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2 kids. Memories of Wolf and Boo. Many dear friends. Three siblings. Two parents. Samarra the crazy dog. The Player and Pi the Cat. I love you all!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

An Undisclosed Location

Tomorrow after children and patients and coworkers are all neatly tucked into their day camps and exercise programs and daily work routines, I will be getting into my car and driving to an undisclosed location for a meeting with The Player.  This undisclosed location, I can tell you, is in the state of Indiana.  Other than that, I can't tell you.  Because if I told you then I'd have to kill you...wait, that's not right.  I'm not a superspy.  Just a woman with the desire to manage a baseball team.

On Sunday July 31st I will be returning from the undisclosed location just in time to celebrate Mutt's Day with my dog the Wolfster.  Yes, July 31st is the day that every dog gets, as in "every dog has his day."  Is that a saying or just a line from a bad rock-n-roll song by Huey Lewis? 

The undisclosed location is not an underground silo.  Because as I mentioned before I am NOT a superspy.  And I'm not completely sure, but I'm pretty almost positively sure that The Player is not a superspy either.   But I could be wrong.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Take Your Pants for A Walk Day

Seriously, the Bizarre Holiday Website has lost it's cotton-pickin' mind now.  Take your pants for a walk?  Puh-leez!

How about Wash Your Hands Day, or Don't Forget to Breathe Day! 

And still, no holiday celebrating the joys of hummus.  Still waiting for October to be declared National...no International...no, wait, Universal Hummus Month.  Yes, that sounds right. 

I suppose that Congress is too busy texting photos of themselves celebrating Take Your Pants Off Day...no, wait, Take Your Pants for a Walk Day...I mean, doing the business of getting re-elected...or, rather they are busy, um, solving the problems of the economy, wars, global warming, and so on to declare any new holidays.  Those busy busy folks, elected by the people for the people to forget the people.  Oh dear, I seem to be forgetting something.  Dear Lord, I'm not wearing any pants. 

Perhaps I should run for office!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Garbage Morning

Tuesday Morning 5:44
I awaken to sounds in the kitchen.  Sounds like mice scurrying.  Or a boy quietly trying to make himself some breakfast.  I scurry upstairs and find the boy.  He is wrapped in his blankie.  He has made toast and is getting ready to butter it.  He sweetly says, "can you make my toast?  And some cereal?"  I do that and he takes the plates upstairs to his room and disappears. 

I go back to bed.

Tuesday Morning 6:47
I awaken to sounds in the street.  Sounds like the garbage truck.  It is the garbage truck.  I vaguely recall the conversation I had with J-dude last night when we left for his last baseball game.  It went something like this:

mom:  J-dude let's not forget to take the trash to the street when we get home tonight.
j-dude:  I wonder if I will get to pitch tonight.  I hope we win.  I can't believe it's our last game.
mom:  Ok, then, thanks.

I vaguely recall that when we got home from the game and the ice cream party afterward the conversation went something like this.

mom:  J-dude stop bugging your sister.  Get upstairs and take your shower.
J-dude:  I'm so happy we won.  And that I got ice cream.  And that I got to pitch.  I can't wait until next season!

Tuesday morning 6:48

I sprint up the stairs to the front door.  I unlock the front door and sprint to the garbage can.  I fly down the driveway wheeling said garbage can to the street.  I am wearing my crummiest PJs and of course no bra.  Running in this state can be dangerous at my age.  The garbage truck is going down the opposite side of the street as I am performing this frightening feat. 

Tuesday morning 7:38

I finally hear the garbage truck coming down our side of the street.  I don't dare look but I am pretty sure it has to be a different driver.  The other one has certainly either 1. quit or 2. had a heart attack. 

Next week, for sure, J-dude is taking out the trash!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The New Lamp

Saturday morning as I was driving home from dropping off the kids at their dad's house, I saw a big yellow sign.  That sign called out to me.  It said "Neighborhood Garage Sales."  Did I go there immediately?  No, no I did not.

First I went to the bank and got money.  Then I went to the sales.

Usually neighborhood garage sales means park your car and walk from sale to sale until your arms are too full, then go back to your car with stuff.  Repeat as needed.  But with a heat index of over 100 at 10:00 a.m., I did some walking and some driving and some walking and some driving.  The sales were in a neighborhood with new homes and no trees.  A neighborhood that was a cornfield not very many years ago.

