Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thoughts for a Gloomy Tuesday

• Why didn’t I write a blog post yesterday when I was home doing laundry & such? Instead I’m squeezing one in on my lunch hour because the first day back to work after vacation/holiday is CRAZY.

• Dr. M & I listened to Christmas music on our travels, periodically singing at the tops of our lungs (or maybe I was the only one bellowing – Dr. M actually sings). That Tanya Tucker sings a whale of an Away in the Manger by the way. And I don’t know why, but EVERY TIME I hear the Amy Grant Emmanuel/Little Town/Christmas Hymn suite I just want to bawl. It’s just so beautiful to me.

• I love how Dr. M’s mother is always so thrilled to see him. You can tell she thinks he’s the bees knees.

• I humiliated myself at the family Thanksgiving dinner and it’s Amy’s fault. She made me sing the Barbara Streisand version of the Lord’s Prayer (I was joking & said that we should sing that before the meal instead of having another prayer). Daddy helped, but it was NOT pretty. Oh well, I’m sure that will be the end of requests like that. On the other hand, the poem was well-received. Stick with what you’re good at Bug!

• Speaking of poems, one or the other of us (speaking to Dr. M here) needs to write our annual Christmas poem. We’re even (9 each), so it doesn’t matter which of us does the deed. We’ll see if the muse strikes sometime in the next couple of weeks.

• I’ve just been given a mission to find film for a Polaroid camera. The chickie (seriously – she’s probably 18) at the local Walgreens had NO IDEA what I was talking about. Then she pretended to go check & came back & said she was sorry she didn’t have anything that old. Ouch!

• Well, lunch is almost over – better get this posted. When I get home I’m going to look at some of my old Polaroid pictures & reminisce. Why, they’re only 35 years old!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Project 365 – Week Forty-Eight

Lots of pictures this week – and I left out more than I wanted to. Perhaps another post this week with more Thanksgiving pictures? Just for me & my family? You guys can skip it. Heh.

Sunday, November 21st
It was the end of the day & I realized we hadn't taken any pictures yet. This is our 9 ½ year old Madagascar Dragon tree decorated for Christmas.

Monday, November 22nd
Dr. M took this gorgeous sunrise picture on his way to work on Monday.

Tuesday, November 23rd
Look – I took another picture of the Tax Time Pig – this time you can see his tail feathers a little better.

This is a sunset picture from Dr. M. I share it because it's "my" sky – I made Dr. M use the deep blue of this sky in a painting.

And Christmas decorations in Yellow Springs. Look – a penguin! (I love penguins)

Wednesday, November 24th
Travel day – on our way to NC for the holiday. We stopped at a scenic overlook. Here's me with a river somewhere way below me.

This part of the overlook showed the bridge named for Cornelius H. Charlton. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Korea in 1951.

I had a lot of fun trying to take sunset pictures out the car window. Here's a reasonably non-fuzzy one.

Thursday, November 14th – Thanksgiving!
My Aunt M made a special Persimmon Pudding for my dad. Since this is one of my very favorite holiday foods I'm pretty sure I ate most of it.

My dad's family had a big gathering in the afternoon – lots of most excellent food. Here I am with my niece J. She was having a great time making faces for the camera, despite her mom's dire warnings that her face would stick that way.

Daddy & Amy performed their award-winning skit about the farmer taking a wife – it was hilarious. I should videotape it sometime.

Here's the crew, minus me (I ran out of formation to take the picture) and my Aunt L (she was resetting the camera for another picture).

Friday, November 26th
Just one picture from today – pansies from Daddy & Amy's yard.

Saturday, November 27th
Another day with a lot of pictures. Here is a sign by Daddy's driveway. He has too many pecans to be messing with walnuts. He hasn't had very many takers yet.

Dr. M took this great picture of a Blue Jay. I'm pretty sure this was the very same bird that knocked pecans onto the roof & woke me up.

Daddy's brother gave him a meat slicer which of course he had to try out even though he didn't have any meat to slice.

This label (courtesy of my dad) has been on the mirror in my parents' home since I was a kid. Maybe since the advent of the blow dryer? It amuses me that my mother never scraped it off, & neither has Amy. I guess we all know that we need the reminder!

