Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008


A hike for Father's day. One of his favorite things to do.

And an art image by Bob from the nature hike.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Twenty-five years ago about this time of day, I was struggling to get out of bed after having spent about 8 hours flat on my back to avoid an after surgery headache. Oh yes, and I was trying to hold my stomach together. Oh, enough about me.

Twenty-five years ago today, we held our baby girl, Cassia, for the first time.

Cassia's delivery was a planned C-section, so early on June 3, I was rolled into a surgery room and prepped for the procedure. I said good-bye to Bob, as he learned from our first delivery, that he could not be in the delivery room without requiring medical attention of his own. One of the nurses took over for him and kept me talking and telling me what was going on. She asked me if I knew whether the baby was a boy or girl. I didn't know, we decided to wait and not get that news until the big day. She said, "well, you are going to have a girl, because this is my daughter's birthday and I just know it."

Dr. Quinn had also declared that the baby was a girl a week earlier in his office. He was telling me how the baby was positioned, and as he was pushing around on my stomach, he said, "it's a girl, she just kicked me when I put my hand on her butt." I know that was a bit sexist, but it was still the '80s.

An anesthesiologist talked to me during the surgery, and everything went fine. Seems just a few minutes and there she was. The pediatrician was there and took over caring for her. I was watching him and could hear her crying a little. Then he turned and gave me a thumbs up signal from across the room. She was fine.

We had not picked any names in advance for any of our children. We always thought we better have a look at the baby first before we put a name on it. It took us a few days to come up with Cassia's name. We wanted something like Cassie, but that was not formal enough, and we didn't want to put Cassandra on the little girl, so Bob came up with Cassia. It is the Latin name for a flower. And if you write her name, Bob wants it spelled correctly as Cassia. Not Cassie.

We stayed in the hospital for nearly a week. In the middle of the night, the nurses would bring the babies to the mothers for feeding. One night I could hear them wheeling those hospital baby beds down the hall, and one baby was screaming so loud. The wheels kept rolling faster and faster and the screaming got louder and louder. I was waking up and thinking, "boy, I wonder where that kid is going." Then the thought occurred to me, "it could come here." and sure enough, it was our sweet little baby girl. She was hungry and not shy about it.

Cassia was a pretty quiet baby at home. She just looked at us, made her demands, and slept when she was supposed to. We all adored her.

A few years later, we are attending the PT conference with Cassie's Kindergarten teacher, and the first thing this woman said was, "Cassie is an enigma" What did that mean? She couldn't label her. She could not tell what was on this little girl's mind. Well, that woman was pretty much right. This is still true today.
And not having a label, well that's not bad at all.

Cassia was very studious, and liked to draw. We have great memories of weekends spent on a dance recital every June. She is an artist, having received many awards for her talent.

Today she is a hard working young woman with a child of her own, and house of her own, with a pretty dog, and a nice cat. We are proud of her.

Happy Birthday Cass.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

How We Spent Mother's Day

yes -- we watched Alex play ball.

We also had dinner at Cracker Barrel. It was a fun day.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Library Rules

As many of you know, Bob is a book collector. He went to a library clean out sale last week and came away with a most interesting story. Apparently there was a scuffle between two other book collectors. He said some old guy picked up a book and another old guy thought he'd seen it first so began yelling and swearing at the first old guy. The first guy hit the loud mouth guy. Then other people got involved and escorted the yeller out of the place. Moral of this story is "don't be loud in the library, but hitting is probably okay." Oh yes and the librarian is working on getting the yeller banned from said library.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We can mark another first for our family. Alex had his first baseball game on Sunday. Of course we were there watching. I remind this group occasionally that I am the one who taught him how to hit.

Well it was an entertaining and great game. (Some of these kids still look like toddlers, they are so small.) And with only two practices as a team, it was amazing.

Alex happened to miss the practice when it was explained to stop at first base. So consequently on Alex's first time at bat, he had an in-the-park home run. It was awesome. Even though he did pass up the runners on 2nd and 3rd, and leave them on the field.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sharing Others Thoughts

Not much happening midtown these days. So I'll just share a few of the things I have learned by reading the Writers Almanac every day.

April 2nd was the birthday of Hans Christian Anderson who was extremely neurotic. He had a great fear of being buried alive and would prop a note next to him as he slept saying "I only appear to be dead."

March 26 was the birthday of Robert Frost. He actually led a very sad life, many of his children dieing, and suffered bouts of depression. Of life he said, "I do know one thing, it goes on."

March 27 is the birthday of Patty Smith Hill who wrote "Happy Birthday to You."

Nelson Algren wrote the famous advice: Never eat at a place called Mom's, never play cards with guy named Doc, and never go to bed with anyone who has more troubles than you.

