Saturday, June 18, 2011

WEEK FIVE: BABYSITTING THE TWINS WHILE WAITING FOR THE TRIPLETS

Well, this week, the Momma ended up going to the hospital for the remainder of her pregnancy. We're hopeful that she remains there for at least 9 weeks. At that point, all three babies have a very very good shot at a promising beginning at life. Starting this coming week (week 6), I will be taking the twins to the hospital to see their mommy twice a week. I have some insecurities about taking the kids out. And by "out", I mean off of their property. And by "off of their property" I mean out of their backyard. Here's my deal: At the end of day (my "watch"), those kids are supposed to be accounted for, fed, clean, and preferably laughing. So...to schlep two wiggle worms off the reservation and across town, well...I'm willing because everyone is outta their comfort zones right now. If Momma can grow 6 lungs, 3 hearts, and 60 fingers and toes while lying in her bed, well then, I guess that I can take two whole, complete persons, short and rowdy though they may be, to visit with their co-creator.

Highlights of this week:

*When I felt I was being too strict and a "meany of a grandma", I got more loves and hugs from the boy. Way to go Mister..

*Though I never doubted it, the Momma was right, it's not the extra work, it's the combined brain power that is most challenging.

*I had forgotten the sheer decibels involved in raising children.

*I had also forgotten the sheer delight of driving the freeways home at dusk in the humidity, through the downtown where I grew up...and IT grew up...and I feel a connection to the skyline and the buildings and the streetlights.

*I never, ever, ever, get tired of the babies' smiles. Their specific dimples, the way their eyes crinkle when they smile, and those laughs. Puhleese.

Onto week six.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

WEEK FOUR: BABYSITTING THE TWINS WHILE WAITING FOR THE TRIPLETS

Week four has ended. One month. Wow.

This is tough for the kids, but I think it's tougher for their Mom. She has to "mother" from her bed and it cannot be easy to hear the chaos and commotion, as well as the laughter and games, that are going on right outside her door, beyond her reach. The kids go into her room a few times a day, and in the afternoons, she can sometimes come out and sit outside if it's nice or situate herself on the couch, but we must watch and make sure the twins don't jump on her (because they want to) or play too hard around her (because they want to) and other possible risks (because they exist).

I try desperately to stay out of the way between Mom and baby relationships. This is a tricky path. I am not the mommy. I am the caregiver, for sure, but I am not the mommy. I have authority and I give affection (oh boy, can I give affection, just give me a rocking chair and a toddler and it's over) and I am present for their waking hours and do many similar things that their mommy did/does, so I'm certain that it is confusing for them, but it is extremely important that they understand (and I think they do) that Mommy is ultimately THEE Mommy. There are times when the boy will run down the dark hallway and curl up outside Mommy's bedroom door in an act of defiance against me, particularly regarding "potty issues", (go on Dr. Freud, say something!).

Other than that, it's been quite extraordinary. I've been here a month now and I've made interesting observations. I am amazed at the energy that I feel each morning when I awake. The alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m. When I arrive at their house, typically between 7:30 and 7:45 in the morning, the kids are stirring...and it simply doesn't stop from then on. I should be exhausted, and typically I am, but it doesn't hit until I walk into my bedroom at night and get on my bed. And it's not even a "slamming" exhaustion-it's more of a pleasant, job-well-done, type of feeling. It feels pretty good.

The "slamming" exhaustion happens on the weekend. My body just gives up and appears to let my tiredness "catch up" with me. I lay around my mother's house, where I stay on the weekends, and I vegetate. I go to church on Sunday morning and maybe Mom and I will go out on Saturday afternoon, but other than that I work on the computer (while it's on my lap) and just veg. I find that Mom and I share some quiet times together and it's pretty fun. I can make my mother laugh pretty hard and THAT is so much fun, I can't even tell you. Today we made our own clothes detergent and when she smelled the Fels Naptha, it took her back almost 90 years to her own childhood, but that's another post entirely. Glorious.