Last night we went to another Thanksgiving gathering – this time with Amy's family. We had a great time (I'll send you the pictures Amy), but what I wanted to share most is this bottle tree at her daughter's house. Gorgeous!

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Poetry Bus – Who Wrote These Prompts?

Can anyone explain why I didn't write a prompt to match an already written poem? Instead I wrote three different prompts with no clue what my own effort might look like. Go to this post to read the prompts & check out the other bus passengers.

I'm not touching the first prompt. I have had plenty of arguments with God, but I'm not prepared to write about them. This is a family blog. 

Any response to the third prompt has the danger of being too precious right now. I already have the sentences bubbling up from the depths – they need to just stay down there until I feel more cynical about the trees or we'll all end up gagging. 

So that leaves Sam Neill – er, writing about my dream place. Some who know me might believe that it would be Big Rock Candy Mountain. And that might be close to the truth. Except for the gin. Blech. However, this is what happened when I wrote it down:

I try them on for size.
East and west
North and south
Small towns
Or wide open spaces
A mountainside filled
With rhododendron
Or a sandy refuge
By the sea
Lovely haunted
Lonely spaces

At the end of the day
I am on the road
Calling with my usual
"Hey sweetie!
I'm on my way home!"

When I add the phone call
To those daydreams
Any and all of those
Northerly southerly
Country town places
Bloom with life
And color and possibility
They bloom with you

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

[Note: This is not my Poetry Bus poem - it will publish tomorrow]

[2nd Note: I like having notes at the beginning of my posts - I think I'll use them all the time!]

Dr. M and I are in NC today celebrating with our families. This is the poem that I will be reading at the gathering for my Dad's side of the family. The picture is from last year.

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers…
                                         Philemon 1:4 (NIV)

This is not a roll call
of what we have lost.
It is not a cry for the
deep yearning of our hearts.
It is {thank you}

Like and aggravation
and a deep abiding love
fill this room.
{thank you}
We are young and not young,
time moving forward.
{thank you}
I think the bums
were voted in
and you think we're
finally on the right track.
{thank you}
There is the scent of
comfort & delight & pie
all around us.
{thank you}
I'm looking at you,
beautiful and real
right here with me.
{thank you}

My heart is full
to bursting
with {thank you}

For my readers in the US, I hope you have a great holiday. Everyone else can have a great day too (aren't I magnanimous?). What are you feeling thankful for today?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Poetry Bus is Driven by the Bug! (buckle your seatbelts)

[Note: I'm posting this early because we're leaving for NC in the morning. I'll still monitor things while I'm gone, but I wanted to get this post out there] 

As this is my first time driving the Poetry Bus I have to warn you that some of my friends consider me to be an unsafe driver. I disagree. I don't believe that trying to determine the exact moment when it's best to accelerate in a curve is unsafe. Exactly. In any case I will take extra care with TFE's fabulous bus. I won't go over 70 mph (128 km/h). Honest.

One of the reasons I haven't driven before now is that coming up with prompts is hard. And in fact, as I give you these three choices I'm not even sure that I'll be able to come up with a poem for any of them. But most of you have been at this Poetry Bus thing a lot longer than me, so I'm sure you'll have no trouble at all. So, pick one of the prompts below & have at it!
  1. In the first chapter of Isaiah God is having a fit. Quit giving me burnt offerings! Stop trampling my courts! Why do you even think I want that stuff? I am weary of bearing them… Wash yourselves! And then in verse 18 God says, "Come now, let us argue it out…" (NRSV) Now, you might not be a religious person, but I'm sure that even so you have wanted to argue with God (or Allah or the sun or your own super ego) in some manner. If you choose this prompt I'd like you to tell us about that argument.
  2. In the movie, The Hunt for Red October, Sam Neill (swoon) plays a defecting submarine officer. During a quiet moment in the film he tells Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) that he has always dreamed of living in Montana. SPOILER ALERT FOR A TWENTY YEAR OLD FILM! He dies before he makes it to the United States. Made me cry. Write about the place you dream of living someday. Or if you're lucky enough to already live there write about home.
  3. Although I have a legendary dislike of winter I think that the empty boughs of trees are beautiful. Write about leafless trees.
Watch this space! I'll post links to the bus passengers here:

120 Socks

Dick Jones' Patteran Pages

Peter Goulding at Stammering Poet

Rachel Fox at More about the song


Heather at Ragged Old Blogger

Kat at Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes

Jeanne Iris at Revolutionary Revelry

Dave King at Pics and Poems

Carolina Linthead (Dr. M!) at Musings of a Dislocated Southerner

Helen at Poetry Matters

Jinksy at Alias Jinksy

Chris at Enchanted Oak

Niamh at Various

Izzy at Conversing

Gerry Snape at The Potters House Penketh

SouthLakesMom at I didn't know THAT!

Lucy at Lucy By Lucy

Mrs. Trellis at Living Hell

Swiss at Travels in the Floating Elvis (#1)

Swiss at Travels in the Floating Elvis (#2)

Swiss at Travels in the Floating Elvis (#3)

Stafford Ray

Dr. FTSE at The Doc's Homeopathic Poems

Don't Feed the Pixies

Titus at Titus the Dog

Muse Swings

Himself at Total Feckin Eejit

Gospelwriter at Turtle Memoirs

Cad at A Trellis Fencing

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekly Wordzzle

I have nothing to say about the following efforts. Just that they're efforts thank goodness & not something that will be published or anything. Except on this blog. Please go to Raven's blog to see other Wordzzles – and try it yourself! As you can see, it doesn't have to be fabulous, and it's a great mental exercise. Really!

Words for the mini: thank, teacher, movies, unleash, lamp shade

There's a lamp shade in the middle of the floor. Why? I almost trip over it in my haste to get to the movies on time. As I carefully walk around it (why should I bother to put it back on the lamp?) I remember – oh! It's to remind me to write that thank you note to my teacher! I ignore lists, and to keep from unleashing the wrath of my grandmother's spirit I've resorted to drastic measures to help me remember basic courtesies. Sitting down at my desk, I take out a pen and a notecard. I'll be late for the movie, but I'll be able to put the lamp shade back on the lamp & that will be much safer for when I return in the dark!

Words for this week's 10-word challenge:  career, incense, prosperity, chloroform, cane, electrical outlet, preponderance, salivate, chopped liver, pillows  

I was propped up on about five pillows and gazing at the tray my "host" (Mr. Evil Kidnapping Man) had brought for my dinner. The sight of the chopped liver caused me to salivate. Which must have been a side effect of the chloroform because I hate liver. Blech. Although I had no idea how long I had been unconscious, so I was probably fairly hungry. I guess it's true that you will eat anything if you're hungry enough.

After EKM had taken the tray away I assessed my situation. I remembered leaning over to pick up the walking cane that had fallen into the pathway, and as I handed it back to EKM he put out his hand and my world went dark. I awoke in this bare room with a preponderance of totally empty walls. There wasn't even an electrical outlet. I caught the faint odor of ancient incense and wondered if I had been taken to the old monastery.

My recent career change had brought new prosperity to my life. Apparently I was either being admonished that I should live more simply, or I was going to pay out some of that new prosperity so that EKM could live less simply. Time would tell.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Project 365 – Week Forty-Seven

It's the week before Thanksgiving! Good heavens where has this year gone?

Sunday, November 14th
Dr. M had an event on campus on Sunday, so of course there were deer. This was my favorite picture.

Monday, November 15th
Dr. M took these great fog photos on his way to school on Monday.

The Tax Time Pig is a turkey. Really – you can tell better from another angle (which you can't see because I'm a coward & won't turn around & take a picture from that side). And this week he has company!

Tuesday, November 16th
I got some very welcome news in this building on Tuesday.

And we got some much needed rain!

Wednesday, November 17th
Most of our newspaper ripened tomatoes have been small. But look at this whopper!

Thursday, November 18thThis is a bench outside the Yellow Springs Public Library. I love it!

We definitely still have a lot of nice fall foliage here.

This is my attempt at taking a picture of a sheep on a hay roll (as mentioned here). It was too dark & this is a gazillion times lightened picture so the quality is pretty bad. But I think you can sort of tell. Can you tell that's a white donkey in front of the hay?

Click on the picture to make it larger

Friday, November 19th
I went to an after work gathering of some friends who used to work with me. Here are three of them – the redhead in the middle used to be my boss (I worked for her for 11 years). The last time you saw T (on the right) she was extremely ready to give birth.

There is an inside joke to these boots, but I'm too nice to spell it out – sorry T!

The moon looked really cool last night with a bit of a haze. This is what it looked like when Dr. M took its picture.

Saturday, November 20thMy friends and family will be astounded to hear that I got up at 6:00 this morning. That's a.m. I'm getting old, aren't I? Don't older people get up early for no reason? Except I don't think Daddy & Amy get up all that early… Not saying they're old. I think I'll stop now. Anyway despite the fact that I was up, Dr. M took these pictures of the early morning frost & fog.

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

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Poetry Bus is Inside my Head

The Poetry Bus is being driven by Chris at Enchanted Oak this week. She has asked for:

Poems that address your existence on this earth. Good, bad, or indifferent, tell us something, anything, about your life here.

I've already complained to her that this prompt required contemplation, which is sort of a foreign place for me to be. I'm thinking that I side-stepped the intent of the prompt - and additionally it's not really poem, exactly (it's just a few paragraphs with hard returns in odd places). Wait - aren't all my poems like that?

I wanted to be a librarian.
All those lovely books
and that quiet – shhh!
It was a fine dream
until Mr. Dewey Decimal
did me in.

I wanted to be an accountant.
I could make money!
And count money!
And it would be quiet too.
But I don’t have the temperament
for sober contemplation of numbers.

I was tricked into Human Resources -
all of those stories
and all of those problems.
Oh! The din in my head!
I am not a people person.
So I fled the field in relief.

Sitting in my quiet office
watching geese fly across
a pewter sky
I am at perfect peace.
Tinker tailor soldier spy -
I wonder what I’ll try next?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

If I Only Had A Brain...

• My brain is on a blog break – apparently the relief of being (relatively) ok sent it on vacation. However, I don’t need my brain to blog. Really!

• Kimberly said something about good news coming in threes. Well, I’m very disappointed that, in addition to my good news on Tuesday, we did not win the lottery, and I did not run out of the inferior dental floss I’ve been sacrificially using for six months (I bought two – why???). Of course I can’t just toss it. I have to use it until the bitter end. Then, and only then, can I start using my preferred woven floss. It’s a miracle my teeth haven’t fallen out.

• I’ve been asked to write a Thanksgiving poem for our family gathering next week. I hope my brain comes back before I have to produce it – otherwise my family will get a very interesting offering. And by golly they’ll have to be thankful about it! (Not to worry Aunt V, I think I’ve actually written something that will be ok. Maybe).

• The dark evenings have me feeling like it’s bed time at around 7:00 these days. And I ask you, why not just go to bed then? There’s no law that says I have to stay up until 10:00. In fact, I could go to bed at 7:00 and then sleep until 6:30. Normal is not the boss of me! (Obviously)

• We’re back to the season of sheep standing on top of hay rolls. Cracks. Me. Up. And I recently had an epiphany about why I don’t see this in the summer. They eat grass in the summer. Smart sheep! Not so smart me.

I have no idea when this brain blog break will end, so you may expect similar “information” for the next little while. On Thanksgiving I’ll post my fabulous family poem! Or, you know, whatever I’m pretending is the fabulous poem. Don’t worry – I’m not taking a break until Thanksgiving. I’ve got a Poetry Bus poem to compose, a Project 365 to post and a Wordzzle to write. All of which will be highly entertaining without my brain. Woot!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Isn't it a lovely word? Benign cysts to be exact. Sorry to be such a drama queen before. I won't promise it won't happen again. Because I'm pretty sure that accounting was the totally wrong major for me in college.

So, now I can go back to worrying about trying to not eat so much at Thanksgiving. Whew!

P.S. Thanks for all the prayers & good wishes - they worked!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekly Wordzzle

It’s Wordzzle time again! Once again I’m not too sure about these, but I’ll keep plugging away. It’s doing something to some mental neurons, isn’t it? Please go to Raven’s site to check out other Wordzzles.

Words for the mini: martini, galloping, stallion, ocean, musical

Caryn regretted agreeing to meet Jack at The Musical Stallion. The problem wasn’t the stuffy atmosphere – it was the overt virility of her dinner companion. That, plus the restaurant’s name was so obvious. The tension was just about more than she could handle. Her martini hadn’t slowed her galloping imagination one iota. Staring out the window she could see the roiling ocean echoing her agitation. Finally, she could stand it no more and burst out laughing. Jack tried to look offended but manly, and that made her laugh even harder. “I’m sorry Jack,” she choked out, preparing to bolt from the room, “I just don’t think this is going to work.”

Well, at least maybe this fiasco would stop her mother from setting her up again. Maybe.

Word for the10 word challenge are: chilly, free for all, fit as a fiddle and ready for love, cows, phone book, casserole, witch, wedding, courage, passionate

Putting down her latest bodice ripper, Fit as a Fiddle and Ready for Love, Bug smiled as an old Chilly Willy cartoon came on TV. She was passionate in her love of penguins & he was such a cutie. Hauling another forkful of casserole to her mouth she pondered the free for all that was probably happening at her office right that minute. She didn’t have the courage to face it so she was playing hooky – taking a mental health day.

“Ha!” she crowed, “Those cows I work with need some mental health – especially that witch of a boss.”

“Ooh Bug! Calm down your rhetoric there! You know that Ms. Witch, I mean, Gitch, is planning her wedding & it’s a stressful time.”

Bug waved off Dr. M’s comments – he was always so nice all the time. No fun at all to get a good rant going around him. In fact, if it had been within her reach she would have tossed the phone book at him. Not that their small town produced a big enough one to do any actual damage.

Please note that this is a work of fiction. I neither work with cows nor have a witch for a boss.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Project 365 – Week Forty-Six

Once again I have not done a good job of narrowing down the pictures I chose. And, really, on a couple of days I left out several pictures that I really wanted to use. Perhaps I should just do a blog post about those particular days.

Sunday, November 7th
Frozen bird bath! Dr. M poured hot water on it because when he looked out he saw some very confused looking birds trying to peck at the ice. They were most appreciative of his efforts.

I don't know if it was the bird bath or my low level scary news, but Dr. M up and decided to put up our Christmas tree on Sunday! We haven't put it up in several years because we didn't really have space. But this year he just made space. After thanksgiving I will probably get our other ornaments out to add to the tree.

Monday, November 8th
The Tax Time Pig was appropriately dressed for Veterans Day this week.

Dr. M was at school late on Monday because he was hosting a presentation by a Lewis and Clark re-enactor. This gentleman had walked most of the Lewis and Clark trail from the Ohio River to Oregon.

Tuesday, November 9th
Dr. M caught a dog fight in action!

Wednesday, November 10th
One of the many fields Dr. M passes on his way to and from school.

Thursday, November 11th
For some reason it amuses me no end that there are still dandelions in November. They're probably always there & I just never notice them.

Friday, November 12th
What! It's a picture of a deer herd! This one appears to be giving Dr. M the eye.

And, ho! Pictures of sheep! This was one of the days where I struggled – Dr. M got a lot of great pictures of sheep on this day.

Saturday, November 13th
Dr. M's birthday! He gave a (very well received) lecture at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati in the early afternoon, so we decided to celebrate by eating at the Hofbrauhaus by the river in Newport, KY. We were able to eat outside, which I thought was pretty amazing on November 13. Here he is with his one beer of the evening (I think one was enough, don't you?).

I decided to post pictures of what we ate. I did not eat all of that wiener schnitzel! I did try to eat all of my broccoli to balance it out. Heh. The apple strudel was absolutely fabulous.

Sunset in Newport. We had a great time – I was so glad that Dr. M enjoyed his day.

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

2024 Project 365 – Week Twenty-three

As I had hoped, this week was a bit less chaotic – I worked a lot of hours, but they were orderly and I made headway on some of the tasks on...