Saturday, May 2, 2009

Beth’s Music Moment – Creem Magazine

Beth's music moment6 I was excited to see a book in one of my bargain book catalogs the other day, and although I have plenty to read (I think I could stay occupied for the next year), I just couldn't resist this one. It's a retrospective look at Creem, which billed itself as America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine.

"But wait," you ask. "What about Rolling Stone? What about Circus? What about Rock Scene?" All decent mags, and I subscribed to Rolling Stone for quite a few years, and bought many issues of the latter two. Rock Scene was not as nicely produced and seemed to be mostly about the New York scene, Circus sort of toed the record company line when it came to reviews of bands and their records, and Rolling Stone was (and is) as much about politics as it was about rock and roll.

Creem Creem was all about the bands and their music. Nothing else. You'd never see a cover story on a political candidate, and no mention of an election or a campaign. (Although they were a perverse bunch, so today I could see them writing a brief comment about how they'd screw Sarah Palin. And I don't mean just that they'd say they would...they'd probably go into detail of how.) This magazine was immersed in rock and roll and had no pretensions to be anything but that. They were also very much a Midwestern mag, with a fondness for straight-up rock with no bull. As a band or performer, you could have a gimmick (like Alice Cooper and his early goth), but if you didn't rock, you weren't worth their time.

Creem was born in Detroit in 1969, and finally stopped publishing in 1988. I started reading in the late seventies through the early eighties, which was prime time for punk and new wave. Creem was at the forefront of that particular movement, but had always been ahead of its time, especially when it came to promoting local artists like the MC5, Mitch Ryder, the Amboy Dukes (and Creem Johnny Rotten their guitarist, Ted Nugent), and Iggy and the Stooges, who are generally considered the progenitors of punk rock. Their coverage of the New York punk scene, especially, was fantastic--immediate, exciting, dynamic--and when the Sex Pistols and the Clash burst on the British punk scene and then the American, the writers of Creem were immediate proponents and rabid fans. For a high school girl stuck in the Midwest, it took me to another place and another lifestyle...I was never a full-fledged punk, but I think I caught a little of the attitude from reading this rag.

The writers were some of the best and craziest you can imagine, including the late great Lester Bangs, who said, "music is about feeling, passion, love, anger, joy, fear, hope, lust, emotion delivered in its most powerful and direct in whatever form." And just because the writers loved you, didn't mean you got a pass for a crummy record. They loved the Detroit band MC5, and lauded them as the next big thing with their debut album, but generally agreed that their second album fell flat, and that they left their musical roots behind in the name of record company sales. Most of the writers were able to capture a feeling and an attitude that I've never seen since. Consider this passage from Barry Kramer's (one of the head honchos of the mag for many years) account of traveling with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels on a southern tour in 1970:

The Copa was run by what must have been the hottest chick in Alabama thirty years ago. She was, also, incidentally the chief of police's sister. She kept barging in what was called the dressing room, to catch a glimpse of some young buns and say, "I sure wish I was about ten years younger." We'd drawn twice as many "members" as the room could hold; by the time Strawberry Alarm Clock finished their set, the room was filled with beer-swillers, backs to the walls and standing atop one another. Mini-skirted waitresses scurried about, hustling drinks, tips and customers. The back door hung open and the under-age teeny boppers of this good Alabama town hung about to catch a glimpse of the rock 'n' roll stars, performing on a stage barely big enough to accommodate Arnold Stang, let alone seven musicians, plus instruments. The whole sweaty scene was conceived by Faulkner, produced by Fellini and cast by Russ Meyer. Your average Southern teetotaler gets drunker than most any other being on the planet; the ones that drink know how to be really obscene and obnoxious.

Beautifully written. The writers of Creem seemed to treat us readers as fellow collaborators, not talk down to us as pathetic and ridiculous fans. They seemed to understand that you can be a fan and still want to learn about the music, too, and to realize that not all of us could go to shows like that (especially those of us who were in small towns and underage). Their descriptive powers, their ability to bring the performances to us, were able to take us there, if only vicariously.

Ramones Creem Profiles The photographers played a big part in that, too, and Creem's photos were glossy and bright and candid. Whether it was Creem's Profiles (like the old Dewar's Profiles, but touting the fictional Boy Howdy! beer), the Creem Dreem (people like Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, or a side view of a naked Martin Mull), Stars Cars, or Backstage, these were often shots that we'd never see anywhere else.