The high point of this week was Friday morning. It was lightening and thundering. There are two rocking chairs on their front porch and this provided a beautiful view to the lightening show. The thunder was rumbling and even giving loud cracking sounds. I figured this was a perfect opportunity to teach the children how to appreciate these storms and not fear them. We went out on the porch. We felt the rain coming down from the eaves of the porch. I rocked them on my lap. We watched the lightening and listened to the thunder. We figured out that thunder was our friend because it told us, by its loudness, how close the lightening was. They showed no fear. It was delightful. Each of my children grew up learning to love thunder storms. They still do. It's one of my favorite thing about being in Central Ohio. So....I think that was the high point of the week.

That and realizing that something bigger than me is carrying me through this experience. Something divine and wonderful and loving is pushing me and carrying me simultaneously. I know that their Mommy is praying each day for this to happen and those prayers are being answered. I should not have this much energy. On paper, this should not be the case. But life doesn't always happen "on paper". It just happens. I was telling my co-grammy, Abby's mother, who is kind enough to share her glorious apartment with me during the week days, that when I first arrived I thought her big basset hound was in my bed sleeping with me because I felt this big, warm, loving presence next to me at night. She assured me that the dog wasn't anywhere near my room. I wasn't complaining because I REALLY like the dog. Several times now it has felt like a big loving presence is with me. I realize how odd that sounds. I get it. I GET IT. But I'm telling you, I am surrounded by love and uplifted and carried through this experience. God really loves those twins AND their parents...so He's really taking care of the caregiver. The pure love of Christ works mighty miracles.

Mommy prayers....powerful stuff....

Saturday, June 4, 2011

WEEKS TWO & THREE: BABYSITTING THE TWINS WHILE WAITING FOR THE TRIPLETS

At the end of week two, I had a bit of an increase in fatigue. I run out of steam a little earlier in the day than I did the first week. Okay. I can live with that. I lost about five pounds and I can definitely live with that. But the most important things I figured out this week are the following:

If you stand in a rain puddle in the back yard and wiggle your piggies, it cleanses your soul. It’s an amazing piece of knowledge.

Melting popsicles are more flavorful than frozen ones.

Pushing a 2-year-old in a swing strengthens the muscles of one’s character, particularly patience.

Being able to find joy in the slow smile and glazed-eye, dreamy countenance of a 2-year-old who’s slowing being rocked to sleep is a noble and precious gift.


At the end of week three, I experienced a little more fatigue at the end of the day. I ended my week off between quarters of school. It looks like the kids might be taking a growth spurt. It appears that they are “constantly” ready for their naps or bed time, meaning that they are sleepy a lot. They are always wanting to eat something. They don’t always listen, so behavior is chaotic. Or perhaps I’m describing typical 2 year olds. I've learned that the girl appears to be the "alpha", but the boy is ahead in language skills, but she’s ahead in physical skills, but he’s ahead with cuddling, but she’s....and this can go on and on and on and on....bottom line-each child has a unique skill sets and each has a unique ability to pinch my heart and make me laugh-at the same time.

On to Week Four!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

WEEK ONE: BABYSITTING THE TWINS WHILE WAITING FOR THE TRIPLETS

One week with the twinkies, the twins, the ones in the picture above. I'd like to think that I had wrought a magic change upon them...that they're better people...that diapers are a thing of the past, that their mother, who is on bed rest while carrying triplets has miraculously healed and that I, personally, saved the world from utter destruction (unfortunate for those awaiting the Rapture).

Alas, none of those things happened. What DID happen was that I learned how to eat an orange slowly, while staring out a window. I learned how to wake up at 6:15 AM and put one foot in front of the other, which was a theme that was repeated in a game the kids and I made up. I also learned, while trying to get the boy to use the potty, even while playing, that "important things come first". I've applied that to my own life this week and that's what got me through the day...and night. Important things come first.

So...week one...I learned how to...

1. Eat an orange slowly-it's really the ONLY way.
2. Put one foot in front of the other.
3. Important things first.

And so, I need people to stop telling me how wonderful I am for doing this. I need to STOP hearing what a wonderful thing I'm doing. Because truth be told, I'm the one, as usual, who gets the blessings and the lessons. I get the benefits. I'm the one that needs to say "Thank you".

