Friday, July 31, 2009
And what about the animal that really isn't a cuddler? Our cat does NOT want to be held. She likes to be petted--but try to pick her up and you may draw back a stub. She was like that from the time she was a tiny kitten. Why are some animals--and people--not cuddlers?
What do you think?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Half of the headlines on the internet news are about so-and-so breaking up with whatchamacallit. Why would I care? In a culture where couples swap mates like the rest of us change underwear, what is there to be excited about? In all cases I feel very sorry for any children affected, but the adults? No... I'm just sad that another man or woman has demonstrated a lack of commitment.
Wars are going on. People are dying from malnutrition. Important legislation is under consideration in our country. And all of that pales next to the story of Jon and Kate. Pathetic.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
In a little while I returned. The house hunk shared the news. And said, "She said she'll call back in a little while."
Naturally, when my daughter called back, she was a tad put out because I never returned her call. Fortunately, she knows her father. And fortunately, the question she had for me was one I could locate an answer for relatively easily. Sheeesh.
I've noticed there's a lot of selective listening (and reading) in the world today. I once had a contest that I really felt was very easy and uncomplicated. Yet when I scanned through the answers, it was clear that few of the contestants read the question. That contest still puzzles me.
Comments on my blog sometimes puzzle me. I usually write my blogs with considerable care. So when the comments don't come close to the subject matter of the blog, I scratch my head and go back to re-read the blog, searching for the possible interpretations my readers placed on the blog. Very odd.
Why exactly do we see this proliferation of half listening? Is it because we're too busy or too lazy or just don't care? Listening or reading with intent requires attention. It requires that extra few minutes of time.
Are we really too busy?
Monday, July 27, 2009
I had been unemployed for nearly a year and was attending job training through a government program. The thing about government programs is that they don't pay unemployment benefits if you don't show up for class.
I spent the morning with the house hunk under our double wide mobile home trying to repair a broken pipe. Suddenly I realized it was getting late, checked the time and knew if I was going to reach school in time to be counted for that day there was simply no time to change clothes. In this case, the money was far more important than my appearance. The hunk was on disability, I was on unemployment, and we had six people to support (teenagers and adults).
So off I went to school after a quick brush down. When I arrived my instructor told me about the job available downstairs in the adult education office. I ran down, picked up an application, went back upstairs to class and filled it out. Then at my instructor's urging, I took it back downstairs and turned it in, after asking about an appointment for an interview.
The gal that took my application, carried it into the director's office as though she might catch something contagious. She came back in a couple of minutes and said, "She'll see you now."
"I'm not dressed for an interview," I protested.
"She knows." I swear the woman was pretty sure I was a washout.
Anyway, there I sat in the director's office, fielding questions and discussing my qualifications. No one was more shocked than I was when she hired me. Later--much later--I asked her why she hired me. She smiled and said, "I knew anyone who could handle an interview under those conditions could handle whatever might come along in this office."
I held that position thirteen years until the house hunk was transferred to a different state. I've kept in touch over the years and when my first book, Dancer's Delight was contracted, she was one of the people that wished me well.
That was over two years ago. Imagine my surprise when I received a note from her this last week. "Dancer's Delight! I just finished your book and found it delightful. Such a creative storyline! A delightful read."
The next day, I received another message..."I’m just mad at myself for taking so long to buy one of your books. I seldom go to the bookstore except in an airport, when we are going on a trip. My mother and I exchange books frequently so she keeps me stocked! Then I was afraid of ordering on line as I didn’t want to get hit with lots of junk e-mail…. Anyway, I loved it and will read another of yours soon, I am sure.
I’m so proud to know I personally know an author!"
I love receiving fan mail from all my readers, but this one was special. This was from a former boss whose opinion I strongly respect. So yeah... this was EXCELLENT!
How about you? What's you're favorite review or fan letter story?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
At once the girls declared they couldn't/wouldn't sleep in the room with the possibility that Speedy could crawl in bed with them. T demanded a flashlight, both girls put on their shoes, and they started moving everything from one side of the room to the other. Using the flashlight, they eventually discovered Speedy lurking behind the couch.
When they tried to terminate him, he shot out from under the couch across the room, scooting right in front of D. T shrieked, "Kill it, kill it!" but D was absolutely paralyzed by Speedy's near encounter with her toes.
T leaped off the couch in pursuit. Speedy ran under their piled luggage, and D started screaming while T was yelling, "You let it get away!"
T lunged for the luggage, tossing their bags wildly aside lest Speedy take refuge inside one. Suddenly Speedy was revealed in the harsh glare of the flashlight. T jumped on him with both feet squishing him under one of her belts.
With heaving chests both girls stared down at poor Speedy with great satisfaction. Then they gathered the remains in a tissue, tossed it in the toilet and flushed it twice... just to make sure.
D looked at me with her lower lip a-tremble and announced, "Nanna, I'm traumatized."
With perfect truth, I solemnly replied, "Me, too."
Eventually, after the room was put to rights, they went to bed. But I'm not sure exactly when they went to sleep--even if they did vanquish the intrepid Speedy.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
When I was her age, I was allowed to enter a movie theater to view one movie--Bambi. The next time I attended a show, I was dating the househunk.
The theaters back then regularly ran double features. And when we were dating, it was the heyday of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. So one of those features was always one of the Eastwood westerns. To this day, I can quote line after line of the dialogue for those movies. For some reason, no matter what time we arrived at the show, the Clint Eastwood movie was playing. We had to sit through that movie to view the new movie.
It was also during that period that Disney released several of their non-animated comedies. I remember laughing hysterically while watching With Six You Get Eggroll, Parent Trap, and several others. In addition, there was Yours, Mine, and Ours with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda, and a very odd Peter Sellers movie titled The Party. For years I've tried to locate a copy of The Party to no avail.
There was also a strange French farce type of movie. I have no idea what the title was, who the actors were, or any pertinent facts from the movie except it took place in a Victorian mansion and mostly consisted of various members of the cast of thousands sneaking in and out of bedrooms. Weird that after all these years I'm still curious about that movie.
Since you couldn't buy or rent a copy of a movie back then for personal viewing, if you missed it at the show, you had to wait until it was played on television. And of course, the movie was chopped up to fit the time frame for television so bits and pieces were left out... usually the "good" pieces.
There were such classics as Cool Hand Luke, Camelot, and The Exorcist (which I refused to watch!) We watched Guess Who's Coming to Dinner in a downtown theater in Chicago. For it's time it was quite a shocking movie, even if it DID have Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in it. But that was also the height of the Civil Rights Movement. There was In the Heat of the Night, too.
Unlike many of my friends, I've always been perfectly content to go off to the movies by myself. In my turbulent life, a bit of peace and quiet was welcome. That's how I ended up viewing Dances with Wolves all alone in a theater I had completely to myself. When I went back two weeks later with my kids, the place was packed.
I think there's a certain something lost when viewing films on the television at home. Oh, I know it's very expensive now to go to the show--ridiculously so. But some films are truly made for the big screen and viewing them on a small screen doesn't quite have the same impact.
Watching Independence Day or Schindler's List on a small screen drastically limits the scope of those films. I think the same holds true for films about space or with wide panoramas in them such as Star Wars or Willow.
I confess that I seldom go to the movies now days. Too expensive. Waaaay too expensive. But I miss sneaking into a nearly empty auditorium to watch the magical wizardry from Hollywood. Yes, I do.
How about you?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
But disappointment frequently rests on the actions of others or acts of God or events that are beyond our control. How we react to disappointment says a lot about us.
Last week, my grandchildren, a friend and I had a special "girls day out" planned. And then my friend woke up with a vicious stomach bug. As much as she wanted to go, it was clearly impossible. Well, what's so extraordinary about that, you say? I'll tell you: it was the very grown up way my granddaughters reacted to the postponement of their day out.
Both of them immediately talked to my friend on the phone, assuring her that her health was far more important than our proposed plans. And then they found something to keep themselves quietly occupied the rest of the afternoon. Not a word was said about the plans. I thought they demonstrated extraordinary grace for a five-year-old and an eleven-year-old. I was incredibly proud of them.
Too often I've watched adults have temper tantrums when disappointments come their way. No, I'm not talking about genuinely unfair or illegal treatment. I'm talking about things like someone showing up late for an event. Or having plans not quite work out. Or realizing that the store doesn't have the dress or coat in your size.
Disappointment is temporary. If we faced life's disappointments with grace and a willingness to seek an alternative, life would be much easier both for us and those around us. That doesn't mean we have to turn into a doormat. But it does mean we can act with dignity.
Sometimes, it isn't only adults who teach the lessons.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
While we were gone, the girls went down to stay with neighbor extraordinaire Jane, who allowed them to demonstrate their dancing and hip-hop skills for her while the dentist tortured us. I had yet more scaling today. When she decided I probably couldn't take any more, she announced that I would need to come back again.
So I felt very much like the fellow in the picture. But at least I have a breather between this visit and the next during which I will brush, floss, rinse with salt water, rinse with mouth wash, and even take my calcium pills religiously.
I'm sure I'll feel better tomorrow.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Otherwise, it wouldn't take eleven days for my check to travel across a distance that I could cover in seven hours in a car. So USPS, you're out. Tomorrow I'll take out a contract with the Hogwarts Post Office, because goodness knows, I worry that the future postal services will only deteriorate. I figure at the current rate, it will soon take more than a month for the check to make the same distance.
Hogwarts, here I come.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
We didn't own a television. TV was a new concept when I was a girl. The TV's had huge cabinets with tiny little screens. The pictures were black and white. And since we didn't have a TV, I didn't grow up glued to the set.
What did I do?
Played with my dolls. I was in the unusual position of owning many dolls, several of which were foreign in origin. My father was a minister in charge of the missionary board so missionaries on home furlough frequently stayed with us. Every single one seemed to bring me a doll. My mother, an accomplished seamstress made clothes for my army of dolls.
Read books. I believe I had an enormous advantage over today's child because I grew up without television. My parents spent precious money buying me books. Back then, paperbacks for children were scarce so they bought me hardbacked books. I still have them. My children read them and now my grandchildren are reading them. I was never bored because I had an infinite number of worlds and characters to keep me company.
Play outside. I took my fired up imagination outside where I dragooned my brothers into taking part in my fantastic adventures. Imagination is a wonderful thing. I suspect that my own stories have their seeds in the rich treasure trove of stories I had at my disposal. I was always a daydreamer, happily carrying out my ideas in the great outdoors.
Craft work. I was most fortunate to have a mother who was extremely crafty. And every new craft she she tried, I was also allowed to try, even when I was small. Embroidery, painting, sewing, weaving... everything she tried, I did too.
No electronic games, no television, no iPod, no Wii. Surprisingly, I thrived. And I didn't suffer from boredom.
Friday, July 17, 2009
When we finished our shopping and returned to her car, we discovered the battery was dead. The store closed right after we checked out so we found ourselves in an empty parking lot. Across the road was a Seven-Eleven so we walked over there to use the phone and buy a soda.
My husband was at work, so she called hers. We had a bet riding on what her husband's reaction would be--and I won so she bought the soda. This was back in the day when we practically lived on Tab. So we took our sodas and went back to the car, sat up on the hood and waited for C (her husband) to arrive.
In a little while he showed up in faded jeans and moccasins. After a brief discussion, he hooked up the battery cables and went to start his truck. Just as the engine turned over, I backed away from the car and that was a life-saving move. The battery exploded, spewing battery acid all over me. But because I'd backed away--and because I wore thick coke bottle glasses--it wasn't nearly bad as it could have been.
C leaped out of his truck and grabbed my Tab, pouring it all over me. Then he grabbed my friend's Tab and poured that all over me.
And then he ripped my shirt off.
In the parking lot.
Good job I was wearing a bra because he didn't have on a shirt to offer me.
We all piled in the truck and went home. All the way, J is still shaking because of the close call, and C is telling me all the stuff I need to do as soon as I get home so I can wash the battery acid off. We parked in his driveway, relieved to be home and shakily climbed out of the truck.
Evidently, he decided that I might not follow his instructions closely enough because he marched me inside his house, wrestled me into the shower with him and proceeded to scrub me down. In the midst of it all D, his sixteen year old son wandered in.
"Whatcha doin' Daddy?"
"Takin' a shower with Anny!"
"Doesn't she have a shower at her house?"
"What would be the fun of that?"
When C determined I was clean enough, J provided a heavy bathrobe and some hot tea. And sometime around midnight, I finally made it home. Later inspection proved that my jeans were full of holes. Ditto the bra and my glass lenses were pitted. There were tiny burns all over my face. But overall, I survived it all pretty well.
And that's how I ended up taking a shower with my neighbor...
PS! Happy Birthday to my baby, who turns 31 today! I love ya BABY!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The unpalatable truth is we are all at risk. There are hunters out there looking for lunch.
Yet there are writers who are oblivious to the threat. They post pictures of their homes, post their addresses and phone numbers, list their vacation itineraries, discuss personal business on their blogs, and even post pictures of their cars (complete with license plates visible). I've come to the conclusion that they simply do not understand how far reaching the Internet influence is.
I'm continually amazed at what I find when I do research queries. When I google myself, I find comments I posted on other blogs over two years ago. Once that "enter" button is pressed, the information is floating around out there forever.
There is a fine line between the public persona and the private one. And when that line is crossed, the danger immediately increases exponentially. Crossing that line puts that writer on the lunch menu.
Don't become the tiger's lunch.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
But there my grandchildren have such fertile minds. They come up with a host of thing my own children never thought of.
"I'm too hot."
"I'm too cold."
"I forgot to kiss Poppy goodnight."
"I want to talk to Mommy (or Daddy)."
"My feet itch."
"I can't find my dolly."
"I want a story."
"I need to go to the bathroom--again."
Eventually, they fall asleep in between thinking up new reasons to get out of bed. And Nanna fosters that notion by dragging their butts out of bed early in the morning.
Monday night they were bouncing off the walls, impossible to corral, so they didn't fall asleep until midnight. Tuesday morning, I dragged them out of bed at 9:30 AM and kept them running until 9:30 PM. I noticed they ran out of reasons to pop out of bed pretty quickly.
Today we'll go swimming and have a bit more healthy exercise. I've also noticed that I haven't had trouble sleeping since they came to visit. I'm too darned tired to move. I believe I've discovered the cure for insomnia.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
T with the goats. The big one was quite a pushy fellow as you can see.
T with the donkey she fell in love with. If we could have, she would have gladly taken the donkey home. I felt we already had enough asses at home.
D enjoying the shade at the pavilion while waiting for her root beer float. And to her joy, her sister followed that up with a decadent cherry Italian ice--jumbo size.
Neighbor (and chauffeur) Jane and T feeding the goats and for their generosity they received a thick coating of goat spit on their hands. Fortunately we had a package of wipes handy.
Jane with D feeding the goats. D was enchanted by the goats. She ended up feeding the goats three of the little prepared containers of feed you can buy from a dispenser.
Encounter with the goats. When they realized she had food, they followed her around, every where she went.
This farm is also a nursery. The colors were glorious and everything was in bloom. We had a great day.
All three "kids" and Nanna had a great time.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I've lost count of the times I've reminded the younger one especially that the door has to be closed because the AC is on. Some days the pollen counts aren't too high and I will flick off the AC and open the doors and windows, enjoying the breath of fresh air in the apartment, but other days, the outside air is just too bad for me to breathe. Then every door and window in the apartment are shut up as tight as possible and the AC is kicking in high gear.
When I ask the little one why the door is open, she sends me a baffled look and says, "Because I'm looking outside."
I confess that I'm just as baffled because I don't see the difference between looking through a window and screen or just looking through the screen. Why open the door?
That's not the only thing I find baffling. Why is it necessary to pace from one end of the apartment to the other like a tiger on speed when talking on the telephone? Why is it impossible to sit or stand still? This is a spreading phenomenon I've noticed more and more recently and I wonder at the root cause for pacing.
Then there's the necessity to scream while playing outside. There's no problem with wondering where they are. The entire neighborhood knows that they're outside playing because of the screaming. It must been a good thing. Every time they talk to their parents, they tell them they're having so much fun playing outside.
Probably the one that really gets me as an adult is the total impossibility to sit still. Legs wiggle, ankles jiggle, fingers twitch, and there's an entire symphony of snaps, pops, impromptu dance steps and swaying butts. Just watching makes me tired.
That's a terrible way to start a new week.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Bathing suits. Bathing suits for the zaftig woman are...limited. When you find one that fits, you grab it immediately. Almost all of them have stretchy underpinnings that help you suck in the gut. And that's wonderful when you're pulling it on over your hills and valleys when the suit is bone dry.
But occasionally, you have to make that emergency trip to the ladies room. Obviously, the suit has to go. And the trip down to the knees is pretty easy. However, the return trip requires what I call the Swimsuit Wiggle.
First you pull the suit up as high as it will go. Then you gather it up in your hands (one hand on each side) and tug while wiggling your tush (and most of the rest of you). It's roughly like trying to put on a wet girdle.
It wouldn't be bad if you had room to maneuver, but if you recall the reason for taking off the suit in the first place, you'll also realize that you're most likely standing in a tiny stall with zero room for movement. So while you're wiggling and jiggling and tugging on a darned suit that's sticking to your skin like it was superglued on, you're also whacking your elbows on the walls... the toilet paper holder... the door... and hoping that you don't slip on the wet floor and end up spreadeagled on the toilet.
For some ungodly reason, the bathroom/shower room is freezing--even in the height of summer. Goosebumps ripple over your jiggly curves giving the Swimsuit Wiggle another dimension.
Eventually, you either end up with the suit slithered in place--or you call for help. I seriously considered calling for my granddaughter to come and help me dress and that would have been the final humiliation. But just as I was almost ready to give up, the suit let go of its iron grip on my cellulite and snapped into place like a rubber band.
Dignity almost intact, I returned to the pool determined to never ever go swimming again after drinking an entire bottle of water!
Excellent beach reading!!! Lonestar Lycan by Regina Carlysle is available today. This is wonderful. Don't miss it!
She came to dusty west
Joe McKinnon, alpha of the
Reader Advisory: Includes a scintillating M/F/M ménage scene. Enjoy!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
In my past experiences, I've found that most dentists do not take the pain problem seriously. My tenure with them tends to be short-lived. And consequently, my dental health has suffered.
My current dentist at least acknowledges that the procedures she's subjecting me to are painful. And she works as fast as possible. But, that doesn't make it hurt less, you know? Currently I'm undergoing something called "scaling". It's as uncomfortable as it sounds. And now my gums feel like they're vibrating. Yummmmy.
I'm consoling myself with runny, melted chocolate ice cream. After this, I'll bravely take on the saltwater rinse, the meticulous brushing, and the teeny little brushes between the teeth and finally the mouthwash. If you hear me screaming across the country... well, say a prayer.
Join us tonight at our chat on EC yahoo loop from 8 PM to 10 PM for excerpts and fun. Anny and friends!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Gabby the family dog, checking out the firepit and the freshly mowed grass. Who knew? There might be an old bone to discover?
T and D in the backyard, getting the lawn mowed in readiness for the picnic. With all the rain the northeast has had this spring, the grass is growing fast.
Backyard cookout. It's a Fourth of July tradition.
Evening sky on the Fourth, right before the fireworks started. The trestle is a Federal project to turn an old railroad bridge into a scenic walking trail over the Hudson River.
This is a couple we met at the pond the next day--and the snapping turtle he snagged in his net. Boy was he excited. He lives in New Jersey and was in the area for the weekend.
Reflections in the pond. There were a lot of pussywillows around the edge. I took the opportunity to have a real close look (research purposes, right?)
Oops! This is the frog that my oldest granddaughter accidentally caught with her fishing pole. As you can see, once released he was off and hopping.
Of all the holidays from spring to fall, July the Fourth holds the most traditions for me. And of course, the two most traditional are the family cookout and the fireworks displays. Everything else is the frosting on the cake.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
On my little jaunt this past weekend, I encountered a LOT of people. They ran the gamut from extreme surliness to extreme pleasantness. What I noticed was the way that attitudes were contagious.
A nasty cranky woman waiting in the line for the restrooms as the fireworks infected everyone around her with her impatience and anxiety.
A friendly fast food worker sent everyone he dealt with on their way with a smile--a smile that lasted a long while.
My five year old granddaughter made our middle-aged waitress' day when she gave her a sunny smile and said, "You're pretty." There was nothing we could have asked for that would be too much for our waitress to provide.
Smile... it costs nothing.
Monday, July 6, 2009
D in the back yard before the picnic.
D at the pond freeing the fish.
The teeny frog hitching a ride on the turtles back.
D with the teeny-tiny frog.
D with Mommy's fish...
T with her fish.