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So THAT is why when I tried to create an account here at LiveJournal last week, there was somebody else who was "fossilfreak." Rich's illness and death drove this site entirely out of my mind. OK, fossilfreakca.livejournal.com is up and running, and I'll go back to doing archives on this one.
December 24: Christmas Eve

A newsmonger reveals secrets: so have nothing to do with a babbler!---Proverbs 20:19.

Heh. Couldn't happen to a better company. NY TIMES: CLAUS OK'D ILLEGAL SURVEILLANCE Tom Maguire comments:

The NY Times escalates its war on America with its latest revelations about the high-tech capability of the NSA to monitor and data-mine international communications.

Look - my inner geek is finding this to be very interesting. But is there any way in the world that the Times can be persuaded that this just might not be in America's best interest, even if it has some slight potential to embarrass Bush?

I only ask as a concerned citizen; as a vicious partisan, I think the NY Times, in combination with the Moore-Streisand wing of the party, is pushing the Dems off a cliff.

What is the Dem message here? "Oh my gosh, that evil Bush is spying on Al Qaeda and anyone who talks to them - as Democrats, we will never do that!"

has more.

I'm 4 pounds up! ARGH! I was slowly going down all week till yesterday.

Last night we went out to look at lights again. Also, the young neighbor brought over a plate of cookies. She's so domestic! It's gotta be hard to be the only really young one on the block of old people. I should finish up the playroom and have her over with the little boys sometimes.

Since my present isn't arriving in time, it looks like the pets stepped in... why, gee, it looks a lot like Necco wafers and wasabi peas! (The big box is Rich's present.)

We went by Bernarob's to leave our car. Bernadette had a really cute singing polar bear for me. We loaded up, stopped at Panera (which they love) and were off to San Jose in their lovely new Ford Freestyle. There was a little fog, but it wasn't too bad, and in San Jose the sun was shining and it was downright hot, too hot for the sweatshirt I'd brought.

R.J. doesn't like to get up early, so Roni and family were running late, which bothered Monica. She was worried that we wouldn't have enough time to do everything, but in the event, though there was a bit of a rush at the end of the day, we got everything in. While we waited I got to admire their Channukah artwork (Jewish preschool, really good) and Genevieve's clever camera that she made all by herself. It even has the screen with a picture in back! Monica is a bit concerned that she shows no interest in reading, but it's apparent she's very gifted and creative.

The first order of business was to walk down to Christmas in the Park, this so Monica could get her annual churros and hot chocolate. 8 adults and 4 small children, watch out San Jose! Monica was pushing Charlotte in the stroller... for awhile, but then there was some time she had Genevieve and Alex in it, with Charlotte alternately swinging off the handle or walking along. She said it was strange to have twins... and I remembered when she and Roni were small, and people always thought they were twins. (Though that was a bit odd when she was a newborn!)

When we got downtown, Charlotte caught sight of the Ferris Wheel and her face just lit up: "I want to ride THAT, Mommy!" Then as we went along, it turned out she isn't quite big enough (needed thicker soles on her shoes) to ride the baby wheel, and she was so disappointed. They talked her into the seahorse at the carousel, and with her Daddy, so all was well, after all. Genevieve and Alex rode the teacups (and they are no kin of Rich's, obviously!) and the little wheel, and the carousel. Spoiled children. *I* only got to ride a carousel once a year, when the carnival came to town!! Off to the churros we went.

Monica hadn't warned Roni that she had promised Genevieve an inflatable reindeer (which G. was thrilled about, and told me about while we were still back at the house) so Roni was caught by surprise when Alex wanted one, and said "no." A. was really very good about the disappointment, but this looked like a job for SuperNana. I checked that it would be OK to spoil Alex a little, and so we bought her a reindeer, too. All three girls, then, played with the reindeer. Genevieve's finally sprung a leak and she was heartbroken, but as Charlotte had then grumped herself into a nap, she played with that. Monica was able to repair the original one, and so after a bit of an argument with G., everyone was back to their original deer. Genevieve is truly into Rudolph this year, and sang the whole song for me, in tune and with all the words. Anyway, I was quite chuffed that we were able to save the day for Alex and earn good grandparenting points.

