the ruth & elijah report

good morning.

let me give an update.

ruth will probably take off next week. she's thinking about that which will mean the whole month of may and feeling bad about it.

she doesn't need to.

this is really the 2nd vacation she's had for her. i'm not counting vacations with her family though she enjoys those and would count them.

for visitors - what the hell are you doing here? ruth does ruth's public radio report at the common ills.

so ruth's had 1 real vacation since her husband passed away and that was when her friend treva insisted she take a road trip. ruth did and will tell you that her heart wasn't really in it, it was too soon after the death.

ruth still misses her late husband, of course, but she's gotten back into the 'swing of events' (a quote - and this is written with her permission). this road trip with treva has been amazing and kat and i have both told her that with pacifica radio in fundraising mode for this month and with community sites noting it, she needs to take some time for her.

before the vacation and currently, c.i.'s encouraged ruth to take as much time as she needs.

so ruth's probably off next weekend as well. (her report usually runs on saturdays at the common ills.)

i've been watching elijah, her grandson, during the day. which ruth said 'needs to be noted' and if it wasn't, 'i'll come back just to note it.' so i told her i'd mention it here.

that wasn't the original plan but the person lined up fell through at the last minute due to a family emergency. i called ruth about her report that had just gone up and to wish her well on her trip that she was due to leave on in a few hours with treva when she said she was probably cancelling it. ruth's children and their spouses work and her grandchildren are in school. if it was the summer, you better believe tracey and jayson could cover for her.

but ruth had just gotten the call that the family friend had to go to florida due to some 1 from their own family having had a stroke the day before. i know tracey and jayson from the various protests that we've attended like dc and nyc and had been helping 1 of her ruth's daughter-in-laws with a cause near and dear to us both. of course in california, we were all there including elijah so i wasn't a stranger to him.

i was nervous about offering because, though i knew ruth would be fine with it, i did wonder if i'd hear back 'we really don't know you well enough.' that would have been understandable but they were desperate enough and i had enough 'ins' that i passed the muster. (i have no idea what the saying 'pass muster' means - do you?)

so that's what i've been doing during the week.

ruth asked, 'tell the truth, rebecca,' if the reason my thursday post was so short was because elijah had exhausted me?

probably. i'd actually planned to do 2 posts thursday. i knew mike was doing the interview with c.i. and that mike is a really, really slow typist. so i figured i'd get something up and come back later and do another post. but i ended up posting and then sitting down to read a book.

ruth has some great books in her house. this was a big, thick 1 that i wasn't aware of. it's the price of power: henry kissinger in the nixon white house and you may know the author - seymour m. hersh.

it's an involving read. i made it to page 52 and fell asleep.

elijah is a handful. a wonderful child. with more energy than you'd expect from such a small person.

i have no idea how ruth ever manages to write down things to quote during the day.

the only problem we've had was on the 1st day. elijah kept walking over to the stereo and pointing.

i put on some of the children's cds thinking that's what he wanted. he wanted the radio on, i finally realized. he misses ruth, it's obvious, but from the beginning, it was obvious that you better have his grandmother's radio on. i laugh every time i think about it.

but it wasn't a laughing matter the 1st monday because he was mad. i kept trying cds and thinking, 'okay, he was happy to see me when he was dropped off this morning, what have i done wrong?' he wouldn't look at me after the 3rd attempt at a cd. he grabbed some of his toys and parked himself as far away from me in the living room as he could.

i tried talking to him but didn't intrude on his space but he just ignored me. finally, i turned the cds off and i could tell he was watching me but he would turn his head everytime i looked over at him. i grabbed a magazine and sat down on the couch at which point he gave me the dirtiest look - a look i'd never expect a child to give.

and he didn't hide it or turn around. this was a long, dirty look.

we just stared at each other for a bit and then he went back to playing with his back to me.

'are you hungry?' got no answer.

nothing did.

then around 10:00 a.m., bored, i grabbed the stereo remote and turned on the radio. when it came on, he turns around and looks at me. he picks up all the toys he's carried over to the wall furthest from me, drops them near the speakers and stands there just looking at me like, 'well?'

i got off the couch and walked over. he sat down and started playing and offered me a toy to play with (not his teddy bear, ruth had warned me, no 1 touches his teddy bear unless he offers it). so we sat there playing and were off to a fine start. when ruth called to check that night, i told her the story and she couldn't stop laughing. she told me that the cabinet under the stereo has pens and steno pads as well as his coloring books and crayons so to take those out at some point and he'll be happy.

i did that the next morning and ended up writing a letter to my grandmother because elijah kept looking at me while he was coloring and i got that i was supposed to be putting something on the paper in front of me.

the backyard is his favorite place and he will let you know when it's time to play in the backyard. 'backyard' is not a question.

during the week, i've been staying here and i'm here this weekend because ruth was still considering coming home this weekend. she decided mid-day friday ('if you're really sure it's not a problem'). so that's what i have been doing with my time.

fly boy's over this weekend (with permission, before any 1 thinks the baby sitter's gone wild!) because i had already made plans to be here this weekend since ruth might be coming in.

sometimes we go to the computer, elijah and i. he likes that and moves the mouse himself. he also insists we use ruth's ipod to listen to. (as ruth often does when she's home.) when she calls, he gets very excited to talk to her. 'what you doing?' is usually his 1st question.

it's been a lot of fun but he does have a lot of energy and the 1st thing i learned quickly is no high heels because forget those when you're keeping up with him.

if he has his coloring book and i'm actually writing something on a steno pad, he'll watch me and keep coloring. but if i put the pen down and look around it must be some sort of sign that we can move around. then he wants to show me something or go to the backyard.

he loves giving me a tour of the house and showing me which rooms are which. 'this is daddy's' room he's told me at least once a day on the tours.

ruth has called each day before nap time to talk to him and to tell him of some treat he'll have after nap. she doesn't tell me where the treat is but right after nap time, when he's fully awake, he'll walk over to something, today it was the hall closet, and wait for me to open it so he can get his treat. i asked ruth if i needed to get some things to hide for next week but she said she'd prepared for 3 weeks because c.i. had told her she would have so much fun with treva that she would take a 2nd and 3rd week off. she didn't believe it, but she stocked up just in case.

so today (or friday, it's saturday now) was a little monkey. he had to show me the sounds a monkey makes. he has a doctor's appointment this coming wednesday and ruth said to remind tracey because she was planning to go with. so that's what i've been doing and there's no need for a thank you because it's been a lot of fun. ruth's children have insisted i come to dinner each night and tracey says it's not a case of 'it's your turn!' which i hope is the case. she has a really wonderful family. (every 1 of which says ruth has more than earned the right to take a lengthy vacation - so ruth better take the full week next week or face the wrath of her family.)

i'm tired but wanted to get in a post so i could sleep in. tracey's coming over at noon and she, fly boy and i are going to see a movie. so if i didn't post this morning, i wasn't going to get five in for the week.

fly boy found an interesting interview with norman solomon (a favorite of ruth's and of many people) so check that out. that's at truth out and, no, there was no announcement that karl rove was indicted friday. i was wrong about it coming friday. but i still have faith in jason leopold's writing and will take a wait and see attitude. by the way, big thanks to c.i.

i asked c.i. to write something about it and c.i. did. (if you missed it, read it.) and c.i. linked to truth out. c.i. was in dc and very busy so i appreciate even more than if it had happened during 'normal busy.' but that did lead to a funny phone call the next morning when i was having my coffee (thursday) as c.i. informed me 'i did do the thing, i did link. guess who forgot to link?' it was me. i hadn't added truth out to my blog roll. i rushed to the computer and did that before elijah's mother dropped him off. i'd intended to do it right after i posted but got lost in wednesday's post and forgot.