Thursday, May 30, 2013

my toes didn't curl, but it was still nice

The sequester is happening.  Have you been directly affected?

The Air Force Academy is located "just a little bit over there" from where we live.  Graduation comes every spring, and with it comes the Air Force Thunderbirds.

So every year at this time, on graduation day and the few days leading up to it, our skies are visited by this team of F-16's as they practice and perform and rattle our teeth and window panes and fine china (actually, I can only attest to the teeth and window panes, as we don't own anything resembling fine china, although they do rattle our fine China, the dog).

People stand around outside in their yards or pull over in their cars,  looking skyward, maybe hoping to be fast enough to snag a photo or video.  On the day of graduation, people take long lunches from the office to go outside and set up folding chairs in good viewing spots.  Kids, if they're still in school, get extra recess time to watch from the playgrounds.  Some diehards, who don't even have relatives at graduation, go sit through the looooong graduation ceremony just to get good seats for the show.

(scared the living what out of her?)

This year,  however, because of the sequester, the Thunderbirds are grounded.  I don't know how the cadets felt about it, but us taxpayers in the cheap seats were fine with it, although we would miss the annual exhilaration.

But then, in came the Cavalry!  Or more specifically... The Commemorative Air Force!

Several aviation organizations volunteered, at no cost to the government, to provide flyovers and displays of vintage WWII aircraft.

The kids (for lack of a better word) and I were all home at midday yesterday, so we grabbed a few pairs of binoculars and headed outside to see the graduation flyover.  And y'know?  It was really nice.

It wasn't the pull-your-hair-out-of-its-roots buzz that the Thunderbirds bring.  I don't even think I heard one reactive dog bark.  But it was just really nice.  And poignant.

I was standing in the sandbox at the elementary school, making roads with my feet,  when Wolfgang said, "OH, there they are!" like they just appeared out of nowhere, in beautifully perfect formation.

Denver Post

We watched, mostly in silence.  Then Chaco and Wolfgang started rattling off the names of the different aircraft, while I thought about "The Greatest Generation".

They made a few laps around the stadium, some other aircraft joined in, and then they headed off toward the far horizon.

Thanks guys!  You're still heroes!

Monday, May 27, 2013

remembrance, racing, and representing

Memorial Day is a day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  It also unofficially kicks off summer fun activities, and I think the combination is appropriate as we give thanks for all of the freedoms we have.

For us, the weather was beautiful.  Magnum, Chaco, Meego, and I went for a lovely hike in our local boonies.  Wolfgang opted not to join us.  He and three friends spent the last two days in Boulder for the annual Bolder Boulder 10K race.

The Bolder Boulder has been run for several years, always on Memorial Day.  It's quite a zoo actually, but well organized.  There were around 45,000 runners this year.  Wolfgang and the running buddies had a lot of fun and all finished close together at right about the 36:00 mark.

And let me just say, as a mom, if his idea of a good time, overnight, out of town with the fellas, is getting up early and running a road race, I'm all for it.  Nice kids all of them.  He brought home all kinds of goodies, including this "runch" bag filled with healthy food.

(just love that... "runch"...)

In the meantime, over in Merry ol' England, another tradition was taking place.  Cheese rolling at Cooper's hill in Gloucester!

Honestly, I'd never heard of this crazy event, but it made our local news because a local boy won!  He's an army veteran to boot!

Way to represent, Kenny "American Cheese Racer" Rackers!  And, as goofy as it seems, his story is actually pretty inspiring.  (still, these people are NUTS!)

God, those Brits are fun!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

"Why is Ju-lie wear-ing white?  
She's not a vir-gin..."

Those are the words a friend of mine spontaneously made up at his sister's high school graduation, sung to the tune of "Pomp and Circumstance".

That was over 30 years ago, yet every time I hear the song, those words play in my mind over and over.  Such was the case again at Wolfgang's graduation.  My apologies to any graduates named Julie, virgin or not.  (Go ahead, sing a few bars.  I bet it'll be in your head forever too)

Yes, as mentioned earlier this week, Wolfgang graduated high school.  It was a nice enough ceremony - not too pompous under the circumstances  *cough*cough*.  Now, we never expected him to NOT graduate high school, but we're proud of him nonetheless.

His brothers were thrilled to be in attendance...

