Monday, May 30, 2005

In My Eyes...

This morning at the gym I witnessed a sight so warm, so true, so magical I think it could easily carry me on for days.  Even now, hours later, I'm still smiling at the memory of it.

I was working out on a stair climber listening to my iPod.  There are four treadmills in front of me and each one is occupied.  To my left is a young buck running, next are two mature ladies, the first probably in her 70s and the second in her 50s, and last is a mature gentleman probably in his 70s.  The latter three are walking, not running.   Several minutes into my workout, 'In Your Eyes' by Peter Gabriel started to play.  Halfway through the song, I saw the older gentleman step off his treadmill and walk over to the 70ish lady directly in front of me.  He stood beside her as she continued her pace and then I saw his hand move up from his side to rest on her bottom.  Not on her back..her backside...lower backside.  As Peter continued to sing, I watched their interaction, smiling on several occasions when he cupped his hand and copped a feel.  This was followed by several endearing pats on her rump.  Me thinks someone was feeling frisky.  She did nothing to stop him, just kept on walking.  Me thinks both of them were feeling frisky.

I admit feeling a bit embarrassed because I watched, rather than politely looking away.  But I was so touched by this show of public very genuine and real.  It kinda took my breath away, you know.  The gentleman left, followed a few minutes later by the lady.  I continued on the stair climber, thinking about this couple.  Wondering...are they married, dating, have they been together all their lives?  An hour later I passed the gentleman outside the women's locker room on my way to the pool and I smiled the entire time.  Whether he knows why I was smiling, well, who knows.  But I was touched.

I 've heard it said the heart has no concept of time.  And I've always believed that is true.  This morning, I saw proof.

But then maybe that's because it is love that keeps the heart so young.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Easy - Week #8

Oh boy, back to back Easy entries this week.  That's a first.  And this weekend being what it is, Kelly says

Tell me......

"Camping - tent or camper? or Hotel?"

Drawing on my own personal experience with all three, this answer truly is just depends on the location.  ;)  See I have this vegabound spirit, and I love exploring places.  Whether the place is along the banks of a nearby river or some city hundreds of miles away, I'm happy.

So, let's say the place is a nearby river, then my preference is a camper...trailer actually, or even a motor home.  No tent!  If I'm out in the wild, as in wild with animals like bears and snakes and such, I want to know there is a solid wall of something between me and the critters.  Tents just don't come with that sense of security.  With an RV, food and garbage are locked up inside and that decreases the chances of attracting the larger critters.  Then there is the rest room situation.  RV's come equiped with a bathroom, and I've seen enough campground rest rooms in my days to know that there are some pretty disgusting people who camp and there is no way I'm using a public rest room if I don't have to!

Now, if I'm heading to a distant city, I want a hotel of course.  I like being pampered, having maid service or room service at my fingertips, something camping doesn't offer.  I don't have to cook or clean...all I need to do is relax and enjoy myself!  And yes, we all know what people do in hotel rooms and I have seen the shows where the host used an alternative light source to 'highlight' certain things...and that really grossed me out (did they have to show that!).   Even the best 5 star hotel didn't pass the test.  But since those shows have aired many years ago, hotels have taken note of this and responded by making certain housekeeping changes in the interest of maximizing guest comfort.  After all, guest comfort isthe name of the game and the bottom line of the hospitality industry.

So there you have it.  Guess you could say I'm flexible.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Easy - Week #7

Oh, I'm really behind on my Easy Like Sunday morning entry this week.  But, I do have a legitimate reason, and I know Kelly will cut me some slack.  :)  This week, Kelly wants to know-

Tell me......

"What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?"

Rainy days and Mondays...the chorus from one of my favorite songs by the Carpenter's.  But, rainy days don't get me down.  I love the rain, I love the feel of it on my skin, the sound of it in my ears and the smell of it filling my senses.  If it's raining, and I'm not at work, odds are you will find me at home, either sitting outside on the porch or inside by a window, looking out.  For me, there is something soothing about being outside in the rain...unless it's a thunderstorm.  In that case you will find me indoors, sitting by a window, curled up somewhere with a hot cup of coffee or cocoa, gazing through the glass with my head resting against the pane.  No book, no magazine, no other visual distraction.  Music may or may not be playing in the background; sometimes I just prefer the quiet music of the rain.

