Monday, February 25, 2013

This was the Weekend . . .

. . .  when I became totally convinced that the law is an ass. As is often the case, I checked the quotation about asininity, and Google sent me straight here to an article about coverture. Coverture! Honestly, try it. Thank you, Charles Dickens, nothing could have been more apt or gut-wrenching considering the law-suit which had been sucking the time and emotion from our family for the last eight months. The verdict was handed down on Friday and was to us and to countless others unbelievable. I can't give any details because it concerns so many other people. It isn't over yet. Over the course of the litigation I have learned something about the law, about stays and appeals and other moves which may yet come into play. The only thing I have learned for sure is that lawyers charge more per hour than many people make in a week.

This was the weekend . . . when we discovered first hand how news goes viral. Within two hours of the verdict it was on the news website of a distinguished paper in the midwestern state where the Supreme Court had made it's decision known—yes, we're dealing with a Supreme Court here, none of those lower courts or appellate courts or whatever. Again, a trip to Google could follow the reports across the mid-west, both newspapers and radio stations. Don't try, our name isn't the hook. And unfortunately, public ridicule doesn't change what happened.

This was the weekend . . . when it snowed way too much and I'm such a chicken that I cancelled a haircut and a lunch date, the Oscars reached an all-time low and when I lost all the contact information on my iPhone.

This was the weekend . . . when two of our older grandsons had dinner with us, stayed and spent the night. What a joy it was to talk to them. We see them frequently, but usually in the midst of hub-bub and activity. This was an opportunity to talk to them, hear about school and their plans. After breakfast we went to church. I handed them over to their parents and then my youngest daughter and her  husband came home to pick up some of their wedding presents and eat breakfast. Just like the old days and a wonderful confirmation that families do not have to thrive on altercation.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Filling in the Gaps

I have been away for a little while, but I am back with a few photographs.

 "Going on day 3 in the hospital and we have now resorted to eating cookies in the crib while dressed in our dirty clothes." I would never accuse my granddaughter Veronica of wearing dirty clothes, but these words were written by her mother, Marcie, who spent those days —and nights—in the hospital with poor little Veronica who had pneumonia. If you followed Veronica's history you know that she spent her first 119 days in the hospital . . .  but was way too young that time to get bored. I hope Marcie updates her blog to tell all the details of this stay.

Since Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday, I actually made an attempt to make pancakes. Least any American readers have visions of objects drenched in butter and syrup, I hasten to add these were the English variety, drenched in sugar and lemon juice. This photo needs a somewhat better presentation, but I did get the pancakes out of the pan without sticking, though no flipping.

I am having my share of problems with photos, both putting them up in the blog and dealing with the ones from the wedding. Another 800 are coming from the photographer, plus I have all the photos taken by friends. I rather like this one:

I tell our friends it was taken in our mediaeval hall. I have been watching too much Downton Abbey. Anyone agree with me that the plot has taken off at a gallop and is trying way too hard to tie up loose ends?

While we are talking about plots—or at least I was—I discovered rather an engrossing author this week and have been spending way too much time sitting by the fire reading first his latest thriller and then going back to his first two. His name is Ben Coes, and thanks to him I have learned my way around the streets of Hong Kong and Panama City, not to mention New York and Washington, how to aggregate within US energy equities, blow up Notre Dame stadium— and in fact do all the things you would expect a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and the manager of Mitt Romney's gubernatorial campaign to know about. But don't let that put you off, he knows much more about knives and guns and breaking bones.

We escaped the storm that devastated the East Coast, but as I started to get dinner, this was the view in our back yard. The city snow ploughs have been out and I think it has stopped snowing, so we should be O.K.

And that, as they say, is the week that was.

Friday, February 08, 2013


I was looking forward to today. We have two grandchildren in the middle school at Liggett and each of us received an invitation to be a grandson's VIP guest this morning. Slight drawback—although we were going to get breakfast, we had to be at the school by 7:45 a.m. But we have done it before: we can do it. Who cares about those people in Boston, destined to be covered in two feet of snow? Well, I did, sort of, sending an e-mail to my dear niece Shannon before I went to bed.

The alarm went off at 6:30 this morning and I jumped out of bed and put on some coffee. Even if you are going to get breakfast, it is a tradition in this household to spill coffee all over ourselves and the car if we are leaving early. However, even the briefest look outside showed that we too had got some snow overnight. I had put my clothes out (just like a kindergardener), managed by some miracle to find my co-shoveller's big boots, gulped some coffee and cleared off the front porch and pathway. We don't worry about the driveway in this house—there is a mantra involving the words, "I was brought up in Iowa. I can drive a car in snow. "

We were just about ready to leave when the phone rang and my son-in law told me that school was cancelled. (I suppose I could have gone on-line and checked, but it never occurred to me. I come from a different generation.) I have books, there is food in the house and I can enjoy the snow through the waiting window. And remember here? Here it is this morning.

On second thoughts, I will go back to bed.

Monday, February 04, 2013


Yesterday was a special day. All over the country people celebrated. It was a day for beer, chicken wings (why on earth?), chili, chips, pizza and various other traditional and totally non-nutritious food. There were calls made by the referee that were questionable and half-time entertainment that looked like a commercial for shampoo, while the real commercials cost the earth and were gone over with a fine tooth comb by everyone from lusty youth and horse afficionados to communications students looking for an A. And we celebrated too.

We were not celebrating Super Bowl XLVII, rather birthday number nine.

Nine years ago Eleanor Catherine was born to Kate and Ron. There is all kinds of mythology which sprang up around her birth, mostly connected to the fact that after three boys, there was now a girl in their family. You know, one of those dainty things that wears pink dresses. I had missed Eleanor's basketball game the day before her birthday, but apparently a talent spotting coach had wanted to recruit Eleanor because she is so—well, I am not sure of the word, but think, tough, competitive, aggressive, un-afraid. Just the words that a soccer recruiter had used about her in the Fall. 

Remember her name when Super Bowl LXVII rolls around.