All About My Mom, by Maggie

Maggie presented me with a biography she wrote about me for Mother’s Day. It was a form that she and her teacher filled out.

My mom’s name is Mama Dana.

She is 5 or 6 years old.

She is 8 feet tall.

She weighs 5 pounds.

Her hair is gray.

Her eyes are blue.

Her favorite food is enchilada.

I like it when my mom cooks pot roast for dinner.

She likes to hug.

She always tells me to get her a Coke.

I like to dance with my mom.

I love you Mom, Maggie.

As you can imagine, I was properly amused by her perceptions of my age and size and properly chastened by her recollections that I frequently ask her to retrieve Cokes for me; however, in my defense, her father asks her about ten times more than I do. My favorite food, by the way, is not enchiladas, but she doesn’t like my enchilada casserole, so I think she said that because she thinks I must insist on making it for some reason; therefore, that reason must be that it’s my favorite.

[tags]Mother’s Day, children[/tags]


I recently announced on my cooking blog that I will be discontinuing that blog, mainly because I lost interest in it. I thought from the beginning what would really work is a recipe blog. Folks aren’t interested in how much I spend on groceries; they want to know how to make something. I convinced my sister to participate with me, and you can read the Swier sisters’ recipes at Two Steamin’ Sisters. Yeah, about the title: if you have suggestions, we’re all ears. The blog’s title can easily be changed. Check it out!

[tags]recipes, blog[/tags]

Christmas and Swing

I went to my parents’ house for Christmas and had a chance to visit with my sister, brother-in-law and niece. It was a nice time. Maggie and Dylan had fun. Sarah had a good time, too. She spent most of the holiday with her dad and is still there. Sure does seem like a houseful when all the kids are together. My sister gave me the director’s cut of Amadeus, which I had been coveting. Sarah gave me her 100% Spanish test, all wrapped and everything. I also received some nice clothes and teacher things. The kids cleaned up. I gave my sister and parents copies of their family trees/family history books, and my brother-in-law and niece also received books from me. I hope all of you had happy holidays and will enjoy a good new year.

I finally managed to get into Odeo. I am frustrated by the fact that the bluegrass podcast I wanted to listen to sounds like Alvin and the Chipmunks go Appalachian, but from what I understand, this is a bug that Odeo knows about, doesn’t plan to fix, and instead places squarely into the hands of podcasters. From what I understand, not all podcasters upload their podcasts to Odeo, but gathers RSS feeds from podcasts and puts them in one location. If you browse the site, you’ll notice that many of the podcasts are not “claimed.”

Just as many of you may not have known that I like Delta Blues, you probably also didn’t know I’m a huge fan of Big Band Swing — Glenn Miller in particular, but I listen to others. It started when I was in 7th grade. My band teacher let us join jazz band even if we didn’t play a “jazz” instrument. In the years since, I have learned that my flute is indeed sometimes used in jazz, though not as often as brass and sax. Anyway, we played a swing tune called “Tuxedo Junction.” I thought it was so much fun, and I began to listen to other big band tunes. I remember my college friends really scratched their heads over it. I wondered after swing music came into vogue again in the mid to late 1990’s if they remembered I had listened to it. I am so rarely ahead of the curve on anything. Of course, one could and probably should argue that I was not ahead of the curve; rather, I was behind the curve by about 50 years. Whatever. Who would have thought I would like the same popular music as my grandfather? Well, it’s true. I find myself tapping my toes and really wishing I could actually dance when I hear swing music. I found some great swing music from Radio Nostalgia Network via Odeo. You can listen to anything from swing music to old radio programs (including soap operas and radio plays). You can enjoy a big band swing podcast in the music player in the lefthand sidebar.  Remember the recording is old and was broadcast over the radio in 1939, so the sound quality is not what we’re used to in 2006.  Still sounds good, however.


I took Dylan to his pediatrician today to begin the process of evaluating him for autism. He has for some time been exhibiting symptoms that worry me. For instance, at the age of three, he speaks almost no words. He will learn words, then forget them; however, we know he knows some words based on his nonverbal responses. He seems to be unable to determine when someone is angry or upset. He lines up his toys and become extremely upset when anyone disturbs his arrangments.

In some ways, Dylan perfectly exhibits symptoms of autism, but in others — such as the fact that he is very affectionate and loves to be hugged — he doesn’t. Of course, autism is a spectrum disorder, and I have no fears that he is mentally disabled. However, his language delay is really my biggest concern. He will be starting school soon, and I want him to be successful. Especially because I see the light inside him, but I realize that it would be difficult for a teacher to relate to him.

Look What My Kid is Doing!

Sarah is participating in NaNoWriMo’s Young Writer’s Program.  She’s awesome.

Dana and Dylan

I took this goofy photo of Dylan and myself when we were at Borders the other day. Reminds me of those mirrors you look in that make your face sort of convex, enlarging the size of your nose.

Dana and Dylan

The Family That Blogs Together

Well, it seems after seeing Maggie enjoying her own blog, Sarah decided she wanted one, too.

Maggie Blogs

My five-year-old daughter Maggie told her daddy the other day that she wanted a blog.  We had a talk about it, and she has decided to become a blogger.  You can read her thoughts at Maggie’s Blog.  She tells me what to write, and I type it for her.  I didn’t change any of her words.  I did provide links to clarify what she was talking about for those who might be unfamiliar with some of the subject matter (i.e. Baby Bottle Pops).  She chose the template from several I showed her.  I created her links.

She loves her blog.  She composed her first post today, and she has been pestering me to “do” her blog since then.  I think she’ll probably be more prolific than I am, if her excitement today is any indication.


Our Field Day was Friday, and I did things I should not have done considering the shape I’m in, but the good news is our team won. Go Light Blue! Woooo!

My sister is on MySpace after mocking me about it, but that’s OK. I will link her if she gives me permission and maybe she’ll let you be her friend.

The 9/11 tribute 2,996 is already rolling, and many bloggers have their tributes up already. Mine will appear tomorrow morning at 8:46. I have the honor of remembering Eric Andrew Lehrfeld, who was in the North Tower on the 106th floor at 8:46 when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the tower. Be sure to check back tomorrow, and please read the posts of the other 2,996 bloggers.

The Power of Genealogy

Today has been a great day for me in terms of genealogy research.  I reconnected with Steve Cunningham, who descends from my great-great-grandfather Amos’s brother Charles Cunningham, and we shared some stories and photographs.

I was also thrilled to discover the family of my great-great-grandmother Stella Bowling Cunningham’s former fiancé, John William Tolleson.  I wrote about it on my genealogy blog.  Go check it out!

Making connections like these across the generations and getting glimpses of the lives of our ancestors is so exciting.