Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Milestone







Roman, "The Wild One", slept through the night--9 to 5 last night. Good going little guy. The caveat, he slept between mom and dad in bed. That could be tempting to try everynight but can also be a hard habit to break. Mary said he even kept his lunch down, NO URPING.


Zoe has slept through many nights. She even woke up a couple nights ago, Mary gave her a fresh diaper and she went back to sleep. She has the sweetest disposition. When she awakens she is at her smiliest and even laughs. Her auntie gave her a Curious Georgina stuffed animal for Christmas that she likes. Roman got George. Who knew there were two.


The picture of the two of them together says it all. Zoe is calmly posing while Roman fusses. Not identical twins indeed.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Going Batty



Help. Will someone signal Batman for me? Is that signal reflected on a full moon ? When is the next full moon? Will Batman rid me of the bat we have in our garage?

The weekend Jon was in hospital after his surgery I saw what I thought was a bird flying around in the garage. We have had birds come down the chimney in the garage before. It crossed my mind it could be a bat but I wanted to have it be a bird. I didn't see it again and forgot about it. On Christmas Eve our son Dan was out smoking in the heated garage and came in to tell us, "You have a bat in the garage." I didn't want to hear that and still don't. They are inactive during daylight so I feel secure during the day. I don't think I want to go out there at night. If I suddenly stop blogging or answering email it is because I have moved. Unless Batman comes to my rescue. I am not going to look for the creature.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Syntax

New York's Governor wants to raise state revenue by adding an 18% "obesity tax" to soft drinks. That might leave empire staters humming, "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke", but........I can't afford it anymore.
http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=532896&catid=2
Now someone in Minnesota heard of the plan and wants to follow suite. One of our legislators commented, we might have to tax Santa if we go to obesity taxing. You knew it had to come. Sin Tax. We feel justified taxing tobacco users, gasoline users, liquor imbibers. Why not punish those who consume Coke? It would be a lose/lose proposition. Hopefully they would lose that extra flab without the fructose heavy beverages. Big brother is not only watching, he is tending the store. Time for the electorate to revolt and toss cases of Coca-cola in the harbor. Have a party like the early Bostonians. Government has gone too far.

Who Knew?


There is actually less crime and violence against persons now than there was decades ago, but there is exponentially more reporting of crime. We have 24 hr news sources who keep it constantly in our face. We are warned the world is more dangerous with the look-what-just-happened, it-could-happen-to-you-too stories. Take a deep breath. Try to get a positive outlook and be prudent but not overly fearful. That is what I tell myself.

Then there is a weather thing. Global warming means different things to different people. Some are alarmed. Some aren't. I fall somewhere in the middle. I sure think there are some weird things happening. Weird weather phenomona. Snow in Malibu at the beach. Snow in New Orleans. Snow in Las Vegas. Seattle shut down with snow and ice. Maybe it has happened before, but not in my memory.
My great grandparents probably didn't know about the big earthquakes in the heart of the country in the mid 1800's. CNN was not around. No electricity. No TV. No hovering helicopters. Not even radio reports. My great grandparents probably weren't frightened by the thought of an earthquake shaking their Wisconsin nor Minnesota homes. No one warned them. Lucky them, I think.
Today when I heard the reports of it snowing in the mountains in Hawaii I said, "That is weird weather". My husband Jon, said, "Maybe it is normal for it to snow at higher elevations." My retort, "In Hawaii?" Okay, use a filter on the news. Google it. Believe that. (Why do I trust Google?) I did, and found out it does snow in Hawaii at higher elevations. There are ski clubs. Maybe our President-elect can do some snorkeling and skiing while on vacation this year although being from Chicago, he probably doesn't mind leaving that behind.

http://www.hawaiisnowskiclub.com/

Silence Isn't Golden, or Red Either


They did a feature piece on local news this week on a noise reduction project at a downtown St. Paul hospital. Their aim, to reduce ambiant noise for a more restful atmosphere for patients.

I am well acquainted with this concept from my working days. The community hospital where I worked was the first hospital in the country to build circular nursing stations, an innovation in 1950's. This design saved nurses steps and made it easier to observe patients. You could visually see them more easily and also hear if a frail older person was getting out of bed without calling for help. You could hear a weak cry for help. The downside, all the noise from the work station was heard by the patients. We worked hard to reduce noise ridding ourselves of noisy ice machines on the circle, getting plastic chart holders that didn't clank like metal ones when they were put away, and banishing the addressograph stamper. It was replaced by peel-off stickers to mark pages on charts with pt. names. Eventually the inner circles were retro-fitted with plexiglas to keep the conversations and ringing telephone noises from disturbing patients.

When I saw the piece on the "Yakity-Yak" alarm installed on this hospital's circular nursing units I was interested. They showed a contraption that looked like a semaphore traffic light with displays of green, yellow and red lights. No explanation necessary here. Then the person demonstrated what happened when the noise level rose to the red level. As she clapped her hands loudly in front of the device it set off a "red" light. An audible alarm sounded that was not unlike a wailing ambulance siren. Really it did. I laughed. That must be helpful in the midnight hour. The nurses get too noisy and a wailing alarm alerts them. Patients must love it. You can't make this stuff up. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Good Family Pix


Four Grandkids

16 yr old Zach holds Roman and almost 12 yr old Mina holds Zoe. We have more to be thankful for this Christmas. Great kids. Zach has grown into being a wonderful teen who hugs his grandma and has a sense of humor. He is pretty cute with his moppet hair. Mina is still sweet Mina, a darling who always asks me, "Can I help grandma?" She is in her fifth year as a Girl Scout and recently went on pilgrimage to the founders home in Atlanta with her girl scout troop. Love those kids.

A Leg Up


Did you see the movie "The Christmas Story"? This is only funny if you know the background.
Picture: Andy posing by his Christmas gift from girlfriend Laura. The leg lamp. We proudly left it lit in our window last night. Our associate pastor said he would make a trip by our house to see it from the street. The guy has a sense of humor and would appreciate this display.
I am not sure how this will fit in our decore but it is the start of a great Christmas tradition for Andy. He was thrilled.
The box was marked "fragile".

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

There is Room in the Inn, Just None in the Refrigerator


I quit drinking milk a couple of years ago. I just got tired of running out of three kinds of milk. I prefer skim, the kid drank 1%, my husband wanted 2%. You can run out of milk three ways. If you have a spare of each, you have at least six milk containers in the frig. Jon finally consented to drink 1% but now I don't care. I would rather eat yogurt.


