Life on the Ridge
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“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which
the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.” Acts 20:28

Today my mother carried on a family tradition. Today she became an elder at Trinity.

In 1921 the church was organized. My great-grandparents were two of the founding members. My great-grandfather was raised a Presbyterian; my great-grandmother was raised a Moravian. All three of their children became members. Their sons were members until they died. Both served as elders.

And now my mother is an elder.

Mom wasn't born or raised a Presbyterian. She was raised Methodist, but when she married Dad, she joined the Presbyterian church... Trinity to be specific. Over the past 40 years, my parents moved a number of times. They moved their church membership too. Twelve years ago, they returned to their roots and shortly after to Trinity.

My brother and sister-in-law are now members of Trinity. My niece will one day officially join the church. I wonder if my brother, my sister-in-law or my niece will ever be elders there and carry on this family tradition.

I won't. I'm the dissonant daughter.


it's all about the angle



Children have no concept of time. Everything is either yesterday, now or tomorrow. Even next week is beyond their comprehension.

Which is why I truly wish that Hollywood would not send out posters saying "COMING SOON" until a month before the movie is to be released. For two months we've had to see the "COMING SOON" poster for the Sponge Bob movie.

Brooks really wants to see the Sponge Bob movie.

We have explained over and over that the movie isn't coming out until Thanksgiving. He insists that Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Wrong!

I've tried showing him on the calendar. Brooks simply turns the pages until he gets to the week of Thanksgiving, "See, Mom! I told you it was tomorrow."

Then I hit upon the explanation of "The movie will come out after Kari's birthday." Bad move on my part. Now the wee one follows his sister around asking if she doesn't want her birthday to be tomorrow.

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I hate you, Tomorrow! You're always too far away!




M.A. Debates contd

Once again we were back to education.

the boy: My teacher is an idiot. He doesn't know how to teach. He's stupid.

me: How do you know he's an idiot?

Rick: Oh God. Not again.

the boy: He doesn't know how to teach. I have a 40 average in his class.

me: Do you pay attention in class? Do you do extra problems for the practice?

the boy: Why should I do extra problems? I should understand it by doing just the homework.

me: Well, Rick didn't understand one section of his math. He missed all the assigned problems, so I made him do the rest. He grasped the concept after practicing extra.

Rick: Mom, you made me do them 5 times.

the boy: So you don't know how to teach either?

I kept my mouth shut and continued driving. My mother would have been so proud of my restraint. Perhaps though she would have rethought her position that I should be a teacher. Must ponder this further.

But no, the boy decided to try a different tact to get my goat.

the boy: The FCAT is stupid. I can't graduate if I don't pass it. Don't you think the FCAT is stupid?

This is the usual topic he chooses. One would think that by now he would know my thoughts.

me: No. The FCAT is how the state determines how well you all have absorbed the material taught.

the boy: But it has stuff on there from the first grade! How am I supposed to remember stuff I learned in the first grade?

me: Do you remember your ABC's? How to read? How to count? Your colors? How about shapes? Do you remember your shapes?

the boy: Yeah, but we're talking about the FCAT here.

me: Those were things you learned in first grade. Every year that you are in school, your teachers are building on what you have learned -- or hopefully learned and retained -- from previous years.

Brooks: Go, Mom!

Smart kid that one. He knows when I've scored a point.

the boy: President Bush is stupid.

I raised my eyebrow at him.

the boy: In my opinion, President Bush is stupid.

me: He went to Yale. Perhaps he has brains and no common sense. Or perhaps he just doesn't do what you think he should.

And then we pulled into the parking lot and my ordeal was over once more. Thank goodness the instructors wore him and Rick out. Neither one said a word on the way home.


truly sinful?

Saturday I confessed to several major crimes here in South Florida. I had believed that they were merely misdemeanors, but several have assured me that they are major crimes.

Crime #1:
I do not own a pair of shorts.

Reactions were varied in intensity, but all initially reacted with a shocked gasp. Seriously. They questioned me intensely about this lack in my wardrobe. After all summertime is an intensely hot and humid time here.

I believe that my wearing shorts would be a crime. My legs are fat and glowing white. Ewwww!

Crime #2:
I do not own a swimsuit.

Okay, I was outted on this one. I haven't owned a swimsuit since 1992. I haven't been in a pool since then either. The only reason I donned one and took the plunge was that the a/c in our apartment was on the fritz and I was 6 months pregnant.

