Thursday, February 25, 2010


It's "American Idol" week at my grandson's kindergarten. The teacher assigned the kids to each bring his/her favorite CD to school. So what did my 5-year old grandson choose? Alvin & the Chipmunks? Jonas Brothers? Miley Cyrus?


My grandson chose Pink Floyd.

This kid rocks.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My youngest son is 30 years old today. (Gulp.)

He came into this world at a whopping 9 lbs. 3 oz., with a head full of hair that looked like cornsilk. Unlike his big brother, he needed lots of sleep--and still does. I cried when he went to kindergarten...and Jr. High...and High School...and college.

This birthday may be harder on me than it is on him.

By the way--he's still an eligible bachelor...and increasingly open to arranged marriage. Just sayin'.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Soundbites from the Grandkids

Spent the evening with the grandkids while Jeremy & Trista had a date night.

Lauren is still at the age that she wants me to spend every moment playing with her or reading to her. She doesn't want to waste one "nanosecond" of "Nana-time." After reading multiple books, playing Candyland and performing surgery on her life-size Barbie and then on her, she wanted me to go to her room to retrieve more toys.
Nana: "Lauren, you wear me out."
Lauren: "I sawwy."

When Mommy and Daddy came home, Jacob was contentedly putting together a pirate puzzle. Lauren had her arms wrapped around me and said to her daddy, "MY Nana." To which he said, "No...MY Nana." To which Jacob matter-of-factly said, "Actually, she's your mom."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

Yesterday I was here...

...enjoying the warm sunshine...

....watching these birds....

...and these pelicans....

...and this surfer dude...

...walking on the beach...

....picking up these....

...while Neal struck up a conversation with a perfect stranger...

...and took care of business...

It was a wonderful Valentine's Day. Hope you did something fun.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Santa Monica - February 2010

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." Nelson Mandela

I am becoming more and more confident in attempting to communicate with our Mexican brothers and sisters with each trip I make to Monterrey. No, I'm not fluent. Yes, I get it wrong much of the time. Yes, they are becoming more comfortable in correcting my bad grammar and poor choice of words. The sparkle in Ladi's eyes and the smile that spreads across his face when I speak with him in espanol is priceless.

Here is a Readers' Digest version of our trip in pictures:

Day 1: Arriving at worksite. View from front of building looking through front doorway.

2nd floor on left side (not sure what direction that is) of auditorium, where our job for the week is to prepare and pour the 2nd floor roof.

Tying spurs onto rebar for the bracing. Sunny and 84 degrees. Susan Ringle, Me, Kenny Lashley, man from Tyler, TX and Carol Golightly. Yes we are on top of 2nd floor roof, with no barriers on edges. And Susan has a fear of heights--so kudos to her!

Placing finished braces into trough. Combined effort of Ft. Gibson, Tyler and Sand Springs. That's Mary Martin in the red t-shirt. The universal language is "service and hard work" which EVERYONE understands.

Speaking of service....our first day lunch. We think this is goat meat, but we don't ask.

Glen Elliott (Ft. Gibson) is 50 today! The locals help him celebrate with a pinata.

Day 2: Braces are all in and it's time to lay and tie rebar. You can see Janet Richardson at the end of the row. It is COLD and WINDY today, especially on the roof. We scavenge for any extra layers of clothing we can find.

Partially complete.

Thanks to Kenny and Everett, I'm nice and toasty...sort of. If you look closely, you can see the hook in one hand and the pigtail in the other.

Afternoon of Day 2 and we are already pumping concrete.

Completed pour.

Day 3: Preparing window openings for installation of metal windows.


Front door is also installed.

Chiseling, scraping, shoveling, sweeping 2nd level floor after finishing roof.

Reward---T-bones for lunch!

Day 3: Work was finished in record time, so we actually get to go sight-seeing. These are the mountains south of Monterrey near the caves at Garcia.

The group from Sand Springs enjoying a well-deserved time of recreation.
Left to Right: Nan Hunt, Susan Ringle, Me, Carol Golightly, Mary Martin, Janet Richardson

At the top of the mountain, looking down on our tiny vans.

Inside the caves.

Group photo:
Take 1: Barrett, Kenny and I try getting in the picture after setting our self-timers.

Take 2: Has anyone noticed that Cade's head is cut off?

Take 3: Finally. Also pictured are Ladi (preacher at Santa Monica), Lorena (Ladi's wife) and Alejandro, (one of our guides from Santa Monica).