Once at a neighborhood garage sale I bought a suitcase at the first sale and then kept putting my purchases into it as I walked the neighborhood.  That was in a neighborhood with lots of trees and shade and the day was not so ridiculously hot.  I bought more stuff than I probably should have because, well, I had a place to put the stuff as I walked along.  I don't recommend this tactic if you are on a budget.

Yesterday I bought some things that I really like.  And I got some deals.  At one house I bought a lunchbox for Sisi (who inevitably loses one or two each summer so getting one for 25 cents is a good idea), some little windchimes, and 2 cute refrigerator magnets.  The total came to 85 cents.  I told the guy I almost felt guilty.  Then he got this look on his face that I recognized from having my last garage sale.  The look said thank goodness people are still taking this crap out of my house for me.  One man's junk is another woman's treasure.  Or something like that.

The purchase I am most proud of, however, is a lamp.  This is no ordinary lamp.  No, the base is made of hand-thrown pottery.  I fell in love with it immediately.  I asked the woman about it.  She said she had bought it at an art fair in Columbus, Ohio.  I asked if it works.  Yes it works, she said.  Of course it works. 

When I got home I found out that it did not work.

This is how much I loved the lamp though.  I went back in time to  1969 when I was in 7th grade at Chiddix Junior High School.  One of the few schools in our district that is still the same size and same school now as then.  I had to take Shop that year.  All the girls had to take a few weeks of Shop and the boys had to take a few years of Home Ec.  In Shop we learned how to use a little table jig-saw, and how to use wood glue, and some other simple things. 

And we made a lamp.

So I thought, if I did it in 7th grade at Chiddix Junior High School 42 years ago, surely I could do it now.  I took the lamp apart and decided that I could indeed fix the lamp.  And fix the lamp I did.

 The only difference between 1969 and 2011 is that in 1969 I did not receive a very unpleasant shock that ran up my right arm and scared the bejesus out of me while I was checking to see if I had the wires connected correctly.

You can buy these pieces at Walmart for $3.97 plus tax.  Nearly doubling the price of the lamp but still well worth it.

The finished product. 

I have a vague memory of having to take some auto repair class in high school.  Watch here for future blogs when perhaps I will buy an old Jaguar and rebuild the engine. You never know!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another Reason I Should Get The Job

Is Mike Quade a Ferengi?  Judge for yourself:



If appointed Queen Manager of the Cubs, I promise never to look like a Ferengi.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Breakfast in Bed

This morning I was asked by J-dude if he could make me breakfast in bed.  I said "sure."  A half hour later I am eating my toast and bowl of Raisin Bran.  Sisi brought me my laptop and now I am blogging in bed. 

Our living room is now back to "normal."   The Christmas tree is finally put away after it's incarnations as Valentine's Tree, St Patrick's Day tree, Easter Tree and Fourth of July Tree.  I had to promise to get it out by Halloween for Sisi to decorate for her favorite holiday, and then of course it will be a Turkey Tree before it goes back to it's original incarnation. 

While we were moving couches back where they belong, we also took down the fort Sisi had built in the other corner of the room.  It looks like regular people live here.

For a while, anyway.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Turf Toe

Turf Toe is the official diagnosis of what happened to J-dude when he bounced in an unfortunate, painful, toe-jamming-twisting way on the trampoline Monday night.  Poor little guy was in tears.  RICE was in order:  rest, ice, compression, elevation.  (Acronym learned in PT school and used more as a Mom than in work.)  Didn't look broken Monday but didn't look  much better by Tuesday night.  So Wednesday morning I made an appointment for him to see the pediatrician. 

Of course when I picked him up from day camp to go to the doctor he appeared to be walking normally for the first time since the accident.

But the toe was still swollen and painful and Doctor Aaron diagnosed it as...turf toe.  An injury common to football and soccer players who jam their toes on the turf while the toe is flexed.   Apparently you can do it on a trampoline, too.

Thinking now that maybe I should have been an athletic trainer.  It might save us some trips to the doctor as J-dude gets older. 