Again, appearing in public in a swimsuit would be the real crime. And the humiliation! My breasts hang from size and lack of tautness (You breastfeed 3 children and see what happens). I have tightened up my abs enough that the fat and extra skin hang and make me look like I have an uninflated inner tube around my hips. We won't discuss my hips and thighs.

Crime #3:
I do not like hot weather.

They were shocked. Shocked! I was told to move somewhere such as Alaska. One of my friends started laughing since that is where I'll be in 3 short weeks.

Crime #4:
I cannot stand palm trees.

Palm trees are not even trees. They are overdeveloped blades of grass. They do not provide shade of any sort. Many aren't even attractive. And come on, palms and Florida are so cliche.

my punishment:
Hah! They'll have to catch me first!


"can't get enough of this wonderful stuff"

I blame Melanie for my dinner tonight. Because of her, I have had the song "Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pandowdy" running through my head for days. Because of her, I had a craving for chicken dumplings, fried okra and spiced apples.

Lovely Southern meal. Fried or doughy or both.

Now please excuse me while I finish wrapping up all these cupcakes for my freezer. I don't want the kids to make huge inroads into the brownies, chocolate cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes or the angelfood pineapple ones either. It's hard enough to keep the dog away from them!



All I wanted to do was brush my teeth and go to bed. That's all. I picked up my toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste. As I'm squeezing the toothpaste onto the toothbrush's bristles, something leapt from the counter, over my hands and onto my shirt.

I screamed, threw the toothbrush and toothpaste up in the air and jumped up and down until the uninvited critter fell to the floor. I sprinted out of the bathroom and insisted that Robert decritterfy the bathroom.

He didn't take me very seriously since I was trying very hard not to fall apart laughing. After all, who can truly be frightened of a gecko?


you think, I think

Things I keep telling my children:
1. Do not present your opinion as fact.
2. Be willing to listen and hear what others tell you even if you do not agree. You will learn something -- even if it is more about tolerance.
3. Do not debate something unless you have done some research and could effectively debate the other side of the issue.
4. Understand that for every issue there are innumerable opinions. Some of those opinions will be so similar as to look alike, but the flavor will be different.

Today I shared these points with another's child. Hopefully his parents will not want to kill me for sharing them. But I had to do something! Rigidity is stifling. Being that inflexible in thought at such a young age... oh my.

Besides it really pisses me off when someone believes everything that the media tells them without researching further or looking at the other side of the argument.

(My kids want me to discuss the flipside of this. Figures, but it will be good for me)



Words from a luncheon: vibrate, oscillate, vacillate, pussyfoot, johnson, whip cream, chocolate, day, night, shhhh, pictures, hide, destroy

Poor Dick didn't know what to make of our giggling fits.



One! Two!...

Sleep has been difficult this week. Falling asleep isn't a problem. Staying asleep is. Dreams chase their way across the inside of my eyelids and startle me awake. Robert snorts and rolls over, dragging the covers with him; this wakes me. The cats decide to play leapfrog over my head. And no one can sleep through the smoke alarms going off (for no apparent reason).

...Three! Four!...



The call to boycott gas stations today baffles me. Do people honestly believe that this will resolve the problem of rapidly escalating prices? I sat and watched a gas station today. During that 45 minute period only a handful of cars pulled in. Normally there are several cars there at all times.

And what happened?

Someone changed the price sign from $2.05 to $2.07. THAT is what will happen. The gas companies will try to recoup their losses by raising prices.


But perhaps what truly baffles me is that despite rising prices, gas consumption increased by 4% the previous month. INCREASED! People whine that they aren't going to be able to swing the little extras anymore due to rising gas prices and then they use more. Obviously they were driving over to friends' houses to gather in the backyard, drink their beer and whine.

I think that consumers need to stop buying these gas guzzlers that are being produced by the auto manufacturers. We have longer commutes to work and we are buying cars that get 15 miles to the gallon in the city. And those 15 miles are in optimal conditions... not in the real life conditions of stop-and-go traffic, traffic jams, riding breaks, using a/c at full blast....

We, the drivers, need to take some responsibility here. We're the idiots who have walked right into this situation.

I fully intend to have a little talk with Robert about how he put 100 plus miles on the Saturn in the past 24 hours. Where in the world did he drive?


you must be kidding

Playing around on ebay I found something for auction that once belonged to a cousin of mine -- his shoes!. Oh this takes the cake.



Japanese tea room, 1947

My tea box is empty. This is absolutely devasting to me. How could something like this have happened? I never run out of tea. But there you have it -- the box is empty.

