Saturday, July 31, 2010

Miscellaneous Stuff!

bluegreen algae Yucky, you say?!  But that is what the blue-green algae looks like on our nearby lake.  They’ve closed down most of the parks in the town that are on the water’s edge, warning not to drink(?) the water, or swim in it…as if anyone would!  This nasty stuff not only looks bad, but has the odor of an open sewer.  Even on my trips to Safeway, which is about 15 blocks from the water, the smell is enough to knock you over.  Imagine living on the shore.  We had this same algae last year and are SO glad our houseboat is out of it this year and safe at home.  Some places take high powered water hoses and try to wash it out away from the shore, but it drifts back.  I’m afraid the only cure for it is to wait until rains come and wash it away.  We don’t usually see that until October.

Other than that, not a lot has been going on here.  It’s been warm but not unbearably hot here.  The lawns have turned mostly blond in the forever-sun and the fire danger climbs.  The winds keep me awake at nights sometimes.

Work has been good for me this summer with August promising to be another busy month.  School sports starts gearing up in August as well (even though school doesn’t start until after Labor Day for Max) with soccer tryouts and practices.  There is also a freshman orientation later in the month that Max is looking forward to.  No word yet on the new Band instructor---but I’m trying to dig up some news. 

The chickens are doing great, but no eggs yet.  They are all growing and Charlie is in good voice.  A few nights ago he started crowing at 1 in the morning, so Hubby went out to see what was up.  Nothing appeared to be wrong, but he might have scared something away that was frightening the chickens (who nest in their protective metal shed at night).  Upon Hubby’s return to the bed, Charlie was silent….for the rest of the night too.  We blocked a couple of iffy spots near the fence bottom of their yard the next day.  No more night crowing!

Enjoy the rest of the summer and no complaining about the heat---winter will be upon us sooner than you think!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pays to be a celebrity...

I'm outraged. I saw an article today about how Lindsay Lohan will only serve about 15 days of her 90 day sentence...because her lawyer managed to pay off the right people. What a rip-off. Celebrities also get private cells and in some cases, special foods so they can stay on their diets and not gain weight. They also are not subjected to strip or body cavity searches (in most cases) like other prisoners after being booked. So, what's going to keep her from doing it again? Did she really learn anything important about her crime, that is, other than she can get away with it? Perhaps if she was treated like the other prisoners and NOT given special handling, she would actually benefit from her incarceration.

More importantly, what does that show our children when celebrities can get away with crimes? I personally believe that jails and prisons should give inmates LESS rights and privileges than they currently do. Prison should not be FUN or COMFORTABLE at all. It irks me that taxpayers foot the bills for TVs, computers, and other technology for our prisoners. They should lose those rights when they are behind bars. Prisons should provide only clean but stark rooms, healthy outdoor activity and nutritious food for their inmates. Perhaps as a priviledge, they could visit a library and check out books, but that's all. No TV, no radio, no computers and no phones.

Am I being too harsh? I don't think so. What do you think?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cool Theme Song!

Wow, I came across this cool song (be sure to click on my Spaces main blog to hear it) when I was downloading some free stuff. It was like hitting a gold mine for me as I am, and always have been, a huge Sammy Davis, Jr. fan. There were tons of songs that I didn't have and haven't heard. This particular song, entitled "YOU CAN COUNT ON ME" is the theme song to "Hawaii 5-O" those many years ago. There was also a hot big band version of "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz," the Alka-seltzer ad that had me rolling on the ground in laughter! Sammy also sang the theme song for "Mary Tyler Moore Show" and was featured in "Laugh-In" ("Here come the judge!") and I recently saw him guest star on an old episode of "Wild Wild West" as well. He was, in my opinion, the most all around talented member of the Rat Pack.

Hope you will enjoy this song!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Child Abuse

jth-of-july1 Just finished reading a book from the Women’s Murder Club by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro entitled, “4th Of July.”  I can’t seem to stop thinking about it and decided to broach this very taboo subject----child abuse.  Nowhere on the covers or in the inside blurbs does it even make mention of child abuse, but that’s what it all boils down to. 

