Jabberwocky for 2005 September

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[Comments] (7) Youtah: I am back from my trip to Utah for Shelley's wedding. It seems like I've been gone forever, since I did the drive in two days both ways. I didn't think I could make it alone in one day, and I was probably right.

Last Tuesday I taught my class, and then came home to a frantic morning. I packed (forgetting several things) and took Gretel to the kennel. Then I took some of the peaches and nectarines Garry brought me to take to Utah to the Langleys and to Ernestine, so that I could pretend to have done my visiting teaching. After that, I drove without incident to Mesquite.

I always stay at the Casablanca because it's beautiful and they seem to have a powerful a/c system because the casino isn't smoky. I did not put in any nickel. For dinner, I was planning on having the prime rib dinner, but when I got to the coffee shop, I was tempted by the steak and lobster. I figured I could have prime rib for breakfast, but it turns out it's only available after 3 p.m. I didn't even put any money in #26 in Keno, and while I was eating, #26 won.

The coffee shop is called The Purple Fez, and I can't remember any characters in Casablanca who wore a fez. And of course, the movie is in black and white, so how would we know it's purple?

I am a girl born and raised in the West, and I have never gotten a speeding ticket in Nevada, despite the fact that I've been galloping across its deserts all my life. My mother never got one either that I recall. I don't even know what a Nevada highway patrol looks like--is there such a thing? But once you cross that line into Utah, I-15 is absolutely crawling with cops. A new development is officers from all the little local towns are coming out to the freeway to catch people speeding.

What I'm saying is I got a ticket. I almost got two, but I argued with the officer, and I still think I am right and he is wrong, but he gave me a warning for not having my original registration card. Now, we all know that everyone, from the AAA to the DMV says don't carry your original in the car, but bring a copy. This is so it won't get stolen. UHP officer sez that's not good enough in Utah--he needed the original. I said how can a person possibly know the arcane rules of every podunk state they drive through. Bleah. I think he only ticketed me because of being from California. I wasn't going any faster than anyone else.

I got to Jonathan's, and they put me up in the girls' old room which is now full of scrapbooking stuff. I took the family out to dinner at Old Spaghetti factory.

The next day was the wedding. The nectarines were looking ripe, so that's what I had for breakfast. We made it to the Salt Lake temple in plenty of time. That's a good thing because I was worried about it. Shelley was the most beautiful bride. She is a sweet girl, too, which is unusual because so often beautiful women are conceited.

I don't like my new nephew. He is rude and abrupt and (I hear) mean to Shelley. His family is unfriendly too. They were real poopsquishers to spend a day with. We had lunch at the Macaroni Grill after the wedding. Uncle Justin came, and they didn't even speak to us. I couldn't engage them very much at the reception either.

The reception was incredible. About fifteen kinds of desserts, plus the wedding cake. There were three fountains of chocolate--dark, white, and butterscotch, with all the stuff to dip in them. I'd hate to be the person who has to clean out those chocolate fountains. Luckily there was fruit to dip, so I had some plain strawberries. I couldn't face any of the cakes or the fondue, even though the wedding cake was lemon poppyseed. (I tasted a crumb of it the next day and it was yum).

Sandi had made 300 little favor bags with a See's mint chocolate truffle in each, but hardly anyone took one. I think they were too full of dessert. Sandi was quite disappointed that her work was wasted, but we took the candy to the family reunion the next evening, and it went, WHOOSH!

There was no cleanup, as it was included in the price of the reception place, so after we saw the bride and groom off with sparklers, we went to a blessed night's rest.

The next morning, Anne and I drove up to visit Robert and Sandi in their new house in Morgan. It's exceptionally beautiful up there, but I'll bet it's buried in the snow in the winter. Sandi was exhausted, and I can see why, after that wedding and reception. Her mother, Marilyn, and her sister, Jeannette were still there and we sat around and talked. I went to high school with Jeannette, but I didn't know her well. I also went on a double date with her after college. It was her first date with the man who is her husband now, and my last date with the guy I was with.

