Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Harriet Irene Schlais 9/21/1925 to 7/22/2008

Harriet was born on September 21, 1925, to Elmer and Nora Austin. Along with her brothers Hugh and Harold,and her sister Velda, Harriet grew up in sunny Riverside, California. In 1943, she graduated from Riverside Poly High School. That same year, Harriet and her boyfriend attended a cadet dance in Santa Monica where she met a young airman named LeRoy Schlais (a.k.a Roy). By the end of the dance, Roy had convinced her boyfriend to escort his (Roy’s) sister home so that he could escort Harriet! In 1944, during Roy’s overseas deployment, Harriet went to Oakland, California, to complete a nurse’s training course. Midway through the course, she became so homesick that she cancelled out and returned home to be with her family. Roy and Harriet were married on February 7, 1946, shortly after his honorable discharge from the Army Air Corps.

Harriet became a mother for the first time on March 29, 1949, when Cheryl Ann (my mama) joined the family. In the next 4 years, the family expanded to include LeRoy, Jr. and Harriet Irene. In 1962, Roy built a home on top of a hill overlooking Reche Canyon; designed in the shape of an “H”, it was a tribute to his wife. They lived in the home until 1996, when they relocated to Cathedral City to be closer to their daughter, Harriet, and her family.

Harriet worked as a microfilmer at Loma Linda Medical Center for 13 years and retired in 1982. Since that time, she and Roy have traveled extensively both internationally and within the United States. Their wanderings took them to Spain, Tanzania, Kenya, Mexico, the Panama Canal, St. Thomas island, Venezuela, Australia, Alaska, Germany, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia, New Mexico, Kansas, Michigan, Colorado, and Oklahoma, to name a few.

Harriet was an avid sports fan, actively following her favorite teams throughout the season; the Dodgers, USC Trojans, and the Rams games were a priority for her, regardless of what else was going on in the world! When a sports question arose, the chorus of “Ask Harriet” resounded; she always knew the answers! Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett were among her favorites. Harriet loved to bowl and was on several teams before starting work outside the home. She and Roy spent their early retirement years on bowling leagues both in San Bernardino and Palm Springs.

Harriet always was the biggest kid at the table, but was able to join in the fun without ever sacrificing her role as Mother and advisor. Harriet rarely turned down the opportunity for an adventure; she went parasailing and chose a henna tattoo in 2003, got matching toe-rings with her daughter, daughter-in-law, and 3 grand-daughters in 2000, and always joined in the practical jokes (if not actually instigating them) at family gatherings. She was an avid fisherwoman, more for the entertainment of her family than for actually catching a fish. The stories that came out of watching her engage in this pastime have amused the family for generations.

Harriet also was an exceptional cook, with family favorites including her homemade pomegranate jelly, divinity, and peanut butter fudge; on the savory side, her fried eggs were second-to-none. In fact, one of her granddaughters refused for years to eat any egg that wasn’t prepared by Grandma! Harriet even roasted a turkey over the phone once, for two granddaughters (Ladyboyd and WoodsideSprite) who had a giant bird and absolutely no idea how to prepare it!

Harriet made a point of always staying connected with the family, attending all of the family weddings, and welcoming the new arrivals as each family unit grew. She had 5 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. She met the two youngest of her great-grandchildren on July 21, 2008 (Ella and Griffin); only one of her great-grandchildren was not able to be welcomed in person by her before her death. She was more than wife, mother, grandmother, and friend; she was a genuinely wonderful woman with a heart full of love for God and her family. Harriet was a continually happy and loving influence on all who came in contact with her; she will always occupy a special place in our memories and our hearts.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Grandmother

Harriet Irene Schlais, 82, of Indio, CA, passed away July 22nd, 2008 in Cathedral City, CA. She was born September 21, 1925 to Elmer and Nora Austin in Riverside, CA. She married Leroy Schlais on February 7, 1946 in Riverside, CA. She was a microfilmer at Loma Linda Medical Center for 13 years. She is survived by her husband Leroy Schlais of Indio, CA, a daughter Harriet Pierce, of Palm Springs, CA, a son Lee Schlais of Canon City, CO, and a sister, Velda Reay, of Riverside, CA as well as 5 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Cheryl Plantier. A memorial service will be held on August 1, 2008 at The Bridge church in Cathedral City, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Arthritis Foundation at

Friday, July 11, 2008

Good Intentions

It was one of those weeks where I vowed to write "real" blog posts, call Queenie during naptime so there was no shrieking offspring interrupting the phone call (at least on our end), cook "real" meals, clean the house from top to bottom, organize the closets, banish dust bunnies, and go to bed early. This "real" post? Is the first of that list that I have actually accomplished...and it's Friday.


I have accomplished a lot of things this week though:
1. Caught up at work, finally, for what feels like the first time since I came back from maternity leave
2. Cuddled my daughter
3. Played with my daughter
4. Took pictures of my daughter smearing rice cereal all over her face
5. Caught up on laundry (if you'd seen the before pile, you would know how big of an achievement this was)
6. Spent quality time with Hubband

Looking over my list I realize that my good intentions were all perfectly logical, reasonable, and in the case of the phone call to Queenie, FUN tasks. But none of them were as GOOD as numbers 2, 3, and 6 of the list of things that I actually accomplished. So while most would say that my good intentions hadn't been realized? I would say that the Best Intentions were filed neatly away into the "DONE" drawer.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Our little girl has hit yet another milestone--she has had her first "solid" food! Rice cereal is yummy in the morning, in small doses, if we allow her to feed herself. >laughing< She seriously tries to manipulate the spoon herself and gets angry if we take it away from her or hold her hands down. Silly little miss!

Much rather play on her elephant quilt. Supermodel is a such a fun game!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Shots and a Haircut...

In one of the many outfits her Auntie Ronnie brought her....

Eleanor had her 4 month checkup and innoculations today. The checkup went great! She's 15 lbs 13 oz, 25.5 inches long, and her head circumference was (I think) 43 cm. This puts her in the 90th percentile for all 3! A nicely proportionate baby. :-) I asked Dr. Bubba about the rash we'd seen popping up all over her body and he said it looked like a "type of eczema" and he recommended that I cut all milk from my diet for 5 days and see if it improves. During that time, I also am to cut back on cheese, yogurt, eggs, etc. and we are to refrain from giving El any formula. He also recommended the use of a couple of different creams and switch from our current soap to a "non soap cleanser". Yup, it appears that she has inherited her mother's skin. Poor thing.

I didn't get much sleep last night and woke this morning feeling out of sorts. What does a girl do when out of sorts? Picks up a pair of scissors after her shower and hacks 4-6 inches off her hair, of course! I think Hubband was more surprised than he's been in a long time when I walked into the nursery in my robe (he was reading to El) and whacked up hair and said "can you even up the back, please?".

Ronnie is visiting this week and we've been having fun. ES gave us a platinum pass to Graceland so we're finishing off the tour there tomorrow. We've also played dominos, watched tv, laughed, chatted, looked at photos, walked the neighborhood, done church and a picnic, and even found a little time for being lazy with laptops and/or books. Tonight, she took us to dinner at a place called RP Tracks down by the University. It was delicious! They have a blend of vegan, vegetarian, and carnivorous options and all of the above were delicious. The BBQ tofu is really something!

El enjoys playing dominos with us...