Saturday, July 23, 2016


The bags are packed. The dollars have been exchanged for Euros. The carryons are stuffed with snacks for the 11.5 hour flight. Contact numbers have been sent to all. Dog has a dog-sitter. House has a house-sitter and various people gonna come visit it!

Now we wait...

Usually we have a morning flight. Our flight to Spain leaves at 6:30 p.m. lands at 2:22 p.m. tomorrow Spain time. We are in no-man's land waiting for when it's time to leave for the airport.

The world is on fire near us. 5,500 acre fire burning across the freeway. Winds sent it away from us, not toward us. Ants have invaded the kitchen with a vengeance.

It's all a little unsettled.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


It has taken years of nagging, but the Spain trip is finally happening! There are hotels and AirB&B flats reserved. We have reservations at museums, cathedrals and The Alhambra.  The countdown is on!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Goodbye My Friend

     My friend Lisa Kim Bach died this past week. It’s been almost too much to even speak aloud. 
     We went to college together, edited the Daily Collegian together, read poetry and debated authors, argued copy editing and newspapering rights and wrongs. She stood by my side when I married Dean Yerem. 
     LKB and I took a Belles Lettres class that last year of college, and though we’ve spent years physically apart the sharing of prose and poetry continued. I’ve been reading quotes and sections we passed back and forth. I’ve dug out old books, just to feel her presence. I can hear her infectious laugh and I can see the twinkle of mischief in her eyes. She was quiet, but she could be the best kind of trouble. 
     I wanted to post a poem as a tribute, but nothing seemed good enough, right enough… And then yesterday in Barnes and Noble, my youngest son, Neil, surprised me by picking up a book of poetry and reading a poem out loud to me. It was a poem about basketball so I won't be posting it here (though I'm sure LKB would have loved it.)
     Maybe it doesn’t matter what poem I share in honor of Lisa. Maybe it just matters that I remember how Lisa loved the written word – a poem, a book, a story to tell – and she shared it with those around her. I am just so very thankful and honored to consider her a friend. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The passport photos have been taken

We had to show Neil what a passport looked like. We have tickets to Spain and passport photos... There is hope.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Neil's turn to make mom cry

Neil made honor society at junior high. And it was exactly like this. You would think I would have come to grips with kids, memories, and parenting. I haven't. It's just Neil's turn. Two awesome boys who attend the same schools I attended. It's odd and sentimental sometimes. We are definitely a Cowboy family, bleeding green and gold... Dean's school with their sailors and circus history classes didn't stand a chance.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Walking and wheezing

I have not participated in a specific workout since April. That was when Dean woke up with a bulging disc and the inability to sit, lay down, walk, drive, whatever it was he couldn't do it without excruciating pain. It's been a long summer.

Today I thought it was time to get back to the walking. I had been waking a mile or two 3-4 days a week. No Olympic hopeful, but decent enough.

I decided today was the day. Gonna start walking again. Gonna work out. Gonna need to buy smaller clothes soon.

I walked 2.26 miles today. I thought I might die. I didn't because I'm writing this now (thanks for checking).

Thoughts during my walk (mostly in order):

"I should have brought my inhaler."

"It's a little warmer than I expected."

"Thank God my friend couldn't walk today. (Wheeze) This would be embarrassing."

"I hope no one I know drives by."

"Thank God I didn't wear the smidge-too-tight exercise bra. I'm not sure I would be able to breathe (Wheeze)."

"If I make it the top of this hill, I can make it."

"If I make it to the top of this hill, I can roll myself down the next street to my friend's house. She'll find me on the lawn and take me home (Wheeze)(Wheeze)."

"How many steps do I think I have left?"

"Maybe someone will drive by and offer me a ride?"

"Oh Thank God, I can see my house."

"Victory! Wheeze!!"

"Can you lose 20 pounds in sweat?"

I have it from a good authority that a couple hour nap is entirely respectable after a workout.

I'm not going to even try to explain the years it has been since blogging... just gonna act like they never happened.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Bell Tolls for Thee

It was an end of an era last night in the Yerem household. 

Neil's been nurturing a snowball in the freezer since Jan. 2, 2011. We had a surprise bit of snow, and Neil made himself a good-sized snowball and stashed it in the freezer. "I'm going to keep it forever!"


Smack dab in the middle of the middle shelf of our freezer sat his snowball in a plastic container -- hand-packed snow and surrounding bits of grass that came with it. 

Neil would check on it, take it out and admire it and then put it back. January, February, March... I finally scooted it over so actual frozen food could fit on this shelf in the freezer. This is not some Sub Zero monstrosity. This is your average household kitchen freezer attached to a fridge. We needed the space.

April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February and into March... The snowball has lived behind frozen fish sticks, popsicles, Pizza Rolls, green beans and various other things for the past 14 1/2 months.

Last night, after being hit in the toe by a frozen block of something falling out of the freezer, I started rearranging shelves. The snowball container was there, but the last remnants of the snowball was only about the size of a marble...

The snowball's time had come.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thanks Dad

I made myself cry the other night.

My seventh-grader made honor society. Jack works hard at school, getting straight A's. He attends the same junior high that I did. We are very proud of him, but it doesn't bring me to tears.

At least no tears until I walked into the junior high auditorium for the installation ceremony.

Suddenly, I was back in seventh grade. This dingy room with brick walls, faded stage curtain and folding chairs in rows brought back my seventh grade honor society installation. I could feel my dad's hand in mine. I could feel the weight of the gigantic (at least in my 12-year-old eyes) corsage that was on my wrist.

My dad had bought the corsage for me. No doubt he spent time carefully picking the yellow rose and carnations that made up the arrangement. My dad was always specific in his floral gifts. There was always meaning. The color, the flower, the arrangement -- it was all a gift of his love.

I was his pride and joy, his only daughter. My daddy adored me. And I had made honor society. HONOR SOCIETY. My dad was born in China to missionaries, joined the Navy and never graduated from high school, had to go to night school to get his GED, made his living as a machinist. This man's daughter had earned recognition for her academics.

My dad was so proud. He was busting at the seems. He couldn't brag enough. He was stopping people in the grocery store, at the park, wherever he went.

Of course, I didn't realize why he was bragging or what it meant to him. I was hitting the teen years, and I was horrified that my father had bought this HUGE, old-fashioned flower thingy that I was supposed to wear. No one else's dad was making them wear something like this. Why was he embarrassing me?

And everyone asked about the corsage... It was torture. I didn't want to hurt my dad's feelings, but how could he not see how difficult this was on me?

How could I not see how much he loved me?

As a parent walking into this year's honor society ceremony, I look at my son. I'm bursting with pride. How did his father and I manage to create something so awesome as this boy? Jack is amazing (so is his brother Neil, but that's another story). I can feel my dad's pride and love. As I stand here with my husband, I think I understand that moment in my father's life. I'd have bought Jack the biggest corsage ever if it would show him how much I love him, how proud I am of him. I'd give him anything, ANYTHING if I thought it could convey the bone-deep, life-altering love I have for him.

But he's 12. He thinks parents always love their kids. He thinks parents are always blessed enough to be with their kids all the time, go to almost every activity. He thinks I'm fussing over him. He thinks it's no big deal. Someday, he'll know. He'll know it is a big deal. HE is a big deal. He's always been a big deal to me just like I know I was a big deal to my daddy.

And I am so thankful for that corsage. It was beautiful.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


There are wants. There are needs. And then there are NEEDS.

Some people (like my mother) have gadget issues. If it was/is made by Ronco, my mother has it... I do not have that issue.

Things from Photojojo are definitely NEEDS. I have a collection of Photojojo items: lens coffee mugs, cute felt camera case, iPhone telephoto lens, instant camera decal that I get loads of compliments on...
There are more, but I'm getting uncomfortable.

But I have needs. I need a flash bounce like this for my DSLR. Definitely not a gadget. Pure quality control. Now if I wanted this camera dolly, that would be a gadget. (I do kind of want it.). This would make my iPhone so much more functional, but it's probably a gadget too.

I need this too. Purely for efficiency. And this for camera safety (the SLR version, please).

As I've said before: Tools, not gadgets. Needs, not wants.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Good Afternoon

I think I want this for cruising to school and back to pick up the kids...