Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Chilly June Evening

A funny thing happened tonight. Boy19 reminded me so much of his father, whom I met when he was only two years older than the boy is now. That's a totally bizarre fact. He's got that Monty Python (?) look and an unusual sense of humor. He mentioned being able to pack a lot of firearms under that coat, a sawed off shotgun. He said he'd go to Walmart in this get-up if I paid him $100. He's been hanging around more lately. I think he's bored (not working enough): My diagnosis.

Birthday Workout

Any 13 year old who wants an Ab Lounger for is birthday is...well let's say Unique. He's actually been asking for one for months. Tonight is a full moon and he was acting weird (howling) before leaving for a peer's birthday party. I think he felt a little jealous going to someone else's party after having cake and ice cream with us and the grandparents. I got him three sports oriented DVD's, some socks so he will stop wearing mine (the not so girly ones) and he got some other miscellaneous stuff from his dad and me.
The cake had an earthquake and my mom asked when I started baking birthday cakes. She seemed to think I never had. I admit, I often buy a store cake or an ice cream cake from DQ or let Mom bake one, but yes, I have made birthday cakes before. Maybe that's why I don't make them, they don't look so good. But everyone said it tasted good.

I can't stop singing Till There Was You, and it ain't pretty.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Jo Jo's Game

Boy14 pitched a 10-3 win tonight, a complete game (7 innings). I saw him hit a double (I think) before I left to attend a musical with a friend and her friend. It was Music Man. I like some of the songs, Wells Fargo Wagon, Ya Got Trouble in River City, and Till There Was You. Gary, Indiana was memorably sung by little Will Inman with his lisp. Betsy and I changed the words in a home production circa 1974 to "Rugby, North Dakota" my father's birthplace. I had forgotten what musical that came from.

On another note, it is freezing in IL. I turned the car heat on tonight. Tomorrow is a full moon and the end of Boy12's childhood (his words). Oh, that's 10 minutes away!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Time I Went To Band Camp

Boy14 is my musical one, fo shizzle. Last Sunday at noon I unloaded him at music camp at the university in our town. It was kind of weird checking a 14 year old into a dorm room for a week, but he couldn't wait for me to be gone. I didn't hear from him again until I called last night to find out when and where the final concert would be this morning. He couldn't talk cuz he lost his voice "screaming at a dance." Okay.
The Concert was top shelf. They sounded like a very good high school band or even college, not a bunch of Jr. High kids who just met six days ago. Boy14 is the one in the striped shirt and black Chucks. You might be thinking what I was thinking: that one next to the end looks pretty mature for 8th grade. There was another one with a full beard and one with silver hair in front of the boy holding a bassoon. The conductor later informed us that college students and faculty were participating along with the kids to role model, etc. Not as ringers, they could do very well on their own. Anyway, I'm sure it did help. They played about six difficult numbers from a variety of genres, but no Sousa marches, something my mother always laments.
In the car on the way to the dorm to pick up his stuff, the first info we got about camp was this: somebody took a crap in the shower and it was closed down for two days, a health hazard or something. Anyway, the counselors went room to room interrogating the kids, "We're just going to come right out and say it, did you take a dump in the shower? Did you see it? Was it firm or diarrhea?" Afterwards, they heard the counselors laughing their heads off in the hallway. Next some of his friends didn't shower all week, and on the elevator it almost came to blows because one smelled so bad. Third, the toilets kept getting clogged up with large fecal loads.
He formed a new band at camp that performed for the Talent Show. They played AC/DC Back in Black, but were not allowed to sing the words (too vulgar?). Afterwards, someone yelled, "Yeah, Slash!!" and Boy14 gave his signature guitar salute.
Such are the memories of a 14 year old boy at Band Camp.

