Saturday, April 25, 2009

Born with a silver spoon....

Thanks to "John Ducker of Holland Landing was all smiles due to the absolutely adorable sterling silver teapots and coffeepots that were repurposed into fashionable, stylish and quirky bird houses/feeders. It's gone to the birds now. Their sense of entitlement and expectations of 'quality', shiny homes has just been raised several notches!"

That's funny, I just overheard a couple of Robins at my birdbath earlier today...

"That new Goldfinch seems a little snooty."

"Well you know the type, he was born with a silver birdhouse sheltering his nest!"

The "When Pigs Fly" flu

I'm sure you've all heard about the new , possibly pandemic, Swine/Avian flu outbreak in Mexico. I have named it the "Whenpigsfly flu. Get it? Swine... birds... WEll, I thought it was pretty clever!

Don and I were driving down to Ashlyn's BYU Business School graduation and, of course, we were accompanied by Don's usual driving companion, Michael Rantin' Savage. Thats' MICHAEL*#@!!*!* SCREAMING, RANTING in a Brooklyn accent, condescending, SPITTLE-FLYING, Illegal Immigrant HATING, TERRORIST CONSPIRACY THEORIST, SAVAGE!!! How can anyone listen to that man shriek, on high volume, for 8 hours a day and not be affected? Anyway, I am like, "Please God, strike me deaf now!" I am trying all of the techniques I know to not listen and not react. I CAN'T STAND IT!!!! It is torture, "waterboard me now! Just no Savage, pleeease!!"

This is where I heard about the new strain of Swine/Avian flu , a type of Influenza-A. I also learned that Syphilus what brought to Spain from South America by the conquistadors who were having sex with the llamas... guess those long-eyelashed, doe eyed llamas offered something the Indian women, whom they enslaved and raped, couldn't. Also, AIDS came from having sex with monkeys, not from possibly eating/ handling infected monkey meat. I was just waiting to hear Chicken Pox came from having sex with chickens. Surprisingly, according to the rantin' Savage, the new Swine/Avian flu had nothing to do with barnyard/ chicken coop trysts but is a bio-terrorist creation sent to Mexico to be spread to the unsuspecting U.S. citizens by ILLEGAL ALIENS CROSSING OVER OUR UNPROTECTED BORDERS !!!! (I will excuse you while you wipe that little bit of spit off your cheek.)

Anyway, all this was screamed over the airwaves in conjuncton with the new flu announcement.

Don is worried that I will probably be infected by one of the many Mexican/American kids I work with all day. (I say Mexican/American, not to be P.C. but because, while many of their parents may be illegal, most of the kids were born in the U.S.) "Half of them probably live with someone who just came over the border!"

AND..."You never wash your hands!" he informs me. Whatever. I wash my hands several times a day. What I need to do is wear a mask. My whole day revolves around working in close contact with coughing, sniffling, sneezing , snotty-nosed kids. I am usually surrounded by these kids with nothing but two feet of formica covered, kidney shaped table between us. Sneeze particles travel over that short distance in a nano second. "Cover your mouth! Get a tissue! Wash your hands!", are my constant admonitions!

So, in the next little while, if I come down with the "whenpigsfly" flu, the terrorists will have won.
Rantin' Savage will be right. And Don will say, sadly shaking his head, "She never washed her hands."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Skunk Woman

It is, possibly, the worst picture I have ever taken. Well, I didn't take the photo. I was the subject or rather one of the subjects: husband, sign, hag. I know many of you are now saying, "oh Cathy, you're not a hag!! Don't say that!!" Okay, crone then! Or frump! Whatever you or I call it, I am mortified!! Skunk Woman! I must have 2" of gray on either side of my part! And my hair, needing a shampoo, wasn't voluminous enough to hide it!

We woke up at 5:30 to get to (thefooze)Barry's half marathon. We wanted to cheer him on with a sign and a hoot and a thumbs up! He's so fun to watch! It reminded me of his cross-country days, when, as a skinny kid he would seem to run so effortlessly. He still does! He seems to glide along, back straight, head held high.

Anyway, I knew I was in desperate need of Nice and Easy # 118 but I had been so busy! Last weekend I had planned to do it but Easter and general Saturday obligations got in the way and if I teased it just right and hairsprayed the hell out of it, you could hardly notice the great gray divide. So, on the morning of the race, I threw on some clothes planning to come home and shower and dye.

Then, to my horror, I find the "race picture" all over the internet! Just like Brittney or Reece or Beyonce' caught coming out of a Pilates session with no make-up and sweats! Oh, the humiliation!Do any of you other 50-something gals find it takes more and more effort just to look passingly decent!? Lately, I find myself catching my reflection in the frozen food aisle thinking, "Holy Hanna, look at that poor woman!"

Well, I hearby swear I will try to be more aware of what not to wear, check the mirror with a painfully honest eye before I venture into public and try to keep my "true stripes" from showing! All you can do is try!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Life is terrible and wonderful..."

Many years ago I received a card that had an obscure quote that said something along the lines of "Life is terrifying and glorious, beautiful and heartbreaking, awesome and dreadful, etc.. " (of course, I added the etc. This is a very loose translation.)
Anyway, the gist of it was "... the best of times and the worst of times" and no, I'm not just going to type one quote after another. I'm getting to my point.
See Frozen River. It is a powerful movie about the above. Don said, "I feel so bad for these characters." They are an array of the desperate,the down and out, they just need a break after, I'm sure, making many bad choices and just being victims of their circumstance.
There are sweet glimmers of miracles, tender mercies if you will, and love and hope.
Sitting , watching the movie capped my day. I considered an incident earlier in the day.
I tutor a first grader. A big first grader. This kid looks like a third grader. He is beautiful but I have seen his demeanor, appearance and attitude change through the course of the school year. He has gone from a clean, well cared for child to, well, something less than that. Who knows what is going on at home. He always walks as though his feet hurt. I would guess he has flat feet.
"Do your feet hurt?"
"Stop here for a minute", I say as we reach the stair landing. Leaning over, I use my thumb to push on the toe of his shoe, as I did my own children's when we frequently shopped for new ones. As I suspect, they are way too big for him. Shoes that fit well, with some arch support would help, as would a mother who would tie them up tight after helping him dress in clean clothes, after a bath, after a night in his very own bed.
After our lesson, I remind him to put his flash cards in his backpack.
"I don't have one."
"What do you mean? Why don't you have a backpack?"
"I lost it."
"Well, tell your teacher!" We have a surplus packed away in boxes on the stage. Leftovers from the first day of school, so generously provided by Costco.
"I did..."
Well, by hell, I may not be able to buy this boy a pair of shoes but I can get him a backpack easily enough. I deliver the backpack, freed from its plastic wrapper and adorned with his name, and we hang it on the long row of hooks among the other coats, sweatshirts and backpacks.
After school, I spy him carefully placing his homework folder inside, zipping it up. He pauses, just for a tiny moment, to stand back and admire it.
They are an array of the down and out...victims of their circumstance.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Post of Easter Past

Today while leisurely driving around town, after visiting Kerry (and Tomas the dog) for a hair-cut and having enjoyed lunch at the Sugerhouse Soup Kitchen with Shan, I completed a few errands on my first day of Spring break (whoo-hoo!). I thought back to Easters past. How, while it doesn't seem possible!, twenty years ago I would have been feverishly sewing to finish Shan's Easter dress, replete with huge white battenburg lace collar, and searching for the perfect white patent leather shoes and appropriately ruffled socks. While fighting the crowds to buy new khaki pants and shirt and clip-on tie ensembles for the boys, I'd probably remind myself to buy eggs on the way home, along with film for the camera and more pink foam rollers for Shan's long, straight hair.

I think back even further to the early 1960's. My Grandma always bought my Easter dress and they were lovely, though usually, scratchy. My favorite was a mint green organza, of course with a very full skirt necessitating a slip with a stiff net crinoline underneath. It rustled when I walked. Some fancy pleating and cap sleeves completed the bodice and a big fabric flower adorned the waist.

While I enjoyed my relaxed day today with nothing more pressing on my mind than menu planning for Easter dinner guests, I do look forward to the day when I will be the grandma perusing racks of ruffled dresses in shades of pastel Easter eggs, a little grand-daughter's hand in mine or finding the cutest little clip-on ties to match a small button down collared shirt with a small grandson at my side.

But for now, I am content with my "big kids" who can shop for and dress themselves and even bring deviled eggs to Easter dinner!

Monday, April 6, 2009


Thinking of getting the kids a little, baby bunny for their Easter basket? How about a kitten? Or better yet, a babybunnykittenwabbit, now available at your local IFAhumanesmart.
This is actually an endangered Fennec Hare; ) compliments of, a site guaranteed to make you go, "oh! how cute!" in a high pitched squeel!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

No matter how long the Winter, Spring is sure to follow

As I ate my oatmeal this morning, snow was falling lightly but steadily on the bright yellow Forsythia bushes, trying to disguise the fact that it's Spring. The cats, Beansy and Lub-Lub, were sitting on the window sill watching the birdies. On the other side of the glass, the thistle-seed sock was covered with little Goldfinches wrangling for position. A couple of Robins and a Dove shared the rim of the bird bath. Earlier, a Flicker woodpecker had been rat-a tatting up near the chimney and I could hear the Starling's assorted chirps, whirrs, clicks and peeps from the front of the house. Beansie cat took off for the front door, alarmed, when she heard them tapping near the peep-hole. They were on the front porch, apparently in my wreath on the door.
The big wreath, with a small decorative nest nestled amidst an assortment of "Spring-y" greenery and flowers, has been a target for the birds every spring. The nest, although storebought, is very realistic and came with a few faux eggs lightly glued inside. One egg disappearred. Hmm? Another, I blamed it on a violent windstorm. Soon they were all gone! Where were the eggs going? I hot-glued in some new ones, these were the real deal, pretty little quail eggs. These didn't disappear but were crushed in the nest! Now I had an idea who the culprit was. I cleaned out the crushed remains and replaced them with sturdy, plastic eggs fused to the nest with heavy dollops of hot glue, these babies weren't going anywhere!
Sure enough, sitting in the living room reading one day, I noticed a Magpie perched on a branch of the flowering Pear tree. He soon swooped across the lawn to my porch where I heard him land on the wreath with a scrabble of claws and pecking. He flew off, disappointed, his beak empty.
So, although the snow flies, Spring is here, it can't be held back! Even the Magpies are gathering the peat moss left in the empty planter baskets for their nests. They are naughty birds but I, and the cats, love them!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Week-end Update

Yeah, Yeah, I know it's Wednesday...but on to the weekend update.
We saw a great movie on Friday, The Sunshine Cleaning Company. Amy Adams is very good as young woman whose choices have earned her "the short end of the stick" and she's darling. Also stars Alan Arkin, love him and Emily Blunt, she did a good job though I have no idea who she is. This is an Indie flick with nothing tied up neat and tidy at the end. Love that! Went to the new Betos afterwards, "very bare-bones": styro plates , cheap plastic-ware, stark walls, etc, but the food was Muy Bueno!! It's the anti-Cafe Rio.
Saturday took the kids to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes. I love that place. We always use a BOGO coupon, actually Don takes in the whole Sweet T's coupon sheet that comes in the Sunday paper and then when we're finished eating, he hands them out to many people waiting in line. That way, he feels like he's done a good deed and stuck it to the man at the same time. While there, we noticed the Chick filet cow dancing around across the road. Steve said, "yeah, since the price of milk has dropped so low, cows everywhere have had to take all kinds of demeaning jobs". Then, some couple walked up to it to have their picture taken, like it's Goofy at Disneyland or something? Ty observes, "they must be from Albania or something" haha
Got released from Young Women, a church youth organization. Thank You, Lord!!! I am not "bright-eyed" enough to be in there with 15 yr.old girls. In my humble opinion, the lessons are out-moded and display a sad lack of scripture. I know, I'm a terrible Mo person.
I gladly accepted the calling to teach the 5 yr. olds where I won't have to bite my tongue, hold my peace or dodge "the elephant in the room".