We looked at all the displays, including their own fence (which they bought as part of the fundraiser) and went into the Fairmont and checked out the trains and the gingerbread houses, and then walked home. As I said, by this time Charlotte needed her nap. Mark and I discussed King Kong, Narnia (which he hasn't seen yet) and Harry Potter (he hasn't read all the books yet, so we couldn't talk about Snape!) Roni and R.J. will be going to M&M's cabin New Year's Week, and maybe they'll get snow.

Monica served us mulled wine and she and Roni got lunch/dinner on the table: good ham, a super salad from R.J. (spinach salad, I LOVE spinach salad) and lots of other good food. Then when Charlotte woke up, it was time for presents. I gave books to all, since the kids' big presents are actually subscriptions to appropriate magazines. Roni got Lileks' book on food and Monica his book on decorating. I'd sent Niki Mommy Knows Worst. Bernadette's book was a kid's book... sort of... Where's My Cow by Terry Pratchett. I just LOVE the illustrations.
The present that really got her, though, was from Mark, who knew she wanted Photoshop... he got her the whole Adobe suite. She will have a fabulous time. Mark's job has been outsourced so he has a few months to attempt to find another in the company. We got food and wine, always a winner. The new basket looks to me like an excellent base for a doll bed. Roni also gave me a lovely necklace.

Genevieve was distressed because Alex got three gifts from them and she only got one. Monica had to explain to her that this wasn't Christmas, and that Alex's little gifts were equivalent to her big one. I thought Roni had found some really neat things for them, both in toy cat carriers... a vet set for G. and a pet grooming kit for C. The only one of Alex's presents that I noted was the Veggietales tape.

Then the Bay Area people started getting ready for Mass. Monica had invited us, and it really sounded like it was nice, but this year I really wanted to be back for our own Midnight Mass. Everyone looked really nice all dressed up. Bernadette drove us back to her apartment and we came home.

I can't believe I didn't really want to go! It was great!

And, seriously... I am SO LUCKY with children who want to see us, to spend time with us. I must never ever take that for granted. Thank you, Monica!

Mass was wonderful. I wore the dress I had for our 25th wedding anniversary, and the necklace Roni gave me, and Father said I looked good. I sat in back with Rich and loved the pre-Mass singing. Our neighbor and her son did "Oh, Holy Night" and one of the women did "Gesu Bambino" as a solo. I just drank it in, and loved every single minute of Mass.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve: 10 Years Ago

December 24: Christmas Eve

Awww, Victor Borge died. My Mom used to really crack up when he pronounced the punctuation.

After church, and after picking up a little more, I went to see "What Women Want". I was rolling in the aisles, it was so funny. It was easy to tell it was a woman director, with all the subtlies. You really have to pay attention. I was really impressed that Gibson was so comfortable playing such a dork.

We invited Casanunda for our traditional semi-Polish Christmas Eve dinner, which went well. (Mushroom-potato soup, which I actually served in the soup tureen, fish with egg-and-butter sauce, cabbage, and cheese ravioli instead of pierogi.) I even had a leftover piece of oplatek. It never gets stale, fortunately, since we hadn't a clue how old it was.

I'm looking forward to actually having people tomorrow. It's been a long time since I've fixed a big family meal. We started having our Christmas some other day when Roni couldn't get off work on the day, and now it's traditional. Maybe I've been too polite, which is why they're walking all over me. (Monica's mother-in-law got all the news about Monica from the doctor, and of course I don't get to be "mother-of-the-bride.")

Rich ushed for Midnight Mass, so I sat all alone and sometimes lonely. I couldn't begrudge the family that took up the offering, though. The mom looked so happy. She's only got one gone at this time, since the two boys are working at restaurants to finance stuff, but it's apparent she's been missing her girl. Another family, mother and son, sang "Oh, Holy Night." I missed my kids!

December 21 (2000): News From Afar

My niece was driving home to Seattle from Wichita for Chrismas when she slid off the road and then had a truck land on top of her. She got out the window with some help, but the firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to get her two birds (in dinged cages, but OK) and cat-in-carrier out. She got transported to the vet and the beasties are fine. My niece is bruised, but OK, very very lucky. Her French Horn is dinged up, too. My sister says she's now had her Christmas present.

I got a call from a high-school classmate who wondered about a cryptic note on my card. It turns out that HER niece just made the USA woman's soccer team!

Another friend who has suffered from an allergy-induced form of schizophrenia for years writes that she's discovered a form of acupressure which seems to be helping a lot.