Not everyone was a fan, though. I still remember getting home from school one day and seeing the new issue laying on my bed. When I opened it up and started to read, I saw that my Mom had gone through with a red pen and underlined all the bad words! Bless her heart, she was trying to keep me from being corrupted...but at that point, I think it was already too late. I think Mom knows I turned out okay, despite the magazine’s influence!

The dust jacket of this book is a montage of covers throughout the years, and I still remember so many of them: the Police standing in front of a height grid, like they were in a police lineup; the Nuge raising a couple of guitars up, one in each hand; a grinning Mick Jagger; Debbie Harry the Cars REM Springsteen and so many others. I'm thoroughly enjoying reading some of the pieces I read years ago, and it makes me appreciate that I was around during Creem's heyday and able to enjoy so many wonderful writers and photographers. I also had a Boy Howdy! tank top for many years, but I think it eventually wore out, and is long gone. What do you think the odds are that I'll be ordering a Boy Howdy! T-shirt before too long? Hint: better than the 50-1 odds of the Derby winner, Mine That Bird!

Do any of my rock and roll peeps remember Creem? Especially those of you from its birthplace, Detroit? Did anyone else here besides me read this magazine?

Friday, May 1, 2009


But first...rabbit rabbit rabbit! Evil spirits begone from Nutwood for the month of May!

Tippecanoe Place A good afternoon, taking care of final arrangements (no, not a funeral) for Ken's PMI meeting next week. Everything went so smoothly, and the Chamber of Commerce did a great job putting together a packet about South Bend. We just need to put in the agenda and the PMI pins that Ken ordered. We met with the event coordinator at Tippecanoe Place, and every time I walk into the restaurant, which was the home of one of the Studebaker brothers, I fall in love with it all over again. It's gorgeous. Our group is going to be in the room that was the family's original dining room. I'll write more about it and put up pictures after our dinner there next Friday.

Some excellent news upon our return, when I got an email update from the Tribune that said that Randall Terry (the anti-abortion guy protesting at Notre Dame) had been arrested on campus today during a protest in which the group was pushing around baby carriages that contained dolls covered in blood. They have also been flying banners of bloody fetuses over campus, and driving advertising trucks through town with the same large pictures. Do they have a right to protest? Absolutely. Are they disturbing the peace? Undoubtedly. Several parents have objected to the trucks with large pictures, saying that their children were very disturbed by the images. After Terry’s arrest, Notre Dame issued a no trespass injunction against him. His court appearance will take place after commencement, but I'm sure he won't stay in jail that long. He'll probably get out on bail, but if he tries protesting on campus again, I assume he will be arrested again.

I believe he has the right to protest, but he really is disturbing the peace, and has vowed to do so at the commencement. He is so obsessed with his crusade that he doesn't care about any collateral damage, and I can guarantee that he doesn't care one iota about Notre Dame or its students (or their souls) or our community. I'm glad they arrested him. I'm sure the commencement will be marred with more unpleasantness, I'm sorry to say.

Wood Duck It's been a fun couple of days for bird watching! Last night, Ken saw activity out at the back pond, and when I got the binoculars, I saw two male ducks and one female, and they hopped in the pond and were swimming around. The light was starting to fade, but I was able to get a good enough look at them to see that they were wood ducks! I had never seen one before, so it was a new sighting for me. I haven't seen them today, but I hope they'll hang out for a while. I don't know...our pond might be too small for them. I'd love to see ducklings, though! We had a mallard pair a while back that built a nest in the marsh grass, but some egg-sucking critter got into it and destroyed them all. Wood ducks apparently build their nests in empty woodpecker cavities, up in the trees, so they'd probably be okay from raccoons or the coyote. Even if they don't hang around and raise a family, it was neat to see them and add them to my list.

Indigo Bunting2 Today, I saw a flash of blue on the deck. It looked like a blue finch, but there aren't any blue finches around here (there might not be any at all, I don't know). I went downstairs, and found him pecking at the seed on the ground under the deck. I got a really good look at him, and he's an Indigo Bunting. I saw one the first year we moved in here, and hadn't seen one since. The males are beautiful, a much more intense, deeper blue than either bluebirds or blue jays. It was great to see him again, and know that they're hanging around!

