Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Book List 2009

*

Blink ~ Malcolm Gladwell
Good book from what I remember...I read it in January.

Town Cats & Other Tales ~ Lloyd Alexander
Amusing and fun, as LA often is.

Ethan Frome ~ Edith Wharton
Oh. Edith Wharton is a wonder. This is such a sparse, amazingly told story.
And so sad. {But can you trust the narrator? Ah...hmmm}.

Joseph Smith the Prophet ~ Truman G Madsen
Interesting. {I mean that in a good way.}

The Neddiad ~ Daniel Pinkwater
Hilarious. Read it once, listened to it several times on a road trip.

The Yggyssy ~ Daniel Pinkwater
Quirky Pinkwater. Not as good as the Neddiad, but then I haven't listened to Pinkwater read it and sometimes that's what it takes.

Austenland ~ Shannon Hale
Funny. Cotton Candy.

Little Britches ~ Ralph Moody
Autobiographical. Sometimes I wished my kids lived on a farm. {But just them for their character ~ As for me, I like my indoor pluming. Hey I have loads of character!}

Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone ~ Dene Lowe
Charming. Get it and read it.

A Circle of Quiet ~ Madeleine L'Engle
I love Madeleine L'Engle.

The Christmas Box Miracle ~ Richard Paul Evans
JPE isn't really my style, but this account of how he wrote his first novel is interesting.

The Penderwicks ~ Jeanne Birdsall
Sweet and charming.

*

Books Not Quite Finished Yet...

American Lion ~ Jon Meacham
Andrew Jackson was an interesting character. Politics is always what it is, isn't it.

The Portable Edith Wharton ~ Edith Wharton
!!!! Edith Wharton is amazing. And her short stories are so good. I love Edith.

Selected Writings of M. Catherine Thomas
Amazing. Enlightening.

*
Book List 2008.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This December



It's December. We've had a few snow flurries. The kids and I have pulled out most of the Christmas decorations and hung them around the house. I need a few more strands of lights.
There is a nasty cold threatening to make it's way around the family. My sweet boy has it and his sister looks to be on the verge. And I feel like I am on the verge. I tell the older girls that they need to get enough sleep so that they can hopefully avoid the chesty cough and running nose. But they haven't really been listening.

I love Christmas. It is my favorite holiday. In past years I have spent the end of November preparing my Christmas blog posts and getting ready to change the colors of the text to be various shades of red and green. This year it just got past me. I love to share my joy of the season, but this year I am going quiet for the month of the December. I may pop in with an occasional story, but for now I am going to wish you a fabulous holiday season with all the good cheer, candy canes, wassail and snow that you can handle.

Merry Christmas. And may God bless us, every one!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm ready to hibernate and other miscellany

Which is why I decided to gain a few pounds this past month. Because nothing says it's holiday time like a little added paunch, n'est-ce pas? (The french makes it sound fancier.) Now that it's cold I'm going to have a harder time exercising it off because I don't like to go out walking in the cold. Not that I was out walking when it was warm. But this is all to point out that I am tired and would really actually like to hibernate for the Winter. Doesn't a long long nap sound good?

I decided to re-read Twilight. Because the further away I get from reading the more my eyes roll when I hear anything related to it. I recently read an analysis of the series and how it is influenced by Mormon theology and doctrine. To which I said, "Meh. Sort of. But the author skips an awful lot of Bella's personality there in making her theological points." But then I thought, maybe I'm being unfair. So I read it again.

Conclusion: The Vampire folklore and backstory really is interesting. The teenage intense, meant-to-be-forever-romance that explodes from really nowhere is annoying. "I've never felt this way before at the young age of 17 and I love you with all my soul and want to give up my whole life." "And I have been alive for over a hundred years and yet I still get to act like a contemplative but moody teen because that's all anyone expects of me and my gorgeous body." Edward is more annoying the second time around. I like Jacob. Until you get to the fourth book where I pretty much hate everybody.

I ordered my first set of gifts for Christmas shopping. I have no idea what I am going to do for anyone else, but I have one thing checked off. This could be a crazy month. Especially since I am want to hibernate and not shop.

I need to do some laundry and wash my bed sheets. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Back. Sort of.

Things are here are going rather swimmingly. We had a birthday this week and friends are coming over after school to help celebrate my second child's 6th. How many are coming I'm not sure as only two have RSVP'd. But that signifies very little.

Can I confess right now that I do not enjoy throwing children's birthday parties? Well, actually, sometimes I don't mind it, but there's a little something that's been hanging around, tickling my throat and trying to take me down. It hasn't yet, and it shouldn't any time today, but I am going to take a large dose (but not too large) of vitamin C. Go away, little something.

My oldest daughter seems to be down with the drama bug. She bursts into tears over every little thing that has not gone her way. I think she needs an earlier bedtime.

Actually, we all need an earlier bedtime. So today after the party is over I'll tuck everyone soundly into bed. It will only be 4:30 pm, but they won't mind. Right?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sick & Tired Leave

I'm taking a little break to take care of a sick little girl (getting better, but we're keeping her home from school one more day). I'm taking a break to rest a little myself. Something about the turn of the weather (cold!) that can knock me out a little bit. And I'm going to do laundry.

A lot of laundry.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Appetite

I've been thinking about appetite.

Sort of random, I guess.

And not just food appetite, but all of our appetites. And human beings have appetites.

The problem is when we become a slave to our appetites. Too much food, tv, internet, emotion, material possessions.

So then I've been thinking about appetite in relation to the commandments of God.

Ultimately commandments help us to take care of ourselves in such a way that two things are possible: we are unencumbered as much as possible in being able to choose goodness and joy, and that we do not put upon others the unhappy consequences of our own actions. In fact the Savior's admonition to be wise a serpents and harmless as doves comes to mind here.

There will always be those who decry this morality as inhibiting to true freedom. Sure. Freedom to wake up hung over after doing something stupid the night before. Freedom to feel gross and be unhealthy because one has consistently chosen a fast food diet. Freedom to impinge upon another life you are responsible for creating, even though that was the last thing on your mind at the time. Freedom to send the entire world market into prolonged panic and disaster because you wanted more than was reasonable and prudent at the time.

