Tuesday, January 31, 2006

password pet peeve

Why can't websites put their password requirements right next to the password box when you register?

Let me know right away if it has to be 6 characters, or alphanumeric, or no more than 4 digits! Why wait until I put in a password that doesn't fit your requirements to tell me I have to enter a different one?

It'd be a simple thing to add - so why don't more websites do it?



We started back to the preschool classes offered by the Desert Botanical Garden. The woman who teaches them does a wonderful job, and my boys enjoy the time spent there. It's only 90 minutes, once a week - but it's a fun diversion and they learn new stuff each week.

Today was the first class of the spring session. Some of the same kids were back from the fall, and a few new ones. The class requires that parents/caregivers be involved, which works because the class is made up of 3-5 year olds.

One of the new students isn't yet 3. It was obvious she wasn't ready for this type of activity, but since her grandma is there to care for her, it doesn't take much away from the rest of the class (other than tuning out her temper tantrums and tears). BUT, she had this horrible, wet, nasty cough. AND SHE DIDN'T COVER HER MOUTH. I physically moved Colin away from her the first time she did it and the grandmother was oblivious - asking her "oh, do you need a drink?" This was NOT some dry, tickle in the throat cough. This was a phlegm-filled, germ-ridden cough.

I tried to keep Colin away from her, but multiple times over the remaining time she ended up near him. And COUGHING. And the grandmother never prompted her, or helped her cover her mouth. How rude is that?

I absolutely have no patience for people who have no respect for those around them and insist on inflicting SICK children on the rest of the population. Sometimes, at the grocery store, I can understand - you might not have any choice. But, this class is a totally optional thing. If the kid is sick, STAY HOME.

Friday, January 27, 2006

love games

The boys & I play this little game. I'm not sure when we started it - but I'm pretty sure since before Nate could talk much.

One of us will say "I love you more than all the (fill in the blank) in the world!"

The other responds with "Wow! That's a lot!! I'm so lucky!"

And the first will say "Yes, you are!" and sometimes (but not always) the other responds with their own "I love you more than . . . "

I love the things the boys come up with! Just today I was loved more than all the apple juice in the world, more than all the drinks in the world, more than all the elephants in the world, more than all the grass in the world, more than all the noses in the world and more than all the pillows in the world.

Can I just say how very lucky I am?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

new obsession

Years ago, I loved playing the online mahjongg games. This is my new obsession. The first puzzle took me an embarrassing 30 minutes to complete. I'm getting the hang of it now, though, and can get through an easy puzzle in 5 - 7 minutes, even while answering children's questions and mediating battles.

My next goal is to complete them without any errors. At first, I'd check for errors after each couple numbers; then after each completed box/row/column; now I wait until I have a couple done before checking. I still haven't gotten through a puzzle with no errors, though!

murder in the neighborhood

Well, now I'm not sure it was IN our neighborhood, but it was definitely close by.

When we went out the door yesterday, a flyer fluttered in. The boys are always outraged that people PUT THINGS ON OUR DOOR, so we dealt with that for a minute. I glanced at it quickly, and the word "murdered" leapt out at me. So, I strapped the boys into the van and read the paper. It quoted a news article that said that 2 young men were arrested after killing a man when they called him to show them a rental property IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. It quoted a "homeowner" from Lot 34 (who the heck knows what our lot numbers are anymore? We only cared when we chose the lot to build on) who said he was worried and then 1/2 the sheet was about this great deal for concealed handgun training. There were some warning bells going off, but I was also freaked at the thought 2 men were trolling in our neighborhood and called the number from a rental sign and then waited around for the guy to kill him!

SO, I read this and call my husband and leave this crazy message how I want the garage door fixed (it's broken and doesn't lock. Hasn't worked for about 6 months now.) AND I want a security door on our front door. And I want him to stop leaving the garage door open. And I think I might want to get another dog because someone could shoot one dog, but if we have 2, then the chances are better that at least one dog will be able to attack.

