October 18, 2010

It's All How You Look At It

When I was ten years old and in for an annual school physical, a nice, attentive, Japanese doctor in Seattle (where my family lived at the time) noticed a murmur when listening to my heart.

It turned out that I had a hole about the size of a half dollar coin that was making my heart pump three times harder than normal. If nothing had been done about it, they said that I would probably not live to see my 20th birthday.

The only pediatric heart surgeon in the country in 1971, Dr. Savage, happened to be a neighbor and happened to practice in Seattle and operated on me. It cost my parents the $50/month in group health insurance that they were already paying for the family.

Had it not been for this harmonic convergence in the cosmos, here is what I would have missed:

-- graduating from college

-- being a spy in Washington D.C., my first "real" job

-- spending a year in France, where I ate well, learned a lot, and made the acquaintance of my dearest, oldest friend, Jayne

-- teaching English to so many wonderful, interesting students from around the world in Europe and the US

-- the welcoming into the world of my four, beautiful girls who are turning out to be amazing women

-- enjoying marriage to a good and loving man

-- bringing new life to an old farm and enjoying the fruits of my labors

-- coming to realize that with age comes peace, wisdom, and happiness

So, it is with absolutely no embarrassment whatsoever that I admit that I have reached the half century mark...two and a half times what I was initially allotted.

With a little luck, I may get another 50.

October 8, 2010

Educating Amelia

A junior in college, my daughter called me yesterday, presumably just to check in and say "Hi!". Very casually, she asks if I am going to vote in the next election. Sure, I am. "Oh, and when is that?" she asks. "The first Tuesday in November," I reply. My child is finally taking an interest in the political process. How nice! "And what do you know about the electoral college?" comes next.

The gig was up.

After lecturing a bit about electors and the popular vote and the 2000 election, I asked for the next question on the study sheet. It was a doozy. "What president was responsible for popularizing big government?"


Big government? Who wants that?

I counseled her to go early to the test and ask the T.A. -- the limit of my poly sci knowledge having been reached.

October 6, 2010

Our Farm Kittens

Here is our latest batch of farm kittens:

They were born in the spring and are thriving. They eat almost anything we give them. Our farm cats are special in that they have to fend for themselves during the week and then get spoiled by us on the weekends.

I recently treated Hubby to some new beers after discovering the paradise of Brix* here in Omaha. Well, given the shotgun approach to choosing single beers, there was one that he didn't quite fancy. He drank a bit of it, but decided to treat the kittens to the rest of it.

It's the dark one of the three red dishes.

After a couple of hours, they still hadn't touched it.

Hubby's reasoning?

"It's probably too early in the day for them to start drinking."


*A wonderful new store that stocks wines, beers, cheeses, olives, and fresh French bread. What more could one want?