Friday, October 31, 2008

early Halloween at Disney World

Mickey Mouse's Not So Scary Halloween at DisneyWorld (my 4-year-old granddaughter says this so fast it all blends into one word) was a weather perfect, lovely evening.  Alice and the Queen of Hearts had fun visiting with the Mad Hatter.  It was so cute because the Disney character Alice said to my granddaughter, "Oh, it's me.  So nice to meet me." -- Among other fun things.

From the Incredibles, we had Dash and the misguided bad guy, Syndrome.  

I have to say that Syndrome was a real hit.  We got so many comments as we walked because people recognized the character, but the costume was due to the resourcefulness and creativity of my daughter-in-law.

My highly educated good sport of a son realizes that someone will find his picture and it will end up somewhere in his professional life.  But I imagine that he will take a shot and photo shop some electrical currency or something in his hands.  Might as well do it right.

Cruella joined in the fun.
We rode some rides, walked, ate dinner, watched fireworks, admired other characters we saw, collected lots of treats, and went back to the house about midnight, dragging.

It was lots of fun.  Happy Halloween to all!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What rare luck!

While in Florida, we had planned to go to Cape Canaveral.  Space and the associated technology was a big piece of Utah's 6th grade science curriculum and I had loved a trip there once before--years ago.  We were planning to go on Saturday, but a rainy, blustery day on Thursday made us switch plans so we could go to Sea World when the weather was supposed to be better.  How lucky was that?!  We took the bus tour out to the observation gantry where one can see the two main launch pads.  The space shuttle Endeavour, on the enormous Crawler, was stopped on its special road to the launch site.  I don't know why it had stopped, but we were thrilled.  We got a close up that few people ever do.  Even the guides were all abuzz.  NASA usually shuts down the observation gantry while the shuttle is on its way; it was the closest the guides had been too.
If you make the picture bigger, you can see people on the Crawler and a van parked in front.  It was soooo cool.  The second picture shows the helicopter that circled Cape Canaveral the entire time we were there.  One side was open and there was a person sitting in the doorway--keeping watch.

We also saw the rocket garden, the Saturn 5 rocket replica (so enormous), a cool presentation about our voyages to the moon, full-sized models of the shuttle and boosters, and a 3-D movie about the International Space Station (among other displays).  But, the real Endeavour, on its way to the launch pad for a trip to the ISS in mid-November really iced our cake.  Thank goodness for plan changes and bad weather. 

I e-mailed my friend who taught space science with me, and she has posted one of my pictures on her site.  She works now for the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center so she is still involved in space science education and I knew she would be jealous and excited for me.  She was.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I wasn't planning to, but....

I'm back from Florida.  I was extremely lucky and believe me, I'm looking forward to sharing what happened.  We also had fun dressing up at Disney World and I will share that too.  But first, I've got to get something off my chest.  I probably won't change anyone's mind--except maybe about me--but I think I'll feel better, so here goes.

I voted today.  Usually it is no big deal, but I think this time it really is.  I am very worried about my country.  When you think about it, America has only existed for about 230 years.  In that time we have become a world leader in every category.  Our overall standard of living is unsurpassed, while people in some countries a thousand years old still live in squalor.  The credit for this unparalleled success lies with our founding fathers and the inspiration of our Constitution, which guarantees individual freedoms and rights.  Those very principles are at risk.

I want a president who truly loves America, one who believes in the values of the Constitution and in the people he represents.  I want a president who trusts me to spend my own money.  I want a president who understands that the government is of the people, by the people, and for the people--not the other way around.  I want someone who puts his hand over his heart for the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the national anthem.  I don't care if he has excellent public speaking skills, his history means I trust his heart to love and protect our country and defend the rights in its Constitution.

I don't want a president who thinks the Constitution needs to be changed so the government can have more control.  I don't want someone to tell me that I have to give up even more of my hard-earned money so it can be given to others who didn't want to work as hard.  I don't want a president who spent years around people cursing and denigrating the country they live in (the only country that allows that kind of speech).  I don't want a president whose oratorical skills are used to camouflage his heart and desire to change America into a country where the government becomes more powerful and individuals less so.

We are in tough economic times, partly because of greed and partly because of politics, but we'll get through it.  I think those guilty of cooking the books to make huge bonuses should be prosecuted and businesses which did stupid things should fail.  That's the law of natural consequences.  Government never seems to make things easier, more efficient, or more free from fraud.  The government doesn't have its own money, it has ours.

I wish our choices were different.  I wish the national media had made an effort to be even-handed so people knew enough about both candidates to make educated decisions.  As it is, digging for facts was time consuming but enlightening.  It comes down to basics.  What do you want for the future of this country?  I don't want more or bigger government; I believe in the power of the people.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane, don't know...

Those were the lyrics that came to mind when I thought about this post.  Tomorrow morning I fly to Tampa, Florida, where my new GPS should guide me to meet my son and his family in Lakeland.  That's where they'll be living after June and there are business decisions to be made before then.  I'm the support staff.  I'll entertain the two kids while parents do what they need to do, but we're sneaking in fun too.  We're staying at a rental house with a pool (I'm told most Florida houses have pools), so two water-loving kids will be easy to watch--not that these two are ever difficult.  We are taking time to look at homes on the market, visit Sea World, go to the Disney World Halloween evening event, and visit the Kennedy Space Center.  I've been to Cape Canaveral once before and loved it, but that was when I was teaching and our science curriculum had lots of space study.  I still think it is a cool place.  Hubby joins us for the fun Wednesday and we both fly to Salt Lake Sunday.  Then I'll jump in the car Monday (maybe not quite "jump") and drive back home.

Talking to my other son and his family last night, my 9-year-old remembered that a year ago, to the day, we were ALL visiting the Animal Kingdom in Disney World.  Only Nathan would remember something that specific.  We're heading in their direction for Thanksgiving. 

I'm not taking my computer to Florida.  I don't think the house has Internet so I'll be quiet for a week.  I'll miss reading my favorite blogs, but I'll catch up when I get back.  I will make sure to show you how my Cruella DeVill costume turns out.  Bye bye for now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Purses, handbags, packs, oh my!

What a fun tag.  I'm joining lots of bloggers like Lin who got the idea from Michelle who got the idea from....   Anyway, here goes.

Now there are questions to be answered.
Describe the contents.  Wallet with cash, a couple of cards and ID; other wallet with more membership and credit cards; folder with my fishing license, insurance cards, rewards cards, even a safety deposit box key; bedraggled photo holder with medical information and frequent flyer cards; lip balms of various tones; pill box; assorted keys to places; gum; a lemon juice packet; receipts; a swiss army knife; sunglasses; a calendar/address book, and usually my cell phone, but I had it out this morning to charge the battery.

What's the most important thing in your handbag?   I need my wallet and ID, and it also contains my debit card which I use all the time (no checkbook to carry).  That's also why I have receipts.

What's the most embarrassing thing?  That my pillbox just contains Beano?

What's the smallest thing in your handbag?  I found a crumpled foil from half a stick of gum.

Is there anything illegal in your handbag?  No--unless I'm boarding a plane, then the swiss army knife is gone.  Though I don't know how someone could take over a plane with that itty bitty blade.

I am in the market for a new one.  I don't like to switch purses so I tend to use one until it falls to pieces.  I try to buy smaller, but it is tough to decide what is essential to carry, especially since I travel about--I have keys to three places (Mom's too), two vehicles, and I like to have what I want when I want it.  I pare down when going on airplane journeys, but I've reconciled to the fact that I'm never going to be the wallet and keys type.  I'm just trying to keep it under 10 pounds.

Feel free to join the fun and share the insides of your handbag/purse/tote.

I'm adding another questions that occurred to me.  Is there anything in your handbag that you don't want people to know about?  There is in mine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On the road again.

It's time to get back on the highway today.  I'm leaving my warm home and driving the 300 miles to hubby's city apartment.  I will have a few days there to give back my library books, get a hair trim and gray cover-up, get my nails done, and pick up my last refill of love/hate hormones (then later I'll have to check in with my "health provider"--notice no one says doctor anymore).  Yes, eventually I'll have to find a new hair dresser, nail tech, Optometrist, and GYN closer to home, but I haven't worried about it yet.  I'm keeping my Cardiologist (known him for 28 years), Dentist (known him for 20 years), and Dermatologist; I'll just drive up once or twice a year.  A new library is being built nearby so I have high hopes, but it will be years before it can come even close to the holdings available at the Salt Lake County Library system.  I will really miss that.

I had better get busy, I have to run a few errands, load the truck,  and make a couple of stops on my way, and I don't like driving after dark.  But, the beauty of having the freedom of retirement means that if time gets away, I can always go tomorrow instead.

Monday, October 13, 2008

To add or not to add, that is a question.

My own hormones dwindled away years ago. So, I tried to find a small, biologically similar supplement to stall the onset of what I saw as real old age.  The results are....mixed.  I found that I didn't like taking as much as the prescription called for, so I spread the dose over two, sometimes three, days.  I figured too little was safer than too much.  I wish I knew how I would feel without any at all, but I'm too chicken to find out.  Some of the side effects of being hormone-less are just darn uncomfortable. 

Now, however, what the heck is going on?  Suddenly I'm breaking out.  I didn't have acne when I was a teenager, why when I'm closing in on 60?  Lately I've been tearing up at the dumbest times: a person on a television show gets a wish or a book has a touching ending, whatever.  Do I need more hormones or less?  I'm good about vitamins, get a little exercise,  try to eat healthy foods, take good care of my skin, what's going on with me?  I'm just venting, but other than trying to drink more water I don't know what to do.  Any accumulated wisdom would be appreciated.  

Thursday, October 9, 2008

One little cloud

The wind has been blowing hard all afternoon, but on my way from my mother's house to mine, there was this one, lovely little cloud, all alone.  It was turning pink as the sun was setting and I didn't know which was more dangerous:  snapping a picture through my windshield while driving on the freeway, or pulling off the road to get out and trust that no one would hit me.  As you might be able to tell, I chose the snap through the windshield.  For a while, the cloud looked like the front of the star ship Enterprise (yes, I'm an old Trekkie).   I haven't participated in SkyWatch Friday for a while and I wanted to be part of it again.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Men have it easy!

It must be so easy to be a guy.  I'm not talking about supporting families or fighting wars.  I'm talking about something much closer--getting dressed.  I was thinking about this when watching the vice-presidential candidates debate.  It was so unfair that Sarah Palin had to wear heels.  Who, exactly, made these rules?  Where is it written that for a woman to look really good she has to walk on her toes?  If men had to wear panty hose, or 3-inch spike heels, the idea would have gone bust years ago.  No, it wouldn't have even made it past the design stage.

Even pants are unfair.  A man always knows how his pants will fasten.  We, on the other hand, could have a front zipper for the right hand, or a front zipper for the left hand, or a zipper on the side (usually the left), or a zipper in the back.  It could be topped by a button, a snap, hooks and eyes, or just a zipper to the top.

Men need slacks in shades of brown, gray, or black, and shoes in black and brown. Pretty much any color shirt can be worn with any slacks.  Getting dressed is a cinch. Women have so much more to think about.  Consider the new "shape wear" (like Spanx) for women...there are always more kinds of uncomfortable underwear to make us look better.  I saw study results once that said almost all women who look in a mirror see something they don't like and want to improve.  Most men look and think they look pretty good.  I don't see any future market for men's reshaping undergarments.  Good luck getting men to wear them.

And don't let me get started on hair; my hubby runs a comb through his.  Voila.  Being a male would be so much easier; but whatever would I do with all my spare time in the mornings?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oh how times have changed.

This article is about a year old, but you'll get the general idea.  I printed it for my class's 40th high school reunion.

Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of this year's incoming freshmen.  Here's the list for 2007:
The people who started college this year were born in 1988.
They are too young to remember the Challenger space shuttle blowing up.
Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
The CD was introduced the year before they were born.
They have always had an answering machine/voice mail.
They have always had cable.
They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.
Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
They can't imagine what hard contacts are.
They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.
They've never heard, "Where's the beef?" "I'd walk a mile for a camel," or "de plane, boss, de plane."
They don't care who shot J.R. or even who J.R. is.
McDonald's never came in Styrofoam containers.
They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.

Do you feel old yet?