And yes, I can spend hours doing just that.  It's Mother Nature's way of telling me I need to invest time in reflect.  And sometimes, as I'm gazing through the glass I can see myself dancing...side by side with Fred Astaire through the puddles, with our umbrellas, and rain soaked smiles.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

We Don't Dally...

Okay, so where did I leave off?  Hmmm, oh yeah, and Chris.

So, we leave The Huddle House and head to Augusta see Chris' hubby Vic at work to get moolah for Beth's graduation present, which turns out to be a new laptop since she will be off to college this fall.  Vic walks us out to the car, but just before Chris closes her door, I hear Vic say, "Have fun you two, but don't dally."

To which I replied (after the door was shut), "We don't dally, we only dilly."

And now we're going to Dillard's Department store to pick up Chris' paycheck (I couldn't make this up if I tried).

If a girl could pick the ultimate brother-in-law, or husband for her favorite sister, it is Vic.  I am so very happy those two found each other because they are truly happily married. 

At Dillard's I met a couple of my sister's co-worker's, Tamera and Toniesha.  Those two must have been really bored when we showed up, because within minutes they had me laughing so hard I couldn't breathe.  Frankly, if they are always like that, I wonder how Chris can get anything done when she's working.  Anyway, we depart, Chris with her paycheck and me with my sore cheeks.  Okay, so we did dilly dally at Dillard's.

On to Best Buy to pick up Beth's computer, then to a farm in Thompson to pick up the pig, Wal-Mart for a card, gift wrap, balloons, briquettes, and ice to keep the pig cold, and last but not least, the liquor store.  Interestingly enough, my sister lives in a 'dry' county.  I didn't know 'dry' counties still existed in the US.

Was is it about the south?  I've been in the south five times (the south being Virginia, Florida and Georgia) and when it rains, it always pours.  Buckets.  It's now about 2 o'clock and the sky is black.  We're about 20 minutes from the house when the skies just opened up.  The rain was so heavy, Chris had to slow down to 15 miles per hour and we still couldn't see the road.  The wind's blowing and it is just plain nasty.  The 20 minute trip is now approaching 1 hour and of course we realize we forgot something on the list and need to make another stop at the only grocery store in the pouring rain.  So by the end of that errand we are both drenched to the skin.

We were starting to get worried about the rain affecting the ceremony.  If the ceremony had to be held indoors due to the rain, only two people per graduate would be allowed in.  Fortunately, the skies were blue by 5 o'clock and graduation was held outside, so everyone was able to be there for Beth.

Beth and I just before the ceremony.

Armed with her diploma, Beth poses with a very happy Dad and Mom.

Hugs for her Dad from the grad.

Back home later, Vic got out his bottle of Mezcal Tequila and the four of us finished off the bottle, with two shots a piece.  Vic took the worm.  Ewwwww!

Years ago I swore I would never touch this stuff again!  But I keep straying off that path, usually for good reason.  And a high school graduation toast is a fine and dandy reason to stray, I think.  :)

Next, laying sod and the pig roast (not at the same time). 


Twins...or Sisters?

I'm back!

So y'all want to know about the trip, eh?  Okay.  But I have to start this off by saying on my first full day in Georgia I ran smack dab into the Georgia version of 'camera battery lady.'  Yep.

Friday morning Chris and I headed out the door to get started on a long list of errands.  Beth's graduation was less than twelve hours away, and on Sunday the family planned to have a pig roast with all the trimmings...hash, salads...southern hospitality at it's best!  First stop was breakfast at The Huddle House (where do they find these names?).

Right off the bat Chris and I got into the giggling mode.  I don't remember what we were talking about...I think we were just so glad to be together after such a long absence.  At one point we were laughing so loud everyone in the restaurant was glancing at us with smiles on their face.  It should be noted the restaurant is aptly named The Huddle House because it is very small.  Customers are truly huddled together.

So it's time to leave and I approach the cashier's station, where I am greeted by an older woman who takes my money.

And she askes me, "Are you two twins or sisters?"

Oh boy.  Didn't I leave you in Idaho?

Hmmm, twins.....or.....sisters?  Tough call.

"Twins, no," I replied.  "We're eight years apart.  But we are sisters."

She shakes her head and hands me back my change.  "Well, you two could pass for twins.  You do look and sound alike."

