Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I thought I was OK with this...

Joyce became an officially licensed driver yesterday, and this morning was her first ever solo drive to school.

Truly, I thought it would all be just fine. She’s smart and dependable, mature and competent and she’s nobody’s fool. She’s capable and observant. She’s a good driver. She’s driving a very dependable vehicle. Good in ice and snow, even. I mean, I really, really thought I was way ready for this. Not that big of a deal. A-OK.

But I’ve been freaking out all day.

I want my baby girl back.

Oh crap.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The First Snow Never Sticks

Yesterday's rain created a big ol' slushy for the ground, which drank it right up. The wind is blowing and the sun is intermittently shining. The sky is gray – several beautiful shades of gray.

Our football team lost at the Dome yesterday, but it was awesome anyway. I know they wanted to win. I wanted them to win, too. But they didn’t... but they played at the Dome! It was a helluva good ride. The newspaper article quoted one of the players as saying, "next year’s season starts tomorrow, and we’ll be working hard." Those boys are driven.

It was really awesome to see our marching band at the Dome. They went on the field and played the national anthem, and then shared half-time with the other school’s marching band. We were so much better! Our band rocks.

During the game, though, the only band I could hear well was the other team’s band. Our band was seated down and over to our left, while the other band was almost directly across from us. Acoustics being what they were... I couldn’t really hear our band well at all.

All in all, I enjoyed all the previous games more than the Dome. Even though the significance of getting to the point of playing at the Dome is great, it was just not as much fun. Too many people and too loud. Our fan camaraderie was diluted by sheer space. Sitting outside in the cold and the rain, packed in bleachers, cheering and screaming all together, singing with the band, being led in cheers by cheerleaders we could actually see and hear, watching the mud fly... now that's high school football.

Today is de-decorate Thanksgiving and go get the Christmas tree day. Yippee!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

It’s a Hot Day!

With snow!

Today we’re heading to the Dome to see our high school varsity football team play for the State title. This is a big deal, and I mean a BIG DEAL. Our school has never made it this far before. We’re a smaller school, so this is a huge accomplishment. (And the best part is that most of our key players are juniors, so next year will be great, too!)

The team we’re playing against has gone often and won often. It’ll be a fight, that’s for sure. But like our brand new t-shirts say, “The road to success... is heart!”

And we get to see our daughter, and nephew, in the marching band at the Dome. Wow. Got the camcorder batteries all charged up!

p.s. The snow is disappearing with rain this morning :-(

Sam’s basketball team was in the Turkey Classic tournament yesterday, held at our high school. It was supposed to be held on Saturday, but since we’re goin’ to the Dome, they switched the schedule around to play Friday. Since we had made plans to have Thanksgiving with friends on Friday, it caused a potential dilemma. Sam so wanted to go to that, but he also wanted to play ball with his team. The team commitment had to win out. So... I had thought of a plan to call the mom of a boy that Sam really likes (teammate) and see if they could take care of Sam during the tournament. And Wednesday evening just after I got home, she called me! They were inviting Sam to go home with them after the last game on Friday, spend the night and ride down to the football game with them. Of course, Sam was totally thrilled. The mom was A-OK with taking Sam all day, too, and it worked out perfectly! And we got to see Sam play in the last game for his team yesterday evening.

Thanksgiving with our friends was with Nathan and his mom & dad, Mary Anne and Jesse. Nathan’s older brother and his fiancĂ© were there, too. Dinner was excellent, and I’m not just talking about the food. Mary Anne has a way of making you feel totally comfortable and welcome. Their home is beautiful and very large, but it’s warm and inviting, and somehow cozy. Calling such a big home cozy would be strange, but that’s Mary Anne’s doing. We really enjoyed the time with them. I’m real happy that Joycie and Nathan connected in that drivers training class...

Nathan gave Joyce a beautiful bracelet with her name engraved on it for her birthday. He wrapped it in this huge box in gold wrapping paper. Then there was a medium box in blue wrapping paper, and then a smaller box in pink paper, and then the black velvet box with the bracelet in it. It was quite an event. We haven’t seen the ol’ box-in-a-box-in-a-box routine in years, so it was unexpected and pretty darn fun. I know Joycie was wondering what in the heck was in that big box, as was I! Too cool.

