Life on the Ridge
bko lounge
links and archives
the parent perspective


found on Kari's desk

Why do people do drugs?

I'd rather have lots of hugs.

Why do people think drugs are cool?

I'd rather go to school.

Don't people realize that living drug-free

is far more healthy

than doing drugs

and getting no hugs?


let it snow...

Flurries, heavy snow, snow that sticks, snow that melts once it hits the ground... I'll take any of it right now. I haven't seen snow since January 1990 when I married Robert and he dragged me to this season-forsaken land.

Steph is seeing flurries. Brenda is watching snow drift to the ground. Cara was talking about snow. Kelli mentioned snow in her neighborhood. The only snow seen around here is in those little snowglobes. That just isn't the same.

Could someone please share the wealth?

"Snow Cream" Recipe
1-3 cups of snow (make sure it's clean! Yellow snow is a no no.)
1/2 cup half and half or whipping cream
1 T. Sugar
2-3 drops vanilla flavoring

In a separate bowl, mix cream, sugar and vanilla. Slowly add snow to desired consistency.

Now go make some and enjoy a few spoonfuls for me.



Enjoy your day.

Turn off the tv. Spend quality time with your family. Exchange hugs and smiles and stories.

Eat well. Clear off the table and wash the dishes so the cook doesn't have to.

Feel the joy in being surrounded by people you love and whom love you.


as if!

For the past few days Rick has been trying to fool me. I didn't really care, but last night... last night I did.

Every night Rick and I have a cup of tea. Rick fixes my tea and pours himself some gatorade. He knows I prefer Earl Grey, but since Saturday he's been trying various types on me. He has thought that I couldn't tell the difference.

Wrong. I was just playing along with him.

Last night I told him specifically that I wanted Earl Grey. He deliberately made me English Breakfast. I just about exploded when that first sip of tea rolled along my tongue.

Me: So, Richard, why didn't you fix me Earl Grey like I asked?

Rick: I don't know.

Me: Did you think that I wouldn't know the difference? Did you really think that Saturday I didn't realize that I was drinking vanilla tea? Or that on Sunday I wouldn't recognize the Prince of Wales in my cup? Or last night that you were trying to slip the regular Nestea by my tastebuds?

Rick: Well, you didn't say anything? And what's the big deal? It's just tea.

Obviously we're going to have to revisit my little tea rituals and my need for them. I respect Rick's preferences when it comes to meditation. I do not run in and hide his red spice-scented candles and substitute lavender colored and scented ones. That would simply stress him out.

Just like his tea substitutions have me.


what to do first?

Far too much to do. Overwhelmed. Ack!

I need to clean, clean, clean, garden, mulch the side landscaping, paint Rick's baseboards, more laundry, bake some pies for neighbors who are slightly baking challenged, finish up Xmas cards, take Kari to the dentist, call Dr H about a potential high school for Rick, schedule an interview for Rick at that high school and another interview at the same school for a neighbor's son, look up the various camera attachments I want and let Robert know EXACTLY which ones to get me, call Nana since I won't be able to tomorrow.

Oh, I better get started.



Today Rick and I went to Kari's school to give a presentation on life in the American colonies. We had an absolute ton of stuff to take with us: clothing, candles, cookware, dinnerware, lanterns and my looms. I was worried that Rick would freeze or forget what to say and that I would have to open my mouth and speak.

But Rick did himself proud. He calmly went through everything, explaining what the item was, how it was used and how it was constructed. He answered questions clearly. Basically Rick had a blast.

My job was to explain the looms and how they work. Not a problem. I had Kari, my trusty assistant. But Kari developed cold feet and couldn't speak above a whisper. I stepped in and forced myself to grin and bear it.

The boys and girls eagerly stepped forward to try their hand at weaving several rows. Amazingly it wasn't the girls who had the questions about weaving or who showed an aptitude for it. No, the boys totally surprised me. One of the boys didn't want to give up the loom to the next person. He added an additional 3 inches to the sash all by himself. Since I left the loom there for the children to finish the sash, Kari was able to report back to me that the weaving madman pretty much did the remaining 18 inches.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Robert has spent the day working on Rick's floor. After yesterday's rough start, I was more than a bit worried. Today has gone much more smoothly. He's two-thirds of the way done and plans on finishing up tomorrow before work. I need to hurry up and paint the baseboards. Ack!


a giggle

Now why would you do a search for Wouldn't you just type it in and hit enter to go there?



In 1972 the Dolphins won the Super Bowl. The perfect finale to the NFL's only perfect season. They've tried to rekindle the magic of the '72 season every year since. But it hasn't happened.

Last night I sat in the upper-deck watching a poorly played game by the Dolphins against the Redskins. Rumbles of discontent echoed through Joe Robbie. The coaches were booed. The offense was booed. The defense was booed. Some fans yelled that they wanted Marino back. Everyone in the stands believed that they could be a better head coach than Wannstedt or a more effective offensive coordinator than Norv Turner.

