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Passing of a Tiger...

For those of you that have not been made aware in some form already, this entry is to pass along the word of the passing of Lucinda Stephenson. (This is her family)

Lucinda passed away on December 30th while she slept. She went gracefully into the night, which is how all of us had hoped. Funerary arrangements are currently in process. If you are local to the area and would like to attend please forward all contact into to uilliam@earthlink.net (Lucinda's husband)

The memorial is scheduled for Jan. 26, location TBD.

Butterfly Pie

Butterfly pie is not pie, nor does it contain butterflies. Sorry. It is the name on the box of pastries from the Asian supermarket where Liam and I ended up yesterday noon. I would call butterfly pie 'palmiers,' the clerk at my local panaderia would probably label them 'orejas;' either way, they're sugary puff pastry, rolled up from both sides then sliced and baked.

Still, Butterfly Pie sounds really, really cool.

ah, income tax day...almost

Liam and I actually overpaid the feds last year, so we're getting a bit back--which will go straight off to the state. For some strange reason, even though we overpaid, the feds still want us to make estimated tax payments this year. I dunno, I don't understand how the guvmint works and I've worked for them almost all my career.

Since last Wednesday when we had our skunk adventure, I found out that my scratchy throat and cough wasn't due to seasonal allergies + skunk, but was actually bronchitis coming on. I was pretty sure about this by Thursday night, managed to get in to my doctor's office Friday morning and got a 'scrip for big time antibiotics. They are working.

While I was waiting in the little room at the doctor's office, I heard the saga of The Woman Whose Knees Hurt Because Her Breasts Are Too Big. Okaaaaaaaaaaaaay. What, you may ask was the connection between the large bosom and sore knees? Basically, according to her, the large breasts cause her to walk all hunched over. This bad posture causes strain on her legs and therefore the knee pain. I do not have a large chest [pause while those who know me say "No kidding!" in chorus] but I don't see how you could walk so slumped/hunched you make your knees hurt. Yes, I tried. Yes, I have a crummy knee thanks to a long-ago skiing accident that hurts with minimum provocation. I still can't figure it out.

Oh well, back to work tomorrow; the weather is supposed to be nice for the next week or ten days so I'm planning to get my tomato plants out of their pots and into the garden terraces. I also need to figure out what is nibbling on my mint plant; this one is a little odd since generally nothing eats herbs.

it's been a long time...

My poor, neglected journal! I haven't posted anything in at least three months and tonight, I'm mostly on to bitch.
We got to school this morning--rain coming down in buckets--to find that the district server was down. OK, so no internet, no e-mail, no big deal, even if it's a pain in the butt. Ah, but there's more. we also were without clocks in our classrooms, bells for the end of recesses and lunch, heat and fans and about half our classroom and office phones. To add to the misery, a skunk got under one of the portable classrooms last night (probably trying to get out of the rain) got startled and SPRAYED. The smell inside the room was so bad that the class had to relocate to the library, which ajoins my room and has a connecting door. All of the students' books, which they brought with them, had been in the room when the skunk had his episode smelled skunky. Now the main office, nurse's office, staff workroom, staff lunchroom and staff bathrooms smell like skunk too. The cherry on top of this sundae of misery, confusion and bad smell was the discovery that we have an outbreak of head lice, so we had a parade of kids into the office all day, getting their heads checked or waiting for their parents to come and take them home to clean their heads.

Tomorrow has to be better; at least it's not supposed to rain.

Happy New Year, y'all!

We had a pretty quiet new year's eve--I had forgotten one of my dad's Christmas presents, so Liam and I drove in to the San Gabriel valley to deliver it and also get Liam a pastrami sandwich at Top's on Colorado, which he had been seriously jonesing. Since we would be in the neighborhood, I decided to add a visit to the Sierra Madre rose float [in progress just up the hill] then IKEA on the way home. Other stops, like San Gabriel Nursery or Hawaii Supermarket were optional.

When I'd called my mom a couple days earlier to check plans, she said they'd love to go to Top's with us--apparently everybody but me was jonesing Top's pastrami--and suggested that while I was at their place we call my cousin Amy in England.
The expedition, planned to avoid the worst of the racetrack traffic from Santa Anita, worked out beautifully. The plant was delivered and my dad said it looked weird but he liked it. I looked at the sad lemon tree in their patio and told them it needed iron. Everybody got their pastrami fix, I had a turkey burger. We visited the float which was coming along nicely even though a lot of the work was being rescheduled for later due to the heat and I got to talk to Amy; hopefully I'll see her this summer if the trip to England for the kumihimo conference comes off. All in all, a good visit with the family and really not a bad way to end a year.

We decided to put off going to San Gabriel Nursery--dangerous place full of wonderful plants and pots and garden tools, suck the credit card right out of your wallet and that's before you get to the bonsai section or Hawaii Supermarket, a wonderful, funky Asian market with freshly made tofu and fish tanks in the back and horrible parking and Chinese grandmothers operating their shopping carts at ramming speed--the traffic was getting ugly and just headed for IKEA then home to figure out something wonderful for dinner. Which we did and I'll post the details next time.

A year ago today...