Well, Joyce is making way too much noise with her new PS2 and DDR, so that’s it for me.

We’re goin’ to the Dome!!!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Happy Birthday, Joycie!

Today our daughter turns into a 16-year-old. A milestone birthday if ever there was one. She Can Now Obtain a Driver's License.

I'm ready for it, really. And I know she is.

It's just that last weekend in our town a 16-year-old girl driving a car with her 15-year-old boyfriend made a 2-second fatal mistake -- she drove through a blinking red light on a busy road at about 10 pm. A large truck had a blinking yellow and, appropriately not stopping, hit them at the intersection. The boy died and she survived with little physical damage. Psychological damage is a whole 'nother story, I'm certain.

That's what is occasionally freaking me out. Just a couple of seconds of inattention and a life can be lost and those left will hurt deeply. And it's not just that I worry that Joyce, or Nathan, will be the inattentive ones, but ANYONE driving where they, or we, are driving... I mean, defensive driving only goes so far.

And then with the snowfall on Wednesday... it was coming down fast, and it was slushy and icy, and driving was a bitch. Around town, traffic was backed up all over the place, and I saw the aftermath of 2 fenderbenders. Driving home on the highway was ok, but it was slick. Other drivers were driving too fast for the conditions, and I hate that. So I think of Joyce driving in that and I hate that, too. Her dad declared that when it's nasty conditions for driving she wouldn't be driving to school that day. Yeah, that's fine, except when you wake up to a beautiful, sunny, clear day and then by the time you are driving home, it's a minor blizzard. That always happens in winter here. So she just has to know how to handle it. And how to be prepared for all the idiots that risk life and limb to prove their truck (or SUV) can handle anything at any speed. Ugh.

ANYWAY, today my baby girl is 16. Where'd the time go??! She's around 5' 10" and so tops me by about 8". I look up to her in more ways than one. She's awesome. I'm so proud of her. She's so smart and has a wonderful sense of humor. She's so creative and talented in so many areas. Sports, guitar, writing (she had me read an assignment project she put together on Huck Finn, and it blew me away, it was so good, so unique and wonderful, I mean really good). She's so capable and dependable. I can see the fine woman she's becoming. She'll be way better than me. I love my girl so much.

Happy Birthday, Joycie girl, my pumpkin-pie-o!

It's Thanksgiving in Winter!

On Tuesday I was going out and about with just a sweater. On Wednesday it started snowing. The heavy, thick wet snow that really sticks and makes a great snowman. We got hit! YES! I love snow.

We wake up Thanksgiving morning to being blanketed with snow. Every twig and branch and last stubborn leaf is coated. It was a beautiful morning. And since one of my sisters made the turkey for today, I got up in the daylight. YES! The view out of our bathroom windows faces East and our pond, and with the sun coming up with all the snow framing the pond, and the pond looking so dark in contrast to the snow... well, it was just too dang beautiful.

All I had to make this year for Thanksgiving dinner was mashed potatoes and corn. I have a potato peeler thing, but you still have to do a lot of "clean up" on the 'taters. I think I peeled and cooked more potatoes yesterday than I have in the past year. But, man were they good. I also use a "secret recipe" for corn.

Corn is important in my family. Growing up and well into adulthood, we used to grow tons of it in my folks' garden, then we'd pick it, husk it, clean it, blanche it, cool it in ice water, cut the corn off the cob with an electric knife, scrape all the good juicy stuff off the cob into the corn, pack it and freeze it. Pull it out on a winter's day and it's summer in your mouth. So, here we are in the 21st century and no one has time to grow a garden lately, and my mom and dad are old enough now not to care too much about it. It's kinda sad, actually.

Anyway, can't be canned corn. Has to be frozen. But... regular bagged frozen corn is kinda cardboard-tasting-like. My secret recipe, where henceforth ain't so secret, is 1 large bag of frozen corn (any variety), 2 boxes of Green Giant white shoepeg corn in butter sauce, and 2 -- yes, 2 -- sticks of Real Butter. Dash or 2 of salt. Mic it til it's done, but not over. And viola! Corn. Worthy of eating.

Thanksgiving dinner yesterday was 19 at the table. Well, 2 tables, actually. We were missing 1 person only (my adult niece who is now doing "every-other-year" with her boyfriend/fiance). It was so nice. I'm thankful for my wonderful family.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

I Still Love My Car

but I just noticed it smells funny...

