Friday, June 27, 2014

A Day In The Life

Bark.

Bark.

Bark.

Bark.

Each individual yap is making it very difficult to sleep. Why can’t the neighbor’s dog bark like a normal dog?

Bark.

Bark.

Bark.

I open my eyes considering the murder of a small dog, when I notice it is awfully light outside.

That can’t be right. My alarm hasn’t gone off yet and I usually get up at 5:00 AM. It’s usually still a little dark.

I roll over and look at my alarm clock.

Nothing.

It isn’t on.

I am now awake. I realize the fan is off and I can’t hear the fan in the baby’s room because the monitor is off too.

No wonder the dog woke me up, it is silent in here.

But… Wait. What time is it? I am going to be late for work.

I run out to the living room and look at David’s phone.

6:20 AM.

I was supposed to be at work at 6:00. I frantically call my supervisor who can’t find me on the roster for the day. Then he finally does and I tell him I am on my way.

I am quickly getting dressed and still trying to figure out why we have no power.

I had paid the bill.

The neighbor’s dog is still barking.

And the power comes back on.

I run outside to get in the car for work and there are Edison crews parked between my house and the neighbor’s house.

And that is why I was late to work.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday



Carolynn's 18th Birthday
April 21, 2014
Apple Valley, California

Monday, June 23, 2014

Class of 2014

I am pretty sure she was just born. I clearly recall changing her diapers. There is no way I have gotten that old.

But my baby graduated high school.

Yep.

It doesn’t even seem possible.

But there she is.



They held her graduation at Maverick’s stadium. They didn’t drag it out with a lot of long speeches and stuff.

And before you knew…

A high school graduate.


We took her out to dinner at the only place still open that late… Denny’s.


She is already enrolled in college.

Look out world. Here she comes.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

When we took Carolynn on her graduation trip, it was a special day for another one of our daughters as well.

It was Michelle’s first visit to Disneyland.

She got her First Visit Button and wore it proud.

She seemed very excited when we got there. She was already pretty excited on the way because she thought we were going to the zoo. (She remembered the last long trip we took was the week before when we went to the San Diego Zoo.) Then we were in the parking lot and there were Donald Duck signs everywhere. (We parked on the Donald Duck level.) She got more and more excited as we rode the tram. (TRAIN!)


Mary and Tonya and the kids also have annual passports and they joined us on our adventure. Michelle didn’t want to get back in the stroller so she was holding hands as we walked to the front gates. She could see Mickey Mouse signs and all the Disney everywhere.


We finally get in and we see Donald Duck. She is a big fan. I pointed him out to her and she looked shocked. She froze and gave a little wave. But she didn’t want to go near him. Then a short distance away, we see Mickey Mouse. The same reaction; she waved. But then she saw Minnie Mouse.

And her whole life changed.

She tried to run over to her, but there was a line. David took her to get in line and I went to buy her a hat. I came back and found them still in line. But Michelle was a crying, sobbing, inconsolable mess. I had never seen such a melt down from her.

What was wrong?

In between sobs…

I wanna hug Minnie Mouse.
I love her.
I miss her.
I said please.


OMG Kid.

Waiting is not something she ever had to do before.

Finally it is her turn.

She runs to Minnie, stops half way, and comes back. She takes my hand and walks over to Minnie and gives her a hug. Minnie wipes her little tears and Michelle is very happy. She wave good bye to Minnie and her life is complete.





I was not sure what she was going to do next, so I send everyone else off to ride rides and I walk with her slowly down Main Street. She is happily looking in shops and walking along. David calls and says he and the rest of the group were in line for Pirates of the Carribean. Okay, let’s go try that.

I find them and the wait isn’t bad. She is standing in line with “her people”. (Whenever we were not together she started asking where here people were.) We got in the boat and she sat on my lap. She seemed excited for a boat ride.


She sat quietly until all of the sudden the boat drops down a bit of a waterfall. She yelled “Wee Haaa!” Until water splashed her. She doesn’t like water splashing her. She cried a little. At another point it looks like the boat is going to go through a waterfall. She didn’t not like that. But the water didn’t get her and she was fine.

She did spend the rest of the day singing…

Yo ho, yo ho… A pirate’s life for me.

Next we went to the Haunted Mansion. The elevator ride at the beginning scared her. Thunder is loud and it goes dark and there is a scream. She calmed down and got on the ride. And she liked the ghosts. She has been telling us how much she likes ghosts ever since.


We took the train around to Toon Town. Michelle left her cuppie in the car so we went to find her a new one. They all had straws. She hadn’t mastered straws yet. But that was all they had. So we got her one shaped like Mickey and figured she could at least try it. She figured it out in a hurry. (Now I can’t keep her out of my drinks.)


While in Toon Town, we went to Mickey’s House. She liked checking it out and we waited in line to meet the mouse in person. She was getting tired by then and didn’t really want to go to him. One of the cast members took out picture. The rest of “our people” were riding a nearby roller coaster.


Michelle was sound asleep as soon as we got her back into the stroller. She napped while Tonya, David, and the bigger kids rode down Splash Mountain. I stayed with Mary and shared some ice cream with the non-splashers.

