Saturday, December 27, 2008

A lull

We dined with family on Christmas Eve at K and S's. Christmas day I managed to prepare a really good "fake" crown of pork roast. The local grocery didn't have the correct pork loin to make the real thing, but the fake one was really quite good.

Yesterday I ventured out to the local pharmacy to buy a container for some cookies to give MIL. We are going to have to go to the Capitol City on our way to the SSB. Her birthday is the 29th, but it was decided that tomorrow would be a better time to get together. I found a little container that resembles Chinese take out. I would give her more of the cookies Lady Bug and I baked, but she is not appreciative anyway. So, . . .

We were going to the SSB today, but since it will just be G and me (well Simone too), we will save some driving and just go tomorrow. That means I will not be around here for about a week. The dial up just doesn't cut it,

I considered taking my big sewing/embroidery machine, but it is so heavy.Taking it also means taking a lot of associated things - like fabric. I think I will be able to find enough to keep me busy though.

Hope the rest of your holidays are great. See you around the 6th.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

That's done

Our marathon of cookie making has ended with only two sets of clothing and one chair being the only sacrifices.

LB manned two pastry bags yesterday to decorate her sugar cookies. I decided that ordinary liquid food coloring was not sufficient for coloring icing. So I bought the jell type. Boy that stuff is strong.

We set about making the sugar cookies yesterday morning. I mixed the batch and located the various cookie cutters. The problem was that LB is a little slow in choosing the cutters. The dough was very buttery rich. Add slow choosing and butter rich and you get dough that is not as easily handled as it could be. She also wanted to put the cookie cutter in the very middle of the dough. I tried to explain how to place the cutters to utilize the one rolling as much as possible. That was a concept that seemed to elude her. The dough made several trips to the freezer between rollings.

We got the cookies into the oven. The first ones almost burned to a crisp. The recipe called for a 400 degree oven for ten minutes. Whoa - too high and too long. We got the temperature lowered and all the cookies baked off.

By that time it was lunch time. I took her to our favorite Tex-Mex fast food place. I was lingering over the last of the nachos, when she announced that she was finished and ready to decorate the cookies.

I stalled as long as possible, then began tinting the frosting. Taking a tip from Sandra Lee and Semi-homemade, I had bought prepared frosting. I put some into two mixing bowls and tinted one a deep green and the other a fairly deep red. I left some uncolored explaining that this could be the "base frosting" on the cookies. That idea was quickly discarded.

I loaded two pastry bags with the tinted frostings. I showed her how to twist the bags and where to push. She immediately grabbed one in the middle and squeezed. We went over how to do it again, and she was really good. I, foolishly, left her to her own devices. This was her thing.

After a bit, she told me she was out of red icing. I came in and the pastry bags were extruding icing from the filling end. I was clearly reminded that her 8th birthday is next month! This was clearly something that required more supervision.

It all ended fairly well. I realized that I had red icing on my shirt. When I was going to clean up the bags, there was so much icing left in them that my hands were surprisingly red. Clearly the red coloring is much stronger. She had red and green on her shirt, and some red on her jeans.

All in all, the cookies are cute, and she is proud. She made three rocking horse cookies for Doodle Bug since DB is getting a rocking horse for Christmas. When I told her mother she was thinking of DB, her mother was touched. She asked if LB remembered Monkey Boy with dedicated cookies, I said no. When I told LB that, she said he could have the bells because he is a "ding-dong."

She was with me for 24 hours, and she wanted to stay longer. I felt she really needed to go home, so she went. It was fun though. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful granddaughter.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ended up busy

Yesterday, I thought LB had changed her mind about coming to bake cookies. I had all but given up when the phone rang, and a little voice said "Grandma, can I come to your house?" What a question! Of course.

It seems the excuse her dad gave was Doodle Bug fell asleep on him and he couldn't move. Now they got back from breakfast with his loser friend about 9:30. LB called at 2. I know DB doesn't sleep that long.

Anyway, I had already made a couple of simple batches of cookies. So when she got here, we made three more things. During the afternoon, she said she would like to sleep over. So that's what she did. She knew she didn't have to depend on her parents to get here this morning. Of course, she is still asleep, but that's OK.

We were going to make the marshmallow/corn flake wreaths. She couldn't wait. About half way through, she was sorry we did that particular treat. Her mom remembers us making them during her childhood. I don't and am really surprised that I don't. I just hope I remember what a mess they are the next time I get a wild hair.

Today we make the sugar cookies and decorate them. I know as soon as her eyes open, that will be the first thing on her mind. I need to set about finding the cookie cutters and assorted things.

I didn't get pictures yesterday of the gifts. I will try to get them sometime before Christman Day.

She's up - so it's off the make the cookies.


Monday, December 22, 2008

I've been very good, Santa

Yes, I've been a very good little elf! I have been embroidering and sewing my little fingers to the bone for the past couple of days. I made Lady Bug a pink apron with little cupcakes embroidered on it to go with her little cupcake maker that Santa is bringing her. Then I set about making insulated bread basket liners for daughter and daughter in law.

As for LB's apron, I will never, ever make that pattern again. It is cute, no doubt about that, but I didn't realize how significant the 1/4 inch binding was to that pattern. It was supposed to be everywhere. I tbought it was just trim. Nope it practically held the thing together.

My problem with that binding is that no matter how meticulously I tried to make sure the fabric was caught, there would be places it didn't catch. I would go back, rip out that seam, try again, and by golly, it still didn't catch. I almost wore out one of the pockets because I ripped that seam out so many times. Finally I decided that I could spend the remainder of my life on that apron if I continued to put the binding on all the seams. I just went about constructing the apron pretty much as I know how to make garments. Besides, it is a kid's apron. It won't be worn that much and won't be inspected that closely.

The bread basket liners really turned out rather cute. All I had was instructions that I downloaded from the internet. I had to make the pattern and all. My craft room has precious few flat surfaces that don't have some type of implement on them. Being basically lazy, I tried to make the pattern pieces I needed as I went in just inches of space. Let's just say that some of the pattern pieces I drew were a tad skewed. My liners don't look like the picture that much, but they are rather cute, and I'm thinking of making myself one. They only took the afternoon yesterday - about 6 hours for the two of them. Comparing to the apron - about the same time. I felt a lot more productive with the liners!!

Today and probably tomorrow, LB and I will be making cookies. I hope she has more patience this year because we are not doing the slice and bake. I have told her we will be making them from scratch, and I have chosen about 8 recipes. I also told her last night that I would be teaching her how to measure the ingredients, and how to put them in the mixer. She will be taking a more active part. We'll see how that goes. I'm not holding out much hope, but you never know. She is almost 8, and she should be able to handle what I am going to give her.

I will try to get picture of the sewn goods to post. It is too late today. I don't want LB to see them, and she will be here before too much longer.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Life in the little towns

I was visiting over at Rana's place this morning. She was posting about errands and visiting. She was remembering how when she would run errands in Little Town, the errands would take such a long time because you simply had to visit with folks.

I completely understand this. When we go into town when we are at the SSB, we also end up visiting with everyone. It is so amazing because we didn't grow up there unlike Rana. We are relative newcomers even though G's mother grew up there. We don't face the scrutiny a lot of new faces get because we have roots there. But even so, these people are warm and accepting of everyone - even those foreigners who didn't grow up there.

When we first would go to that area, we didn't have our own house. Far from it. At that time, we didn't have the land. It was still one large parcel. We would go - G would go out hunting twice a day. I didn't think it was safe for me to take the vehicle and make the 45 minute trip to town with him out. That only left mid-day. That didn't work either. Most of the city closes and rolls up the sidewalks at noon.

So I would sit, huddled in the house with one television channel, either grading papers (which were the bane of my existence) or working on some craft project or another. All this while, trying to appease bored children. It was just so much fun. It's no wonder that I finally decided that I really didn't like being there.

Add to this was the fact that we stayed in MIL's house. She is definitely OCD. Everything had to be absolutely perfect, and she certainly deemed me far from perfect. So I would work myself silly trying to keep things even better than when we arrived.

To say we didn't know anyone is an understatement. Now the place is surrounded by relatives, but at that time, there was only one who lived out there on a full time basis. To get to Ruby's house, you had to follow what was euphamistically called a road. It actually was a game trail that followed a dry creek. How in the world this older woman traversed that trail even once a month was asurprise to me, but I know she was on it at least once a week - to church!

We ventured down to Ruby's once. That was enough for me. I was clearly surprised we made it there and back. Now the road has been moved so that it is out of the creek bed. That was probably partially due to the fact that her grandson started a "hunting lodge" which is being generous. But he did have hunters frequenting the place.

Now there are four sets of full timers living there. We visit with them regularly when we are there. We are members of the communty club. We go into town often. We even venture over to the other wide spot in the road (which is larger in actuality than the one closest) much more often. We go to that church when we can, and it has a store that we frequent for corn and their delicious hamburgers!

I never thought I would feel so comfortable up there. The comfort level grows with each visit we make. Being around relatives - both close and distant - is a wonderful thing. It is such a contrast to living here in Swampland.

So now we are planning a New Year's Eve with our true friends at the SSB. Hope yours will be good too.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

The time has come

For the last two years, I've found excuses, one after another, for not getting rid of the clutter in my house. I could still come up with two very good ones, but the time has come to pay the piper. I am having a guy come out to measure for those new blinds.

Usually, I just don't have people come into my house. I find one excuse or another to get around that. Today, I'm sunk. He will have to move the couch to measure the windows. It hasn't been moved in two or more years. When the robot runs, it pushes more things behind it.

We have been trying to get an electrician out to run power to our little out building that was put in last year. During this time of year, we put our tender plants in it and call it a greenhouse. It doesn't happen often, but when the weather does get really cold and stays that way for a couple of days, the plants don't do well. We have to put a small heater in with them. It holds the temperature just above freezing and saves them.

The electrician finally came out today. I had asked for a plug on the back of the house so that we could have the fountain plugged into an outlet instead of using an extension cord. So safe and so lovely, you know! He looked at the back of the house, and then suggested coming from inside.

I paled at that idea. Going into my bedroom! Gads. It is a total wreck. Fortunately there is no plug on that outer wall, and when he suggested coming from the attic, I knew that was not going to be worth the money.

My problem is very simple. I hate housework. I can always find something that is so much more fun to do. I keep thinking the solution would be to get the house in shape, then have someone come in at least once a month to do the heavy stuff. That is getting to be a problem too. Ah yet another perk for getting older.

Perhaps some day I will get things done. As for now I need to tackle the Christmas tree who sits there without a single ornament on it because it decided that it would be fun not to light this year. I'm still trying to fix that. Guess the cleaning will have to wait for another day.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I don't know if I still have chemo brain, menopause brain, anesthesia brain or if I'm just flat old, and becoming demented. Apparently I can't read a calendar anymore! I know that when you age, time flies but this is getting ridiculous.

I am fully aware of the fact that today is December 17. My daughter's birthday is tomorrow. I know, at least intellectually, that her birthday is one week before Christmas. I usually try to get all my shopping done way before this, but here I sit with the realization that I still have three gifts to buy. I don't have presents for daughter, son in law, and daughter in law. These are not easy ones either!! Now add the fact that I HATE to shop and I HATE crowds, I guess I'm in a world of hurt.

I seem to have this problem with the calendar all the time now though. For the most part, I pay my bills through direct payments - either drafts or hitting the credit card. I do have to pay the pool man directly though. His bill comes about the 15th and is due on the 1st. I think there is a big chunk of time there, and before I know it the bill is past due! I'm glad he is understanding.

So now I am here with the real need to get out to get this stuff done, but I am waiting for the electrician to call (again because he "forgot" last week, and G has decided that our Christmas present this year should be new blinds (and yes, we really need them).

I had thought I would make the girls bread baskets with embroidery inserts that have the insulated batting in them. I guess I could still do that, but there is still the problem of getting the baskets! I know what S would like, but I still have to go out to get them. He loves my silicon baking sheet liners, and I was going to get him some. Same problem. Should have been ordering way before this.

I ordered Lady Bug's gift last week. One item I ordered for myself (really the house) came yesterday. I really hope hers gets here - like soon. I wasn't going to do the internet thing this year because when we are out of town, I worry about the packages piled up on the porch. That happened last year - a lot.

I suppose the answer is to really use my daytimer. I have it to remind myself of doctor's appointments. I guess I should use it daily and put reminders in it of what need to be done.

Getting old is not for the weak. The problem is that I forget that I am getting old!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And it's not even winter yet

Ok, I spoke about the snow last week. They we returned to the normal balmy weather that is usual for this area.

We packed up to go to the SSB. A friend went with us. He needed to get away for a while, and G invited him to hunt. I think the separation was good for him and his wife. They had gone through a really rough time with his teenaged daughter from another marriage. It was really brutal.

Saturday the winds were about to blow us off the mountain. The hurricane here had nothing on those winds. Sunday the winds stopped for about 8 hours. Then they began again. The temperature reached 82 that afternoon.

We watched the news from the Capitol City. The weather was forecast to get cool. The temperature at 9:30 was predicted to be 42 in that city. That presents a unique problem to me with the thermostat at the house. The house holds heat very well. So sleeping required some cooling. But if it is going to get that cold, well that's another problem all together. I really have to watch the heat because it can become oppressive.

So we went to bed with me thinking I had turned the air conditioner off and just had the fan to the unit running. About 4 a.m., I realized that it was cold in the house. I got a flashlight and went to turn on the heat.

At 8, the house was boiling. But I didn't know what the temperature was outside. When I got up and looked at the thermometer, it was 28!!

We have a saying "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." There is truth to that - especially at the SSB.

I am sitting here in Swampland right now. Our low was only about 34, but it is past midday, and the temperature is 45. It has been overcast all day. I am sitting here freezing at this point. But all we have to do is wait. By Saturday, the temperature will be approaching 80 again.

I do wonder what the real winter holds for us though.


Thursday, December 11, 2008


That's the only way I can explain our weather this year. Of course, we Texans have a saying: "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." I'm sure that could apply to other states as well, but it really is true of Texas.

Our current situation began Tuesday with a wind shift. It was balmy and warm until about mid afternoon. Then the winds shifted, and how! They were blowing at about 30 mph. K told me she was putting out the recycling. Monkey Boy was with her. The winds suddenly shifted and began blowing. He had not witnessed our Texas Blue Northers before. She said his eyes got as wide as they would go. He couldn't figure out what was happening to him. His only words were "tornado."

With that wind came the cold. Yesterday it did not get above about 47 all day. Late in the afternoon, K called me and said that she could swear it was snowing. I looked out, and at first, I didn't see anything. Then the flakes got much larger and falling much faster.

Yep, Swampland had snow. That isn't a big deal in most of the country. Snow happens. But here on the gulf coast it is a rare phenomenon. Our last snow was Christmas Eve of 2004, and the one before that I don't remember. This is the earliest that I can remember, but then with menopausal brain, chemo brain, and anesthesia brain all rolled into my head, I don't remember much!

Snow around here is a disaster. It didn't really have an effect on last nights rush hour. It didn't stick. But this morning we woke to find that the areas more to the east got three inches. Then it got to sit on the overpasses all night - and freeze. The traffic accidents were frequent and many. We just don't deal with this well.

So, the score around here is weather - 2, people - 0. First we are hit with Ike. People are still recovering from that. The most severe damage was to, of course, the eastern parts. Where was the snow. Naturally. I am worried about some of those folks. As of two nights ago, there were many still living in TENTS! Living in a tent in 30 degree weather with snow! No way, but I guess they had to manage.

I really worry about what the rest of the winter. I think we will have more really abnormal, severe weather. And they say there is no climate change? Our rainy season hasn't been. We had a major hurricane. Now it looks like a real bear of a winter. Not weather as usual. Anyway . . .


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Searching the internet for items that are needed is really a great thing - if you can think of just how those things might be listed on said internet.

I really, really hate shopping. The older I get, and the worse my knees get, the more I hate shopping. There is a direct correlation there. I tend to do most of my shopping on line, and thus far, I have been lucky. I get what I want.