I was sitting in a room in Riverside Community Hospital, wondering if they were going to let me go home by Christmas.
My third roommate had just left, nice lady with lots of family drama--her only drawback as far as I was concerned was the fact that she was (1) obese and (2) having hot flashes so she wanted the air conditioner on FULL BLAST ALL THE TIME. I was bundled up in every blanket I could get and still freezing. When she went to sleep, I would sneak out of bed and adjust the thermostat.
And now? I'm sitting in my house, waiting for a loaf of bread to finish rising so I can bake it, then off to do some last minute Christmas shopping.

time to post and something to talk about

This is kind of amazing--for the first time in weeks I didn't have to stay at work an extra hour and a half, just to do the stuff that the administrators think we can do ...sometime....
Anyway, I got home close to on time, ate dinner at a decent hour and now have free time and energy.
So, a little catching up.

Last Thursday, Liam and I went out to dinner at our local favorite pho place. I swear they have a psychic in the kitchen; I was originally going to order the pho with rare steak, and brisket, then decided to get pho tai--just the lean rare steak instead because I'd been taking antibiotics and my tummy was a little wonky. So I was a good, sensible girl and ordered pho tai. When my bowl of beautiful soup arrived, it was rare steak and lovely, rich brisket slices, which I gobbled up with delight and no ill effects afterward.

We went to L.A. Little Tokyo on Saturday and made a quick expedition down Los Angeles Street to the L.A. Dish Factory where I found a couple of medium-sized portion scoops (almost impossible to find, even at the restaurant supply places) a small silicone baking mat, a hardwood rolling pin and 2 sets of stainless steel mise en place bowls. I've been looking for the bowls for over a year and the best price I'd found on them was $1 each and to get that price you had to buy 20. Uh, thanks, but...The Dish Factory had them in sets of 12 for $3.99.
Doing the dance of happy frugality! Yes, I AM a cheap weenie.

For lunch, I talked Liam into going to a ramen restaurant I'd heard good things about. I'd tried to eat there on a previous downtown trip, but the line was long and the timeline was short, so we had to turn to Plan B, which was good, but I still wanted to try Orochan Ramen. When I suggested it, Liam was giving me that look, you know, the one you give crazy people, and muttering things about "You want me to go in a restaurant and pay $7.50 for Cup O Noodles?" but I persevered and when our ramen came and was totally delicious and NOTHING AT ALL like instant noodles in a foam cup, he was won over.

Sunday was football and making soup. Yesterday was back to work, filled with envy for the people who get Columbus Day off. Today featured a 2-hour IEP meeting, but it ended well and the mom isn't ready to go report us to various offices and commissions anymore. Tomorrow, who knows? I hope I can work some more on the current project on the kakudai, it's a lovely purple braid that is just begging to acquire some beads and turn into a necklace.

Happy Labor Day, the weather is crazy!

The news & weather guys were saying Saturday that there was a possibility of rain showers and possible thunderstorms in the deserts and mountains. Yesterday, they extended this forecast to other parts of southern California, but with a fairly low probability.
It's been raining, really more like showering, on and off for the past 24 hours.
Tomorrow and Wednesday are supposed to be ferociously hot and humid, then cooling down to next weekend.

My tomato jungle is loving all of the weird weather; I'm getting at least half a dozen tomatoes every day. The rest of the plants have been less productive. One cucumber plant only produced a single cucumber, the other has given me three so far. The zucchini has lots of flowers but no squashes to date and the oriental eggplants are each making about one fruit per week.

Corwin has needed to earn money so he has been doing the heavy digging in the adjacent garden sections so I can get winter stuff planted as soon as the weather stops being so crazy.

I have actually made some headway on my long weekend projects which is very satisfying--I had a period of total non-creativity for about a month, but I'm over it. Finally.

Shopping with the rich folks

Last weekend, I ended up having family things to do in the San Gabriel valley both Saturday and Sunday, so rather than drive the hour home and back in between, I stayed overnight with my sister. This left me with a few hours to go shopping on Sunday morning.

My sister's local mall caters to a more moneyed clientele than mine does and it really shows in the customer service. Sales staff are attentive, not like a bad waiter who is trying to convince you to leave a tip anyway, but very professional--the attitude in all the stores I went in seemed to be "We know how to help our customers and we do it better than anyone else here." I could get used to that, very easily.

I've never been fond of shopping; it's never been easy for me to find clothes that fit and the last couple of years, since I got skinny and then skinnier, it's even harder. It was very cool dealing with someone who not only said, "If you like this, you might also want to try XYZ," but also said, "OK, if this doesn't fit, then don't bother with XYZ, because they're cut the same way." Thanks folks for not wasting my time. I will come back and shop with you again.

Interesting, but not life-changing

You were born during a Waning Crescent moon

This phase occurs right before the new moon.

- what it says about you -

You appreciate closure. It bothers you when people promise to do something and then don't follow through. You want to able to right the wrongs of the past. Studying history motivates you to improve the world. You put a lot of hope in the future and look forward to seeing technology and progress improve our lives.

What phase was the moon at on your birthday? Find out at Spacefem.com

Actually, I'm mostly posting this because I wanted to get something up tonight and I'm really too tired to write about the last four crazy days. Also, the shower was just vacated, so I'm going to get back there QUICK and then go to bed.