At the grocers I searched the tea selection for Earl Grey. Nothing. In fact they didn't have much of anything. I'm not into the whole drinking tea for energy thing not do I drink decaf. The grocer had nothing but decaf and energy teas.

Hmmph! I found myself heading to the coffeeshop for a good cup of tea.

They better have Earl Grey in Alaska or I won't survive a week there. I'll have to bring my own, I suppose.



Today I read something that shocked me.
Brian Rohrbough, father of victim Daniel Rohrbough, said he was outraged that the Klebolds likened the day of the shootings to a natural disaster in the interview with Brooks.

"This was murder," he said. "In my opinion, what went on in their home led to Columbine."

Mr. Rohrbough has a right to be angry. He has a right to his opinion. I have a right to mine.

Bullying is pervasive in the schools. Teachers, the administration and parents ignore it or refuse to see what goes on as bullying. Instead the bullying is put into the category of "kids will be kids". The child who is being bullied or tormented by his peers is told to suck it up and ignore the other children.

This is almost impossible to do. The person being bullied feels lower than dirt. If adults can be greatly affected by verbal and physical abuse, how can anyone look at a school age child and say, "Just ignore them. Eventually they'll get tired of it and leave you alone."

For Mr. Rohrbough to place the blame fully on the parents is wrong. Yes, the parents do need to shoulder some of the guilt for what happened at Columbine. They failed to recognize behavior changes or a negative attitude. BUT lets pretend they did recognize that something was bothering their son and after discussing it thoroughly with him, they decided to go to the school administration about the bullying in the school. What do you think would have happened?

I can tell you what most likely would have happened. I've been there. The school's position would be that children will be children. Children are cruel and the child who is the target needs to suck it up and deal with it. That child needs to develop thicker skin and a tougher attitude. Most likely they would have had glowing statements from the teachers of the bully about the bully -- adding insult to injury.

Why does this happen? Teachers and the school administrative personnel are overwhelmed by the number of children in the schools and by the amount of paperwork they must deal with on a daily basis. And bullies are not stupid. They do not want their nefarious deeds witnessed by an adult, especially one with any sort of power. So the bullying becomes a "he said, he said" situation. Unfortunately the tendancy is to err in the favor of the bully, shrug shoulders and go merrily down the hallway to fill out more paperwork.

The result can range from mild depression and anxiety in the bullied to the horrors of a Columbine. The media plays the stories to highlight the horror of the event without looking deeper into the workings of the school community. Parents place the blame completely on the shoulders of the violent perpetrator and his parents without looking to see what the provocation was.

As a society we are wearing blinders when it comes to bullies, so please, take off your blinders. If your child is bullied or witnesses bullying, make sure you bring it to the attention of the school principal and the teachers. Don't accept the statement that "kids will be kids". Ask what they are doing to prevent bullying at the school, what the consequences are and how they are protecting those who are bullied.



Toss, toss, toss. This is all I've done all weekend.

Brooks' toybox is no longer overflowing. His toys have given in to defeat, and tomorrow many will be exiled to that place known as Goodwill. And Brooks is okay with that. He poked and pondered and decided which ones he would keep, which ones he would give away and which ones he would toss.

Most of the large yucky items were picked up yesterday with bulk trash. Our old rickety kitchen table and chairs were picked up by a trash troll. I wanted to chase them down and inform the people that one of the table legs loves to wiggle lose and fall off, but then reminded myself that they were getting trashed items. They should expect something like that.

*** *** *** *** ***

I went to the grocers earlier tonight. At the crosswalk, I looked both boths and then stepped confidently onto the striped pathway. A young driver decided to ignore the crosswalk, ignore the stopsign, ignore the pedestrian in the crosswalk and continue on her merry way -- all while chatting on her cellphone. I just barely managed to avoid getting run down. Didn't know I was capable of shrieking that loudly.

She did stop when a cop flashed his lights at her. She pulled right into a handicapped spot. Idiot girl couldn't figure out why a cop was pulling her over. She told the person on the phone that. The cop informed her that she was pulled over for running a stopsign, ignoring a crosswalk and almost striking a pedestrian.

If she had been going a teensy bit faster, I would have been struck down at the knees and flung to the pavement. Phew! Thank goodness for small interventions by the powers that be.

