Katie Pan Pizza I love you  
Katie Pan Pizza, yes I do  
Katie Pan, Katie Pan you’re the one  
Who makes everything so much fun!  

When you wake up in the day  
And you smile your Katie Pan way  
You make everything okay  
Oh, my Katie Pan!

Milky-white skin with a dimple, too  
Curly red hair and eyes so blue  
You must know how I love you!  
Oh, my Katie Pan!

Katie Pan Pizza I love you  
Katie Pan Pizza, yes I do  
Katie Pan, Katie Pan you’re the one  
Who makes everything so much fun!


  (one morning when Kate was still too little to talk, she and I were driving in our Toyota 4x4, heading east on the 10.  As we drove through Yucaipa, and then Cherry Valley, I looked over at her and my heart just about burst with love and happiness as she smiled back at me.  The words just came tumbling out of my mouth to the tune of "Animal Crackers in My Soup", like they were already sitting there, waiting to be sung to her.  As with everything, she loved it...)


 February                                                                             1 yr 10 mos

                Every time I come home from the market and she hasn’t gone with me, Katie helps unload the bags, gleefully exclaiming over each item and thanking me exuberantly for purchasing it just for her, like – “Oh, crackers!  You got crackers for me?  Oh, thank you!   
“Oh, milk!  Oh, thank you, Mom!”   If she doesn’t know what it is, she’ll ask, “What’s this, Mom?” and I’ll tell her.  For example, “Those are tampons, Kate,” to which her reply is, “Oh, tampons!  You buy’d tampons for me?”  And then hugging the box, gushes, “Oh, thank you, Mom!”

 March                                                                  1 yr 11 mos

                Katie announces very seriously to everyone she sees that, “My Mandy’s a cousin!”

 April                                                                                             2 yr s 1 mos

                Pointing to something, Katie asks me – “What’s that, Mom?”  If I think or know she already knows, I’ll say “What do you think it is, Katie?” and she’ll tell me, “It’s a (whatever it is)”.  If I’m sure she doesn’t know, I’ll tell her.  And she always responds with “Yeah,” or “Uh-huh,” in a tone that sounds like she was just quizzing me and I managed to answer correctly.

                “What’s that, Mom?”

                “It’s a new filter for the heater.”

                “Yeah.”  (sounding like, “You were lucky on that one, Mom…”)


May                                                                                                     2 yrs  2 mos

                I explained to Katie that it gets dark because the sun goes to sleep, and in the morning the sun wakes up and makes it light.  Every evening after that as soon as it got dark she announced, “The sun went night-night.”  And the following morning, “Mom, I awake.  The sun waked up!  It not go night-night!”  Or she would ask me, “The sun waked up, Mom?”

 September                                                                           2 yrs 6 mos

                Early in the month, Katie put about 20 red twist ties all over her head.  They just stayed there, sticking up over and through the curls like little candles on a birthday with swirled icing as she cruised around the living room singing, “Happy Birfday me!  Happy Birfday me!”


                Even though both our birthdays are in March, whenever Kate wants me to go with her she says “Tum on, Mom, I have prize you!  Birfday present!  Tum on!”


                Following a Labor Day barbeque at a friend’s, her favorite thing became a slide, which she had played on at his house.  After that, every conversation (with someone other than me) began, “I go the slide!”


October                                                                                      2 yrs 7 mos

                Says “can’t” instead of “don’t” – “I can’t like peas, Mom.”


                At night, Katie tells me, “It’s not light-time, it’s dark-time.”


                When Kelley awakens from her nap, or in the morning, Kate urges me, “Kelley’s awake!  Go get her, Mom!  We have to go save her!”


                Likes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and likes for me to tie a ribbon with eye-holes cut out around her head (“and Kelley too, Mom”) so they can be “Inna Turtles” (which soon evolved into “Inja Turtles”).

 November                                                                                2 yrs 8 mos

                After telling Katie she’s my best friend, she told me I’m her “best.”  However, everything she likes is her “best.”  “I like Dad.  He’s my best.”  “Is that your Murphy?  Is he your best?  He’s my best, too.”  “I like milk.  It’s my best.”

