? On hindsight, I should have tucked my pant legs into the boots....well, that comes from living in a desert for almost 9 years and never having rain to speak time....

Monday, January 18, 2010


As I was looking for recipes to make this week, I chanced upon a recipe using Ramen noodles. I have an 18-year-old in the house, so it's the law that I have a room dedicated to storing that particular commodity, but for some reason, I never found recipes that actually used the noodles and the seasoning mix. Until today. Oh my gosh. This looked yummy. Here it is...

  1. Put the Ramen noodles into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Drain well.
  2. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, add the Ramen noodles, vegetables and chicken or fish, if desired.
  3. Sprinkle one seasoning packet over the top of the mixture. Cook until the vegetables are warm through and the skillet is sizzling.
  4. Crack eggs over the noodle mixture and stir fry vigorously until egg is well cooked. Serve.
Quick, cheap, easy, and it looks tasty. Heeelllllooooo dinner. Also, it hits on all the food groups, so I don't have to deal with guilt. YAY.

I'm going to make this for Mom when I go to visit her this spring. She will LOOOOOVE this. Just for fun, I think we'll use chopsticks. It will make my mother cuss, which is funny as all get out. I'll repent later.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The 7th season of Project Runway is upon us. I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl. Really. I can't get enough. I simply love that program. First, I love Tim Gunn. I adore his voice, his critiques, his point of view, his genuine concern for the designers-especially as it gets closer to Bryant Park and the pressure builds. Plus, he's a natty dresser. And anyone who knows about my obsession with my inner dialogue with Tim, has read my other blog (

I also love to watch Heidi Klum. She's beautiful and you never know which season she'll be pregnant. And here's the great part, whether she's pregnant or not, she's going to look fabbo. She's so fun. She wears whatevah she wants, whether she's a size 2 or 8-months-into-it. The girl does it because she can. Period.

I also enjoy Michael Kors. I just do. I respect his opinion. Obviously, he's been around the park once or twice and knows exactly everything you need to make it in the business. But I also like it that he's still the nice Jewish boy who remembers his roots and occasionally references his crazy Aunt Sophie's moo moo at her weekly mah jong game. I mean, really! Am I the only one who laughs out loud when he goes there?

And Nina...oh Nina.... When Heidi is introducing the judges every week, the designers wave, smile and say "hi" to everyone EXCEPT when the name "Nina" is spoken. Then there's silence. Unless that's the beauty of editing. It's almost sad...until Nina purses those lips of hers and renders judgment on someone's creation. But whatever she says, you can't take away the fact that Nina has a great head of hair....Yikkers....that woman has a head of hair!

And I always love the guest judge. This first week it was Nichole Richie. Nichole looked great, except I wanted to drag a brush through her hair. It's like, she didn't use a mirror when she brushed her hair that morning and forgot to brush the hair on her neck in the back. What up Nichole?

Most interesting designer based on the first week? Ping! Her name is fun to say, she's eccentric as all get out, she likes to wear her fabrics on her own body before she puts them on any one else's body, she's all about draping (fun!), her outfits change as they go down the runway (SCORE!), did I mention that her name is "Ping", she's an exercise physiologist so she understands body mechanics and how fabrics move on the human body so she will be interesting to watch...

There are others that are definitely going to be fun to watch, but Ping stood out this first episode.

Anyway, that's PR Season 7 in a nutshell. YAY....

Friday, January 15, 2010


I received an instant message from a niece of mine this evening. She meant to ask me, "How are you doing?", but instead, what she asked me was, "How are you being?"

I liked the "being" question better.

How am I being? I am being busy.

I am being troubled by Haiti.

I am being prayerful throughout the day (truly "coming what may and loving it).

I am being loved by my grandchildren....and my children. That is so nourishing, I can't begin to tell you. I am being loved by my siblings and my mother and my in-laws...and that is nourishing as all get out as well.

I am being made to laugh by funny friends and blogs.

I am being educated daily and I am so grateful (tho burnt out) by all that it does for me, I am speechless...yea, I know YOU don't believe that, but I am.

I am being sad because I miss people who aren't here. I wear my step-dad's coat and it warms many ways. And I being reminded of him and what he taught me about approaching life's challenges while smiling...and being kind...and getting wisdom. He was the closest I ever got to a guru.

