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And whispered in the sounds of silence

August 31, 2009 | Iowa

We heard an ambulance go by the house last night, and later it went back toward town with the siren wailing. It’s the first time in a year of living here that we’ve heard an ambulance go by. That means it must have picked up one of our neighbors. Only question is, which one?

Posted by Becky @ 8:41 am | 3 Comments  

I like misty water, I like fog and haze


Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  

Valerie Jarrett reaches out to (a few) BlogHers

August 27, 2009 | Barack Obama,BlogHer,Politics,Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett, a White House senior adviser, wanted to “reach out to bloggers” during the BlogHer conference in Chicago in July. So she met with 17 of them.

She held a private meeting with an exclusive group of bloggers at a conference with about 1,500 attendees. Why not the whole group? It’s not as if she didn’t have large groups on her schedule.

She was the keynote speaker at the National Association of Black Journalists convention, which had about 2,000 attendees in August. She even brought along two other Obama administration officials.

She was also the keynote speaker at the Netroots Nation Convention, where she took questions from some of the 2,000 attendees.

Why the exclusion at BlogHer? Is it because BlogHer isn’t supposed to be political? (Even though founder Lisa Stone asked Jarrett, “What should we do?” in terms of advocacy.) Or does the administration not take BlogHer attendees seriously? Or something else?

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 3 Comments  

How I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again

August 26, 2009 | Family

No, I didn’t dance with him that night. It was my prom. He was there to send me off into the night and there when I got back. He was always there. Until three years later, when he left forever.

I often forget that my memories are different from others, especially my youngest brother, who was 6 when Dad died. He’s the one who looks most like Dad, and he knew him the least. How unfair. Yet … it’s unfair and life-defining, no matter the age.

It’s been 25 years since Dad died. A generation. A silver anniversary. Weddings. Births. Graduations. Illnesses. Deaths. Moves. Vacations. Jobs. Retirements.

I’m two years away from the age he was when he died. My son is 6.

I used to see him in my dreams. Now I see him in others. Something in the way my son squints his eyes. The way my husband puts his hands on his hips and takes in a project he’s just completed. (Of course they’re not related. But they have things in common. They would have enjoyed each other a lot. Without either one of them saying much of anything.) A chuckle. A word. The lines in my face.

Once, when I was old enough to drive, I promised to take some friends to a basketball game one night. It was storming, and Dad wouldn’t let me drive. That didn’t mean we missed the game; I just didn’t get to drive. Dad took us. I was mortified, in the way only an eye-rolling 16-year-old could be. He let me be mad. He never raised his voice. (Oh, WHY didn’t I inherit that trait from him?) He picked up each one of my friends, drove us through the night, dropped us off and sat through the entire game in the car in the parking lot. He was at the curb when the game was over, and he took us all home.

He was always there.

Another time, my parents visited me in Nebraska. I worked in a data-processing center (yes, back in the days of punch cards), starting each day at 7 a.m. I was poor. I had roommates. I didn’t have a car. I stood in the frigid cold, waiting for the bus at o’ dark thirty in the morning, freezing my butt off. When Dad was there, he got up every morning in the dark, went outside, started his car and let it warm up. He drove me to and from work in that toasty car every day.

He was always there.

Until just a few months later. Then he was gone.

It’s 25 years since then, and so much has changed. Except one thing. I miss the comfort of knowing Dad was always there.




Thanks to Matthew at Child’s Play x2 and his brother, Ben, at Babbling Dad for inspiring me to write about my dad.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 17 Comments  

Someone’s in the kitchen with summer squash

August 24, 2009 | Food,Garden,Iowa,Simply Recipes

We tried a wonderful summer squash recipe by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes with green peppers, onions and tomatoes from our garden. It was delicious! Elise recently gave me permission to use two of her recipes in an article (which hasn’t been published yet). She has the best recipes.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 2 Comments  

Please don’t take my sunshine away

August 21, 2009 | Iowa

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 1 Comment  

Maybe we could sleep in, I’ll make you banana pancakes, pretend like it’s the weekend now

August 19, 2009 | Blogland games

Now I can stop saying that I never win anything. Anne-Marie Nichols had a giveaway at This Mama Cooks! and I won!

This basket arrived the other day, much to the kids’ delight. We love pancakes, and I hate not being able to find syrup without HFCS in it, which is why I entered the contest. The basket includes Log Cabin syrup (with no high-fructose corn syrup), Mrs. Butterworth’s complete pancake & waffle mix, a whisk, a spatula, a plate and a glass. Isn’t it adorable?

Thank you, Anne-Marie! And thank you, Log Cabin!

Posted by Becky @ 6:34 pm | 3 Comments  

If you ever plan to motor west, travel my way

August 18, 2009 | Iowa

Things to see on the road in Iowa: Lake, rusty bicycle, casino, pink house, twinadoes.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 1 Comment  

Cause you look good in your underwear way out in the country

August 15, 2009 | Family,Florida,Iowa,Stuff

This is what we were doing a year ago. Wow. Time flies.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  

What can heal the U.S. health-care system?

August 14, 2009 | Barack Obama,Benefits,Death,Economics,Ethics,Getting sick,Health,Medical,Nancy Pelosi,Pharma,Pharmaceuticals,Politics,U.S. government

I really don’t know. But David Goldhill has some smart things to say in “How American Health Care Killed My Father” in the September 2009 issue of The Atlantic.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 1 Comment  


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