Finally, it looks like Ken and I had our "Eureka!" moment in the Great Residence Hunt '09™, after looking at a couple of places last night. First was a house about 20 minutes away. Really cute place, nicely renovated, attached garage...with not enough overhead room for an opener, and no handle on the outside of the door! Huh? So you'd have to get out of the car, go inside the house and into the garage, open the door, drive the car in...kind of defeats the purpose of having an attached garage, doesn't it? But it was really a nice house other than that, keeping in mind that they are unable to do yard work, so we'd either do it or hire someone to do it.

Next was a place called Maple Lane, with only four apartments per building. (Don’t a lot of Ray Bradbury stories take place on Maple Street or Maple Lane? Uh oh.) Big living room, big family room with a woodburning fireplace, good-sized kitchen, two decent-sized bedrooms, and an attached garage. Unfortunately, only one bathroom, but like Ken had told his Mom, they're probably going to have to prioritize and compromise on some things. Nice large trees on the grounds, a pool, a clubhouse...after we dropped off the keys at the office and we were walking back to the car, I told Ken, "I think we've found them a place." Ken agreed.

We called his Mom when we got back, and we have permission to stop looking. Happy happy joy joy! Oh, and they get a senior citizen discount, too, and that is locked in as long as they're there. I really think they'll like this one, although it's not in the nice setting across from the river. We'll start the application process for them, and scan and print some info to send them. What a relief, and not just to be done looking...I'm relieved that we were able to find a place that meets their needs and that they'll enjoy and find comfortable. And that pool might be pretty appealing come August...!

A quick note

Ken and I have errands to run this afternoon, but I just wanted to do a quick update here, with more to follow later today.

Silver Squirrel Award Congratulations to Mark of Stars Like Grains of Sand in my Pocket for winning the Silver Squirrel award. He correctly guessed (and was the first to do so) that Kings in Satan's Service was a reference to those Detroit City rockers, KISS. Back in the seventies, there were several preachers who would go around to churches and talk to the youth groups about the evils of rock and roll. They always said that KISS was an acronym for Kings in Satan's Service, and for some reason, that always cracked me up.

And a blast from the past...remember the picture I put up of Sarah Palin in her office, with a grizzly bear pelt and a huge crab sitting on a table? Many people thought it was photoshopped, but I found several other pictures that showed the same thing. Now I've got video for you! The grizzly is prominent, but watch closely for the crab. My favorite part is when she tells the guy, "You've got that patriotism in ya that people just so respect. Thank you for that." I'm not familiar with the guy, or his show, and maybe he does some really good things for charities, etc. I just don't know. But I'm not quite sure how building motorcycles makes him have "that patriotism" in him.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Community service or Kings in Satan’s Service?

Volunteerism A Silver Squirrel Award to anyone who gets that latter reference!

I read a short article in Time the other day about the April 21st signing of The Serve America Act, a bill cosponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy, and one which received bipartisan support. I don't think anyone would dispute that community or national service is a noble cause, and according to the article, applications for AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and Teach for America are "pouring in," with many more applicants than spots. Yay, Team America!

Leave it to someone like Glenn Beck to rain on that happy little parade of those willing to serve. Beck recently said that the AmeriCorps program "indoctrinates your child into community service." *GASP* No, not that! Anything but that!

What a moronic comment. (No word on whether or not he cried when he said it. Beck seems to be suffering from a serious case of chronic PMS.) Yes, how terrible for a child to be exposed to people who think it's a good thing to help others. How heinous to teach a child that they can be part of the greater good. What sort of nefarious plot shows a child that there are others less fortunate than themselves, and sometimes they need a hand up? And under no circumstances should children be taught that our earth must be cared for with love, or that neighborhood cleanups and tree plantings can improve the quality of life for themselves and for others.

Why...that's downright child abuse!

Volunteerism is a wonderful thing to foster in kids, or to participate in as we get older. A new website,, looks pretty cool. You can type in your interests or a keyword and your zip code, and it will take you to a list of possibilities in your area. I'm still doing the Bird Phenology thing (and still occupied with the Great Residence Hunt '09™), but I might do a little further exploring there in the future. Beck's idiotic comment is just another example of his and his ilk's kneejerk reaction to hate on anything that happens under President Obama's watch. He could probably stumble across the cure for cancer, find a way to feed every starving person on the entire planet, and make contact with an alien race who loves us and wants to help us (and knows the cure for aging and baldness), and Beck would cry like a little girl and talk about how he fears for his country. Crackuh, please.

I've also read things in Blogtropolis about how this bill would require mandatory service for children. Not so. I did a little research today, and the phrase that is bandied about, "mandatory service requirement for all able young people," is not anywhere in the passed bill. The original bill put before the House speculated on the possibility of exploring that option, but it never asked for mandatory service, and the bill that was passed excludes any such speculation. You can read the entire discussion of the rumors and the untruth of them here. I think everyone can stop comparing this to some kind of Hitler Youth program, okay?

Besides, students who engage in community service will get money to be used for college. I think we can all agree that's a very good thing!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I’m forced to go there

We just looked at another place tonight, a rental house close to us. We were pleasantly surprised at the size of the place (as well as the reasonable rent), and it is definitely in play. I'm going to call tomorrow and we'll look at another place tomorrow evening. I think we'll work on a "pros and cons" list and try to get it all laid out and logical, because that is the way we roll (Jamie!). It wasn't until I wrote this that I realized who the owner reminded me of...Tim Robbins! You know, Andy Dufresne from "The Shawshank Redemption."

"That was the longest night of his life...."

Thank you, everyone, for your ideas and support in our Great Residence Search '09. It is greatly appreciated, believe me! I'm hopeful that we'll have good news to report about it soon.

Influenza anatomy I have other things I want to write about, but with this H1N1 mess, I feel I should write a bit more about it. I've written often about influenza in the past (just do a search for 'influenza' in my current blog, or in the Nutwood Junction archives), and you'll find topics including the vaccine, how viruses operate, the 1918 pandemic, and Katherine Anne Porter's Pale Horse, Pale Rider. (Note the Neuraminidase and Hemagglutinin markers in the graphic above. That’s where the H1N1, or others like H5N1, designation comes from.)

Two big stories today. The first U.S. death, a toddler in Texas. Two other serious cases in Texas, another toddler and a woman who just had a C-section, are both in critical condition. Keep in mind that influenza generally targets the young, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. This is nothing new.

The other big story is that the WHO has ratcheted the alert up to level 5, meaning that a pandemic is imminent. I think what is being missed is that you can have a pandemic without having a highly lethal infectious agent. A pandemic merely means that it is widespread throughout many countries, and highly transmissible from human-to-human. This strain was bad news in Mexico, because it seemed to be particularly lethal in 20 to 40 year olds, which is a major red flag for influenza outbreaks. It appears to be less virulent in the States and elsewhere in the world, which leads me to believe that it is moderating and becoming less of a nasty bugger.

Influenza virus2 Oh, and I guess there was another big story (at the risk of sounding like the Monty Python Spanish Inquisition guys), in that it has now been determined that it is a combination of two swine strains, rather than human-swine-avian, as originally reported. The two strains are the North American and Eurasion swine viruses. Neither have been shown to be contagious in humans before, and that is a problem. People won't have any immunity to this new hybrid virus, and that's why it could become so widespread.

So I agree with the cautionary efforts of the WHO and the CDC, although some might find it a little over the top. It's merely intended to keep people vigilant, and yes, to cut down on travel, in order to try to keep it from spreading. The cat is probably out of the bag, because it is already worldwide, but we can still all work to keep it from spreading to those who are always more vulnerable to the flu. Nothing has changed there. The usual precautions apply...this is nothing new. Influenza, the regular one that arrives every season, kills thousands worldwide every year.

I'm not going to do a little dance and say "I told you so!" because this is a nasty infection that has killed people. But I've said for some time that we will eventually face a pandemic infection at some point (have I mentioned that we're overdue?), and it's not surprising that it might be a virus (they mutate like crazy). So far, it looks as though this particular nastiness will not be a killer. But the potential exists for one that could be a killer, and smart companies will come up with a plan for how they will deal with a massive outbreak. The lab I worked at had a plan, and Ken's company has one. It's going to be okay, I believe that.

To lighten the mood a bit, David made me laugh with this take on H1N1, which he found on another blog. Hee hee!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kittehs allowed

Scamper3 A quick update....

Not too long after Ken finished talking to his Mom, the phone rang, and I answered. It was his Mom again, and the first thing she wanted to ask was if Scamper the Cat was welcome there. I said that one of the main criteria with our searches was whether or not cats or small pets were allowed, and that Scamper was most definitely welcome at this place. We chatted a little bit about it, and I told her that I thought it was a really neat setting, and I would definitely live there if I were looking for an apartment. One of the things that Ken told her was that there was a large tree right out back of the apartment that is available for bird feeders...she really liked that. I told Ken that we could definitely put up a hook for a hummingbird feeder.

We're still looking, but I'm very happy with this turn of events. I honestly think it is a really neat place, and they would enjoy the setting and the community quite a lot. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted...we might find another place that they would love, but we know that we've found a place in this one that we really believe would make them happy. Hey, what is that anvil over there, and why was it on my back? Stupid anvil!

Still looking

We're off in a few moments to take a look at an apartment. We passed by it on Sunday, and it's a lovely complex right on the river, with a park right there, nice landscaping, etc. Now that we know that an apartment is acceptable to them, I think that's probably what we'll end up with. A couple of appointments for tomorrow evening, too. One place we wanted to look at has already been removed from was a little more than they wanted to spend, but it looked like such a cool place! A place I would want to live, but then this isn't about's about finding them a nice, safe place with little maintenance. Maybe I'll have a good report when we get back.

And...we're back!

The good news is I think we've found them a place. The big question is...can we sell them on it? If I were on my own, it's a place I'd like to live. Nice brick buildings, they have ground floor units available so no stairs, there is a park and a river walk across the road, the landscaping is pretty with several large trees, there is a nature walk as part of the grounds (the manager we talked to said that there are lots of birds there...we saw a mallard couple as we were walking along), there is a pool and a fitness room (I doubt if they'd use the fitness room, but I'm thinking Ken's Mom would enjoy the pool), there don't seem to be a lot of kids there, there's a smallish patio where they can grill out, they would swap out the complex appliances for theirs, and it's not far from shopping areas, but far enough that they wouldn't have to deal with any crazy shopping traffic. (The manager is going to take some pictures and send them to me, so I can share as soon as I get them.)

Ken and I were talking on the way home, and we agree that it really is the type of place where they need to be. The thing is, they'll need a paradigm shift and have to think about downsizing a bit. Do they really need a third bedroom with a leather couch they rarely use? Can the desk in that third bedroom be in the living room or kitchen? Could they get by with one bathroom? Ken and I do. (There are two options: 2 BR/2 BA and 2 BR/1 BA.) We have more places to look at tomorrow, and we can keep looking for another week or so (the manager said that if it looked like someone were ready to rent one of the available units, she would call and tell us so we could make a quick decision), but this sure seems like a nice place.

Ken is on the phone with his Mom right now. Yikes! Uh oh...he's shaking his head.

A case of H1N1 influenza right here, in a college student at Notre Dame. She is fine, and I maintain hope that this has become a milder strain that will join the general mix in the fall.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kicking it down a notch

Anxiety Okay, a little bit better today, and less high anxiety about this move. I had a bad night last night, waking up around 3:30 and unable to get back to sleep because my mind kicked into overdrive. I hate it when that happens, and it seems that it feeds upon itself. I went from thinking about this move, to thinking about finalizing the menu for Ken's PMI group dinner next week (and picking up the information packets from the Chamber of Commerce), to reminding myself to check the grocery store ads before I went out on my errands today...aaggghhhh!

I was finally able to calm down and get back to sleep, but MAN, did I have some crazy dreams! They weren't exactly bad, but so vivid that they were on the verge of hallucinatory. At one point, I recall waking up partway because I was trying to shoo something away...I don't recall what. I've lost most of them now, even though I tried to remember them because they were so bizarre, but I remember a cat with spots like an ocelot, I remember being in the yard and picking electronic parts (ordered by a neighbor but delivered to us) out of the grass, and I remember a group of guys standing behind me hitting golf balls. One of them made a remark about President Obama, and I marched over to him and said, "I find that very offensive and I'd appreciate it if you didn't say such things." He laughed and said, "Oh yeah? Well, you'd just better worry about who's going to wash your balls now that this guy is in office!"

Okay, I can laugh about it now, but what the hell?! It was on the verge of "The Prisoner" level of surreal.

My errand run didn't start out well, when I made my first stop at a newer apartment complex nearby. (In Ken's discussion with his Mom, he discussed the reality of things, and it sounds like they are willing to go the apartment route. The hangup there was that they want to keep their appliances. Ken's question: "So here's what you need to decide. Do you want to keep your appliances, or would you rather be somewhere closer to us? We can probably find you something 20-30 miles away where you can do that." Like I said, I was a nervous wreck just hearing one side of the conversation!) I told the woman at the complex the situation, and she said they won't have any openings until August. Dammit! We'll keep looking.

But Ken’s Mom needs to know by Friday. And they've already started packing. I just don't want to go there right now, though. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts....

I found a couple of lounge chairs on sale at Target today. I've been wanting one for a while, because I love to sit, and hey, I love to lounge! A lounge chair is a natural! When I saw that these were on sale, Ken said to get two, so I'm excited to use my new lounge chair. Our summery weather seems to be done for the moment, and it rained this afternoon, so I might not get to use it for a while. Those suckers were heavy--they have a steel frame, so I hope that means they'll last for a while.

Oriole and Grosbeak I saw two Rose-breasted Grosbeaks earlier today (picture is from last year), and they are not shy at all, coming right up to the feeders. These guys are so interesting...they look to me like they've just torn the throat out of something, with that bright red bib, but that's just me. I've often seen the Grosbeak with the Oriole, and I was very happy to see Oreo make an appearance late this afternoon! I'll need to put an orange out for him tomorrow.

The swine flu outbreak is a big deal in the news right now. From what I've read, while it's been quite nasty in Mexico, all U.S. cases have been fairly mild. While I think it's good that they're recommending caution, including limiting travel to affected areas, it would seem that the virus is mutating to a less virulent form. Too early to tell, of course, and the usual cautions apply, but I'm not panicking. This virus is an interesting chimera, though. (And how often do I get to use the word 'chimera?' Almost never! I'm delighted!) It's a mixture of human, swine, and avian influenza, and shows that viruses can recombine (naturally, without our help) into something unseen before. Although I don't panic over something like this, I have a healthy respect for the ability of bacteria and viruses to mutate and evolve.

Influenza virus Look at it this way: you're a virus, and you have to have a host in order to replicate. You're not a bad guy, and don't want to hurt your fact, if you do hurt them too much (i.e., kill them), you've lost your host, and if you haven't found a new one, you're toast. So it's to your advantage to continue to be a mild guy, just hanging out and replicating without hurting too many people. But one day you encounter a couple of cousins who are also not real bad guys...but when you all get together, you get a little crazy, and you get up to some real bad-ass activities. In fact, you end up hurting some people pretty bad, and realize that you need to back off before you all get killed. So you decide you'll all go back to being mild guys and quit hurting people. After all, you're only going to get hurt in the end, right?

That's a virus for you, especially one that unexpectedly recombines or has an antigenic shift into a more virulent form. It's to the virus's disadvantage to kill all its hosts, so it will eventually morph into something milder and less menacing. That's what I'm hoping will happen with this particular H1N1 strain. The phrase "can't be contained" seems to be freaking a lot of people out. It obviously can't be contained, because it's already in Scotland and Spain, and it’s very much a global community when it comes to the spread of infections. That's a moot point. So hang tight, wash your hands, don't touch your eyes or face, and if you're sick, stay home!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

If I were a nail-biter…

...I'd be biting them.

After Ken's research yesterday, we spent 4-5 hours this afternoon driving around looking for places for Ken's Mom and stepdad (who are planning on moving up here at the end of May). The upside is that we got to see areas of South Bend that neither of us had seen before. The west side is a historic area that grew and prospered in the Studebaker era, but after Studebaker closed in the early 60's, it declined and in some parts, is not a great area. However, there are still some beautiful homes and tree-lined streets, and it was really an interesting drive. It also ended up being a lovely afternoon, and we were able to have the top down on the Mustang--always a good thing!

However, for what Ken's Mom wants in a place, we're finding that there are very limited options. Out of ten or so places (weeded out during his online research yesterday), we found three that were possibilities, but we really haven't found anything exactly like what they want. He is talking to his Mom as I type, and discussing priorities. Is one bathroom okay, or do they absolutely need two? Is it okay if it doesn't have a garage? If it has a garage, does it have to be attached? Would an apartment be a possibility? From the look on Ken's face, I'm not sure the conversation is going well. There was just a mention of them staying there, from what I can garner from hearing one side of the conversation.

The reality is that there are limited rental options here, if you don't want to be in an apartment. I'm not sure what else we can do. I feel quite nervous about this at the moment. In fact, looking at Ken’s face again…I’m a downright nervous wreck.