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Unterrichtender Rick Deutscher

Unterrichtendes Rick, zum des Deutschen zu lesen ist eine schwierige Aufgabe. Meine Nerven werden in neue Weisen ausgedehnt. Warum, oh warum, I torment selbst auf diese Weise muß? Ich muß vollständig geisteskrank sein. Unterricht ist nicht mein forte.

Teaching Rick to read German is a difficult task. My nerves are being stretched in new ways. Why, oh why, must I torment myself this way? I must be completely insane. Teaching is not my forte.


riding high

Can someone please peel Rick off my ceiling?

Last night one of Robert's co-workers called to let us know that Rick's name was in the paper twice for his football "prowess." I was sent out to purchase 2 more papers for the grandparents.

Rick called everyone in the family to read them the blurb.

On Sept. 20, the Rams' Patrick Todd, Brian Bohne, Nicholas Parker, Michael Justice, Rick Sickles and Christopher Rossman teamed up on offense to score 21 points. Randall Rossman, Michael Justice, Oliver Birman, Nicholas Wilder and Kyle Kochner contributed to a tough defense that only gave up seven points. Oliver Birman, Patrick Todd and Brian Bohne scored touchdowns. Rick Sickles scored a two point conversion. Randall kicked an extra point.

FYI -- Rick's and Kyle's names were in the wrong places. Rick played defense and special teams.


oh please

Do not get me started on the incompetence! Only have 2 things to say: When is Patrick Surtain coming back? and Fiedler.

(So, Steph, what happened to your Patriots?)

Ooh, thought of something else to say. Why did it have to be Griese who tripped over his dog and suffered a sprained ankle?



Okey-dookie! Duke destroyed Navy 43 to 17. Still shaking my head in amusement/amazement. Duke's 2-3 record is their best start since 1998. Quite scary. Bet Coach Franks is relieved.

UVA defeated Wake Forest in Winston-Salem 38 to 34. Go Hoos! Now who should I pull for this Saturday? Duke or Virginia ... hmmmm. GO CAVS!

I've been giggling insanely since FSU's Thursday night loss to Louisville. They are still on top of the ACC standings, but they had better watch out for 6 - 0 Maryland. Which Bowden will win this Thursday night's matchup? So much for NBC and their "must see" lineup. I'll be watching a gridiron version of "Family Feud". Won't you join me?

Davidson romped on Emory & Henry yesterday afternoon. Couch Toop started putting in his reserve players in the 2nd quarter. By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, all the Wildcats had played. Using the entire bench -- what a concept. Just so you can understand how cool this guy is, he took the time last night to email and congratulate Rick on his game. I may adopt him and the rest of his staff.

Hurricanes had an open weekend. There was a wonderful article in today's paper about Jarrett Payton and his college football career. So much talent, so many injuries. Wish him well for next weekend's matchup with Connecticut.


southern fun

Something else to miss about the old Tar Heel state.

For those not in the know, Cary is NOT a southern town. Cary stands for Containment Area for Retired Yankees. I have also heard it referred to as City of Arrogant Relocated Yankees.


southern fun



where was Peter Rabbit

At 9 o'clock this moring, I walked Tobadiah around our circle. You would think that all sorts of human activity would be evident at this hour of the morning: people heading to church, stepping outside to pick up their paper, walking the dog, mowing ... something. Not another sole did I see on our trek thru the neighborhood.

Bob the Blue Jay hopped along the sidewalk in front of us jabbering away. I'm convinced that he must be ill. Why else would he do this most mornings? Can birds get rabies? If he starts frothing at the mouth, I'm running for the hills.

The shy armadillo ambled out of the bushes, caught sight of Toby and waddled back in the bushes. His little beady eyes followed us anxiously until we turned the corner. Toby is all bark and more bark. Nothing much to worry about unless he sits on you.

Parrots were winging up and down the street, performing aerial acrobatics that no sane human pilot would try. They were squawking maniacly which in turn caused Toby to bark like an idiot. Between the squawking and the howling (no other dog can howl like a hound) the doves in the branches overhead became highly upset and started bombarding us with -- ummm -- unmentionable smelly stuff.

Freddy the Fox was spotted running back to his den.

The Cane family of egrets were out for a morning stroll. When they saw us coming, they actually crossed the street and continued on their merry way down the sidewalk. They didn't even bother returning my "good morning" or Toby's overly enthusiastic greeting. Such rudeness!

Now where were the humans? I felt like I was in an alternate universe. Maybe Toby was walking his human, not the other way around. What do you think?


the rams

The Rams are now 3 and 2 after once again defeating the Packers.

The game started off in the usual fashion with the Rams kicking off and their opponents scoring. Why this is, I'm not quite sure, but it seems to work for the Rams.

Packers up by 6, PAT good. Packers up by 7.

For the rest of the first half the two teams played tug-of-war mid-field. Three and outs seemed to be the rule of the half. Nick P. broke away from status quo by intercepting a hard thrown pass. The Rams decided to revert to three and out.

During half-time, players were complaining about the oppressive humidity. Coaches Rossman and Justice explained that if at anytime they felt sick to their stomachs, had a headache or felt woozy, they had to inform one of the coaches and get off the field. Heat stroke takes a deadly toll around here -- even among the most fit of athletes.

And the second half began with the Rams receiving. They tried so hard to get down the field. When they finally reached field goal range, they started running backwards. Oliver probably now holds the record for most yards run without ever gaining any. He can cut, bob and weave with the best, he just can't run to the correct goal.

Nick P spent most of the second half breaking up passes. Kyle found himself flat on his back at least 3 times. (The Packers don't understand the fine rules of blocking in a flag league.) Rick came in on offense and began blocking for Brian. For some reason we started moving down field. Then a trick play worked and Brian sprinted down field with Rick blocking all comers. Hurray!

Packers 7, Rams 6. Rams went for the 2 point conversion and were stopped on the 1 yard line.

The skies decided that constipation wasn't for them and began to dump cold rain on the crowd. We sighed in relief. Only my mother-in-law was smart enough to have brought a huge umbrella.

The Packers ran all over the Rams down to the 10 yd line. An ill-advised pass to a TE resulted in another interception by Nick P who ran in the correct direction for 20 yards before being brought down - literally - into the mud.

Patrick started hitting his receivers consistently. He threw into 4-deep coverage and his target managed to trap the ball. But alas, the Rams failed to score after driving 80 yards. If only Patrick had looked to the left and seen a wide open Brian waiting.

And so it went down to the final 33 seconds. Packers still at 7. Rams holding at 6.

The Packers kicked (no punting in flag) a gorgeous high ball right into Brian's open arms. What were they thinking? Brian was off and running. Rick was blocking as fast as he could. Nick 2 came over to help. Brian coasted into the endzone. The Rams didn't waste time celebrating. They set up and kicked a PAT.

Packers 7, Rams 13.

But wait! There were 8 long seconds left on the clock.

Mike tried an onsides kick, but the Rams weren't quite fast enough to get to the ball first. They settled for stopping the Packers on the 50.

Three seconds left.

The Packer's QB found his target and threw hard for a completion. The receiver sprinted downfield with Kyle hot on his heels. Another Packer came over and rocked Kyle's world. Kyle went down in a huddled heap after taking a head then a shoulder into his rib cage. The receiver was still sprinting for the endzone. Rick came flying over from the other side of the field and deflagged him just before he crossed the goal-line.

Rams won 13 to 7.

the aftermath
The Packers hadn't realized that the ref for the day was the area's AYFL commissioner. Bad move on their part to not be informed. Word of the rough play of previous games had gotten back to him and he was there to observe for himself. Now the Packers have been warned. The Rams received congratulations for winning the game and for keeping it clean.

Lord Ref was staying to officiate the next game. He wanted to observe how the orange team handles itself on the field. Can't wait to hear what happened on that front.


potty training

We're having to resort to bribery. Michael knows when he has to go. He gets out his diaper and diaper wipes and then informs us that the momentous event is getting ready to occur. I'm tired of changing diapers. It is high time Michael started using the toilet.

Michael desperately wants Cranky the Crane. Each time we pass a Barnes and Noble or a toystore, we are informed that Cranky is a necessity. I told him yesterday that as soon as his diapers were gone and he was wearing underwear every day, I would buy the silly crane for him. He ran and pulled out his Thomas the Tank Engine briefs. I continued on to the mudroom to move the laundry around.

As I walked across the house with my clean laundry, I was greeted by a glowing MIchael. He was so excited that he was bouncing.

"Mommy, can we go buy Cranky now?"

"No, Michael. Your diapers have to be all gone, and you must wear underwear."

"I wearin' underwear, Mommy. My diapers are all gone."

"They are not all gone. We have half a bag left."

"Nope. They said bye and left."

Now I'm curious as to what he was done with the diapers. They weren't in their usual spot in the bathroom closet. I had to go on a diaper hunt. Finally Michael took pity on my incompetance at "find the diapers" and opened the front door.

Yep, the diapers had gone bye-bye. A trail of them led from our front door to the trashcan.


the friday five

1. What are your favorite ways to relax and unwind? Reading a good book while enjoying a cup of Earl Grey, puttering in my garden and curling up with Robert

2. What do you do the moment you get home from work/school/errands? My keys, wallet and shoes get put in my room. I make Michael a snack, then we take Toby for a walk. If Rick and Kari walk in the door with me, I nag them to put their belongings away.

3. What are your favorite aromatherapeutic smells? I'm not into aromatherapy although I do enjoy the scent of cinnamon and cloves that is usually wafting thru my house.

4. Do you feel more relaxed with a group of friends or hanging out by yourself? Oh please, just let me be by myself.

5. What is something that you feel is relaxing but most people don't? House painting (interior), walking thru cemeteries, moving furniture and exchanging horrid puns with my father and brother (Robert's groans get louder the longer we do this.)


candle lighting

Brian's grandmother died in a car accident three days ago. Her hip was broken and an artery severed as a result. She was 65.

