Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Theme Thursday: Bicycle - Or - Wheels!

This week's Theme Thursday is supposed to be "Bicycle". And, yes, I actually DO have a bicycle. And here she is:

It's obviously a "she" because she doesn't have that horizontal bar which, for some bizarre (and I imagine quite uncomfortable) reason is always present on the "boy" bikes. Anyway, who cares what sex my bike is? The whole thing is that this week's TT got me thinking about all the "wheels" I've had throughout my life.

It all started with these wheels -- four of them:

Then, just like parents will later take away Santa Claus after they have promised him to you, they soon take away one of your wheels:

So then I had only three. This may be where the expression "hell on wheels" comes from, but I'm not sure about that. I'm only sure about little legs pumping as fast as they can go - round and round and round - and hitting rocks and falling over sideways. Klunk!

Then what do you think? They take away another wheel! And something like this shows up under your Christmas tree one 25th of December - even when you asked for a boy doll:

And then the fun starts. You, with daddy running alongside, wobble down the street generating fear in the hearts of all your elderly neighbors who must remain indoors for the duration. And while you wobble, you chatter away at daddy - the guy you absolutely trust in all things. And you think - well, this really IS kinda fun. And you laugh and turn your head to speak to daddy and are gobsmacked to find that he's two blocks behind you and you have been riding this dangerous vehicle ALL BY YOURSELF -- at which time you immediately fall over. Klunk!

Two wheels just really weren't gettin' it. Life is just full of these little conundrums. So one day - maybe a birthday or maybe in yet another box under the Christmas tree - you find these:

Ha! Nothing can stop you now! Four wheels on EACH Foot! Your mom drives you down to the skating rink -- these are NOT street skates -- oh my, no! And you are so excited in your little skating outfit that makes you look like a little princess. You can't wait to get these things on. You've practiced this over and over. Two laces in one hand and you zig-zag them onto the hooks like a pro!

Then .... OMG. Why are eight wheels so hard to control? You hang onto the railing, your upper torso dragging the lower portion along like tugging your reluctant dog into the door at the vet. But somehow you make it to the rink floor where your expert mom informs you that it's just a lot like walking and she deftly demonstrates while - you are NOT going to believe this -- Going BACKWARDS! You trust mom and so you listen. You even believe her. Why don't your feet believe her? Klunk!

Of course, you finally master those 8 wheels and, at some point, they become too many and you turn them in for another version of Four Wheels:

Now you are right back where you started. Sort of. But these four wheels are spiffy and they spell FREEDOM! Never mind that the whole thing is backwards with the engine in the back and the trunk in the front and the battery under the back seat. What was up with that, anyway? But now you and girl friends can tool around town getting into all manner of mischief. These four wheels are GREAT! At least you thought they were until you saw IT:

O. My. God. There it was. White with blue interior. And it was calling your name. And soon you were driving around town just eating up the suddenly suspended animation when you passed the country club golf course and the golfers froze mid-swing to stare as you passed in all your glory. It was so wonderful while it lasted.

But one day, after going further afield into the world and making your mark -- even if it did look like: for ( j = 1; j < 10; j++; ) -- you decided it was time to move up to a new love:

This was no ordinary love - no sir-eeeee! This was TRUE love. This was the caressing feel of butt-hugging leather seats and a generously fat leather-covered steering wheel and gear-shift knob. This was the Ultimate. Yes. Really. This thing hugged the road at speed like Gonzo on Miss Piggy. It would be five solid years and an accidentally blown-up engine (lovingly replaced) before this guy stopped feeling brand new. And it would be twenty more years that you would faithfully love him -- all through the fading of his lovely baltic blau complexion and the cracking of his dash -- before you would mourn his death and watch, sadly, as he was finally towed away to Ultimate Car Heaven.

But, you had a back-up:

Not the road-hugger of your True Love, but so comfortable and friendly that she is still with you today. She sometimes lunges at creeping speed, but you can't fault her for that because you lunge at creeping speed these days, too. And she didn't seem to object when you brought the Six-Wheeled Brute home one day:

After all, there was no way HE could fit into the garage so he had to stay outside. Heh.

And there you have it -- a lifetime of wheels. We go from 4 to 3 to 2. Then we go back to 4 (sometimes 8) and 4 and 4 and 4 many times over.

But there is another wheeled vehicle most of us never experience:

I'd really like to experience this ONE-wheeled vehicle before I die. The only problem is that daddy isn't here to run alongside me now -- to encourage and tell me I can do it. And bones that were forming then are waxing brittle now.