THIS is an opportunity for blessings. Important things first.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

PARALLEL CHRISTIAN TANGENTIAL UNIVERSES...SURE, PASS THE BROWNIE RECIPE

The other night, we watched the movie, "Donny Darko". I was MEANT to watch it. I had 2 people ask me to watch this movie. When we went to Palm Springs last Saturday to visit with Peter Jr., he asked me if I had seen the movie. This was the 3rd reference! I explained that 2 other people had asked me the same thing. He handed me the DVD and said, "Watch this for me because people are asking me to watch it also and I don't have time. You watch it and tell me what you think next time we're together". DONE AND DONE! This is a cult favorite. To watch this movie, you have to suspend your belief in ghosts and time travel. Well...it had me at "suspend your beliefs". Who doesn't suspend their beliefs about ANYTHING when they watch a movie. It's a MOVIE!!! You're not looking into anyone's window. It's a MOVIE. It's theater. Even movies that propose to be based on true events take license with the truth.

Donnie Darko combines these two very interesting concepts. A ghost that travels back in time to give messages to a troubled young man. Questions arise from this, but only about a million. I had the opportunity of watching this with my husband, whom I've described in the past as being a tad "pop-culturally anemic". He talks to relieve his anxiety during movies. He speaks his thoughts even if he'll eventually figure out the answer within a matter of seconds. This can get annoying. When we first started dating, I tried to overlook this behavior because he was so cute. Now, I dig the first joint of my thumb directly into the meat of his thigh. This provides a satisfying grinding sound and effectively redirects his attention to the searing pain in his leg. win/win

Anyway, following the movie, I had several interesting discussions with my son. I even looked up several annotated sites regarding some of the material covered in the movie. Did I mention I'm kind of wonky that way? I once read a book that traced the hemophiliac gene that spontaneously mutated in Queen Victoria's family and spread throughout the royal houses of Europe through her children and grand children because of royal marriages. Yea...wonk resides here.

Back to the movie, there are multiple sites devoted to understanding this movie. There are conversation threads regarding the minutia of everything from the flight numbers of the planes, to the Christianity of the movie, to what color socks Donnie wore (j/k). So, I'm not going to solve any great mysteries with my insight. I just think it's interesting. I can't figure out brownie recipes, I'm certainly not going to figure out Christian tangential universes...but I'll have a heck of a time trying. :)

Okay, off to ponder the great mysteries of the Darko family while I pull weeds and run from lizards.

Be well.

Friday, February 25, 2011

DON'T RATTLE THE RATTLER

Here's the full story about what happened with the snakes and my date with my 3-yr-old grandson, Clarkie.

In the afternoon, I took a friend to a pet store that specializes in weird amphibious type pets. I don't know what's "pet-like" about bearded lizards or ill-tempered snakes, but it has its appeal to some.

I walked past a glass enclosed "cage" with a black Alabama snake in it. This snake immediately recoiled from me, hissed, and rattled his tail. Obviously he didn't like me. He did not respond this way when my 19-yr-old friend walked past. We experimented. The 19-yr-old stood there....nothing. I stood there, the snake becomes Voldermort.

Glass enclosers create brave observers so I stood my ground with Voldy and began to sway (which is a bad habit of mine, I admit). This must have infuriated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Swayed-In-Front-Of because in the time it takes to think "Wha the", that snake attacked me. He didn't REACH me, but the force with which he hit that glass was hard, fast, and angry, and I jumped backwards and left my body for a few seconds. All I left in place was an expletive, just hanging there in a blue cloud of repentance. That snake had to hurt his nose from the fierceness with which he hit that glass. Yikes.

When I finally centered myself, and my "friend" stopped laughing (bonding episode? I don't think so), he stood in front of Mr. Warmth and what happened? Nothing. Apparently, it's true. Snakes and women have a history that goes way back. I'm assuming he was a little smoother in the Garden.