We don't have the milk problelm but have morphed into being a five kinds of butter or margarine family. Andy likes the butter canola oil blend. I like real butter occasional for cooking. I have Jon on olive oil no trans fat I Can't Believe it isin't butter spread and I like to cut the calories and use 5 calorie I can't Believe it isn't butter. We like the no calorie spray fake stuff for popcorn. Five kinds. Five ways to run out. Takes 5X as much room in the frig. That is the problem. Holiday food and the frig is usually near capacity with 7 kinds of salad dressing, condiments, marinades, sauces etc. Single people get it right. Just nail polish or beer depending on the gender of the owner. Family frig looks different. There is baseline stuff. Jars of olives, BBQ sauce, h orshradish, dipping sauces etc. No room in the frig. Add to that my stockpiling of individual yogurt now that all of us eat it now. I won't even get into buying lettuce in the big container that doesn't fit in the produce drawer. Merry Christmas. I am grateful we have food unlike so many of the hungry in this world.

Facts That Shape Our Future




Isn't it amazing with the overflow of communication and technological information, an old book with a story about a 33 yr old carpenter from Israel is more important to our future? This book predicted centuries ago that in the last days travel and information would increase. Sadly, it also predicted that most would depend on a human worldly leader to solve immense global problems, ignoring the truth.


May you find real peace this Christmas that only comes from The Prince of Peace. Wise men still follow Him.

What to Get a 16 yr old Boy?

I've never understood people who procrastinate and shop for Christmas presents at the very last moment. Today that will be me. I haven't gotten a thing for our 16 yr old grandson. We will give $$$, but I wanted a little something under the tree. I am clueless and haven't spent enough time around him lately to know what he already has or wants. I asked him what he wanted for Christmas and didn't get an answer. Money seems cold. Cold cash. We have given the Best Buy gift certificates the past few years along with a present. This year I am not trusting the stores to stay in business and am using currency. So the dilema remains; ? what to get a 16 yr old boy---besides a 16 yr old girl! I might be headed to the mall to visit Aeropostale or American Eagle and see what is cool or I could really shift into out of touch grandma mode and get socks and underwear for a memorable Christmas. Wish me luck.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Carolyn


Carolyn, husband Mike, and granddaughter Bella

Jane Comments on Dec.21st's, "Inquiring Minds Want to Know" Blog


I heard it at the coffee and cookie fellowship after our church's children's Christmas pageant yest erday. A woman came up to the window and asked me to quickly hand her a cup of lemonade because her husband was choking on a powdered sugar donut. As a nurse I probably should have investigated further and see if a heimlich manuever or fast dialing of 9-1-1 was needed, but I instinctively knew this was just civilian first aid. Give fluids to the choking. Use the word choking loosely. I never heard sirens or saw a crowd gather in a circle and people screaming so the guy must have lived. I don't think my church profits from my active nursing license. I am better off serving in the kitchen and pouring kool-aid.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sis

Tomorrow is my beautiful sister Carolyn's birthday. In the picture she is the one seated. Happy Birthday Carolyn. My nephew Peter, her older son, is standing behind her.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know


My breakfast treat today; a small scoop of fat-free, sugar-free Blue Bunny ice cream on my steel cuts oats. Question: does fat free and sugar free still qualify as ice cream?


We watched a favorite old movie last evening, "Spanglish". There is a scene with Cloris Leachman comforting a bawling Tea Leone that makes me scratch my head. Tea is sniffling and sobbing and Cloris hands her a glass of water. Why is it in films and TV shows that someone hands a crying or bereft person a glass of water? Will that make things better? Worse scenario, and this always makes me cringe, when someone is choking they give them a drink. Hello. They need to cough not drink. They are choking because something has gone down the "windpipe" not the esophagus to the stomach. They don't need to put in liquids. That might kill them. Save the water for when they are having a good cry. There.


Another gripe of mine. In movies, TV and sometimes life, loved ones are always concerned that the grieving person who has lost a loved one, eat. "You must eat." Why? Eventually you must eat, but it won't matter if you miss the next meal. Watch for yourself. Water and food are first aid. I should talk. I learned at my mother's knee that you feed people who come to visit. I always ask my kids if they want something to eat. I guess nothing says loving like something from the frig.


My final question: What is a "sports barber"? Jon noticed yesterday one of our local clip joints has a sign calling themselves "sports barbers". Is hair cutting a sport not? Do they only cut athletes hair? Is there an athletic haircut? Are the barbers or patrons good sports? I asked Andy that question. He had a simpler answer; "They probably have a TV tuned to ESPN,

mom". If a guy is getting a haircut while watching the Vikings lose on ESPN at the barber, do you think the barber offers him a drink of water so he can compose himself? I don't think they have a liquor license. Wait. Wait. That might be a good idea for a new business. The errant husband / boyfriend could stop off for a quick one and have his haircut at the same time. He could tell his love he was just getting a haircut. I suppose they wouldn't get quick enough repeat business to make much money.

Snow Daze

I don't have my snow picture yet. When it gets light I better take one to post. We got "it" yesterday. Six, maybe seven inches of fresh fluffy white stuff in time for Christmas. We have had several Christmases that were brown or barely dusted with snow in recent years. It is a disappoint to those with snowmobiles, skis or children who want to play outdoors on vacation. It doesn't usually disappoint me. I have a couple cousins who will spend Christmas in Uganda visiting a newly married daughter and husband. I like their plans.
Since Jon is still recuperating, it is my pleasure to man the snow thrower. That makes quick work of the job. My only problem is that it doesn't have electric start and I had to have the big guy come out and do the pull start for me both times I used it. I think it is time for me to get back to the gym. I took a hiatus since early November because it was hard to work into my schedule. I walk when I can. Haven't been able to do outdoor walking much lately because it is often slippery. At 63 you don't want to fall and break something. My walking buddies remain supportive and check on my welfare and send encouragement. One has a no walk Dr's. order until her Achilles tendon heals. We need to get back to walking. My card club buddies haven't done well getting together since one of our members had surgery for breast cancer. Even if we aren't meeting regularly as before, we all hold each other in our hearts and prayers.
I am adding my two cousins who are traveling half way around the world to Uganda to my prayer list. Have a safe trip. Have a glorious time. Enjoy Africa. Cliff is a professional photographer and I can't wait to see his pictures. That is how I will leave you. If you are buried in snow or ice, try daydreaming about a Christmas in Africa.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

America's Top Model Baby Girl-- Zoe




Roman the Reader




Plunging Ahead Toward the Holidays


I realized this morning we have another "holiday tradition" I had forgotten about. Several times on a holiday our main bathroom toilet has overflowed or the floor drain in the laundry room backed up after I put all the greasy turkey skin down the garbage disposer. We were embarassed but not nearly as much as the family member who got caught in the bathroom with an overflowing commode! That sure can break up a party.