We all have our own appetites we struggle with. But the point is to keep trying to overcome, because eventually we can.

Beware the person so consumed by their appetites they can do little else but eventually succumb to their own desires. They may be really nice people, but ultimately they live for their desires and nothing else. They can't help it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

To Sum Things Up A Bit...

Michelle at Scribbit has posted an interview with me today. Mostly it's about art in various forms. So to celebrate, here are some of my more artistic, writerly posts that I like.


Vignettes from Late August ~ on the passing of my Grandmother

Mr. Smith: jr. high band teacher ~ about, yes, jr. high band

ahoy, there! mateys! ~ a light hearted reflection on pirates and motherhood

Awe ~ about my experience with Michelangelo's Moses

and also, just for fun:

Allysha 101 ~ more about yours truly.

Another note: My good friend Lindsy closed up her food blog this past week. It was a wonderful collection of her beautiful photographs of the amazing things she created in the kitchen. I asked her to write about cooking as a creative endeavor for Just an Orange. Here is a link to her essay. It's worth a read.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

To Snow or Not to Snow...

Today it is supposed to snow. It's trying. There are a few minuscule ice crystals floating around in the air. The wind has come to blow almost all of the leaves off my tree. It is starting to look bare and rather late-fallish. If this storm can get off the ground my kids will be excited and ecstatic. I will be content either way. This snow will not last. It will be chilly outside. But it will make things cozy inside. Mostly I plan on ignoring it.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Today:

I shall make my bed.

Do the dishes.

Clean up the kitchen.

Eat some granola.

Read a book.

Help with some homework.

Call it a good day.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Magnetic Poetry

I've been cleaning out, going through things.

I have come across my Magnetic Poetry set.

I like poetry.

In my humble opinion, the magnetic way of putting down verse actually isn't all that effective, however. Still, it's amusing.

So before I disassemble the wondrous combination of words from my notebook, I shall publish here for the first time the fantastic results of my foray into the genre where negative and positive ions bond together, please oh please note the good dose of tongue and cheek with which they were written. Otherwise I shall go and hide under a rock.

May we all have a good laugh. Eat your heart out, Atlantic Monthly.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


He felt her chains rip
through the skin of his feet
as he ran
his bitter goddess stared
singing to eternity
her need
his death
her dreams
his worship
they lie behind the smooth beauty of the moon

~

raw milk
is less
as am

{full disclosure: these may just be random words and not an actual poem}

~

by & by
I am the why
always when
& never who
me
are you
and yet
it rains

~

sea cried the maiden
as the delicate girl like a weak
rose whispered for fallen skies
a symphony of mist and shadow
recall her soul about
chants tell heave of an...

{this poem has obviously been thrown into disrepair over the course of years. Like 10 years, to be exact.}

~

smooth
sky in language
is our friend

~

{I just wanted to note that the magnetic poetry people felt it utterly necessary to provide the word "goddess" for me twice. Since obviously that has been a word oft used in poetry. Oh wait, not really since the Odyssey and the Iliad. Also the necessary words love, lust, frantic, blood, luscious, raw...hey it just occurred to me...Do you think Twilight was written with magnetic poetry? Now there's something to think about...}

{Also: any surprise I picked this up long ago in my college bookstore. That's the age for it, isn't it?}

~

you were out peach

~

LA FIN

{a.k.a. The End}

~

I know. You're a little bit bummed about that. Sorry. You'll just have to wait until I pull out my early college journals.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Lovely Overtones



One of the things I love about Fall is that the grey days, instead of being dreary, make the colors on the trees and houses seem even more vibrant. Some how the backdrop of the steel clouds is the perfect compliment to the golds and reds and remaining greens.

Our new place of residence has overtones of New York. There are elegant houses that were constructed way back when, some of which have been kept up so nicely, and then there are those whose past beauty is a shadow, but you can still see it lurking there. Tuckahoe was a town that had it's nice upperclass streets and then what I lovingly referred to as "The Getto." It wasn't really the getto. But the area was full of formerly grand houses that had been carved up into various apartments, with some landlords being more fastidious about the house and the grounds than others.

Days like today deserve a cup of hot chocolate, just a small one because it's not really that cold, a nice little project-- perhaps moving the bookshelves from one wall to another-- and some good music playing in the background. The overtones of the past few years are combining nicely with the chord progression of today. It's a nice sound.


image from here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Day

I am channeling my inner-nineties teenager on holiday today, dressed in exercise pants and a sweatshirt that is too big for me. I could be heading off to cheer camp. But I'm not. I am sitting on my front porch enjoying the air that is just bordering on too chilly and my kids are riding around on various transportive devices such as bikes, scooters, and the like. My oldest, afraid of the roaming neighborhood dog-- a small Chihuahua, I believe-- is in the house reading a book.

The colors on the mountain are fading to their predictable post-color brown, while the trees in the valley are just getting warmed up. It is a regret of mine that the tree in our front yard, a rather spectacular and petite maple, will simply fade to a dreary color before losing it's leaves. Someday I plan to plant a multitude of trees that send off brilliant sparks before passing quietly into Winter.

My son is still in his pajamas. Rather than a sign of simple Fall-day leisure and enjoyment I see it more emblematic of the fact that he refuses to potty train. I hate potty training. And the yucca plant I had my sister pull out over the summer has decided to make a resurgence and has grown a happy eight inches out of nowhere.

A more welcome note of determination is the plant still flowering on my porch, despite a summer of lackadaisical watering and care. It's small bright pink flowers are a testament to that fact that wanted things can be just present as some of the unwanted things.

Thank goodness for nice Fall days and bright star flowers.


At the Top of My Wish List



A Kawai Upright Piano. Black. 45" or 48" tall.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Loose ends. I am so there.

Yesterday was early out day at the elementary school. An early out day that is NOT a Monday or a Friday should be non-existent.

I was on the ball, going to Walmart for some spray adhesive for a project my daughter needed to turn in (another story on it's own, and yet, if I were to tell you about it, it would be strangely reminiscent of the theme of this post). I looked at the clock. I had just enough time to shrink wrap the project (an art piece--watercolor-- by the way) and arrive at the school a few minutes early.

