Friday, August 31, 2007

Foam Soap

Regis took a liking to foam hand soap a couple months ago so I started buying it but discovered that it wasn't cheap, you had to buy it in small containers rather than refillable giant ones, and it didn't last long. He monkeyed around trying to fill the foam soap bottle with regular soap thinking that the little place at the top of the squirter is what made the foam. Maybe. But that didn't work so he goggled it, and lo and behold, he found the recipe! Fill your foam soap container about 3/4 full of water then fill the rest with hand soap. Voila. Foam hand soap at a much lower cost and without the bottles constantly going into the landfills.


Tiffany and I made the first grocery run with our new eco friendly shopping bag system today. Now we have about five big canvas shopping bags, a bunch of small produce bags, and three nice string bags. We don't have to come home from the store with eighty-five plastic bags. Some of those kids that bag groceries put one thing in each bag so they really accumulate fast. This is much nicer...fewer trips to the house with groceries and fewer bags under the sink. It helps to have a cute young girl with you at the grocery store...pretty soon we had three young men bagging our groceries.

Foam soap recipes and shopping bag systems. We're starting to sound like a couple of old kooks. I know.

Ten Years

We're planning a little party to celebrate Regis' ten years as a Minnesotan. I think I wrote about that not too long ago. He requested appetizers on the grill and so far the menu is:
Pizza bread on grill
Shish kabobs: shrimp, chicken, & steak
Sausage stuffed mushrooms
Cheese stuffed mushrooms
Crab cakes and mango salsa
Grilled dessert pizza with pears
Basil gimlets
Hamms beer (what else for a Minnesota party?)

It probably seems like a lot but I had help with the menu and everyone has favorites. The basil gimlets are because I have huge shrubs of basil and I'm not fond of pesto. It looks like pond scum to me.

Tiffany and I are going to the grocery store for the party provisions and for regular food which I tend to forget about as school starts. Like I forget about opening mail, taking out the trash, and doing dishes. I need somebody to take care of me the first week of school. If Regis slept more than three hours a night he could do it, but not this way. I'm going to have to whack him in the head with Maxwell's silver hammer if he doesn't start sleeping more.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Paul's Garden Grill

Regis was mowing the grass and I was trimming the tomato plants that ate Chicago when he stopped and asked me what I wanted to do for dinner. I said I wanted to hang around Paul's grill. So we wandered over for a beer and some fresh salsa. Paul makes several kinds...black olive and garlic, habanero and peach, but roasted corn and tomato is our favorite. (He sells it at the farmer's market on Tuesday and Saturday.) Mike was there talking smart about his former parish Catholic priest from Colorado who was recently caught jogging naked and that added a light touch to the evening. I think this topic came up because of the senator who was arrested for tapping his foot in the airport bathroom stall, apparently a universal sign for sex. Eeeeuuuww.) Then Paul served us homemade brats with dried tomatoes and peppers and some wonderful mustard. We finished the meal with a tiny glass of Dickel whiskey. Where can you go to get a meal like that? I was dressed in the hideous clothes I wear to pull weeds and hadn't even washed my hands but we pulled chairs up around the cabana and had a great meal.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Back to normal

As normal as we get, that is. The wedding hoopla is over but I still have crates of paper plates, baskets, and miscellaneous wedding detritus (non-living particulate organic material as opposed to dissolved organic material, Larry...sounded like a chemistry thing) in the living room. The word detritus popped into my head just now. I had to google it to check the definition, and I'm sure I didn't use it exactly correctly, but where in the hell does stuff like that come from?

I had a big gig at the high school today, informing the faculty of the changes in special education law since 1965. I was very nervous because they can be a wicked audience (they've made people cry) but it went fine. The after-effect is that my joints pain me like crazy. Almost as bad as the time I did my final project for my degree and had to ask the bar tender to put my beer in a lighter glass as opposed to the giant mug. I have to do it two more times tomorrow but those elementary teachers are pussies compared to the rigorous high school teachers.

