Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A week and a day late....

Ok, I know it's Tuesday, but here's the thing.... Last week on Fun Monday we were sposta post a song that was the essence of ourselves. Not necessarily the themesong of our life, but a song that your friends would hear and say "yep, oh yeah, baby, that's you!" Well, I posted a song that I heard waaaaay back in the 70's, that even back then, I said "that's the themesong of my life." And you can ask my friends they'll say "oh yeah, yep, that's what she said!"

Even through all the the filters I always run my posts, and through all of the comments... dude, that song fared pretty well. I thought... this is the wordless and innocuous themesong of my life and it shall carry me through my waning years...

But then I found this.... if the imagery escapes you.... He's standing in front of a GRANDFATHER CLOCK! Eff Eff Ess!

I say again.... Eff Eff Ess!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fun Monday - This Makes Me Laugh

Our host this week is Sayre from Sayre Smiles. She has an interesting request, and says this:

Every day as I go to work, I see things around me that make me laugh.
Usually these are in the forms of signs. So take your camera with you as you
go about your business and take a picture of the things that make you laugh
along the way (but it doesn't necessarily HAVE to be a sign).

OK - well it's winter here in the Upper Midwest - temps haven't gotten North of Zero in a long long time. We also get wind here and that wind, combined with the subzero temps creates wind chill. Some communities shut down for cold and snow, but not us! We carry on going to work (ever tried to get a key out of a lock box and unlock a door in subzero weather?), going to school (why do kids dress like that? don't they know its freezing out there?), going to the grocery store (have you ever tried to push a full grocery cart through a snowy parking lot?) pumping gas (ever had your glove freeze to the gas nozzel?)

Anyway, having grown up in Southern California, where my idea of winter was 60 degrees - this kind of weather is extreme! But I've learned not to cry (because your eyelids will freeze shut) and even to laugh when I see things like this when I'm out and about, along with everybody else who lives here! I thought you might like a couple of pictures, so you could laugh along.....





Oh the shame...

Downtown Dad says: My children and Geo W. Bush's kids have their seventh great grandparents in common.

OK in other words - Downtown Dad's mom and George Herbert Walker Bush are 6th cousins

To bring it down - the common grandmother is Magdalene Chastain who lived from 1735 to 1771 in Manakin Goochland, Virginia - she married Jean Gividen, a French guy from the village of Gividen in France.

And they begat, and they begat, and so on and so on...

As if I'd ever invite them over for Thanksgiving Dinner....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

February Face

"Good morrow, Benedick.
Why, what’s the matter; That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?"
–William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

I have a February face today - Why? Because I hate my Blogger layout.

You may say that I, like Benedick am making Much Ado About Nothing, but you would not believe how much time I spent trying to make this layout here work. Oh, I like my new picture and I like the color and design. But it was a "free" layout. Yea verily, we all know you get what you pay for. I hate it because it doesn't work in the background. I can't add graphics, the widget layout function looks like some jigsaw puzzle, and half the time the blogroll disappears for no good reason.

I am an ass for trying to make a free template look like the spiffy ones others have paid good money for! I really want a three column layout - but Blogger doesn't offer one. I'm not savvy enough to know the terminology of what I'm trying to accomplish, and so, I end up cruising the back streets and alleys of the Internets looking for "Free" and yea verily again, we all know what pops up when you put the word free into Google....like I said, I am an ass.

I am just going to have to suck it up and find a design I like and actually pay for it. Hopefully not out the ass...

"O that he were here to write me down an ass, but masters remember that I am an ass, though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass."
-William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Friday, February 15, 2008

Post Valentine's Day Ode To My One True Love

We used to hold hands – a lot.

You, so confident and sure of yourself. Me, a giggly bundle of insecurity.

It was just the two of us then, nearly 25 years ago. We’d meet in the morning before work, when we had to hide our newfound love from the bosses, and the exes.

We’d split a blueberry muffin and have a cup of coffee - before coffee was cool, in the town that spawned cool coffee, where salmon spawned, in the town that spawned us.

Things seemed to be more mysterious and slower then, and everything was scary, because nothing was in our control. But everything was new, and everything was undecided and up for grabs, and everything was exciting. There was a road in front of us that was unknown, and we were taking that road.

