Sunday, August 27, 2006

Photos from a flight in a small plane from California to Wisconsin and back

Check out their excellent adventure!

Are you a mother? Of daughter(s)? Be afraid. Be very, very afraid!

Well, okay, perhaps things aren't as dire as all that, but I've found Deborah Tannen's book You're Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation to be quite an eye-opener when it comes to understanding the basis for some of the miscommunications that occur between mothers and daughters. She talks about the different ways mothers and daughters communicate; not only, for example, with verbal messages but also with hidden "metamessages" and how sometimes their communications go awry when there are very different understandings of the meaning of the underlying metamessages. "Where the daughter sees criticism, the mother sees caring.... Most of the time, both are right."

For more on "metamessages" (for all family members, not just mothers and daughters) read the article I Can't Even Open My Mouth: Separating Messages from Metamessages in Family Talk . It is an excellent discussion of another of Deborah Tannen's books, (the next one I plan to read), I Only Say This Because I Love You: Talking to Your Parents, Partner, Sibs, and Kids When You're All Adults said to be "an eye-opening book explains why grown women so often feel criticized by their mothers; and why mothers feel they can't open their mouths around their grown daughters; why growing up male or female, or as an older or younger sibling, results in different experiences of family that persist throughout our lives; and much, much more."

Friday, August 04, 2006

I live in a balloon

Well, sometimes it feels like I live in a balloon. Our house certainly seems to expand and contract like a balloon. A month ago, this house was bursting at the seams with people short and tall. Now, everyone but our last chick has gone home again and she's off for the weekend bidding friends from her old college a last farewell before her upcoming 1,200 mile drive to her new university. So, our balloon house has emptied again, and now it's just the OC and me here listening to the crickets chirping outside while we prepare the SS lessons we'll each be teaching tomorrow. Well, he is preparing, I have been procrastinating...until now that is...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

We didn't know what we were missing!

So we've had this window air conditioner for, oh, probably 15 years anyway. Every summer we lug it out of the closet and install it, use it for a total of maybe a week and then put it away again in the fall.

Last month, the OC said we should replace it with a more efficient "Energy Star" unit. "Why?" I asked, "It still works. It's been used so little that it's practically new. Well, except for the last few summers that have been unusually hot."

But after one really hot and humid day, the OC betook himself off to Sears and brought back a new one anyway. And installed it a few days later. And a few days after that, the temperature began to climb to uncomfortable levels so we turned it on. And ... IT COOLED THE ENTIRE DOWNSTAIRS OF THE HOUSE!!!! Perfectly. Without even straining.

Tomorrow will be the big test because it's supposed to get near 100 with high humidity though it handled 86 with aplomb.

We should have done this long ago--but we didn't know what we were missing!