A few fans commented that there was always next year. Another said that it would take a revamping of the team to ever win. More called for Wannstedt's head to be served on a platter.

And I sat there in the hushed stadium and wondered if perhaps part of the Dolphins' woes could be placed on a curse -- the curse of the perfect season. The perfect season that has never been achieved by any other NFL team. The perfect season that Dolphin fans still relive in conversations, in pictures and in film clips.

We expect perfection from the Dolphins and yet we also expect spectacular failure.

We are turning into Red Sox fans. We clap each other on the shoulder and say, "There's always next year." We expect to lose heartbreakingly to our archrivals the Jets, to be humiliated at New England. We expect to be in the hunt for the Super Bowl and we believe that the only way to get there is the wild card.

We don't celebrate what we have. We complain about what is missing. So listen up, Dolphin fans, this is what we have...

-- Ricky Williams. The Dolphins' offensive work horse. He goes out there every game and fights for every inch of every yard that he gains. Has anyone heard him complaining about a weak offensive line? No. There's a lesson in that.

-- Tim Ruddy. Our center. A 10-yr veteran who has one of the toughest jobs. I'm not much of an offensive fan, but he gets my vote for consistency, maturity and level-headedness.

-- Junior Seau, Sam Madison, Jason Taylor. The defensive cheerleaders. They are out there every game, bouncing around, talking things up, having fun and working hard. (Shut up! I know Madison had an off-night. Everyone has one at times.)

-- Aduwale Ogunleye. Another defensive player who deserves recognition.

-- Randy McMichael who scored on an 80-yd td pass.

-- Chris Chambers who seems to have picked up something from Gadsden. Catch the ball, hold on and carry those defensive players another yard or two down the field.

-- Olindo Mare. Despite having a so-so season so far, he has still made 3 50-plus yard field goals.
Last night he made a 51-yarder. If not for that, we would have lost.

*** and of course ***

-- Oronde Gadsden is BACK! He had one catch last night for 7 yards. But did you notice the defensive players hanging on to him? He's now caught a pass in 44 straight games. He's another offensive work horse.

We can sit around all day and debate what we don't have and what we desperately need to turn this season around. We can moan and groan over every loss. We can say that we expected each loss or injury. We can be fans of the negative type.

-- OR --

We can be the fans of the game. We can be the fans who go out and support our team. Sure, complaining is allowed, but it need not be vicious.

But the biggest thing we can do for our Dolphins is to put the Perfect Season of 1972 behind us. Yes, it's a part of our history. Yes, it's okay to talk about it. But it is not okay to expect it of the 2003 Dolphins or the 2004 Dolphins. Different team. Different year. Different game.




Okay, I've just about had it with this obnoxious candle. The thing will not come out of the darn mold.

We've done the freezing thing. Normally the candles just slide out at this point. But not this time!

We've done the freezing then putting the mold in warm water thing. Nope. Not a chance.

Ready to scream!

But the rest of the candles have turned out quite lovely. Keeping Robert from swiping one of the candles and lighting it has been a bit difficult. We just keep reminding him (and ourselves) that Rick is making these candles for Christmas gifts.

Five left to make. We have the wax. We have the scents. We have various molds. Okay, except for the one with the beeswax candle STILL in it.


green friday

Next week is retail's "Black Friday", the day that puts many stores into the black for the first time in the year. Holiday time is very important to retailers.

But this is green friday. Yep. Another gardening day for Eliz.

What can I say, but the weather was close to perfect. Think spring. I have one little spot left to weed. That's it for the weeding. I despise weeding. It's worse than ironing. I raked a smooth path through my garden, set in half the stones for the path and mulched the finished part. I neatened up Robert's bush hacking job. The man left allamanda branches sitting on the ground. Well, the darned things rooted!

My roses were looking very sad. I pulled out my trusty rose pruners, cleaned them and went to work. Gone are the crossed branches. Gone are the weak branches. Gone are the dead branches. Now my rose bushes are thinner, but in another month or so, they'll fill back out and be blooming like mad. I did lose my Heritage rose. I simply cannot find it. There's a hole in the ground where it should be and its trellis is also gone. Hmmph. No one had better ever take my Duchesse de Brabant roses. They are my favorites.

I cleaned my rose pruners and put them away. Rick brought me the tree pruner and a-lopping I went. One of our orchid trees was getting a bit out of control. Much wilder than I like. It was reaching out and grabbing people as they walked by. Not a good thing. Now it's nodding gracefully.

The kidlings and I moved the table and chairs from the patio to a shady area underneath two other orchid trees. Kari is having a tea party tomorrow and we want everything to be just right. No bright sun shining in the girls' eyes while they take tea. I just have to put together the posies for the girls and bake the scones. Oh and drape gauzy fabric from the trees. (I'm assuming that Robert will neglect to bring home the tent thing.

