Monday, March 12, 2007

Why now?

I wrote my last post about my Uncle Stanton 3 weeks ago.

Last week I wrote a nice little blog entry about my quiet week while my son went skiing. It wouldn't post. I wrote it TWICE but only the first few lines would post. I've never had that happen before. I gave up in frustration.

Sunday my Uncle Stanton died in a canoe accident. He and his son were canoeing on a pond near his home in Chicago. They capsized, falling into the freezing waters. My cousin was rescued.

I am in shock. I am heartbroken. I am horribly sad for my aunt who has now lost her two brothers in less than a year. I am horribly sad for his 4 children, his 6 grandchildren, and his one great-grandchild. It is little comfort that he was 92. His mother was 99 and his grandfather was 104 when they passed. Us Schuman's come from long-living stock.

And yes........I find comfort in knowing that he seemed to live as he wanted; canoeing every morning by himself and driving himself to Temple many times a week. My dad said he was on every "board" imaginable and sang in the choir at his Temple.

A few years ago I was talking to my cousin about his father and mine. I asked him, "How do we keep them safe?". He said, "we don't". They were stubborn old shits and we loved them for it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Uncle Stanton (and President Ford)

My uncle Stanton played football with President Ford in college in Michigan. When Ford passed away, my cousin dug out this old picture and passed it around.

I remember seeing it as a child and was somehow not impressed back then. Now it seems like another testament to an incredible life.
When my father ended up in the hospital last April, from a bad chest cold, Stanton was on the phone with us every day. When my father passed away, he didn't hesitate for a moment to get on a plane. I took that picture of him at the memorial services. He told us all his stories of little brother, "Albie" (my father's name is Albert).
My favorite story is how they hitchhiked from Chicago to LA to see the Olympics in 1934. They were 15 and 17. They were sleeping on park benches in Santa Barbara when I policeman offered to let them sleep in the jail. So they did! They loved sports and played every sport imaginable.

Uncle Stanton turned 91 in January. He lives in Chicago where he and my father were born and raised. He worked as an attorney until he was 85! His wife, whom he had 4 kids with, passed away maybe 20 years ago, and he just married his longtime girlfriend in 2005. When my dad asked him "WHY?", he said........"it was the right thing to do".

In 2004 when I made my father sell his business, I bought him an airline ticket to Chicago so he could visit his brother. He hadn't been back to Chicago for over 20 years. Stanton, on the other hand, had come to visit his sister and brother in Calif. quite a few times. He actually came by himself in 2003 and stopped at my house on his way from SB to SF (where my aunt lives). He looked at the scrapbook I had made for my dad and LOVED it. He wanted to go home and make one too. dad reluctantly went to visit him (he didn't take vacations.......too frivilous an activity), because I had bought the ticket and all...........and he had a great time. My dad said that Stan still went canoeing on Lake Michigan EVERY morning. He hoisted his canoe on top of his himself.......and off he went for his morning row. I'm not sure if he's still doing that. I gotta call him and find out.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Secret isn't really a secret

"The Secret" is a book and a DVD. A whole lot of people have probably heard about it or read it but I hadn't.

3 days ago someone asked me, "Have you heard about The Secret?". I hadn't.
2 days ago someone else brought me 2 DVD's; "What the Bleep Do We Know?" and "The Secret".
Today I was catching up on my TiVo'd Oprah's from last week and guess who she had on?? The teachers of The Secret.

3 times in 3 days. OK. I guess I'm ready to hear about it.

When I watched the DVD, I thought.....DUH?? Of course your thoughts, feelings, and actions create your reality. Hellloooooo? Who doesn't know that? That's NOT a secret.

When I watched Oprah today, I heard it another way. It's that old phrase........the secret to life or the KEY to life. On some level we all know what that is........for ourselves. Living it and believing it in and changing our negative thoughts and behaviors is a whole 'nother thing.

to be continued.................

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ya' know couples get divorced over this!

Recent conversation at the curbside:

My roommate/X-husband says: "He (my contractor/boyfriend) needs to leave some damn room in the trash cans for OUR trash??"

Me: "Ummm........sorry. I know it's annoying. It'll be over soon. I swear. And if not, I'll kill him first."

My roommate/X-husband: "Get in line."

My friend: "Ya know couples get divorced doing remodels?"

My roommate/X-husband: "That's why it's so great that we're already divorced and her boyfriend is the one we get to blame!!!"

New kitchen cabinets are garage

This is the kitchen as it was last August, after we took out a wall.

New cabinets arrived Thurs morning at 7:20!!
They are in boxes in the garage. Oh yes they are.
Because "we're" behind schedule. Big surprise.
The lonely little sink is hanging the cabinet that remains intact......barely. Which means we have running water. Don't we feel lucky?! And YES that is a bucket under the sink.
The walls got a coat of primer today. After the texturing............after the mudding and sanding and more mudding and more sanding.............
Drywall dust is on EVERYTHING. I know it's ON me but I'm thinking it's IN me too. Could be in my butt crack.
The concrete floor got a good grinding today with a loud, messy machine. More tomorrow on what was the dining room but is all one big room now. Darn if I can't get a picture of both rooms at once.
In addition to painting and grinding is tiling BEFORE cabinets are installed. The tiling is going from the front door, 25 ft. of walkway/entrance way to the kitchen/dining room. And did I tell you about the 600 sq. feet of tile that I transported in my compact SUV from the Home Depot 30 minutes from my house 'cause the HD one friggin' block from my house didn't have that particular tile in stock?????
I've never had tile before. I haven't told my vacuum about this major change in it's life. I'm picturing myself at an aisle in Wallmart soon, staring dumbly at all those Swifter thingy's.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

for giggles

LOL funny!

For anyone who talks back to their computer error messages:

And for anyone who's had a toddler:

And one of my favorite posts ever but perhaps only funny for us crazy scrapbookers:

Sunday, January 14, 2007

true ramblings

So I haven't written much. I guess I haven't had a story to tell or a clever little conversation to repeat. I think I just have some ramblings.

Today's my last day of being 41. That's cool. I like B-days in general. It's a great excuse to eat icecream cake, and say, "hey......I'm older and wiser". So far I've liked celebrating getting older. Not sure when that'll change. Maybe when I'm 70. That might be a little scary or I may have aches and pains to complain about. But lets face it, the 30's-60's seem like the prime of life. A time when you "know better" but anything is still possible. Who knows......maybe 70 willl be a great age too. It's certainly "better than the alternative".

I just finished reading Nora Ephron's book, I Feel Bad About My Neck. She talks about the aging and "the alternative". She's a funny lady and very entertaining but the book was way too short. I know she has more to say; she spent an entire chapter on how much she hates purses, for gawd's sake.

Speaking of books..........I also read, Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn, by Kris Radish recently. I will definitely read more by this author. She has that wonderful conversational type of story telling with pages of run-on sentences. The first 1/2 of book is a bit exhausting with the character in a manic state; the sheer terror and excitement that happens when EVERYTHING in your life is changing. Took me right back to the early days of divorce. After an amazing journey of self-discovery, she has a REVERSE BRIDAL SHOWER, where her women friends give her gifts to symbolize her movement into this next phase of her life. A lovely ritual really.

MMmmm............what else.

I spent today partly working at my desk, partly watching exciting (I can't believe I'm using that word here) football games. Seahawks almost did it. Chargers almost did it. Patriots proved that "you can't touch that" Brady guy.

And then of course I had to make that trip to Home Depot; where I was seen crawling around on the concrete floor, opening boxes of tile, AND giving football updates to the Home Depot workers and customers, via cell phone with the munchkin. It was an interesting game for him 'cause the Patriots were his favorite before we saw the Chargers last month.

Tomorrow I'll probably be at Boomers, playing a little mini-golf and driving those scary little race cars, with a big 'ole group of kids. Not exactly my ideal b-day but as my sister who shares her b-day with Xmas, said.........."that's what happens when your b-day is on a holiday". That's OK. I like sharing my B-Day with Martin Luther King, Jr. It's my honor. Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


So I pick up the TV Guide at the grocery store tonight 'cause there are just too many shows to keep track of and I feel like I'm missing something. I read that I can DOWNLOAD recent episodes of my favorite shows on iTunes. Yippee for me. I missed The Office and Grey's Anatomy last week 'cause of a stupid power surge that left my cable box turned off for days until I noticed it. (Ignoring my TV for days is the beauty of TiVo after all).

I go to iTunes. I find Grey's Anatomy. I must download the latest version of iTunes. OK. I can do that.'s gonna take 12 minutes. Uggh. Well, it's early.......I can still do that and have time at least part of the show. Only "download" turns into:
Shut down iTunes and retry
Restart computer
Login to iTunes

Um.......OK.......I think that was 20 or 30 minutes.

Find Grey's Anatomy again. Purchase for $1.99. Not a bad price. iTunes menu has changed and I have all these movie and podcast possibilities.

Um.......wait........did that just say my Grey's Anatomy download has FOUR hours remaining. Well shit.............who knew. I guess I'm leaving my laptop running all night. Wait.......did it just change to FIVE hours remaining and it's 50 MB. OMG. How do I put my iTunes stuff on my external hard drive.

I probably coulda' watched it on like I did Weeds. Sheeshhhh..........

Sunday, January 07, 2007

In an instant, everything changes

Why would a woman, with her young daughter in the car, be driving maybe 100 mph on a city street and cross over into on-coming traffic? Was she late for something? Was she having a seizure or heart attack? Was she rushing her child to the hospital? Was she intoxicated or drugged out?

I don't know. What I do know is that she spun out of control, rolling her red Kia into a power pole, which resulted in a 3 hour power outage for 4000 of us today.

At noon today, from the safety of our home, we heard a loud crash, about 2 minutes AFTER our power went out. I guess it took a few minutes for the splintered power pole to come crashing down to the ground. Within moments it seemed, there was one police siren after another, then a fire truck, then an ambulance, racing past out house towards Los Osos. Maybe it was an airplane that crashed; what else could have made such a loud crashing noise?

Having just gotten outa' bed ( was noon), I thought first of coffee but realized, duh, power. The boys had been watching football so they headed off to their favorite pizza place (Woodstocks, of course), to continue their sunday activity. I wandered aimlessly around the house realizing their was nothing to do without power (except "file"........which is a stupid thing one of my X-bosses used to say when we lost power at work). So to avoid filing, I headed off to the scene of the accident.

I've never seen so many lookie-loo's at a car accident before. My goodness, my neighbors are nosy. We all stood gazing at an upturned red vehicle by the side of the road, with power lines strewn all over it. One little car. That's what caused this major power outage?

While most stood and watched PG&E at work, I went off in search of someone who knew something. I heard a guy on his cell saying something like, "I was right here man. Just now. An accident. I've never seen anything like it." When he got off the phone, I asked him what happened and this is what he said. "We were working and we heard this loud boom and we rushed over and helped take this baby out of the back seat and the woman was completely smushed in the front seat and her head was cracked open and it was horrible. I've never seen anything like it. And the kid was so scared and the ambulance took him". (KSBY says a little girl who suffered major injuries. The Tribune says it was a 21 month old boy who suffered moderate injuries).

Just like that. In an instant. A child is mother-less. A life is lost.

I ended up at Borders, drinking coffee, and watching the people. Everyone going about their business on a Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Dear Self,

Patience is possible. All you have to do is IGNORE the stuff that takes a long time and go do something else.
It's a good, a GREAT thing, to post 100's of pics to kodakgallery, and then order prints, and then scrapbook them. You know you love it! And really, the munchkin's dad has 1000's of pics from 2006, and you selected only 100's. And instead of taking a minute a pic to post to kodak, you could be at Longs for hours standing at their machines. You've done it and it wasn't that fun.

And yes.......I know you don't have any water in your house tonight. But it's only ONE night. It'll probably be all fixed up tomorrow and you'll have your kitchen sink where it's supposed to be (under the window looking out at the backyard). And yes......I know your stove is sitting in a puddle of water but you didn't wanna' fry anything, and the toaster oven worked just fine on the foldout table in the hallway. And yes.....I know your office space is smashed into a 4x6 space and there are 1099's to do and payroll tax returns and sales tax returns and a ton of data entry just to get to that point. But you get to design your new office space, with all NEW office furniture, and it's gonna' be cool dammit. SOMEDAY.

SOMEDAY you're gonna look back and think a year of remodel wasn't half as bad as you thought it'd be. And your munchkin's gonna continue to beg to look at those scrapbooks AGAIN and AGAIN.