*** *** *** *** ***

Friday Kari's class went to see a musical production about Lewis & Clark. Odd topic to turn into a musical, but there you have it. The scenery and props were sparse. Other than the two actors playing Lewis and Clark, all portrayed multiple characters. All the actors were also the stage hands.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Wish I could have brought home the actor who played Merriwether Lewis.


wonder of wonders

What can be more exciting than looking at the world through a four-year-old's eyes? Everything is new to Brooks. He discovers something every single day. And because he is 4, he is able to share his discoveries with us.

This afternoon Brooks came running to me waving a piece of scrap paper. "Mommy! Mommy! I drew curly hair!" Obviously this was a big deal. Drawing people is a new joy in his life, but he's been a bit saddened by the fact that he could draw straight hair for everyone except for his daddy. Yes, Robert has curly hair, and Brooks has been mystified as to how to handle this.

Until today. Today he realized that Robert's curls were merely circles.

joy of joys

A four-year-old's emotions run to extremes. A happy medium is rarely found. Brooks is either brimming with joy or burdened by despair, bursting with expectations or brought down by disappointment.

As I nursed a nasty headache, Brooks decided that I must be cheered up so that he could regain his playmate. He drew a picture of me and declared that it looked just like me.

I had to giggle. My hair was sticking straight out (imagine Medusa if she had had straight snakes for hair) which made me a frightening creature to look at. But my smile! My smile was too big for my face to contain.

Just like Brooks' smile when he is overjoyed.



Rick has been having fun putting together his own pages of our trip to Virginia. So far he is using my pictures, but who cares. He's very proud of the fact that he is starting to understand HTML.

Seeing his excitement in learning is... well... exciting.

Here we have the Lawn at UVA and Monticello.Ashlawn-Highland. Soon he will be adding Ashlawn-Highland pictures.

I think he needs to dig out his own pictures and post those.


another day

Rick taught me a cool jiu-jitsu move today. If anyone ever catches me in a bear hug, that person had better watch out. I now know how to put you face-down on the ground. Practice, practice, practice. Rick performs the move much more smoothly than I, but I'll get there. Just see if I don't.


blah blah blah



Blogger has changed it's look and all that. Now I'm having all sorts of problems with archiving... at least it looks that way from here. I just don't understand why only the current post is showing up on my main page and on the archive page. That isn't how my settings show it should be, that isn't how I want it.




From my earliest days I have not liked Wednesdays. Wednesdays fill me with such woe that nothing can stem the tears.

In elementary school wednesdays meant youth group at church. I did not like youth group. My mother insists that I enjoyed it immensely. I remember being filled with fear that no one would talk to me, that I wouldn't know what to say, that I wouldn't know what to do, how to behave. I had visions of people laughing at me or coming to the conclusion that I was an idiot.

My mother would sit with me afterwards and listen to me. She would pat me on the shoulder and inform me that I had lots of friends. I would sit there and think, "You aren't hearing what I'm saying."

What was I trying to say? Perhaps that I was a fringe person, included in the group simply because I was there. Perhaps that the other children were more interested in things that didn't interest me. Perhaps that the other children were rambunctious and far more physical than I.

Perhaps it is normal to feel that way, but I don't think that my reaction was in the normal range. Moving and switching schools intensified my feeling of being apart from other children. Even teachers and other adults added to my feeling this way: "What did you say? I can't understand a thing you are saying" (and then under her breath -- "Can't speak english clearly, what are they teaching them in Maine?"); "You are Southern; of course your family owned slaves"; and sending me to the library to write papers because I was ahead of everyone academically did not help.

Yes, I recognize that many feel this "separate, but a part of things" but do they feel it as intensely? Do they ponder every word, every facial expression? Do they relive and analyze? Do they contemplate beforehand what behavior is appropriate in each situation and then dig out a persona for that situation?

No, I don't suffer from multiple personalities, just social anxiety. Wednesday is simply my day to let my anxieties hang out.



painting the house: Last year I picked out paint colors, sent in the architectural approval form and had the house pressure cleaned in preparation for painting.

Still not done.

finishing the pergo: Bought the pergo last year. The kids' rooms are finished, but the transition moulding has yet to be cut and installed.

Still not done.

the computer armoire: Robert gave me an unfinished computer armoire for Christmas in 2002. He painted all but the three doors.

Still not done.

moulding in Kari's room: The deal was I would paint her room, buy the corner pieces and Robert would install it all. This promise was made in 2001. I've painted and repainted her room since then.

Still not done.

van's transmission: On my birthday, the transmission died on my van. So much fun to be able to only drive in reverse! The van has been taken apart and is awaiting the rebuilt transmission. Robert was supposed to order it.

Still not done.

We won't discuss my laundry pile. Blech. Mounts Smelly and Disgustingly Dirty are rapidly eroding today.



Without even closing my eyes and concentrating, I can remember where I was and how I felt when I realized that I was pregnant with Rick... and Kari... and Brooks.

Every day, no matter how much they try my patience or deliberately provoke my temper, I am totally in awe of the three of them.

A day doesn't pass during which they do not amaze me with their humor or compassion or silliness.

Now if only I could get them to stop pestering each other. Oh and the yelling! My goodness, don't they understand that inside we should all use our "indoor voice"? And what is it with not wiping up a spill... or.... and what about....?

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers.


last frontier

I'm so ready to go to Alaska. I have my plane ticket, my car reservation, my hotel reservation. I've paid my conference fees. I might even have a buddy to travel with.

But I have nothing to wear. NOTHING. Hmmph. Suggestions? Anyone?

In my closet I have 3 pair of jeans -- all too baggy, 6 plain t-shirts, 1 short-sleeved blouse, 1 skirt that is now too big and my Dolphin's jersey. In my lone dresser drawer, I have 2 long-sleeved t-shirts. That is the extent of my wardrobe. Sad state of affairs.

Obviously shopping is necessary, but what to buy?

Stacy and Clinton from "What Not to Wear" need to advise me as to what is appropriate. (Somehow I don't think my t-shirt proclaiming Davidson the victor over UNC is appropriate.)


oh, my stomach

Today sucks. I am sick. This is so so wrong. I have plans!



Now to call Rick's friend's mom and cancel for this weekend.


here we go again

When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be a teacher. Most of my friends had this same dream. I clung to it all the way through high school and well into college. Even when I took that brief detour where being a major league baseball player was my goal, teaching was an acceptable career alternative.

My mother has hounded me about finishing up my teaching certificate. She thinks I'd be a wonderful teacher. Then one of Kari's classmates asked why I wasn't a teacher. My mother felt this was a great place to stick in her two cents and agree with him.

Yesterday I went in to Kari's classroom to show a DVD on Jefferson's life, to share some refreshments such as what President Monroe's wife would have served to guests at Highland and to answer any questions the class might have had.

Of course Kari's teacher wanted to know when I'd be entering the classroom as a teacher. She went on to give me information on how to break into teaching etc. She thinks I'd enjoy it and be a natural.

What is with this? Am I truly missing something? Was I a teacher in a former life? Or perhaps people assume that I'd like to teach, because of my little interjections into their conversations or the books I choose to read or the places I can be found if given half a chance.

Who knows. I do know that teaching is not something I'd like to do on a regular basis. Nope, going in on occasion and sharing something that I find exciting... that's more fun for me.


just for Steph


groundhog day

Every Wednesday night I am forced to relive the previous Wednesday night. Okay, so it's just the same 15 minute drive to martial arts, but I swear that 15 minutes lasts at least 4 hours.

Just a sampling:

boy: Ms. Eliz, Rick is so lucky to have you as a teacher.

Rick: Yeah.

boy: I wish my mom was my teacher. She talks about how good she was at math, but then she hires tutors to teach me. Shows she is really stupid.

me: Just because you are good at something does not mean you can teach.

boy: My mom is really dumb. I hate the FCAT. I think Jeb Bush is stupid.

me: The FCAT serves a purpose.

boy: For kids like me, the FCAT just holds us back and makes us feel stupid.

Rick: Do you have to talk about the same thing every time we are in the car? Come on! There are lots of other things we could talk about.

Now normally the boy must discuss the same things on the way home that we discussed not an hour before. Drives me absolutely bananas. But last night... for the first time... what Rick said sank in. The boy came up with another topic of conversation.

An excerpt:
boy: Why did that biker stop at the stoplight?

me: Because cyclists have to obey the traffic laws. The light turned red, the cyclist had to stop.

boy: So you mean that when I'm biking around our neighborhood I have to stop at the stopsigns?

me and Rick: Yes.

boy: But the cops can't write me a ticket if I don't stop, right?

me: Yes, he can. Cyclists are required to stop at stop signs and stoplights.

boy: That's stupid.

me: No, it isn't.

boy: You mean to tell me that I have to stop at all the stopsigns in the neighborhood when I'm biking?

Rick: She's already said YES!