(Brian is Rick's team-mate)


it's not whether you win or lose

No matter whether you are a professional athlete or an amateur, have played forever or are a true novice, how you play the game is important. Winning by cheating or seeing what fouls you can get away with isn't truly winning. If your team resorts to poor sportsmanship, you are a loser.

Last night we had the dubious honor of witnessing horrible sportsmanship on the part of coaches, players and even the refs. The sad thing is that the offending team is made up of what is termed #1 quality players. They would have won fair and square anyway - no ifs, ands or buts about it. These kids understand the game, have good instincts and are solid athletes.

Let's start with the refs. Referees are supposed to be impartial. No matter how good or bad the teams are, the ref's job is to pay attention to the play and call violations and then exact a penalty for the violation. On the opening kickoff, the green team caught the ball, took a step and dropped it. The ball should have been called dead. Nope. The player who dropped the ball picked it up and ran for 10 yards. Later the green team's offense ran patterns up the middle consistently. In flag football this is a no-no. The whistle never sounded. The blue team ran up the middle and the ball was taken back five yards. The green team's QB was "tackled" before he threw. He threw a completion after and they moved forward 15 yards. The blue team's QB was stripped of his flags as he completed a pass. The ball moved moved back 8 yards. Hmmm. Inconsistent whistle blowing on the part of the referees, what could account for that? Perhaps the ref's brother being the QB for the green team had something to do with it.

Shall we move on to the players? Physically blocking with the body is not allowed in flag football. A player can run and get in the opposing team's way. Tackling is illegal. Brian was tackled as he ran with the ball. Oliver took a shoulder in the gut and ended up on his backside. Rick has a beautiful set of bruises too. Don't get me started on all the clipping going on or the holds.

Green's coaches did nothing to stop the rough play. When Blue's coaches did, they were accused of whining and being poor losers. Are these the type of coaches we want teaching our children good sportsmanship?

Hopefully the green team recognizes that what would have been a glorious 28 to 7 win was tainted by how they played. Sadly this is doubtful.



Cheerwine is a cherry-flavored soda made in North Carolina. I adore this stuff. My family claims that I am addicted and need to seek counseling. I say "pbbbbbbbbtht" to all of them.

Whenever we visit my parents, I whine until we have purchased enough Cheerwine for me to drink one a day until our next visit. My parents aren't allowed to enter my front door until they pay a toll of a twelve-pack of this soda. I'm not obsessed in the least!

Recently my mother-in-law read that Cheerwine will soon be distributed to a store near us here in Florida. I'm not sure how to feel about this. Part of the fun of Cheerwine is that it isn't everywhere like Coke and Pepsi. It's all about nostalgia, homesickness and the challenge of stretching out my supply. Familiarity breeds contempt. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. (okay I'm done with my Bobby Bowdenism).

If Lexington Barbeque franchises itself I'll have to throw in the towel.


the pantry

Rick has decided that his mom is a terminal messy, so he has taken over her kitchen and is re-organizing with gusto. He has measured and sketched out all the cabinets and made lists of items we use everyday. All this work to determine the most efficient way to store all his mom's cooking paraphenalia so that it works for everyone.

How does she feel about this? She's wondering how long till the dad messes up the pots and pans or Kari destroys the pantry.

Rick opted to begin the reorganization with the pantry: the only messy part of the kitchen. He emptied it out and grouped items according to type. He restocked the shelves according to type and who uses the items the most. What a concept! Now the cereals are on the lower shelves and my baking supplies are at my eye level. Bulk goods are on the top, out of the way until needed.

He's even made a list of containers needed to store dogfood, cereals, etc.

Wonder if Rick does closets ...


online courses

My brain has atrophied. Majorly. Hmmm. Perhaps some silly no-cost online course will help me regain some intellectual function. Since my degree is in literature and I loved reading LOTR, delving into LOTR seemed a natural fit.

Didn't count on all those wanna-be elflings.

Irritation #1: My imagination is extremely active, but never would I think learning a non-language (elvish) is more important than spending time learning one that could be put to good use. I would never say to someone "My name is Eliz, but I prefer going by the name Erugwestë."

Irritation #2: People who post thoughts that just aren't original. Umm, hello, did they not notice that the previous 400 posts on that particular topic have all said the exact same thing?

Irritation #3: Some people feel the need to post "read" after each post. No matter how many times the sysop explains that this is not necessary, they continue on their useless posting frenzy.

MAJOR irritation We are supposed to discuss certain themes according to the book we are currently reading. Why oh why must they bring in scenes and topics from later books? This totally confuses the issue and detracts from the book we are supposed to be discussing. In addition it spoils the plot development for those who haven't read the entire trilogy.

After 10 days of this, I exploded and mildly vented. Okay, so I wrote and had to heavily edit before posting. Now these spoilsports have to type "Spoiler" into the post topic box. Amazingly 90% of posts now have spoiler in the header.

What the ----?


what season am I?

Which Season are you?

Hmmm. Winter is my favorite season. Always has been. My need for seasonal changes is increasing apace with the length of time lived in South Florida, home of eternal summer. Twelve years without snow and ice is far too long. Twelve years without Spring to look forward too is beyond ridiculous.

The hush of snow falling, clink of wind passing thru icicles, a crackling fire...

Yes, I would trade palm trees, squawking green parrots and the humidity in a second.



We are doing our annual carpet cleaning. Just as Robert finished, Toby ambled in and peed. Right in the middle of the cleaned carpet.


bambino's curse

Contrary to what you may think, football was not my first love. Baseball was my passion. When I was one, my dad took me to a Senators game -- even have pictures to prove it. But the first game I remember seeing was a Yankees-Orioles game in 1971. I still have my bobbing-head Oriole.

We lived in southwest Virginia for 4 1/2 years. I lost my first tooth, my brother cracked his skull, my dad pitched against Bob Feller -- all at the field of the Pulaski Phillies. In 1975 we moved to Indiana. That's when I realized that one day I would be the third baseman for the Reds. My dad spoiled that dream around my 13th birthday by pointing out that girls didn't play in the majors. To console me, he taught me how to keep score. All my hard work of learning not to throw like a girl, to switch hit and to slide without being a wuss about it fell into a deep ditch.

But Pete Rose was still my hero.

We moved to Kennebunk. Far away from Riverfront, but oh so close to Fenway. That great Green Monster captured my imagination. The Red Sox captured my heart. We made the drive to Boston many more times than my parents will ever admit. We had a game ritual: parking in the Howard Johnson's lot, walking up and across the bridge, eating a gyro outside Fenway while Dad picked up the tickets at the will-call window, buying a program for each of us and going to our seats. Dad and I would watch the game and keep score, occasionally debating whether to score something as an error or a hit. Afterwards we'd buy an Italian ice and then head back home.

Moving to Charlottesville separated me from my Red Sox. I learned to love football and lacrosse, but baseball was still the nearest to my heart. During college I kept score for the Wildcats. After college, several college coaches wrote me wonderful references to try and help me get a job in baseball. Wasn't to be though. The Red Sox minor league affiliates never responded to my resume. Only the Pirates were willing to give me a chance, but they called after I began working elsewhere.

Marrying and moving to South Florida took me further away from baseball. Sitting in the heat of South Florida's summers to watch baseball is not something I enjoy although we did so every summer until 2 years after the Marlins won the pennant. When they traded practically the entire team, I lost interest. So did many other fans.

Then, when working on the family genealogy, I rediscovered a cousin by the name of Leo "Blackie" Mangum. He played baseball back when the Braves were in Boston. He even visited Durham with a friend of his named George "Babe" Ruth. Another cousin, Tom Cheek, told me about how Ruth signed a baseball and gave it to him. He chuckled at the memory of actually playing with that baseball and then losing it. He found a picture of the Babe and Blackie. Somewhere I have a photocopy of that picture.

"Blackie" was the spark. Bambino's Curse is helping rekindle a joy I'd lost.


what were they thinking?

A mother brought her toddler to the game. No sunscreen, no diaperbag, no toddler appropriate food. She also couldn't keep up with his racing around. Wonder what she did during the game, if he was already beet red, smelly and wanting a "nack" before the game.

A Jets fan wears a Jets hat, daisy duke white shorts and a sheer green mesh top without a bra. Did she honestly think that no one would notice? Some women in the bathroom yelled, "J - E - T - S. Suck! Suck! Suck!" at her. Men in the concourse yelled pretty much the same thing with a slight variation.

A man brought his elderly father to the game. The father walked with a cane and was unable to bend his left leg. Their seats were 4 rows from the top! The sun was brutally hot.

Some teenyboppers came bounding up the stairs as the elderly gentleman was trying to get to his seats. They made some nasty comments to him and tried to shove past him, but Bubba came to the rescue. He grabbed them with his beefy mitts and gave them a stern talking to. One of the girls tossed her mane of overly-highlighted hair back and told Bubba that the man wasn't worth apologizing to. She was booed by everyone who had seen what was going on. Her boyfriend sheepishly exited his row and led her out.

Joe Rose, our sportscommentator, commented that it was not brutally hot out and that heat wouldn't be a big factor in the game. ?!?!?! Oh, he's inside in the a/c while the rest of us are sweating it out. If 95*F isn't brutally hot to him, what is?

Dolphins fans taunted Jets fans about the loss. Okay, celebrate the win but don't taunt. As one man wearing a Chrebet jersey pointed out, "Hey, over the past 5 season we are 8 and 1 against you guys. I'll take that over a single win anyday."


yesterday's fan fare

Where to start? Perhaps the beginning.

We left for the Jets-Dolphins game at 10:15. We wanted to make sure that we had a great spot in the lot -- under a shade tree would be nice. I pulled out our brand new pack of parking passes. There is supposed to be one pass for each game. i went thru the book more than once. Someone had taken our pass for the Jets game! Grrrr. We parked at the lovely Calder Race Track and trekked the mile to Joe Robbie.

For two lovely hours Robert and I people watched. Someone has to document the idiocy that goes on before a game.