With giving away the book, on a very basic note, this murder mystery deals with vigilantes bent on taking care of child abusers themselves by bypassing the system.  Although murder is not OK, one can certainly understand the murders’ anger and craziness when faced not only with young men abusing boys, but parents abusing kids by refusing to let them eat solid food, or parents trying to sell their child on the internet, or a nice young couple secretly trafficing young Mexican girls out of their barn…selling them for sex.  It makes one think about how many hundreds of ways kids are abused every day and refuse to talk to anyone for fear of their own lives or the lives of loved ones.  It is SO sad.  Many times it leads the kids to become criminals themselves and no one ever knows why.

This is perhaps the best written book that I’ve read by Patterson and I’ve read all of the Alex Cross ones and the first 4 of the Women’s Murder Club.  The book has many subplots but they all relate to children in one way or the other and thus all fit together to form a picture that still haunts me as I write this.  If you like mysteries, you must read this book.  This whole series would make great movies, but especially this one offering.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Panting Chickens

It’s been so hot out here lately that when we go check the chicks in the late afternoon, they are all panting! DSCF0612 I’ve never seen a chicken pant, but their little beaks are open and they look so hot!  Can you imagine being out in 90 degree days in a coat of feathers??? 

Two days ago, when all three of us went out to see them in the early evening, Charlie flew up onto one of the chicken “huts” as easy as pie.  Time to clip his wings—again!  So, Max and I cornered him and caught him.  He didn’t try to peck at us or be nasty at all---just tried to get away.  Then, as we were doing it (it took all three of us) we noticed two chickens had escaped outside the pen.  So Max and I went out and caught them fairly easily.  That’s when we decided to clip all their wing feathers.  It is a quick and painless deal, but a few of them were NOT happy about it.  Now, at least they won’t be able to fly out.  They can still jump and climb up on many places in their yard to get off the ground.

When I went out the next day, it was like they were still mad at me…DSCF0609 they huddled together inside the metal shed-DSCF0610 --three tried to squeeze into one little cubby reminding me of kids trying to fit as many as possible in a VW bug!  Amazingly, the shed does stay cooler than outside at certain times of the day.  We also mist their outside area (which is already shaded with trees) as well to keep things cool and the bugs to the surface for them to snack on.

Have a great day and stay cool any way you can!

Monday, July 19, 2010


 carabaoride WOW!  You’re 26 already!  It seems like only yesterday you were a round faced happy baby! old pics_3 By age 10, you were a true ham in front of a camera old pics_2 (note the Navy T-shirt!) and by age 14, a full-fledged tragic teen, busy with baby Maxold pics_1 .  Now you are a young man, on the underside of 30, DSCF0553_1 traveling the world and becoming a caring, thoughtful, and pretty brilliant adult (OK, I AM your Mom, but you really are brilliant!).  Words can’t express how proud I am of the choices you’ve made and the paths you’ve already trod.  You are, indeed a special person, thinking1 in spite of that wacky sense of humor! DSCF0513 May your dreams comes true and may you be all that you can be (oops, that’s the Army, isn’t it?!)!  Live high---live mighty---live righteously!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


baskinrobbins ARGH!  Baskin-Robins is “deep sixing” French Vanilla from its flavor list!  How can they do that??!!!  I personally love French Vanilla better than regular vanilla as it is creamier and richer. french vanilla Next thing you know, they’ll be getting rid of chocolate or strawberry… I can understand taking flavors like Lunar Cheesecake (after the space walk in 1969) or Saxy Candidate (after Bill Clinton), but not FV! 


Over the years there have been some unique flavors that also are on the brink of extinction like Campfire Smores, Apple Pie A La Mode, Caramel Praline Cheesecake and Superfudge Truffle.  The most popular ice cream flavors according to a Yahoo pole are:

  1. Vanilla
  2. Chocolate
  3. Strawberry
  4. Coffee
  5. Banana
  6. Bubble Gum
  7. Oreo
  8. Peach
  9. Custard
  10. Mango
  1. Peanut Butter
  2. Green Tea
  3. Lemon
  4. Chocolate Chip
  5. Butter Pecan
  6. Raspberry
  7. Mint Chocolate Chip
  8. Cherry
  9. Neapolitan
  10. Fudge


And there’s Vanilla right at the top! 10-01 Vanilla Ice cream - Finished So, what’s YOUR favorite flavor???

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


DSCF0604 Thought I’d check out this Live Writer thing and see if I could put it on both blogs with one writing.  Bought new chicken food today and managed to muscle the 50lb bag into the trunk myself---although it was touch and go getting the stupid bag out of the shopping cart.  The chicks are old enough now to have regular “layers” food instead of “chicken starter.”  It’s kind of like going from Gerber foods to the real thing, I guess. 

They are growing by leaps and bounds and both the two Orpingtons and the 4 Rhode Island Reds along with Charlie (Arcana Rooster)DSCF0599 are getting more mature.  They love it when we have corn on the cob for dinner because they get to peck on the cobs afterwards and they LOVE that! 

Spot still lets me touch her, but she’s the only one who does. DSCF0601 There is one Orpington I call Fluffy because she always fluffs up her feathers to make her look enormous! DSCF0600 All the chicks come running to greet me when I come to see them.  It warms my heart.  Yeah, I know they are JUST chickens but they’ve become more than that.  They’re my little “herd!”

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Bit of Everything

Promises to be quite a day---got to sleep in a whole 15 minutes longer this morning, in spite of our Kit-Kit alarm outside our bedroom window at 5 this morning. I stumbled up and shut the window (that quiets her down) and fell back into bed for another hour or so.

Let both cats in and Caruso tried to sneak up onto my lap. When I pushed him away, he turned and lunged back up---claws out. Well, I wear these nice short knit shorts to bed and since he had nothing to grab, when he slid back, he left two long scratches in my thigh (which bled like crazy!). Nice scar for summer...
Then, I read in our local paper about a guy who was arrested in K-Ville for "discharging a firearm recklessly." Apparently the Shooter and another "Friend" were feuding about some woman (isn't that always the way?!) and the Friend came tearing up Shooter's driveway the other day, stopping at the entry gate to his yard. Shooter came out and saw Friend trying to force his way through the gate and warned him to leave. Friend ignored the warning and continued to come through, so Shooter retrieved his gun and fired a warning shot in the air, again warning Friend to go away. Friend made it through the gate and onto Shooter's property, where Shooter discharged his gun, wounding Friend in the arm and shoulder. Friend turned around and went back to his truck and left. A Witness told Shooter not to call the police, but Shooter insisted. Thus, Shooter was arrested and had to post a $10,000 bond. Looks like you can't even defend your own property anymore. Oh, and by the way, the Friend cannot be located at all at this time. Wonder how they can arrest this guy at all without proof of a crime...What's this world coming to???
Then, to top the morning off, that ugly, scraggly, chicken-thieving black cat (who hasn't shown himself in ages) tried to come through our dog door into the house. Caruso growled before he could get through the door. I went running out onto the porch, screaming and yelling like a banshee and the cat took off like a shot across the porch towards home, never looking back! I probably scared the neighbors, what with my scratched leg and all...

So, that's how my day has started. At least it ain't boring!!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Catch-up Time!

Whew! What a week! Finally, I can get some of the pics from the July 4th picnic out to you. It was a hot day--into the 90's, but the creek was a popular place. Hubby and Max took floaties out on the blue float, Coach in red shirt and Max on white float) and Max managed to get dunked by our Judo Coach..was a true blindside! He took in good spirits, though---he chose wisely. Then later, there were raft races. Some of the "big" kids helped the wee ones with their rafts (that's Max helping a small girl bottom center) and all the kids had a great time of it. I chose to stay on the bank and take the photos rather than get wet...with my trusty Iced Tea by my side.

Everything seems to be going smoothly on the homefront---Charlie and his little hen herd are doing well and growing up. I'm beginning to hunt for any signs of eggs, but we don't expect them until about August (which it soon will be!). Charlie is a good morning alarm now with his rooster crowing. So much BETTER than those hounds next door. Our pool is a great place to frequent on these hot days and Hubby likes to get 40 winks on a raft in the heat of the afternoon there (usually in that piece of shade by the umbrella). Max had his friend E overnight and they love sleeping on the houseboat---they don't have us bugging them to GO to sleep or keep quiet. They aren't noisy anyway, thank goodness. Yesterday the boys went to another Hot Springs to a going away party for a girl in their school class who was moving. It ended up being three boys and a whole gaggle of girls that showed up for it! Heard no complaints from the guys, though...

Next week my calendar is FULL so don't expect too many entries. I'm glad to have the work and that my stomach is better and almost back to normal. If I only make a few appearances here, don't worry---I'm also in the process of putting together another short story to be unfolded in "parts" in the near future. Have a GREAT week!

Sunday, July 04, 2010


You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
Erma Bombeck

I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.
Woodrow T. Wilson

My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!
Thomas Jefferson

May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country!
Daniel Webster

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Dad's Birthday

If my Dad were still alive, he would have been 94 today. However, he passed away with colon cancer at age 62---so he never got to meet his grandkids. I think of him on this day and know he'd be as proud of my boys as I am. It was so weird---last evening as I was getting ready for bed, I was thinking about my Dad and how much he would have loved to see Tennis as such a popular and televised sport today---and how proud he would have been that Max has become quite a good player. I remembered that today would have been his birthday---and then I heard Max doodling on his bass guitar and he started to play Happy Birthday! Now, he didn't even remember that today would have been my Dad's birthday. How weird is that??!!!

At any rate, my Dad was quite a guy. I don't EVER remember him ever using the "F" word or raising his voice--no matter how mad my Mom got. He was always ready with a joke and a twinkle in his eye. The first time he took me outside to teach me tennis, I was in college. My Mom had warned me not to tire him out. However, when we finally came inside, he was fresh as a daisy---it was I who was sweating buckets and panting. He knew all the spins and trick shots so he never had to move on the court. He and his doubles partner won a Michigan State tennis title back in 1934 when he was in High School. His town was so small that they didn't have tennis courts, so my Dad built a court in their back yard and they played every chance they got! Remnants of that court still exist somewhere under the overgrown weeds.

He had learned to read by the time he went to school (at age 4) and because he graduated so young, he spent a year working in his dad's hardware store before going to the University of Michigan, where he got degrees in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and Metalurgy. He went on to design bomb casings in the 1960's.

Besides telling jokes, he loved bridge, cribbage, sports on TV, his after-work Manhattan, traveling, photography, doing crossword puzzles in his head, candy, and fishing. Even though he traveled a lot, I was always closer to my Dad than my brother was. In fact, one Christmas he gave me a white football (which I treasured), much to my Mom's dismay. I guess I was more of a tomboy and interested in sports than my brother was. I remember how astounded (and proud) he was the first time I brought a piano action home to work on. He couldn't believe I was so mechanical-minded.

I still miss my Dad and often he still appears in my dreams at night---always the same age he was when I was in High School---young and vibrant. Thanks, Dad, for all you taught me.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Cat Baths

There's been an awful lot of itching going on around here and when Hubby found a flea biting him, he'd had enough. So, yesterday, he and Max did a quick Cat Wash on both Caruso and Kit-Kit. Although I missed the Caruso bath, Max said, "I've never heard such sounds come from a cat before!"Caruso got his name for his unique voice, and I've heard it all every time he goes in the car to the vet.

However, I did get to see some of Kit-Kit's bath. I heard her screaming and rushed outside to find a very bedraggled black cat glaring daggers at everyone and swearing up a storm. She's not an easy one to hang onto when she's mad! But they both made it through their flea baths OK.

Later in the day, Caruso had totally forgotten and forgiven all and was his usual talkative and affectionate self. Kit-Kit, on the other hand, was not a happy camper and would only let ME touch her...not those awful guys who held her down and tortured her so. Now they've both been doped with flea and tick meds, so they should start to feel some relief. Ah, the things we endure for good health!