I laughed and thanked her.  Speaking of twins, I think I just ran into yours two days ago in Idaho at the local Rite Aid store.

You never know...stranger things have happened.  After all, they did look and sound alike.

NOTE:  I'm going to have to have a talk with my nephew, James.  At the airport yesterday he had my camera and was supposed to take several photos of Chris and I.  He didn't!  And he's in big trouble with me right now!  Grrrrrr!  So for now, this photo will have to do.  Left is me, right is Chris.

So, what do you think?  Twins.....or.....sisters?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

In Transit...En Route

Hi everyone!  I'm sitting here in Atlanta in between one leaves at 3:55 p.m. (EST) and I found a cool place to connect the laptop.  Just wanted to drop you all a quick note to let you know I am alive and well, since I have been very quiet the past week.  My sister does not have internet (WHAT?!?) and so I have been feeling a bit disconnected this past week...not much mind you, but a little bit.

I've had an excellent time here, and got a lot of good quality time in with my sister Chris and her family.

Will post more from home.  I'm hungry and need to get something in my stomach.  :)


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Here's Your Sign

In less than 24 hours I will be in Georgia, with my sister and her family.  Woo Hoo!  Vacation season is starting early this year.  I started packing on Monday, and today during lunch I did some last minute shopping for necessities.  You know, batteries for the digital camera, a high school graduation present for my niece...stuff.
I stopped at the local Rite Aid, found what I was looking for and headed to the check out area.  The only cashier available is at her station, with her back to the customers and she's cutting something up.  A few seconds pass and she finally notices me.
She turns around, picks up the batteries and asks me, "Are these the ones you need?"
Is this a trick question?  No, I picked those up by mistake and I want you to put them back.  
"Yeah," I said.
She bagged my stuff, I paid, and walked away, wondering to myself what makes people ask such stupid questions.  Guess the world is full of people who are clueless about buying batteries and she just felt compelled to protect me from the shock of discovering I had the wrong type.
Where was she the first time I got married?

She Blew Her Top...

...twenty-five years ago today.  Man, has it been that long since Mount St. Helen's first erupted after her long, silent slumber?  St. Helen's was one of those know, when you remember exactly what you were doing when it happened.  I'll never forget that day, for there was a time when I wondered if I would ever see the sun again.  It was a day to remember...

It was Sunday morning, and I was at softball practice, suffering from alcohol poisoning, in the worse way.  Oye!  But I wasn't alone, the entire women's team had been out partying the night before.  And our coach was pissed at us.  Doubly pissed at me because he was my father-in-law.  None of us felt like practicing, at all, and it showed.  Tempers were short, bases were being overthrown, and fly balls were missed or dropped.  We were not in our best form, and we were the returning champions, so expecations were high.  Practice sessions on this team were taken very seriously.  But on this day, we just weren't into it.  We were tired, tired of the pressure of always being the best, tired of the rigorous practice schedule, and so we rebelled.

We were two hours into this practice (Sunday sessions usually lasted four hours), when we all noticed omnious black clouds approaching from the west.  The entire horizon was filled.  Thinking this was just another nasty spring thunderstorm, the coach grudgingly gave up and sent us home.  None of us had been listening to the news that morning, so we had no idea that the mountain had erupted at 8:32 a.m.  It was now 11:30 a.m.

When I arrived home, I immediately got in the shower.  The sun was shining when I walked into the bathroom.  Ten minutes later, I stepped out of the shower, and noticed the room seemed extremely dark.  That's weird, I thought.  I walked over to the window, pushed the curtain aside and looked out at a night time sky in complete and utter disbelief.  I remember thinking, "I wasn't in the shower that long...was I?"  I called out to my husband, and ran upstairs to the living room.  He was here before I got in the shower, but he wasn't now.  However, I knew where he was, at his mother's no doubt.

Still wrapped in my bath towel I walked over to the living room window and gazed outside.  Something was falling from the sky, I thought it was snow.  The street lights were on, casting an errie light onto the now ghostly grey landscape.  Whatever it was that was falling sparkled and twinkled under the street lights glow.

This is weird.  Way too weird.