This past May, on an absolutely beautiful sunny day, I decided to go out on my lunch hour. Normally, I work through lunch, because I’m a sucker, that’s why. Driving along in my LeSabre, window down, it was just perfect to get a dose of fresh air and sunshine. Beats the heck outta my cramped and crowded cubicle. So, as I was at a dead stop in the street, about 5th in a line of vehicles waiting for the 1st car to make a left-hand turn, a Big GMC pickup with big ol’ dualies in the back and a Gigantic front grill failed to notice all of us there waiting until the very last minute, when it was, of course, Too Late.

I watched him driving up behind me, and he was definitely enjoying the beautiful Spring day, looking all around. To his left, mostly. I screamed at him to LOOK UP, but alas, he didn’t hear me.

Since I always make a habit of stopping well behind the vehicle in front of me (I stop so that I can clearly see all of their tires on the pavement and then a little some), the damage to the front of my lovely LeSabre was minimal. Its ass-end, however, took a beating.

The pickup truck driver was very nice and apologetic. Just a moment of inattention. Hey, we’ve all been there. I was nice back. The older gal driving the Lincoln in front of me was quite nice, as well. Turns out, she and the pickup truck driver’s mother were acquaintances (everyone knows everyone in my town, or knows someone close to everyone, it’s like only 2 degrees of separation, max). So the 3 of us chatted until the cops showed up. And, yep, the cops were real nice, too. Of course, it helped that no one was seriously injured. (I’m sure my reaction would have been much different should my kids have been in my car.)

Anyway, over $6,000 damage to the ol’ LeSabre. Took 3 weeks to get it fixed, and insurance covered all of the cost. The car looked great when we got it back. Though, of course, it’s just not the same. There are a few little squeaks and whistles where none previously existed. Since May, we’ve not only learned to live with them, we’ve forgotten about them.

But... this past Wednesday, I suddenly realized that my car stinks and that it has been stinking for about 4 months. It has a faintly musty odor. In the past 4 months, on occasion, I’ve searched my car for left-over odor causing items. Initially, I did find a food item under the passenger seat, and I thought it was the source. Though, now I think about it, the food was dry as a board. Dried up food doesn’t generally smell, it’s the juicy, molding stuff that stinks. Another time, my son left clothes in there from football, all sweaty and stinky. So, anyway, I just realized, hey, my car STINKS and it’s been stinking steadily for several weeks. Then I took a box out of my trunk. This cardboard box was sitting on top of a blanket that was thrown into my trunk in a careless manner, not folded up all nice and neat. The blanket and the bottom of the box were both damp. My whole trunk is damp. And smelly. I don’t know how I didn’t notice this before. I must always be in a helluva hurry when using my trunk. I truly wish I had noticed this earlier. Actually, I wish I would have tested the trunk out for leaks when I picked it up. Doncha just love hindsight.

So now I have an appointment to take my car back to the body shop. But I don’t have much hope for a complete recovery. I’ll probably have to drive a stinking car around now for years. Albeit a very comfortable stinky car.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

UPS, aka UP yourS

We’re giving Joyce a new computer for her upcoming birthday – that is, we’re buying all the parts... her extremely talented boyfriend is building it for us. Everything’s been ordered, so yesterday began the first of many expected deliveries.

Yesterday’s 2 boxes were delivered by USPS, and our regular postman, Dan, must have been off for the day. Both boxes were left on the cement in front of our garage entrance door, & Dan would never do that. And, yes, it rained. Just a little. Like, Box No. 3 from USPS today, Dan always gives our boxes to my folks, because he knows all of us and he knows we’re not home, my folks are & that we go there everyday to pick up the kiddos. Dan the postman is great!

So last night I typed up this beautiful note and put it in a plastic sheet protector and actually taped it to my garage entry door. It reads, “Please place all packages on the front porch, out of weather. Thanks!” Since it’s a big, white sign on a dark brown door, you can’t miss it. And since it’s an attached garage, the front porch is, uh... right there next to the garage.

Obviously, the FedEx delivery person is a professional, because he or she left today’s box from FedEx on the front porch.

We also got a 2nd box delivered to us by UPS... so why was that box not on my porch??? Hmm... Because the UPS person can’t read? Because the UPS person was in such a hurry, he or she didn’t have the extra 14.7 seconds it would take to walk to and from the front porch? Because the UPS person was afraid of my cat on the porch? Hmm... Why, oh why?

I’m guessing the UPS person is a jerk, that’s why. Because only a jerk would leave a box on the damp cement on the ground with all the bugs on such a rainy day as today, sitting it directly under that sign posted on my door. It was the monitor, as it clearly showed on the box, and the dumbass UPS person didn’t even leave the box right side up, but rather on its side on the damp cement with all the bugs.

Apparently, that’s the UPS delivery equivalent of giving me, and my sign, the finger.

Well, well.

On a happier note, the 5 boxes now sitting on our dining room table look so... exciting and fun! Can't wait to see all the boxes together and then to open 'em all up!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Buck Naked

I remember when I was a kid, the state highway into town was one lane heading East and one lane heading West. That was it, 2 lanes. Now, it’s 2 lanes in each direction plus a turn lane in the middle. Construction to enlarge this road started about 20 years ago or so, I guess. I also remember that when I was a kid there were no billboards on that road, so now, of course, there are several. I guess it doesn’t really matter to me. It’s not like these billboards are blocking any nice view or anything. And sometimes the billboards are very entertaining.

For the past year or so, this local communications company has been putting up signs with this great marketing spiel. They find local people who have the same names as celebrities, put their photo up on the billboard with them holding a cell phone with the slogan, e.g., “Jennifer Lopez and Baycom Nextel” & “Stephen King and Baycom Nextel” & even “Harry Potter and Baycom Nextel”. I tell you, it’s truly a stroke of marketing genius. Everyone I’ve talked with about those billboards gets a big kick out of them.

I have to explain a little bit about something before I tell you my about my favorite Baycom billboard. In our neck of the woods, Nov. 15th is a Big Day. It’s the opening day of whitetail rifle hunting season. Deer hunting is not only a huge tradition ’round here, it’s Big Business. Our school district even takes that day off, and it’s assuredly a wise financial decision – they’d have to pay too many subs to cover teachers, staff and even bus drivers, all to keep school open on a day when half the student body would be absent.

So the newest Baycom billboard, and my favorite thus far, is a photo of a nice, big buck, probably a 12-point at least. Shoulders up, not a whole body shot. Beautiful. With the words, “Buck Naked and Baycom Nextel”.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Where To Buy a Really Good Bottle of Wine

We live in a good sized town, probably about 40,000 people in the city, and double that for the whole county. The thing about our town is that it's pretty normal, but we do have probably more than our fair share of well-to-do folks. We have people in our town that have come from all over the globe, so there's quite a variety of people. There's a lot of lamenting about the lack of certain entertainment and dining options (oh, boo hoo hoo, bye the way), but I've not heard any complaints about not being able to find a really good bottle of wine... Where to go in our town? The best place to purchase your high end wines is Eastman Party Store. Sounds like a name for a joint where you'd pick up Fritos and a bottle of Boone's Farm, and for years, it kind of looked that way from the outside, too. (But they've had a very nice facelift recently.) Actually, I think it used to just be a normal party store, but then the owner, or maybe it was the new owner, had a thing for wines. And the rest is history. You can keep your Chambers Street Wine and your Gotham Wines & Liquors and your Madison Avenue Liquors Inc... we'll keep our Eastman Party Store.


First Piano Lesson Day

Today my son had his first piano lesson. We’ve been trying to find a teacher for him for almost 3 years. Everyone we contacted was either a kook or really good and thus booked solid. That combined with our desire to have the weekly lesson on a day and time that was remotely convenient left us with no piano lessons for Sam. My nephew’s teacher, who is, I’m guessing, an excellent teacher (because my nephew plays so well), could possibly have fit Sam into his schedule, but the guy has such a strong British accent… and it’s strange, it’s so strong that his side of the conversation is mostly unintelligible. (And he’s lived in the States for years and years… and he ain’t all that old.) Sam just couldn’t deal with that. Last weekend, we got a phone call from Jim, the person we’ve been wanting Sam to take lessons from for almost 3 years. Jim’s Saturday 2 pm student has quit piano. YIPPEE! 2 pm on Saturdays is perfect.