Should I? Do I dare? Do I risk that final KLUNK!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Morning

Just sitting here thinking about cabbages and kings. I often do that. No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot discipline what passes for my mind. This morning is rather pretty here. The bay is calm, the sky is dotted with clouds, and, while the snow-covered mountain peaks are hidden behind those clouds, the rolling foothills of those mountains are serene and green in a partial sunshine that is struggling mightily to do a bit better.

I look over at my beloved cat who is sleeping peacefully and I remember her as a kitten. And this sparked several questions:

Is there anything on the planet cuter than a kitten?

Is there anything sweeter than a fawn tucked safely away by her mom amongst the foliage just outside my office window?

Is there anything more intelligent than a Border Collie?

Funnier or more entertaining than a Sea Otter?

Does anything smell as sweet as the Oleander in bloom?

Well... ok... maybe the Night-Blooming Jasmine:

This brings fond memories of my girlhood (is that a word? girlhood?) in Florida.

There was a night-blooming jasmine right outside my bedroom window and on soft, summer evenings that heady sweet fragrance transported you to some indescribable, heavenly place.

One year my daddy planted sugar cane in the back yard:

And when it was ready, he cut it for me and I chewed and sucked on the sticky, sugary sweetness, happily oblivious to the juice running down my face and arms and hands. Little kids don't care about that sort of thing. They are very akin to kittens and puppies in that they take instant pleasure whenever it comes their way.

One year we went on vacation to Georgia to visit some relatives. I remember being in their tobacco barn -- a most wonderful and unique smell you will never forget if you ever have the chance to experience it. That year we were treated to watermelon like none I've tasted since. Fresh from the field it was cut and brought to the house. There, in the yard, my relative took a huge knife and he whacked the melons in half and everyone - even the kids like me - got an entire half of a delicious, ripe, red watermelon. Salt shakers were passed all around and we all felt pampered as kings as we dove into the seedless heart of the thing - ecstatic that we did not have to share it with anyone.

The richest man in Georgia did not eat better on that day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Theme Thursday: Draft

My creative juices have all dried up, it seems. Or... they are afraid to slosh themselves for fear I will put them to work helping plan a big trip I have coming up soon which is keeping me busy as a cat covering up guavas on a tin roof.

So, in lieu of my own creativity, I searched the 'net for some ideas I had about this Thursday's topic and came up with this first one for all of you out there who like a nice tall one:

Cheers to ya! All of ya!

Then I found this next one which triggered my "isn't that the truth!" synapses:

Would I ever love to see this law put into place. Peace at last! Peace at last! When do we vote on this one? I gots muh crayon ready to mark my X in the Peace Box.

Finally, I came upon this:

And, after I stopped rolling on the floor laughing and hearing echoes of my mother proclaiming, "Look! He's taking our picture!", I grabbed it for this post. I do think he must be feeling quite a draft, don't you? Poor guy. Hospitals are such un-dignified places.

Happy TT (a bit early) Everyone!

(I did not make this stuff up)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Poetry Corner

"Crossing The Border"

Senescence begins
And middle age ends
The day your descendants
Outnumber your friends.

- Ogden Nash -

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Finished At Last!

Thought I would never get it finished. But I did. So here is the quilt I have been working on for what seems like years but was actually only several months. This is Side 1:

A closer look:

And, since it is reversible, here is side 2:

This side has no two squares of fabric alike. And here is a closer look at this side:

I have learned that if you want to make a quilt, bring money. The more unique colors and fabrics you bring to it, the more money you bring to it as well. This one cost upwards of $400 and that's not including my labor. No wonder handmade quilts cost a fortune to buy.

I'm really happy with this one - it's nice and heavy with thick cotton batting in between the layers of fabric. It should be nice and warm come next winter.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I was just cruising through various blogs by selecting the "next blog" button at the top of the page. Many blogs are just about people's pets or children or some specific subject. I saw one blog with photos of their absolutely gorgeous Siberian Huskies.

Then I hit "next blog" and came upon the blog of a family with some small children. The top-most post said, in no uncertain terms, that they were uncomfortable with strangers reading their blog and commenting about their children. They stated that if you didn't know them or were not a member of their family then you should NOT comment -- otherwise your comment would be removed and you would be reported for spamming.

Yowsa! I guess they have no clue that their blog is available and visible to literally millions upon millions of people. I knew people were strange, but this is a whole new level of validation of that knowledge.

No wonder I'm mostly reclusive. (But I love visits from my bloggy buds...)

Friday, April 16, 2010


I was perusing the internet looking for..... well, I'm not sure what I was looking for but I found this.

The "Certificate X - Adults Only" label immediately caught my eye. And I found myself thinking through the entire play trying to figure out what could have possibly been x-rated. I'm still trying to figure that out. WAS the 50's and there was only ONE (oh my God!) bed in the bedroom for a married couple. And of course we ALL know that married people slept in twin beds because we watched I Love Lucy for years and we saw it for ourselves - that set for Tennessee Williams' Cat wasn't fooling anybody.

Looking further, I found these interesting stats on Wikipedia:

Clockwork Orange (1971) originally received an "X" rating for its nudity and graphic violent sex scenes. Today, many critics recognize it as one of Stanley Kubrick's most important films. The uncut version of the film has been released on DVD with an "R" rating.

Midnight Cowboy (1969) is the only X-rated film ever to win the Academy Aware for Best Picture. At the time the X-rating did not have the stigma it later took on.

(It seems that with the rising, the X-rating took on a whole new connotation and, today, it is synonymous - almost exclusively - with porn films....unfortunately.)

Somehow we've lost something. Innocence? No....I don't think we were ever actually innocent. But we were more modest (ok, uptight if you must) and much better mannered. Why, shucks, you only have to watch a WWII film to know that. Even our soldiers and sailors only said "gosh darn" and "dang it."

And the women were sexy and glamorous even with most of their bodies covered up:

Oooo Lauren! You were something.

And another of my faves:

Ahhh...where has glamour gone?
Here is what we get today:

Excuse me? Can someone loan this poor girl a comb?
Talk about should have been X-rated....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Theme Thursday: Lunch

Did somebody say "Lunch"???

Since I left the south, my taste buds scream out for the good old food of my youth. I was born and reared in Florida and one of my fondest "food memories" is of a traditional Floridian meal of Fried Mullet, Baked Beans, Grits, and Hushpuppies. Yum! (We had this for supper many times when I was growing up.)

I would also settle for some fried catfish, coleslaw, sliced tomatoes, and hushpuppies.

Or some baked ham, blackeyed peas, and cornbread.

Or some of my mother's Chicken and Dumplings -- OMG! I'm starving now.
These are dumplings rolled out on the cutting board and sliced into long strips and dropped into the cooking chicken and broth. Very Southern. And so good you just jump up and say, "Howdy Ya'll!"

Isn't it strange how restaurants rarely serve ham or pork? And vegetables! Most restaurants don't have a clue what an actual vegetable really is.

I really miss Southern cooking...

An Imminent and Frightening Danger

While it has never been my intention to make this a political blog, there are some things I cannot overlook. There are some dangers so diabolical they must not be ignored. Among those dangers dearest to me are the dangers to young girls and women. This morning I encountered just such a danger reported in a newsletter: Nebraska Enacts New Abortion Restrictions

The original article can be found here:

A small portion of the article reads:

Republican Gov. Dave Heineman signed both bills, one barring abortions at and after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the other requiring women to be screened before having abortions for mental health and other problems. Both sides of the abortion debate say the laws are firsts of their kind in the U.S.

While I am against both bills, the one that concerns me here is the second.

How difficult would it be for a conservative state government to ensure that it would also be conservatives who do the "screening" of the women seeking abortions? How difficult would it be to stamp "insane" or "completely without morals" or any number of other ruinous labels onto the records of the woman who fails to demonstrate a level of contrition for her desire to have an abortion? Would she be "mentally ill" (thus, requiring incarceration in a mental "facility") if she already has several children and doesn't want more? Would she be an "immoral slut" if she is sixteen and has been experimenting with some very natural and strong urges?

I cannot know what labels could be (or would be) attached to women seeking abortions, but I do know that this is yet another way to enslave and control women. This goes far beyond the "pro and con" abortion arguments. This goes to the very freedom of women to be secure in their persons because I warn you now there is no limit to the abuses that can take place when this kind of legislation is passed and becomes law. There is no limit to the abuses that one group of human beings can (and will) visit upon another when they believe in the righteousness of their cause.

I fear for the women in Nebraska today.
I fear for the women in this nation tomorrow.



Monday, April 12, 2010

No Comment

Oh Dear! I will comment and not complain about having to key in some weird non-word to verify that I'm a person and not some troll out to cause problems. And I would like to comment on all my favorite's blogs. But here's the problem: I'm not going to give out an email address in order to comment - as much as I would like to add to the blogs of some really cool bloggers.

So to those of you who have your blogs set up to require an email address before commenting, I'm still reading and enjoying. I'm just not commenting.

I hope you will understand.
And I hope you will continue to comment here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Itty-Bitty Town Police Report

* An estimated $5.00 in change was reported stolen from a residence on March 23rd.

* A 50-year-old man walked into the police station on March 25th and asked for a voucher to obtain some things he needed at Salvation Army. The requisite background check revealed he was wanted on three felony warrants for first-degree rape of a child. He was taken to jail.

(And not a minute too soon, if you ask me.)

* A street sign and its post were reported stolen on the evening of March 6th downtown. Replacement cost was estimated at $300. Officers said there were no suspects.

(The street sign AND the post? Wonder what the thief wanted with it....)

* A 56-year-old woman was arrested for shoplifting at the local grocery store on March 7. Officers said she told them she couldn't afford he medication for her dog so she put the two items in her purse. Their total value: $15.15. She was cited, released and served a trespass admonishment, meaning she won't be allowed in the store for a year.

(Awwww.....poor doggie. I would have bought her the meds if I had known...)

* A city pool user reported to police on the afternoon of March 5 that someone had stolen her jacket and her hat from the locker room. Shortly afterward she phoned again to say she'd found the items in her car.

* A deputy picked up a tan, "fashionably-dressed" pit bull "strolling at large" March 7. The deputy took the dog to the shelter.

(Har! I guess clothes don't make the dog around here.)

* A local woman called the sheriff's office to report "someone or something" was on her porch going through her refrigerator on March 8. When deputies arrived, they found a raccoon eating cat food. The raccoon fled as deputies approached.

* A 70-year-old man escaped serious injury shortly before noon on March 5 when his idling 1994 Chevy Caprice dragged him across the road and into a vacant lot. The man had stepped out of the vehicle and had inadvertently bumped the gearshift into reverse. The car, with him attached, stopped when its door hit a tree. The man was taken to the hospital and released with minor injuries.

(Some days it just doesn't pay to get up)

* A local man visited a dentist to have three teeth pulled on March 3 and he called the sheriff's office when the dentist was able to produce only two teeth after the procedure. Upon learning the third tooth was missing, the man called he sheriff's office. A deputy responded and told the man that the issue was a civil matter.

(I've been in the wrong line of work the biggest part of my life. If I had known Sheriff's deputies had so much fun I would have applied for that work myself.)

You CAN'T make this stuff up.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Theme Thursday: Box

The edge-worn lid lifted to expose the private world within an old cigar BOX.
A world of wonder and wanting - hurt and heart.
A world unique to each who cares - and dares - to look.
We take each item up in turn and hold it in our hands.
We turn it - slow - and feel how smooth and cool it is.
We notice the crayons - the blue worn more than yellow or brown.
The red broken in two. The green, naked of its paper sheath.
The neglected purple wanting any kind of wear.
The marbles - vibrant, still, of color - mocking the eyes that view them.
A dented watch that refuses to tell the time - a kindness as we have so little left.
The soapy figures, in fragile repose, still whole - wanting only water (or tears) to destroy their charming, awkward form.

An inexplicable ache tucked in tightly beside the broken string of pearls.
Puzzlement peeks from a torn and unidentified faded photograph.
An unbearable yearning wrapped tightly around an old steel penny and a rusty pocket knife.

These are not things inside the box. Neither toys nor jewels.
But treasure to be found - and found again.
The bounty that was - and is - ourselves.
Until the lid is closed at last and the lights extinguished for the long, dark night.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Theme Thursday - Yellow

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

(I wish I could have made this stuff up - it's one of my favorites)

Ta Dah! Continued...

Well, the cut-out for the washing machine drain pipe was cut out. The washing machine was turned on and did a rinse cycle. The water drained out of the washing machine, down the pipe, and into the wall separating the laundry room from the dining room and out onto the floor.

Oops! This is NOT good.
So the washing machine is sitting there doing nothing while I try to get the seller of the house to go and fix the plumbing problems.

So far, I've heard nothing except that my realtor is contacting his realtor to see if he will fix the problems. These are fixes that were supposed to be made prior to closing - and, obviously, were not made.

Meanwhile, the person for whom I bought all this stuff cannot use the washing machine and has to wait 20 minutes for enough water in the tub to take a bath.

But we'll get there. These are the major problems.

The picky problems are the cabinet door with hinges on the wrong side and a drawer above it that will not open at all with the oven door closed. It sounds like it was put together by the 3 stooges. Open the oven door so you can open the drawer to get a utensil. Close the drawer. Close the oven door. Yowsa! That's just too stupid for words.

You can't make this stuff up.