 December                                                                               2 yrs 9 mos

                Is extremely excited over Christmas decorations, especially lights at night.  Whenever we are out after dark and she sees lights, she exclaims, “Look, Christmas!”

                 I asked Katie what she wanted for Christmas and without hesitation she declared, “A birthday party!”

                 Sometimes when she sleeps with me in my bed, after the lights are out and we are cuddled down she’ll say, “Let me read you a story.”  Each story begins, “Wid-o-bit-time,” and ends with “And that’s the end of the tor-r-r-ry.”  One night she announced, “Let me read you a story.”  She cuddled up next to me in the dark and started:  “A wid-o-bit-time there was Jack.  And he was a little boy.”  Following this was a long pause, then, “And that’s the end of the tor-r-r-r-ry.”  I guess she’d told her first fairytale.

                 Whenever I come home from anywhere, no matter how long I’ve been gone (even two minutes at the next door neighbor’s) I’m greeted with, “Mama!  You was home?  You missed me?”


January                                                                                    2 yrs 10 mos

                Katie had expressed a desire to pick her own apple from a tree.  A little while later I call Katie to the back door.  “Look, Kate,” I urge her.  She peers cautiously out the back door at the three-foot drifts of snow.  I pick her up and say, “No, silly, look in the tree!” and step outside with her in my arms.  She clasps her hands together and squeals in delight, then reaches out to pluck the apple that I tied by a string to a branch of the old, bare oak.  It takes so little to make her so happy!

                 Just as I am finishing making her bed, Kate discovers me in her room and exclaims, “You make a bed for me?  Oh, thank you!” then jumps on it.

 February                                                                                2 yrs 10 mos

                When the toy she was playing with malfunctioned, Katie turned it over in her hands, examining it.  Then, disgusted (and obviously unaware I was watching), muttered, “God...am...it.”


Katie’s Nursery Rhymes

ABC’s – “a  b  c  d  h  i  jo  coo  mo  bee  q  r  s  wix  I.D. I know my ABC’s you play wif meeeeeee.”

“Twinkle bells all away, oh what fun is to ride the horse open sleigh.”

 “Rock around the hoses, ashes, ashes, ashes down!” (throwing herself to the floor)

 “Rock-a-bye baby, and the tree top, and the wind will blow and the tree will break and the baby will fall.”

 March                                                                  2 yrs 11 mos

                Made the mistake of telling Kate to decide what she wanted for her birthday.  From then on, with every commercial that advertised a toy or just looked like it should I heard, “Mom, I want that for the present!”

 April                                                                                               3 yr s 1 mos

                All of a sudden 'too' has been replaced by 'either.'  “I want to go either.”

  April 6

                Kate is helping me 'agonize' her things in her room.  We come across one piece of a jugsaw puzzle in a box of Leggos, and Kate cries out, “That’s Granny’s!”

 May                                                                                                   3 yrs  2 mos

                Katie and I go to Long Beach and she gets 'culture shock.'  She can’t grasp the fact that I don’t know everybody she sees.  At a stop light she’ll point to a man next to us on a motorcycle and ask, “What’s his name?”  I answer that I don’t know.  She’ll get annoyed and repeat, “Mom, what’s his name?” as though I didn’t understand.  When the same answer is given as the first, she’ll get mad and say, “I can’t like him!”  Finally, I figured out it would be best for both of us if I took a different tact.  When asked now, “What’s that man’s name?” of some 80 year old wino on the corner of Atlantic and Ocean Blvd, I reply, “That’s Harold (or John, or Albert, etc) and she says, happily, “Oh.  I like Harold (or John, or Albert, etc).  And I say “Uh-huh,” and we drive on.

                 Still in Long Beach, whenever we are driving anywhere, every time (and I mean every time) we turn a corner Katie asks, “What’s this place?”  and then we go through this entire routine:  “Still Long Beach”  “Oh.  Still Long-uh Beeeech?”  “Uh-huh.”  “This is Grandy’s Long-uh Beeeech?”  “Uh-huh.”  “This is not Jack’s Long-uh Beeeech?”  “Huh-uh.”  I hadn’t realized how annoying this routine could be, or how many turns there were from point A to point B in Long-uh Beeeech until I noticed I was going miles out of my way to avoid turning any corner.  Finally, after executing a turn that I determined was unavoidable if we were to stay in California, I heard the familiar question.  “What’s this place?”  I glanced at the street sign, then answered, “Los Coyotes Diagonal.”   “I saw coyotes!  At behind the lake!”  Thank God, Long-uh Beeeech was forgotten!