I turned on the radio, and that's when I learned about the mountain's mighty blast.  For weeks she had been rumbling, steaming and causing a stir among the volcanologists and geologists alike.  Nearby communities had been evacuated, uprooting hundreds of people from their homes, and their lives.  Except a grouchy old man named Harry Truman, who owned a lodge on the shores of Spirit Lake, right in the shadow of St. Helen's.  He vowed nothing could make him or his many cats leave his cherished home.  Not even that mountain could budge him.  I don't think they ever found Harry, or his lodge.

I got dressed and headed over to my in-law's home, where I spent the rest of the day playing Double Solitaire with Ma Bea, my husband's grandmother.  Throughout the afternoon, she and I sat at the dining table, occasionally casting a worried glance out the nearby window. Every now and then Ma Bea would remark, "That sun ain't never comin' back, I tell ya.  Someone's done gone and pissed off the man upstairs, and now we're all going to pay."  At first I knew she was joking around, but has the hours dragged by, it almost seemed possible.  Fortunately, around 6:00 p.m. we noticed some blue sky to the south, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

By the next day, daylight returned, to slightly overcast skies, still filled with ash.  People walked around with masks over their face.  Businesses closed down, or never opened.  Life, in a way, came to a halt for a few days.  And that ash wreaked havoc in our town.  Cars stalled and refused to start.  People with asthma had to stay indoors.  Farmer's crops were ruined.  And dusting became a full time job.  No matter how airtight your house was, the ash was everywhere.  For months after the eruption, that ash permeated every aspect of our lives, and we were on the outer edge of the plume.  We only had about 3 or 4 inches dumped on us, but it was enough to cause plenty of problems.  Even six years later I remember seeing ash on the sides of the highway just outside of Spokane.

In the Native American community, Mount St. Helen's is called Little Sister, while Mount Rainier is known as Grandfather.  Among the Native American's there is a saying.  "When Little Sister speaks, Grandfather will answer."

By the numbers:

    Height in feet after 1980 eruption
    Years the volcano was inactive before 1980
    660° F
    High temperature of the 1980 blast
    Square miles covered by the blast
    Sources: USGS, World Book

For more information:
Mount St. Helen's National Volcanic monument

USGS/Cascades Volcano Observatory, Vancouver, Washington
National Geographic 

Monday, May 16, 2005

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Graduation!

Gee, it's been a couple of weeks since my last entry in John Salzi's weekly Monday Photo Shoot.  Says John...

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show off a graduation ceremony of someone you know and love. Kids, parents, spouses, friends -- even yours. Show off that cap and gown and diploma that says "you made it!"

The only photos I have from my college graduation were taken just moments before we filed into the gym.  It was raining that day, so the ceremony was held inside.  Unfortunately, no one in my family saw me graduate.  :(   Seems when the rain started at 4:30 (ceremony started at 6), 'they' opened the gym doors to let people in and the gym was filled by 5:15.  My father (who gave me the rose, btw) was there with his ever present video camera to capture everything, but sadly, couldn't even get into the gym.  But he got everything before the ceremony (I'll get to that in a minute).  Thing that really made it worse was, inside the gym there were three young gals with children taking up six seats just to my right.  They were there to 'support' some guy, but they all got bored within 20 minutes and left.   I sat there through most of the ceremony looking up at those six empty seats.  Such is life.

But, that day is not all sour notes.  As I mentioned my Dad was present with his video camera.  He showed up about an hour before the ceremony and stood in line with me and my friends while we waited...cracking jokes and being his usual warm and funny self.  He had the camera trained on me most of the time, and I must have been very nervous, because the last time I watched the video, I put it in fast forward and I look like I'm doing the bunny hop.  I have this, used to have this nervous habit of rising up on my toes, then putting my heels back down.  Over and over.  Yep.  LOL!  Seriously. Up and down.   Up and down.   Up and down.  It's pretty funny fast forward anyway.  Boing...boing...boing...boing.  Oh dear God, help me.  So, anyways, here's the pic.

Commencement, May 14, 1996

Sunday, May 15, 2005


The tulips have come and gone :::sigh::: but the iris' are in bloom now :).  And you know what that means...

We had some  last night, can you tell?  In fact, it's been raining quite a bit these past few days.  We've had flash floods and down pours since Monday.

But I'm not complaining about the rain.  We need all we can get right now.  Maybe it will help to keep the wildfires to a minimum this summer.

