Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wearing my ❤ on my bumper

I know that many of my friends refuse to use bumper stickers because they consider them to be tacky.
An indicator of great lack of taste.
Myself, I consider them to be a sign of my passionate nature, and have justified my use of bumper stickers with the thought that I only have two and they're tasteful and funny. 
But then I found the Kiwi that had been lost for a couple years (since my last trip) between the pages of a book. The Marines sticker is an original and is my personal favourite.

And then Soldier's Angels sent me a magnet as a thank you for all the blankets.

And then Jeff talked me into some magnets at the militia man's booth at the fair this summer.

This one is allowed, it was one of the originals.
It is who I am.

I couldn't resist this one when we were in Oz.
It was a fundraiser and is on the back window, so technically exempt from tacky bumper sticker laws.

Don't even know where I got this one.
On the other side of the back window.

And I do believe this one on the front driver's side window saved me from a ticket last time I got pulled over.
So it's staying!

Oh dear.
I think I may be verging on white trash bumper sticker heaven.

Wait a minute.
I haven't put this one on yet.

I'd better go do that right now.
Rob needs me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pardon my participle...ummmm, preposition

I have been inordinately proud, over the years, of the fact that I knew how to not dangle a participle.
I admit, I felt slightly superior to the masses who don't give a hoot, and I sometimes went to great lengths, in my writing and speaking, to hang it up high.
To whom, I would say, did she write?
And I would feel blessedly literate and well-spoken.

And then.
I am upended by one of my facebook friends.
Who was talking about dangling a preposition.
And then it hit me!
All these years, it's prepositions that I have been hanging high!
Not participles.


So I Googled it and found this witty and informative blog that explains all kinds of grammar snafus. The blog's writer is D L Seltzer, who works for the University of Pittsburgh. Whether it's a girl or a boy I do not know. I would love to just copy and paste the article because it's funny and helpful, but that would be tacky. So, here's the nutshell version, but I recommend you read the whole thing for yourself.

A (present) participle is a verb ending in "ing" that can be used as an adjective and sometimes a noun. It modifies a noun. When the participle is close to the noun, no problem. But when the participle is somewhat removed from its noun, hilarity ensues. The classic example is: Flitting gaily from flower to flower, the soldier watched the bee. As you can see, the soldier is certainly not flitting gaily. Although Obama would be okay with that, I suppose. The correct sentence would read: The soldier watched the bee flitting gaily from flower to flower.

As you can see, it's difficult to get in trouble with participles. Prepositions are another matter, and D L Seltzer has an interesting (and rather liberating) take on the topic. 

First of all, what is a preposition? 
A preposition usually indicates the temporal, spatial, or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence. The book is on the table. Some common prepositions are over, among, between, but, until, at, and of.  You will find a dangling preposition at the end of a sentence or clause. That is behaviour I simply cannot deal with. That one is easy to fix. That is behaviour with which I simply cannot deal.
And this is a big however.
Our friend, DLS, says that, according to the best sources, if the amended sentence is more clumsy than the original, go with the original.


How dare she/he?
Bubbles are bursting left and right.
I tell you, I will never waste another minute of my life struggling with a dangling preposition.
If it will not go gently into that good night, it will stay where it is. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

What was I thinking?

Not much, apparently.
Here is our latest baby doll, born almost one week ago.
In North Carolina.
It's killing me, people, killing me.
Elsie Anastasia, 8lbs 8oz.
Who was disobliging enough as to quit breathing a couple of times, so was kept in hospital until today.
Now living the good life with Mom and Dad.

Three weeks until I hop on that plane to North Carolina.

Friday morning madness

This post is not about grandchildren.
Well, indirectly, because without them I would have no excuse for this morning's activities.

I spent almost three decades without feeling the urge to attend garage sales. The last couple of years I have discovered that good neighbourhoods have terrific garage sales. I guess our town just needed a few good neighbourhoods. One of them has an annual garage sale. Every year! My friend and partner-in-crime, Barb, and I have become regular attendees. Every year, without fail, we clean up on bargains. 
A couple of weeks ago on a Friday, while out for our morning walk, we scored unexpectedly. We got two boys' bikes for $2 each. She got the small one with training wheels and I got the bigger one for Daniel. Well, that set the bar pretty high for our expectations this morning. We started walking early, up the hill behind the golf course, and then we toodled down to The Oaks. 

Today, Barb ruled. She bought a Pak'n'Play so that she doesn't have to borrow mine any more. She got four nice kitchen chairs, a jogging stroller, and some other goodies for the grandkids. And, I might add, she paid less than asking price for everything.

My haul pales in comparison, but I didn't spend as much either!
First, this lovely little footstool, which is going to be handy for many purposes, I think.
Cha-ching! $3.

Bethany asked me to keep an eye out for a bike for Natalie.
Cha-ching. $10.
Not such a bargain, but I talked them down from $12.
I have been looking for another scooter for my house, because the kids fight over the two we have.
Cha-ching. $2.
Or was it three?

A little bird feeder thingie, which we don't really need but it was only $1.

Puzzles, like new, for 50-75c each.
Can't have too many puzzles.

I think these DVD's are new, for $2 each.
For Annie's kids.
Books, for Annie's lot, about 50c each.
I've been looking at my favourite shoe website ever since I got home and just ordered Jeff and me a pair of cowboy boots each.
For a total of $360.
Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching!
Go figure.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Are you sick of my grandkids yet?

Yesterday was a scorcher, but we decided to try to play outside anyway. The north side of the house was the only place that was bearable. I missed the perfect "kids at play" shot by milliseconds....

...because Josh decided to throw a pout.
 He didn't want his photo taken.

Haha, I won!

Daniel found Charlie's skateboard and rode it up and down the path.
And sat on it, looking cool.

We ventured down to the bottom of the driveway to water my roadside flowerbeds. As soon as we were done we dashed back into the house.

I spent most of the day feeding the little blighters.
My grandchildren are not (how can I put this nicely?) tidy eaters.
And they are always hungry.
When Bethany got here in the afternoon, she said Your kitchen floor looks just like mine.
Er, yes. There's a reason for that!
This lovely splotch under the bar stools...

...is Dan-o-nino yogurt.
Peach flavour, if you must know.
Natalie said Nana, look how much is on my spoon!
The darling girl has not yet perfected the art of eating over the plate.

Daniel slept in Charlie's room. Before he went to sleep, he had to have a fan blowing on him, country music on the clock/radio, and a night light. In the morning, all four kids were sitting on the bed, playing Simpsons' Uno and singing along to country music. The room was a mess, with clothes and backpacks and blankets all over the floor. I chuckled to myself as I went about my business.
Later, Daniel came out and told me that he had tidied the room for Charlie.
My heart melted.
These kids love their Charlie.

Later, as part of the never-ending culinary fiesta, they all wanted popsicles.
The only kind in the freezer were not premium models, but all except Josh decided they would suffice.
Josh decided to pout.
Fine, I said, I don't care if you don't want a popsicle.
He relented quickly, but it was too late.
You'll have to do something to help me if you want one now, was my edict.
So he cleaned his teeth.
Nope, not good enough.
He picked up the Legos.
And got his popsicle.
Daniel loves his Nana's bread, spread with butter and peanut butter.
And cut carefully into four pieces.
And then they went home.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Morning magic

Four little munchkins are keeping me very busy this morning.
Bethany and Chris are off celebrating their tenth anniversary.
We won't even talk about bedtime last night.
It was a zoo.
I was hoping to fall back in bed after Jeff left for work, but, one by one, they all awoke.
I remembered that the drip hose has been slowly hydrating the grape vines for the last two days.
So much for my water bill.
So I went outside to turn off the tap and found some pretty sights in the morning glow.

That's all I got folks!
The two big ones are watching Mirrormask, a particularly hallucinogenic movie.
The two little ones are playing legos.
I think I shall attempt a little proneness, before the children ramp up into full gear.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Goodnight sun

Saturday, late:
Last time I posted sunset pictures, my lovely old neighbour watched me climb the mound from her front yard. 
She probably thought I was crackers! 
Tonight, I got a phone call shortly before sunset.
You'd better come out, I think it's going to be a good one.
So out I went, trusty Samsung in hand.
Hi Denise!
Up the mound again.
Tiptoeing between the gopher mounds on top, all the way to the edge for the best view.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sightings at the Pow-wow

I often get a kick out of the things people search for that direct them to this blog.
Today's weird one was Singapore looking for grown-up people that take out the trolley and can see the nanah.
I can think of nothing to say about that.
Do you think they were really looking for me?

This morning, Jeff and I decided to not be slugs and take ourselves over to Grand Ronde (pronounced, we found out today, round) to the big Annual Pow-wow. We were not disappointed. Here are some of the sights from our day.
...is The Most Awesome Drum I Have Ever Played. And I have played a lot of drums. The vibration runs all the ways from the top of your head right down to your tippy-toes. Not only that, it is positively beautiful. I want this drum. It was, I think, a mere $1,900. 
The lady on the left, Linda Silvers, is the artist, and her talent is multi-faceted. 
Many of the dancers were happy to be photographed...

...but these two young ladies asked, a little snottily, I thought, what I was going to do with the photos.
Why, then, do they parade around if they don't want to be photographed?
This sweet chubby papoose sat next to us and made eyes at us while drinking from his bottle.
The Grand Entry went on for a long time and was very noisy.

The costumes were spectacular...

...the drumbeats hypnotic, and the dancing contagious.
I almost got up and joined in.
But I'm feeling a little creaky from weeding yesterday.

Here is my very first YouTube video, so that you can hear the jingles for yourself. You might want to watch it on full screen so that you can see the cute kids.
And the wild man in yellow.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let me be brief....

Monday, the day after Mum left, I was kind of hoping for a quiet day.
Instead, we had the underwear wars.
Children chasing each other, screaming through the hallways and slamming doors...

...and running away from the camera-bearing-Nana.

Thomy was too modest to remove his t-shirt and Kenzie was above it all.

Don't ask me Why?
It just was.