Friday, December 28, 2007


Family traditions. One of ours is that every year for Christmas, my dad asks for a trolling motor. He has been asking for one every year for about 40 years. And please keep in mind he's had two of them during that time.

You know those stupid sayings, "Pink is the new Black", "70 is the new 50", "Dumb is the new smart" (I kinda made that one up).

Our family has a new one now, thanks to my son-in-law. "Wii is the new trolling motor."

While Jenni and I took Mom shopping yesterday afternoon, Tim went over to their house with his new Nintendo Wii (courtesy of my ex for Jenni and Tim for Christmas). When we left the mall, I called to tell "the boys" to meet us for dinner. Dad sounded slightly out of breath and I asked him if they'd had a chance to play Wii. Dad said they had and then added, "You gonna buy me one instead of a trolling motor?"

The trolling motor would have been cheaper.

Addendum: Trolling Motor

Sunday, December 09, 2007


There is a land of college football that doesn't have to answer to the BCS stuff. In this land, championships are fought by teams who progress their way in an orderly and sane fashion. This college football land is called Division II. Next weekend in Florence, Alabama, the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats face the Valdosta State University Blazers.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I went with Jenni and Tim to Northwest's game against West Texas A & M.

That's me on the left, Jenni on the right. Trust me.

Oh, did I mention that it was frikkin' cold?

Although, that doesn't explain why this young woman was wearing a grass skirt.

Jenni said the students had held a pep rally the night before.

OK, whatever.

We were very thankful for the space heater in Tim's office where we warmed our tootsies at half-time.


The kicker for West Texas kicked BAREFOOT. Did I mention it was cold?


The following week, Northwest traveled to Chadron State in Nebraska where they dealt with snow..

Prior to last night's game against Grand Valley, 5 inches of snow had to be removed from the field and the stands. Then a freezing rain fell during the game. In the last minutes of the game, with the score 34-16, Grand Valley's coach called a time out, crossed the field and advised Northwest's coach that he was going to let the clock run out in hopes of preventing injuries.

Let's hope the weather is better in Florence next weekend.

Oh wait. The Bearcats do well in bad weather.

And by the way, i 2005 and 2006, the Bearcats lost to Grand Valley in the Championship Game in Florence. So last night's win at home was very sweet for the Bearcats.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

YES, I KNOW.....

..... I need to update this. And I do plan on cleaning out the blog closet soon and post pictures from Sacramento, San Francisco and Niagara Falls (both trips); but first, I need your help with this:


Thank you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


As I reported last month, Meghan packed up and moved to Buffalo

Because of a boy:

I went up to Buffalo a couple of weeks ago to do that motherly checking in thing.

They seem to be adjusting to the local customs.

While we were there, we did the touristy thing and went to see water fall great distances.

We saw the rainbow underneath the Rainbow Bridge (which has nothing do to with Gay Pride or dead puppies)

We enjoyed the sights at night......

....and then paid a toll to get back into the country (I mean, Huh?)

And the great news is........

A week later, Ben proposed, and Meghan accepted.

The wedding is April or May......and I'm returning this weekend with Jenni to go shopping for the wedding dress.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


My youngest birdie moved out of the nest last month. She rented a U-Haul, packed up her belongings

and moved to BUFFALO, NEW YORK because of a ---


But I happen to like Ben, so we all got busy loading up the truck.......

......although she questioned my efforts.......

.......but I pointed out that I wasn't the only one who took a break now and then.

There were even breaks for pillow fights.

It was finally all done........

....she said goodbye to her parents....... in one last pillow fight.....

.....and one last picture.......

....and then *sob* left home.


Saturday, September 08, 2007


Last weekend, we threw a surprise party for my dad who turned 80 this past Tuesday

The planning began to go awry close to party time. We were supposed to get access to the back room at the restaurant to quickly decorate before Dad, Mom and my Texas sister, Janice, and her clan arrived at 2:30. As Meghan and I were driving to the restaurant, I called Mom to let her know we were on our way. She let me know they were on their way, too, because she said they were supposed to be there at 2:00 and there was no way she could hold Dad back. He was hungry.

Hoo boy.

