Friday, November 30, 2007

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

I'm writing papers this weekend. I have three that are due next week. 1. For my Post Colonial Fiction class I have to write about Cultural Hybridity. 2. For my United States Literature class I have to write about the rhetorical strategy of Herman Melville. and 3. For my Western Literature class (the class where we watch films and never read) I have to write about American Values and/or Identity in the movie "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance".

Ouch! Gracie just bit my knee!!!

So anyway... I need to watch this movie and figure out what deep message about American values the director, John Ford, is supposed to be saying. For his movie "Stagecoach" our professor said that the stagecoach was America and the Indians who attacked were representing the communist countries; so the movie was all about America struggling to become a superpower after suffering from the great depression, and it was about WWII, and it was about McArthism.

Hmmm.... I totally missed all that! I saw a stagecoach, John Wayne and some comic book kind of Indian attack. Now when I watch the Liberty Valance movie I'm going to have to pull from the clear blue sky some sort of far fetched ideas about what the movie means and write a paper on it. Any ideas?

I'll work on Cultural Hybridity and Melville's sarcasm later. Tonight is John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart night. Of course, I have to wait until "Finding Nemo" is over - we have to watch Fishies!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

We're Back!

We're back. We drove almost 4,000 miles through all sorts of weather. We had a busy week, saw all the relatives but we still missed Thanksgiving. We had lots of quality time together as a family doing silly things like.... talking to each other, singing to the radio, counting how many times we've each been through Las Vegas, silly things like that.

During the trip we encountered all sorts of weather. We went from 91 degrees to 1 degree. I had to buy the teens some coats! We crossed the desert and went over the snow covered mountains. The trip took us through six states.

We only had one "incident" on the trip. My baby burned her hand on Great Grandma's furnace, which is a propane stove in her living room. The burn is a second degree and didn't warrant a trip to the ER but we were all just sick over it. She has blisters but is using her hand just fine. Looks like its healing nicely.

We went on this spontaneous trip halfway across America because my father-in-law passed away last Tuesday. My husband and 16 yr old daughter left on Monday in hopes of seeing him before he passed on, but they didn't quite get there in time. I left with the rest of the crew on Tuesday afternoon. The funeral services were very nice. During the family visitation, my husband held our little one while he stood at the casket and without prompting, she pointed and said "Grampa" for the very first time. It was a very special moment. I think that one moment will last a long long time in our hearts.

We did have a nice time together on the trip (despite the funeral, weather and burn). Here are some pictures from the road. Just fun stuff here... we only take fun photos!
Oh, by the way... the Las Vegas count is as follows: Katie - 15 times, Lexie 17 times, Gracie 6 times, Sandy the dog 11 times.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Today is a travel day for me, the oldest princess, the youngest princess and the furry princess. Should be an interesting journey! I'm so glad that I have the new mini-van! What a relief to not worry so much about what is dying under the hood.

And the November weather rocks! We are so lucky in that respect too.

I am busy packing and wishing I had more time to take care of details. I'll update my blog from the road if I can. I hope I can find wireless internet - that'll be like a needle in a haystack but there's hope.

Have a good week, folks. I'm off to spend a LOT of quality time with my pincesses.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Oh, to be a Dog!

I just took a big load of hot laundry out of the dryer and plopped it on the couch for folding. On top of the dog! I didn't realize she was laying there on her back stretched out and comfy. The dog looks super happy!

Ah, to be a dog! So carefree! And buried in fresh clean warm laundry.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Feeling Finished was Fleeting

My to-do list exploded!

After breaking my baby's heart yesterday when I left the house despite her tears and they way she cried "mama" reaching for me as I walked out the door, I choked back a lump in my throat and went to school. The professors all did exactly what I expected and announced the term paper assignments. I've got a full to-do list now!

In fact, two of my papers are due tomorrow, but they are short and sweet. I'd love to report that our group presentation went off without a hitch, but no such luck. The professor announced to the entire class that three members of our group got caught plagiarizing! Shock / EEK! Honestly, that really threw me for a loop! Amazingly, she told our group to redo the presentation as she is giving us a second shot at it. I really wish she would have let us just do the presentation and hand the cheaters the Fs they deserved while giving the remainder of us the grades we earned. Group projects just don't always work well. One of the gals who got caught raised her hand and says to the entire class, "This is the first time I've ever heard of this, can you explain what plagiarism is?" There was a collective eyeroll from the class. She's never heard of it, oh please. Academic honesty is a policy written on every syllabus in every class and addressed at the beginning of the semester without fail. So, here's this cheater in an upper level course saying she's never heard of plagiarism. I didn't buy it.

Besides my long list of reading and papers to write, along with catching up on the western movies, I need to run out and buy diapers! And I need to sit in the passenger seat praying for my life while my middle daughter practices for her driving test. (She will take her test on Friday!) And I need to make dentist appointments for the girls too. I also want to find a minute to call the insurance company and switch our primary care provider to a different doc.

So much to do and everything is high priority! So, what am I doing? I'm breastfeeding, blogging and watching Mowgli march with the elephants in The Jungle Book. I'll start working on my to-do list later. I'm having a mommy-moment.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

My Homework is DONE!

I think I'm all caught up on my homework! Well, mostly. Close enough to call it done. Wow! This never happens! Lucky for me, I've already read two of the books for my Fiction class. One I read 2 yrs ago and one I read this past summer. That class assigns a book a week and I'm two books ahead! Wooo Hoooo!!!

I am three movies behind in my Western Lit class. Isn't that weird? Western Literature class and all we do is watch movies.

This week the professors will all assign research papers, so the homework load will really pick up and I'll be busier than ever. And Monday (tomorrow) I have to give a presentation in my British Literature class, so that'll be behind me and done.

This feels great to have some idle time! All my reading is done!!!

Oh, and the schedule for next semester came out. I've picked out my classes but I will need to go to school 4 days a week instead of only 2. This presents a daycare problem, but we'll work it out.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Laundry Monster rears its ugly head

There are 5 of us and I sort the laundry mountain like this: towels, more towels, kitchen towels and bibs and wet towels. whites, darks, jeans and multi-colors. Then we have the pink and red loads. Plus, one more load of this and that. And do you put all the baby socks in a little mesh bag? I do. But for some reason, I still end up with only one sock per pair. How did I do that? Where do they go? And how do I wash sweaty gross volleyball kneepads without ruining them. Everyone has their special instructions for folding, restringing hoody sweatshirts, and all the begging and pleading to not shrink their 100% cotton stuff. Lordy. It's too complicated! I need a college degree in laundry!

Drying is another great adventure. Dry this on inside out, dry this one on low and this on high. Don't dry this! This should dry flat, this has to hang. Clean the lint trap every time!

I am very glad I don't have two kids on the swim team anymore. They used two beach towels a day (morning practice and afternoon practice) then took showers - that's two more towels each. Swim season was a very busy laundry season!

The rule is... check your pockets! They all say "I did, I did!" Then I do it again before I throw anything in. I always get a collection of coins, gum wrappers, and guitar picks. Maybe the concept of taking things out of your pockets is lost in the "check your pockets" instruction.

I let my husband help one time. He did a load of jeans. We had to buy everyone in the family a new pair of jeans, some of us needed two pair. And we had to buy a new washing machine. He is more help if he just steps back. Stay away from the laundry, Mister!

You should see my laundry room. Actually it's a laundry NO room. It's just a walk through space between the house and the garage. It's just barely big enough for the washer and dryer and a little space to walk through. Plus two doors that both swing into the laundry "room". It's a busy little space. No room to store anything, no room to sort or fold. But that's where I do all the laundry, me and the toddler who climbs into the dryer and the dog who is our shadow. We all squeeze in there - and then I lock the doors so nobody opens them and slams into me giving m great big door bruises (experience speaking). We're like circus clowns stuffed in the miniature space battling the family laundry monster.

So, where are the baby's other socks?