Monthly Archives: January 2009

Survived my First Earthquake!

I am now a true Washingtonian – I have survived my first earthquake.

This morning I was lounging in bed, actually it was just after 5am, and my husband was up reading his Bible in the kitchen. I was jolted wide awake with the sensation that someone jumped on my bed.

I sat up and began to call the kitty, thinking that maybe our cat had disturbed my sleep. He’s a very big cat. No kitty anywhere.

I called my husband and made him look under the bed with a flashlight. After accidentally shining the light directly in my eyes two times, he assured me there were no boogie men under the bed.

We gave up our investigation, but were mystified. I KNEW something bounced my bed and I was a little freaked out.

Reading the news online this morning relieved my fears. I am not a dreamer, a hallucinater, a liar or a freak. I am a victim. An earthquake survival victim. This morning the KOMO headline declared “4.5 Magnitude Quake Rattles the Puget Sound Area.” No damage known so far, no trauma, just bragging rights to living through the Quake of 09.

I have lived in Kansas, tornado alley, suriving seven years of deadly tornadoes. During the worst storm, a rare inland hurricane forged its way between our house and our neighbor’s house. No damage to houses, but it took us days to removed all the downed trees from our driveways.

I have lived in North Dakota and Minnesota and survived too many years of blizzards and highway closures. We lived through the winter of 96-97 with 117 inches of snow, beating the previous record by about 27 inches. The average winter snowfall in ND is 40 inches. During that time we survived, and I mean survived, 8 major blizzards, 2 ground blizzards and 4 winter storms. (Yes, they’re all different.)

Of course, after winter comes spring, and the snow must melt. It turns into water, which floods the very flat prairies. The flood of 1997 devastated the state of ND when three days of thawing was followed by three days of rain, followed by days of freezing and snowing. Telephone poles snapped all across the state like a row of dominoes. People were drowned, stranded, lost their homes, their animals, their equipment, their businesses, their hope.

I have been warned since I moved here to fasten down things in case of an earthquake, and I never got around to it. I am so thankful there was no damage and everyone is fine. So, I can laugh, and go check for damage.

After all, a pen might have rolled off the kitchen counter.

Weapon of Mass Destruction Discovered at Gwamma’s

Doesn’t our little WMD look innocent? She was just getting started.

 

The mess got worse, but I find it so adorable. Must be a Gramma thing.

It WASN’T a Momma thing in our house!

 

“Just about the time a woman thinks her work is done,
she becomes a grandmother.” ~Edward H. Dreschnack

 

 

I thought it was so cute that Brookie remembered
which drawer held her cups, dishes and silverware.

 

Women over 50 don’t have babies because
they would put them down and forget where they left them. ” unknown

 


I didn’t realize she was keeping her full sippy cup in here, too.
Grandpa will be fixing the drawer this week.

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting
to see just you all day and now the day was complete. “~Marcy DeMaree

Oh, poor Brookie! Now she can’t play with Gramma’s antique playpen anymore.
Grandpa will be fixing the playpen this week.

 

“Grandchildren are spoiled because you can’t spank the Grandma!” unknown


By the way, if you are ever missing your shoes at our house,
follow the trail of toys. I’m sure you’ll eventually find them.

“Grandma, I want to follow in your footsteps
because you are following the footsteps of Jesus.” unknown


Isn’t this sweet? Brookie climbing on the table like a good, little granddaughter.

Perfect love sometimes does not come until grandchildren are born. ~Welsh Proverb~

 

Dreamin’ of a White Valentine’s Day?

Just when we thought we were ready to kiss winter goodbye, and rub that in to all the relatives in double-digits-below-zero-Minnesota, we were surprised yet again. It was a light but crunchy and slippery snow, useful only to look at and to make you fall down the stairs. We’re wondering if we’ll have any more white holidays…

This view is just to make all the mid-westerners laugh at what we think is a lot of snow.

 My winter cheer – no matter how gray the skies, how white the snow, how wet the rain, the heather endures it all and gives me something to look at and enjoy during the drabbest months.

I also cheer myself with the knowledge that our snow doesn’t last – unlike those in the midwest who will be enduring until March…..or April…..or maybe May?????

 
 
I loved the new cushions on my patio furniture, but, they only lasted about 24 hours.
 
We had a lovely 41 degree day and most of the snow is already gone. Not to rub it in, or anything, that the snow is almost
gone,
gone,
gone………
whoa-oa-oa-o
 

I’m a Highly Skilled Domestic Engineer

I always knew  being a mother would take incredible skill and stamina.

 

I knew  my endurance would be tested beyond imagination
and I would have to dig deep
within my personal knowledge and resources
to develop highly important problem-solving strategies.

 

I knew  the functionality and the efficiency of the household
was going to depend on me.

 

I knew  posterity depended on my ability to pass on these skills
to my highly intelligent offspring so they could function
with success and brilliance in the broad world around them.

 

I didn’t know  some of motherhood skills
were so highly-advanced and so incredible,
these feats could not be attempted by
the father-figure of the household.

 

I didn’t know  how hard this passing on of brilliance and talent would be.

 

I didn’t know that in some areas the skill

would be impossible to be passed on

and would be borne and used by me

 

and

 

me

 

alone.

 

 

Bathroom Number One

 

 

Bathroom Number Two

 

 

Bathroom Number Three

 


And, as I was devastated to discover when this truck drove by –

professional help is NOT available.

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Telephone – You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

In 1973 I began my addiction with the telephone.

 

We had just moved across town and I had to learn to dial the rotary phone, a wall-mounted beast we rented from Mountain Bell, all by myself so I could call my friends from the old neighborhood.

It was a chore to dial this phone, with my teensy-tiny 9 year old fingers. You stuck your finger in the hole of the number you wanted and had to rotate it all the way around the circle until it touched the metal stopping bar. If you were careless and didn’t dial all the way to the end, you had to start all over. To hang up, you pulled down on the bracket that held the hand receiver. (I know, I am really dating myself!)

 

 

We thought we were so special when our parents upgraded the technology with the extra long twisty cord for the phone. You could actually walk around while you were talking on the phone, as long as you were within twelve feet of that big black thing on the wall.

 
Meanwhile, while I was walking around the kitchen with my 12 foot cord talking about things 9 year old girls find important enough to talk about, this man, Dr. Martin Cooper, general manager of Motorola’s Communications Systems Division, was walking the streets of New York and making a call on this 30 ounce brick-like phone. Who did he call? His rival at AT&T Bell Labs.

By the time Motorola offered their phone to the public in 1983 it went from brick to butter at only 16 ounces, but cost $3,500. A new Dodge RAM 50 Truck was $5665.00 – a phone was over HALF the cost of a truck!!!!!! I wonder if any teenagers had cell phones in 1983?

Today, the technology in phones has blossomed to functions probably never imagined, even by Dr. Cooper. Did he imagine a camera that could take a message, a picture and a video clip? Did he imagine listening to music or playing a game? Did he imagine that teens would use the phone for almost everything BUT actually making a phone call?

 Special Achievement – Rebekah just memorized her home phone number. She is using Daddy’s cell phone to call the home phone. Proud moment in our household.


 

Special Achievement – Bethany gets her first cell phone! She is 18 and waited patiently, almost, for this special privilege. Expensive moment in our household. We aren’t typical Americans, we actually have two teenagers that DON’T have phones. No, it is NOT child abuse.

Texting already? It is considered a national pasttime for today’s teens, but considered a national waste of time for more mature adults. OK, that was a nice way of saying us really old people.


Special Achievement – Scott is learning to program his own cell phone. Stressful moment in our household. Actually, he made Grace do a lot of it, but he figured out how to make a call and answer a call. Good boy!

 

 Special Achievement – Brookelyn made it all the way down the hallway with the cordless phone before we noticed what she was doing. Typical moment in our household when Brookie is around.


Special Achievement – Brookelyn called Gramma and asked for a cell phone of her own.

 
Gramma said yes.

 

Cat Feet Fog

We have been experiencing fog that lingers all day long.
Usually, it greets us in the morning and burns off by early afternoon.
It makes for beautiful scenery, but treacherous driving.
The fog settles around your home, your street and
your world like an unwanted hug that has lasted so long
you are sqirming uncomfortabley.

Check Spelling

The White Fog Creeps From The Cold Sea Over The City
by Conrad Aiken

The white fog creeps from the cold sea over the city,
Over the pale grey tumbled towers,—
And settles among the roofs, the pale grey walls.
Along damp sinuous streets it crawls,
 

Curls like a dream among the motionless trees
And seems to freeze.


The fog slips ghostlike into a thousand rooms,
Whirls over sleeping faces,
Spins in an atomy dance round misty street lamps;
And blows in cloudy waves over open spaces . . .


And one from his high window, looking down,
Peers at the cloud-white town,
And thinks its island towers are like a dream . . .


It seems an enormous sleeper, within whose brain
Laborious shadows revolve and break and gleam.

And, a well-known favorite…….


Fog
Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Sara Teasdale surely understood the emotional impact
of being oppressed by unrelenting weather.

Gray Fog
Sara Teasdale

A fog drifts in, the heavy laden
Cold white ghost of the sea —
One by one the hills go out,
The road and the pepper-tree.
I watch the fog float in at the window
With the whole world gone blind,
Everything, even my longing, drowses,
Even the thoughts in my mind.
I put my head on my hands before me,
There is nothing left to be done or said,
There is nothing to hope for, I am tired,
And heavy as the dead.

 

As the fog continues, I choose to enjoy it.
I will feel the fog wrapped around me like a cozy afghan,
I will enjoy presence of the watery mists that makes me
focus on only what is before me…

because I know I have much to hope for,
my hope is in the Lord,
who is muting my world
with His breath of love.

 

A Norman Rockwell Moment

Tonight, we had just gathered around the dinner table as a family, and were enjoying the warmth of our love, the comforts of home and the joy of one another’s company. It was a Norman Rockwell moment, and I was basking in the time warp in which nobody was fighting or poking or jesting or taunting.

I assumed our youngest, Rebekah, must have felt the emotion of the moment as I did, because she asked, “How come we don’t hold hands when we pray?”


Stirred by her honest question, I reached over and tenderly grasped her precious little six-year old fingers. I turned to my husband and clasped his hand. He, in turn, grabbed Jon’s nail-bitten hand. Jon awkardly grabbed Bethany’s hand, and with the slightest hesitation, Bethany reached for Grace’s hand.

The time warp was gone. Instead of the joy of one another’s presence, we were brought back into our own reality with the squeezing, squealing, pulling, prodding, giggling and taunting that followed. As Grace reached for Rebekah’s hand, to close our circle of love, she resisted, then succumbed with a little sigh.

Good parents that we are, Scott and I instantly decided that if the hand-holding caused this many problems for our children, then this would HAVE to be protocol until their hearts and their behavior could lovingly, obediently and charmingly embrace this new family tradition.

 

Beka admitted as she reluctantly continued holding Grace’s fidgety hand,
“Mom, I didn’t say I wanted to hold hands when we pray…..

….I just wanted to know why we didn’t.”