Jenni and Tim were on their way to get balloons, etc., so I told them to abort and head to the restaurant.

Janice called and said they had successfully diverted Dad to a Starbucks saying that my niece, Jessie, needed a coffee before going to lunch. I relayed this to Meghan, who said, "Grandpa's not dumb. He knows."

I called Jenni and Tim and told them to abort the aborting and continue getting balloons, etc.

At the appointed time, Dad, Mom and Janice's clan arrived and Dad seemed surprised.

Part of that was because we had kept it a secret, even from Mom, that Meghan was able to attend. I wish I had a picture of the look on Mom's face when she saw Meghan. I haven't seen her move so fast in ages as she did when she made a bee-line for her.

Janice told us that when she announced it was time to leave Starbucks, Dad stayed put, announcing he wasn't ready to leave.

He was messing with them, the stinker.

Little Miss Annarae was able to attend, but her parents had to work. She was escorted by her Grandpa Bob and Grandma Carol. They almost lost the privilege of escorting her. On the way to St. Louis, they stopped at a Target where they lost one of Annarae's shoes and one of the pearl earrings that The Other Grandma gave her. (Carol said she had a pair just like them and The Other Grandma would never know.) And the next morning at breakfast, Carol and Bob bobbled a handoff over the table, dragging Annarae's foot through a bowl of oatmeal, which flipped and landed on a lady at another table. You'd think they would be more practiced than that.

I happend to think Jenni looked quite natural holding a baby. This was the first time she met her cousin's baby.

Tim introduced himself to Annarae, telling us that babies usually didn't like him at first.

Annarae gave him careful consideration....not real sure about kissing the guy with the goofy hair.

And then made her decision.

Oh, but wait. There's icecream? Well, that's different. It's genetic.

The next day, Annarae found the Baby in the Mirror at my parents house.

She carefully considered whether or not she liked The Baby in the Mirror.

Then decided to give The Baby a kiss.

And here's the whole clan that was able to attend.

Back row; those who married into the family; Ken (Jessie's husband), Tim (Jenni's husband); Don (Janice's husband); and Bob (Carol's husband)

Next row, The Cousins: Jessie, Jenni and Meghan (Missing are Robert Wayne; Kevin; and Annarae's parents, Stacey and Chase
Next row: The Sisters: Carol, Janice, Donna.

Front Row: Dad, Mom and, of course, Annarae.

Also missing from this post is the story about How The Texans Turned a 14 Hour Trip Into A 21 Hour Odessy (or, DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO GET OUT OF ARKANSAS?!?!) I omitted that story because it's a sad reflection on the family, and heavens, I wouldn't want to do that!

Also missing from the festivities was this guy:

Who arrives next Saturday to help my daughter move to the frozen Northeast. To live. A thousand miles away from her mother.

boo hoo

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

BITCHUS INTERRUPTUS*....and a potpourri of ponderings

I was home last weekend (YAY) and spent some of my overtime earnings on a new laptop. A MacBook. It was necessary to buy another laptop because my Dell has once again turned into a paperweight. Something about a power source. One would think that means the source of power is the problem. And one (meaning me) would think the source of power would be (1) the power cord or (b) the battery. And yet, both work,. And yet, the laptop doesn't.

I was told by the Dell people that the power source INSIDE the laptop doesn't work. I went to the Dell Kiosk in the mall where a couple of guys I wouldn't trust to show me how to make a paper airplane explained to me that Dell no longer makes that model laptop. They did have a number I could call to talk to someone who may be in this country (but who may be in another country) who could hook me up to the people who sell parts to laptops Dell no longer sells. But they would be happy to sell me a new one.

60 seconds later, I was in the Apple Store and 45 minutes later, I was walking out with my MacBook.

Since this all involves technology, and that always involves glitches, I figured that another plus to all of this (besides having a working laptop) was that I also purchased some blog fodder.

Imagine my surprise and delight to find setting up the computer and getting connected went smoothly.

I mentioned this to some good friends and family members and said that I was robbed of blog fodder. "Bitchus Interruptus" is how one termed it.

And I told him I would steal that and use it.

And I did.