We split up after that and found Carolynn and headed out to eat. Michelle liked the Rainforest Café. Monkeys came to life over our table and they had pizza. Life was good.


After we ate, we met up with Mary and Tonya and the kids in the California Adventure. We rode a Little Mermaid ride that Michelle loved. We walked around and looked at all the cool stuff. Mary and Tonya took her to play games. She won some fabulous prizes.


We rode the Ferris Wheel. She wasn’t a huge fan of being up high. But as long as it was moving she was okay. She was getting tired.

She relaxed in her stroller as we explored Cars land; which is awesome and looks just like Radiator Springs. We were done for the night. We went to find Carolynn and head home. We watched the fireworks show and drove home. She was asleep before we left the parking lot.

And it is all she talks about since.

Can we go to Mickey Mouse’s house?

Can we see Pirates? Yo ho, yo ho…

Let’s go see Minnie.


We can’t wait for our next trip.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pie Dreams

For Mother’s Day, my dear, sweet, adorable husband bought me a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. It’s red. He has been trying to buy me one for years. Every time my birthday or a holiday comes along, he offers me a mixer. And I always say no. They are too expensive. Until he found a deal on E-Bay and now I have a fabulous mixer.


Ever since I got it, this same husband of mine has wanted to use it. This guy has a food making repertoire of hot dogs, hamburgers and pancakes. And he thinks he is going to bake.

So he made chocolate chip cookies. They were not bad. He did learn a few lessons. Brown sugar must be packed. And if you don’t put it in an air tight container, it will be a brick later. Flour and sugar must be properly measured and leveled. And the whole bag of chocolate chips is supposed to go in. The cookies tasted fine though.

So then he starts talking about how he wants to make a key lime pie. Really? I don’t think he even eats limes. But he wanted to.

We got the pre made pie crust. But we got everything else so he could make the pie from scratch. He squeezed an entire bag of key limes. They are tiny. But he did it. I zested some. He needed a teaspoon of zest.


He made the filling and baked it. He followed everything exact. He didn’t want to mess anything up. He even made fresh whipped cream.
And then the pie was ready.


Carolynn was the first taste tester. She didn’t make a face. I tried it.

It was good. Really. I am not lying. Catherine tried it. She loved it too. Michelle was into it. (Bite more pie peese?)

Wow.

David tried it. Nope. He didn’t like it. Figures.

Next he is going to make a chocolate truffle torte. I am not even 100% sure what a torte is. But I will let you know how it goes.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Day In The Life

And This Is Why I Always Do My Rounds...

Original News Story from

KCBD NBC 11 Lubbock, Texas

ABILENE, Texas - Former Correctional Officers at Big Spring Correctional Center (BSCC), in Big Spring, Texas, have pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from a Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigation that was initiated when an inmate committed suicide in the facility two years ago while they were on duty, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Today, Frederick Hernandez, 45, of Big Spring, appeared before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings and pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements and aiding and abetting. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Last Friday, Christopher Moore, 42, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of three years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report for each defendant with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of those reports.

According to plea documents filed in the case, from August 22 - 23, 2012, Hernandez and Moore were assigned to the Flight Line Unit in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) at BSCC; Hernandez was the Officer in Charge. Part of their duties included making mandatory 30-minute safety checks of each cell and conducting six mandatory formal inmate counts during a 24-hour period, beginning at 12:01 a.m., 3:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Each Correctional Officer is further required to certify that the mandatory 30-minute safety check of each cell and the mandatory formal inmate counts were made.

An inmate housed in the Flight Line Unit committed suicide during the 8:00 p.m., to 8:00 a.m. shift on August 22 - 23, 2012, and was discovered during the morning feeding on August 23, 2012.

Hernandez admitted that he completed, signed and submitted to the Department of Justice, as required by law, the "SHU Control Log" forms indicating that formal counts of inmates had been performed from 12:01 a.m. to 5:10 a.m., on August 22 – 23, 2012. Hernandez further admitted he knew the logs were not correct and were false in that the formal counts of inmates were not conducted.

Moore admitted he knew Correctional Officers at BSCC submitted forms to the Department of Justice, as required by law, indicating that safety check rounds were conducted, when, in fact, he knew they had not been conducted. He further admitted that he concealed this fact and failed to advise an authority.

In related cases, two other defendants, James McKinnon, 22, and Jamie Navarette Salgado, 24, each pleaded guilty in September 2013; McKinnon pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony and Salgado pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements and aiding and abetting. In December 2013, McKinnon was sentenced to six months in federal prison and ordered to pay a $500.00 fine. He is presently serving his prison time. McKinnon and Salgado also worked as Correctional Officers assigned to the Flight Line Unit in the SHU at BSCC. Salgado admitted making false entries on logs and falsely indicating he had conducted safety rounds. McKinnon admitted that he knew entries on the logs were incorrect and that he failed to advise an authority.

The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulina Jacobo is prosecuting.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Wow. It has been a long time...




Picnic Day
June 2014
Apple Valley, California