I am being a single parent when my children are facing adversity and perhaps need both of their parents here...on the earth. They, on the other hand, are being funny/obedient/ faithful, and an example to me.

I am being surrounded by angels and love. And I am being grateful.

I am so busy with being, I can't NOT be being.

How are you being?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Today, Elijah and I are speaking in different accents-poor ones at that. We aren't being disrespectful or politically incorrect (well, I'm certain someone would consider it such-but they're not driving in the car with us), we're just having fun. If we drive past an ethnic restaurant or business, that's the accent we use. Elijah's pretty good and I'm not bad. The point is, we're having fun and it's not costing a dime (minus the gas and our IQ points). We're also using political references in a not-so-respectful manner, i.e.-China owns our collective U.S. butt and when we make up ads for Chinese buffets, we use that information as in:

"All you can eat...but eat moh veggabal...only one crab leg...yoo too fat...we own yoo butt...yoo butt too moh veggabal..."

Stuff like that, which is stupid but, made us laugh so hard, you would have thought we were the funniest people alive...and actually, in that car, we were...

we own yoo butt...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It's an adventure when I open my door in the morning. It's an adventure because I, like an idiot, don't listen to television or radio anymore. I don't read a newspaper. Apparently, I am entertainment for Mother Nature. I think she waits outside for me to open my door, I'm guessing she waits with unbridled glee-perhaps even with a camera, and when I open my door, must be so much fun for her. I think it must be that, "HA! Get a load of that puss!" kind of thing when I react to the weather. Because I cannot, for the life of me, figure out this winter weather here.

For the last two days it has been sunny and in the 70s. Really, truly, beautiful. Gleeful, in fact. The kind of weather that puts a spring in your step. any dope that gets used to something and thinks it's going to last forever, I opened my door this morning to walk the dog, spring in my step, and ZOWIE!!!! It was gray and cold and raining!!! Wait. Is this Ohio? Did I somehow transport? Did I dream that I drove to California? Am I really here? This is where Mother Nature falls off her tree branch in giggles. It's like hitting a wall of frost. I visibly shudder and appear to take the weather personally. I hop back into the living room, layer on about 3 more sweaters and socks, and THEN take the dog down for a walk.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. I just know that if I prepare for another day like today, smothered in wool from head to toe, I'll open the door and blue birds will be singing, butterflies will be buttering fly, and Mother Nature will be slapping her knee once again....

Debbie....nature's comic relief....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I watched the 20th anniversary of the Simpsons on Sunday. I didn't plan to, but I did. It was fun. Too much fun, probably. And way too many memories. Twenty years worth. I remember the first season. We were sitting in our living room in Worthington, gathered around the television and expecting.....we didn't know what. We had been warned against watching it. We were told it was "anti-family"; that it would be a bad influence on our children; it was the end of the world as we knew it, etc.

But, there we were; me, the kids' Dad, and the kids, ages 13, 12, 10, and 9. We were all sitting there, despite the warnings, (what the heck were their dad and I thinking?), intrigued as all get out, waiting for this subversive cartoon to come on. And when it did? We laughed our butts off. It became the theme for our family. We would pull up to church and I remember saying to the kids, "Now remember, as far as people think, we're a normal family".

I was talking to Emmy yesterday about the Simpsons. She said her earliest memory of them was hearing Bart talk about their dog, "Santa's Little Helper" (that's the dog's name). Bart said, "Ah man! The dog whizzed on the carpet!". Emmy laughed so hard when she heard that sentence uttered by a little boy on the television that her dad laughed at HER laughing. His laughter grew into his legendary wheezy laugh, which was contagious as all get out. What a fun memory! All because a perpetual 4th grader complained about a dog whizzing on the carpet.

I realize how silly it is to get sentimental over a prime time cartoon, but it's the memories of our growing family sitting around together eating brownies and laughing and sharing that time together that I treasure. The kids got taller, the legs got longer, the shoes went from 6's to 14's (on the boys!), their dad and I got grayer, but Homer and Marge and Springfield stayed the same. In fact, Eric is so good at Simpson's trivia, you can quote one line, and he'll tell you the episode and what it's about. Eric's the bomb. A few personal favorite quotes:

Marge: *as she pulled a meatloaf from the microwave* Dinner's ready kids. Come and get it while it's unbelievably hot

Lisa: *after eating Ahpo's extra-spicy dinner* Her mother asked if it was too spicy and while her eyes were spinning, Lisa said, "I can see through time".