Anyway, last night I took my 3-yr-old grandson on a Moo Moo/Clarkie date. We went to get some dairy-free-fat-free-taste-free yogurt and I told him about the experience. His huge blue eyes were even more huger and bluer. He hung on every word. So it came to the following dialoge:

ME: So, Clarkie, I'll take you to that store to look at those snakes, ok?

HIM: *without missing a beat* And I won't go, cuz there's snakes, ok?

Clarkie is waaayyyyy smarter than Moo.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ONE DAY...JUST ONE DAY....

ME: Hi Mom. How's everything.

MOM: Fine! Feeling good. Been gone. Out with card club. Playing Mah Jong, having lunch, you know. I just got back and was napping a bit while watching Ellen. How's everything with you.

ME: Well, I thought I'd give you a ring between moving things between houses before it got too late. My paper is finished so I have a bit more time and then we started this moving business, so I hope I caught you at a good time.

MOM: Well...I know you're busy and all and I'm just happy when you think of me and remember me. We had a good time when you were here. I talk to your picture every morning. I know it's hard to find the time to call an elderly person who isn't right there close to you. So don't worry about me. I find things to do. I have some friends. We entertain ourselves. If something happens I can call them...

ME: I missed one day of calling, Mom.

MOM: Oh! It seemed so much longer!!!!

ME: Yea...I'll call you tomorrow, okay?

MOM: Okay sweetie. Have a good day. I'm going back to Ellen now. Love you, bye!

ME: *searching for therapist on speed dial...*

Saturday, February 19, 2011

MY SHITZHU, TINK:PLAYING IS A FULL-TIME JOB

I have two dogs, both shitzhus, but both entirely different. They barely resemble each other. One is short, squat, quiet, and very very "in the moment". His name is Buddha. He stays next to me all the time. Where I am, he is there also. The other one is small boned, sprightly, light, and her name is Tink, as in "Tinkerbell". I can't believe how inspired these names were. When I took Tink to the vet for her first visit, he twisted her about, unfolded her, peered here and there, held her up to the light (seriously, like a gem stone) and said, "Well [pause for dramatic effect], you're going to be handful". Thanks Doc. Here's $1,000.

The prophetic nature of the vet notwithstanding, she has been "active", shall we say. She immediately called "dibs" on being the alpha. Buddha, as is his nature, became the curmudgeonly-but-benign Wilford Brimley of the house. Tink, on the other hand, developed wings and flies throughout the living room and bedroom. She has mastered bilocation. She insinuates herself into situations she does NOT belong.

The other night the hubs and I were lying in bed exhausted, and he asked, "Are you licking my forehead?" I replied that I was definitely NOT licking any portion of his face. Without either of us moving he said "Tink is here". Our bed is a train ride away from the floor. She had to be RRREEEEAAAALLLLYYYYY motivated to get up there.

Sometimes my 7-year-old neighbor, Saroya, who weighs approximately 8 pounds asks to "walk" Tink around the complex. "Sure" I say....and then I watch as Tink leads her at break neck speed and they fly through the air in a blur-none of their six feet touching the ground.

When we walk together, Tink will spontaneously begin walking on her hind legs. It's disturbing to say the least. Her body hair is cut short, so she has the appearance of a meerkat when she stops and looks around.

But she's all about playing. Her job is to play. PLAY! Constantly and nonstop. You can wake her up at 3 in the morning to PLAY!!!! Here's the deal with Tink. You could tear her hind leg off, beat her over the head with it, throw it over your shoulder, and Tink would play fetch with it....SHE WOULD PLAY FETCH WITH HER OWN LEG!!!!!

I need Tink's attitude.

P.S. She snores like a prison guard

Friday, February 18, 2011

EIGHT PAGES LEFT....KILL ME NOW...OR KILL ME LATER, I UNDERSTAND

I have about 8 pages left to write on this stupid paper.

8.

It's like I'm constipated in my brain.

8.

It's like I can't hold a thought or something.

8.

I've given birth quicker than I have written these last 8 pages.

8.

