Friday, September 23, 2011


I am a creature of habit- those who know me well will agree. I don't mind change, and I think I adapt fairly well to it- "going with the flow" so to speak- but one of things I am having difficulty with is adjusting to the MacBook. It is my latest hand-me-down laptop from the kids, the Toshiba finally needed to rest in peace. I've been using it since at least June, and only today did I find out how to access the bookmarked sites that don't show up automatically when you hit the bookmarks arrow. No comments about slow learners... I am not the type to push buttons randomly to see what happens, and sometimes I don't ask because I don't want to look stupid. I just figured that the bookmarks had been "lost in the switchover". I should never have doubted Lillian and Jack, all my stuff is here and it's just a matter of finding it. What fun on the rainy rainy day we are having. Weather channel says up to 4 inches, we've had 1 already.......

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yuck, need sun soon!

We have had four days of cloudy weather, with some rain thrown in for grief and I need some sun! I have a "natural" lamp at work which helps, but getting into the car to drive home in the blah is really unpleasant. We are supposed to have heat and humidity again on Thursday and Friday, so hopefully we will have some sun.

I have set aside Thursday to start organizing my sewing space so I can get in to my machine. I have really missed sewing, especially since the only stuff done in June was awful! I hate the fact that I can no longer pick up a pattern, cut it, sew it, and look like a million bucks. Getting older is NOT fun in that respect! i have three dresses that all need minor to major renovation if I'm to salvage the material that went into them. But, that is not going to be Thursday's project. Thursday's project is organizing the blocks I need to sew to catch up with all of you, my dear online quilting buddies who have been so patient!! You just need to be a little more patient, then things will come to you!

Slowly I am regaining my optimism, polishing up my rose colored glasses and hoping I can find new things to get excited about. One of the concerns I had for my father-in-law is that over the course of caring for his wife, his world has shrunken considerably. Funny, but with all our support of him, my world has done the same thing. So, on to new adventures and experiments. Any ideas out there?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Outdoor Day

Today Lou and I spent almost all day outside dealing with the yard. The tree limbs have been in the yard for two months at least and I really wanted to have one segment of my life/house/area in a "maintenance rather than needs work" mode. We finally cut all the limbs into fire place size and pitched them over the fence into the side yard-tomorrow's job will be stacking them for winter. After the limbs were cut, we weed-whacked the flowerbeds to cut down the dead stuff. i finished cutting the grass, which was about 10 inches long. It was so long the mulching mower couldn't mulch it all, but at least it is cut and we move forward from here. I brought one of the trellises out and set the gourd vines up. I'm hoping the 6 little ones will grow as we are now definitely into fall. I think we'll plant pumpkins next year-Lou suggested it and it sounds fun to me, Halloween is probably my favorite non-religious holiday.

And this year, since I don't leave for London until November 2nd, I will be home for Halloween. Thoughts are already swirling-who/what will I be? I'm still leaning toward Abby from NCIS, but I'm not sure I want to buy Goth boots when I'm leaving for London two days later and will want money to spend on souvenirs. I love Halloween-the costumes, the candy, the silliness we have at work. Every year I could kick myself for letting Lou talk me into getting rid of the Donald Duck costume-maybe I need to look in my pattern piles and see if I still have it...

DD2 will be home in about a month-she has another meeting in the Midwest and will come home since she's so close. I'm ready-we need to get her ready for Halloween, and do a little work on a more professional look for her meetings.

So, now I'll take some tylenol against later possible pain, and go enjoy the dinner Lou has cooked for us tonight.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Regaining my home

It is good to be home again. Now that my father-in-law's wife has transitioned to the facility, it will not be necessary for us to drive to Cleveland every other weekend. We can space out our visits to allow him to adjust to a life alone in the house. He will find his rhythm and routine.

Now I will be able to start spring cleaning here at the house. Or maybe I should just call it fall cleaning, whatever. It will be started this week. Hopefully it will not rain Thursday and I can get the last of the small branches bundled for garden recycling. Then we can cut the lawn and not have the shabbiest one on the block. Once the front yard is reasonable, I can start working on my sewing area. I have to get to it to be able to sew....