BUT, all is not lost. When one is in need of blog fodder, there is always air travel. My flight back to Sacramento provided me with such fodder. Actually, not the flight itself, but a certain TSA agent in St. Louis.

There is the new guideline of 3-1-1. Three ounces of liquid in a 1 quart ziplock bag and 1 bag per passenger.

So, I had my mascara, foundation and eyedrops in a 1 quart baggie.

I also had powercords to my Blackberry, cellphone and iPod in another baggie for organization purposes.

And I had my Blackberry, cellphone and iPod in yet another one quart baggie, again for organization purposes. I have had those items in my carry-on when going through security and have had TSA agents call for a bag check to figure out what the cords, etc. are. So now, I just pull then out of my carry-on and put then into those plastic trays to send through x-ray. They stay nice and neat in the baggie.

Until I ran into Yesterday's TSA Agent In-Search-of-a-Brain.

He confiscated my two extra baggies. I had to take the powercords and electronic equipment out of them and he took the baggies, saying passengers were each limited to ONE baggie.

When he informed me if my violation, I froze while removing my shoes. "What?!?"

He said, pointing to a sign, 3-1-1. "Only one baggie per passenger. "

"But--" I started to argue. The gentleman behind me said, "I'd cave on this. What does it matter, he's taking your baggie, not your iPod."

I agreed and continued my travels with a carry-on full of unorganized powercords and electronic equipment. But my flights were safe from me having too many 1 quart baggies.

And he is between us and terrorists.

Hoo boy.

*Thank you, Jerry, for the caption idea.

UPDATE: One complaint about the MacBook. When I attempted to run spellcheck on this post, I found out that function doesn't work with MAC OS/X (is that the name of my new operating system? Or is it MAC OX/S? Or Mac/Sox?)

UPDATE TWO: OK, two topics in one post hardly makes for a "potpourri of ponderings", but I'm on the patio at the hotel and, frankly, I'm freezing. It's currently 92 degrees in St. Louis 11:00 pm, but it's 67 in Sacramento at 9:00 pm -- and breezy. I'm even wearing a fleece jacket. And this is after scoffing at a Sacramentonian I saw today who was wearing a leather jacket. Leather!! In August!!!

But fleece is OK.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I've had a series of firsts here lately.

In no particular order, they are:

eBay. I made my first eBay purchase.

I saw these while reading another blog (scroll down to last picture). One of the comments mentioned they are no longer available in stores, but available on eBay, so I quickly dashed there and put in a bid. And got them. YAY. OK, "got them" meaning I've got the bid. This whole eBay thing is NOT for someone who is into instant gratification. I think the auction closed last Thursday (as in last week), the P@ypal payment finally cleared yesterday, so I'm still waiting....waiting....waiting.

I've always been somewhat intimidated by the whole eBay thing. I had some Pfalzgraft dishes I thought about selling and when I checked out how to do it, I figured a garage sale was much easier. As it ended up, Meghan needed them for her apartment last year, so that took care of decisions for me.

OK, second First..... I bought something on QVC. Earrings. Two pair. I had a friend who was on sick leave several years ago, and she said she had to go back to work to break the QVC habit she developed while recovering (and for several birthdays and Christmases after that, I received items I KNEW were QVC purchases...but were very nice and fit mny tastes)(can you tell I'm covering myself in case she reads this?)(but seriously, they were nice)(honest).

But whenever I'm channel surfing and run across QVC, they are selling some kind of elastic-waist old ladies' slacks or something frumpy, so I've never felt the urge to stop and watch. Then buy.

But the other night....earrings. Gorgeous. So gorgeous, in fact, that I bought a pair of white gold and yellow gold. The yellow gold arrived 4 days later. That was a week ago and I'm still waiting on the white gold that were shipped the same day. QVC customer service advises me to wait until July 22 before I panic and pitch a fit. So, I'm thinking that will be my last QVC purchase. And to make sure, I did NOT watch when the Dooney and Burke handbags were being sold beause, OH, love the D&B.

Third first, massage. By a guy. I've had a couple of massages by women and they were OK. Last week, a co-worker and I decided the cure for being away from home for an extended period of time and working the hours we are was to treat ourselves to massages and parafin body wraps.




