Life on the Ridge
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good morning

We are off to Physical Element this morning to continue unpacking and merchandising Jo's store. The set up the store is sleek. Lee designed moving wall panels that are unbelievable. Not only are they functional, but they are works of art. No straight wall panels. These are curved and slide on tracks across the sides of the store.



Never accuse someone of lying unless you have sat at there computer and read the screen that pops up on their monitor. Got it?


I'm off....


told you

There was no way that Duke, with its inconsistent play this entire season, would make it past the Sweet Sixteen. And I was proven correct last night. The sad thing is that many of their mistakes are freshman mistakes. Mistakes that having a couple of seniors on the team just cannot prevent. Duke has also relied on Redick's shooting. He had an off night. Need I say more? Ok, I will. No one stepped up to the line to fill in for Redick as a shooter. No one.

Oh, and to anyone who cares, Duke had a young team this year -- 6 freshmen! They can only improve. So take that, GA Tech, who is also a young team.


scary times

Kari brought home a note from the schoolboard today regarding procedures at school if the nation's alert level is raised to RED or severe. Schools will be in "limited lockdown". Only parents and visitors with appointments will be allowed onto her school campus. If we wish to sign her out early, we will be directed to a location other than the front office where I must show photo ID. First off you cannot enter her school at any time during the day without going thru the front office, signing in, showing a photo ID and then being given a badge to wear. Secondly, the only people allowed entry are parents and people with appointments. The only difference will be that you must go to a different area to do the exact same things.

If there is an imminent threat in or near Broward County, schools will be open, but in a "limited lock down". Extracurricular activities, before- and after-care programs, vendor services will possibly be cancelled. If the situation warrants a school to go into full lock down, no on will be allowed to visit the school. Parents will have to go to a nearby church for information on what to do. The church is a mile from the school. What will they do? Give us numbers so we can proceed to the school in an orderly fashion to pick up our children? Does this mean that instead of simply walking over to her school, I'll have to get in my car and drive to the church? For some reason that annoys me.
Several of Rick's classmates have parents over in Iraq.
Hearing the name Brigadier General Vincent Brooks every day gives me the starts. Michael's middle name is Brooks. He's named after his great-uncle Robert Brooks, who received his name from a Major Brooks. My grandfather was being shipped out to who knows where when Nana was pregnant with my uncle. Major Brooks said he'd go in Papa's place (how'd they pull that off) if Papa and Nana promised to name their baby after him. I don't know what the major's first name was... Robert came from my g-uncle Robert who helped develop G.E.'s first jet engine.
Hearing about the paratroopers going into Northern Iraq gave me the shivers. My great-grandmother wrote about one of her nephews who was shot up as he parachuted down into enemy territory during WWII. It's strange to look at all of her pictures of him. Charlie was grinning from ear to ear in all the pictures, from the time he was an infant until the day he shipped out to Germany. Hard to imagine someone who was filled with such joy dying such a horrible death.


new and improved

Yeah, right. What was ivillage thinking? This is the new and improved home for the October 99 moms? I despise navigating thru various windows like that. And what about the load time?! And the pop-up ads!? Absolutely ridiculous. I want things laid out nice and neat and with sense.

So today a huge number of us moms who gave birth in October of 1999 took the time to bitch to one another. Sometimes it's fun to bitch. Sometimes it's cathartic.

But then one of the mom's decided to start her own board. One that was similar in format to our previous board. I don't think this is the answer. At least not on the first day of a new format. Change is difficult, but come on, girls. You didn't even give this format a chance. And on top of that, ivillage saw the post about a new board and deleted it. They don't want to lose us to a competitor.

Since the link was deleted only those who saw and bookmarked it now know where it is. I saw the link, followed it, but didn't bookmark it because I was unable to access the site -- and this was after multiple attempts. I wasn't the only one who could not access. Hopefully, unintentionally, one person actually received a message saying that she had been blocked by the board administrator. How rude!

There are many in this group of mothers whom I adore. I sincerely hope that we don't manage to lose touch because of a board update fiasco and a mass exodus to a new board.


never did think...

... that someone who I went to high school with would be one of the wealthiest people under the age of 40. And I certainly never thought it would be Halsey.


sillies from this week...

*I plucked a few mint leaves and put them in my icewater. Michael thought this was a great idea, so he copied me -- with a few leaves of basil.

*Overheard two elderly men (both baggers) at the grocers having a discussion about the Texas sodomy law. Their names? Dick and Peter.

*Michael mimics many of the things we do and repeats way too much of what we say. I was a bit confused by his screaming "tatertots!" at his older brother and sister, then realized that was his version of "Tais-toi!" -- something he hears quite a bit when I'm on the phone and he's babbling, "I wanna talk".

*Rick's face when he realized that Robert and I had heard his cursing tirade.

*Frog carried around an Earl Grey tea bag for several days. Whenever we would try to take it away from him, his back would arch, tail would fluff out and he'd hiss around a mouthful of tea.

*Toby has taken to hiding his big chew bone underneath Robert's pillows. He hides the real bone (courtesy of the butcher) in the laundry basket. Ewww!



Even a controlled tantrum that consisted of me pulling weeds in a fury ( my next-door-neighbor now loves me) has not lessened how angry I am with Toby. Yes, the dog. I have reached my last nerve with him. He has plenty of food and water. He receives snacks when the kids do. He gets lots of walks. We play with him.

Yet he still insists on dragging food off the counter, snatching food out of our hands. He has even pushed a chair over to the counter to better reach what he wanted -- 2 dozen iced cream cheese cookies. He thinks that he should be allowed to urinate on the carpet in the kids' rooms and defecate in the hallway (usually right after coming back from a walk).

Toby had the audacity to growl and snap at me when I went into get the cookies away from him. I had to push him onto his back and hold his mouth shut while Rick went to grab his leash. Currently the dick-head dog is sitting out in the backyard under a tree. We did have one escape so far. Michael let him off the chain. Toby ran inside and pissed all over Michael's floor. Since I just cleaned the carpet in there not 2 hours ago, I am royally -- pissed off.

I've had it. I don't know what to do with him. We have scolded him, slapped the ground next to him, put him in a cage... all sorts of things that the vet has recommended. I'm ready to ship him back from whence he came.


my favorite clothes

I could end up on TLC's "What Not to Wear" if I'm not careful. Every day dawns with me putting on the same basic outfit: black or grey yoga pants and one of my many Duke t'shirts. Usually I'm barefoot, but if shoes are on my feet, they are my Birks.

