Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Chris Rehor
1963 - 2006

Speaking of people who make a difference [see post 6/26 Monday--below], Chris has not stopped changing lives just because he's gone from our sight.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Another Monday - but you CAN make it through the week!

Some Monday's are tougher than others, you have to admit. But for some people everyday is more difficult than even the worst of my Mondays. The Energizer Hall of Fame is paying tribute to people who JUST KEEP GOING despite all the odds that are against them. You can read about such people at the Energizer website and vote for person who inspires you the must. I don't mind telling you that I voted for John O'Leary who lives in Webster Groves, Missouri.

Maybe you know someone like John who wasn't supposed to survive, but did it anyway, and makes a huge difference in the lives of those he meets. Maybe you know someone who won't make it through this week due to cancer, a tragic accident, or aging related illness. In that case, you are the one who survives to tell their story, to make a difference for them. Why not tell someone this week that because of who they are your life is better and they made a difference.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Debordante Baratin --ce ne'est pas correct
maintenant: Baratin Debordant
Une personne francais me dit que "debordante baratin" ce n'est pas correct. Les adjectifs en francais suivent les substantifs. Et baratin est masulin, pas feminin. Voila! J'ai changé le nom de ce blog à français correct.
Je regrette l'erreur. Merci, E.V., pour votre aide.

Salton Recovers --Pink Sisters' Prayer at Work

The other day I posted an account of the unhappiest day of this week: my espresso machine fell out of the cabinet and hit me in the face, landed on the floor and no longer frothed milk. In the comments to that post, my cousin offered her sympathy at the loss of the Salton and quipped that she would have my aunt ask the Pink Sisters to pray. Today, the Salton frothed the milk. Just like that! Must have been the Sisters in Pink.

It is possible, of course, that it was the threat my husband made to take the machine apart and check the gasket. But I prefer to think some heavenly agent is at work on my kitchen appliances. Lord knows, they need it. My toaster is a 1948 original Sunbeam, rescued from the bowels of my parents' basement. The Oaster blender is of the same era, saved from a rusty grave and resurrected to a modern counter. It sounds a bit like a 747 taking off in the kitchen, but it blends up ice and Tequila really well. And last but not least is the 1930's Sunbeam mix-master, with two of the three original, classic white bowls. I don't mix much of anything, actually, but if I wanted to blend a cake mix or whip up icing, it would do the job.

I don't particularly like appliances. My husband wants a new toaster; a toaster oven to be precise. He's been asking for one fifteen years. Why? The old Sunbeam works almost every time. Why not? Because my mother has every appliance ever invented by George Forman, and I stand to inherit enough gadgets to fill the Smithsonian. I think George should give it a rest.
Maybe the Pink Sisters were not praying for my Salton yesterday. But it's gotten a second wind nonetheless. June 24 could be the happiest day of the year for me. I don't have to spend it on eBay bidding for espresso machines. Time to go, my well frothed espresso is getting cold.

What were you doing on June 23?

Quick, last night how did you feel? Happy? Try to remember because it could have been the happiest day of the year. I am no longer amazed at what passes for serious scholarly work these days, so I will just accept the fact that Cliff Arnall, at a British Univ. has devised an equation to identify the happiest day of the year. And according to his rather "simple" reasoning, it is June 23. The unhappiest day of the year was January 23.

The equation [O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He] factors in outdoor activities, nature, social interaction, and pints of beer. Nah, I made that last one up. But I've been to the U.K. and there are some very happy people in the pubs. Arnall should have surveyed a few pubs on his way home from university to double check the happiness quotient of the chaps stumbling out the door of the Kings Arms or the Her Lady's Petticoat.

{article from Yahoo News, care of D. Cuddihee}

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Off to a Bad Start

I have an addiction. As addictions go, I guess it ain't such a bad one. I cannot begin any day unless I have a Kaldi's Espresso Malta in hand first thing in the morning. My espresso machine was a bargain several years ago. Only $7.95 on eBay, and that might include the shipping. We're talking cheap! It's a Salton, probably with an original price of $29.99 from Target. I had a Salton that was a reject from my parents' house. It began to fail, entered hospice, and expired.

The frothing of the milk is nearly ideal, but in order for the pressure to be “just so” one has to use finely ground espresso.The little Salton is a marvel, as long as the espresso is ground to a fine, fine, granular size as in Turkish.

To make a short story longer by a mile, I’ll admit that I’d run out of Kaldi’s espresso and had traded the Salton on the kitchen counter for the Brun coffee maker in the cabinet—the high cabinet above the oven. Yesterday (as in any day this week before today), I bought a pound of my beloved grind out at the flatland Kaldi’s. Perhaps they call it Chesterfield Flat or Chesterfield Mall; out there by Annie Gunn’s where the land used to flood, but now they hope it doesn’t. This morning I reached up to grab the Salton from the high cabinet with one hand, when two hands clearly would have been better, but the other hand was holding the Brun, and I lost my grip. I saw the very heavy cap that screws down on the water tank sliding forward. Wham. This small cap must weigh five pounds. It fell and hit me right in the mouth, nearly breaking a tooth. Fortunately, the very heavy cap only gave me a fat lip and marred the new kitchen floor. And the Salton, too, fell slowly to the floor.

Alas, when I filled it up with water and espresso, finely ground, NO steam was emitted from the frothing spout. C’est une catastrophe!! Je peux vivre avec une grosse lèvre mais pas sans expresso.

What to do, what to do? I searched eBay. No Salton to be had. Ruh roh!! This is a very bad day.


This just in.....

On the other hand, just checking around the internet, I found that the River Front Times has listed my blog as Blog O’ the Day.

Guess I'll offer this update on the little fella who went to the zoo after his big day at the hospital. He's scheduled for surgery on July 10 and will have three weeks of quiet activity. This child has never had a day of quiet activity since he was maybe three days old.

June 21,2006

Things to know

When a two year old is eating greasy pork ribs covered in barbeque sauce, his hands and mouth and nearby surface areas are a mess. You will want to wipe off his hands, at least, before letting him leave the table, even if you are picnicing outside.

Do not approach the child with wet cloth in hand saying, “Here, let me wi….” because before it’s out of your mouth he will be off and running. The table, chair, floor, walls, doors between you and far away from you will be covered with rib grease and sauce.

Honestly, the only thing you could do that would be worse would be to make a sinister face and in a creepy voice say, “I’m going to get you.” It would elicit the same reaction. Simply, approach the child, preferably from behind, with the cloth hidden until just at the last moment you swiftly, in one motion, grab one of his hands and scrub. Hold on tight, grab the other hand, and then go for the mouth until the messy child is clean once again.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

After two grueling days at Children's Hospital, fighting the nurses, doctors, and aids, one grandmother and a mom, this little boy enjoyed a couple of hours at the St. Louis Zoo.

"So, Jon, what was your favorite part of the zoo?"

"Mmmmmm, I like elephants."

"They are really big. Do they scare you?"

"Not these elephants. They were hot and wanted to squirt water all over themselves. And two of them are going to have baby elephants soon."

"What other animals impressed you at the zoo?"

"I thought the penquins were pretty cool. They stink though. I had to hold my breath inside the cave. And the fish are fun to watch, too. FISH!!"

"You were very brave at the hospital. What did they have you do?"

"I had to hold really still while this big machine was lowered over my chest. I did not hold still and they made me do it again later."

"That was an xray machine. Did they take blood, too?"

"They waited til the end of the first day. I screamed a lot. They could not find blood vessels in my arms. Before that they did a sweat test and wrapped plastic around my arm."

"You knew you were allergic to peanuts before you went to the hospital. Did they confirm this allergy?"

"Yes, I can't have peanuts like the elephants can, but I hope I can play with the elephants anyway. And I am allergic to peas, which are disgusting anyway--so who cares-- and I can't eat wheat."

"I am sure you will find many other things to eat. What else did the doctors learn?"

"I have an unusually formed aortic path that they call an arch. It is serious, but they are going to help me and I won't get resptr--restripo--repsti-- colds and stuff so much. That will be a good thing."

"I'm glad to hear that. What test did you have to find this out?"

"I had to go back the next day and have, I think it is called, an upper GI. I couldn't eat anything for breakfast and I was hungry. All they had was barium to drink in lemon-lime. Talk about disgusting. I refused to drink it. But they have ways of making little, defenseless, boys, like me, drink barium, so in the end they shot it into my mouth through a tiny tube. I had to be still while the big machine watched me swallow and my insides showed up on a tv screen."

"You really were brave. I hear that you liked the train in the entrance of the hospital."

"They have two trains that go up and down part of the hallway on tracks way up by the ceiling. They whistle and everything. It was my favorite thing at the hospital. And there is a train at the zoo that I like, too.

"I am happy that you got to visit the zoo animals after your brave days at the hospital."

"Me, too!! I love the zoo."

jon --22 months old

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