I got the parafin body wrap first. Never had one before. Not sure I'll get one again, but it was a great experience. I will admit that during the process, I was thinking "It's a good thing my grandma has passed on because if she knew I was paying to have hot wax poured over me, she'd have a hissy fit." But after I was covered in parafin and they wrapped me in ...whatever it was... it was just a slice of heaven.

Then the wax was removed and I went for the massage by a Russian rowing coach, Leonid. He started with my right leg and after one stroke, exclaimed, "You're just like a candle!"

When my massage was over, I dressed, then turned and looked at the table and noticed it was covered with chunks of parafin.

My co-worker got the wrap after her massage and while I was getting my massage. She's convinced that on our way home, she left a trail of parafin flakes behind her. We also noted as we walked back to our hotel, that walking in flipflops with "parafin feet" takes a certain skill. That we apparently don't possess.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


I'm a big fan of holiday traditions. And traditions aren't limited to "The Holidays" in November and December.

My daughters and I had a Fourth of July tradition of going down to the St. Louis Riverfront to watch the fireworks. I'm not a big fan of crowds. Hate them. But on the Fourth, it was worth it to me to elbow our way through hundreds of thousands of people eating funnel cake and corn-on-the cob, walk down the steps on the Arch grounds, stumble over the cobblestones and get to the river's edge. Then we'd wait an hour or so before seeing one of the most spectacular fireworks displays around.

Some people would talk about how well they could see the fireworks from miles away while sitting on lawnchairs in their front yards. OK, you may be able to see the higher fireworks, but miss out on all of the ground works. And the "wow" factor of seeing them up close.

The girls haven't been in St. Louis for several years for the Fourth, but they still talk about those times.

This year, I'm visiting Jenni and Tim and we're watching their neighbors prepare for their Fourth of July tradition. They have their grandchildren visit and participate in what they call "Cousin Camp". Apparently, there is a theme for the annual Cousin Camp. This year's theme is "Cowboys and Indians".

In the front yard, three teepees have been erected.

The back yard apparently is the cowboy territory as it has a fort. And a graveyard. We're a little perplexed by that one, to tell the truth. You'll have to squint, it's the white spot in the photo, which was larger. Blogger shrunk them for some reason.

The cousins haven't arrived yet; probably due later today.

Cousin Camp. What a great memory-maker.

Then there's this perplexing Fourth of July tradition.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I'm out on the patio at the Hyatt currently being ignored by the waitress.


She has one of those deep smoker voices, kind of like a 30-year old Bea Arthur, and just chided a couple of guys at the next table for going in to the bar to get their drinks. "Who told you that you had to go inside? I'll take care of you right out here.

And then she walked past me on her way in.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited (did I mention that I'm starving?)

She finally came out with their drinks. And then turned and walked past me on her way inside.

"HEY!" I yelled.

She walked up to another table. "Yes?" she drawled. They replied they didn't need anything and she turned to walk inside, going past me.

"Seriously, HelLO!!!!!!"

She turned to look and then seemed startled to see me. OK, it is night on the patio and little lighting. But, I have this computer turned on and the screen is like a frikkin' beacon. I feel like I'm in some sort of spotlight.

Anyway.... this morning at breakfast, I noticed the hotel is full of elegant and beautiful middle-aged women and their elderly, doddering rich husbands. I was puzzled as to what kind of convention this would be, and went to investigate.

By investigate, I mean that I read the line up of events on the hotel channel in my room.

International Association of Right of Way (it's some sort of educational thing; not a group of people advocating rules of the road).

And Jason G's bar mitzvah.


And this bar mitzvah, oh my gosh, let me tell you. The title of it is (yes, it has a title), "Tech It Easy With Jason". I know this because of the multi-colored banner stretching across the entrance to the ballrooms. With his photo on either side of "Tech it easy with Jason". His little entry into manhood is taking up three ballrooms. Several times today I passed by while they were setting up. The coordinator was a combination of all 5 "Queer Eye For the Straight Guy" guys.

