Saturday, October 20, 2007

True Love: Meet the Newest Appliance

This may be the luckiest find of my life (well, besides my husband and children!).
Gagganau Oven
This oven retails around $5400. So how did we find one for less than a tenth of that price? A high-end appliance repair guy, that's how.

Sears was handling the installation of the dryer part of the stacked LG steam washer/dryer we purchased from them very poorly. The washer was installed when we requested. But the dryer had been in the garage, uninstalled, for almost 6 weeks and life was not good around here. Since the washer can handle a double load of clothing (YES! It's true!), the dryer to go with such a wonderous machine needs to effectively dry the same quantity. Well, my old gas dryer was making a wrinkled mess out of everything, etc. Sears kept insisting that we get a plumber out to do the gas hookup (the line was already there). So I told them they could jolly well come pick up everything; they sold me a set of appliances and we paid for installation and they needed to completely install the appliances! They had to call in their high-end installer, who is under contract with Gagganau, Miele, Bosch, Thermador, etc. and who can do any and all electrical and gas work necessary for the installation. So that's how I met Ed and his workers. Top-drawer - these guys show up with fancy trucks and trailers, with sorted bins of stuff and every possible tool! What a concept! They don't sit around scratching their gonads and grunting; they get right to work.
Turns out that makers of true high-end stuff only allow one, possibly two service calls before they just pull out the pesky unit and put in a brand new one. When Ed opened the trailer to get some tools, I saw a wondrous sight - a beautiful Gagganau oven strapped on a palatte. Seems this Gagganau oven didn't like its probe. It's had every board replaced, so is essentially new internally. The only problem is the probe. Yes, it's got a little dirt on it. But NO scratches, dinks or stains. I've never used an oven probe. I'm happy to roast the old fashioned way and use the instant-read thermometer! And no warranty, of course. So we have a 36" oven that will go under our 36" DCS gas cooktop (also bought at fire sale prices - there is a slight dent in one corner which will more than likely press out when it's installed over granite or silestone - and it's also stainless steel, which I don't like but that's what appliances are more often than not) that is also out in the garage, brand-new and waiting to be installed. And, we have a Vent-A-Hood out there, too. Ed said "I'd be happy to install all these for you when you're ready." He even gas us advice on how to change out the cabinets, and some ideas for the remodel.

Of course, Ed has a story. He has masters degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering, and was a working stiff until he invented and patented a bottle cap process that Coors Brewing and Ball canning and bottling division jointly purchased. So then Not-So-Old Ed didn't need to work anymore. He was still young, so he bought a Scuba Diving shop up in the mountains and he and his wife and kids ran that (still do). But he still wanted to do something, and his wife wanted him out of the house something fierce. He always had a passion for appliances, and when his high-end stuff wasn't installed properly, he offered to help out Miele with their installs. They trained him, and other companies snapped him up, too.

Our double oven unit is going toes up any day. The bottom oven gave up the Ghost months ago. It's a cheap GE Profile unit, and they are awful. The thing spits out steam and boiling water when you cook anything moist in it, and it cooks unevenly. So Ed took the measurements and he and his employee talked. There is a new Thermador triple unit that has a m-wave on top, convection oven in middle and warming drawer underneath that would fit Like A Glove in the GE's spot. Pray that somebody buys one and the installers muck up the installation as they normally do (Ed only comes in as the WolfMan clean up guy, think Harvey Keitel character in Pulp Fiction. He comes in when there's problems) and we miraculously get a Thermador triple unit, barely used, at a 10th of the price.
Thermador Triple Oven
A Girl Can Dream, right?!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Feeding 80/The Hannukah of Birthdays

This could also read 'Feeling 80' at the moment. Because? Last night we fed 80 people. In one and a half hours. And I only have one small saucepan of curry left.
Some background: Our neighborhood features a K-8 school. This year, there are over 1000 kiddos registered and attending. So, a staff of around 80 services the school. It is an English as a Second Language (ESL) specialty school, as our population here is 17% Asian - Engineers imported from China, South Korea, India, Japan and other Pacific Rim countries. We have children who speak NO English in classrooms. Volunteers from the neighborhood, and older students fluent in the language, help out in the classrooms. Anyway, it is a superb school; and after some cage rattling, I am very happy with the level of Special Needs services Ryan is receiving to help with his speech difficulties.
Unfortunately, last year the school had a snafu with District PTA and our school's attempt to set up a 501.c.3 separate from the PTA for fundraising. Why would a school set up another 501.c.3 (tax exempt) fundraising vehicle, you may ask? Because District and National PTA could possibly direct how your very own school can spend the money, that's why. For example, spending the money on salaries for paraprofessionals to assist with teaching and pupil management might not be okay with District. And other spending might be ix-nayed. And why should ANY entity that is not directly affected by decisions be allowed involvement in the decision-making process, we asked. So, we are allowing PTA to die a slow, and now painful, death. We spent all the money in the PTA accounts to drain it down last year. However, PTA directors and school officials could not tell the rest of us what really happened. Our school district Big Cheeses obviously told them to keep mum about it. It meant that disorganization and confusion were rampant in the school. And volunteers were not organized as our former PTA people were and are understandably jaded, and have been unfairly accused of 'having an agenda'. Puhlease.
Last year, the rumor mill started up in rare form. "Teachers are quitting over this PTA fiasco!", "Our students won't get to do the 5th-grade trip (camping for 2 nights and some team-building stuff to prepare them for middle school), and all our Field Trips are at risk!" "National PTA is going to SUE US!"
All not true.
But what that kind of gossip and doomsday predicting can do, in the end, is affect how the community looks on your school. It will eventually start to hurt property values! PEOPLE - THINK!
Some parents are trying very hard to renew school spirit, for lack of a better term. One group has begun a landscape refurbishing that gave the school a pretty astonishing face lift overnight. There are other groups that are going full steam with the new 501.c.3 and other good things. And I offered to do the one thing I can do - I can feed large groups pretty easily.
So, during Parent/Teacher conferences this week and next, the parents are feeding our school staff of 80 lovely, home-cooked meals. Last night I made two kinds of currty, Thai and Indian, and other parents brought all the sides. And they were yummy! Authentic family recipies, eagerly and lovingly prepared for a staff we are lucky to have serving our neighborhood. And I can't wait to tell all the other parents who helped last night that our dinner got a standing ovation from the teachers and staff.