It was a long time ago, but not long enough ago that I’ve forgotten the feelings. I still feel like I have to check the rearview mirror when I hear Jefferson Starship belting out Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. I still get the urge to slip off my shoes and play footies with you when we’re at a serious dinner with clients. Sometimes, if I shut out all of the day to day noise… if I squeeze my eyes shut and be very still, I can remember, that tingly tickle in my gut when you, being a touchy person anyway, would, to make a point during our animated conversations, grab my arm, or my leg, and send me to the floor.

I remember that heady mix of delight, desire, and dread. I remember the amazement of being absolutely adored, while absolutely adoring you. I remember loving the fact that we used to hold hands a lot back then. In the car, in the grocery store, going to sleep. It was as if we needed to connect at all times. As if we were afraid if we let go, the magical bond we’d created would somehow dissolve.

Over the years, through time, and tears and tenaciousness, we’ve cemented that tenuous bond. But even though that bond is secure, the truth is, we don’t hold hands that much anymore. Even though we are publicly and legitimately a couple, with 2.5 kids, a mortgage, two careers, pets, and all of the ensuing drama, intimate contact time is harder to come by. A peck on the cheek as we rush out the door, a quick hug while doing the dishes, a drowsy morning, post-alarm cuddle is all we have time for. I honestly miss that tentative, heart-stopping, mysterious throb of new love. And I know you do too.

But, my theory is this – we’ve had our time. We’ve had the highs, and the lows and the in-betweens of building up our relationship stone by stone, and knocking down the brick walls we’d built in the past. Now, now is the time for us to celebrate the present and plan our future. To continue the literary metaphor, this is the denouement of the mysteries of our past. This is the plot twist we didn’t see coming. Call it maturity, call it security, call it coming full circle, call it OZ, but it’s your wisdom, your heart, and courage that bring me home now, not your heady, defiant, politically astute ambition of the past.

What turns me on now is watching you work your daddy-magic. Holding your newborn children, bandaging their first torn skin, listening to their angst-filled tirades, or watching them drive off with their friends, barely licensed themselves. It scares the bejiggers out of you, but you let them go, little by little, that invisible thread connecting your heart to them, stretching a little more each time.

Soon we’ll be just you and me again, and we’ll have the same struggles we had back then, knocking down and building up, getting to know each other, and remembering that you really don’t like to dance, and I really don’t like to sing, and that you can’t remember names and I can’t forget a grudge.

Love, when it is new, holds mystery and potential. Love, as it deepens and matures holds answers and promise. We are different now, than when our love first bloomed. Our lives are busier, faster, fuller, and harder. And granted, sometimes a little less intimate. But with my newfound maturity and your proven competence, I know that we are very close to another road, where there are new mysteries, and challenges, one where we can hold hands again, and explore.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Just Passing Through On My Way To Crazy

Up to my elbows in not only snow, but grant writing, asset builders champions, making a presentation on the visioning process, snow, the wonderful pain of fatigued muscles in my back finally releasing due to 3X/week chiropractor adjustments, real estate, snow, oh, and did I mention snow?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

...Never Underestimate The Power of Imagination...

I honestly can't remember on what blog I read this - but it's an interesting study in the old cliches that we use every day and think are familiar. Typically, this is given to first graders, or little kids..... well since I'm fresh outta little kids, I thought I'd give it to my teenagers and see what came of it.

After dinner, when everyone had retreated to their respective TVs, iPods, and computer screens, I handed the sheet of paper I'd printed out to Tessie and Bear and asked them to fill in the blanks. Of course, never wanting to exclude anyone, I also gave one to Downtown Dad. Being the serious sort of guy he is, I expected his to have all the "right" answers. Below are their responses - color coded thusly: Green=Downtown Dad; Pink=Tessie 16; Blue=Bear 14; Black is when all three got the traditional answer....

1. Don’t change horses..... Unless they want you to (spoken like the true veterinarian she'd like to be someday)

2. Strike while the..... Sword is hot (well, really if you think about it - why would you strike someone with an iron anyway?)

3. It’s always darkest before..... Lightest (she is also an artist, therefore thinks in contrasts)

4. Never underestimate the power of..... Dad (that goes without saying)

5. You can lead a horse to water but..... It will still get lost (what?)

6. Don’t bite the hand that..... Feeds you (I'm sure they know this because we say this all the time to our birds - the birds seem to understand it too)

7. No news is..... Good news (that's just boring)

8. A miss is as good as a..... Mrs. who is widowed (ha ha, very funny dear)

9. You can’t teach an old dog new..... Tricks (learned, I assume from owning an old dog)

10. If you lie down with dogs you’ll..... Get bit (he actually did lie down with the dog of a friend once, right by their food dish, got bit too - apparently learned the lesson.)

11. Love all, trust..... No one (that's just sad)

12. The pen is mightier than the..... Sword (can ya tell they all live in a writing and reading family?)

13. An idle mind is..... The mother of dreams (now this just blew me away - that's from Shakespeare!)

14. Where there’s smoke..... There’s Cancer (good girl!)

15. Happy is the bride who..... Married me! (ok, here he is just trying to make up for that widow remark)

16. A penny saved is..... A penny earned (yes, yes, it takes many many pennies to fly to Scotland)

17. Two’s company, three’s..... A party (should I be worried about him?)

18. Don’t put off til tomorrow what..... You can do today (No doubt repeated frequently in this household)

19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and..... You’re sad (Awwww)

20. There are no so blind as..... Three blind mice (OK, but why did they run again?)

21. Children should be seen..... And not heard (I don't know where they learned THAT)

22. If at first you don’t succeed..... Try, try again (Yeop!)

23. You get out of something only what you..... Think (??)

24. When the blind lead the blind..... You’re asking for a traffic jam (how did those blind people get their licenses?)

They run into people (well duh)

They have a fool for a client (I think this is a Heather Mills reference - since the golddigger decided to act as her own attorney in her divorce from Sir Paul... her handicap, besides being insane is that she only has one leg honey, she's not blind - I mean she married Paul McCartney for goodness sake... oh, back to the answers....)

25. A bird in the hand is..... Poop in the palm (Like I said, we have birds)

26. Better late than..... Never (ah, there's relief in that)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fun Monday - My One Song

The host this week is Crown Princess from Oooh A Shiny Pen and shey says:

"Music plays a vital role in most of our lives. It is everywhere. I want to hear the ONE song that is you. The song that whenever it is heard, you smile. I am not looking for the soundtrack of your life, just that one song. Your friends hear it and think of you. You can post the video, the lyrics, the wav file. However you want to post it is great."

Well, there's nothing deep or meaningful about this song. There's no boyfriend, or life changing event tied to it in my memory. Its an instrumental, so there are no poetic phrases that resonate within me. When I first heard it, I wanted to star in my own sitcom and have this be the themesong. Like it's title says, listening to it "Feels So Good"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The One Where I Show You Stuff I Like

I found this meme over at One Bad Mom, and since she could apparently see through my monitor, she spoke directly to me saying that if I was laughing and had an hour or two to spare I should consider myself tagged! Well I was laughing, and whether or not I had an hour or two to spare, I figured since I'm always able to justify or underestimate time - depending on the need, I considered myself tagged!

The rules are this: Answer the questions below using only pictures found online (only the first page of results)

1. The age you will be on your next birthday:
I never really thought of it like this, but yeah, I'm in the "area" of 51... maybe these are the ancient astronauts I was looking for!

2. A place you’d like to visit:
Once again - Auchtermuchty! Someday, someone from here is going to read my blog and see that I am freakishly obsessed with the place and offer me free room and board....

3. Your favorite place:
Goleta, looking toward 'my mountains' sigh....

4. Your favorite object:
I have a handmade, one-of-a-kind, silver unicorn pendant that I always wear, hardly ever take it off - it's my trademark. It looks something like this...

5. Your favorite food:
Not really the take home kind - I'd much rather have them at the restaurant

6. Your favorite animal:
Squirrel Monkeys. I actually had one of these little guys as a pet a long time ago - makes me appreciate my human kids...

7. Your favorite color:
Cobalt Blue.... ooooo icy!

8. The city in which you were born:
Escondido. Actually much further from the ocean and the Mexican border than I always thought.


9. The town in which you live:
Even further from the ocean and the Mexican border!


10. The name of a pet:
Cheechako is my Samoyed dog. It's an Alaskan word for "greenhorn" or newcomer.

11. The first name of your love:
LOL Cats - my new obsession - besides Auchtermuchty, and Dave.


12. Your nickname/screen name:
Actually the nickname is PORK chop, but I just searched for chop... this was a cooler picture than a slab of meat.


13. Your middle name:
I was a little surprised at the pictures that come up on Google Image when I searched my middle name... this was the one on the first page with the least nudity! Apparently Louise is a popular name for porn stars.


14. Your last name:
I would have liked to have had a chance to meet this person. Judging by their tombstone they were just a little ahead of their time.


15. A bad habit of yours:
I don't think words are necessary here - nor, by the way do I think I am alone in this!


16. Your first job:
This might even be THE Danish Bakery I actually worked at!


17. Your dream job:
Maybe not SELF published, but it's on the right track...


18. Your current job:
Yeah, and this is an actual picture of me, in fact all of us Realtors look like this, every day....


19. A Picture you find hilarious:
More LOL Cats... A fud is eatn mah fud! Hahahaha! How can you NOT laugh out loud at that! You'd probably be freaked out by the number of times I can actually fit that phrase into a conversation... I know my kids are.


20. A Picture that inspires you:

Saturday, February 09, 2008

They're Pullin' The Wool Over Our Eyes

OK, I don't write about politics here... but I am married to someone who speaks perfect Political. He has a few things to say about the "rebate" currently being debated in congress....

Friday, February 08, 2008

All My Creative Juices are Elsewhere

I hadda go and volunteer. I serve on the board of a local youth theatre group, and over the past couple of months we've been working on a more corporate image with some goals and of course the subsequent deadlines related to those goals. One of those goals was a consistent effort to apply for grants. I remember saying somthing like...'I'll do it, how hard can it be?'

I have nothing to write here since all of my words are otherwise occupied.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Drivvel

I lied. My arm was not better. I finally went to a chiropractor yesterday and again today where he adjusted my poor poor subluxated spine. About 15 more visits and I should be good as new....

Tess and Bear auditioned for the high school spring show last week and YAY - they both made it in!

Real Estate is picking up...

My 84 year old mom was in the hospital over this past weekend with a 104 temperature due to a urinary tract infection. I'm happy to say she's back home and recovered nicely... thanks to the ministrations of a decidedly flaming male nurse who just couldn't stop listening to her, then just couldn't stop telling my sister how FABU-lous her mother was, and who will probably call just to check up on her and bring her some of the tulips he grows.... what is it with the women in my family attracting gay men? What, I haven't mentioned that before....? Oh ho, there's a post for some day!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

When Art Is Sometimes An Accident...

I should have at least taken pictures of the progress, but I knew, 12 rows into knitting what I hoped would turn out to be a felted bowl, that I had done what all of the knitting instructions warn against... I had twisted the stitches while knitting in the round! Gasp!

Part of the reason I didn't take pictures, is because it was just practice, and I'd already messed it up. I figured I'd just rip it all out and start over... But for some reason, I kept going.... wondering why the seemingly simple twist in the stitches was so universally warned against. As the piece grew bigger, I was able to see how, while the upper edge was round and nicely formed, the bottom, where I'd eventually have to join it together, would be sort of... well, half way inside out. But still, I wanted to know, what would happen, so I kept on.

At the end, I decreased the stitches, and learned all kinds of things like different methods of decreasing stitches, and how to switch from the round needle, to working with three kneedles, and finally how to end the piece. I held the finished piced up, looked at it skeptically, and shook my head, because it really didn't look like much. I decided to go ahead and throw it into some hot water with a couple of pairs of jeans to see what it might turn out like - just for the experience.

But what came out of the washer was much more interesting than just a plain old round bowl!









Kind of shell-like, don't you think? But that's the thing about art it's gotta be a one of a kind ... I couldn't recreate that if I tried.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Throw Me Somthin' Mister!

This is me in my Lady of the Lake costume, during my reign as Duchess of the Krewe de Charlie Sioux in 2001. Even though we live in the midwest, Downtown Dad and I have been members of a real, honest to goodness, State of Louisiana sanctioned, Mardi Gras Krewe for many years.

Sometime in the early nineties, the city of Lake Charles, Louisiana became the sister city of Sioux City, Iowa and as a result of that relationship, the two cities started sharing their culture. In Sioux City, we'd been having a regional free concert called Saturday in the Park over the 4th of July weekend. In Lake Charles, on a slightly smaller, tamer scale than New Orleans, they celebrate Mardi Gras in the spring. It was decided that delegates from Sioux City would travel to Lake Charles once a year to take part in the Mardi Gras festivities, and in return, delegates from Lake Charles would travel to Sioux City over the 4th of July holiday, bringing a Mardi Gras type celebration with them. A responsibility that we accepted, if not soberly, respectfully. We shared our cultural diversity freely with our sister city, affectionately known as Lake Chuck, and they with us. We learned that "Coon-Ass" is a term of endearment, if you are speaking to or about a full-blooded Cajun. They learned that Viking horns are good to hold beads, thus freeing both hands for drinking and hugging.




Imagine, if you will, trying to convince a city of midwestern lutherans that it will be fun to watch 30 people, some of them respectable local business people, dressed up in feathers and sequins, parade up and down the floor of the civic center, and then, just when you think it is over, they'll throw beads at you. It took us a while, but after a few years of offering some spicy cajun cuisine, and aiming high with our bead tossing, they started to come around. In fact, we made some of our longest lasting friendships during those frenetic days of building floats, and hot gluing feathers, and throwing beads.





Downtown Dad and I moved away in 2000, but kept up our Krewe membership until just a couple of years ago, travelling twice a year to Lake Charles, and Sioux City to take part in the parades, galas, and other festivities. Here he is in his Thomas Jefferson outfit, carrying the White House on his shoulders no less, during his reign as Duke of the Deal in 2003. Not pictured here is Bearly, who, being short, portrayed Napoleon, of Bonaparte Realty, trying to get TJ to purchase Louisiana.


Someday soon we will go back to Lake Chuck for Mardi Gras, but tonight, we will have gumbo, and make another futile attempt to recreate the elusive perfection that is a Steamboat Bill's pistolette, and we will look at pictures and say "Laissez les bons temps rouler!" which means Let The Good Times Roll!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Fun Monday - The Bucket List

Tiggerlane is the host this week for Fun Monday and here is her assignment:

Have you heard of The Bucket List? Well, that's what I want from you! Make a list of things you want to do before you die. It must be at least five items - and you can make it as long as you desire. Photos are optional. And let's hear about some of the wackiest, most bizarre to-do's on your Bucket List!
Well, for me, personally, every list I ever make, changes from day to day, based on what transpires that day. Looking at where I am now in comparison to how far I've come, I'd have to say that my life is just about perfect, today anyway. Everyone in my immediately family is in pretty good health. No, we don't live in a fancy mansion, but our house is just perfectly suited for us and it's in the exact right location. And while I'm still pretty tickled to drive my new car, it's a used one and more economical than elegant. I have THE BEST relationship ever with my husband, and can't imagine any way that life could get any better. Period. My kids are an ongoing challenge, but they make good choices and we make progress on picking up the dirty clothes, and we all love each other... can you really ask for anything more?

.....Sound of a phonograph needle being scraped across a record.....

OK... OK... Five things that, may or may not cause me to say "Now I can die happy."

1. Go to Europe, England specifically. See the Globe Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon... oh and Auchtermuchty, Scotland. Take pictures.

2. Find some pictures, and/or living decendants of my paternal grandmother's side of the family. The Bryant's of Webster County, Kentucky. Sebree, Kentucky to be specific. Emma, her younger brother Clive, their father Thaddeus, or their grandmother Rebecca. Get that all documented and on an Internet Family Tree.

3. Visit the ruins of the Mayan pyramids. Get abducted by ancient astronauts. Take pictures.

4. Write a novel, or a book, or a childrens story, or a pamphlet for God's sake. Write something. Oh, and have it published.

5. Find Mike Tinney. Back in high school, he was my best friend's boyfriend, and the closest thing I had to a big brother. They broke up, but we stayed friends, then he got married to a girl, that according to friends, sent him to his room and never let him out. I miss him. He taught me how to drive cool, but defensively; how to stop hiccupping; the value of making eye contact with friends' parents; how to survive a broken heart; how to light a match in the wind; that it's a long walk home when you're a smart ass to the driver; how to smile when there will never ever be anything to smile at ever again; how to stay close to the people who are your real friends. Maybe he needs to relearn that last one.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

But my kids are happy....

I got through 20 of the 35 things yesterday. I lied to the community theatre director so my daughter could quit the show. I finished my laundry and got the vacuuming done. I got the creative things done that I'd been putting off because they were "fun." I made a fabulous chili for the 10 kids and Downtown dad who will be watching the game. I still haven't caught up on my blog reading.....

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Saturday

Nothing to say...

There is room for 32 items on my Franklin Planner Daily List. I had 35 things to do.....

Friday, February 01, 2008

Random Thoughts...

Birds of a feather flock together ... and crap on your car.

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

If you can smile when things go wrong ... you have someone in mind to blame.

The sole purpose of a child's middle name Is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

Did you ever notice that when you put the 2 words "The" and "IRS" together It spells "Theirs?"

Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.