"We'll have an arch, right here! And Neil will be arriving soon with the fabricking. (Fabricking?) It's black velvet and we're setting it up so that when people arrive at 7:30 it will look like night." There was an elaborate hand gesture when he said that and I assume it was supposed to represent twinkling stars. And let me tell you, this guy would know about twinkling, ifyouknowwhatimean. Andithink youdo.

I glanced inside at the ballroom(s) and noticed a stage had been set up, complete with lights and sound systems and the whole sheebang. As if they were setting up for a concert.

I passed by again, I'm assuming after Jason became a man, and noticed the night-like entrance being guarded by two bouncers (is it common to have bouncers at a bar mitzvah?) who were checking invitations. OK, when was the last time anyone had the urge to crash a bar mitzvah? Maybe I'm missing something. Each bouncer wore flashing lights around his neck. And look rather embarrassed to be wearing them.

*aside --- while I've been out here on the patio, every few minutes, I hear an annoying voice from across the way saying "Hi, I'm A-MAN-da from Ala-BAM-a." Amazingly, she's surrounded by a lot of people. You'd think they avoid her so she'd quit saying that --- or is that some sort of punchline to a joke?*


And all of the people filing in to Jason's bar mitzva after being approved by the bouncers? Walking in into the night with the pulsing music one would hear at a Los Angeles club? All of those elegant and beautiful middle-aged women and their doddering, elderly rich husbands.

I didn't see anyone under 46.

And by the way.... my waitress brought my wine and food and told me she's leaving and I'm being turned over to someone else who will ignore me. OK, she didn't put it that way, but she DID take her replacement around to the other tables to introduce her (Lisa) and passed right by me.


I think I'm going to start opening and closing my laptop so I can send out an SOS. Obviously, it's my fault. I apparently wore my stealth suit today. Maybe one of the bouncers will loan me his necklace.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


The Indy 500?

No, just my life.

*takes a deep breath*

I got up at 5:30 this morning and was in to work by 6:30 so I could finish some stuff that popped up at the end of the day yesterday and with it being a holiday weekend and then having to be in Sacramento next week, I had to do it and I was supposed to have breakfast with my parents and get my hair done and it was in REALLY bad shape with roots showing and looking all scraggly and crappy but more and more stuff had to get done and there was no airconditioning at the office even though security said the AC was working but what do they know because they were sitting in their airconditioned lobby telling us on the 34th floor who were sweating like pigs that the airconditioning was actually working and I beg to differ with them but I had too much to do to argue with them and I changed breakfast with the parents to lunch and I changed my hair appointment to the afternoon JUST TWO AND ONE HALF HOURS BEFORE MY FLIGHT oh my gosh am I dumb or what.


So I got out of work and drove to my parents to have lunch with them and oh heavens but they seemed to have taken their slow-poke pills today or was it just because I was in a hurry but after greeting me dad sat down and started to chat as I'm at the door scratching and sniffing like a puppy wanting to go out saying come on let's go to lunch we're burning daylight and dad said the dining room doesn't open until noon so instead we go to a nearby restaurant in separate cars so I can leave from there and not waste time so we race to the restaurant and by we I mean me because I swear dad must have have the emergency brake on the whole way and then they finally arrived and were half way across the parking lot and dad turned around to go back to the car and I was watching that thinking NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.


So they come in (finally) and s l o w l y ordered or it just seemed like that to me because to me time was fleeting and we eat and covered all bases how are the kids how are your sisters how are you what's wrong with the Cardinals --

Seriously, what is WITH those guys?!?!

-- and I checked my watch and OH MY GOSH Kathy was picking me up in one hour to take me to the hair salon and I had to go home and pack and finish laundry and all kinds of other stuff I had wanted to do that morning but nooooooooooo I couldn't because I had to go to work because some dumb and stupid attorney (on the other side) just had to file some dumb and stupid stuff that made me have to work to get ready for the next week and so I raced home but stopped first to get cash at the ATM and nooooooooooo I didn't have my debit card oh my gosh did I leave it at the Ritz last night (I will blog about Friday Night at the Ritz later) and panic panic panic I'm leaving town and I don't have my debit card and I wasted time at the ATM and OH! I used a different purse last night ant the card is in it ok don't panic just go home and pack.


