Thursday, May 19, 2022

"I Think I Love You"

I was listening to a radio program that featured music of the 1970s when this earworm came on. Now I can't get it out of my head. Won't you sing with me?
 


Monday, May 16, 2022

Vanishing Thoughts

Since I started blogging more than a decade ago I've accumulated over a hundred blogs in my feed reader. Not all of them post on a regular bases, but on any given day somewhere between 30 and 35 of them have new content. Of those, I comment on a good portion. Or at least I try to. All of a sudden I'm having a problem leaving comments. Particularly in Blogger. 

I've been around the blog world long enough to know the commenting system. It starts by clicking on the Post a Comment button. My identity pops up next to the comment box, along with my avatar if that's what the blog owner has set up. I type my comment, jump through the hoops to prove I'm not a robot if that's necessary. When I click on the 'publish' button I used to have great success. Now, my comment often disappears into thin air.

When that happens I go back to my feed reader and mark the post as unread, so I can go back to it later and see if the comment showed up. Sometimes it does, but more often there's nothing from me. After trying two or three times on any given blog post I give up.

I turned to the Internet to see if there was a solution. The sites I consulted all said that the blogs that allowed embedded comments (where others can post responses) didn't have the problem. Based on my experience, that isn't correct. Some of the blogs I'm having problems with do have embedding. Others don't. The whole thing is frustrating, and annoys the heck out of me.

So the moral of the story is that if you don't hear from me on your blog, it's not because I haven't tried.

Five years ago today: In Any Language, It's Still Dinner

Sunday, May 15, 2022

This Cat Has Been Around

In the summer of 2002 Hubby Tony and I chose two kittens from a litter at our sister-in-law's house. We waited until they were weaned, then brought them home and named the kittens Pepper and Jackson. Counting backward from their weaning date we arbitrarily assigned them a birthday of May 15th. The two brothers had a great life together until Pepper crossed the Rainbow Bridge in November of 2019.

Today Jackson turned 20 years old. In honor of the day we catered to his needs and gave him extra attention whenever he looked like he wanted it. Tonight Son Donald came over for dinner. After we ate I got Jackson's birthday treat ready. On a piece of paper I wrote the number 20, taped it to the kitchen floor, and arranged 20 cat treats on the lines.

Jackson was MIA, and Tony went to find him. Turns out that Jackson was in the back of the condo enjoying his early evening nap, and a little annoyed at being woken up. He was even more irritated when Tony carried him into the kitchen. Jackson doesn't see as well as he used to, so when Tony set him on the floor he walked past the paper a couple of times. Eventually he realized it was there and made quick work of the treats.

After all the crumbs were sniffed out and consumed Jackson left. I watched him walk down the hall, and suspected he was headed back to the bedroom for more napping. But it was his day to do anything he wanted.

Five years ago: The Wide Spectrum of Mothering

Thursday, May 12, 2022

A Grand Time With Grandchildren

Son Brian and DIL Nicole were married in May 2010. Ten years later Hubby Tony and I were all ready to babysit for them so they could have a celebratory getaway. However, thanks to Covid that didn't happen.

Fast forward to January 2022. We're all vaxxed and boosted; Nicole asked if we would be willing to try again. Tony and I agreed. Since we would already be in California for that period, we added time with Son Tony and his family. Then we also tacked on a destination just for us. We booked flights and waited for the time to arrive. 

Thursday morning Tony and I said goodbye to our first set of hosts, packed everything into the rental car, and headed back over the mountains towards San Jose. It was Cinco de Mayo, so we decided to stop at a taqueria in Livermore for a tasty lunch. After returning the rental at the airport we crossed the street to the passenger pickup area and waited a couple of minutes for Son Brian to pick us up.

When we got to his house their nanny (a lovely woman close to my age) was outside with two-year old twins Ell and Dee. Grandson Jay was at school. We joined the outside play, and when it was time to pick up Jay I went along with Brian. As the day unfolded the nanny went home, dinner was ordered in, TV was watched, and bedtime routines followed. Tony and I tried to watch carefully because the next two nights (with the nanny's assistance) we would be the ones doing it!

Brian and DIL Nicole had a late morning flight to Los Angeles, where they would be enjoying their adult-only time and attending a show on Saturday night. Their return flight was due in at dinnertime on Sunday. On Friday Jay's school was closed for a professional day, and after consulting with Grandma and Grandpa, his mom asked him if he would rather go to the aftercare program and see his friends or do something special with us. I was thrilled when he chose us.  We visited Happy Hollow, where we visited with the animals and enjoyed the picnic lunch we brought. At the gift shop Jay pondered all the merchandise before he chose a large rubber snake and snow cone to purchase with his own money. 

The nanny came as scheduled to keep the twins' day normal. When we got back we spent the rest of the day playing outside and inside, building with magnets, putting dinner together, and reading books. Jay's bedtime went smoothly, but the twins sensed we were not their parents and put up a little fuss. However, they slept well through the night.

On Saturday the big adventure for Grandpa and Grandma was taking Jay to his Little League game. Afterwards we drove through McDonald's and got coffee for the adults and french fries for Jay. That night at bedtime the twins were even more adamant that we were not getting their bedtime routine correct, but with the nanny's help they eventually settled down.

Big boy batting, little boys running

On Sunday morning we walked to the grocery store with Jay and let him pick out a cake mix and frosting for a Mother's Day cake. After lunch Grandma, Grandpa, and Jay teamed up to make it, and Jay helped me frost the cake after it was cool. The finished product was far from perfect, but made with love.

When Brian and Nicole got home all the boys were thrilled to see them. Mom and Dad executed the correct bedtime routine, and all three boys went down quietly. In the morning Tony and I drove along with Nicole as she took Jay to school, then detoured to the airport to drop us off before she went to work.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

At Rug Rat Speed

Son Brian and DIL Nicole were married in May 2010. Ten years later Hubby Tony and I were all ready to babysit for them so they could have a celebratory getaway. However, thanks to Covid that didn't happen.

Fast forward to January 2022. We're all vaxxed and boosted; Nicole asked if we would be willing to try again. Tony and I agreed. Since we would already be in California for that period, we added time with Son Tony and his family. Then we also tacked on a destination just for us. We booked flights and waited for the time to arrive.

After leaving Salt Lake City Hubby Tony and I flew into San Jose, where we picked up a rental car and headed over the Altamont Pass towards the Central Valley. For Part Two of our vacation we were staying at Son Tony's and DIL Ie's house. As much as I was looking forward to hanging out with them, I really was looking foreard to giving Granddaughters Evee and Gee big hugs.

Baby and toddler heaven

This leg of the trip couldn't have been more different than the first. In Salt Lake City my step counter recorded some of the highest numbers in months, and Tony and I got to do whatever we wanted when we wanted to. At this stop I struggled to get my minimum number of steps per day, and our schedule revolved around bottle feedings and nap times. We played, read books, and generally helped out wherever possible. Each day after lunch we took Gee to the park in her stroller. It was great fun to help her navigate the play structure.

We were there from Monday afternoon until Thursday morning. Wednesday night Son Tony brought home carryout food and a lovely cake for an early Mother's Day celebration.

It tasted as good as it looked!

Five years ago today: Solitude and Silence

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

"All Roads Lead To Temple Square"

Son Brian and DIL Nicole were married in May 2010. Ten years later Hubby Tony and I were all ready to babysit for them so they could have a celebratory getaway. However, thanks to Covid that didn't happen.

Fast forward to January 2022. We're all vaxxed and boosted; Nicole asked if we would be willing to try again. Tony and I agreed. Since we would already be in California for that period, we added time with Son Tony and his family. Then we also tacked on a destination just for us. We booked flights and waited for the time to arrive.

Our trip was divided into three sections. The first destination was Salt Lake City (the "just for us" part).  We chose it because it was in the general direction that we were going, Southwest flew into the airport, and neither Tony and I had been there before.

On the morning of April 29th we headed to the airport. Originally we had booked a non-stop flight, but Southwest changed our plans, deciding that we wanted to make a stop in the Denver airport first. That added a couple of hours, but we were still deplaning in Salt Lake City before lunch. After picking up a rental car we drove to a lovely old building, where we had rented a private apartment Airbnb. After unpacking, we started exploring.

For the next two and a half days we explored the area on foot and by car. The Salt Lake City streets are logical and grid-like. Everything radiates out from Temple Square, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple and buildings are located. Major roads are numbered (200, 300, 400, etc.) and include the direction (North, South, East, or West.) 

Friday we concentrated on walking around the downtown area. Saturday morning we were in and around Temple Square, where toured the Beehive House (one of the official residences of Brigham Young), learned about the LDS from the Sister Missionaries in the Conference Center, and caught a portion of an organ concert in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Much of the area was being renovated, construction signs were everywhere, and it was a little hard to navigate.

Eagle Gate - Wikipedia

During the second half of the day we walked a trail up Ensign Peak (a 400-foot elevation gain). At the top we could see the Great Salt Lake and the city spread out like a panorama. In the evening we investigated a couple of neighborhoods recommended by our host before coming home and falling into bed.

On Sunday we drove a half hour southeast to Park City, the site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. There, we walked around and explored the historic downtown area. On the way back to Salt Lake City we stopped to get information about the Olympics museum, but we were tired and decided to pass on visiting it.

Before I knew it it was time to pack our suitcases again and head to the airport for the next part of our trip. On our way out of town we stopped to see the Cathedral of the Madelene, a beautiful Romanesque building.

Wikipedia
 Five years ago: Unexpected Art

Sunday, May 8, 2022

A Mom’s Job Description

Happy Mother's Day to all moms, grandmas, and mother figures who were honored today. I hope that your day was everything you wanted it to be. I couldn't find the author of this job description, but I think it is spot-on. Enjoy!

POSITION: 

Mother, Mom, Mama

JOB DESCRIPTION: 

Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often-chaotic environment.

Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.

Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES: 

The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.

Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.

Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.

Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.

Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.

Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.

Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery-operated devices.

Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.

Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: 

Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: 

None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION: 

Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent.

When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS: 

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

 Five years ago today: Lubed Lips Lamentation

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Take Me Out To The Little League Game

Today, for the first time in three decades I had the opportunity to go to a little league baseball game. It was a lot of fun.

The team members were all five or six years old, and in their second year of playing organized ball. Last year they hit off a tee; this year a coach pitched soft lobs their way. Each batter had five chances to hit a pitch before a ball was set on a tee so they could successfully hit it.

Both teams were small enough that everyone got to play in the field every inning. Each time a child was assigned to a different position. I was impressed that most of the players seemed to have somewhat of a grasp of what they should be doing when a hit ball came their way. However, most of the time the hit ball went between players or over someone's head. 

During a team's batting portion players rotated through until they got three outs. Players who got on base could only run a single base at a time. There were two coaches on the field, and each dugout had another person to organize the batting order. That job was a bit like herding cats, but the players were having a lot of fun.

 Even though it had been a long time since I sat on a metal bleacher, it didn't take long for me to get back in the groove. Everything felt familiar--the parents yelling out encouragement, the smaller siblings running around and bugging their parents for concession stand treat, and the post-game team snacks.

Five years ago: Floods, Crests, And A New Day

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

May The Fourth Be With You

Today is Star Wars Day. The date is, of course, a take on the iconic Star Wars line “May the Force be with you.”

Given that the name of the event gives away its month and day, how many people would need to refer to a chart like this one? I'm guessing only true Star Wars nerds.

Five years ago: Write It Out

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Let's All Groan Together

Olaf the Viking Norseman is shopping at a supermarket when he comes across an old lady in a wheelchair, almost in tears.

"What's the matter?" asks Olaf.

"Oh," sobs the old lady. "I want to have a look at the frozen puddings but, as you can see, there are three steps down into the chiller cabinets."

"No problem," says Olaf, lifting her onto his back. "I'll take you."

Olaf strolls through the chiller cabinets with the old lady on his back. She selects several puddings and puts them in the basket he is carrying for her.

At the other end the old lady's husband is waiting with her wheelchair.

"I'd really like to thank you," says the old lady as Olaf sets her back down in the chair, "but I don't even know who you are!"

Olaf just waves and walks off.

"I was really worried about you," says the old lady's husband. "What have you been doing?"

She replies: "Well, I've been through the desserts on a Norse with no name."