There's just something about stepping outside first thing in the morning after it has rained all night in the spring.  That first inhale of air fills my senses with a feeling of renewal, and fresh starts. 


At times it must sound like I have my head in the clouds, and maybe I do.  Some times.  But deep down I am a realist who dabbles in the fine art of appreciating the beauty I see around me.  For in that beauty lies my soul.

And without my soul, I would be lost.


~~You can say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. ~John Lennon~~

Easy - Week # 6

Kelly is really on a roll with her 'easy like Sunday morning' questions.  Last week she asked about our favorite mother's...this week she says...

Tell me......

"Do you have a favorite 'comfort food'......extra points if you share a recipe!"

A natural progression, I think.  Always conjures up warm fuzzy memories for me...

But anyway, here goes.

My comfort food is a dessert called Weight Watcher's Banana Split Cake.  In a word, heaven.  It's light, creamy, sweet but not too sweet, melt in your mouth, smile on your face, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmmmmm.  All of the pleasure, with none of the guilt (it's almost better than $ex).

I've had the recipe for many years, and it is always a crowd pleaser.  When the girls were living at home, if I made BSC it never lasted more than two or three days.  They ate it for breakfast, after school, after dinner...I could never make it enough.  The first time I made it for them the oldest watched me intently as I went through the preparations.  When I finished, she asked, "Can we eat it now?"

"Not yet," I replied.  "It has to be refrigerated for a couple of hours first so the pudding will set."

Without hesitation she scooped the glass cake pan off the counter, opened the refrigerator door and popped the dessert into the frig.  To which her father replied, "She says, well what are you waiting for?  Let's get that puppy in the frig!"

Youthful enthusiasm.  Don't cha just love it?

So anyway, for those extra points (?) I'm posting the recipe.  Funny that Kelly did this, because I've beenthinking about posting this recipe for quite some time, but just never got around to it. 

Weigh Watcher's Banana Split Cake

16 - 2 1/2 inch squares of graham cracker crumbs (about 1 cup)
4 tablespoons diet margarine, melted
Mix crumbs and margarine, press into an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan.
1 pkg low calorie vanilla pudding mix (or sugar free)
Evaporated skim milk, lowfat
Mix pudding according to directions. Chill (about 30 minutes) before speading on graham cracker crust.
2 medium bananas, sliced on top of pudding
2 cups well drained pineapples, cubed; plopped on top of bananas and pudding
1 cup Cool Whip, spread over top
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, drizzled over Cool Whip
1 ounze walnuts, optional, sprinkled over top
Chill about two hours before serving.

Serves 8

1 bread exchange, 3/4 fat exchange, 1 milk exchange, 1 fruit exchange, 45 calories optional.

I always double the recipe, because trust me, it won't last long if you don't.

Maybe it should be called 'Better Than $ex.' ;)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Breaking all the rules...

If you've been reading me for awhile, you may notice my often improper use of apostrophes.  Or maybe I should say excessive use.  I stick 'em everywhere!  I mean, they're fun...they just kinda hang out, and hang on...where ever you want 'em to.  I like to use apostrophes.  And I can do that, you see, because my english comp professor told me that when it comes to english and writing, once you know all the rules, that is when you earn the right to break them.

Of course, that doesn't apply to fragments.  ;)

Speaking of Teachers

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  It is the rule of the universe.

I found it interesting that John Scalzi selected memorable teachers for the subject of this weekend assignment.  Why?  Because the day before John posted that assignment I was just telling someone about a professor I briefly had in college.  And I use the term 'briefly' with precise intent.

It was August, 1995...the first day of the fall semester at Lewis-Clark State College and most of the student body are still walking around in a state of shock, having just been robbed of all monetary resources while taking their ritualized stroll through the college bookstore.  And they say monopolies are against the law....Ha!   The energy and excitement of the new semester fills the air and it is so thick you can cut it with a knife.  I always loved the very first day of school...yeah, I know I'm weird, but it is the truth.