My former fourth-grade teacher (whom we visited in September) now has a computer and is learning to e-mail. Neat!

It's good to have a season when old friends get in touch!

December 21: Winter Arrives with a Bang

WHAM!!!! at 3AM, a thunderclap right overhead. Sailor was in a right old tizzy, protecting us from the scary sky!

It was the Day in the Life of ... project on Flickr so I was taking very ordinary pictures all day. However, we did have a couple of interesting events with no camera work from me. First, we were visited by a Federal Gummint type asking about Nick for a security clearance. We dissed him good of course (hi, Nick!). One question has intrigued me since, though.... "anything he could be blackmailed for?" Now, in this day and age, what's blackmailable? Almost all bad behavior is something to brag about, and a lot of former blackmail material, like sexual orientation or babies out of wedlock is just ordinary in this time.

Pagan came by for lunch, and brought me a Christmas gift despite our agreement not to. (Good thing I had found him something "Just Because" earlier in the year.) It was a pack of 25 stereoslides. They vary from the Boer War to the San Francisco Earthquake, Florida swamps to the Taj Mahal. They are a lot of fun. We discovered an old check holder will fit these things. Then we went to lunch at a Japanese place which is really very nice. It was good to see him and enjoy him again.

Eavesdropping for me but not for thee. Why am I not surprised that Baghdad Jim is involved.


The Anchoress has Vespers for the 4th Wednesday of Advent. My Papa, he's Stylin (looks like Santa!). LaShawn Barber is asked if she hates black people?

Kobayashi Maru:

What is different today versus 9-11 is a natural (if juvenile) human tendency: the desire not to confront painful realities. In this case those realities (for Democrats) are near-complete political castration/repudiation, terrorist atrocities that we’re unable to completely contain, the virtual inevitability of a domestic attack that will make 9-11 look like a dress rehearsal, and the likelihood that this will at some point entail personal sacrifice (as all wars eventually do).

Given the choice, it is characteristic of children - especially spoiled ones - that they will avoid or postpone any unpleasantness that’s within their power to avoid or postpone.


Thanksgiving in 2000

(Well, I'm leaving off all the Presidential Bush v. Gore stuff.)

November 23: What I'm Thankful For

  • I'm thankful for Genevieve.
  • I'm thankful for a healthy family. Rich was scary last year.
  • I'm thankful Sailor is back. I didn't realize how much I loved the stupid blond mutt till he ran off.
  • I'm grateful to get a few minutes (out of four-plus days) with the other grandchildren. We rank somewhere behind the Grinch and had I realized that, I'd have done something with Sam. At least this year we're on the list. The grands are darling. The baby remembered the camera and looked at the pictures on it, but this time he didn't touch. The oldest took a picture with it. I'm thankful he's doing better after the surgery, and I'm glad the others are healthy.
  • I'm thankful for Roni, who was there when I needed to talk, and for friends, ditto.
  • Boy, am I thankful to be in California, for two reasons:
    That I'm not an election official south of Lake Okeechobee, so I can have a Thanksgiving.
    Then there's the climate. I looked at the pictures of Buffalo buried under a global-warming blanket of snow and thought "but it's only November!" Ah, how quickly they forget!
  • I like my nifty two computers and my digital camera, and all the stuff we can do with these things. (I finally found the scanner software. Of course, RICH had to install it, as it wouldn't work for me.)

Thanksgiving Five Years Ago

440.8 miles (Oh, how awful: this year it's only ~250!)
partly cloudy, brisk

November 24: Look at This Window, Darn It!

Everything but the turkey, which was in the kitchen being sliced. I had the works ready on time, all except for my guests. No major disasters (funny article!), though I did have the giblet pan overflow (since like an idiot, I had a lid on it) and then dropped the pepper grinder into it.

I planned to have dinner at 3. Usually, I would put the turkey in the oven before church, but everything I read said it would only take 4 hours. So we raced home, and I popped it into the pre-heated oven at 10:30. Before church, I'd peeled and cut sweet potatoes and apples and put them into the crockpot, with apple butter and whipping cream and pumpkin pie spice.