(Aside here about my hubby -- My husband is the MOST TRUSTING SOUL you'll ever meet. He would never lock a door if I didn't remind him. He is always leaving our garage door wide open "just in case we go back out". He leaves keys in our cars all the time. If you think nothing bad has happened to him - you'd be wrong. He's had cars stolen, cars vandalized, witnessed a murder, been arrested for false reasons, etc. but he's still an amazingly trusting person. Some might say dumb - but it was one of the reasons I fell in love with him. ) ANYWAY,

he calls back and is appropriately concerned and promises to take care of all the things, and reminds me that I have been vehemently opposed to a 2nd dog for years.

I call the number on the flyer, expecting that it is for the quoted "homeowner". It's not - it's just the place that does the weapons training. I want to ask this guy more questions, but since I'm in the van, and C hears and processes every thing that comes from my mouth, I can't.

When I get home later, I do some research and find out that there was a murder - if not directly in our neighborhood, within 3 miles. BUT, these men were not trolling the neighborhood. They were actually targeting the man they killed. I know it's still horrible that the man is dead, but there is some sense of relief that it wasn't our neighborhood targeted. And, I'm still concerned about our safety! We'll be getting a security door in the next couple weeks and the garage door is locked at the moment. It can't be opened easily, but I don't really care right now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

2nd day

We didn't make it to the barber yesterday. Actually, we did - but there was a long wait and it would have meant not having much time at the museum, so we decided to come back today.

We got there around 11, ended up waiting over an hour before the boys were taken. They were very good though - much better than 2 other children that were WHINING non-stop, as well as their mother, while the father/husband got his hair cut. Thankfully, they were gone about 1/2 way into our wait.

I called B because there was a notice on our door about a murder - IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD - and I was freaked out. We decided to meet for lunch since he had 6 hours between calls today.

We ended up meeting near the Mesa Southwest Museum, (see my picture blog for pics of yesterday) so we went back today with B. The boys love it there, and C really loved showing his dad around the place. They had a few new exhibits from the last time he visited, so it was fun for him, too.

Then, home again - after 5! Dinner soon, baths, books, and bedtime hopefully before 10PM tonight!

I'm thinking about the zoo tomorrow -- and Friday we have a playdate scheduled for the afternoon. Unfortunately, C doesn't really care for the little boy - he much prefers his older sisters - but they'll be at school. I, however, really like the mom and would like to develop a friendship with her - so we're talking about compassion and helping other kids learn new games, etc. I think he's a little delayed, so C gets frustrated. He's older than N, but much less verbal, which makes it hard on the kids. I may be selfish, but I keep telling myself it's a good learning opportunity.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

funny conversations

N, (3.5), today in the post office line --

"I need all the dead batteries we can find. I will give them to my workers, and they'll put them in the dead battery machine and we'll make money. We need money to buy stuff, you know? It's a big machine" (insert grand arm movements here) "and there's a huge cruncher part" (insert hands doing crunching movement) "and then there's a little door where the money shoots out. And one my workers stands there with a bucket to catch all the money."

I have NO idea why he thinks dead batteries can turn into money. He understands coins are metal, and batteries are metal, and must have decided that batteries make money?

C, (5), last night, before bed --

"Well, I have something serious to tell you. I don't want to be a firefighter anymore." (shakes head sadly) "Because everyone has fears and I realize I have this fear of going into a burning building. So, obviously," (insert big hand movements) "I can't be a firefighter. I will just have to be a tow truck driver. But, I can still be a palentologist, right, even while I'm driving tow trucks? There is no fear problem with driving a tow truck."

I tried to explain that everyone has fears, and that I'm sure firefighters are afraid every time they go into a burning building. I tried to explain courage and bravery -- but he has decided that he has to give up that dream. And, if you think I am making up the words or sentence structure - let me assure you I'm not.


Here's the plan for today:

  • Post office to drop off a check for my cousin's baby that was born on Friday and a present for his big sister (fluffy pink bag, purple stuffed unicorn, book & tape). I remember it was so nice when people sent a gift for C when N was born.

  • Barber so the boys can get hair cuts. I'm getting their pictures taken later this week, and they're looking sorta shaggy. I've taken them there every year since Colin was born for Valentine's Day. They almost always have a special running for Valentine cards.

  • Library. Return books, pick up books on hold, look for more books.

