Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Popularity Rank in the U.S. Population
|Year||Rank||Total out of 1,000,000 Babies|
So, in the past seven years the name Emma has been in the top five. That's funny, because I work in an elementary school and I know of only one girl named Emma who is under seven years old.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
(This entry is for me to remember our adventures. I'll warn you right now that it's long and it isn't always worded beautifully.)
Ohio was glorious for so many reasons.
The trip was Barry's second ever trip in an airplane and first flight as an adult. It was my first experience renting a car. I had never driven in Ohio before. I had never even been there without my parents either. How strange to be a grown up...
We left San Francisco airport around midnight the night of June 19th. Our flight was an hour late because of storms that had closed down Chicago's airport earlier in the day. We flew United, which isn't my favorite airline, but was part of the package deal, so we made the most of it. Flying in the middle of the night is horrible, no matter what company owns the plane. After landing in Chicago O'Hare, we walked about a mile (I may be exaggerating, but not much!) through the airport to get to our next flight. That place is huge! Barry took a nap on the floor for an hour, then we boarded the tiny plane that would take us to Akron.
Landing in Ohio makes me happy every time.
We met up with my very first friend ever, Melissa, at a restaurant in Akron called Rockne's.It was great to talk with her, meet her husband, and catch up on each other's lives. We've kept in contact off and on through the years and it is so good to know that we still feel comfortable around each other after all this time.
Next stop, Hubbard! I drove the familiar yet foreign path to Grandpa's house while Barry slept. I love the way that the horizon in Ohio is where the tops of lush, green trees meet a blue sky full of puffy, white clouds. Random side note: There are more radio stations to choose from back there. We never lacked good music in the car.
I got emotional as we got off the highway and made our way to the house that holds so many good memories. Though I had never been the one driving before, I could have done it with my eyes closed, the roads are printed so deeply into my memory. There we were. Grandma and Grandpa's house. It doesn't hold the charm it used to now that they are gone.
My grandmother's parents in the front. My grandparents stone is behind.
We then visited Daffins, ate at Eat'n Park, and went to Buhl Farm. Hooray for PA!
Monday we headed up to Kirtland, Ohio. I can't really begin to explain our wonderful experiences there. We toured the temple and sang "The Spirit of God" while inside. We wandered the cemetery, ate yummy food (I had pizza!), then toured Historic Kirtland. We went inside the Newel K. Whitney store and sat in rooms that have such powerful history. It was amazing.
From Kirtland we went to Willoughby for a place to stay. We visited Lake Erie and relaxed. The next day we went back to Akron, visited Uncle Dan one more time, the headed to the airport to leave the land I love. It was a good vacation, four days packed full of great experiences and memories. I am so glad that Barry enjoyed himself in an area that brings me so much joy.
Friday, June 5, 2009
She entered the world in April of 1993. I was ten years old and blessed to adopt her into my life. We grew up together, caring for each other, both believing that the other was the child who needed nurtured. As a kid I snuggled her under the covers and waited for her to fall asleep against my side. I did foolish things too, like shut her in the bathroom with me when I dried my hair, even though I knew she was afraid of the hairdryer. I only did that so that I could rescue her, so she would cling to me for dear life as if I was the only thing that could protect her. I cherished that feeling of being needed, of being someone's hero. Even now, no matter how stressed she becomes, I know that I can calm her by lying on my back and placing her on my chest. I'll rub her ears, she'll purr, then she'll lick my nose. We're best friends.
Winter is 16 years old now, a geriatric kitty. I've watched her slow down over the years, sleep more, play less, lose weight and start looking, well, old. I monitored her weight, checked her blood work at regular intervals, but there's not much you can do for old age. However, in the past few weeks we've noticed a drastic change in her ability to see. I took her in to my part-time work place and the vet checked her out. Detached retinas. Her blood pressure is high. Her heart murmur has become louder. Blood work confirms kidney disease. I figured as much.
I started feeding her special food for her kidneys two days ago. I mixed in vitamins as well as a tiny quarter of a pill to lower her blood pressure. She has always been a bit of a piglet and canned food has been a special treat in the past, so she was extremely excited to start eating this delicious, stinky, wet food. That day was awesome, she ate happily, seemed to be feeling well, and had no complaints. Yesterday went just as smoothly, but early this morning she decided to stop cooperating and has had no interest in eating since.
Bribery with chicken broth hasn't worked.
I don't know what to do.
I hate knowing that she doesn't feel well enough to eat but not knowing how to make her feel better. I've been mentally preparing for her departure from this earth, but I don't look forward to that moment. I don't look forward to the hours leading up to it either.
Oh, my sweet child. She's been beside me through it all. She has been a constant friend through all of my ups and downs: puberty, those angst-filled teen years, the loves and break-ups, the growing up, the marriage and moving out. She has never let me down. I just hope I can return the favor.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
After our appointments, we decided we needed some fatty, greasy food. We sat in Ben's Burgers waiting for the meat to cook, and I listened to KKIQ blasting through the restaurant's speakers. Lady Gaga, followed by Jimmy Eat World, followed by Nickelback. Really? Then I heard it. The glorious weather report that informed me of the thunderstorm that was fourteen miles away and moving in our direction. Hallelujah!
We picked up our bag of delicious burgers and fries and headed home. As I drove, my eager eyes scanned the dark clouds.
Once parked in the driveway, the drops of rain began to fall more consistently. I stepped out of the car and stood, face up to the sky, my skin drinking in the drops from heaven. Then I heard it. My old friend Thunder was creeping across the sky and my heart and nose and skin were instantly transported to an early time, an earlier me. I was 6, scared in bed at the roar of the skies. I was 9, playing outside as the storm moved closer. I was in a greener, more humid place.
In real time, I was about to cry. Why? Why does something that brings me so much joy cause a bittersweet pain deep in my chest? The best explanation I have is that these memories of a younger, carefree time make me happy, but the knowledge that those times are forever lost saddens me. The hollow ache comes when I think of all the family members who have passed through the veil, those people who I love so much and who are no longer in that greener, more humid place. The places that are the most special to me were not made that way on their own. They were made magnificent by the people with whom I shared those spaces.
If the people are gone, do the locations hold the same power?
I went inside our house, leaving just the screen closed so that I could hear the roar and the splatter through the open doorway. I put on a sweatshirt and slippers and sat at the table in front of an open window. I watched the sky come to life with a flash. I heard the clouds echo with power. I saw the street splash and flow with cleansing rain. I was filled with joy, with a sense of peace and a knowledge that, though some things have to change, pieces of the magic will always return to spark a memory and bring life to sleeping dreams.