I walked into the office to drop off the precious project and lo-and-behold, there was my kindergartner sitting on the couch. I thought to myself "How odd. Why is she in the office with only a few minutes of school left?" I asked her as much.

You know where this is going.

"I've been waiting for you." She said calmly.

I'd forgotten that yesterday was Wednesday. Early out. Here I was all excited to pick her up a little early. I was late, instead.

I compensated by forgetting what time all the other students get out of school on Wednesday by showing up, totally unwittingly, 15 minutes early to pick up my other daughter.

I have lost my son's Halloween costume. I have NO CLUE where it went. I am distraught.

I cannot find a movie that I have had in my nightstand for the last four months. WHERE DID IT GO?

I have not been able to remember what day it is this week for the life of me.

My kitchen is almost done. But there is, due to various and sundry leaks, most of which occurred before we bought this house, mold in my bathrooms. Behind the drywall.

So now we must do major reconstructive surgery on the bathrooms in this house (both of them) and I am thinking of constructing an outhouse for the duration.

And I still can't find the Halloweeen costume, for which I spent good money that could have gone towards bathroom renovations and not towards a lost bag with a Buzz Lightyear costume (that also doubles as pajamas. Now I may have to buy new pj's, too.)

The sad thing is, I hadn't even shown them to my son, who would have died of pleasure to know they existed.

I'm really not unravelling.

But I am going to take a nice bath this morning.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Post #5 for Month: September

The sky is gray and the wind is -- not quite moaning but -- sighing through a small crack in my window. The mountains are dusted with a smidgen of snow on the very top, the fall leaves peaking through the ice crystals.

This month has flown by with unusual speed. I am aware that as I get older time has a tendency to slip faster and faster through the hourglass of life. But this September has been a blink of my eye, a breath coming through my lips, a syllable, just short of a sigh.

Ben and I are engaged in the annual semester sprint to the the finish line. This year it started earlier than usual. But I think we're getting better at running it. This is not necessarily a virtue for the future, but for the present it's what it is. Monday, in an attempt to have a family moment, we put the kids in the car, picked up some ice cream and drove up the canyon to enjoy the fall foliage.

I forget that not everyone lives right next to spectacular mountains that spire up into the blue blue sky. Fall in the East is a slow burn starting sometime in October and spreading slowly down south with it's splendid colors through the month of November and I loved it dearly. Fall here in the Rocky Mountains can be a flash in the pan, here then gone. A damp and wet Spring, like the one we had this year, usually brings out vivid brilliant color. This year is no exception.

Everyone happily finishing up their Oreo shakes, we turned onto the road that travels up through the mountains. I looked up my eyes straining for the top. There are so many things one can worry about. So many things to become tired with and of and several other prepositions, I'm sure. But just then, anything that might have been on my mind was consumed as my eyes kindled with the brightness peaking through the evergreen trees. The glorious colors took flight inside me and suddenly I was blazing up through the trees on fire with the leaves, consumed in rich color almost too bold and glorious to behold.

It was hard to come back down again, but the descent was just as wonderful.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Kitchen Update Without Pictures

I've started putting up the back splash. White subway tile. That's 3 x 6, a rectangular tile. It looks nice with the black counter tops. And the wood planks for my floor are sitting in my living room acclimatizing. They will be installed next week.

Things are moving along. Sort of like molasses. But I've always like molasses, so we're good.

Pictures forthcoming. Promise.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dear New York

I've been re-reading old posts from the beginning of this blog which I started back in the day (2006) not quite a year after we had moved from Utah to Westchester, New York. I've been reading the old comments made by friends and neighbors who lived by me. I have a real affection for those people. New York wasn't easy. But it was great. I sometimes dream about moving back. That's a long shot, and many of my friends from that time have moved to other far-away places as well.

You can't ever go back. But it's nice to be able to remember.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Last Hurrah

Blogger spell check does not recognize Hurrah as a word. Which is a problem since last night we had a last hurrah.

My family went swimming at the community pool before it closes for impending Fall and Winter and Spring weather. There was much jumping, shrieking, laughing and splashing. And much sitting in the shallow water by the moms watching their small ones and talking.

After getting home late, the kids slept in. And they have only just arisen from said beds and now we will scurry through the house throwing on clothes and tossing down breakfasts and running out the door as fast as we can. We won't drive as fast as we can because then I might get a ticket and that would be a big bummer.

Last hurrahs are fun and good. Everyone should have them.

Saturday: First Hurrah. Football season starts. {!}

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A September Post. Not Really.

I planned to welcome in September with a glorious-to-behold-and-read blog post.

Alas.

It was not to be.

There have been plenty of comings and goings.

And things to think and write about it.

But this morning nothing is percolating in my head.

Believe me I have tried numerous times to get some semblance of a post out and this is all I have for the moment.

I could complain about the awful pollution hanging out in our valley. Pollution that is actually obscuring mountains that I can usually see quite clearly.

I'm ready for a little bit of rain.

Come on, rain!

And there you go.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Allez! Au Revoir! {just for a little while}


Long before Coldplay splashed the words Viva la Vida across the stirring battle panorama, and even before my Humanities 202 class, I was familiar with Liberty Leading Her People as part of the 100 franc notes I would spend on groceries at the supermarche. I felt brave buying vegetables in that funny French way the French buy vegetables. It's just different from here. {Before the Euro, French money was super cool. The 50F note had an image of The Little Prince on it. Seriously. I love the French.}

It doesn't surprise me that Liberty is a woman. Here in the U.S. we call her Lady, and our statue does have a strong sense of decorum about her. But what I love about Delacroix's version is the action, the passion and the calm determined look on her face.

Somehow, in looking for an image representative of this blog post I stumbled up this painting and so there she is, leading the charge.

While posting has been fairly light this summer, I am taking a blogging break for the remainder of August. It has something to do with making preparations, leading my troops, and a little bit of viva la vida as it turns out.

"For some reason I can't explain I know St. Peter will call my name."* So that's that.

Be back soon.


*a line, of course, from Coldplay's Viva la Vida

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Municiple Schedules

One of the things I liked about New York was that there was some sort of trash pick-up almost everyday. Two regular garbage days, one recycling day, one day where you could throw out just about anything from an old couch to a dying toaster oven. Also, on that day, you could drive around and take stuff from other people's piles before it was removed by the able-bodied trash removers.