Tiffany got a job at Patrick's. It's not what she wants to do for the rest of her life but I think working in a bar toughened me up. We took her down for her interview and there were three members of the senior (not high school seniors...old geezer seniors) softball team from Southern CA there. Tom asked Tiffany what she thought about 80-year old men playing softball and she said, "I don't think about it at all." Great line. That's my girl.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wedding and technology

The wedding day was beautiful...gorgeous, sunny, almost fall-like weather. We had a wonderful time and have lots of pictures and video to prove it.


Tiffany and Peter were both here for the weekend and it was so nice to have them around.









Regis and Amber and the parents of the groom. Of course, I can't wear anything that looks like a polyester mother-of-the-groom frock...I have to come in this robe that's called Luna Luna. It has a big moon face on the back and probably scared away small children. It was fun to wear.













Regis and Regis in their wedding attire. Regis' robe was borrowed from the local Lutheran church. It had a note on it that said it was hand-made in 1910 for a Swedish Lutheran minister in Minneapolis. I'm not sure the secretary knew what she was lending out!














The ceremony was sweet and short. Bob live-streamed it so the folks from out-of-state could see it. There's a link to the video at the bottom of this post.











Someone must have told Ella to say cheese. She looked so cute it took your breath away but she didn't really want to have her picture taken or walk down the aisle. There's a classic picture on my mac site of her glued to Bob, stiff and crying. It was very sad to see her so distressed. She was fine by the end and even danced a few times.









Regis has a celebratory cigar at the end of the wedding. One of my friends said that he does such a nice ceremony that you'd think he did it all the time.
















I love this picture of Regis and Amber laughing. They really seemed to enjoy the whole weekend.














Amber's Grandma Carol wanted to do a conga line so requested the music from Brian. She talked me into leading it (that was tough) and so we got about 30 people to dance with us. What a hoot. There's a link to the video on the bottom of this post.









I told Peter I had pictures of him doing Y-M-C-A with Kathy and he asked me never to show it to anyone. I didn't think I could do that...it's just too precious.







All in all, it was a great weekend and a beautiful wedding with many poignant moments. We cried, we laughed, we danced, we toasted, we hugged...

If you'd like to see almost as much of the wedding weekend as I did, here are some links:

To pictures on my mac site

To video of the conga line


To video of the ceremony

To the Amber and Regis site


In case the link to the conga video doesn't work for you, here it is from youtube:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wedding Streaming

In case you missed this at the bottom of the last posting, Bob is streaming the wedding and you can view it here at 4 o'clock this afternoon:
http://www.amberandregis.com/

Get-Acquainted Party August 24th

We had a party last night for Regis and Amber, their out-of-town guests, and the wedding party. After a week of rain, we were lucky to have sunny skies yesterday. I was insane, of course, and cranky because people weren't doing what I wanted them to as fast as I thought they should, but it all worked out in the end. The food was good, the evening was beautiful, and we had a good time. This picture is of Amber and her mom, Peggy, her cousin Corrissa, and her brother's girlfriend Katie. Peggy's a hoot and kept us entertained with her version of "Deawy bewoved..." from The Princess Bride.






Kathy and Harvey offered their patio and garage for the party. We hung party lights and balloons,
had candles and confetti...it was festive! Our favorite local establishment, Patrick's, catered herb roasted chicken and au gratin potatoes.










The groom and his father, Regis times two, share a cigar and some smart talk.















Bob, the technical wizard of the family, is streaming the wedding, so if you check this website (http://www.amberandregis.com/) at 4:00, you'll be able to see all the fun. I don't know what streaming means but somehow, a live video ends up on the internet. Cool.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Scrapblog

Here's a new thing called a scrapblog. It's like a scrapbook but it's online and you build it with a template. It's easy but time consuming. Regis and I are working on this one for Reg and Amber's get-acquainted party tomorrow night. We ran into technical difficulties...a scanner that quit, a scanner we hadn't used before, and three different computers. You can see it bigger by clicking here. Reg and Amber's Scrapblog

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New post, blah blah blah

I feel about as gray as the weather. I've been having trouble sleeping lately. I have no trouble going to sleep but I wake up at 1 and can't sleep again until it's almost time to get up. At least that's how it seems. I took tylenol pm last night and slept like the dead. Oh, it felt good. I wonder if it's better to take that every night or to get something from the doctor. I can't go too many nights with that crappy sleep...I start to feel like I've been slipped a mickey.