The good news is that the treatment for turf toe is RICE, and if there is a hairline fracture in there as well you can "buddy tape" the toe...which is what I had been doing all along with a little Coban.  (Buddy taping means you tape the toe to the next toe , to it's "buddy" so to speak.)  

Speaking of buddies...Kathy and I went to see Bridesmaids last night.  I rarely see new movies in the theater, and this one is hardly "new" but still in theaters.  I laughed almost non-stop for 2 hours.  Like any comedy, best to see in a theater with a bunch of strangers eating popcorn around you and laughing, too.   A really cold theater on a hot summer night.  Oh yea!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who'd A Thunk It?

Seems like just a few months ago that I was hearing a lot of complaining about how long and miserable the winter was here in Central Illinois?  Hmmmm.

Ok, I am back in action computer-wise, sort of.  I have internet access and I have photos from the family shindig.  (Is that a real word?  I will check the big red word-bible in a moment.)

Here is my White Elephant gift.  It is a fabulous Fanny!  A big blue soft fuzzy glove that dusts without chemicals.  I love my new chemical-free Fanny!  I took it away from my nephew Sam who is 15 and actually wanted it.  I believe he ended up with the Kiss Me I'm Irish baseball cap after some post-white-elephant-gift-exchange trading.  So mostly everyone was happy.

Connie and Tammy have not changed much in 25 years, have they...silly girls. 

Sista Jill and Brotha Mark enjoying the Cook resort. 

The Player joined us for the weekend and amazingly did not seem to be frightened of my extended family.  

The most amazing thing of all, though, is that Connie is actually answering the phone when I call this week.  I figured I'd be cut off....after a year or so ago saying, "hey's lets have a big family birthday party" and then when she said "ok how about my house" and then I said, "sure, I'll help you" and she didn't see my fingers crossed behind my back.  Connie and Jim did an amazing amazing amazing job of hosting us and feeding us and I am so so grateful.  Thanks especially to them and to everyone who came to the party. 

More pictures of the shindig (yup it's a real word!) to follow in another edition!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In Which I Spend Two Weeks Salary in One Day

So...the computer doodad did not work.  I received this bad news when I called BAMJAC Monday morning.  MJ was working on my laptop right then, trying to figure out what was wrong with the durned thing.  He called me later, waking me from my Monday afternoon nap, and said "not worth fixing."  I would at least have liked to finish my nap before receiving this news.  But instead...

I went to Best Buy and looked around.  Overwhelmed, I called Connie who gave me some advice.  Backed with this advice, I bought a new laptop.  Not as expensive as I'd thought, but more expensive than the doodad repair would have been.  If it had worked.

Next, the car.  Routine maintenance.  But routine maintenance of the "every 60,000 mile service" type that makes you wonder if keeping your 125,000 mile vehicle is worth it because the maintenance costs, well, more than a new computer! But yes, car is maintained and drives so smoothly now, and so I feel happy and blessed.  Working car, working computer, healthy family, a home with AC, some food in the fridge, a sweet old dog, and a sense of humor.  What else could a girl want?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Still in the Shop

The computer is still in the shop.  My car is also in the shop today, getting a routine maintenance make-over for 120,000 miles (ok, ok, it's 5,000 late but who is counting?).  I am at the library where the AC is on, and the computers work.  I have caught up reading friends' and family's blogs, and now I'm ready to "git down to bizness" here on my own.

But I cannot hook up my camera to this computer.  And most of what I want to talk about is the weekend reunion in Tennessee and the photos are essential.  Absolutely essential.

So that part of the blogging experience will have to wait.

We did have a wonderful trip and you will, eventually, when all my mechanical devices are in working order again, get to see and read about it.

Is anyone reading this where it's not too hot?  Jeez!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Not Yet

My computer is fixable, and in an affordable price range.  That's the good news.  The flip side is it won't be ready until early next week when the ordered doodad-that-needs-replacing arrives.  However, I will be out of town from tomorrow until Sunday and wouldn't be using it anyway.  But of course today I am secretly blogging on my work computer and hope I won't be caught, fired, and unable to afford the repair then after all.

I miss blogging.  I will be back next week with my blogging boots on!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Today I must call BAMJAC and find out
1. why they have not yet called me about my defunct laptop.
2.  if they have looked at the laptop yet.
3.  if there is any chance of getting it fixed and
4.  if there is any chance getting it fixed will be cheaper than just buying a new computer.

Depending on the answers to these questions I will then be either
1. hoping for a sooner-rather-than-later fix to the laptop.
2.  asking them to recover my files from the laptop if it isn't going to be fixed
3. shopping for a new 'puter.

But more likely they will say
1.  No we haven't been able to look at your laptop yet.
2.  Please call back later, OR Don't call us we'll call you.

Stay Tuned for further developments.

Friday, July 8, 2011

2/3 of a Blog

My regular computer is on the fritz.  The screen stays dark even as the computer itself flashes the lights and makes the sounds that say "I'm on, I'm here, I'm ready, let's GO!"  I have given up on it and am temporarily using my old brokenish laptop that only has 2/3 of a functional screen.  I guess that is what I will have to do until I can get my regular computer that's on the fritz into the shop...BAMJAC on Oakland Avenue will be on my list of places to visit today.

This computer is very very slow.  Too slow for my limited patience this morning to keep blogging.  Adios amigos!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Queen

The Holiday Website tells me it is both Chocolate Day and Strawberry Sundae Day.  (day day day deedle dee dee).   Celebrating one or the other should suffice but if you feel compelled to celebrate both of them today then by all means indulge.    And the website reminds me that chocolate is a vegetable, or made from a vegetable.  I think some nutritionists from the Reagan era are contributing to the website. 

Last night J-dude had a baseball game.  It was so durned hot and sticky the only place to sit was in the shade.  The only thing about the shade at Oakdale's field is...the weeds and the bugs.  Yowza.  Sisi and I lasted 3 and a half innings before we headed for home and air conditioning.  We saw the J-ster pitch 3 good innings, hit a single, steal 2 bases, and score on a close call at home plate requiring some expert sliding.

Ok, I am going to confess something here.  J-dude is probably the best player on his team this year.  He is not the youngest player so that helps.  He's been playing longer than most of the other kids so that helps too.  He loves and studies the game.  But some of it is just his natural-born ability.  The kid could throw a soft ball overhand before he could sit up.  The confession is this...I am discovering that I have some kind of celebrity status as his mother among the parents of the other kids on the team and sometimes from parents on other teams.  They come up to me and say "Are you Jeremiah's mom?"  and then they say "He is a really good player."  And then I smile and say "Yes, I think so too.  Thank you."  And then I sit there kind of like the Queen Mother because of course I just got lucky that way, an accident of birth.

I like being the Queen Mother of little league baseball.

I still would like to be Queen Manager of the Cubs, though.  Pretty soon it looks like Mike Quade is going to have a nervous breakdown in the dugout and I might get another shot at the job. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What I Saw in Ohio

I saw lots of wonderful things in Ohio.  Most of the things I photographed were of the botanical variety, on a hike at Tinker's Creek.

This, I do believe, is black cohosh.  Even though it is white. 

Tinker's Creek is a wetland, and these Pickerel weed grow in shallow waters of the ponds we hiked around.

This is Wild Basil.  The basil growing in my herb garden pots doesn't bloom like this!  But my field guide assured me that wild basil does not taste as good as what we cultivate.  Still, I wouldn't mind a few wild basil plants to find their way to my garden.

I had more difficulty identifying this one but I think it's Yarrow.  If any of my Gentle Readers know better, I am willing to be corrected.  Gently, of course.

No, we didn't walk out into the wetland.  We stayed on the path, mostly dry, around the perimeter. 

Here is what I brought home from Ohio:

Wait, don't strain to read the label, let me give you a close up view:

Yes, Hummus Chips!  After I devour the two bags (I confess, part of the first bag is already eaten!) I will be searching for a supplier of these delicious little goodies in Illinois.  If you hurry on by this week, you might get a taste or two.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Dog and His Castle

This blog posting is at the request of Wolf.  This morning he said, "Why don't you put that picture of me and the kids on the blog today."  I said, "Ok."

Then while I was uploading the photo, he snuck over to the other couch and ate J-dude's tortilla off his plate.  That sneaky dog.  At least he didn't take the popsicles!

Sisi's castle that she made for Wolf is completed:

Here is my little Splash Artiste at work:

This weekend I'm off to O-Hi-O so no blogs until next week!  Happy Fourth y'all!