In our new town here garbage comes once a week, on the highly inconvenient day of Wednesday. It is virtually impossible to remember to take out the trash on a Tuesday night. Before the move, the garbage came Monday morning, which makes oodles of sense. Remembering to take the trash out Sunday night was pretty easy. A Wednesday pick up is just not intuitive. We've done okay so far. This morning was a little close.

Upon hearing the garbage truck right outside my house I dashed outside, waved and screamed at the top of my lungs, the driver relented, nodded and I hauled the garbage can to the curb, watched it mechanically wooshed up to the top of the large vehicle, contents dumped in and placed back before me.

I promptly returned it to it's place.

I have now officially labeled myself as that crazy woman who runs out in her pj's to yell loudly at garbage men.

Monday, August 3, 2009

August, Die She Must

That's the Simon and Garfunkle line that came to me this morning. Oddly, I blogged about that particular song last August as well. Simon and Garfunkle: They are securely ingrained in my psyche.

Though this year it's not the blazing heat, just the dying part of August that I am talking about.

Yesterday my daughter was the "Reverence Child" in church. The Reverence Child gets there early and stands next to the podium folding their arms and generally showing all those who enter the church how to be reverent. Because my reverence child is going through some separation anxiety we sat in the front smashed in to a bench that our family just barely fit on.

And then the meeting started and my children, including the Reverence Child, were extremely Un-Reverent as we sat at the front, where everyone could enjoy the sights and sounds of my family at church. And I was mortified. Which is why must-dying sounds like a not-so-bad idea at the moment.

Also, the current of things-to-do is slowly overtaking me and so if you don't hear back from me, just realize that I drowned in the many possibilities that life has to offer because I didn't have the energy to cling to any specific thing. I just went down grasping at straws. Farewell.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Oh, I jest. I jest.


* * * * * * * * * * *

Maybe.


* * * * * * * * * * *

Okay, I really have to go clean my house, now. Have a good day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stating the Obvious

The Dad: Oliver, do you want to say the prayer this morning?

The two year old: No, you say it!

The Dad: Okay. (Still trying to get some participation) What should I say?

The two year old: Say a prayer!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

quelques petits mots

My oldest is in the children's community play this summer. She plays a dalmatian puppy who, along with her 14 siblings, is captured by a mad woman intent on killing them for their fur.

My daughter recently added a line to her previous two line repertoire. When we asked her what the new line was she repeated it for us with a look that said "I don't really know what this means."

It took a second for Ben and I to figure it out.

"They're going to do a sin!" was what my daughter said. In actuality the line reads: "They're going to do us in!" She hadn't been given a script, the director had simply told her the line.

You may conclude, as I have, that both lines mean essentially the same thing.

* * * * * * *

When we went to see Harry Potter last week a couple sitting in front of me brought in a small buffet complete with sandwiches. Sandwiches with a lot of onions on them. I found the smell extremely annoying. It's a good thing I am not pregnant. I fear I might have done them harm.

* * * * * * *

I have a stack of books waiting to be read. And then, though my budget is slim and my nightstand is full, I went to a book sale a bought many many more.

* * * * * * *

I have a chocolate truffle bar sitting across the room from me. Should I eat it now or later?

* * * * * * *

I hope Lance Armstrong rocks the time trial tomorrow in the Tour de France. There are certainly things I do not admire about the guy, but it's fun to watch him on a bike. Ben and I spent an hour last night watching some old Tours on YouTube. Really amazing.

* * * * * * *

I working on a post in my head about Greek poets and social media. If I ever get it done, it will be profound, I'm sure. Well, mildly entertaining anyway.

* * * * * * *
And now that this blog post has simply degenerated into a series of Twitter-esque asides, I shall bid you all farewell for the evening.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The More We Get Together


Yesterday Ben and I drove the kids out to Nana's house. Nana is my mom. We dropped the kids off, then we gathered up 5 of my siblings, four of them currently living at Nana's house and headed to the movie theater to meet up with another sibling. We listened to a Harry Potter soundtrack on the way. The eight of us sat together in a row towards the back and got set to watch the sixth Harry Potter movie.

After the movie we hashed out what we liked and didn't like, authoritatively pointing out obvious errors in judgment the screenwriter and director made in adding or eliminating certain elements. Once I got home I proceeded to re-read book six so that I could continue my assessment of things the movie did right, and what it did wrong. It was thoroughly enjoyable.

But the really fun part was the group I went with. My kids are really too young for movie theaters (I have strong opinions on this) and I rarely go to the movies anyway. But when I do, I absolutely LOVE going with my brothers and sisters and, of course, Ben. They are my very favorite people in the whole world. So while Hermione's emotional moment may have been overplayed, listening to my thirteen year-old brother giggle at the previews was totally worth it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

1000 Words


Woman Sleeping by Mary Ferris Kelly

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Light * Hearted

My baby girl is a sweetheart. She's not really a baby any more. Except that she is the baby of the family. So for now, still my baby.

Her language development has hit the place where the words me and you are confused and interchanged. It is not uncommon to have her come up to me with hands raised and say "Carry you! Carry you!"

The other day she was practicing naming body parts. Pointing to the different parts of my head she said "My eyes. My nose. My ears." Then suddenly with a twinkle in her eye and a rush of affection she simply pointed at me and said excitedly "My mama!"

It was very sweet.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grrrrrrrr.

With so many things to get done, as well as a recently installed internet connection, one would think that blogging would immediately jump to the front of the line. Because nothing says procrastinate like blogging. Unless it's Twitter, which is also really great at saying procrastinate and other like words.

But the truth is my neck and back are a little bit achy, and I am in a pissy mood. Yes, pissy. It's not a word I like--I don't think it's very proper, and I am a big fan of decorum-- that said, there are some days when it is simply the word that fits.

I think I am in said mood because I am tired and overwhelmed. And whenever I start to sink under a deluge of tired-and-overwhelmedness, I sometimes use anger as a life jacket to stay afloat. It's not a great idea, and I don't suggest it. In fact getting some good quality sleep is probably the best solution to all the problems listed within this paragraph.

And so I think I shall take a long hot bath, and then go to sleep.