I don't think it rained much today if at all but it's sure wet outside. The neighbors have a big fairy ring of toadstools in their yard. They used to believe they appeared when fairies danced at night. I like that story. There is some other stuff about fungi but that doesn't make as good a story.

I filled all the birdfeeders today as the birds don't seem to have much to do but hang at the feeders and eat. There's a big fat squirrel who has learned to leap into the platform feeder. I'm sure one day it will all just crash to the ground. He's a lardish oaf and the feeder just hangs on a shepherd's hook. It will be a fast ride to the ground for him.

I'm reading a book called What the Stones Remember. It's a memoir by a man who was addicted to alcohol and cocaine for 40 years but managed to write 25 books of poetry and build a beautiful garden. (When I have two glasses of wine I can hardly get the dishes done.) It's really a beautiful book about not only his life and his addiction, but about his garden. His notes about the plants and animals that live there are lovely. I read it once for the story and I'm reading it this time to notice the writing. I haven't found anything very satisfying to read this summer except for this book and Out Stealing Horses. I quit reading more books in the middle than usual. Meanwhile, Tiffany has plowed through all the Harry Potter books since she came home and is within spitting distance of the end of Book 7. I admire her zeal and wish I had a taste for that but I don't. I loved Wicked but I just can't get excited about wizards and flying brooms. The rhinoceros librarian and the green witch in Wicked seemed more real.

I'm still debating about whether I should see Superbad or not. Peter gave it a rave review but I'm not sure we have similar taste in movies. Roger Ebert said it was raunchy but hilarious and it's getting great reviews even from adults. I might have to see it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dramatic Prairie Dog

A person in our district office who will remain nameless (Google, you know) directed my attention to this youtube video. I could hear him laughing heartily in the background as I watched it.

Tuesday and the rain keeps falling

We've had more rain, more sleepless nights because of thunder, more humidity. I'm starting to feel like moss is growing on my north side. Enough already. (If you look back, it wasn't very many posts ago that I was complaining off the desert-like atmosphere around here.)

I'm taking most of the next three days off for the young Regis' wedding on Saturday. It's not like there's that much for us to do but it's really stimulating with all that going on so it will be nice to have some time to relax in between events. Tiffany and Peter will both be here for the weekend so I had better stock the pantry.

I've decided that I have to stop reading about the news of the bridge collapse and the flooding in Southeastern Minnesota. I had a staff meeting at work today and I said it felt like we were coming back after the tornado. I like to read the stories about the people...the man who died trying to save his wife, the couple who rode the roof of their house 1,000 feet through the town of Minnesota City, the man whose mother had accepted he was gone even when they couldn't find his body. It's very sad and it kind of wears on you. We don't watch tv news anymore but I watched some of both events (bridge and flood) on the internet. It has the same effect.

Tiffany is doing fine. She delivered three more job applications in the last two days. She said today that applying for jobs is demoralizing and so she has decided to quit doing it because it makes her feel so bad. Then she laughed. She has a great sense of irony and a great sarcastic sense of humor. We went car shopping for her today which she quickly realized is like taking a blind person shopping for art. We drove furtively around several lots, dodging salesmen, then left. Eeeeuw. I hate shopping for cars.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday

We had the kids all here for dinner Sunday night. We cooked steak on the grill and Regis did a wonderful job of managing all the different requests. We had steak, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and slabs of French bread with Hope butter. See? Not many butter brands get mentioned with the menu.










Kramer, a bit befuddled by all the hoopla. He can't be out when Ella is here because he gets too excited and jumps all over her.














I made apple pie for dessert, which the Fritsch men put chocolate ice cream on. Blasphemy.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Butter, mugs, and jugs

Yesterday Peter and I went to the HyVee in Mankato. There was a man giving out samples of butter from the Hope Creamery in Hope, MN. My God, if you think you've tasted butter, you have to try this. Being quite a connoisseur of butter, I feel qualified to say this is the best butter I have ever tasted. And don't waste it on people who can't tell the difference between butter and margerine, or God forbid, those fake butters.


Regis joined his sons and some of their friends for young Regis' bachelor party yesterday. They started out with a tour of the Schell's Brewery in New Ulm, then to Bloomington for go-kart races, then to Hooter's for dinner. They dropped Regis off at home about ten and the younger Fritsch men went on to Mankato for more frivolity.
John (on the left) got the short bus for nothing and just had to make it street legal. He moved the strobe light from the top to the inside and got an extremely loud muffler. You can hear it coming long before you see it.



The two Regis (what's the plural of THAT?) share a beer in honor the impending nuptials.













These young ladies were eager to have their photos taken with the young men, baring all their endowments. Uff da.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Oh, Betty

Betty said she walked to the clinic today so she left her keys at home in the refrigerator in the garage, under the buns. She was afraid she would forget where she'd left them by the time she got home so she spelled out b-u-n-s in small stones on the asphalt outside the garage door. She explained all this to the doctor who thought it was a fine idea. When she got home, the b-u-n-s reminded her where the keys were. We laughed and laughed.

For anybody reading this who shops at the Food Coop in St. Peter, here's a food tip. We tried the Prairie Pride wieners with wild rice, cheddar, and jalapenos tonight. They were delicious. Just delicious. Free-range wieners, too.

Friday

I've griped about the weather so much this summer that I suppose I should say when the weather is acceptable. It's gorgeous today...77 degrees, arid, calm, sunny. Can't beat that. We're going to cook on the grill again tonight. Nothing fancy, just chicken wings, wild rice brats, with mushrooms and new onions. I bought a loaf of herb foccacia bread that we like buttered and grilled, too.

Tiffany's going to Minneapolis tonight to celebrate her friend Teresa's 23rd birthday. Here they are going to one of the proms. I cropped the boys out because they're ancient history. They have plans to go to clubs to dance and to a few bars...one that Tiffany said she'd rather set fire to than walk into. Ha. Funny girl. She met someone last night who asked her if she'd like to be a manager at Hollister in the mall. She gave the girl her phone number. Oh, it's a very funny story but I think you had to be there to hear it. It's too long to write but in the end she said no thanks.

All the kids are coming over for dinner Sunday. We're making big steaks on the grill, scalloped potatoes, sweet corn, green beans with bacon, and apple pie for dessert. The pie was Peter's request. We have a couple off-spring who like their steak well-done and then they put ketchup on it which I think is an affront to a decent piece of meat. Maybe I'll get a couple pieces of cheap sirloin and they can put ketchup on that. I'd like to re-enact the spoon-on-the-nose picture after dinner. I think I'll have Regis set up the tripod so we can all be in it. Oh boy, something to look forward to.

Regis has been in Minnesota ten years. Hard to believe. Tiffany said she can't believe it's been that long in some ways and in other ways it seems like he's always been here. We're going to have a little celebration during Labor Day weekend to commemorate his arrival. He's a good Minnesotan now and has even learned to end his sentences with the word then, as in, "I'm going downtown to buy some beer then." This picture was taken about that time. Both of us had hair of a color other than white. We're with Deb and Larry at a place called Nikki's in Minneapolis. Time flies.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wild turkeys and Elvis

I went to work early this morning in the rain. We haven't had rain for so long, I've had rain hallucinations during the night...I wake up and think I hear rain so I listen hard to decide what it is. It's always the AC or the dog or Regis snoring. Never rain. But this morning we had a great driving rain for more than an hour. I opened my window to listen to it and heard this weird barking dog. It kept barking, barking, barking. I finally stood up to see this anguished dog and it wasn't a dog at all but a wild turkey. I think there were babies in the woods she was calling because I heard little peeps, too. I worried that they would get wet, but what would I do, open the door and let them into the school?

Thirty years ago tomorrow Elvis died. I've never been an Elvis fan...not when he was alive and even less so since he's dead. I lived in Mt.Vernon, Iowa and Jane and I were going to go to Memphis for the funeral. Not because we cared a fig about Elvis, sorry to say, but because it was going to be a happening. When we found out there weren't any motel rooms we changed our minds. We didn't want to attend a happening bad enough to sleep in the car. Man, do you see those Elvis impersonators? Those dudes are really weird.

We watched the movie Bobby tonight. I really liked it, as much for the period details and the music as for the story which was compelling. They used archival film footage of Bobby Kennedy instead of having an actor portray him which was a nice touch. Amazing words at the end of the movie about poverty and racism and violence and very sad that things have changed so little.

For some reason the other night, I stumbled onto an entertainment quiz on MSNBC. I got 4 out of 10 right, and some of those were accidents. I have no idea, for example, who Posh and Beck are but I guessed that they are starting a clothing line. Who knew. When they reported my pitiful score, the editorial comment was, "What are you, some kind of caveman?" What the hell. I guess I've gotten behind since I quit reading People.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I need a nap

Some days I just feel like a nap, but today I need one. The weather has been brutal with not only high temps, but high humidity, a dew point through the roof, and still putrid air that hangs over the valley like smog. A good day to sit in a dark bar drinking cold beer and listening to Tammy Wynette on the juke box. I should be careful what I write here; some of you will think I'm actually capable of doing that.

I took things out of the freezer to cook on the grill so now I suppose I'm committed. There's that damn dog barking again. Where's my pearl-handled Luger?

Does this feel a little disjointed? My friend Jill is gathering evidence to support my application for a Section 8 discharge. (Remember Klinger on MASH?) She can just print this post, I guess.

Another reason why I don't keep a gun in the house

Billy Collins

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Learning the art of the nap from the master

Ella came over today because her daddy is rewiring the kitchen and she's scared of the guy who's helping him. We had a nice time until about 11:30 when we both needed a nap. I wasn't sure how she'd do in the big bed with me but we took our shoes off, found a couple books and the blankie, and headed for the bedroom. She started to whimper a little because she thought I was going to leave her there alone but when I curled up on the bed, too, she went right to sleep and we didn't emerge from our den until almost 1:30. Regis said she was studying the art of napping from the zen master.

It's raining here now with big rolling thunder and a crack of occasional lightening. It looks on the radar like it might pass quickly but it's nice to get even a little rain. It sounds like the demo derby had to call it quits early. What a shame.

We went to the animal fair; the birds and the beasts were there.

We walked down the street to the Nicollet County Fair last night. We made our way directly to the food court, claimed a table and started sampling. Ella liked the fries with lots of ketchup.
My favorite part of the fair is the petting zoo. You can buy a handful of kibble to feed the goats and donkeys but I think by evening, they were full as they didn't show much interest.
Tiffany walked aloong with us and participated enthusiastically in the food trials. She thought the cheese curds were the best.
Goats, donkeys, llamas. Ella liked to pick up handfuls of poop-laden straw. Thank God for Handi-wipes.
The unwashed masses. The motley crew. (Hey, wait a minute...we were there.) This ain't all of 'em either because the demo derby was going on right behind us and all the mullets were in there.
Ella overcome with joy, danced around the tent pole. See that tummy? Lots of fries, an icey, some chips, and a carmel apple. The girl likes fair food!
Oh, I forgot the lemonade. She learned how to drink from a straw.
Ella and her Nana had a good time at the fair.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

So you think you can write a country western song

Jill would be too shy to share her latest country song creation, so I'm going to do it for her:

Mama's in the graveyard, daddy's in the pen.

We're just a-listenin' to the tractor pull again.

The dust is a-flyin' and it plugs up our noses,

And the flowers, they're-a dyin', even the roses.


Hey, let's have a hog roast fund raiser and send that girl to Nashville!

So you think you can dance

Damn it's hot here. If I wanted to live in the desert, I'd move to Arizona. My plants are going to call the county pretty soon because I haven't watered them in two weeks and they're looking peaked. That's peak-ed, not peaked as in pointy cap. We sat outside for a while tonight to watch the birds bathe and listen to the tractor pull. Oh, the pleasures of a small town. The dust got a little thick because they just seal-coated the street.