Oh, the darn squirrels found my tomato plants. I pointed out our neighbors' tasty beans, but the squirrels seem to prefer my tomato plants. When my mom gets here next month, I'm siccing her on those squirrels. They'll regret ever touching my tomato plants.


and today...

1. Something clicked in the math section of Rick's brain. He actually understand it! Woohoo!

2. The German disk we are using for lab decided that every answer Rick gave was wrong. Welcher Tag ist Januar einundzwanzigster? I'm sorry, but that IS the 21st of January. Rick clicked on that date so many times and each time he was told he was wrong. In frustration he clicked on every day for that month. Always wrong. Then I pranced over, clicked on the 21st and voila! Richtig! Rick was not amused.

3. Rick isn't taking notes in history again. Bad boy. Didn't he learn from his last test?

4. His latest paper is shaping up nicely.

1. Laundry and ironing are done.

2. Cleared out two of the three piles of mess in my room.

3. Picked up.

Gardening: (my favorite)
1. Weeded 1/3 of the garden.

2. Added mulch where needed. Where does mulch go? I swear I put down about 100 bags every few months.

3. Planted herbs and lavender.

4. Moved my tomato plants. Hoping the squirrels will decide that those plants just don't look as tasty in their new location. Yeah right. What a hope.

1. Bought new dinner plates. I wonder how long before Robert breaks one.

2. Actually purchased a few more holiday presents. My Christmas shopping is almost done.

1. Helped Rick with his candlemaking. Five candles made today.

2. Cut out another 10 snowflakes for my entryway.

Yup. Today was a busy day. Tomorrow should be busier. Rick's carpeting is getting ripped out so that Robert can start laying down the Pergo on Monday.


a second wish granted

I've been dreaming of cooler weather for days and weeks and months. Finally the temperature has dropped below 70*F. Of course it was last night and tonight. The daytime temps are still reaching up into the lower 80s, but perhaps, just perhaps, South Florida's winter is thinking about showing up.

Ooh, time to possibly fire up the hot water heater.


one wish granted

Woohoo! Oronde Gadsden has been signed to a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins. They released Alphonse Roundtree to make room for Oronde. I'm so excited. Gadsden is my favorite offensive player (since Robert Edwards isn't playing anywhere - yet! - Still!)

You have to love a guy who is consistently able to make catches that many others wouldn't. He's big. He's determined. He's strong. Gadsden can catch the ball, hold onto it, gain a few more yards -- all while having a minimum of 3 defenders hanging on to him trying to drag him down.

Yep, you gotta love him.

Gadsden also has his own clothing line -- Original Gear.


say it ain't so!

Davidson's basketball season will be underway at 9am tonight. NIT pre-season game against Texas Tech. Oh me, oh my. More games for me to watch. My brain is going to explode.

And Duke's opens Saturday against Detroit.


Congrats, Ryan!

My nephew won his race this past weekend... by 2 minutes. His teammate had been leading the points series before this race, but he ended up with a mechanical (read he had no seat on his bike, just a scary post!) Ryan took the series championship too.

Now the thing to keep in mind is that Ryan isn't quite 17, but he's competing in the Sport 19-29 year old class. Wonder how he'll do in Nationals this year.


here's the thing...

When I was in elementary school, wednesdays were horrific days. Wednesdays left me drained and teary. Wednesdays made me anxious. And all because of youth group.

Youth group was supposed to be about having fun and creating strong friendships with your peers within the church. But it wasn't fun. I became overly stressed by the various activities that we did -- ice breakers, charades, trivia games, singing. The other children never seemed overly bothered by the spotlight shining briefly on them. Their faces didn't turn red. Their mouths didn't stop working. Their brains didn't shut down. Mine did.

And this was something that I have never been able to explain to anyone. My mother would sit and listen to me wail and then she'd tell me that I had tons of friends and that I shouldn't worry so much. But it wasn't about the friends. It was about the dynamics of the group and what was required of me.

Over the years my difficulties in group situations haven't lessened. My coping skills have grown, allowing me to adapt, but I still sense a thick glass wall between me and the rest of the world. My social anxiety and terror of groups situations haven't gone away. I suspect they never will.

This social anxiety of mine adds to my depression. I shut myself off from situations and thus cut myself off from face-to-face interaction. Every year my world shrinks a bit more. In some ways I thank the powers that be for the internet. My computer allows me to interact in an impersonal way with others. I never have to try and read their body language. I never see their eyes rolling or hear their giggles at my ineptness.

But the internet is also harmful to me. It allows me to shut myself off physically from the world. And I believe that in some ways my fear of the social world has grown.

Recently a friend was over to show off her new baby and she lit into me for not leaving the house, for taking a class online rather than on campus. She counts it as a victory to get me out my front door and down the driveway to talk to whomever has driven her over.

She's threatened to come over and physically drag me from my house and out into the world. I think she'll be impressed with my venture tomorrow. I'm going to drive myself down to the airport to meet someone during her layover at MIA.

My brother would roll his eyes at this. To him, social interaction is as necessary as breathable air. He just wouldn't get the importance of this to me. I know the importance, and I'm proud of myself.


in a quoting sort of mood

Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. It is the product of Faith, Strength, Energy, Will, Sympathy, Justice, Imagination, and the triumph of principle. It will never be achieved by passivity and quietism.
~Dorothy Thompson (1894 - 1961)

If I can't have too many truffles, I'll do without truffles.

I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)


da game

The game wasn't the most exciting. Robert predicted either the Dolphins winning six to three -OR- being tied with the Ravens and having to go into OT. He refused to even think about who would win in OT.

My man Sam Madison intercepted a pass in the first half. I did the happy dance. Harvey gave me a high five. Oh I'm such a proud fan. In the second half Sammy Knight intercepted a pass. Harvey turned to give me another high five. He was a bit confused. He heard me yelling for Sammy and assumed I was yelling for #29.

Bubba, Asshole and Homer weren't there. They deserted me for Homestead. NASCAR over football. Very sad. I've never had to watch a game without them. Instead "Naincee" brought 3 guests: a woman and her 2 daughter.

Now we all cuss when the Dolphin do stupid things. Even "Naincee" -- although when she cusses we all start laughing. I would yell, "Dammit!" Lady in orange would turn and say, "Darn it!". Harvey screamed, "Shit!" Lady in orange turned and said, "Oh poo!". Robert yelled, "What in the fuck were you thinking?" Lady in orange turned, paused and finally came up with, "What in the fuck was he thinking?"

But somehow, someway the Dolphins pulled out a win. They didn't look brilliant or flashy. They just managed to win. I don't understand why Derrius Thompson is still around. The man needs to be cut. I want my Oronde Gadsden, the man with the big hands, the man who can catch the ball, be hit by 3 defenders and still hold onto the ball and gain a few more yards.

Hey, they cut Robert Edwards who STILL hasn't been picked up by anyone, the least they can do is re-sign Gadsden.

Come on, Wannstedt, make me happy. But you won't, will you? Oh no, you believe that it is far too difficult to work Gadsden back into the line-up. I cry bullshit on this one. Why is it more difficult to work in a proven receiver than to try and get the current ones to be more consistent? Tell us the truth, Wannstedt, what do you have against him?

The entire team is suffering from Fiedler disease. And a few have T-Buck disorder on top of that. Hmmph.



Last night I dreamed that Robert and I were going to the North Pole for vacation. My bags were filled with wonderful winter clothes: thick sweaters, lined wool pants, socks, boots, my grandfather's hunting jacket. I was even bringing winter comfort foods: stews, fresh bread, hot chocolate....

Oh, I was prepared all right. Ready to enjoy my winter vacation.

But we kept flying north and there was no ice, no look of chill. I was beginning to panic. And then we landed at the North Pole and my panic became fullblown.

Palm trees dotted the North Pole. Swaying in a balmy breeze they mocked me. Santa's reindeer were lazing in the shade. The big shocker was seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus. They were the stereotypical snowbirds. Santa had a dark tan and was wearing only a red Speedo. Since he had Dunlop disease, I didn't realize he was wearing anything until he turned around. Mrs. Claus also had a deep dark tan. Her red bikini barely covered parts that desperately needed covering.

I shared my horrible dream with my husband. Robert grinned far too much in response to my pathetic night vision. When I questioned him on it, he told me that I had been talking in my sleep again, muttering things like, "Where are the glaciers? Shouldn't there be ice?" and his personal favorite of "It had better not be a damn 80 degrees at the North Pole."


I can't stand it no more!

Jan's wedding

Although I am vastly amused at the picture of my brother in his halloween costume, I feel the urge to point out that he really doesn't look like that. Honestly. He doesn't.

He's the guy on the left in the above picture. He and his buddies are tossing Jan in the water. Obviously Jan needed some cooling off.

(Doesn't Kirk look like he smells in that Halloween picture? Yuck!)


I'm a little bit country...

...Robert is a little bit rock 'n roll. Yep. Just opposites. He's male. I'm female. He's tall. I'm short. He's a registered democrat. I'm a registered republican. The list goes on and on.




Yes, this is my brother. Dressed up for Halloween. Normally he looks much better. Oh my. I think this is my brother.

And in case you were wondering... he's a state fair worker.



My husband doesn't talk much. He's more than a bit on the quiet side. Or so he has led me and his entire family to believe.

Two nights ago I called him on his cellphone about something that happened. I really needed his input. His phone rang and rang and then he picked it up. Or so I thought.

I sat and waited and waited for him to say something. I could hear him speaking really fast, so I assumed that he was on the job and giving a pilot clearance to take off or land. I was wrong.

Robert was sitting in the breakroom jabbering away with several of his coworkers. On and on and on he gabbed. They were discussing braces and other dental work: the costs, the aggravation, the lack of good dental insurance ....

I sat dumbfounded in my chair. My normally quiet husband was verbose! I listened for over 5 minutes before hanging up. He met everyone word for word. Totally unlike the one word for every hundred of mine.

