Monday, January 29, 2007


I spent about an hour at work this morning installing five wireless doorbells in our classrooms and office. The chime part plugs in and the buttons will go outside so kids can ring the right classroom when they want to come into the school. Homeland security, you know. The hard part, which really wasn't so hard, was programming them so they don't all ring when you push one button. It just required keeping them all straight, buttons and chimes, and remembering which wire I clipped on which set. I was kind of proud of myself and announced that I had done it at the principal's meeting...right before the high school principal announced that he had been chosen as principal of the year in Minnesota. I guess it doesn't rank with that, but what the hell. It's a goat's life.

Poem: "The Virtue of Trusting One's Mind" by Marcia Slatkin, from A Woman Milking: Barnyard Poems. © Word Press.

The Virtue of Trusting One's Mind

When goats don't want to move,
they don't make sounds.

They fold legs at bald knees,
bend rough necks to earth,
and just sink down.

They never

rant, rail,
protest, declaim,
debate, explain, and then,
head bowed, plod meekly
forward anyway,

as I did
as a child—
and still do now.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Wicked Cold

It's wicked cold here today. Our weather station says the real temp is 8 degrees and the wind chill is 8 below zero. Bitterly cold. I went to Mankato today and poked around the bargains. I can't resist some of that stuff. I got some very cool little red pots at TJ Maxx. They look like soup pots but they're one-serving size. Also got a red messenger bag that if I register it by the number on a tiny metal tag, and then lose it somewhere, they will rescue it for me providing the person who finds it calls their 800 number. Ha! What a concept. They have some gorgeous jewelry at Target...real bling stuff with lots of giant rhinestones...for cheap.

We stopped at the bar last night for a beer after school. The place was full of teachers. Must say something about the academic year. Everyone is tired and it's the dog days of January. Maybe we'll feel better once February comes around.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Nothing new

We're in the dog days of winter. Short and dark January days, long and dark January nights. I had the wanderlust today and really only wanted to travel to Nicollet. My friends at work laughed at me. I said I would buy some summer sausage at Schmidt's and then go to the Mug 'n' Jug for a Bloody Mary. I suppose that isn't the most emotionally healthy way to spend a day but what the hell. I'm out of giving a shit.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I knew I'd seen that face before...

Ezra and Steve. Yup, they're a match.

Baby...and more snow in St. Peter

This is my new nephew, Ezra Maurice. He was born yesterday. So weird to see my brother's face on a baby!
We're getting more snow. There's probably about 3 inches on the ground now and it's still coming down. It's that pretty, light snow so it wasn't hard to move off the sidewalk. The only thing I don't like about it is that my truck is terrible on snow so I'm trapped unless one of my friends takes pity and comes to get me. I hate to even drive it into the driveway. I think I'll pay it off and get something that I can drive in the winter.
Bert went to the dog doctor yesterday. All the usual stuff plus the complete blood panel cost 250 dollars. Bert has a complete blood panel done yearly. They like to go through it minute detail by minute detail. I try not to look bored but really. He has a heart murmur that is getting worse so they want to do a chest x-ray and possibly prescribe medicine that will make him pee more. (See previous posts regarding the Christmas tree skirt.) I don't think this will happen. They want to clean his teeth. He's a dog that eats poop and it seems kind of counter-productive (ironic?) to clean his teeth. I asked Regis if he informed them of Bert's proclivity for eating feces and he said no, Bert had been licking the face of the technician during the exam so he didn't think that would be prudent. I asked the vet once if there was anything we could do about that. She said you can buy some stuff to sprinkle on the poop that will make it taste bad. Long pause. There's some irony for you. Why do you have to feel guilty about not providing better health care for your dog than you do for yourself?
Not much else new around here.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Lapdogs of the Serengeti

Where hours ago the majestic beast grazed the morning plain, unaware that it was
enjoying its last meal, there were now only traces of blood. The carcass of the
Prime Rib had been dragged through the brush to the pack's dining area. It was
here that the pack leader chose to feast upon the spoils of the morning hunt. The
other animals of the pack awaiting their turn. The number two dog sat calmly, yet
ever alert, lest a piece of the animal fall to the ground and be wasted. The
number three dog sat motionless, his eyes trained as each bit of flesh went from
the plate to the leader's mouth. The leader became aware that the number three
dog had begun to salivate, his body visibly shaking, his sit stay beginning to
resemble an attack crouch. The leader, weakened by age and infirmity paid little
attention to the upstart who up until this moment had never challenged the
authority of number one. The number three dog merely considered his options and
concluded, I may not have the capacity to finish him off at one sitting, but I
damned well have the capability to give it a shot! It was at that moment that
the cleanly sliced piece of meat hurtled through the air and landed at the lesser
member's feet. Both junior pack members ate ravenously their share and gradually
peace returned to the groups energy. The leader chuckled to himself that he knew
what was happening within the pack. He knew that the others would love nothing
more to take him down and claim pack dominance and, but for a lack of opposable
thumbs and language skills so that they could order pizza, they might attempt
such a coup. The leader tossed back his head, momentarily exposing his throat,
and roared, "That's all there is! Now go lay down you fucking fucks!"


Monday, January 15, 2007

Now, THIS is Winter!

This is Kramer hauling ass through the snow. Regis takes him back there and lets him run and he loves it.

The path to the front door of our little house. Regis has sure learned how to move snow since he moved to Minnesota. Even though we haven't had much in the last few years, he's figured out how to move it far enough so that we're ready for the next load.

This was a beautiful snow...sparkly and light and it coated trees and mailboxes and bird feeders. A Christmas card kind of snow. It only bought us a two-hour late start and not the snow day we were hoping for, but we still enjoyed it. Regis is whooped from spending two hours behind the snow blower, but he enjoyed it, too!


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ghastly Weekend

I don't know if ghastly is an adjective that should be ascribed to a weekend but if you knew the extent of this stomach virus that has visited itself on me, you might agree with the use of the word. Friday I didn't feel quite right. Things got worse from there but I will spare you the grisly details. I have been out of bed about six hours since 3 p.m. on Friday and have had very little to eat, which in itself is enough to make a ghastly weekend. I seem to be over the worst...just roaring bowels and a sort of ugly disposition left behind.

We're getting more snow which did not announce itself by way of the Weather Channel or until this morning. It started snowing lightly about 3 and now is pounding down. We're expecting 8 inches of snow by noon tomorrow. It might be Martin Luther King calling from the grave that public schools should do a better job of honoring his memory. Holy hell. Gerald Ford has been mourned almost longer than he was president. We still have the flag at half-mast at school. The kids put it up so it might be upside down, but it is half-mast.

It's dark or I would post some pictures of our snowstorm. Maybe tomorrow if I don't have to leave for work before the sun comes up.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Oh, Ella!

First of all, Emily is holding her in the doorway as we get out of the car and she beams. She is excited to see us! We had so much fun reading books, looking at my jewelry (pretty, she says), and playing with her new toys. She discovered my school name tag with my picture on the lanyard around my neck, and for some reason, she was delighted. She pointed at it and smiled and laughed and said, "Bapa". Regis took a short nap on the couch and every time he snored, she looked at him, back at me, and smiled and said, "Bapa". I guess we're both Bapa. So sweet it makes your heart hurt.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cold January Night

I haven't noticed the days getting longer although I suppose they have. It's still very dark in the morning and not much lighter when I get in the car to go to work. I'm going to see my doctor on Friday to see if she'll prescribe a trip to Jamaica for medicinal purposes. That should fly, eh? We can't seem to win the lottery and I apparently did not choose a career that is going to provide me a lifestyle to which I would like to become accustomed.

Just kidding about all of that. I really love the long, dark, cold nights.

Regis worked last weekend and I did household chores so there isn't much exciting here in St. Peter after we celebrated Ella's birthday. We have a couple busy nights lined up...tomorrow night at the DFL office (I think they're planning big stuff already), Friday night babysitting the little girl, and Saturday night at the Bothy.

I finished reading The Worst Hard Times. It was not an uplifting book unless I suppose you consider that these are stories of the people who survived the dust bowl. The descriptions of the dust storms were amazing and frightening. We should maybe take a lesson from stories like this when we start drilling in Alaska and driving big SUV's. There's a price for that kind of stuff.

Well, that's enough serious crap. Regis and I have been watching The Dog Whisperer and learning how to manage our dogs. Well, manage our dogs better than we always have. It does work but they sure are persistent, those dogs. When Cesar says you have to do it a hundred times, he seems to mean it. Last week we watched the episode with the family of the author of Marley and Me, John Grogan. His dog ate small animals. My favorite quote came from Mrs. Grogan. "It's hard to look at your dog in the same way when he has just eaten one of your pets." By the end of the show, the dog was competing in field trials, although it probably took longer than that in real life. : )

Moving on for tonight...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Gonzo Hynes

We went to see Betty and Tom last night. This is Tom wth their new dog, Gonzo. He's a pug and just a perfect little lap dog. He lolls on your lap like a fur blanket and he purrs and snorts when you scratch behind his ears. Those buggy little eyes roll back in his head with pleasure. He has made Tom and Betty's life fairly and out, chewing shoes, and disagreement about training methods. Tom said he loves his wife and he loves his dog, but one of them has to go. I think he's kidding. Aside from gushing over the puppy, we had a wonderful time. Tom's a very good cook and made us a perfect hamburger with grass-fed, organic, free-range beef and fried onions, and a perfect daquiri with fresh limes.

I'm making a trip to my most hated store today...Men R Nerds. That's Menards to those of you who don't know. It's always full of sort of dirty lumber-jack looking men carrying sheetrock and bags of nails. I just want lighbulbs and a toilet seat. Isn't there an easier way to do this?


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Ella's Birthday Party!

We celebrated Ella's birthday last night because she was sick on her real birthday. She seemed to enjoy it even though it was a little overwhelming. Regis and I made a racket coming in the door with all the stuff and she started to cry, then turned and toddled into her room in the dark. Poor baby. Emily made a nice dinner, we played, and we left when it was time for Ella to go to bed. She loved her presents, but was a little afraid of the Extreme Elmo...the rest of us thought he was a hoot, though. Check out the video here:
and more pictures here:


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My Sweet Ford...Adios, Gerry!

Now, where do you suppose in the universe, this photo op occurred? How strange. I didn't watch any of the festivities surrounding the Ford funeral today...too busy at work. My only real memory of him is getting into an argument with Mike Erickson in Brannigan's when I was in college. Barb Johnson and I made some innocuous comment about Ford and Mike exploded. He was probably more sophisticated politically than we were. Barb and I were your classic dumb blondes in those days. Not like the savvy broads we are today.

I went back to work today after ten days of rest and relaxation at home. It wasn't exactly that with all the holiday preparations, but there were several days I didn't leave the house and a few where I didn't get dressed until afternoon. It was a nice break from getting out of bed every day at 5 and dragging my butt to the EBD school.

Oh, by the way...regarding the title of this post: That's the title of a Beatle's song. I'm not harboring romantic feelings for the former president.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year! Happy Birthday, Ella!

This is the front yard this afternoon...two hours of snow clean-up last night cleared the sidewalks and we got both vehicles moved into the driveway. It's a gorgeous sun-filled day!
This is the western sky this morning about 7 a.m. It was pink and purple opal-like colors and I was afraid it wouldn't show up on the photo but this is what it looked liked. What a pretty morning after the last week of dreary rain.

New Year's Eve was quiet for all our plans. With Ella sick and all the snow, we cleaned up the yard then ate dinner and watched Great Performances on PBS. I was expecting a Prairie Home Companion format...not Vince Gill and Garrison Keillor shopping for the ingredients for peanut butter fudge. Lame. When they finally started the show, it was great. Lots of good blue grass music...but by then we were tired so we taped it. I finished watching it this morning.

My last day of vacation and I have wallowed in it. I went back to bed this morning after Regis left for work, then sat in my robe until 2:00. A neighbor came to borrow the snowblower and I was a little embarassed. Tomorrow is back to the salt mines. Ugh.