You wouldn't believe some of the getups we were visually treated to. My absolute favorite was worn by a gentleman in his mid to late 70s: black socks, boat shoes, orange and aqua swirlies on his shorts, #34 jersey, big yellow sunglasses, binoculars hanging from his neck, dolphin hat, "What jinx?" sign in one hand and then the piece de resistance -- a Ricky Williams wig. Absolutely photo worthy. And me without my camera!

The behavior in the women's restroom was deplorable yesterday! You'd have thought that we were at a four-way stop. Women were coming in from both sides and cutting in front of each other, yelling obscenities. The highlight was when I exited a stall to be faced with a woman who just couldn't wait much longer. She already had her pants unzipped and pulled down. She shoved me out of the way. Nice, huh? Some young women were swiping the rolls of paper towels out of the dispensers. They told the bathroom attendant that they'd forgotten their towels and needed something to keep them dry. The b.a. won that battle.

Bubba and Asshole (aka Paul) almost missed kickoff! Bubba had forgotten his spitcup, so he bought a large bottled water and felt he had to drink it all first. Homer had the audacity to bring a date to the game. A woman in their midst caused them to behave like gentlemen. I was disappointed. Dreadfully so. My entertaining trio snorted when I informed Homer that he was hereby forbidden to ever bring a date to a Dolphin game. When the date excused herself, they had to hurry up and be obnoxious. A lady with gigantic breasts scooted by the three boys. She didn't wait for them to stand and move out of her way. She bounced thru. Homer asked her if her "hooters" were real. Asshole wanted to know how much they cost. Bubba asked her boyfriend if he liked other men staring at her chest. Bubba told him he was wondering, because if he did have a problem, Bubba was just going to sit on him and look his fill.

Hahvahd wasn't quite himself. Very sad. Why he had to bring his daughter to this game is byond me.

Two rows down and 10 seats over a Jets fan passed out. Since it was halftime there weren't too many people left in the section. Robert happened to be looking that way when the guy collapsed. The people behind the guy tried to wake him up by shaking him. He didn't budge. Jay Do's daughter-in-law scooted over to check his vitals and cover him up with his shirt while someone called the EMTs. Needless to say, the dude missed the rest of the game. Let this be a lesson to any of you that can't take the heat and humidity of South Florida. Do not drink beer like it's water if you are going to be out in 95 degree weather. You will dehydrate even faster. Oh and don't forget sunblock.

Only 2 fights were around us. Someone a section over threatened to throw a Fins fan over the top of the stadium if he didn't stop taunting the Jets. As if his voice could be heard by the players on the field. Yeah right! A fight broke out among some college age men. Seems that someone drank someone else's beer on his way back to the seats and was refusing to step back out and get another.


the jinx is broken

The Dolphins finally broke their 9 game losing streak to the Jets.

Jay Fiedler was his usual inconsistent self. The crowd screamed for him before the game and booed him at various points during the game. The man can just not throw the long ball. And would you opt to throw into double coverage? Come on. Testeverde was suffering from a major case of Fiedler Syndrome. Thank goodness!

Ricky Williams became the first man in Dolphin history to gain 100 yards plus per game for 3 games straight. Isn't that pathetic? Williams rushed for 151 yards. Hurray! Robert Edwards is fitting in well as the third down back. I do wish that the Fins would utilize him more. Towards the end of the 4th quarter even Travis Minor was racking up yardage against the Jets run defense.

Oronde Gadsden hasn't had the greatest start this season, but today he showed us the kind of player he truly is. The Man leapt thru the air and snagged the ball with the tips of his fingers and landed on both feet. The impossible ball was caught. He caught another one of Feebler's passes that most would have missed or would have caught out-of-bounds. Gadsden is simply a solid player.

Can't begin to say enough about the defense. I bow to all of them -- except for Jamal Fletcher. The guy has been burned way too many times. Perhaps I shouldn't compare him to Patrick Surtain. That's totally unfair to Fletcher, but I can't help myself. Derrick Rodgers, Brock Marion, Sam Madison, Jason Taylor .... Shawn Wooden had the most awesome game of them all though.

By the way, this was the first game against the Jets in 12 seasons that the Dolphins didn't allow them any touchdowns.

Off to hit the showers. I reek.

(Rachel, the crowd update will be tomorrow. There were some doozies -- or is that floozies?)



We are leaving for the game 3 hours before kickoff. Why do this when we live only 15 minutes from Joe Robbie? The J - E - T - S are in town. Ack! This should be the rowdiest game of the season. By far. Wonder if I'll get to see any fights this year ... Bubba, Asshole and Homer should provide us with hysterically funny and biting commentary. Hahvahd may have to move over and sit next to me so that I don't miss a word he utters. Cellphone dudes better have those things turned off or I'm pitching their phones over the side of the stadium.


college football

ACC football:
Duke at FSU is on PPV. Who was the brilliant person who thought this was a great idea? Are there actually fans out there who will pay to watch this game on tv? Other than my father ... Duke has started a new losing streak, and FSU has been steamrolling thru the ACC ever since they joined the conference. In the plus column for Duke was their ability to score 17 points and keep the game close (Okay , close by their track record). FSU won 48 to 17.

UVA at Akron. Hey, easy win for the young Cavaliers. If games weren't scheduled so far in advance, I'd believe that this game was scheduled to help the Wahoos gain confidence in their ability to compete on the collegiate gridiron.

Texas Tech at NC State. The Wolfpack tried their darndest to lose this game. I actually stopped watching when half-time rolled around. The Pack had been stampeding all over Tech. What a shock to switch back to it during the final two minutes and discover that the bloodbath had never been drawn. If the Texas Tech kicker hadn't shanked the ball, they would have won; instead they had to go into OT. State pulled out a win with McClendon's 5th TD of the game.

other games
Boston College at Miami. UM's 38 to 6 win over BC doesn't accurately reflect the difficulties Dorsey had in the first half. Yup, once again he had his head up his ass. Robert is convinced that Dorsey is terrified of BC. We're not sure why, but he needs to pull his head out for the Va Tech game. (Can I sneak in a thumbs up for Va Tech's Suggs?)

Davidson at Newberry. Dad was convinced that the Wildcats were going to lose this one. Why? Newberry has 40 football scholarships that they hand out. Davidson doesn't have any. This should mean that Newberry was able to attract a higher quality player. Brains beat brawn though. Feathers were flying as the Owls lost 34 to 7. GO, CATS!

also on the Davidson front
Aeons ago Jay Poag was a teammate of Robert's. One season Poag was in the NCAA top 5 for punting until an injury slowed him down. He was a multipositional player -- punter, qb, receiver. He has returned to Davidson as an assistant coach. Welcome back, Jay!

And my favorite person from my days as a Davidson football manager is now with Vanderbilt.
Turner, a graduate of Davidson (NC) College, is a 15-year veteran of the coaching ranks. Turner went to Minnesota after four years at Virginia where he also was a co-coordinator on special teams in addition to defensive responsibilities. He also coached the defensive line at North Carolina State (1995-96) and Kentucky (1993-94), and worked on the coaching staffs at James Madison (VA), Indiana University (PA), and Davidson.

from a Vanderbilt University press release


flag football

When the Rams took the field against the Browns, we all gasped in disbelief. How is it possible for the players from these two teams to be from the same age group? The Rams are slight and short of stature. The Browns are huge hulking preteens.

But size truly does not matter -- even in football.

The Rams found that they could run all over this team. The Browns had to bend down to pull the flags off, very difficult to do when running full speed. By the 4th quarter, the little guys were able to start passing effectively, because the giants were expecting them to continue running. Oh the humiliation of being wrong.

The Rams routed the Browns: 21 to 6. The Rams are now 2 - 0 - 1. The Browns are 2 - 1.

Once again Rick played defensive end and was credited with a sack on the final play of the game. During the first half, he was an offensive lineman. For the second half he was a running back. He ran for 5 yards on one play and caught a shovel pass on another.

Number 8 is still the most unbelievable player. Found out his name is Brian and that his achilles heel is kicking extra points. He can twist and turn and chew up an opponents run defense like no one else I've ever seen.


not again!

Dachshunds and I do NOT get along in the least. When I was a wee toddler, a little dachshund named Duke almost took my eye out. Another ripped my nose open when I bent down to tie my shoe once. Earlier this year another one of those monsters chased me up a tree. Yes, I said up a tree. I no longer take any chances around those nasty creatures.

Skip to this morning.

Toby and I were ambling along on our morning constitutional when a streak of black lightning flashed in front of us. Toby howled and lunged. I had to pull sharply on his leash to keep him in check. When that didn't work, I plopped down to the sidewalk and braced my feet against a convenient mailbox post. Toby was determined to closely inspect that thing that wanted to return the favor. After sniffing each other, the dachshund decided to check me out.

The little demon took exception to my ponytail. He grabbed it and started yanking. I was howling, the damn teckel was growling, Toby was baying. I was batting at the pest, he was yanking for all he was worth, Toby was lunging. I couldn't gain my feet to shake the dachsund off, because my hound was so out of control.

Into the fray leapt a cocker spaniel. Just what I didn't need. He was licking my face. Did he think that would help?

Thankfully someone down the street was having a yard sale. One of the first customers stopped and rescued me. The cocker was returned to his yard and the gate shut. Toby calmed down. The demon's owner came over wanting to know what all the noise was about. My white knight explained for me. I was struggling to decide whether to weep in anger and humiliation or to shriek with laughter at how ridiculous my plight had been.

Howard apologized for his dog's obnoxiousness. Mulder, the brat's name is Mulder, had the audacity to start licking my feet.

What a morning.


dialing the phone

Rick should never be allowed to dial a phone without intense supervision. Honestly. Several days ago he wanted to call his friend Sebastian. Fine. Go ahead. An hour later a very irate woman called wanting to know why I was tormenting her. What?! Seems Rick misdialed Sebastian's number and instead of attempting to dial the correct number, my silly son thought hitting redial was the correct answer. After apologizing profusely to Ms. Deborah, I dialed the number myself.

This brings us to last night. Once again I allowed Rick to dial the phone. He dials, shouts "verdammt" and slams down the phone. The phone rings. Rick answers and then sheepishly hands the phone to me, "The guy on the other end wants to speak to you."

"Ma'am, is everything okay at your location?"

(???What???) "Yes, everything is fine here. Hope everything is fine where you are." (Who is this person?)

"Ma'am, someone just dialed 9-1-1 from your location. Do you need assistance?"

"No, I don't personally. My son needs some help dialing a phone though. Can you teach him that the Research Triangle's area code is 9-1-9, NOT 9-1-1?"

Big guffaws are heard. "Glad you are okay, ma'am. Perhaps you need to wait a few more years before letting your son dial the phone."

"Rick is 12, but thanks for the advice and calling to check on us."

This is where I mention that Rick has dialed the emergency number at least 10 times. When we lived in another town, the cops used to show up and ask if Rick had done it again. I usually gave the officers some sodas and cookies to take with them. Sometimes they'd stop in front of our house to see if I'd been baking and to speculate if Rick would conveniently call 9-1-1 as the cookies were coming out of the oven.


the friday five

1. Would you say that you're good at keeping in touch with people? Absolutely not!

2. Which communication method do you usually prefer/use: e-mail, telephone, snail mail, blog comments, or meeting in person? Why? Mostly email and telephone. Meeting in person is great, but until Scotty can beam me some where, kind of difficult.

3. Do you have an instant messenger program? How many? Why/why not? How often do you use it? I have one IM program. It's used daily. I didn't realize there was such a thing until my Nana told me about it.

4. Do most of your close friends live nearby or far away? They live in a land far far away.

5. Are you an "out of sight, out of mind" person, or do you believe that "distance makes the heart grow fonder"? I'm a love 'em and leave 'em kind of person. Whenever we moved friendships ended. Not sure why I'm that way. Only one in my family that is. My brother has stayed in contact with friends from preschool -- even after almost 30 years, 7 moves and 6 schools later.


race for the cure

Breast cancer is a scary disease for me to contemplate. My great-grandmother died of this just before I was born. I spent 5 years watching my Aunt Mimi battle for her life. Her ability to maintain her sense of humor and zest for everyday life was amazing. She was more concerned about who would watch out for the rest of her family. She had already found acceptance of her own mortality. A great-uncle also died of breast cancer, although he preferred to refer to it as lung cancer. After all men don't have breasts. I have been twice for mammograms: at 30 and 35.

Curing cancer is not truly possible, after all cancer can always reoccur. Fighting cancer and beating it back to allow cancer patients to live a longer fuller life is possible. Organizations such as the Susan Komen Organization help raise money for research. They also provide more information to the public. Breast cancer is not something that shouldn't be talked about.

My cousin Jo has run the Komen 5k Race for the Cure twice. Both times she has run in celebration of the life of her best friend's mother.

Is there someone's life you would like to celebrate?



Wonder who this link is for? Ayuh, I truly do.


wanna see?

This is Soda, my niece or nephew. My brother is convinced that this little tiny person already has bigger ears than he does. He is probably correct in that assumption. Michael had bigger ears at birth than Kirk did at the age of 29.

I am so looking forward to being an aunt.


Karan, you are in BIG trouble!

While reading Karan's blog this afternoon, she mentions the chicken dance song. Not only does she mention it, she provides a link to the music. Bad girl! Being me I must click on that blue bar and turn on my speakers. Sure enough the music blares thru my house. Michael came sprinting away from his trains and pulled up a chair to the desk. He was giggling and bopping in time to the music. Toby ambled over while madly waving his tail. Even Frog crept into the room to listen.

Karan, I wish you could have heard the protests when I had the audacity to turn the music off.


mental health issues

Yesterday there was an interesting article in the newspaper about how reforms need to be made in mental health treatments. Too much of a reliance on medication and too little focus on coping skills and providing support. Doctors were also cited for being too quick to institutionalize. This article was based on a study of publicly funded assistance.

What about those of us with insurance? We also need some assistance here. Hello! My insurance carrier allows for 25 visits annually. If we use a preferred provider we pay $35 each session. Doesn't sound too bad. But what if the preferred providers don't provide the quality of care needed?

With Rick the problem was that none of the psychologists on the PP list had any experience with Aspergers Syndrome. In fact several of them don't believe in this particular syndrome. Another difficulty that kept popping up -- language! Many psychs in our area have very heavy Spanish accents. I'm jealous that these doctors are bilingual, but accents can and do get in the way. We found a wonderful psychologist at the Marino Center. Under his guidance Rick has made tremendous progress.

But this progress has come at a very steep price. Every 2 weeks we fork out $175. Insurance pays $40. Twenty-six sessions per year at a cost of $3550. Monthly psychiatrist visits are $110. These do not get reimbursed because we have already gone over our limit of 25 visits per year. Our cost is $1320. Then there are his meds: $731 after insurance. And we mustn't forget that Rick goes to private school, because the public school system is ill-equiped to deal with him and his issues. Total cost just for Rick: $18,600.

Okay, so maybe this doesn't sound like much to most people, so let's add another $6,000 to Rick's horrific total. I'm bipolar. I also have to pay a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Happy, happy, joy, joy -- NOT!

Each year we pay a tremendous amount of money for psychiatric care. We don't rely simply on meds to get us thru life. We have been to therapy to develop our coping skills. Yes, we can write some of this off on taxes, but the impact of the cost during the year is huge, overwhelming at times and a constant burden dragging us down. Does this help my mental state? No.


oh happy day

Toby actually ate something. Something that didn't have blueberries in it. Or cantaloup. We discovered he loves this orange melon when Michael dropped a piece on the floor. He actually ate that Iams dogfood. We celebrated by slapping each other on the back.

My brother and sister-in-law had the 17-week sonogram. They emailed me the sonogram. Yup, there's a baby in Gina's belly. Soda doesn't want anyone to know if we should say girl or boy. Those little legs were crossed and pulled up. What a spoilsport! But it's so great to be able to see the little face. I'm convinced Soda is going to have big brown eyes like Gina's. Will be weird to see a baby on my side of the family without bright blue eyes. Then again, Rick and Kari have hazel eyes: blue and green swirled around each other.

Nana went for her daily eye appointment. Her specialist believes that in another 5 weeks he will be able to attach the lens to Nana's eye. She will then regain her vision. She is just a tad bit excited about that thought.

Okay, it's doing it again! Current posts are ending up on the archive page instead of where they belong. Have a bet with myself that as soon as I hit "post & publish" everything ends up in the right spot. Let's see if I'm correct.

Someone please explain to me how Toby can function so well after not eating for a week. We've tried to entice him with various foods, even doggie "gourmet" delights. No go. He sniffs each offering then turned his back on them. At least Frog appreciates all this dog food, so the money spent won't be wasted.

I know that Toby will eat when he's hungry, but isn't seven days a bit ridiculous? He disdains dog treats too. The only food that has caught his interest is blueberry muffins. He adores blueberry muffins. He will run and attack to get one. We have resorted to eating them in the laundry room or outside, just so we don't end up on our backsides with doggy slobber running down our face.

Dogs cannot survive on muffins alone!

Or can they ...


am I awake yet?

Perhaps it was just a strange dream that Rick was complaining about the way he made his bed. He was bothered so much by the state of his sheets that he had to go and strip the bed and put on fresh sheets. This was capped off by him putting the dirty sheets in the washing machine and washing them.

I must still be asleep.

But my feet are wet. Hmmm. A vague memory of taking Toby for a trot around the block is poking me. How could I take the dog for a half mile walk and not remember it? A gorgeous pale pink sunrise teases my slow thought processes.

I must be awake. I've been yawning wide enough to dislocate my jaw.


the most hated question

Most people complain about their children or others who always ask why. This doesn't bother me. The journey to discover why can be quite fun. I actually had one of my supervisors call me on my day off to ask "Why does a brown cow that eats green gas produce white milk?" They refused to accept my answer, but they had tons of fun speculating before I burst their bubble.

"Can you ..." is another question that irritates many people. This one bugs the crap out of me. I already have too much on my plate and someone wants to add more to it?!? I do not think so.

But there exists another question out there -- hated by many. Richard has asked this question 5 times in the past 20 minutes. None of those times has he liked my answer. Each time he asks, I get a little more ticked off. Each time he responds to my curt response with "Sheesh, I was just wondering."

Doesn't he remember that today is Monday? We go out to eat on Monday, and it is his turn to choose where we go. He should be asking himself "What's for dinner?"



Okay, I'm taking a course on organization. My assignment this week is to answer 5 questions. Ba ha ha ha!

1. What's working? Hiding stuff in the walk-in closet.

2. What's not working? The need to hide stuff in the walk-in closet.

3. What items are the most essential to you? My clothes -- which are in the walk-in closet, my cooking stuff -- which is in the kitchen, my contacts - which are in my eyes. Hey, my cooking stuff is organized. Well, until Robert messes with it.

4. Why do you want to get organized? Umm, continued embarassment when people come over isn't fun. Forgetting appointments is bad!

5. What's causing the problem? ME. Duh!


Dolphins 21, Colts 13

The Dolphins totally dominated the Colts during the first half. The second half was a different story. Either they became too cocky or the Colts found themselves. Fortunately the Fins managed to hold it together to the last second.

Ricky Williams showed that he is a complete running back. Not only can he find holes in the defensive line, he can also block for others and catch the ball. He is the first Dolphin since 1994 to have 2 back-to-back 100 yard plus rushing games. Bernie Parmalee was the last to do so.

Edgerrin James had an outstanding game. If the Colts had been serious about winning they would have continued getting the ball to James and letting him shred the Fins running defense. Then again perhaps they were trying to make sure that Edge didn't overdo it and risk another season-ending injury (last year he tore his ACL). After some hard hits, Edge would look at his knee, perhaps to reassure himself that it too had survived the crash.

Patrick Surtain had to leave the game with a sprained knee. Oh my poor cornerbacks.

The high point of the game came after Robert and I yelled something like, "What the hell were you thinking?" at the offense. Michael popped out with "Get your head out of your ass!" I dissolved into silent laughter. Rick and Kari were rolling on the floor in hysterics. Robert had to give Michael the lecture on acceptable words and unacceptable words. Michael listened very politely, then dropped his head into his hands and mumbled, "Dammit."

Next week: the J - E - T - S! Should be an extremely rowdy game. I'm constantly amazed at how many Jets fans can be found here in So. Florida.



Rick's team, aka the Rams, won their opening game by defeating the Packers -- six to zip. Obviously this was a battle of defenses.

Rick has spent the past few weeks practicing as a defensive end, but we were still shocked. Typically defensive ends are tall, fast and strong. He is on the short side, wiry and of average speed. He forced the Packers' QB to throw early twice. Why an almost 6 foot tall youth would be intimidated by another kid that isn't 5 feet tall yet is beyond me. Who cares though! Rick even sacked him in the fourth quarter. Rick can't wait until his next practice. His goal is to be able to play defensive back by the end of the 16-game season. More power to him.

There was a red-headed kid on Rick's team that is unbelievably awesome. The boy can do everything but kick. Don't ever rely on him to put the ball between the uprights. Heck, don't even ask him to get it halfway there from the 10 yd. line. If you need a passer, receiver, cornerback or running back -- this kid is your man.

Messiah, one of Rick's friends, also plays football. His team ran all over their opposition. Thirty-four to nothing is quite a shellacking. Messiah plays defense only. Another buddy of theirs - Wayne - plays offense. They are quite modest about their abilities. Messiah's brother brags on the both of them. I hope that one Saturday their games aren't at the same time. I'd really love to go to a game with the Millers.



Looks like Duke has the dishonor of being the pickle boat again this week. The Blue Devils lost to Northwestern. Their losing streak is now 2.

Davidson pulled out a win over Jacksonville. Go Wildcats!!! My dad the eternal optimist was extremely pessimistic about Davidson's chances, but he attended the game anyway. Unfortunately for Jacksonville, their quarterback was injured during the game. He was placed on a backboard and rushed to the hospital. While the EMTs were assessing him on the field, the Cats knelt on their sideline and remained silent. The Jacksonville players milled around, talking to each other, until they saw what the Davidson team was doing. They then followed suit. Thankfully the injured player had a concussion instead of a broken neck or back. And why in the hell can't Coach Sargent announce the games along with Coach Fagg? He did such an awesome job last year. Someone else can man the damn ticket booth on game days.

And the 'Hoos didn't lose this week! Okay, so they didn't play, but they didn't lose.

Maryland was humiliated by FSU. I'm truly devastated by this. The only upside to this is that FSU will have a higher ranking when they meet UM later in the season. Always good for the Hurricanes to have another top-ranked team to humiliate.

Speaking of the 'Canes, they pulled out a 44 to 21 win over the Temple Owls (always makes me think of Athena). If the second team hadn't been in for at least half the game, I'd be seriously concerned about how close the game was. McGahee had an outstanding game. Robert's jaw drew sparks off the road when he heard the radio announcer say that this kid was only a sophomore. He scored 4 times. FOUR!

Now for some NFL action today, Robert's softball game tomorrow and Monday Night Football too. I'm in heaven. Rick and I'll be outside in the morning tossing the pigskin around. I'm such a nut.


eyes rolling

We're still shaking our heads down here over our continued voting incompetence. After ballots were tabulated, Janet Reno lost to Bill McBride by just over 8,100 votes. Because of all the problems at various precincts, Reno asked the Florida Elections Board for a recount. Her request was denied. I have a problem with this. There were more than a few precincts that showed only ONE vote or NO votes had been placed there. In Broward County alone, 41 precincts closed their doors to voters before the 9pm deadline. Over 6,300 of these voting machines weren't even shut down, which means the votes were not included in the count.

This does not bode well for the November elections.


let the games begin

Rick's first flag football game is at noon today. The temperature is supposed to be in the 90s with clear skies. Think it will be hot enough? I believe that since the fields have lights, the games should be held at night. Anything to avoid the nasty September heat.

Toby and I had a big argument on the sidewalk. I wanted to walk on the Ridge. Toby wanted to walk around the block. Seventy-two pounds can be immovable at times. Toby won when it came to the direction we went. I got even by making him walk the entire 3/4 mile around. He pretty much fell in the front door. He's sprawled out in the entry way as I type.

Duke plays Northwestern today. Which team will be the pickle boat today? Davidson hosts Jacksonville. Virginia has a by week -- wow! an extra week to revel in their upset of the other Carolina. Miami meets Temple. The game of the week -- for me -- will be the Maryland-FSU contest. I hope the Terrapins run all over the Seminoles.



Do you ever have a craving for a specific food? Of course you do! Right now I want a big bowl of New England clam chowder (yesterday was lobster bisque). I can't head to my favorite place in Maine so will have to content myself with Legal Seafood over at Sawgrass Mills Mall. The atmostphere just isn't the same. How can it be with the palm trees outside the window and all the Spanish conversations burbling around me?

This weekend I'll most likely want to be dishing up North Carolina bbq and cole slaw. Lexington Barbeque is just over 800 miles away. Guess that will be totally out of the question too. Mom will call and tell me all about her Saturday supper there though. The brat. She'll also talk about the egg salad sandwich that she eats at the Soda Shop on Main Street in Davidson.

We're having spaghetti tonight. I'm contemplating whether or not to bother making bread. The humidity is so high that my bread will probably end up heavy.

Argh! The "joys" of living in zone 10.


friday five

1. What was/is your favorite subject in school? Why?
In high school I looked forward to my biology class with Mrs. Fowler. Dissecting those worms, frogs, suckling pigs and sharks was fun. She also took us on hikes. Very hands on.

In college I loved going to any literature class taught by Professor Elizabeth Mills. She always assigned books that weren't quite the norm.

2. Who was your favorite teacher? Why?
Mrs. Fowler was the world's best biology teacher. She made class interesting and funny. She didn't lecture from her desk, instead she walked around the room and discussed various topics with us. She wanted us to learn by discovery not by making detailed notes of lectures. Mrs. Fowler was in her mid 70s when she taught me. Not only was she a biology teacher, she also taught aerobics and was an ice cream taste tester at Monticello Dairy. She died in 1989.

3. What is your favorite memory of school?
Yikes! Which of the thirteen schools? Hmmm. I'll go with chemistry lab in college with Professor Gable. We did things like make nylon, bake cookies, make dye and then actually dye articles of our clothing. He was tons of fun.

4. What was your favorite recess game?
Red Rover and Smear the Queer. I also liked hanging upside down on the monkey bars.

5. What did you hate most about school?
Public speaking of any kind. shudder In Maine we were required to give a five to ten minute speech every year. Blech. In college I hated having to participate in all those discussion groups. My French professor forced me to speak up by having me teach class several times. Professor Yoder will never be forgiven for that one!



Okay, this is too funny. Most people stumble upon my blog thru Sue's or Brian's blogs. Many thanks, guys. It seems that last week my blog started showing up in google and yahoo! searches.

What words or phrases brought up my blog? That's what is so bizarre. Take a looksee at these search topics:
"good places to have birthday parties in Miami", "history of Seminole indians", "miami dolphins" ... and then my personal favorite -- "How do I eliminate pee stains from my carpet?"

Still laughing about that one.



Toby! (Yes, we actually are changing his name).

He had a great first night in our house. Toby has marked his territory, chased Frog thru the house, sniffed at Binky who promptly smacked his nose and slept in his bed.


must be something wrong with me

Last year on the 11th of September I needed to iron some freshly laundered clothes. I turned on the tv to occupy my mind while doing such a mundane, fairly useless task. I saw a plane crash into the WTC and wondered what the movie was about. Then Rick Sanchez's face filled the screen and his voice rumbled in my ears. He was shocked, terrified and horrified. Since everytime I'd ever talked to him he was Mr. Calm, Cool and Smug, I knew that this was not a movie.

I rushed into the family room and told Robert to turn on the TV. As an air traffic controller he was going to have the unpleasant task of dealing with delays, rerouting and irate pilots. I then tried to call my aunt Cindy who is a pilot. Her phone was busy, so I jumped online to tell her. She hadn't heard anything. My dad hadn't heard anything either -- he was napping. I checked a board that I'm a member of -- nothing there. Usually Kelli keeps everyone up-to-date on events like this. I posted. Sue emailed me to see if there was any additional information I could forward to her over in the Netherlands.

Over the next few weeks, flags flew everywhere; patriotic songs were being written, recorded and aired; seemingly our country had come together.

But beneath this surface of unity boiled anger, frustration and hate. Racism was in vogue. Anyone who didn't look like everyone else was looked at with distrust. Various religions were compelled to offer evidence that they weren't muslim. Anyone who looked as if they could possibly be from the Middle East was lumped in with the terrorists. People were threatening the mosques here, but it was the synagogues receiving police protection.

I so wish that I had seen some great change. Instead sorrow and dismay surround the events of 9/11 and our military action in Afghanistan and our continued presence there. We didn't learn what it is to truly come together as a nation with one heart, one purpose, one mind. The media has turned the anniversary of the WTC attack into a way to gain ratings. They aren't presenting much of anything new. They are rehashing the day.

We have spent a year focusing on our pain at the loss of innocent lives, the loss of our belief that we are impervious to terrorist acts, our feeling of complete safety has vanished. Have we taken the time to learn more about the Middle East, the culture, the people, the language? Can we look at their daily lives without comparing theirs to ours? Are we any closer to understanding how they perceive us and why?

I grieve for the lives lost here in the US and there in Afghanistan. I want my children to understand that the actions, thoughts and beliefs of a few do not necessarily represent the majority. I want them to come to their own conclusions and not be swept away by the media attention or the intense anger of others.

For the lives lost we lit candles this morning and kept them burning throughout the day. We rejoiced for the lives that were spared. We spent time bonding as a family.



Once again Florida has horribly embarassed itself when it comes to voting. So much for reform and those wonderful new voting machines with their fancy touchscreen technology.

Robert had the joy of having to choose between Reno, McBride and Jones. Since I could find nothing to help me decide on the various people running for judge on the Republican ticket, I had to regretfully abstain from voting. I'm not a big fan of voting blindly.

Robert was NOT impressed with the voting machines. The screens are 20 inches, but everything is crammed into a small area of the screen. The boxes you are supposed to press when choosing your candidate aren't necessarily in the correct places. Hmmm. So who did you actually vote for -- the candidate you want or the opponent? This was just the start of the problems.

In one primarily minority precinct in Miami-Dade County, the polls did not open until 11:45am -- almost 5 hours late. Hundreds of voters left in disgust. Other polling places failed to put out the signs saying "hey, vote here!" People drove around unable to find where to vote. Poll workers failed to show up. The lists of registered voters didn't make it to many precincts before the polls were to officially open. Those new-fangled voting machines didn't function properly in some cases.

Bush ordered the polls to stay open several hours later to allow voters to be able to cast their vote. Even this failed in several locations. The workers actually had the audacity to close the polls at 7. Cops were called in to one precinct to force the poll workers to keep the booths open.

My personal pet peeve with this whole primary thing is a minor one. We received new voter id cards. Wonderful considering the dog-eared condition of my old card and the fact we have moved. The bizarre thing is that the cards are laminated and they expect us to sign them. I even tried signing it with a Sharpie and waiting an hour for it to dry. Didn't work. My signature wiped right off the card.

Perhaps I'll simply have to use the absentee ballot in November.


our family is expanding rapidly

We are so excited! Robert just received a phone call from Nellie to say that we have leaped all adoption hurdles with flying colors. Tomorrow morning we will pick up our family's newest addition -- a 6 1/2 year old named Bobby.

Bobby is a tri-colored basset who gives kisses , drools everywhere, ambles along, adores playing with kids and is just the easiest going dog. I'm not expecting this to be an easy transition. We are going to have to adapt to him and he'll have to adapt to us, but we will get along swimmingly. I feel it in my bones.

Miss Binky will have to establish that she is the reigning pet in this household. She still occasionally has to slap Frog around to prove she is the dominant cat. If she can handle a feisty teenager, then a 75 pound placid dog shouldn't be a huge problem.

On the reptile front, Rick now has 3 turtles. He found a hatchling yesterday on the side of the road -- far from any water. Since we had been flooded for months, we think turtles from a nearby lake came our way and laid a few eggs in the neighborhood. We discovered that our newest turtle is Florida softshell and will grow to be 20 inches. Rick will be releasing the turtle once he gets bigger. Skittles and Grimm actually have shared their food with him. This is a major step for Skittles. If you have a name suggestion for our hatchling, please shout it out!


toddler speak

Rick was speaking in complete sentences by the time he was one. He had the vocabulary of a 6 yr old by the age of two. Kari never even babbled -- no mama, dada, baba -- nothing. When she was just shy of two, she began speaking in full sentences: "Where is my brother? Where is Rick?"

Michael falls somewhere in between. He babbled, he said his first word around 10 months, his first sentence around one (nowhere near as complex as Rick's had been). Michael's speech though is not as clear as his older brother's and sister's.

Sounds Like ---------->Actual word
tardy palaces--------->trading spaces

You get the picture. Michael's "toddler speak" has given us many hysterical misunderstandings. We repeat the words correctly so he can hear how they should sound. Does he care? Absolutely not. He delights in further mangling the words and laughs gleefully in our faces.

Foul language is clear as a bell. Explain that!


aging eyes

My father is 62 years old. Most people can't believe how old he is when they first meet him. He loves the fact that many people place his age as 10 years younger. Now if you look closely at him, you notice that he has a good-sized cataract in one eye. After you talk to him for awhile you realize that he is pretty much deaf in one ear.

Three years ago Dad had an appointment with an experienced opthomologist who informed him that he needed to have the cataract removed as soon as possible, because his eyesight was being impaired. Dr. M. handed Dad all the paperwork and consent forms. Dad went home and stuck them in a drawer. He is terrified of doctors.

Dad and my grandmother Nana made a deal that when Nana needed cataract surgery his would be scheduled for the following week. The entire family was shocked by this. Mom was tempted to have the contract in writing and force him to sign it with his blood.

Nana's surgery was scheduled for this morning. She went in happy as a clam, thinking about how her sight would improve and Dad would be having his cataract removed next week. She was doing a good deed.

Dad cancelled his surgery at 4 pm this afternoon. Nana had a problem with hemmoraghing during surgery. Her eye became too rigid to attach the lens. She is hotter than a frog in the desert. I'm amazed that her eye doctor didn't croak on the spot when he broke the news to her. She jumped all over his case and then some. Nana is not the type to suffer in silence.

Dr. M is hopeful that he'll be able to attach the lens sometime in the next two months. Until then Nana will be a pirate. Good thing she favors black.


the color red

Red is not my favorite color, but it does rank up there. I look great in clothes that are deep red. Looks fabulous against my perpetually winter-white complexion and sets off my dark brown hair (or grey hair -- depending on whether hair dye is tops on my list for things to do for myself). A deep red dining room with a white coffered ceiling highlighted with moulding is a dream of mine.

I, however, do not look good when I am red. Yes, despite knowing better, I neglected to take my sunscreen with me yesterday to the game. All the sweating we were doing caused the sunscreen we applied before leaving home to drip off our bodies. So much for being sweatproof. I'll never buy the sport sunscreen again.

My face is bright red. Especially my nose. My kids are calling me Rudolph. My poor lips are burned. My arms are fried. I won't forget which side my hair is supposed to be parted on.

If anyone needs a space heater today or tomorrow, I'm available. We had to turn the a/c way down because of the heat buildup from my skin.



da game

Hazy, hot, humid. Clouds that never quite blocked the sun. Loud fans who managed to be courteous to the Lions' fans. Beer flowing. A gorgeous South Florida football day that was only marred by the baseball diamond on the field (such sacrilege!).

The usual crew was in attendance. The Encroacher who sits to our right and slowly invades our space. Bubba, a drunk Santa Claus look-a-like, who actually likes Fiedler. Bubba's son, Asshole, who has to be one of the funniest people around. Homer, Bubba's coworker, who inspects all the women that are in view and gives all of them 2 thumbs up. Hahvahd sits across the aisle from me and makes pissy comments that make me want to crack up, but he's so serious that I have to keep a straight face. The only 2 people missing are the dicklick and his wife who sat directly behind me last year. I definitely do not miss him in the least. He was a mean drunk who verbally abused his wife during all the games. After he hit her and pulled my hair during the 5th regular season home game last year, he was escorted out by the police and has never returned.

Ricky Williams and Norv Turner were the big topics of conversation before and during the game. Every one poo-pooed my opinion that Robert Edwards was another to watch. When he went in the game, half our section turned around to inform me that #47 was in the game. May I just say that Edwards had an incredible 10 yd run where he shed hulking defenders? that he caught the ball and ran with it? that he scored 2 TDs? Okay so Williams had 111 yds of offense with 20 carries (to Edwards 58 yds) and also had 2 TDs, so Williams managed to accumulate more running yards in the first game than previous Dolphin runningbacks racked up in the first THREE games, Edwards is my man on the offense.

Sam Madison sprained his ankle during a tackle where he hit the ground at a weird angle. I'm so sad. Until he returns I'll have to content myself with Brock Marion.

Rick's hero, Ed Perry, nailed the punt returner for the Lions. After I explained my overly enthusiastic response to Bubba, Asshole and Homer, Ed Perry amassed quite a few fans. Every time special teams hit the gridiron, we were screaming encouragement to #89. LOL.

Ooh, something else happened during the game that was amazing -- Fiedler was actually cheered. Not by me. I refuse to do that. Who cares if he's the second most effective QB in the NFL with only Kurt Warner in front of him? I just don't like him. Fiedler's head is going to swell up if the crowd keeps cheering him. Then again, he was booed so often last year that perhaps he doesn't yet realize he was the one being cheered.

Next week: the Indianapolis Colts. Promise to not tell anyone, but Edgerrin James is another favorite of mine. I want the Dolphins to kick the Colts collective butt, but I will secretly be pulling for James to have a great game.


in shock

Virginia pulled off a win over South Carolina -- 34 to 21. How in the world did South Carolina get ranked 19th (in one poll, 22nd in another)? Wanna bet they are no longer in the top 25 after last night's humiliation? Losing by 2 touchdowns is a humiliation if you consider how young the Cavaliers are.

Tried calling my brother on his cellphone last night so we could celebrate while using up his precious minutes. He didn't answer. He was probably one of the people celebrating on the field. He is not exactly what you would call a restrained fan.

Leaving for the Dolphin game in 3 hours. Oh so excited. Too hot to wear my Madison jersey. *sigh



Once upon a time, we found a tiny kitten hiding under our sedum and behind our garden frog. He could barely walk and his little ribs were visible. After a few days, he trusted us enough to let us pick him up and bring him inside. Michael christened him Frog -- much to everyone's amusement. We found out from the vet that the reason he was having difficulty walking was that his knee had been smashed to smithereens at least a few weeks before we found him.

Over the past year Frog has grown by leaps and bounds. He will never grow into his tail or his ears, but he's a very affectionate adorable cat. He doesn't have a knee, but somehow he manages to climb trees and jump up onto counters. Check out Frog's latest act of idiocy.

He was 8 feet off the ground and chasing after a lizard. He tried to jump onto a window ledge that is a foot above the door. He missed, crashing to the cement patio. He limped for 24 hours.

Frog is an absolute idiot, but we love him. A day doesn't go by that he doesn't "hug" one of us and make us smile.


in a quote mood

You must forgive me, but it's a game day. The Dolphins are playing the Lions, and I get to go to the game! So what do quotes have to do with the fact that there's a football game? Have you ever had the "pleasure" of hearing a pregame motivational speech? Coaches can come up with more cliches.

These are quotes that I think are appropriate for the Dolphins going into the regular season.