And I will have to post again soon for two reasons: a) I have so much to do, and b) If one is attempting to be somewhat decorous, then that one should not leave such a post up too long without following up with something more light-hearted and cheerful.

Cheers.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Here Today

Well, the internet is up and running at my very own house.  Which is an exciting prospect.  I will now celebrate by going out of town for the 4th of July weekend.  

As for a rundown of my life: my kids have colds, they are tired from the move, and they will be tired by the little vacation.  Two of my kids have developed mild to moderate separation anxiety, and the oldest has decided to take this time and become a mouthy teenager, even though she is only seven.  But I'm trying to give everybody some slack.  Moving is disruptive.  

The kitchen is coming together nicely, if a bit slowly, with cabinets installed.  Countertops, flooring and a new range are on the horizon along with a tiled back splash.  I'll post pictures when I can.

My room is in a constant state of flux in an attempt to unpack and organize.  But someday that will be better.

I'm hoping by Christmas I have everything pulled together.

That's really not too far away, right?   Right.   

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reunion

It's been just a little over 10 months since my Grandmother passed away. This weekend we are up at her house where there is a lake, a barn, rolling hills, trees, small irrigation canals. It's picturesque.

This is the first time since the funeral that I've been up here. Driving up to the house and walking across the lawn, I was greeted almost immediately with a soft sense of loss, something missing. My grandmother's essence, however, is everywhere. She was quite the woman. And I am very fond of her.

I will not see her again in this life, but the very real truth of it is she will always be found as soon as I look for her.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Missing. In Action.

But one of these days I'll cut back on the action. I look forward to it. Then I will blog more. So until the next time... Cheers!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm Missing Twitter & Other Aspects of The Internet

It's June and I'm wearing a turtleneck. It's been gray and drizzly the last few days. Too gray and not drizzly enough to actually water the lawn. The lawn for which we have not yet had time to purchase sprinklers. Of course that changed this afternoon because along with the chilly June weather we got an adequate downpour that should do a decent watering job of the lawn for a few more days.

I hope.

My muscles are sore from painting the kitchen. The drywall was mudded, taped, and textured and so last night I stayed up stretching muscles I forgot I had by priming the ceiling and the walls. I have one more coat to go that I'll do either this evening or tomorrow morning.

Common sense says to paint tonight as I haven't had my shower yet, and so I should go for it and get it done with. My aching muscles are the procrastinators. They say I should head straight for the warm bath with my latest Daniel Pinkwater book and forget about painting tonight.

I'll let you know who wins: common sense or the muscles. I'll let you know whenever it is I can get back to the computer. (I have taken a quick break from my house to head up to my parent's home where there is internet and phone in abundance. Also, lots of tortilla chips.)

Hmmm. I'm hungry.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Moving. Oh! The Moving.

I hate moving. I hate it. I hate it with a passionately strong hate. Because I am tired of it. I am utterly tired of moving every two years. (And because I am utterly tired I will not say anything remotely clever and pithy about it. And that is a darn shame. Because an Ode to Moving could be a work of art.)

But now that I have bought a house I need not worry about moving for awhile, anyway. Can I get a Woo Hoo for that? Woo Hoo! Or, actually in my current state of fatigue: woo hoo. {crash.} (That was me falling asleep amidst the many unpacked boxes.)

I am without a regular phone and an internet connection. But that will be forthcoming.

In any case. The kitchen is coming along fine. The drywall is being mudded and taped and will be textured tomorrow. Cabinets should be in by the end of the week.

Pictures, like the internet, are forthcoming...

cheers.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mad As A Hatter*


On this day many, many years ago, Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England. We know that didn't turn out so well for poor Anne. But it did help along religious diversity as the Church of England was born around that time as well. Lots of eventual conflicts, too. And not really because of poor Anne, but because of her husband. Which (although I am very fond of my husband, as I am sure you are fond of your husbands) does not surprise me in the least.

June first is an important day. For one thing it's the first day of Summer here, as in No More School. Which is fine and dandy, but considering the impending move and (hence) the busy mom, and the wet spring that has bred thousands of mosquitoes that feast on my children when they are outside, my children are already claiming to be bored. And rather itchy.

Mosquitoes are really awful.

But not quite as awful as getting your head chopped off when you do not produce a male heir. I have produced a male heir, fortunately. But at the rate the mosquitoes are getting at my skin, I may wish to have my head chopped off before the week's end.


*Because "Off With Her Head" seemed indecorous as a title. However the Queen in Alice in Wonderland says "Off with her head" and with abandon as well! And so the title obliquely references Alice, and the unfortunate event of losing one's head, which Anne Boleyn did do. Poor girl. (I cannot say that enough.) I am almost as mad as a hatter. So there you go.

Friday, May 29, 2009

*Yawn!*

A little tired.

Sprinting in slow motion.

Trying to teach my son some self-control by using time-out methods. He is currently screaming about not being able to reach his flip flop. The lonely sandal is sitting on the floor by the window a few feet away from him. He is insisting he can not reach it!!!! His sister has decided to take pity on him because his maniacal screaming was interrupting her PBS Kids show. My children; they have such grace.

I lost my tape gun yesterday. My mom lent me hers so I could get packing again, but seriously. A lost tape gun is detrimental to one's mental health when getting ready to move.

Putting in recess lighting in the new house today. Which is an old house. Just new to us. With lots of weeds in the flower beds.

But at least we are proud owners of a brand new trimmer, as well as a lawn mower.

Well, off to get things done. Hopefully.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Little Prayer For, yes, A Kitchen

I have spent some time praying about this remodel. (I almost called it a "little remodel" but, um, it's an entire kitchen, so that's not really little, is it.) Mostly I have been praying that things will please fall into place. Because they could really drag on if they don't. And this is a small thing, as far as spiritual things go, but you know what? I've learned that Heavenly Father is willing to help me wherever I let him, even with kitchen remodels.

Three things that were particularly vexing me were: moving the vent for the range, moving a vent on the floor, and moving a gas line. I needed all three moved because I have decided that I do not like a stove next to a refrigerator. Actually, strike that. I never had to decide it, I have always instinctively known. Blame it on my inner interior decorator and architect.