  • Mesa Southwest Museum. One of our favorite places to visit. Lots of dinosaur bones! Shouldn't be too crowded in the late afternoon

We're getting a rather late start. Ever since B stopped working nights, our night routine is shot. The boys have been going to bed between 9 & 10 and then waking between 9 & 10 the next morning. Today, C didn't wake until almost 11. They're getting enough sleep - and it works for our family right now - but part of me feels weird about losing the morning. We used to always be up & out of the house by 9AM!

Right now, the boys are out in the backyard playing "Construction". I hate to pull them in when they're enjoying themselves so much! I'll get everything ready to go, and next time they come in, I'll suggest we leave. They love the museum, so it shouldn't be too hard!

Monday, January 23, 2006

baby things

D, a very good friend, is expecting her first baby in June. We were talking about necessary things, and I promised to write a list for her of things I thought were necessary. I have to admit, the list got much longer than I anticipated!

This is the email I sent - any more ideas of things to add?

I know you have a bunch of lists already – but here’s another one -- These are things that I think new parents need, and a few things that would be nice, but not necessary.

After baby’s birth:

  • Bassinette / crib

  • Receiving blankets (lots & big ones)

  • Diapers & wipes

  • Diaper pail

  • Baby clothes (I liked the nightgowns that were open at the bottom with some elastic, but I have friends who didn’t like them at all. I also preferred snaps over zippers on sleepers – but B never could get the snaps lined up right, so he preferred zippers. These are things that you won’t know what you prefer until you start dressing your baby. Oh, I also preferred one piece outfits when they were tiny – but that was me)

  • Baby towels with hoods (lots – I STILL use the hooded towels with the boys today, so you can never have too many. The bigger ones are better, IMO, Carter’s are great)

  • Baby washcloths (lots – the best ones are the cheap, thin ones, (in my opinion))

  • Burp cloths

  • Baby nail clippers (pack in your hospital bag bc some babies are born with long nails. I ended up biting C’s nails in the hospital so he wouldn’t scratch his face)

  • Baby nose syringe

  • Baby thermometer

  • Baby Tylenol

  • Baby motrin (important to have both acetempatphin (sp!) and Ibuprofren because they work a little bit differently and for fevers Motrin sometimes works better)

  • Mylicon gas drops ( I know there are different brands out there, but for C, this brand worked best )

  • Baby tub

  • Sling

  • Stroller

  • baby monitor

  • diaper bag

  • Car seat

  • Bibs

  • Laundry hamper

  • Crib sheets

  • crib mattress cover (at least 2 to make your life easier)

  • baby wash (sniff the bottles in the store. Seriously. I found that I disliked Johnson & Johnson, but loved Baby Magic . . . who knew?)

  • baby detergent (for example: Dreft – may not be necessary, but if your baby has sensitive skin, may as well start out with some in the house and wash the first couple months with it)

Not necessary, but nice to have --

  • Baby swing (I never used one with N, but C liked it. Get one with batteries – I don’t know if they even sell the wind up ones anymore?)

  • Infant to toddler rocker (do you remember C's? Fisher Price makes one and it was awesome. We used for both boys till it literally fell apart last year. Here’s a link to the current one -- http://tinyurl.com/74uzg)

  • Moses basket (didn’t have one with C, had one with N and it was WONDERFUL. (http://tinyurl.com/d2vtw) good for only a couple months, and may have been nicer bc Nate was the 2nd and it made it easier to carry him around the house while caring for C, too. I found mine used on ebay)

After 6 months

  • High chair

  • Bibs (more)

  • Baby spoons

  • Baby bowls

  • Baby proofing things (outlet covers most important! Cupboard locks. Solid door stoppers)

  • Baby books

  • Teething toys

Not necessary, but nice to have --

  • Portable booster chair (I had one like this and loved it – (http://tinyurl.com/7d4c7) but mine also had the ability to tilt which was nice)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

mass frustration

I love attending mass. The boys are finally at the point where they sit quietly (for the most part) and I can listen to the readings with an open heart & mind without worrying about whether they're disturbing those around us.

Now, though, my frustration is with the choices made by the priest / liturgical committee / whatever. I sing along to the sung "Gloria" that takes 5 minutes. I finally got past being annoyed when they sang the "Our Father". I firmly press my hands together to avoid holding hands during the "Our Father". I bow my head respectfully during the "Alleuia" and avoid the twisty-turny hand motions. BUT, now, they've decided to sing the creed . . . the only thing the congregation does is respond to the singer (who I know has a different title - but I feel like the entire mass is done just for her ego & to give her more opportunities to sing . . . ). We're supposed to respond with "Amen . . . I Believe" WELL, I am just about fed up. I have taught my boys the Apostles Creed and during the 11:30 mass they usually say the Apostles Creed vs. the Nicene Creed. But, I really don't know if I can deal with ANOTHER freaking song during mass. PLUS, I believe we should all say the creeds together. . . singing them IS NOT THE SAME. OH, and she can NEVER do the responsorial hymn that is called for in the missal. She ALWAYS chooses another psalm to sing.

What is wrong with the traditional mass? I'm not asking that we go back to a Latin mass . . . but why can't we just stick with the basics?

And, don't get me started on the dozen extraordinary eucharistic ministers.

And, it's not just our current parish. It just seems to be the "fashion" these days. I did a completely unscientific poll recently about some of the things that bug me and found that converts didn't have a problem - but those who are cradle Catholics agreed with me for the most part. I feel like I've converted to a Protestant church, but nobody told me.

Bleck. What a lousy way to feel after mass.

Friday, January 20, 2006

4 x 4 meme

Four jobs that I have had:
1. secretary for the IRS
2. food service manager for college campus
3. software instructor
4. database designer

Four movies that I can watch over and over again:
1. Princess Bride
2. Last of the Mohicans
3. Big Blue (not the horror one, but the one about deep water divers)
4. anything with Mark Walhberg (except Planet of the Apes)

Four places I have lived:
1. Buffalo NY
2. Milwaukee WI
3. New Orleans LA
4. Mesa AZ

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Survivor
2. The Shield
3. Rescue Me
4. Food Network

Four websites I read daily:

1. Bloglines : )
2. mycatholic.com
3. my yahoo groups
4. CNN

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Luxembourg
2. Mexico
3. Wisconsin Dells
4. Paris

Four favorite Foods:
1. creamed tuna w/peas on toast
2. spaghetti w/butter & cheese
3. squash ravioli w/toasted sage leaves
4. big, juicy steak

Four places I'd rather be (at this precise moment?):
1. back in WI to visit with my brother before he's sent to Iraq
2. any bookstore (preferably with a nice, big gift card in my purse)
3. the park
4. in bed

Thursday, January 19, 2006

when to let go?

How long do you hold onto things "just in case"?

We would love to have more children. We are open to life. Both boys are miracles, and came after years of infertility. We had decided we would grow our family however God saw fit, and I was blessed with 2 easy pregnancies.

C was born 12 weeks to the day after I found out I was pregnant. No, not premature . . . just a mom who ignored the signs because she had been told she'd never conceive on her own.

Then, N was conceived before C was a year. Woo Hoo! Another blessed surprise.

It's been 18 months since my miscarriage.

How long do I hold onto the baby items and baby clothes . . . just in case??

My very dear friend is expecting her first child in June. I have offered her SO many of my things -- the pack 'n' play, my expensive breast pump, clothes, high chair, booster, diaper pail, exersaucer, the crib B built for C, the dresser B built for C. It felt good to know that they would be used by someone who cares for us and that we love.

She and her husband decided they wanted their own crib. I totally understand, but that leaves me wondering what to do with these 2 hand-made cribs that we have? Do I sell them? They're currently stored in the garage of my parent's 2nd home, and maybe I just leave them there until that 2nd home becomes their primary home.

I cried yesterday going through the baby clothes. I have 3 women very close to me expecting boys in the next few months. I'm trying to sort the outfits into 3 piles and part of me wants to pack them all back up and keep them! But, another part of me tells me that's selfish. These clothes should be passed on -- I *know* that, but it feels like I'm giving up or something.

I'm not giving up. We've never been willing to go to extraordinary means to conceive, and with 2 healthy, wonderful boys - I'm not even willing to use fertility meds to try and conceive again. (Not that they worked, anyway - we spent almost 15K and 2 years with no results. C was conceived 2 years after any treatment.) I truly leave it up to God.

Sometimes I just wish I could have a glimpse of what God was planning.

Before I give everything we might need away . . .

Thursday, January 12, 2006


I've been reading The Little House in the Big Woods to the boys as our bedtime story for a week or so now. They love the stories and have asked each night to read more about "Laura & Mary". I had picked up one of the Magic Treehouse books from the library (we previously read books 1 & 2 from the series on our cruise) because I wasn't sure how interested they'd be - but they have chosen "Laura & Mary" over "Jack & Annie" every night so far.

We have a few of the shorter, picture books that were written for preschoolers and they have enjoyed those. C has been excited to recognize the stories in the bigger book from those short excerpts we read earlier. He is also very interested in the fact that it is a "true" story, versus an imagined one.

I always loved this series, and am excited that my boys think it's fun to listen to. I see that Amazon has a CD of music that was created from the songs played by Pa in the books, and I plan to buy it when we have a few extra dollars.

While we still read picture books, I'm glad they're both old enough to listen to stories that are mostly words. They're excited to see the few pictures that are included in the book, but they're perfectly content to snuggle next to me and listen.

another day, more tissues . . .

The boys are still coughing and have runny noses -- BUT, they are up and playing and not running fevers!! Thankfully, I think by next week they should be back to their usual, healthy selves! yea!

I posted a while back that I was succumbing to the icks, but a good sleep most of that day seemed to have kept it away. Today, though, I feel the tickle in my throat, the achy head, startings of a cough. UGH. I am taking mega doses of Vitamin C, glugging Sambucol, wearing warm socks and sipping hot tea. It would really stink if the boys are completely better and I end up sick. Let's hope that if I do get it, it's mild.

B is off to Payson today for a sales call. I had a horrid dream last night that he was murdered. It was very odd - we were part of the mafia or something; and we were all on a cruise. One morning I woke up and couldn't find him, and one of the other men pulled me aside and told me that I knew it was coming. Apparently they had thrown him overboard during the night. How bizzare is that?

Of course, I didn't tell him! Then, this morning I read that another man had been shot & killed on the highway in what they think was a road rage incident. I worry that he spends so much time driving the highways.

All I can do is say some extra prayers.

Dear God, keep him safe.
I pray for safety in his travels this day.
I pray for sunshine to light his way.
I pray for a journey that is incident free.
I pray for patience for all travelers and him.
I pray for rest at the end of his drive.
I pray for clear roadways until he arrives.
I pray for all on the roads today.
Thank you, Oh Lord, for a safe journey's end.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

sleeping and more sleeping

C was awake for maybe 2 hours last night, and then fell back asleep to wake this morning around 10. He fell back asleep around noon and is still sleeping at 2 as I type this. N doesn't know what to do without his playmate and I am desperate to get out of this house!

All this sleep HAS to be doing him some good. He did wake this morning without a fever, which was the first time in over a week.

I have the windows open to let some fresh air in the house, and the dog is driving me crazy barking at every little noise. It disturbs C enough that he wakes to complain, and then is back out again.

Next week, I don't want to be home ONE DAY! Or at the very least, I want everyone to be healthy!

Monday, January 09, 2006

And again!

Back to the doctor with C today. We've been to the doctor more in the last month than we have in the last 3 years. He's still running a fever, even though I've been dosing him around the clock with Motrin. Last night, he went to bed around 9, woke up hysterical at 5AM, and then slept until 2:30 when I woke him to take him back to the doctor again.

The diagnosis? A virus. Probably 2 or 3 that he has picked up consecutively. Or maybe just one really nasty one. That is lingering for more than 2 weeks with little improvement. Or maybe he has atypical pneumonia. Or maybe it was influenza. But at least his lungs are clear again!


Brought him home, and he went right back to sleep. It's 9:30PM now and he has just woken and requested french fries. B went out to get them and he's watching a Kipper dvd - complaining about the lamp light hurting his eyes and the noise of the vaporizer.

I am REALLY READY for the health vibes to come back to this house!!!!!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Lullaby CD's

I have a few friends expecting babies right now, so I have baby things on my mind.

