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Carine’s Blog

  • The Heat is Really On

    Posted on Friday, June 6, 2014

    The Heat is Really On

    I had to laugh out loud-our nephew, a nurse for Fresno County in California posted on FaceBook, "109 on a Monday?"

    As our 7-1/2 year old grandson has a fondness of saying, "Welcome to my world".

    According to my sister-in-law Ila, Lucas was not happy about a possible week's worth of this temperature.  I'm still chuckling at this-we have triple digits of anywhere from 110-120 from Mid-May until late September.  If we're lucky, the overnight temps dip to a nice "chilly" 85.

    When I pointed this well-known fact as an answer on his post-I did not even get the slightest of internet groans.  I'm guessing he figures we chose to move here.  But, really, he chose to move to Fresno.  At least he's got fresh sun-dried raisins.

    The boys are out of school and seem to be pushing their grandparents to the limit of how we will all survive the summer.  I've personally taken them to the "big" splash pad twice, grandpa went with us the other evening and I've driven them around the corner to the splash pad at the outlet mall out of desperation for both my sanity and Lucky and Pepper's well-being.

    Pepper's nearing in on 11 in a couple of months.  He loves the boys, but after about the first 4 hours of them insisting on tossing HIS toys around the house for THEIR enjoyment he starts looking at them in a not so friendly glare.

    Lucky is missing her walks.  Aidan has a thing with his feet that makes them hurt after about one lap of the park.  Plus, Lucky wasn't receptive to the cute booties we bought to protect her feet from the heat and after the same lap-she's done her "duties" and wants me to carry her the rest of the way.

    I am now using the treadmill.  Not scenic-I assure you.
    The heat is also on metaphorically.  In the last two weeks, the boys had to endure the lobby of the fanciest and nicest place I've ever been for my mammogram. I'm sure this is what a medi-spa is-and covered by our PPO!  I was offered a plush robe, quiet music, comfy seats and homemade cookies with coffee, tea and water.  Too bad for grandpa and the boys-I was there for almost 4 hours.  

    Don't ask.  Just glad at the end of the session all was declared "Good for another year".

    Then came two other doctors' appointments and an epidural.
    I was pretty sure I had the worst part of the deal with the epidural-the assistant told me, "he really loaded you up-8 injections."  The doctor also suggested that "as good as you are about my torture; you really should consider the sedation.  I know these are really painful."

    But by the reactions of the men, you'd have thought I was waiting the half hour for them and they got the shots.
    And so goes the summer of heat.  

    Dear Lucas-enjoy your few days of triple digits.  It makes for a nice change and then you can really appreciate the weather when it goes back down to the upper 80's.

    2 Replies
  • Going Home-Both Ways

    Posted on Friday, May 30, 2014

    Going Home Both Ways

    My daughters and I went on a "road trip" with Aidan, Jackson and Lucky.  It was a pretty good trip all in all.  It was great to see my family and catch up.  Didn't really do very much-but it was fun.

    While Sam and Jackson headed out with her mom and sisters for the weekend after dinner Thursday, the rest of us remained at my sister's home.  Sarah made arrangements to see friends Friday.  While everyone else did their thing (you know, work), Aidan and I made some plans for us and Lucky!

    Aidan's request was to go to the dinosaur park at the community center.  We walked down the "creepy" staircase located next to my sister's home with my pup and had a great time.  Aidan found a little girl to play with while I chatted with another grandma who lived in Palm Springs.  Obviously, we had a lot in common!  Later-some playing in my sister's pool, despite the overcast skies and cool temperatures.

    This was Lucky's first road trip.  She wasn't sure why she was in the car and was scared to death when we arrived at my sister's and she saw all these "strangers" plus the two very friendly dogs who resided there.

    She was shaking like the proverbial leaf and dug her head in my neck.  Eventually (2 hours) she decided no one meant her any harm and slowly lowered herself to my lap and then the floor.  They played fine the rest of the vacation.

