Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Flashback

October is a month full of birthdays for my family.

Krista was born the day the first OJ verdict was delivered. 
She became a teenager the day the guilty OJ verdict was delivered.  Doesn't that make you wonder about the alignment of the stars?  What do you suppose the odds of that are?

Of course, she was a beautiful baby.  She still is but now she's incredibly bright as well.  I'm sure she takes after her aunt!

 I've been lucky enought to be close enough to help with a few of her celebrations.  Two of the more interesting ones were the year of the swimming party and the year of the tie-dye shirts party.  Let's just say that her momma has the patience of a saint!

Speaking of her momma, she has the next  birthday.  Of course she is rather like an ostrich sticking her head in the sand about the number.  Let's just say that her days as a "thirty-something" are numbered!

Of course here in the midwest, one doesn't stick their head in the sand because everything is usually frozen from mid-October to mid-May!

To her birthdays are just another day.  It's a good thing because her birthday card is still on my desk or by my computer or by ... oh, I know it's somewhere.  It's the thought that counts.  I know I couldn't find a card telling her that she was turning into her mother .... I would have been sure to send that one.  I still owe her for such a card.

A week later Sister Three shares her birthday with one of our foster kids.  Here is Laura at age six --- just days after we got her.  She had turned six while staying at the youth shelter and no one had celebrated her birthday, so we had a late celebration at the Woodshed.  The Woodshed has been the site of many, many birthday celebrations.
Here she's pictured with our deceased niece, Sarah, and another foster child, Nick.
Here she is four or five years later --- once again celebrating at the Woodshed, only this time she doesn't look like she's scared to death!
Laura enjoyed spending time with Krista and Dani.  Here she is hiking with Krista at Chadron State Park (under duress from me of course).
They only humored me because I promised them they could go swimming later.
Here's a trip to South Dakota.  it's kind of scary to think Krista will really be driving soon!  I can't believe that Frog Legs was ever that little either.
Sister Three --- I hope you had a great day.
Did you do something outrageous this year? 
You probably can't top sky-diving!
I hope your sweet hubby
took you out for dinner.
I just hope it wasn't as messy as this:
Did he make you a cake to rival the one Mom made you the year that you started piano lessons?
Who knew Mom was so artistic?  Or that she could capture Mozart or is that Liberace?
I envisioned you spending the day with America's favortie rodent
but now that you have kids, I'll bet you spent it in a more sedate manner --- like feeding ducks and geese perhaps?
No matter how you spent it, you'll always be "tops" in my book!

Then we have another double birthday.  Mary and Hansi share a day toward the end of the month.  It's hard to believe that Hansi is already seven.  Mardell tried to call him but they were evidently out of town.  Or else our international calling plan doesn't work like it is supposed to!
Mary really knows how to celebrate.  She cooked supper for her son and herself and then cleaned up.  I wish we were closer so that we could have gone out and celebrated.  Any reason to go to Johnny Carino's!

Finally, Marissa is a Halloween baby. 
We took her and her room mate out to supper last night to celebrate.  Of course, this will probably be the last time we take them out to supper.  We had taken them out about a month ago and had a delightful supper.  We were taking them back to their dorm when I got pulled over for turning right on a red light.  I didn't pay any attention to the sign that stated there was no right turn on red.  Then last night I got stopped because we had a headlight out.  I think our suppers with Missy and Gabe are jinxed, so they're out of luck now.
A most happy birthday to all of you .... and many more in the years to come!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Should Be Grading Papers

But instead, here I sit, playing with photos.

Wishing it was spring again.  I really hate fall.

But I don't hate fall nearly as much as I hate the wind.

I really miss spring.  It's the best time of year.

I miss Mr. Frog.

He looks just as good in black and white.

He's such an angel, he deserves the halo effect.

Or perhaps spotlights.

Let's have him do some push-ups.

He looks about as happy at the prospect of push-ups as I do!

It's only 143 days and 5,879 papers to grade until spring!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I've been meaning to post some pictures of my cute hubby's Spain Trip but I kept procrastinating because I don't know what these places are called. So I'll just ad lib the captions.

Here's Andrew by the ocean. He said that the weather was pretty nice but he didn't want to try going in the water because there were too many raw-sewage-looking items floating near the shore.

I don't know what this is, but I do remember Andrew said it was one of his favorite spots and he wants to take us there if we ever go together.

We have this thing for farmer's markets and flower stands.

Here are some mad-scientist-looking beakers at one of the fish farms Andrew visited.

Here's a famous church somewhere in Spain.

A happy little crucifix near the side of the road.

And last but not least, a random picture of Anderson that I downloaded before I decided to show you Spain pics.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Flashback Friday

It's hard to write a Flashback Friday when one is out 
of bandwidth for the month and cannot upload any photos. 
I went back through my pictures
that I have stored on Picasa and tried to come
up with something witty, or at the very least, amusing. 

Unfortunately I'm not nearly as witty as Sister Two and Sister Three.

Or amusing, for the matter.

We went up and saw Sister Two and the family last Friday night.

We had missed all of the October birthdays (next Friday's Flashback subject) and besides, I wanted to take pictures along the way.

Who knows when I might need a picture of a piece of farm machinery ...


... or more wild life ...

such as these antelope that were 6.6 miles away.

Don't I have a magnificent zoom?!!!

Okay, okay, so maybe it was only .6 miles away,
but my camera still rocks!

The deer were especially cooperative ....


... as was this ham!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Personal Trainers

I received the following email story this morning meant as a joke. I laughed so hard, because I could totally relate.

A few weeks ago I (sister two) helped out a the cow sale and my "personal trainer" was my husband. I walked around the sale barn for five days straight shuffling cows to and from their pens.

Logging on my pedometer at least 12 miles a day and sometimes 15 miles. While some of you probally are wondering why I'm complaining about such a short jaunt. I will remind you, I'm a thirty something, out of shape, need to loose forty pounds woman.

My hips and legs hurt so bad at the end of each day, I would literally look around before getting into the pick up to make sure no one was watching. I would then attempt to lift each leg with my hands and place in the pick up. Pathetic, I know. I need to get into shape, I know. I'm sure I will include it on my New Year's Resolutions in a couple of weeks.

Any way I hope it makes you laugh as hard as I did.

If you read this without laughing out loud, there is something wrong with you. This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine.

Dear Diary,
For my birthday this year, my daughter (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me.

Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

My daughter seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She is something of a Greek goddess - with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!

Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!

Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week-!!

I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT-!! It's a whole new life for me.

The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.

Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying.

My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other shit too.

Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late - it took me that long to tie my shoes.

Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. She sent another skinny bitch to find me.

Then, as punishment, she put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.
I hate that bitch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it.

Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.
The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my daughter (the little shit) will choose a gift for me that is fun -- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Last week we were working on Color Coding Language.  It was the day after we had paper maiched.  One of the words in our sentence was "weary".  Vicki asked if anyone knew what that meant.  No one raised their hand, so I offered a helpful hint.  "This is how I felt at the end of yesterday," I said.  One fourth grader promptly raised his hand and said, "Crazy."

Last year our high ability educator took our kids every other week for enrichment.  Her last name is Witzki.  We always referred to the weeks that she was here as a Witzki week. Her name was kind of hard for the kids to pronounce, but never did it became so evident as when the principal was down asking the kids how she could improve the school.  Imagine her surprise when a first grader promptly responded, "We want more Whiskey Weeks."  Yeah, me too kid.

Or the time when a fourth grader asked me why I let my housekeeper drive my car all the time!

Sunday, October 19, 2008



by Jessica Millsaps

Every night 
The horizon lights up
Swirls of pink and orange 
Fading to blue and purple

Few bother to look anymore
At a blessing
That only comes once a day

Each sunset is different
No two exactly alike
Difference flows throughout
While it is the only similarity

Over the ocean
Or through the sky scrapers
Out on the prairie
Or in an apartment


You can still see a piece 
A piece of something
Something never to return
A sunset


For the colors are shimmering
For a moment they stay
Only to disappear into change
Change just as beautiful as the last

This is why
No matter where you go
One thing remains the same,
A difference in sunsets

In your very own sunset.

Have I mentioned how much I like my new camera?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

One of my most favorite things about the Fall (besides my birthday) is Halloween. In September, I start counting down the days until the pumpkin patch opens up.

We stumbled upon a new one this year called Silveyville Farm.

(I was actually trying to go to a place that has the Guinness Book Record for largest corn maze on Earth, but I missed the exit and wound up going to Silveyville instead.)

But it was awesome! They have mattresses covered with hay that you can jump on

and wagon rides

horses to

and a giant teepee made of corn husks

and all sorts of funky cool pumpkins