                 There is one street that runs through Long Beach that is necessary (make that practical) to drive every time we go anywhere.  It is the street that has at its south end Granny’s house, and about 10 miles away at its north end, the “Stink Plant” which is “Grandy’s Office” and also “Jack’s Camper.”  The third time we traveled this route Kate informed me, “We already went this way.”  I sensed trouble.  After explaining that we had to go this way again to get to the “Stink Plant”, my fears were validated.  “But we went this way.  I can’t  want to!”  For once I was quick.  I reminded her that the “castle” she loved (which at the moment was dubbed ‘Kate’s Castle’) was just ahead – watch for it, just a couple more blocks, only two more, okay, one more, only four more – there, see it?  Kate’s Castle!  Ocean Blvd became a preferred route.

                 A couple of days after explaining draw bridges to her, Kate asked if the bridge she and I were at that moment crossing was going to open. I told her no, this bridge doesn’t open.  She thought a moment then asked, “It got locks?”


May 27                 

                I told Kate "I'm busy," and she replied, "What you say, Mama? 'Want pizza?'"
(I don't know why, but that I just thought that was really funny...)


June                                                                                                 3 yrs  3 mos

                After announcing her intentions which involved utilizing the waste removal receptical in Mina’s bathroom, Kate disappeared for a while.  I wandered back to where she had headed and, from the other side of the door heard a various series of grunts and groans, followed by a flush.  As the door opened and Katie emerged, so did the odor of her efforts.  “Pee-yu!” I exclaimed.  She looked up at me, wrinkled her nose in imitation of mine and nodded,  “Pee-me!”  


                Kate wants to know where Jack is.  "Yucaipa," I tell her. 
          "Me-caipa?" she asks.
            "Yucaipa," I repeat, this time accenting the "Yu".
            "Oh," she answers, and nods her understanding.  "Kate's Caipa!"

                 About to be reunited with someone she hasn’t seen for a while, Kate states, “I’m going to miss her (or him).”  When leaving, she says, “I hope I will miss her (or him).”  

                 Kate has begun using “steal” when she really means “left” or “forgot”.  “I stole my book at Mandy’s.”

 August                                                                                    3 yrs 5 mos

                Communication barrier?  I don’t think so.  When asked a question she does not want to answer, Kate’s new reply is “I can’t understand.”  Like, “Kate, did you make this mess?”  “I can’t understand.”

 September                                                                     3 yrs 6 mos

                Kate makes her own suggestions for the marketing list:  “Two ice cream cones – with ice cream,” and explains, “that’s how we don’t waste.”


 January                                                                                  3 yrs 10 mos

                Bought a 99 cent store video for the girls – Hans Christian Andersen, “The Ugly Duckling.”  After they’d seen it about 10 or 20 times, I was explaining to Katie one night how ugly she was as a baby and how beautiful she was now, using the video as an analogy.  “You were an ugly duckling who turned into a beautiful swan,” I told her.   She exclaimed, “But Mom, I don’t want to be a duck!”

                 After entering a phase of creativity during which I used as my main medium, nail polish, I have amassed quite a colorful collection of the stuff.  One day, at Kate’s urging, I dabbed each one of the nails on her little hands with a different color.  She calls it “finger painting.”

 June                                                                      4 yrs  3 mos

June 14, Garden Grove

                From the other side of the closed door, I hear the girls in the hallway.   Big sister Kate explains to Kelley, “That’s a Daddy Long Legs.”  Kelley says, “Oh.”  Then asks a very logical question:  “Where’s the Mommy Long Legs?”  Miss know-it-all is caught off guard, however, and irritably answers, “I don’t know.  And I don’t know where the Baby Long Legs is either!”

July                                                                  4 yrs 4 mos

July 12  

             Kate has acquired quite a bit of money, and, naturally, I am curious.
"I found it!" she tells me, excitedly.  "Where did you find it?" I ask. As though she still can't believe her good fortune, she answers, "In your wallet!"