And I know that he's glad to be finished with high school and is looking forward to getting going at college next year.  Did I mention that he and I might be in a class together?  How weird will THAT be?!

It was a busy week with all the end-of-schoolyear activities going on.  But now that all the hoopla is finished, all that busyness seems a long time ago.  I'm slowly making progress and getting the house out of threat of condemnation.

And the weather has finally turned B-e-a-utiful!  Mornings are lovely for running, the grass is growing, birds are chirping.

The job boards and my e-mail at the tutor matching site have been lighting up with activity with inquiries for summer tutoring.  I'm having to turn jobs away.  I remember the early days when I was brand new and willing to tutor anyone who asked.  It's nice to be able to be picky.

On that note, we're getting some summer fun plans organized around everyone's work and play schedules.  We don't have any major trips planned for this summer, but we won't be total homebodies either.  I did get the van all prepped for duty.  Another hubcap fell off!  We're almost at full pedophile van mode!

Happy summer, everyone!  Feel free to wear white, no matter what your status!

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I was at the orthodontist with Meego again this week.  Another broken retainer wire *sigh*.   The technician asked him, "Did the dog get hold of it?", "Did it get shaken around in the case a lot?"

As I recall, he was sitting at the table doing some homework when he said, "huh?  My retainer wire just broke".

This week's prompt at Illustration Friday is "tension", and I drew some braces, either to illustrate the action of the braces on crooked teeth, or my internal scream from another broken retainer wire.

Okay, it's really not that big a deal, I guess I'm just a little wired.  Heh,  get it?  Wired?  Pffffft....

Friday, May 24, 2013

long long weekend

I have a meeting next week with my advisor to hopefully finalize my class schedule for Operation Abby Goes Back To School.

In the meantime, I've looked over my requirements and the upcoming schedules.  It's looking like there will be time conflicts with crossing guard duty.

Today was most likely my last day as a member of the Xtreme Crossing Guard Elite.

So it felt a little bittersweet being out there for this last day of school for 2012/13.  I won't miss the frigid mornings and numb toes.  I won't miss obnoxious winds.  I won't miss  holding a metal sign aloft during lightning storms...

But gosh darn it, I'll miss the kids and their friendly moms and dads.  I'll miss Daniel who rode his bike every day through rain, snow, ice, wind, sun.  I'll miss Nathaniel and his skateboard and his ridiculous stories.    I'll miss Lexie and her drama of all the boys who like her.  I'll definitely miss Tyler who kept me company every afternoon, and he didn't even need to cross the street.  I'll even miss Val and having to remind him, "No, we don't gesture to the drivers".  And all the other little people, whether they crossed every day or were just the fair weather walkers, I'll miss them.

And it wouldn't be right to not give a shout out to my grownup friends:  Bike Lady, Miss Chick Fil-A, Bunny, Mr. UPS, and the friendly fellow hideous vest wearers - snow plow drivers, garbage men, road crews -  that always waved.

Today, everyone seemed extra friendly.  Maybe because it's the last day, or maybe because I was thinking of how I would miss them.  Parents drove past, waving from their cars.  A few, I swear, mouthed "HELP  ME!"

But it really is time to move on.

"It's safe, let's go"

Thursday, May 23, 2013

hot mess

There is an ironing board with an iron atop it in what is sort of our living room.  There are three piles of folded laundry on the coffee table.  A corrugated cardboard box rests up against a wall. China's bed is disgusting.

As I type this and look around my desk, I see a small sketchpad, a couple of ultra fine sharpies, a roll of duct tape, some ASVAB flash cards, a stray rubber band, a receipt for flour...

Then there are the various piles that Chaco brought home last week.  They've been somewhat rearranged, but the net effect is still the same.  And there are all these shoes laying around.  What is up with all these shoes?  Where the heck did they come from?

In short, the house is messy.  But then I look at what's going on in tornado ravaged Oklahoma, and I am NOT complaining.  We had a brush with a tornado once.  It was eerie scary, but a sneeze puff in comparison with what moved through Oklahoma.

No, our mess is a result of a positively busy week, mainly from Wolfgang's high school graduation.  You know the high-falutin' jobs that require "high school diploma or GED?"  Well, he's eligible now.

My in-laws - both sets -  have been in and out since Sunday.  Commencement was last night. In between that stuff, life goes on and messes pile up.

I also attended Meego's 7th grade end-of-year shindig.  He got a silver medal.  It was a nice little bash in the school library - nice to see kids taking pride in receiving academic awards, and cheering for their classmates.

Then last night's commencement ceremony wasn't too uppity as these things can sometimes be.  Only a couple of the speeches went too long-winded IMHO.  And it turns out that the Valedictorian was a kid I'd tutored.  I'm SO taking credit for that.

Well, no.

I actually spent about two hours with him last spring to share some "boot camp" strategies for his ACT.  I remember him as bright, but not at all arrogant about it (some are obnoxiously so).  He was the type of kid where a 2-hour strategy session with a tutor was enough to get him where he wanted to be.   His was not one of the too long-winded speeches either.  WOOT for him.

So now, the dust will literally begin to settle, hopefully.  But still, it's a good mess.

Monday, May 20, 2013

reluctant tweeter

I first met Julie back behind the school.  No, we weren't sneaking cigarettes or anything.  We were back there waiting for our kids to emerge among the manic mass streaming from the school after the afternoon bell.  She has a daughter who graduated with Chaco and another that is one year older than Meego.  She was also a familiar face at various volunteer events at the school, but I mainly got to know her at the back fence.

Since we've both evolved from elementary school mom status, I haven't really kept in touch with her, but she was an easy friend.  Always smiling and cheerful, easy to talk with about anything, but not big on superficial small talk (which I hate).

On Saturday, Magnum and I were out taking China for a beauty walk.  I looked up ahead on the sidewalk and saw Julie with her familiar pooch.  She was talking with the man who lived in the corner house while her dog Jake and the guy's dog Harvey did some socializing.

As we approached, I hailed her and we stopped to chat a bit.  During this, I sensed that something was "different" about Julie.  I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but something seemed changed.  She looked the same, for the most part, other than her hair was shorter and curlier than our days at the back fence.

I just got this sense that she wanted to have a more real conversation with me, but we just shared some pleasantries, introduced Magnum, Jake, Harvey, China...  I wanted to catch up more with her too, but we had Magnum, the neighbor, the dogs, so the "good to see you's" signaled the end and we all moved on.

The short encounter preoccupied me somewhat for the rest of the day.  What was it?  Something in her eyes told me she'd been through some "stuff" since I last spoke with her.

Yesterday, I decided to look her up.  I couldn't find her on f_book, but her last name is rather unique and I wasn't sure I was spelling it correctly.  So I googled to see if anything came from that and something did.  A blog, in fact.

The title of the blog was the name of the street she lives on, so I thought it was a neighborhood blog for the neighbors to keep up with each other between block parties or such.  But I clicked the link and found that it was a blog "to update family and friends on our journey through Julie's breast cancer".

SHOOT!! (or something like that)

I read a few entries to get the gist of the situation.  The diagnosis was nearly two years ago now.  She's been through the surgery, the reconstruction, the chemo, the medications, the side effects...  So I was really wanting to get back in touch with her after our short casual chat on Saturday.

I found her on twitter.  I do have a twitter account that I never use.  Years ago, my boss wanted all us tutors to get an account so he could easily send out workshop info and such.  He ended up not caring for it, and I never got around to deleting my account.  I just never used it.

Until now.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

First of all, I'd like to mention that I'm grateful that June is back.  Not the month of June - that's on its way - but June the crossing guard Matriarch.  She took a nasty break to her foot about 3 months or so ago, but is back working the streets!  Still a bit gimpy, but coming along nicely and warmly welcomed back.

Wolfgang's track season ended this week at the State track meet.  He and the rest of the 4x800 team managed to secure a spot.  They didn't win it all, but made a decent showing and had fun getting there.   And I can't end the season without, once again, poking a bit of fun at Magnum's photography efforts.  But let me just say that it's all in fun.  Good action photos are extremely difficult to get, as things happen so fast.

So here we have the tremendously exciting baton exchange between Wolfgang and Reid... about a second BEFORE it happened.  Note that Magnum was using a different camera than his iPhone, so he'd not been recalibrated to the other camera.

In other year-end news Meego had his last school band concert for the year.  I'm grateful that his band clothes managed to just fit for one last concert.

I've mentioned that Chaco finished up his first year of college and is now out of the dorm and back in the mess home.  His summer job prospects are still just that - prospects.  Anyone want to rent him?

In movie news, Magnum and I watched Cabin in the Woods.  I'd never heard of this movie, but it showed up in my Netfli* recommendations.  We're fans of Joss Whedon, so I put it in the queue.  It's pretty clever, I'll say that, and we both liked it.  Definitely NOT for the squeamish, however!

It feels good to be finishing up another school year and prepping for summer.  Both Chaco and Wolfgang are done, Meego's got one more week as do I and the hideous vest.

I'll share another of Magnum' track meet shots.  I think it begs for a caption if I didn't know what was going on.


Saturday, May 18, 2013


I thought I was going to miss another Illustration Friday, where this week's prompt is "liquid", because of a schedule that was booked "solid".  Wouldn't that be a "gas"?

Okay, sorry...

Wolfgang is at freshman orientation today, and I was half-planning to go with him.  After consulting with various expert sources (namely Chaco and Wolfgang), it didn't seem necessary.  The thing goes on ALL  DAY, and maybe 15 minutes of the parental portion would be helpful for us.  So it was that or paint these ducks.

I never had a rubber duck as a kid and was rather jealous of Ernie on Sesame Street.  But then, I had green humanoid Gumby and his talking red pony sidekick Pokey to bathe with.

My non-conformist waters run deep.  Or maybe I just watched too much TV.

Friday, May 17, 2013


"There.  Right there!  TAKE  IT... TAKE  IT!!"  He gestured, pointing maniacally as I steered.

I pinched the vehicle perfectly into the squeeze, secured it, and we were off.  Mayhem surrounded us as we dove into the nearest building.  We made our way up the stairwell among a cacophony of popping, scraping, ripping noises.

As we climbed the endless stairway, I took in the sights.  Discarded food, clothing, and what could only be described as shrapnel.  What was that odor?  I decided I didn't want to know as I chastised myself for forgetting the gas masks.  We would have to work quickly to get out in one piece.

When we finally made it to the top, we emerged into a tight hallway of more noises, smells, and indeterminate matter.  Moving quickly, we passed several small openings off of the main pathway.  I glanced in a few of these chambers and saw various stages of disarray.  I saw human forms in slumped positions, barely moving.

We entered a room at the end of the hall.  I vaguely remembered being there before.  Before the collapse.

We began grabbing anything we could carry.  Anything that looked familiar and useful.  Once our arms were full, we headed back out into the fray, pushing our way back to the stairwell.  More popping sounds, more ripping, more scraping.  A blur of bodies moved against us, issuing intermittent incoherent screams.  And the smells, oh the smells.

We carefully but swiftly moved back down the littered, contaminated stairwell.  I tried not to breathe... I tried...

How many trips did we make in total?  I can't remember.  The heat, the adrenaline, the chaos made the entire episode blend into one.  We were halfway down the stairwell on our last trip.

"The burn!  THE  BURN!!"  I shouted to him.  "My left arm!  It  BURNS!!"

He urged me to just keep going, be tough.  His load was heavier.  But then, he wasn't a 48-year-old woman, I reminded him.  The banter helped me make it all the way to the now stuffed vehicle.   I checked my watch. The pilaging had taken us just about an hour.  Now for the getaway!

Traffic back to the compound was thankfully light.  I backed into the docking bay where some of the others came out to help retrieve the goods and secure them into the hideout.  I pulled on the hideous vest and dashed to the crosswalk just in time, to keep up the suburban housewife deception.

Within a relatively short period, the Command Center was up and functioning.

Operation CHC (Chaco Home from College) accomplished.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

free candy! (and puppies!)

The weather's been so nice, I'm thinking I might make the big jump and change out the tires on the van.  Well, no, not by mySELF.  But take it to the guys at the shop and have them change her shoes.  OFF with the snowboots!

We got our rockin' van back around 2005, I think it was.  She is a full-size Econoline 150 V8 beautiful big girl.  I wanted it for road trips and camping trips.  Plus, I figured if things go all zombie apocalypse, we could always live in it while fighting off the herds.  Not so with the Subaru.

And since we are feral tent campers, she could serve as an emergency shelter in the case of nasty weather or nasty bears.

A couple of years ago, after having the tires swapped out, we lost one of the hubcaps during a camping trip.  I rather like the "tough" look it gives to that one tire.  No bear would mess with that van in the woods!

But I don't like the asymmetry.    I want to just remove the other three hubcaps.

Chaco and Wolfgang say doing so would give it the "pedophile van" look.  Might as well paint "FREE  CANDY" on the side.

Oh come on.  Our van isn't even red, it's purple (or whatever the heck color it is).  

So it remains with one missing hubcap because no one wants to spring for a full set just to replace one.  And my inner emo is lobbying for all black rims.  

The snow tires are about to come off.  Should the remaining three hubcaps "mysteriously" pop off?  Free candy and puppies for whoever's with me.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day and beyond

Thirteen years ago today, Meego was born.  It so happens that May 14th was Mother's Day in the year 2000, so it seemed an appropriate day for a good birthing.  If nothing else, I think those of us in the maternity ward that day got some extra freebies that aren't common to just any-old-day birthings.

So while I don't want a fuss on Mother's Day - a request to which everyone too readily complies - we do have a bit of hootenanny for Meego's birthday.

Since we were out track meeting for most of Saturday, we plotted birthday recognition for Sunday, which coincided with Mother's Day.

It was a pretty low-maintenance plan really.  The weather was great (finally!), so Meego wanted to hang out at the local zoo for a while, mainly to check out the latest inhabitants of the reptile house.  Then we'd go out for a nice meal.   Easier said than done!  We swung by the university to pick Chaco up, and we were off.

The condensed version is that the zoo was a total zoo.  So we decided on plan B:  head over to the neighbor falls.  The neighbor falls were crawling with people too.  I suspect, like us, many were zoo rejects.  We made plan C:  head over to the next set of falls.

There, we finally had some nice breathing room.  The place was noticeably more crowded than usual.  You'd think it was a family oriented holiday on the first decent weekend of the spring or something!

But there was plenty of room for all of us, and besides, trail people are typically nice anyway.  We just got on the main trail and decided we'd hike until we collapsed... then turn around.  I took my glasses off so as to not get freaked out by the crazy rock climbers.  

So even though it was plan C, it turned out to be a nice day of family recreating. Meego's first choice of restaurant was uber Mother's Day crowded, so we had a plan B for that too.  We were all famished from the hike, so it really didn't matter as long as there was marginally edible food.

By the time we got home, I suspected my parents had already gone to bed, so I didn't call my mom on Mother's Day.  I called her yesterday on Not Mother's Day.

Me:  Hi Mom
Mom:  Hi.  You didn't call me yesterday

Me:  I know, we were out all day and when we got back, it was past your bedtime.      
Mom:  Oh.  

Me:  Anything new?
Mom:  No, not really.  Guano called.  Hagrid called.  You didn't call.

Me:  I know, I didn't want to get you out of bed.
Mom:  Oh.

<        more guilt tripping, more me trying to change the subject         >

We had a nice little chat after the guilt was satisfactorily applied.

Mom:  Okay, thanks for calling. *do I detect a hint of sarcasm?*
Me:  Yep, okay, I should go.  I have to disgrace the family name by being a lowly crossing guard now.

Mom:  Okay, call again.
Me:  I will.  I'll call in a coupla days.  Have the barbs ready!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

What were we watching??

First of all, although I'm not a fan of Hallmark Holidays, I must begin with a heartfelt Happy Mother's Day to all my mom friends!  And that especially goes to my own Dear Mom!

In this photo, we are sitting much too close to the small black-and-white-and-remoteless TV.  But no worries as I clearly had the protection of Mom, reinforced by that of brother Guano and his alter ego.  This photo was chosen to protect everyone's true identity...

This was a good and busy week.  I've already mentioned the wrap up of track seasons for both Wolfgang and Meego.  Wolfgang has the state meet coming up.  Meego had fun getting his feet wet in this, his first track team experience.  The middle school had three meets altogether.  Five were scheduled, but two were sacrificed to the snow gods.

I'm also wrapping up with the last of my school year tutees, trying to make a graceful transition from tutor to student and figuring out my schedule for the summer.  I think it will all be fun and worth it.  I think.  This morning, I got a tutoring inquiry from someone named Zeus wanting help preparing for his SAT.  Is that his real name, I wonder?  I think it could be quite rewarding to help the Supreme Ruler of Mount Olympus with his SAT.

Chaco has been gracing us with his presence lately, schlepping a few things home as his freshman year is winding down, finals fun this coming week.  I'm glad that he is enjoying college.  I let him smuggle some cookies back with him.

Yesterday, I ran into a friend of mine I haven't seen in a while.  She tells me she's going to be a mom again, with kid number 4 on the way, and that's nice because she's one of the good ones. Yay, moms!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I've no future

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is "future", and I've presently got nothing.  Maybe I'll eventually have something to show before "future" is past.

I've been hanging out with BF Prince Harry all day... Okay, actually no.  We were at Metro track meet, the sequel, for most of the day.  All this track meet business is eating into my play time.

But I have been thinking of what I  WOULD  Illustrate about the future.  Do you have a vision of the future?  Flying cars?  No pollution?  Enlightenment?

Or is it the other way around?  Desolation?  Breakdown of society?  Anarchy?

I was out running this morning and I think the Zombie Apocalypse is already starting.  There was a man up ahead of me on the sidewalk. He was walking towards me, rather slowly, weaving from one side of the sidewalk to the other.

He was facing me, I figured he would pick a side sooner or later and we would pass cordially.  But he kept weaving and walking rather uncoordinatedly.  As I got closer, I saw it and realized.  He was looking at his phone.  It wasn't until I was nearly in his face that he was aware of me.

The future?

Friday, May 10, 2013


I remember getting Wolfgang a pair of  sneakers when he was around 5 years old.  They were (Asics?) "Blurs", and he asked about the name.  I explained to him that, when he wore those shoes, they would help him run so fast that he would be only a blur to people trying to watch him.

With that, he took off running as fast as he could.  

You know how kids are at that age - they believe everything an adult tells them.  Especially their all-knowing parents.  Anyway, I guess he took that to heart and has been trying to remain blurry ever since.

So there we were, at another track meet yesterday.  Yesterday was very rainy.  No one was complaining, though, because (1) we always need moisture and (2) it wasn't snow - hooray!!  It really messed with the track officials and coaches, though.  This was the Metro meet - to determine the top track kids in the city.  

Magnum arrived there first as I had to pick Meego up from HIS track practice.  It was pouring rain, so I called to check the status of the meet, which went from "postponed", to a rearranged schedule, to cancelled, to uncancelled...

Screw it, Meego and I headed out to the track.

In the end, Wolfgang made it to the start and subsequently, the finish of the 2-mile.  He ran a very nice race, finishing 3rd.  I think after all of Mother Nature's moodiness, he was just happy to be finally actually running.  


As we stood in the drizzle watching the runners go round and round, we pondered our function as cheerleaders.  Various people in the stands, saying such helpful things like, "Run!" and "Keep Going!" or the more succinct "Go!" 

Obviously the athletes know this stuff, right?  It reminds me of the youth soccer days when the parents would sit along the sidelines offering words of wisdom like, "Kick it!!"

Meego had a track meet earlier this week too.  All us spectators shouted similar encouragement to the middle schoolers.


And yet, it works.  

Having been a track team member myself many many years ago, it would have been a totally different and not-nearly-as-fun-nor-fulfilling experience if there was no one shouting words of encouragement to me, however obvious.  It's how I knew they cared.

And certainly the same is true for other endeavors, not just the athletic ones.  Going to school, getting a job.  Remember having a baby?  Everyone in the room saying, "PUSH!".  Like you wouldn't otherwise?

 Would it help in yet other areas?
  • "Clothes in the laundry!  Clothes in the laundry!"
  • "Grab the used Kleenex!  Grab it all!"
  • "Remember to flush!  You can do it!"

And finally, I feel I should give a little cheer to Magnum. Remember how I gave him a hard time about his photo snapping skills when he was first getting used to his new iPhone?

He gets the award for Most Improved Photo Snapper for getting this one of the baton exchange between Jack and Wolfgang during the 4x800.

Couldn't have timed it better if he tried?

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I lost one today.  And yesterday too.  This is really weighing heavily on me.

I'm not these kids' mom.  I'm just a crossing guard.  But still, we are each a regular part of each others' days. How can this not affect me?

Yesterday, the first occurrence,  I didn't even realize what was happening until it was too late.   I saw these two adults talking with each other.  As I watched, it seemed more like maybe they were arguing about something.  Then things got more... animated.

And just like that, the larger one took the child of the smaller one.  What?  No!!

I was paralyzed, couldn't believe it happened right in front of my eyes.  If only I'd have known that there was a child at risk, I would have certainly intervened!  But who expects something like that to happen?  In broad daylight?  Right next to a busy road??

The abductor took off like a bat out of hell with the child's mother on its tail, but I knew that mom would never catch up, the abductor was too quick and agile.  I could hear the child crying.  That was, by far, the worst part.

The mother obviously heard it too, she kept pacing back and forth, thinking, plotting, trying to come up with some plan, ANY plan.  It was pure instinct at work.

And all I could do was watch.  And hear...

Then again this morning.  Oh, they've got to be kidding me.  This poor mother.  She's got to find a better home for her and the kids!

The images, I can't get them out of my head.  I thought maybe a little art therapy might help me work through this.

But it's not working!  I think it made the trauma worse.  I know, it's "nature's way" and all, but I'm starting to really hate [censored] magpies!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

the British are coming!

My Brit boyfriend is coming to visit.  You may have heard of him.  Henry Charles Albert David?  Better known as Prince Harry?

We've been carrying on for quite a while now.  I haven't mentioned him much here on the blog since I like to keep the whole affair on a low profile.  I mean, look at poor Kate.  Can't even have morning sickness in private.

But with him coming all the way out for a tryst, it's going to be difficult to keep things as hush-hush, so I thought I'd go ahead and spill.  I'd rather you hear it from me.

The media is reporting that he's coming out here for The Warrior Games, but that's just a ruse.  Don't believe it.

Still, I will play the role as American commoner so as not to arouse any suspicions.

His visit carries a   “strong central theme of supporting injured servicemen and women from both the UK and US armed forces”, and I'm sure that is also quite sincere.  In the meantime, we locals are preparing for the Royal visit.  Some comments I read regarding an article about proper Prince protocol included:

"Offer him a beer and say, "welcome to the Rockies, Harry!".

"As much as I kinda like Harry, this is the US. There is no protocol for royalty. I'd rather address him by his military rank than royal title. And I would encourage him to show me that same respect in return."

"We kicked their butts in 1776 and again in 1812 so I wouldn't have to bow or courtsey or whatever to any man"

"I'm sure I saw him at Hobby Lobby today twice.  I read later that he was in town.  I would bet $1,000 it was him!

But now you all know *wink* the truth behind his visit.  So in this case, what's written in AbbyNormal, stays in AbbyNormal.  (Not so much the case in Vegas).

  • Would you go out of your way to meet British Royalty if they were in your town?  
  • Do you think Royal protocol applies in the U.S.?  
  • Was that him at Hobby Lobby??


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

I'm not quite able to retire or burn the long underwear, but there's been some improvement in the weather, and I'm grateful for that.  I don't mean to keep with the weather updates, but it seems like every time I sit down to blog something else, the weather venting just happens!  I'm shutting the door now!  (I long to visit a place where there are people who have never heard of long underwear... okay, STOP)

But we really do appreciate the springtime moisture.  The city is on lawn watering restrictions because of our dry winter.  Tuesdays and Saturdays - that's us.

China is at the groomers as I type.  She held onto her fur coat for extra innings this year, but I think it's safe to take some off now.  Please?

Wolfgang had a busy week.  End of year exams, two track meets, and Prom.  Much fun was had (with the exception of the exams), but I'm not sure he slept.

The relay team set a new PR in the 4x800, helping to solidify an invitation to the state meet.

Meego had another track meet this week too.  Two were scheduled, but one was cancelled on account of snow.  We're not talking about that, though.

Things are starting to fall into place for the teacher licensing program I'll be starting soon, and I'm starting to chomp to getting going already.  Chaco already owns the textbook I need for my old lady class for this summer... or rather, WE already bought it... and every little bit helps.

Magnum and I watched The Day I Saw Your Heart.  Nothing particularly epic, but it was fun and touching and the characters were likable.  We both enjoyed it.

Meego went to see the latest G.I. Joe with a friend.  I asked his thoughts:  "There's lots of action.  They tried to have a story too, but that didn't really happen".  About what I would've expected.

Happy May everybody!  Didja catch the Kentucky Derby?  How 'bout that Orb, huh?  How 'bout that announcer trying to make the name "Orb" sound good?

Saturday, May 4, 2013


This week's Illustration Friday prompt is "Tribute", so I sat here wondering what I should pay tribute to.  

"Star Wars" came to mind since it's May 4th, as in "May the 4th Be With You"  *groan*.  Really, I'm not that much of a Star Wars geek.  And Jar Jar Binks fully ruined whatever geekness I had to begin with.  

I am, however, a bit of a closet horse racing fan.  I don't gamble, I don't follow any particular horse or trainer, but I do love to watch a good horse race.  The Kentucky Derby kicks off the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing and is run on the first Saturday of May - today!

So much power and speed and grace in two exciting minutes.  

I know there is controversy around horse racing - with allegations of abuse or unhealthy conditions for the horses.  I don't know, but I hope that's not the case.  I think they are beautiful to watch, racing all out.  And the jockeys - what a ride that must be!

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Earlier this week, Magnum came home and announced that we are heroes.  Heroes of being stewards of the Earth!

This morning at the office

This was publicly acknowledged.  Did you not see it?  Heroes of the Earth and all?

I will skip all of the accolading and just say that, bottom line, we were awarded an epic award of epic proportions.

It's a $25 gift card.

It all started a couple of weeks back.  He brought home this Earth Day challenge thing from the office.  It was not for the weak, and we, the four of us, collectively toiled away until we were confident we'd done our best.    He took our result back to the office and, to be honest, I kinda forgot about it.

... until he came home with the announcement of heroicness.

So never mind all the bicycle commuting and all the recycling and all the xeriscaping and such.  We can complete a darn good word search!  Yeah, it was an Earth Day word search.  FORTY whopping words.  The twist was, we didn't know what the forty Earth Day words were, yet we needed to find them.

Also, so the non-heroes wouldn't feel bad I suppose, everyone in Magnum's office was given a nice pen made from recycled water bottles.  They were doled out to each department in huge thick plastic ziploc bags... *sigh*hello!*...

While I'm basking in victory, I'm dealing with mixed emotions.  See, with all this darn power comes responsibility.  We've got  a reputation to uphold now.  We're role models now!

Our Christmas trees ... in May

Yet I have a strong unyielding urge to do something not environmentally friendly, not prudent, not responsible, not sensible, not unwasteful...

I SO badly want to have a cathartic ceremonial long underwear burn right now.

Darn platform of public scrutiny.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

woman seeking

Today I finally got around to getting a spare key made for the Element.  Yes, we've only had Ellie Mae for about 5 months now.  With one key.  Maybe it was Riot Kitty's key-in-the-sewer-grate mishap that spurred me on to finally getting this done.

So now we have a spare Ellie Mae key, and when I got home, I went to put it where I've put the other spare car keys.  Except, I had to think of just where that is.

See, I have various stashes of things I don't want certain people getting into.  It's not that I don't want these certain people having access to the things I've got stashed, it's just that these certain people have a habit of not putting things away (grrrr), however important.  Either that, or the things I have stashed are reserves of things that are readily available.  If I put the entire stash out in the readily available places, they get plundered, I guess because of the illusion of limitless supply!

So I stash things, either because they're important so need to be in a safe place, or because if I make them plentiful, the bounty is wastefully raided.  Stashing works wonders... except, I often forget where the various stashes are.

Today's hunt for spare car keys is the third such forgotten stash in recent days.

When Chaco was home this weekend, he mentioned he needed some new socks.

"Oh, I've got a spare pack of your socks.  Where are they?".  An exhaustive search turned them up.  Truth is, I'd discovered packs of spare socks when I was recently looking for something else.

The next day, Wolfgang wanted some Chapstick and asked if I had some stashed.  "Yep, sure do!"  Heck if I knew where...

Luckily, our house isn't that big.  We found the Chapstick.

Now, I know I'm not getting dementiaed.  These various stashes are all very organized in boxes or other such containers.  But then I take those containers and put them in some out of the way place.  I know that we'll find them EVENTUALLY if we look, so I don't etch their locations in my brain very deeply.

Happy May!

But do you see the problem?  Which is perhaps the reason I keep forgetting where the stash locations are?  For example, Wolfgang wants Chapstick.  I know there's some in the house somewhere.  I offer some suggestions and tell him to go look.  He finds.  Then I must change the now non-secret Chapstick stash location to some other location lest it get plundered.  God forbid our Chapstick stash should get plundered.

It's NOT dementia.  Is it?

So remember, when the zombie apocolypse comes, we've got plenty of provisions.  I'm just not sure where they are.

And on that note, has anyone seen our spring?