Friday, April 30, 2010

Honest Scrap



Ann T. Hathaway has given me the Honest Scrap award. I’m quite honored because she is one of my hero bloggers. You never know what you’ll find when you go to her blog. World War II logistics, Miss Ellen the bicycle, Zombies in the basement, PTSD, training for the blue line, and books, books, books. All discussed with her special brand of compassion & humor. Consider this little gem from yesterday: “I need a Wrench. Miss Ellen's handlebars are suddenly headed West when I want to go North. It is possible to steer like this, but only to Eventual Disaster.”

So I’m pretty psyched to be one of her “chosen” even if I’m probably the fluffiest entry. She has actual Serious people and Heroes on her list. The rules are that I’m to tell 10 things about myself and then give the award to 10 people. I can’t even imagine what is left to tell you guys that you don’t already know, but I am always up for talking about myself!


1. Here is an old pet peeve that recently reared its ugly head. I hate it when people use “ya’ll” when talking to just one person. It’s a contraction of “You All” & when you use it directed to one person it makes me think of Gidget – no – Norma Rae – no – Sybil! That’s it! Unless the person really does have multiple personalities don’t call them “ya’ll.” Of course, this could just be the case in my area of the south – maybe other southerners use it differently. But they’re wrong. Heh.

2. When I was a small child I had heard of illegitimate children, but all I knew was that they didn’t have fathers. I didn’t like boys at the time, so all of my Barbies had illegitimate children.

3. I always wished for one special talent – like dancing or singing or doing the grapevine in Jazzercise without falling over. But, knowing my limitations (lack of rhythm and pitch and general klutziness) and knowing my limited attention span, I am, in lower middle age, ready to accept one thing that I can claim as my own: the ability to randomly turn a nice phrase. A nice phrase does not a poem make – but it does make reading the poem a little more palatable.

4. I have to have a reminder on my calendar to water the plants at work. And I’m not sticking my finger in that dirt to check them! They get watered every other week whether they need it or not.

5. Speaking of said aversion to dirt under my fingernails, for Father’s Day I once gave my dad a “coupon” for digging potatoes in the garden. I considered it the ultimate sacrifice.

6. I drive by an airfield on my way to work every day. They give rides. I would love to take a ride in one of those little planes! Today I thought how much my mother would have loved to take such a ride too. Random grief – it’s kind of hard to plan for.

7. I hate ending a sentence with “for.” But I’m just not going to become a contortionist to fix it. I mean, really: “Random grief – for which it’s kind of hard to plan” just doesn’t make sense.

8. I have a bad habit of using humor to deflect pain. Which is ok in its place – but not everyone is like me. They know that facing and moving through pain helps in the healing process. I find it ironic that the person who taught me to take up my humor shield is my mother. And I’m using the life skill she taught me to deal with her loss.

9. I am amazed that I’m digging into this grief today! It’s a random Friday in April. No special significance. It’s that darn airfield’s fault.

10. Let’s end this with a thanksgiving: I am so grateful to be married to my Renaissance man Dr. M. He can teach Old Testament and American History. He can attack computer viruses. He can grow almost anything and fix almost anything. He is hilarious and loves baseball like I do. And he gets me, which I’ve found is very rare. Love you Dear Heart!

OK, now I’m supposed to give this award out to ten people. And just like those emails where you’re supposed to tell folks what color of socks you’re wearing (I’m commando today!) I don’t expect everyone to actually do anything with this award. Some people don’t “do” awards and some people don’t have time and some people wonder who the heck is this chick giving them an award! Mostly I just want to talk about what their blogs mean to me.

1. Amy at All Things Ro. Amy is a great mom, recent fiancée, music teacher extraordinaire, and absolutely hilarious. Stop by her blog & check her out!

2. Katy from What A Great Place To Be A Cow. She writes thought-provoking essays about whatever is in her head. Her head is very interesting (although it seems to be a bit obsessed with Disney) – you should go see for yourself!

