Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The pool and peonies

white peony
Maya and her Aunt Julia

Maya and mom

Purple rhododendron

Red strawberry blossoms..never saw those before

Our river which has sloshed over its banks. The local news reported that it was moving at 3000 ft/sec which us science nerds realize is three times the speed of sound.  I guess they meant 3000 cft/sec

A white rhododendron

red peonies

Ms. Maya ready for summer
The condo we purchased comes with a very nice pool. It is even closer to our house than the neighborhood pool that we used to belong to. The opening of the pool was an eagerly awaited event. Naomi invited 3 of Don'tae's brothers and Julia to  come too as yesterday was ungodly hot and humid. I came to watch Maya happily cavort in the water. She seems afraid of nothing.

Josh and Julia met at this pool 12 years ago. Her best girlfriend went there regularly as her grandmother lived in a unit right next to the pool. Josh had several buddies who lived in the complex too. Six years later, her proposed at the spot next to the pool where they first spoke. I had to set things up after hours. (his buddy worked there and left a gate open for me). I arranged flowers, wine...They married a year later.

Steve and I hiked through the Arb. It has several microclimates in which vegetation can survive that normally would be killed in our harsh winters. There is a glen that has plenty of azaleas, rhododendrons and mountain laurel. The azaleas are finished blooming..now it is the rhododendrons turn. In a few weeks, the mountain laurel, which I prefer. There is also a huge peony garden but there are only a few early bloomers. They will peak in about 3 weeks.

Today will be a record high. I awoke early to slog through the early shade. More wedding planning stuff today.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tornados! Monsoons!

This is a funny video spoofing the travel Michigan ads. If you are offended by the F word, don't click.

Not long before we were to leave to Josh's house for our family BBQ, the tornado sirens went off. If a possible tornado is spotted anywhere in the county, they go off but as it turned out, conditions were just ripe for a tornado, none were spotted. I worried about Naomi driving through these but she insisted (she was about 6 miles due west of us where the weather would hit first) the sky was clear. We stayed behind until the so-called bow line passed and then our daily monsoon hit. We have a leak somewhere in the lower level. I noticed the big rug was wet this morning. I am not sure if it caused the house to smell. I don't smell anything right now but maybe I am used to it.

No using the outside grill in a monsoon but we had a nice dinner and Maya was in a good mood. Her record is taking 4 steps before sitting down. She should be walking by the end of the week.

Today no rain for the first time in a while but it will be hot and humid. I did get my run in early..very sweaty.

With all my years of living, I have yet to see a tornado. One was spotted about a half mile away a few years ago but it didn't touch down. Occasionally they have hit the outer parts of town. Fortunately the ones we do have are generally weak. Still I have nightmares about them.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Death of a Bunny


Columbine. Have several different colors of


rock garden today after exposing more rocks

violas among coleus and water damaged petunias
Nothing makes me sadder than coming across an animal suffering. Yesterday in the yard next to mine but only a few feet from my property was the bunny lying on its side. I assumed it was dead but then I saw its legs move. I went up to it and I swear, it screamed. Poor thing! Do I put it out of its misery or do I hope that it is just stunned and will hop away once it has recovered? I was about to leave so I chose the latter. When I returned, it was dead. My neighbors seem to be gone and with the heat wave coming soon, this bunny will be gross so I bagged it up. Yuck.
Maybe it was poisoned as it did not appear to have any injuries.
It is not my only bunny so my seedlings will continue to be eaten.

I spent a good 3 hours today planting annuals and removing lots of rain induced overgrowth in my rock garden. All the rocks were completely covered.

I went with friends yesterday to a nursery specializing in Michigan perennials. My mystery white flowered plant that is threatening to take over my garden is called Snow in Summer. I bought some cheapie pinks that hopefully will be a different color than all the pinks I have in the rock garden. I also bought some red mullein and a miniature (hopefully) poppy.

Yep it rained last night but it did not leak into the house. And more rain is forecasted. Hopefully it will hold off until our BBQ.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Dummy

Recently a movie came out in which the main character can only communicate through a beaver hand puppet. As I am not a fan of the actor, I won't see it but its premise reminds me of my father's friend's daughter. She could only speak when she was performing as a ventriloquist. She was extremely shy never making eye contact yet she could go on TV and do her act.