It happened to me first thing this morning. I caught it in time. Note to family: I bought a new, stronger plunger. It is in plain sight. Yesterday I caught my sweetie just as he tossed a paper towel in the toilet and flushed. He had wiped something off the countertop in the BR and flushed it to my horror. The potty chugged and he grabbed the plunger but I am now watchful. Maybe I will recommend the nervous guests who read this use the other bathroom or at least be quick with the plunger

It seems I have run out of topics for blogging.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Potpourri


End of the week musings:
Minnesota is in a stalemate about the election of our senator. We are doing a recount in a too close to decide race. This morning I heard the state supreme court decided to admit a bunch of absentee ballots that had been dismissed. That leaves the candidates just two votes apart. Two votes. Think your vote doesn't count? My husband and I could have swung this race by ourselves.

The weatherpeople are scaring us again with predictions almost daily about snowstorms. Last night it was supposed to start around 10pm and snow through the night making a very messy rush hour. We have a dusting on our driveway. Less than 1/2 an inch. Las Vegas and Malibu, CA had 3 to 4 inches. Last week New Orleans had 3 1/2 inches.

We have been busy and decided to send Christmas cards out after Christmas. I told my sister and she said she didn't send them last year and isn't this year either. You can do that?
Yes, you can. Funny how things get much more relaxed when you skip a step or two.
I can create my own stress so I should be able to destress too.

I read online that "Woolies" is closing all their stores in Great Britain. Woolies is the affectionate name for F.W. Woolworth's, a spin off of the American chain that closed about twenty years ago. When I was a kid growing up in central Minnesota we had a Woolworth's and Ben Franklin Five & Dime store. Kids could afford to shop at these stores. There were Kreske 5 & 10cent stores that morphed into K-Marts. Now all the 5 & 10cent stores are gone. We have a variety of different Dollar Stores. I like them, but still can't find a little blue glass bottle of "Evening in Paris" parfum. I don't think they have bins full of tiny rubber babies for a nickel either.

As the stock market slide south my survival instincts drove me to stock up on more food. I am one of the last people on earth who would starve to death. Why this need to stockpile the pantry? I am concerned about a big disruption in food distribution. I still haven't purchased a 25# sack of rice or beans, but feel I should. If there is trouble, you all can come eat at our house. Better check what else I will need to fix those beans. Better put Beano on the list. Our youngest son laughed at the amount of coffee I purchased. Can't imagine going through hard times without a morning cup.

After arguing with the gas company for the better part of a year, they finally determined we had a dead meter and replaced it. Wouldn't you think a company would respond a little quicker to 5 or 6 inquiries about why we aren't being billed?

Some objected to Rick Warren doing the Inauguration prayer. I'll bet they haven't read his best seller book, "The Purpose Driven Life". First line in that book is: "It's not all about you."

If there is global warming, why is it so cold in Minnesota this December?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

New York is losing their senator when Hillary becomes Secretary of State. Caroline Kennedy Schlaussberg has her hat in the ring. A few others have expressed interest.
Illionois's senator Obama resigned his office. There are hats in the ring and hands in the till in that state.
Minnesota has an ongoing senatorial recount. Yesterday someone suggested they share the office and be known as Sen. Norm Frankenstein. It is a horror story . One newspaper column pleaded, "Just pick someone. Anyone".
All these dilemas. Maybe we could settle them by selling lottery tickets. Throw all of the seats open to anyone with a dollar for a ticket. Make it truly democratic and equal opportunity. No campaigning. No qualifications. Just luck. The perks of good health care, good retirement and God knows what else might appeal to struggling citizens who have lost their jobs, retirement and or homes.. Limit the # of tickets to one per adult citizen. Use the voting roles to see who qualifies. Who knows. Chicagoans could elect a dead man to office if they use their voters roles.

Name That Tune


Isn't it amazing that with all the songs out there someone can still come up with new ones? New melodies? All they have to work with is do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti , do in several octaves. Yet, every day new melodies are written. There might be similarities in some songs but creative minds still come up with new songs.

I think I want to be a songwriter. I'm not even worried about about writing lyrics. I just want a catchy melody and some good luck. This aspiration came from chasing down one of those internet news headlines. "Paul Anka's wife involved in domestic dispute" it read. Hmmmm. Wasn't Paul Anka that sqeeky clean performer known as a family man with five kids? He was. I went to Wikipedia to discover he was married from the early 60's until 2000 to his first wife. It doesn't say how that marriage ended...divorce or death. They had five daughters whose names all started with A. One, Amanda, is married to actor Jason Bateman.

Paul married his current wife, Anna, this past summer. The other night he beaned him in the head with a piece of ice that sent him to the emergency room for staples. She was charged with domestic abuse. Maybe elder abuse??? She is 37. He is 67. He is rich.

I wonder if he will be writing romantic songs about Anna.

All this nonesssential information came from Wikipedia. Paul Anka was a teen idol in my youth. He continued as a successful performer and songwriter for decades. What caught my attention was that he wrote the theme song for the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. I knew that. I didn't know each time it was played on the show for 30 years he got $5000. in royalties. That is why I am up late humming and scheming...hoping to come up with something I can pitch to Jay Leno. I think he might be good for another 20 yrs. Do the math. $5000 x 250 shows x 20yrs. I wouldn't even expect a Grammy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Roman's Pinups

If you read recent blogs, link to my daughter and son-in-law's blog about the twins:
http://www.chezdeux.blogspot.com/

More later. It is raining this morning. Much easier to deal with rain than the blizzard up north or the ice storm they had out on the east coast.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

How About Hanging some Christmas Tree Lights on it? Or isn't that politically correct either...


Afton / 'Monopine' tower going up Monday
Pioneer Press

Construction crews on Monday will begin erecting a controversial 88-foot public-safety radio tower in Afton disguised to look like a pine tree.
The "monopine" is being built on 1.6 acres at 15326 Afton Hills Court S.
It's part of a new $15 million Washington County radio system that will dedicate a single frequency to police, fire and medical personnel.
After the tower is erected, crews will begin installing antennas and "branches" to camouflage them, said Steve Pott of the Washington County sheriff's office. The entire process is scheduled to be completed next week.
Plans for the tower raised the ire of local residents earlier this year. Among their concerns: property values, health risks and aesthetics

At Last


2008 has been quite a year. For decades this country has struggled to achieve equality for it's citizens. We have anguished over inequality in economic circumstances. In 2008 we may have finally reached equality. GM, formerly the biggest corporation in America, is broke. So is everyone else. Equality, right?
This does not realize Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" stirring speech. We don't have the national dream. This might be more like a Tim Burton vision of "Nightmare Before Christmas". The strength and positive spin on the situation is we are in it together. We may get balance back in our spending/borrowing habits. We could quit financing by mortgaging our grandchildren's future. We could learn to live simpler lives. Be less materialistic. Those things don't bring happiness anyway. Those things just get heaped up in recycling centers and junkyards. Those things are the chief exports of our country. Maybe it is time to rediscover what the US sent the world in past decades instead of heaps of recycled junk.. It sent inguinity, grit, Yankee innovation and know how. If the south can rise again, and it did, so can this country. Just don't banish "In God We Trust". That made us different than many places in this world.