Last night I asked him why he's so talkative at work and then silent with me. He shrugged and said, "I don't know, dear. I'll work on it." Ha! Not good enough. He's been saying this for years. He's also told me numerous times that he isn't chatty with anyone. Another ha!

Is it so wrong to feel a bit hurt? Why can he not share his little insights or what happens during his day? If I ask him about his day, he tells me that nothing much happened. He simply will not share anything, but he shares homelife with his work friends.

I just don't get it.


what women want...

So there sit Viki, Stacy and myself complaining about the messes that our children make and don't pick up. No, our sweet little angels could never make messes. They widen their eyes in innocence and simply say, "Wasn't me. I didn't do it."

Stacy told us that she informed her husband that she needed a wife.

Viki and I were rolling all over the floor. I've never laughed so hard.

Now this is something that men don't get. Stacy's husband didn't. He replied with that look -- the look that isn't quite an eye roll because the man doesn't know quite how to take a statement like "I need a wife." I tried the line on Robert. He snorted. A half-assed snort. An "I don't really know what I'm supposed to make of that statement, but if I don't do anything, I'll really look stupid" snort.

Lets see. What is expected of mothers these days? Cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, taking care of the children, working, being a wife... and all the myriad tasks that fall into these categories. And this is just a sampler.

And we cannot do it all. We aren't wonder women. And unlike 100 years ago and further back, our children aren't around most of the day to help with chores. No, they are off playing with friends, being involved in extra-curricular activities, just being kids. Our husbands are wonderful people, but they grew up watching their moms do for their fathers -- womens lib hadn't quite kicked in yet. Our husbands expect us to do as their mothers did AND work outside the home AND to be able to bring out our inner sexpot whenever and wherever.

Anyway... already being in a giggly mood after discussing nipple-flavored jello and beer-flavored breasts and laughing over Stacy's comment about needing a wife, we decided that if we couldn't have a wife, we'd settle for a harem.

A harem of men with tight asses, triangulated calves, thighs heavy with muscle, flat abs, defined arms and back, broad hands, sparkling eyes, the ability to look good while mopping, cleaning, picking up. They would all volunteer to do the grocery shopping, ironing, picking up of toys. When we were harried at dinner time and one of the children spilled milk everywhere, one of the men would put his hand on our shoulder and say, "Don't worry. I'll take care of it."

And at night we wouldn't even have to ask, they would simply know that we needed a backrub or a luxurious bubblebath without our kids stripping naked and cannonballing into the tub.

Ahhh, heaven.

*Note: I know that my husband does quite a bit and I'm thankful for that, but at times I really need help with the little things and keeping it together. At times like that it would be nice to not have to say, "You better help me or I'll scream!"

Besides I know what his ideal woman looks like. He had her photo on his dorm room wall for 2 years. Hmmph!


Yeah! Yippee!

Hah! As if anyone could ever get excited about housework and IRONING. The "yeah! Yippee!" is my feeble attempt to generate enthusiasm for the boring stuff.

It isn't working yet.

On the other hand those words/sounds did emerge from my mouth in a giddy rush of sound on Monday night. The kidlings were on their way to bed when it started raining. Cooler weather (75*F), a good breeze and falling rain. Wonderful night to sit on the front stoop underneath the overhang and read. Toby and Binky even ambled out to keep me company.

Enthusiasm doesn't come up and slap me in the face much these days, so I take it where I can.

Now if only Robert weren't so enthusiastic over the smell of my new candles. I swear he is going to burn them to nothing by the end of the week. Why can he not light the ones Rick made? Why mine?



On Friday my drive to Tampa took forever. And for no good reason. I never saw an accident or cops running a speed trap. No, traffic just stopped occasionally for extended periods of time. Think about travelling 16 mph and you'll understand.

At one point I was stopped next to a sign that read "Reduce Speed Ahead." Oh really? Does that mean I get to travel backwards?

A bit later the van was at a complete stop. I had even put it in park. The kids were complaining because I was singing at the top of my lungs. The singing stopped when I noticed that the car in front of me had Kansas plates. Cool plates too. Blue sky. Fluffy clouds. The car next to it also had Kansas plates. The car behind that one also had Kansas plates. "Odd," I said to the kids. "I thought we were in Florida." To their dismay, I went back to singing "Dust in the Wind".

Finally, after an hour and a half of piddling on the highway, we managed to get from Naples to Fort Meyers. We were cruising along at a good rate of speed, when traffic slowed again, but not to a crawl and not to a complete stop. At about 35 mph we rolled past an Expedition with 2 flat tires. The driver and a passenger were looking at the two flats and the one spare. Three ibis stood behind them, craning their necks around the men to see what was going on.

You know things are out of whack when birds start rubbernecking.


a good cry

Today's a day of frustration. I'm bursting at the seams with things to do, things to try, things to talk about. And nothing.

I don't have time to go exploring or to work on little fun projects.