Sunday while we were hawking out wares, I bought a salt lamp from another vendor (see Monday, December 8). I brought my prize home. I didn't buy it for its reported health benefits. They are supposed to "delete negative ions" - a claim I can neither believe nor doubt. I plugged in my beautiful salt crystal. The thing weighs about seven pounds. I turned the switch, and nothing happened. Well.

So I assured G that I really didn't believe the vendor was out to cheat my, and I still don't. I didn't realize I had an information booklet with the lamp. It fell to the floor without me seeing it. I decided to write the company via email asking if I could buy another light fixture from them. This thing is only a night light bulb in a socket that fits into the crystal. They got right back to me. Their response was that I could find said fixture at any hardware store.

Hummm. That would mean that I would have to go to said store and try to find someone to help me. They suggested I take that part with me to match it. I didn't like that idea, so I turned to my browser. What do I put in? Finally, I decided that searching for "lamp making supplies" would be just the ticket. My dad used to make lamps. In the 70's big, tall lamps were all the rage. So he would take all sorts of things to stack to make lamps. He even drilled into glass vases.

That worked rather well, but when I would get into the site I had some trouble narrowing my search. I finally found the right site, found the right verbage, and ordered the right part (I hope!!). Now I sit and wait for the mail to bring me my socket to put into my beautiful salt crystal.

As for the health benefits - I'll let you know!


Tuesday, December 09, 2008


My father in law died a year ago yesterday. He was such a fine man. He was loving and fair to all the grandchildren. That statement carries an important thought. When my kids were growing up, their grandmother was not fair and loving to all the grandchildren. The girl cousins are three months apart and the boys are two weeks apart, so obviously, they are the same age.

She had her absolute favorite. That was K's cousin E. She looks like their aunt, who is grandma's baby girl. The second in the running was M. My kids were also rans. Holidays were spent in the Capitol City. The trips to Swampland were few and far between.

We all miss father in law greatly.

Mother in law stayed in the Alamo City until just before Thanksgiving. She did move into independent living, but she was alone in Alamo City. That was brought home to her big time when she was whisked to the emergency room. But more than that, she lamented that no one came to see her. Now by "no one" she was referring to us. The same ones that she never bothered to come to see, and were at the end of her favorites list.

She has moved to assisted living in the Capitol City now. We all said that we could visit more if she moved there. Well, it is still difficult. But G and I went by to see her the Monday after Thanksgiving. I didn't think it would have affected me. It did. Greatly.

As we were walking up to the door, there were about 10 rocking chairs clustered around the doorway for the smokers. It was the same where my dad was. My stomach lurched with the memory. I was so glad it was really chilly that day so we didn't have to walk the gauntlet of those old folks sitting, rocking and smoking.

When we went in to sign in, I was struck at just how much these assisted living places are all alike. Sure, this one is two floors with an elevator, but it was just like the one dad was in. When we stepped into the elevator, tears came to my eyes. I missed my dad so much then - as I really do much of the time.

I think from now on, G can go in to visit. I think I need to stay with Simone in the car.


Monday, December 08, 2008

I call it a success

We (K and I) did a craft show yesterday. I really thought we wouldn't sell a thing. With the economy as it is, people just aren't in to buying crafts. Since we live in this little city, we don't have to pay for a space so we would only be out the gasoline (perhaps a 20th of a gallon) and the exertion of setting up our tables and stuff.

Admittedly, we do live in an upper middle class area. Most people here aren't as strapped for cash as a lot of other people, but since Swampland's economy is based on oil and gas, it those prices keep dropping, people will begin to feel the pinch. Right now, we have been rather recession proof, but I'm not sure that will last. '

Anyway, we were really surprised. We did as well as anyone else, and far better than others. Some folks didn't sell a single item. Many closed up early, but we decided we weren't in any hurry. We did some business right at the end of the time.

We had fun though. People are so interesting to watch. Last weekend, we harvested some mistletoe at the SSB. Last year, K, Lady Bug and I tied it up with red and green ribbon that was so cute. We brought it all back home. Of course, the weather last year was horrible. Cold and rainy. This year, I decided that I would just put it in baggies. I really only wanted to charge 50 cents for it, but we include sales tax in our prices so that we can round off to the nearest dollar. We don't have that kind of change. G suggested we label it $1 or free with purchase. What a sales trick. One teen girl wanted the mistletoe. When she saw it would be free with purchase, she decided to look for a necklace. A little flawed logic to be sure!

K and I had a nice afternoon out on a beautiful sunny, cool day in the park. She found a cross from another vendor, and I found a very unusual Himalyan salt lamp from another. SUccessful? Yes, although I think we may have just broken even!


Friday, December 05, 2008


The party was good for the most part. My Southwest Shepherd's Pie was a hit. It got rave reviews. I won a prize - a piece of applique software. I don't really know how to use that kind of software, but I guess I'll learn.

The attendees were from three clubs, so there were a lot of people I didn't know. Just before the party began, a little man about forty appeared in the doorway. I had never seen him before. Then he said "Merry Christmas." I knew right then. He was profoundly retarded. A lot of the women knew him and addressed him by name. He was David.

He disappeared for a while. I thought he might be employed by the business, and he had to return to his job. After a bit, he was back. Then I realized he was with his mother. A woman behind me said that she saw he won a prize for his apron in the contest the store held last month. She said she also had won. I really was surprised at that.

David then took a chair next to me. He began talking about his truck and his Camaro. He said that Santa was going to bring him more presents. He asked if I had a truck. We talked for a while about trucks, comparing colors, sizes, transmissions and so on.

David became my dinner companion. He was a slight little man. He was about 5' 2". His hair had little grey flakes in it. He had thick glasses. He could have been considered good looking if his condition wasn't a factor. Retardation does effect the visage.

He ended up being rather fascinating. His mind was like a five year old. I could have been talking to Monkey Boy. He was complete stream of consciousness in his conversation. We would sit in silence for a while, then a thought would hit him. It was straight to the mouth. It was really cute, and he was really sweet.

He wanted to show me his apron. He didn't get to. Our party had gone on so long. While he and his mother were participating in the ornament exchange, I retrieved my casserole dish and left. It wasn't until I was half way home that I remembered David wanted to show me his winning apron. I'm sorry David!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Change of plans

We are experiencing another blast of what passes for fall in other parts of the country. It is dreary, cool (44 degrees), and a slight wind. In other words, a Texas norther has blown in. The weather reports predicted today to be cold and rainy. So like a good Swamplander, I decided that yesterday was the day to venture out to forage in the local grocery. My plans were to spend today and tomorrow upstairs in the craft room - where is it warmer, and I could get ready for Holiday in the Park on Sunday. That is one of the two craft shows we do.

As I was planning my shopping list, I realized that the sewing club I belong to is having their Christmas party today. I know I have only been attending since September, but I really wanted to go. So I bought the ingredients to make the casserole I had intended to make, and girded my loins to brave the brutal weather today. Well, as usual the weather people missed the boat on the forecast. It is, as I said, overcast and cool, but there is no rain.

I almost feel like I am doing Thanksgiving all over again. How many times do you prepare mashed potatoes at 7:30 am? It is not something I normally do unless it is Thanksgiving. I don't even do it at Christmas. But to make my Southwest Shepherd's Pie that is what I was doing. In a minute I will return to the kitchen to brown the hamburger and throw the entire thing into the oven.

I was thinking about how I was going to get this concoction into the store where we meet. After all, it will still be fairly warm. I remembered my holder for the 9x13 baking dish that I have. I remembered it to be stainless steel or aluminum. Nope. It's silver. It hasn't been used in over five years. Would you like to guess what it looks like? Would you like to guess who doesn't have any silver polish? Would you also like to guess who is going to go ahead and use said device? I am such a slob!

One of the things they will be doing (you noticed I said they) is an ornament exchange. I had visions of running upstairs and quickly stitching an "in the hoop" ornament so I could participate. But these people are serious sewers. I think I'll sit on the sidelines and watch this one. I'm not sure that I would put a $8 - $10 value on what I came up with. If they are not extravagant, I'll participate next year.

Time to cook again. Peace

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Second verse

I have not been ill in a good long while. Chemo didn't even make me very ill. This thing that I picked up over Thanksgiving simply will not leave me alone. I thought I was fine on Monday. I thought it was a simple 12 hour bug, but it decided to visit me yet again yesterday. It wasn't as bad, but still . . .

The verdict is out for today. I think I am back to normal, but only time will tell. I just hope it doesn't come by to check in tomorrow. I called B last night, and he is well. So that's good news.

K called yesterday. Among the things she said, and I believe it was really first on her agenda, was she didn't know if they would make the traditional trek to the SSB for New Years. She said that is causes her to be too hard on her children so they won't bother anyone. She made hints at B and C, but she knows they won't be there since C is not going to be able to travel by then.

I really think she was addressing me. I am not allowing Monkey Boy to be an animal in my house anymore. Thanksgiving Day, he did his usual "grazing." He has never been made to sit at the table and eat. In fact, they eat at the coffee table in the den in front of the TV. So he was at least at the table, but sitting side saddle. He was dropping food everywhere. Simone ate the droppings off the floor because I was too lazy to get up to sweep up his mess. I was really tired after cooking dinner. She was sick all day Friday. Monkey Boy actually got in her face once to make fun of her.

When he started eating like that again, B and I made him sit properly at the table to eat. He is never required to mind. Lady Bug is supposed to give him whatever he wants if she has it. He brings golf balls into the house to throw. Nothing is said to him. I have two sliding glass doors and a glass fireplace door. Glass and golf balls don't mix. All that is said about him is "he is just a boy."

I had a boy too. He didn't act like that. K was always accusing me of getting on her rather than B. Well, you stab your brother with a pencil . . . I did discipline B. I didn't excuse his actions with him just being a boy. She says that when B and C have their baby, they will see why she is the way she is. No. They have the same ideas about child raising that I did. Children want to be disciplined.

That was the most obvious when I was the Educational Therapist at an in-house unit for mentally disturbed children. We would discipline them. It was behavior modification. There were strict guidelines for their behavior. They were great - until they went home on a pass. There were no boundaries there. They would come back and act out. On Monday mornings, I always had to check to see who was in seclusion after coming back to the unit and acting out - violently.

I'll step down from my soap box now. Thank you for your attention. I will return to keeping my mouth shut - unless my house is in danger.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008


We pretty much survived four days of togetherness at the SSB. There were nine of us ranging from 64 to 16 months. Fortunately, the weather pretty much cooperated. It was a little cold and very windy, but that still allowed the women to venture into Tiny Town. We had lunch at the new resturant there. They almost have more resturants than any other form of commerce!

Doodle Bug was probably the most irritating being. She really hates the word "no," and reacts by crying. She cried a lot. I think there were times that everyone's patience was stretched to the limit. For instance, just after arriving, G threw a bag with a pint of paint onto the deck. K was helping him unload the truck, and she didn't know to wait until he had gotten everything out before transferring it to the house, so he threw the bag probably being impatient. The can opened. He accused me of opening the paint. I yelled - back - that I wasn't responsible. Things went from there and not nicely. But it ended before I could really react the way I was about to. Let's just leave it that way.

S and K got into it a couple of times. I really don't know what was going on there with the exception of the fact that they have three children. That may have been a good part of it.

C was just miserable with her pregnancy. I can't wait for January and February. She doesn't know what lies ahead of her!

Things were fairly smooth until late Saturday night/very early Sunday morning. G awoke at 2:30. I heard him in the bathroom. I knew he didn't feel well. I thought I was having another attack of indigestion, so I took two of Simone's Pri****k.

A couple hours later, I wasn't feeling well. Then things went to worse. I had a gastrointestinal problem. Details of which will be omitted. Suffice it to say when the kids decided to leave even before breakfast for the five hour trek home, I was not sorry. It was a relief for them to go.

I finally got better, and so did G. We were able to get home without any incidents! I have always worried about getting sick there. And I especially worried about getting sick just before coming home. At least it all ended well.

Just about the time we walked into the house, the phone rang. It was C. She told me B had the same thing. Seems like some evil virus is making the rounds here in Swampland (and beyond, I guess) bacause her best friend had it and so did everyone they had Thanksgiving with.

We just wish we knew who the vector was. We both would like to kick butt. I think only the tip of the ice burg has surfaced. I know C is really worried that she will be next!

Hope you had a great holiday. Peace.