Jim teaches piano and percussion, and it’s what he does for a living. His music studio is the upper floor of a store on our town’s main street. It’s a really old building, but one of those buildings that was well built. Lots of character. Beautiful woodwork, beautiful big wooden interior doors, the kind with the transoms above the door, and with brass hardware and ivory porcelain door handles. Gorgeous. A really cool place to go and have a piano lesson. Sam is so happy. He’s downstairs now practicing. I’m loving this.

Changeling Clouds

Earlier today on the way home from town from Sam’s basketball game, the air was crisp and cold and the sky was blue, blue, blue. The sun was faintly surrounded by clouds, those wispy strips of clouds, but like a big sheet of it, so it filtered the sunlight. There was only one other cloud in the sky, and it was a small cloud. Sam & I determined it looked most like a dragon flying with its mouth open, going after something… because there was a tiny piece of that cloud kind of hanging beneath it, almost not attached. Then right away, the tiny cloud started to get bigger and bigger, like it was eating the cloud above it. That original cloud was gone, leaving only the newer, now-big cloud. And then it looked like a horse with a rider on it. And then there was a little tiny small tail that developed beneath the new cloud. And… it started to grow and grow, while the horse and rider disappeared. It was strange and awesome. Then after the 2nd cloud was gone, the new 3rd cloud grew a little tail beneath it, and… it ate the bigger cloud! Then, yep!, it grew a tail…. This happened over and over, and actually each transition was very quick, and then we drove too far away from it to see it.

Dress Up, Part 2

Joyce and Nathan are at Nathan’s school’s Fall Formal Dance tonight. Joycie got an up-do earlier, and with her very intricate up-do and her lovely cranberry wispy dress, with 3 beaded and sequined oh-so-subtle butterflies on it, she just looked so very beautiful. She’s so tall and slender, and she carries herself so well. We bought clip-on “pearl” earrings for her (she still doesn’t want her ears pierced!), and she wore those with her pearl necklace – real pearls, and when you put those next to the costume jewelry, you can really tell the difference. They glow. She looked so elegant. So very beautiful. And Nathan looked wonderfully handsome in his black suit. He was wearing a tie of Kev’s that I bought for Kev years ago – it’s a pattern of oak leaves, but the background is cranberry like Joycie’s dress color, so I had asked him if he wanted to wear it. He really liked the tie. This tie is my most favorite tie ever. The leaves are all different colors, and it’s gorgeous. It’s a great tie. Probably 12 years ago or so, I saw it in a local men’s store and totally wanted it for Kev, but then I saw the price. It took me 3 or 4 days, and then I caved and went and bought it. I think it’s so cool that Nathan liked it and that he’s got it on tonight. They sure made a beautiful couple.

End of One Season...

Our daughter had her last basketball game of the season Thursday evening. Her dad observed often throughout the game that it could very likely be the last game of high school basketball that we were to see her play. Since she’s been playing for quite a few years, on one hand it seemed rather a sad thought. But actually, if it was her last game, I am mostly glad. This year, I watched as basketball changed for Joyce – I don't think she has had fun with it for a while now, not like earlier in the season. In my opinion, it's because of the JV and the Varsity coaches – I feel like they've changed, and not, as I see it, for the better. Maybe they haven't, but it seems to me like they have. Basically, I think they are concentrating so much on winning, that they are not regarding the players as actual people with real feelings, particularly actual teenage girls with all that entails. I think they’re often too mean*. Frankly, I am hoping Joycie doesn't want to play basketball next year. I'm trying not to let her know that's how I feel, because I do want her to decide for herself. But I think it's just too much. The 2 coaches want only players who Live And Breathe Basketball, and I don't want that for Joyce. Maybe that's what it takes to play any HS sport, I don't know. Regardless, Joyce just isn't that overwhelmingly passionate about basketball. She really enjoys it and she’s a good, strong player, but apparently that's not enough.

It’ll be interesting to see how many girls try out for basketball next year. This year the word was that they had trouble getting enough girls… I was so surprised. Now, I’m not.

Instead of basketball, Joyce has told me she is considering playing indoor soccer with 2 of her friends – I would love that. She’d still get tons of exercise, the fun of playing with a team, and – here’s the clincher – I think it would do a hell of lot more for her self-esteem than playing in the basketball program we currently have.

Anyway, volleyball is next. Yay!

*Here’s an example of what I would call mean coaching behavior – one of the sophomores on the Varsity team, who was always one of the best players and who was on the JV team as a Freshman (which is a biggish deal because most of the Freshmen were on the Freshman team), and who was called up to the Varsity team mid-way through the year (also kind of a big deal), and who was on the Varsity since the beginning of this season, for whatever reason, didn’t get a lot of playing time. She’s still an excellent player, but the Varsity coach announced at practice, with no warning, that this player was going back down the JV and that one of the Freshmen currently on the JV team was being moved up to Varsity. This was at the beginning of a Saturday practice. The Freshman girl had warning, because she was there to practice with the Varsity team. The coach then told the girl being moved down that she didn’t need to practice with them that day (only Varsity practices over the weekend). Only thing was, since this girl is too young to drive, her dad had dropped her off and she had to wait until the end of practice time to be picked up by her mom, so she spent the time alone in the locker room, basically crying. She was publicly humiliated, and the coach didn’t even get it. He is such an ass.

Further, this girl has already been experiencing some self-esteem problems, I believe, because she wasn’t getting what she thought was enough playing time last year and this year. At least I suspect that's part of it, probably a lot more to the story. Anyway, I heard not getting to play was really bothering her (she’s one of those girls that live and breathe basketball, playing year-round, traveling teams, etc). Turns out, she’s bulimic. The general feeling is that this last hit by the Varsity coach really was a low blow for this girl and basically sent her over the edge. To her credit, she really played hard on the few JV games she was at, but “due to health reasons” she had to quit before the end of the season. With just a bit more caring & consideration by that coach, I believe this poor girl may have behaved differently. She put way too much stock into the opinion of one very large asshole.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Well, Maybe

Thursday afternoon Kev and I met at the school and picked up Sam and 6 of his friends to go to Sam's much-looked-forward-to Bowling Birthday Party. Kev took Sam & Cody and 1 of the girls, and I took the other 4 girls in my car. They are all 4th graders and all 10 years old or around 10. Halfway to the bowling alley, I think the girls actually forgot I was in the car.

The conversation was all about who liked who, who was nice, who wasn't, who didn't like who, who liked who last year.

"You like MATT!" ...followed by laughing/screaming/screeching

"Oh My Goodness, NO I DON'T! I wouldn't touch him if he was the last one on God's Green Planet, not if he were the last one alive in carnation. Well, maybe I'd touch him if I had on plastic gloves. Those really thick ones." ...more laughing/screaming/screeching

Hey, I know the boy they were talking about, and I wouldn't touch him either.

And then on to talking about other girls:

"She is SO annoying. Any little thing happens and she cries. Yesterday she forgot her SHOES and she CRIED. What a baby."

"Oh, but she's new. She doesn't know anybody. It must be hard for her. I feel bad for her when she cries."

Guess which little girl in that conversation that I like the most??!! But, guess which one I can relate to the most??!!

It was very enlightening. And the bowling birthday party was So Much Fun.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Another Cat

Looks like we have another cat. This one has been hanging around for the past couple of months. Very elusive. I tried to get close to it several times, but he wouldn't let me... until last Saturday evening. It was dark and I was very patient, calling and calling to him and he finally let me pick him up. It was like flipping a switch. One second, wild cat; next, my cat. He's a dark tiger coat, and definitely a he. (We'll have to get those 2 little things taken care of soon...) Turns out, he's very affectionate. And he has really big feet. I can't even guess his age, but I wouldn't call him a kitten... maybe he has yet to grow into his feet. Actually, he is about the same size as N.C., our orange cat that showed up this past May. N.C. and Henry, as we've named him, have similar markings, just different colors. It has made me wonder if they're related... possibly dropped off at the same time, just that N.C. adopted us more quickly than Henry decided to do.

