Archive for May, 2008


Congratulations, Ali. 😀

graduation comic

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We awoke early, and I mean EARLY Friday morning and drove a scenic 6 hours to Lubbock to view apartments for Jenna and Jens. We were there by 11:30, and because she’d done her homework to pre-locate several options, we had a two-bedroom apartment chosen and reserved in time to briefly discuss scholarship options with an advisor, and then catch a one-hour 2:00 walking campus tour.

Freeway construction is in full swing there, so construction mess is everywhere, but a walking bridge from right next to the apartment across the freeway is slated to be finished by August, in time for fall classes. The campus is beautiful, full of Spanish Renaissance architecture, statuary, fountains, and lush, green courtyards (at least lush for now). After the walk, we were surprised to find we were all sunburned. As our guide had pointed out, Lubbock is located on a large, flat plateau at about 3,256 feet above sea level. It’s a dustier, more arid climate than we’re used to. We were also amused to learn that it was actually closer to Denver, Colorado there than to Houston, where Joel, Blake, and Zoe are moving.

Texas map

Having accomplished our task with time to spare, we headed back home, arriving by 9:30pm. We would have preferred a more leisurely trip, but with Tech graduation spanning several weeks, hotels were nowhere to be found. With Ali’s graduation and Joel’s family move approaching quickly, available time for us is pretty precious too.

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Although his performance has been somewhat improved since his last inspection and routine cleaning, Roomba still hasn’t been himself lately. Empathetic, I found him this morning in a lonely corner, repeatedly banging his head.

With screwdriver and seam ripper in hand, I performed a colonoscopy. Having only crude tools and no sedatives to offer, I wasn’t sure I was qualified; however, the procedure was successful. I found and removed the likely source of his abnormal behavior and weakness: a massive and very compact hairball hidden under his front wheel.

A warning to fellow Roomba enthusiasts: Front wheel hairballs must be treated immediately or they may cause Roomba to stop feeding and, ultimately, die. (It’s “hou’-zing,” darn it.)

He seemed his old self immediately afterwards — still minus his side brushes, of course. 😕

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They have no toleration for squealers. The victim’s shrill cries alerted me of the attack, but I was too late. Now, a plushie bovine carcass lies on my living room carpet, its cottony entrails strewn the width and breadth of the floor…

It didn’t have the guts to defend itself, and yet they still tried to pass it off as an “accident.”

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My mother received this rocker on her first birthday, April 4, 1933, from her grandparents, Addie and Dwight Main. The now brittle heirloom was brought out of storage for this Mother’s Day photo opportunity with our granddaughter Zoe.

Gram's Rocker


Jenna was there, right? It’s hard to get us all in one place these days. Due to an extended trip to Germany, Jenna was not in the original photo taken last summer in my parent’s backyard — but with some not-quite-perfect photo manipulation, now she is! Unfortunately, Zoe decided to bury her face and take a nap. Anyway, I thought my parents would appreciate a complete group photo, any way they can get it.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to my mom, my mom-in-law, my daughter-in-law, all the other moms in my family, and to moms everywhere!

AND… thanks to Joel, I’m now queen of my own domain: fanflower.com. 🙂

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Oh, Dear!

I went to bed after 5am. Why am I up at 9:15? Steve and Ali arose “early” for a Saturday to pick up Ali’s car, fresh from repairs, and the dogs and Butterball (one of our two cats) thought I should be awake as well. Sleepy and still ravenous after going to bed hungry, I intended to forage as soon as I took care of my morning pet routine. I appeared in the kitchen to find Roomba scurrying around the floor, Ali compassionately feeding him bits of muffin scraps, and Steve accusing her of spoiling him with treats. She said she felt badly that we only fed him lint and hair.

After they left, Roomba scooted into the utility room and abruptly stopped in protest. I would too! The litter box smell in there this morning is quite offensive! I cleaned his brushes and sent him on his merry way, only to watch in horror as he seizured and let out a pitiful cry. What could he have eaten now? After a thorough inspection I found nothing wrong except his usual, aggravating side-brush issue (all the little sweeper brushes broke off, one by one, and replacements have been back-ordered for weeks). Still, that has only ever affected his ability to thoroughly clean the baseboards.

Stumped, I let Roomba rest where he was and waited for Steve to make a diagnosis when he returned. They walked in, pleased with how the car turned out, and I pointed to poor Roomba, explaining his silence. When Steve pushed his start button, Roomba feigned complete wellness for a good three minutes — then seizures recurred, and his “speech” became slow and slurred.

A stroke! This will never do! We think he may have an electrical problem. The poor dear didn’t even celebrate when we put him back on his charger. This is a sad day, indeed.

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Night Owls

I’m up late working on a digital scrapbook project that’s bringing out my OCP(D?), as I keep finding things to fix that probably no one else would notice, but they must be fixed! At about 3:15am, Chief decided it was time for one more trip outside before we called it a night. Our owl was back, barking “hello,” and Chief woofed back a couple of times, alerting the neighborhood before I could get him back inside the house.

Now that I’m finally satisfied with my project, I’m too hungry to go to sleep. After careful rationing of my soft bread this week, I find it’s gone and I’m at a total loss.

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