Tag Archives: nephew

Photo Friday – “Prohibition”

Todays Photo Friday challenge is “Prohibition”.  We were to share things we are prohibited to do in our own hometowns.  You must check out Jan’s entry at “A Curious State of Affairs” for a mind-boggling collection of prohibitions found within a four minute stroll from her home!

I am only sharing a single photograph.  There is something about a prohibited sign that makes me want to do just what I am told not to do.  A few months ago I was in a nearby park with my nephew and coerced him into my lawlessness!

Lawlessness In The Garden of the Gods by you.

 Enjoy your friday!  I’m off to work!  🙂 

Advance Diary

 Friday 19th June:  Author’s choice –  The Colours of Summer

Friday 26th June: Author’s choice – Looking Down (from a great height perferably – or from an upper window)



Certain Things Just Make You Feel Old

I feel old when I walk down the stairs and I can HEAR my left knee cap grinding.  (And that’s my GOOD knee!)

I feel old when I realize that I have been a nurse for TWENTY YEARS.

I feel old knowing that my 30th high school reunion is in only four years…if we have one, that is.

I feel old when clerks at stores and waitresses and such call me m’am, and they’ve never been in the military.

But the thing that is making me feel old (but very excited and proud!) today, is that my oldest nephew will be going off to college in August.  I just heard that he got into Hillsdale College in Michigan.   Way to go Richie!!!!  Well done. 

Yeah, I’ll be up to see you, you know it!  🙂

This One is For Karine

Okay, so my nephew e-mailed me today and asked me a favor.  He apparently recently ran into a woman named Karine (spelling is in question…afterall it IS my nephew we’re talking about) who wanted the information on the Los Angeles regional robotics competition.  Richard asked me to send the info to Karine as he didn’t have her info BUT she reads my blog.  I can’t find a Karine as ever having left a comment (thus providing me with an e-mail address) SO I am posting that information here, in a post, for Karine, and anyone else who would like to go and support the Beach Bot/Team 330.  (I have added a permanent link to my nephew’s blog in my blogroll).

The competition is March 13th and 14th at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Gee, I wish I could go…


I gave my nephew Mitchell a pair of snow overalls (what I call “snowveralls”) for Christmas.  When he opened them up and pulled them from the box, his mom asked him if he knew what they were. 

 Almost without hesitation he nearly shouted…  “OVARIES!”.

True story.  I was there!

Readers, Insects, and Super-Powers

Last week my nephew Mitchell spent Saturday evening through Sunday morning with me.  One of the things I love most about him is the very funny things he says.

He found this pair of 1$ reading glasses I picked up at Target and decided he just had to wear them.

Mitchell's Readers by you.

He’d been wearing them for a few minutes and I told them he needed to take them off.  But then he told me he needed to put them back on because now “everything’s blurry”!

I took him to a park in the evening on Saturday.  I noticed that the the zipper on his camo cargo shorts was down…

Me – “Your fly is open.”

Him – “Wha???”

Me – “Your FLY is open.” I repeated, and pointed to his zipper.

On the way to the grocery store to pick up a few things after the park, I smelled something less than fresh emanating from the back seat.

Me – “Did you fart?”  (I have given up trying to get my nieces and nephews to use some other term for gaseous emissions)

Him – “No.”

Me – “Yes you did.  I think you farted!  (Smiling back at him)  I think that if you had a super power it would be farting.  Yes, I’m pretty sure you would be Fart Boy!”

HIm – “Nope.  My super power is love.”

Good grief.  🙂


Later, as we got out of my car at the store, we were chatting.  He looked down at the front of his shorts and then smiled up at me and said…

“Uh oh!  My bug is open again!

AND finally, when we got back in the car, I told him I could still smell his super power in there. 

Him – “What?  It smells like love?”

He’s six.

My sister is in trouble.

Do you EVER stop moving???

I spent part of the Labor Day holiday weekend with my six-year-old nephew.  We had a great time.  He spent the night at my house, just him, and we did some fun things!

Yesterday while at the zoo, I just had to ask him about his state of perpetual motion.  That kid is all over the place all the time, a seemingly bottomless pit of energy and interest in his world.  It’s hard to keep up with him on any level.  He’s a blur most of the time, and even when he’s “sitting still”, he’s always moving around.  It cracks me up!  Even on the couch while watching TV he repositions himself about every, well, every 2-3 seconds!  I counted!!!  No wonder he’s hungry all the time, he’s constantly burning up energy.

So I asked him, “Do you EVER stop moving???”

He immediately began to tell me about how he used to live with Auntie Diane in California, and then he moved in with Uncle Phil, and then he moved HERE!

So, yes, he has moved A LOT! 

My sisters and I broke out in laughter!

NOT the answer any of us were expecting!


“Re: Essay and other such rubbish” – Part III

Since I’m gone I thought I’d have my nephew, Richard, in again as a guest blogger!  Here’s another offering from my nephew’s collection of essays.  That’s my nephew!  Putting the positive slant on yet another “negative” personality trait!

This one is on Sarcasm..

Sarcasm as a Second Language


“Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.”

                        -Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, 19th century Russian fictional writer.


Did you know that I am multi-lingual? Not only do I speak English, pig-Latin, and New Zealandish, I also speak sarcasm. This wonderful language serves as a happy medium between the polite refutation and outright condemnation we are forced to shovel upon the idiocy that envelops us. Through sarcasm, we are able to eviscerate our moronic contemporaries, as opposed to politely and gently correcting their blatant and unforgivable lack of intelligence, without crossing over the boundary of downright meanness. We save our mean comments about the person for our close friends and family. The beauty of sarcasm lies in the fact that the people subject to your wit generally are too dense and slow to understand your true feelings.

            Another facet of the language of sarcasm is its use between two or more native speakers. Those fluent in this tongue can often carry on entire conversations with each other about their peers without these unwashed masses of idiots realizing what is going on around them. The difficulty in this resides in the fact that one must sift through the maddening crowd of morons to find one truly intelligent person who shares this gift, no easy task, for, as I have come to conclude, only one out of every thirty people or so qualifies. That is why the best alternative for we intellectuals is solitary, urban hermitage.

            There are several dialects of sarcasm. The first, traditional sarcasm, is most prevalent in the middle-aged, and tends to tread between the boundaries of politeness and meanness fairly evenly, reflecting neither too much softness nor too much open harshness. The second, reactionary sarcasm, is spoken almost exclusively by the old, and generally borderlines on razor sharp meanness. This dialect tends to focus more on teaching its subject didactic elements and improving its subject’s behavior as opposed to just openly mocking him. The final dialect, post modern ridicule, resounds both loudly and irritatingly from the youngest sect of the species. This dialect does not even try to mask itself, crossing over the line of nastiness in almost every instance, and rarely, if ever, reflects either intellect in presentation, or discretion in subject. It is because of this final dialect that we who speak sarcasm are looked upon as disrespectful little cretins, when in reality, we simply use sarcasm as a tool to prevent use from slapping senseless the halfwits around us.

(Posted in absentia)

Dodger Blue!

Yesterday my niece Alaska got out the hair dye.  Her subject?  My niece Avalon.  Avie has dark hair so Alaska gave her some deep red highlights.  My nephew, their cousin, Mitchell, wanted in on the action.  He has blonde blonde blonde hair and wanted it blue.  His mom, my sister Whitney, okayed the color change…

First of all, look at the face.  Isn’t it perfection?  He is about the most gorgeous child I’ve ever seen.  Whitney took this picture with her cell phone and texted it to me.  I e-mailed her text from MY phone to my e-mail and then downloaded the picture.  Then I uploaded it on Flickr as I had to share it all with you.  (Don’t you just love technology and the internet???) 

Mitchell is six.  The hair color is semi-permanent!!  He plays baseball and is on the Dodger’s.  He has a game tomorrow where his new hair will be revealed.  Whitney warned him that it’s possible that some won’t find this new “do” as delightful as we do, but he was willing to take the chance!  🙂

Whitney says this picture doesn’t really do the blue justice.  Better pictures with a “real” camera have been promised. 

I wish they would have done this when I was visiting!  I would have loved to see this in real life and in technicolor!

I wonder if his school has any rules about this sort of thing.  I know some schools do.  If his does, I see a buzz cut in this boy’s future!  🙂

It’s Robot Time Again!

My nephew Richard’s robotics team has earned their way into the big national FIRST competition in Atlanta again this year!  Way to go Beach Bots!  The team left for Georgia this morning, the competition starts tomorrow.  I hope to catch some of the coverage on the live NASA feed on Friday and Saturday.  Click HERE to check out the NASA TV schedule.  I have no idea what the challenge is this year, but am excited to see just how the robot that the Bots created has risen to it!  Word on the street is they have another real potential winner on their hands!

Good luck Bots, and special shout out to Richard and Dakota!

“Re: Essay and other such rubbish” – PART II

Here is the second installment from my 16 year old nephew Richard’s ‘Essays on the benefits and Wonders of what Society Deems as “Negative Traits”‘.  (Click HERE to read the first).  Enjoy! 

Part 1: The Joy of Pessimism

PESSIMISM, n. A philosophy forced upon the convictions of the observer by the disheartening prevalence of the optimist

with his scarecrow hope and his unsightly smile.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
US author & satirist (1842 – 1914)

            The average member of a society, when hearing the word “Pessimism”, conjures up images of sour-faced, ill tempered individuals who darken those around them with their morose countenance. This is but an atypical example.

            True Pessimists, myself included, have simply experienced enough of life’s trials and difficulties to conclude that things rarely, if ever, go as planned, and, more often than not, drown in the slough of inadequacy and disappointment. A true pessimist realizes that any hope in the things of this world will eventual succumb, suffocated by the festering miasma of time, dissatisfaction, and extraneous, albeit not unpredicted, circumstances.

            There is a certain joy, however, reserved only for we true pessimists. Our mindset tends for us to set low expectations of life around us. The truth of the matter is, however, that in our civilized life, with our inexhaustible supply of resources, pursuits, and possibilities, things never fall too far into disarray. We pessimists, by keeping our expectations low, often see them fulfilled, despite the fact that all does not go to plan. Moreover, should everything go as planned, our expectations are fulfilled above and beyond what we had hoped for. This constant fulfilling, as a result, makes us happier individuals, for our lives progress far better than we expect. In this, optimism seems to the observing pessimist not only absurd, but oxymoronic. An optimist always has high expectations and hopes, which are rarely if ever fulfilled, yet they remain happy. A Calvin and Hobbes comic strip emphasizes the credo of we true pessimists best:

Calvin and Hobbes are walking in the woods. Calvin turns to Hobbes and asks, “If  you could have one wish, what would it be?” Hobbes ponders this for while and replies, “A sandwich”. Calvin proceeds to condemn Hobbes as a fool for using his wish as such, listing all the things he could have wished for. At the end of their walk, Hobbes goes to the kitchen, makes himself a sandwich, and says, “I got my wish”.

            In the end, true pessimists see their low expectations fulfilled all the time, and we are happier as a result, whereas optimists rarely see their high expectations fulfilled, but are still happy because they are optimists, always looking forward to the future.

If “40 is the new 30”, and “pink is the new black”, then it appears that “pessimism is the new optimism”!  🙂

What do you suppose his NEXT essay will be about???


“Re: Essay and other such rubbish” – PART I

That was the subject line of an e-mail I received from my nephew Richard.  I had called his house moments before and my little sister Whitney was cracking up about this new bit of writing that Richard was reading to her.  He said he was going to send it to me to read.  I asked him if it was okay if I put it on my blog if I liked it.  He’s been the subject of many of my posts already, so I’m pretty sure that he knew that this was more than a distinct possibility.  BUT, I like to get permission to “publish”, if you will, the creative works of another.  Permission was granted.  This tome of his is a work in progress.  I hope to be receiving more of the essays that make up the ESSAY in the days to come.   Here is the first installment of:

Essays on the benefits and Wonders of what

Society Deems as “Negative Traits”


            My intent for these essays is that they be used to show the lighter side of what many deem as negative traits, and how they are beneficial to those blessed with them, if used properly. I started writing these essays on a whim: I was in study hall, and, having successfully completely all of my math work, I decided to pass the rest of study hall writing an essay on pessimism, extolling a thesis I had contrived regarding pessimism some months earlier, and then seen mirrored in a fellow classmate of mine. This one essay snowballed into a series of essays dealing with related subjects. So, here they are:

Okay, well, that ought to whet your whistle!  You’ll have to wait for the next installment!  It’ll be worth the wait though.  It’s called “The Joy of Pessimism”.

Mitchell’s Nose Is In The Wind

An hour or so ago, my cell phone alerted me to an incoming message.  It was a picture from my sister, Whitney:


Shortly thereafter, I was alerted to another incoming message.  Another photo:

I knew what this was!

But I got the full story when I called my sister.

“Grandma, how do you spell ‘this’?”

“Grandma, how do you spell ‘is’?”

“Grandma, how do you spell ‘our’?”

“Grandma, how do you spell ‘move’?”

“Grandma, how do you spell ‘ing’?”

“Grandma, how do you spell ‘box’?”

This conversation was two weeks ago.  Mitchell is ready to move.  The box contains one of his favorite shirts and his favorite toys – his treasures.  Talking with him tonight, I asked him about moving.  “I’m moving to Colorado, where you are.”  I asked when.  “When school is over.  And then I won’t go back there.  My school has a playground.  Does school there have a playground?  Does it have a really tall slide?”

And like Mitchell said, it’s a long time until school is over.  But it will go fast! 

Can’t wait to have them here!

Now, I need to find out if any of the playgrounds at the local schools have really tall slides!

Mitchell Writes To Auntie Lou

A week and a half or so ago I went to my mailbox, and pulled out an envelope that made me bust out smiling!  In my hands I held a letter addressed by the very own hand of my 5-year old nephew, Mitchell!  My Mom tells me that writing to me was completely his idea, and that she just sent the letter when he asked her!  I guess he probably doesn’t even know that handwritten letters are just about my most favorite thing!

Inside that envelope was this letter! 


Mitchell can now write his own name, from memory.  He doesn’t need to copy from somewhere else!  Mitchell has loved to draw and write from the time he could first manage a pencil, which was pretty darn young.  I remember when he mastered five pointed stars.  There were stars on EVERYTHING!  So cute.  Anyhow, this is Mitchell, in his baseball uniform.  I talked to him Saturday (two days ago) morning.  He told me he really likes baseball practice and that they are learning “crocodiles way up in the sky”.  He also told me they have already learned “crocodiles down on the ground”.  I figure that means they are learning to catch and then trap the ball in the mitt with the other hand!  Two things that I found very interesting, and on-beyond-cute, in the letter…

1.  Although he is in his baseball uniform, he is not number 18!

2.  The little orange thing down by his feet is a drawing of my cat, Mew Ling!

Looks JUST like her!  I just love this picture, and I just love my nephew!  🙂

Team 330

Team 330 is my nephew Richard’s robotics team number at the national FIRST robotic finals.  I woke up bright and early this morning and downloaded a nice fresh version of Real Player so that I could watch the webcast from Atlanta today.  At 11:00 Atlanta time the Beach Bot and Team 330 is announced.  They play three teams against three teams (the three teams work together and are an “alliance”) and Team 330 was on the Red Alliance.  I watch the whole match, and then, just as they are to announce the final score….my finger on the screen capture button and ready to capture the results so I could post a picture here…the feed freezes up!  Sheesh.  Am I the only one who has no end of trouble with technology?  Does technology regularly fail other people like it fails me???  Any how, here it is, thirty minutes later, and the feed still doesn’t work.  There are four fields that are being webcasted.  My nephew’s team is scheduled in the Curie field.  ALLLLLL the other fields’ webcast feeds are FINE.  But the Curie field feed isn’t working!  Just my luck, I’m tellinya.

BUT!  The Red Alliance (along with Team 330) won their match.  I just checked the standings.  There are two teams which are undefeated in the Curie field, and Team 330 is one of them!  They are ranked 2nd right now in their division!!!!

This is all terribly exciting…  🙂

More later today, I’m sure!

UPDATE:  The winners from each division have now picked their alliances for the quarterfinals.  Team 330 picked two teams that were fairly low in the rankings.  That must mean that whatever they do WELL is something that the BEACH BOT maybe doesn’t do so well.  There is a break in the action in Atlanta.  Must be lunch time.  I found a pdf file that explains all the rules of play for this year’s competition.  It’s called “Rack ‘n’ Roll”.  Here’s a link, just in case you are interested. 

“Rack ‘n’ Roll” Rules

ANOTHER UPDATE:  The Beach Bots and their alliance teams just won their quarterfinals and are on to the semis.  In their last match they scored HUGE!  They scored nearly 286 points while holding the other alliance to less than 18.  I think that 286 might be close to the highest score so far in this competition.  Again, this is all terribly exciting!  🙂

Ah!  YET ANOTHER UPDATE!:  The Beach Bots and their alliance have won the finals of the Curie division and are on to the FINAL Finals!  There were awards handed out to the three teams on the winning alliance.  Some of these teams have more than 50 kids on them!  The Beach Bots have ten.  Yup.  Ten kids.  Pretty cool to be on a team of ten and be winning like this.

My last, at least I THINK so, UPDATE:  The Beach Bots won a design award, but sadly, were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Final Round.  They were in the final four, but I don’t know what place that means they came in.  I guess that means there is one more update yet to come!  Besides, I need to post a video of one of their games, now don’t I?  🙂

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