Picnic Table Series

This is Angie and me fake smoking at the picnic table at work. I had bought four packs of candy cigarettes to use in class when the kids have to do smoking skits utilizing their "refusal" skills. Unfortunately, I gave myown kids all the candy or we would have sticks hanging out of our mouths. These are the empty packs, look pretty real, huh? Die hard drug preventionists would have these pulled from the market as it desensitizes kids to smoking and they try to act cool with them, later making it easier to pick up a real smoke (??).
Anyways, the picnic table thing is a series of pictures I took for Jen's going away compiled into a book called "Friendz". Jen is a smoker and got all of us into taking smoking breaks with her and after she's gone we probably will never sit outside and socialize. Unless, we go out to fake smoke, of course.
Angie is our newest worker, a mental health case manager. She's young as you can see, but coincidentally is in the MSW program with me, so it has been great to have her so close. We talk about class and assignments and all my computer problems together. We did our video together as well. We practice our "teen lingo" together, so we can relate to adolescents. hahaha. BTW- I was one indentation away from a perfect paper on my paper on Juneteenth. I didn't think it was that good, content-wise and certainly didn't spend as much time on it, but I didn't complain.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Game Before Last

Here is a synopsis of how we got to the Championship Game (as told by the coach/Dad/Pat):

Stop me if you've heard this one before….As the 2nd place finisher (13-5-2) in this year's Little League regular season, our team was an automatic bid to the semi final game of our tournament. As part of a long term strategy, I elected not to start Cal on the mound to save him for the possibility of throwing in the championship. If he threw more than 39 pitches in this game, it would make him ineligible for a game on Friday and that would be our only chance of competing. If you can't put up a fight in the big one there is no reason to be there. As it were, my lefty (Opie Taylor) got the start and pitched 5 strong innings as we went ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth. I then called upon Cal to try and close the game in the sixth with the one run lead. With 2 outs, 2 strikes and a runner on 3rd, our catcher drops the next pitch which allows the tying run to score. We have to go to extra innings and Cal has reached the 39 pitch count limit with game still tied at 4. I yanked him and we promptly folded like a house of cards making errors (including Cal) and giving up 6 runs to go behind 10-4. As a few boys came to the dugout with tears in their eyes, I challenged their manhood. The crowd had swelled due to the conclusion of the game being played on the opposite field, and I was being consoled by friends as I walked to the coaching box at third. Over thought the whole dang thing!

Down to life support, we started crawling back as the bottom of the order somehow found their way on. This included the first clean base hit of the year by one of the boys (talk about timing). After a series of miscues the score was 10-8, and we started to believe. Even though Cal was the go ahead run, the other team elected to intentionally walk him? Two batters later he was knocked in by a base hit and scored what was thought to be the winning run. In the confusion of all that was happening, the scoreboard operator failed to count one of the runs which created a question in the minds of many. This was immediately overturned as the boys were told they had won 11-10 and got the chance to celebrate an absolutely thrilling conclusion to this unbelievable game. We are headed for the show and I'm still livin the dream……...

Oh my word

My God fearing grandfather always said, "My Word" rather than "My God". Tonight was one of those nights. Boy12 pitched in the town's Little League Championship game. We were tied with the number one team (whom we lost to three times and tied once during regular season) with two outs left in the bottom of the 6th. They were home team and my boy was on his last batter, having used his 85 pitches for the week when the game was called for visible lightning. The other coach wanted to call it a tie, but Boy12 and their starting pitcher who was also out of pitches, both wanted to finish it Monday evening, so Pat advocated to finish the game Monday. Our team has nothing to lose, only a huge possible victory to win. It could go to extra innings if they don't score. They had no one on base but two outs left. We have our number two pitcher available on Monday, but so do they. Should be a good finish.

Our local summer festival "Heritage Days" has been rained out for the second night in a row. I feel bad for the vendors and performers. Usually this is a big event with really hot weather and excellent sales. Last night a storm rolled in about 8 p.m. and shut the place down. At 2 a.m. (?) another really violent storm came in and lasted about 2 hours. It was louder than Hades, and carried lots of rain, which we sorely needed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Saying Good-bye to Jen

This is Jen. Jen this is bloggerfolk.

Not much work is getting done this week as it is Jen's last week and we are spending time at the picnic table talking and smoking (her). Today it was too hot in the sun so we moved onto the neighbor's lawn furniture in the shade. I spoke with said neighbor over the weekend when I was going in and out of work using the air conditioning to work on my paper and videotape. She has set up several patio sets in preparation for class reunion parties this weekend. She invited me to her party house (she went to school with my sister) so I figured we could just use the yard anytime.
We were watching classmates videos tonight in class and by 9:00-9:15 everyone was in tears from laughter. Clay and Karen were doing Oscar performances as client and social worker. The teacher said she had never cried before and said she would have to make a copy of their tape to show other classes. It was a classic.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Averting Disaster

On my way home from work, my laptop took a tumble from the backseat to the floor and when I went to retrieve it, some component (with circuitry) had fallen out. A few tentative attempts, upside down, right side up, and I got it back in and everything was intact as I had left it. Except the internet was not connecting.

Then I realized Pat had pulled the plug on the desktop because the screen was blue during a lightning storm this evening. I thought that was going to mess up the WiFi because we had done some things to password protect after it was tampering with, but guess what? Everything came back on just fine when plugged back in. Boy12 did yell out, "I can't plug it in without sparks flying out." Well, that's just how our electricity is. It was fine.

Dusty Baker is not really a good baseball commentator at all. He doesn't have anything to say.

The dreaded video is done, the race paper is done, though I will probably tweak it a little more tomorrow. Now I'm on to finishing preparations for my friend Jen's good-bye work party. She is taking another job and I am not happy, but want to send her off in style and make sure she knows how much she has meant to us/me.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


I feel better now that I have mostly completed my last Diversity-Awareness-Tolerance paper. This time the topic was race (African American) and centered around the Juneteenth celebrations I have attended. I didn't get my video done of my partner and me role playing social worker-client. She didn't call at all today as I expected but I think we will get it done tomorrow, putting me in good shape for class this week (two weeks left! and I will have 4 credits under my belt).

The thermometer downtown said 99 degrees today, but I don't believe it. I've been outside or in a non-air conditioned place all day and it's not uncomfortable. I did go over to work to write my paper for a couple of hours tonight to take advantage of the free AC. I saved it three times on my laptop, emailed it to myself, and saved it twice on a jump drive, just in case. My computer luck is really bad, and I lost my reference page on Friday and those are kind of a pain in the a--.

I had the most delicious strawberry shortcake tonight, with heavy cream and whipped cream out of the can. I had these little delicate perfectly ripe strawberries from the Farmer's Market Thursday that were still good. I mean fabulous. She said they would be the last, boo hoo. You know those big bulbous, white in the middle ones from the store only last a day or two because they're already TWO WEEKS OLD when you buy them.

I think I am calmed down enough to go to bed now.

Who'd Want to Know

7 Things About Me

1. I went white water rafting in Colorado with my entire family (parents, husband, sibs).

2. A friend and I once built a sweat lodge and performed a traditional ceremony inside. When I realized how close we were camping and sweating to Attica maximum security prison it freaked me out a little.

3. I've been told I chew very loudly.

4. My favorite breakfast is biscuits and gravy which I didn't discover until I was in college at a great dive called Boswell's in Des Moines.

5. I traveled to Russia in 2001 and absolutely loved it (even though I got accused of shoplifting, came out unscathed).

6. I silently type the letters of the words in my head, moving my fingers sometimes.

7. It felt like sleeping in a sweat lodge last night without air conditioning (we're old school).

8. I pronounce hilarious, "hil-R-ious". Oops that was eight.

9. Madretz asked me to do this! Double oops.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Evening News

I'm tired but a bit happy. Thursday is usually my favorite day of the week, today certainly was. Sometimes I cannot fathom my moods. I'm having to do some cognitive restructuring (new social work term I learned). Telling myself I'm okay, instead of letting the negative thoughts dominate. Today it worked, or my mood was just better for no discernible reason.

