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Sunday, November 30, 2008

No Words

The thoughts are swirling around in my mind, colliding and exploding. So many ideas, so many words that need to get out. I can't find the process right now. Somehow the funnel from my brain to my fingers is clogged and the words aren't coming.

I want to talk about the woman I saw in the mirror this morning, but I can't.

I want to talk about the injustices in the world, the haves and the haves not, but the words are stuck.

I want to talk about the idea formulating in my mind for a short story, but thoughts are jumbled.

I want to talk about my 1st blog-aversary that came and went last week unnoticed, but I won't.

I need to write off line right and get my thoughts together so the funnel will unclog and the words will flow....

Be back later....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you have a wonderful holiday...enjoy your family and friends....remember all the things you are grateful for....
I am busy baking and cooking up a storm. Last night we (Cassie and myself) made 2 pies, 2 loaves of bread, and prepared the stuffing. Yumm....I can't wait to eat dinner.
Enjoy your day, don't eat too much!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Minutes from Our Meeting

We had our family meeting today to decide the fate of this sweet monster currently residing in our house. It was a wonderfully productive meeting with full participation on everyone's part!

The general consensus was our love for Baron and wanting to keep him in our family. Great...I agreed with everyone and then asked the question..."What are you willing to do to help with his training and upkeep?"

That is when the silence became deafening.

We talked about the daily training he needs, the consistency he needs, we need to increase his exercise (one walk a day is not enough!!), etc, etc.....I made my point clear that we need to work as a team in order to have success. If we weren't able to do that, then it was not fair or healthy for Baron to remain in our house. We would be doing him and us a great disservice.

More silence but you could hear the brain cells clicking.

The ideas started flowing....Cassie agreed to walk him on occasion, Michael agreed to play ball in the backyard with him, Dave agreed to walk him and not play roughly with him, I have already started taking him to the dog park on my lunch break during days that I work.....this is all great. We also agreed that Michael could feed him in the afternoons. All of us agreed to spend 5-10 minutes a day doing basic obedience commands with him (sit, down, stay, come). These are all steps in the right direction!!

When Michael feeds him, he first puts him on a down/stay. He then puts the food in his bowl and releases him from his stay to eat. I am standing right there and I continue to pet him while he is eating. Michael is able to pet his hind end while he is eating now which is great progress. Baron has been wonderful and I can see the food aggression diminishing.

Baron is a very smart dog and has been easy to train, he learns the commands quickly. He is also very stubborn and strong willed. I firmly believe that he is testing his boundaries right now and we need to teach him that even the children are above him in the pecking order. I think we can get through this with lots of patience, love, consistency, and firmness. He is a great dog and has so many wonderful attributes.

At the end of our meeting we had a group hug and Baron wormed his way in the middle and looked up at us with a huge smile on his face. I think he knew he was just given a reprieve. It was a beautiful moment.

Thank you everyone for all your kind words and advice....I greatly appreciate it. I will definitely keep you posted on our progress. It is also reassuring to know that if we find out that we are not the right family for Baron, he has a safe, nurturing home to go to....but we are hoping he can stay in our family!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This post may or may not make sense tonight. I feel the need to write about my week, so much has may be very disjointed. Please bear with me here.

My mother in law has an infection in her knee. She had her knee replaced over 2 weeks ago and it is still infected. This is limiting the amount of physical therapy she is capable of doing and I am very worried about her and how this will affect the success of her knee. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Report cards came home on Monday. Cassie did very well, she has mostly A's, a couple of B's, a C in math (no surprise) and a D in Literature!! A 'D'!!! She had an A in that class the previous month. We were very shocked, to say the least. We told her to talk to the teacher and find out why she received that grade. The teacher told her that she was missing assignments, Cassie said that she turned them in....hmm...something seems a bit fishy here. I need to make an appointment with the teacher to find out exactly what the problem is. We also got the results of the standardized test she took in Sept. Her scores were very good. She is above average in everything but math...again no surprise. Her highest scores were in language and surprise again. Fortunately her math teacher, who we had a meeting with 2 weeks ago, has agreed to tutor Cassie every Monday after school for an hour. This is very kind and generous of her...any ideas on what we can do for her to show our appreciation??

Now on to Michael's report card......he does not get grades (A's, B's, etc), but he is doing well and has good marks in all his subjects. His test scores though....incredible....he scored in the 99th percentile in reading....98th percentile in science...his overall composite score was 95. That means that only 5 percent of 3rd graders in the nation that took this test did better than him. We were shocked. We had a meeting with his teacher today...and she said she was shocked when she saw his scores. He obviously is one smart little boy. Now we have a decision to we leave him in the Catholic school, or do we put him in the public school and he can go into the GATE (gifted) program?? If he stays in the Catholic school, he can try for a scholarship for high school. If he goes to the public school he will have more opportunities and challenges. We asked his teacher today and she is leaning towards public but wants more information on the GATE program at the school he would go to. We need to gather information and schedule another meeting with his teacher. Maybe he is so difficult to parent because he is so smart?? I don't know but he sure is cute!!

You would think that would be enough for one week?? Nope, there is more....

Our sweet dog Baron is turning into a monster. All of a sudden his personality is changing and he is showing aggression towards the kids. He is now 18 months old and has always been a challenge to train, he is the hardest dog I have ever trained. This week he has snapped at both kids and is now showing food aggression. We have hired trainers this past year to help us with other issues, but my money tree is running out and right now I just can't afford it. Baron is not the first dog I have trained, but is definitely the hardest. I spoke with his breeder last night...who also happens to be a good friend, and she gave me some advice and helpful hints. She also said she would take him back if needed. We have to make a decision now whether to keep him or not....I hate this!! I wish I could really talk to Baron and tell him to stop this craziness. We are having a family meeting this weekend to talk about this. I think we can work together as a family in training him through these issues....I hope we can. Right now I am afraid to have my children's friends come over...Baron is too unpredictable. We have never had this is very hard.

What a week!! I can't believe next week is Thanksgiving and I am cooking for both sides of the family!!!

Thanks for listening.....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Meet Froggy and Fred

Isn't this little guy adorable??

You can barely see this one, but he is equally cute.

These are our newest additions to our menagerie....Fred and Froggy. I am not sure who is who but I am sure my kids can tell you. They are Red Eyed Tree Frogs and they joined our family today. Michael has had a fascination with these creatures for awhile now. He has written two reports on them in school, one last year and one this year.

Last Friday Dave and I went to the East Bay Vivarium, one of our favorites places to visit, to get mice for our snake, and we saw these adorable babies in one of their tanks. Both of us became very excited and decided to come back with the kids to purchase a couple of them. Today we readied an empty tank and drove to the store. We were all very excited.

They are now home and getting acclimated to their new environment. They definitely are cute little buggers.

BTW...the Vivarium is a great place to people see all kinds in there...some are as frightening as the creatures behind the glass!!

Laughter, it is Good for Your Soul

Laughter is definitely a soothing balm for your soul. It cleanses your heart and your mind. It begins deep in your abdomen and builds upon itself as it rises. It attaches itself to the darkness inside and draws it up as it rises. It erupts from you and spews forth all the impurities in your soul as you exhale and guffaw. Laughter, it is so underrated.

I spent hours tonight laughing. It was Girls Night Out. Five of us piled in my suburban MiniVan for an evening in San Francisco. Girlfriends and Laughter...what a winning combination.

We had dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant in North Beach, my absolute favorite part of the City. Authentic Italian food where the pasta is made daily from melted in your mouth.

After dinner we saw Beach Blanket Babylon. If you have never seen this show, do yourself a favor and make plans to go. Fly out to San Francisco and see this show. You will not be disappointed...and we can meet for coffee....bonus!!! The show is HILARIOUS. I have not laughed that hard in months. The actors are incredibly talented, the costumes are gorgeous and funny and imaginative. I loved this show. If you live here, buy your tickets now...and why have we not met up for coffee yet?? No will not be disappointed, in the show or our coffee date.

I had a wonderful evenings...I have some pretty awesome girlfriends....I am very blessed...and my soul has been cleansed through is the best medicine.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Meeting of Two Bloggers

Have you ever met someone and instantly clicked with them? You felt like you have known them forever? You feel like you will know them forever?

I had the distinct pleasure and honor of this experience today. I met Mamarazzi and her lovely husband for coffee today. We spent 2 hours chatting, laughing, and chatting some more. It was wonderful. She is an incredible woman. Her zest for life, her huge, caring heart....she has a beautiful soul and it shines through her eyes. I have never felt more comfortable with someone I have just met. I know her through her blog, but a face to face meeting can be a bit intimidating. Not so with her....what a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours.

Most people don't understand this whole blogging business. It is very hard to explain how easily we get to know each other through our blogs. Our writings, our posts, are mirrors into our souls and hearts at times. At times our posts are humorous, at times they are serious. We are able to express ourselves in writing much deeper than the oral word. In that sense we become connected to each other much faster and deeper than real life contact. We are also not distracted by physical deterrents....we rely on the written words and emotions expressed through words. Yes, we can be fooled and some people are not honest and hide behind the computer.

As far as I know, the bloggers I call my friends...the ones who visit and comment regularly and who I visit and comment regularly are REAL. I call you my bloggy friends. I hope to meet all of you IRL someday. I am sure if we do I will have the same wonderful experience I had today.

Mamarazzi...thank you for a wonderful couple of hours..thank you for the coffee....Big Daddy...thank you for a wonderful time today and for the are a perfect gentleman and totally enjoyed our conversations. We definitely need to meet again soon and bring our daughters next time. They will mesh just like we did!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Path

She arrived with dreams, aspirations. She was engaged to a Doctor. They were planning on starting their life together in a new country. He arrived first. He wanted to get established. He wanted to provide for them. He had plans. She had plans.

She arrived later. Her anticipation was immense. She had not seen him for months. She was hoping to surprise him. He did not know her date of arrival.

She was the one who was surprised. The ring he wore on his left hand was not placed there by her. His baby was not growing in her body.

She arrived too late. His life took a different direction. His look of pity enraged her.

She arrived just in time. Her strong will and zest for life showed her a different way. She made her own life. She was successful, she was happy, she was fulfilled.

His life was difficult. His family was needy. His life was draining. He was empty.

Their chance meeting was brief. They spoke volumes with their eye contact. Her look was direct and open and honest. His look was vague and downcast and remorseful.

She had forgiven him. He had not forgiven himself.

They parted again. Their chance meeting was poignant. They both wondered - "What if?"

They met again. Their lives had crested the hill and they were on the other side. Her successes she wore on her shoulders. Her experiences she wore in her soul. His loneliness was his scarlet letter. His children had their own lives, his wife was gone.

He asked for her forgiveness. She said it was not hers to give. Forgiveness comes from within.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fun Monday

Our wonderful hostess this week is Janis and here is her assignment:

Since Next Tuesday is Veterans Day, I thought it would be nice to salute our Veterans and show our appreciation. Photo requirement of something patriotic.

Perfect assignment for today...thanks Janis.

Last year on Veteran's Day my husband took our son and others boys in his cub scout troop to the local cemetery. They placed flags the graves of veterans. Dave said it was a powerful reminder of all the brave men and women who have served in the armed forces. Looking out over a field of red, white, and blue brought tears to his eyes.
Each flag was placed and they saluted the veteran. A show of respect and honor was freely given to the people who gave so much.

The following pictures were taken at our local 4th of July parade.
Uncle Sam was there!!

I wanted to post a poem today, but I couldn't find anything that fully expressed my feelings. I then had the brilliant idea of asking my resident poet to write a poem in honor of Veteran's Day. She sat down and wrote the following poem in about 30 minutes....I wish my brain worked like that!!

They care about us.
They fight for us.
They are amazing people.
They are veterans.
Veterans fight for our rights.
Veterans are celebrated
On this day and everyday.
We show them we are care.
We are proud of them.
By: Cassie

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ramblings and an Award

This adorable award was given to me by my good friend Mamarazzi. Thank you so much...I love it....and I big red puffy heart you too. Hopefully, if the stars and the moon align up perfectly next Thursday I will have the distinct pleasure and honor of meeting Mamarazzi in person for coffee!! I am very excited about that.

I realize I have been remiss in my blogging as of late. I apologize for that and I appreciate the inquiries from my blogging friends. You make me feel so loved. I have been extremely busy with life lately. As you know my mother in law had her knee replaced and I have been busy helping her. She is doing well, although she may argue with me on that!! My father in law has been very spoiled in his lifetime, consequently he is a domestic nightmare. I think my mother in law's recovery time is going to be lengthened just because of him. Needless to say, my help has been greatly needed and greatly appreciated. I am also very happy to live close enough to be a source of support for them.

Our house has been busy also. Dave was on a business trip last week so I was a single mom for a few days. It was also girl scout week and the meeting is at our house. I went on a field trip with Michael's class to the zoo, that was fun. I had a meeting with Cassie's Math teacher and found out that she is getting a D in the class due to her careless mistakes and her laziness...that was fun to hear!! Michael also had his first basketball game....that is a post by itself!! We have let our housekeeper go in order to save money and I have forgotten how much time is taken in heavy cleaning. I think I need to call a family meeting and delegate some cleaning chores to my family members!!

Of course we also have the usual daily activities like working, walking the dog, cooking meals, schlepping kids here there and everywhere, and all the other mundane chores that make my life so interesting. Unfortunately blogging is last on the list and by the time I sit down to the computer at night my brain is so tired that I cannot think of anything coherent to say. On second thought maybe an incoherent post might be kind of fun....hmm...something to think about!!

So that is all my excuses why I have been MIA this week. I would like to say that next week will be better, but I don't want to jinx myself. I am participating in FM this week and I have some post ideas swimming around in my head....hopefully I will get some writing time this weekend. Don't give up on me just yet!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Your Constitutional Right

I voted...did you? Did you get your "I voted" sticker? If you don't vote, you don't get "bitching privileges".

My children are very attuned to the election this year. I don't remember being that way at their age. I don't know if I was ignorant or selfish, or maybe a combination of both. Cassie and I have had some very interesting discussions regarding some of the Propositions. She has her opinions and they are strong and she can back them up. I am very proud of her. I hope she joins the debate team in high school.

Even Michael has his opinions this year. On the way to school this morning he said that if he could vote he would vote for McCain. Cassie gasped in the seat next to me and said, "Did you hear what he said Mommy?" I nodded my head, with a big smile on my face. "But", she said, "the rest of family is voting for Obama." She was flabbergasted and was about to give him a piece of her mind when I said to her, "That is the beauty of our society. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion and allowed to vote for whomever they want." She got that and Michael was very proud of himself for being so independent.

Don't forget to vote today for whomever you want....exercise your right.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fun Monday

Our hostess with the mostess this week is Bee, the Dancer. Here is her assignment:

I'm relatively new to blogging, & I'm sure this has come up before, but I'd really like to know WHY you blog. Tell me how you got started or why you got started and why you keep it up. Plus there's a photo requirement: Post a picture of the one person/place/thing that most symbolizes the town or area where you live.

I don't know how I stumbled across my first blog, or even what blog it was. I do remember being fascinated and quickly found myself blog hopping for hours at a time. I decided to start a blog myself because it looked like fun and I thought it would be easier for family and friends to stay in tune with the daily happenings in our house. I routinely sent emails to family and friends with updates and pictures, I don't do that anymore, the blog is my voice now. My blog has become much more than I anticipated. I have met some wonderful people and I have even had the good fortune of meeting a fellow blogger IRL. Blogging has now become a part of my daily life, my routine, and it has become an addiction (I'll admit). At least it is healthy for me!!

The town I live in is a small suburb of San Francisco. I love its history and how we embrace it and honor it. I have lived in this town my entire life. We have many murals around town that depict the rich history, dating back to the Native Americans who first lived here.

There was a train station in the downtown area at one time. The trains just drive through town today. The station house was recently torn down, it was part of the ghost town area we used to haunt in high school, daring each other to enter.

The houses shown in the below mural are still standing today. The old station house is in the left of the mural. This is the main road in downtown and it used to be the highway before the interstate was built.

Our town sits on the San Francisco Bay and fishing was a major part of the economy. At one time the Bay was a wealth of sea life. Now, I wouldn't eat anything caught in the Bay...too much pollution. It is very sad.

This is one of the original mansions in the downtown area and it the most famous one. Yes, it is haunted and it is inhabited by humans, not just ethereal bodies. I went to high school with the children and the daughter now lives there with her family. I have heard many ghost stories about this house. I think it is beautiful!!

Of course, this is the most famous landmark of the area I live in....the Golden Gate Bridge. It is just a mere 30 minutes from my house. My in laws have a beautiful view of it from their front room.

That is end of my fun monday...head on over to Bee's to the others.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


“This blog invests and believes in ‘proximity’ [meaning that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy].”

This beautiful award was given to me by my sweet fairy friend Karisma. Thank you so much Karisma. The award is not only beautiful but the sentiment behind it is also. I feel very close to my blogging buddies even though I have not met most of them IRL. We share our thoughts, our families, our hopes and our dreams.

I am going to pass this award onto the following friends, I am supposed to pass it to 8 bloggers....let's see if I can follow the rules!!

Marmite and Tea

Ordinary Art

Rock and Drool Mom

DysFUNctional Mom




Four Angels Momma

Daily Diatribes


Not too bad, just 2 more than I was supposed to choose!!!