knotts soak city? yes, soak city!

The view of the wave pool from our cabana

our cabana where husband played with ipad

the decor looks like something out of an early 1960s surf town, ala Oceanside or Huntington Beach, while songs like “Pipeline” played over the speakers.

holding tubes while the waves come

check out my daughter in lower right corner, using proper streamline position she learned in swimming lessons. so proud!

see? he’s happy.

I must thank our gracious hosts for letting us play with them.

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our Easter painting

easter egg prepping with white crayon

dipping them in our vinegar and food coloring concoction

letting them dry on a paper towel

adding a minecraft creeper egg to the mix

the eggs drying leave a painting behind

a hippie's tye-dyed dream

and viola! the planets collide together waiting for breakfast peeling

Apologize for What? A View of Andrew Breitbart From an Internet Acquaintance

Media personality Andrew Breitbart gives a spe...

Image via Wikipedia

On February 22, 2012, Andrew Breitbart‘s second to last radio show he guest-hosted for Dennis Miller, he talked about the quick passage of time.  He said if you ever want to slow time down, stare at the clock like you did in grade school.  Time goes by so quickly that we don’t even know what day it is.  He said, “If someone asked me the date, I’m usually about 3 or 4 days off.”  Staring at a school clock will slow everything down, he assured us.

Sadly, we lost Andrew shortly after midnight on March 1.  I first heard of Andrew way before the James O’Keefe/Hannah Giles sting on ACORN.  I met him on Facebook in the fall of 2008 when I first joined the Dennis Miller Zone (DMZ), the message board for the radio show. Andrew was a member of DMZ just like the rest of us.

I saw him online one day on Facebook and chatted with him.  All he talked about was how Dennis was his idol and he couldn’t believe that he’s guest-hosting his radio show.  Shortly after I posted that I’d be sure to call in one day. He was afraid he wouldn’t have a lot of callers,

On December 19, 2008, I called to ask him how he breaks up fights among his 4 young children.  I held on for an hour.  I didn’t mind it really, I just had to use the bathroom bad and I didn’t know exactly what time I’d go on air.  I was afraid I’d go on at the exact time the toilet flushed (which Erik Estrada later did in a phone interview with Dennis on-air!).

Then I heard the click and excitedly said, “This is Terri Jones, I’m one of your Facebook friends!”

To which he replied, “I know who you are!”

I asked my question but he said when it came to parenting ask his wife because he’s never changed a diaper. I would have responded with amazement that his wife was the only diaper changer but I didn’t want to expand on that topic with a full bladder.

He did, however, have a strategy for breaking up fights which was to sit his kids on the stairs until they resolved their differences. The show rewarded me with “Call of the Day” that day.  I like to think it was because out of pity for holding on for so long in more ways than one.

Though this was more than 3 years ago, it’s like it just happened.  When someone dies you don’t really measure time.  You just remember those moments like they are still happening and they never ended.

Tonight, I think I’ll get my analog clock and just stare at it for a while, like I did back in grade school.

happy anniversary, mom and dad

Courthouse in Hernando, Mississippi

Image via Wikipedia

Today, August 4, is my parents’ 55th anniversary.  They got married in a Hernando, Mississippi courthouse in 1956 after knowing each other for only 10 days.  55 years later, my dad writes this to his life-long partner:

Ode to My Wife Uva Nell Lassiter-Fortney

by Robert Fortney

A hammer and saw you cannot use

A shirt without buttons you avoid like the flu

For you a road map is shade

but as a Mother you take a back seat to none.

You care for your family and house like they are royalty.

Then you act like we deserve it.

Of course we don’t.

But MOTHERING is something you do.

You cook, clean, pet and soothe our hurts and fears away.

Most of all you love us one and all.

So you are already in the Mother’s Hall of Fame

and at age 76 you have not quit yet!

And as your partner through these years,

I count it an honor and privilege to grow old with you.

As it was in our vows,

“‘Til death do us part,”

I LOVE YOU UVA NELL,

Bob

vote slim paley for a homie!

Slim Paley Photo

Do me a rockin’ favor and vote for Slim Paley for a “Homie” for Best Home Design Blog at Apartment Therapy.  Here’s the link:  http://bit.ly/edYKZo

First check out the site – it’s chock full of pictures of the author’s homes and gardens, vacation pictures from around the world, and incredibly high-heeled shoes.  What sets Slim apart from the other home design blogs is her witty commentary and soundtracks.  Think if Martha Stewart, Elaine May and Vivienne Westwood had a baby.  That’s Slim.

Then go to Apartment Therapy’s site here to vote.   Scroll down to vote in the poll, then scroll down to the bottom and input this info into the comment field:

Name: Slim Paley
URL: http://slimpaley.com

It requires registration to vote, which might be quick or a little finicky, but please be patient.  It’s worth it.

rebirth: my grandmother from the jazz age

While going through old photographs at my parents’ house, I found these photo gems of my grandmother Edna when she was a teenager and young adult from the 1920s.  The name Edna means “rebirth.”

She stayed young and beautiful, frozen in this state, because she passed away from a leaky heart valve at age 39. My mom said she was smart, well-read and a fashion maven.   I don’t doubt that The Great Gatsby was on her book shelf.

My grandmother is on the left, circa 1925.  She sports a classic bob hair cut and a sailor dress.  She is about 18 years old and hanging with her friends most likely dressed in clothes from Marshall Field’s.

Here’s another buddy picture.  Grandmother is on the left.  There’s not a lot of detail here but look at the cloche hats.  Isn’t it amazing that women dressed so alike back then? And they sit on grass barely worrying about grass stains on their skirts.

Here she is on the right.  Look at those gams wrapped in black silk stockings with pumps on her feet.  Again, no worries about sitting on dirt and grass in elegant clothes.  My cousin, who lived to age 92, told me that Edna wore holes in the knees of her stockings as they rode in cars, probably to prevent looking unladylike.

Don’t ask me what the donkey’s doing here.  Your guess is as good as mine.  Edna is on the left next to my grandfather Toy.  Here’s more proof of ladies dressing alike with all skirts just above the knee and all shoes with straps across the front.

When it got cold, Grandmother (on the right) broke out the long coat but never covered her bottom legs.  Who would cover them?  That’s a fur-lined collar with the oh-so-delicate touch of a flower in her lapel.  Laced up shoes kept her feet warm in the winter.   And I told you she was smart – she’s the only one wearing a hat in this picture.

My grandmother’s not in this picture, but my grandfather is on the left.  Even he was a sharp dressed man with a news boy cap, tie and a 3 (maybe 4) buttoned jacket.  Check out the car and the ladies on the hood.  I’m surprised the poleece didn’t come after them for looking so much like Bonnie and Clyde.

And that is the rebirth of Edna.  Do you ever wish the Jazz Age could come back in style if even for a moment?

what good mathematicians do: a guide to problem solving

The following is a poster in my daughter’s math classroom.   Are these not solutions for everyday life? If you have a problem to solve in any aspect of your life, try what good mathematicians do:

image via flickr

1.  they look for patterns
If your kid is exhibiting less than attractive behavior, look for patterns.  Is it from lack of sleep? Are they hungry?  Too much sugar? In the middle of the night, do they open a window, lasso a tree and swing like Tarzan and yell “Get your damn dirty apes off me?” That might be it.

image via flickr

2.  they seek new ways to find solutions

Rather than tell your child they can’t bake a cake because they constantly ask for help while you’re trying to work and they never clean up after themselves, let them try it.  I let my girls bake a cake the other night.  After the fire department calmly explained to me that you turn on the oven, not the stove for baking, everything turned out A-OK.

image via flickr

3.  they create pictures, diagrams, and charts
What a great idea! Especially when you have to explain to your daughter’s teacher that she doesn’t really dream of killing zombies with poison plants and machetes although that’s all she draws in school.

image via flickr

4.  they estimate
Estimating is a good thing.  Like when you turn down buying coffee at Wal-Mart because it’s too expensive though you spend over 3 bucks a day at Starbucks every day.  Comparing the cost might come in handy.

image via flickr

5.  they ask questions
Such as, “Does Santa still have me on his good list?” after your kid’s last melt-down.  You think you sit on a gold mine at Christmas, letting the think they’re on the bad list if they dare talk back. But then you say stuff like, “Get me the TV remote or else Santa won’t visit you on Christmas Eve!” Santa will kick the crap out of me for that one.

image via flickr

6.  they create a plan to solve a problem
Especially when that plan involves chores for the kids to solve the boredom problem.  When your child says, “I want to do something fun. I’m bored. I have no friends to play with,” say, “The laundry’s lonely. Maybe you and the laundry have a slumber party with movies and popcorn. At midnight go wild and crazy and play Spin The Folded Towels. Whoever wins goes to the closet and sorts the linens.

image via flickr

7.  they explain their work
Very important when using their vocabulary words in sentences. They write, “My lip is sanguinary.”
You say “Shouldn’t you expand it a little, like WHY your lip is sanguinary?”
And they say, “It’s a sentence, C’MON!”

image via flickr

8.  they take time to do a good job
Of course! That is why kids take 3 hours to empty dishwashers. They simply take time to do a good job.

image via flickr

9.  they check their work
Listen up anyone who tweets. How do you know who’s talking to who with all those RTs and hashtags? #checkyourworkwhiletweetingdangit

image via flickr

10.  they use math to solve everyday problems
Math is wonderful especially for Californians. Like when most of your income goes to mortgage and property taxes.  When Jerry Brown takes over, he’ll take out more taxes.   But don’t worry because as Brown admitted, he has no plan for California.