Leo Rosten wrote in "The Joys of Yiddish" that chutzpah is "that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

It Could Be Spring

Happy Birthday dear Myrna .. . Happy birthday to you.

I'm feeling much better, thank you. In fact I spent much of the afternoon in the yard doing -- what else -- yard work. As I type I am feeling energized by the fact that I am getting over this cold virus, and that I do like my back yard and am amazed by nature. I am also sitting with a heat pack on my lower back, because I am a weekend warrior.

As I was crawling over bark mulch, bypass pruner in hand, pulling up what looked like a weed, now & then; I was struck by the sound of a flute or piccolo clearly passing over the yard. Someone was practicing outside. It sounded so pretty. Nothing recognizable mind you, except maybe a few times I thought I heard a few bars of "Amazing Grace." It was such a calming feeling, hearing the music, pulling those weeds.

Something that annoys me terribly is when someone in the neighborhood is working in their garage or washing their car, and they think the neighborhood wants to listen to their music. A lot of it not even music. Just a bunch of blue language. What gives? Isn't there a point in Maslow's theories, that everyone come to the point of self actualization? And upon reaching that point, realizes that there are other people in the world. I think there are way too many not reaching that point.

But this afternoon was not one of those. The air was great and the sound of the instrument with no discernible tune was perfect.

Hope your Sunday was good, too.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Few Sick Days

As I mentioned during weigh-in blogs, we have been sick here in our household. Bob & I are both going on our third week of this cruddy virus/cold. Coughing and aching is where we're at now. Now if either of us mentions this to friends or family, we are not getting much empathy. The standard reply has been, "yeah we had that, too. You're gonna cough another couple weeks." I don't like feeling like this!! I don't like aching joints and shivers.

So where is this leading? I don't want to be sickly in old age. I want to feel good. I want to beat that #6 workout on the Elliptical. "As God is my Witness, I will never be hungry again." No wait wrong movie. Play theme from "Rocky" here. Drink a glass full of raw eggs, No wait -- I don't like that movie too much anyway.

Let's just say -- the time to get healthy is now. It's gonna make a big difference in the long run.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mamma Mia

Last weekend Adam and I went to the Broadway Across America production of Mamma Mia at the Orpheum here in town. It was sooo good. A musical based on the music of the group Abba. I have been humming "Dancing Queen" all week.

This week we attended the Community Playhouse production of "Company". A musical about a man named Robert and his married friends and the different situations in their lives. It was not near the entertainment of the big production of "Mamma", but it had thought provoking scenes and some good singing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Big Snowflakes in the Back Yard

The trail from the house behind us was made by the neighbor's dog, Bob.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What Goes Around Comes Around

Today I was sitting in my rocker/recliner reading a newspaper and I dozed off. I heard this voice saying "Grandma, wake up -- Grandma Wake up! Look at this." I did not wake up -- I dreamt that Mother was here and Jonathan was trying to wake her up. I opened my eyes to help him out, and swoosh it is 20 years later and it is Alex calling to me.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Presidents Day Project

I know President's Day is usually comemorated by big retail sales and a three day shopping weekend. And I am participating a little. I bought paint and repainted a bedroom. I say repainted because I have painted this room way too many times this past year. I'm sure the neighbors behind us have seen me painting as I usually have to be doing this at night with the curtains down and the lights on. I suppose they are beginning to wonder if I paint this room instead of clean it. I'm beginning to wonder this myself. But the thing is -- I can't seem to get it right. I bring paint home, put it on, it is fine for a minute, then when the light changes -- ick. Well this time I chose a light gray. What could go wrong. I'll let ya know.

And Happy President's Day -- Do some shopping and some projects -- that's what this day is for. I think.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Observation of New Empty Nesting

I am getting by in this cold weather pretty good. Bob is giving me a ride to work and picking me up, so I don't have to go out in a cold dark parking lot and warm up my car each night. While I am working, he is out taking photos with my new camera. You've seen some of them. This is all fine. He even had flowers for Valentines Day, and tonight a takeout fish dinner from one of the churches nearby was ready for me when I got home.

But I have noticed a problem of sorts lately. Sometimes I will hear him saying something from another room in the house. I will call out, "what was that?" or something similar, and he will say, "I'm talking to Maggie. Or the cat." Now shouldn't he be using a pet voice when talking to the dog, and not the same voice he uses when talking to me? I think so. He has a father voice, and a grandpa voice, and a colleague voice, I can guess when he answers the phone to whom he may be talking to. How can his voice for me and the pets be the same?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Aren't you glad you're not a rodent?

Click on this to make it larger and see those eyes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Economy 101 by Shirley

Years ago I heard there were economists saying that if all the money was gathered up and redistributed evenly to everyone in the country, in "X" number of years, it would all be back to the current status quo.

I am not so sure about that, but look at this "stimulus" package before Congress now.
The idea is to get some money into the hands of people who will spend it and that will get the economy moving again. And when the economy is doing good -- well who is really doing good? You get the pix.

Here's an example of what business wants you do do with your little windfall. Use it to put a down payment on a big ticket item -- like a $1200 big TV -- and put the rest on a credit account. Because not only does the business get the TV sale, it gets to charge big time finance charges.

Here's what business does not want you to do -- pay on your debt. Know why?
Those finance charges -- interest on credit cards without fixed rates, are what is paying for those subprime loans that are out there failing now. Those mortgages given out to people that could not afford them, have gone into foreclosure, which has the property values dropping, and of course affecting all the economy. I have heard there are some credit card rates going up to near 30%. Anyone carrying a balance on cards at that rate is paying for the property losses of others.

So save your stimulus check or pay down debt. It puts you ahead.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Reading by Listening

I have a job where I can listen to a radio or whatever while working. I can still multitask enough to do this. I listen to quite a few books on tape. All of us in our department are quite well read. Well listened I guess you could say.

I happened to note something a few weeks ago. I was listening to Wally Lamb's book, I Know This Much Is True, and the protaganist is quite angry through most of the book. I really liked the book by the way. But the people I work with seemed to think I was rather crabby that week.

The next book I listened to was Jane Eyre, and I think I walked around like a rather smug, tight, Englishwoman that week.

Last week was an old book called The Shell Seekers, and it was being read by Lynn Redgrave, so I was pretty smug then, too.

This week I have Garrison Keillor's latest, Pontoon. Now this should be interesting.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New Project

I have a new focus. I am going to clear out my stuff.

For those of you who have been to our house and know me, you understand that this is no ordinary statement. I am a collector of things.

Now I have decided it is time to lighten up on everything. I will sell it all and then go become a missionary. No that's not so. But this is a new direction for me. I am spending too much time getting things and looking at things, and storing things, and protecting THINGS. What a waste. And it's not too fun anymore.
So last week we rented space at the antique mall and now we are stocking it with our stuff. We will go check on it tomorrow to see if we sold anything this week, and take more stuff to it.

Now -- here's a potential problem -- will I come home with any new stuff from the mall? Maybe I can reward myself with a favorite cinnamon roll if I can come home empty handed. No wait -- that won't work -- I have to report my weight each week, too. I will have to hope for strength. Wish me luck.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Ground Hog Day

I remember learning about Ground Hog Day as a child. Grandma and Grandpa G. were staying with us and there was much talk about it the few days before. I have no idea why this was of such interest that year. I must have been 7 or 8 and the end of winter is pretty important at that age. Kids like to be outdoors. So the rodent must have seen his shadow because the talk was about 6 more weeks of winter. I'm sure that was a downer. I remember taking the calendar and searching it and counting the weeks. When I announced to the folks and grandparents that there was just 6 weeks of winter left anyway everyone laughed. I didn't see this as funny, but I guess it was to the adults. Dad said, "yup that's right, it's just another 6 weeks."

Monday, January 28, 2008

In The Backyard

So you think Bob is feeding the backyard critters enough?

You Do The Caption

Monday, January 21, 2008

Milo at Thanksgiving Dinner Table

Waiting patiently for his turn.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Could It Have Been the POLLS?

I am about to turn off CNN and everybody else. They are way too over analyzing how the polls could have gotten it so wrong yesterday. In case you have been sleeping the last 36 hours -- they are talking about the polls predicting Obama's double digit lead over Clinton in NH. Some are saying white people lied to the pollers saying "sure, I can vote for a Black man", then did not. A lot are saying Hillary's human moment did it with the sisters. None of these did it, people. It was the media's constant reminder that they already knew what New Hampshire was going to do. The media was starting to write her off. Thousands of people in NH put it up for her. They were not ready to let this be the end of this historic race.

I have not made a choice between the three Democrats. I am intent on listening to them debate and talk about issues that need talking about. And if I had been a resident in NH on Tuesday, I would have been out there voting to lift up the underdog. Because the Polls were telling me to do just that.

Good Movie

Bob & I went to the movie, "Juno" the other night. It was a great movie. The people seemed so real. Next door people. At work people. That's what I liked about this movie -- I didn't have to imagine anything and I expected to see these people later.

The movie is about a 16 year old who finds herself pregnant. She's a bright girl and very witty.

My sister has said she will probably buy the DVD of this one, and I agree. I probably would catch a lot more of the dialog the second time around.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Year Resolution

I found this quote made by Benjamin Franklin and I think it works just fine to use every year as it just covers it all.

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."

I am working on the vices. No problems with the neighbors so far. And I'll start that search for the better man tomorrow.