When C was born, I decided that lullabies would be a nice way to ease into bedtimes for him. After purchasing a dozen (or more!) lullaby CD's, I realized something very important. A good lullaby CD will not make the parents insane while listening to it over and over and over again. We have listened to a few of the same CD's for 5 years now and I'm happy with our selections. They don't make me want to run screaming from the room, and they relax and ease both boys into sleep!

Our all-time favorite is "On A Starry Night" . For years he asked for "na na's" at night because the first lullaby is a string of "na na na naaa" by Bobby McFerrin. It's mellow and wonderful. This CD was a gift from my sister, who actually purchased it for her dog. We heard it while staying at my mom's house when C was an infant and I fell in love with it, so she gave it to us.

Our 2nd favorite is "Planet Sleeps" . This one was purchased because both boys had separate bedrooms when N was an infant, and I felt like they needed different music. I don't know why? I think my sister gave us this one as a gift as well. This CD has music from all over the world, and has some hauntingly beautiful sounds.

The 3rd CD was part of a set of children's CD's and I can't find a link to it anywhere. The first 30 minutes has traditional lullabies being sung, and the last 30 minutes is a repeat of the same lullabies, but only instrumentals. Because it includes such favorites as "Hush Little Baby", C enjoyed it - but it kept him awake longer than the other 2, becuase he would listen to the lyrics of familiar songs. He wouldn't really fall asleep until the instrumental portion started.

I have read multiple times how you shouldn't let kids fall asleep to music, unless you plan to leave the music playing all night. This has never been an issue with either of my kids. The lullaby CD is started when they're put to bed, and when it's over - it stops playing. It was also beneficial because as infants, when they heard the music, they *knew* it was time for nap or bed, and it helped ease the transition.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

still sick

C woke this morning with a fever and renewed cough. Motrin brought the fever down, but it spiked again around noon and was 104 thirty minutes after another dose of Motrin. UGH. Called the doctor and they had me bring him in again -- we were there a week ago for a massive asthma attack!

Thankfully, his lungs (and ears and throat) are clear. Just a virus. A nasty, prolonged, horrid virus. N is kinda feverish, too - but not the high temps of C.

We're headed into 2 full weeks of them both being sick. I am SO ready for healthy kids again!!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 in review

Among a variety of trips to the zoo, playdates, trips to the botanical gardens, trips to the SW Museum, trips to the Museum of Youth, trips to the pool and trips to the park . . . here are some additional highlights for 2005:

Jan - C took swimming lessons, went to Zoo Lights

Feb - K from Milwaukee visited, trip to CA for Lennox meeting - beaches . . . ahhhhh, C took swimming lessons, B turned 36, painted bedroom 2 shades of blue

Mar - Saw the Heffalumps (N's first movie theatre visit), St. George's Mom's Group started meeting, Kids St. Patrick's Day party, I had root canal (only the beginning of extensive dental work needed - maybe this year we will have the $), C took swimming lessons

April - apparently nothing extra-special happened in April?

May - bought new minivan, B went to Ohio, B started racquetball leagues, N turned 3

June -- Boys took tumbling, N took swimming, our dog, J, got sick, Dbacks game w/boys

July -- Tumbling for both, N swimming lesssons

August -- C played t-ball, B went to Milwaukee for D's retirement party

Sept -- N played soccer, saw Winnie the Pooh Live, attended another Dbacks game

October -- went on the Mexican Riviera cruise!!!!, B lost his job, Boys started Desert Botanical Gardens preschool, my parents visit, bought new pick up, kids Halloween party

November - B paints boys room & puts up wild animal mural, B quits teaching at RSI, C turned 5, I turned 38

December - went to Luminarias at the Gardens, B goes to OK to visit York, attended an amateur production of the Nutcracker Ballet, B starts working for Sears, boys get bunk beds, C has major asthma attack (first serious one in 18 months)

2006 Reading List

This post is a compilation of the mostly fiction (or biographies/memoirs) that I read during 2006. As of July it doesn't include the non-fiction/reference type books that I also read or the hundreds of children's books that I read to my kids. (As of August, I'm trying to keep a children's book list on my homeschooling blog.)

Number of books read by month:

January - 14
February - 6
March - 11
April - 11 (plus 2 non-fiction books I felt important to include)
May - 6
June - 9
July - 10 (one book was a compilation of 3 novels)
August - 6

total = 73

List of books and rating (5 stars is tops):

(*) Across the Bridge of Sighs - Venetian Stories by Jane Rylands

(*) Altar Music by Christin Lore Weber

(*) Angel & Apostle by Deborah Noyes

(***) Angels & Demons by Dan Brown.

(*****) Bait & Switch - the futile pursuit of the American dream by Barbara Ehnreich

(****) Bleak House by Charles Dickens

(***) The Broker by John Grisham

(****) Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson

(***) Closers by Michael Connelly.

(*) Codex by Lev Grossman.

(*****) Collected Stories, 1891 - 1910 by Edith Wharton

(***) Corporal Works of Murders by Sister Carol Anne O'Marie

(negative *) The Corrections by Johnathon Franzen

(***) Cotton Queen by Pamela Morsi

(***) Cuba: A Novel by Emily Barr

(***) Death by Design by Laura Childs

(***) Death of an Angel by Sister Carol Anne O'Marie

(**) Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

(****) Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson

(*) The English Teacher by Lily King

(**) Fever by Sean Rowe

(*) Flamenco Academy by Sarah Bird

(***) 42 Up by Bennett Singer

(*) The Fugitive Wife by Peter Brown

(***) A Gathering of Angels by Katherine Valentine

(*) Getting Personal by Diane Amos.

(*****) Great Garden Companions by Sally Jean Cunningham

(***) Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson

(***) Honor Lost by Norma Khourin.

(****) How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

(**) Islands by Anne Siddons

(**) Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander

(*) Kitchen Congregation by Nora Seton

(*****) Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

(*****) Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamante

(*****) Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart

(***) Lilah by Marek Halter

(**) Madame Mirabou's School of Love by Barbara Samuel

(*) Madonna of Las Vegas by Gregory Blake

(****) Magdalene by Angela Hunt

(**) Master Tanner Heads West by WC Baumberger

(******)Material World by Peter Menzel

(****) Million Dollar Dilemma by Judy Baer

(*****) Minaret by Leila Aboulela

(****) Miracle of St. Cecilia's by Katherine Valentine

(negative *) Mommy knows worst by James Lilek

(****) Money Dragon by Pam Chun

(***) Murder in Ordinary Time by Carol Anne O'Marie

(negative *) Nine Wives by Dan Elish

(*****) Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker by Beth Hensperger & Julie Kaufmann

(****) Novena for Murder by Carol Ann O'Marie

(***) Off the Record by Jennifer O'Connell

(*) Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets by Jude Morgan

(*) Queen of the Underworld by Gail Godwin

(*****) Rasputin's Daughter by Robert Alexander

(**) Red Diaper Baby: A boyhood in the age of McCarthyism by James Laxer

(***) Rocky Road to Romance by Janet Evanovich

(**) SAHM I AM by Meredith Efken

(****) Saturday Morning by Lauraine Snelling

(*) Save a Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan

(*) Saving the World by Julia Alvarez.

(****) And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers

(***) Silver Rose by Susan Carrol.

(****) The Spice Box by Lou Jane Temple

(***) Tattoo Artist by Jill Ciment

(**) Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer

(double negative *) Tropic of Night by Michael Gruber

(*****) Walking Backward in the Wind by Helen Magnum Fields

(****) The Woman at the Washington Zoo: writings on politics, family and fate by Marjorie Williams.

(*******) Women in the Material World by Faith D'Alusio

(*****) The Worst Hard Time: untold story of those who survived the great American dust bowl by Timothy Egan

(***) Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough by Neta Jackson

caught up with me

Well, I fought it as long as I could . . . but it looks like I've finally caught the cold that's been going around my family. B is still coughing, N is fine, C is coughing and struggling with his asthma (took him to the doc on Thursday, he was almost hospitalized, but thankfully we were able to get it under control).

Today I've got all the symptoms . . . took a shower and got into clean pajamas and plan to go back to bed shortly.

Welcome to 2006! May this be all the illness we have to deal with this year!!
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