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Carine’s Blog

  • Stupid is as Stupid Does

    Posted on Thursday, August 28, 2014

    Stupid is as Stupid Does

    I try my best to not comment on how and why some parents do certain things with their kids, but a recent happening here in the Phoenix area had me shaking what's left of my head/neck region in complete disgust.

    What am I talking about?  The 9-year-old who "accidently" killed her gun coach while shooting off an Uzi!

    Am I the only one who thought, "What on earth is a 9-year-old doing being coached on the finer points of using an Uzi?"?????

    It's not just the parents fault.  As a local columnist re-iterated my already written blog-why would this "coach" allow a child this young to use an semi-automatic weapon?  And why oh why does my new home state allow for such freedoms to a person who's barely out of diapers?

    I get that I'm an anti-gun person in a pro-gun state, but really?  Unless you're in the military training to take out an entire terrorist group-does ANYONE in the private sector really need lessons on how to use this particular piece of shooting equipment?

    And now that this little tiny girl has killed someone she must have considered important in her life-how, oh how, do her parents explain any of the ramifications to her and help her get over this event?  How does the instructor's family heal?  

    And by the way, he of anyone did know the risks-why didn't he use the horrible, terrible word "NO"?

    Personally, I would have rather have heard that her parents had given her a dirt bike and take up racing than shooting off an Uzi.  I know people may still get seriously hurt and that this is all over the national news because of the thankful rarity of the situation-but this was not the wise thing a parent decided to do.

    Maybe I'm part of a minority on the subject of kids and guns, but I have a right to voice my complete audacity at the entire situation.  One person dead, a little girl forever damaged, a family in mourning and another family shocked by what has just happened.

    I certainly hope other families thinking of having their little kids take up a sport like this will take this debacle into consideration before trying it out themselves.

    I'm just saying, Stupid is as Stupid does.

    2 Replies
  • What a Difference a Day Makes

    Posted on Friday, August 22, 2014

    What a Difference a Day Makes

    In case you didn't watch the news this past week, from Sunday night right on through Tuesday night we here in North Phoenix were not only "under siege", we were "under water"!

    No kidding!  Steve and I went with Sarah and the boys out to dinner and came out from the restaurant at 7:30 to a very gray sky, clouds, heavy winds-all the makings of an expected monsoon.  Well, suddenly we had not one but 3 separate lightning storms and rain following us the 30 miles back home to Anthem/New River!

    The noise was so loud that even with my earplugs set firmly in place; the noise kept waking me up.  Okay, some of that may have been the various paws holding on to my face and arms, but I digress.  The point is-it was blowing and raining really HARD!

    Monday was on and off wind and rain.  But oh my word, Tuesday night the heavens broke loose!  We were sure the wind was blowing the rain so hard that we'd lose power (again), but the fans and a/c kept going.  For that we were more than thankful.

    However, 6:15 came with Lucky begging to go out.  When she saw the rain, she did the "oh no, not me mom!" dance.  She refused to even go on the covered patio, which seemed perfectly agreeable to use just the night before!

    She should've gone too.  At 6:30, we were under siege!  The wind was blowing at 50 MPH, the rain coming down so hard that the news reports said we had 5" in an hour and the lightning and thunder were pretty darn frightening!

    Our yard looked like a dirty pool.  I tried to take Lucky out front to potty under an umbrella.  Nope.  Wasn't happening.  I tried walking her to the pocket park across the street.  That is a wash-which was now a dirty pool as well.

    I posted a photo during a mild break for everyone to see-that pool is normally a ditch full of boulders.

    Our friends who live up a street and against the wash texted me a photo of the other side of their fence-the desert was now a rushing dangerous river!

    Soon after our power went out for 4 hours, the freeway was shut down from the mud and flash floods, several schools were shut for the day and everyone was told to stay HOME.

    Alex dropped off Aidan to me later in the afternoon.  Aidan summed up his day by disgustedly telling me, "Grandma-they wouldn't let me go out and play at lunch!  And the teachers made us do nothing but learn all day!"

    I suppose learning is tough when you're 6.  But better than drowning!

    By Wednesday morning-no one would have been able to tell what we had all witnessed the day prior.  We woke up to a clear blue sky without a hint of a cloud, 85 degrees with the most wonderful light waft of a breeze.

    Oh what a difference a day really does make.

    2 Replies
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

    Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014

    It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

    It really was too.  A few nights ago, Steve was replacing the lighting fixture over our breakfast table with a much better fan, he was just about done and he went out front to put the fuse back on when he nearly tripped over something.

    He almost tripped because it was about 8:00 at night and was pitch black out.  Plus a storm was about to hit and the only light (besides the porch light) was coming from the lightning bolts.  It was really windy too!

    What did he almost trip over?  A lost 30 pound black dog!  Seems to me, if you're a dog who's bolted from a neighbor's yard, been dumped by a callous moron or just out for a friendly stroll by yourself-we're the house you want to stop at and visit/ask for help.

    As soon as Steve realized what was "underfoot", he called me outside.  No need to tell me why-Lucky was barking up a storm and smelling the bottom of the front door. Pepper was darting all over the place.

    Poor girl was so frightened!  She was crying, tears running down her face and panting.  While Steve got some water and Lucky's leash, I began checking for ID tags.  Thank goodness!  "Clio" had a personal piece of jewelry that also had an emergency phone number.

    We took her into the yard and let Lucky get used to her-that was a loud event, but Clio was a very good guest and just looked at her hostess as if to say, "Thank you.  I'm so glad I came here."

    We hoped that we could reach someone before our bedtime.  Steve called her "Dad".  The neighbor was very grateful.  He said someone must have unlatched the gate.   He had been gone all day and was just coming home from work.  He'd would be right over.

    The wind was howling, the lightning gave a beautiful show and the thunder was loud enough that our neighbors couldn't possibly hear Lucky yapping.  It was also over 100 and uncomfortably humid.  Ick!
    In a very few minutes, "Clio's" dad arrived and Steve brought her out to his car.  Just in time too-as soon as Steve shut our door the rain began coming down as hard as we've ever heard.  The entire evening had me wondering why anyone would leave their dog out in 110 degrees all day-but maybe I baby my fur babies more than others.

    The storm came and went in about an hour.  Several neighbors lost some trees from the wind, some lost power and a few had "leakage" from the force of the wind blowing the rain into the window frames.

    But at least, thanks to us, one little dog was safe and happy.  In that dark a car could've easily run over her, a coyote could have attacked her or she could have gotten herself hopelessly lost in the wash.  

    Thank goodness for her guardian angel.  Stay safe little Clio.

    2 Replies
  • Jackson-You're 1!

    Posted on Friday, August 8, 2014

    Happy Birthday Jackson!

    As hard as it is to believe-our youngest grandson turned 1 this week!  On August 5th last year, our son, daughter Sam (the mom-to-be) spent the day waiting for the hospital to call and tell them to come in for her inducement.

    We all knew that even at one week early-it was his "time" to join us all in the open world.  It was estimated that he was over 9 pounds!  A size, I'd like to point out, that his dad (who was born at 33-1/2 weeks) didn't reach until his was about 3 months old-maybe a tad older!

    Our daughter, son-in-law and older grandsons all met us in the waiting room.  We waited and waited.  We found coffee and treats, watched the TV in the waiting room and waited some more.  Alex took the boys home, Sarah stayed with us for a while and then went on home-they had work the next day.

    About mid-night we realized that August 5th was NOT going to be Jackson's birthday and left Sam and Adam to forge on.  Poor Sam!  Poor Adam (he'd been a wreck waiting for this highly anticipated event in his life!).

    At 6 a.m. or so, Adam called to tell us it wouldn't be much longer.  We quickly dressed, fed the pets and pottied the dog and took off!  We went to a nearby bagel store and got breakfast for the brand new set of parents and ourselves and headed up to labor and delivery.

    Jackson had arrived!  9 pounds and 5 ounces.  Sam was justifiably exhausted but still a vision of beauty, with that beautiful "new mom" glow.  Adam was giddy and Jackson was a perfect mix of both his parents.

    Spring ahead to August 6th (Wednesday):  Jackson is now walking, eating table food, drinking out of his sippy cup and has quite the sense of humor (definitely takes after all his relatives).  He loves playing peek-a-boo, throwing balls to the dogs, reading books and his cousins.  He has a hearty laugh, a wonderful disposition and looks exactly like his dad.

    What's next?  We're all very interested in finding out-and comparing it to his day of birth, we're holding it with the same amount of anticipation.

    0 Replies
  • Friendship

    Posted on Friday, August 1, 2014

    As many of you know from several of my blogs-finding friends is not exactly an easy task.  Steve and I are not the most religious of people, so despite being invited to join a Temple that is more of a social group, that's not the best of places for us to find like-minded friends-couples or not.

    However, thanks to that day we were shopping at the outlet mall and met our closest friends-we've stagnated.

    I, personally, took advantage of our housing tract's personal website and invited anyone over for coffee or to take a walk-3 people have taken me up on the offer.  The leader of our site came over and we had a nice chat.  She left saying next time was her turn.
    So far, all I've received at little notes on the site saying, "we'll do it soon, I promise". The first woman was the one who invited us to the makeshift temple. Steve and I have met this nice couple for lunch a couple of times. Unfortunately, we're a bit TOO much alike. Poor woman has had 2 surgeries and is getting ready for a third.
    The last lady is our new neighbor across the street.  We keep talking when I take Lucky for a walk-but she's on her fourth set of visitors.  

    Then I forgot!  I joined the FaceBook page-Addicted to Anthem!  I went on there and introduced myself.  Now that seems to have worked for the moment!  That day I met another woman who is also disabled.  She can't walk, but we both do love our coffee!  This morning a woman who does like to walk with her Chi/Jack Russell met with me at 7 and we walked our dogs for an hour!  Yeah!

    Saturday-another coffee date with a woman who wants to do both-walk and drink coffee!   Plus, she's a fellow freelance writer!!!

    Of course I can't really say any of these women will become my BFF, after all we've only had one "date".  But I'm out there and trying to form a cohesive group for myself.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, it has been nice to share things with other women my age and get out of the house.

    6 Replies
  • I'm Seeing Red

    Posted on Friday, July 25, 2014

    I'm Seeing Red
    No, I'm not angry-just enjoying a bit of the color "red" around here.  We are used to seeing reds, pinks and blues in the sunsets-but this morning was different!

    Lucky had just finished her morning meal and I was taking her out into the yard when I heard a bird singing.  That was just a tad odd-you see, the road runners make a weird sound that is both "peep" and "engine" in nature.  The pigeons make a traditional "coo", the owls the "who" and the quail make a cluck-but this was a song.

    I looked around and saw not one but two red birds!  If I didn't know better I'd swear they were cardinals, but outside of the pro football team here, I doubt a cardinal hangs around the North side of Phoenix and in the Sonoran desert.

    There they were on the block wall singing a song to what appeared to be just me and our tiny pooch.  It was lovely.  I wanted to snap a photo and share it with you but darn if the phone wasn't inside being charged.

    Steve finally saw the family of cottontails the boys and I have been telling him about-he couldn't believe they were hiding in one of our shrubs.  "Don't those rabbits know they're just begging to be stuck by those thorns?"

    They're rabbits; I think they're just happy to find a source to have water (the drip system tubing), a bit of shade and protection from the rattlers and coyotes.

    I was seeing a bit of red over a couple of unexpected medical bills though.  As a woman, many of those who read this part will sympathize!  I had to have an extra mammogram a while back.  Six months before the technicians found "something" that turned out to be nothing but insisted they wanted a re-check.  So I went.  It took 4 long hours!  Poor Steve had to entertain the boys during this event.  This set of techs also saw "something", but on the other side.  It too was just what I said, nothing.  But I was happy they were so thorough.

    Turns out our PPO does cover mammograms-but it does NOT cover extra views or ultrasounds!  Imagine our chagrin when we received a bill for $500!  GRRR.

    Other "red" things this week-I was not happy to find out that a special "compound" my pain management doctor had ordered was still not close to being able to give me a price on.  It's been almost a month, countless phone calls and then I was told, "We have to get this okayed by your PPO in California because we can't get approval here."  That was over a week ago.  I also asked, "Before you send it I need to know how much will this personal compound cost is going to cost me, how long does one tube last and is this something that I will need to use all the time or once it works over the course of time I can wean off of and not have the problem come back?"

    I was told these were excellent questions and they'd have someone call.  I'm guessing the questions were quite difficult since no one has bothered to contact me!
    Luckily I'm seeing the doctor in a few days-maybe he or one of his assistants can do a bit more work and get me some answers.

    Until then, I prefer to see the red birds and hear a song that anything that puts my checkbook or face "in the red".

    2 Replies