Saturday, August 28, 2010

First Day of School

I can't believe how big my grandsons are getting.  They started school on Thursday.  This was Michael's first day of KINDERGARTEN.  And he was SO EXCITED.  He could hardly wait to meet the UPS man to get his new backpack, and then to actually get to take it to school?!  Here he is with his big brother Tyler, before heading out the door.

Doesn't Michael look like the sweetest angel in the world?  He was so thrilled that he was getting to go TO SCHOOL this year like Tyler.  Tyler, on the other hand, is clearly thinking yeah, yeah, let's get it over with.

Here is Michael standing in front of his school:

 Notice how prepared he is, double packing the water?  I think his backpack is almost as big as he is!  When he went for his orientation with his mom, he pointed out the principal's office and said, There's the principal's office.  I hope I don't have to go there a lot.  His mom said she hoped so too.  Tyler had heard that his new teacher this year was mean, so he wasn't quite as enthusiastic.  LOL!  My babies are growing too fast.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mini Meet

Yesterday evening, I was lucky enough to spend a wonderful evening with Lynn of Razzberry Corner!  She just happened to be in my neck of the woods this week, attending a job-related course.  Isn't that serendipitous?  We decided to meet at Sweetwater Tavern, one of my favorite restaurants.  You know, some folks (my kids) think it's downright weird to meet someone online and then meet them in person.  But I've always had wonderful times meeting people in person after getting to know them through emails or blogging.  Last evening was no different.  Lynn is wonderful and beautiful, and we settled in and whiled away almost two and a half hours.  Truthfully, I could have spent a few more hours talking to Lynn.  I felt like I really knew her; and we talked about our lives, our jobs, our blogs, the blogs we love and read. . . in other words, we talked about everything.  You were all there with us, believe it or not!  All I can say is that if you ever get a chance to meet another blogger in person, don't be afraid to meet them.  It's so nice to be able to put a face and all the dimensions of someone's personality together with what we read every day.  Thank you again, Lynn, for a fun evening with someone I consider a friend.

PS.  We're both much cuter in person!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Remembering Love

NPR's Picture Show recently did a piece on a photographer's photo journal of his father's last year.  You can see it all for yourself at Days With My Father by Phillip Toeldano.  Some of the memories are sad and some are very funny.  But what stands out beyond all of the surface emotions is the huge love shared by father and son. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Life as a House


This movie stars Kevin Kline who has been an absent father in his 16-year-old son's life.  He lives in a run down shack on the ocean.  He goes to work one day, only to be fired after 24 years and finds out he is dying of cancer.  He decides to tear down the shack and build a house with his rebellious kid.  How did I ever miss this movie?!  It was made in 2001.  I absolutely loved it.  There is one scene in the movie where he's lying in the hospital room and nurse comes in and touches him gently on the face.  He tells her that's the first time he's been touched by anyone in years.  It made me realize how lonely and empty life would be without those hugs from my kids and grandkids, my sister, my nephews, friends and all the people that are so dear to me.  We're are such tactile beings from the time we're conceived.  I can't imagine living a life where no one had physically touched you for years.  See this movie if you get a chance.  There are some screwy parts, but on the whole, you'll love it.  Make sure you have a box of tissues handy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'ts Official!

I made my plane reservations today, and I'm so excited.  I'm going to MAINE!!! the first week in October.  It should be the perfect time of the year to see the fall foliage and enjoy the cool weather.  I took a trip to New England last October but ran out of time before we got to see Maine.  I'm making up for it this year.  Someone told me that they have lobster rolls at the McDonalds in Maine!!  Can you believe it?  I foresee a lot of lobster rolls in my future.  That's the kind of fast food that I could get used to loving.

I'll be in the same state as Julie from Dog Trot Farm!  My son and I used to joke that we should visit Maine because it would be "lobstah fun!"  I want to take lots of photos and enjoy the cool air and peace.  Someone told me that it's very peaceful there.  I could definitely get used to peaceful.  I fell in love with New England last year, especially Vermont; but Maine may run a close second.  I'm hoping to see a lot of scenery, maybe go kayaking, eat some good food, spend time with some great people, and fall in love with Maine.

I'm looking forward to the break from work and to having some time to just relax with my daughter, granddaughter, and our friends from Maine.   Anyone have any ideas for a gift for my hosts?  I'd like to take them something really special from Virginia.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Some of you might have heard about Bob Bailey's Chicken Camp, which is a training session for animal trainers that teaches them to use operant conditioning and behavior observation by using a clicker.  This joke is along those lines and I thought it was so funny, I had to share it.  Disclaimer:  No chickens were harmed in the retelling of this joke.  LOL!

(Dog Trainer Version)

Pavlov:   We fed the chicken on the opposite side of the road each day at 4 p.m. until the chicken's autonomic system actually began causing the chicken to cross the road at 4 p.m. Without even questioning the "why."

B.F. Skinner:  On prior occasions when the chicken voluntarily crossed the road, this behavior was followed immediately by a reinforcing consequence.

Cesar Milan:  I bullied, chased, poked, and intimidated the chicken until it raced across the road, because I am a strong leader…

Barbara Woodhouse: You just say, "Walkies" with the right accent and place a crumpet on the other side of the road…

Karen Pryor:  By associating R+ with road crossing and P+ with standing still, with a VR schedule, and offering a reward in keeping with the Premack principle, we increased the intensity and frequency of the road crossing behavior.

Bill Koehler:  A few well-timed pops on the choke chain and the chicken was happy to cross the road.

Nicholas Dodman: I gave the chicken fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, carbamazepine, and azapirone and then it was happy to cross the road.

Patti Ruzzo:  I crossed the road, pausing every step to spit a treat out of my mouth like a human pez dispenser and the chicken followed along catching the treats.

E-Collar Advocate:  Whenever the chicken does not cross the road I give it an electric shock. But do not worry, the shock is no more than you would feel if you walked on a carpet wearing socks and it does not bother the chicken at all. They are happier having nice clear communication than they would be otherwise.

Yuppie:  Chickens are just like little people in feather jackets, and if you love them and feel sorry for them all the time, they will be happy to cross the road for you.

Paris Hilton:  Because I put it in a Gucci bag and carried it.

Shelter director:  Any chickens that do not cross the road will be euthanized for their own good, and the others we will "adopt" out tomorrow for only $200 each. Please send us money so we can keep doing more of this important work!

HSUS member:  I do not know anything about animals, I have never been around animals and am not really fond of animals, but we passed a law mandating that chickens be kept without cages because animals belong only in the wild and cannot be happy coexisting with man, so now they are walking wherever they want.

PETA member:  Chickens have the right to live in world without roads.  Any chicken that lives within a hundred miles of a road is suffering an inhumane existence and might eventually be hit by a car so we should kill it today to ensure that it does not die tomorrow.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm BAAAAaaack

I got back from Vegas on Friday morning after flying in on the red eye.  I couldn't sleep on the plane, which is unusual for me because I normally start snoring as soon as the engines start.  For some reason, my legs were restless and I couldn't get comfortable.  I sat next to the window and when I finally fell asleep there was no one in the seats next to me.  When I woke up, there was a guy sleeping there, slumped over his tray table.  Whoa!  I was so tired when I got home that I left my suitcase unpacked and fell into bed and slept until 2  in the afternoon.  Can you say jet lag?

Vegas was, in a word, HOT!!  We did a lot of walking and I felt like I was melting into the pavement.  Good thing I brought lots of clothes.  I had to change every time I came back to the room because I was soaked in sweat.  Everybody kept saying the heat was no big deal because it wasn't humid.  IT WAS A BIG DEAL.  IT WAS HOT.  LOL!! 

Weather aside, I had a great time.  Got a lot of work done, met up with folks I knew, and made some new friends.  The casinos were all so different and amazing.  The crowds were unbelievable!  We stayed at the Flamingo, and they have real Flamingos there! 

I went to see Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian and it was wonderful.  I've seen it before but love the music and the acting.  If you get a chance to go there, don't bother to pay for the expensive seats.  The theater is small and you can see fine from anywhere in the theater.  You'll love it, I promise.

One of the places we walked through was Ceasar's Palace.  It has amazing sculptures and ceilings.  I snapped a photo of this beautiful fountain of Neptune.  The place is full of the very best stores, Versaci, Tiffany, places I only browsed through.  They also had a cool show about Atlantis at one of the fountains with talking statues and fountains and fire!!  It was really a good time. 

One of the other casinos (can't remember which one) has a thunderstorm every hour.  The ceiling is painted like the sky and it gets dark and cool.  The thunder starts along with lightning, and then they have a rainstorm that falls from the ceiling into a pool.  It was wonderful.