Anne spent most of the time helping Robert install a doggie door into the wall of the house. I am very proud of him because he didn't know how, didn't have the right tools, and I honestly thought he wouldn't be able to do it and told him he should ask Jonathan, but he did it! It took all day but he did it, and I'm so thrilled for him!

In the evening we went to the Call family reunion. This is an annual reunion of my great-grandfather's family. All the old uncles are dead now, and there are only three aunts left. Aunt Ruth is in a wheelchair now, and seems to be not quite sure what is going on. Aunt Lula is getting forgetful. I spent a long time trying to convince her that I do TOO write to her, but I guess she forgets when she gets a letter. Marcelle is still feisty, and I was thrilled to hear her tell me that I have her mother's (my great-grandmother's) eyes.

Cousin Roger had made a slideshow of family pictures, with music. Excellent. He had put an In Memoriam section at the end, and as I was watching and looking at the faces of those who had gone before, the thought struck me that these are the people who will greet me when I reach the other side. I was a blubbering mess. I didn't know the great grandparents, of course, but I just loved all the great aunts and uncles. There were eleven of them, including my grandpa...and now only three left living. Too bad I can't keep closer track of the cousins.

My mother's picture should have been in that video, but her children are flakes. I guess I should email Roger some pictures.

We went back to Jonathan's to go to bed, but David Oman came over and we started talking about Melea's suicide. It's an awful thing for everyone concerned, and David will be processing it the rest of his life, I'm sure. I had to give up and go to bed, but Anne, Jonathan, and Sharon stayed up and listened. We had a nice family prayer before I went upstairs, offered by Uncle Dorse.

I was going to go to the family reunion breakfast and then leave on Saturday, but meanwhile Grandpa Walch died, so I hung around back in Provo for the funeral. All Anne's kids would be coming in, and I wanted the chance to see my nieces and nephews and little grandniece and grandnephews. Besides that, I liked Grandpa Joe. I had a chance to spoil Atticus and Samuel by giving them quarters to put in the trash vending machine.

The funeral was very, very nice. Absolutely uplifting. I think Berg Mortuary does a better job than any other funeral home I've seen. All they did for my parents and Roy, of course, was pick them up at the airport, but now on Grandpa Joe's funeral and Aunt Jeuney's, I see how smoothly things run when they do the whole thing. (I'm still mad at Hillcrest because of the mess they made of Roy's funeral, but that's a story for another time.)

All the Scoll family was there too, and how often does one see them all in one place nowadays? I'm going to have to send Gayla a note thanking her for letting me barge in on her funeral.

I skipped the cemetary. I knew the military honors would be done by the poor old veterans who did Aunt Jeuney's (and Grandpa Walch looks better lying in his coffin than those guys do.) It breaks my heart to see them, and I'll blog about military honors later. But I left, drove to St. George, spent the night, and then drove home. I stopped at the Stateline, still hoping for a prime rib dinner, but still that 3 p.m. rule there. I had a chef salad, the second worst I've ever had in my life (the first worst being at the Bun Boy in Baker.) Its only redeeming quality was it had a hardboiled egg, which I ate, along with a few bites of ham. The rest of it wasn't edible. The lettuce was turning browny-pink and watery and the cheese had dry spots. The olives were all dried out too. Anyhow, on to home.

One thing that happened on this trip was it actually did cost $50 to fill my gas tank. I discovered that if I fill up when the car is only at a half, I can avoid the sticker shock!

[Comments] (4) Stupid Me: Oh, I know. I shouldn't have. But I did, and now I have Consequences.

I was just running really quickly to Albertson's, and I didn't have my seat belt on. I also was going too fast and not really paying attention. I hit a speed bump and practically went into orbit. Because of no seat belt, I got bounced around pretty badly. Creamed my head against the roof of the car; I'm sure I have a concussion.

I think it's getting a little better, but wow it's been a painful lesson to learn. My neck and shoulders just ache--back is doing better. It's so painful, I'm nauseated.

I have some Tylenol with coedine left over from when I was making the birdhouse using a rusty old razor blade instead of the x-acto knife and I cut off a big hunk of my finger. (Do we see a pattern here?) It's seven years old and probably losing potency but I'm taking it anyhow. I also have some Darvocet from my hysterectomy. I didn't take any of them then, and I'm not taking any now. I don't know how badly I would have to be hurting to get me to take any drugs in the Dar- family.