I've eaten cheese, cake, crackers, lasagna, Mountain Dew, apple juice, iced herb tea...I can hear myself getting fatter and my IQ points tinkling to the ground.

8.

I decided to get married quicker than it has taken to write this paper. True.

8.

We're two steps further into escrow for our little house on the hill. We'll have a mortage before I have this flippin' paper done.

8.

I've tweeted, status reported on facebook, blogged, and emailed while doing this paper...maybe that has something to do with it....

8.

oh my word, I've come up with 8 statements regarding my not finishing this paper...

8.

cartoon by Richard Krzemien (he gets me....)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A BOOK THAT FLIES THRU THE AIR...

Dear Deborah,

Yes, it's true. You most certainly did order a book from Amazon.com. You ordered it and expected it to arrive on your new e-reader, the Kindle. I know you were excited. You felt very much apart of a special family of "new techies" that now read occasionally from hand-held devices. You waited several days for your new "book" to arrive when in reality, it should have arrived at virtually the speed of light, right?

The trick, you see, if that you have to turn your Kindle "on" and by "on" we mean to the "wireless" setting, so that the "air" can magically make your "book" appear inside your new little reader.

Okay? So happy that you figured it out. So....snuggle up next to your little reader and fall asleep in bed. I know, it takes getting used to. Your favorite books would fall softly and painlessly upon your chest or tummy when you could no longer keep your eyes open. They were kind of nice, eh? The Kindle and other e-readers fall forward and clip you on the nose don't they?...in a rather cold and pokey manner. But hey! You can carry a virtual library in your purse and read while standing in line or waiting for prescriptions or any number of circumstances.

Just remember to turn it on next time you purchase a "book". Now...about how to actually "turn the page"....

xoxo, Your Kindle

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ROSES ARE RED/VIOLETS ARE BLUE/I'M A SCHIZOPHRENIC/AND SO AM I

Well...today was interesting....

I had a standard doctor's appointment. I was just going to run down to the desert, drop into my neurologist's office for a quick visit, and then run back to my house. The trip down to the desert takes about an hour and a half over the mountain and is quite scenic. I enjoy the trip immensely. Once I get to the desert, it's always very warm and I forget (even after living there for several years) that it's consistently the same temperature for most of the year and it's difficult to remember the seasons.

Okay, back to the doctor's appointment. As I was going back to the exam room, I asked the secretary, "How's your summer going?" It's February. Middle of winter. Even here. She replied, "I don't remember. Summer was quite a while ago." Dutifully shamed, I hung my head and walked to the room.

She must have said something to the doctor....heck, now maybe I did, I can't remember...but he started asking me weird questions. He pointed to the "thing" on his wrist and asked what it was. I said, "Your watch?". He said, "Good". (Seriously?) He then said, "I noticed that you were reading when I came in. That's very good." He didn't say the book was good (it was an e-reader, so he couldn't see the book)....he just said that the ACT of reading was good.... (okkkaaayyyyyy)

He then said, "I'm going out of the room for a moment, when I come back please be sitting in that chair over there". I failed that one because we've never done that so I thought perhaps I misheard him. He walked in with a folder and some papers in it and looked at me strangely. He repeated it and I jumped to the other chair. Now I'm thinking I failed a little test. Then he pulled up a chair and sat across from me. He said, "I'm going to name three things and I want you to remember them because I"m...." OKAY! ... I said, "I know what's going on here. I know what this is. This is a remembery thingy". No...I didn't say that. But we discussed the test and we realized that my memory, though spotty, is fine. He said that as my stress level lessens, my memory should improve. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH....good one. But he did give me the rest of the "memory" test *cough* and will track it.

Here's the deal. At this point in time, I'm "the absent-minded professor" type of person. That pretty much sums it up. If I remember something, it pushes something else out. It could be the lunch date I made with some one or a grandchild's name. I have two grandsons that begin their names with the letter "C". One is Charlie and one is Clarkie. When my time with them kinda sorta overlaps, they both become Charkie. I'm economical like that. Occasionally, my husband and I will still refer to one of the dogs by our son's name. I'm not taking the fall for that.