Lisa: *after being drugged at Duff World* I AM the Lizard Queen!"

the Munson kid: Smell ya later

Homer: DOH!

Here's to you Simpsons! Thanks for 20 years of skewed family home evenings and at least 30 minutes a week when my kids beat it home (sometimes bringing their friends) to watch a family more screwed up than ours that we could laugh at. And we did...laugh, that is.

Saturday, January 9, 2010



I can't stand this cough. You know why? Because I'm a middle-aged woman who has given birth four times? Who's feeling me here? I can cross my legs so tight, my neck swells.

My dog needs a haircut. He's the most ghetto shitzhu I've ever seen. You know how most shitzhus are groomed and cute and kind of snooty? Not Buddha. He looks like Tramp, from the show, My Three Sons...only he's about a foot off the floor. It's like someone took a sheepdog and shrunk him. He's cute, but not shitzhu material.

I'm sick to death of school. Sick of it. I enjoy the learning process and all, but I'm just a little tired with the grading and judging and anxiety. I guess I'm caving under the pressure. It's been going on for almost seven years now. I'm tired. Enough. But I know that when it's over, I'll be doing something else and something else and something else....who am I kidding....I checked out the Institute of Noetic Sciences and it just lit me up....Heaven help me....

Is anyone else tired of Tony Romo?

I just ate my weight in Nilla Wafers. I'm 12.

I'm addicted to Farmville on Facebook. I admit it. I can't understand it, but I admit it.

I miss people more than I used to and probably more than I should.

I appreciate comedy more and more the older I get.

Sometimes I just love to watch my grand babies...all of them....just stare at them. They're stunningly beautiful.

I have a greater love and appreciation for my stepson, Elijah. He doesn't smoke or drink. He's never been brought home by the police. He's active in Church. He's preparing for a mission. He does anything I've ever asked him to do. He's polite. This kid is a dream. I love him. Frankly, I don't know what his dad and I are going to do when he leaves. He's always been with us, even when we were dating!

I wish I could juggle.

I'd like to learn how to dance one of those huge Sprint choreographed dances that are secretly videoed out in public that lifts everyone's spirit. You know the ones. How fun would that be!

And now I'm going to bed.

Friday, January 8, 2010


As many of you know, I am recovering from pneumonia. What you may not know, is that I was diagnosed in the emergency room of the Ohio State University Hospital-on the day of the Rose Bowl when the Buckeyes were playing. Here's some advice. Don't go to the E.R. of OSU when the Bucks are playing in any Bowl game. Period. No bueno. The doctor has one eye on you and one ear on the television in the nurses' station. I never heard from anyone between the x-rays, the ct-scan, or the blood work. I had to piece information together and infer, from the available knowledge, what was happening. My first diagnosis was a pulmonary embolism. Nice. I had chest pain on inspiration, which was severe in two spots, and an non-productive cough. My chest sounded relatively clear. My x-ray came back clear. My d-dimer (blood work) came back wildly elevated. Combined with a family history for pulmonary emboli, I was a shoe-in. I laid back ready for my treatment. I was told I was planted in Columbus for awhile because I wouldn't be cleared to ride in a car or airplane for quite some time. Then, after the CT-scan, I was told that I had mid-lobe pneumonia. So.....

All of this took, are you ready?...8 hours. EIGHT! I was given a couple of prescriptions and turned loose. I didn't know my way out, no one showed me, it was just weird. Now...heaven knows I love me some Ohio State. I LOVE IT. We used to take our kids down to the stadium (The Horseshoe) and play football down there on the field with them. How's THAT for being open to the public? My son is a graduate. My twin grand babies were born there. But this was just crazy.

So, my first piece of advice is: don't get pneumonia. My second piece of advice is: don't go to the OSU emergency room during a bowl game when the Bucks are playing. My third piece of advice is: don't let this blog prejudice you against the Buckeyes. They're as wholesome and "home-town" as a team can get.

I'm getting better and better. *cough* *hack* *wheeze* Go Bucks!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010



Well, I'm in my home in California. That sounds far more leisurely than it sounds. My family of origin and most of my children and grandchildren are in Ohio. I'm split. Right down the middle. So, I take my family where I can get it. That said....I will restate my first sentence. I am...