I went to the school board meeting tonight with the new dietitian (which I have been spelling dietician) to talk about the district wellness policy. We had a well-polished routine with a three-dimensional PowerPoint. Not really...just a couple of cheesy hand-outs. My BS alarm started going off right before they got to the AYP part of the agenda so we had to leave. Whew. It was a close one. That shit is hard to get off.

Ed Lee asked us to write a 400-word guest editorial for next week's Herald. You may want to reserve your copy today as I'm sure they'll sell out fast. It's a pity that I won't get to use my photoshop skill (read: accomplice) or my well-oiled sense of humor. My talents are wasted here.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I only have two gripes today

I wrote a check for the parking ticket I got at the college in Mankato (nobody could google that...) last week. My gripe is that on the back of the ticket, there were some very threatening statements about being "autoclamped" if you don't pay promptly. No explanation of what exactly that means so you how do you decide if you want to risk it? It sounds like a made-up word. The least they could do is provide a definition. I found the parking regulations online and it's a 30-page book. Holy shit.

My other gripe is that I got a text message from Alltel thanking me for using their service. It said: Thank U for using our new services. We appreciate ur business. I replied: Bad spelling. Is that accepted now in the world of text messages? Like Kwik Mart and Pik & Pak are accepted in the world of convenience stores? I found a website that will translate your real English sentences into text. See if you can figure this out:

I dnt gt dis sp ting W txt msgs. S dis really gunA B acceptable? n 10 yrs we btr nt B blaming skool tchaz 4t shity sp habits of kids.

Makes the Alltel message look pretty good, eh?

Happy Anniversary, Floyd and Myrtle!

Ironically, we have other friends celebrating an anniversary today. Not Stephen Hawking either, Larry! They must have borrowed those little tissue paper bells from Jill and Larry.

THE REAL STORY
The next picture is Jill and Larry's wedding photo taken 37 years ago. Deb used Photoshop to paste their faces onto the picture of Floyd and Myrtle. I thought I better confess before I was accused of journalistic malfeasance and my reputation was maligned by all the major media. Oh the shame. The lesson is this: Be careful what you believe because it's easy to lie on the internet.













I took three huge bags of clothes down the curb today. The Epileptic Foundation comes around a few times a year and collects them. Great way to get rid of stuff since you don't even have to drive it to the Thrift store yourself. Tiffany couldn't remember the name of the group and called it "the decapitated people". That's almost as funny as the time she thought Cambria was in Kasota and made counter tops out of cheese. (She combined Davisco, Unimin, and Cambria into one company...) I had to pull over and stop the car on that one. Maybe the girl should get a career in stand-up comedy.

Same weather here today and it sure promotes lethargy. The temperature is in the 90's and the humidity is high. Too hot to do anything indoors or out. The county fair starts this week so I'm sure we'll wander down there for a good time. I like the animal barns and that's about it. I'll have Regis take pictures.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Jill and Larry!

Our friends, Jill and Larry Potts, are celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary tomorrow. They look pretty good for that many years of farting bliss. Jill says they met over a copy machine at the U. They had copy machines back in those days?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Almost normal

What a great goat face.

I'm feeling much better today. I had to go to an administrative retreat this morning to report on a couple of projects I've been working on and I was a little worried about the morphine hangover. I stopped at school to make some copies. As soon as I turned the car off, I remembered that because of the sludge problem, I should let it run for a few minutes. I put it in neutral and let it run while I gathered up my stuff, shut it off and went into the building. After a while, I went back to the office to make some copies and saw my car sitting across the parking lot in a grove of pine trees. Apparently, I had neglected to put it in gear and it backed itself up right to the edge of the woods. I had inches to spare. This is not knowledge that my husband needs to have right now today so if you happen to run into him, this is not for conversation.

Another little piece of irony that I forgot to mention a few days ago is that when my car was in for repair, Arvin said it had oil sludge build-up. That same day we found out that Regis had a gall stone which is actually cholesterol sludge in your gall bladder. I thought it was amusing that they both suffered from the same thing. Arvin said it might cost more to fix Regis' sludge than the Beetle's but it didn't.

I took a big envelope down to the PO today. Howard, the Fritsch patriarch in Pennsylvania, was interested in the bridge collapse so Regis gathered up the Sunday Trib articles and put them in an envelope for him. I waited for Dawn at the PO to ask me if the envelope contained anything liquid, fragile, perishable, potentially hazardous or dangerous...and I replied, "Just pictures of the President." I thought it was a pretty good line and laughed like crazy. There was some guy behind the counter who gave me a dirty look. Maybe he likes the Current Occupant. When I told the story at home, Regis and Tiffany didn't think it was quite as funny as I did either.

I hate this time of year. My garden looks like hell, the lawn looks like hell, I hate going to work, and it's gloomy. All we have to look forward to in the next few weeks is the tractor pull and a corn dog at the county fair. Now that's funny. And speaking of corn dogs...

Last week Regis and I met with a representative of the group of old people who sponsor the safe driving classes because we're going to volunteer to teach. (How pitiful...) I won't mention the group because you know my paranoia about being googled. Some well-intentioned person puts in the name of that group and up pops my blog with my sarcastic remarks about the elderly safe driving class. I'd feel terrible. Well anyway the guy said we could volunteer to sit in the booth at the state fair (for a free motel room) and talk about safe driving if we were so inclined. I said I hate the state fair and think of it as hell with corn dogs. He didn't think that was a bit funny. Seems like most people don't think I'm nearly as funny as I do myself.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Rainy Saturday

I've been under the weather with a malady that will remain nameless. I'll just say that it's involved days of discomfort, a visit to the doctor, then the ER this morning, morphine, Tylenol with codeine, and some other unpleasant elements. It appears to be coming to an end.

I came home from the ER this morning and slept until 2:00 this afternoon. Best sleep that I've had for days but it's made the rest of the day seem odd and out of time.

Tiffany has been delightful the last few days. She started reading Harry Potter, got hooked right away, and has finished the first two already. She started book #3 and went to Mankato to buy #4 tonight. I've never seen her so excited about a book.

We made the trip to the Alltel store yesterday to get new phones. Peter's battery was broken, Tiffany didn't have a phone, and I needed a replacement phone. The wait was two hours. What???? We put our name on a list and left for a while. The man who eventually helped us through the maze of plans and minutes and features was very nice and didn't talk as fast as some of them do so I actually understood what he was saying.

Buying a phone is another experience. You can hardly get a phone that doesn't take pictures and movies, connect to the internet, and have slots for memory cards. I don't get it but my kids sure do. They were so excited about the features. I did my old rant about when I was a kid we had one phone in the kitchen with a three-foot cord and my dad would walk through and say, "Get off the phone!"

So here's my phone which took me ten seconds to choose. I'm sure it does stuff I'll never discover much less use.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hannah


These are pictures of my friend Jill's new grandbaby, Hannah. What a smile! The bottom picture is of her with her Grandpa. Ella calls him Larry Poppop.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bolsheviks

I did a google search for Bolshevik images and this is what I found. It will make it easier for anyone with that particular phobia (Joanne) to identify them. I think the guy in the pensive pose, bottom row, second from the right, works at the video store.

I've been reading about the collapse of the bridge over the Mississippi River. It's too much to comprehend. So many sad and horrible stories.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Atomosophobia

That's a fear of atomic bombs. What the hell. That hardly seems like it should be considered a phobia...it seems like a fear most reasonable people would have. Like the woman I knew once who said she was allergic to carbon monoxide.

I'm out of fresh and original ideas lately, hence the phobia entries.

Tomorrow is the last day of the four-day conference. I think I am all out of enthusiastic responses to new school reforms. I'm tired of cold meat sandwiches and bad coffee. And today I got a parking ticket because it was so damn hot I wasn't going to walk too far. The Vikings are practicing at MSU so you can get plenty of parking places for three bucks. In retrospect, that would have been cheaper but I hate to feed the NFL coffers.

Tiffany was happy today...even went out for dinner with us and laughed and teased and had a good time. She said she had lunch with a friend and told her she thought she'd come home and be nice to her mom. She sure can create a whole bunch of tension when she isn't feeling that way. I knew every day wouldn't be easy, but...

We're watching the movie Michael. It's my kind of movie...no violence, no subtitles, no deep meaning with a bunch of weird metaphors.