This is quite inconvenient. I need to rip out the vegetable garden, and I can hardly move. This is a lesson in Always Wear Your Seatbelt. Always.

[Comments] (2) Aftermath: I'm never going anywhere again! I have a stack of papers to grade six inches thick. Bleah. I've done almost nothing else all day.

[Comments] (8) Where Are the Hardy Boys When I Need Them?: Somebody abandoned a murder weapon in my front yard. I made a mistake and picked it up, so now it has my fingerprints on it. Probably I should have left is lying there and called the police.

It's a heavy length of lead pipe, about eighteen inches long. Leonard accuses Colonel Mustard.

[Comments] (1) It's Greek to Me: Today Susie and I visited Grandma, and then we stopped by the food festival at the Greek Orthodox church. We spent quite a bit of money, but it goes to Katrina victims. We bought dolmadas, gyros, and baklava. I had had dolmadas before. When I was a little girl, Aunt Margaret made some and I loved them. I didn't like these as well. Susie wouldn't eat the one I bought for her, having been overexposed in Romania, so Gretel had it. The gyros were wonderful. I hope it all stays down. So far today I've lost every single thing I've eaten, including harmless chamomile tea.

[Comments] (1) Sick.: Sick. Sick. Sick. Actually, I felt it coming on all weekend. So today I had to call in sick to work, which is a pity because they dock your pay. I slept until 3:30 p.m. with cats to comfort me. I'm going to make myself go to work tomorrow.

[Comments] (3) You Tell Me Who is the Smart One!: Think about this. WHO lies around the house all day, and WHO goes struggling off to work to earn money to buy cat food? Then you will know who is at the top of the food chain and who rules the world.

[Comments] (1) Professor Whitney Should Save Her Breath:: So I sat with a student and went over her rough draft with her, word by word. It was almost solid run-on sentences among other problems. Then she turned in a final draft and she had fixed NONE of the things we marked. Final draft was exactly the same as the rough draft.

I don't know why I bother, sometimes.

The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring: I got more than my share of bulb catalogs in the mail this year. Whenever I get a catalog, I want every flower in it. Today, I realized that the discout offers for advance order were expiring--one of them today! So I spent the afternoon going through possibilites, making a big chart to compare prices, and ordering. I have spent way too much money, and I'll really be busy when my boxes arrive. For example, I ordered 200 more crocus bulbs to plant around the stepping stones. I loved what I did last fall so much that I want to do the whole thing.

Anyhow, the garden should look spectacular. I got some different flowers to try.

[Comments] (1) Hate: I think, along with Benjamin Franklin, that we need to watch the words we use. If not because "the word leads to the deed", then because we should be kind and gentle with those around us.

The textbook chapter we are going to do next week deals with language and how it affects others, and asks the question, if language and word meaning has changed, has it changed enough that it won't hurt someone's feelings?

I hear people--supposedly nice people-- using the word "hate" all the time. "I hate Hillary Clinton." "I hate Madonna." You can't hate Madonna. You don't even know Madonna. I think it's all right to say "I prefer other types of music", or "I am appalled by what I read about the behavior of the stars" (and who knows how much of that is even true?) But to unleash hatred is to fill your own soul with it.

I know people who say "I hate beets." That's a lot of vitriol to pour onto one poor helpless little vegetable.

[Comments] (3) Happy Birthday!: Today is my baby's birthday! Susie was always a feisty one. I've heard it's very unusual for a baby to cry while still inside, but Susie did. She screamed. I heard the crying and looked around--no baby in sight. She was born screaming.

The bad part is she aspirated amnionic fluid and had to be in the ICU.

Gretel and I went to the dog park this afternoon. There weren't as many dogs as later in the evening, but Gretel still had a wonderful time. When she gets tired, she develops a limp. I'm quite afraid that she is going to have a hip problem.

Ditch Digging: Horray! Juan is out there in the back yard digging a ditch! We may get this electrical problem solved soon! Gretel though the goings-on were interesting at first, but then she got bored.