 August                                                                                       4 yrs 5 mos

                Kate’s new word is ‘perhaps’.  “Perhaps I will have some tacos.”  “Perhaps I love you.”

 August 14

                Kate and Kelley come running up to the computer room where Rich and I are from the backyard, where they’ve been playing.  They are very anxious.  “Richard!  You have to come!  There’s a big bug!”  “What kind of bug?” he asks.  “A big bug with two legs!” exclaims Katie.  Kelley peers around Kate’s shoulder as she nods her head and adds excitedly, “You have to step in it!”  As the three of them head off down the stairs, I hear Kate warning him, “It has big eyes!”

 August 25

                Kate is in the bathroom with me as I do my nails.  “What’s this?” she asks, going through my makeup bag.  I tell her it is lip gloss.  A minute later Kelley wanders in and Kate, trying to sound very grown up and worldly, tells her, “Kelley, this is lip glops.”

 August 27

                Kate and Kelley have been in the tub playing (and bathing…?) for about 15 minutes when I hear Katie’s voice, very alarmed, Fleas are in the bath tub!  Fleas are in the bath tub!  I look in and see Kate’s naked little body standing up in the tub while Kelley is looking very unconcerned, trying to float…  I peer at the water and finally see her ‘fleas’, which is nothing but dirt which has finally come off after a hard day’s play…

                 Air freshener for the car is “air confreshener”

                 Kate has always said “covered” for “cupboard”

 September                                                                        4 yrs 6 mos

September 13, 1993

                Evening in Garden Grove, Rich is sleeping before work, Katie and Kelley have just finished dinner and Kate and I are at the refrigerator practicing the alphabet with the new magnetic letters.  Kate is doing extremely well, I think, and then comes to ‘M’.  I am trying to give her hints by saying “Muh, muh, mother.  Moo, moo, movie…”   Finally, I instruct her to “Say the alphabet until you come to the letter that follows ‘L’.  She does perfectly – until “…H  I  J  K  ALEMENTO  P…”  No wonder she was having trouble with ‘M’!

                 Rich bought Kate a doll at the market and the headband was too tight, so I said I would stretch it out a bit.

                                “But then it will fall down and cover her eyes and it will make me very mad and I will pull her head off and then I will cry and be sad!”

                Then she got mad because I laughed and looked for this book so I could write this down and she said, “Stop it!  You’re making me laugh”

 October                                                                                 2 yrs 7 mos

October 16

                Rich had to get his car tuned and smogged to renew the registration, so he left it overnight at the garage.  The girls went with him to bring it home the next day.  When I asked Kate if it passed smog she informed me, “Yeah, and it passed a cop, too!”

  October 17

                Watching her first episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” Kate is amused at the way Granny pronounces “California.”  “Californ-ee” Kate snorts with a chuckle.  “It’s ‘Californ-ay’!”

 October 26

                It is fire season and a large one is burning out of control in Thousand Oaks.  It is being covered by every news channel.  Katie keeps coming in to the bathroom to relay the newscaster’s most up-to-date reports.  At one point she comes running in breathless (even though the TV is just in the next room);  “Oh my God!” she exclaims.  “The golf course is broken!  It broke the golf course, Mom!” She is undoubtedly thinking of Donald.  A few minutes later she comes back in a bit calmer.  Apparently she thinks the excitement’s about to wind down because she tells me, “It broke down in the valley, Mom.  The fire broke down.  In the valley.”  Like all they have to do now is call a tow truck and just haul that dumb old fire to the dump…


 January                                                                                 4 yrs 10 mos

January 21

                Kate pulled two great ones today.  Last night we had made hand-castings similar to the ones Mama still has of Curt and me from when we were Kate’s age.  This morning Jack came by to drop some stuff off, and Kate took it out to the camper to show him.  She was sitting on his lap a few minutes later and I asked her to go get Kelley.  As she climbed down from his lap she said, “Here, Jack.  Hold my hand.”  Jack is the one who originally taught her about holding hands.

                Then later, the second one came when I had been upstairs copying some midi files for Jack, and Kate had come up a couple of times to check on me, indicating I was slow.  Then Kelley came up and said Jack was leaving, so I hurried and finished and went out to the camper to find Jack and Kate relaxing like a couple of grownups at the table, chatting and eating nuts.  Kate glances over at me as I enter the camper and very dryly remarks, “Aren’t we quick?”  Jack, of course, thought that was priceless.