As I make my way toward my 'Foundations of Management Theory' class, in my mind I'm rehearsing a speech I want to give at the beginning of the class.  I am a member of the Business Students' Organization (BSO), and I am also the President this term and we have just kicked off a new member recruitment campaign.  Naturally as the leader I'm the one who, through example, must demonstrate to the entire class the art of public speaking by way of a recruitment appeal.  And on this campus, public speaking is emphasized, everyday, in every class.  No exceptions.  BSO members have all agreed to make an appeal at the beginning of all of their classes, and I know this class will be packed with current and potential members, as it is being held in the largest classroom on campus.  It is located in the Library building, in the Information Technology wing and seats over 120 students.  Let's not forget that it is also being televised to a satellite classroom in another city 100 miles away. 

So, I'm really psyching myself up for this, you know.

I walk in and the room is mass confusion.  Students are standing everywhere, talking and milling around the 'auditorium.'  A quick glance at the clock on the wall tells me I have about seven minutes to find the professor (who is new, by the way), and seek permission to quickly address the class for about one minute.  One minute of time, that's all I need.  The professor is easy to find.  He's the tall, lean middle-aged guy with short, dark hair wearing a dress shirt tucked into polyester slacks neatly pressed into two crisp pleats down the front capped off with a smart black leather belt.  He is standing at the front of the class and totally surrounded by students who have changed their fickle minds about taking this class and are begging for his signature on their cherished little "drop" slip so they can meet their friends back at the dorm for a beer.

I patiently wait my turn as the minutes tick off.  Finally ten minutes later, the herd disperses and I approach him, introduce myself, and politely ask if I may address the class.  He gives me a look of complete disgust and utters, "No.  This is my class.  Do it on your own time."

"I just need one minute, for the Business Students' Organiza--"

"And I said, no!  Now take your seat, and stop wasting my time," he snaps.

:::Blink...blink...blink:::  "Okay."

Stunned, I turn and walk away as he launches into his introductory preample.  That's my cue to quickly park my butt.  The only available seats that are easily accessible without further disrupting his class are clear in the back row.  In that row I spot a couple of BSO members, both with puzzled looks on their face and I make a rapid bee line to join them.

I take a seat next to Sylvia, a middle-aged mother of three who is married to a local dentist.  Immediately she asks, "What happened up there?"

I quietlytell her.  She shakes her head in mild disbelief and we turn our attention to the professor.  Even before his syllubus found its way to my hands, I know his teaching philosphy.  In no time at all I have concluded this guy is a task master who takes the responsibility of education very seriously.  Which is good, mind you, but I am at a loss as to how this guy ever got selected to teach at this college.  His approach is light years removed from that of all the other profs...and the college's philosphy, for that matter.

Halfway through his lecture, he turns on an overhead projector and places a transparency on the glass.  From our distant seats in the back, Sylvia and I can't quite read his tiny writing and someone up front has coughed several times during the professor's discourse.  We are about to miss some very important points and we are scrambling to copy his words, since he didn't include these in the lesson handouts.  Before we can finish, he changes transparencies.  Sylvia raises her hand.  Minutes later, even after glancing our way several times, the professor finally acknowledges Sylvia and points to her. 

"I'm sorry," she says.  "But could you please put the last transparency back?  I didn't quite get the last bullet point copied."

Seconds of silence pass as he stands, staring at her.  The amassed students wait.  I hold my breath.  He places his left hand on his hip and says, "Then perhaps you should go back home and finish your load of laundry if you can't keep up with the pace of this class."

"Excuse me?" Sylvia retorts.

I don't remember how long it took before I was able to breathe again.  But the shockwaves of his statement knocked most of us out.  From that moment on, his true nature came out, and let me tell you, it was ugly.  I honestly believe this guy hated women, because he made several other comments, which I don't recall because I was still in a state of shock from his first, and second.  By the end of the class, I knew what my next step would be.  Drop this guy like a hot potato andfind another way to take this course.

No wonder there were so many students wanting his signature on a drop slip.  LCSC is a small campus and word of mouth spreads quickly.  This was an evening class.  Clearly his reputation preceeded him from the morning and afternoon sessions.

First thing next morning, I went to the Business Division.  The Division Chair was already well aware of the comments and the situation, as I was the fifth student that morning, and it was only 8:10 a.m..  I was the twelth student in two days.  Wildfire.  I asked the Chair how in the world this guy ever got hired.  He looked great on paper, I was told, and he interviewed well.