She came over for some publicity stills when I was 15 or 16. She is a year younger. She was wearing her usual shirt waist dress several sizes too large, anklets, greasy hair in a 1950s style and wing-tipped glasses. This was the late 1960s. I had my wire rimmed glasses and straight (finally my hair was stylish) and my Nehru paisley jacket.My father had a photography business on the side. Although our house was full of cameras, there were no pictures of me once I turned 5 as I was deemed 'unphotogenic'. The picture in my blog a few weeks back showing me as a 15 year old was the first picture my father took of me since I was 5. It was on the same night he was shooting the ventriloquist. He liked to use large format cameras giving 4x5 negatives. As film was expensive, he would make test shots with a Polaroid, which is the shot of me. No 4x5 film wasted on this one! In between shots ( I had to help with the lighting) I tried to talk to this girl but she just would look away.

Years later, she moved into the co-op where I lived. She was still wearing the same outfit from the 1950s even though now it was the early 70s.I was very annoyed. It was no co-incidence she was there so I assumed she moved in to spy on me for my father. She was without her dummy so she would not speak. I tried to be friendly in case she moved in to have a friend. She had none that I could tell. She abruptly moved out after a month or so without paying rent. I am Facebook friends with her cousin's son (weird story there) and have been told that her life became even sadder after college.

I've been busy gardening, wedding planning and baby sitting. Josh came back safe though vowing never to return there despite how nice the people were to him. He found the place to be the polar opposite of Germany. He and his wife stopped over to visit. Family BBQ tomorrow.

Carp have been found flopping on the soccer fields in the aftermath of the flood. Although we are on higher ground, we did not get away with no damage. Yesterday I noticed our house smelled. Today I found a throw rug in our lower level totally wet and smelly. We can not tell where the water came from. Hopefully it was just a one time occurrence.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


We had non-stop rain and thunderstorms yesterday. A railroad enbankment near us collapsed causing the main route to downtown become flooded and now this road is closed.Our sump pump gurgled all day threatening to overflow into our laundry room with the water level almost up to the floor level. any power outage and we'd be in trouble though we do have a generator.

It will rain again today but no storms and at least in the few hours break we have, the water is receding somewhat. I was able to run out in the country today coming across the disgusting sight of 2 vultures ripping apart a deer carcass.

Before the rain yesterday, I sat on the patio in a miasma of lily-of-the-valley. As a teenager, I'd buy this short-lived perfume, Muguet des Bois. It smelled so good.

My Mexican traveller is having a good time now that he has adjusted to his conditions. He is returning tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Public profile

One of the projects of today. I made three bags of impatiens to have along my wall. They aren't as full as this one but give it a few weeks.
Every year I dutifully dig up my tuberous begonias. I had about 20 last year. The bag of them was thrown away in the flood we had about a month ago. Aside from the impatiens, I got a new primrose and some allysum from the Farmer's Market today. Still I have plenty to do until my patio looks like I want it to.

I recently googled myself. Included in the results was my public profile. According to it, I am Jewish, read sports news, live with my husband, brother-in-law and oldest daughter, am an Aries, have a low family income and a house that is worth about a half what it really is. Hmmm.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Michigan Murders

The above is the name of a book I just finished reading about the 7 murders of young women in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area and one in California during the period 1967-1969. Later one of the murders whose m. o. did not fit with the rest was found to be committed by someone else (who a certain someone helped convict).
The case got lots of publicity and I had an interest in them because I was soon going to attend UM and also I spent a lot of time in Ann Arbor. Some of the bodies were dumped in places that I currently run pass. Anyway, the book is full of details and locations. Through my own brush with another "Michigan Murder" that occurred in 1978, I am familiar with some of the investigators mentioned in the book. I had blogged previously about my boss being murdered by a prostitute and her pimp. It was very upsetting. I also was pregnant with Shanna. It was difficult to tell if my constantly racing heart was due to anxiety about the murderers blaming me for the police attention focussed on them or the pregnancy. At any rate, it was a scary time for me.

No rain today. More wedding stuff to attend to.

Monday, May 23, 2011

To those who wait...

Maya's flower girl dress in 2 sizes

Close-up of pink phlox. Not sure what the little white flowers to the left of it are called. They are just beginning to bloom. They are spreading all over the place. My friends near by are welcome to some.

The rock garden. I need to use the trimmer around the outside rocks. The tall flowers are flax. Too much thyme here too (again..readers are welcome to some)
About 2 months ago, I saw the above white dress in a Target. Naomi had been looking at ones in a bridal salon for more than a hundred apiece. Before I bought the Target dress, I showed it to Naomi online and she approved but I didn't get around to buying it until this weekend. It was marked down to $5 so I bought the last two: size 18 and 24 months. Ms. Maya will be almost 14 months at the time of the wedding. She is tall but slim. Still it looks like the 18 month one will be almost ankle length. Since she seems so slow in growing hair, we bought a very pretty flowered headband for her.

I am tired. I did run between between the torrential rains here but it was an effort. I finally heard from Josh this morning. I hadn't heard from him since early Saturday and I was a tad concerned.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oh the places I can go....

Plitvice National Park, Croatia. From Net. The lakes are so clear due to having limestone bottoms

Interesting building in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This town is full of Baroque and  Beaux Artes

I love travel books. I was standing in line yesterday to buy my book on Slovenia and Croatia and the woman behind me asked if I were going there.


She had just been there and was thrilled with everything she saw. Although Slovenia is half the size of Maine, the people speak 23 distinct dialects such that many can't understand what the others are saying. Presumably most of the young speak English.

Other recent purchases: Great Drives in Germany, Andalucia &Costa del Sol, and a visual reference guide to architecture. I also bought the Eyewitness Travel guide to Italy. Eyewitness guides have the best photos.
Sunny and humid this morning. I am taking a break from running. I spent an hour trying to separate myrtle from my clematis.

My eye is at least not so swollen but still not completely cured. As the antibiotics do not seem to be working, it must be some viral infection. Wish my immune system would kick in here.

No word from my Mexican traveler.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Rapture

I've been left behind. No surprise there but if you have been reading this, you too have been left behind.

This is the last time I am mentioning this but for the best interpretation of the Rapture see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LXuNpF6NVg from the show Six Feet Under.

Some nit-picky details. Why would the dolls be inflated and with helium at that?
But funny.

If you have seen one pyramid, you've seen them all

Taking advantage of the Rapture: from Passive/Aggresive.com
It is already tomorrow for some of my readers and they are still here. I am not sure how the Rapture fits in with the different time zones.

This weekend is Josh's 'free time'. He suggested to his hosts that they go to the pyramids just outside Mexico City but he was told:
If you have seen one pyramid, you've seen them all.
He said that was probably true and besides he didn't think he could climb them due to lingering altitude sickness.
But you haven't seen a pyramid? I pointed out.
I saw the Luxor in Vegas (where his bachelor party took place).

Hardly the same. But they will hold a fiesta for him and his companion so that should be interesting.

I climbed one of those Mexican pyramids and it wasn't altitude sickness that got me as the Yucatan is just marginally above sea level; it was the sheer terror of falling on those thousand year old roughly hewn limestone blocks. Even before chemofest, my balance wasn't fantastic and I really, really hate falling.

A pretty day. I should buy more flowers but the market will be so crowded.

We watched The King's Speech last night. Loved it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Those left behind after the Rapture

All of a sudden my blog has become popular. Usually my top hit, according to stat counter, is a picture of the hummingbird moth but now, it is my pictorial  debate (not even mine) of whether dogs go to heaven. Even if your dog has been very good, it might not be taken tomorrow in the Rapture with you and then what, starvation?

Well a man in St. Louis has the solution. For a price, he will feed the animals left behind. Even if the Rapture happens in December instead of tomorrow, Fido will be fed as their owners sign a contract good  for the next 10 years. What happens if this man is Raptured? Well he insists that won't be a problem as he is a non-believer and is fairly certain that he'll be left behind. There were some comments on the article about this man that they wouldn't want their precious animals being tended by such a man. But what choice do they have? Still others think that Fido will be Raptured too. Someone's answer to that was a link to my blog and thus my sudden popularity. And the man has plenty of customers.

Finally a day without rain. I still look scary with one eye half the size of the other. We met with the DJ company last night (fortunately for all involved, in dim lighting). Naomi is gleefully engaged in selecting her 200 songs for the wedding. Any suggestions?

Josh was going to try to go to work today. He insists that Mexico City is the hellhole of the universe. Apparently when he was at his sickest, they were stuck in traffic for 2 hours behind a black smoke belching truck. He was nauseated, having breathing problems plus needed to be in a restroom..none to be had along the route. The rare times he ventures out of his hotel, he is aware of how much he stands out being a good foot taller than the average Mexican man.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


These days, much time is spent with Ms. Maya
It is rare that I am by myself for much more than a day at a time. But the few times that I have been, this overwhelming, suffocating, irrational sadness has at some points has overcome me. The worse time was when I was at a meeting in San Diego before cell phones and ready computer access. Usually I have a meeting buddy or two(see situational friends: people who cling tenaciously to you in some situations but don't give you the time of day in others) but not this time. I also was staying at a hotel well away from the others. I felt so totally alone. I knew what I was feeling was totally irrational but I just could not help the tears. There is a movie Living Out Loud starring Holly Hunter whose character finds herself without friends in NYC due to a divorce and that her whole social network was dependent on her being married. Despite being surrounded by people, she is so lonely that she starts to hallucinate people saying what she wants to hear. It was confusing watching it as it it is not clear what is real and what is wishful thinking. She so desperately wanted a social connection.

When I was mulling over whether I wanted to to Italy by myself and stay in a small mountain village for almost 6 weeks with a good chance of finding myself isolated, I thought back to my extreme reaction in San Diego. I went anyway and I had no problems about feeling alone. I actually had little time to feel isolated.

In many ways, my son is like me. He needs to have people around. Usually this is not a problem as he is a friendly person who has many friends. But he is careful to make sure there is always a social support system nearby.He called last night in total misery from Mexico City. He is sick and feels totally isolated. Despite being in a luxury hotel, he feels he is surrounded by filth and crime. He has trouble breathing the thin, polluted air. He did not go to work today as he feels too weak though he is getting better. At least when I was in San Diego, I was physically healthy, at sea level, and could speak the language of the people around me. I also was not stuck there for 2 weeks.

Tomorrow is my high school reunion. I am not going. On top of me being fat, my recent eye infection, though getting better, makes me look extra hideous. I ran a route today that kept me from view most of the time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Photo of a killer

A breast cancer cell (from NCI files)
With currently available early-detection methods for breast cancer, many people can be treated successfully. But for the 20 percent of patients with so-called triple-negative breast cancer, the outcome is bleak. Now, however, researchers from Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Baylor College of Medicine have identified a critical molecular component to the disease, one that suggests potential therapies involving combinations of FDA-approved, readily available drugs.

The above is from a recent article (http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/03/new-hope-for-the-cure/?utm_source=alumniaffairs&utm_medium=harvardmonthlyemail&utm_campaign=april11&sms_ss=email&at_xt=4daf0fdaa1c99c77%2C0) published from the Harvard Medical school.

One problem with TNBC is that it isn't a single entity but a catchall term for breast cancers that are hormone negative and do not have the her2 oncogene.My TNBC may respond differently to drugs than your TNBC. These researchers noticed that 60% of TNBC have an altered tyrosine phosphatase enzyme which there are already drugs out there for other cancers with this defect: lapanib and sunitinib. So far in rats transvected with TNBC cells, the drugs are useful in shrinking the tumors. Now to try it in humans. Also again, which TNBC tumor are they treating in the rats? Hope they are using a variety of them.

So The Skinny Baby Scare is officially over. Ms. Maya went in for a weight check this morning on the 'official scale' and weighed 18#11.6 oz which is a 2# gain in 5 weeks and puts her at almost 50%tile for age. However she is 90%tile for height so is still considered 'skinny'. What are the chances of two tall skinny parents giving birth to a tall skinny baby? Hmmm.

And for Life is Unfair, Part infinity: they had a young mom on TV the other day with stage 4 breast cancer. Her husband left her and moved out of state as he could not deal with a wife with cancer. He recently won a custody battle for the kids as he seems to have a longer life line than she. This sucks.

Note: This blog was originally published on 5-12-11 and then disappeared the next day. Recently it showed up as a draft. I know my fellow bloggers have also lost posts..check your drafts.

Expiration dates

Do we really want to know how much time we have? Can they really ever tell us?

You can always be run over by a bus tomorrow.

Yes we could, but how likely would that be?

A woman with stage 4 BC in my cooking class so far has outlived her expiration date by 2 years. Perhaps she has an especially slow growing kind as it took 10 years to recur.

Recently I have been reading Cancinista (http://carcinista.com/) who battled ovarian cancer for 6 years. She wrote well and candidly of her struggles. Six months ago she asked her onc about how much time she had left. At that point, she was on a new chemo. She had tried numerous chemos over the years. Initial success  in many of them but each time, the cancer found a way  to come back. She was told that without chemo, she'd have 6 good months and then maybe a year of not so good. She was taken back: 6 months is not a long time to live plus she had young children but she was on a new chemo and supposedly better trials kept popping up, she told herself that she will live longer than that expiration date.

She didn't.

I never got a firm expiration date. I was told that women with my disease had a 70% chance of being alive in 10 years. But those numbers were based on old data.

I really don't think about that much though I am aware of the odds. There are other things that occupy my mind more.

And cancer is just one of many things that could happen. Last night I ate dinner with a woman my age that had a brain aneurysm 4 years ago. She was 'lucky' her husband was around at the time as he was just leaving to run an errand. She also was 'lucky' to survive the 50% chance of dying even though she was given immediate care. She was left with the inability to form new memories for almost 2 years. She had to be told over and over the sad news that she had an aneurysm. She lost a parent during that time and had to relive the sadness anew each time she asked where her father was. She is articulate and now can form new memories. She remains paralyzed on one side. Her lack of mobility has caused other medical problems.

Ugh! Of all things, I developed 'pink eye'. Various family members seem extra susceptible to this and I never caught it from them. But I share a pillowcase with a certain someone. It is not pretty but we do have the suitable drugs on hand.

I made my first farmer's market trip this year and am starting to fix my patio up. I love making container gardens.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This artichoke was NOT growing in  Monterrey but in Bath, England of all places in a courtyard of an inn where we were staying

When you eat an artichoke you take a little bite,
Stick you in the finger if you don't hold it right.
Take a little nibble, throw away the rest,
Enough left over for a google-birdie nest.
Malvina Reynolds from Artichokes
It must be artichoke season again. We were able to buy 3 of them for a low price and cook them last night to be served with butter-lemon-soy garlic sauce. Yum. I never saw them growing in CA but saw the ones that had gone to flower in Gagliano, Italy. Think of the world's biggest thistle flower..very bright magenta. The above artichoke plant I found in Bath, England.

No artichokes for me growing up. My mom went with the 4 cans alternating system: peas, corn, wax beans, green beans. We'd have corn on the cob in the summer. In college, I belonged to a  vegetable co-op. If there were extra vegetables, they would be placed in your bag where one day, I found an artichoke. I had no idea how to cook it but fortunately, a housemate who had more sophisticated tastes did. He showed me that everything you taste immediately after eating an artichoke was sweeter..especially milk. Later my kids quickly learned to love them. I'd cook them for their friends who for the most part, never had them before.

Wedding planning is going  slowly. Princess tastes with a pauper's budget make for plenty of conflicts.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bloggers missing in action

You read some people's blogs faithfully and suddenly, there are no posts.
One thinks the worst particularly if it is a survivor's blog.

A few months ago, a woman posts how she is scared to death because a biopsy is suggested for a possible recurrence and promises she'll share the results. Nothing. Perhaps she is too shell-shocked to blog again. I wish her the best.

And another blogger who has a miracle baby while battling Stage 4 cancer hasn't posted since the baby was 6 months old (now she is 2.5 years). I really hope the mama is still with us but....

Within a few hours this morning, I have had readers from Tunisia, India, Australia, Haiti, and Cyprus. How amazing is this world wide web!

My son is now in Mexico City exploring new worlds. I had Maya today while her mom waited in a holding tank of potential jurors. Thankfully she was not selected.

It is cold and windy out..where is spring?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday funny

You probably need to click on this to see the response.
From PassiveAggressive.Notes


Today I walked with the Komen 3-Day walkers in training in the cold (42 deg!) drizzle and strong wind. It was one of their shorter walks and I know some of the walkers so I thought it would be a nice switch from running. You are encouraged to talk to others instead of  your usual buddies. I walked with an Asian lady for a while and asked if she were a survivor.


I asked how long she has been out of treatment and she said she never had cancer. There are other things to survive other than cancer. Like what I asked?


She escaped the 'killing' fields of the Pol Pot regime.

Later I went out for  a delayed Mother's Day brunch with Josh. He will be in Mexico City for 2 weeks training fellow engineers. He returned the Mexican guidebooks to me unread. The Mexicans have promised to take good care of him. Still I will worry; not so much of the petty street crime but kidnapping of a worker of a large, international company.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dude, where's my blog?

Creeping phlox. Most of what I have is the pale purple but it hasn't bloomed yet. This in my rock garden that I weeded yesterday.

What is this? Who knows. I bought it past its blooming stage last year and lost the tag

Left over from the size 2 collection. Shanna made a sizeable dent in the clothes left behind but some items remain. Naomi has a larger frame than Shanna but was still able to fit into this.
Blogger has promised to put back the blogs removed on Thursday but that still hasn't happened.

According to the weather, we will have 6 days straight of rain. In between showers, I ran in the neighborhood scouting out garage sales. I found a climbing gym suitable for Ms. Maya but in the 5 minutes it took to run home and retrieve the car, it was gone.

But the weather is at least mild. We sat on the patio last night in a shower of apple blossoms. The air smells so good this time of year.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My birds

Are my fellow bloggers having problems with Blogger? First, I haven't been able to get on my blog for almost 24 hours though from my stat counter, others have. Second, it deleted yesterday's post or at least seemed to even though I can see that my readers are accessing it.

I was just coming home last night when I noticed  that my hummingbird had returned. It was flitting around my patio searching for the feeder which I hadn't put up yet. I have bought no flowers yet but there are plenty of fruit blossoms to keep my hummingbird fed. Now that it is up, hopefully my little friend will return.

And the chimney swifts have returned. Presumably they have the longest migratory route of all birds going all the way down to Peru. For two years, they have spent May through August in my chimney. I don't hear them twittering away in it yet but I do see them circling noisily around my house. They never land. They presumably are constantly consuming bugs up there. I would think the bug density would be lower closer to the ground.

Usually I am the only fan at the soccer games my son plays in but the other day, the daughter of one of the women players was there.
Good corner kick, Mommy!
I was impressed that a 5 year old knew what a corner kick was but she said she was a player herself. She too is a Maya. I told her I had a granddaughter with the same name.
Oh, Maya is a name used in many cultures...she told me.

Maya does seem to be a popular name. The door person at the health center yesterday overheard us using the name leaving  our 2 hour long weigh in session (!) and piped in that was her daughter's name too but somehow it is spelled with an 'h' in the middle.

It was very muggy out for last night's soccer game. Tough on the players needing to run around. The men were drenched but the women barely broke a sweat despite putting in as much effort. No more watching soccer for a while as Josh will be in Mexico for 2 weeks.

I finally got some gardening done this muggy morning. I've lost a lot of plants..some primroses and thrift. Bonus though, I have a new flower that I have not seen before.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When I was young...

My senior prom..Love the daisies?

A few years earlier with my cool paisley Nehru jacket and white lips
Me at 12 or 13 before I discovered make up and summer blonde and checking to see if I didn't walk around all day with my facing not tucked in. I can see from this picture that my left adult canine is just coming in, the same tooth that Naomi did not grow until she was 13 also.

Me at 3 or 4
Tempus fugit.

A lazy day without much getting done here. Naomi and I walked to the park again and encountered a woman and child that we had met almost a whole year earlier while Naomi was walking in the woods trying to make her labor actually do something. I remembered the woman because baby Hazel is a redhead. She had said something about Naomi looking like she'll have a baby in a few months and Naomi told her that she was in labor at that moment and we were going to the hospital in 10 minutes or so. Maya enjoyed playing with Hazel who is a year older than her.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Baptism video

Scents of attraction

According to a recent study by biological anthropologists, birth control (BC) pills disrupt more than just the ovulation cycle of a woman; it disrupts their phermones and their ability to react to male phermones. Without  BC pills, a woman is more attracted to masculine men when she is fertile and gives off phermones making her in return more attractive. Also women presumably prefer scents of men who have different immune systems from their own which leads to healthier babies. Women on BC pills are more attracted to less masculine men than the women not on them. Since 92 million women seem to be on BC, there would be lot of opportunities for girlie men.

Hmm. I confuse phermones with sweat. If one uses deodorant, does one block these phermones? Maybe I am too Americanized but smelly men just don't do it for me. Also I wonder if all this is dependent on the dose of the BC pills. When I took them many years ago, they were much stronger than the ones today. Maybe they made me even less attractive to 'he-men'.

So it is finally spring. We took Maya to the park yesterday and was joined by Naomi's friend whose baby Taya is just 2 months younger but is  much bigger than Maya. Taya's bulk makes it difficult for her to control her body but she is making up for it in learning speech early.

My dogwood's blossoms finally appeared but they seem stunted. Last year was a good year for dogwood. My quince hedge is in full bloom now. I have so much yard work to do.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Four little ducklings

The current debate in our local 'paper' is whether a young man ran over some baby ducklings in a parking lot on purpose. If he is found guilty, this is a felony charge and he could face prison. Our 'paper' mainly published on line rarely uses the word 'accused' and almost never investigates the other side of the story. They allow the readers to publish comments: most on this site consider the boy guilty because he had been accused of vandalism in the past and he was driving a Hummer: a sure sign of guilt. The young man maintains he did not do this on purpose though he was aware that the ducklings were there and was observed harassing them earlier. A past vice-President was reported bragging about shooting 100 pheasants in one day. This was legal although when I read that, I was sickened. It turns out Naomi knows the young man in question. She does not like him for a variety of reasons and thinks He SO did that. He and his parents are receiving hate mail. This incident has made international news.

But what if he is innocent.

This is rarely considered.

Also up for on-line discussion in our 'yellow paper' are middle schoolers accused of child pornography. It is illegal to send or even possess pictures of sub 18 year olds privates. A 13 year old boy sent a picture of his privates to his girlfriend. Obviously this is in bad taste but is he a child pornographer? Who is he exploiting? Himself.

It is beautiful out. I went for a long run in the country. Shanna should be driving home as I type, a difficult drive with 2 very energetic little boys. They have a video screen to keep them amused for a bit.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Mug of boys' mugs..a favor from the godparents

Mother's Day flowers

Moms' wine. We made our own wine a few years ago and one of the Moms designed this label
So now it is all quiet after a week of noisy but loveable babies. Shanna et al will return to Boston tomorrow. This is the first Mother's Day that I have been home in a few years. We had a brunch at our house as taking 11 people to a restaurant with 3 babies in tow would not be fun. So until the wedding, this will be the last time we are all together for a while. It was a beautiful day today. I did not run but later, Steve and I went for a walk. Lots of fruit blossoms out now, delayed a few weeks.

To all you mothers out there, Happy Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Scenes from a baptism

After the baptism at the luncheon. Steve and I and our children and their spouses and their children

Before the baptism with Ramy's sister's family and Ramy's dad

The altar. Shanna got married here almost 4 years ago

Danny walking in front of the priests, parents and godparents

Maya making friends

Oliver watching the ceremony from afar. He did not want to drink the Blood of Christ

Now cake..that would be better

The Michigan branch of my family

Shanna relaxing with Oliver at the lunch

Before the ceremony in their prebaptism suits

Being baptized is tiring..

Watching the baptism is too

Both boys went into the font at once in their birthday suits. Danny was none too pleased though this was the only part that Oliver liked.

The church. Very pretty and I do like the weeping cherries in front

These cakes came from the same baker that did Shanna's and Josh's weddings. Very tasty but printing is not their forte

Naomi, Don'tae and Maya before the ceremony

The Moms minus one 

Maya practising her walking with grandma


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