Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Good to Shut Up Sometimes


When I was in the 4th grade I learned that not everyone was fascinated with every little thing I said. Not that I remember being such a big talker, but apparently explaining to my teacher in detail why I had gone to the eye doctor to get my new glasses but had returned without them (they weren’t ready) was too much talking. To give her credit, the other kids were taking a test & I had burst into the room all chatty-like – she was just trying to shush me. But my little ego was devastated. I’m sure I was told to hush countless other times in my life, but this is the one time that I remember with clarity. Or maybe what I remember is that clutch in my stomach, that rush of heat to my face, that blurry vision that had nothing to do with new glasses that weren’t ready. And to add insult to injury I had to take a test!

Since then I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing other people’s body language. Is that smile becoming strained? Is she shifting restlessly in her seat? Is he screaming in his head, “just shut up already!”? Frankly, it’s exhausting – and I’ve found myself more than once wishing for a mouth sized strip of duct tape.

And yet I still prattled on, about my dream last night or the way my hair is driving me crazy or that hilarious blog post I just read, or the fact that cardinals (the birds, not the ball players) always look like they’re in a bad mood.

Just lately I’ve been wishing that I would just shut up & let all the voices in my head have their way for a while. That maybe if I stop talking over the top of them they’ll get everything off of their chests & leave me alone. Anxiety and Anger, Mortification and Narcissus, all clamoring for my attention, teeming behind banal chatter.

I have been thinking about taking a blog and Facebook break for Lent this year. And I’m still undecided about Facebook, but I’m now sure that I’m going to take a blogging break. I’ll still post P365 pictures on Sundays (they’re feast days after all), but nothing else until Easter.

Lent begins on February 13, but I don’t really see any reason to wait until then.  So I’ll see you guys here after Easter! (Well, actually I’ll see you here on Sunday - & I’ll still read other people’s blogs so I’ll see you there too.)



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

All my Hopes and Dreams...

I'm in a bit of a blogging funk lately (well, frankly it's not just blogging - I feel amazingly unmotivated at the moment). I assume that I'll snap out of it at some point. In the meantime, I've written a post for Rachel Fox's new blog all our hopes and dreams. Here's a snippet:
When I was a child I thought like a child, with a child’s preoccupation with her own needs. My world was about 5 miles square, and I hoped that my cousin Kim could spend the night, and I prayed that Mama & Daddy would let us “do” church at home on Sunday instead of trying to put on those tights...
To read the rest (and see the tights in question), go here.

P.S. Rachel is actively seeking submissions for this blog - everyone is welcome! Just email her a contribution (in any form... poem, prose, song, photo, story, notes...) to admin@crowd-pleasers.net.




Saturday, January 26, 2013

2013 Project 365 – Week Four


It was a snowy week around here – more so for Dr. M than for me. Fortunately for you, he took pictures!
Saturday, January 19th  
I mentioned last week that Dr. M was working on his brakes.


I think he needed new pads, don’t you?


After he finished we went for a spin to make sure they worked. And we found sheep – imagine that!



Sunday, January 20th  
The Moon!


Monday, January 21st           
One of our snowy days.


Tuesday, January 22nd
The geese are on the move again.


I wonder if you can read their configurations like you can read tea leaves?


Wednesday, January 23rd    
I had made this scarf for a coworker last week & forgot to photograph it. She wore it to work today so I could get a picture.


Dr. M came home to a back yard overrun with starlings! Very Hitchcockian I must say.



Fortunately this guy ran them off.


Thursday, January 24th    
Snow pictures.



The State of the Bug – I finished a scarf to match the blue hat. I was going to give this set away, but the scarf has “issues” so I’ll make another set to give away.


Friday, January 25th      
It snowed a lot on Friday morning. Dr. M took these pictures on his way home from school. It didn’t snow nearly as much down where I work – in fact I didn’t have to pay attention to the road at all on my way home until I reached our neighborhood. I mean, of course¸ I paid attention to the road, I just didn’t have to be careful. Um, I think I’ll stop talking now.




Fat cardinals in the back yard.


I was craving cake & a friend posted this recipe on Facebook, so I had to try it. Not bad!



[Note: Here's the recipe - sorry I didn't include it earlier!]

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
2 Tbsp cocoa
Pinch salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp water

Mix dry ingredients, then mix in oil & water. Nuke for 1 minute 40 seconds. Careful – it’s hot!


Another Facebook friend’s son underwent a stem cell transplant January 14th beginning 100 days of living in a sterile environment while his body rebuilds his blood cell system from the ground up. A group of us marked our calendars for April 24th (the 100th day) & we’re counting down each day until then. Today his mom reported: "Well everyone it's official, John Wiseman has turned the corner. On Wednesday his white blood cell count went from .1 to .2 and as of today its .8. His body has accepted his stem cells and his body is making its own cells. He is still weak and we have a long way to go but it's at least a positive report…“ (That went into my “Good Things” jar)




Go to Mamma Fran’s blog here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants. Have a great week!

Most of our photos are taken with a 12 megapixel Nikon D5000 DSLR, using a 55-200mm zoom lens. This is the camera that Dr. M takes with him most days. He also takes pictures with our old reliable 7 megapixel Canon Powershot A710.  The Bug uses our new Nikon Coolpix S6200 most of the time. If you’re interested in which camera was used for a particular shot, just ask! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

50% Out of Touch


The other day I was doing a seek-a-word puzzle. The list of words was things that don’t get used very often anymore. And at that moment I realized that I have no chance of ever being cool again. (Um, not that I was ever cool, exactly, but I did get a computer before anyone else in my family. I think.)

Here’s the list. The things I still use are in red:

Bobby pin (yeah I use those sometimes)
Fax (We still fax at work)
Floppy disk
Ice tray (Dr. M & I don’t have no fancy schmancy refrigerator)
Landline (For now anyway)
Maps  (I LOVE maps! Which is good because I don’t have a GPS or a fancy schmancy phone)
Pager
Pay phone
PDA (I still listen to music on my PDA)
Phonebook (Admittedly, this is pretty rare & only at my dad’s house)
Tape deck (Every single day – it’s the method I use to listen to my MP3 audio books through my car speakers)
Typewriter
VCR (Well, we would if we had one that worked)
Wake-up call
Walkman
35 mm film

So, I’m over 50% out of touch with current technology. I’m cool with that.

Monday, January 21, 2013

One Today

I was kind of blown away by Richard Blanco's poem for today's inauguration. I don't know why it spoke so deeply to me. Perhaps because it started out in the Smoky Mountains, or because he talked about his mother ringing up groceries (as my mother cleaned houses & worked in a convenience store), or maybe it was this line:

...or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever.

Whatever the reason, if you haven't experienced it you really really should. You can go here to read the text. Or you can listen to him read it now.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

2013 Project 365 – Week Three


This has been quite a week in the Bug household. I took my car in to find out why the “Service Engine Soon” light was on & found out that it needed over $1,300 in repairs. Ugh. This encouraged Dr. M to order the parts to fix the brakes on his car & he’s out there even now working on side number 2 (did I mention that he’s handy to have around?) & saving us about $500 in labor. 

Thursday my friend & former choir director Joanne died. She had been unhappy and pretty ill for a while now, but it was sad to let her go. She was a woman with many talents, with a voice like an angel, with the ability to skewer an errant choir member with just a look, & my Tuesday night supper companion.

And in the midst of all that I worked on a giant filing project for three days at work that left my hands too sore to crochet!
Saturday, January 12th  
Chicadee-dee-dee…


Sunday, January 13th  
My sister-in-law gave Dr. M these terribly cute little sheep. Of course I like the black one best :)


I finally got Amy’s scarves ready to mail, along with a hat for a friend (which had been ready since before Christmas – oops). Also finally wrote my Christmas thank you notes and some letters for people’s birthdays.


Monday, January 14th          
Dr. M saw the campus herd Monday morning. (Yes, this is the same as last Monday – but I think the deer are different)




I finished a hat for a coworker who has cancer and a blogger friend (hey Karen!).


Tuesday, January 15th
Dr. M had some fun taking night pictures on his way home from school.

Is it just me, or do those squiggles look like rabbits bounding across the road?



Wednesday, January 16th    
Sheep and cows aren’t the only critters who stare at Dr. M.


Hawk.


Icicles.


I got myself a three-pack of readers & stashed one pair on my desk at work, one on my desk at home & one in the bathroom. I was trying to figure out the best place to keep the pair at work & realized that they fit perfectly on my paper holder.


I finished two more hats. The blue one is unclaimed & the other one is for another blogger friend (hey Ellen!). I think that they both need a little more work.


I wore the blue one home. I was listening to a Stephanie Plum audio book (Notorious Nineteen) & I think this was just after the part where her car was blown up by a rocket launcher – again. The State of the Bug – alarmed!


Lastly (I know – a lot of pictures this day), the sky was glorious as I entered our little town!


Thursday, January 17th    
More deer pics – they’re hanging out by the railroad tracks.


Friday, January 18th      
Another day with a lot of pictures. First up, squirrels!




Evidence of my filing. Now multiply that stack by about 15 & that’s how many files I handled.


The moon!




Go to Mamma Fran’s blog here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants. Have a great week!

Most of our photos are taken with a 12 megapixel Nikon D5000 DSLR, using a 55-200mm zoom lens. This is the camera that Dr. M takes with him most days. He also takes pictures with our old reliable 7 megapixel Canon Powershot A710.  The Bug uses our new Nikon Coolpix S6200 most of the time. If you’re interested in which camera was used for a particular shot, just ask! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Heavy Stuff

--I am in the midst of a three day binge – my biyearly* Huge Filing Project. Yes, it’s huge because I forgot to do it last year. It involves moving many older closed files into boxes (in the process lugging the boxes around multiple times), and then moving files from the active file drawers to the recently depleted closed file drawers. It’s all very complicated, and always involves finding a file from 2007 that I can only hope will now fit in its box in the basement. Perhaps I should just create a new box called “Found 2007.”

All of this hard manual labor (hey – it’s hard manual labor to me!) is reminding me that last year sometime I promised myself that I would do some sort of weight training for my arms. I think that lasted about 2 weeks. And it is now evident that it might have behooved me to keep up with that stuff. Or alternatively, to take care of this file project in a more timely manner.

I’m a little concerned that I won’t be able to lift my arms to crochet anything tomorrow. Or drive. Can I file a Worker’s Comp claim if I can’t drive to work?

--Dr. M wrote an excellent post about the President’s proposed gun reforms. Read it here if you’re interested.

--My friend Joanne (she is our former choir director & I eat dinner with her every Tuesday) has been steadily declining over the last year and she has now been moved to a nursing home and is unresponsive. We've been told to visit & talk to her, so I'm meeting a fellow choir member there tonight - Tanya is bringing her guitar. Joanne has been near death before & rebounded & was able to move back home. So I'm not counting her out. But it also might just be time. Prayer, good thoughts, letters to Buddha - all would be appreciated.

Spring 2012
[Note: Joanne passed away about 45 minutes before I got to the nursing home. Her family let me go in to say goodbye.]

*I had to look up the term “biyearly” to make sure I was using it correctly (I wanted to say “every two years” not “twice a year”) & I found this way to remember which will now be forever burned into my brain: “…bisexual isn't someone who's attracted to half a gender, its someone who's attracted to two genders.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fly Free You Little Letter - Fly Free!

I've asked the person who delivers our interoffice mail to just slide it under the door since we keep it locked, so I don't have to get up so she doesn't have to wait until I get up to answer the door. She seems a little exuberant. Don't you think?



Sometimes it goes all the way under that desk. I have a sneaking suspicion that she's not very happy with our little arrangement. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Head to Toe

This is a repeat for my regular readers (from this post here), but when I saw the prompt for the Magpie I just couldn't resist!


A needle (or two –
if you are a knitter).
An hour or ten –
you aren’t a quitter!
A scarf, a hat,
a loverly shawl,
mittens & sweaters –
imagine them all.

In front of the TV.
On your lunch break at work.
While your children are sleeping.
Till you come to with a jerk.

Everyone you know
is covered head to toe.

Sigh.

Maybe…

Your nephew’s girlfriend’s mother
could use a scarf.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

50x50


It's time for my weekly review of  my 50x50 list. First of all, how am I doing on my daily/weekly items? Well, I'm reviewing the list now, so #1 gets a check mark - ha! I have NOT moved my body in any significant manner, although I've been pretty much well for about three days now. And although I have journaled my food every day it hasn't really curbed my sweet tooth. I've actually done ok with not eating frozen dinners and/or getting fast food. And I did text my brother once. But I'm really thirsty just thinking about all the water I did not drink [takes another big swig of water].

So, that's that. I didn't do any of the activities on the list. And now I'm adding some more - here are 26 - 35:

26. Visit Carillon Historical Park

28.  Try to crochet a garment for myself (not a hat or scarf. Maybe this.)
29. Get rid of my stamping & scrapbooking things (to make room for yarn – ha!)
30. Try to grow lettuce.
31. Finally visit Rita & Mike.
32. Meet K, J & S in the mountains like we’ve planned for two years now.
33. Give up cable and our land line (Dr. M & I have talked about this – I reserve the right to change this one if we change our minds).
34. Finally clean up all the clutter at the office (I know my boss would be thrilled about this one).
35. Make an appointment to see a dermatologist just because.

I had really better get started on checking some of these one-time things off the list! I'm off to look for that jigsaw puzzle someone gave me with all the chocolates on it (wait, doesn't that conflict with goal #7?).