Mom visiting!


Mom arrived today. I'm so unbelievably happy to see her. I haven't seen her for too many months, which is too many months too long. She's out for the week to help me out: do my taxes, be my personal assistant for a short while and just BE. I'm so happy she's here.

After picking her up from the airport (an adventure that), and driving home, Christmas began.

Mom always brings me little gifties when she visits. This time was no exception. She brought me the start of the quilt piece she's making for me. I "commissioned" a piece from her, which is a quilted underwater scene. Like all of the artwork in our house, I wanted big big BIG. She offered a series of smaller works that could be arranged and rearranged as desired.

I have to say I'm thrilled with the first part of the artwork.


I am, however, worried that Mom may hate me at the end of the week. My taxes? Hoo-boy, THIS is going to be an adventure.


Why was I so dumb?



Wait wait wait.


What was I thinking when I decided to take two dogs in the car to go pick Mom up from the airport?


I don't know and it was one of the stupidest ideas I've had in a long time.

I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe that it's cute when Kris does it when he picks me up from the airport? I don't know.

I DO know I won't be doing that retarded move again.


Mom is starting to understand


Received a note from Mom today:

howdy! well, i am beginning to understand what you go thru ... these people want miracles at the museum! what a hoot! i'm learning a lot ... and it's still fun. and looking forward to seeing you in early feb.

She's recently taken a website design/builder contract job, and jumped in feet first. I guess she's learning.

I am my mother's daugher


I have this picture of my mom when she was a couple years older than I am now. My life has taken a completely different path than my mom's life did, yet that picture often reminds me how much the same we are.

In the picture, Mom is sitting on a couch. Several of us kids are sitting on the couch, too, with Chris in the front. Mom is smiling but, oh my, does she look older than she is. When the two of us look at the picture together, she always comments about how stressed she was at that time. Despite the smile, that was near one of the low points in Mom's life.

I went to play ultimate at Kris' work today. I haven't played in a good number of weeks, and haven't played pickup in years. As Kris reminded me at the end of the house, I had forgotten how to play pickup, which is to say, "with lots of breaks."

When you're on a practicing team, you usually have enough people to play, then rest a point or two. Certainly at a tournament, you run hard, then rest, run hard then rest. Unless, of course, you're playing savage, but that's a different style of play entirely.

So, I forgot how to play pickup. It happens.

At the end of the pickup game, I pulled out my camera and took a picture of Kris and I. Kris looks the same as he always does, perpetually 24.

I, on the other hand, look every bit my age. I look at this picture and think, Geez, my years have finally caught up to me. It's not a flattering picture.

Mom arrives


Mom arrived in town this morning. The lazy three day weekend ("Today feels like Sunday, but it's only Friday, yeee-haw!") meant that getting to the gym would be wonderful. Instead, I drove to the airport to pick up Mom. Gym. Mom. Gym. Mom. Yeah, Mom will win every time.

I noticed traffic was unusually light heading to the airport. I wasn't sure if the time of the drive (8:00 am) was the cause (I didn't think so), or the first day after a holiday (when people might still be travelling home, or staying away), but I admittedly enjoyed being able to go door to door in less than 20 minutes.

I was also amused by the cop who parked at the end of the 87 to 101N interchange, hopped out of his car, and stood at the median next to the interchange's carpool lane. The way traffic was stopped for the non-carpool lane, and his placement meant that there was exactly no way for a carpool violator to avoid being caught. Of course, "caught" and "avoiding a ticket" really are two different things.

Mom's visiting me to attend a class in Palo Alto. She asked me if I was interested in taking the class, too. I said yes, mostly to spend more time with Mom, but the class was also interesting.

It's a class on posture: how to stand, sit, walk, and lie with proper back alignment to reduce back stress and pain. Two years ago, at the multiple recommendation and near insistence of my chiropractor, I went to the Balance Center, and learned how to sit, stand, lie, and walk in balance. The problem I had with the class was I now knew how to sit, stand, lie and walk in balance, but I wasn't able (willing?) to apply the knowledge I gained. So, now, not only did I not stand, sit, walk, and lie in balance, but I also felt guilty for not doing so. Suckasaurus.

Well, no time like the present to make a change, so I agreed to attend the class with Mom, who was very excited about the class, which was with another facility that taught proper back alignment.

I can't say I was particularly excited about the class when the woman at the front desk measured my height and declared I was 1/2" shorter than I was when I measured myself two weeks ago. Honestly, this set off all sorts of alarms in my head: measure them short at the beginning of the class, and LOOK HOW TALL YOU ARE at the end of the class.


So, I went to the class with an open mind. I figured, if nothing else, this could be a review of the other class, perhaps inspiration to start my journey again to good posture.

After the class, Mom was very, very excited. She was talking about how this made sense, and how that was so right, and very, very excited (did I mention excited?). I, on the other hand, wasn't so impressed with the first class. The instructor didn't give us an introduction, but rather launched into sitting properly, without any background on why we were doing what we were doing. I need that. I need to know WHY before I can DO. No luck.

I also couldn't get past the fact that all the pictures shown were of statues and babies. Statues are stylized versions of people, not necessarily a mirror or accurate portrayal of a person, so they seem like cheating. Or maybe it felt like the instructor was trying to find data to fit a theory instead of finding a theory to fit the data.

I don't know. There are six more classes. We'll see if I change my mind.

The best quote of the day was from Mom, as we were walking back from the local Fresh Choice. She was telling me about home and how the temperature was "one hundred and fuck out." I stopped walking, and just stared at her. I think the last time I heard her curse, I was still living in Southern California.

Yay, Mom!


Dog predates blog


Mom forwarded me an email exchange from when Kris and I first brought Bella home. Mom visited us the weekend after we picked up Bella.

From: Vicki
To: Eric
Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 11:50 AM
Subject: I'm here!


What a cute dog they have! They had to go all the way
to Salsaulito to get her so ended up bringing her back
last night. What a AARRROOOO! Nothing at all like 
Trixie - this is HOWLLING and SINGING! So funny.
She's about half as tall as T and kind of stocky, brown
and white. Very friendly and seems to be acclimated
already to the surroundings. Kitt and I were in
the backyard talking about the compost bins and Bella
snuck over and grabbed something unidentifiable off
the top of the heap.

So Kitt's gone off to work until 230 - I'm doing some
homework and then working in the yard with Bella (who
is now laying outside in the sun ... just like home).

See you soon XXOOXX

   From: Eric
     To: Vicki
   Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 11:50 AM
Subject: RE: I'm here!

glad to hear all is well.  

But...where are the pictures???  you got camera, you
got computer, you got dog...  

i want a howling video.

how well does she dig?

   From: Vicki
     To: Eric
   Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 10:41 PM
Subject: RE: I'm here!

I have a howling video! Will send that tomorrow! She's
got a BIGGER howl than Trixie - goes on for a lot longer.

The woman that Kitt got her from said that she didn't
dig. Ha! Bella went outside and didn't come back for a
while ... there she was, in the raised garden beds,
digging. Kitt brought her in and Bella headed right
back out.

More later ... it's getting late ... I'm fading. It's
been a fun day ... I'm glad I'm able to spend some
time with Kitt. Thanks.


   From: Eric
     To: Vicki
   Date: Thursday, August 14, 2003 9:16:38 AM
Subject: RE: I'm here!

yup; beagles dig.

Monkey bread


Mom and I spent the day making monkey bread. I say, "the day making monkey bread," because it seemed to take for-ev-ver to make.

Mom's mother used to make monkey bread for the family when Mom was younger. She made it for years for the family. Mom loved the smell of monkey bread cooking as a child; today's smell brought back memories. Seeing her smile and remember her childhood was nice.

Making the monkey bread took a long while. It had to be mixed up, left to rise, punched down, left to rise again, torn into little pieces, coated in cinnamon and sugar, left to rise yet again, and drowned in a crap load of cinnamon sugar syrup. At one point, during the torn into little pieces part, the balls looked like little poop balls in a bucket:

Dinner time, we finally started eating the monkey bread. We, of course, started with the pieced on top. You know, the ones that had been soaking in the cinnamon sugar syrup.

According to Mom, her mom stopped making monkey bread after accidently switching salt for sugar in the recipe one year, making some of the worst monkey bread ever. My grandmother was apparently horribly embarrassed and, well, once she was embarrassed, did her best to never do that same action again, to avoid further embarrassment.

How limiting must her life have become in the end... to never take chances for fear of embarrassment.

Block prints


Mom and I were totally trying to cram as much into the day as we possibly could. We finished nearly all of today's errands: picking up prints, picking up the mail, stopping by warehouse store, getting bread for dinner, each lunch, buy an ice cream cone to keep our strength up. We stopped by the house earlier today, in the middle of the errands, to check on her supplies, then dashed off to the local craft store, 50% off coupons in hand.

Mom wanted to try her hand at block printing.

Karen, Eric's sister, was a printmaker. I remember, years ago, maybe 2002, giving Eric's parents a block print Christmas card I had made. This particular Christmas, we were both Moxie sitting and heading down to Eric's parents' house for Christmas. Karen was also there, and was interested in the card I had given her parents. I had no idea she was a printmaker, much less a college instructor on printmaking. Had I known, I'm sure I would have been much too intimidated to give her parents a linoleum block print card for Christmas.

She was good natured about it, so I wasn't nearly as intimidated as I probably should have been. Her print works are amazing, but I didn't know this until after I gave her one of my block prints.

So, Mom and I are working on block prints today. Mom's print is a bird that saw on a card sitting next to us when we were trying to figure out what designs to start with. I stuck with the tried and true: an oak leaf and an acorn.

Visiting mom


A few weeks ago, the owners of the quilting store Mom was working at, decided to close the store. Mom was blue about the store's closing, asking, "Why do all the jobs I like not work out?" The store was very convenient for her: it was close to home for her, had hours she liked, coworkers were good people.

I had no answer for her.

A week later, my brother lost his job, too. He worked in the housing industry. With the downturn in the housing market, his job became uncertain for a while, then, poof gone.

My response was the response it always should have been, but hasn't been lately with all the work I've been doing: I flew out to Arizona to spend time with both of them. I flew out on Thursday evening, flying back on Sunday morning. Mom made the rule before I flew out of "No computer."

Yeah, that didn't last long. It lasted just long enough for Mom to say, "I don't know. Kitt, look it up on the web."

The weekend was nice and relaxing. I still had work to do, and did some of it. No as much as I would have liked, but, well, I think that will always be the case. B came up and the three of us tooled around chatting, eating and, well, getting massages.

Pup returns an orange.

Hula! Hula! Hooooolah!

Self portrait.

Mom and food.

Me and the same food.

Mom warned me that we were going to a quilting event, where I should expect to spend about five hours amongst quilters. Me? I can sit for a large number of hours happily content with my computer: give me an electrical outlet and I'm just fine.

I expected Mom to spend time quilting. The group would spend time working on group projects as well as individual projects. The evenings are focused work time on quilts. So, We brought her quilting basket full of projects. We brought in her sewing machine. We brought in our contribution to the potluck dinner.

Mom didn't quilt.

She spent the whole time organizing the various quilts the group was making for different projects. She talked with people, sure, the time is a good social time, too. It's interesting to watch Mom in her element, to see her take charge, laugh, work, clearly enjoy the time and the tasks. It's nice.

Though, I think her sewing machine was lonely.