Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Letter I’ll (probably) Never Send

Dear Facebook,

It’s been nice, it really has. I like seeing what my friends are up to even when what they’re up to is “liking” the UNC Tarheels and Paul Ryan. Diversity is good! Also, I enjoy playing Words With Friends, especially because I CHEAT. Good times…

I just played this word tonight. This is its definition:  No Definition of 'aedine' Found - It's still good as a Scrabble word though!

But I think I need a break from you so I can do other, more edifying, things. I’ve already put the Webkins in hibernation (literally – they’re so cute in their pajamas snoozing in their little beds).

Tile Towers (their version of Mahjong) was taking up entirely too much of my evening. I’ll wake them back up around Halloween so we can put their costumes on.

So Facebook, it’s farewell for now – later gator!


The Bug (who would rather work jigsaw puzzles than read about the evil in the world but who will miss the goofy pictures of dogs & cats & Dr. M)

This is from a campus event yesterday - my viking pirate!

 P.S. Who am I kidding? I’m too nosy to be out of the Facebook loop. I’ll just put a time limit on it. Yeah, right. A time limit. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grief and Great Joy

Big Room, 1948, by Andrew Wyeth

Grief and Great Joy

The rooms are almost empty.
It was a good place
to forge a career.
Time to move on.

Within these walls
I bottled a variety
of elixirs…

Grief and joy,
depression and apathy –
all stoppered and racked.

Sometimes the cork would fly
drenching us with some vintage
or other.

Today we leave the bottles behind.

This poem was written in 2009 - while Dr. M & I were moving away from the apartment where we had lived for 12 years.

This is a Magpie Tale.

Monday, August 27, 2012

One Pound Weights Will Work, Right?

There’s this log by the side of the road – I pass it on my way to work. It just appeared one day, out of the blue. I’m intrigued by it & wonder what it might have to tell me.

I was thinking of carrying it around like the Log Lady of Twin Peaks. Remember how her log told her things?

Source: flamelikeme

But I suspect that I’m not strong enough to carry around a log that large. So I started a weight training regimen.

How long do you reckon until I’m ready?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sundays in Zambia - Goodbye

This post originally appeared in February 2010.


This is the last Sunday in Zambia, unless I come up with some other topic later. The pictures here are mostly people from the Baptist Building where I worked. They worked in the music ministry, and the communications ministry, and the Sunday School ministry. The lady in the red, black & white striped dress is Mary, who made the afternoon meal. If I wanted to eat with the rest of the workers I paid her some amount of kwacha and I got nshima, & stewed tomatoes, rape (a type of green) & chicken. Good stuff. The picture of the two gentlemen standing outside is at the Baptist Complex where I lived some of the time. The guy on the left is Amos, our guard. He would salute as you drove through – just like Benny Hill. Tickled me every time I drove through those gates.

If I can survive
the mosquitoes
and the water
and the children's eyes,

 If I can weather
the banks
and the shortages
and the fear of AIDs,

 If I can handle
the window-bars
and the pedestrians
and the traffic jams,

 Then I can say that
I've experienced Africa.


If I can remember
the sky
and the rains
and Mr. Pete's steaks,

 If my heart hears
the music,
and the birds,
and the moaning wind,

If my being yearns
for the smile
and the handshake
and the elegant tread,

 Then I can say thatI've loved Africa.

The Bug

Saturday, August 25, 2012

2012 Project 365 – Week Thirty-four

The first week of classes for Dr. M, and a coming to my senses for me – it was what we call a busy week around here!
Saturday, August 18th
Dr. M & I took a ride up to Yellow Springs. He wanted to show me the flowers.

And cows.

And goldfinches on thistle!

After our drive we had a very late lunch at Peaches Grill. Dr. M tried the (excuse my language) Arrogant Bastard beer because it seemed quite appropriate for him. Ha!

Sunday, August 19th  
Our front hanging basket hasn’t been the most beautiful thing this summer, but it sure is popular!


The geese are on the move…

Monday, August 20th   
I found a park sort of near the office & took a quick walk. There were these cool stairs (that fortunately I was walking down).

A last picture of the chickens. They’ve gone away & we’re not sure where, but we suspect a neighbor complained about them. Stupid neighbor.

Tuesday, August 21st
I don’t get these often because of the packaging waste, but I love these tuna kits. There’s even a breath mint in there. Yum!

An octagonal barn that Dr. M likes.

That evening we had a rainbow - and precious little rain. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 22nd   
We had our summer “party” at work (where we listen to speeches & then eat snacks). This year it was at Dave & Buster’s – a game place with pool, arcade type games & stuff like that. This is Jodi and Mary (trying to hide behind Jodi - she wrote the poem about me in my last post).

The State of the Bug. Don’t I look thrilled?

The sweet potatoes we brought back from NC have taken on a life of their own! We did eat some of them Daddy – I promise!

There’s a moon in the sky!

Thursday, August 23rd        
At work we got the pleasure of paying money to throw wet sponges at managers (who thinks up these things?). It was for charity – this month we’re raising money for the United Way. This is my ex-boss.

Someone there had this great T-shirt. I’m not a Maryland fan, but change “The Good” to NC State & it would be perfect!

It’s called the moon!

Friday, August 24th          
Dr. M drove by the field of sunflowers again – you can never have too many sunflower pictures!

I went out to Bravo with some friends from work – this is the remains of my dessert plate. It was pretty good ya’ll.

Doves on a wire, enjoying the end of the week.

The weekly squirrel – I think he’s working on his plan of attack. Heh.

Go to Sara’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. 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, August 23, 2012

Various & Sundry

• I decided that my hair was thinning because my part looks wider & my head itches all the time (and great gobs of hair kept coming out in my brush). So I made a doctor’s appointment for next Monday. Then I went back & looked at pictures of myself from over a year ago. Um, yeah, my part looks exactly the same. My head still itches, but I think I’ll try the warm olive oil on my scalp thing & cancel the doctor’s appointment. And I apologize to all my friends & family at whom I’ve been panicking. But don’t think it won’t happen again. Bug, thy name is Hypochondria!

• I just realized I didn’t get a first day of school picture of Dr. M on Monday! I’m sure he was very cute in his First Day Outfit clothes he’s been wearing all summer to teach in…

• The chickens from next door are gone. They were there on Monday when Dr. M & I were discussing how he should make some wooden boxes to put in their little shed & then they were gone on Tuesday. I choose to believe that the neighbors gave them to some local farm where they can still run free & eat whatever they want. And I’m not asking so that I can maintain plausible deniability in my head.

• Apparently my coworker Mary finds me very random. I know you’re all surprised by that. This is from a chat we had yesterday:

- Dana: Sometimes I get confused & try to use the bathroom badge to open my office door. And then I can't figure out why it doesn't work. I think it's time to color my hair again - maybe with some blonde highlights...

- Mary: lol. you are so random sometimes. you should write a poem abt your random hilarity - or maybe I should!

- Dana: You should! BTW - I'm single today because I forgot to wear my wedding rings

- Mary: poor mike

- Dana: I know! Sadly, I don't think he's very worried about it

Mary did write a poem about my conversational style, which I’m sharing with you guys.

Random thoughts run through her head
Sometimes they just seep out.

Witty, silly random things
That always make me smile

Current conversation doesn’t matter
Could be work, or hair styles or rings

Random thoughts run through her head
Sometimes they just seep out.

Ah yes, another fine blog post by The Bug – seeping onto the internet since 2009!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Samurai

Under Windsor Bridge, 1912, by Adolphe Valette

My Samurai

You’re keening in your sleep again.
The last time, I caressed your shoulder,
and your eyes flew open in terror.
Tonight I shift around gracelessly,
hoping that the motion
sends you to a happy place –
away from the fog and horror
that inhabit your dreams.

In the morning I ask:
“Was it a katana or
your fists this time?”
And I wonder,
not for the first time,
why I dream of strange
houses with many rooms
and you dream of fighting
to stay alive.

This is a Magpie Tale. Please go here to read other responses to the prompt.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sundays in Zambia - Where I Lived

This post originally appeared in February 2010
I'm winding down my Sundays in Zambia series. There will be one more post after this one – although I might randomly post some other things as I think about them.

When I first arrived in Lusaka I stayed at the Baptist Complex, which had 8 flats for missionaries as well as the guest house for visitors. I lived there for a while, and then moved out to the Baptist Seminary. I lived in the last little house on the road by myself for a while, and then with a roommate who worked with the communications ministry. Once again I'm dismayed at the pictures I don't have, but here are a few of the ones I do have.

 My little house and my truck


I inherited Amber the Wonderdog from the previous journeymen. Under my care she got mange! I had to wrestle her to the vet a few times, but she ultimately recovered just fine. I ended up giving her away before I left to a family who really wanted a dog.


My room. Note the contact lens boiler on the bed (my second one since I fried my first one).The stuffed dog was a gift from my brother my freshman year in college. I took him to have a bit of home with me – and I still have him now! Samuel the Spaniel is a well-traveled stuffed animal!


My roommate Stacy is cooking something (thank heavens she arrived – she could COOK!) and the other Dana (a teacher at the American Embassy School) is laughing with her. Quite possibly at me. That would not have been unusual.


Look – I made a lemon meringue pie!!! With actual lemons from my actual lemon tree! I was so pleased with myself…


This is the road to the seminary. Unfortunately the camera flattened out the ruts so you can't really appreciate just how bad this road was! The state of the road didn't stop me from flying down it & raising a cloud of dust. I have no sense. But, you know, you figure out the best route around the worst of the ruts & it's kind of like a game to see how fast…. Um, I'm just making it worse aren't I?

Next week I'll have a handful of pictures of the people who worked where I did. And I'll say goodbye to Zambia for another while.

2024 Project 365 – Week Twenty-seven

Well, this past week was pretty stressful. The payroll functioned as it should for the most part. There were some issues, and we all spent a...