"It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up." ~Vince Lombardi

This is for the offensive line. These poor guys get the worst of it. The Dolphins have had enough injuries here, so if someone goes down I sincerely hope that he gets right back up. Okay, that's taking the quote a bit literally. The Lions sucked last year. The Dolphins aren't the most fantastic team, but I'm concerned that they may play this game down in their heads and assume that they'll win with ease. If they get behind early, I hope they get their heads back on straight and go for the win.

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination." ~Tommy Lasorda

The Dolphins are notorious for having a piss-poor running game. Wannstadt has hopefully made a turning point with the signing of Robert Edwards and Ricky Williams. Three years ago Edwards almost died from a knee injury. He's gone thru arduous rehabilitation and is finally back in the NFL. Pbbbtht to his naysayers!!!

"Have a vision. Be demanding." ~Colin Powell

Does this truly need explanation?

"Without a struggle, there can be no progress." ~Frederick Douglass

Without Marino the Dolphins have been struggling to gain a new sense of themselves. No longer are they a team with a great quarterback and fantastic receivers. Nope, they have to work around Fiedler. Thankfully they have added 2 quality runningbacks to the squad and resigned receivers who can make even average or poor quarterbacks look decent. They also have a new offensive coach who has brought new life to the Fins offensive game. The stats should show continuing improvement over the course of the season.




We love to make things in this household.

Robert builds r/c planes from scratch. Currently he is working on a GeeBee. He might finish it sometime in the next year. After that he's going to build me a Curtiss Jenny.

Rick paints. Acrylics and oils are his favorite mediums. He's also learning to use tools. Uh oh. He will be building a simple bench for the rose bed Kari and I are putting in this dry season.

Kari is learning to sew. I'm fairly nervous about letting her get near anything with points. But hey, how much damage can she do with a needle? Please don't answer that!!! She enjoys working with clay. She churns out cats and hearts as fast as possible.

Michael paints and colors. He's only 2, but he's already getting the hang of painting. He's made placemats to give people for Christmas.

I have an active interest in learning as much as I can. I've learned to knit, weave, embroider, crochet (abysmally), tat (slowly), paint walls, put together wooden models of biplanes and sew. I painted a big mosaic for our foyer, an I-don't-know-what for the living room and 2 versions of the tree of life (hindu) for Kari's room.

We come by this quite naturally. My grandfather was one of those people who could take sweet gum balls (yes, those nasty prickly things that fall off the sweet gum trees) and turn them into tacky works of art. Granny crocheted beautiful items. I have doilies that she made during the course of her 93 years. My aunt Allie quilted. During the Fall, one of her quilts is displayed in our foyer. Hanging above my piano are 3 watercolors done by my aunt Mimi during her visit to the Netherlands in 1929. We even have a nationally recognized artist in the family.

After today's game, Kari and I have to finish stuffing the pillows for her reading corner.


football scores

Okay so I follow ACC football and Davidson football. Sheesh, someone has to do it.

Duke lost to Louisille: 3 to 33
Duke finally broke their losing streak last week after two miserable seasons. Of course I don't feel sorry for ECU, who was also beaten by Wake Forest today. But has Duke started yet another losing streak?

UVA vs. South Carolina
The Wahoos don't have a chance. They have quite a few true freshman that are starting. This season is simply a learning year. BTW South Carolina is the OTHER Carolina. Update: 3rd quarter and UVA is hangin' in there.

Davidson lost to VMI: 16 to 41.
Davidson has just recently moved completely up to Division 1-AA after years of playing Division III teams. Davidson does NOT give football scholarships either.

Miami humiliated Florida: 41 to 16
Judging by the bitching and moaning that emanated from the master bedroom, UM did not live up to Robert's expectations. He kept ordering Dorsey to get his head out of his ass. Typical response from a former receiver.


the races

When doing some genealogical research in NC over the summer, I came across something interesting in a book (like a precursor to the phonebook) from 1898. Just before the dawn of the 20th century, the same amount was spent on each child's education. Race and gender did not play any role in the distribution of funds. Black and white male teachers received $30/monthly. Female teachers received $25/monthly.

This past year Florida's governor, Jeb Bush, got rid of affirmative action with a new plan -- One Florida. People would be given contracts based on bids. Prospective students would be accepted at colleges based on their achievements and abilities. What a concept. Protests were heard all over the state.

During my daily perusal of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, I came across a column written by Thomas Sowell.

'Friends' of blacks

Who was it who said, "If the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall"?

Ronald Reagan? Newt Gingrich? Charles Murray?

Not even close. It was Frederick Douglass!

This was part of a speech in which Douglass also said: "Everybody has asked the question, 'What shall we do with the Negro?' I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!"

Frederick Douglass had achieved a deeper understanding in the 19th century than any of the black "leaders" of today. Those whites who feel a need to do something with blacks and for blacks have been some of the most dangerous "friends" of blacks.

At what point did things change? What went wrong? Who assumed that this section of the American people needed additional help? And why?

As a student who attended schools in the South, Midwest and New England, I was able to view the differences in how different groups were treated within the school system: by the system itself and by the other students.

Third grade was a pivotal point in my life. It was then I discovered that there was a difference between myself and my friend Claudine. Her parents refused to let her come over to my house, because I was white. I cried for days and still resent being denied Claudine's friendship. In school we were all treated equally. Color didn't matter. Learning as much as we could did.

In Indiana and Maine, there were no blacks residing in the towns we lived in. There was a rumor than an old black man was living somewhere in Decatur County, but no one could say they had ever seen him. In Maine, I was teased and taunted by other students for being Southern. Because of where I was born, they assumed that I owned slaves, that I hated blacks, that I was a racist. What still amazes me is how the principal reacted. He supported all their conclusions. He told me to face up to the facts. That all the above was true simply because I was born in the South.

From Maine we went back to Virginia to Charlottesville, home of Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia. High school there was vastly different than elementary school in the southwestern part of the state. Most of the blacks were in lower level classes. I'm not quite sure why. Some of the most intelligent people in my school were black, yet there they were in the remedial classes. There was not a single black student in the top 20 of my graduating class.

In college, the blacks had their own eating house. They segregated themselves from the other students on campus. One of these students informed me that the Black American culture was so different from the White American culture that ne'er the twain would meet. He lectured me on the differences in the cultures and how they were expected to act white in order to get an education and to gain employment. My personal opinion was, and still is, HOGWASH. I told him so.

Back to Mr. Sowell's thoughts.

My own experience as a teacher was that black students would meet higher standards if you refused to lower the standards for them. This was not the royal road to popularity, either with the students themselves or with the "friends" of blacks on the faculty and in the administration. But, when the dust finally settled, the students met the standards.

We have gotten so used to abysmal performances from black students, beginning in failing ghetto schools, that it is hard for some to believe that black students once did a lot better than they do today, at least in places and times with good schools. As far back as the First World War, black soldiers from New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio scored higher on mental tests that white soldiers from Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi.

During the 1940s, black students in Harlem schools had test scores very similar to those of white working class students on the lower east side of New York. Sometimes the Harlem scores were a little higher or a little lower, but they were never miles behind, the way they are today in many ghetto schools.

If blacks could do better back when their opportunities were worse, why can't today's ghetto students do better? Perhaps blacks have too many "friends" today.

I sincerely hope that my three children recognize that color doesn't make the person. If color is an issue with them, I haven't done my job as a parent and a member of the world community.

Several years ago Kari did have a friend tell her that Kari couldn't go to her birthday party because she was white. Kari was totally confused. She informed the other girl, "I'm not white. I'm an American."


the NC primaries

If you are a Republican living in NC, please don't forget to hit the voting booths on Tuesday, September 10th.

Many voters do not pay much attention to races for judge, but there is an interesting one in the Tar Heel state. Wake County District Court Judge Ann Marie Calabria is running for incumbent Judge Wanda Bryant's (dem) seat on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Her opponent in the Republican primary is Clemmons attorney Nate Pendley. He is notorious for stirring things up. Even the NCGOP is not happy with him.

Wherever you live in the US, please do not neglect to vote. Look at the candidates and what they stand for, make an informed decision and vote!


my friday five

I was actually pondering these very questions last night!

1. What is your biggest pet peeve? Failure to actually hear what someone has said or accurately read what has been written.
Why? incorrection conclusions or assumptions.

2. What irritating habits do you have? too many to list

3. Have you tried to change the irritating habits or just let them be? If the habit is irritating those around me, I definitely try to stop.

4. What grosses you out more than anything else? Finding a toad in my shoe.
Why? They inevitably poop, and toad poop between the toes first thing in the morning is disgusting.

5. What one thing can you never see yourself doing that other people do? Turning on my hazards and slamming the brakes as soon as one raindrop hits my windshield.



We live in a metropolitan area in South Florida. You would expect that the wildest animal around is that gecko that flees when you switch on the outside lights. You'd be wrong!

Just this morning we spotted a fox in our backyard. He and Frog were having a staring contest. Frog is still up in the tree. The fox is long gone.

As we were heading towards Kari's school, an armadillo scurried across the road in front of us. Michael started shouting, "Look at the dinosaur! Mommy, did you see the dinosaur?" Rick and Kari proceeded to argue over who has seen the most armadillos.

An opossum was ambling across our front yard when Michael and I returned. He became very still when we climbed out of the car and didn't move until we were safely in the front door. Michael wanted to know why the opossum had such an ugly tail.

Egrets, parrots, owls, eagles, hawks, herons and many other birds can be seen from our yard on a daily basis. It's quite exciting.

I still miss watching deer cross our backyard (VA) or moose amble thru the woods (ME). I wish my children had a Lefty and Terry (Canada geese) to feed cracked corn to every morning. Heck, we don't even see squirrels around here. Never thought I'd miss those critters.



Why are today's posts showing up under archives, not current? I'm confused. Did I break something?



I do not have a following for my blog. That's not the reason I write. For some reason, many many people are visiting my site today. Wonder why?

Perhaps it was something that was mentioned yesterday. Perhaps there is a woman out there who has become indignant over something that doesn't involve her. Perhaps she has emailed links to my blog and another to those in her particular clique. Hope they have fun wandering thru my thoughts.

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." ~Oscar Wilde

Thanks for visiting.



What is it with kids and stickers? Give Michael a few stickers and he goes hog wild.

Why does Kari believe that if she piles her mess in the corners of her room and places a floor pillow in front of it, I'll commend her for having done such a good job picking up?

Why does Frog have to push the newspaper off the table every morning?

How in the world do meteorologists come up with some of their predictions? They say we are going to have 8 inches of rain today. So far -- blue skies.

update:Rain tumbled from the clouds for several hours, but only about 2 inches. Still waiting for the other 6 to present themselves.


admitting failure/where are my keys

Here I sit, a SAHM with 3 children -- 2 currently in school for 6 hours a day, and I can't get a darn thing done. Blaming it on the computer is ridiculous. Most of the time I'm connected to the internet but am not glued to the screen. I bounce around the house and the yard with Michael. We play trains and read books and color. Mostly we play trains.

Organization is so not my strong suit. My mind becomes interested in something else and off my body goes to investigate whatever happens to have caught my attention. Even my Franklin planner cannot save me.

Now you know the true reason behind once a month cooking. Since I have no concept of time, my stomach is rumbling before I recognize that once again my failure to plan means breakfast for supper. Laundry piles up higher than the Alps. Robert informed me yesterday that snow was accumulating at the tops and that boded well for skiing season. Toys and books are everywhere.

I, who once taught the time management, am the most disorganized person that I know. I admit it without shame.

But I have a game plan. Starting next week I'll be taking a time management class. My books and class supplies have been purchased and are sitting in my backpack. Now to remember what time the class starts!

And if you find my keys -- the ones with an Eeyore dangling from the Davidson College seal -- please overnight them to me.


sorrowful passing

This morning a friend's grandmother passed on. Her body died. Her spirit lives on in everyone whose life she touched -- no matter how briefly. Even in me.

Behold me in Spirit's sacred space,
Take me gently into the dawn,
Where my eternal sleep
becomes your added light,
uniting the radiance of the sun,
shedding the indigo of my spirit's flight.

I have returned to my heavenly world,
with vivid images imprinting my heart,
Of our loving dance, of the life we shared.

And the dream we both share,
That you may grasp the maps of
your newborn paths,
Allow my life to spark your life to soar,
And dance your dreams.

I'm not sure who wrote this poem. I found it tucked in a book.



Let me start by saying that I am a political idiot. Left, right, democrat, republican -- woosh right over my head, but the gubernatorial race is starting to heat up here. Bad mouthing between Republicans and Democrats has begun. So between that and my daily dose of Jack Cluth, I have actually begun to think more about this topic that confuses and confounds me.

My father has interviewed presidents, governors, mayors, senators, representatives. My mother attends her local Republican party meetings. My brother was a political science major and stays on top of all his state politics. His mother-in-law is currently running for office. One of my college buddies is very active politically. One hundred and sixty odd years ago one of my collateral ancesters received one electoral vote for president. (He also served as a senator from NC.)

My family is very conservative. They are all registered Republicans. I'm a registered Republican. Robert is a registered Democrat. (The voter registration lady thought that was hysterical.) We don't let party affiliation determine how we vote. I'm often shocked by how many vote strictly along party lines.

My family and friends are always telling me I'm extremely liberal and they don't understand how that happened. I'm trying to figure out what a liberal is.

I believe that all people are created equal -- heritage,language, race, religion, education, money, gender, sexual orientation -- who cares. We are all people. Everyone deserves a chance to become all that they could be. I'm not too fond of welfare other than as a short-term "while you get on your feet" aid. Affirmative action can go by the wayside too. People should be judged by their abilities not their race. Who wants to always wonder "did I get the job because of my talent or my skin tone"?

I believe that we need to take care of our environment and to stop stripping the earth of all her gifts. Her resources are not infinite. We need to find alternate sources of fuel. We need to stop thinking that we are the most important beings on this planet. We don't know that the rare lizard isn't important to the world as a whole. Please don't get me started on the rain forest, old growth forests or the water situation.

I do not like the concept of war and shudder at the thought of it, but I do believe that we should always be prepared. If necessary I'd take up arms and fight for my country. I would like, however, to be able to repeat my g-g-grandfather's words, "I killed as many people as killed me."

I would love to see educational reform, better healthcare for all, more services for the elderly (those insurance mills are awful!) and smarter development. I would like to see politicians who look at their constituents as people rather than consumers.

And in case you were wondering -- I live in S. Florida, home of incapable voters. I was relieved to see Elian Gonzalez returned to his father. I happen to like Jeb Bush and Janet Reno, but would much rather have Bush as my governor. I do not like the fact that we treat Haitians and Cubans so differently when they enter this country illegally. I don't speak Spanish -- nada word.

And on a final note -- GO DOLPHINS!


taste test

I'm in a baking frenzy.

Today's offerings: "death by chocolate" cupcakes, blueberry muffins, homemade crescent rolls, pound cake.

If you're looking for something a bit more filling, stop by this afternoon. I'll have chicken a la king, Jeffersonian chicken crepes, spaghetti sauce (with red wine) and possibly quiche lorraine.



Who spilled milk all over the floor and didn't wipe it up?
Who left a wet towel on the bathroom floor last night?

What is that sticky stain on the table?
What is Frog carrying around in his mouth?

Where is Kari's reading sheet?

When can I drop these kids off at school?
When is the next football practice?

Why does Rick think that yoghurt can still be safe to eat after 6 hours of sitting out in his backpack?
Why is Michael so afraid of using his potty chair?
Why does Kari refuse to brush her hair?

How did I manage to wake up on the wrong side of the bed after such a good night's sleep?



Earlier today I was reading Rachel's thoughts on friendship. Started me thinking about the various people I have met and called friend.

My father still keeps in touch with friends from preschool! My mother and her best friend from high school still visit each other, chat on the phone and write. When my brother married this past February, he had friends from elementary school in his wedding party. My grandmother has been bosom buddies with the same person for over 70 years.

Then there's me.

I have lived in 5 states, 11 towns, attended 13 schools, participated in college and high schools sports. You'd think that I would have lots of friends. Nope. Looking back I seem to be the out of sight, out of mind person. Making friends has never been easy. Keeping them has been more difficult.

I'm the person who sits in a chair at the edge of the room watching everyone else. Most of the time, I'm perfectly content to do so. People are fascinating to watch. But sometimes I wish that I could be in the middle of all that energy. I simply do not know how to join in.

One of my best friends in high school was Katy. She and I could be absolutely silly together, discuss any topic, we shared everything. We thought nothing would come between us. But our lives took different paths and somehow we lost the ability to communicate.

Jim was someone that I'd been around from the time I was 4 months old and he was 6 months. We'd hear about each other thru Christmas letters and phone calls between our mothers. When I received my freshman handbook from Davidson, I was so excited to see that he'd be there too. Going to college with Jim was like having a brother around. He gave me unwanted advice, we fought like cats and dogs, but there was always respect. He even introduced Robert to me as the man I would one day marry. He hasn't spoken to me since he received our wedding invitation. No explanation. Occasionally my mom will pass along some tidbit about his life.

Since Robert and I married, we have lived in South Florida. I have yet to establish any local friendships. Oh there are people who will occasionally call the house and ask for me. They are always the mothers of Kari's friends wanting to know if Kari can come over. I worked for 7 years with basically the same group of people. They all ran around together outside of work. I was never invited. If several of us went on break at the same time, they'd say to meet them down at the foodcourt. For seven years I waited by myself.

Now my life is probably better without these people. But I do want to have a forever friend.

These days my friends are found on the internet. We email and instant message. They make me laugh and cry. I delight in the small things that happen in their lives and grieve with them over losses. Lucky me, I've gotten to meet two of these women. I still feel very connected to them, but there's always that little niggle of doubt at the back of my mind.

Do they really like me?

I think that I'll continue this later.


labor day

Would someone please explain why I'm laboring around the house, doing laundry, cleaning, chasing the kids, while Robert is playing computer? This is my fifteen minute break, and I have to sneak onto the computer while Kari is rummaging around in her room for her Clow cards. This is so not fair.

The exact same scenario is repeated on every holiday throughout the year. Christmas and Thanksgiving are the worst because of the weeks of preparation. What would Robert do if I decided to not buy the presents this year or not cook for his family and our friends? Last Christmas Kari and I were sick and HE pouted all day.

Granted he works in a highly stressful job and deserves stress-free weekends. I appreciate the fact that he works hard to make the money to provide us with life's little necessities.

But when do I get a day off?


timeout for me

Binky, my normally placid feline friend, is extremely irritated with me. She will probably meow herself hoarse. After all, she has been berating me for just over an hour now.

Frog, our teenaged cat, decided to stay outside all night. He'll be in big trouble when he finally drags himself in. When he does this, Binky gets free reign of the house and isn't made to sleep in her room. Robert confined her anyway.

She's still having a hissy fit. Spitting, meowing, occasionally smacking me with her paw. I tried to explain that Robert is the one who put her in her room. I'd rather she slept curled up next to me. NOT good enough. Guess I'll have to sit here and take her howling for a bit longer.



Happy Birthday, Kim! Bon Anniversaire! Hope you received everything on your wishlist.


he he he

I moved the furniture around last night while Robert was working. Wonder what he thought when he walked in the door ...


total shock

Duke won. The Blue Devils ended their 23 game losing streak by defeating East Carolina - 23 to 16, and they did it in the rain. Carl Franks has now won 4 games as the football coach. That's an average of 1 game per season. At least Duke is starting the 4th season under his leadership, so there is a definite possibility of increasing his miserly win percentage.

Those who follow Duke football are eating their words about now. For years they've been poking fun of their own team. Duke football fans are a bit bizarre. They don't say things like "just wait until next year" or "we're a young team." No, they seem to delight in losing. They haven't known anything else. Okay, there was that one season under Spurrier when they were invited to the bowl down in Tampa and were soundly defeated.

If this season is the beginning of a Duke turnaround in the sport of football, how will this affect basketball? Coach K's team is the centerpiece of Duke athletics. Will a football team capable of winning upset the balance of power?

"Earth laughs in flowers." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson