Friday, June 24, 2011

My New Favorite Quote

"The cure for anything is salt water---sweat, tears, or the sea." --Isak Dinesen

Guess which one is my favorite?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Great to Be Grandma and Grandpa

Here are some photos from a recent visit by our daughter's family as they traveled to and from Hawaii for a visit with his ohana there. We had a very fine time. Little P-Bibby never did warm up to the cat, but she is a very enthusiastic pool girl.

S-Boogie is also extremely enthusiastic about the pool. Grandpa has always called her The Minnow since she first came to the pool at age 3, but now he calls her The Shark, because she never stops moving in the water!

Everything about the swimming pool was just so delightful and hilarious and the more stuff she could collect, the more P-Bibby laughed.

  It was even fun out of the water on the patio, writing with sidewalk chalk and carrying around little plastic blocks with her sister and brother.

 Let's see, do we have every single pool toy that we could find in the shed out here yet??

Lil' Dude and S-Boogie had a game where they'd jump into the pool from the side, simultaneously.  Then, swim to the far side, touch it, turn and swim back to the steps, climb out, and jump back in again--as a team. Over and over and over and over....

Here is The Shark. She was simply tireless! She swam up and down the length of the pool without touching the side until she reached the end. She is getting really strong and capable with pretty good technique---face in and then out to breath and back in to swim--round and round.

We had fun inside the house, too. We made some butter with my grandma's butterchurn. My mom used it in the summers because she didn't like the taste of other people's cows' milk. Those farmers didn't erradicate a certain weed that she claimed to be able to taste in the butter from the creamery. So every summer--we made our own. Well, this butter we made was really tasty butter! I'm no longer a skeptic about her fussiness.

P-Bibby has one thing that she loves as much as the pool: a ball, or several balls at once!

And Grandma's house has a REALLY BIG BALL that she and Lil' Dude liked to pound on till it jumped.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's Father's Day

CoolGuy spent yesterday and Friday in the pool with the visiting grandchildren. They have a great game that involves 1) jumping off the side into the pool as close to Grandpa as you can get, then 2) standing on Grandpa's hands and having him toss you into the air from the pool so that you land--kersplash!--back into the pool where you swim over to the side and [see #1]...We can do this for hours. Seriously. Too much fun!!
That is what you do with the big kids, but with the Amphibian Child (see photo) you just hang out in the pool and smile and laugh because being in the water is the BEST THING EVER!! Especially if you have a long foam tube to play with. She is a little fish and spent all her time in the pool laughing and smiling and splashing in the water. Fun times.

The kids sang some Father's Day songs in Sacrament meeting today and after the final kiss was blown, I recalled a rendition of "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home" that our family performed years ago. I can't remember if I've written about this before.

In 1990 CoolGuy went off to Saudi Arabia with a group of Marines. He was a civilian at that time, but he was the person who kept their remote-control spy plane functioning, so when the 3rd RPV Company deployed, CoolGuy deployed, too. It was when Iraq had invaded Kuwait and so there was a big face-off in the Middle East which eventually ended up in what has become known as the First Gulf War. Anyway, when CoolGuy first got there, he was busy, but they weren't undergoing rocket attacks--that came later. We were living in SoCal, and a local television station offered to families of deployed people the chance to come to their studio and film a short video, and then they would pay for the tape to be mailed to your loved one.

At the time, our children ranged from 1st grade to freshman in high school. So, we made a plan that each person would choose something they'd like to demonstrate to Dad, or show him and talk about. The high school son played a selection on his clarinet he'd learned in band.  The next daughter read something she'd done for school. The other sister performed a cheer from her cheerleading gig for middle school. The third grade son did some karate moves, and the 1st grader was too shy to talk on camera, so I narrated what he was going to say about some new toy he'd gotten while he demonstrated it. Then we talked a little about something and, for our finale, we sang "I'll Be So Glad When Daddy Gets Home"--a slightly modified version of the original--more pertinent for the occasion, since we really didn't know when that was going to be.

When we finished singing, and the director called, "cut" to the cameraman,  (I think the whole tape was about 25 minutes long) we got a round of applause from the crew, and a few of them wiped their eyes, surreptitiously. They were effusive in their compliments for our "dear little program and adorable song." They'd taped a lot of people just sitting around chatting and umm-ing and ah--ing because 25 minutes is a long time to fill without a plan. But, I knew that, so we'd planned ahead.

The tape was a big hit for CoolGuy. He watched it several times there in the desert and his co-workers thought it was pretty cool, too. And of course, they marveled at how anyone could have five kids!! It was fun to do, and it made his day. He'd been gone for about three months when it arrived. So, whenever I hear or sing that daddy-getting-home song, I'm reminded how really, really glad we were that time that our Daddy came home, and he came home safe and sound. Lots of daddies don't make it out of that part of the world alive.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

FrankenFeet Update

Ta Da! Two shoes! I made the switch on Wednesday, after all the paper work was completed between the doctor and the insurance to authorize me getting the brace, etc. etc. I will be wearing this ankle brace for a few months. It helps to keep my foot stable. But--it fits into a shoe. I think I'm going to be wearing these Nikes for most of that time, too. But, they are waaaaay better than the cast, so I'm pleased. The brace is made of fabric, with a couple of plastic inserts along the outside and inside of my foot. It only covers my heel and part of my foot, and laces up  like high tops. In fact, if I bought some high tops, then no one would even know it was there. When I wear long pants, you can't see it.

CoolGuy is planning some type of "Burn the Boot" ceremony here in the back yard. I think that would be an appropriate denouement (the outcome of a complex sequence of events [French]) for this whole long saga, n'est pas?  Sorry, about all the French, but sometimes other languages say it just right!

So, now, I'm still walking slowly, but now no one knows why! But, I concentrate on walking carefully, putting equal weight on each foot and using good posture. I'm so excited to be using both feet!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer is Back

Summer has returned to Sin City. Yesterday was the first time it hit 100 degrees. As you can see from the truck thermometer, the official temperature at the airport of 101 is a little low compared to some parts of town. But, I have the cure:

I was in the pool just this morning, between 9:00 and 10:00. Right now, I have to type a response to a chapter in my "Designing Qualitative Research" textbook, then drive over to campus for the two classes, but when I return at 10:00 P.M., I'll go right back out there. In the morning: repeat.

Oh, what do you do in the summertime?  (play it with the words and music...)  Then, go fish in a stream or swim in a pool---That's what I do!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday, Monday, Can't Trust That Day

I had a doctor's appointment this morning. Been anticipating it for six weeks because it was the day I was to get the boot off. Except that I didn't get the boot off. That will happen in a few more days when the office gets the insurance authorization for an ankle brace. So, instead of a photo of me walking out of the doctor's office on two feet in shoes, we have no photo. Blah. And I still have the boot on.

But, they should be calling me in a few days, the doctor assured me. Then I'll go back in and get the brace, and also get my foot cast for a new orthotic to match the "new" foot--the old orthotic doesn't fit anymore. I'm to wear the brace (apparently it is an adjustable contraption that allows me to modify the support as I need less or more and can be worn with shoes) for several more months. So, I'm resigned to wearing sensible shoes for the rest of the summer, possibly the rest of this year. Maybe the rest of my life? Not borrowing trouble right now, thank you.

Weirdly, I also have developed tendonitis in my Achilles tendon. The last three days, I would get a sharp pain that stopped me from walking (and alarmed all the people around me at church and school!). But the pain diminished and went away again. He felt all over my ankle and identified it as tendonitis (pinching certain places causing me to leap half off of the examing table.). So, I get to ice it and rest it and use the brace. Good grief! I love how my body can invent these new ailments over nothing. 

So, all week I've had that dopey "Friday, Friday!" [actually not this exact version...]song in my head, only I switched the words to "Monday Monday!"

It's Monday, Monday
Gonna lose the boot on Monday
Lookin' forward to the weekday, weekday
Monday, Monday
Gonna lose the boot on Monday
Everybody lookin' forward to the weekday, weekday...

Thank you, thank you--I am pleased to be the person who has now inserted that horrible melody in your head. But, if you go back and read the title of this blog, and look up the lyrics for the Mamas and Papas tune, then you can eject the Rebecca Black tune and replace it with the geezer song. You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Time Is On My Side

Isn't this lovely? I laid on a bench here this afternoon for about twenty minutes, just watching the hummingbirds flit around a large tree that was covered with tiny blossoms. There were always 4 or 5 of them hovering overhead, and occasionally one would pause on the slim twig attaching the drooping blossom cluster to the leave base. It was calm, pleasant, relaxing. I reveled in it. The air temperature was comfortable, a slight breeze wafted by now and then. Almost no one was on campus---this is on the main quad at UNLV.

Why was I there, lolling in the early evening air and blissfully watching birds?  I was between classes. I really, really needed this little natural respite because I've bitten off a huge chunk this week. It is the summer term. I've enrolled in two classes to try and catch  up for the semester off with Frankenfoot. The term is four weeks long--June 6--July 7.  I have class on MTWTh---4:00--10:00. And this week, compounding the craziness, it is the end of the term for the school district where I work.

Here's today:  up at 6:00, out of the house by 7:00. Stop at Walmart to get supplies for the traditional 4th grade Last Day of School Pancake Feast. Get to school by 7:30. Snatch up master copies and head up to the workroom to finish the Memory Book copies. Machines won't accept the card stock I need to use for the covers. Now machine won't acknowledge that I really asked it to make letter not ledger prints. Waste more card stock. Finally discover the one copier that won't screw up my cover pages. Finish making them all just in time to hurry upstairs for morning duty. Collect class--go downstairs and pledge/sing/announce...blah blah--drop them off at Art.  Rush back to my classroom to revise numbers on report card cover pages because I have too many days listed for this term.  Print off cover pages. Print off Parent Report Card pages. Start printing report cards. Half-way through the printer jams--repeatedly, again and again. Get all the jams cleared. Go get students from Art.  Spend a frenzied two hours, thirty minutes at a pop, with each class assembling the Memory Books. WE DID IT WITHOUT A HITCH. Probably because no technology other than a stapler was involved. Send every one out to recess. Print off more report cards. Stamp principal's name and sign my name on all of them. Throw some lunch down in 10 minutes. Pick up students from cafeteria. Have students read their contribution from Memory Books aloud. Go to Awards Assembly in the cafeteria at 2:00. Read off all my awards, have my picture taken repeatedly with smiling children by their terrific parents (really--such a great group this year.) Go back to rooms where we hold a 45 minute autograph session for all the 107 fourth graders milling between our rooms. Sign my name a zillion times. Clean up, stack up, bell rings. Realize that the baby shower for a co-worker is today and the gift is at home. Dash home to pick it up and drop it off. Sign in on my computer to upload my assignment for the 7:00 P.M. class to WebCampus because the instructor never facilitates this function until about 3:00 P.M. each day...arrgh.  Get back into the truck and drive across town to campus where I am about 40 minutes late for the 4:00 P.M. class. After it finishes...I go outside and lie down on the bench pictured above and breath slowly and watch hummingbirds.

Tomorrow is the last day of school. I got home at 10:20 tonight. But I'll survive---it's only one more day. Then, all I have to do in June is homework and go to class and then July will come and I won't have to do a thing besides swim and lay in the sun. Time is on my side.

Sunday, June 05, 2011


Look who came to see us this weekend!  Our daughter's family paid us a short visit. Seriously---less thatn 24 hours.  They were on their way to Hawaii (where her husband was born and raised) to visit with family members who still live there. Since we are conveniently located in a city where the air fares to Hawaii are not as expensive, we got to spend a day together while they were enroute. And when they return, we get to play for another couple of days before they head north for home.

 The most amusing event of the overnight stay was the reaction of the Littlest Sweetie to Kitty Cat--outrage, or something. We were seated at the table for supper and Kitty Cat strolled by. P. Bibby (her internet name) looked over from her booster seat to stare, and then looked at all of us, and burst into tears. She howled and it wasn't from fright--it was more like offense--what is this furry creature doing walking around?? Aren't stuffed animals supposed to just lay there???  We think she was a bit over-tired since she hadn't had a nap all day while traveling in the car. The next day, whenever she saw Kitty Cat, she just stare at her cautiously, but in a decidedly wary fashion.'ll be interesting to see what the return visit brings.