I'm not getting the support from my family to do a few things just for me. And I've asked. This is actually my biggest bitch -- that their time always comes first for them and my time has to be stolen and interrupted.

Do I cry? Do I explode? Do I stand on the Ridge and scream?

Or should I just grin and bear it?

Such is the life of the modern day mom.


I'm around somewhere

Avoiding laundry.

Avoiding schoolwork.

Avoiding laundry mostly.

Okay, so I did part of my assignment for my Thinking like da Vinci course, but that's it. Yup, today is a lazy day. Shhhh.

Over here you'll find my 100 questions. I'm so not done yet, but it's a start on this weeks homework. Blech. I don't like homework. It ranks down there with -- oh -- laundry.

Mount Ironmore awaits.


another round!

Football sucked mightily this weekend. UM lost. Va Tech lost. Davidson lost. The Dolphins lost.

And wouldn't you know it, but at the bar today Cindy and I were sitting next to two Tennessee fans. Man, were they loud.

Cindy and I like to join in on the $2 betting squares. This week she drew good numbers: 8 for Tennessee and 0 for the Fins. I had 7 and 8. Ha. The Dolphins didn't even score until the game was almost over. Anyway, Cindy won the pool at the end of the 3rd quarter. Some of the regulars informed her that since she won, she had to buy a round of draft for those at the bar. And she did.

The bartender thought this was funny since the man who was doing the most egging on won the halftime pool and didn't buy a round. She pointed this out, so he was picked on to the point where he had to buy everyone a round. Then the Tennessee fan decided to make all of us Dolphin fans feel better about being abused by the Titans. He bought a round.

So three free rounds for me. That is not including the 2 free beers I had when we first arrived. Hmmm. Nor is this including the drafts that I paid for.

Good thing that Robert agreed to be our chauffeur for the day. He walked in to pick us up while I was in the midst of an in-depth conversation about 2 things: the Red Sox and food. His arrival saved Cindy from her chosen topic of politics (stupid thing to do when you are a democrat at a bar with a bunch of republicans).

Robert did miss all the funny tips that were offered to Cindy when she talked about taking her shirt off (hey, it was hot in there and she did have another shirt on underneath the one she wanted to take off). Things that the men threw on the bar to prompt her to take it off: a stick of Wrigleys gum, a marker for more free beer, ribs, wings, and my favorite -- a condom.

Cindy wanted to know what the hell she would do with a condom.

I was thinking along the lines of a water balloon fight....



UM has lost two in a row and to Tennessee! UM scored SIX. (To put this in perspective, last week Duke scored 6 against Tennessee).

Duke totally annihilated Ga. Tech. The Devils scored 41 and only allowed the Yellow Jackets 17. Looks like Roof lit a fire somehow. Maybe it was the Blue Devil walk across campus earlier today though. Hmmmm. Perhaps it was arson.

Davidson has yet to win at home. Oh well. Next year! (I still think only the best of you, Coach T.)


Happy Birthday, Kari!

Happy birthday to the only girl born into her father's clan in 100 years.

Eleven years ago today Kari was born during the final quarter of a Dolphins game. I still don't know who won and I have no desire to know who won. Spoils the mystique.

Our little girl is growing up. She's gone from being silent her first two years to a chatterbox. She's no longer a frilly girl. Now she's a horsey gal.

Kari still plays with dolls and her toy horses. Her hair is still long. She still appreciates the power of pink but has discovered range in other colors. Boys are still yuck.

But there are signs of growing up.

She has started shaving her legs, talks about plucking her eyebrows, and grey hairs wind their way through her dark brown locks. Kari has begun reading more than the comics in the newspaper. She thinks about other people and their plights -- especially other children who do not get to enjoy the things she does because they do not have the money to do so or are physically unable.

And seconds later she giggles and asks to romp outside with her friends.

Enter the "tween years."

Enjoy 11, Karikins!


the shakes

Kim wanted to make sure I was still coming. Yep. I'll show up. I might be a nervous wreck, but that why I carry my meds and have my coping "masks" to wear.

I'm ensconced in my house. Quite scarily so. Just walking out the front door and down to my mailbox is a big deal to me. I cannot make it to the grocers without taking my own personal guard -- 3 dragonets.

And believe me, I'd considered bailing on this trip, but I really want to see Kim. Brooks really wants to see Jordan. And it'll be good for me.


this cracked me up

Jim Armstrong wrote this in an article about the match-up between the Bowdens -- ummm, I mean FSU-Clemson -- this weekend.

Fans at Wake Forest chanted ''Fire Bowden'' as last week's game wound down. That's how these kinds of things start in the South, where college football ranks between air conditioning and bourbon on the list of life's bare necessities. Next is the hanging of the coach in effigy, followed by the buyout, the press conference and the distress call to the good-ole-boy network for a replacement.

And sometimes this is true. Air conditioning is definitely a necessity. Beer can be substituted for bourbon. Gotta have our football though.

