Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


These people could be my grandparents!!! Different State, same state!

I've always been interest in World War II. It's an era I've taught for years as well since 8th grader read The Diary of Anne Frank. A friend emailed me this website with some marvelous pre-World War II photos. I was fascinated to see how the world has changed. Hope you enjoy them too. Click on the link below to see more photos.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It’s been a Bits and Pieces Week

Monday there was a special assembly, Chicago Storm (pro soccer) came with a presentation to the student body 7th and 8th periods. Students who had tardy referrals were in a separate session for tardy remediation. I was there to help with the instruction and project.

Normally I have class 7th period, but everyone was going to the assembly, so I don’t have to teach, right? Our special kids were delivered to us at the end of 6th, and I was in that classroom. So….I forgot to go escort my 7th hour class to the assembly. Oops!

Tuesday night is the High Point class at church. Our country this month is Burkina Faso (It’s in Africa. The capital city is Ouagadougou (pronounced:
wä-gä-ˈdü-gü). I found a recipe for “Peanut Rings”
that they sell in the streets there, and tried to make it. The problem is finding peanuts here that are roasted, but not salted…or peanut butter with no emulsifier. The latter doesn’t exist. The former I just didn’t have time to search for, or rather, the only time I had to search (Monday night), I chose to collapse in front of the fireplace with my laptop instead of brave the elements to search for unsalted peanuts. So I had to add flour …. Anyway, it didn’t quite come out.
I’m headed to Scientific Outlet tonight to purchase (cheap) more stuff for our “experiments”. Both for Tuesday night and when my granddaughters come on Sunday, we do experiments. Last night it was a homemade water filter (since good water is a problem in many parts of Burkina Faso), and a cyclone in a bottle . The link here says drill a hole in the caps and tape together. Naw! Get a special cap for $1 at a Science supply store. They say that the store has wonderful stuff this time of year. Time to stock up for wintertime fun!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Bit and Pieces Weeks

I called 911 twice last week. I've lived ... ummm ... a lot of years ... and have never called 911. First at school, I dialed an 1-800 number for a business call. But to get an outside line, I always dial "9" and then "1". When I looked at the paper the number was written 1-800-555-1212 so I dialed it. The second "1" turned the first three digits into 911 (Just in case you didn't catch that, I'm spelling it out!) and the local police emergency number answered. I didn't know that dialing the "9" would ever register like that. If I tried dialing 911 from my office I would have dialed 9-1-911. Now I know. Just 911 does it. I apologized profusely to the young lady who took it in stride.

THEN... Saturday, I was cleaning my office at home (instead of reading blogs!!!) and kept hearing these dogs yapping. I wasn't concerned since a few doors down across the street, two miniature Collies rule the neighborhood from their fenced-in run at the side of the house. My granddaughters are afraid of them and walk on the opposite side of me whenever we pass that house. The dogs are a bit aggressive and anti-social, much like their owners who are resentful at the browning of our neighborhood. But today, they (the dogs, not their owners) are on the sidewalk fending off the neighborhood kids. Then they take to the street to chase some people on the other side of the street. Literally, they're blockadeing the neighborhood. In the absence of their owners, the dogs are protecting the house, the sidewalk and the street. I see a couple of adolescent boys head toward the dogs, but they too retreat in defeat. I'm thinking if I can get to the gate of the dog run, they might go back inside. So I grab by camera tripod for a weapon (Tough tripod warrior, that's me!) and head that way but I can't get within a New York mile of the dogs either.

In order to avoid a Watts-style riot and a return to the clothing styles of the 70's, I resort to the telephone. 911. The operator was interested, getting details and promising to send "someone" when, voila' the owners pull into the driveway. So the dogs follow their not-so-neighborly neighbors into the house and peace reigns supreme.

Times I should Have Called 911 and Didn't

My BIL had an insulin reaction
. When I came home, he was disoriented and hallucinating, so I got him in the car, a little yellow Toyota Corolla, and drove him to the emergency room. About halfway there on a Saturday morning I got caught in traffic at a stoplight. Michael's eyes were rolling back in his head, and I started worrying about him dying in the car. With my help that little yellow Corolla took the sidewalk around the corner. Still honking incessantly, I drove the rest of the way in controlled disobedience of traffic laws wishing a cop would come and give me a siren-screaming light-flashing escort. Of course, they might have whipped out the straight jacket instead and I could be writing this from the State Mental Institution. (Conveniently located here in our little town!!) I took that little joyride in 1990; I should have just called 911.

Any other 911 quality emergency would be even longer ago than 1990! Unless, of course, you count our near-E.T. experience yesterday. The girls and I wanted to go for a bike ride. Hubby warned us that there could be strong winds, but since he is somewhat of a Careful Carla (Carlos?), we listened and then continued. Within two minutes the cold front moved in with a vengeance. Trees were bent in the howling wind. We were on our way, but decided to cut our ride short and just finish our circuit around the block. By the time we were back on our street, the wind was blowing in our faces at a steady 40 miles an hour. Little M was directly in front of me and struggling to keep her bike moving. I felt like I was riding up the Rocky Mountains, my legs trembling with the effort. I could envision her, bicycle and all taking flight in the wind and wondered if I'd be able to grab the wheel of her bicycle as she flew past me overhead. Almost, but not quite, 911 quality.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I love your blog awards!

Marina at Daughter of the King awarded these to me. Thanks Marina!!!

Mismatch of a slow start for a busy day

I woke up at 4:30 with a migraine, managed to traipse to the kitchen, find the Zomig without turning on the light and climb back into bed. At 6:45 I awaken again, groggy, but sans migraine.

Hubby ordered oatmeal for me from the corner restaurant. Do you have ANY idea how complicated and conflicted life becomes with a restaurant on the corner by your house? The oatmeal is good and reasonably healthy even if I do like mine with extra brown sugar and cream. I pick it up before driving through the donut shop on the other side of the street for coffee. Oh yes. There is also a wonderful Mom and Pop donut shop on the next block over from my house. Location. Location. Location.

The first stop light seems long, so I remove the top from the coffee for that first hot sip. Alas, just as the top comes off my coffee the light changes. So I sit there long enough to savor the coffee. I replace the lid and take off just before the light turns to red. Fortunately not many cars were around to observe this lunacy.

Much better than yesterday when I didn’t get a sip to drink in the car, and then managed to drop the Styrofoam cup on the floor trying to get my computer bag, lunch, purse, book bag and coffee into my office before racing to a meeting for which I was already late. I then burned my hand attempting to preserve at least a little of that wonderful brown stuff by holding the cup together until I could run to the lunchroom for a smaller cup. Yesterday I saved about 4 ounces of the precious liquid. Today? I drank the whole thing, to the last drop. All 20 ounces!

Next stop, the pharmacy. Yesterday I made a list of all meds and went for refills trying to coordinate the refills for the same time of the month. Success! Except for one. Oh well. Nothing is perfect.

The pharmacist stabbed his finger on a staple. He spent the next 5 minutes removing all staples so that the same fate would not occur to me. His finger bled profusely at least half a drop. God forbid such bloodletting should occur to me, too!

Drugs in hand, well, actually in car, I continued to school. Getting out of the car I realize that I don’t have my keys or I.D. Keys. Yikes. I keep my purse in my office and need to have it locked when I’m not in there. Not today. So I get the penguin key (another long story) from the office. Before I can leave a parent is there before the Spanish-speaking liaison (Doesn’t it seem like that word has an extra “i”?) arrives. So I translate.

She received a phone call yesterday about a dress code issue that must be taken care of immediately or there will be consequences. On the phone she had said she didn’t know anything about it. She’s here now asking for an extension of time. Sure. Monday is fine. But she’s irritated at the short notice. (I’m translating). The student has been notified three times. She says she just found out. So, not translating, just adding my two cents, I say, “Well, kids are like that. They sometimes just don’t tell us right away.”

Her reply? “My son is very responsible. He always tells me everything right away.”

I don’t go there. Either he told you or he didn’t, I’m thinking. Then, it dawned on me. Of course!!! It wasn’t the child who didn’t notify his mother. It was the principal and the office staff who are just SAYING they told the child. But really they didn’t. Because “My Son” is very responsible. It’s all of YOU who are…. Oh well…. It’s that kind of day.

Besides, I have a lovely warm cup of coffee calling my name.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It can't be PMS, or can it?

I have two major coping mechanisms: sleep and crying. Today I've employed both and neither are working.

Absolutely nothing is wrong. I went to the oncologist for a check-up. I don't even know if I'm supposed to be going every 2 months, every 3 months or what. I forget to go; they call. I reschedule, then reschedule the rescheduled appointment because I have class that day. Eventually I get there. Today was it.

Sitting in the waiting room for the requisite hour's wait, I'm accompanied by people just getting the bad new, "Yes. It was malignant." By people coming for chemotherapy, hairless, dry-eyed and pale, resolute and hoping to survive. Wanting to beat it this time around. By family members, anxious and solicitous. And for a few, like me, there for routine checkups, "Has it returned?" is the primary question. Although most, like me, know that it hasn't. The beast is still contained, but we're aware of the dark shadow of possibility that may someday rear its ugly head.

The TV is playing old reruns of obsolete comedies, a background sacrilege to the serious thoughts each is having. I try to read. I lose the battle and come awake wondering if I've snored or snorted loudly enough to be heard. No one pays me the least attention, each is lost in his/her own world of somber possibilities. I sleep again. Hard. Either a snore or a snort or the fear of one wakes me again. That deep sleep from which it's difficult to awaken. Finally I rouse enough to change positions, trying to move so as not to fall asleep again. One part of me doesn't want to sleep; the other part is winning. Just as I fall heavily into the zone again, she calls my name.

Just as I expected, the blood test is good. Everything is fine. Even my blood pressure registers normal. Wonder of wonders, must be the sleep.

The doctor orders a bone scan. The one last year was very good, above average for my age. Since I'm on the killer hormones, bone density needs to be monitored. I expect it will also be above average.

I come home late and my husband has cleaned the house. He has the back room ready, clean and cozy for me to rest or work (or blog) on my laptop. So I get settled, postpone working on my paper that's past due, and read a few blogs. And start laughing, then crying. (If you need to laugh until you cry, try reading this... it's VERY VERY funny!)

It can't be why am I still crying? There must be a sad virus in the oncologist's office. Next time I think I'll wear a bubble suit when I go.

Or maybe just carry a big plastic bubble umbrella!!


Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm told this is the most dangerous cake in the world!
(click HERE -- or the Flavor Icon -- for more recipes)


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using)
and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1 000 watts. The
cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool
a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous). And why
is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time
of the day or night!

A bloggy friend has a slightly different version posted -- complete with photo!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tea for Three in the Backyard Tent

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy Birthday "Little A"

She looks just like me!

I cut this all myself!

Mommy, Daddy and Little A with her pumpkin
Quick! Cover her with leaves!

Fashion or Comfort?


(Color...not the fringe. I'll leave the jacket fringe to Billy Ray Cyrus!)



Lament to passing Youth...
(Skip this if you're under 50 and in good health!)
(You really don't want to know)

You might need "sensible" foot wear if...

...your arch begins cramping severely just trying to get your foot into the right angle for insertion into those stilettos can't twist and bend your body enough to get those beautiful buckles fastened

...the last time you had on stilettos, you walked club-footed for a week afterward

...the memory of the backache gives you an instant headache

...your calf knots up at the sight of those beautiful shoes

...your stomach turns a somersault every time you see a 4-inch spike (That's what WE called them in the old days!! Spikes!)

...tears roll down your cheeks when you realize that those wonderful shoes are a thing of the past!!! have a clue of what I'm talking about.


So... I didn't buy a single shoe!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gladys Knight and the Pips
Midnight Train to Georgia

So after Linda at 2nd cup does "I love the 70's Thursday Thirteen", I go to a 50th birthday party in Milwaukee tonight. ( is last night now!!) And who should show up??? One of the famous Thursday Thirteen with her entourage!

What a riot!!
Happy Birthday 50th Jeff Butler

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

For real, I'm thinking I'm in a brain warp. I mean, if you look at the last two entries, I've lived with the man for nearly 39 years. I should be able to read his mind by now. Maybe it's the blood pressure meds! Or the estrogen-killing hormone I take! Or, old age!!! Naw. Couldn't be old age. Some things are not just working right around here. My brain is one of them.

Another is my alternate diet. Alternate hours just don't work. Eating everything that can be stuffed into a mouth for one hour and then nothing the next hour really doesn't work. I really have to go back to alternate days. Maybe tomorrow I can do one of those 500 calorie days. Before all 12 lbs find me and jump back aboard. I'll try running faster. Maybe I can out run them!

I was watching HS*N last night. There was some wand for sale that would take wrinkles off a face. They even used it to "raise" an eyebrow. It somehow created an arch in the eyebrow -- by shocking the muscles into place??? I thought about ordering it, but I was afraid that I'd have my nose growing out the side of my cheek or m lips turned upside down.

Then on Sunday I go into the house to get another painter's palette (uh..paper plate) and my camera. I start looking for the tripod. The painter (granddaughter, 8 yrs old) comes to find me. "Grandma, did you find another palette for me?"

Me: So sorry. I got busy and forgot your palette. I got distracted getting the camera ready.

8 yr old: That's okay Grandma. I know. You can't multitask

But I read today: "Researchers have additionally noted that brain function appears to be more preserved in younger people, people with higher education levels, and people taking high blood pressure medicine, regardless of the actual numerical values for diastolic pressure."

And, hey! I have higher education and plenty of blood pressure medication. So two out of three ain't bad!! And if taking the meds helps regardless of the pressure, why bother to even check the blood pressure????


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Cut the Ribbanough"

I think I'm in a communication time-warp or gender-warp or maybe my brain is just warped.

As I leave work I call hubby. Here's the conversation:

Hubs: When you get home cut the ribbanough.

Me: Ribs? Cut what ribs? I thought you were bringing chicken.

Hubs: No. The ribbanough. Cut the ribb-a-nough.

Me: Who are the Ribbanough? (I'm thinking I'm supposed to disassociate from some family named Ribbanough?) Why cut them?

Hubs: No. Ribbon. Ribbon now.

Me: Oh sure. Ribbon now. uh... What ribbon?

Hubs: The ribbon.

Me: Where do I get this ribbon.

Hubs: The ribbon is there just cut it.

Me: We're making bows? We're fixing presents? (A not unheard of thing to illustrate some Bible study lesson, sermon, etc. There is Bible study tonight.) And where do I get this ribbon?

Hubs: The ribbon. THE ribbon. (I'm thinking of the pink ribbon I have on my sidelines here. I don't think I need to cut it.)

Me: Help me here. I'm not getting it. (But I'm laughing now, and so is he.)

Hubs: The ribbon that's on the driveway.

Me: Oh! That! I don't think I'd call it ribbon.

Hubs: No? What would you call it? A barricade?

Me: Probably. Or I'd give information first like: It's okay to take the car into the driveway tonight. You can just cut the ribbon and drive in.

Hubs: (Laughing.) Just cut the ribbon and drive in.

Consider it done. (Scroll down to view "THE RIBBANOUGH"!)

Look! It's the Ribbanough!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spouse-to-spouse Communicaton
Don't forget you PPT

My adorable spouse often leaves me notes on the kitchen counter. The one this morning read:

I parked your car @ Jenny's.
If you have a chance
please drop off the dry cleaning that's in the family room.
Thanks --
Remember you PPT.

This requires some translation. Jenny used to live in the now deserted house next door. He moved my car and left a note so I wouldn't think it had been stolen. Or taken to Mars by Aliens. Our drive was being seal coated today and I was abed when he left. (It's Columbus Day! Teachers have the day off. I actually slept in!)

"If you have a chance" we all recognize as husband-speak for . . .

Now for the tricky part. "Remember you PPT." At first I thought PPT was some kind of initials for a nickname for me, a new one? No. Couldn't be.

I'm supposed to remember something, I think. He just left the "r" off of "your". What is PPT that I should be remembering. If I don't even know what it is, how can I remember it?

Pre-Pregnancy Test doesn't make sense since my reproducing parts have dried up and are threatening to blow away. Proton Pump Timer? But I don't have acid reflux. Parts per thousand? He does tend to use capital letters, but I don't have a thousand of anything to have parts of...or per. Parts per trillion makes less sense.

By now my mind is racing to come up with a phrase or something that is PPT.
Prestigious Pink Toupe?
Professional Poker Tour?
Pittsburg Public Theatre?
Plasma Preparation Tube?
People Process Technology?

He wouldn't be insulting with an acronym... but:
Psychotic Professional Teacher?
Para-Professional Teacher?
Presidential Prayer Troupe?
Poor Psychology Training?
Psychologist, Preacher Teacher?
Pink Panther Today?
Post Pregnancy Trauma? It sure would be if it were so!!

Or maybe from my Hillbilly past:
Pickled Porcupine Tails
Pickled Pig Testicles
Pecan Praline Tasties
Painted Pine Toenails
Portly portentious Tailgaters
Pretentious Prime T-bones

Finally, I resorted to the inevitable and the mundane. I called to see what I was supposed to remember that I couldn't even figure out.

Oh. Yeah! He reminded me. Last night I said, "Don't let me forget to tweak the Power Point Presentation we have to give at the staff meeting tomorrow." Another teacher did the data. I'm supposed to add the bells and whistles and a few funny things... to hold interest... teachers are a tough audience!!

And if I'm any example, we are none too bright!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

(click to check your preference...see if it matches!)

Sharp angle tip



Dislikes schedules

Selective of friends

Outgoing likes attention


What Your Handbag Says About You

You tend to be relaxed throughout the day. You are naturally at peace.

You are a high maintenance person. You feel lost outside of your normal environment.

Your motto is : “Be prepared.” You don't like to be surprised by anything.

You are a very creative person. Your life tends to be a whirlwind, but you always seem to pull it together.

You are an outgoing and expressive person. You always speak your mind, and you're very approachable.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

6 Things that make me happy

1. My husband, children, grandchildren and my sister
2. The knowledge that God has a plan for my life no matter how dismal circumstances may look. (Jer 29:11)
3. Knowing that God will love me, no matter what happens
4. Good health; Sound mind
5. A supportive church, good friends and YOU, my bloggy friends.
6. The fresh smell of air after a rain

This award is courtesy of Ballerina Girl @ Roller Coaster Riding

Go check out her blog -- all the way from Beautiful Brazil!!!

Bloggers Over 50

Personal DNA

Personality Profile

My Bloginality is ENTP!!!