Month: January 2007

  • He's back in Texas!

    This afternoon Don, Jonathan and I went to collect Charles from the airport:


    Notice the ribbons or bars or whatever they're called:


    Next it was off to Jessica's to collect the Skylark, where Brianna, who'd just gotten home from dance class, was delighted to see Uncle Charles:



  • You know you live in Fort Worth when the following traffic warning is printed in the newspaper:

    Steers, pigs, traffic jams

    Do you drive through the Cultural District as part of your
    commute? Today, you might want to find another way. Thousands of swine
    and cattle will arrive in trailers for the upcoming junior steer and
    barrow competitions at the Fort Worth Stock Show. That could lead to
    traffic jams around the immediate area, including University Drive,
    Lancaster Avenue and Interstate 30. The junior steer and barrow shows
    begin Thursday.

    Of course, I live in the Cultural District, and have been periodically battling long lines of cattle trailers for a couple of weeks now.

    Fortunately it's over on Sunday! 

  • My nephew Jordan is so clever!  How he came across this I can't imagine, but he did, and sent it to me; here's a photo of Alex playing his tuba in - I'm guessing! - Okinawa:


    On his blog he'd mentioned playing for a group of children a couple of days ago.  

  • My apologies for the unusual silence, but I've been busy getting ready for Charles to come home tomorrow!  

    Amazing the stuff one finds when one delves into nooks, crannies, cupboards and drawers that have been left undisturbed for a decade or more.  This wasn't from that long ago, but still, I hadn't seen it in a while; it's a photo taken by Dmitry's host family of his Bright Futures' group when they were here in November of 2002:


    Do you spot Dmitry there on the far left?  He's wearing a baseball cap backwards.  And in the red jacket over to the right is Dan.  What blows me away is to look at the difference in size between the boys back then, when Dmitry was 12 and Dan was 14.  This past weekend when I saw the two of them together it was apparent that Dmitry is as tall as Dan now!

    I've told him for years that Charles wasn't tall at all for ages, and in fact didn't really shoot up until he was 17 or so, and there's no saying the same thing won't happen with him.  And by jingo, it looks as if I were right.  

    Oh, and naturally there's a cold front expected to come through tomorrow, bringing a chance of frozen precipitation on Wednesday!  Won't Charles be excited about that

  • Photos from Dr. Nemonezhnaya!

    Aka:  Vika.  

    Vika was our translator on our adoption trip to Russia and a dear friend, who has worked like billy-o to get her doctorate in linguistics and was awarded it last fall.  She sent me a few photos from her doctorate graduation and one from New Year's.  I've emailed back requesting to know who else we're seeing, and what the building was that was outlined with lights.


    I'm working on the assumption those are fellow students, though perhaps the young lady on the left might be Vika's sister?  I know she has one.


    I think....mind you, I only say think....but I think this is in Red Square, standing in front of a large department store.

    Congratulations, Vika! 

    It's to be hoped that now she's a fancy-pants doctor of linguistics she won't forget the little people. 

  • Charles is stateside! ;^)

    We were preparing to leave for the birthday party for Mom and Jonathan at my brother's house when to my astonished pleasure, a call came in from Charles' cell phone!  

    He's back!  Two days early, in fact.  When I asked how the inspection went he said it didn't....the seas were too rough, so that's why they docked so soon. 

    He's going to try to see if he can catch an earlier flight home.  e-yippee

  • When you go to clean out cupboards and/or drawers do you find a particular type of thing runneth over?  What I mean is, something you've kept purchasing to use later but inevitably forget about so you buy more, put it right in the same place, forget about it, and repeat?

    I do, and in my case it's greeting cards. I could open a smallish card shop with all the cards I've hoarded! 

  • Short video about submarines....

    As another Navy parent said over at "The Stupid Shall Be Punished", we do enjoy getting a glimpse of our sons' lives.

  • Hmmmm....six odd things about me, eh?

    I'm actually one of the dullest, most average people that ever graced the planet, so this isn't gonna be easy.  Let me think, though....

    1.  I loathe virtually all seafood with the exception of . . . prepare yourself . . . canned tuna.  Well, solid water-pack tuna.  The pricier stuff.  I love it.  Really.  Had a tuna casserole tonight, in fact.  Tuna croquettes.  Tuna salad.  Tuna-stuffed potatoes.  Yum!  That's good eatin'.  However, over the years it's come to my attention that a lot of the people around me have a strange, inexplicable antipathy to canned tuna.  Weirdos.  I pity their sorry state.

    2.  I rarely wear make-up.  Not only do I not wear make-up, I don't color my hair, either.  And I don't wear jewelry except on those occasions I'm all gussied up, including having slapped on some eye make-up and lipstick.  It'd be nice to pretend it's because I've a soul above such mundane matters of vanity, but unfortunately it's mostly because I'm so gosh darn lazy.  Putting on make-up's bad enough, heaven knows, but having to take the crud off late at night when I'm tired....?  Yuck. 

    3.  I almost always wear dresses.  Okay, when I go to Curves obviously I wear pants, and I've a couple of capri-pant sets I like to wear in the summer but still . . . the overwhelming odds are when I'm dressed, it's in a dress.  Cotton knit.  One piece.  Washable.  Usually doesn't need ironing.  Did I mention how gosh darn lazy I am?

    4.  I live one mile (Yahoo! maps says so) from where I lived as a kid.  How many people can say that, eh?  (Okay, my sister Elaine can whup up on me in this regard, as it happens.) What's more, I've lived in this house for 27 1/2 years.

    5.  I have a favorite Russian singer, Larisa Dolina, and not only listen to, but sing along with, her CDs while driving. 

    6.  Most years I've not seen a single one of the movies nominated for an Oscar.  This year is no exception, BTW.  Checked the list and there's not one I've seen.  I've also never seen "24" (what's it about?), "American Idol", "Survivor", or any of the other shows that seem to have caught the attention of the American public.  To be honest, however, I did watch Emmit Smith when he danced for the "Dancing With the Stars" final against Mario someone or other.  Marco?  Something like that, anyway.

    That's about all I can think of. 

    So I'm supposed to tag six others?  Then I tag Elaine, Eleanor, Sue (Beth's aunt), Beth (though I'm not sure her computer's behaving itself), Aisling, and Tim.  (I'd have tagged Alex only he's off on a Navy ship.  What some people won't do to avoid being tagged.)

  • This one's a tuffie...

    Did y'all read about the family who were put off an AirTran flight due to the obstreperous behavior of their three year old daughter?

    The AP story doesn't explain the situation especially well, ISTM:

    Airways on Tuesday defended its decision to remove a Massachusetts
    couple from a flight after their crying 3-year-old daughter refused to
    take her seat before takeoff.

    AirTran officials said they
    followed Federal Aviation Administration rules that children age 2 and
    above must have their own seat and be wearing a seat belt upon takeoff.

    "The flight was already delayed 15 minutes and in fairness
    to the other 112 passengers on the plane, the crew made an operational
    decision to remove the family," AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver

    Julie and Gerry Kulesza, who were headed home to
    Boston on Jan. 14 from Fort Myers, said they just needed a little more
    time to calm their daughter, Elly.

    "We weren't given an
    opportunity to hold her, console her or anything," Julie Kulesza said
    in a telephone interview Tuesday.

    The Kuleszas said they
    told a flight attendant they had paid for their daughter's seat, but
    asked whether she could sit in her mother's lap. The request was

    She was removed because "she was climbing under
    the seat and hitting the parents and wouldn't get in her seat" during
    boarding, Graham-Weaver said.

    Was the reason for the flight being already delayed 15 minutes solely because of Elly Kulesza's pitching a fit?

    If it was, then the actions of the flight crew in deciding "To heck with it...why should everyone else risk missing their connections?" was reasonable.

    If, however, the flight had been delayed for reasons having nothing to do with Elly, then ISTM the crew should have warned the parents they've got five minutes to get the kid in her seat and quieted down.