My mother and Nana would be horrified! They both are always stylish, even to dig in the dirt. I don't know how they do it. I don't know why they do it.

Part of my bad dressing is my weight. I do not look good in (or out of ) much these days, so go strictly for comfort. The other thing is that I'm constantly running around the house and yard with the kids. Who needs to dress better when this is all you do? But I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror yesterday and then spent a good 5 minutes making silly faces at myself in the same mirror.

I wasn't happy with what I saw. My hair needs a pick-me-up -- I'm thinking lots of highlights, shorter length, something. My body needs to be clad in something other than these baggy pants and t-shirts. I need a manicure. And what happened to my lips? Do not laugh, but once upon a time I was a lipstick fiend. Something like 30 tubes of lipstick, various liners littered my bathroom countertop. (Until my MIL bought me a basket for them). Now I don't put any on unless Robert and I are going out.

I need a day to spoil myself... get my hair done, buy some new clothes and get some lipstick! Sheesh! At the least Robert will vastly appreciate a transformation from the slob to a wanna-be-diva.


digging in the dirt

One of my favorite things to do is to play in the garden. Unfortunately when I'm depressed or it rains or the heat is unbearable, my garden is neglected. Of course we also have killer weeds here in Florida that think nothing of growing thru a double layer of landscape fabric and 3 inches of mulch. Hmmph.

Today I dug around in the dirt and had a ball. Michael and Kari helped me replant the pots by the front door. Chemical warfare against the white flies was useless, so my jatropas died an agonizing death. Now there are palms flanking the door, elephant ears next to them and my trademark jade plants nestled inbetween those. After finishing preparing the side bed, I planted purple showers and cocoplums. Even remembered to plant a sedum at the corner. While Robert looked on and laughed at me, I ripped out the last of the nasty trees that the previous owners had planted. They thought they were planting shrubs. WRONG! I don't want those tree roots damaging my foundation.

Tomorrow will be mulching day. I despise buying mulch and then hauling it home in the van. My eyes start itching almost immediately. One of these days I'll pull a Toby and stick my head out an open window. We figure we'll need at least 40 bags for the front yard. Isn't that ridiculous? I'd order it by the truckload, but I don't want to have to buy a wheelbarrow to move mulch around from the huge mound that will be in the driveway. Plus the neighborhood kids would come over and play king of the mountain. NOT something that I'd be happy about.

Thursday I'm planning on finishing up the garden in the back. I have 10 more feet of pathway to finish laying. The stones are placed, they just have to be embedded (don't you hate hearing the phrase "the reporter embedded in ..."?) and mulch put between. I also want to plant allamanda shrubs around the slab where the a/c unit is. Nothing uglier than seeing the a/c unit from the street. Nothing prettier than glossy green foliage with yellow trumpet flowers (the buds are brown and look really cool).


this is for Erin

Erin is my college buddy who is very into politics. She is a conservative Republican. Just so you know. We rarely discuss politics, although I must admit to getting a kick out of all the stuff she forwards me. It's always good to see an issue from at least 3 sides.

The Liberal Media

The Pope is visiting DC and President Bush takes him out for an afternoon on the Potomac ... sailing on the presidential yacht, the Sequoia. They're admiring the sights when, all of a sudden, the Pope's hat (zucchetto) blows off his head and out into the water. Secret Service guys start to launch a boat, but Bush waves them off, saying, "Wait, wait. I'll take care of this. Don't worry."

Bush then steps off the yacht onto the surface of the water and walks out to the Holy Father's little hat, bends over and picks it up, then walks back to the yacht and climbs aboard. He hands the hat to the Pope amid stunned silence.

The next morning, the Washington Post carries a story, with front page photos, of the event. The banner headline is:

"Bush Can't Swim"


a question of height

Until my parents' generation the men on both sides of my family were short. By short I mean no taller than 5'6". Didn't seem to bother any of them. But somehow my father ended up being over six feet tall. My mother's brothers also hit the six foot mark. They were veritable giants.

When Rick was an infant he was consistently in the 75th percentile... on the longish side. Sometime between 1 and 5 he went from being a bit taller than other children his age to being one of the smallest, if not the smallest. His pediatrician told me that he thought Rick's adult height would be somewhere around my height. At the time I was 5'2. He was also saying that if Kari folowed her current growth curve, she'd be somewhere between 5'8 and 5'11.

Hmmm. Just what every older brother wants... a younger sister who towers over him.

Once Rick was diagnosed with ADHD and then later with Aspergers Syndrome, he was put on meds to help him with his impulse control and his mood swings. Wouldn't you know it, those drugs inhibit growth. We watched his classmates get taller and heavier, while Rick stayed the same size for 4 years running. Yep, 4 years. No need to buy clothes unless they became stained beyond help or developed holes. Great on our wallet, bad for his self-esteem.

We weren't terribly worried. The men in my family grew later than most. My uncle Bob and my brother waited until after their 14th birthdays to sprout and then continued growing until they were around 21. And if Rick didn't grow to a gigantic height? No big deal. He could look at his great-uncle Sonny who was maybe 5'5 in his boots to see that a man doesn't have to be 6 feet tall to be successful in life. Explaining this to a boy though? Give it up.

But then in the winter of 2001-2002, Rick started growing in leaps and bounds. Even his pediatrician was shocked to see how much and how fast he was growing. In less than a year, Rick gained 20 pounds and grew 6 inches. He went from a size 7slim to a 14slim. We didn't even have time to buy him the sizes in between. Now Rick is just a hair under 5 feet and weighs in at 95 pounds at the age of 12.

Hmmm. At 16, my grandfather was 5 feet tall and very thin. At 14, my brother was 5 feet tall and 85 pounds. At 12, my son is just below 5 feet tall and 95 pounds. He's growing at an earlier age than they did. As an adult, my grandfather grew to 5'6. My brother is 5'10. The doctor is betting now that Rick will hit at least 5'10. Rick's goal is to be taller than Uncle Kirk.

I don't know. I'm not looking forward to having a son who looks down at me, has wide shoulders, big hands and feet and muscles. Then again, his shoulders have already started stretching, his legs cannot be considered to be thin in any way shape or form, his feet already require a 7 1/2 and his hands are bigger than mine.

At least I have Michael. My wee little lad. And Kari who has gone from being the tallest in her 3rd grade class to being the shortest in her 4th grade class. Even her best friend who has been getting HGH shots in the hopes of reaching 5 feet in height is taller than Kari.

So much for those growth charts and height predictors.


excerpt from an email

Sent by a Navy pilot:
To any who would protest the a war in Iraq, I say follow your own conscience. It is truly only you who knows how you feel. But in doing so I would urge all of you as good, god fearing, patriotic, AMERICAN citizens to "For Gods Sake" back up and stand by all of the people that are already over there.

They're preparing to give their lives for us and our way of Life.

Let us not have another Vietnam and all the callous hatred that our people had to come home to face.

He sent this with the poem "Who has your back."


where to plant...

Since the curly willow I had in a vase with sunflowers decided to sprout roots and develop leaves, I think that it should be planted. Now the thing is that we live in zone 10b. Willows thrive in zones 5 thru 8.

But here's my thought. I plant these branches of curly willow in big pots and let them grow as they will. If and when they get to be too big for the pots, I'll simply give them to my brother to plant towards the back of his yard. He can use another tree there. He might not think so, but I am his older sister so automatically win this argument.

Today's big project is cutting down my basil shrub. The thing is out of control. Totally out of control. I'll be able to freeze enough of the leaves to last for a decade. Also have to convince the spearmint that it only wants to grow along the path thru the garden. It had the audacity to show up around Michael's sandbox! Normally this wouldn't bother me, but it is bothering Sir Michael.


a women's group

What am I thinking? How do I let Cindy talk me into these things?

Cindy is the world's best neighbor. She has 2 sons who have to be the best-behaved children (without giving up any of their mischieviousness), she walks Kari back here from the bus stop whenever Michael is actually napping and I can't walk her back. She invites Rick over to swim. She also is outgoing and has met every single person on our circle. I swear she has.

Because of Cindy, I've met numerous other women in Forest Ridge. I'd met just a few on my own. When you don't like to leave your own house and yard, you pretty much have isolated yourself.

Anyway, Cindy goes to these lunches each month that are hosted by the women's group here in Forest Ridge. She's been asking and asking and asking me to go. I have managed to find excuses for the past 8 months. My excuses ran out this morning. Yikes! So now I'm committed to going to lunch with strangers. Oy.

We'll just see if I drive her son to school or watch him after school when she has errands or appointments that prevent her from being at home in the afternoon. Oh yeah right. As if I would refuse to watch him. No one can resist Tyler. He's too adorable.



Richard and I had a mother-son afternoon. Interesting concept. He suggested it. Didn't quite mean what I wanted it to mean. *sigh Being the mother of an almost-13-year-old is difficult.

Richard cleaned his room (it's spotless!) and the bathroom and then informed me we were going out. After I picked up my chin, we went on our merry way. He wanted to go to Walmart and buy a new calculator for math and for playing Yu-Gi-Oh. The boy goes thru calculators like you wouldn't believe. Anyway, Walmart was under-cashiered as usual. Only 5 lanes open and 2 with blinking "I need a manager 5 minutes ago" lights. What should've taken maybe 10 minutes tops took close to 40 minutes. We just goofed around and made bets as to which lane would move fastest. We chose correctly! Woohoo! (Is it cheating to have been in 2 different lines?)

Then on to a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament. This meant that I had to drop Richard off at Rookies with his tournament deck, new calculator and a binder filled with additional cards. We had a bit of a spat over who would take which cellphone. He won. The brat. I wanted to hang around and watch some tournament play, but it seems having your mother there is not cool. He told me, "Get yourself to the bookstore. Find a book, buy a cup of coffee and read. I'll call you when I'm ready to be picked up."

So that's what I did. But I couldn't stand it. After an hour I headed back to Rookies to check on his progress. They hadn't even started yet! So the Rickster and I chatted with each other on the cells. He had to maintain his level of coolness.

Finally after almost 3 hours he was done. Finally. We then goofed off for a bit more before returning home where he announced to Robert, "Come on, Dad. It's boys' night out."

And off they went. At least he didn't tell Robert to get himself to the bookstore ... by himself.


lullaby and goodnight

Last night Kari went to a slumber party. We dropped her off at just before 6pm and will pick her up around noon today. The girls had plans to stay up and watch a few movies, perhaps paint each others' fingernails, typical girl stuff... Kari went with her favorite stuffed animal, a big black horse named Hatta Pro, and her Hamtaro paraphenalia.

I wonder if Kari managed to stay up past midnight. She rarely manages to do this, except for New Year's Eve. I wonder if she had fun. I wonder if there were any spats among the girls. (Come on! We know how girls are.)

Michael was not too happy that we didn't bring his sister home with us last night after our Friday night date. "You gotta go get my sister. Where is my Kari?" Rick was ecstatic that he didn't have to worry about Kari snooping in his room. Not that there's anything interesting in there.


oh so close...

I had such high hopes for ETSU soundly defeating the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. The Mountaineers were supposed to be the ones who had the big upset of the first round. Just wait though... One of these decades a Southern Conference team just might pull one off.

Will this work?...

...I certainly hope so

...I am so bored...



Every year Kari's school studies a different aspect of history here in Davie. For example, the second grade studies the ranchers, third grade studies the pioneers who first came to this area, fourth grade is studying the Seminoles. Kari is in fourth grade.

Tana-kee-kee is when the students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned by acting it out. Over the course of a week, classes meet out on the Ridge. They dress in clothing appropriate for ranchers, pioneers, Seminoles. They perform dances and sing. They sell crafts that they have made. They feast on Seminole foods.

These kids love this living history experience. They pride themselves on knowing so much about their community and it's part in our history.

Since Kari is playing a Seminole this year, she has to come up with a new name for herself: a descriptive word and a noun. She was not amused with my suggestions: Swamp Gas, Mahagony Nut, Pesky Mosquito... Nor was she amused by my mother's: Squawking Parrot, Leaping Lizard, Broiling Sun... So we reached a compromise: Chatty Squirrel.


guess where we ate breakfast!


my brush with fame

Whenever we bomb the house, we always stop by a bagel shop and head to Markham Park. Yesterday morning found me in line behind a female wearing way too much make-up. She was one of those people that you cannot help but stare at. Not because she is gorgeous, but because she is so overdone.

And we're not just talking make-up here either. First off, she had bleached blonde hair that wouldn't move in gale-force winds. She was wearing a white bikini underneath a skintight hot pink lace cover-up that laced up the front. (I thought cover-ups were supposed to, well, cover up.) On her feet were sandals with heels so high she was basically on her tiptoes. And whomever did her breast enhancements should be shot. A woman that probably doesn't even clear 5'0 shouldn't have breasts that large.

One of the young men behind the counter stopped what he was doing and simply stared at her. After a few seconds of intensely scrutinizing her face and form, he whispered something to another young man and then sprinted around the counter to talk to a friend seated at a table. He walked back behind the counter and asked, "Haven't I seen you in movies?"

The fake blonde smiled hugely at him and batted her eyes, "Are you old enough to see my movies, sweetie?"

"Yes, I am!" drooling boy replied with a huge grin on his face. "What are you doing here?"

"I'm doing ... something ... on the beach today."

All the males in my formerly favorite bagel place were struck dumb. Anyone with half a brain could tell they were trying to figure out which beach she meant and if they could somehow manage to skip work and go watch that "something" she was doing on the beach.



Speaker Saadoon Hammadi said it was ''absolutely unthinkable'' that Saddam would bow to U.S. demands and flee: ''He will be in front of everyone. He will fight and guide our country to victory.''

Really? Saddam will be in front of everyone? Somehow I just don't believe that.


I get Kari to relax about the danger of terrorism at the airport and what happens? We watched the news. Big mistake there. The various stations had stories on increased security at the airport, the ports and our lovely nuclear power plant. They even discussed again the study that was recently done on whether they could prevent terrorists from launching missiles at the airport from the side of one of our busy roads.


"Mom, I just went to the dance for the food. And there wasn't much of it. Not for $5 there wasn't."


Michael sees Toby scratching away. "Mom, Toby has fwees! We got to scare dem away."


and today is...

Today the bombing starts. All fleas in this house beware! Robert is on a rampage to oust you. Get ye gone now if you do not wish to die from chemicals.

Oh yeah, this is going to be so much fun. We'll be going to the park to watch airplanes while the fleas are suffocating. And we must take Toby. That's the not fun part. He always wants to play with Sheba, who doesn't want anything to do with a short, long-eared hound.

Here's to hoping the meteorologists are correct and that rain will not fall this morning.



I fixed a wonderful dinner and was pulling the main dish out of the oven when Michael decided to stand behind me and scream, "Peep! Peep!" I jerked back and my left hand brushed along the top of the oven. Yeowch!

Nothing like screaming loud enough to bring everyone running into our kitchen. Dog and cats included.

Thank goodness for my aloe plant. I slathered the goo all over my hand. Still, there's a beautiful blister and yucky stuff oozing out and a large red area. Fortunately for the kids' ears, I will not be able to play the piano for extended periods of time. But typing with one hand is easily doable.


a rose in winter

Okay, so we live in Florida and have flowers blooming year round.

My northern friends just need a quick reminder of what awaits just around the seasonal corner.


hey, I went to college with him!

Dean and I graduated from college in 1988. He was a guard on our basketball team. I was the manager. One of the first days of practice our freshman year, Coach Hussey was explaining how to run a particular play. Dean kept bobbing his head up and down while Coach talked. Little did anyone know that head bobbing was a pet peeve of Hussey's. Poor Dean turned bright red and nodded that yes, he'd stop nodding. The rest of us wanted to laugh, but managed to stay quiet.

Hard to believe that Dean is now 37, let alone an assistant coach with aspirations of becoming a head coach. We all did expect him to be a bit balder by now.
Return to Hokies interests Keener


GREENSBORO, N.C. - There was little sense of urgency in Dean Keener's voice as he discussed the men's basketball coaching vacancy at Virginia Tech.
Keener, in his third season as an assistant at Georgia Tech, spent six seasons in Blacksburg under former Hokies' head coaches Bill Foster and Bobby Hussey.

"I'd love to lead that program one day," said Keener, 37, following Georgia Tech's shootaround Thursday at the ACC Tournament. "If somebody chooses this as the right time, then, absolutely. If it's another time, then maybe it's later than sooner."

The Hokies are looking for a successor to Ricky Stokes, fired Monday after four years at the Hokies' helm.

"As I've said many times, Virginia Tech and Blacksburg hold a special place in my heart with what we helped create there in the mid-'90s with an NIT championship and an NCAA bid," Keener said. "I will always follow them and cheer for them."

If Keener, a native of Tallmadge, Ohio, and 1988 Davidson College graduate, does not bleed maroon and orange, his wife, the former Meg Young, does. Originally from Radford, she has undergraduate and Master's degrees from Tech.

"If you saw our office in our home, with all the [Virginia] Tech memorabilia, you would understand how she loves that place," Keener said. "She helped as a hostess during football weekends and was with the New Virginians performing group."

Keener's background has drawn comparisons to Tech women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson, comparisons he doesn't reject.

"Bonnie's an example of somebody who worked at Tech, went to a high level school at Iowa and came back without head-coaching experience," Keener said. "Not only did she inherit good players and win with them; she's now recruited her own and won with those.

"We were there together as assistants, left together and came back together. When I came back as the assistant to Bobby, she came back as the head coach."

Keener realizes that Tech's experience with Stokes, not previously a head coach before he was hired in 1999, may hurt the chances of assistants interested in the job this time.

"I can understand that," Keener said, "not just for the Tech job but for any job. But, there are right fits. To say that it has to be somebody who has called timeouts or dealt with the media, I don't know. Sometimes, I think that head coaches, successful or not, can become set in their ways."

Keener said he had not heard from Virginia Tech and had not made any calls regarding the position, although he wouldn't rule that out.

"This is a big weekend for us," said Keener before the Yellow Jackets' quarterfinal loss to North Carolina State. "I was on the road recruiting earlier in the week and hopefully we'll be here all weekend. I think I'll make a judgment early next week."

via the Roanoke Times


and today...

I will not be picking up the phone. The answering machine will deal with any and all callers. Why? Because yesterday I was very bad. The phone rang. I picked it up. It was Robert's supervisor calling him in for overtime.

Now Robert has been working 6 day weeks for several months now. He's become a grump monster. I don't deal well with grumps. The kids do not like grumps. We aren't a very happy household when a grump is in our midst.

Only 1 or 2 more months of this. Hurray!


continued avoidance

You're a Przewalski's Horse!
You're a Pzewalzkis' horse! You have incredible
stamina and you've managed to survive
practically every attempt to exterminate you!
You're really short, and nuerotic. Did we
mention paranoid?

Which Exotic Horse Breed Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


ways Eliz avoids doing anything

1. Chats with her father about a helicopter ride they took in the summer of 1977 while visiting St. Louis. Why? I'll just blame it on Bobbi.

2. Spends too much time contemplating the brackets for this year's March Madness, much of it contemplating an ETSU win over Wake Forest. Sorry, Wake, but Coach Odom isn't there anymore, so I'm going to pull for the lone Southern Conference team. Go, Mountaineers!

3. Bugs a pagan, an okie, a diva and various others in an attempt to avoid housework of any kind.

4. Repots a shamrock. Didn't need to be, but anything is better than laundry or mopping.

5. Read a few pages of John Lescroart's Hard Evidence.

6. Emailed a few people.

7. Placed an order for trees to be planted in honor of 2 people who recently died.

8. Ran around opening windows to let fresh air course thru this house.

9 Had a long talk with Frog on how he can't go outside at will from now on. He may only go on walks with me and Toby.

Ooh, I'm guessing I should really get off my butt and do something. The laundry won't do itself. *sigh...



Rick called from school. Normal for him. He's always forgetting something -- his football, swimtrunks, something to read, ate his lunch at snacktime and wants more food... My jaw hit the ground though when he informed me he needed five dollars.
"Five dollars? For what? I paid for all your lunches for this month."

"Well... I forgot that today is Saint Patrick's Day, and ... we're kind of having a dance at school and we have to pay to get in."

I shook my head to clear out the cotton that must surely be in there. "You need five dollars for what? I didn't quite hear you."

"Moooooom, so I can go to a dance."

"YOU want to go to a dance."

"Moooooom! Can you just bring me the money before 3 pm today? Thanks! Bye!"

I'm so not ready for this.


a feel good story

Living with polio and relying on an iron lung hasn't been a "living death" for this woman. To have her strength...


there's a rumbly in my tumbly

First -- And it is all Steph's fault. She has sent me all sorts of recipes with cranberries in them. I'm a sucker for cranberries. Thank goodness I managed to put some in my freezer for times like these.

Second -- lesson relearned: Never eat a sticky cinnamon roll and then lick your fingers clean while sitting in a rest stop.


way to go, devils!

Somehow, someway Duke managed to pull out a fifth straight ACC championship win.

Of course if the van had actually started so that I could go pick up Robert from wherever he was so that he could watch the game with me, Duke would never have been able to pull out a win. Redick has never had a good game when Robert was watching.

So thank you, sky, for the rain that fell and somehow kept the engine from turning over.




Some people light up the world without saying a word, just by being. My grandfather was like that. He found joy in little things and laughter always followed. He teased, he poked, he prodded. He giggled, he laughed, he snorted.

Whenever we visited him and my grandmother, he'd take my brother and I on a walk around the block. He never asked. Grandad would simply put a leash on Charlie and walk out the door, Kirk and I tumbling after. A right out of the driveway and a stop to say hello to his neighbors just across the street. Grandad would clap his hand on the man's shoulder, say goodbye and we'd amble away to the corner and then to the right. We'd walk up the hill and wave to Mr. and Mrs. Swindell. I'd pray that his neighbor's son wouldn't be home, because he tormented me something awful. Down the other side of the hill and another right onto a gravelled road. Charlie would stop to "write us a letter" on every lightpole. Grandad would just laugh as he said that, his head bent slightly to the ground, eyes peering at us from the side, slight grin on his face. Never failed but that Kirk and I would ask him what the letter said. "Well, what can Charlie say? 'Life is good. I eat, I sleep, I take walks.' " At the bottom of the hill, we'd go right yet again and head back up the hill, past the new houses that weren't built like they used to be. Grandad would call out a hello to anyone that was outside. If they were close to the street, we'd stop and talk. Grandad chatting away, Kirk fidgeting next to him and talking too, me hanging back hoping to not be noticed. Another right and we were back at our grandparents' house. Charlie would run back inside to drink his water. Kirk would do whatever. I'd sit with Grandad by his cement fishpond. Content to just sit and lean against his side.

Grandad wasn't perfect. He had a temper and he didn't tolerate fools. I remember him once telling my great-aunt to not be stupid. He was passionate about his family, his town and his world. He took pride in silly things like how the downtown's Christmas decorations looked. He loved to pick on his older brother: "E-lizabeth," he whispered,"congratulate Uncle Sonny on becoming a senior citizen." (He cackled when Sonny turned redder than a tomato.)

He died on 14 April 1978, just before my 12th birthday. I was devastated. After his wake and before his funeral, I consumed a bucket of fried chicken, a coconut cream pie and sampled lots of other dishes brought over by friends. For weeks I moped and cried and walked thru the woods around our house. One bright summer day, I heard laughter rumbling thru trees and followed it to its source, a rock next to a pond. Sunlight rained down thru the leaves and danced on the petals of trillium and across the heads of ferns. I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard Grandad's deep contagious laugh. I ran home to tell my mom that Grandad was doing fine. She just looked at me like I was a bit strange.

Yesterday he would have celebrated his 90th birthday. I still miss him.



Blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds, low humidity, blooming roses, ibis searching the yard for food, our cats chasing lizards and climbing trees, Toby sprawled in the shade... a picture postcard day.

Michael and I went for a walk and oohed and aahed over the pale green leaves emerging on the oaks. We laughed at the antics of the parrot colony. We quietly watched an aardvark amble across the Ridge before scrambling into the underbrush when Frog went to greet him.

After our walk we sat on the patio, Michael playing trains, me just looking around, Simon & Garfunkel singing to us.


check this out

reconstructed: mind

Take some time and browse thru her archives. What a work of art.



When I was in high school we had two arch rivals -- CHS and WHS. We were obnoxious the days we had games against them. We had "spirit days" leading up to the game and a pep rally on game day. We were just plain rude. And they were rude back.

We had a cheer that was trotted out at the games -- especially at the football games (though it never helped our football team. They just plain sucked.)
Be aggressive!
Be aggressive!
B-E A-G-G- R-E-S-S- I-V-E
Be aggressive!

Basic cheer. Not much to it, but the crowd really was into screaming it.

Now I feel like we're back in high school. Why? Our representatives are doing stupid things like changing the name of french fries to freedom fries in a fit of pique because France won't fall into line with what we have planned against Iraq. A day doesn't go by that I don't hear something negative said about the French, whether it's in reference to the current state of affairs between "us" and "them" or how they let Germany run all over them during WWII and then expected us to save them. We are acting like we are the supreme country in the world. The big jocks.

Just don't expect me to pick up my pom-poms and cheer for a war.


hold the nuts

Richard is severely allergic to peanuts. His tongue itches, he starts choking and wheezing, all sorts of fun things happen if he accidently ingests a peanut (we've missed a few labels over the years). He has even gotten to the point where his lips and under his nails were blue. The first time that happened was on my 25th birthday. The next time was after his cousin's 6th birthday party.

For years we've heard from Dr. Sampson that it wouldn't be forever before there were allergy shots for those with peanut allergies. We've waited and waited and heard update after update. Now it looks like they are close. This isn't a cure-all. Instead people like Richard will be able to better tolerate being around someone who has eaten those nasty peanuts. They won't be able to eat them -- or at least not many. But this is a definite step in the right direction.

Of course we'll still carry an epi-pen everywhere we go.


our new mayor

We elected a new mayor here in Davie -- Tom Truex. Don't ask me who he is or what he promises to do for our fair city. I couldn't tell you. I can't tell you anything about who the other candidates were. Guess those running for positions such as mayor in a small town or city campaign by word of mouth.


may I just say...

The tempers in this house that have been recently exhibited by the males are outrageous. I honestly will be packing my bag and leaving for a few days of peace and quiet if they do not get them under control. Kari and I will just head up to some deserted beach (no mountains around here you know), walk along the beach looking for shells, reading, just enjoying the peace and quiet!



Last night there were no repeat dreams. No, I had to deal with the world's silliest dream instead.

I was innocently mopping the living room floor (gotta hate white tile) and I heard this clicking noise that was getting increasingly louder. I put down the mop and when to find the source of this noise. All of a sudden, from behind a macho fern, came a set of wind-up teeth. They were clacking away, spinning across the floor, snapping at my dancing feet.

This dream kept repeating all night long. I mean all night.

This morning Robert laughed at my dream. Seems Toby was gnawing away at his paws -- the reason for the clicking noise.



Michael is trying to get to sleep at a decent hour.

Hush, little baby, and go to sleep.
The sun has gone to bed,
And so must you.

Hush, little baby, begin to dream
Of lollipops and moondrops
And castles in the clouds.

Hush, little baby, the moon's begun to rise
And if you close your eyes,
You just might see the cow jump over the moon.

I wrote this along with music in July of 1996. It flows much better accompanied by the piano. Michael could probably sing this himself. He's heard it so many times.

At least Toby doesn't howl when I sing this.


and the saga continues

Kim called last night to see if the van was running. Well, it was at that time. Her husband, Jon, gave a suggestion as to what to check for if it happens again. I passed the information to the ogre that is masquerading as my husband these days. He grunted at me.

This morning, for the third day in a row the van has refused to start. I'm still giggling, but now it's starting to really piss me off too. I have plans for this weekend, and the van needs to work.

Robert popped the hood and started messing with the battery. Now we've already determined that the problem is NOT the battery. I calmly pointed to the starter and repeated what Jon said last night. Robert glared at me. Glared! I flounced off to his car, put the kids in and drove them to school. By the time I came home, the van was running again. Perhaps temporarily, but running nonetheless.

Wanna bet that Robert checked that little red wire Jon told him to look at for corrosion? Wanna bet he has added Jon's cellphone number to the "phonebook" on his cellphone? He better have done so! Robert will be driving the van to work tonight. I truly hope that I don't have to drive down to Miami to get him at 10:30 at night.



Our oldest nephew just got his license. He stuck with family tradition and tested for his license at 17 1/2. Now Shawn can drive himself down here to babysit.


just cause I think it's funny

Once again the van will not start. We've decided that the problem is electrical, not the battery.

I laughed so hard at Robert's expression when the van wouldn't start. He was not amused.


i totally agree

Even though Duke was humiliated this past weekend by UNC, this article cracks me up. I am not a UNC fan in any way, shape or form. I didn't like Dean Smith (sorry, but the creator of "four corners" to me is not a great coach). I do not like Matt Doherty. To me he hadn't paid his coaching dues yet in order to be qualified to coach an ACC team.

I'm such a college basketball snob

But honesty, when he was an assistant at Davidson, I couldn't figure out what his purpose was. He simply sat on the bench, no emotion, nothing. Dead weight from all appearances.

But now he's head coach at a school that once had a great team. UNC produced the likes of Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins. Currently 14 former UNC players can be found on NBA rosters. And what has Doherty done? Not a thing that I can see.



Ever since my other took me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I have loved wandering thru museums. Mom and I visit the North Carolina Museum of Art whenever I find myself in Durham.

Sometimes we drag Richard and Kari. They both enjoyed the Rodin exhibit. Their art teacher was jealous.

This summer the main exhibit will feature African art.
Accent on Africa showcases several recent acquisitions from various regions of the continent. Some objects on exhibition have not yet been displayed in the galleries, such as the spectacular South African costumes for a divination priestess and her acolyte, incorporating materials as diverse as seeds and shells, goat skin and goat bladder, and porcupine quills. Other objects offer comparisons between older and more contemporary forms, as with a pair of Asante Kente clothes, one dating back to the early 1900s and the second woven in 2000 in the workshop of master weaver Samuel Cophie (both donated by the Museum docents). The Museum's commitment to internationally recognized contemporary artists is emphasized by three monumental Veranda Posts by Nigerian sculptor Lamidi Fakeye and the painting Night Flight of Dread and Delight by Ethiopian painter Skunder Boghossian. Other highlights include a Dan feast ladle from Liberia, both a Yoruba ceremonial robe and Nupe cooking vessel from Nigeria, and a Zulu woman's hat and Ngwane wedding day cape from South Africa.
I cannot wait.

Although I like Boghossian's "Night Flight of Dread and Delight", I prefer this work. But the real draw for me will be the costumes.


the store

Only 3 more weeks before I board a plane winging its way to Portland. My cousin's store opens on the 2nd of April.



Kari and I didn't get very far before rain started falling. LOL Now Kari is happy.



We were ready to leave for school EARLY and guess what! The van would not start. The battery is dead.

Rick is ecstatic, because he gets to stay home. Kari is ticked, because she is walking to school. This is one thing that sucks about Robert taking my jumper cables and none of my neighbors having any. How can you not have at least one set of jumper cables? Oy veh.


a joke from my grandmother

Nana cracks me up sometimes. First she sends me an email with pictures of sand sculptures with a religious theme (think Last Supper). Then I open her second email and this is what I read...
An Englishman, a Japanese and a Redneck were sitting naked in a sauna. Suddenly, there was a beeping sound. The Englishman pressed his forearm and the beep stopped. The others looked at him questioningly. "That was my pager," he said, " I have a microchip under the skin of my arm."

A few minutes later a phone rang. The Japanese fellow lifted his palm to his ear. When he finished he explained "That was my mobile phone, I have a microchip in my hand."

The Redneck felt decidedly low tech, but not to be outdone he decided he had to do something just as impressive. He stepped out of the sauna and went to the toilet. He returned with a piece of toilet paper hanging from his behind. The others raised their eyebrows and stared at him. The Redneck finally said----" Well, will you look at that, I'm getting a fax."


playing dress-up

Once upon a time my most favoritest thing to do was play dress-up. Until I became a teenager I always dressed up in the same outfit. The only difference was in "who" I was that day.

Thank goodness for the tiny child I once was, my mother was a fairly small adult (she would argue this point now). Why? Because her Snowball Queen dress was the outfit that transformed me from your average child into a princess, an opera diva, a fairy, a concert pianist...

What's a Snowball Queen dress? It's a pale blue satin strapless dress with a tightly fitted bodice beaded with pearls, crystals and silver bugle beads, a skirt that was so full that it required a hoopskirt to help the dress properly hold shape. It's a dress that requires long white gloves and a bulky art-deco style silver and crystal bracelet. A dress that requires confidence of the wearer and yet also bestows confidence. It's the dress my mother was wearing when she was crowned Snowball Queen at Wasson High.

My friends and I would grudgingly take turns wearing this magical dress. My cousin Jo once pretended to be a German princess. My friend Leslie would transform into Miss America. My neighbor Tracy would become a world-famous actress. For the most part I was a singer. I'd don the dress, put in an 8-track tape and belt out a song with Johnny Cash.

Several weeks ago I asked Mom whatever happened to her dress. She told me that we wore it until it was rags. I told her that I was sorry. She laughed and asked why. How could it have been better to leave a dress hanging in the closet with a single memory when instead it could be worn by various little girls to all sorts of wonderful places, even if the places were pretend?

I still play dress-up with Kari upon occasion, but now dress-up involves putting up my hair, doing the make-up thing and wrapping my aunt Mimi's shawl around my shoulders. I don't pretend to be a princess or anything else. I just stand at the window looking out towards the Ridge remembering what it was like to be 8.



Because of Sue, I'll be running around the rest of the day saying, "The puppies are here. The puppies are here."

And adorable puppies they are too.


thumpity, thump, thump, thump

In January I stopped taking the anti-psychotic. Last week I ceased the anti-depressant. Yes, my psych and I believed that the lamictal would be enough, especially at the high dose, to keep me balanced.

We thought I would be quite stable for quite a while. At least long enough to figure out if my meds were what was keeping me from losing any of the weight that keeps slowing attaching itself to me.

We were wrong. Somewhere deep in my mind I feared we would be. But optimism was running high. For a person suffering from severe bouts of depression, I'm an optimistic thing.

This sucks. But I became aware much faster than normal. There were only a few denials: "I'm tired, so I'll pick up later", increasing irritation with noise, that sort of thing. Instead of leaving my head buried in the sand of South Florida, I sucked up the courage and called in for a refill of the anti-depressant.

What knocked the sense into my head? The fact that I struck out at someone who means a lot to me. I didn't mean to, but bitchiness overcame me. It wasn't necessarily a hard strike, and perhaps he didn't perceive it as one, but as soon as I hit "send" ... I started crying.

Perhaps it's past time for me to admit to myself that I cannot be cured of being bipolar. This is something that will be part of my life until the day that I die. I've acknowledged this fact many times. But just because I say it, doesn't mean that I feel it to be true. See, the optimism crops up again in an inappropriate place.



The current fad for preteen girls around here is neopets. Don't ask me what the fascination is. I don't know. I'm too old now to be caught up in neopets.

Despite all this, Kari has picked one out for me to adopt. Since she has lived with me for 10 years, she knows I'm a sucker for elephants.

Great. Something else for me to take care of. Hopefully he won't eat much.

At least I won't have to dust this one.


fall is here!

Oh wait, the month is March, the temps are in the 90s and we live in So. Florida. Couldn't be Fall, must be the dry season.

But then why are the leaves falling off our trees? The leaves are even turning interesting shades of yellow and bronze before drifting to the ground. And there's the need to rake. I've raked up several bags worth of leaves to put out for the garbage men. Michael and Frog have jumped into and cavorted through my neatly raked piles.

Perhaps I'm missing having 4 seasons a bit too much these days. And the big picture just isn't showing the color change very well. Hmmph. Guess that's what the close up is for.


wanna see what Kim's painted now?

Kim didn't paint this manatee in my house, but I think she did such a great job, I wanted to share...



We were stuck in traffic behind a Southern Waste truck. I spotted a sign on the back that cracked me up...
Snow removal! We cater weddings!

Now why would anyone in the tropics need to know where to go for snow removal? I did love the picture of the snowman hiding behind a palm tree. And explain to me why anyone would want a waste management company to cater a wedding? Can you imagine where that food came from?

Oh my, need to catch my breath. Laughing way too hard here.


available for adoption

Many apologies to my brother, but this just cracks me up. Why?...

Pet ID Number: 12077/12990
2 Years
50 Pounds

Catahoola Mix
This boy is oh so sweet and calm. He's a friendly, playful guy that's seeking a loving home where he would get tons of attention . Kirk gets along great with other dogs and is a happy-go-lucky boy...he loves everything and everyone. Kirk needs a six foot fence.

...Perhaps because my brother Kirk is sweet, friendly, playful, needs lots of attention, is great with other "dogs" and is a happy-go-lucky person. He isn't calm, but he does need a six foot fence to keep him under control sometimes.


Rick's school saga continues

Way back on Halloween, Rick's principal promised that Rick would be retested in math skills sometime during November. Definitely before Thanksgiving (well, duh. Thanksgiving was at the end of the month.) Didn't happen.

They then promised to do so in December. Didn't happen.

By January I was being avoided. My van pulls into the parking lot -- run, hide, the bitch is here.

By February my messages were being ignored. "It's Eliz again? Tell her that I'm out of the office... moved... ill... anything! But I'm too busy to talk."

On Monday, Rick was told that he would be tested to see if he should have been in the upper level math class all along. Rick's response? "What's the point? The school year is almost over. You'll lose a math tutor for all the people not in algebra."

Thank goodness he didn't go on to say "Besides my mom has already told everyone she knows that this particular Chesterbrook doesn't live up to it's promises."

I don't think Rick's psychologist and psychiatrist are too impressed with them either.


what a mess

Most people can clean or do projects without creating huge messes. I'm not one of them.

Cleaning the kitchen means that I'm going to empty out the cupboards, the fridge, the freezer and scrub. The oven will be cleaned. The floor scoured. I can't just wipe everything down and go. This is a big problem.

Projects mean that a room is a disaster area until the project is finished, and honestly for another few days. I must come down from the high of finishing the project first.

I need a cleaning readjustment.



Toby has ruined the carpet in the hallway. Not that the carpet was beautiful to begin with, builders do not seem to be able to lay carpet correctly. But Toby has peed on it in vengeance more than one too many times. The carpet is just gross.

Robert and I went to Enduracolor this morning and looked at various laminate floors. Why not wood? Have you seen what Florida sand does to a hardwood floor? Scary! We had put down Pergo in our previous home and were very happy with it. Back then you had to glue all the seams. Now you can just click boards together.

But we have Toby - the mad pisser. If there is no glue to seal the seams, what is keeping that nasty yellow stuff from infiltrating the boards and causing them to warp? Nada darn thing. We opted for the original Pergo. I think we'll be very happy, especially once we've replaced the carpet with Pergo throughout the private part of the house.


academic kickbacks for athletes

Just last week Rick played in his first football game for his school. So it's just on the middle school level, so what if the team is coed, these kids practiced, played and won. What I found out today shocked me and made me think of something Terri wrote several weeks ago.
I applaud the sentiment that academics should form the basis for scholarships, but we all know that many colleges inflate the grades of their best players when necessary to keep them on the team.

Well guess what! It ain't just the colleges doing this. The middle schools have jumped on the bandwagon.

Rick's football team won. They didn't just get satisfaction from the fact that they earned the win, there were perks. For winning, they were exempted from homework for 2 nights, they didn't have to take the weekly vocabulary test and they were able to watch a movie one afternoon instead of going to class.

I'm horrified.

What does this teach our children? That they shouldn't be proud of themselves for working hard and achieving a goal? That the payment for a job well done is more important than the successful job?

Rick will never be a hugely successful athlete. He won't be courted by various colleges like his father was. I could be wrong. But participating in sports is important, especially for him. What I want him to gain from participating in team sports is the ability to work with others towards a common goal, to rejoice in goals reached, to learn from mistakes, to increase his self-confidence. You know, the typical stuff.

Unfortunately his school has placed the focus on winning for payment's sake.


thought provoking

Kane, of course. Read his 1 March entry.


bwa ha ha ha

Only Karan!


traffic patterns

Traffic is the same every day down here. When you turn on the radio for the traffic report, you are guaranteed to hear that there is an accident just before the big curve on the Palmetto Expressway, a major backup on 595 starting at Pine Island, accidents at the same spots on 95, 75, the Sawgrass, the turnpike, etc. The only things that change are the cars and people involved.

Traffic at Kari's school is getting to be the same way. If your child is in K through 2nd, you approach the school from the east. If your child is in 3rd through 5th, you must come from the south. You exit the way you came. This worked wonderfully until the DOT decided that traffic would no longer be able to turn left onto Pine Island Road from Orange Drive. Now the morning traffic that travelled that route now turns and goes around Kari's school making for a mess. Because of this change in the traffic pattern, parents now bring their children to school from whichever direction they want, which further complicates drop-offs in the morning.

Lets take this morning's fiasco. I dropped Kari off and was 2 cars away from making my left turn out of the school. Both cars in front of me wanted to turn left. The traffic coming from the south was backed way up, but the majority were turning into the school, so this wasn't a big deal. The problem lay in all the people who were coming from the other direction -- the direction they aren't supposed to be coming from to drop their children off. There were more than a few cars turning into the school from that direction. One car blocked the traffic from the south that didn't want to turn into the school.

So you understand our way was blocked to the left. We couldn't go that way. There are multiple signs posted saying that we cannot go right. This morning, even if we had wanted to disobey the traffic signs, we couldn't go right. Mr. Crossing-Guard was holding up everyone. Mr. Police Officer was also parked just off the road to our right. Not a good idea to break a traffic law -- even a minor one -- with a cop right there.

WE COULDN'T MOVE! Not one more car could fit into the parking area until another car left. Cars couldn't leave because of the cars trying to force their way in. This couldn't be solved by horns blaring. Nope, this required action.

I put the van in park, climbed out and went to inform the drivers of the cars making lefts into the school that they needed to move on and come back around or at least create a space for us to exit. Mr. "I get to block traffic because I have a job and my kid has to get to school and I drive a Hummer" flipped me off. The lady in the gold-toned van decided to drive on and turn back around. The third person thought that it would be a good idea to let a few of the cars out of the school before trying to turn in.

I will not be making a habit of this. I hope.


what in the world

Duke lost to St Johns.

Some idiot politician here in South Florida, Palm Beach county specifically, has actually suggested that we change the name of french fries to "freedom fries" or "American fries". He swiped this idiotic idea from another who feels that only Americans have the correct opinion and those who do not agree are idiots. This same politician is also proposing that French films be banned from a film festival and that we do not award county contracts to French-owned companies.

I must learn to enter field trips into my planner correctly. I almost dragged Kari to school very early on Friday morning. I just knew her field trip to the Everglades was scheduled for 28 February. Wrong! Thank goodness that she didn't go with her sunscreen, camera, spending money like several of her classmates. At least I was not the only airheaded parent.

Temperature is 90 degrees. On 2 March, the temperature is 90 degrees. Oh my poor wallet. FPL is going to love me this year.


like father, like daughter

Something about babies makes my brother sleepy. I have pictures of him napping with all 3 of mine.


Ann Coley

My niece is a sweetheart. Have a mentioned that?

Interesting that my parents' granddaughters were dark skinned with tons of black hair, while both grandsons were blonde with pale skin.


I do NOT like the Wiggles.


emergency supplies

It's that time of year again. Time to go through our camping supplies and make sure everything is in good working order. Time to begin restocking our emergency food supplies, because we've eaten last year's.


We live in South Florida, an area devastated by Hurricane Andrew, flooded by Hurricanes Irene, Georges et al and soaked by numerous tropical storms. We made a vow to learn from these experiences, especially Andrew, hence the annual ritual of stocking up.

One of the more difficult aspects is deciding which foods to put aside. I have a family of picky eaters. They are not fond of canned foods. Rick doesn't like soups; Robert doesn't like canned pastas; Kari won't eat it if it fails to present well; everything gives Michael a headache; and tuna and I do not agree on anything.

The last time we had to dig into our hurricane supplies was in October of 1999 when Hurricane Irene knocked down limbs and flooded our streets. Lucky me, I was in the hospital with a day old Michael. My parents were staying with Rick and Kari at our house. Robert was driving thru the torrential rain trying to take care of everyone and ignoring his own safety. My dad and the kids proceeded to chow down on the puddings, cookies and juices in the box. Snacks that would have lasted 10 days were gone in less than 2.

Hey, at least Dad replaced what he consumed -- with a canned ham.

"Earth laughs in flowers." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson