Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Stupidity Reigns

The number one rule in my profession of public relations is "do not provide the enemy or opponent with an opportunity to appear to be a martyr." Pretty simple. Somehow the White House just hasn't figured that one out. First Bush ignored Cindy Sheehan in Texas and now she's arrested at the White House during a demonstration. Bush might as well go out there and carry a picket sign for here. But what can you expect from a man who bragged about getting "Cs" at Yale.

And then we have the former head of FEMA, Brown, saying that it was all Louisiana's fault for being so dysfunctional. Come on! Harry Truman must be spinning in his grave. Brown was not even remotely qualified for the job.

Then we have the head of the FDA. He resigned because people claimed, and rightfully so, that he was politicizing the work of the agency. Heaven forbid that anyone in the Bush administration should put promises to the Evangelicals ahead of someone's health and even survival.

The one that really got to me, however, was Bush saying there was no need for late term abortions. They just weren't needed. How in the hell would he know. Let's just hope that neither of his daughters need any of the medications or procedures that he and his administration have politicized.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The lovely couple. It was a great wedding despite the heat and humidity of Cincinnati. The next big challenge for them is moving to the Denver area for Richard's new job.
I wish there was a magic wand to cure homesickness. If I had one Charlotte I would send it to you immediately. Or I'd wave my wand and have your entire family move to Colorado.

Here's another favorite family picture taken last winter at Vail. My son Mark is on the left. The royal looking person in the middle is my cousin Dennis. And of course, my baby brother Richard is on the right. Just love this picture. Can you tell which person has the highest net worth? Posted by Picasa

Miscellaneous from the country

It's been a great Sunday. It's warm with a bit of a breeze and clear blue skies. Just got back from Auburn where we had a very late breakfast at our favorite place: Edelweiss. It's sort of a hole-in-the-wall, but the food is fabulous. I had the pastrami and swiss cheese omelet. No biscuits today because a whole bunch of bikers stopped at Edelweiss on their way home from Reno's big biker thing. They all wanted biscuits and gravy so the latecomers like us had to make do with toast or English muffins.

I don't go to church anymore. I worship at the altar of the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle. Today is a tough one. Had to use my dictionary and cheated by checking some things on Google.

Next I'm going to read the Style section to see all the kinds of clothes I won't be wearing this year because they look so funny. Really, women will wear anything if some male designer says it's the in thing or if it costs a lot of money.

Just finished a really good book that was recommended and loaned to me by my friend Marilyn. The book is "Stiff, The Curious lives of Human Cadavers". The author is Mary Roach. Hard to believe but there is laugh-out-loud stuff in the book. "Dead Man Driving" is a particularly interesting chapter. Yes, sometimes they use cadavers as crash dummies.

I think I'll go knit for a while. I'm making myself some purple socks for winter. I get my new digital camera on Wednesday so I can take a picture of the sock I'm knitting.

Well, here we are. My brother, Richard, my sister-in-law Charlotte and me. The whole clan is happy that they found each other. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 23, 2005

My son Mark playing with the Santa Fe Opera Company last summer. Posted by Picasa

Our house in Lincoln

This is the view of our house in Lincoln from the back. It's one story but has a very large area under the house that Kerry is busy filling. The garage door gives him easy access. Sigh.... The small building to the right is Kerry's studio. This was taken when everything was lush and green. We have garage in front of the house where I park my car.

Life in the Big City

Spent two days in San Francisco for long business meetings with a new client. Nice people but I'm just not used to sitting still for two days. Plus the city is so noisy and congested. I just felt I was in the middle of a bad dream. Everywhere you went there were people vying for spaces...everything from a parking place to a seat at the bar. It's hard for me to believe that I used to thrive on life in San Francisco. I even found myself getting depressed yesterday when we were heading out for social hour and dinner to get better acquainted. All I wanted to do was go home.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night and just stood by our bedroom window so I could hear the water rushing down the hill from the upper pond to the lower pond. It was a beautiful sound. And that was the only sound. So soothing.

There was an Oracle convention in town with 40,000 in attendance. That probably made it even worse. I didn't get the sense that anyone else at the meeting wanted to go home. I'm definitely a country girl.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Politics in Placer County

A few days ago a friend from Chicago asked about the politics where I live. I live in Placer County which has a higher percentage of registered Republicans than Orange County. The further north you go in California the more conservative the voters are. People joke that Placer Democrats could meet in a phone booth (if they still existed). So that pretty much says it all. I knew this when I moved here.

That balance may change as more and more retirees from the Bay Area move to various retirement communities here.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Calling All Knitters

On Sat. Sept. 24th I'm going to help support women cancer patients by knitting a soft, warm hat or scarf. This was started by a cancer survivor who founded www.knitforhercure.com several years ago. Check out her web site for a location near you that will be doing this. You can buy kits that contain yarn, pattern instructions and a gift card for the knitter to sign. 100% of the net profits will go to women's cancer research. My favorite yarn shop in Rocklin, Filati, will donate $10 for every kit sold at the event.