The next class session was bittersweet for me.  Sweet because I pranced into that room armed with my drop slip in hand and a huge smile on my face...relishing the thought of a nice cold celebratory beer waiting for me at home.  Bitter because I was about to miss out on a huge student input process.  Toward the end of each semester, every student evaluates their current instructors.  And boy, this was one evaluation I really could have sunk my incisors into.  But, truth be told, I already knew his future.

By the end of the fall semester, his 6 month contract was not picked up.

Justice may not always be swift, but sooner or later it is served.

Sylvia is now the Executive Director at the local YWCA.

No body knows what became of the professor.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Teachers Worth Remembering

Weekend Assignment #59: We've all had teachers who have made a difference in our lives. Tell us about one of yours. It can be a teacher from any level of education, from kindergarten to graduate school.

Extra Credit: Tell us your second favorite subject in schoool.

It was my senior year in high school.  Her name was Mrs. Johnstone, and she taught Creative Writing.  This was my first exposure to creative writing.  I'd written a few short stories and a poem or two, but to be honest, really didn't think my writing had 'it.'  You know, that certain something that makes one person's compositions stand out.

But Mrs. Johnstone saw 'it' in me.  And she encouraged me to continue to write.  With a gentle smile, and a few gentle words of encouragement, she opened the doors to a whole new world for me to explore.  Yeah, I'd always loved the written word...I was a book worm growing up.  Always had my nose in books.  But write?  Me?  Sorry, writing was what other people did.  Mrs. Johnstone...she had other ideas on that.

I liked her.  She wasn't stuffy like my previous English teachers.  She was relaxed and funny, warm and friendly, encouraging and inspiring.  To me, she was the perfect teacher.  And it was Mrs. Johnstone who took me aside one day and planted the writing seed in my brain.  "You can do it," she said.  "And I really think you should."

She is responsible for my decision to write my life story.

In the years that followed, I sometimes thought of and spoke of her.  If any one teacher ever stirred inspiration in me, she is the one.  Like a sculptor gifted with the ability to see beneath the solid layers, she summoned the essence that lied within.  Awakening that which slept.  I shall never forget her.

Extra credit:  If Creative Writing was my favorite subject, my second favorite subject had to be art.  I know what you're thinking.  And yes, I am a closet artist, of words, and objects.  If I needed to express myself and words failed me, I knew I could pick up a pencil and a piece of paper and draw.  There was something soothing in the tangy smell of a freshly sharpened pencil in my hand, the sound of the lead dragging against the paper, the feel of my fingers rubbing and smudging those sharp, hard lines into shapely forms and silky soft textures.  When I was creating, time just stood still.  Even if I was just making a collage from magazine tear outs, I loved it.  I was creating and I was in my element. 

A little something in pencil, circa 1980-1981.  It was a gift, to a friend.  Now I wish I would have kept it, but at least I have several photos.  This photo is a bit worn out and wrinkled, but you can see the work.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Easy - Week #5

Kelly has selected a timely topic for the Easy entry this week.  Kelly wants to know...

"....about one of your favorite mothers"

Not an easy one this time, my friend.  Pick one? Okay.  And I'm going the predictable route...I've chosen my Mom.

One of my first entries in this journal was all about my Mom.  <---- Click here to read.  I've tried to shorten it, for this entry, but I left it as is.  Read some of it, or all of's up to you.



~~A mother understands what a child does not say.~~


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Encouraging News!

Mom was just here with the baby, who did not want her picture taken today.  Oh, I got some pics of her, but she's got her hand in front of her face, or her head turned away in every one. 

But the good news!  Doc said the double diapering is working.  :) :) :) :)  Baby is improving each day; however, he still wants a specialist to check her over.

We are very happy with this report.  :)


**For the sake of privacy, I will no longer be posting photos of the baby.  I have deleted entries and some of your comments to protect the privacy of individuals.  I hesitated to post them, and after speaking to the parents, I have removed the photos and names.**

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Fantabulous 80s

A few minutes ago, I laughed my butt off.  Check it out over at DC's place.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Names and such


PEDIATRIANS REPORT: Baby is healthy with one exception, her hips are loose.  She screams like a banshee when getting her diaper changed, now we know why.  :(  :(  :(  Doc advised double diapering for two weeks to bring her hips in proper alignment.  If that doesn't work, she will be referred to orthopedic surgeon.