If your range is next to your refrigerator that is just fine. I don't like you any less. I just wanted mine parted, and with that parting came some work. But that is what home ownership is all about, right? So they say. I've dived in.

But this morning, after a lovely Memorial Day (complete with a BBQ, and the annual family whiffle ball game), I got a call saying someone was coming to check out the vents I needed moved. And he did more than just check them out, he moved them. Jack. He is a nice guy. And now my vents are moved. He will move the gas pipe on Monday. Bless him. I told him he was an answer to my prayers. And he was.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

In Which I Become A Remodeling & Design Blog

We bought a house. We did. An actual house. We now own a house. And owe a considerable amount of moolah to the bank. But it's done and good, and we have gone and torn out the kitchen.

Because once you purchase a house, the next step is to utterly change it, right?

Actually, most of the house will stay the same, with a few improvements, but the kitchen is going to be brand new. Woot!

Although slightly overwhelmed is the current default emotion, I am also excited.


Below is the BEFORE picture.


Here is the DURING picture. We knocked down the soffit or bulkhead, or whatever you want to call it. I'm putting in cabinets that go up to the top of the ceiling. And moving the range, etc., etc.


The gross yellow stuff on the walls is old glue from a laminate back splash. Ugly, ugly, very ugly it was. So I'm going to do something different. Maybe subway tile. Kind of as an ode to New York City.

In any case, if I am sparse on posting it's because I'm trying to move and put in a new kitchen and weed out huge dandelions from my front yard. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

9 years


Ben and I were sitting next to each other watching our oldest twirling around the floor in her dance class. It was the last class before the performance and parents are invited to watch. I really love my daughters' teachers; they love the kids, they love dance, they respect the body. My oldest daughter's teacher is the mother-in-law of one of my former school mates.

I leaned over to Ben and was going to say "That's Noelle's mother-in-law" as if he knew who Noelle was. But he doesn't. We didn't go to high school together. Which is a good thing. We joke that if my parent's had known each other in high school they would have never married. I think the same could be said about Ben and me. I was still growing into myself in high school and wasn't quite me yet. Oh, there were flickers of me around the edges, but I needed a few more life experiences and so on.

The point of this post is that while we didn't know each other until college, I felt like he would know that trivial information from my past. I went to school with Noelle. Here is her mother-in-law. He doesn't know that. But I'm glad I feel like he might. We've been married 9 years today. Nine years isn't forever yet, but I can see that it's long enough to make the part of my past I had without him seem a little odd for him not being there at least hovering in the wings.

And so here's to many more years, decidedly together. Happy Anniversary, Ben. I love you.


Ben's recreation of a Doonsbury comic strip which he did shortly after we were married. I have a fondness for Doonsbury, as well as a fondness for Ben: this helps explain why. Who wouldn't fall for something like that?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Small Entomologists

My oldest is off to school. My other children are in the backyard, looking for rolypolys to scoop up and place in a bed of grass in a small plastic wagon.

They did this yesterday morning as well. I wonder if those little bugs know that on most mornings they will be collected, evaluated, held captive for awhile, and then released -if not inadvertently killed- into the wild.

There are apparently criteria for deciding whether the bug is child or adult (size), male or female (color), and probable family relations etc., etc. I do not pretend to understand it all.

I enjoy the running chatter from my small ones as they gently pick up one small roly after another. By the number of bugs collected in any given sitting, I have come to realize that we are most certainly outnumbered by the little bugs so I hope my children do not cause a rebellion among them.

We would be doomed for sure.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't Try To Be Efficient

Last week on Tuesday I looked at the clock and burst into action. It was impressive; Spring in fast forward. Me, bursting, into action. I hopped in the shower, showered in record time, dressed, dressed my baby, dressed my son, got my daughter all gussied up in her dancing clothes, threw everyone into the car and drove like a wild lady to dance class.

I promptly dropped my daughter off and then went to the grocery store for groceries (!) congratulating myself on being so efficient in such a short amount of time. My son loves the carts that are cars. You know, the kids get into the car part and you put your food, etc., in the cart part. Oliver LOVES this. He straps on his invisible seat belt and then takes out his invisible keys from his pocket. He puts the invisible keys into the invisible ignition, pulls the gear shift down so he can Drive, and then he turns the wheel. Only at this point am I allowed to move the cart forward. If I try to do it any earlier Oliver screeches loudly. Because everybody knows that in order to drive a car all of those things must be done.

After this time filling ritual I headed down the first isle when to my horror the time suddenly came to my mind through the clock that is NPR. Meaning, I realized that The Diane Rehm show was still on, and not Radio West which meant that I HAD DROPPED MY DAUGHTER OFF TO DANCE CLASS AN HOUR EARLY.

I ran to the van, pulled the kids out of the car, buckled them in, drove fiercely to the Women's Center where the dance class is held trying to decide if I was feeling mortified about everything. Being mortified is Not my default position. It just isn't worth the energy. I felt some extra color coming to my cheeks as I waited at the stoplight, but it was very faint. Sigh.

I did embarrass my daughter who opted not to stay in the early dance class (taught by the same teacher) and then couldn't bear to return to her actual dance class. But that was that. We all survived. But this Tuesday I am keeping a close eye on the clock. I took a long bath this morning instead of a hurried shower. I have no ambitions other than getting my daughter to dance class any earlier or later than necessary.

I am not on the ball this morning and my world will be better for it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ah-Choooooo!

And so life tries to return to normal.

After several grueling weeks of staying at work reading papers, writing papers, grading projects, writing papers and writing papers Ben was home on Tuesday, before 2 a.m. He was actually home at lunch time, the class he was teaching over, and the paper he was finishing due at noon and emailed off to the professor.

He brought home a rotisserie chicken and lots of red roses in celebration. Then took the girls to the Bean Museum (which, incidentally is not a museum about beans, it is a museum named after Monte L. Bean) and then cooked dinner while I took Oliver to Old Navy for some flip flops and to Lowes to look at counter tops.

And then horrid, horrid hay fever overtook me and I have not stopped sneezing since. And I am not happy about that. Also the flip flips I purchased for me were a size too small and so I have to return them. And I can't type the word flip flop without thinking of John Kerry. Thanks a lot 2004 Presidential Campaign.

