A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Friday, October 31, 2008

Streets of Laredo with the Lane 29 Orchestra (Audio only )

DS1 was the composer/arranger. He played piano, DS2 played drums. The inspiration was their dad singing Streets of Laredo to them instead of Rockabye Baby.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Les Misbarack

Well, one week more anyway.


(See you tomorrow, Sam!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama For President 2008 Do you hear the people sing?

Highly Satisfactory

I had a nice weekend.

Managed to walk Saturday morning, then go to Costco for a birthday cake for DS2. Cleaned the bathroom because DS1 and DIL were coming for the October birthday bash and DH hadn't cleaned that bathroom in months. Bash was lots of fun. Got home to note that DH had been sick all over the bathroom and had done his usual HA job of cleaning it all up. Happily that was the only down note of the weekend.

Sunday managed to FINALLY move all the files I wanted off the old computer and onto cds (mostly pictures ) so that computer can go to recycling.

Watched the latest Indy movie while I worked. Got my laundry done and walked at the gym again. Finished re-reading Eragon and read several chapters of Eldest in preparation for reading Brisingr.

DS2 has planted a vegetable garden in the back. It's wonderful the way he cleaned everything out and it's fun to watch him enjoy one of my favorite hobbies to much. Plus, his friends are participating, too (they're going to share the harvest, I guess) so I get to see them from time to time, too.

Palling Around

Look at the quality of possible advisors Obama has attracted. Powell on matters of military and state (not to mention Wes Clark). Warren Buffett and George Soros on finance. I kind of like who Obama is "palling around" with.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Progress on the Fitness Thing

Woo Hoo!

Just before school started, a friend recommended a new gym in town. I checked it out and by the end of that day had signed up the family. It's been a little over six weeks and I'm already seeing progress. On the scale, I've lost about 12 pounds, but because I'm walking 45 minutes, five days a week on the treadmill (and building those large muscles) I'm guessing I've lost more fat than that. Judging by the way my clothes are fitting, I'm guessing closer to 18 pounds, maybe more.

Don't really care.

I'm really watching the heartrate improvement and am thrilled.

Another friend lost a LOT of weight (went from my size to normal) last year. She was telling me that she didn't feel any different. I've been there. You lose a buncha weight (my biggest loss was 72 pounds) but you don't feel any different. So I told her we need to keep lists of things that are now that weren't before (for her it was being able to climb stairs without pain in her knees). So, that's what the new list is in my sidebar. When I notice I can do something now that I couldn't before, I'm going to post it over there where I can remind myself that there are changes.

Chocolate season is here (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter). I'm hoping this will help me endure.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It will be over soon.

For all of us who missed this news last week, check this story in the Toledo Blade.

This is Halloween...

This is Halloween...

I've been researching my family history for over 25 years now and can find no Puritan ancestors, so how in the world I inherited my Puritan work ethic I don't know. What a drag! Work before fun, which means I can't put out my Halloween decorations until I've cleaned the house.

How stupid is that?

So, I got out my goodies and just cleaned the areas they dress.

How FUN is that?

Anyway, this is a quilt I pieced by hand over the course of three years (or was it four?) of vacations at my parents trailer at Bass Lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains, about an hour from Yosemite. Those were great times! For the first few years I spent a lot of time down at the pool and clubhouse supervising the boys, but they eventually got into that age where they could be free to roam and hang without me. Mom and I would sequester ourselves in the trailer with a view of the pines through the windows and handwork in hand. Years passed and the boys grew out of the lake and into their own affairs, but Mom and I try every couple of years to go up to the mountains for a week or so. Haven't made it there in the last couple of years (took her to see her sister year before last, then to Utah with me last summer). Maybe we'll get there next summer. There are some great quilt shops on the way up, and an unbelievable gift shop in Oakhurst on the way up, too.

Guess we better plan that.

We had our "crop" day yesterday. Mom, sis and I spend the day over our scrapbooking, but it's really just an excuse to gab. I think I did only one thing - added the year to an already completed page. But, I got some stuff sorted out. I've been working for a couple of years on some Disneyland scrapbooks. One of them (using Creative Memories' vintage Mickey book) has all the Disneyland pictures I could get my hands on from 1955-2005 and ends with all the visits we did to celebrate The Happiest Homecoming celebration of the 50th anniversary of the park. My parents took us there at least once a year starting in 1955, and DH and I tried to keep the tradition going with our kids (although we couldn't always afford once a year). The folks weren't really into photography, although I was able to find a whole roll of pictures from that first visit.
Yes, we used to dress up to go to Disneyland. They still have a dress code, but certainly you don't have to dress up anymore.

This is my favorite picture from one of our early trips with our boys.

Of course, it soon became very apparent that one book was not going to be big enough for all of my pictures, especially since I fell in love with the place all over again during the Homecoming. I've already filled another book that starts in 2006. And during the homecoming I bought one of the souvenir scrapbooks and am filling it with all my pictures of Homecoming "stuff." Icons, souvenirs, events, and the Parade of Dreams.

Mom and sis are plotting an intervention for me about this parade. I can't stop taking pictures of it. I redid the pages in the Homecoming album several times because every time I'd declare it "done," I'd go back to the park and get better pictures. Now it's become a joke. In fact, I finished another spread in the newest album that included two pages of POD pictures (labeled, "again") and I told sis that the next spread is going to be titled, "Oh, look! A parade! " It makes me very sad that it's only planned to run for another year or so. After that, I will have to go to Disney World to see it.

Not much other news. Sis has been working part time for a construction company for a while and they've decided to hire her full time. She has mixed feelings about that. DS1 is having a much nicer year this year. Instead of a 4/5 combo he is teaching second grade and says "They're pretty adorable." DS2 is still thrashing. He got more hours this week but was discouraged to learn that the post office is facing the same economic fallout as the rest of the country and may be looking at layoffs.

Santa Ana winds are arriving. Thank goodness they seem to be cold winds. When they're hot they're even more miserable. Keeping fingers crossed the new fences hold (they all blew down in the winds this time last year.)

Thursday, October 09, 2008


An important announcement from my baby boy.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Where's the stitching?

Yeah, I know.

All the politics is becoming tiresome.

Really, though, I haven't picked up a needle since school started. Because something new has been added in my life.


I joined a gym.

In fact, I signed up DH and DS2 as well. I haven't had my "program" appointment yet. This fitness center is owned by and attached to the clinic owned by one of our town's most respected physical therapists. They offer a "deal" where I can have an appointment with a PT who will design a fitness program based on my physical needs and concerns.

Like my fragile knees. And sore hip.

Since the end of August all I do is show up and walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes. Slower to slow for the first 15 minutes, then 20 minutes at a cardio target rate, then 10 minutes to cool down a little. I've managed to get there five times a week most weeks. I plug in my headset and watch CNN. Unless I can't stand whoever is on, then I have my CD player as back-up.

I've lost a little weight (a little over 10 pounds) but more importantly I've watched my heartrate drop. When I started this I was getting resting rates in the high 80s. Last weekend I was relaxing in bed reading on a Sunday morning and got a rate of 59! Usually, though, my resting rates are in the high 60s and low 70s, which are dang respectable.

In other news, my life is taken up with work and union meetings.

And fighting depression.

Like many Americans, I've had to watch my dream of relocating to Utah shatter because of the economy. The only good news is that I have a job that may be secure (although the Governator is threatening to hold back my paycheck as blackmail of our legislature as they 'negotiate' a budget) and can continue to make the payments on the property we own there. But, by the time the economy improves enough to sell the condo and the house here in SoCA, DH will be in his late 70s and probably won't be able to move.

I hate this.

So, not much fun around here. I'm trying to rearrange the extra room (again) to carve out a place to sew and a place for my son's keyboard. One of the regrets of my life is that I never learned to play an instrument (the only person in my family who did not, although I raised two gifted musicians of my own). Anyway, DS1 is going to give me monthly lessons and I get to use one of his keyboards to practice.

If I can figure out where to put it.

I already bought music to shoot for. The last time I was at Disneyland I bought a book of easy piano music and chose "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story II as a 'goal' piece. I also bought a more difficult book and someday would like to be able to play "Little April Showers" from Bambi. I've always had a mental block, though, when I've tried to learn an instrument, so expect a real struggle. Fortunately, my son knows me very well and is an incredibly good teacher (and kind man).

Tomorrow I hope to put out some Halloween decorations. I'll show you my Halloween quilt then, OK? That's kinda stitchy.

Sure hope it starts cooling off soon so I can get back to this project.

Where was the bailout...

...for thousands of family farmers who had to sell to corporate farms?

...for thousands of young college graduates who can't find jobs that will support them?

...for 750,000 Americans who have lost their jobs this year and may lose their homes (with traditional, fixed-rate, 10% down mortgages) this year alone?

...for millions of Americans who have seen their jobs outsourced to foreign countries?

...for thousands of small businesses who had to close because WalMart brought cheap Chinese crap into their communities?

Thanks, Mike

By Paul Krugman / New York Times

Unbelievable. Sarah Palin finished her closing remarks by quoting Ronald Reagan:

It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free.

When did he say this? It was on a recording he made for Operation Coffeecup — a campaign organized by the American Medical Association to block the passage of Medicare. Doctors’ wives were supposed to organize coffee klatches for patients, where they would play the Reagan recording, which declared that Medicare would lead us to totalitarianism.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

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