Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Confessions

I think I am coming down with MS or something. Tonight at a basketball game, I knocked over my pop,causing it erupt 10 oz. of Diet Coke all over the floor. Luckily, I am a Diet Pepsi person, but you know how you have to take what you can get in public concession stands. I went to get some napkins to sop it up and carefully placed them over the puddle since there weren't quite enough, even though I took most of the stack they had. Then my phone rang and I needed to meet my friend Helen in the lobby. Somehow my phone fell out of my purse, breaking apart on the floor. At this point I have the feeling all the people in the stands above me are watching. As I take my coat (so I can move to the other side of gym) it catches on a seat, yanking me backwards. I wave to another mom I know and she looks right at me and doesn't return the wave. Hopefully she doesn't recognize me with my new, dark hair, because here's the confession: I left the wet mess of napkins right there on the floor and never came back.

I made Helen go to the other side of gym where we sat behind a high school boy whose girlfriend is a cheerleader, and felt weirdly like I was intuding on a private romance as they made googly eyes at each other across the room. But I didn't drop anything else.

I got a new end table today for my dollhouse to sit on. Tomorrow I am going to do something with the kitchen. I got the furnishings for the dollhouse kitchen for Christmas from my sister. This table is really cool and I'm really thrilled about it. It seems like real wood! Painted yellow. I will take some pictures tomorrow. I invited Helen's daughter over who is soon to be 7 years old. I hope I am able to entertain her for a few hours. That will be my New Year's celebration. Oh, the serial killer in the book I am reading makes dollhouses. How creepy is that?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Cheer

Christmas Eve at my mom's house.




Christmas Day at my house.





Tonight was man's night out and my plan for having the house to myself was to do 30 minutes of 'work' followed by 30 minutes of reading (pleasure). Work was defined as cleaning something, organizing something, throwing stuff away or finding a new place for it, ordering photo prints, and believe it or not, writing in blog. I am reading "The Lovely Bones" which is a disturbing but compelling novel that will soon be made into a movie I'm told. Well, it's hard to put down, so my schedule for the evening is not holding up too well. I'm not sure where "talking on the phone" falls in, but I did that, too.

Today I helped my mom out by taking my great uncle to the doctor. At one point, I thought I would have to leave the room when things got personal, but then it was okay. The stubborn old man is 84, with Parkinson's and is depressed but won't take Zoloft. I have been trying to help with figuring out his Medicare and prescription drug coverage to see if we can get his bills down, but the darn government is not covering everything as most seniors would like. He has too much money to be poor and not enough to be rich. Sure hope he hasn't learned to use the internet or that my dad doesn't print this in the family news.

Now my mom is seeing a surgeon about her gall bladder. As I told my sister I guess my new job is accompanying my elders to doctor appointments. That is what I'm here for, I reckon.

Oh yeah, and the big news, we went to Chicago yesterday to see a Cirque du Soleil show; it was a good time. We travelled snow packed roads to get there (on time) and only got lost once on the way home. "Banana Shpeel," as the show was called, was an old fashioned hoot. It was a vaudeville act with circus and dancing performances interspersed, and a few weird characters "from the audience" that were hysterical.

New hair color and cut:



Oh, and thank you to Madz for the very cool homemade Christmas card! You are the best. I have all your cards in a little pile for making them into a scrapbook page one day.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving

I promised my dear friend Grace I would not post pictures of her or her beautiful new baby on the internet. I don't think the Chinese even want pictures sent via email or Skype. But her baby girl born September 2009 was the hit of Thanksgiving even if they only stayed an hour or so. There are definitely some cultural differences in child rearing. Well, she is so loved and protected, it's sweet.

Here is Great Uncle Cal who came over and when told Pat and Boy15 were playing ping pong said he would take on the winner (at age 84).



I ate like an absolute animal over the long weekend. We had a couple of nice long walks. On Saturday the weather was epic (as the young folk say), 60 degrees and sunshine. We also played a lot of games, our usual past time. Mancala (my new obsession), Taradiddle (really stupid but funny), Cranium, and Sporcle (the addictive internet quiz game).



"Gathering around the computer for another round of Sporcle"

On Wednesday I went to "New Moon" by myself since I couldn't find any suckers to go with me. It was awful in case you are wondering. I am through with the whole Twilight thing. I am trying to keep abreast of what the students are into, but this has gone far enough. On Friday night most everyone went to "Fantastic Mr. Fox" a cute animated farce based on a Roald Dahl story. Can't go wrong there. It was enjoyed by all ages. Whistle, cluck cluck...

Monday, November 16, 2009

The photos: Tartuffe



Boy 16 is in the tan knickers, purple vest, somewhat in the center. See below, Tartuffe with dear Elmire.



Thanks to my parents for the pictures. We didn't get any and I definitely wanted to have some for the scrapbook.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday

What an icky, wet day. I will say that we took in a lot of theater this weekend. Saw a college production of Miss Saigon. It was hard to buy into when the Vietnamese and Americans all looked the same. There was the cutest 3 year old boy who played the child of the American G.I. in Vietnam and Kim, the local girl. Pat had some difficulty sitting through it, but he has really gotten better. No sighing, head rolling, or loud criticizing.

That was Friday night. Saturday we went to Tartuffe at the high school in which Boy16 played the lead, Tarfuffe, a pious scoundrel. I will tell you, this 17th Century French play in rhymed translation did not draw a crowd. It was disappointing because they worked very hard to memorize and act out this ancient material. Why the director chose this play, no one can figure out. He was obviously amused by it, and I do think the kids who were in it thought it was funny and learned a good bit of culture from putting it on. Wish I had a picture because the costumes were top notch. Boy15 and Nephew10 went to their 'happy place' and rejoiced when it was over. Nephew10 said in his best french accent, "and after a million years, it was finally over."

Today was only good for laundry, nappy and a bit of weightlifting. I have to get back on track after a mild but lingering flu and accompanying binge eating.

For those who asked, Uncle Cal seems to be adjusting to Macomb. The aides at Bickford seem to think he is a real hoot. He does have a unique sense of humor. Someone he managed to pass his driver's test in IL (drivers beware) and signed out of the building Friday for "nonsense reasons." He drove his van around for two hours looking at crops and finding his way around town. I found out he is not on morphine anymore, so at least he's not driving heavily drugged. The Parkinson's is bad sometimes, and we prefer to drive him ourselves when he is going with us.

BTW- menopause blows.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I love quotes

You may be only one person in the world,
but to one person you may be the world.

I saw this on a mirror in the beauty salon of a nursing home yesterday. There were all kinds of different inspirational messages in this small space. The colors were maroon and gray and I thought it was just very pretty and nice, especially for a nursing home. I thought the quote above was extremely meaningful for this setting as the beautician is probably one of the highlights of the resident's existence. It really touched me that someone had invested such thought and care in making this a pleasant environment for our elderly who are more than likely in their last resort, no pun intended.

My great uncle is soon to move to my town in Illinois from North Dakota to live in an assisted living facility. He will feel like he's moved to Florida after that climate. He's lived all his life on a farm (The Farm) in ND and recently had to move into a nursing home. My mom is his closest relative, he having no offspring nor did his siblings (except my grandmother who only had one child, my mother). Well, this will make it easier to conduct his business and manage his affairs, including trying to keep him off the road since he has no driver's license, and soothe his desire to hire Dr. Kevorkian to pay him a visit. It should be interesting...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday

I am back to work and it was kind of a boring day. I am sorry to say I didn't save the world. I hope I was understanding and supportive to the people I encountered; young children subjected to adult stupidity, adults living with unanswerable questions, my own family going in a hundred directions and managing nicely.

Next week I am looking forward to a reunion of sorts. At a statewide conference for school social work, I will get to see my former professors (at least two of them I like very much), my former classmates and work mate, Miss Perfect, and the new Miss Perfect (social work students I consider my rivals for teacher's pet/suck up/brown noser). We will be staying in a nice hotel in suburban Chicago (I will be rooming with my new co-workers, the real school social workers), eating too much food, soaking up the workshops, keynote speakers, and each other's company. Maybe running out for some early Christmas shopping. You know if you know me, I will be all about the free food. It will be fun to get out of Dodge for a few days.

I am experimenting (on doctor's advice) with Vitamin D to treat mild depression. So far, I don't think it is doing anything, but I'm not getting worse. Just something I go through each fall.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cutest Thing

Okay, I got this from my friend Madz. I haven't been keeping up with my blogs lately, but since today is a school day off, and I'm in the school system now, yippee! I can read blogs all day. And wonder why Christopher Columbus is honored with a school holiday (here)? Didn't he really bump into South America or something?


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Faith and Fear

I was thinking along the same lines as my blogger friend, Ginnie, this morning. I felt I should write something for my dad to use in his monthly Family News. He is always complaining that he doesn't have enough material. Then there is the problem of getting into a format that he can use on his computer without having to re-type the whole thing. His computer (and mine), "Hal", tries to foil him at every step.

Adventures seem a fitting topic for me today. I left my job of 13 years in July to pursue a new career in school social work. I am finishing my Master's with a year long internship with a special education cooperative (serving five counties). The decision to veer off from mental health into school social work was made last October when I had to select the specialization classes for my degree. I decided upon school social work, because with that certification, I could always return to mental health or another aspect of social work, but without that certification I could not work in the school system. I thought it would be best to have the option.

I knew I would be required to complete a fulltime internship for the full school year, and wouldn't be able to work my regular job along with it. As it turned out it was a good time to change careers because the funding for mental health has been cut significantly and the subsequent changes are not a system I was comfortable working in anymore. That is the PC version.

As I began my internship I saw the following statement on a wall hanging:

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

I wrote that in my notebook for work and look at it frequently. I also decided to audition for the play my dad was directing this fall and that was huge leap of faith. I decided the timing was right as I would not be required to work or be on call evenings and weekends for the first time in many years. The kids are also pretty self sufficient, with Boy16 driving now. This might be the only opportunity I would have to work with my dad, age 78, as director and actor. Never mind, I only acted once in my life in 8th grade, and I only had one speaking line.

So, far both scary propositions have been working out. The play is done and got great reviews, even my character. I can't believe it is already over and I didn't die or have a stroke on stage. It was fun, but I probably didn't have as much fun as I could have, as I was too nervous about the outcome. Nonetheless, I did my best, mentally and physically.

The internship is going well. In a way it is not that much different than my previous work (the problems are the same only the clients are younger). In many ways it is quite different. The education system is it's own ball game, with internal and external politics driving everything that happens. I am just trying to focus on what I can do each day to help someone, be a support and put in a good effort. I could always do more, and feel I should but that is just my personality. Acceptance goes a long way in new adventures.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Odd Couple: Female Version





Top picture: cast of Macomb Community Theater Odd Couple (Female Version) 2009. The two giants are the stage manager and the director (my dad). The two short guys are the Spanish brothers who live upstairs.

Second photo: the girls playing their weekly game of Trivial Pursuit. They keep saying, "We should get together and just play it." But there never seems to be enough time.

Opening weekend went well, particularly Friday was a great audience. Laughed a lot. I was surprised at some of the things I think are really dumb, including my own lines.

My brother arrives from NH tomorrow and my sister arrives Friday for my debut performance. I have friends coming from my past work on Friday to the play. It is going to be another really busy weekend. Last two weeks I had rehearsal or performance every night, 3 plus hours. It was exhausting. This week has been nice to relax as we don't have practice until Thursday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I am just watching an old movie (I didn't realize how bad a movie 'Never Been Kissed' was) and waiting for the 3 ibuprofens to kick in and cure my headache. I guess I am still a little down in the grumps. I am alone again on Saturday. Pat went to the soccer tournament again this weekend. Just so you don't think I'm totally evil - oh here comes that awful scene where Drew Barrymore and the guy ride on the ferris wheel, that I do remember being terribly sappy and stupid- I did go to soccer last Friday night out of town and the home game this week. We had rehearsals every night this week so it's been pretty busy.

This morning I went to a good workshop training on keeping lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender kids safe in school. Our society and schools are so totally heterocentric I don't know how anyone does manage to come out as GLBT.

After that there was a presentation by a mother and aunt of a boy who died playing the choking game. It was really heart wrenching.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Whole Week

A whole week has gone by without a bloggy event. The weeks go so fast. I was so looking forward to the four day weekend (I know I am spoiled!), now that it's here I don't feel that happy. There's something definitely the matter with me. I go from one thing to the next, enduring each one and waiting for the next. All this stuff should be fun, but I ruin everything with my mental state.

We had dinner with my parents tonight. Then we played a very old game called Facts in Five. It's like Scattergories, only harder. It has categories like Living Statesmen/Politicians. You can choose male/female/American/foreign, depending on how hard you want to make it. Then you pick five letters and try to fill in the grid. We had Sports Managers/Coaches, male, and Classical Musicians, dead. Boy15 and Grandma were the only ones who really liked it, of course, she got by with Barry Botts for athlete, male, because we knew she meant Bonds. My dad absolutely hates it because when a timer is on, he can't think and goes blank. Oh, by the way, he fell while getting off his bicycle yesterday and sprained his wrist really bad, and got a bloody arm, because he is on Coumadin, he bleeds like a hemophliac.

Boy16 had his marching band debut today at he high school football game and Boy15 had a HS soccer tournament Friday-Saturday. I had lunch with friends and got my oil changed, so really, everything is good.

Boy15 got his driver's permit this week, and hasn't been behind the wheel yet. So, I took him out in the parking lot. He seriously didn't know about turning on the lights, putting the car in drive or reverse. I am the least patient person on the planet. It seems like the other two had some prior parking lot experience, or farm driving or something. I guess the baby never had need or desire of trying it out. I did get him to reluctantly drive around the block and park in the driveway. He had about five feet on one side and five inches on the other.

The play is coming along well, we have the holiday weekend off, and I got my tuition waiver application sent off. This semester's bill is over $5000 so, if I got it, and it paid all of it, it would be a huge blessing.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nocturne

I'm pretty exhausted from a FULL week, but I don't want to go to bed because that will mean another day in the books. Anonymous stated that she had trouble sleeping after 4 a.m. and I, too, wake about 4:30 and while I don't dread what I have to do, there is some definite anxiety there. So, sometimes it's hard to fall asleep again, but I do get some rest. I had just been thinking today how grateful I am for the good sleep I get, and I have been falling asleep very easily.

My task for this weekend is to complete a 3-4 page essay on how I am committed to working with vulnerable, underrepresented populations and how I will expand on that commitment in my internship. Honestly, I don't know what they are looking for. I don't have the absolute neediest population in the entire state, but I certainly feel I have a demonstrated commitment to social work. They haven't given me any of their other scholarships, so I don't anticipate I will get this either, but I am compelled to keep trying since there is a lot to gain. Maybe they will think, "This poor woman puts in for everything, I think that shows commitment, let's give her this one."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Update on Me

I am four days into my internship and feeling a little ray of hope that I will be able to handle my new position. I know I am old for an intern, and that feels weird, but I'm starting to think the pieces will come together and school social work will be a good fit for me. So far, I have met a lot of people, assisted in counseling a student through a crisis, helped out with pre-school screening, and pulled IEP files for an audit.

I am presently trying to keep myself awake to pick up Boy15 around 10 p.m. You will remember I am used to having a nap and that isn't working for me now that I am employed again. So, I am sleeping well, until around 4 a.m. when I have to potty and start thinking about having to get up at 6 or 6:15. I'm pretty well exhausted by the end of the day.

I am memorizing my lines the play I am in, and getting more comfortable rehearsing it. I am a negativist in this, too, and figure the worst that can happen is that I will be the worst actor ever seen in community theater (or the bottom four).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I am armed with new cell phone. I picked a free one, although I had an urge for Blackberry, just so I could call it my Crackberry. I wouldn't even know how turn the thing on. This new phone doesn't even have a camera. Can you believe it? How vintage is that? It took me 20 minutes to find the hole to charge it, turned out I was trying to plug the computer cord into the cellphone.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Morning Blog

A cup of coffee and a song in my heart, "Working can wait, this is paradise. Having no work to do..." I missed my 5:40 a.m. aerobics class. I heard the neighbors in the driveway getting ready to drive back to Chicago at 5:47 a.m. Bummer. I made it three times a week for six weeks this summer and only overslept once. Next, someone called my phone a few minutes later and hung up quickly, but not before it engaged that annoying "Missed call" beep every minute or so. Did I mention the volume on my phone is stuck on 7? One of my chores today is to see about a new phone, though I really don't like change.

Here I sit patiently waiting for the next aerobics class of interest, "Balance, Strength, Stretch" at 10. That doesn't sound very aerobic, but hopefully it will get me moving in the right direction.

It appears Boy21 has decided not to bother to go to work today either. Oh dear, he doesn't do anything the way I would like.



These are some of the kids getting a free jet ski ride in Lake Erie. Something we happened across by accident that was fun and a new experience for them. Boy15 and Neice12 got thrown off this one on a sharp curve. They had a blast.



Man, I love Niagara Falls. We stopped here briefly after visiting our old 'hood in Lockport, NY. It was a nice trip down memory lane. Unfortuneately, the city of Niagara Falls, USA, just can't seem to get it together. It looks pretty bad in the downtown area, a lot of closed up businesses and failed ventures, though we did notice a new office building that was really nice looking.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Assorted Pics



Did I mention Mom and Dad stayed at "Norman's Motel" in Old Orchard Beach? Despite the images of "Psycho," Mom felt she could take this Norman quite easily should he come at her with a knife. "More Santa Claus than Norman Bates," she stated. Chris had described making the reservation and that his voice was really quite Norman Bates-like. He imitated him so hilariously that I made him call up the motel and I was going to 'bait' him into saying something about how his mother was doing, but I couldn't stop laughing as soon as he handed it to me, and had to hang up the phone.

By the way, isn't it creepy how it has a real key and one of those plastic keytags??



Three boys, two pretty freckled. The cousins got along really well. On Friday night after camping, all the kids started a game of Stone (where you see who can go the longest without making a sound). Boy15 and 16 were into it 3.5 hours when Boy16 (who is ALWAYS champion of Stone) broke. The other kids were playing that Stealth thing on the IPod. It's the sound only kids can hear, not adults. For real. We set up experiments to test it and it's true! Anyway, for some reason Boy16 couldn't hear it, and he casually said, "It's too far away." He didn't even realized he spoke. I noticed it first, and Boy15 was ecstatic!




Betsy and Nephews11 and 10.

Ping Pong Tourney



My kids fell in love with Ping Pong while in New Hampshire. So, the last night Boy15 organized a double elimination ping pong tournament. Never mind that he didn't give me a second game after I lost my first. And, third place went to Chris (aka Mr. Competitive). Chris later beat me in a friendly game (with his left hand).



Nephew11, budding mr. competitive, received second place. Quite a victory to beat his stepdad Chris. But you also have to take into account he was sick with a very bad cough prompting numerous time outs. Not to mention TO's for sweaty hands. It was really sweet because his first game was against Grandma Vick and he was so kind not to beat her as badly as he could have.



And the winner was, drum roll, Boy15. He is smokin' hot. Maybe not in China, but pretty good considering he doesn't play on a regular basis, at all. Now, guess who wants us to buy a ping pong table for our play room?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Formerly the Nashua Pride



You know we love baseball, Little League, Major League, even Minor League. Well, the Nashua Pride (New Hampshire)field is a stone's throw from my brother's house, and so we decided to take in a game last Saturday night. Well, Chris informed us that the Pride was bought by some "famous" guy who engineered the Boston Red Sox World Series win in 2004 (?). He had the brilliant marketing idea to rename the team "The American Defenders of New Hampshire" and dress them in, get this, camoflauge uniforms. Ironically, as my dad pointed out, most of them are not even American. It has not gone over well, needless to say, and attendance is terrible. Pictured above is the goofy mascot of the Defenders. It was commented that they remind one of Fidel Castro's army.



We did have some motivation to attend a game. The lady who lives next door to Chris boards players during the season and they have been swimming over at Chris' house. We met Angel Molina who said he was on the Florida Marlins two season, his cute four year old son, and attorney wife who were visiting. Very nice guy. Another player came over to swim but didn't say much and I'm not sure he spoke English. Angel is pictured above in the one deck circle. He got to base on a hard hit grounder, and stole third on the next batter's grounder who nobody bothered to field. He then scored (I am pointing to him on third below) and the Defenders won 3-2.