Now, about the Hannukah of Birthdays. My birthday was a week ago. I have always felt "Why celebrate only one day?" I celebrate the entire month of October! Many lunches out, many celebratory walks and trips. It's a beautiful time of year to get out and about with friends. So I use my birthday as an excuse to see my friends.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Some Days

Some days are lovely.
The weather is perfect.
The children are completely self-entertaining and especially sweet.
There is a suitable diversion in which both parents and children thoroughly enjoy themselves.
The food is top drawer. Everything comes out looking like the photo in the cookbook.

Today was such a day.

We spent a good portion of it at a gymnastics birthday party that was infused with autistic children and their parents. Ryan's quirky behavior didn't even register on the radar. The food the parents served was nutritious and beautifully plated. And all the gifts were developmentally correct! Even ours - we have been giving a Klutz toy lately that is usually a hit with the 6-9 set.

But the Very Best part for me was the parents. They understand and agree when I say "Ryan has been the biggest gift of our lives. And a great part of the benefit of having a Ryan is the parents of other special needs kids you meet along the way."

Then tonight we had a Time of it. And I had to remind myself "This is a Gift. This is a Gift. This is a Gift." Ryan needs more processing time. And by 8 at night, I'm all out of patience.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Reading, but not commenting

Really. I am reading all my normal daily visiting places. I'm just too busy to comment. And too tired. Because? Ken and I stayed up until 3:20 a.m. YES - A.M.! watching Pride and Prejudice, a mini series that was 6 hours in length.

Friday, September 07, 2007

It's finally happened -

I've officially turned the corner and become a complete Laundry Snob.
We bought the LG Tromm Steam Washer and dryer. And we're going to stack them.
The fellow at the Great Indoors attempted to talk us into the brand new Sears HE steam washer, but no - we know the LG will fit in the space and we already did the research, etc. etc.
This is what becomes possible after one's spouse buys a sports car. Fancier appliances. And I'm fine with that.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

First day of School - Photos!

Parker and Ryan in front of Parker's classroom

Parker and his DESK! Loaded up, even!

Ryan first day of Kindergarten

Parker first day of First Grade

The School Boys!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Busy As Bees We Are

Firmly planted in Week Two of school. I am delighted to report that all seems well with Parker and Ryan. There were enormous fears -- of the lunchroom, of all things -- on the part of the boys, and of the playground, on my part. So Ryan and I have been having a lot of snacks with Parker in the cafetorium (doesn't that sound like a devine place to be buried?), and we've been shuffling our feet on the playground along with piles of children, one of whom is our very own Parker. Parker and Ryan seem to have no trepidation regarding the hectic swarm of all-age children on the playground, the lack of fencing, the parking lot nearby with possible child-snatchers lurking in every corner. No, it's Me. And 3 other parents. So we collect our Volunteer badges and park ourselves in sections that seems under supervised, and try to actually Keep Watch v. just riveting eyes on our very own little darlings.

About the time Parker's first recess is over, it's time for Ryan to decamp to kindergarten, fully exercised and bright of eye and spirit. And I ask our energetic kindy teacher "Do you need my help today?" A foolish question. So I stay and do all those things that having 90 eager little learners entail. Much shuffling of paper, assembling of packets, setting up of display walls which all of us parents will eagerly scan, looking for signs of adorable art and literary work.

Too busy to even shop for food, in fact, since Ken is out of town and I dread shopping with the boys. They hang on to the cart, pulling it every which way, dash off in front of other carts to procure tasty tidbits (most of which is ix-nayed - never mind, they try anyway) and are general nuisances. I had to take Ryan today. We were out of too much stuff. The store was pretty empty. And wouldn't you know; not once or twice but three times, another parent with their annoying child kept blocking our way to get places. This woman was oblivious to anyone else in the store. Her daughter (who looked 4 or older) was spitting into her hands and drawing with the saliva - broad slashes with her palms! BEYOND DISGUSTING. I thought 'certainly even this clueless mother can't be aware her child is doing such an incredibly nasty thing', so I took the liberty of gently informing her "Your little one is spitting in her palm and marking territory..." with an Ikea Anna wry smile for emphasis. And do you know what that lovely woman retorted? "So What! Mind your own business!" So I said "Oh dear, I guess I better call management over to monitor the situation." And I did. And guess what? She stormed out of the store, abandoning her cart and snapping and snarling at her daughter. Oh dear. I'll probably end up on the PTO with her at some point and she'll have it in for me.

Let's see; what else...

Back to School is tonight. The Parental Units are coming over to entertain the boys as the husband he is gone. Have to shoe-horn Taekwondo in there somewhere before dinner and after school. Ai Yi Yi.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Taking a break!

I'm off today to Las Vegas to visit my sister. She has a few fun things planned - an immediate visit to the Dim Sum place upon my arrival, shopping the next day with a lunch at Bellagio, swimming on Lake Mead on Saturday and possibly a show in there some time as well. But, more importantly, there is down time in there for me! She is going to work out and/or ride her horse, leaving me to rest, read or whatever.
A L O N E.

Doesn't this sound like heaven? I love my family. And I'll love them even more after catching a break!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I feel strange

Ryan resting at Left Hand lake.

Ryan starts kindergarten tomorrow.
I feel strange - not sad, not worried; just-strange.
How can our youngest child be in kindergarten already? Never mind that he is 6, has lost 5 teeth (while his older brother remains a Tooth Virgin) and may tower over his classmates - he is young. His kindy teacher came to the house to meet all of us this past Friday. Ryan hauled her up to his room and showed her his treasures - his tooth fairy box and his books. Our speech therapist was here too, and they chatted out at their cars for awhile. I always wonder if the therapists say "Ryan is doing great but that mother is an eternal annoyance."

Parker at Left Hand lake.

Parker is entering first grade tomorrow. For some reason, I am fine with this. We have the obligatory New Lunch Box, complete with metal water bottle and re-usable environmentally friendly containers. In which I may even occasionally pack a healthy lunch. We have $100's of new school supplies, which have already been dropped off and loaded into his New Desk. Yes, one gets their very own desk in first grade. And their own supplies. Had I known that, I would have labeled every blasted pencil. Not because they are special; because those fuckers are SHARPENED. Do you know how long it takes to sharpen thirty-six #2 pencils?

We don't have new clothes, or new haircuts. We'll get those in early September. Maybe then stuff will be less expensive, and school photos are end of September. Even a bad haircut looks good after 2 weeks, so we'll get those haircuts 1st or 2nd week in September.

