My Mother has flown to Heaven.

My Mother has flown to Heaven.
For five years, my Mother fought Stage 4 Breast Cancer with dignity, unbelievable strength and determination.

My mother passed away in September 2013.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Photo by Annisa Lam (former member of Stock.exchng)
Licensed photo DO NOT COPY

Currently I am keeping the following in my thoughts &  prayers:

-----Friends who were in the desert about twenty minutes from their night's lodging when a person on a cell phone rear-ended them causing a rollover. One of the people who experienced this was a child and another has just gotten out of the hospital after suffering a concussion and not being able to open one eye. They were going to perform at a concert that was very important to them the next day. They have a totaled vehicle and are not sure how they will get home. (Thankful they lived...the top of the vehicle was crushed in.)
-----A couple I know who would like to afford getting married this year.
-----My son who is in the military. He is in training to be a combat engineer and that can be a very dangerous job!
-----A friend who is under care at a health rehab. We hope he does not get any further complications/hospitalizations. Things are going well right now as he has been able to walk. :-)


This post is in no particular order. Prayer/thought requests just go to the top as I hear more about what is going on. If you can think of a way to help these people, PLEASE do so. This post will be second-from-the-top during the midst of an emergency (such as an Amber Alert).

Note: I would not advise linking to this will wind up with a broken link each time I have to change the post-dating to keep this a Vigil at the Top.

At JPUSA. Summer 2011.


Monday, July 28, 2014


1) What do you think of 3D movies?
I would love to see them but I only see in 2D due to true alternating exotropia. I can't look at HD TVs for too long and I think the movies would probably give me headaches.

2) If you could learn one extreme sport for free, what would it be?
I would like to Zorb...I know this would not require skill and many wouldn't consider this extreme but it is what I would like to do.

3) What nearby museums, galleries, or theaters are your favorites?
There re pretty much none nearby. we have to go out of town for such. I like The art Institute of Chicago.

4) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
Well, the fact that I like lepidoptera, of course...especially blue lepidoptera. :-)


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Unconscious Mutterings...a word association meme.

Pescado...I have been brushing up on my Spanish lately. I was collecting Algerian fish recipes for a while...they seem good at making yummy fish dishes in Algeria. I miss having tropical fish...I do have a lot of the supplies still...when Toddler and Preschooler are bigger. The game "Go Fish."
"Fishin' in the Dark" by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Here are the and make a political point.
Moxy Früvous were awesome.

California Dreaming...on a Winter's day. There is a lot in California that I would like my life to be full of.

Martha Stewart Living. To every time their is a season...turn, turn, turn.

Great Expectations...which I have only read a bit of and should fix that.

One of my favorite mugs is the coffee mug we bought my mother...inherited back...I use it often.

The jackets that the Century 21 salespeople wore. Letterman's jacket. Yellow Jackets and their nasty bites.

Bowling. Bowl of Ramen. The band Bowling for Soup. The Rose Bowl...I would love to see the parade and Pasadena (especially the places associated with Julia Child).

Catholic Confessional.

My feet are cold in my socks right now.

Tanktop. Tank Girl. Fish tank. Dunk tank....a friend's pool contractor did such a BAD job that I pictured the falling apart pool being used as a giant dunk tank for a few of the people in that company.

This post is a work-in-progress. :-)

July 23, 2014

This Fall, I want to make feather dance fans with our Preschooler. Like American Indians use for dance (and prayer) but with no religious symbolism. I have been doing some research and I know to cut the feathers across the top. I know that peacock and ostrich feathers are usually used by the Navajo. We will likely be using turkey feathers and collecting decorations from nature, thrift shops and dollar stores. I want to encourage Preschooler to imitate movements...he has very little interest in this other than jumping and things that super heroes do.
Speaking of super heroes...our friend's socks. :-)

Something very cool by The Chicago Chalk Champ.

Mrs. Kravitz decided to report us instead of coming to knock on the door....we could have told her that the guard on the lawn mower blade broke and that Husband had driven out-of-town to get another mower.I hate the American lawn and I am not very fond of Mrs. Kravitz (no idea of her real name but she was sitting on her front lawn watching us earlier as if she were a queen and all she surveyed needed to obey her wishes..she takes real glee in her havoc). I guess pulling every weed down to the tiniest over the next week will help our landscaping efforts.

Toddler said "raffe" (giraffe) a couple of times and "goat" while we were doing Preeschooler's sticker book and video for the letter G. I asked her if she could say "guh" and she said it many times throughout the video. The first time Toddler said guh was the best though...a little voice and little eyes just looking sweetly at Preschooler and I. Toddler may learn letters,etc. at a pretty early age...she is there every time we are working on them. When done, we ate the last of the guh-grapes.
---I like that these alphabet videos feature a gesture to help children remember each letter. :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 22, 2014

Got a picture of Toddler after she had eaten a chocolate chip cookie today. Messy. :-)
She was wearing a cute little sleeveless denim romper today as it was very hot out.
It got cold enough last night that I had pain from Reynaud's Phenomenon but we woke up to hotness.
Some wild flowers that got transplanted in heat did not make it when they had to tolerate this heat, too...
so, back to the drawing board with a border there.
Maybe a few of the wild flowers will make it.  

Dinner from the supermarket for an evening when I was wishing for KFC.
After eating a few bites, we established Toddler does not like coleslaw. She started dramatically spitting it.
Mommy: You don't like that?
Toddler: Uck.
Me: (handing her a bite of something she did like) This is good?
Toddler: (nods head) Good.

As far as smaller quantities of Sioux City sodas, we pay $2.26 for a four-pack at a local supermarket that carries specialty items.

Toddler did a really good job of eating the meat off his chicken legs....that's an accomplishment for a little boy. :-)
We enjoyed some Del Monte organic bananas and I noticed they smelled a lot better than the non-organic bananas we normally get. :-)
When Daddy went to get a prescription, he found Preschooler a Nerf gun for a dollar...Preschooler is so pleased and has decorated it with the big sticker that was on top of the bananas.

I found a really versatile recipe for "Chocolate Banana Buttermilk Bread" that I will make in some form(s) next month.

---I saw a photo of a cos-play that I thought was pretty cool. Of course, people online were criticizing this group (I think from last year's Comic-Con). This kind of thing makes me angry. People tell (semi-famous) musicians that their music was mediocre or criticize something like people who went through a lot of trouble to make something like a costume....yet the critics likely will never attempt anything on that level of craftsmanship. I wish people would please take the time to learn something of what they were talking about before they damage self-esteem.
---I saw several photos of a passive solar home. I am very interested in this (though the expense looks to be great...or, at least, two much for us). Placement of windows is important in this and maybe I can work on modifying our windows a little in this respect....hmmm.

I saw a cool old photo of Michael Jackson skateboarding the other day that was captioned "Blame It On the Boogie."

Husband and I watched this performance of "Slave to the Rhythm" today and were amazed at the "Pepper's Ghost" illusion. A lot of people online think this is a holgram (or CGI or an impersonator).

Almost all of the singing done by Eddie Vedder...epic.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 21, 2014

-----Our toddler sat down properly on a chair today and facing forward! She sat in the chair and played with Iron Man and looked at the Walt Disney book "Thumper's Little Sisters."

-----Preschooler tried Hamburger Helper for the first time today. It was Cheesy Macaroni, sirloin, real bacon bits, a bit of Old Bay and parsley flakes. We were given a few of the multi-packs. I thought it would be a challenge...a bit of Mother used to make it taste good and I think I did good, too. There was also one of his vitamins, black seedless grapes, fuji apples, toasted French bread with butter and milk.

-----I finished reading "Abraham and Sarah: The Long Journey," a novel by Roberta Kells Dorr. The author lived in the Middle East for seventeen years! The books was written in 1995 and I inherited it from my Mother (who bought it in 2007). I did not like Sarah's character very much...fearful and manipulative and I did not see much of the spunk that Abraham saw (the author told of it but did not show it often enough). I would like it if there were a book by this author that explored Ishmael further.
Roberta Kells Dorr missionary, author, artist dies in Kentucky (2010). She was also a popular lecturer and I am hoping I can find recordings.

-----I am planning to reread "Abraham and Sarah" while spontaneously reading another I have started. I am on page 41 of Honkytonk Man by Clancy Carlile. This book was published in 1980 and my Mother purchased it in 1992 (as Number 9,280 in her collection). There are several song lyrics used that were written by the author. It is a rite-of-passage novel that the dust jacket totes as being landmark like "The Yearling," "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Addie Pray" (the last one I have not heard of).
~~~I am going to store this with our Nashville Armchair Traveling stuff. A pet project of mine. I want our children to be well-traveled in both real life and in the limitless bounds of their imaginations.
~~~I was planning on looking up some Grand Ole Opry videos for the kids but did not get to that today. Part of the reason was I distracted over thoughts of how I would dearly have liked to take my Mother to see The Grand Ole Opry. She did get to look around there but never saw a concert.
~~~I have some of my parents records. I will soon be playing the songs of Roy Acuff and other Opry stars.
~~~If we can make it to Nashville this year, a friend might be able to visit with us. We also have a lot of friends who perform concerts there (not at the Opry).

-----We miss Oldest and are looking forward to his return from National Guard Basic Training. All these conflicts going on in the world are scaring me. A friend who was career military gave me a talk and told me not to worry and what to expect from the modern day National Guard...I try to keep that talk in mind.

So, stuff like this is what makes it hard to get ahead.
Amazon said Husband's tablet he does not use was "scratched, cracked and broken"....he took a picture and it wasn' much for the 100% rating he has maintained since 2004. The small amount of money for Husband's phone will not come until next month and the money for my phone will not come until a month from whenever the purchaser actually decides to pay (Ebay). A check someone wrote us has not cleared. So, that's almost 4 hundred not arrived and MOST may NEVER arrive.
But hey...we are up $2.75 that I earned...on a gift certificate.
Some days.

-----Toddler explored a show he hasn't watched yet- "Dino Squad" which is about teens who turn into super hero dinosaurs.
-----Did some arm and leg exercises (while listening to AC/DC). Re-aggravated my sciatic nerve on my right leg which has been giving me pains since about July 2nd (so ready for that to go away).
-----I want to become skilled at drawing flowers. This would include pen and ink drawing. I draw little doodles of flowers all over the place...basically, the same doodles since high school. It would be nice to fill the margins of my many idea, project and class notebooks with beautiful flowers.

-----I have added Bolthouse Farms Stone Fruit Juice to our next grocery list. It combines plum and apricot.
-----A copycat recipe for Jimmy John's Avocado Sandwich Spread.

-----Husband was able to get some things that we had in storage. The lawn mower we normally use broke and we were given my Mother's lawnmower (which Husband brought home). Husband is hard on mowers but we are hoping to get 7 years or so of use out of my Mother's mower (happy to have it).

Preschooler is into Peppa Pig and Beanie Babies. I added one to my Wish List (for him). He tells me he would like "a small one and a big one and all the friends." It is too bad we don't have the ability to travel to the UK while Preschooler and Toddler are this age...there is a very popular Peppa Pig's World amusement park.

Fisher-Price's description says this toy is for a girl. I beg to differ...our (male) Preschooler likes both Peppa Pig and dollhouses.

-----We had more of the ice cream leftover from our observance of National Ice Cream Day on the 20th. Husband went out and bought three cartons of Breyer's...Strawberry, Coffee and Girl Scout Thin Mints. When I asked Preschooler, who fell asleep before having some the first night, if he wanted some...he came RUNNING and stated enthusiastically that he wanted Strawberry without having me list the rest of the kinds.
-----I found a CD that a friend gave us called "Go Out With Joy." I haven't opened it yet and I am going to find the tracks to listen and see if Preschooler would like it as a stocking stuffer. The Book of Isaiah is qouted on the front.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Unconscious association meme.

The Charles Atlas Song from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Lou Ferrigno. Strong coffee. I was going to use espresso to make a copycat Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino but I don't have all the indgredients and I think we will just buy more espresso beans next month (in the interest of freshness and having good coffee to drink). The Cowardly Lion. Today is the anniversary of when Bruce Lee died. Bruce Lee. Gale force winds...I just learned that there is such a thing as a "Gale Warning" issued in maritime locations. There are some beautiful strongboxes. I wonder what happened with that strongbox from the Titanic that there was intent to open (back in the late 80s). Strong's Concordance.

Oh bathing suits are making a comeback.

A title for a car. Boxers fighting to hold onto the title. Coming up with a catchy title.

Tick Tock
The clock in Peter Pan. Tik-Tok in "Return to Oz." Tick said in a threat by some movie villian. An analog sound. There is a novel by Dean Koontz called "Tick Tock" and I have no idea what the plot is...I should get on Goodreads and check this out.

I have a friend who is having a dispute with a pool really sounds like one should never do business with Classic Pool of New Carlisle and Troy, Ohio...she has documented MULTIPLE safety issues...I hope it is resolved soon.

I used to get all sorts of complimentary magazines...there is a difference between complimentary and free in the magazine world (free subscriptions do not count towards certain numbers that are needed for taxes).


Stupid drivers make it hard to arrive safely.


So wrong

This post is a work-in-progress. :-)

Monday, June 30, 2014

-----Wondering why I am the one who is at fault when I figure out that people are lying to me. Hmmm.....yeah, nice logic. Apparently, it is a big flaw that I DON"T TRUST PEOPLE WHO ARE LYING. I guess I should learn to bow to those who have DECIDED they are superior. The truth would be so much easier.
-----There is now something worse than the c-string (in women's fashion trends)...the strapless panty.'s couture...right. Please pass some regulations as I don't want to see this on anyone in real life.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday 9 Meme......

1) The subject of this song is frankly sexual. Do you blush easily?
Yes, and I am told that is unusual in today's day and age.

2) Prince is his real name (Prince Rogers, to be exact). Growing up, his relatives called him "Skipper." Do you have any nicknames within your family?
Yes, one of these will be the name of my coffee haus (someday). :-)

3) Prince says he's "obsessed" with Mozart and reads whatever he can find about the composer. What's the last book you read?
I am currently reading a book of my mother's about a wagon train during the time the Mormons were both persecuted and aggressors..."The Fancher Train" by Amelia Bean. If this is the part of history I am thinking, there is no way this story will have anything close to a happy ending. The book came out in 1958 and my mother bought it in of her first couple hundred books (she would go on to have and read THOUSANDS).

4) Between Prince and The Beach Boys, the Corvette is a much sung-about car. Tell us about your vehicle.
Our vehicle is not a much-sung about car...but a much sung-in car. My husband is a musician and also I anticipate many sing-alongs as Toddler and Preschooler get older.

5) In the 1980s, when Prince was popular, MTV could turn a song into a hit. In 2014, how do you hear new music?
The "Discover" function on Spotify. Last night I was listening to "Hey Brother" by Avicii which was recommended because I like some Calvin Harris songs.

6) In 1982, when "Little Red Corvette" ruled the airwaves, Braniff Airways shocked the travel industry and threw passengers into chaos by declaring bankruptcy. When did you last fly? Did your trip go smoothly?
Over a decade ago and there was turbulence.
We usually drive. I love trains and I am hoping we can take the little ones on their first Amtrak trip this Summer.

7) 1982 is also the year Disney opened Epcot. Have you ever been to a Disney park?
Walt Disney World...Magic Kingdom, parts of Hollywood Studios and parts of Epcot.
I was hoping we could go to Disneyland when Husband displays some artwork this year...but it does not look like we will be able to come up with a way of affording either going to the park or getting the artwork to California. :-(

8) 1982 is the year Cheers premiered. The sitcom was set in a bar where "everybody knows your name." Tell us about your favorite local bar or restaurant.
We like a local spaghetti house with great prices. I love that the garlic bread tastes slightly sweet and it is a similar spaghetti house that first acquainted me with the idea of sugar in spaghetti sauces.

9) The 1980s were considered a highpoint in professional tennis, with Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe dominating the sport. Do you play tennis?
Not in a long time. I wish I could get Husband to play with me.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Thursday Thirteen.....

-----10 Free Porch Swing Plans. I want to look at the movable framework and another one a bit closer. Husband has said he will build me one, if we come up with a workable plan. :-)

-----Peaches and Cream Greek Yogurt Popsicles
-----Minted Watermelon and Lemon Ice Pops. Layered. They look pretty.

-----Slow Cooker Beer Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Slaw (link to follow since it is proving impossible to do on the cell phone).
This post is a work-in-progress. :-)

Saturday, June 07, 2014


-----A junior high girls's service dog makes it into the school yearbook. :-)

Friday, June 06, 2014

One of the roses that Husband gave me recently.
He brings me all of our long-stemmed roses and it is very romantic. :-)

Things I am looking forward to:
---Trying a new recipe...Italian Sausage Hoagies.
---Sometime within the next week we are going to see Maleficent.
---Possibly a potluck cookout around the end of the month. :-)
---Our wedding anniversary. Plus, planning for a vow renewal next year.
---The Dedication of our daughter next month.
---Turning the Star Trek movie back on after I get done typing this. "Into Darkness" is on Netflix.

Yesterday,Michelle Obama announced an initiative to end Veteran Homelessness by 2015.
---In California, voters have approved a plan to spend $600 million building homes for homeless veterans. This money will be raised by the sale of bonds.

Husband photographed the beauty of the nightshade before removing it. :-)
It is the first nightshade for this year.
The first nightshade I have seen at this house.

Monday, June 02, 2014

"New study will measure dogs' usefulness to Vets with PTSD"
Currently, service dogs are not a funded way for soldiers to cope with PTSD as the military is unsure of their effectiveness in helping with psychiatric ailments. I am reading about the (non-military) program called "Train a Dog Save a Warrior."
---Train a Dog Save a Warrior offers service to those in/formerly in the military. It is not just for those who battle PTSD...but also Military Sexual Trauma(MST) and Traumatic Brain Injury.

One Veteran is lobbying for a medal for PTSD.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Preschooler's words:
"You are a bologna."
"How dare you, Dufus?!" (diaper change)
"The dark side of the ring." (Daddy found his ring)
"I'm counting on it."
""The dark side of my pocket. Nothing's ever been there before." (puts parachute guy in hoodie)

Monday, May 05, 2014

It's a Sweet Life!

This sweet pepper from dinner yesterday had a pretty interior. :-)

-----We watched "Ender's Game" a few nights ago. A Redbox rental. the book was.
-----Yesterday, we did a fire in the firepit. It was cozy and beautiful though we had to put it out after a few minutes because the wind was picking up. I got a photo of my happy Husband standing with Preschooler. This was Toddler's first fire and she was fascinated. It would have been fun if my son who is at Basic Training could have been there.

A couple of Preschooler moments yesterday:
---Told me that he loves Daddy because "He's a wild man. I am a wild man. We are both wild mans."
---Put his sister's socks on his hands and said "clap hands" in German. (sorry I

"He's one of my neighbors. He is just a wild neighbor of mine. He's mine. He's silly doing that."
-Preschooler on our elderly neighbor backing up over and over while mowing the boulevard grass. I am sure there is some reason why he was doing the mowing so slowly and repetitively. Though I never did figure out why he drove so close to our tree line last year that he got caught on a small fruit tree.

-----I wish that we had a pair of binoculars to see Comet Jacques this month. We will try to see it with the naked eye anyway...if awake.
-----We are planning Toddler and Preschooler's first planetarium trip later in the month. :-)
-----I am slowly listening to a lecture on small bodies by Mike "Pluto Killer" Brown. Small bodies are basically anything that orbits the sun other than the eight planets. I am interested in finding out about the various comets.
-----I have been sharing with friends and relatives one of the milder ways that I make Spanish a sort of PSA. Husband cannot have cumin and jalapenos upset his stomach. I know I can't be the only one out there who wants tasty Hispanic dishes while still having to deal with allergies and sensitivities.
-----The house has been nicely smelling of garlic and beef all day. We are having a classic pot roast sans carrots with whiskey substituted for the beef broth. Slow cookers are awesome!
-----With dinner, we are trying some artisanal sweet potato rolls. They are a freezer product and I will have to add a photo and review here later.
-----I got a nice photo of Husband cleaning a leather jacket to be made into Goth attire (spikes,studs and such) . :-) I felt appreciated because I had only recently given him the leather cleaning spray, from when I once owned a pair of leather tennis shoes, and he is already using it. I don't know what the name of that spray is but will have to look, so I can recommend it...suffice it to say that leather-cleaning spray from the shoe store works efficiently and well. :-)
-----Photos of the kids today: Toddler standing and playing with a clump of tree leaves. Preschooler once he started is very hard to get a photo of a little boy who is quickly jumping around pretending to be a coconut.

:-) 2009-06-11 daily 0.5 2009-06-11 daily 0.5