I wish I felt better. Used to be, I had an occasional lousy, feverish day, but now it's more and more often.

[Comments] (1) Weather Jinx: Yesterday, Herb Benham wrote in his column extolling the glories of fall, now that fall is here. I do have to admit, fall here is wonderful. Then he mentioned that the heat will probably come back to slap him for writing that column.

Slap! We had thunder and lightning--babblety-BOOM!-- but precious little rain, and this was followed by a scorching hot wind that blew and blew and heated everything up. A pox on Herb Benham!

[Comments] (1) Hospital: Grandma is in the hospital. She collapsed at her doctor's appointment on Tuesday. They put a pacemaker in, and everyone is hoping it will help and that she will have more energy. Poor thing is all swollen and tubed.

Rachel and I went to see her today and took a pink African violet. She was talking like they would send her home tomorrow, but I really doubt it. She doesn't look good enough to go home.

She's in a double room with this miserable lady who blasts the TV all the time and has a whole passel of very noisy relatives. I don't blame her for wanting to go home.

[Comments] (1) Long Day:: Yesterday Rachel and I went to CLS to rent a Havahart trap, and we figured out how to bait and set it. The results were good; this morning the gray tabby which has been causing so much trouble around out house was in it.

I felt really terrible about it, but I took him to the pound. At the pound, a crew of vet tech students from the ROP were walking dogs, so I had to stand in line and listen to a lecture from a high school kid about how bad I was to bring the cat it. I should take it to the vet and then let it live at my house, wild. The high school girl was so convinced she was right and I was wrong. I remember when I used to be sure of myself like that.

The horrible part of this journey was I was in line with a lady who had brought in a tame kitty. He had come into her house, so she picked him up and brought him to the pound, after he had trustingly put his tummy up for her to rub him. I said I thought he must be someone's pet kitty and she said she didn't care. "He came in my house, so he is fair game." I sure hope his owners come looking for him before his three days are up.

I bought pea and lettuce seeds and three bags of bat guano stuff at White Forest Nursery. I picked all the remaining peppers and tomatoes, and made some fajitas, using London broil that was on sale at Young's. I cooked the fajaitas on the George Foreman grill, and it worked out just great.

After lunch, I ripped out the tomato plants, the Swiss chard, and the peppers. I left the beets because I didn't want to deal with them today, and I left the basil too. I'm going to try freezing basil, but right now I'm too tired.

We have the cat trap set out in front to try to catch Tuxedo Tom. I think TT isn't feeling well because he's been sleeping in the bushes the last three days. I certainly don't want him to die in my garden, however.

[Comments] (1) Midnight Knight to the Rescue: We caught Tuxedo Tom in our trap and retired, confident in the prospect of a trip to the pound this morning. But somebody let him out of the trap in the night. Gretel heard them, I guess, and went out there and barked, but I didn't put two and two together until Rachel went out this morning and the trap was empty.

I think whoever let him loose should have him spraying pee in their house and yard. We've missed our chance now. You can be sure Tuxedo Tom won't go in that trap twice! He didn't get so big and mean by being a dummy.

[Comments] (3) CSMP: Today at church was our Primary Program. Even the littlest ones had their talks memorized. It was amazing.

The Sunbeams this year are a class of all boys, and they were very, very, very naughty. Right in front, too. A presidency member leaned over and I guess reprimanded them, and one boy said, in a voice so loud and clear everyone in the back could hear, "He started it!" They were shoving each other and making faces. You'd think Sunbeams would be too little to be so disruptive, but you would think wrong.

Everyone enjoyed it tremendously.

They had a couple of new songs, which was nice. I am soooo glad I am not in charge of this program anymore!

[Comments] (5) The Empty Trap: We didn't catch anyone last night, or today. I don't know if it is because the cats have gotten wise, or because the trap was in the "wrong" place, or whatever. I was glad, I guess, because then I could go to bed after work, not to the pound.

I think Rachel has given me her disease, and my whiplash injury really hurts and doesn't seem to be getting better. Probably I need to go to a chiropractor. I'm just not good at making phone calls for appointments. I hate to talk on the phone! So if I call you, it's a big deal. Grumble.