I hope to snap some photos tomorrow morning. I'm letting the boys pick their own outfits -- please take that into account as you look at the photos!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Summer Vacation, Jammies all the time.

Same day, different pjs.

GameCube Playing Styles, around noon today

Nightly reading in the Guest Room with Daddy, around 8:30 (okay, probably closer to 9 - we have to move up bed times THIS WEEK or the boys, they will be toast next week with the start of school... )

Honestly, the boys were dressed in street clothing for about 4 hours today. We were supposed to go to the library, but I was too tired. Today, for some unknown reason, I decided to try a new way of deep cleaning.
Slow Vacuuming.
Yes, you read that correctly. I, who does everything at lightning speed, decided that once a month I will vacuum very
to deep clean the carpeting. And my gosh the stuff I got out of the rugs. You should try it. Ken said it sounded like occasional popcorn. Of course, this took an extra hour.

I do fall cleaning. So now I will tackle baseboards, walls and cobwebs. I already cleaned woodwork, ceiling fans, cabinet fronts.

Could this post possibly be any more boring?

Finally, Fotos!

Ryan, proving he can read anywhere

Ryan and Parker at the Club pool.

Ryan perching on a rock at Rainbow Lake

I have been lame to the extreme in my photo offerings of late. Again with the 'lost the cable' excuse. We have been taking video this summer and letting the boys capture their own shots with their digital cameras. And guess what? I have LOST THEIR CABLES! Grrrrrrr.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

After Months of looking...

We found a Master Bedroom Chest that we can both live with at

Of Course -


Portomao Chest

We've purchased, and refused delivery of, a chest from Restoration Hardware. Horrid construction - It arrived with drawer glides snapped, drawers not closing, veneer peeling off the top and gouges out of the sides.

Then we found a Kincaid Magna Chest we thought might work; on further reflection we knew it wasn't 'fancy' enough for the cherry furniture that is in the master suite. We spent the next few weeks touring every furniture showroom in Denver; found chests we would consider from inexpensive ($300) to ridiculous ($15,000). Last night, I jokingly told Ken - "Hey, I bet we find the perfect chest where we find everything else - at Costco!" We had a good har de har about that, and then I went on line. And found perfect size chests in a few different pieces. Then I found it! All those weeks, driving around looking, thinking we were looking for the impossible.


Friday, August 10, 2007

"I'm reading and too lazy to write"

so here's something from unconscious mutterings

  1. Voices ::

  2. Have to ::

  3. Machine ::

  4. Seventh grade ::

  5. Beach ::

  6. Roommate ::

  7. Cyclone ::

  8. Theater ::

  9. Pregnant ::

  10. Phoebe ::

Voices: In my head
Have to: Phone Sarah O.
Machine: Wash
Seventh grade: Bullshit
Beach: Bum
Roommate: Horrors
Cyclone: Twister
Theater: Tickets
Pregnant: Pause
Phoebe: Bird

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A slice of perfection.

No, not a foodie post.
A Family Day post. A "This Makes It All Worthwhile" post.

I don't often post about daily grind. Who wants to re-live that?! Sometimes I comment about parenting a child on the always-exciting Autism spectrum, but mostly out of anger with The System. (Which we abandoned long ago, and are now spending our future retirement funds on getting private therapies for our son. And which has made all the difference in his very being.)
But this post? This is a post about our oldest son, Parker. He is an Average Child. Average height, average strengths in school, average in alot of measurements of physical and mental achievements. Which is wonderful. I am learning that Average is EASY. Where he soars above the crowd is when he practices and exhibits the martial art of Tae kwon do.
Yesterday, Parker tested for his blue belt. His form was so flawless in his execution - even when he faltered - that the crowd was absolutely silent. Another parent whispered to us "He is really an exquisite child." And my heart nearly burst.
Two other classmates of Parker's now attend tae kwon do with him, and one of the boys tested with Parker yesterday. It was wonderful to see his parents at their first belt testing, to know the emotions that they were feeling, and to be ecstatic with them when their son executed his form successfully and snapped his board with the first kick. We went out to dinner afterward, and people oh'd and ah'd when the 2 little dudes waltzed in in their tae kwon do uniforms. (Okay, there were three additional very cute kids in the group...and at least one person might have been admiring the baby or the exceptionally beautiful little girl in the group). We were given the party room, and for the first time in their lives, our sons were allowed to run wild around a room while eating dinner out. The adults were able to have a good, long chat, unfettered with parenting children aged 3 to 7. I had forgotten what it was like to have dinner out with kids and be able to actually carry on a conversation without "MOMMY!" interruptions. Then we all trotted over to our house, where dessert was served and the garden trains were put on the track and - gasp - the children were allowed to operate them for hours!
Of course, some things that were annoying at the time, now seem funny:
Ken is always dragging his ass when we leave the house. As in, I am about ready to start driving off and leaving him again if he doesn't stop making us late for everything. Parker was about having apoplexy in his booster, waiting for Daddy to come out of the house so we could drive off! So, of course we got there a bit late, as of course we got lost (it was at different studio this time). Ken barked as we finally neared the studio "You jump out and run in with Parker!" and me, being a literal type of person, started to open my door as he slowed, popped off my seat belt and stuck a foot out the door. With that, my husband spies a close parking space. Without telling the rest of us, he decides to zip into that space. I have a sandaled foot out the door on the asphalt! I have a hand firmly grasping an open door! Parker is standing at the ready at his sliding door! So we go from nearly stopped, to a goose of the engine and a turn! WHEEEEEEEEEEE! Parker and I are screaming our heads off - Parker is hanging on for dear life to his booster and the back of Ken's seat, and I am leaning out with the open door as it swings out into thin air, and sanding off the bottom of my expensive, made-in-South-Africa-by-native-women sandals! Ken quips "Oh! Sorry - I saw this close-in space... " and I say "Okay! We're Here! Parker jump out!" and that was the end of it - I trot into the studio, smoking sandal and all, and get the traumatized child into the lineup.
Then, in our absorbed adoration of watching Parker do his routine, we do not notice that Ryan was clicking his camera, with blinding flash, at the audience! He was blinding people as their children did their routines! We discouraged that behavior, so he then decided to play with duplo blocks in a hard plastic case, which made really annoying clunks and clanks while the masters are doing the verbal portion of the tests with each child so now the parents couldn't hear their child's responses. Oy.
But mostly, it was a Magic Day. The weather was cooler and a bit cloudy. The sunset was amazing - a Maxfield Parrish kind of evening. Even the mosquitoes left off for the evening. How lucky is that?!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The hair she's cut.

And I am not liking it. Because I now am forced to spend time actually fixing hair. And I am not a hair-fixing type of person.
Photos to follow, maybe. I have not yet been able to fix the hair properly and may get it entirely cut off, very short.
So, not so happy. Plus, I swear I get weaker the day I get my hair cut.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I read the whole thing in 10 off/on hours *SPOILERS IN COMMENTS*

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows arrived by post yesterday. Parker brought it in the house and I didn't see it until after 3:00 pm. I got in a couple of hours straight, then interrupted reading (Ken told the boys to quit with the GameCube, already, and promptly left me to deal with them - thanks, Honey!) for another hour and half. We went out to dinner (Noodles, one of our favorites), then for an after-dinner walk, then back home. I nestled in with my book and 2 boys leaping off and on my reading sofa in the master bedroom while they watched Pink Panther on tv. Ken joined them and they settled on the bed. Off to bed with the lot of them around 8:30, and it was just me and Harry. I attempted sleep around 12:30 am. Tossed and turned for an hour, and flipped the reading light back on around 1:30 am.
I finally put the book down around 3 am and slept like the dead. Strange dreams. The boys brought me 'bressist in bed'; a lovely, plated breakfast of 2 slices of toast, a knife, jam, napkin and a half cup of water 'So we won't spill it!' at 7:45 am. Parker cut one slice in half after I offered to share my breakfast with them. We ate in bed, heads bent over the tray to try to avoid crumbs in bed. I told them to find Daddy to ask him when he is going to make waffles, and leapt back out of bed to start reading again. They came back up, and to avoid pleas of GameCube (which they played for HOURS yesterday, so no GameCube today), I put on PBS and luckily, Curious George was featured. So, at 8:15, I again became lost in Harry's world. I was on page 726, so didn't have much left to read. I finished the book in half an hour, re-reading quite a bit as I went, tears streaming down my face at some points.

I am so sad that there will be no more Harry Potter books. They have kept me spellbound since 1998, when I read it aloud to my then 9 year old Godson, his 6 year old brother, and my 10 year old niece while on a trip to visit my Godson's family in Chicago.

These 7 books got the whole planet reading again. And that is a very, very good thing.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A little slice of heaven.

It was a little slice of heaven.
This place Rainbow Lakes Resort.
Pictures to follow, which are on Ryan's camera and, well, we haven't quite found it yet! I know it's here, just - where?
The resort is above 9,200 feet, and features warm days and very chilly nights. I drove up with Parker, Ryan and my mother. Ken was in Florida, buy a car. A 2006 Audi A4 Cabriolet, in silver. With low miles, one owner, blah blah blah. (It has yet to be shipped so haven't seen it.) He and my father drove up on Saturday. Which left my mom and myself to set up camp, so to speak.
We did quite well, except for a couple of things:
1. We did not complete the equation that if one finds a small furnace in a cabin, there just might be a thermostat which controls said furnace somewhere about. And that it would be turned down below 50 degrees during the day...
2. We took the sign by the commode that read "Our septic system is fragile. Please do not flush any paper." Very. Seriously. As in - NO PAPER. which was fine with us, being diaper-changing women and all, but which threw the boys (and eventually, the grown men) for a Huge Loop. And which we found out from the resort owners was for a #1 case only - definitely not a #2 situation. In the meantime, my mother and I were doing a lot of boy butt-wiping and alot of triple-wrapping of toilet paper, etc. Yes, Ewwwwwwwwww. Thankfully, the men folk were simply NOT going #2 and were much, much relieved when we trotted back with the information "YES! We can flush paper for #2!" There was a stampede for the facilities after this pearl of news!
About the no-heat the first night: It got down below 50 in the cabin. WAY below 50. I put the boys in my bed and tried to sleep on the blow-up bed. Which of course, was the same temp as the air in the room - FREEZING! When we accidently found the thermostat the next morning, life became much better. And we felt duly humbled.
But as to the rest of the vacation? It was perfection. Long days filled with fishing, boating, hiking and snoozing. Tasty, simple meals prepared on a very tiny gas stove. I read 3 books in the 4 days we were there. And the great news is that I've continued reading since we've arrived home.
We just happened to drive into Buena Vista at 10 one morning, and there was a rodeo parade! Complete with tiny-car tooting and zooming monkey-hatted Shriners! (What happened to the Harleys on which they used to scoot?) And lots of kids on their groomed-to-the-nines ponies and horses, or tugging goats/alpacas/sheep/calves on ropes. So sweet. And crowds of really old folk clapping each other on the back, obviously friends for all their lives. Then a trip to a bakery that served up high quality baked goods - not easy over 8000 feet altitude. We purchased a few yummy treats to make mornings at the cabin special for the next few days.
There was lots of exploring, walking sticks to locate and customize on each hike, wildlife to discover (Deer! Elk! Beaver! Fish!) (Thank God no Bear or Cougar!) and at night - a bonfire to experience. We let the boys put sticks in the fire and then 'write' with the fiery end. They played around that bonfire for 3 hours and finally fell asleep on long log seats around the fire. We met people who had been coming to the lake for 45 years; people who had spent their honeymoon at the lake and conceived children at the lake; people who were first-timers like us and who also vowed to return annually.
And we will be returning annually. At least! We have reservations for next July and are considering making a long week-end reservation for September of this year when the aspens are changing.
We took some photos and lots of video. I will get around to editing this post with photos or posting anew with the photos

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Reading, not writing

We were on vacation for 4 days and I read 3 books. Since we've been home I've read 2. I Hate My Neck and The Wal-Mart Effect One made me laugh, one made me mad. Both made me think. Which is a Good Thing.
The Vacation Report will have to wait. Because?

And yes, doing laundry.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

We're OFF like dirty shirts!

To a place I am hoping is a bit like summers of my youth:
Rainbow Lake Resort
I got a checkup and new paws on the minivan, and I've packed the sunscreen, skeeter repellant and star-gazing binoculars. We have light jackets, rain jackets and heavy jackets. Toys and books. I'm bringing a sewing craft, too. (hope springs eternal).
See you in a while!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Phone conversation today:

Me: Wait a minute; I have to move to get better reception (while spinning around in Williams Sonoma, trying to hear better).
Her: Blah blah can't-hear-her-blah...
Me: Crap! My phone doesn't have any reception! Can you hear me? I can't hear you!
Her: blah blah *bling - crystal clear* Oh! I can hear you now. What happened?
Me: This phone is So Old. I mean it's the phone on Year 1 of Alias for gosh sake!
Her: Alias?
Me: Never mind - it was a spy tv show. Off the air now. Never saw how it ended the final year.
Her: Well, if you need a new phone, you should get one while Anne-Marie is there.
Me: What's that weird noise in the background? Sounds like an ad for a cell phone or something.
Her: Oh, that's the new cell phone! I hope nobody is texting me! I can't figure out how to retrieve text messages, and there they sit.
Me: Wait a minute; isn't that your family ring tone? Isn't that what they say on that ad...
Her: Oh, Yes! It's (her daughter)! I better get this...
Me: OK call me back...
Her: No, I'll tell her I'll call her back.
Me: SHIT! My phone just went dead!
*whacking the stuffing out of it on an upholstered chair in the mall*
Me: Are you there?
Her: What was that thumping noise?
Me: Beating my phone to make it work. Sometimes it just goes dead! But I don't want to get a new phone! We never learned how to use these phones and I found a text message from a couple of years ago on thing last week!
Her: Oh, I know what you mean! This new phone can do everything but stir the soup. And I only know how to turn the thing off and on and to answer calls. Last time I learned how to use the phone, (her husband) traded all our phones in and got new ones. Completely different. So I never learn how to run them anymore. I think you can take videos on this one, too.
Me: Hey, there's that ringing again. I swear, it's your family ring tone, or something.
Her: Oh, yes! It's (her husband). I'll let that one go to voice mail - oh I can't! I don't know how to retrieve messages yet! I'll be right back.
Me: SHIT! My phone went dead again! *Mercilessly whacking it on the upholstery, again*
Her: Are you there? Hello? Are you beating that phone again?! I'm telling you, you better get a new phone while you've got that 20 year old in the house. She can show you how to run it.
Me: Just what I need - to be able to text, take photos and drive all at the same time!
Her: Is that the same phone you were complaining about being so slippery you were constantly dropping it?
Me: YES!
Her: Do you mean you've had the same cell phone for 7 years?
Me: Yes.
Her: How do you get away with that?
Me: I know what you mean! It's great to have the same old phone. No learning curve. SHIT! It's dead, AGAIN! Oh, no, don't know what happened - Are you there?
Her: I should let you go.
Me: Yes, I have to get Anne-Marie something for her birthday. Hey, why did you call?
Her: Geesh, I can't remember.
Me: You know, maybe I'll stop by that phone kiosk around the corner...
Her: OH! I remember what it was! We have a new home phone number since (her husband) got the new phones. It's xxx-xxx-xxxx
Me: You called me right? I can just save it on my cell phone.
Her: Hey, that's right! I have to learn how to do that again. Oh, probably not! This phone is completely different from the old one.
Me: Can you believe we just spent (looking at phone) 22 minutes talking about our cell phones. Not how your trip to China was, or how my kids are. No. Our Stupid Cell Phones.
Her: I'll call you at home later. Then we can talk.
Me: SHIT MY PHONE IS DEAD. AGAIN. *drops slippery phone and it busts into 7 pieces this time*

And - I lost her new number as I can't put the phone back together. I guess I really will have to buy a new cell phone.

I met Lemony Sarah!

Yes! The Lovely Sarah O, formerly of Chicago, now of Superior.
And she IS lovely.
And had her hair coiffed, some makeup on and was wearing a chic outfit.
I, on the other hand, had bathed. Other than that, I was wearing old play-with-kids clothing. Oh, and earrings.
She nibbled on her lunch. I wolfed down not only my share, but hers as well!
We discussed a surprising array of subjects. We haven't solved World Hunger or even figured out where they should do their banking. But given a few more meetings, and we just might.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

We Have Succombed:

I cannot believe it.
Ken and I have decided to purchase a Gamecube or some other such thing for Parker for his birthday.
Plus a couple of games.
Someone said "Forget the Gamecube! Get them Wii!"
I think NOT.
The first time I tried that Wii thing, I ended up nearly destroying someone's brand-spanking new plasma TV! The remote flew, FLEW, I tell you, out of my grasp and skidded across their TV screen. And the worst thing? I didn't get another turn! YES! The punishment, no matter whom, for such an indiscretion was not getting to play for the rest of the day.
So we are thinking Gamecube.
I have no idea about such things.
Do you have to buy extra memory for the thing?
Can I trust the salespeople at Best Buy or some other Biggish Box not to 'see me coming' and load me up like the true rube that I am?
Any and all advice greatly appreciated. The Big Day is the 10th. So only a few days to decide What To Do.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Amy Winehouse. *sigh*

Does anybody else want to just grab this girl, snatch that godawful rat's nest off the top of her head, scrub her face with a washcloth and then:
TAKE HER TO A DENTIST? And then maybe a soup kitchen?!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ANAGRAM your name - aw, come on!

My full name (well, excluding all those names I was bestowed by the Catholic Faith for promising to be Jesus' ForEvah) anagrams out to:

'I'm fair, rare maverick menace.'

Which, well, Duh - if you know me at all.

Were I to use my husband's surname, you ask?

"Feminine, Verbal Crack."

Try it!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Teacher Goody Bags:

Eight of these were assembled for Ryan's teachers and therapists:

Joke found them remaindered at Pottery Barn, and then put me in touch with a store that had what I needed. They were a HUGE HIT! I loaded the containers with travel sized Bath & Body Works stuff, plus some Aveda hand lotion and shower gel. I cello wrapped them, and then stuck chopsticks in the ribbon. The chopsticks have sentiments printed on them.

Six of these were assembled for Parker's teachers:

The bags hold about the same things as Ryan's, and a Starbucks coffee card - Parker's teachers are all coffee fiends.

The only picture that turned out from Parker's Kindergarten circus presentation:

A photo of Ryan, seated in the Peanut Gallery, towering over his peer group. Ah, but he's a Gentle Giant...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The weirdest thought I've had in A Long Time:

I was walking out of Target, with a cart full of clunky stuff - not loud, just a bit rythmically clunky. And what did I say to myself, out of the blue?
"This clunking sounds like I have Ben Wa balls in my pocket!"


Do I own a set? NO!
Have a ever carried a pair around, in my pocket or otherwise?

I am losing my fucking mind.
I really can't wait for school to be over.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007 - A Day to Remember

Riding Tony the Pony and The Trike

Making a caterpillar cake

Three Cousins, a/k/a The 3 Stooges

Two Real Smiles

Two cheesy smiles

Monday, May 21, 2007

I don't know about you, but

I cannot wait for SummerTime to get here.
I am completely weary of our school routine. The morning playdates. The dash to get Ryan on the bus, fed, dressed and shod. Not always easy. The hour-later trek to get Parker through the kindergarten door with the Proper Paperwork - who knew there'd be So Much Paper for a kindergarten fellow?
But the real reason I'm fairly drooling in anticipation for summer?
YES! More than 1.5 hours all to myself!
Last summer I had lofty plans. My Gonna-Do list was astonishing in its proportions.
This year? I know better. All-day summer camp is only 18 days in 2007. And I am thinking I may just lay around and read.
Oh yeah; and there's Korean Culture Camp in June.
And Lake Buena Vista in July.
And trips to see family and friends in different States. Traveling with bigger kids is so much easier than the diaper bag/stroller days of not so long ago.
Ryan will still have 4 therapies a week. That won't change. But I am so looking forward to hanging out at the lake and pools; visiting the new Sonic drive-in that looks like it will open soon and firing up the barbeque almost every day.
We are about ready to begin construction, too. More on that, later.
And photos later, too.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Unsolicited Advice for Graduates

Not that anybody's asking, but here's my 2007 Advice for Graduates:

1. Floss. Every day.

2. Go to Grad School. If not this year, then next year. Once you get on the Hamster Wheel that is work, it's very difficult to dismount.

3. Travel every chance you get.

4. Practice safe sex. If you are with someone who refuses to wear condoms, RUN AWAY. They are not just saying that to you because You're Special. Trust me; they say that to everyone.

5. Don't forget your pillow when you're packing for college.

If you have to pick only one from the group above, go with 4.

tag'd, bag'd and ungag'd

Sueeeus and Joke tagged me. And I was ready to come out of bloggy hibernation, anyway.


1. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
Not much, obviously. It's a private blog.

2. Are you a spiritual person?
I'm not religious. At All. I am spiritual.

3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you?
A shitload of potable water, a ton of seeds and a machete.

4. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
A magical summer at our Minnesota lake house in 1967.

5. Are these your first (tagging) memes?

Here are the rules according to whomever likes to make up rules: • Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about him/herself. • People who are tagged need to write in their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. • At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I totally don't understand why people get off on porn. Maybe I haven't seen the right stuff?

2. I dropped out of high school and went on to earn six figures by the time I was 38. I also have been so broke at other times, I lived on ramen noodles and developed a love for dandelion greens until my garden came in.

3. I have never hitch-hiked, even when I was car-less for 3 years.

4. I once dated 3 men at the same time. Two of them accidently met at my house while waiting for me to get home (from a trip with the 3rd fellow) and they became life partners (years later, but still...!) I was essentially dumped by all 3 within the same 48 hours.

5. I know if you want something badly enough, and put some energy into positive thought about it, you will get it.

6. The only foods I hate are organ meats and rutabegas. Fry it or cover it with chocolate, and I'll eat it.

7. I only taste on the exhale. Inhale and taste? Not happening for me.

8. I have not had a drink since 1990. I will take a congratulatory sip of champagne at family weddings, but that's it.

I tag anyone who eventually reads this. Please let me know if you decide to participate. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sterling Sayings from Small Fry:

1. "Don't put that spitty finger on me! I'm 6 and 1/2 for gosh sake!"

2. "I have to do EVERYTHING around here!"

3. "How about DEAD APPLES?!" (instead of 'dem apples' which I had said to him about a half hour earlier). Glad I corrected that one. Parker is always sharing my jargon with his mates, I'm sure to their parents' chagrin.

4. "GEEEEEEESUS!" when I braked extremely hard to avoid a schmuck who whipped in front of us. I guess I'm yelping 'JAYSUS!' a bit too much when I drive.

5. "Mommy, what's Douchebag?!" After a similar incident, not too long ago.

6. "Mom, this is really Icky. Does Ryan have to eat it?" I felt like saying "No, but YOU DO."

7. "We are only little fellows, you know. You are being grouchy and we just CAN'T HELP IT, OKAY?!"

8. "The water just JUMPED OUT of the bathtub!"

There are a million more. These are the keepers of the month.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Can't resist a meme about FOOD!

But I'm still short on time, so I'll do it by photos...

Monday, March 19, 2007

No more bloggy goodness

The breaks I've taken from blogging are becoming more of a permanent thing. We have an outdoor room and landscaping to plan and build, vegetable gardens to plant, and I've got to get my carcass into a serious work-out routine.

So, patchy blogging ahead. I'll still read your sites, comment when I can.

Goodbye for now.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Back in a week. Or so.

We're packing, getting ready to go.

It's going to be heaven, even if it rains

It will beat the stuffing out of snow-since-20-Dec.

Hope everyone has uneventful weeks, unless the event is children getting scholarships, gainful employment, perfect situations for school or complete lack of so much as a sniffle.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


It's Difficult to:

1) Comfort my husband long distance
2) Imagine what my father-in-law's funeral service was like
3) Be ill and entertain 2 slightly ill children
4) Dye my hair in the dark (it made sense at the time)
5) Start packing for Hawaii - it's been pretty cold here
6) Shop for spring/summer clothing for myself with the Wild Boys in tow

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A great man has died...

Ken's father died yesterday, February 27.
ODA was a truly great and kind man. He and Ken's mother raised 3 children with tolerance, respect and abounding faith in their ability to do well at anything they tried.

Writing this has been more difficult than I could have dreamed. He is the first of Ken and my parents to die. Even though Ken's father was ill with Parkinson's a long time, and death was a close companion, it is astonishing to experience this level of grief. I simply cannot believe that we will not be talking to him again. That our sons will never know him. And that is the saddest thing.

And when we told the boys tonight, Parker said "Oh, Daddy! That is terrible! Now you don't have a daddy anymore." And he tenderly patted Ken.

Please hug your parents next time you see them. And tell them you love them.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

And the Oscar goes to...

My cousin Allison Kunzman for her role as Producer for the Coke and Cadillac commercials featured during the awards.

Well Done, Allison!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Our local organic food store has gone to the Dark Side!

I have loved shopping at Wild Oats for years. It's an organic grocery chain that started in Boulder, from a market called Crystal Market. It has grown and carved out it's place. A big pull for us moving here was that Wild Oats has its flagship store here. Well, I noticed last time we went in that the front lobby, usually a beautiful big display of the specials that week (non-perishables) was empty. It looked like a dance floor!

Then I heard last night that Whole Foods and Wild Oats are joining. I like some of the stuff at Whole Foods, but Wild Oats prices were better, and they didn't have the 'tragically hip' shoppers! I know that sounds snobby, but every time I go into Whole Foods, there are Piles of People trying to look so cool - the kids with rastafarian dredlocks, bare feet etc, grazing out of the bins; the Metrosexual Dudes hoping to meet the Great Golden Vagina in the deli section - the Earth Mothers with their total undisciplined and over indulged child "Oh, we don't want to ruin Little Jasmine's Spirit so we just let her do as she prefers - have you heard of You're Not The Boss of Me?!" GAG - yeah, it's for LAZY FUCKING PARENTS, ASSHAT!

I fear for our local, perfect Wild Oat now Whole Oats Wild Food - what will it become? Do those Tragically Hip types just appear, like the folks who used to Follow The Dead around (Grateful Dead, for you young whippersnappers), selling baked spuds and Dead Keepsakes?

I am just praying this explains why I have been unable to find Kafir Lime Leaves the last couple of times I went in to Wild Oats - they just weren't restocking the exotic stuff in plan for a huge re-stocking of all things lovely and wholesome. Please, please please...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Finally, some photos...

We've been having some fun.

Witness, Disney:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Lost-My-Virginity Day! Yippee.

Not today.

37 years ago today, I was asking my eventual ex-husband "Is that IT?!!"
And Lo, It Was.

And that's all I'm sayin' ...

Monday, February 12, 2007

If You could plan your dream 'Outdoor Room'...

If you were to design and construct your Dream Outdoor Room (possibly 3 season), what would be in it? Assume covered with a 'Dry Below' ceiling (deck above), and sliding door access on lower right side. We live where it gets below zero(f) occasionally, but the room will be shut down during those months (3).

What are your must-haves?

Would you do a fireplace?

A BIG MoFo barbeque, natural gas? (v. lp gas)
Another BIG MoFo barbeque - wood fired?
Is there such a thing as a sink/refrig combo?
Stove cooktop? How many burners?

What upholstery covering for furniture?
Cast Iron with removable cushions?

Water Feature?
Ceiling Fan?

I'm thinking this is our Next Big Project.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Still making me laugh...

And I do need a good laugh recently.

Hollywood Squares
If you remember the Original Hollywood Squares and its comics, this may bring a tear to your eyes. These great questions and answers are from the days when "Hollywood Squares" game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course.

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Q. According to Cosmopolitain, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No; wait until morning.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say "I Love You"?
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.

Q. What are "Do It," "I Can Help," and "I Can't Get Enough"?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you' ll never forget.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps.One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?
A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.

Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.

Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.

Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.

Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Big FIERCE hugs to you, dear folk of the internet

We are home and getting back into routines. The boys were so excited to be returning to their respective schools, neither slept much the night before. And what does it say about me that I dressed nicely and put on jewelry to go get my teeth cleaned?! A bit starved for adult interaction, possibly?

It was extremely touching to read your replies to my post about Ryan. (Sorry for the dramatic heading with no follow through! I forgot to delete the post.) It was actually very emotional for me, and since I'm playing this one close to the vest In Real Life, your lovely comments were doubly appreciated. Ryan knows there's something in the air; he is really a smoochy pooch these days. I would wear that child all day - he has the most beautiful, soft skin and he smells devine. So we are spending alot of time snuggling and reading and chatting. And I am not so worried about what will be for Ryan.

But You? You gave me hope and inspiration on my darkest day. And you will never, ever know what that has meant to me.

Thank you.

Friday, January 26, 2007

New Words for 2007 - hot off the press!NEW WORDS FOR 2007:


Essential vocabulary additions for the workplace!

1. BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

2. SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

3. ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

4. SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire ! day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

5. CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.

6. PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

7. MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

8. SITCOMS: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What Yuppies get into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.

9. STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

10. SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

11. XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

12! . IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying, but you find yourself unable to stop watching them.

13. PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

14. ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

15. 404: Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error Message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested site could not be located.

16. GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, and subdivisions.

17. ! OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake. (Like after hitting send on an email by mistake).

18. CROP DUSTING: Surreptitiously passing gas while passing through a Cube Farm.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Humbled by the kindness of strangers...

I really have to take a moment and thank you Internets. You fine, wonderful folk, who take time out of your very busy days to email and post support. It is astonishing! Really, it is!

And -- I KNOW we will get through this. We will find the right blend of reading programs (anyone have any suggestions beside Spalding Method - the home schoolers favorite?), tutors, therapists and school.

And now it's time to go off the a week long vacation. Most excellent timing.

This post will stay up One Day...

We had Ryan's IEP meeting, his Triennial. This time, he had Many, Many more tests, including an DAS (an I.Q. type test) and a battery of physical, emotional and scholastic testing.
When I sat down for the meeting, I was surprised at the number of people there. Luckily, I brought our private SLP, who is a Director of one of a hospital therapy groups; she has gone back into private practice one half day a week to sharpen her skills. Ryan is her only patient. We grabbed all of her available time, at the urging of our former SLP.
The 4 main therapists and the school director did the talking at first. They hit on Ryan's strong points, which are many. During a pause in the conversation, I quipped "WoW! You guys are saying so many great things, but I have a feeling you're leading up to some big whammy.... ?"
With that, the school psychiatrist stood up. She went over the basis for the test, stating the range of errors, the fact that Ryan was three DAYS over 66 months so they had to use the 66-71 month age group for all his testing, which meant he was being compared to children much older than he actually is. She handed me Ryan's IQ test, and handed out 2 copies for the other groups to share. One of the therapists said "OH MY GOD!" I yelled "WHAT?! WHAT?!"

My little Ryan scored 138 on the nonverbal portion of the test.
My little Ryan scored 53 on the verbal portion of the test.
The school has never seen that wide a split in the 2 areas of testing.
Having a difference of TWENTY POINTS means a child has a learning disability.
Ryan has a split of 85 points.

The therapists quickly grouped together and talked. They quickly agreed, based on the results of weeks of testing, that he is hard wired for the DAS results. ie - he's not going to suddenly start talking like his peer group, even though he can read and write circles around them now. He is ephasic in alot of output. Which means, he was either oxygen deprived in utero or at birth; suffered a stroke at some point, or he was put together a bit wrong when his brain halves joined. Would an MRI point it out? Probably. So, we'll do a neural psych test and an MRI when he's nearer to 7.

The school district has no idea how they are going to teach him. He is going to suffer huge consequences as he's putting language together incorrectly - from his extreme visual acuity, not from phonemic awareness and correct building blocks. I am now researching like mad to figure out which school can best meet his needs. Or do I just figure out what learning method is best from him and hire tutors to teach him? I don't know.

I new there was a reason he was unlabelable in his learning disabilities. I just had no idea how huge it was.

When the boys are in bed, I have cried rivers. Not that I am sorry for myself - but for my beautiful, loving, smart son! What a cross he has to bear. At times like this, I question what kind of God would strike such a gentle spirit with such a mean blow.

And I am telling NO ONE here about Ryan's difficulties. He is what he is. I don't want parents alluding to the RainMan in our midst. We will just get him all the best help we can.

The most touching thing is how the Therapist Alert system went into overdrive. Every therapist we've ever known has called and come over to smooch Ryan and pat my hand. And tell me "Oh, He's going to be FINE! You just watch our Ryan go!" Which makes me sob tears of gratefulness, but the layer of fear on my soul is huge. I am never afraid, of anything. I have faced the Devil and won.
But this? This is our most difficult journey yet.
Please think good thoughts for Ryan. And maybe keep a teeny slice of your heart positive for him. He is so good, so kind, so very dear.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My new Royal Title:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Viscountess Victoria the Cannibalistic of Buzzcock Lepshire
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Friday, January 19, 2007


It's Friday!
Did It SNOW today?

Snow --

Wait for it...

Saturday, Sunday AND Monday.

And it's cold and miserable.
What is that; six weeks in a row of snow? I'm done counting.

It better not be miserable and cold in Florida when we got there next week... Rain I can take. But ice storm or snow?
I Will Be seriously PISSED. (which is 'mad', not 'drunk' for all you English or Aussie folk out there)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

January Catalog Lust:

No, it's not gardening catalogs, although that's a good guess.



Spring Break Opportunies for Parker and Ryan.
For those poor stuck-at-home youngsters who don't get to travel to Mexico or Vail for Spring Break, Boulder Valley School District offers a huge smorgasboard of choices:

Theatre, Dance, Art, Sports, you think?


Anime: Japanese Manga Illustration
Build Your Own Character
Glass Fusing Made Easy
Math Patterns and Sequences
Diorama Building
Studio Graffiti Drawing
Chinese Mandarin Introduction
Abrakadoodle's Young Masters Workshop
Cartooning for Kids
Impressionist Workshop
Writing without Rules
Intro to Rock Climbing
Multi-sensory Reading for Kids

Gees! I was hoping for maybe some fingerpainting or ball kicking. Now I'm sitting here, wishing I was 6 again -- What to suggest to the boys?!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Another Friday-Another Frickity-Frackin' Snowstorm.

It's beyond old and tiring. It's going to bankrupt our little town. All this clearing and plowing and sanding and salting - it costs alot. We've had over 70" of snow already this winter, all of it in the last four FRIDAYS.

Our town has applied for Federal Disaster Assistance. If we don't get it, there goes our summertime charm - you know, the events that make living in a small town enviable?

In our case, at risk are:
The beginning/end of summer ice cream socials at the pools.
The 4th of July parade and pancake breakfast (never mind that the pancakes are like hockey pucks - these babies are made to be air borne as our local police and fireman flip them dozens of feet into the air and even occasionally catch them and then - yes! - serve them!)
The 3 or so evening Concerts in the Park
Free swimming pool usage
Chili Cook Off
and other fun things

But the worst?
Our town will not have the money to do the extensive annual garden plantings that make our community worth traveling to just for floral photo ops.

And, really; compared to areas in Colorado that have really suffered losses (ranchers in particular have suffered huge losses of livestock, is this small beans? And should we all just suck it up and suffer? Probably. But, it is still hard to swallow.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I stand corrected; the winds were 115 mph here!

I think that rates a
and an examination of the manse all around the outside today. I'm taking binoculars so I can check the roof tiles; noting where there are separations and nail pops, checking connections to the electrical box (just visually - no screw driver involved so relax!), making sure all vent pipes are present and accounted for, etc.

I know they build these houses with hurricane clips and engineer for them for Cat 3 hurricanes. Now I see why; we just went through one yesterday.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A wind gust of 93 mph just hit - UPDATED!

and they are expecting gusts of 100 mph.
It's almost 11 p.m.
The high wind alert will go through 5 p.m. tomorrow.
The back of the house is shaking - kind of vibrating.
The boys are in bed with Ken, in the safest room in the house right now. The guest room. You can't even hear the wind in there.

I can actually feel the wind whistling through the house. If the house makes it through this without losing half the roof or gutters or something, I will be amazed.

This is spooky. The bed is actually shaking now. I've put survival type stuff - shoes, winter coats, snow pants -- by everyone. You know, in case the house blasts apart or something. And we have to make a run for it. And no way I'm sending the children to school tomorrow.

Life in the Rocky Mountain Foothills - it's everything it's cracked up to be. And so much more. I just hope this isn't a Dorothy experience for us. I'm completely out of red shoes...

It's now 10ish a.m. on Monday - and the winds have died down for a bit. I'm letting the boys sit at the kitchen table (a block of west-facing windows and an 8' high sliding door that shimmies and shakes like a go-go dancer on crack when it's windy.

And, thanks for your concern! It was very touching to log in today and read the comments. If things really go To Shit, I will set up shop in the Media Room. Which is bordered on the west by a 16 step stairwell, and on the east by concrete foundation walls. It's windowless, reinforced (with the special soundproofing) and my father called to remind me to go to an area that 'has a void' in the event of catastrophe.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Another Day - Another Blizzard

Another foot of snow on the ground, the wind is howling and the snow, she continues.

Enough, already!