 May                                                                                                 5 yrs  2 mos

May 21

                This evening Kelley asked Papa (again) where his Mama and Papa are, and Katie answered for him:  “Remember, they died.  They’re angels up in Hell.” (pointing toward the ceiling)

May 26

                Kate is sick.  We think she might have German Measles.  After hearing us discuss this, she asks, "What are Germans for?  Why do they get on you?" 



June                                                                         5 yrs  3 mos

June 19, 1994    Father’s Day

                Kate and I are doing magic. First I make a scarf disappear.  Kate wants to know how to do it, and when I show her she is very upset because it’s not really magic.  She even tries to do it without the ‘prop’, to make it magic.  Then I teach her how to do a rope trick, and show her how to do it so the audience is fooled.  She goes out to do her first performance – on Kelley and Rich – and starts her trick off by showing them, “You have to tuck it under here…”


 August                                                                                   6 yrs 5 mos

August 12

                Kate tells us all about the “Nitrogen Hotside” she learned in school today.

                 Both girls are immediate fans of “Calvin and Hobbs”, the comic strip about a little boy and his stuffed tiger after Granny has clipped one to show us from the Sunday paper.  It is about Calvin’s wild imagination at bedtime, and monsters and evil things like that that come to get a kid at bedtime.  The girls make me read it over and over to them.  The following day I decide maybe comics can teach, because Kate shows me she has learned a new word, which came from the comic strip.  As we are driving by the gas station at the corner, Kate sees a pair of rubber gloves all by themselves in the window.   “Look, Mom!” she points.  “Disembodied hands!”

 August 24

                Kate is talking about a snake, a “Bone Extractor”  (boa constrictor)

I overhear Kate instructing Kelley on the best way to clean the room they share:  “Whatever I don’t want, we’ll throw away.  Whatever is mine, we’ll put away.”


 February                                                                                6 yrs 10 mos

February 13

                Another exchange I overhear:

                                Kelley:  “What’s a woman and what’s a girl?”

                                Kate:  “A woman is what Mama is, and a girl is what you are.”

                Brief pause

                                Kelley:  “So are you!”

                                Kate:  (very matter-of-factly)  “No, I’m not.  I’m in between.  I’m a kid!”


March                                                                  6 yrs 11 mos

March 13

                Kate asks if Rich and I are going to “Parent-Teacher Performance.”


July                                                                  7 yrs 4 mos

July 8

                                Kate’s Exposure to Photography

                Kate’s been taking pictures with the camera I gave her.  She tells me excitedly about different ‘great’ shots she has gotten.  They do sound great, but unfortunately I happen to see her take one then, horrified, watch as she opens the back of the camera to make sure the film is ‘still okay.’

July 24

                The girls are in Kelley’s room playing with the new Barbie type dolls Kelley got from Jack for her birthday.  The dolls are ‘Jasmine’ and ‘Alladin’ from the movie of the summer.  Apparently a wedding is taking place.  Both girls are very seriously and quietly doing a very good wedding scene and I am amazed at what I hear.  Katie’s voice asks, “Do you take this man to be your wedded husband, in richer and in poorer, and even if he’s sick?”

                There is a little pause and then a very sweet, sincere “I do,” from Kelley/Jasmine.  The minister Kate turns and begins, “And do you, uh….  Do you….  The same thing with you?”  she asks Alladin.  “Yeah,” Kelley/Alladin answers, “I guess so.”


 March                                                             8 yrs 11 mos

March 27

                For Katie’s birthday she wanted us to go to work in the motor home with Richard Thursday night then go make breakfast at the end of the peninsula in the morning, which we did.  Then that evening we chatted about the poor condition of the tires on the motorhome.  I was making dinner at the stove, Rich was washing his hands at the kitchen sink, and Kate was at the counter making salad.  “I was a little apprehensive last night,” I admitted to Rich, about the tires.  “You were what?” he asked, above the running water.  Kate, always eager to help, repeated my statement for me.  I started laughing and Rich repeated “What?”  So this time I repeated what Kate had said I said: 

“Afreeheshunt.”  Katie, indignant that I heard her wrong and was laughing at her, corrected me.  Half-reeheshant!” she stated.  Even funnier was the fact that Rich could in no way think of the word I had originally used.


March 28

                The following night found us all exhausted after a busy day.  It was getting late and we hadn’t had dinner, so Rich was going to go out and get something to bring back for all of us, but none of us could think of anything that sounded good.  Looking at my watch, I suggested that maybe we should just fast for the night.  Katie immediately piped up with “Fast?  Great!  I love fast food!”


January                                                                               8 yrs 10 mos

January 16

                I tell Kate where to look for her water color pencils, and she tells me they are not there.  So I come upstairs, look in the spot I had told her to look, and of course, they were there.  Katie says, “Ohhh, I’m so dumb!”  I say, “You’re so blind!” And she says, “I’m so blonde!”


March                                                                 8 yrs 11 mos


October                                                                                 9 yrs 7 mos

October 22

                Kate asks me, “What happens to the President after he’s not president any more?  I mean, where does he live?”  So I look at her and say, “No where.  He just becomes homeless.”  Surprised by my answer,  she looks a little shocked and very concerned, exclaiming,  “Oh, that’s not  good!” 

I am going to have to stop teasing her...  But it's so much fun to bring out the blonde hi-lights in her!


January                                                                                      11 yrs 10 mos

January 10

                I am telling Papa that I “have maternal instincts.”  Papa says, “Well, I have maternal instincts, too.”  Katie, who has been listening, tells him very seriously, “You have manternal instincts, Papa.”


August                                                                                          12 yrs 5 mos

August 29

                Yesterday we saw a bumper sticker that said “Horn Broken -Watch For Finger”  Today in traffic, a man kept screaming from his car at the car two cars ahead of his (one lane over from our lane) who was stopped at the red light.  “Go!  Go!!” he kept screaming over and over.  “His horn’s probably broken,” I commented.  Katie asked, “Why doesn’t he use his finger?”


 May                                                                                                        13 yrs  2 mos

May 2

                Katie is telling us about a 1992 documentary she watched this afternoon, called "The Last Party". 
                "It's about Bill Cinton's Presidential Election," she informs us.   "Although in his case, I should probably say Presidential Erection."

July                                                                                                            13 yrs  4 mos


                Katie is telling me about a conversation she just had with Papa, where he used the word, "ultomata".  I smile every time she says it, and she finally asks, "Well, how do you say it?  What is it?"  I hear my speech stumble as I decide whether to tell her the truth or....  "It's 'oldtomato'," I hear myself saying.  She looks a little skeptical.  "It's from -- it's a phrase from the old days," I wave my hand casually, trying to indicate the past, Papa's era.  "It means 'make a decision', 'an old tomato or a new one'."  I make a balancing motion with my hands.  "You know...choices."   Doubt and confusion lift from her face and Katie nods, understanding and accepting my answer.  "Oh, okay." 

It really is fun!  And so easy too!  Everyone ought to have at least one blonde in the family....

August                                                                                            13 yrs 5 mos

August 1

                Today Kate  gleefully told us how she caught her friend Rachael making a 'grammaral' error...


August 16

                Today Kate  indignantly denied having said Rachael made a 'grammaral' error by informing me,  
"I said 'grammical' !"


November                                                                                        13 yrs 8 mos  

November 2

On our way home from Barnes & Noble, somehow the talk turns to Pee Wee Herman, and Papa says how they guy once had everything; cars, beautiful houses, fame, money... but because he was whacking it in a public place, he lost it all.  Katie says, "Not everything.  He still has his hands."




February                                                                                13 yrs 11 mos

February 12  

I am helping Katie with her government homework.    We are each on a computer in the office, and she is looking for information on impeachment.  After a few minutes of silence she says,  "I didn't know President Clinton quitted." 
        She has my attention, and I ask her, "What?" 
        She says, "It says here he a quitted."


February 23  

 It is Sunday night, and Kate and I are stopping by Target on our way home after visiting Granny.  I'm in a minor hurry because it is 8:40 and the store closes at 9:00. The particular Target we have decided to go to has huge speed bumps all along the roadway that encompasses the parking lot, so I avoid them by weaving  my way - pretty quickly - through parked cars and shopping baskets across the smooth parking lot instead .  "I hate speed bumps," I mumble. 
     Katie, pretending to be me,  replies,  "(runs over pedestrian) 'I hate speed bumps.'"


May 31                                                                                                   14 yrs  2 mos  

After neglecting to water the lawn for a couple of years, Rich decides to spend the day treating it with ammonium sulfate to make it green. He is bragging about how his lawn used to be the greenest in the neighborhood, and how after he does this, all the neighbors will follow his lead.  "Just watch," he tells Kate and me, "In a couple of days, all the neighbors will be out doing this to make their lawns green."

"I don't think so, Papa," Katie says. 

"What do you mean?" 

"Their lawns are already green."



Kate and I finally found a dress for her graduation from 8th grade, but she is very uncomfortable about this whole feminine attire subject and decides she's  "a boy trapped in a girl's body with homosexual tendencies"...



March                                                                                14 yrs 11 mos

March 4  

At dinner Kate is telling us about Pierson, who was crying to her today at school about not having a girlfriend.  Somewhere into the conversation Papa decides to join us.  He apparently thinks we are discussing Kate "going out", and immediately declares loudly, "Not without a chaperone!"  The whole thing gets off the topic of Pierson and onto Rich saying that they shouldn't go out until after they are out of high school, etc.  In the meantime, Kate and Kelley have left the table and gone upstairs.  Kate comes back down a few minutes later, while this discussion is still going on, and this is the resulting conversation:

Kate:  "I was wondering if I could go to the movies and get pregnant Saturday night?"

Jack:  "I think I need a hearing aid."

Papa:  "Mumble that again?"

Jack:  "What movie?"


October                                                                                 15 yrs 6 mos

October 05

This morning when I took the girls to school I drove up Katella.  When I got to Bloomfield I was going to turn right.  The signal was red for me, but it's okay to turn right on a red light if it is safe, and it would have been, except for the ancient old lady crossing guard who was standing in the gutter at the curb.  There were two middle school boys on the other side of Katella;  they were her mission.  The green light was for the cars on Bloomfield to turn onto Katella, right through her cross walk, so she couldn't go, even if she wanted to...   I motioned to her that she had a red light, and to let me go, but she shook her head and thrust her stop sign at me, then stuck her nose in the air and just stood there, until the light finally turned green for her.  Why she is still a crossing guard is beyond me.  The boys had made it across about 3/4 of the way before she got to them, to 'guard' them with her mighty shield.  By the time she got back to the curb they were long gone.  In fact, she didn't make it back until after my light had turned green.  As I rounded the corner I was muttering a little angrily to myself about such an old person being a crossing guard, and Kate pipes up from the back seat in a reassuring voice, "She'll be dead soon."



July                                                                                16 yrs 3 mos

July 11  

This morning Jack was going to take the DVD's from Netflix over to the post office to return them.  Kelley still had the last one, and so I woke her up to find out where it was.  She very groggily told me it was in her computer, and so I turned it on to get the DVD out, then went downstairs to give it to Jack.  Kate came into my room while I was gone and sent an instant message to Kelley's aim from my computer, I guess so it would look like it was from me.  This is what she sent Kelley (the avitar is Kelley's):

Kate is a riot.





August                                                                                17 yrs 4 mos

August 12  

 We have a friend named Hal who takes care of his 86 year-old mother. The other night, Mrs. Siemer had a TIA or something and had to be taken to the hospital. The following day he told me that the doctors had given her a narcotic called Haldol, which is something you don't want to give to someone who has any type of dementia, which she has. Later, I was talking to Kate about it. "...and the doctors gave her Haldol..."

"Really?" Kate is impressed.  "How cool!  Where did they get it?"

"What do you mean?  From the hospital pharmacy, I would imagine.  It's a narcotic."

"Oh!" she exclaims, understanding. "I thought that was really nice of them to give her a little doll named 'Hal' so she wouldn't be lonely and stuff..."

When I told Hal about Kate's response, he howled.

  August 17                                                                             

Kate and I are up late talking about 'important things.' The talk turns to how Auntie Lora has two suitors at the same time, one named Rob and the other Robert. I tell Kate that Auntie Lora has said she is monogamous. Kate wasn't sure what that meant, so I told her, "It means, basically, being true to one person only."

Kate raised her eyebrow and asked, "Monogamous or 'monog-a-trois'?"





August                                                                                18 yrs 4 mos

August 19  

 Today Kate told me about a conversation she had with Kelley yesterday. Apparently Kate was trying to tell Kelley something about the Dead Sea Scrolls, but Kelley was having a hard time understanding what she was talking about. "The what?" she asked. "The Dead Sea Scrolls," Kate repeated. "The what?" Kelley asked again. Kate repeated it again, and Kelley, finally understanding, laughed and said, "Oh, I thought you were saying 'Dead Sea Squirrels'!"

Kate obviously spends way too much time on her computer. As she was telling me the story above, I asked her to tell me the last part, because I was writing it down. "And what did Kelley finally say?" I asked her. Kate said, "She said, 'Oh, LOL, I thought you said 'Dead Sea Squirrels!'"

I asked her, "She said that?  'LOL'?" Kate paused a moment, then laughing (and embarrassed), said, "Did I say that out loud? I meant she laughed."


November                                                                                        18 yrs 8 mos  

November 22    Thanksgiving Day

We are sitting around the dinner table, having finished eating our Thanksgiving Dinner (except for Papa, of course, who is still eating), and Kate is telling us something.  Behind her, out on the patio, I see Tucker, who has been banished to the outdoors now that he is an old cat who no longer cares enough to attempt to utilize the sandbox when necessary  (He also smells extremely horrible).  I wave to him, and, interrupting Kate, tell them I feel guilty about him being outside in the cold while we are fat and happy and warm inside; I add that I expect him to morph into Tiny Tim or something.  Then Kelley comments, and then Papa, and then we tell Kate to go on with her story.  "What was I talking about?" she asks.  "I don't know," I answer, and Kelley indicates the same.  Papa, of course, she doesn't even bother asking.  "Nobody ever pays attention to what I say!" Kate complains.  We all agree, and then start offering suggestions as to what she could have been telling us.  None of them rings a bell.  Kate, upset with herself for not remembering finally laments, "I  don't even pay attention to me!"





November                                                                                        19 yrs 8 mos  

November 27    Thanksgiving Day

Kate is telling me about the dream she had last night about Deep Creek, up in the mountains, where we used to catch "pollyfrogs." 





January                                                                                      19 yrs 10 mos

January 24

                Last night Papa, Kate and I were out running errands and we found ourselves wondering why
Kelley has been so "emo" (emotional) lately.  I offered, "One reason is because Jimmy doesn't call her
'Face' anymore." 
                Papa asked,
  "Doesn't call her what??"
                "Face," I answered.  "He calls her 'Face'."
                 Not bothering to disguise the confusion (and disgust) in his voice, Papa questions, "Why does
he call her 'Face'?"
                "Because he likes to look at her face?" I suggested.
                Papa made a grunt of disapproval, so, in Kelley's and Jimmy's defense, Kate offered:
                "Why is that so weird?  Zak calls me 'Breasts.'

                I almost wrecked the truck, laughing so hard, but Papa's response was simply, "I am not amused."




January 24

The following night, the girls and I were in Costco, and Kelley wanted fish oil pills.   I didn't
want to get them for her, but we looked at them anyway.  One brand said on the box, "No fishy
odor or aftertaste!
"  I pointed this out to Kelley.  Brainless Kate LOUDLY added, "Yeah,
so that when you kiss Jimmy, he won't stop and say: "Face!  Have you been going down on
yourself again?!"

             Needless to say, people stopped and turned and stared.  I whirled around to Kate,
HORRIFIED.  "Kate, I can't believe you just said that!  I am SO embarrassed!!!"

            Kelley just said, "What?  What did she say?"



October                                                                                 21 yrs 7 mos

October 20

Kate and I were discussing the phrase "douchebag."  Kate asked, "Where does the word "douche" come from, anyway?"  "It's French," I replied.  There was a double-pause before Kate answered, "I always kind of figured it was named after the sound."

A few minutes later, she was telling me about a quiz she took to see whether or not she was Democrat or Liberal.