Roman & Zoe Visit Grandma


Pondering the Pandars


My son-in-law, Mike, told us the little guy's attention focused on the TV the other day when he spotted a panda bear on a show. He watched intently. I have heard infants notice the sharp contrast of black and white images. Roman was fascinated.

Yesterday Jon and I babysat the kids at our house. I put the twins in the Pack 'n Play portable crib and wound up the mobile. Then we enjoyed watching them coo, kick, smile and play for half an hour. What a delight. They watched that mobile and got excited. Occasionally in their exuberance an arm would swing out and hit the other sibling. Grandma refereed. Then I noticed something. One of the bears on the mobile is a Panda.

The summer Andy was in China he visited the Panda nursery/sanctuary in Chendu, China. He was amused that the Chinese host students pronounce the word "pandar". They are proud of their "pandars".

The picture on the blog is the babies' view from the crib of the flying panda. Imagine that. "Flying pandars". Even China can't boast that attraction.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Living the Life


My daughter and I got into a discussion this morning about walking. She asked if I had gone out for my walk. It is -1 degree. Won't do that and got up too late to get over to the dome to walk inside. I told her I would walk later at Walmart. She found that amusing.
Our Walmart is a block long. A super-Walmart. If you walk around the perimeter inside you can cover about a 1/4 mile.
Mary responded you could also park your RV in their lot and live at Walmart. You could. Our store has a bank, Subway restaurant, manicure place, opticial department, beauty shop, pharmacy, groceries, liquor and garden stor. One stop shopping. Put all the local merchants out of business in one whopper of a Walmart.
If you decided to live in your RV in the parking lot you could occasionally go to the nearby Menards and use their bathroom. They have the biggest bathroom I have ever seen in a store. There are nine roomy, mostly unused, stalls and four hairdryers in the women's lavatory. You could probably "spit wash" in one of the many sinks and go unnoticed. Menard's is a store men go to. Not many women are in the bathroom. Believe me, this bathroom is fit for a football stadium and very clean because not many people use it.
Living at Walmart. Do you think the manager would object to a few potted plants on your steps? It is something they sell.

Keeping the Vision


Monday morning we hoped Jon would be discharged from the hospital after his surgery a week ago Thursday. He was bummed when the Dr. didn't come in and release him in the morning. So was I. His mood was withdrawn and there wasn't much I could say to cheer him. I visited in the morning and called him at lunch. As I was preparing to go back at 4 pm, he called saying he had his walking papers.

He is progressing nicely. Yesterday he graduated to walking around the house without a walker. It will take a while to feel normal again but that will happen.

When you want a horse to follow a steady straight path you put blinders on him so he/she won't be distracted. At least I think that is the reason. My cousin Donna, who reads this blog, can correct me if I am wrong. The saying, "To have blinders on" has come to mean not noticing what you should. I prefer to think of wearing blinders to stay focused on the goal. I think I have to proceed with blinders on until Jon's leg is totally healed. The other day he remarked that our bedroom "looks like a MASH" unit. The dresser is covered with dressings and tape and ace bandages.

Day by day he gets stronger. I remind him what he will feel like when the wound has healed. I remind him what he will be able to do. We will go for those walks we haven't been able to take together. We will go on a little trip. Since we are a team (think horses), maybe we both need our blinders. That seems like a good idea during these times of economic trying. Look ahead. Any problems or challenges we have now are in the present, not the future. We will reach our goal if we walk it out and not quit. Keep doing your part and remember where our help comes from. He is faithful.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Wise Man


We tend to respect advice from people with letters after their names. Anyone with a talk show also has street cred in our culture. I'm not sure they know more than this nine yr. old boy. If you haven't read his story, it might amuse you. He wrote a book about getting girls attention. One of his hints, "Listen to your mother. She's a girl". That endeared him to me. His research method was observing interactions on the playground at recess. Not sure a 9 yr old should even be concerned about getting girls' attention, but this is a supercharged out of skew culture.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Stitch in Time Takes Time to Heal

A stitch in time, well actually a staple in time will still take time to heal. Thursday we checked Jon into the hospital for an endarterectomy of the femoral artery. He has had increasing numbness and pain in his thigh. Test showed multiple blockages. The surgeon scheduled a "roto-rooter" procedure to remove the plaque and open up circulation. The morning of surgery the Dr. said he now believed he should clean out the vessels and do a bypass using a grafted vein from Jon's thigh. Research showed a longer relief and better result. We said yes. This changed things. We had anticipated a fairly brief recovery. Small incisions. Jon consented to the more involved surgery. He has a groin to knee incision that needs to heal and is quite tender. They give drugs for pain but it will take time for the healing and swelling to diminish. He felt better yesterday and was more mobile. Doc said he might release him today. He was bored in the hospital yesterday. I am lonesome. I am hoping I can bundle him up and bring him home. It is not the same around here without him. I even miss the snoring. It is frigid cold in Minnesota. Winter has come with a blast. Time to hunker down, put up the Christmas tree and drink warm tea---together.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Safe Investment


There is much talk of rising umemployment rates in this financial crisis. It is heartbreaking for families already struggling to pay climbing heating bills, until recently high gasoline and rising food prices and possible home foreclosures to lose a job. My heart goes out to them. It is not only the unemployed who are suffering, most other people are stressed wondering if they will lose their jobs.
The stock market has plunged. Loans are hard to come by. Bad news pervades. So much bad news is on TV that we would be better not watching the news at all. We really would. (There was only one piece of disturbing news that probably made people feel good yesterday. That doesn't seem right. It is a paroxysm. ) The news? OJ is going to prison for a long time. Justice delayed is not justice denied.
Part of the problem with our stock market decline is lack of confidence by the investor. Many pulled money out of the market as it was rapidly plummeting. One TV host of with an investment advice show was screaming, "Sell. Sell." Was he right? Save what you can? My husband is a more trusting relaxed investor. He is an optimist. He doesn't make quick emotional decisions. His mantra--the money has to go somewhere. Investors will be back. I am more of a pessimist. They'll be back with WHAT money? Even OPEC is losing this week.
What to do? What to do. Indeed there is one very safe investment many overlook. It is Rock of Ages advice. Store up treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor theif can steal it. The book says, He who gives to the poor, lends to the lord. Also it says, Where your treasure is, there also will be your heart. Wall Street can disappoint. God's bank will never fail. He will repay every kind word spoken, even a cup of water given in his name.
Maybe getting off the track of overabundant gift buying at Christmas for people who already have too much is a good thing. Get the giving in perspective. Give time. Give love. Give money if you have any to someone really in need. As my Aunt Elaine used to say, "God's shovel is bigger than mine." We are just trustees of treasure. Everything already belongs to the Lord. He will take care of us if we trust Him even if that IRA or bank account balance is zip. God is good all of the time.


Friday, December 5, 2008

That Was the Week That Was

These are strange times. The federal government has stock in banks and insurance companies and may soon own an automobile manufacturer or two. My son Daniel noted that even if these turn out to be bad investments, they won't go out of business. The federal government never shuts anything down when it is ineffective. We maintain our mistakes.
As we all have noted, there is no script with our "current events". Everyone is making it up as we go. Now Minnesota is projecting a 5.3 billion $$$$$$$$$ shortfall. Everyone is scrambling to guess where the cuts will be made. We recently voted ourselves an increase in our sales tax that is dedicated to the arts and the wildlife. The intention was for this to be supplemental money for these causes. Now they are alarmed that the legislature will stop giving them the usual funding for the arts and wildlife thinking they can survive on the dedicated sales tax funds. Get real already. We are all sinking. Maybe the birds can survive on wild rice and the goodwill of people who stock their bird feeders. Maybe artists will have to remain starving a little longer. That is the tradition, isn't it? We have a 5.3 billion $ shortfall. This will not be pleasant. Whose ox do we gore?
Welcome to the land of innovation. The state that gave us 3M and IBM, Post-it notes and PCs, Mayo clinic and rollerblades. Now someone has suggested we sell off the airport to private investors. Sell the lottery system. The lottery can go, but who is going to buy the airport? The airlines are broke. The banks won't let go of their cash stash. Who wants the airport? Maybe the naming rights could be sold. At MSP we could be known as "Cinnabon Airport at Caribou Field". Everything else is already named Target and that doesn't seem like a reassuring name for an airport. No thank you. No Target field. They might be able to sell naming rights to Target for the space shuttle landing strip, but not the airport, please.
Now about that lottery. No sooner had the First Nation made gains with "gaming" and we want in on the action. It only seems just if money is to be lost gambling that the native tribes should profit. Call it payback for taking the whole country. We didn't even give them naming rights. The country is named for an Italian no one knows. I'd be willing to be Dakotaland, or Cherokeevillage for a price. I don't feel indebted to any Italians. We all know the Norwegians were the first Europeans here, don't we? Hmmm. Do the Norwegians have any oil money they would like to spend for naming rights in Minnesota?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

CAR TALK -or- A Tale of Two Cities..Detroit vs. Washington


A couple weeks ago the CEOs of the big three American auto manufacturers went before a DC committee to ask for a 25billion $$$$$$$$ loan to stay afloat. One cheeky congressman inquired how they had travelled to Washington. Did they all fly solo in corporate jets? He wondered if they couldn't have "jet-pooled" or "downgraded to first class"? They were left without an answer to satisfy this guy. They were sent home hat in hand, (or would have been if anyone wore hats, I don't think they were wearing stocking caps for cold weather). They must have felt they were being "dissed" like former CEO of GM Roger Smith when Michael Moore followed him around with the camera rolling. The movie, "Roger & Me" was viewed by some as entertaining. Others strongly disliked Mr. Moore. I think we could count Mr. Smith in the later category.

The auto execs had misjudged the mood in this country. They hadn't noted Madame DeFarge knitting in the front row. We have turned on the Fat Cats. People with luxurious lifestyles are suspect. Execs with big salaries, stock options and lifestyles who don't properly manage their corporations are reviled. We have short memories that they may have enriched us in our IRAs. Maybe that is because those IRAs have shrunk. People with private Gulf Stream jets are ridiculed. Some of those TV preachers better tone it down. The mood is getting ugly.


No one asked how the congressmen get home for the weekend. Any of them hitching rides on someones corporate jet?
The auto executives were denied the 25billion $$$$$$$$$$$ and told to come back with a plan. The country wasn't going to give them a blank check to temporarily survive. We might help if their corporations were viable. That seems reasonable to me.
Now they are coming back. I can imagine the frantic behind the scenes planning.
One CEO wanted to take Amtrak like Joe Biden.
They wondered if using the company helicopter to get to the Amtrak station would be criticized.
An assistant suggested taking a cab to the Amtrak station. That raised questions about the maker of the taxi. Were there any Checker cabs still in service? The whole idea of taking a cab to the Amtrak fell apart when someone thought they spotted (filmmaker) Michael Moore by the front door. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_&_Me
They considered commercial air. Which one bakes the chocolate chip cookies?? Will using the executive lounge at the airport be viewed as elitist? How is the weather? These are busy guys with meetings. They couldn't be held up at the airport waiting for de-icing or being rescheduled when bad weather cancelled their flights. What to do? Someone suggested driving. It is a ten hour drive. Aha. That is faster than flying.
Done deal. We will drive, they said. What to drive? Everyone wanted to be seen driving a car made by their own corporation. Did you know they make Dodge Durango hybrids? Hummer hybrids? Just ask Gov. Arnold, he has three. They couldn't agree to car pool and each will drive separately. They are all coming to town in a hybrid they produce. I doubt they will drive their own vehicles. If their chauffeur drives, they can use the HOV lanes and make good time. I hope they remember Madame DeFarge in the front row knitting and have the chauffeur dress down. Worn denim and a J Crew sweater would be nice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tale_of_Two_Cities
Now the auto executives are back and looking properly contrite and humble. Maybe congress will receive them and show respect. They still don't wear hats but now they want 34 billion $$$$$$$$. Can we turn the clock back, ignore the corporate jets and settle for 25 billion?

Roger Smith is probably relaxing over his morning coffee grateful he is retired. If his wealth is tied up in GM stock that may not be true.

Has anyone seen Michael Moore lately? He wasn't the one in the front row knitting, was he??
PS. If you don't know who Madame DeFarge is, you were asleep in high school English class.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mr. Relaxation

We followed a frequently observed ritual this morning and went out for breakfast at our favorite local diner. I had planned to stop at Kohl's on the way and pick up something at their Saturday Early Bird sale. (I managed to avoid the black Friday shopping rush. People are getting killed at those bargain hunting events.) I asked Jon if he wanted to run in the store with me or wait in the car. He replied he would wait in the car. He was wearing his bedroom slippers. That attire is acceptable at our diner but would look strange at Kohl's. He hadn't planned to dress this casually, he just didn't notice what he had on his feet until we were in the car.
The River Oasis Cafe went through some minor changes with the new owner, but the staff and food are mostly unchanged. Kenny, the dishwasher who was banned from coming out front to pick up dishes from the dirty dish bins, is back doing his job like he previously did. We see him come out to get the dishes again. All is well in the kingdom. The waitresses have been working there for decades. They usually don't need to ask what we want. Jon is a creature of habit and orders #2 even though they no longer have #2 on the menu. They know what he means.
Life is good.
The view from the River Oasis Cafe is of a smoothly frozen over St. Croix river. It is cold outside and warm inside. Warm and cozy enough to show up on a Saturday morning wearing your bedroom slippers. Hopefully, Jon won't push that to PJs.

Here Comes Santa Claus


While some were elbowing their way to good deals at Black Friday store sales, others in Stillwater were waiting for Santa. Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving he tours the neighborhoods on the fire truck throwing candy to the kids and waving to all. Our grandbabies are too little too be impressed. Our older grandchildren too sophisticated at 11 and 16. Maybe in a year or two.....

It isn't just kids who run out to wave. Our neighborhood is more retired adults than youngsters, but the oldsters fondly remember all the years they bundled up little believers to get their first glimpse of Santa. We braced for the cool morning and visited with each other, swapping stories of years gone by. We didn't get any candy. He saves that for the kids. Good thing. Our frig is still stuffed with leftovers from Thursday.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Zoe, Zoe

Zoe is the more laid-back twin. Photo taken yesterday shows her calmly sleeping in my arms. She is a little darling who is also enjoyed by grandma and grandpa.

Romie, Romie


I knew I would have to apologize to the little guy's dad, Mike, for taking his picture with a dollie. I couldn't resist putting it by him to see if he would notice the face. He did. Jon captioned the picture. Naughty Jon. Innocent Roman.
Roman has picked up another nickname, "Wyatt Urp" because he spits up his formula so often. This doesn't look like the face of a gunslinger, does it?

Lelftover Leftovers


I wrote this "poem" last year after Thanksgiving and put it in my blog. I am serving it up for you again today. Everything will be leftovers today, even the blog.



Leftover turkey, this we treasure
Chop it, slice it, guess- don’t measure
Take a handful of turkey pieces
Add some veggies or
Add some cheeses
With rice or noodles it surely pleases.

Turkey chili can be spicy
Served up with cornbread it’snice, eh?
Turkey sausages-- very hardy
Turkey meatballs—for your party.

Stuff some peppers with the turkey
Dehydrate slowly – make some jerky
Top a pizza, stuff some pitas
Serve them up with margaritas

Turkey soup will warm you up
On colder days just drink a cup
Try turkey tacos, make some hash
Use the leftovers, save some cash.

Quesadillas, enchiladas,
Tetrazzini, manicottas
Turkey omelettes, turkey stew
Many choices, what to do?

In Minnesota we feed a group
Making “hot dish” with canned soup


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pardoning the Turkeys

Where do you think your holiday dinner came from? It was once alive and now slowly roasting in the oven. There was a step we didn't see--the slaughter.
There is a tradition in Washington to pardon a turkey before Thanksgiving. Its' life is spared and it lives out its' days at the national zoo. THis years the turkey President Bush pardoned will live in Disney World.
Governor Sarah Palin was also part of a turkey pardoning ceremony in Alaska.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-kjM1asH-8
Much has been made of the continuation of killing turkeys that went on in the background. Like I said, where did you think that turkey came from? Unless you are vegan, some turkey lives are lost. They were born to die. Get over it.
There is also talk about pardoning other turkeys in Washington. Scooter Libby must be hopeful. Every president pardons scoundrels with political connections as they leave office. The outgoing presidents are lame ducks themselves and sympathize with the turkeys, I think. The turkeys who didn't contribute to a political party will lose their heads.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pardon Me, But I Better Not Put a Title on This


Getting Grandma Into the 20th Century


My daughter suggested we communicate by Instant Messaging and called me to help set up my account. In the space of a few minutes we were good to go and sending inconsequential messages. She is at work. It is a slow day before the holiday.
I like having this feature to communicate about the kids. You can teach an old dog new stuff. When I said I was getting up to speed with the rest of the world, (there was a movie about ten years ago with Meg Ryan) she laughed and said Andy, who is 23, told her he hadn't used IM since 7th grade. So you see, we have gotten grandma up to 20th century speed. Next year we will work on the 21st century. This might be another way to find out if my name is in the obituaries. On the other hand, the young set communicate by texting. No thanks. Don't need arthritic thumbs. I might need my thumbs to open child-proof pill bottles someday.

Being Thankful


There is an old joke about picking up the newspaper, seeing your name isn't there and getting on with your day. I have often said that. Last week I picked up the paper, scanned the column alphabetically, and saw my name! Yikes. You would think I would be the first to know and not have to read that in the obituaries. I am fudging a bit, the last name was the same, not the first. The woman who died is distant kin who also lived in Stillwater. She had a son close in age to our older boys. Years ago we would often get calls at our house for him that I would redirect. One day I called her to see if the families were related. Since she also is an in-law we had to dig back to find the relationship. Her husband's hometown wasn't familiar to me. When I asked who his grandfather was, she said, "Peter". My husband's grandfather was also Peter but a different Peter. When I have read Jon's geneology the names Peter, John and Michael appear often. This family was distantly related but the families were so big we didn't know the 2nd or 3rd cousins.

Anyway, she died not me. I am still here and grateful for it. Someday my name will be in the paper. Someday all of our names will be in the paper if there are still newspapers around.

I hope we don't see the disappearance of the rags while I am still around. It just won't be the same reading about my demise in a blog.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Musings

It's a good day. The price of gas at the station by my daughter's is $1.58. It was ten cents more by our house yesterday. I sincerely hope what is left of my IRA is not in Exxon and Citibank.
I have read a couple of Thomas Freidman's books. The last was, "The World if Flat". I see he has a new book out, "The World is Flat Broke". Just kidding.
My husband has a unique fix for the financial quandry is our country. Have the feds buy everyone a new GM, Ford or Chrysler. I suggest letting the individual be responsible for the sales tax. That collection of sales tax on 3 million adults in Minnesota at $1000 a pop should fix our state's financial shortfall. If someone doesn't want a vehicle, give them something manufactured in the USA. That might be a hard thing to find. I think we are down to making tin whistles in Maine, wooden arrows somewhere and Kentucky bourbon and California wines.
Thanksgiving is coming and I will again state my pet peeve; people who call Thursday "Turkey Day". It is Thanksgiving Day. Thanks giving. To whom? Believers better than God. Unbelievers should at least thank those they can see. I read something that gave me pause; what if we could only keep what we had said thanks for ? Our loved ones, our health, our stuff, our freedom and on and on. What if everything we take for granted disappeared if we didn't say thanks? We are recipients of a merciful provider. It is easy to amble through life without giving it a thought. What if He forgot us?