Then I had preparations spaced out... set up the Green Bean Casserole which would be cooked in the George Foreman oven, and the stuffing, and the corn (the corn was overkill) and the potatoes. Bernadette and Rob arrived just before 2 with her fantastic cranberry sauce, and she set the table, and she riced the potatoes. I'd thought my cousin's vegetarian atheist husband was coming, so I had a lot of non-meat stuff, and planned a singing grace that only mentions God a little.

I was worried about the turkey... the drumstick wasn't at all loose. Had Butterball misled me? Rich suggested sticking a fork in it... and yes, it was done! If you can't trust Butterball, the world is really in bad shape!

I had salami/cream cheese rollups, 2 kinds of pickles and 3 kinds of olives out for hors d'ouerves. Our son, who was planning to come about 4 for pie, had a schedule change so they were going to come a little early, was that all right? My cousin, from Benicia, called at 2, "just outside Sacramento" and was on her way. By 2:45 we figured she was either lying or lost. Both, as it turned out... she'd called from Vacaville, run into traffic, missed both the exit for Highway 80 and the one for Business 80, and so when she saw Watt she turned south, following the Yahoo! instructions. I called her and she was OK, "5-10 minutes away." Well, if she'd not missed her turns.... then she called twice, lost, both from the same place. I told her to go north on Watt, so she went back to the highway and then went back north on Watt, (my cousin is a bit of a flake) and finally listened to my directions and made it here. At 3:35, so we didn't spend any time chitchatting, we sat down to eat. I was surprised the husband wasn't here... he's in Europe.

Dinner: turkey, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweetpotatoes, greenbean and french-fried onion casserole (I never had that as a child. The first time I ever tasted it was when we had our Mustard Seed Thanksgiving for the homeless kids. Rich doesn't like onions, so I have to bide my time for it.) cranberry sauce, fruit salad. Nothing forgotten (I wrote myself lots of lists this time) and all, but the guests, on time. I darnwell better not be having a cholesterol test soon!

I was remarkably calm, not channelling my mother at all. I figured I had done my job, gotten dinner all ready right on time, and there was nothing I could do about it, so might as well relax and enjoy the day. I do believe Robert was getting a little stressed.

Five minutes later, the dessert crowd arrived. They didn't mind watching us eat, and Rich set them up with pie, and all in all, it was a very pleasant experience. To my utter amazement, nobody spilled pie on the new furniture! Nor on the cleaned carpets, for that matter!

Five years ago, we put these windows in, and had asked this bunch to come see sometime during Thanksgiving week. They hadn't found time, so I pulled my son into the kitchen and said "you were supposed to see this window 5 years ago, but NOOOOOO, so you're going to darnwell look at it now!" He likes it. Well he should: we were off in Pittsburgh when my father-in-law died and left the teens to cope: this particular one swatted at a fly with who-knows-what and broke the kitchen window. It really wasn't a very nice setup. I just love the garden window, and so do the cats. I also really like the outlets where they can be reached: hence the crockpot and the Foreman oven were doing their job but out of the way.

Two of the kids enjoyed the playroom, and did a little snooping, and found my bag of gaming dice. The older one was beginning to tell me how he has been looking for a 10-sided one, but I got sidetracked, and then Bernadette took the dice. (I did give her permission. Sigh. I loved those dice, but really, I don't need them. I do regret not giving the grandchild the 10d, though.) They found the Denny's power rings and were building with those. Two of the kids were playing with Spooky. He didn't even try to get away, as they pulled shoelaces and shrieked and petter him. Strange cat. The older girl sat with us and listened to the grownups.

At one point, my cousin's 5-year-old was walking around having a drink out of the Waterford. I was quite calm replacing it with an unbreakable glass. Eeek! Bernadette points out that he could have been badly cut if it had broken, but I didn't even think of that!

It would have been nice to have more time with them, but it was grand seeing them. Once everyone left, Rich and I cleaned up, and I remembered that I actually enjoy a big fancy do once in awhile.

Thanksgiving story.

More on Chris Matthews.

Five Years Ago

sunny, wind, 76

November 14: History Questionnaire

My granddaughter, 12, goes to a gifted school, and like her dad, is prone to Charlie Brown her homework. She knew on Thursday that this history (Eeek!) project would be due on Monday, so yesterday she finally made up some questions and emailed me, then called the house, to discover we weren't home. Then she tried the cellphone, and fortunately I had it on, and I also had access to a computer to answer her questions.

I think she had some trouble coming up with 20 different questions (she might have done better face-to-face) and so there are some duplications and some strange jumps in the inquiry. I've put her questions in blue, my answers in red, and second thoughts in black.

Sorry about the short notice..

SOMEBODY put off her homework till the last minute, didn't she?? Thank you in advance.
Sent in advance of your reply....
20 Questions:

  • 1. What was being a girl in th 50's like?

    I had a great time. I could walk all over town. We played in the neighborhood... war, circus, cowboys and indians, tag, hide and seek, statues, digging around in the creek. I didn't have a bicycle of my own but I could ride other people's. I did have a scooter and took it everywhere. Roller skates fastened on to shoes with keys. My friends and I could play till dark and sometimes after dark.

  • 2. What was it like when all your kids moved out?

    It was hard when Aunt Roni left, but by the time Aunt Bernadette moved away, we were ready.

  • 3. Where were you when you found out about the September 11, 2001 attacks?

    I was home, and had logged in, so I found out on the Internet. Then I turned on the TV.

    Did it affect you in any way?

    Well, YEAH. I was furious. Still am, in fact.

  • 4. Did you have any pets (of your own), what were their names, what were they like?

    We had cats. Smokey is the one I remember the best. He had medium length hair (gray, could you guess?) and was really friendly. He'd walk with us. He also travelled with us.

  • 5. What was different about growing up when you did compared to current day?

    I was just telling aunt Bernadette about Hallowe'en...
    we would run around with other kids, but no adults, and we would go into people's houses and do little acts in order to get candy.

    I could go anywhere in town by myself.

    We didn't have a TV, but we did have a lot of fun.

  • 6. How old were you when you moved out of your Mother's house? What was it like?
    Uh-oh... I didn't answer this one. I was almost 21, when I got married. Apart from camp and the Indian reservation, I never lived in a roommate or solo situation.
  • 7. What was it like to become a Grandmother when my older brother M. was born?

    I was thrilled. I love being a Nana. There was a lot more I could have said: that was a difficult time for everyone with M's condition and my mother dying, plus other stresses going on. Rich was out of town when M. was born and when he had to go into the NICU. But I saw the baby in the incubator, about to be taken to a different hospital, and I fell in love.

  • 8. Did having 5 kids and several pets ever seem like a handful?

    Well, duh.


    Actually, I think the worst time was when Djadja was in Viet Nam, and I had Aunt Roni, 1 and Aunt Monica, a newborn, and neither could walk, and no diaper service or laundry equipment. When there were all 5, your dad's Nana lived here too and while there were times that was harder, usually it was helpful. Also, the "bigs" helped take care of the "littles"... you guys are a lot closer together so that doesn't work with you.

  • 9. What year were you married, and how did it feel?

    We just had our 40th anniversary. I was scared when we got married, afraid I wouldn't be a good wife. However, I love Djadja and vice versa, so it worked out.

  • 10. What is your favorite memory?

    There are a lot. I really liked my time on the Indian reservation, and our years in England. More recently, when we walked across the lava to see the hot flowing rock last May, that was pretty special. This was a Really Hard Question. I still don't know the answer.

  • 11. What skills of yours do you take special pride in? When and how did you learn them?

    I think I'm a good mother, and I learned that by trial and error. I also am a good teacher, and that, too, was by experience. (Throwing down the gauntlet here.)

  • 12. Where did you go to college, what was it like, > what year did you graduate?

    University of Wyoming, class of 1965. What was it like? I didn't do that well, since I'd been a really good student in high school but I didn't know how to study. Socially, though, it was a lot of fun.

  • 13. Where have you lived outside of the U.S. ?
    What is it like there?

    England, 4 years. We were in a little village and knew most of the people there. I loved it.

  • 14. Where did you grow up? What is it like there?

    Laramie, Wyoming, and it was a little town, see above. Everyone knew me on the way to school, and everyone looked out for each other. She could look at the notes I put on my Laramie pictures for more info.

  • 15. What was it like to buy your first house? When did you?

    It was in Arkansas. I was in Pittsburgh with Babcha and crew and Djadja bought it without my seeing it. I wish we could have taken it with us to everywhere else. Oops. In December of 1972.

  • 16. Did JFK's death have an impact on you? How?

    We had seen him at UW two months before. I cried and cried. We went to church. I had asked a friend to come before the assassination, and called her and she came, too. I think it made an impression, since she has since become a Catholic and is now a Sister. I also remember Rich and I sitting in my Living Room watching TV and holding each other.

  • 17. What was your first job? What was it like?

    I taught kindergarten in Arkansas. It was nice to have money to play with, and it was very fulfilling to be a teacher.

    18. How did the Vietnam war change life for you? Your Djadja went to 'nam, which was a worry. Some of my friends lost their husbands. It also changed Djadja's career.

  • 19. Did Rosa Parks' actions on the bus have any effect on you? What were they?

    In Laramie, we only had one black family, so we didn't experience segregation. We just thought the people in Alabama were nuts.My grandparents had a yard man who was black, and I just loved Art. He was good to me, as well. But you note, I was 7 calling a man in his 70s by his first name. My grandfather was a product of his time, very prejudiced, and he regarded school desegregation with suspicion. He kept asking my Mom if she'd want me to marry one?

    20. How has knowing that you are a Grandma > affected you? How?

    Like I said, I love being a Nana. When you called, I had just finished reading The Lorax to Genevieve. (She's 5 today.)

    You know what they say... if I'd known grandchildren were so much fun, I'd have had them first!!

    (Hi, S!)

    Love, Nana She should have asked about her Dad's birth. I'll tell that story someday, as well as the Indian reservation ones.

Ten Years Ago

November 13: Welcome, Genevieve!

12:53, in Good Samaritan hospital in San Jose, sitting in the waiting room. Monica should deliver around 3, according to the doctor. When we got here, we saw Mark's mom and we checked in with the kids. Mark had sounded just a little panicked last night. Monica had said she didn't need me to be here, but Mark sounded like maybe he did. So we got up about 6 and got on the road by 7, but then we had terrible traffic en route. We're here now, though.

1:22 It's an automatic revolving door for this hospital, which is interesting for sure. We've been down to the cafeteria and are still waiting. Mom-in-law is down checking on the kids again, while I watch people whose babies have arrived.

1:55 I heard someone else talking about how it was hard on Monica, not on them. Then something about going home, and Sacramento, at which point I looked them over very carefully. Nope, don't know them. Monica (baby's heart thumping away, thumpeta thumpeta, and the occasional hiccup) says there's another one on the floor. I really did not realize how many there would be, when I named her.

When Monica was born, Rich was in Viet Nam. My Mom was with me, but since I went into the hospital about 6PM and she wasn't born till 8:20 the next morning, she kept going to sleep. I really felt very alone, so I definitely wanted to be here for M. if she decided she wanted me.

3:00 OK, last checkup was 8 cm and the nurse came in and suggested that if she needed to push, let them know. She's having strong contractions which the epidural is making bearable. She says she went till 5 this morning without the anesthetic, and then decided "OK, now I know what the pain is like, I don't have to do it any more."

It'll happen soon!

Rich has been sitting in the waiting room napping while pregnant women walk past, while families laugh and chat. He needs it.

Yesterday, Roni and R.J. came to walk along the River with Rich. R.J. didn't want to deny the dog the chance to come along, but on the other hand he didn't want to have Sailor in his back seat, so he let me take his car to take Sam to a puppet show. I did OK with it, except for the first time I parked, when I went to put it in Park and turned on the windshield wipers! The puppet show was fine and I had a good time with Sam. At their house, there are a lot of the singing fish plaques.

Rich, Roni, R.J. and Sailor walked 7 miles and saw a LOT of fish.

After this, we took them to Black Angus and used up our gift certificate. We all had prime rib, with enough extras to really stuff ourselves. (Especially the chocolate mountain cake.) Back at home, lo and behold, there was a message from Monica, going in about 5 she said. She said Mark would call later when they knew more, but we might want to come in early in the morning. The other message was from Vince, setting up Bowling Day. He and Niki will be coming down by train then flying back to Seattle. I called him back. He was hopeful that the long message beep meant Monica had had the baby, so I told him what was going on. Bernadette and Rob won't be able to come down for Bowling Day, as they don't have chains. I really needed to think about chains and a January wedding across the mountains. Grrrr.

Then, later, the phone rang. It was my uncle in Wyoming. He has moved, which was news to me, and he told me my cousin in Benicia had James Douglas Doyle Y___ last Friday! She's 40, so this was a neat surprise. James for her father, Douglas for her husband's father(? I'm guessing) and Doyle for our mutual grandfather. How very very neat.