Oh yeah...she was born three days after my sister Chris' birthday, May 1, and three days before my Mom's birthday tomorrow, May 7.  How's that for timing?  Although yesterday we were noting how cool it would have been for her to be a Cinco de Mayo baby!!  ;)  But truth be told, it worked out perfectly.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Eyes Wide Open

Day 2

Wonder how many 'Awww's' this photo will get. 

Kinda looks like she's thinking...'Who are you?'

Photo removed by author.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

A Sweet Arrival!


Photo removed by author.

Baby D

Born May 4, 2005

8 lbs, 9.5 oz

21 inches

Definitely a Taurus...stubborn even before birth.  Refused to follow the doctor's coaxing, was delivered by C-section.  Mama and baby are both doing very well.  :)


~~A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.~~

Note: Some comments deleted to protect the privacy of individuals.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

For Joshua

To lose a child is a parents worse nightmare.

Five years ago today, a very special angel made his way upward, to our Father's House, where I know he dwells, healthy and happily playing with his many trains.

Yes, Kelly, cancer may have won the battle, but you my dear lady have won the war.  You are an inspiration to me, and you are a truly remarkable woman.  Someday I hope you and I have the opportunity to meet, face to face.  Until that day, this is the only hug I can give you.  {{{{{{{Kelly}}}}}}}

Remember, you are not alone.

For Joshua will always live in your heart...forever young...forever innocent...forever free.

Be happy my friend, and may you find peace in your journey today, tomorrow, and always.  For your son is shining brightly in heaven, lighting the way, with his smile, with his laugh, always helping.

He has not forgotten what you taught him.


~~A brook would lose its song if God removed the rocks.~~


Photo: William Mason Baltimore and Ohio Railroad No. 25 "William Mason" 1856, rebuilt 1926.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

My favorite season

First things first.

Happy Birthday Chris!!!   Ha Ha Ha....You are now old!  From this day forward you can no longer tell people you are 39!  Ha Ha Ha....(and if you do, I'll tell on you).  Remember, I can still tell when you are lying.  ;)  That is one skill age will never affect.

Speaking of my sister, in less than three weeks I will be in Georgia with her and her family.  It's been five long years since I've seen all of them and I am very excited to be going.

Today I was reminded of why I love spring so much.  Yes, there is the profusion of flowers, everywhere.  And thankfully I don't have allergies!  But, it is the burst of growth that comes with spring...the sudden awakening of evergreens that makes me smile as well.

A concolor fir gets some new color; its so easy to spot the new growth.  The color is brighter...more vibrant.  The new needles begin as small clumps housed within a tiny, thin skinned cone.

As the pine needles grow, the protective cone drops off, and within days, the tree has a new shaggy appearance.

This new growth is so soft and supple, nothing like the old growth needles with their prickly, stiff and dry texture.  Today I found myself reaching out and running my fingers over the newly sprouted needles, almost in a trance like state.

Nature is so very c o o l !

The other day
Sara commented in her journal about not getting any birds to her new feeder.  Several readers told her to give the birds some time to find the feeder, which is true.  Today I filled mine up (for the second time this week), and I'm quite certain the squirrels will find the seeds before the birds do.

But when it comes to hummingbirds, well now that is quite a different story altogether.  Two days ago I washed out and refilled my hummingbird feeder.  The warmer weather means many things, but most importantly it marks the return of those funny, hyper-active bundles of energy.  This morning I noticed the nectar level had dropped about a half an inch.  And this afternoon I was sitting on the deck and I heard the distinctive sound...that whirl of wings...that always makes my heart skip a beat.  I had my camera ready, and I think this little guy is a Calliope.  If so, it is the first Calliope I've ever seen.  :)


They're back!!!!  Yea!

Easy #4

It's Sunday so it must be time for Kelly's "EASY - like Sunday Morning!"

Here's Kelly's question of the week.  She wants to know...

"Do you have a cell phone?  How many does  your family have?  How often do you use it/them?"  Boy, this time she sent us away like a bunch of over rambuncous kids getting on her nerves.  ;)

Yes, I do have a cell phone, and have had the same cell # for about five years.  Two years ago I upgraded to a newer phone, but of course that one is now out dated.  Oh well, it's not a high priority to me.  Everyone in the family has at least one cell phone.  I probably use mine the least, about five or ten minutes a month, so I have a very economical service plan; it costs me about $17 per month.