The best part is you get to hang around with knitters, help a good cause and provide a woman with something soft and warm to wear when she's going through treatment. Sounds to me like an ideal way to spend a Saturday.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The riding lawn mower and Kerry

When you move to the country you find out that you need a lot of implements: riding lawn mower (Kerry driving), a battered truck for hauling (background of photo), a tractor (ours is a 1957 Ford Jubilee. We call her Betty), a wheel barrow, a composter (you can't use your garbage disposal when you have a septic system) and three different kinds of weed whackers. You also need a lot of patience to plant things in the solid clay soil.

The beauty of sunrise in the country

Here is the view from the Great Room looking out over Kerry's studio and the lower pond. Plenty of bass to be caught. Cattle roam in the trees behind the pond. This is what we see when we wake up in the morning while we are still in bed.

Emily sunning herself in Alameda

When your bones are old you need a bit of warmth now and then. She would check the patio in Alameda for the appropriate time for her sunbath. Those rays just made it easier to get around.

Once she moved to the country she would head out on the back deck or out into the fields seeking to warm up those old bones.

Eulogy for Emily Part 2

She greeted each day with joy and enthusiasm. Emily devoted her life to pleasing the people closest to her. She understood when people were upset and always managed to find a way to reach out to them. To the end she was kind and loving to everyone. All she asked in return was a chance to do all her favorite things. It was very easy to love her.

She developed epilepsy about 10 months after she was rescued. She had a neurologist named Dr. Kortz (really good looking) who said the only way to be sure it was epilepsy was to do a CAT scan, ultrasound of her belly and spinal tap. Well, when you love a dog this much you just have to do it. The diagnosis was epilepsy. Note: they don't charge any less for these procedures for dogs. She endured a lot with the epilepsy. We searched for the right medication and thought we had found it when she died. She never barked or complained the entire time. She also never lost her appetite. She took her pills with Breyers natural French Vanilla ice cream and had clover honey on her kibble. She deserved it all.

Her death leaves a hole in everyone's heart, but we know that she at least had a wonderful last few years. She will be missed. Her wonderful fluffy body was cremated. Her ashes have come back to the country where she lived out her days. Scattering will take place at a later date.

Eulogy for Emily

Emily Hoop-Russeth
Died 7-14-05

Emily Hoop-Russeth, Golden Retriever, died at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14 at the Atlantic Street Veterinary Hospital. She had a very bad epileptic seizure at home in the middle of the night. We took her to the hospital where she lived for about 14 more hours. I visited her about 8 hours before she died. We saw her after she died. Very peaceful.

She is survived by her cat Comet, her owners Kathy Russeth and Kerry Hoop, her friend Doug Fowley and his border collie Katie.

Emily came to us as a rescue dog in 2002. Her owners had dumped her in the night box at the Union City Pound. To say she had been poorly cared for would be an understatement. She was rescued by the Golden Retriever Rescue League. After a bath, vet visit and food, I was designated as her foster mom. Despite the mistreatment, she was loveable and sweet.

I even got her a dog handicap ramp so she could get in and out of my car. Yes, they have them.

Emily's favorite pastimes were eating (first on every Golden's list), sleeping, searching for cat poop (we live on five acres so she had lots to find), taking a sunbath in the backyard, following her owners around, eating watermelon, chewing the yellow fuzz off tennis balls. More to come.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Your introduction to the country

It's been two years, four months and 15 days since Kerry and I left the Bay Area for greener pastures, literally. But then who's counting. I've always thought I was a country girl even before I became one officially. We have wonderful home and five acres. It's so peaceful.

There is nothing better than waking up in the morning to the cry of a Red Shouldered Hawk. Each morning they call to each other just before sunrise. Once the family is organized they head out to hunt for little creatures scurrying around in the tall grass and weeds.

Then there is the clicking sound made by the Belted Kingfisher as he sits on a tree branch over the upper pond.

We have five bird feeders in the front yard. We feed anyone who wanders by--Goldfinches, Lesser Goldfinches, house sparrows, white breasted nuthatch, House Finches, quail, hummingbirds, Orioles, and many more.

Our vegetable garden did not do as well this year. It was just too hot for many of the plants. The sun killed our newly planted fig tree despite the umbrella we placed over it to shield it from 100+ degree heat.

Our Life In The Country

If someone asks me how I decided to start a blog, I'll have to confess that it was a mistake. I thought I was signing up so I could post on my brother's blog. I must have pushed one too many buttons because all of a sudden I have a blog.