Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Nate texted me earlier today and told me that I needed to find something to read aloud at the dinner table tomorrow. I thought he was joking. Nope. We've been invited to join his girlfriend Genevieve and her family for Thanksgiving dinner, and the (English teacher) hostess has a tradition--everyone reads something aloud. Oh dear. It's not enough that I'm meeting new people and wondering how dressed up I should I have to READ something! But what? I've been asking friends for advice. Jacque favors humor, Lorin likes poetry, and Lisa said she'd have to think about it. So...I sat down at the computer and googled Thanksgiving poems, jokes, and true stories. M'eh. Nothing caught my attention. Then I remembered a poem about learning English. How appropriate for an ESL teacher? I didn't find the exact poem that I have on file at school (and I don't want to take the time to go dig it out) so I'm going to read the following, written by Lord Cromer (whoever he was!) in 1902.

Our Strange Lingo

When the English tongue we speak.
Why is break not rhymed with freak?
Will you tell me why it's true
We say sew but likewise few?
And the maker of the verse,
Cannot rhyme his horse with worse?
Beard is not the same as heard
Cord is different from word.
Cow is cow but low is low
Shoe is never rhymed with foe.
Think of hose, dose,and lose
And think of goose and yet with choose
Think of comb, tomb and bomb,
Doll and roll or home and some.
Since pay is rhymed with say
Why not paid with said I pray?
Think of blood, food and good.
Mould is not pronounced like could.
Wherefore done, but gone and lone -
Is there any reason known?
To sum up all, it seems to me
Sound and letters don't agree.

...feeling thankful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day...a day to give thanks. I've always liked the idea of sharing what we're thankful for on T day...and this year I'm going to borrow Fatty's idea (fatcyclist blog) and list the people I am thankful for:

My children--Nate and Katie--They have become such wonderful, caring individuals. They make me laugh, they keep me honest, and they make me proud to be their mom.

My mom and dad--they love me, what more can I say?

My sister Arlene--my cooking hotline! We weren't friends as kids--she was the bossy big sister and I was the blind little kid who couldn't do anything. I am so glad we got to know each other and became such good friends.
My friends--I can be myself with them, blurt anything that's on my heart and they listen. Really listen, without judging.
My students--I love these kids! I would have burned out on teaching long ago if, every once in awhile, I didn't have a group of kids like I have this year.

My family--we're a mixed bunch--differing politics, religious beliefs, and life experiences, but there for me if I ever need them.

My great-niece Jadyn--she is such a delight to all of us who know and love her!

This list (and accompanying photos) is incomplete...I am thankful for my coworkers, my biking buddies, the friendly lady at the grocery store this morning, president-elect Obama, the mailman, my dentist, Candy in Mexico, my friend Maribel, my godson Cristian, my kayaking buddy Ron...this could go on forever... Thank you to everyone who has ever been in my life for one reason or another. Thanks!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Dear God, Please take the soul and spirit of this dear departed one into the sweetest corner of Your mind, the most tender place in Your heart, that he, and we, might be comforted. Goodbye, Rolly. We will miss you. Thank you for being in my life, and for loving us so very much. Nate, Katie and I had so hoped to get to feel your hugs one last time over Thanksgiving vacation, but it is not to be. You filled our memory banks to the brim with love and laughter over the years. You taught us how to cheat at cards (haha!), and always had stories to tell. Nate treasures the time two years ago when you told him about your WWII experience, even though it was difficult for you. You have taught him so much about being a man. I bet you didn't even realize it, did you? Katie remembers the annual trek to the Go-carts--you always stood at the fence, watching them with a big grin on your face, and it was easy to get you to pay for another turn. I remember you taking coffee to Em every morning, and I can't pass a perfectly manicured lawn without thinking of you. So many memories...thank you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I like music, listen to music, and delight in going to concerts every once in a while. But--I've never been a music junky. I can sing along to many songs on the radio (OK, the "oldies" to my students--and they mean the 70s!) but I can't tell you names of groups, artists, or their songs. (Nate inherited this trait from his dad.) I mostly listen to folk, celtic, and some pop music, and anything my good friend Jacque passes along to me. But occasionally an artist or song catches my attention and I want to hear more. It happened today...I was randomly looking at blogs (you know that link at the top of the page that says "next blog") when I saw this video. People who watch TV probably know all about her--this song is the intro for some show about a couple and their 8 kids.I love the lyrics and her voice...and after listening to another of her songs on YouTube...will be buying the CD.

A Beautiful Life--Fisher

Ordinary Miracle--Fisher

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

...random thoughts

--The video is coming along but....

--Black font on black background just doesn't work. D'oh! Have to laugh at myself!

--Spinning was changed to a new location and I didn't know about it. :-(

--I wonder why I haven't heard back from the library about my volunteer application?

--Nate isn't answering his phone or responding to text messages. What does this mean?

--Forgetful day...Katie asked me to call her at 7:00am...nope. Didn't happen.

--Hairdresser called at 4:00...Sue, didn't I have you down for an appointment today? oops

--A friend is expecting, but not in the usual way...yup, a surrogate! (Her sister-in-law--what a gift!)

--I wonder how Rolly is doing? No news today...

--Going through old photos with mom was I am with my sister when we lived in Hawaii--about 1963. My hair was so white! We still have our hula skirts.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Twenty minutes til bedtime. The coffee's rebooted for morning, lunch is made, the sink is shining, I know what I'm wearing when I get up, and the the truck's in the garage. So...the timer is set to work on my slide show...going to tackle this the Flylady way...15 minutes at a time. :-)


Why is it that I put off doing things that really need to be done, then beat myself up for not doing them, but STILL procrastinate? The video of my Mexico pictures is still not finished...and if I would just get to it, it would be checked off my list of things to do and I would feel so much better and be able to move on to my growing list of projects that I'm itching to sew. But instead, I answer emails, follow links to interesting looking sites, pick up a book to read "just a few pages," and fritter away the hours. Then I look at the clock and --gasp-- it's time to get ready for tomorrow! How did that happen?

Friday, November 14, 2008


When the days are shorter and weekday rides are out of the question, what's a cyclist to do? Spin. Not nearly as much fun as the real thing--plain old hard work that feels like exercise--but necessary to keep in shape for next spring. Nice to have good friends along for the "ride" to make me laugh.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

...a puppy named Henry

Dad put the walnuts in front of the wood stove to dry--Henry's favorite napping spot. He didn't let the walnuts bother him.

In late August we had an email from my mom and dad. They had just brought home their new puppy, Henry. I was surprised--they haven't had a dog in many, many years, and when family visits, dogs are not allowed in the house. In pictures Henry was very cute, but I wasn't so sure my folks had made a wise choice in getting a puppy. As soon as I met him I fell in love, and enjoyed seeing mom and dad interact with him. He has been good for them and now I'm glad they have him!
Henry wants Chasse to play, but she's toooo tired. He came to spend the night in mid-October while mom and dad made a quick trip to Portland.

How Henry got his name: When my dad was a little boy his mom remarried, but she wouldn't allow him to call his new stepdad "Dad." But, the two guys had a good relationship and there was genuine affection between them. So, they called each other "Big Henry" and "Little Henry," names they made up.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

...being easily amused

My kids are home for the weekend (I haven't seen Nate since June!) and we have been having fun just hanging out together, and being silly. Here's a prime example:

Oh it is good to laugh with them!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 denim jacket

I love my denim jacket. And I wear it too much. When laying out my clothes each night my eyes just gravitate torwards the jacket. It looks good with skirts and dresses and slacks and jeans. Dress it up with a funky pin and it takes on a whole new look. Yup, I wear it too much, but I really don't care. I'll wear it til it really shouldn't be worn anymore. Then I'll go buy a new one. :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Last night was an insomnia night, lots of tossing and turning, fretting about who would be our new president, worrying that the count would be tweaked to make McCain the winner resulting in mass chaos in our streets. But the people have made their voices heard and after 8 years of insanity there is hope! Sleep will come easily tonight.

Monday, November 3, 2008

These are exciting times we're living in. People are voting like they never have before. So even though I hope my guy wins (Go Obama!), whatever the outcome I am glad to see people--especially young people--getting out to vote.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

...a lesson in futility on a windy fall day

It wasn't very windy this morning. Calm enough for a bike ride. :-) But the wind picked up as we were headed west--and it was blowing east. Even still, the sun was shining, fun people to ride with, a good ride. When I got home I decided to vacuum out the truck.

I was hot and sweaty already, so why not? So I hauled out the Kirby, attached the hose and got to work. Thanks to this handy little device

I was able to get a lot of the prickly white dog hairs out of the carpeting. (Rubba Scrubba from Then I went around to the passenger side. As soon as I opened the door little leaves from this tree
blew in. And I had to laugh at myself. Vacuum dog hair. Vacuum leaves. Dog hair. Leaves. Dog hair. Leaves. I finally said, "Good enough," closed the passenger side door, went around to the other side, sucked up the last rogue leaves, turned to take the vac back to the garage and saw this.

I had just swept and cleaned the garage the other day so I can start parking in it again and not scrape windows in the mornings. A quick pass with the broom (didn't get them all--would have been another futile act) and shut the door. Went into the kitchen to see...leaves on the floor. So cleaned them up, then headed upstairs to take a bath. And laughed again when I got in the tub. Yup. One lone leaf floating on the water.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

...break time #2

The pictures are all loaded into Photo Story! And Lisa's right--it was VERY easy. Now comes the more difficult part--deciding on the order and allowing the pictures to tell the story without getting too wordy. It's been fun to look at them again and remember what a fabulous time I had--especially the 2nd week out in the rancho. I want to go back!

Good news...Nate called! He's back in Portland and is experiencing the disconnect of being home after 5 months away. He and Katie are coming to see me next weekend. :-) It will be soooo good to squeeze my kiddos.

Random thought...isn't super glue an amazing/annoying invention? I fixed a little plate this morning and STILL have glue on my fingers. Good thing I'm not sewing today...the roughness on synthetic knit fabric would drive me nuts!

Time to go jump some rope, blow a few bubbles out the back door (windy days are so much fun for that!), then back to THE PROJECT. Although now that I'm actually tackling it, it doesn't feel so big. Funny how that works. :-)

Chasse doesn't seem to mind that her bed's been moved!

5:00 update: I am tired of sitting at the computer. Time to give it a rest. I've hit a roadblock anyway--can't figure out how to get black slides between the pictures to write on...called Lisa...but she wasn't tomorrow is soon enough to get back to this. It feels good to have so much done.

...break time

The timer is set for 15 minutes. Everything on my "have to" list is done--except the laundry is still in progress, and grocery shopping and ironing might wait til tomorrow. I just went outside to take out the trash, and see that I had 2 visitors last night. Behind my geranium was a bag of apples (thanks, Maribel!) and an item from my Pampered Chef order (thanks, Lisa!) And either they came while I was working the gate at the football game, or that's who was ringing the doorbell after I got home. (I didn't buy candy for trick-or-treaters since I knew I wouldn't be home.) So I assumed the doorbell ringing was kids and I didn't want to run downstairs just to explain that, no, I didn't have anything for them. (Note to self: Next time you are whining about being alone so much, answer the doorbell! It may just be a treat for you!) And now I have an urge to bake apple pies. But if I do that I will continue to procrastinate about the Mexico video. Why have I let that get so big in my head? I took all those pictures and want to share them with coworkers, and really, what's the point of taking pictures if they're not shared and enjoyed? So here are my reasons: 1. I'm not very techy, even though Lisa assures me that Photo Story is way easy. I get lost easily, and then get frustrated. I can't even do things to this blog that other people have and that look very cool (Video on my home page? Not happening.) 2. The computer becomes a time-warp machine. It suckes me in and hours pass without me realizing it. 3. I'm a perfectionist in my own way. This video is part of one of my goals at school and is to be shared with coworkers.

Time's up. Time to reboot the laundry, get some lunch, then...Photo Story, here I come! I promised myself I'd get it done this weekend. Send happy, techy vibes my way! lists

In the wee hours of the morning a to-do list for the day formed in my sleep-deprived brain. The list had three parts: "want to," "have to," and "quit procrastinating!" At the top of the "want to" list was, of course, "ride my bike."'s raining. And windy. Not a bike riding day. And I'm pouting. I'm not ready for the season to be over. Not ready to put the bike on the trainer and ride to a video. It's just not the same. However, it's a good day to tackle that list.

Want to
ride my bike :(
curl up with a good book (nothing new on hand)
go to Portland to see my kids (too far/not enough time)
hang out with my best friend (has family visiting)
Have to
change sheets
do the laundry
sweep and mop the kitchen floor
vacuum (how can one dog shed so much??)
buy groceries
clear off the sewing table
Quit procrastinating!
finish the video collage of Mexico trip
finish the jersey that's cut out
copy jersey pattern for someone as I promised back in July
* day is mapped out. The Have To list is easy...the Want To list isn't time to get the monkey off my back and Quit Procrastinating!
"Before" picture of my sewing table. My dear ol' dog will have to find another spot to hang out. She'd prefer to be right under the table, but that makes it hard to control the pedal.

Using Flylady's "do it now" principle...the sewing table is cleared off, the unfinished jersey rediscovered, and, oh, THERE'S the pattern I said I'd copy!