I told my 91-year-old mother about what happened today at the doctor's office. She laughed so hard she almost peed herself. After we discussed it, I told her I'd call her again tomorrow. Her parting words, "Sure....if you can remember who I am."

Nice...

Monday, February 7, 2011

VISUALIZATIONS....STRONGER, BETTER, UNCUT.....

Okay, my last post was about wanting to move. Guess what...yes...we're moving. This post is dedicated to the art of visualizing. I know, I know...people poo poo that stuff, but it has worked for me over and over and over and over. My kids can stop reading now because I'm going to talk about the grapefruit. They've heard this story virtually their entire adult lives and they can recite it verbatim. But I'm going to tell it now so that it will explain how I got my house that we're moving into.

Back in the late 1970's, a friend that my bro and I have adopted as our "other bro" since we were 14 (he is referred to as "Boz") recommended I read a book called, "Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah", by Richard Bach. I enjoyed the book. It was way ahead of its time. Anyway, it spoke, loosely, about visualizing things into existence and the message went straight into my heart. I had no religious affiliation at the time and didn't understand the concept of faith so I was a spiritual blank page, so to speak. I wanted to try an experiment using visualization, but I wanted to keep it pure. I didn't want to visualize money, though I was dirt poor at the time. I also didn't want to visualize something that would naturally or routinely appear in my life either through something I would do or someone would buy for me, like a gallon of milk or gas for my car. So, I settled on a grapefruit. I didn't like grapefruit. No one was going to buy one for me because it was the dead of winter in Columbus, Ohio and back in those days, if something was out of season, it was off the shelf, so there was no way in the world it was going to be purchased for me. I was really setting the bar high on this experiment.

So I visualized a grapefruit. I really "saw" that grapefruit. I saw the roundness of its shape. I saw the pores on its skin. I saw its yellowness turn to shades of pink. I really really saw that grapefruit. Less than 3 weeks later, a CRATE of grapefruits were delivered to my door...YES...in the dead of winter no less and delivered TO MY DOOR. How? A friend of my mother-in-law's was wintering in Florida and thought we could use some "Florida sunshine" and he felt compelled to purchase some in the form of grapefruit and and have them shipped to us. I had never spoken to that man personally (never did). I didn't ask for them. I didn't know how to contact him (why would I)? How's that for visualizing something into existence from nothing? I was hooked. And the funny thing is, I find myself with grapefruits all the time now. In fact, in 2001, I moved to Southern California....I can't go anywhere without smelling or seeing grapefruit trees or bags of grapefruits being given away!!!!! Two of my homes here had several grapefruit trees growing in the yards!!! It's been 30 years and grapefruits have only become more prevalent in my life. I still don't eat them.

Which brings me to the previous post. I really felt the need to move. So I visualized a home. I enjoy the 55+ communities here. They're really nice and neat and I need that orderliness to finish this doctorate. Therefore, I visualized some peculiar standards that one doesn't typically find in modular/mobile home communities here. I visualized wood flooring (because of our pets), I visualized plaster walls versus paneling, and I wanted 2 bedrooms with two baths and I wanted the appliances to be there (we have our own washer/dryer). I also wanted it to have a bit of a yard and pretty views. I also wanted it to be dirt cheap. THAT is a LOT to ask for on the surface, but when one considers the vastness of God's creations and depth of one's faith-it's really a drop in the bucket.

Guess what presented itself to me in less than 2 weeks! A home with wood floors, appliances, 2 beds, 2 baths, a 55+ community, an adorable little yard for the dogs, a place to grow hydroponic plants, scenic views, PLUS a two-car garage with a work station and overhead fluorescent lights, as well as a stucco exterior with a long front porch. We are at the top of a huge hill (little mountain). We are not in a floor zone OR a quake zone....tho everywhere in SoCal is technically a quake zone in my opinion-but this really works in terms of homeowners insurance. I got exactly what I wanted AND MORE. Plus the cost is so low, it'll be paid off in one year. Visualization works!!!!!

Now.....my next goal is a check with a specific number on it and a scooter.... :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

DIRTY HOUSE, TIME TO MOVE

So I returned home and what to my wondering eyes do appear, but 2 miniature dogs and some tiny reindeer...wait. Those aren't reindeer! Those are squeak toys. Destroyed squeak toys. The cushions of the couch have been manipulated and flipped over to keep the "kids" from jumping up there and...what?...what do they do up there? Lay on them? I guess that would be bad because THEY SMELL!!! No baths, no brushing...basically, I've returned to the movie "ANIMAL HOUSE". In the truest sense of the word...nice.

True, there was a huge vase of flowers in the middle of the dining room table. That was cute. The sheets had been laundered the night before...good thing. There was a piece of furniture in the living room that had previously been in the boy's room and that will be going BACK into the boy's room, now that the boy is gone...so that will change the look of the living room. Lots to throw away...lots to put away...lots to wade through...but more than anything, lots to DE-FUNK AND DE-SMELL. What the heck!!!!!

I know exactly how to solve this problem.

We're moving.

Soon.

Word.

Here's my serious look...
And then here's the "real" look I'll be using....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

FEELIN' KICKED, ON ROUTE 66


I am driving the famously historic Route 66 all by myself. So...at the end of my trip, I'll have driven through Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas (stayed in Amarillo), New Mexico, Arizona (staying in Flagstaff tonight), and then home to California. Cool! I'm wiping that off the bucket list. It wasn't intentionally ON the bucket list, but it's a cool thing to scratch off. Today I drove a little over 600 miles and feeling fine. If my gluteus minimus hadn't complained, I could have driven more, but such is life.

Also, I listened to an entire book today by James Patterson. By forensic evidence AND by paintings on the tomb wall, combined with cultural traditions, and full body CT scans, he figured out who killed King Tut. Very sad and intriguing story. I think there was a LOT of 'splaining in that after world they all ended up in.

I do NOT like this Motel 6...If I had enough nerve, I would go to my car and get the knife I bought for my hubs and sleep with it under my pillow...ick.

Last thought before I drift off to sleep at 5:30 p.m. While taking xanax, do NOT pluck any remaining eyebrows that you may have left. Just sayin'...

Friday, January 7, 2011

DAY TWO OF JOURNEY: OKLAHOMA

One my 2nd day of traveling. This is what I've come to realize. States are pretty competitive for bragging rights. Oklahoma was the first state to install a parking meter. Also, it is the home of the largest antique collection in the world. I'm going to submit my dental work. Oklahoma is proud of its famous citizens: Garth Brooks, Will Rogers & Brad Pitt and astronaut Thomas P. Stafford. I don't know how a state can take credit for the random coupling of genetic pooling, but this one did. I think they all do. Also, Oklahoma was the setting for the movie "Twister". When I crossed the border into Texas, and I am NOT making this up, there was an electric sign saying this: KEEP YOUR BUTTS...*wait for second part of sign* IN YOUR CARS. I felt warm and welcomed. I'm in Amarillo now. My butt speedily went from my car to my room. Will map out tomorrow's journey now. I know it will be through New Mexico and most of Arizona. Love to all.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

THEY'RE CALLED FRECKLES!!!!!!

Ages 10-30, they're called "freckles"

Ages 31-50, they're called "age spots"

Ages 50-plus, they're back to being called "freckles" again.

THEY'RE CALLED FRECKLES!!!!!!

*cough*

Thank you.

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER

I've shared this photo with lots of friends, but this is the final spot. It was taken at midnight on New Year's Eve. At about 11:45 pm, my 90 year old mother shouted out from her bedroom, "Hey! At midnight, grab your camera and jump into bed with me so we can hug at midnight." So...being obedient, I grabbed my camera and ran into her room 15 minutes later. She threw her duvet back and I climbed in. We took three great photos but this last one took on a life of its own. The lighting changed on its own and the even spirit of the photograph changed. There is a tenderness that emerged that blew me away.

This is how we brought in 2011. May it ever be so...