Monday, November 24, 2008

generations

(this blog done with zoe in my left arm---no capitals. hunt and peck typing)

romie enjoys his "state fair" chair. zoe likes her gym mat. she was quite content to reach, wiggle and kick on it for over half an hour this morning. the gym mat has dangling toys, mirrors, squeekers and is geared to stimulate a young baby who is not mobile.
last thanksgiving mary and i did the lifetime fiyness turkey run (or walk--we walked) in downtown mpls. it was fun being in a mass of fun loving people, some of whom were dressed like turkeys or pilgrims. we won't do it this year. maybe in a year or two, zoe will want to come with us. i think romie may be home in a recliner with grandpa watching football or listening to the beach boys.

Fair State of Mind Chair

Minnesota has one of the biggest state fairs in the country. It marks the end of summer. It is a ritual to visit for city folk, farmers with 4H kids and a trip to "the cities" for "outstate" people before school begins.
What draws us to the fair? Tradition? Fun? Food? Shopping? I know people who go to buy things. I am not one of them. My idea of fun isn'y to buy a mop or salsa maker and carry it around all day. The fair is also a place for vendors to showcase their stuff. New tractors, farm equipment, 4 wheel drive pick-ups, hot tubs etc. Different people are interested in different things. All of the people make a beeline to a few of the fair displays. They get a bucket of Sweet Martha cookies and they go to the Grandstand display and sit in the relaxalounger chairs. Men and boys don't understand why the wife/mother always vetoes buying one of these chairs. They are comfortable. They lull and soothe tired fairgoers with their soft vibrations and built-in back massagers. They come in brown or black vinyl and are ugly. That is why more aren't sold. They don't fit in our decore. When Andy was ten or eleven he thought we should get one. We didn't. Boys and men don't think black vinyl is ugly.
I have fed the twins this morning and Roman is groovin' in his electric vibrations chair. Maybe he will want one of those State Fair chairs when he is grown up. Maybe I will see if I can convince his wife that he needs one. Maybe that won't work with her either.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Other Zoe


The babies other grandma noticed the Lil Sesame Street Muppet mobile over Zoe's bed and pointed out one of the muppets is named Zoe.

Giving Thanks


A One and A Two and A......


My mother in law, who came of age in the '30s, loved Lawrence Welk. When we went to their house for dinner on Saturday night, she would entertain the kids so I could watch his show. I usually protested, I disliked Welk. He seemed corny to me. She loved him but wanted me to have the treat. Hard to refuse her generous offer. Even a game of Monopoly seemed better than watching Lawrence Welk. I think I do things like that now. Try to get the kids to enjoy something I like but they probably don't.

Lawrence Welk was a big bandleader with a thick South Dakota German dialect. You just can't spell how he said "a-one-and-a-two" like he pronounced it.

We are busy counting in Minnesota. Our election is not over. OMG. When will it end? The possibility of a coup 'd etat or takeover by terrorists is starting to not look so bad. We had 2.9 million votes cast and the separation is now 107 votes. Al Franken and Norm Coleman camps are both being obnoxious about challenging votes. The political balance in the senate will be affected. Don't blame me. I voted for Independent Dean Barkley. Most of the people who voted for one of the other guys would probably like to change their votes to Barkley now too. Ballots are being challenged for frivolous reasons. One challenge: The voter cast a vote for the republican candidate for president and the democrat for senate or vice-versa. That can't be right. They challenge the ballot. HELLO. People do split the ballot. Anybody home?

I am tired of ranting. I don't think anyone reads my blog anymore. They are tired of my ranting too. HELLO. Anybody out there? Write a comment if you are. I will cover my eyes and count. A-one-and-a-two.......I am not coming out until we have a senator. It should only take a month or so. Meanwhile future candidates are lining up for 2012. Maybe Obama got it right. He put Hillary where he could watch her. She couldn't possibly campaign for president while she is Secretary of State, could she? Better keep an eye on Bill though. This is an ambitious family.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Double Down? Double Up?

I have been focusing on our twindom or politics. I like writing about the twins more so here goes. Today was another milestone. Mike and Mary took the babies in for their first immunizations. They tolerated this well according to mom and cried only briefly. Giving shots to kids kept me from enjoying pediatrics. When I had to give an antibiotic to a kid in ER, I always asked if someone else wanted to do it. No one ever did. No one wants to make a kid cry. My friend Barb, who worked in a peds clinic for about 18 years reminded me why we give the shots and incidentally brief discomfort. Her baby brother died of meningitis and her mom was hearing impaired from childhood chickenpox.
The kiddos are now immunized against Hepatitis B, Polio (oral med), Pneumococcal Disease, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Rotavirus and HIB (meningitis). Good. Good thing they can combine some of these. Each has a bandaid on each thigh. Grandma kissed the booboo.
Here is why I titled this blog "double down vs. double up". They weighed in at 10#6oz and 10#8oz. Each weighed just over 5# at birth. Like all newborns they lost some of that initially. They are gaining and doing great. No more tiny preemie. They look robust and round.
Roman does have a reflux problem that has gotten worse. The pediatrician was reluctant to treat with medicine. The H2blockers neutralize stomach acid and help, but there is a reason for that acid. Acid destroys germs and protects against illness. We will all continue to position him carefullly--not flat, burp gently, and give smaller, more frequent feedings. It was also okayed to add rice cereal to the formula to thicken it and make less likely it will roll back up.
Twins: Double blessing, double the pleasure, double the fun. No gum for them yet. Too little for that.

Wharton's School of Nurses Re-education


A month or so ago they found a tumor in Jon's neck while doing an ultrasound of his carotid artery in the neck. The word "small tumor" was frightening. It needed further exploration. After repeating the non-invasive test, they did a needle biopsy. Benign. "Good" tumor. What a relief. Jon had this news at his followup surgical appointment. He didn't know the particulars. Yesterday he saw an ENT specialist who called it a Warthin's tumor. He will follow up and possibly need it surgically removed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warthin

This morning I went to that font of all knowledge, Wikipedia. I noticed Jon reading over my shoulder. He said he had looked there yesterday. When I got to the part about it being caused by cigarette smoking he said, "I was afraid you would see that". Not much good to say about cigarette smoking. If only the young could relate and understand how starting to smoke will affect them in later life. I have already bribed my grandson offering cash if he doesn't smoke. I hope he sees the big picture. Both of his parents smoke and for now he distains smoking. His dad said that at 16 too. I remain hopeful.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You Are Cordially Invited to the Vetting of Bill & Hillary

Once again, Bill is a problem for Hillary. News today say she is being "vetted" for the Secretary of State position. One problem; Bill has earned $109 million, yes million, since leaving office. And to think she called Obama an elitist. I know, elitist doesn't refer to wealth, but it might not be nice to point fingers when your income tax form has those kind of numbers on it.
The problem: What did Bill do to earn this income? If you can believe it, he is a very good speaker. Arab sheiks have paid exorbitant sums to hear him. Maybe they like the Arkansas dialect although I think it is gone. Maybe they like Bill. Maybe they think he has influence. I vote for the third option. Here is my suggestion. Bill, as long as you have this kind of hold on these people, can you convince them to buy more GM cars? They are available at bargain prices and GM needs to move some merchandise.
In the 40's when American oilmen found oil in the Persian Gulf, the less worldly sheiks bought big US cars and abandoned in the desert when they had problems. Flat tire? No problem. Get another car. There was plenty of $$$$. There is still plenty of $$$$ over there. Our $$$$$. Convince them to buy more American cars. If they abandon them in the desert there are probably some enterprising Chinese businessmen who are willing to collect them, send them to China as scrap and have a win/win deal.
There. I have offended several countries.
Today's paper reports several of the Saudi royal family are in Rochester at the Mayo clinic for check-ups. Even the king has been sighted. He is a big tipper and people remember him. Added to that, men in Arab burnoose stand out in this southeastern small town. There are lots of foreign visitors but they don't all blend in with Caucasian Olmstead county farmers.
When Jon's aunt lived in Rochester she worked at a department store in the lingerie department. She told of wealthy Arab's buying enormous orders of expensive lingerie. They probably still do that. Now if we could convince the clerk to Tell them the local car dealer has some good deals.......... Maybe the Mayo clinic could open a branch at the Mall of America doing virtual colonoscopies. That would lure a few big spenders a little further north. There are plenty of car dealerships out on that 494 strip by the MOA who would be happy to do business.

More Mush


Mush


There is a biblical principle; "Whatsoever a man (woman) soweth, that shall you reap" that is tried and true. I quote it in King James English because it sounds more authoritarian. In plain English is says; What you did is going to come back to you.

When I was a kid I was an extremely fussy eater. I got two of those back (fussy eating kids). I hated oatmeal. I don't think I ever tasted it, I just hated the way the gluey, slimy stuff looked. My mom made oatmeal for my sister Carolyn. I preferred Malt-o-meal. I made it to 63 without eating oatmeal. Finally, those health gurus got to me. We bought a box of steel-cut oatmeal. Jon cooked it. Viola! Love the stuff. It takes 30 min. to prepare but was worth the wait. The next morning I made it. It turned out gluey and slimy. Repaid for past behavior? I strained off the extra thick liquid and ate it. Today I read the box. Cook UNCOVERED. That is the secret. It turned out the correct consistency and tastes great with Splenda and no milk. Don't want to make it slimy again.

I wonder if my mom cooked her oatmeal with the cover on or off???

Now I have another world to conquer. Canned spinach. I have never even tasted canned spinach. Never was tempted to be like Popeye. I couldn't get past the smell. I love fresh spinach and eat it if I cook it myself, but can't deal with the canned stuff. Too smelly and slimy. Do they cook it with the cover on?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Like a Bat Out of Hell




I don't even understand mountain climbing. Thrill seeking is not my game. The people in the video seem reckless to me. I think our Minnesota astronaut, her name escapes me, could have used this bat suit to chase her lost tool case. How embarrassing to have the world watching and not secure your $100,000. tool bag on a tether during the spacewalk. She used good judgment not going after it. Remember the scene of the spaceman floating away forever in "2001; A Space Odyssey"?

Women usually overcompensate when they do a traditional "man's job". I'll bet she has regrets but hope she just accepts it as a screw up. She was heading a team that was doing some home improvements up there. They were fixing the plumbing and installing a new refrigerator. Since nothing weighs as much as it does on earth, it seemed a reasonable task for a woman. She could lift the frig in a weightless space capsule, couldn't she? At least she only lost the tool bag. It might not have been optimum to have a loose refrigerator orbiting up there. Space junk, indeed.

I'm Picking Up Good Vibrations


Good old Beach Boys song, "Good Vibrations". Jon had the song as the ring tone on his cell phone the past couple of years. When he got a call, that song blasted out loud. Loud. He seldom has his cell in his pocket, so he needed to hear it ring from around the house. I got tired of "Good Vibrations".

When Andy was little he was his dad's companion on fishing/swimming trips in the boat. Jon had a waterproof boom box and a tapes of the Beach Boys that they liked. I'm sure they heard "Kokomo" and "Good Vibrations" often. Andy referred to them as the Beach Brothers when he was a pre-schooler. We didn't correct him because we thought it was cute.

Now our little guy, Romie, is cruising to good vibrations himself. Probably because he was a preemie he is a little fuss. High strung. What works wonders to settle him down is putting him in his "electric chair". It is a battery operated bouncy chair that reclines and vibrates to soothe him. It works wonders. Good vibrations for the littliest "beach brother". Maybe grandma should get him a little Hawaiian shirt. Cruisin' Romie. Surf's up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TURKEY SHOOT


No turkeys were harmed making this game. If that thought actually bothers you, skip this.


















Get Out on the Highway, Lookin For Adventure...








It's back to work week at the twins household. Mom had her first day back on the job yesterday. I spent the day with the kids. This morning I picked them up and brought them here for grandpa and I to do it together. Transporting them is all about timing. They have to be in their snowsuits (it is in the teens) and in snug car seats. You can't do it when their tummies are full--or spit (up) happens. I had the whole routine down but when we arrived I couldn't remember how to get the car seats unlatched from the base. After a few anxious moments we figured it out. It was simplier years ago. Kids sat in one of those raised seats in the middle of the front seat by mom. You could keep an eye on them. I wonder if the Simpsons still starts the show with Marge and Maggie driving. Maggie is in the now forbidden front seat. Somehow our first kids survived. Shudder to think what would have happened in a crash. I Googled Maggie Simpson + carseat and couldn't find a graphic for that. Maybe cartoonists have done away with that. Sets a bad example, although I don't think you could find a front seat for kids like that.



Grandpa just fed the little guy Romie and he is blissfully snuggled up. Both of them look blissful and warm. Aren't babies wonderful?