    Only thing she didn't want any part of?  Doing her business in their yard!  Thank goodness for the neighborhood full of interesting smells.

    Saturday was spent relaxing by the pool, buying my mom's Mother's Day gift (her choice were new orchid plants) and more relaxing.

    Sunday had my sister taking my parents to a funeral.  Sarah and Aidan went to Universal Studios to test out the new Despicable Me ride and the rest of the park.  Lucky and I hung out with Dave, my brother-in-law and Jonathon, our nephew.  I learned a lot about their hobbies!  Dave has always loved his very extensive and unique shell collecting from all over the world.  Jonathon is quite the aquarium expert!  He also taught Aidan quite a bit about the fish, including how the loss of a favorite one feels as bad as the loss of a furry pet and how to introduce some new ones to the "top dogs".  Jonathon let Aidan help feed them, clean some of it, bury the deceased one and learn about how to thin out the ever re-producing snails.  He also showed him how an encased jellyfish (a gift that's really a paperweight) glows in the dark.

    For 6-year-old Aidan this was quite the highlight!  When I asked him if it was neat to have a cousin, he told me, "Yes, especially when they're a cool cousin grandma!"

    The trip home was arduous however.  Poor Jackson hated being confined, yet again, to his car seat.  Aidan tried to keep him entertained with funny faces, duets with grandma and "puffs".  Lucky was none too happy about being put into her crate for the first and only time during the trip when we made a lunch stop either.

    The worst part though?  Yours truly made the most stupid move of her life!  Sigh.  I realized about an hour into our trip that I had a lot more leg room than the first trip.  I looked down.  I had my camera case, I had a bag of books to read to the boys, I obviously had the kennel-what I didn't have was my PURSE!!!

    We called my sister-yep, there it was in the bar area along with Lucky's bag of bowls and dog food.

    Sarah said "No way am I turning back!  Tell Auntie to overnight it."

    Overnight on Memorial Day means I didn't get it back until Wednesday afternoon.


    Too say this was an inconvenience is a total understatement.  I never realized just how important the contents of my purse were.  Besides the "nothing" things such as lip balm and tissues, I had to go without important things like: house keys, car keys, wallet-which contained credit cards, driver's license and medical cards and my smartphone.



    Steve and I are going back on Father's Day.  Good thing too-Lucky wasn't too enthralled with her new makeshift bowls for her daily dining pleasures.

    2 Replies
  • Time for the Old Treadmill

    Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

    Time to Use the Treadmill

    Besides our grandson Aidan graduating k-garten last week, Steve and I learned something very important about our Chihuahua Lucky.  

    As many of you have gathered-it gets mighty HOT around here.  In fact, we've been in the triple digits for a couple of weeks already.  Because of this at this time last year, poor Lucky had to stay indoors-save going out to do her business.  Let's face it-I didn't want to brave 115 to walk my 2+ miles either.

    Our self-imposed prison sentence started the end of May and our release date was the end of September.  I used the treadmill.   Lucky put on 1-1/2 pounds!  It was a bummer for both of us.

    Since then we’ve been looking for protective booties so we could continue our outdoor walks over the summer. Steve and I found a pair at the mom-and-pop dog wash and pet boutique that's up the road a couple of miles.  We were so excited!  After all, she loves her sweatshirt, sweater and fleece coat for our brief winter temps-this should go over well!

    Well, we did get the front 2 on-she looked at us as if we were total nut jobs. Nevertheless, we then decided to try and get the back ones secured-we heard a low, “grrr“.   We stopped.   Our thought was that she might go for this if she stands up with them on and sees her feet aren’t hot.  

    Nope, Lucky stood there like a toddler trying on shoes for the first time.  We busted out laughing at the entire process and the outcome.  Following gaining control of ourselves, we took off the booties and put them back into their original packaging.

     Guess what Steve did on his way to work the very next morning?   He returned the booties.  

    It's back to the treadmill for me.  Back to watching me on the treadmill for Lucky.  Sigh.

    I know I'm posting early this week-our daughters and I, Aidan, Jackson and Lucky are visiting our family in Orange County for the holiday weekend!

    Enjoy your families and see you next week!

    0 Replies
  • Our Little Graduate

    Posted on Friday, May 16, 2014

    Our Little Graduate
    This week had us celebrating a most prestigious event-Aidan's kindergarten graduation!  It's always amazing to see how far a 5-year-old can come in a few short months.  Aidan is quite the personality.  He loves to be silly, make others laugh and somehow his favorite thing to do is make a face just as my camera is going into the click mode.

    If anyone has a need for a picture a la "Junie B Jones and the Monster Under the Bed", contact me-as I have numerous ones to put in your child/grandchild's room to scare them away!  (Junie B is a fun and imaginative kindergartener who's always in trouble and having a photo taken when she's not ready)

    Back to our now 6-year-old-soon-to-be-1st-grader.  Aidan is cuddly, handsome, smart and (for the moment) as honest as the day.  He'll accept blame for his "wrongs" but is quick to tell you what he hasn't done and who is the real culprit (usually, his older brother Dylan).

    Aidan's heart is as big as they come; he'll come to your aid faster than most kids his age.  He's always asking if he can help-even if it's getting the towels out of the dryer because grandma can no longer manage this trivial feat without her shoulder going into spasms.

    He loves to help cook.  Whether it's hamburgers on the grill with grandpa or brownies with grandma, Aidan will seek out a way to assist.

    When Aidan entered "real" school, he had a bit of a time learning the new rules, sitting still and listening to his hockey loving teacher, Mrs. Harsch (who is anything but!  This woman has the patience of a saint.  I know because I worked very hard at doing pre-school for over 10 years).

    As with everything, time helps.  Today, Aidan gets his "green" bears almost 100% of the time, he's doing his sight words and has shown his classmates the art of how to dance and sing with a side of comic relief.

    Summer's here (for some reason school goes on for another week) and I'm hoping to do a lot of fun things to get Aidan ready for first grade and Dylan ready for second, with a good amount of trips to both the swim park/pool and the splash pads.

    For now, this is the last kindergarten graduation ceremony I'll be able to enjoy with the right amount of tears until Jackson walks in with his paper hat in 6 years.  I don't want it to happen too fast though.  It seems as if it was just yesterday when we reveled in Dylan and Aidan's "firsts".   For that matter, it feels as if it were only a few moments ago that Steve and I were capturing every move Sarah and Adam made and cried in happiness over!

    It's okay by me to cry happy tears.  And I guess it's okay for Aidan to start reaching for a new chapter in his life of elementary school.  

    No longer a baby is he.

    4 Replies
  • Please, Save the Drama for YOUR momma

    Posted on Friday, May 9, 2014

    Please, Save the Drama for YOUR Momma

    Because it's Mother's Day weekend, I feel I have a right to say something to other moms:  Please, we all have "something"-so if you aren't my BFF or a family member, stop sharing your stories of angst with me!

    Why?  It's the same as posting your dirty laundry on social sites-NO ONE wants to hear about things such as:

    You're almost ex-husband who left you, has a new girlfriend and still finds time to verbally attack you every day via text or calls. If you go on to add that you have several diseases and have the need to run to Nepal and raise sheep, please it's not that I am hard-hearted Hannah, I've just got an overflowing "plate" of my own.  Besides, you're just using me to have someone listen to you.

    I, a total stranger, should not be privy to your health problems, your money problems or be told that you have a child in Joe Arpaio's jail and that they hate the pink underwear.

    To those who overshare to strangers such as myself, do you know that while I'm sitting there with my Chihuahua minding my own business that you are also sharing these highly private problems with all the people around us whom also don't know you-but they sure do know your deepest (and darkest) problems????

    Maybe it's my relaxed demeanor that brings drama to me!

    Another person struck up a monologue with me in a market over the corn box.  Started out with a simple, "Don't these first corn of the season look delicious?" to her segueing into a 15 minute tearful telling of how lonely she is now that her last child has flown the coop to work "all the way out in Scottsdale".

    Really?  For those who have no idea-Scottsdale is a mere 30-50 miles (depends on what part of this lovely city) from Anthem/New River.   I extricated myself by saying I understand but I have to go pick up my grandkids.  When I turned she was still crying and blowing her nose.  Don't know how much longer she stood there waiting for someone to take my place-but my "mitzvah" (good deed) for the day was done.  

    Of course it is totally my bad because I didn't run like the wind after the she did her second sentence, but I wanted corn and then didn't want her to feel abandoned.  Took me 15 very generous minutes to think to myself that this wasn't something I could/would/should fix and why was I allowing this scenario to continue?

    As I said, maybe it's my demeanor or that fact that sometimes I'm stuck (the first woman finds me while I'm waiting for the grandkids to get out of school) until I find a way out that entails the stranger not being able to follow me.

    Enough, I've had my rant.  To anyone who sees themselves in these paragraphs, start thinking "Save the Drama for Yo' Momma", but not on Mother's Day-let her have that one day to NOT help anyone who's having some personal catastrophe.

    Now I want to take this moment to say Happy Mother's Day to my mom, sister, sister-in-law and daughter.  

    Here's a very special one to Sam who is celebrating her very first Mother's Day (plus the kids celebrated their 4th anniversary) this year!

    0 Replies
  • Blowin' in the Wind

    Posted on Friday, May 2, 2014

    Blowing in the Wind

    I've mentioned the fact that we live in an area that has the potential to be crazy windy. This past week was proof. In fact, I will tell you this amazing report:  Wednesday it was so windy that Sky Harbor International Airport clocked it at 52 MPH.

    Nothing to sneeze at-unless of course you are a member of my family, then that's all you seem to do in between blowing your nose.

    Not that we all didn't have allergies of the pollen kind in good ol' Orange County; we did, just not to the degree we have here.  Even Pepper (our 10-1/2 year old tabby) seems to be having quite the problem-and he's a 100% indoor cat!  Poor dear is sneezing his head off numerous times during the day AND the night.

    In fact, he got me good (warning:  major "EW" factor) the other day.  He's been pretty cuddly lately, even staying on my lap before Lucky (our 2 year old Chihuahua) snuggles down for a nap-but this day he couldn't just enjoy a nap.

    Nope, the little guy was totally asleep when he woke up, looked up at me with his huge green eyes and did IT:  He sneezed, 5 times, in my face.  Gross!  Then he closed his eyes and actually thought I'd let him go back to his nap!

    Lucky looked up and thought going back to her nap was on the docket as well.  Both were not happy when the foot rest on my La-Z-Boy went down with a rather noisy thump and I got up.  They stared at me in disbelief and followed me into the bathroom and watched me wash my face.

    Just writing this has me wincing.

    I couldn't be too mad at them, it wasn't a planned attack.  Also, Steve has been teasing me for at least a month about the 5 big boxes of tissues I've emptied.  He sneezes but doesn't seem to go through even ½ as many as I do.  Then there are the kids and the grandkids.  Poor Dylan, just walking to the mailbox with me is a futile event that requires him walking with the tissue box close at hand.  Aidan just looks bleary eyed.  

    Little Lucky hates that wind!  At 6.4 pounds you can only imagine what a feat it is for her to do her business (somehow she always holds up her two hind legs and balances on the front two) without serious injury!

    Thank goodness the weather reports are predicting the gales with demote themselves down to about 6-10 MPH by the time you read this blog-otherwise life around here  might just become what Bob Dylan predicted, "The answer my friend is blowing in the wind."

    0 Replies