It's not just about the game. Seeing and being seen are very important. Football is a great social occasion. There are tailgate parties, tv parties, gatherings at the bar. Games are discussed years later. Heck, in Durham, they still discuss Duke's glory days: an Orange Bowl appearance in 1942, the perfect season of 1938. Women DRESS for football games. Seriously.

There are times when I think that being a college football coach is more stressful than being president. At least from a popularity perspective. If someone ran a popularity poll on the local college coach, that thing would vary greatly week to week dependant on how the games went.

And college football is getting more difficult for the coaches. They are restricted to 25 scholarships a year. Remember when teams would have close to a hundred on scholarship? More and more schools are trying to move into division 1 or maintain their status in this division. There are only so many Michael Vicks to go around.

I'm wandering all over the place, so I'll stop now.

Except to say: UM over TN, Ga Tech over Duke, Va Tech will defeat Pitt, Wake better beat UNC. Yeah, that's it. UVA isn't playing.



Rick's latest short short paper is over here. It is extremely short, but it's the first in a series on Japanese culture.

Bet no one will ever figure out what he's interested in.


well, lookee there

My kitchen floor is scrubbed and sparkling clean. You could eat off of my floor. My floor is white enough to blind a snowflake. Seriously.

Until one of my dragonets decides to get something from the fridge.

At that point my clean floor is history. Guaranteed. Kool-aid, eggnog, watermelon juice, yoghurt... something will spill onto the floor and they will refuse to wipe it up. Instead their method to hide that they did it is to use their shoes to spread the mess everywhere.

As if I lack the technology to determine whose footprint that is.

Rick's foot is a size 9. His shoes, assuming he even has them on, have distincive cuts in the heels. One of the heels is peeling off of the shoe. Kari has the world's narrowest feet. Brooks' feet are wider. She also wears her sandals almost all the time. The soles are worn smooth, so her footprint shows up as a smooth outline. And then there are Brooks' feet. He is like me and prefers to go barefoot. His feet are much smaller and the easiest to identify.

me: "Brooks, did you spill your drink in the kitchen?"

him: "No, Mommy. I finished my drink at the kitchen table."

me: "Then why do I see chocolate milk footprints going from the kitchen, through the dining room, into the foyer and out the front door?"

him: "I don't know. Maybe Toby did it?"

And they refuse to clean up their messes until they are called on it and get me angry with them. No, instead they prefer to ignore what they have done, and, if caught, they try and foist the blame onto someone else. Despite the footprint evidence. Despite the fact that each of them prefers to drink a particular drink and I can identify who spilled something by what was spilled.

Well, crap. Robert just messed up my floor with muddy footprints. *sigh...


because it is "snow" amusing

What is your snowdiac sign?

This is me:

The Crystal Plate is often associated with the moon in Snowflake folklore. It is said that the Crystal Plate existed one thousand years on the moon before being cast down to earth. People born in the year of the Crystal Plate are thought to be generous in spirit, alert, articulate, and clever. They are also talented and have the ability to accomplish incredible feats.

Compatible with the Sectorlike Branched Crystal and the 12 Branched Dendritic Crystal
Opposite with the Needle Crystal.

Absolutely silly. ;)


let it snow!

Oh I am such a sick individual.

I've always looked forward to the "snowy season". The mountains of southwest Virginia, the cornfields of Indiana and the coast of southern Maine never disappointed me. We always had tons and tons of snow.

January was guaranteed snow time in Pulaski. Absolutely guaranteed. Snowmen, snowcream, snowball fights, snow angels... hot chocolate whenever we stumbled inside.

December through February in Indiana meant snow. There was a house on the way into Indianapolis from Decatur County that always had this huge ice tower in their backyard. Sometimes it was colored ice... a budding rainbow caught before it could arch... frozen in time. I have pictures of Lucy the basset walking through the snow, snow higher than her short self. Wheezer, Mills and Butterbeans (all cats) would walk behind the doggie snowplow in search of what, I'm not sure. One year we had snowdrifts up to the roof. But is there anything better than ice skating with friends on the frozen creek as snow drifts down from the sky?

We lived near the coast in Maine and the snow there was nothing like what they had even a bit further inland. We never ever missed school due to too much snow. Oh no, the plows were out with the first falling flake. By the end of winter, the roads would have packed snow and salt on them. We used to skate to school on the roads. Snow meant that once a week we'd get to spend a good hour skating while at school. They'd spray water over a field of snow, just for us to skate on. We'd also have a winter carnival complete with snow sculpture competitions.

I remember the first time I saw snow falling over the ocean. Mom and Dad bustled Kirk, Lucy and I into the station wagon and headed for Gooches. We stood in the sand, between the sluggish waves and the pile of seaweed, and watched the snow blow in above the waves. The snow would fall and skip across the sand -- seemingly looking for a more comfortable spot to settle.