So I run around the house and throw clothes in the general direction of my suitcase and I don't even want to hear anything from anyone about how I could have stayed home last night and done laundry and packed like goody two shoes Jerry did last night before leaving for Denver today instead of going to the Ritz and just shut up because hey I wanted a life for one night ok fine and now I'm paying for it and maybe a tornado will hit my house while I'm gone and will clean it and I was thisclose to cancelling my hair appointment so I could fold laundry dust and finish the dishes but HEY no one is going to see the house for the next three weeks except Judy and Kathy who have keys if Kathy remembers to get them made and remembers that there's a bag of garbage for her to pick up hint hint because Monday is my garbage day and that's a holiday and her day is Tuesday or something but anyway what was I saying oh yeah no one is going to see the house for the next three weeks but they sure will be seeing me and my hair in bad need of work so I left.


Kathy picked me up and we raced to the salon and she dropped off me and my luggage and ouch that one is heavy and Carla did my hair and for SOME REASON I decided what the heck let's go lighter with the highights and oh my i'm blonde ok not quite blonde but wow it's lighter and the cab came and damn it's the biggoted driver I had last week and when he found out I was going to pay by debit card he wanted to drive by a bank so I could get cash (WTF?!?!?!) and I said they had one at the airport and we got there, I got his money (which cut into his tipbytheway) got checked in and that suitcase that landed on my toe is 7 pounds over and now has a tag on it that says "OVERWEIGHT 51 - 100 lbs" so obviously Nicole Richie works for Southwest if they consider 51 - 100 lbs to be overweight and I go through security and there's a family of about 15 ahead of us and 4 of them are in wheelchairs and instead of having two they have us all in the same line and I keep thinking that's a lot of people one family to be in wheelchairs my gosh was there an accident and they notice me fidgeting and ask me when my flight leaves and I said it's boarding now and they let me go ahead except I'm behind some of the girls in that family who are having their bags checked because security thinks that a family of people in wheelchairs might have nefarious things in their luggage disguised as medical supplies but I make it and I get on the plane just as Meghan calls and wants to chat but I can't because the attendant is asking me to hang up and Meghan finds out I'm going to see her sister and not her and she gets huffy on me (seriously) and then we take off.

And I'm in the airport in Kansas City and I'm waiting for Jenni and Tim's flight and a guy next to me asks me to watch his son while he goes to the bathroom and he's been gone for like 20 nminutes and the son who is like 9 asks me what time it is and says their flight leaves in 15 minutes but says his dad usually takes a long time in the bathroom and I asked if he took a newspaper with him and the kid laughed and the dad returned and the kid said hey dad did you take a newspaper with you and the dad said no why and the kid ratted me out.


And Jenni and Tim's flight is delayed and they won't get here until 9:30.



































Monday, May 14, 2007


UPDATE: Tim served as the Official Graduation Photographer, and did a most excellent job.

I ask you, does she look happy? I think so.

Now, this photo has caused some controversy in the family. The gentleman looking on in the background is Meghan's dad. This photo was just a coincidence; he really does like Ben and he really wasn't glaring.


The ASA girls; Three Meghans and an Amanda.

Most of the family; my sister and brother-in-law had already left.

Before dinner, we had to get in some goofy pictures on campus.

But this wasn't one of the goofy ones.
I had to make sure Jenni didn't think I was playing favorites.
The family went for a graduation dinner at Patti's 1880 Settlement. (Good food). We were in the "Doll Room". Dolls were hanging all over the place.
Afterwards, we walked around the "settlement", where I got a shot of Meghan's dad doing something I thought I should save for posterity, because you don't see it much anymore. Children, he's doing what we used to call "changing the film."

Gaggles of kids in Prom gear were there as well. Meghan's paternal grandpa, Ed, offered to take some pictures, getting some good thigh shots. Tim served as camera caddy.

After this picture was taken, my dad walked up to Ed and shook his hand, congratulating him for thinking of that idea.
The grandparents.

We asked Dad and Ed what they were looking at. They looked at each other, then Ed said, I don't remember. Dad said, "That's our story and we're sticking to it."

After dinner, the kids went to the Marina where they did some more of that kissing stuff.

Add Image My kids.