He's Henry because we love that Herman’s Hermits song – it’s a favorite to belt out when we’re in the car on the road. Because these are the cats I’ve had:
1. Taffy – a wonderful Siamese mix, best cat ever, and I still miss her
2. Sabertooth, aka Sabbie – a small orange and white sweetie, one of 2 barn cats that loved to lay on top of my horses, all warm and comfy, and sleep, and I still miss her, too (& I miss my 2 horses, too)
3. Elfie – the other barn cat, a light-gray Persian mix who was like an ethereal being, long, long hair, strange eyes, and such an intelligent look, another cat I miss,
4. Nasty Maine Coon Cat – whose name I can’t recall, who drove off Sabbie for a time and picked on Elfie no end, definitely a cat that should live with no other cats, so I gave her to a friend of my sister’s, and good riddance
5. Cornelia, aka Corny – a small beautiful kitty that we should have named Cybil, what a psycho… attack-cat and my 4-year-old daughter just didn’t mix, so….
6. Francine, aka Frankie – our gray cat, getting on in age, one of the least affectionate cats ever, but still a sweetheart (and a good mouser in her younger years), and
7. N.C., or as Sam likes to spell it, Ensie, but it stands for New Cat, and he’s a doll, and one of the best mousers, chipmunk/mole hunters ever,
which brings me to:
8. Henry, because he’s Henry the 8th he is! Henry the 8th, he is, he is!!!!!

Now if he’ll just quit fighting with the other 2 cats all the time instead of just some of the time, life on the front porch would be oh so serene, as well as totally mouse-free.

p.s. People who drop off cats and dogs, including kittens and puppies, out on country roads just because they don't want them anymore really suck. Just once, I'd like to catch one of those assholes in the act, and when I catch them, I'd like to have with me a heavy stick of oak or other hardwood, such as a bat.

I Love My Car

I have a relatively new Le Sabre. It is one of the most comfortable cars I’ve ever owned, and in my 40+ years of life, I’ve actually owned several different vehicles. Also, I had a Le Sabre about 5 years ago, and I loved that car, too. Drove it for years to almost 200,000 miles. I was recently driving a small SUV which is a cute, red, sporty little thing that handles well in ice & snow… but it’s not comfortable. I bought the SUV from a friend of mine who buys and sells cars, so I asked her to look for a newish Le Sabre for me. I had given her a list of criteria, and lo and behold, the exact car I wanted was at one of the very next auctions she went to and she picked it up for a song. Just one of those lucky days. And I love this car.

After we got it, my kids started to notice more Le Sabres on the road than they had previously noticed. It’s always that way, y’know. Once you get a vehicle, you begin to notice the others like it... it isn’t as if there are suddenly more of them on the roads, just you notice them more. But the most interesting thing about all the Le Sabres we were now noticing is that most of them were being driven by people whose hair was one of 2 colors: gray or white. Seriously. We even began keeping a “Le Sabre Log” with a column for old drivers and a column for younger drivers. Many, many more checks on the old side. About 4:1. (And of the younger drivers, my guess is that many of them were borrowing their parent’s car.)

This only further reinforced my theory that the Le Sabre is one of the most dependable & comfortable of all the affordable cars. That’s why old people like ’em.

Apparently, handicapped folks like ’em, too. This morning after I dropped my birthday boy off at school, I went into the grocery store to pick up his birthday cake at the bakery. Since it was early, I parked in one of the closest parking spots near the entrance, one of the spots right next to the group of handicap parking spaces. My car was kind of alone in with a group of 5 handicap cars. Of those 5 cars, 4 of them were Le Sabres, & of those, 2 were the exact same color as mine.

Oh, yeah!

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Today is my son’s 10th Birthday!!!!!!!!!!

I drove Sam to school today, which is a special treat because he usually takes the bus & I’m usually at work while he’s riding it. Sam & his 48 cupcakes. He can’t take in a treat just for his class, he must also give cupcakes to the school secretary, principal, janitor, art teacher, gym teacher, bus driver, last year’s teacher, etc etc. He’s such a sweetie.

First, though, we dropped his sister off at the high school, and then we went into town for a bagel for breakfast. A chocolate chip bagel with chocolate chip cream cheese. A nice way to start a new-double-digit-age. Then on the way to school, I told Sam that at this time 10 years ago, I was in the hospital screaming, and then I stopped screaming & said, “ok, I’m ready for the drugs now,” and then the nurse said, “it’s too late, dear, the baby’s head is nearly crowning.” For some reason, Sam thought that was hilarious. And whoever said that a woman forgets the pain of childbirth never gave birth to a big-headed baby.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Not What You Wanna Hear From The Official

Overhead last night at the township hall: It was like half my brain took a vacation, then the other half went off to look for it, and then it took a while for them both to come back!