And do I have spectacular projects!! Not only do I have quilt blocks to catch up on, but I have a few daughter projects. It all started because DD2 asked if I would be willing to bring some patterns over the pond in November. YES-I will be going to London to visit her! She has two friends who are seamstresses and very into retro patterns. They love the Vogues, but to order online and then pay shipping to the UK is a lot of money, and they are graduate students. So, KS asked if I would be willing to bring them if they ordered them and had the patterns shipped to our house. Being a mom, and happy to know that the next generation is sewing, I said of course! Well, what happens but two days later I get a mailer from JoAnne's Fabrics that for the Labor Day sale all Vogue patterns are $3.99, limited to in stock, in store. I told KS to have the girls send me the numbers they wanted and sizes. Got an email the next day. I wanted to check out a location I'd never been so I schlepped to the JoAnne's in Gaithersburg-great fabric, so-so pattern selection. But, I got a great dress pattern for KS and red dupioni silk (washable!!) to make it, and a gorgeous blazer pattern for both-hip length for Roseola, waist for KS. But the best part, as always, was the fabric! I got a beautiful pale gray suit weight wool for the hip blazer, a red-with-embroidery fake suede for the waist length. The Rose wants to look more professional at her meetings, and at this point in her career she should. She'll be visiting in October and I hope to get a basic pant pattern fitted to her-then I can make her some dress slacks for her meetings.

Then I went to "my" JoAnne's in Langley Park and got the rest of the patterns the girls wanted. From online prices, I saved them about $60. I can't wait to see what they come up with for fabrics.

Another project will be to use up all the fleece that never made it into jackets or hoodies. I was going to donate it, but I can make lap blankets for the facility Peg is in. Most of the residents tend to get cold, most are in wheelchairs, and the fleece can be done in those no-sew rectangles. So, I have projects, lots of projects......

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

It always amazes me how the little everyday things become important landmarks of our growing up.

When our children were very young, we used to play this game of placing our hand, with fingers outspread, over their face
and saying "alien your fa-ace..." similar to the way the baby alien in Alien would jump out and attach itself to someone's face. In full disclosure, we never thought about any traumatic effect this might have, it was more to teach them to be careful of their eyes, but not fear something close to their faces. It was years before they finally saw the movie and realized their parents are a little off the normal chart.... Well, about a month ago Lou received a package from daughter #2. She had ordered him an alien plush toy, complete with pose-able front appendages. It was the perfect gift.

This year he received multiple cards from them, not an unusual thing. What is memorable is that they both made reference to strawberries. Daughter #1, Lillian, has always allowed her father to cut up her strawberries as she enjoys the princess treatment. Daughter #2, Sarah, once trying to establish her own capabilities, informed us she could cut her own strawberries.

So, it's not surprising that both sent cards with personal notes about #1-letting him continue to cut her strawberries and #2-even though she could do it herself, he was welcome to cut them anytime.

It's all about giving them the opportunities to become the best people they can become, but it always pleases me when they do something that shows we "did good", as my cousin would say.

And to see their father's face, hear his laughter, as he reads their cards- as Mastercard says, "It's priceless".

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Amazing ladies

I am truly blessed with online friends. I recently had to withdraw from sending my block for the Bee Balm ( due to eldercare issues we are dealing with out of state. All the other girls sent me wonderful emails of support, and it has truly helped lighten my mood.

Having Lilli and Jack around has helped. I also made an executive-mom decision to have Sarah come home for a few weeks at the end of June. I think having the daughter fixes has/and will help me turn around. Most importantly, I realized that my life has its ebbs and flows, and I need to just accept that and not get crazy.

Today Lou and I did a little yard work, and (why am I not surprised?) when I was trying to fix the weed whacker ANOTHER piece jumped into the flower bed never to be found again. I even brought my heavy duty magnet from downstairs to try and find it in the leaves of ivy. So, there we were, on a trip to Home Depot. Lovely day to be riding around with the top down. The store was a zoo, but we had figured it would be so we didn't get bothered. Came home, put together the NEW weed whacker, and edged the front lawn. Looks good, and I had fun!

Lilli and Jack will be around for dinner tomorrow, and maybe on Monday. She goes back to AZ Monday night, and back to work. We got her a new computer for her birthday next month, which of course means I have a new hand-me-down computer! and all is good. She will be able to access her work stuff remotely with the new Mac, and it will be much easier for her. When it came in and Jack loaded the software she needed, I knew we'd made a good choice because Jack said he was jealous. He's an IT/ET kind of guy, and it takes a lot to make him jealous.

Sarah sent presents home with Lilli and Jack from her trip to China. Everything is beautiful. She sent rice dishes and tea cups and all sorts of stuff. I can understand why she is drawn to the porcelain, it's absolutely beautiful.

She also sent special edition newspapers from the royal wedding. My friend Vera is really into the monarchy, and she will go nuts when she sees the paper and commemorative tea bags Sarah sent foe her.

My world is looking so much better; thank G-d, my family and my friends. I am truly blessed.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Good things today!!

A quick note before I start my Saturday chores.... the best news is that Lillian will be home late afternoon. She's flying in and has a few days before she and Jack take off for Germany. Having one or both of my girls home is always a good thing.

The second good thing is news from NIH (National Institutes of Health). I have always been a blood donor as I feel it is one of the easiest ways to help other people. After my surgery, I got a card to donate. I went in, answered the questions and waited for the nurse to review. She looked at it, gave me a somewhat shocked expression, and said-you can't give blood for five years if you've had cancer. I was crushed, but figured it was for a good reason. So, yesterday I get a card telling me I'm eligible to give blood after 5-7-11. I called and talked to the supervisor. Two things: first, the nurse was incorrect two years ago; I should not have been deferred because I did not have chemo or radiation and second, that deferral would only have been for two years not five! So, I have been eligible to give blood all along! I am going in next Thursday to see the "crew" in the donation center after two years, and I'm psyched!

Saturday, April 30, 2011


This morning I started to catch up blog reading I have ignored because of allergy attacks this week. All I can say is, "wow". Apparently there are some really nasty people using the blogs to vent at posters without any consideration of anything. I'm not a totally "if you can't say something nice...." person I'll admit, but why can't comments be written constructively? I actually feel sorry for people who vent at posters knowing their comments will hurt-what are they missing in their lives that they feel the need to wound?

Sometimes I am not a nice person. I miss deadlines, I say something without thinking, disappoint a friend. I don't set out to be "un-nice", it happens. And, I think it happens to all of us whether we admit it or not, whether we want it to happen or not.

We have a had a pretty horrendous couple years in this household: my cancer diagnosis, subsequent surgery and recovery. Lou's vascular problems, his stroke, his surgeries, rehab, near death last December. The continuing elder-care issues in Ohio. One of the things I have learned through all this is that " sickness and in health" can be really stressful. It can be numbing, it can be immobilizing. It can spill into all other areas of your life before you realize it. It forces the questions: "Why me? Haven't I had enough, G-d? What else can go wrong?"

And then I look at the good things in my life: our daughters have grown into interesting young women, Lill pushing the envelope into space as a planetary geologist doctoral student and Sarah in a masters' program exploring the past through asian paintings and porcelain. Lou and I both have jobs. Lou has the kind of friends at work who donated enough leave that through all the traumas we never had to worry about a paycheck. I have sisters-in-law that forget about the "in-law" part. I read blogs by young women trying to raise their families putting their children first, knowing that childhood is fleeting. I listen to Car Talk and Wait, Wait, don't Tell Me on Saturday mornings.

So, I guess I don't understand the need to wound. My friend Robin says I have always looked at the world through rose colored glasses. I'm aware of the nasty stuff- I suffered enough as a teenager to still carry the scars. I just try not to let the nastiness define my outlook. My heart goes out to those who have been wounded when it wasn't necessary. I guess it does come back to "if you can't say something nice..."--maybe some people need some lessons in civility.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lou's fan pattern

We have always had a family joke about the fact that my husband has a PhD and went to an ivy league undergraduate school and I went to a state university. Well, once again he's proven why he went to graduate school; he took my fan idea and perfected it. This is his pattern:
So, this morning Miss Violet got me up at 7AM, and after a leisurely breakfast I got to work and created a new afikomen bag to send to my cousin for use at Seder with his grandson. Here we have "Fan Plagues":

I also gave one to my friend Amy for her two kids. She's not into sewing, she does beadwork. So, now I'll get started on some that can be sold for use next year.

It's a beautiful day with sun and a breeze and there's a ballgame on tonight. Life can't get much better for me!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


The scrap bee block this month is a request for red created fabric with a white slash. I think I have the slash down, but I'm not sure about the created fabric-it's definitely a challenge for me.

Then I wanted to play a little bit with the scraps before cutting into the main plague fabric. I did three styles, trying to maximize use of my scraps. One is a fan design which Lou improved on for me, the others are stylized flying geese-actually I call them flying plagues....

The day was nice but not as sunny or warm as predicted, tomorrow will be nicer. After dinner I'll probably try a few more ideas, then it's scissors to the big stuff!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Squirrels and plagues

Last fall we decided to leave the cushions out on the deck because, honestly, we were too lazy to bring them in. Most of them had rips from wear, so I knew we would be replacing them this spring. The squirrels who frequent the railing feeder noticed the rips, too. They began to take the stuffing out, leaving the chairs looking like this:Then, last week when he was putting out seed, Lou noticed the squirrel nest up in the oak:So, the squirrels were obviously nice and comfy this past winter.

Yes-I have a new camera. Not a fancy one, just one I picked up at Costco yesterday because I didn't realize how much of my sewing I wanted to take pictures of. I hope CVS still develops film because I have been taking photos with a disposable camera and hope it can be developed.

Last week or so I was wandering around one of my favorite Jewish fabric websites, 1-800-Dreidel, and noticed a section la
beled Passover fabric. Of course I had to go look, and there were various selections for the ten plagues. Of course I had to buy them, and fortunately they give a discount to Pomegranate Guild members which makes it easy to justify buying more fabric.

My main focus will be making afikomen bags. However, when I showed the fabric to KS on the webcam, she laughed and said wouldn't it be fun to have a skirt for Seder. So, being the kind of mom I am, and willing to do anything that helps remind my children of their heritage, I present, "The Plagues, the Plagues" (apologies to What Ever Happened on the Way to the Forum?)
Plagues One through Five:

Six through Ten:(well, number Five's peeking out a bit at the left...)

And please notice the tasteful waistband of matzoh printed fabric. I hope she has as much fun wearing it as I did making it today.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I am hoping the beautiful weather we have had since Sunday means that spring is really here in MD and I will not look out front and see all the magnolia tree blossoms brown and withered because of a frost. The crocuses are happily sprouting, the daffs are gaily waving, and the grackles are chasing everyone else off the rail of the deck when we put the bird seed out. I must say that the cardinals are giving them a run for their money, as are the squirrels. Though I am not fond of feeding the squirrels, the past two winters have been so hard, and the squirrels have been sharing. I must admit that finding the holes in the chair cushions so they could pull out the stuffing made it really easy to decide we need new cushions for this year.

Well, I was going to try and verbalize the out of sorts feelings I'm experiencing, but Lou is ready to go to the store, so Safeway and CVS it is!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Times change, or do they?

When Sarah was in middle school one of the projects she had to do involved asking an "older" person about their life and what they had lived through. Since her grandparents had already been hit up for this type of assignment, she asked to talk to her great aunt. We arranged to go to Cleveland and visit, and I would tape the interview so Sarah could concentrate on her questions and later refer back to the tape for detail. My Aunt Dorothy spoke of being raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, remembering the first time street lights went on. She spoke of being sent to a "big city" to find a Jewish husband, of living through World War II and many other things. She spoke of the wonders of technology. Sadly for us, she passed away four years ago, just before she turned 18 for the 64th time (she was always 18, every birthday). I thought about that afternoon the other night when Lou and I were talking to Sarah on google chat. Lillian taught me how to hook up the camera to the laptop (this laptop does not have one built in) and we were chatting with Sarah before she went to bed. She is in London, studying at Sotheby's and had just returned from a class trip to China. How Aunt Dorth would have loved that! Not just the trip, but that we were visually and verbally communicating across thousands of miles. This is such a different world we live in-not just for those of Aunt Dorth's generation, but for me, too. When I went to college, we were allowed to call home once a week, and used the "person to person" collect call signal-usually asking for the dog, good thing they had people names. Now, with cell phones and no extra charge for long distance calling, I talk to Lillian a few times a day while she is in Arizona. The kids stay connected electronically so easily with phones and computers.

And yet, this week I saw a picture of a young boy trying to hit a baseball. I believe this is his first time in organized ball. His family will be going to games, watching the winning and the losing for months and enjoying being outdoors. It made me think of Lillian's years of Y ball in California. Some things don't change, and that's a good thing.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mechanically inclined

Not generally two words that describe me, but they fit today. After about 7 years of talking it to death, Lou and I went out to Sears last night and bought a new garbage disposer. I did not grow up with one, we did not have one in CA, and we tend to compost as much as we can so it did not seem like it was at the top of the list of things to do. However, water drainage was extremely slow, and when it was used, it was really loud. So, we did a little comparison shopping online, then went to Sears. Today was installation and big surprise: nobody cried, nobody yelled and more importantly-nobody swore. That may be a first. In fairness, I must admit we had to go to the hardware store twice. Once before we started to get plumber's putty and tape, just in case. Then, the pipe from the disposer to the drain was too short and it wasn't a match-we needed something longer and flexible. However, the lady who reviewed the model we bought and said installation took about 20 minutes should be ashamed that she lied. it took us a couple hours, with a few breaks and the hardware store trip. the only thing that hasn't been replaced in the kitchen in the last year is the stove-and since I don't cook, and the oven works fine, I really don't care It is nice not to hear the dishwasher, or the disposer and the ice dropping into the bin of the automatic ice maker.

Today started witha soft rain falling and as predicted it is now a much heavier fall and the winds are picking up. The temperatures are still high so it's actually kind of pleasant outside, just wet. I do hope the power stays on tonight.

The first of the crocuses bloomed yesterday, and the narcissus and daffs are pushing up in the flower beds. It will be so nice to have spring arrive. We bought some sweet pea and sunflower seeds when we picked up the pipe (I had a gift certificate and they don't give cash back so we had to spend over ten dollars). the pussy willow is budding in the back as is the lilac in the front. Soon, the scents of spring will be all around the house.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Textile Museum

Today my chapter of the Pomegranate Guild had a presentation and tour of the Ikat exhibit at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC. Simply defined, Ikat is a particular technique of dying and weaving material. This material was then made into coats. The exhibit pieces were really beautiful, and really challenge the idea that "nothing" culturally was going on in mid-Asian in the 18-19 centuries. It was a multi-layer dying process, starting with yellow and going on through indigo.

More interesting to me, though, was a smaller exhibit on "recycling" textiles. Most people think immediately of patch quilting which makes use of various usable parts of clothing, etc., but this exhibit also showed a vest made from a native American ceremonial mantle, exquisitely embroidered pieces that had become tent decorations, a jacket made of a combination of woven materials, and a few other interesting pieces. So, we're not talking the last 40-50 years here. I cannot imagine the time it took to hand embroider some of these pieces, one explanation said two to three years.

Every time I start to think I have some talent, I see something like these exhibits, and realize that I have a whole lot more to learn. It's exciting!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sewing Again!!

I cannot tell you how exciting it is to be able to sit down and do some sewing! I am involved in two online quilting block bees, and they are a challenge as I feel my quilting knowledge is still elementary.

I have realized a few things: I can make a huge mess in a very short time, I tend to choose blues, reds and brights, I don't sew with green and I have a lot of Asian and space inspired prints (my daughters' interests).

Sorting out the table, I found as many UFOs as I thought might be hanging around. There are probably more in the bins by the laundry area, but at this point I don't need to find them. They will find me when they are ready-some are sewing some are crochet. I'm finding crochet a bit of a challenge right now as I have developed some arthritis in my hand. My recently retired sister-in-law seems to be having the same issue. Something is definitely wrong with the scheme of things that as we start to have the time to really enjoy our crafts we are physically challenged to do them. I'll have to think on this a while. For right now, I'm heading back to the sewing table.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Did you know?

that you can buy an extension cord for your headphones? Monday night Lou and I were at Radio Shack getting a new camera card for the camera before I sent it to Sarah for the china trip (4 GB, saves about 2800+ pictures-who knew?) and we were being helped by a very nice young man and I off handly asked him if they had long headphone cords because at work my headphones keep me on a pretty "short leash" as Sean says (he's the kid who sits in the cube next to mine, sort of an honorary son). Mark said they didn't have long headphone cords, but they did carry extension cords for headphones. I bought an 8 ft cord, and yesterday and today have been enjoying my music at work all day long. I can move from my chair to the printer and the fax and do just about everything in my cube area. It's fantastic. I've missed music since I had to stop turning it on-the guy in the cube on the other side asked me to stop playing it "out loud" because it was side-tracking him from what he needed to be doing since he's slightly adhd. So, not only do I have the radio stations I enjoy, I have Pandora, though Lill says there's a better online source now, and I have my cds. It was great, and my ears aren't even sore. Now, I just need to figure out a little clip to use to keep the cord from being weighted down. Life is good, music is better!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Schedule, what schedule?

I am usually very good about keeping to a schedule, and I have realized that January got away from me because I did not make a schedule. I think I am losing February for the same reason. I usually use these very cute daily log sheets, and fill them out on Sunday night for the week. The problem is that I have a new planner for this year, and my old sheets do not fit it. So, my immediate goal on Monday is to use the sizing feature on the copier at work to get the size I need so I can get some control back in my life.

A few things to report: I turned 60 three weeks ago and the world, as we know it, did not end. This is not surprising because I have it on the authority of my cousin and a few friends who shall remain nameless but are OLDER than me that the world does not end because we get older. We do, however, get to blame everything on being old, so I now have an escape clause.

More importantly, after three months of recuperation and a few other medical detours, my husband, Lou, went back to work at the office yesterday. He has been telecommuting since surgery, but this is the first time he went down to the District and into his office. He did well, no mishaps on Metro with anyone stepping on his foot, no tripping or anything. He will still be using a cane for stability for a while, but he's mobile again in a very good way. He will probably be on a combination telecommute/office schedule as he cannot risk trying to go in if there is snow or the possibility of ice he could slip on.

Even more importantly, he has resumed ownership of the kitchen! The Os will be eating well again, and thank G-d I don't have to cook anymore. These last few months while he couldn't stand/cook have proved again that he definitely did not marry me for my skills in the kitchen..... I think he is secretly happy to be in control again, and I will offer to do the clean-up for everything until he is 100% again-a bargain as far as I am concerned.

My guild had a lesson in fabric postcards today, something I have seen popping up on sewing blogs for a while now. I did not get to make one there as I was really late due to a doctor's appointment, but I have a sheet of directions and some very cute fabric scraps to play with.

Speaking of the doctor, Dr. Raj is still very happy with my progress, and if all is well at my next appointment, I will move on to the six month review schedule. It will be right after my two year surgery date anniversary. I will be ready. My reconstructed breasts seem to have "settled" into their own, and as Dr. Raj says, it looks like I will be "eternally perky"-not in a "nubile" so much as a "mature you'd never know you went braless most of the 60s" sort of way. It really doesn't matter, what matters is that I am cancer free.

The girls are doing well. Lill is working on her research with the next conference in view, and has taken up yoga along with the other exercising she does to stay healthy. She really likes it and it sounds like it definitely is a good addition to her regime. Sarah is getting ready to go on her class trip to China. The itinerary is fairly rigorous and they will be seeing all kinds of examples of the things they have been studying.

Okay, off to organize the table for dinner later. It's good to be back writing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New year, new thoughts

So we are about halfway through January and I'm feeling like I am making progress. I did not call my cousin up on Sunday when she turned 60, I waited until last night to call and ask her how it felt after 24 hours. She laughed. Probably that or cry-there is NOTHING we can do about aging physically, but we are definitely keeping young mentally. I think I'm settling in at about the 30s, those were happy and fun years for me.

Friday I have to take Lou to the doctor's in the morning, then I am spending the day playing with my sewing machine. I want to finish up my trees block and get it into the mail, and I want to play with fabric creation for the 15 minutes to play bee. I get such a positive punch looking at all the creative things people are doing with fabric and yarn, and the use of color and texture-it's a great time to be a hand-crafter!

The girls are back at their respective schools and the house seems empty without bodies all snuggled on the sofa with laptops all working on different things-Lill, Jack, Sarah O, Sara B can really find some crazy stuff to show us. It amazes me to think how connected these kids are and how natural it is for them to deal with all their stuff: the ipads, iphones, itouches, ipods, laptops, netbooks, kindle, etc. The fact that I just got off a chat with Sarah using the webcam-and yes, Lillian, I did set it up okay-she could see and hear me!-and that Sarah is getting ready for bed in London still kind of knocks me for a loop. When I was back in college (and yes, I went to a state school) I called home once a week, using the collect call signal and then my parents called me back. And we could only talk on Sunday afternoons because that was the cheapest time. Now, we've got national plans, family plans, unlimited texting and mobile to mobile. I wonder if it ever seems too much. When the girls were young, I used to worry if I forgot my phone in case the school needed to contact me. Now, it's almost a pleasure not to have it, but I still can't get over the feeling that I need it in case some disaster strikes. I guess it depends on the definition of disaster.

I think I need to brew a cup of tea and settle down with my book. It's tough doing two days' worth of work in one.....

Friday, January 14, 2011

A week later

Well, we had another interesting little trip and stay at the hospital this week-Lou had a flare up of pancreatitis. He is officially the winner of the My Disease contest, and I hope has decided to withdraw from further competitions by staying healthy.

I have been busy at work trying to catch up on two weeks away at month end/quarter end/year end, one of the busiest times for a financial department. I still have some housekeeping things to get done involving moving files, but everything else is pretty caught up.

I keep looking out the window at the beautiful sunshine and expecting it to be warm when I go out there, then I notice the little bit of snow still on the ground remember it's only in the 20s. Maryland is below the Mason-Dixon Line, it's supposed to be part of the South, and to me that means warm..... and for those interested, when you are traveling south along I70 there is a sign marking the location of the Mason-Dixon Line, tastefully done in white letters on a light brown background. There is no sign when you are traveling north.

I have been better about following my to-do list this week. It's either because I kept it really short, or didn't have a lot of ambition to list things that need to be done. I am hoping this positive trend continues through the weekend!

I think I am finally going to admit that I need to have my hearing tested again and to prepare myself for the news that I have shifted out of the gray area into the definitely need area of hearing aids. Lately my ears have been ringing more than usual, and I get these periods where sounds seem to move close and far away like they are revolving around. It's hard to explain, but it's definitely not normal. I know, I'm usually not normal, but this is tough because I'm not hearing everything.

Speaking of random things, I renewed my driver's license yesterday and realized how weak my right eye has become. Seems like I'll be getting to the eye doctor soon for a check up and maybe new prescription. I also renewed the tags for the car at the kiosk, and just got the new year tag instead of having to get those new MD War of 1812 plates. I really didn't want them, I think 4cts75 fits Miss Lucy very well. And she is realy a happy little car as I have started parking inside the garage again at work. The cost difference to the outdoor lot isn't that much, and this way she is out of the daily elements and all the salt sprayed at the lot. I think they even offer car washes once a week. I'll need to find out how much that costs.

Next month is Dental Month at the vet's so I will be making an appointment for Violet to get her teeth cleaned. Not one of her favorite things, so she will probably be mad at me fr a few days.

Well, I can just squeeze in a power nap before I get dinner started.

Happy Friday to all.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's been a long time comin'

The Sarahs have been introducing me to Glee in marathon sessions. I admit, I am a convert: I usually don't like new series, but I love the music on this one, and it brings back memories because I too taught in a small Ohio town. It was southeast of Cleveland, not western Ohio. As I coached basketball (one year) and track (six years) I have memories of many things the characters are showing involving an extra curricular activity sorely underfunded. My tenure was back in the late 70s just as Title 9 was coming into effect. And being a naive new teacher, I let the administration run circles around me.

It has been an interesting holiday season. Lou, Sarah and I went into Cleveland to celebrate his father's 87th birthday, the day after Christmas. It's a good thing we had the dinner on Friday night; during the day Saturday, Lou was extremely tired and later had trouble breathing. The short story is: a call to 911, a week in ICU, a few nights on the medical floor, a follow-up test on Monday as results were inconclusive the first time, and we finally drove back to MD on Tuesday. It seems once again he is surging ahead in the "My Disease" contest; along with everything else, he has been diagnosed with a rare genetic disease affecting the blood vessels. It seems they leak-as in ooze blood, as in making him severely anemic and low blood volume, as in starting a chain reaction that sent him into shock while he was in the emergency room. Mildly put, it's been a hell of a week and a half.

But, I put on my new rose colored glasses, bought for my Janis Joplin channeling (see Dec 11 post), and am starting this new year with a few goals. I hope to be able to put away the stress over things I cannot change. I have been stressing so much over things I have no control over, and I have to stop. I cannot change it, period, so why let it consume me? I hope to get myself back in shape so that my body vaguely resembles my mindset. As my cousin said to me this morning, "It's a bitch looking in the mirror and seeing that old lady-who is she?" And lastly, I want to actively remind the people who are important to me of their importance. There are many times I could easily have said something that I didn't take the few minutes to say. That will stop, I'm going to tell people what and how I think.

Anyway, the kids are here and we are getting ready to go to REI and play. Enjoy your day and evening!