Now I live in So. Florida where the last flake to fall was in 1978 and school was let out on the basis of "possible flurries". Robert says he remembers a few white things drifting down. He was more into the "no school thing." My children have never experienced snow. Never seen it fall in the dark of night, sparkling under the outside lights. Never romped in it, enjoyed getting cold outside and then warming up by a crackling fire with a cup of hot chocolate in their hands. Never had a riproaring snowball fight -- girls against boys with the family dog barking excitedly and not sure whose side she is on.

Kari and I are cutting out snowflakes from vellum. We're going to hang them from the ceiling in the foyer. Our own personal snowfall in the subtropics.



I despise doing the laundry and the ironing. Sometimes I believe that I'm the last person in America who actually uses an iron. Not that I look any less rumpled


Why is it that I'm always the last person to get to use the shower the day I clean it? Does that seem fair? I cleaned it. I should get to be the first person to use the freshly cleaned stall. Hmmph!


Something came to my attention this morning and it still is irritating the hell out of me. Completely pissing me off. I put a lot of time and energy into something only to have someone come along, take my ideas and run with them. I was vastly amused by the fact that my plagiarism post happened to pop up today. It had been written several days ago and I just stuck it to appear today.


But the weather is supposed to be wonderful tomorrow. Light rains, upper 70s. Just perfect for some dancing on the Ridge.


slippery slopes and asterisks

This is a place holder until my thoughts have finished gelling.



Earlier this year I had several hits on my blog from a particular newspaper. Being curious I followed the hit back to the newspaper. Imagine my shock to find my blog entry had been printed in the paper underneath someone else's byline.

Now I realize that this happens quite a bit -- plagiarism that is. And it disgusts me.

This whole topic came up last week when I was discussing Rick's writing with someone. We were discussing the contrast between his writing on his blog and his writing on his papers. You would never believe that both were written by the same person. And yet they were.

This other person wondered if Rick was plagiarizing, if I watched him write, if I double-checked his sources.... Yes, I watch him write. Yes, I double-check his sources. We determined that the reason his papers are better than his blog entries is his level of interest.

But plagiarism can be about swiping ideas too.

In college I wanted to do an independent study on something and was very excited about the whole concept. I discussed it at length with one of my roommates before writing it up and presenting it to the Dean of Registrar and the appropriate professor. Imagine my shock at discovering my roommate had already presented this idea as her own and been granted permission to do the study. She covered her ass by saying that she thought the two of us would do it together. I didn't go against her, although later our supervising professor said he thought is was a shame -- what she had gotten away with. He also thought it a shame that we had to do the study pass-fail so that there would be no claims of favoritism on his part.



board business

Oh my, trying to keep track of what day it is in my own life is difficult, but then there's the October board. I've been trying to spice things up with trivia and polls and starting Monday we are going to be doing a few things differently.

Mondays: all around the house is pretty much the theme. There's the test kitchen as always, but Steph will be adding in little bits of kitchen wisdom. The rest of us can add our recipes at random or by topic. Kathryn is going to have a garden topic to cover on the first monday of each month. Works since she is our resident "green thumb". We all run to her with questions, and now there'll be a spot to do this. The other mondays when she isn't covering gardening will be a surprise, but I have some things already in my head.

Tuesdays: crafting. Many of us have hobbies, so I want to have a place to focus on that. This week Kim will talk about beading. I'll also run a few polls to see what most are interested in. Cara suggested scrap booking which is a wonderful idea. I can never finish mine. LOL My scrapbook hasn't been touched since Brooks was born. Sue quilts, perhaps I can get her to do something on that.

Wednesdays: all about us as people. We moms tend to forget about ourselves. We focus on being moms, wives, friends, and neglect ourselves. Brenda is going to help us refocus at least for a few minutes on who we want to be.

Thursdays: expanding our minds. I'm going to continue with the "thoughtful thursday" theme, but Viki is going to give us more concrete items: some history facts, a famous quote or two... hopefully we'll all learn something new and will be able to dredge it from our brains when our pumpkins study it in school.

Fridays: all about fun and preparing for the weekend. Trivia and games.

Of course every day there will be something about our pumpkins.


sugar high!

I was awakened this morning by the sounds of rustling candy wrappers. My wee dragon was quietly digging through his halloween bag, searching for the next perfect piece of candy to stick in his mouth.

I don't think so.

Brooks looked at me reproachfully, "Mommy, I had breakfast already. Daddy said I could have candy." Oh really? How is that possible when Robert has been at work for almost an hour?

*** ~~~ *** ~~~ ***

Rick and Kari were quite disgusted by the feel of pumpkin guts yesterday afternoon. Kari protested having to sit there and separate the seeds from the pulpy mess. But I prevailed. Today we will be roasting those seeds and munching on them during the UM-VaTech game.

The seeds from our white pumpkin though will continue their drying. I want to see if I can grow white pumpkins here in Florida. Steph wants some of the seeds to do the same in NH. Hopefully the descendants of this year's pumpkin will really get around. ;)

"Earth laughs in flowers." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson