Sunday, November 30, 2008


Here's mom today playing ti vit (in Sicilian this means I saw you), a card game, with family friend Giuseppe (same name as mine).

Mom is an avid reader and loves doing puzzles, so you can see the Maxi Puzzle book that she has been enjoying and also the yellow book, La Prima Indagine di Montalbano, which contains several novellas written by Camilleri.

Mom Cuts Her Cake While Klaus Watches

Here she is! Her jaw still hurts so she's still not able to wear her dentures, but she's a happy camper! I spoke with her today on the phone and her spirits are very high.

Notice in the second photo Klaus, one of Sally and mom's two dogs, watching attentively on the bottom right.

Klaus is part German Shepherd and was born around Christmas so Sally named him after Santa Claus. He is a real sweet guy and he is ecstatic that mom is home. He jumps up and down like crazy every time he sees mom. When he sees Sally bringing breakfast upstairs to mom, he walks ahead of her and pushes open mom's bedroom door and starts kissing her!

When my sister helps mom out of her chair into a standing position so she can practice walking with her walker, Klaus runs all around, worried that mom will fall or that she might get hurt.

Whoever says animals don't have emotions is insane!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wonderful Sand Castles...Uhm...Sculptures!

My friend Lili sent this to me in an email. Thanks, Lili!

These are sand castles from the Sand Castle Competition at Harrison Hotsprings, British Columbia Canada. These are from the years 2004 - 2006.

They last until the weather takes them down. Harrison is well known for their perfect sand for building sand castles.

Click the photos. Some will enlarge, others not!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Among other things, I'm very thankful today that mom is home. I'm also thankful for my family and my friends. I'm grateful for my dog, for my health and that of my family and friends. I give thanks for my life and, despite trials and tribulations and impending doom, I still have hope.


After almost five months in different hospitals, mom has finally gone home. Actually, she did about a week ago but I've been holding my breath hoping that everything would go well. I've finally exhaled. (A whole week without breathing! Try it sometime!)

Mom still doesn't walk the way she did before. She has to be very careful walking up an down the stairs and can't do it alone, but she is mobile finally!

All her memories have returned as has her appetite.

MOM'S BIRTHDAY IS IN A FEW DAYS! SHE TURNS 73! MY SISTER IS THROWING HER A PARTY ON SUNDAY! If you would like to add your birthday wishes in the comments below, I'll be sure she gets them!!!

Thank you, all!

I Come in Peace

Stuart Brown describes Norbert Rosing's striking images of a wild polar bear coming upon tethered sled dogs in the wilds of Canada's Hudson Bay.

The photographer was sure that he was going to see the end of his dogs when the polar bear wandered in.

The Polar Bear returned every night that week to play with the dogs.

May you always have love to share,
Health to spare,
And friends that care.

Thank You, I'm Officially Scared!

I just want to thank all of my well-meaning friends for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel or have them put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking ones nose (although cell phone usage may be taking the number one spot).

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans-fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.

I MUST SEND MY SPECIAL THANKS to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

ALSO, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's Novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

THANKS TO YOU I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

BECAUSE OF YOUR CONCERN, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.

I no longer use Saran Wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face... disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or Fed Ex since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore and Uzbekistan.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

THANKS TO YOU I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

AND THANKS TO YOUR GREAT ADVICE I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!

I can't do any gardening because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the brown recluse and my hand will fall off.

Oh, by the way…

A German scientist from Argentina, after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read blogs with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late. :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today's Encouraging Word

Today's encouraging word:
"If you're going through hell, keep going. "
~ Winston Churchill

I love this quote! Giving up when you're going through hell will just keep you stuck in hell!

Thanks to my friend Tom for sending this along to me today!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh, My! Was That Really Me?

When I visited my friend David (see last entry), he pulled out two photos he had taken of me more than 30 years ago!

These are the photos. In the first, mom is giving me a haircut. In the second, I'm walking in Milan with my sister.

Thank you, David! I didn't even remember my mom giving me haircuts! I hardly remember getting haircuts as a teenager!

Visiting David and Sohalia

David Mytton (at left in the first pic) was a very good friend of mine when I attended the American High School of Milan, Italy. I hadn't seen him in 30 years but the beauty of the Internet allowed us to find each other again and he and his lovely wife invited me to visit their home, which is in Palo Alto, between San Jose where I was teaching and San Francisco Airport, from where I was to fly home Friday night.

We had a wonderful time visiting, catching up, talking politics and social issues, all the while eating the homemade pizza they made. I felt as if I was back in Italy!

Now that we've seen each other, yes, it's obvious that time has passed, but at the same time, it's almost as if none has. What a wonderful thing it is to reunite with old friends!

Teaching Adobe Captivate in San Jose

Last Tuesday (Nov. 11), I taught a full-day preconference class at the eLearning Guild Conference in San Jose, California. The number of students? 54! The subject? Adobe Captivate.

It went remarkably well considering the number of students. I had to keep it slow to make sure students didn't fall behind, which happens all too easily in a class this big sometimes. I got very good evaluations on this class - yea!

More photos? Click here!