I can't believe the Cavs and Spurs are on again. Seems like we just watched that unfair ending to game 3 when LeBron was fouled in the three point area. I had no idea a shooting foul there could get you three free throws. Learn something new everyday. I did admire his restraint in addressing the ref. I'm liking LeBron's fingeroll.
I love, love, love this picture of my boyz at NFL Hall of Fame 2002. Boy19 would never wear a Bills shirt, since that is step-dad's team. He's a Bronco's fan from his birth year in Denver. Jim Kelly was inducted that day and gave his famous "my hero, my soldier, my son, Hunter." His only son born on his birthday was born with a degenerative genetic disorder and outlived his predicted life expectancy of only a few years. Everyone was in tears. But it was about 107 degrees, Boy12 had a nosebleed in the stadium, water cost $4, we had had a harrowing night trying to find a motel room the night before. Did I mention the Hall of Fame is BORING?
I wish I hadn't eaten four huge raisin oatmeal cookies today. My friend Debbie baked them for the Farmer's Market and I was there sharing information about Methamphetamine, and I couldn't resist. However, I did get the last of the local strawberries, and they were amazing.
The last game of Little League regular season is tomorrow night. The end of an era, as this is Little Red's last season.
Has anyone noticed the little descriptor thing on the TV for ESPN says, "hip, Emmy winning scrapbook..." Interesting that scrapbooking has infiltrated a male dominated arena.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Do you hear what I hear?

I faintly hear the charming sounds of an ice cream truck. Last year, one was driving around the neighborhood and we were frantically trying to flag him down, but he just kept driving. Then he'd circle the block and go down two blocks and we'd see him go by and ignore us again. This happened several times so I'm wondering if he's selling drugs or something else?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cubs vs. Braves

Too Much Information for Sunday

All my short list blogger friends have not posted since Thursday. What are you, Too Busy With Your Real Lives to blog? Maybe the weather is too beautiful to be inside clicking your fingers.

I was on a pretty long walk this morning (50 minutes) when I was halfway from home, and the urge hit me. I was not going to make it home without relieving myself. I was in the middle of a cemetery and they don't have public restrooms there, so I headed for the woods on the side on the cemetery. I looked carefully around and seeing no one, squatted and that was that. TMI
TMI Don't know why I shared that.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Almost 19

We have a birthday Monday June 11. This one says he needs to go shopping. I said, "Why, you have a ton of clothes?" He replied, "They're all dirty." Ok, his floor is three feet deep in dirty clothes. That's what happens when you tell your kids they are going to do their own laundry.

Cafe Du Monde

Here is a page from the best cafe in New Orleans. The coffee is called Chickory and it's good and strong. They don't serve cream, but hot milk. I think it's something like an Americano. The beignets are little fried doughnuts covered in powdered sugar. They sell the coffee and beignet mix in all the shops around the French Quarter. The cafe is open air, and about the only coffee shop in town (open 24 hours). The wait staff are primarily Asian. There isn't anything on the menu besides coffee and beignets, so that it's printed on the napkin holders.

I had this scrapbooking kit from a party I went to with a pink, blue and brown color scheme. I really like the combination, but I don't have much to go with that, so when I was looking at my memorabilia from the N.O. trip I had saved the paper bag from Du Monde (lower left corner) and saw it was pink and green, close enough to use the papers. Boy14's hairstyle is described as Wake and Shake.

Late correction: Their regular coffee is like Americano. The one with milk is Cafe Au Lait. I got that from enlarging the photo and reading the blurb I cut out of a tourist guide.


Not a good picture but Boy14 getting one of his many awards last week (third from left). Did anyone notice, IT'S SUMMER!

Having my coffee this beautiful Saturday morning. I need to get some research together for my next paper on race. That will mean a stop at the University library, although they say you can do it all on-line now. That reminds me, college is a whole different world from when I went 2000 years ago. Aggravating is what I call it. I already have three different passwords which had so many rules, I couldn't possibly remember them, so I have a notebook just for passwords. No words, mix of capitals and small letters, numbers, and that's only a few of the stipulations.

Enough ragging. I'm going to have a good attitude today. I usually go out to lunch with several female friends on Saturdays and that is really fun. All of a sudden I'm thinking of all things I need to do today and there is not much time left for school work.

Saturday AM

I was hoping to find a picture to inspire me to write something brilliant. No luck, but here is a picture of Boy14's team after the stellar game described below. Boy12 is looking on admiringly (longingly) in the yellow sweatshirt.
Oh yeah, the arm is fine.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Arm Off

Boy14 had his pitching debut tonight (he pitched one inning last year in the Ponies). First, he caught the first 1 2/3 innings and ate a lot of dirt. Our starting pitcher was not on his game and was walking kids and throwing a lot of wild pitches. So Jo Jo was warmed up from throwing the ball back, when he was called in to pitch. We were up 5-4. He felt like he was going to throw up from nerves and inhaling dust. He finished the last 4 1/3 innings and only gave up one run. The umpire had a strike zone the size of an orange (to quote Pat) but Jo Jo (Boy14) was nailing them. He also hit a nice double, walked twice and scored three times. Oh yeah, and he made a double play when he caught a pop up and the kid on third didn't tag up and our boy outran him back to the base.
The arm is on ice now, but he may need to take to his bed for a few days.
Boy12, our usual pitcher, was proud of his brother

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


What's it called when you have a dream that is so obviously a reflection of what's going on in life?

Well, I had one last night. You're lucky if you're reading this. It's short. I walked into a snow bank and sank deep, deep down in the snow and it all piled in on top of me, and I was going to try to get out, but I knew I wouldn't make it. I would die there.

I turned in my second paper for generalist social work practice tonight. Major computer problems at 5:30 a.m. this morning involving phone call to Dell tech support. The paper is a Diversity-Awareness-Tolerance project. My topic was Issues in Gay and Lesbian Relationships. We are doing role plays and the teacher is observing us. It's very nerve- racking.

I'm not really drowning, but the air is getting thick. Boy14 may pitch tomorrow night. I will get to go! Boy12's team was up 5-4 when I left for class tonight. They were victorious with a 11-7. That's a pretty high scoring game. Usually the pitching is much better than that.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


I am past tired, but one more thing. Boy14 had an 8th grade promotion ceremony Wednesday night. He is such a great student and kid. I'm looking at his stack of award certificates which include the following:
8th grade completion
Honor roll (3.5-4.0)
Outstanding musicianship in band
Band participation
Track and field participation (I guess quitting two days early didn't disqualify him)
Scholastic bowl achievement

and that's only for fourth quarter! What a kid.

Finishing Up Tidbits

The rest of the weekend (for Betsy's benefit) includes the following:
On the way home from Holiday World Sunday, we got hungry in spite of the funnel cakes and ice cream we had around 6 p.m. (most of us) during the diving show, pictured above. It was around 9 p.m. when we got one exit from C'ville where we had taken great care to select Quiznos for the late dinner. I went into a coffee shop (don't ask) while everyone else went into Quiznos to start ordering. Soon I had my coffee and here came everyone because Q. was closed. Subway and the other local joint in the plaza were also closed so we went to fill up the gas tank for $3.16, an unbelievable price. I had just gotten half a tank in desperation for $3.39 several exits earlier.

Across the road we saw a small pizza place and a friendly fellow gas cheapskate said he recommended it. Decision made. We just got there in time to place the last order of the evening, pizza and a ham and cheese sub for Boy14. I was on the cell phone when the waitress took the drink order, so she asked Betsy, "Does she just want to drink on her coffee all night?" Betsy said she can't even imagine drinking coffee with pizza. Nephew8 declared, this is a nice to meet your friends but not for a family dinner.
The boys were nutsy in the car. One would say three initials and the other would make up some dumb words to go with it, which they thought was just hilarious.
The next morning we slept in. On the way home Cal and I played our 20 questions baseball game. Someone thinks of a major league player. Cal has 8 questions to guess the guy, and I was allowed 10. I nailed Barry Zito in 2 questions: Is he on Barry Zito's new team? Is it Barry Zito? Cal came back with a quick read on David Eckstein. Later he got mad when I didn't know the team, let alone national/american league my guy was on when he was the guesser. Once when he narrowed down the Yankees to pitchers, he said, "I hope it's not Roger Clemens" and I said yes, it is, why? He said, "He hasn't put on the jersey yet, he's still in the minors." Ooops. Suffice it to say he won the game handily. And it passed the time quickly in the car.
And that's the rest of the story...