Mark called about 11, finally. He said she was in labor and they would give her pitocin about 2. I said she'd said in the morning and he sounded rather desperate about it. I told Rich we were leaving at 6 but then I saw the panic in his eyes and scaled it back to getting up at 6. Guess that wouldn't have mattered, but I thought it might.

3:30. Rich put the computer away, since we think it will get in the way when the baby comes. We watched a young family go home.

In the birthing room, Monica complained that Rich is doing all the things he shouldn't, such as look at the monitor instead of the mother. I pointed out that he didn't contradict the anesthesiologist at all and didn't get in the way. The paper continues to scroll out of the monitor in reams. This baby isn't even born yet and already she's written a book! Monica said to the baby "I've done my job, come do yours."

4:14: Back in the waiting room, Judge Judy is setting everyone straight. Let HER settle the Presidential thing! The family that has been waiting since we got here has good news: grandma comes out in gown and hat, and that woman had a C-section and Kaelin is safely delivered.

5:15: Monica may need a C-section. She's frustrated and crabby. I told her I wouldn't care. I wish I could do this for her (well, sorta.) A Marquette student boasted on ABC news that he'd voted 4 times. Throw him in jail! The student newspaper got 116 students to admit to voting at least twice. They were stunned to find out it's a felony. I ranted and raved all over the waiting room and another family (I don't know who they wanted to win) was agreeing with me. We also think the networks were reprehensible.

5:45: Rich decided this is all our fault. If we'd gone bowling, she'd have had the baby while we were still in Sacramento and this would all be over now.

7:15: Monday Night Football keeps most of them occupied. A tour of expectant parents came through. I kinda felt like shouting "don't do it, the babies never come" but I restrained myself.

8:00 I went to the car to change books and checked out the cafeteria, closed, and the vending machines since I'm starving. Of course, no question, this is when things started to move along. Mark ran out to fetch us, and Rich made two passes through the hospital trying to find me. Monica is at 9+cm but the baby is starting her journey, and so they're going to have her push for a couple of hours. She gave Rich last minute instructions about spritzing the gecko and we discussed the baptism a little. It will happen while Vince and Niki are here for "Bowling Day". I brought Monica's Baptism candle. Anyway. We were kicked out, and told it was going to be soon.

Mark's mother is a pacer. She's also very friendly. The one family wished her luck as they left and called her an angel. At 10:00 she talked to the doctor. The baby's head was partly out, and pushing was going well. The doctor estimates a half-hour.

We all kept getting up and staring down the hall. Nothing. Another family, who'd been waiting too (and bemoaning the networks and certain people too stupid to be voting) got called down to meet Jack. "Where's MINE??" I sulk. Finally, about 11, Mark's Mom couldn't stand it any more and goes down the hall and listens. She waved us down. We could hear the baby shouting and crying. Suddenly, I was crying too. It's a BABY.

The nurse told us she was 9 pounds. Monica had a really tough time and there were still a lot of things to be done. We were waiting a little more patiently, then.

Mark came out and told us about the baby. 21", and because she was so big and Monica so little, they had to use the vacuum, so she's coneheaded. He said she's got a lot of reddish hair. Both Monica and Mark were redheads when they were babies. I asked "How's my girl" and Mark said not very well. She had a lot of trouble, and they should have had a C-section. I finally, after absorbing this and keeping from racing into the room (that was hard. I wanted to be THERE) thought to ask haggard Mark how he was. He seems to be a bit in shock. It was hard on him, as well.

Midnight: The doctor came out and spent quite a bit of time talking to H., Mark's mother, about Monica. A lot of her inner skin sloughed off with the baby so she was oozing a lot. However, the doctor said Monica was really proud of herself that she didn't have a C-section. Then the doctor thought to ask if we were Mark's parents, and I set her straight that Monica was ours. I'd probably resent this if I were not so happy about the baby.

12:15, about, we finally got to see them. We only oohed and ahhed for about 5 minutes. Let them rest. Monica looked fine, and of course the baby is gorgeous.


Archives, that's what I'll do! Starting with the occasional 10 years ago, 5 years ago piece. As soon as I catch up with my regular journal, that is.

Never Mind

I finally fixed the other location. So I will probably be doing something else with this page.