And on and on it goes. His mother must have the patience of a saint. I do not and this child has used up what little patience I do have.


the bakery

I'm known as the baking lady to a few people in the neighborhood. Baking is something that I enjoy... especially if it results in a pound cake or a loaf of bread..., because of this some will ask me to bake something for them.

One of my neighbors called last week and asked me to bake some cupcakes. Why? I bake. She doesn't. I have numerous cupcake tins. She doesn't. She was nice enough to give me the recipe too: a box of angelfood cake mix and 20 oz of crushed pineapple in its own juice.

Easy. Easy. Right? Of course.

I dumped the mix in the bowl and then the can of crushed pineapple. Before I had even really started mixing, something started happening. The batter started bubbling and growing. Up to the top of my largest mixing bowl, over the sides of said bowl and onto the counter. Robert and I had a good case of the giggles at this point.

Frantically we started filling the cupcake tins -- 6 cupcakes, 12 cupcakes, 18 cupcakes, 24 cupcakes. Oh fudge! Where did I put the little tins? -- 12 minis, 24 minis, 36 minis. Out of cupcake tins, but not batter.

Oh well. I baked 24 large cupcakes and 36 mini ones. Robert and I taste-tested them hot from the oven. We were severely disappointed. It was like eating foam. Slightly citrusy foam. We waited several hours and tried another. Not much better.

This afternoon I handed my neighbor her requested 12 cupcakes. She called me not 10 minutes later talking about how much she loved them. Was I missing something? These were very bland last night. Robert and I tried another one.

Hmmm. Today we could finally taste the pineapple. Today the foamy texture had given way to a denser texture.

Will I ever make these again? Only with video camera in hand. Hopefully we'll be able to recreate our fiasco from yesterday.


who to hang out with

Not so long ago Rick didn't have any friends. None. When he switched to a different school, he started making friends and we were quite relieved. We met several of the boys from his class and their parents or grandparents.

The grandparents of Andrew told us to be wary of letting Rick hang out Sebastian because Sebastian's parents were rarely around and didn't properly supervise their child. I had to wait to discover the truth of this myself, after all whenever I had talked to Sebastian's parents they came across as very involved in their child's life.

Andrew's grandparents also came across as very involved in their grandson's life (they were his guardians), but the more Andrew was over, the less I liked him. He encouraged outrageous behavior and was increasingly insolent to me. The words that he would say to his grandparents were shocking. More shocking to me was that they accepted his behavior as par for the course.

Three years later Rick is still friends with Sebastian. Andrew has faded from his life. Thank goodness. At 14 Andrew has had various run-ins with the police, his grandparents let him do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. And obviously they never mete out consequences for his irresponsible behaviour for his misbehavior has continued.

When I think about the road that Andrew is walking, I am saddened. This so easily could have been Rick. Once Rick was full of rage and other emotions he didn't understand and had no way of controlling. We got him the help he needed and gave him our support. We removed him from the abusive situation at his school that his teachers had allowed to develop and in some cases encouraged.

Andrew though... his grandparents have given up trying to curb his anti-social behavior. Instead they throw money at him and hope that the gifts will give him the ease of mind that he is so desperately searching for.

And I sit here and think about how they planned to have him see a psychologist, but when Andrew protested then declared he didn't want to go, they gave in. That was such a huge disservice to Andrew, themselves and their community.


rest in pieces

A member of our family died a violent death today at the hands of another. Rick saw the entire incident and has been left shaken by the brutality.

Grimm, one of our red eared sliders, was beheaded by his tankmate Skittles. For the past 3 years they co-existed quite peacefully, but this ended at approximately 3:55 this afternoon. Skittles casually swam over to Grimm, opened his jaws wide and clamped down.

In front of Rick. Poor kid. Now we feel that we know the true culprit in Hatchling's death -- Skittles. I'm wondering if perhaps we shouldn't change Skittles' name to Grimm.

Grimm, we will miss seeing you swim to the front glass of the tank to chat with us. We'll miss watching you ride around on Skittles' back as he swims around in the water. May you rest in peace.


beep! beep! beep!

I could not get the van parallel parked. I swear the car to the front and the car behind were inching closer and closer with each of my slight maneuvers. Since the van has those sensors I heard a constant stream of "Beep! Beep! Beep!"

Finally Robert heaved a pained sigh, climbed out of bed and went and turned off Rick's alarm clock.

Must my weekend start off this way? Oy!

"Earth laughs in flowers." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson