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Saturday, December 30, 2006

handwashing cat's paws

For those of you who see Greg on a regular basis, ask him about this. I know he'd love to tell you about it. Cats and water - nice mix.
Cats and paint - don't mix. :o)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Eve of "The Eve"

I found this on another blog and thought it was amusing. I'm not feeling quite this bad, but must admit there have been years...


Funny, Funny Mother!
See Mother.
See Mother laugh.
Mother is happy.
Mother is happy about Christmas.
Mother has many plans.
Mother has many plans for Christmas.
Mother is organized.
Mother smiles all the time.
Funny, funny Mother!

See Mother.
See Mother smile.
Mother is happy.
The shopping is all done.
See the children watch TV.
Watch children, watch.
See the children change their minds.
See them ask Santa for different toys.
Look! Look!
Mother is not smiling.
Funny, funny Mother!

See Mother.
See Mother sew.
Mother will make dresses.
Mother will make robes.
Mother will make shirts.
See Mother put the zipper in wrong.
See Mother sew the dress on the wrong side.
See Mother cut the skirt too short.
See Mother Put the materials away until January.
Look! Look!See Mother take a tranquilizer.
Funny, funny Mother!

See Mother.
See Mother buy raisins and nuts.
See Mother buy candied pineapple
And powdered sugar.
See Mother buy flour, dates, pecans,
Brown sugar, bananas and spices.
Look! Look!Mother is mixing everything together.
See the children press out cookies.
See the flour on their elbows.
See the cookies burn.
See the cake fall.
See the children pull taffy.
See Mother pull her hair.
See Mother clean the kitchen
With the garden hose.
Funny, funny Mother!

See Mother.
See Mother wrap presents.
See Mother look for the end
On the Scotch tape roll.
See Mother bite her fingernails.
See Mother go.
See Mother go to the store
Ten times in one hour.
Go Mother, go.
See Mother go faster.
Run, Mother, run!
See Mother trim the tree.
See Mother have a party.
See Mother make popcorn.
See Mother wash the walls.
See Mother scrub the rug.
See Mother tear up organized plan.
See Mother forget gift for Uncle Harold.
See Mother get hives.
Go, Mother, go!
See the faraway look in Mother's eyes.
Mother has become disorganized.
Mother has become disoriented.
Funny, funny Mother!

It is finally Christmas morning.
See the happy family.
See Father smile.
Father is happy.
Smile, Father, smile.
Father loves fruitcake.
Father loves Christmas pudding.
Father loves all his new neckties.
Look! Look!See the happy children.
See the children's new toys.
Santa was very good to the children.
The children will remember this Christmas.
See Mother.
Mother is slumped in a chair.
Mother is crying uncontrollably.
Mother does not look well.
Mother has ugly dark circles
Under her bloodshot eyes.
Everyone helps Mother to her bed.
See Mother sleep quietly
Under heavy sedation.
See Mother smile.
Funny, funny Mother!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Our winter, um,

iceland? This was the scene yesterday morning when I stepped out the front door. No snow yet, though they say maybe an inch tonight. It'll all be gone before The Big Day. At least everyone will have safe driving that way.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby!

The boy child turned 23 years old today. We had a nice brunch at Granite City Brewery to celebrate.
He was born on a Saturday, fifteen days overdue. (Never been one to be rushed into something!)
We took him home in a blizzard. Greg was so nervous, he put him into his carseat face-down, not knowing which side was up. :o)

I don't understand how 23 years went by so fast, but he's grown up into a funny, intelligent, kind, responsible, hardworking young man. We are very proud of him.

Happy Birthday, Nick!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A little sparkle

Started some decorating this weekend. Instead of the big tree, we put up three Alpine trees. That's all that's done inside...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Finito - for now

Took my last three tests last night.

Have until 4:00 Monday to mail my last few assignments for this semester.

Finished those tonight. The envelope is pictured here. It will be in the mail first thing tomorrow morning.

Now I can decorate for Chrismtas.

Now I can work on our Christmas letter and address cards.

Now I can make a recipe list for baking with Jessi next week.

Now I can shop and wrap and dance merrily around the house to jolly Christmas tunes! :o)

Did I mention we have tickets to see Eric Clapton in March?

Time to go to bed, I think.

Tomorrow my time is my own - yippee!


Intense research and creation of a fake in-service interuppted by this IMPORTANT BULLETIN:

Guess who we're going to see in concert?!!


Look at the photo!

We're going to see ERIC CLAPTON!

Eric Clapton, people!

I can't contain my excitement, obviously.

Be happy for us - and if you're so inclined get some tickets and come along!

(March 31, Quest Center, Omaha)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

He's a handy man

I'm always impressed with how Greg can do a little research, purchase some parts, and then repair whatever is broken around here. We save so much $$ because he likes to take things apart. :o) Here he's working on the dryer. It's close to 20 years old and died last weekend. For about $40 we'll probably get another 20 years out of it.
Yes, he's a handy guy to have around.
Edited 12/06: It's another week, $100 more dollars, and a new motor later, and I got to use my dryer this morning - Yea! He got pretty good at disassembling it and putting it back together. :o)
Edited 12/07: I told Greg last night that I used the dryer. He asked how it worked. I said it worked "alright" and shrugged. I was able to dry a load of towels in 50 minutes that used to take a 60 minute cycle and then another 30 or 40 minute cycle. He said, "Then I think that dryer worked DAMN GOOD!" :o)

New Heights

0f feline naughtiness. Tucker is pictured here on top of the very most top cabinet we have. It's higher even than the refrigerator! He knocks the baskets down, then looks at me like he's so innocent, those baskets just "jumped" down!
He's a bad boy.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Ushered in here with Kleenex, cough drops, and Sudafed. Ugh.

I put up a small tree in a corner to see what the cats will do. They pretty much ignore it unless I'm fussing with the branches or lights. I'm still not sure about putting up the big tree... Photo is of the tree last year. I LOVE my big tree... :o)

No "Black Friday" shopping for us today. I would have drug my sorry self out if there had been some burning need for something, but fortunately there was not. I have a couple of big things left to put together for a class, then I can concentrate on finishing my shopping. I'd say I'm about halfway done.

I also did not get to go to Lincoln to see Debbie and her family, which I was disappointed about. I thought if I slept awhile this morning, maybe I'd go this afternoon, but felt even worse when I woke up at 10:30, so I called her and cancelled. We'll get together next time. Or maybe I can talk Greg into a trip to Tennessee...

I did have Greg reach down my toter of Santa mugs, and I sorted through those and the ones I got from ebay this Fall. I have a pretty huge collection now, along with salt and pepper shakers. Wonder where I'll put all of them?

I did get to watch most of the second half of the Nebraska/Colorado football game. I came in just as CU scored their second touchdown to tie the game. I almost went back to the bedroom to watch HGTV, but I'm glad I didn't. Way to go HUSKERS!

Jessi should be back any minute with our Chinese takeout for supper, and Greg is watching "Titanic", so I'll join him and snuggle in for the evening. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Be Thankful

This was an email from Aunt Jan. I copied and pasted, so I don't have an author.

Have a wonderful Thanksgivng!
Much love,
Greg & Tammy

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,and they can become your blessings.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful.Colossians 3:15

Monday, November 20, 2006

Prayer request

Just got off the phone with my friend Cindy's mom. Cindy is in the hospital in Omaha and is scheduled for brain surgery later today. She had surgery for an aneurysm several weeks ago, and has now developed infection in her brain. Please keep her in your thoughts and say a prayer for her and her family. She's been down a long road that just got longer...

Thank you.

time keeps tickin', tickin' away

Nothing much to post about - I'm living at the library with my nose in a textbook. I'll be done in a couple of weeks, then I can concentrate on "the holidays".
So for now I just wanted to wish everyone the Happiest Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Salmon for supper

Since we got back from Alaska, I've made a few different salmon recipes. Remember that Randy caught that 10-pounder? He made me responsible for cooking it. It's in a plastic bag in my freezer, waiting. I've been cooking those salmon fillets I buy at Sam's club. That way if the recipe bombs, I didn't ruin "the" fish. Well, and because there isn't that much of "the" fish, and we really shouldn't eat it without Randy.
Anyway, we had salmon again tonight and I used a recipe from Aunt Jan. She got it from a lady in Anchorage, and it is goo-ood! :o)

I'll post it here the way she gave it to me:

de-skin & cube salmon
de-seeded & diced jalapeño pepper
diced onion
fresh grated ginger root
equal parts sour cream & mayonnaise
sea salt
bake 375 degrees, 45 minutes
sprinkle fresh grated parmesan on top last 10 minutes

Here's last week's recipe:
Salmon with capers
1/2 - 3/4 lb salmon fillets
salt & pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. capers
1/2 c white wine, divided
4 oz. Italian roasted red peppers, cut into pieces
6-8 small new potatoes
1 head broccoli, cut into florets (1 cup)

Preheat oven to 450. Spray inside of 2-quart Dutch oven and lid with olive oil.

Place salmon in bottom of pot (my fillets were frozen), skin side down if with skin. Spray fillets lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with garlic and capers. Pour 1/4 C wine over the fish. Top with roasted red peppers.

Pierce each potato multiple times with fork and drop into pot. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add broccoli and arrange to fit inside pot. Pour rest of wine over all. Cover and bake 45 minutes.
(I buy the 4-paks of small bottles of white wine to use for cooking. If you don't want to use wine, you could substitute vegetable stock.)

And one more. This is a little more work, but so worth it!
Salmon in Phyllo
2 lbs. Salmon fillet, skinned and boned and cut into 8 portions
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
8 sheets phyllo dough
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Fresh dill for garnish
Creamy Dill Sauce (recipe follows)

Marinate salmon in lemon juice and dill for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; rub the spices in well. This can be done several hours ahead of time.

Preheat oven to 375F. Take a sheet of phyllo dough. Combine melted butter and mustard and brush lightly over the phyllo. Put a strip of salmon at the long end of the dough. Fold phyllo over salmon and roll up. Two inches from the end of the sheet, tuck the sides in toward the middle. Finish rolling and place roll on buttered baking sheet, seam side down.

Repeat with remaining salmon strips. This step can be done and hour ahead and refrigerated. Combine egg yolk and heavy cream and brush pastry with this egg wash. Bake until phyllo is puffed and browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.

At serving time, put pastry on a heated plate, garnish with dill and serve.


Creamy Dill Sauce

2 T. dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2/3 c. heavy cream
2 T. chopped fresh dill
1 T. Chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat (or use the skillet in which the fish was cooked). Add the wine and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Add the cream. Simmer until well combined and cream has reduced slightly. Stir in the dill and parsley. Taste for seasoning.

This sauce is excellent with all sorts of fish, especially if you use the pan in which the fish was prepared and scrape up the bits to get extra flavor. Makes about 2/3 c. sauce.

Happy News!

We are very excited for them - they'll be great parents!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quiet Halloween

It was a quiet evening with only about a dozen trick-or-treaters. Greg got to take a big bag of candy to work with him. We enjoyed having the kids visit later in the evening. :o)

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Great Day

Garett and Grace stayed here today and we had the best time! They're 21 months old now. Garett finally has almost all of his teeth, and Grace is talking up a storm. Sorry this photo is a bit blurry - that's what I get for not wearing my glasses and making sure it was focused. No sight sweeter to this former preschool teacher than this one. They were so intent on these books! Eventually they made their way to my lap so I could read to them. That was probably my favorite part of the day. Well, that, and naptime. :o)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dinner's in the Freezer

I taught my first Community Ed class tonight about freezer cooking. I think it went quite well, and I wasn't nervous at all. I had 12 people sign up and all of them showed up and paid to hear me! They were a great group - asked lots of questions and shared some tips of their own. They asked for a follow-up class, so I'll have to check into that. I teach this same one again in Feb/March. There were several people who wanted to come tonight, but couldn't because of harvest, so I was asked to do a second class.This was fun! :o)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Pumpkin girl

Grace was here for awhile today and enjoyed playing with the gourds and pumpkins. She didn't feel well, though, so it was a short day and she went home right after her nap.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My week thus far...

Jessica cooks: Monday we planned and shopped, then Tuesday she cooked. She made sour cream chocolate chip muffins, sausage biscuits, chili, and browned hamburger for future spaghetti with meat sauce meals. She was home for Fall Break and we enjoyed having her and Megan hang out here.

While she cooked, I hung out to lend support. Kept myself busy with the checkbook. See my helper in the upper left corner? He gave up lying amidst the papers and settled for just being near them...
Wednesday morning found us driving to Grand Island in some sweet snow flurries. Randy had to be at the Surgery Center by 6:30. Nothing major, just an outpatient procedure, but when he offered to drive home, I politely declined. :o)

This morning the yard was glistening in the sunlight when I went outside. I didn't really capture it like I wanted, but you get an idea of the frosty morning we had. I had to run to Lincoln this morning, then spent the afternoon working on my presentation for the Community Ed class I'm teaching next week. Worked at the theater tonight for a couple of hours.

Tomorrow I will have Grace for the day - I'm thinking we'll plant some tulips since it's supposed to be a decent afternoon weather-wise. I'll let you know...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.
~Carol Bishop Hipps

Monday, October 09, 2006

Study Buddies

Yeah, I've been procrastinating with my schoolwork the past couple of weeks, but today I spent several hours studying and writing essays and interviewing preschool teachers. I did all of this DESPITE the help I got from "the boys". I got my books and papers, etc. out on the table and went to get a paper clip. Came back and found them lounging on my things. They must want a degree, too.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Little punkins

Took Wyatt and Grace out to Earl May's today to get pumpkins (Garett was still sleeping). They loved the animals - fish, birds, various rodentia, and Grace wanted to get in with the bunny. Wyat was a little freaked out by the parrot that flew around the store and kind of sat on my hand. :o)

We picked out many little pumpkins and they both helped load the wagon. Little Grace would grit her teeth and try to pick up nice big ones that probably weighed almost what she does. I distracted her by filling some bags with tulip bulbs and letting her load the wagon with those.

Wyatt was my wagon driver. He pulled, pushed, turned, and went in reverse, maneuvering the inside of the store as easily as the parking lot. It was a big wagon, too. People were impressed.

We stopped at the shop and gave Mommy a pumpkin to have at work, then took some home so Garett could have one, too. When I left, Wyatt was hauling them around the house, lining them up in various configurations, counting them, and protecting them.

It's not a very good photo - neither would look at me and I couldn't see much on the camera screen in the sunshine. Oh well. We had lots of fun even if my photographic documentation doesn't show it! :o)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The progeny of Bob & Elsie...

After this afternoon, there had to be a cousins post. Had to be.

Patty and Toni started it all, wanting to know who came where age-wise. Now, there are 32 of us - I had to look things up. Fortunately I have a copy of the "The Samual Adams Family of Lawrence County Illinois" (published 1980 by Barbara P. Quealy - all our parents got one) and we're all in there, so it was easy to list everyone. A few errors in dates, but pretty accurate.

Then I challenged them to list the cousin's children and grands. Long story short, we got a pretty comprehensive list made of the descendents of Bob and Elsie: 7 kids, 32 grandkids, 36 greats, and 15 great-greats (those are the ones we know of). (There are some steps in there that we'll add when we get that information.)

So, after playing with this all afternoon, and spending hours on the phone chatting with Debbie and Barbie, and emailing back and forth with Patty, I'm compelled to search out the definitions of cousins. You know, first cousin, second cousin, removed, etc. Here's how to figure it out (from Wikipedia):

The name of the cousinship is not determined by oneself, but rather is always determined by the generational level of the individual most closely related to the ancestor in common. Cousinship is actually a description of three individual's relationships with each other. Oneself, the cousin, and the ancestor in common. The following assumes there are no double cousins:

Step 1: To work out if two people are first, second, or third cousins, count back the generations to their common ancestor. For example, if the common ancestor is one's grandmother, that is two generations. If it is one's great-grandmother, that is three generations.

Step 2: Take the closest descendant of the common ancestor. For example, if one of the cousins is a great-great-grandchild (four generations) and the other is a grandchild, just consider the grandchild for now.

Step 3: If the closest descendant of the common ancestor is a grandchild (two generations), the cousins are first cousins; if three generations, second cousins, and so on.

Step 4: If the cousins are both separated from the common ancestor by the same number of generations, there is no "removed". If the number of generations from the common ancestor is different, that difference is the number of "removed"s.

For example, if one is a grandchild of (2 generations from) the common ancestor, and one's cousin is a great-great-grandchild of (4 generations from) the common ancestor, then one and one's cousin are first cousins twice removed.

Still with me? Shake your head, rub your eyes, and don't worry about it. We're FAMILY. That's all that matters.

Another birthday day!

Found out that today is my cousin Toni's birthday - HAPPY WISHES TO YOU!

Today also is my Uncle Tom's birthday - he passed in 1993, but I know he was thought about and loved today {{{Patty}}}.

Last, and NOT least, today is my Father-In-Law's birthday! What a happy day to celebrate his increasing health and well-being.

Happy Birthday Bob!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

just dessert

Ever since we returned home from our cruise, Greg and I have been searching for a particular recipe. I think it was our second night in the dining room that the dessert menu read "Light Almond Espresso Cake". I don't care for coffee, so I passed on that one. Can't even tell you what I ordered instead, because once I got a taste of that Light Almond Espresso Cake, I didn't want anything else. Greg let me have ONE bite of his, and Leslie gave me a couple bites of hers. YUM. No coffee taste, no almond taste, just rich, gooey chocolate encased in crispy, chewy phyllo, with a side of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. (Yes, my eyes rolled up inside my head after my first bite!)
We have Googled and searched and read endless recipe lists looking for something that just might be the world's best dessert. Tonight I believe I hit the nail on the head. It's called "Chocolate Peanut Butter Phyllo Purses". Obviously I left out the peanut butter, and I must say it was a very close approximation of what we had on the ship. I kept involuntarily going "mmmm" when I'd take a bite. Kitties wondered what was up. :o)
I'm posting the recipe here since I doubt I could find the link again. And the photo, well try not to lick your moniter!
Oh, and we ate this right before we watched "Biggest Loser". (Heehee.)
Flourless chocolate brownies
9 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
4 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
Chocolate ganache
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 teaspoons sugar
6 17x13-inch sheets frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Vanilla ice cream
For brownies: Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Melt chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl until thick and pale. Stir chocolate mixture into yolk mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Carefully fold egg whites into chocolate mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Press down edges until even with middle of brownies. Cool completely. Using 2 1/4-inch-diameter cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature.)
For ganache: Bring 1/4 cup whipping cream and vanilla extract to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and whisk until completely melted. Refrigerate ganache until firm, about 1 hour. (Ganache can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly butter rimmed baking sheet. Stir peanut butter and 4 teaspoons sugar in small bowl to blend. Cut each phyllo sheet in half crosswise to form twelve 13x81/2-inch strips. Place 1 phyllo strip vertically on work surface. Brush with melted butter. Place second phyllo strip horizontally across first, forming cross; brush with butter. Stack 2 brownies in center of pastry. Top brownies with 1 tablespoon ganache and 1 tablespoon peanut butter mixture. Gather ends of phyllo strips together over brownies to form purse. Twist ends closed. Brush purse with melted butter and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients to form total of 6 purses. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.) Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with ice cream.
Makes 6 servings.
Bon Appétit
March 2001 © CondéNet, Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Happy Birthday
to Tonita today!

from my kitchen window

This was taken this morning shortly after the sun came up. You can see the sunlight making the top of the tree glow. I saw it from my kitchen window and went outside to look and knew I needed to share. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Play date

Garett and Grace were here yesterday. It went well and we got lots of playing done! :o)
They are 20 months old now and each very independent.
As soon as they came in the door, the kittens took cover. Grace spent a good part of the day stalking Tucker, and was saying his name pretty clearly by the time she left. At one point I found her pulling his tail to get him out from under the furniture.
We got out Jessi's Little Tykes dollhouse and she was in Heaven. Furniture and people and a little car to drive around. Doesn't get much better than that. :o)
Garett mostly ignored the kittens, choosing instead to amuse himself with pouring the cat food in his lap, then running his fingers through it. Tactile experience, yes, but smelly. I'm just thankful he didn't eat it!
He also took all the pillows off the couch and used them to cushion his diving practice on the floor. Then he thought my tossing pillows on top of him was the best fun! :o)
Oh, and there were a few photos around that had Randy in them. Grace was always amazed to see him and would point and say "Daddy!". I'd say, "Yes, there's Daddy." Until she pointed to the antique print of Jesus on the dining room wall and said, "Daddy!". Okay, I was laughing too hard to answer her.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Please don't eat the daisies...

Tucker just loves the daisies. He was all over me while I was trimming them up. Then, he'd sneak onto the dining room table and inch his way over to the vase. I'd head over to get him, and he'd snatch a flower petal, jump down, and run away.
I moved the vase onto the kitchen counter and he jumps up there now. Argh!
See the photo frame on the counter? Yeah, it's broken. He was chasing a fly and jumped off the table to catch it and knocked a bunch of pictures down.
Yesterday I had to shut him in the bathroom while we had supper - he really wanted a fajita!
He's a naughty kitty. Greg calls him "the bad one". I feel like the mom in the "NO, David" books. He's going to think his name is "No, Tucker"...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Age ain't nothin' but a number

Randy had his 40th birthday on the 15th, but we didn't get to celebrate until yesterday when Alan and Angela could be here. The photo is one of Randy's presents, though we have yet to determine who will wear them... :o)

Friday, September 22, 2006


Yes, I am one of "those" people who have been waiting. Waiting to see if Izzy really quit. Waiting to see if George loves Callie. Waiting to see who Meredith chose. Waiting to see what happened to the panties.
I was not disappointed. I laughed, I cried. I've never liked Addison - ever - and I felt awful for her. My heart broke when Bailey tried to get to Omar to comfort him, and when she apologized to Denny, I wanted to sob. Izzy lying on the bathroom floor in her prom dress, grieving and angry. And when Christina climbed in bed with Burke and started to cry, that just did it.
I'm not sure about the Mer/Der/Finn thing. I can't see her with Finn at all. I've been mad at Derek ever since he chose Addison, yet kept Meredith hoping, so I'm not sure he deserves to have her.
Okay, I sound like a lunatic - it's a TV show. But I can't help myself. I am an addict.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

another Birthday!

The weekend of sadness and hormones is over and now it's time to celebrate!

Today is Caleb's 18th birthday!

Happy Birthday, Nephew Caleb!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Birth day

Today would have been her 62nd birthday. I miss her.
I wish she could see how great my kids grew up, and how wonderful my marriage turned out to be. I wish she could know the rest of her grandkids - how intelligent and funny and loving they all are. I wish we could have seen her grow old - white hair and wrinkles, being a Grandma and Great Grandma.

I am glad for all she taught me - how to cook (she really said to me, "A GOOD wife will never serve a TV dinner to her family for supper!" - little did she know I'd marry a man who LOVES TV dinners!), how to keep a home clean and welcoming, sing songs to comfort and entertain, instill independence in my kids, and how to love my family.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

What makes a family?

I finally got my college books at the end of this week, so tonight during the slow time at the theater, I got started reading in my Home, School, and Community textbook. The first chapter deals with defining what a family is and I found it very interesting. The "Ozzie and Harriet" family of the 50's never really existed. It seems that between 1890 and the late 1940's, the divorce rate in the U.S. was climbing. After WW II ended, women left their jobs and went home to have babies - thus the "baby boomers" (of which Greg and I are in the tail-end). After they had five or six children in as many years, women had to depend on marriage to survive economically. Those TV families were a fantasy, an unrealistic depiction of American life. A frustratingly unattainable goal.
Then the book asks us to draw a picture of our "ideal" family, and a picture of our actual family and compare. In my case, they'd be the same picture. You see, we have what is considered the "ideal family" in America. Two parents, two kids, boy older than girl. How did we do that? :o)
Thinking back to my childhood, my "ideal" family would look pretty much the way it was. Two parents, five kids, loads of aunts, uncles, and cousins, and all of my grandparents.
Were we the "ideal" American family? Lord, NO! :o) But who they were, made us who we are. Made us strive to be educated, adventuresome, respectful, and open-minded. Showed us how to work hard to support our families, love our babies, and treasure our family above all others. They maybe didn't teach us these things consciously, or with great finesse, and there are some significant things I wish could have been different, but they were what they were, and each generation tries to do better.
Can we ask more than that? That each generation tries to do better? They make us proud, and thankful that we have such a rich family heritage to pass on to them. . .

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Good day

Nice breeze, lots of sunshine, and one of my favorite kids here most of the day. Got lots of laundry done, swept out the garage, and cleaned up the back sidewalk.
Along with terrorizing the cats, messing up the computer (easily fixable), feeding grapes and a glue stick to the cats, and generally being very busy. :o)
Next week he starts preschool at Head Start - he's gonna love it!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Glorious morning

I'm loving the cooler weather and cannot wait to spend tomorrow outside - whether it's in the garage because of rain, or out in the garden pulling weeds. Autumn weather energizes me!
This photo is of my morning glories, taken this morning. They are all volunteer - each year they reseed themselves under this fence and by late August they are lovely.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Boys


Max:Just some current photos of the kittens - now called "the boys" (just like my brothers!).
They've readjusted to being home after spending more than a week at the vet's. I love that they've been de-clawed, though I hated doing it.
No more scratching on the furniture or my legs. . .

And the winner is...

This is Randy with Brian, the casino "host" from the ship. He's from England, and says he loves his job. The three guys all took gaming lessons from Brian, and now we all know how to "split" and "double down" when playing Blackjack.
Randy's win was for the slot-machine tournament. He played a qualifying round for the finals, then got 100 spins on a slot machine. The person with the highest score won. He got $500 cash, that lovely t-shirt, the trophy, and a goody bag full of treats. We were sitting on the balcony, enjoying the view and a bottle of wine, and missed the finals. He had fun making us think he'd lost, then pulling out his wad of cash to surprise everyone. Drinks were on him! :o)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Great Catch!

Randy's King Salmon weighed in at 10 pounds.
Angela's King Salmon weighed just over 20 pounds.
Yes, they had them butchered and sent home. Can't wait to feast!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

More glacier trivia

The glaciers were some of the high points of our trip. This collage of photos is of Harvard Glacier at the end of College Fjord in Prince William Sound. It's a mile and a half wide, and 300 feet high. They think it's at least another 100 feet under the water. I think the ship's naturalist said it was 25 miles long. The air temp was 48 and there was a stiff breeze while we were there. There were seals lounging on the icebergs nearby.

Friday, August 18, 2006


The ship was less than 1000 feet from this massive glacier - the closest this captain has ever gotten. We got to see huge chunks of it falling into the water ("calving"). Each time it happened we heard a "crack", then a thunderous "boom" as it hit the water. That's where those little icebergs come from. They also come from under the water when pieces break off and pop up to the top. This was AMAZING.

Kitty news

Picked up the kittens from the vet yesterday where they stayed while we were gone. Turns out that "Molly" is now "Max". I never checked, just took Cindy's word for it, but she never really looked, either. She had another friend look when they were very young, so it's an understandable mistake. I don't think we did any psychological damage...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

We're home now

We got in about 4:00 this morning. Long day of driving, flying, waiting, flying, waiting, driving. You get the picture. I have over 460 photos to edit, along with a few minutes of video. When I get through them, I will put together a Yahoo album so you can see the highlights of our trip at your leisure. :o)
The photo above is Greg and I standing on Denver Glacier in front of the helicopter we rode in to get there. Yes, we know we look hot in those boots and vests!
More to come...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hello from ALASKA!

We're wearing long sleeves and light coats, and it is WONDERFUL! Words cannot adequately describe the beauty of the landscape here. The mountains with waterfalls, bald eagles flying around everywhere, whales playing in the water, small icebergs floating around, glaciers in valleys, the list goes on and on. Greg is standing on our cabin balcony right now trying to photograph a sea lion playing and feeding in the water near our ship.
Yesterday WE WALKED ON A GLACIER! It was amazing!
The food is bountiful and mostly delicious. I've tried some new things, including sushi. Of course there is seafood aplenty at dinner each night. Tonight is our second formal dinner and the dessert buffet at midnight.
Randy caught a 10-pound salmon on his fishing trip, but Angela had to show him up and catch a 20-pounder!
Randy also won the slot machine tournament in the casino and won $500 cash! We all sucked in the blackjack tournament. Everyone played except Ang - Greg and Alan were "on the board" for awhile, but got knocked off early on.
Tons of photos to show everyone when we get home - along with some short video. Better go now - I'm paying for every minute I'm online.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Away we go!

We're leaving soon for Omaha to spend the night, then fly out tomorrow morning.
The kids will hold down the fort for us.
The kitties are staying at the vet. They looked so sad when I left them this morning.
Be back next week!!