Wednesday, January 6, 2010


NOTE: I will never call Ohio flat again. Never. Ohio is, as described by Eli, "wavy". A very nice description. It is especially wavy as you travel west. Southern and eastern Ohio is actually hilly.

This beautiful waviness, these undulating green hills, continues for miles and miles-through Indiana and Illinois. There is a theory that the Book of Mormon actually took place here in the United States and that "The Land Bountiful" is, indeed, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. As I drove through it, I could see that....

And then we got into Kansas...What happened? This land is so flat, it plays tricks on your mind. It's like a Twilight Zone episode. That highway (54, I think) went on for I think 300 miles. STRAIGHT! No deviation, no turning to the left or the right. It's like a metaphor for obedience. There's probably scripture for that highway. The scenery never changes, unless you count the occasional ACRES of cattle. ACRES. What do you think that smells like? Oh wait, that was Texas....which looked EXACTLY THE SAME. So, from Kansas, through the Oklahoma panhandle and through Texas, there was virtually no change of scenery, road, or sky. It was numbing. I would sit in my seat, and then suddenly come to consciousness, but the surroundings weren't any different and I would ask my brother if I had been sleeping. He would look at me and say, "You want me to tell you if you were sleeping? And you're the smart one?"
Apparently I had dozed off and some time had passed, but nothing looked different....nothing had was like no time had passed...that can mess with a person's head...well, with THIS person's head, I'll put it like that.

We finally broke into New Mexico (The land of enchantment), and the scenery almost immediately changed-for the better. There was variety, there were rock cliffs, the rocks were red, even the clouds were quirky and creative. Thank goodness for New Mexico.

I'm grateful for Kansas and Oklahoma and Texas. We get a lot of good things from them. They're good folk. I just don't want to ever have to drive through them again. God bless 'em. Them and their flatness. Tomorrow we take off for the rest of New Mexico, Arizona and back into California. Now we're getting into territory that I'm familiar with. Roads that I recognize...routes 40, 215, 15, etc. I'm cool now. I'm close enough to home to smell it...not like those acres of cattle....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Tonight I'm posting from a hotel outside of Wichita, Kansas. I'm accompanying my brother as he drives his pick-up to California to start his new job.

As we drove through the Ohio Valley, the conditions were dicey at best. The roads were icy and unpredictable. The temperatures were frigid. Snow was everywhere. Did I mention I was diagnosed with pneumonia a few days ago? Fun!!!

After entering Indiana (well into Indiana), conditions improved considerably. The sun even came out! I forgot that there are people who actually see the sun during the cold months of the winter. I have a friend, Nancy, who not only doesn't mind NOT seeing the sun, she's quite all right with it, thank you very much! So, Nancy notwithstanding, seeing blue skies and bright sunshine in the midst of frigid temperatures was interesting. Maybe part of it was due to the anxiety of driving on icy conditions for several hours.

As we drove through Illinois, the Land of Lincoln (didn't see any Obama stuff yet, but I'm sure they're waiting for his legacy, right?), more snow, but the sunshine continued and the roads stayed nice. Also, David has a CB radio so guess who had fun hmm....yeah....

And then we dropped down towards Missouri, the "Show Me State" and we swore revenge on Governor appreciate that statement, you have to know Mormon history....

Finally, over 800 miles later, we landed outside of Wichita in Kansas. Here is the most remarkable discovery I have made thus far. There has been virtually no change in scenery in our drive since leaving Columbus. Flat and fertile farm land, farm animals, occasional stinkiness, barns, fences, silos, some trees, rivers, some bridges, now and then a solitary country road that follows (however briefly) the new-fangled interstate that took away its thunder. I marvel at this scenery. I realize how deeply attached I am to these iconic scenes. I know how deeply engraved the heartland is within me. I think, at this point, it's part of my genetic make-up.

On my mother's side, I am at least a tenth generation Ohioan. That's a lot of generations of farming and love of the land running through my veins. I see it manifested in my sister's ability to coax life out of plants. I, personally, can kill a picture of a plant, but my sister can bring a dry piece of root to abundant life. This doesn't mean I don't resonate with my heartland cell memory.

This trip just sort of brought it to my attention. I've often felt it driving through southern Ohio...but traveling 800 miles through these areas, even the Wabash Valley where my Great Great Grandmother was from, just lit me up. Maybe it's exhaustion, but I'm a happy, heartland, kind of girl tonight. And I'm happy to be that.