Jabberwocky for 2005 December

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The Old Man is Snoring: I was going to work in the yard today, and hijack John and Susie to do so as well, but before dawn it started raining and pretty much came down all day. It's now December and I haven't finished planting my bulbs. I wish they had shipped them earlier in the fall, but they ship according to agricultural zones, the coldest zones first. I guess that is better for Dooby, who lives in Maine, but it's not good for me. Last year I called Customer Service the first of September and harrangued them into shipping my order early, but it was difficult to connect with a human who had the authority to do so, so I let it lie this year.

Congratulations, Doobie, on the beauty of your tulips.

I'm a little concerned about my weakness and lack of energy. The doctor says my bone marrow is beginning to break down. This does not mean I want anyone else to be concerned. NOW STOP IT!

[Comments] (3) Blah Blog: Really nothing to say. I spent most of the day in bed, except for going to Sacrament Meeting.

I did finish reading the trashy novel, Maeve Binchey "Circle of Friends." It was very poorly written with lots of dangling modifiers and the ending was dumb. Actually the whole thing is dumb. Maeve Binchey is consigned to Grammar Hell.

However, the trashy novel we have been waiting for has come out--the third volume of Nora Roberts' In the Garden trilogy. I have found only one mistake so far--sweet peas blooming in the heat of summer. C'mon, Nora, you are a gardener too; you know better!

If I were to write novels, I think I would publish straight to paperback like Roberts does. It sure makes a difference to Rachel's and my austere budget.

[Comments] (3) He's Been Too Long in Arvin: I was reading a press release today. It came from the BC public relations officer, who is a celebrity of sorts because he was an anchor on the news, and the college has been acting like he's a feather in their bonnet.

The press release contains a very serious participle error. The guy goes straight to Grammar Hell.

Come to think of it, Arvin is a sort of Grammar Hell.

[Comments] (1) The White Witch: It has been very cold here all day. Thick ice on the windshield when I went to go to work. When I put Gretel out, she was shaking. I felt so bad--much worse than Jadis would have felt. Everything was all frosted up and it stayed cold. I came home and spent the afternoon shivering under the covers.

We were predicted to have fog all this week and instead we have had frost.

[Comments] (1) I wish.....: I felt well enough to pull those weeds and plant those daffodils.

I wish it were bedtime.

I wish my duplicating for next semester was all set up.

[Comments] (2) Is Spring Spronging?: It's almost time for the crocus to come up. I thought. Then I looked, and some of the ones I planted last year are poking up already. And me with 200 more to plant still! I planted a bunch of them today, and some tulips the bulb company sent me for free. The tulips have been in the refrigerator.

Then I gave some daffodils and crocus bulbs to Pat. The boxful doesn't look much diminished.

Pat was here bringing plants from Grandma's funeral. There are two big spathephylliums (peace lily) and a big basket garden. Who wants some? The basket garden, of course, will have to be potted up separately eventually. It contains a kalanchoe, ivy, a dracena, a palm, and a diffenbachia.

After being wretchedly sick all last night (and not sleeping much), I felt pretty good this morning. I'm about to wish it were bedtime, however.

It is just sooooo cold in this house!

Last Day of Finals: We had a department breakfast at Carrow's this morning. (Ugh.) My omelet was nasty and it made me sick, making a complete sweep. EVERY time I have eaten at Carrow's, I have gotten sick. Everyone else seemed perfectly happy.

I worked some on my stuff for next semester, but most of the time I lay around in bed, sick. It's been a very slow process this semester! I did get my grades finished.

I am reading Paris 1919, a history of the peace talks. It's a very well written and highly informative book of history. If I keep being sick in bed, I just may get the book read in record time. (Rachel says it took her three months.)

[Comments] (3) Hymns: Most of my favorite hymns are the funky, rarely-sung pioneer ones like "This Earth Was Once a Garden Place" and "If You Could Hie to Kolob." Of the "modern" hymns, I like "As Sisters in Zion." I also really love the old Protestant hymns with the thundering organ accompaniment.

And the Christmas songs. Oh, how I love the Christmas hymns.

Least favorites are "More Holiness Give Me." All those mores make me feel like I'm being thunked on the head with a spoon. "Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning" (whiny and interminable) and "I Believe in Christ" (So many backwards prepositional phrases!) Bruce R. McConkie goes to Grammar Hell.

[Comments] (3) Actually, I'm in Grammar Hell Myself: I think I have the flu. Shaking, fever, cough, snifflies, vomiting. But I am struggling very hard to get the grammar handbooks into duplicating by tomorrow. I wanted to have them done last week. I am revising both classes to make them harder, and adding a lot of verb stuff. I have to either make up each lesson or illegally type it out of a grammar book.

I'm a mess. It's very cold here (outside) and no matter what I do, I can't get warm.

Oh, the Flu.: Darn it! And I got a flu shot too.

I got up early this morning--had to, the cleaning lady comes on Wednesdays--and I finished my stuff for work and took it in. Then came home, made matzoh ball soup, and collapsed. The matzoh ball soup was not as big a deal as you might think because I had chicken broth in the freezer.

Rachel is staying home tonight to take care of me.

[Comments] (1) Xochitl: Xochitl has apparently decided that she does live here although I'm sure she still goes to visit the neighbor every day. She has been sleeping on my bed with me, and unlike the other cats, she doesn't get up and cause trouble during the night. In the cold hours after midnight, she usually crawls under the covers and cuddles by my legs.

Heaven help you if you should wiggle a hand or a toe, however.

I'm very grateful for any additional warmth at all, but Xochitl is such a scrawny, ratty little thing that she only warms up an area the size of a quarter. ( hyperbole)

And just because she has settled down to live here doesn't mean she has decided to get along with the other cats.

[Comments] (2) Back From the Doctor: I'm home from my appointment, and I DO have a fever and the flu; I'm not just imagining it. In fact, it was beginning to turn into pneumonia, so I hope we caught it in time. I have a week's worth of antibiotics to take and I do hope it helps. Meanwhile I'm shivering and swilling Robitussin. If I don't feel better by Monday, I am supposed to call him.

[Comments] (1) Shall Mercy Rob Justice?: I received an email that contained a subject/verb agreement error. It was written by the last person you'd expect to make such an error, and she would absolutely die if I point it out to her. I hesitate to consign this person to Grammar Hell because although this is a very serious error, this is the first time it has happened. We need an intermediary.

Gasp!: Well, my temperature is down by a degree, but it's so hard to breathe. My stepmom, Annetta, made me promise to call the doctor tomorrow. I'm afraid he will put me in the hospital, where I very definitely don't want to be.

[Comments] (3) Ain't Misbehaving: I am fully aware that most PWAs are carried away by pneumonia, and I am being very, very good. Staying in bed mostly, drinking fluids.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will misbehave.

[Comments] (1) *Koff*: I am couging more again, and this time bringing up "stuff" sometimes. It's going to take weeks to cough it all up at this rate. I didn't feel so well today and spent most of the day in bed. I'm waiting for my TPN delivery and then I'm going back to bed.

Christmas: Not much fun when you are sick, but the kids seem to be having a wonderful visit. I did go to church today, and probably spread my germs everywhere. The family has gone to Pat's for Christmas dinner and Santa, but I stayed home in bed because I don't want to get the little children sick.

Gretel has learned to climb over the four-foot gate in front and get out of the yard. We'll have to keep her out of that part of the yard. Hard to do since she can open the gate that leads to it. As a hopeful step, I removed the screen I put on the gate to keep Sadie in. That way Gretel won't have anywhere to put her toenail claws and climb halfway up. Hope it helps.

And a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

2005 Christmas Letter: Christmas 2005

Dear Family and Friends,

Sleighbells ringing and carolers singing..... not really. I’m huddled under the covers shivering and shaking and swilling Robitussin. Being sick is such a colossal waste of time, but my kids are all here for the holiday and it’s really fun to have them with me.

The kids: Leonard is in the middle of moving to New York City. He is developing software and writing computer books. Susie’s husband, John, graduated from BYU in April with a Master’s in tax accounting. He got a job in Irvine, and they moved to Costa Mesa this summer. It’s nice to have them closer. Rachel lives with me. She is still doing historical research, and she is going to start a graduate program in history next week at CSUB.

I’m still chugging along–much sicker than I was last year because my bone marrow is breaking down, but I’m blessed to be able to still teach my two classes at the college. Then I come home and go back to bed. Late afternoon I have a couple of hours to grade papers, and to work in my garden if I can. My job at church is still bulletin typer and newsletter editor.

The big event of the year is a trip Leonard and I took. We’ve been wanting to do this for literally twenty years, ever since Canada established the Dinosaur Provincial Park, and this summer we really did. We flew to Bozeman, Montana and rented a car. There we visited The Museum of the Rockies and saw the most incredible display of dinosaur fossils. My favorite was the row of Triceratops skulls lined up in order of size, from baby to adult. The great thing about this trip is most of the dinosaur bones were real, not casts like you find in most museums.

From Bozeman we drove up to Dinosaur Provincial Park and saw the landscape where the fossils are found. We went on a couple of interpretive walks and a tour with the park ranger. Fossils are just lying around all over the ground! I wish we had gone there fifteen years earlier when I could have done some hiking.

Then we drove to Drumheiller (did I spell that right?) to see the Royal Tyrrell Museum, the #1 dinosaur museum in the world. It was just overwhelming. They had not only Canadian dinos but others, including trilobites from Utah from the same place we excavated ours. There were also plenty of tourist traps we hit, including the Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, where the Indians ran the buffalo off a cliff. Yup, it’s a cliff all right.

We drove down through Glacier National Park, which was lovely. The guidebook says a thousand species of wildflower live in the Park, and I’m sure they all were blooming at the time we were there. Exiting the Park, we turned and drove across Montana–a procedure not unlike driving across Texas. We spent two days in Yellowstone seeing the sights. On the second day, we went back into the Park over the Chief Joseph Highway (spectacular scenery), and we saw where the Nez Perce and their splotchy ponies overcame the United States Army and escaped. It was heartening to read on the historical marker that the public and the press were opposed to the government’s Indian policy. Then back to Bozeman and our flight home. I feel very blessed to have been able to make this trip and to have a wonderful son who is such a great travel companion.

I know that 2005 has been a very difficult year for many of the world’s people what with natural disasters, corruption in government from the highest offices to the local, and the spread of frightening diseases. I hope 2006 will be better, for you and yours and for the rest of the world. It seems to me that we are obligated to gather our courage and face the future with happiness and optimism, which is what I plan to do with what future I may have left.

I send my love, and wish you a very, very happy New Year!

Love, Frances

[Comments] (2) Secrets: I got a pair of dinosaur socks for Christmas. They magically glow in the dark. I put them on to wear to church, and then I pulled my boots over them. The dinosars secretly glowed inside my boots all through church. I knew something nobody else knew!

[Comments] (1) Where Are the Seagulls?: A few days ago, I had the outside door open during the night. I opened it so that Gretel could go out, and I was too sleepy to get up again to shut it. I lay in bed and heard crickets chirping. Crickets! What do they think they are doing singing in December?

But in the morning, the Mighty Hunter had brought in --something. Cricket, grasshopper, locust, cicada--nymph of one of the above. What do they think they are doing, hatching out nymphs in December? It was mortally wounded and to spare it further agony, I gave it a premature burial at sea.

The evening of that same day, I reached for a Mason jar and it had a cricket in it. I actually felt my heart stop. This one was not a real cricket--it was a fake one that had been serving as a refrigerator magnet until the magnet part fell off. It's been drifting around wherever, and it ended up in a jar.

Well. I almost ended up in a jar myself.

Jabberwocky for 2005 December

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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.