Juan, bless his heart, weedwhacked in the front. I really need to get out there and pull out crabgrass. Well, two more days of work this week, and I can do it Friday. If I can move!

[Comments] (4) Snapped: Our trap caught a cat in the night. Unfortunately, it was Tonks! He was very vocal in his complaints. I let him out and told him I certainly hoped he had learned to stay out of this thing. Unfortunately, I doubt he has. He is such a space cadet, especially when it comes to food.

[Comments] (1) Mausoleum: I think something has crawled under the house and died. It smells bad, but not as bad today as yesterday. I hope this hot weather we are having will dry it out fast.

I'm wondering if it was Tuxedo Tom. The last couple of weeks he has done nothing but sleep in the bushes, and he wasn't looking so good. Now I haven't seen him for a couple of days.

Some Kind of Record: Today, every student came to class. It was a miracle! Many of them were tardy, but they came! Hey there hey there. This was a good thing because today we did sentence combining with the relative pronouns and the $12 million comma rule that goes with them.

Now I have all the papers graded, so I can be FREE all weekend!

[Comments] (1) Reading: I finished Gould's I Have Landed. I love to read Gould, and it makes me sad to know there will be no more of his brilliant books. I took a little detour and read Snow White and the Seven Samuri by Tom Holt. It's funny. (funny ha ha and a little bit funny peculiar.) It's all the fairy stories, Star Trek, LOTR, Narnia, Harry Potter, and who knows what else mixed together.

Now I'm working on an advance copy of Frances Mayes, A Year In The World. It's a rather nice travelogue, but somehow I think I'd rather go to the places myself than read about them in someone else's travelogue. Because I'm reading an uncorrected proof, I'm also bugged by the typos I find. I wonder if I could get a job doing that--reading books and finding the errors. So far I've only found one error of fact, but what do I know?

Next I need to be starting on the Borges biography. I don't think the travelogue will take me very many days.

[Comments] (2) Bye Bye Kitty: Well, whoever is dead under the house is not Tuxedo Tom--I saw him this morning curled up in his bush in the front yard. I think the odds of trapping him are not very good, but I will try tonight.

Skunk Kitty was in the trap this morning. Heavens, is she ever mean! I am getting ready to take her to the pound so that she can join her kittens at the Rainbow Bridge.

Or maybe mean stray kitties don't get to go to the Rainbow Bridge? I do wonder about the after life, how that will work out with all the pets. I know if I reunite with every pet I ever had on this earth, it will be a heckuva crowd in that ole heavenly mansion. And what about pets who had more than one owner? I had a horsie, but I had to sell her when we moved to California. So does she come to me in the next life, or to the person I sold her to? Or do we have joint custody?

Gosh, I hope it's not Luna under the house. Rachel and I haven't seen her in about three weeks. She is the one that if we can catch her, we will take her to the vet to be vaccinated and fixed, and then she can be an outside kitty. But she's getting older and older without us being able to catch her, and probably she has some babies somewhere. What a cycle.

Later Today: While I was gone to the pound --and I wasn't gone very long-- somebody stole my spading fork and the three bags of bat guano I had set out to use in the garden today. Grrrrrr. I don't know what I will do. The nursery is so far, and I am trying to conserve gas. Maybe I'll see what they carry at Orchard Supply when we are on our way home from the theater.

Rachel and I are going to a matinee of Corpse Bride.

At the pound, there was a dog in the closest corner cage that really wrung my heart out. It was what I think they call at Blue Tick Hound, and so beautiful! But it was so thin and scared! I was tempted to bring it home, but I don't know anything about hounds. Also I don't need more expense, etc. I feel very bad about it. Rachel pointed out that you can't save every animal in the world. Oh, but it's sad!

I have cabbages, broccoli, and parsley to plant, as well as my three kinds of peas. I also have seeds for spinach, chard, lettuce, carrot, radish, and various esoteric salad greens. Something tells me I'm not going to get it all done today, but the pea seeds have been soaking,l so I have to get those in. I pulled out the last of the beets and all the basil. I'm trying two ways of preserving basil--keeping it in a vase with water, and freezing it.

Jabberwocky for 2005 September

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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.