The next door neighbor we were hoping to meet was Juan Padilla a former NY Yankee pitcher. He closed the game successfully.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Which beach is this?



A. Old Orchard, Betsy and Mom



B. That's not a beach, silly, that's Niagara Falls


C. Hamburg Beach, Lake Erie



D. Hamburg Beach, Hamburg, NY, Lake Erie, Beach Blast

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday





Just back from 3 days at the beach. The kids are sitting in the dark watching Tivo'd episodes of "The Mentalist." Obviously, everyone is exhausted. We camped, ate and swam and had 3 hour stomachaches (Nephew10). Boy15 got a sunburn and then shivered for 15 minutes. Following that he was fine. 2" Mosquitos that will not be deterred by a little Deet. Wait, I'm giving the downside, aren't I?

The upside: Old Orchard Beach in Maine. Nice beach. The kids had a skim board and several body surfing boards. We had great weather until today when it rained all the way home. We had eye candy at the next campsite. A hot, young (French?) couple. Chris says Old Orchard Beach is Canada's Florida. Many French speaking people, the majority. We had lobster rolls and strawberry rhubarb pie.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday







We are on our way out to the beach today. This takes extreme effort for 13 people to get ready for camping out two nights. Actually my SIL Donna is doing the brunt of the work. Thank you Donna.

Yesterday we spent hanging out around the homestead in the pool. The next door neighbors are minor league ball players and so that was cool. One had been on the Marlins two years and is bumped down. The former Yankee wasn't over here but he lives next door also. I'm wearing Cubs regalia. My camera battery was dead and blogger is not uploading expediently enough for me today so you won't see any future MLB prospects.

We had some English language lectures from my dad on the origins of English. We read the American Heritage Dictionary and enjoyed it this morning (not the whole thing). I went to Walgreen's twice. Walked in the woods about an hour with Betsy and Donna. It was good to move around a little bit.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day Five of Vaca

Five days away from the computer, my bike, and The Bachelorette. I feel so naked. I seem to have misplaced my vacation pics on the labbie (laptop)but will keep looking for some postings. I plan to write about gas prices on my other blog, how exciting! I'm ignoring my relatives I only see once a year to blog. They are the majority of my readers, so go figure. They thought I was crazy that I felt the NEED to blog when we are all together.



Here is Niece2Months. Looks like Pat is telling her a great joke!



This is Cousin It, aka Nephew11. I feel much better now I got something posted and found my pictures afterall.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Unemployment



This picture was taken at a work going away party for Angie and me last Friday. (Angie is my good-young buddy who is also a mental health case manager and went through the whole MSW program with me). This is my good friend Beth, the nurse, who left the agency last November after 15 years. It was much sadder than me leaving. I was wrecked when she quit to take a job in hospice. But everything has worked out well afterall for both of us.

My third day of unemployment and I am sure glad we're going on vacation tomorrow. I am not getting anything done. I exercise early in the morning, maybe clean up a little around the house, take a nap, go out to lunch, take another nappy, have some coffee, make dinner, sit on the porch, ride my bike and that's about it. I might throw in a load of laundry if I feel like it. I guess I am one of those people who needs to work to be productive. See, I would have done all that stuff (minus one of the naps) and worked an 8 hour day normally.

August 13 I start my internship in a special education cooperative. I am looking forward to a fast paced job and learning a lot of new stuff. I am hoping to take on some new projects in my schools like perhaps a bullying program or a book club or academic coaching/mentoring. Who knows??



This is Angie, who is leaving work Friday to also start a school social work internship in another city. Boo hoo. She taught me how to really use a cell phone and other useful information that people in their 20's know.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Blog

I started a new blog. If you like to read about cheapskates and saving money, you can try it out. It is listed on the right edge of this blog as "The Parsimonious Soldier."

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Bday Boy



I like this picture better.

Yesterday it was nice to have a holiday. It seemed like a lot of people had the day off and some didn't. It felt like Saturday all day. So it's great that today is actually Saturday. Last night we had a picnic at the park with my parents, some old friends of theirs and Betsy and her family, 12 in all. Afterwards we went for a drive around Pennington Point, a little area out in the country where my parents' friends used to live in the 60's. Both houses were still there and Janet loves to tell how I used to stay with her when I was 3 or 4 years old. She had her own kids later on, but I remember loving to visit them in the country because Janet loved us kids so much. Unfortunately, the Victorian they had was vacant and run down. It appeared that vagrants had been living there recently as there was cat food, beer cans, and party CD's strewn about the yard and the windows were open.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Games




After Boy15's birthday Tuesday evening we played Mad Gab. It was kind of a bust. So, Boy15 went off to play with his Ipod Touch and Grandma and Boy21 played a card game that looked like Advanced War. I wanted to learn to play this, but I got distracted and forgot about it. My sister has an Ipod Touch but doesn't know how to use it. After one day with Boy15, Nephew10 says "Mom, can I go online and get some apps for this?"

Tomorrow is aerobics at 5:40 a.m., a tutorial for Betsy on downloading some crap to her Ipod, getting an electrical recliner chair out of my parents van, into their house and down into the basement (don't ask) and a picnic in the park. I am too cheap to reserve a shelter for $30 so I guess we will drive around the parks until we find one.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

YMCA



Saturday morning we worked out at the New Y in New Albany. Unbelievable facility: climbing wall, splash pool, steam rooms, saunas, interactive/active kids game room. Their weight machines put our Y's to shame. Our Y needs some serious updating.

That afternoon we went to the Bodies Human exhibit at a new arts center that is housed in an old meat packing plant. The exhibit is human bodies preserved with a plastination process so you can see tendons, veins and muscles, not just the average skeleton. I guess it has been all over the country. I was bored after one or two bodies, most were male, anatomically correct as odd as it looked. I had to ask my brother in law why the balls were hanging above the penis'. TMI
Newphew10 and I are below with decor at the Mellwood Aart Center, Louisville.



That evening Betsy and I went to a Casino. It was a bust, but reconfirmed that I hate casinos, especially in Indiana where they allow smoking, everywhere. Well, they claimed to have a smoke-free room, but it was bordered by smoking on both sides with no barriers or ventilation system. I am so proud of Illinois for passing a tough smoke-free law. We could barely figure out how to work the slots and they were $1 a pull. Waste, waste, waste.

Weekend Getaway


I spent last weekend with my favorite sister, Betsy, in Southern Indiana/Louisville, KY. Friday night we went out to dinner at Proof, a newer, haute cuisine place downtown. It housed a very interesting museum and hotel and featured unique public restrooms with one way mirrors and water walls. I have no idea what the food was we ate, and I'm sorry to say it wasn't that amazing. I think they used rice for risotto. I had to borrow a dress from Betsy and the cleavage wasn't so good...

The whole weekend was built around a Joel McHale show at the Palace Theater. The Palace is the most ridiculously fabulous restored movie house ever, and there are some really cool ones out there, I know. Here's a taste, but I didn't even try to photograph the auditorium. I was afraid I wouldn't do justice.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Girl



This is the girl I never had, though I've heard she can be quite a diva. According to her mom. I have one thing she wants, a dollhouse. She loves to play with it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I call it Home



Here is where I've spent most of my life now. Years 3-18, and 33-46. I can't count the number of times I moved in between 19 and 33. Way too many. Most of my readers have helped me on these moves. Thank you! I have nightmares about moving. I literally don't know how you get everything packed, loaded and out the door. My nightmare is always finding more, more, more. Ginnie, I don't envy you, but I bet you have turned it into something positive. I know you have.

Facebook is so lame. It's not about writing at all, in fact, it's the antithesis of writing. Abbreviating, tweeting, and pictures. I do like to look at O.P.'s (other peoples) pictures and make what I think are funny comments. They seem to think they are snide. Have you ever noticed the ads that come up on FB on the righthand side. They seem to think I would be looking for an apartment where I went to college (25 years ago). I'm not, but I am curious to see how the campus neighborhood has changed. The housing that was available in Des Moines in 1981-5 was pretty roach and rodent infested. I suppose these new places could have roaches, too. But they don't look like it. I wonder if the Blind Munchies sandwich shop is still there, or some vestige of?

Poor Lebron. Stan Van the Man is a real character isn't he?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baseball Boy Freshman




Boy14 on the freshman baseball team. Are you having dejavu? The last game he got a walk off single. Caught a pop fly at deep second base and threw a guy out at home. First double of year as well. Nice.

Last Day



This is a memorable picture. Elizabeth, Lindsey, Angie and me. Remember I have 20 years on these girls. Our last day of classes in Champaign-Urbana was May 6th. We have a routine. On the way home (2.5 hour drive) we stop at Casey's and get four empty coffee cups and a bag of Chex Mix. Lindsey's idea- that's how she feeds her 4 year old daughter in the car. This helps us through the last hour and a half. One day I missed class and the girls decided to stop at a different place. This resulted in E. getting a speeding ticket in the famous town of San Jose, IL where the Casey's is.

Anyway, we were pretty exhausted on Week 15 of 17 hour Wednesdays. But we are done now with classes, yeah.

Prom Boy Sophomore




Oh man. The upload on blogger is really slow!

I better not say too much on this post, even if Boy16 doesn't read my blog. He was invited to prom by a junior girl in the band. He reportedly had a good time including the after prom (see below) at the Rec Center. Wiped out the next day of course. I didn't get to see his date or if he matched her dress. Apparently that's how it's done these days. Matching the vest/tie to the girl's dress. Well, much better than the light blue tuxes with ruffled shirts of my day, not that I went to a prom, I did see pictures.



That's him in the yellow Beavis and Butthead shirt.

Oh, he got a big surprise in the mail yesterday. A couple of weeks ago he played a trumpet solo at a church along with a Bell Choir. It was a lovely piece of music. He did a great job. He loved doing it. Yesterday he got a thank you card in the mail with a check for $35. His first honorarium. He says, "I'm a professional!"

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18

Hi bloggy. I missed you! I have been a traitor. I joined Facebook nation and got caught up in it for a minute.

Oh boy. The Bachelorette started sooner than I thought. Did I just admit my biggest weakness? Watching the drivel. Not only that, I watched Dancing with the Stars. Somehow that was my break from school/work. No excuse for the Bachelorette.

So, finals are over. My last finals. My internship starts around August 12, one full school year. I'll be leaving my job after nearly 13 years on July 17. A new chapter for sure.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Goals

Boy15 had the baseball season goals of starting JV (has started most games) and making 5 or less errors (has one so far). My goal for today was finishing up my team project and sending it out to my team members. Our deadline is Friday and one person shared hers over a week ago. Now my next goal is to complete two of the ten 'reflections' for my portfolio by Friday and this weekend work on the No Child Left Behind debate that will take place April 15.

Grateful for some really good popcorn at the game tonight (and not too cold), no one getting hurt tonight, heating pads, naps, and flat irons.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Zumba

This post is mostly for Betsy: Zumba has finally come to our YMCA and thank goodness I had the good sense NOT to sign up. I have observed it while walking on the track above. It's hard not to stare. I found out I'm not the only uncoodinated awkward dancer in town! They shut down the entire gym, but only use half the gym. There's a big divider curtain so I don't understand why you can't shoot baskets on the other side, not that I would be shooting baskets mind you.

Anyway, I thought Zumba was a free form of dancing, which I couldn't manage either, but the Zumba here is supposedly a Latin based dance. It looks pretty darned complicated, there is no way I could keep up with the moves those chicks are doing.

UNC is killing Michigan State. Going to see "Milk" Thursday. I finally got over thinking 'milk??' what kind of movie is about milk? Is that like that stupid book "Salt"?

P.S. A gym full of sweaty women smells a lot better than a gym full of sweaty guys.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Happy


I am elated to hear from my friends Madz and Ginnie!! Thanks for your comments. It made my day.

I am happy, too, to have had the foresight to take a week off from work. I'm practically exhausted from working and school and several things at work have conspired to make everyone pretty crabby!

My son asked me today what Palm Sunday was about and I had no idea. That's a little embarrassing. I was encouraged to attend church in my youth (which was located in my backyard) and all I remember of Palm Sunday was going out to the church dumpster the day after and finding all these cool leaves that we dragged out and played with.