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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!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Frankenstein Friday

Yes that's right...the 4th Friday in October.  Who knew?

It's also Harvest Day at the kids' school.  They informed me last night they needed to dress in "farmer clothes" and why didn't I magically just come up with jeans (which Sisi has claimed in the past she will never wear), or overalls (which Sisi used to rip off when she was a toddler if I attempted to dress her in them) or flannel shirts (hello? ).  So they are just wearing, well, whatever.  Sisi has an orange bandana on her cute little head.  And a button up shirt.  She looks adorable.

J-dude is still sleeping.  He stayed up late to watch Game 6 of the World Series so he will probably feel more like Frankenstein than a farmer when I go to wake him.  I hope I don't feel like the little guy in the picture when that happens.  Thank goodness my little guy is still...well, little.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Walk on the Wild Side

On Saturday afternoon The Player and I went for a walk at Parklands.  We decided to try a trail there we've never walked along before.  The trail split at one point and though The Player said we should go to the right I said no no we should go to the left.  After a while that branch of the trail came to an end that looked like this:

We turned back and took the right fork which led to the river.  As we walked along I could feel my blood sugar getting a little bit low.  I willed it to stop but it kept falling until I finally said I had to turn back and go to the car to get something to eat or drink.
But first I took some pictures of the fall colors:

Yes yes I should have had food with me for the walk.  But that was my second error of the day.  And The Player was unnerved by my apparent pale appearance.  I won't tell you what he said...ok ok yes I will.  He said I looked like I was in a Wax Museum.  I laughed pretty hard when he told me that, of course by then my blood sugar was back to normal and I had a sense of humor again as well as some pink in my cheeks.  So from now on I will be taking the fork in the road he suggests first and carrying some carbs along for the walks. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rest In Peace Sweet Wolf

Gee, suddenly my bad hips don't seem to hurt so badly after all!

Good day, Sunshine!

Why yes, I do like hummus.  Thank you!

The terrific trio

We love you, Wolf.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Sad Week

On Sunday afternoon Wolf, our beloved old dog, stopped eating his regular dog food.  He eventually gave up eating his treats, cheese, and drinking much water.  When he ate a little pizza out of my hand on Monday evening I thought maybe he was just on a hunger strike for better meals.  But Tuesday morning he wouldn't even fall for the pizza trick.

Tuesday afternoon we made a trip to the vet to see Dr. Matt.  The news is not good.  Liver and kidneys not working well.  He gave Wolf a couple shots to control the nausea he has probably been feeling and we entered the phase of Wolf's life which I am calling "Doggy Hospice."  We have a few days at most according to Dr. Matt, until we need to make that last vet appointment for Wolf.

As if on cue the universe provided exactly the person I probably most wanted to see when we left the exam room and went out to pay the receptionist after Wolf's appointment.  Bob.  Bob my pastor.  Bob the dog lover.  Bob the dog trainer extraordinaire.  Serendipity Bob and his puppy Daisy.  We chatted outside for a while, and then I got in my car and drove to get the kids and give them the crappy news.

The kids and I spoiled Wolf last night.  He got a hamburger, which he actually ate.  He slept with all 3 of us nearby.  This morning he drank a little water and got up the stairs on his own, so I know he feels a little better.  Today is probably not going to be the day, but it will be soon.    And that makes this one very sad week.

Monday, October 17, 2011

If I Won the Lottery

Yesterday was Dictionary Day according to the bizarre holiday website!  I love that there is a dictionary day.  It falls on Noah Webster's birthday, appropriately.  I love my big red dictionary but if I won the lottey I might buy a copy of the OED.  The 20-volume set is only $995 (plus shipping and handling).  I wouldn't actually need to win the lottery to purchase it, but I would need to win the lottery to build a big library with built-in shelves and a fireplace in which to house the books.  And I would have to be able to quit my job because I would just want to sit by the fireplace all winter drinking something warm and reading from the OED.  I would call up my working friends and annoy them with definitions of obscure words while they are trying to write a sermon or perform a play or send someone an important email or fix something broken. 

So maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.  Now that I have a plan for the money.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


J-dude's recipe for jack-o-lanterns.

1.  Whine until your mom takes you to the store on Friday evening to buy pumpkins.
2.  Whine when you get home that night when your mom is too tired to carve the jack-o-lanterns.
3.  Talk back and get sent to your room.
4.  Come out of your room and do not bring the subject up again until

5.  Saturday morning get up and ask your mom to carve the jack-o-lanterns.  Do not whine.
6.  When you meet resistance say "You said last night we could do it today."  Insist.
7.  Do not whine.
8.  Smile really nicely at your mom.
9.  When she says okay, do everything she asks and nothing she asks you specifically not to do.
10.  Remember not to whine.
11.  Spend a long time cleaning out the seeds and placing them in a container. 

12.  Ask your mom to carve the face, because she likes to do that.
13.  Don't complain or whine if you don't like the face she carved. 

14.  Ask nicely if the seeds could be cooked right away.

15.  Yummm!  Don't forget to say Thank You!

Books and Other Adventures

On Friday the kids got out of school early because it was their affiliated-high-school's homecoming and the parade was in the afternoon.  This year neither of my kids were in the parade.  The weather was chilly and windy, so they said they'd rather not go.  Ooops I forgot to remind them about all the candy that they will be missing.  Oh well,  So we went to the library instead.  (My kind of Friday afternoon!)  They played the kids computer games and I stayed nearby making sure they followed all the library rules (haha). 

Sisi checked out a book called Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Weirdos.  The book shows kids how to draw monsters, Frankensteins, witches, and other scary creatures.

It's a pretty great book and as Sisi says, "he makes it seem so easy!" 

J-dude checked out a book called The Giver which he has been reading with his class at school.  He wants me to read it, too.  I asked him for a synopsis of what he has read so far.  At first he said, "I can't really remember.  I just want you to read it."  I finally convinced him I wanted to hear what the book is about in his own words,  and he talked non-stop for about 15 minutes about the book.  So...there you have it, I found the magic phrase to open the door:   In Your Own Words.  And I probably said Please, also.

At bedtime the kids and I laid down together and they asked me to read some of the books I used to read outloud when they were preschoolers.  We read and laughed and they kept handing me books.  A clever ploy to stay up later.  I read Grandpa Toad's Secrets,  I read One Fish, Two Fish.  (My what a lot of fish there are!)  Sisi read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.  Then it was lights out time, and they fell asleep quickly, kind of like when they were preschoolers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


The kids and I journeyed to Akron this weekend to visit The Player and to attend the Lantern Festival.  We arrived too late at the festival to decorate our own lanterns, and I forgot my camera anyway.  Sisi dressed as a cat mime (?) and then played *Statue* in the sculpture courtyard where several people thought she was a sculpture until she moved or meowed or something to scare the bejewels out of them.  That's my girl, the scary cat mime, yes indeed!

On Sunday, my birthday, we went out to breakfast then for a walk in one of the metro parks.  We watched birds and frogs and meandered on trails in spectacular fall weather.  It was a great birthday.

Home Monday, back to school and work.  Still loving this weather and now the full moon, too!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Packing for a Trip

Last night I was tired.  I have worked more than usual this week and for reasons I won't detail, my work has made me more worn out at the end of some days.  Like yesterday.

Then there was a conflict with Sisi over my request to take down the fort she had constructed in the living room.  I wouldn't mind a fort in the living room if my house was bigger, and I don't mind a temporary fort in the living room now, but her intentions were that it would be a permanent part of the home.  Nevermind access to the furniture behind it for the rest of the family.  So...I said to take it down.

Somehow this struck a nerve and it caused her to glare at me, then go into her brother's room (where he was already sent after getting in trouble for rollerskating on the wood floor in the guest room, right before my eyes, 3 seconds after I had politely told him not to rollerskate on the wood floor.)  I heard furniture being moved...the desk being placed behind the door for insured privacy from mom.  Ok, I thought, that's okay, let them have a private gripe session about me.  It will do them good and I will get 5 minutes to myself.

After a while I knocked on the door and reminded them it was time for showers.  The desk moved away from the door and I was allowed in.  Sisi headed to the shower, glowering a bit less, and then I noticed this sitting on the desk:

Why is this on your desk?  I asked the boy.

Sisi brought it up here, he answered.

Sisi, why did you bring the lemon juice up to J-dude's room?  I asked the girl.

I didn't do it, she claimed.

Hmmm.   I mused. 


Finally J-dude said, She wanted to run away from home.  She was planning to take that along.

So we had the chat about running away and why and where would you go.  It made me sad.  I still didn't want a fort in my living room, though.  So, we finally agreed if she wants to run away again she just has to take me with her. 

Tonight we will be packing for a weekend trip to Ohio where we will visit The Player and attend a Lantern Festival.  I don't think we will need to take any bottles of lemon juice, but you never know what might end up in her suitcase!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Laying Low

Here are some ways I know it is fall in Central Illinois:

1.  There is frost on the grass in the mornings.
2.  Windows open at night means not wanting to get out from under the covers in the morning.
3.  There may be nightly fires in the firepit!
4.  My neighbor's pear trees get serious about shedding their fruit, and some of them end up in my yard.
5.  The trees turn into mother nature's palette.
6.  My birthday approaches.
7.  Last but not least, it's time for the Evergreen Cemetery Discovery Walk.

This year I took both kids to the Walk.  The theme this year is "Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War."  While this is only the 3rd walk I have attended, I would say it was very much my favorite.  The actors were all so very good.  The scripts were wonderful, too.  Our tour guide had a sense of humor.  AND, Colonel John McNulta taught my kids how to avoid enemy fire:'

Don't do THIS, he said.  Instead, do this:

Good advice.  I hope they never need it, though.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


How did the 10th month of our calendar get the name October which has the Latin root for eight in it? 

My big red dictionary was no help, though I did see another humorous word pairing at the top of the next page...octogenarian* odor.  No offense to those of you in your 8th decades, of course.  Because someday I hope to join that crowd and not have young 50-something whippersnappers snickering about odors real or imagined. 

Friday's word of the day was zarf, an excellent word to know for Scrabble, which means a chalicelike holder for a hot coffee cup, made of metal, used in the Middle East. 

Today my friend Cindy is to arrive for a short visit, from Chicago, via Amtrak.  The weather looks good for a walk out at Parklands this afternoon.  Dinner out somewhere.  Then we will probably play Scrabble.  Cindy claims I lost my competitive edge at Scrabble when I became a mom and was in the habit of letting the kids win games.  I think perhaps my vocabulary also went back to a 1st grade level.  Perhaps I won't win the game but maybe I can wow her with one or two cool words like Zarf or Keck.

Tomorrow the kids and I will be going to the Cemetery Walk in the afternoon.  I hope the beautiful weather holds (it's supposed to) and that they enjoy it.  I know I will.  See you there Ms Kathleen!