3. Reya at According to the Cosmology of Reya. She does NOT want this award. Well tough patooties. She may ignore it, but you should not ignore her fabulous musings about the universe & her place therein.

4. Kim at hmmm – which blog shall I use? She has three. I think I’ll use this one, Prayers for the Oft Traveled Road, She make me think hard about what God desires for my life and what I can do to facilitate the process.

5. Anne at Reverent Irreverence. Anne is an Episcopal Priest and Pampered Chef consultant who gives us a glimpse into her life every day. When Anne has a bad day she always shares what she’s doing to make it better – and that helps me to tackle my bad days too.

6. Ellen, from Stuff from Ellen’s Head. She also does not want this award. Well, Ellen, what did I say to Reya? Just accept that you’re fabulous – you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. Ellen has a view of life that just makes me stop the frenzy & relax. I don’t know why, but she calms me down all the time. And that’s not even what she’s trying to do – she’s just letting us know what’s going on in her life in a wry, laidback way.

7. Barry, from An Explorer’s View of Life. Barry is a fabulous story-teller with a lot going on in his life right now. He doesn’t need to be messing with an award like this. But you need to go visit him and learn that life really is fascinating if you tell the story the right way.

8. Jo, from A Majority of Two. Jo likes to talk about her “little blog” and I guess sometimes it might seem inconsequential to an outsider when she talks about her new chairs or mattress. But Jo likes to tackle tough controversial subjects. I don’t always agree with her, but I always find her interesting. And Jo doesn’t want this award either. Heh.

9. Jayne from Journey Through Grace. Jayne often posts excellent pictures of the birds around her home. But it’s her posts about her life that bring me back again and again. Grace is the right word to use to describe how she approaches the everyday world.

10. Argent from Delusions of Adequacy. While her blog title is fabulous (it could be talking about me!) it’s her writing that I enjoy week after week. She’s a songwriter (and singer!), poet, and short story writer with a lot of talent. Although I think Harold’s tale has moved beyond the realm of the short story!

OK, there you go. Check out all these great people & tell them the Bug sent you!

Whew! That was exhausting.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random Whinging

• I have pistachio debris under my desk at work. The cleaning people are gonna love me.

• Our internet mysteriously disappeared for about 36 hours last week. It just as mysteriously reappeared. And then yesterday disappeared again. Just another example of the capricious nature of the technological world. We have a technician coming to look at it this evening. I hope the tech is able to fix it because OH THE WITHDRAWAL!

• Dr. M has been ferociously attacking my computer with anti-thises & anti-thats. I have some sort of sickness on there & he is bound & determined to locate it & destroy it (yes, at this point he’s feeling just a wee bit violent about the whole thing).

• Our garage door is even more busted. This is just from it doing its job – going up, going down. Apparently that job was just too much for the poor thing & it rent itself like the veil of the temple. Well maybe not exactly like that. After never having a garage before we lived here I’m amazed at how inconvenienced I feel now that I can’t use it. Spoiled much? [Note: I just got a call from the property manager – they’re sending someone to measure the thing tomorrow!]

• The white lights on our “palm” tree have died. One strand died last week, then Sunday night we were sitting in the living room & noticed that the remaining lights were extra bright. They stayed that way before winking out forever. I guess it was their last hurrah. Sigh. Where are we gonna find Christmas lights in April to replace these?

But all is not lost – because I found one of these in our yard:


[Imagine a picture of a four leaf clover since my internet is dead to me]

I don’t necessarily think it will bring me luck, but it makes me smile and I think that smiling brings you luck. Also, when I’m searching for four leaf clovers my mind just kind of calms down & the little problems of my life get lost in the wonder of this small miracle from God.

[Imagine picture of four leaf clovers in a Bible. I used to collect them in my Bible – I have several dozen.]

Monday, April 26, 2010

Magpie Tales - Week Eleven




This is Not a Formal Affair

It once held
tobacco leaves.
Rich, fragrant
poison.
It served its time
in that rafter.
Served those
cash crop farmers.
Now it serves me
as I wander that
rocky and rutted
root-ridden path.
What place would
an elegant gleam
have in such a life?
I am content
with my walking
companion.



To participate in Magpie Tales, or to read other entries (you won't be sorry!), just click here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Church Camp

I decided to join the Poetry Bus, hosted this week by Argent. She gave us two prompts from which to choose - I chose this one:

Off-Peak/Off-Piste TravelCard


Have you ever been lost? Were you alone in the woods or just going the wrong way up a one-way street. What did it feel like being somewhere you weren't supposed to be?

This is a time when I definitely felt like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time!



Church Camp*

My parents drop me
at the farmhouse door.
I am barefoot
as I wave them off.

Mamaw! I'm here!
Papaw! Where are you?
I am barefoot
and there's no one there.

I am alone.
Frantic.

I run up the hill
through the grass.
I am barefoot
sobbing at the neighbor.

Back down the hill
fast as I can
I run barefoot
over gravel, over terror

to my mother's arms.
She felt my terror
and came looking for me
and took my barefoot self

to church camp.

This poem is about an obvious failure of communication between my parents and grandparents, who had already left for camp when my parents dropped me off. My mom wasn't sure why she decided they needed to come back to check on me, but since I can still feel the terror and abandonment I felt that day almost 40 years ago, it must surely have traveled to her on the road.


*Church camp was really just a piece of land my church owned where we went to play softball (or rollie bat if we didn't have enough people for two teams). But the main purpose of church camp was to make sure you got enough Lincoln County North Carolina red dirt on your person to turn the whole bathtub red when you bathed that night!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Project 365 – Week Seventeen



Sunday, April 18th
Martha Goose is ready to help with the gardening! Please note the poppy in her pocket leftover from a long ago Memorial Day.


Monday, April 19th
On Monday Dr. M took a ton of great pictures. I picked only my favorite three to share with you.






Tuesday, April 20th
On Tuesday Dr. M took some pictures around campus. A lovely iris, and the cutest bug! It belongs to his office-mate & I have a bit of a crush on it.




Wednesday, April 21st
On Wednesday I actually took a picture. Of our busted garage door. Hopefully the property manager will approve a new one!



Thursday, April 22nd
On Thursday I finally took a picture of a barn I pass on my way to work every day. I'm guessing it's been painted for quite a while now. Since the early 1990s I reckon.



Friday, April 23rd
Oh Friday Dr. M found a buffalo on the back roads on the way home from school. A buffalo!



Saturday, April 24th
Today I went to the birthday party of a former coworker's daughter. Former as of this past Thursday. She's one of the ones that J's losing. We love S & will miss her a lot. Anyway, this party was dinosaur themed & the birthday girl's grandmother made these great cupcakes with twinkies on top. Yum!


Go here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

You Know How I Love Vacuums


In 1997 when Dr. M & I were moving from North Carolina to Cincinnati, in a fit of insanity, J hired me over the phone. I was the office administrator for a company that provided services to adults with mental retardation – we had group homes and also provided direct care staff for people who lived in their own home. I worked there for nearly 5 years.

J had been promoted from the business manager to the director of the agency & did that for a few years before she was burned out with the industry. She got a human resources job at another local company (actually using her degree) and when a position in her department came open she dragged me to the new company (I went with fear & trembling, but yes, I was lured by the Almighty Dollar –it was a BIG increase for me). Even though I am NOT a people person, she made me work in HR for 6 years. I liked the part of my job where I entered data & ran reports. Dealing with employees in crisis? Not so much. Part of my job was managing medical leaves, so I was exposed to a lot of crises.


After 6 years the company was in the midst of restructuring. They were outsourcing a lot of my tasks and I could read the writing on the wall. Rather than wait for my severance package I decided to apply for another job in the same company. I got that job – legal assistant – and have enjoyed it quite a bit. I work with one attorney behind a locked door. It's peaceful in there. J's office is just around the corner & I see her every day.

In the nearly 13 years that I've known J, I've seen her through a divorce, internet dating, a second marriage, infertility, and twins. But our biggest challenge is just beginning.

For various reasons, she's losing her remaining two employees (who are also my friends – why do they have to abandon us?) and will be left with just a temp. She's also probably about to lose her mind. I have this sneaking suspicion that I will be pulled back into the HR world (I already help out sometimes when they're swamped). Can you hear the vacuum too, or is it just me?



 To be continued…

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Random Dozen



The Random Dozen is hosted by Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee. Go there to check out the answers other folks gave to these questions. You might learn something interesting! As opposed to here where you're mostly going, "Huh?"

This week Linda informed us that George Washington has a couple of overdue books at one of NYC's oldest libraries. They were only due November 2, 1789. Libraries are so strict!

OK, here are this week's questions, and my questionable answers:

1. Ever had any run-ins with the "library police?" I am one of those obsessive people when it comes to library fines. In general, the only time I owe them is when they won't let me renew the book & I'm not done yet. Dr. M says – just finish the book & pay the fifteen cents already! But it makes my heart hurt to think I'm depriving someone else of the joy of the book (I don't really care about the fifteen cents).

2. Do you have a special organizational plan and place for wrapping paper, gift bags, etc., or do you just purchase whatever you need as you give gifts?
I do have a place for gift wrap, etc. – a bin we keep under the bed. And, I'm ashamed to say, that sometimes just to keep from having to crawl under the bed to get it I will buy something at the store instead.

3. Have you ever been in (first-hand witness) a natural disaster?
Does the
Blizzard of '93 count? It was while we were living in the Asheville NC area. I remember my boss called me from the office wondering where I was. He had cross country skied in. He was obviously joking. Wasn't he? What I remember most from that event was that we never lost power – although we did lose cable. Bummer. (P.S. I'm making light because it was not really a big deal for us, but for many other people it really was a disaster).

4. What's your favorite Barry Manilow song?
My dad calls him Barry Monotone. And I must admit that listening to an entire album can be mind-numbing. But I can't help it – I love most of his music! So it's really hard to pick, but I'm going to go with the obvious (at least to me) & pick Copacabana. Her name was Lola. She was a showgirl… you probably don't really want to hear me sing this. Heh.


 

5. What's the best costume you've ever worn?  My wedding dress! Well, it felt like a costume – all girly & fancy. Hmmm. If I don't pick that, then I'll go with my flapper costume.



6. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus? The thesaurus. The advent of spell check means that I very rarely use a dictionary but I'm always looking for a new way to say something.

7. What's your favorite breakfast food? It used to be French Toast – yum! But now when I wake up I want something more savory, so I crave grits, eggs & livermush. Yum!

8. Have you ever purchased anything from an infomercial?
The
Tony Little Gazelle! I've had the thing for years. Sadly, I use it only sporadically. Which may be why it's lasted so long.

9. Have you ever crawled through a window?
I can't believe it, but I don't remember ever crawling through a window. Although I have a vague recollection of squishing myself through a car window, it's possible that I'm just imagining that scenario. Because who doesn't want that image in their mind?

10. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I have never experienced it with a person, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen. Dr. M and I gravitated toward each other gradually. Now, if we're talking food or handbags, then I've had love at first sight MANY times.

11. How many pairs of jeans do you own?
Do we count the ones we can't wear right now? Let's not. The ones that can make their way over my current booty are five in number – but I mainly only wear three of them. The reason I have so many (I'm usually a wear them until they shred kind of person) is that we often get the opportunity to pay money to wear jeans at work and my coworkers notice if I wear the same pair every day. Why do they have to be so observant? I'm wearing jeans right now because I donated to the March of Dimes for the privilege for the month of April.

12. If someone were going to bake a cake to honor/represent you, what would it be? (Think creatively, like Duff and Crew on "Ace of Cakes.")
Opus from Bloom County. Isn't he the cutest thing? Now that I think about it, why hasn't anyone done this for me before? I love bakery cake. Would it have been so hard to have the Kroger make one in the shape of a penguin? Hmmm?


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Magpie Tales, Week Ten



I lay on my side, eyes closed,
counting seconds.
One thousand one.
One thousand two.
One thousand three.

Earlier in the shower
I counted how long to rinse my hair –
one thousand fifty nine,
one thousand sixty.
One minute is long enough
to rinse the soap
and the day down my back,
around my ankles,
in whirls around the drain.

But now, damp hair on my pillow,
I count… what?
The number of seconds
till sleep shoulders its way
through the crowd?
The number of pounds
I've lost or gained?

Or perhaps it is the
number of days before
he touches me again.

In the morning,
I count the number
of times I can hit snooze
before leaving the warm bed.
I put my arm around him,
trying to melt against his side,
trying to erase my dream demons,
trying to say how much I love him
in this chaste embrace.

To participate in Magpie Tales, or to read other entries (you won't be sorry!), just click here.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Project 365 - Week Sixteen



Sunday, April 11th
On Sunday Dr. M took pictures of the blossoms on the apple tree by our back fence. And look – there's a bee doing its thing.


Monday, April 12th
On Monday Dr. M took this picture of these gorgeous tulips – I love the color!



And then he caught this very disdainful llama – doesn't it look like it's telling him that he does not have permission to take its picture?


Tuesday, April 13th
On Tuesday Dr. M finally caught the elusive red winged blackbird on film. Except I guess it's not film, is it? Hmm – do we change the saying to "caught on digital media" now?


And here is what appears to be a finch being chased by a bee – hilarious!


Wednesday, April 14th
On Wednesday night Dr. M gave a lecture on Abraham Lincoln. One of his students caught him in action.


 Thursday, April 15th
On Thursday, besides taking a picture of the Tax Time Pig, I finally stopped to take pictures of the burros who live with my favorite sheep. They're so cute with their big heads & stubby legs.



And Dr. M took a picture of the neighbor's wisteria. They brought it here from Mrs. L's homeplace in southern Ohio.



Friday, April 16th
Dr. M's university town had a big day on Friday. They are having a gathering of WWII planes at the local airport. This is a formation of B25s and P51s.


 And the school had its annual Relay for Life event, raising money for cancer research. In addition to all kinds of events, they had the pleasure of seeing the university president in bicycle shorts (I'll spare you the picture – but he was planning to ride his bike for the whole 18 hours of the event), and one of the professors played music with his band. Dr. M says that the band is great – and that Professor E is really good. Wouldn't you like to take a class with him?

Saturday, April 17th
Today Dr. M mowed the grass for the 3rd time this year. There is always a nice feeling of symmetry and accomplishment once the grass is mowed!


Go here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Tax Day!



So today I got over myself & stopped in the driveway & took a picture of the pig. This will now be an ongoing feature here at Bug's Eye View - along with finding out what Martha Goose is wearing each month we'll track this random pig. I will warn you, however, it's a cross dresser. Sometimes it's an opera singer with the Brunhilde braids. Other times it's Brutus, the Ohio State mascot. You just never know.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Own Brand of Random

I wanted to do the Wednesday Random Dozen, but I ran out of energy last night. So I'm just going to spout my own brand of crazy random.
  • My boss is back from vacation and I'm busy! I like it!
  • I've been listening to the audio book, The Year of Living Biblically, One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, by A.J. Jacobs. I'm on disk 5 of 12. The author is an agnostic, secular Jewish man whose previous memoir was about his attempt to read the Encyclopedia Brittanica in one year. He is both earnest and hilarious as he attempts to wend his way through the morass that is Biblical law. He treats the religious people he meets with curiosity and respect - spending three hours with a Jehovah's Witness representative, visiting the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky, and visiting an Amish Bed & Breakfast. Personally, I think that religious & non-religious people who like his brand of humor would enjoy this book a great deal. Although I still have 7 disks to go - maybe he'll lose me before the end. Thanks to my cousin KJ for getting me started (she called me while she was reading the chapter on stoning & was cracking up telling me I had to read this book).
  • I'm wearing my Toms shoes again today - it feels like I'm wearing slippers!
  • The weather has been really nice here this week - cool & sunny. I brought the camera to work with me. I plan to take pictures of flowers - and maybe some geese - during lunch today.
  • Dr. M is giving a lecture on Abraham Lincoln for the history club tonight. Which makes me think about Confederate History Month and this quote from The Daily Kos:  "Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour claims that there's no need, really, to mention slavery during 'Confederate History Month,' saying that 'It’s trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn’t matter for diddly.'" Really? And don't even get me started on why we need to celebrate confederate history. I might be from the south, but I always thought I was a Yankee.
  • I went by the local courthouse today to pick up the application and study guide to become a Notary Public. This is for my job. I will not be putting out a shingle & notarizing car titles. (Car titles scare me). I was amused that the study guide is called "A Manual for Notaries Public." They're just showing off that they know how to pluralize Notary Public.
  • There is a concrete pig at a house that I drive by on my way to work. The pig is always dressed seasonally appropriately. He's been Santa Claus, Cupid, a Leprechaun, and today he has an ice pack on his head & is holding a sign saying "Tax Time." I wanted to get a picture, but I would have to actually park in the driveway to do it. Yes, I am a coward. Sigh.
OK, that's enough randomness for today. I need to get back to work. Maybe I'll post some pictures tomorrow. Or maybe I'll just finish the other book I'm reading - a serial killer in New Orleans - yikes!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Magpie Tales, Week Nine


Requiem

The mirror reflects
my dissatisfaction.
Done, though.
Just done.

A small university choir
singing a difficult composer.
It won't be pretty – so I'm prepared
to be witty with my criticism.



They sang: Requiem aeternam dona nobis
Grant them rest eternal
Et lux perpetua luccat eis
And light perpetual shine on them forever.

They sang: Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi
Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world
Dona eis requiem
In thy mercy grant them rest.

There is no wit in death.
Those eyes of reproach
and bewilderment.
Those eyes of David.

In retrospect, I find
that the mirror was
more than kind –
and the color of my lipstick

does not matter.

In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, and a lovely performance of John Rutter's Requiem at Dr. M's university.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Project 365 – Week Fifteen

For those who are worried about me after Thursday's post – all is well. I know I mostly blamed hormones, but frankly I think the major problem was that my boss was on vacation & work was MIND NUMBINGLY BORING. It put me into a stupor. Or a torpor. Or a storpor. Something like that. I'm all better now.


Sunday, April 4th

On Sunday Dr. M & I explored a local fen. If you want to see the rest of the pictures, just go to this post.


Monday, April 5th

On Monday Dr. M had a photo shoot with a squirrel in our back yard.



Tuesday, April 6th

When I got home from work my feet were so hot – a rare (and portentous?) occurrence. The grass felt heavenly!


Dr. M took pictures of some of the budding trees on his way home – this Bradford Pear tree is lovely.


 Wednesday, April 7th

On Wednesday I vacuumed the house. I have a hate-hate relationship with my vacuum cleaner. I know that sounds harsh, but it's true! It's not really this particular vacuum – I just have very little patience for the activity. But now it's done for another month! (You think I'm kidding, don't you?)



Thursday, April 8th

On Thursday Dr. M saw a toad by the house. Of course, I immediately thought about O Brother Where Art Thou: "We thought you was a toad!"


And here are the first signs of the wildflowers Dr. M planted in the flower bed. At least we hope they're flowers – kind of hard to tell at this point LOL.



Friday, April 9th

Friday I walked around the neighborhood taking flower pictures. These are from a church near our house – a redbud tree & some gorgeous tulips.




Saturday, April 10th
I took another walk around the neighborhood this morning. This is what happens when good geese go bad!



Go here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants.