Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Miscellany

Here are some things.

  •  Look – we had sun yesterday & today! I made Dr. take a picture of it. And tomorrow we’re going to have ice and/or snow and/or rain. They’re not really sure. You know I’ll report back to you about it.

  •  This morning I emailed Dr. M that I thought it was RUDE that it was 14 degrees when I left the house. I guess I wasn’t expecting it to be that cold. (A little voice inside my head is going, “hellooo silly girl - January in Ohio!”) Dr. M said that it was rude up at school too.
  •  I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this on here, but I downloaded an audio book that I can only listen to while I’m exercising. So far it’s working – I’ve Gazelled four days in a row. It’s Guilty Pleasures - a vampire mystery book (the first one of the Anita Blake series). I find that listening to a book about vampires really encourages me to work out harder. Do I think I’m running away? Whatever works!
  •  In my car I’m listening to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’m fascinated by the mystery in the book. I don’t know why I assumed it was an entirely different kind of book, but it’s right down my alley.
  •  I realized yesterday after I recorded the video that I actually don’t say, “remote” – I say “clicker.” I felt that was a vital item to clear up. I feel better now.
  •  I’ve been sitting here for 5 minutes & I have nothing else to say so I’m shutting up now.
Are you in the storm’s path? Inquiring minds want to know!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Post In Which I Reveal My Boring Accent

My friend Jayne posted this vlog (video blog post) last week & I thought it looked like too much fun to miss. Of  course, Jayne with her Georgia accent was more fun than mine will be. I still have a twinge of a southern accent, but it’s mostly gone now. I remember when I was a child visiting my aunt & uncle in West Virginia (this was the trip where I learned that North Carolina fought for the south – devastating to me! Why were we call North Carolina if we were rebels?) the local kids loved to ask me to say things like “rice” and “pocket book.” Apparently I sounded pretty southern then. Perhaps I lost my accent while giving speeches in high school. Or maybe it was in Zambia where I was trying especially hard to articulate. Whatever, the following vlog is going to be pretty boring with my mostly Ohio accent now.

Here’s the prompt:

Say these words:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

Answer these questions:
•What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
•What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
•What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
•What do you call gym shoes?
•What do you say to address a group of people?
•What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
•What do you call your grandparents?
•What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
•What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
•What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

And here is the vlog:

So, I’d like to challenge my readers from other countries to do this – it would be a lot more interesting for those of us on this side of the pond!

Dr. M just listened to the video & the last word got cut off - I'm not going to edit it, so I'll just say that the word is "remote."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekly Wordzzle

I missed the Wordzzle last week – I just couldn’t seem to get it written. This week’s is my usual drivel, but I think it’s good for my brain anyway. Please remember to go to Raven’s blog to see what other folks have written!

Words for the miniambition, charter, bug spray, business as usual, cheap

Well, it’s business as usual in the Bug household. I’ve been muttering at my computer so much (aren’t there any cheap cell phone plans?) that Dr. M is threatening to get out the Bug Spray. Or charter a boat to escape the madness. I might not have a lot of ambition, but at least having a job keeps me out of his hair for five days a week and just might save our marriage!

Words for the 10 worder: kissing cousins, macaroni and cheese, chasm, orange glow, bucket list, eucalyptus, charged, handy, superior, eagerly   

Yvonne was pretty sure that sneaking into an empty building in the middle of the night was not on her bucket list. Learning to water ski on Lake Superior, yes. Not-so-eagerly running across the chasm of the parking lot, no. Empty buildings were kissing cousins of haunted houses in her opinion, and to be avoided at all costs. Entering the lobby she noticed a familiar scent in the air – was that eucalyptus incense? And under her office door there was an orange glow reminiscent of cheap macaroni and cheese (an analogy that made Yvonne realize she’d missed dinner). Was it on fire? And wouldn’t that just be handy? She returns to the office to get her forgotten cell phone (charged by this time) and it’s on fire. Opening the door she saw the candles first, then the incense burners, and then the tangle of arms & legs on her desk. The security guard was using her office for a tryst – eww! Grabbing her phone, Yvonne ran out of the office making a note to call maintenance in the morning – she needed a new desk pronto. And they should fumigate the office while they’re at it! 

2011 Project 365 – Week Five

The theme this week is, “how long oh Lord?” Cold, gray, snow covered days. Thank goodness for the occasional cardinal and for neighbors who still want to bring light to this monotone land.

Sunday, January 23rd
Speaking of cardinals… I wonder what the grass is going to look like under the feeder? If the snow ever melts I guess we’ll find out!

I was amused that my new gloves matched my dish cloth. Did you know that the gloves work much better when they don’t have a hole in them? It’s true!

Monday, January 24th
Dr. M took this picture on his way to school. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 25th
This is the State of the Bug picture for the week. On Monday I saw a wrench light on my dashboard so Dr. M drove the Saturn to see if he could tell what might be wrong (nothing, thank goodness!). So here I am getting to drive the Bugly to work! (Click here to read about the Bugly.) I actually prefer to drive my Saturn, but the Bugly was a fun switch for a day.

Many of our neighbors in town still have Christmas lights up. It’s just so dreary that we are most grateful for the chance to smile as we drive by. And, appropriately, one house has left its Abominable Snowman in the yard. Thanks Dr. M for capturing the silliness!

Wednesday, January 26th
The practice field at Dr. M’s university. Let’s just sigh again :)

Thursday, January 27th Woo hoo! I got to go to lunch with a friend! We went to an Indian buffet – very reasonable & yummy.

S didn’t even mind me taking her picture – perhaps she just decided that it was inevitable & that she should just get it over with. When she used to work with me people would ask if she was my daughter. Which I think technically could have happened, but it would have been a scandal.

Friday, January 28th
Lots of pictures today – most of them taken by Dr. M.

And here is one he took to prove that not all of our roads are snowy!

On my way home from work I saw a patch of blue sky!!

Saturday, January 29th
When I got home yesterday this was on my computer desk – Dr. M bought bugs for his Bug :)

I’ll leave you with another cardinal picture.

Go to Sara's blog here to see the blogs of all the other Project 365 participants.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Is it already Thursday? Time to be thankful I reckon! Some of these are things I've already talked about, but I think they're worth mentioning again.
  • I am extremely thankful that the only lingering issue from my spectacular fall at work on Monday is a very tender place on my knee. I didn't sprain or tear anything, & my muscle aches are mostly gone.
  • I'm thankful that I'm completely over my cold. I've enjoyed sleeping in the bed this week – although our futon is actually very comfortable.
  • I'm thankful for the lovely taste of peanut butter on Braeburn apple slices. Yum!
  • I'm thankful that the "service" wrench that showed up on my car dashboard disappeared & hasn't shown up again. I drove the Bugly on Tuesday so Dr. M could assess what the car might need - & it turns out that it's just fine. Whew!
  • I'm thankful that Dr. M had a very successful civil rights event at school this week. It's the kind of thing that makes him very happy, which of course means that I'm happy.
  • I'm thankful for the milder temps this week. And I can't believe I just called 27 degrees mild.
There you have it – apparently I could go on all day, but I'll leave it at six. What are you feeling thankful for today? Don't forget to check out Greg's blog to see other thankful posts.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crooked Line

Crooked Line

I am a crooked line
in all manner of things,
bumping hips with you
as we walk this road.
I veer into the wood
creating havoc
in the underbrush -
no stalker of prey, I.
Over and over
you rescue me
from thorns of
my own making.
There is a spring
in this wood.
Icy water in an
ancient tin dipper.
Thirst quenched,
I let you lead
me home.

This is a Magpie Tale and a One Shot Wednesday poem. Please visit those sites read some excellent poetry (and stories!).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Miscellanea

There was much rejoicing in the Bug household this weekend: my cold has been kicked to the curb - & it took that annoying cough with it. The only lingering symptom is that my voice wants to go away too. Dr. M might consider that a blessing except that its absence hasn’t made me stop talking, so I’m even more annoying. I exaggerate – my voice isn’t really all the way gone, just trying to head that way.

I took a three hour nap yesterday. Three Hours! And had no trouble at all getting to sleep last night. So of course I’m concerned that I have some kind of disease where I sleep all the time. And I do have such a disease. It’s called WINTER. Sigh.

This morning as I was walking into the building I tripped on a rug and did a face plant. Well, actually, my face didn’t hit the ground, but most of the rest of me did. I was just grateful that I didn’t land on my tail bone since it’s finally almost healed from my April 2009 injury. So now I have all of these extra aches & pains. And the humiliation. Because of course there were witnesses. I can’t believe they didn’t laugh – I usually laugh (even though I feel terrible about it). They were nicer than I am. Thank goodness. But I wish there’d been a video – I think it would have been fairly entertaining to post it here.

I’m not feeling very creative these days. I don’t want to write. I don’t want to read. Mostly I just want to play solitaire on the computer and sleep. But I don’t think that’s an ok action plan for the next few months until spring, so tonight I’m going home & doing some form of exercise. That should help with the energy level. Plus I’ll feel like I deserve extra sleep since I’m working so hard.

Gray sky, white fields
Trees aching with cold
I ache too – in my bones
And in my soul
Winter has hold of my joy
Inertia my constant companion
But I shall fling out this hymn
Singing with wild abandon:
“Come spring come sun
Come rivulets and lambs
Come soft silky breezes
Bring warmth to my hands.”
Hemmed in by January
I dream of rows of corn
White fields and gray sky
Are transformed, transformed

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Poetry Bus – the Heat is On

NanU is driving the bus this week & has asked us to write about something we like that other people might not like. I had posted my brilliant grapefruit poem last summer, but using it would be cheating because I hate grapefruit. Apparently a lot of people do like it. Strange.

So I decided to write about another thing that I like that I know at least one other person doesn't like (poor Dr. M). Please note: this poem is totally tongue-in-cheek; however, the sentiments expressed herein are absolutely true.

How warm is
too warm,
A Bug at rest
likes to bake
until she is
just this side
of dry roasted.
Ah, glorious heat…
A Bug not at rest
requires a sudden
cessation of warmth.
A fan, perhaps?
Or open the door?
Let's turn on the air!
Get right on that Dr. M
would you please?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Project 365 – Week Four


Surprise, surprise – this week we had more snow and ridiculously low temps.

Sunday, January 16th
On Sunday Dr. M took a picture of this junco which came to visit – guess we have enough snow for it now.

I took a picture of the fine establishment where I got our dinner :)

Monday, January 17th
On Monday I just decided to take a random picture of our Christmas tree. I'm still enjoying it!

Tuesday, January 18th
Dr. M took this picture of the campus deer. I like how they're practically camouflaged in the trees.

Wednesday, January 19th
Dr. M finally got a good picture of a frozen pond (we had tried a few weeks ago without much success).

The tax time pig decided to ditch his New Year's duds and put on a coat of many colors instead.

Thursday, January 20th
This is the State of the Bug picture this week. Last week everyone did a great job of guessing that I was COOLLLDD. This week I won't make you guess. This is supposed to show my apprehension at driving to work during a snowstorm. However, really, it's showing that there's something tragically wrong with my bangs.

While I was battling the elements, Dr. M was taking another picture of one of our cardinals.

The drive to work was actually not too bad, but this is my commute home. I left work early so that I could get home before dark.

And, yes, I took a picture of me fiercely concentrating on the road. While taking a picture of myself. I'm not right, I know.

Friday, January 21st
After getting our 6 ½ inches of snow on Thursday & overnight into Friday, our bird restaurant was quite busy. They are so funny – knocking the seed out of the bird feeder onto the ground.

Ah yes, of course the penguins are indignant!

Dr. M took this picture on his way home from school. Doesn't it look cold? It was probably around 4 degrees. Brrr!

 Saturday, January 22nd 

And the cold continues today.

Dr. M went out into the freezer to get this picture of the moon.

I think it's pretty cool how you can totally see the missing slice of moon - it looks like the picture on our atomic clock up there!

We may or may not get out in this today. If we get any interesting pictures I'll post them next week!

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

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday

What an interesting week this has been! I've been slowly getting better – just have the lingering cough thing, which frankly is more annoying to the people around me than it is to me (sorry boss & Dr. M). Work has been extra busy for about a week now. I often joke that I don't really work very hard, and it's true that we can have (long) periods of downtime, but this past week was a major exception. In addition to a dramatic increase in my usual workload, my old boss in HR is between admins so I've been helping her, and the admin for our president quit unexpectedly, so I've been helping him. Yes, that's right, I'm doing the work of three admins right now. And I LOVE it! I much prefer being busy & figuring out how to do new things. And of course I like proving how indispensible I am to the company. Heh. So, I'm extra thankful for my job this week. 

Of course the extra work means I don't get around to all my usual blogs as quickly. And my comments might be brief & nonsensical. Well, that's actually probably not that different, is it?

I'm also thankful for my Bible Study group. We're small, but mighty. We're reading The Good Book by Peter Gomes right now (actually we just finished the first chapter) and I do believe I might be getting ready to learn some things.

I'm thankful that Dr. M and I discovered some encouraging financial news this week. We still need to work on this area, but it felt nice to hear something good for a change.

I'll leave you with this odd poem that just appeared from my fingertips:

Where is your sad heart?
On a peg by the door…
ready to be donned
at any moment.
For now, though
I shall dance
in the firelight
with God.

Check out Greg's blog to read what other folks are thankful for this week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Evening Miscellanea

Still hacking. Still not sure the cure is worth the disease (darn Mucinex). I slept pretty well last night but then apparently needed a two hour nap this morning too. I am just now starting to feel human again, just in time for the nighttime coughing to start. But tonight I will. Not. Give. In. No meds other than cough drops or it will be dangerous for me to drive to work. And lord knows we don't need any negative factors other than my own insanity to affect my driving.

Dr. M was awesome today. I sat groggily up on the futon this morning & announced that I needed to do some laundry (this is true – all my work pants were dirty – it's like after three days off I decided I would never have to go to work again). He told me to go back to sleep & then he did my laundry. And then later in the day when I still looked fairly confused about life he went to get groceries. I did bestir myself to vacuum & mop while he was gone.

I just realized that I haven't taken a picture today – excuse me while I grab the camera…

There – I took a picture of our Christmas tree. I may have mentioned before that I suggested that we leave it up until March. It's not in the way. It makes me smile. So there!

I'm in the midst of reading another free book on my kindle. It's a mystery/romance. And one of the characters is supposed to be speaking in a Texas dialect. It's VERY distracting, but mostly because she keeps saying "ya'll" to the main character. I'm sure I've ranted on here before about this, but in my world "ya'll" is a contraction of "you all" and is not used to address just one person – unless you know that they have multiple personalities. I know that in other areas of the country "ya'll" is used differently. But oh my heavens I can hardly stand to read it that way. (I'm taking deep breaths to calm myself down again). I know I'll finish the book because I want to know what the mystery is, but it's slow going.

While I battled the effects of cold meds today, other people celebrated the life of a man who was a force for change in the world. A complicated man, and a dynamic one. He could have used that charisma for other pursuits, ones that would most likely have not gotten him killed. But instead he took that burden and raised it over his head & flung it out into the world to shatter at the feet of complacent America. 

…when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekly Wordzzle

Ah, it's Wordzzle time again! Apparently I've got a split personality this week – each story is completely different this week. In fact, one of them is a poem. After you've read mine you should go over to Raven's blog to check out the other participants. 

The Mini (article, blind, watery, leap, crescent)

Half blind,
gazing at
a watery
crescent moon,
I consider the leap
of my heart
across the article
of my faith:
There you are -
smiling through
the rain. 

The 10-Worder (newspaper, empty plate, tiger, box, chewing gum, heating, traffic, books, canary, shoe)

The Bug stood, perplexed, with one canary yellow shoe in her hand. Where in the world was its mate? Under the bed? No, although there was a pile of overdue library books (oops!) and one empty plate. After checking in the closet (no luck) she carried the plate to the kitchen. Just for fun she checked the freezer (nope!), but she did see tonight's chicken in there beside a box of popsicles and, mysteriously, a pack of chewing gum. Putting the gum on top of the fridge and the chicken in the fridge to thaw, (she checked twice to make sure of the order), she meandered to the living room. Stuffed tiger on the floor, heating pad on the chair, newspaper on the end table. Aha! A glimpse of yellow peeking out from under the couch. A banana peel! What in the world? Oh man, the traffic is so bad on Mondays, if she didn't find that darn shoe soon she was going to be late for work. Grumble grumble. Then a wisp of thought floated through her brain. It was kind of hard to be traipsing all over the house with one shoe on. And. One. Shoe. In. Her. Hand. Sigh. Checking the mirror in the hallway one last time to make sure she hadn't turned blond overnight, the Bug headed off to work.

The Poetry Bus - Stormy Weather

TotalFeckinEejit is driving his own bus this week! He has given us the following prompt: 

Write a poem. Don't think, just feel. Sit yourself down,stay quiet, find silence, concentrate on your breathing, feel your chest rise and fall, your heart beating, blood pumping.You are alive, so alive.Breathe in and breathe out,count those breaths, slowly look into your heart, your soul, how are you? Who are you? Are you happy/sad/ lost/ found/ confused/ certain.Are you where you hoped to be, do you know yourself? Are you who you were? Who might you yet be. Where might you be? Forget what your brain tells you that you know,and forget what your brain tells you to think, listen to your breath,tell me how you feel and why you feel it. How many breaths have you taken in this life? Think of them, focus on them. How many breaths are still to be taken? Disengage the brain and write from the heart.Close your eyes examine your breath, examine your life and feel!

Well, it just so happens that last August in the midst of reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert I wrote such a poem. I posted it for the One Shot Wednesday, so I apologize for the repeat for some of you.

Stormy Weather

I close my eyes.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Concentrate on that point
just over the horizon.
I imagine my thoughts
drifting by like clouds.
I imagine that I will
brush them aside
like some grand god.

Well, like some grand god
who takes each cloud
and examines it
minutely for chances
of rain or hail
or snow or sleet.
Because the weather
in my soul is always
tricky like that

I never get past these
turbulent clouds.
Is that all there is?
I am drifting in
a weather balloon
terrified that there
is nothing below me,
nothing within me.
Nothing at all.

Don't forget to make the rounds - read other responses to the prompt here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 Project 365 – Week Three (and a bonus picture)

Another week with a lot of pictures. I think you'll see that it's been a cold week here in central Ohio – brrr! 

Saturday, January 8th
I know I posted pics from Saturday last week – that's why this is a bonus picture. I just had to share the amazing sunset shot Dr. M took last Saturday night.

Sunday, January 9th 

After church on Sunday we decided to head back to our old stomping grounds and go to international uber grocery store Jungle Jim's. I didn't get any pictures of the store – you'll just have to check out the insanity at the website here. On our way down there we got behind this car. I've seen these tiger tails in trunks before & I can't decide – are they Cincinnati Bengals fans, or have they kidnapped the mascot?

We drove through our old apartment complex to see if they'd ever fixed the roofs after all the wind damage from 2008 – they had. This is our third floor apartment. Can't believe we lived in a one bedroom apartment for 12 years!

On our way home we drove along the Great Miami River. Looks chilly out there, no?

Monday, January 10th
Dr. M took this picture of Stumpy the Squirrel on his campus. He's called stumpy because his tail has issues.

On his way home he got this picture of a frozen landscape.

I've decided to add a weekly feature to my P365 posts – called The State of the Bug. What do you think my state is in this picture?

Tuesday, January 11th
More frozen landscape on Dr. M's way home from school.

It started snowing again on Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 12th
On Wednesday I decided to stay home from work – too snowy & too much coughing! I didn't know it, but Wednesday was not the day I felt sickest from my cold – I would have stayed home Thursday had I known! I did not want to step outside, so I took a couple of pictures from doorways. This one is from the back door.

And here are those poor put-upon penguins from the front door.

I also did a lot of reading. I wrote a review of my Kindle here.

While I was snug & warm at home, Dr. M was travelling these kinds of roads on his way home from school (this is not a main road – he likes to meander on his way home).

Thursday, January 13th
The cardinal is more of a regular visitor to the feeder now. I love how it looks like he's saying, "Oh man, here comes somebody else to eat my food!"

Friday, January 14th
Frozen river – this one is the Little Miami.

Saturday, January 15th
So last night Dr. M was worrying that we were out of bird seed & I said, "Oh they'll be fine – the snow has practically melted." Um, no. This is our back yard today.


[Dear Bug: I think I understand why we see the cardinal more often...there's four of them!]

Say hello to my leetle friends – thanks guys for making my week better! I am feeling a lot better – just in the coughing phase now. I'll be sleeping on the futon for a few days (the better to prop my head up) & then I'll be just fine.

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...