So here I am, trying to be judicious in my use of Kleenex. Both my small one's have colds and are down for "a rest" because the word nap makes them crackle with fear and trepidation. The house is not sparkling clean, but it's adequate. Ben gets home at a good time today. I am going to grab a book of poetry and read it while cursing at the pollen.

So Says William Stafford



Yellow Cars


Some of the cars are yellow, that go

by. Those you look at, so glimmering

when light glances at their passing.

Think of that hope: "Someone will

like me, maybe." The tan ones

don't care, the blue ones have made

a mistake, the white haven't tried.

But the yellow -- you turn your head:

hope lasts a long time when you're happy.

~ William Stafford


image here

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This One's a Classic

How, I wonder each time I listen to Disney movie previews, can a movie that has not yet been released be a classic already?

Not only are all these new movies apparently born into the same category as Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, but their story lines are also assumed right away to be, yes, classics. Disney apparently wants no claim to originality, which is good, because most of the time, they aren't original. But really. I certainly don't think of Hercules as a classic, except where the Odyssey is concerned and we all know The Odyssey has been around long enough to warrant the title of classic.

Even The Little Mermaid: Return to the Sea is a "classic." Except there the voice-over man, throwing caution to the Disney wind says "...In a story unlike any other..." and goes on to tell a story about a daughter yearning to find some place beyond the boundaries her parents have set for her, who disobeys, finds herself tangled in some problems, gets some cute animal sidekicks, and is rescued and her disobedience vindicated. No. That story does not sound familiar at all. Not at all.

What I'm saying is that Disney People, You Are Not Fooling Me! I know a classic when I see it. I roll my eyes at your previews. And despite your attempts to indoctrinate my children into watching second-rate stories that are riding on the Hunchback of Notre Dame (the book is a classic; the movie: a farce) and, help us, Jennifer Love Hewitt lending her voice to one of the characters in a sequel and telling us that for sure! we will want this movie in our home to watch over and over again, you shall not prevail.

No matter how many classics you manage to produce this year.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Oh, yes. And May the 4th Be With You


Apparently it's Star Wars Day. And it's cracking me up. Really, I love Star Wars. Even if I think George Lucas is a little odd. So I say to you "May the Force be with you." Or as one can say today "May the 4th be with you." See. You're cracking up a little bit right now, too.

Some Lists, Some Reasons, And A Super Hero Fantasy

Fertilizer/Weed Killer

Bandaids

Rolls

Heavy Cream, maybe

* * * * *

My bathroom

My sorry, sorry bedroom

The kitchen

* * * * *

Odd dreams

Sick baby

Morning showing up WAY TOO SOON

* * * * *

Overly demanding 5 year-old

Overly demanding 3 year-old

Sick baby

* * * * *
And the Answers to these Random Lists Are:

What I need to pick up at the store today. What I need to get cleaned today. Why I didn't sleep so well last night. Why I plan on going into Spring hibernation any minute now.

But oh wait. If I hibernate I won't get the other things done.

Curses. Foiled again!

* * * * *

Yesterday while driving up to my parents for Sunday dinner we passed a young man, shirt off, tanned torso, standing around like he knew something. Next to him was a girl. Well, young woman, but oh-so-young-looking, with a rounding belly. Her hands hanging down by her growing stomach and in his hand, a cigarette.

I had a vision in my head of flying over there as fast as I could and knocking that guy to the ground, snatching the offending cigarette from his hand, grounding it into the concrete and growling "hey, NO SMOKING IN FRONT OF PREGNANT WOMEN." And then flying off leaving him shaken and changed for life.

It would be nice sometimes to be a super hero.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Thought On Four Words

Humility. Gratitude. Compassion. Forgiveness.

As we run up against the harshness of the world we can become disillusioned about a good many things. But if we will cultivate in ourselves and pray for a spirit of generosity, we will make it through difficulty and come out on the other side being more able to see clearly the beauty available to us on this earth.

The morning sun shining on dew-kissed grass sparkling as tiny gems, and this, despite the weeds.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I've Got Nothin'

I'm working on a project. I am at complete loose ends. I need either:

Time

or

Money.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaahooooohooheeeeheehahahahahaha!

I'd take a combination of both.

Help!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Work In Progress


I've been working at this paining on and off for YEARS. That is not an exaggeration. The buildings change color and shape. The road widens, narrows, winds around. The sky is white, then blue, then white again when I realize I need to tweak a few things. I only have time to pull out my easel and paints every so often, and so this painting waits. It's actually farther along that this photograph indicates. But not by much. In the meantime I have started and finished other paintings. But this one is slow going.

Maybe nothing will every really come of this work in progress. But maybe something will.

We shall see...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wise Words

I love what Elder Orson F. Whitney once said: "The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience."

We should honor the Savior's declaration to "be of good cheer." (Indeed, it seems to me we may be more guilty of breaking that commandment than almost any other!) Speak hopefully. Speak encouragingly, including about yourself. Try not to complain and moan incessantly.

As someone once said, "Even in the golden age of civilization someone undoubtedly grumbled that everything looked too yellow." ~ Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I wrote something today. But it wasn't what I wanted to post exactly. And then I came across this quote on a friend's blog and so I am stealing it because it is a good one.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

calm and storm

At every stage of life it seems there is some sort of storm that must be weathered.

As Peter recognized Jesus walking on the water and jumped out of the boat towards him a storm suddenly arose. Lovely, impetuous Peter "saw the wind boisterous" and his faith wavered. He could walk on the water to his Master when the water was calm, but when it wasn't? Peter faltered. He began to sink.

We know that Peter went on to develop a great and unshakable faith in his Savior. He bore strong testimony of the resurrected Christ. Ultimately he was killed for his beliefs.

No doubt at this moment of Jesus walking on the water, Peter had already had many experiences on which he had built his testimony of Christ. He had seen many miracles and healings. I am sure he felt his faith growing and that it was strong. And I think it was.

And yet.

We all have moments where seeing the wind boisterous, we fall back, and are afraid.

I find it comforting that in the moment when Peter could not maintain his faith to continue walking on the water, when fear of the elements surrounded him, that Christ reached out to Peter and saved him. When our own storms arise if we will continue towards Christ, even though we may sink, the Lord will come to us, and pull us up and walk us back to the boat.



Peter did walk on the water. He did it. But just like so many things in life, the blowing winds and reacting waves undid him. I suppose Peter had yet to really learn, or maybe he needed to learn again, what we must all learn: that no matter the storms that come to us, and in this world there are many, that He is always there.

I truly believe this:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Personality Evaluation

I recently took a little online personality test. It wasn't too far off. Except that the results failed to take into account normal events like, well, LIFE for example.

Apparently my present stress is that I feel insufficiently valued. I'm not sure about that, except that kids always insufficiently value their parents, and since these days I spend about 99% of my time being mom, that's just how it goes.

I was told that I am over-imaginative and given to fantasy or day-dreaming. I think that may be hyperbole but if you don't day-dream some in your life, I feel sorry for you. If it said I spent too much time at the computer I might believe it.

I am told that I also want to be admired for my charm. Which, duh, is why I blog!

But here's the kicker. At the end of the assessment you're told what you're current inappropriate behavior is.

Oh my!

This is mine: Circumstances are forcing me to compromise, to restrain my demands and hopes, and to forgo for the time being some of the things I want.

Upon reading this I LAUGH OUT LOUD. Because, hello? I know very few people who don't have to restrain their demands and hopes in someway or another. It's called rolling with the punches. Or just rolling with it, period. Or self-control. Or not indulging in wanton gluttony! This is generally not a bad thing. Those I know who spend their time trying to satisfy their every desire are usually rather unhappy.

My overall review is this: This personality test is obviously unaware of the current economic condition and mood of the country.

Having someone giving you a pity pat and saying "you're life is sooo tough" isn't helpful. If you need to have a good cry go for it and then buck up. (I like the advice of a father to his son, a young Gordon B. Hinckley: "Son, forget yourself and go to work.")

Satisfying every last demand regardless of others is so yesterday.

Except that we keep feeling the effects of it today.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thinking

...about a few blog tweaks.

...about why I blog, anyway.

...that I should adjust some of the font sizes on the blog.

...that I should shower while Clifford the Big Red Dog is on,

and plan a productive day, or at least semi-productive.

...about Susan Boyle (who isn't?), and the kinds of demands we make on people we decide should be celebrity.

...what is wrong with a quiet admiration of talent?

...that I felt like punching Diane Sawyer in the face for her interview with Susan.

But I didn't.

I know. Benevolent.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It looks like the weather is finally catching up with the season

We survived Spring Break.

My sister indicated she thought this was turning into a Weather Commentary blog, so I won't mention the 5 inches of heavy snow that fell hard on the blossoming trees, breaking their limbs and then melted, turning my backyard into a swamp with several inches of water, and then mud every where. The winter boots came back into the house swollen with spring moisture and I am not sure they will ever recover.

We went to Chuck E. Cheese, the child's version of Vegas with the loud noises, flashing lights and bad singing acts. The kids had a good, if frantic, time and we have vowed to someday return. In about seven years.

We were finally able to torture the local wildlife by scooping up potato bugs/pill bugs/rolipolies, whatever you want to call them, and putting them into the newly acquired bug catcher. The one I had to super glue together 15 seconds after I brought it home because my 3 yr-old son got a hold of it. And wouldn't let go. Until forced.

No, actually he just pulled the lid in the wrong direction and it snapped off. And then handed it back to me.

We whipped up cookies and ate them.

I thought about all the things I could do, and then I read a couple of Robin McKinley books instead.

And that was a good thing to do.

Friday, April 17, 2009

But I Have To Clean My House Instead


Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

~ T.S. Elliot

from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Um.

Sigh.

Seriously.

It ended up snowing yesterday.

And it snowed last night.

And it looks very pretty. But again. Sigh.

The goal had been to catch bugs today.

Not to make hot cocoa.

This weather is making me really CRAZY!!!

I had packed up all the snow pants, gloves, scarves, hats, etc.

Really.

Rather too

Decemberish.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Break It To Me Gently

It is Spring Break around these parts. I must confess, I was hoping for something like this:



Instead I get this:




If I can't have sun, then this would certainly do:


But I am not in any sort of Cobbled Street Town. Unfortunately a quick trip to rainy London or Paris is not currently in the cards. Darn cards. Maybe later?


But perhaps we can do some of this:



And this:



And if not, we'll just watch this:

Ah, Spring.

Monday, April 13, 2009

This Morning

The birds are chirping in the trees.

Plastic eggs cracked open and left empty are spread all over my house.

My son is crying bitter tears because Super Why is not on yet.


See that digression?


Time to pick up. 25 minutes until Super Why. Keep on chirping, birds.

Keep on chirping.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I am persuaded also



For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38 - 39

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Doors and Windows

There is a fly on my ceiling. He is a larger size fly. He spent yesterday frantically buzzing about by my kitchen window, trying to get outside. But to no avail.

And now he is on the ceiling. Staying quietly in the same place. He's been there since I put the kids to bed, and when I put them to bed again, and when I put them to bed again. He must be tired. And perhaps resigned.

Poor fly. You must be careful of what doors you fly through.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Welcome to National Poetry Month

And because my conscious brain has taken flight, this week you will all be subjected to
"Thoughts on the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."

You're welcome. First Post: already up.



{Also, ignore the previously misplaced J. I told you, my conscious brain is on vacation.}

Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?

Oh, J. Alfred. Do you?

I was reading through some online analysis of your love song last night. (Yes. I was. I was an English Major. I am related to many an English Major. And for those of you who don't like T. S. Elliot, well, I'm sorry. He seems to be a funny fellow.)

Everyone was saying that this is some internal dialogue with yourself. You, middle-age, slightly balding and currently single. Afraid to talk to women? No. You are talking to someone who might be in love with you right now. Or, actually, avoiding talking. And you are not man enough to handle it. Yes, you are running away, afraid that you either misunderstand the girl across from you sipping tea, or you are just afraid. So I agree with that portion of the analysis.

Dear J. Alfred. Stop being such a wimp. Guys like you abound, and you are annoying. Eat the stupid peach already. Enough of your ephemeral musings on fog and smoke. You, like so many seem to be a commitment-phobe and you are trying to cover it up with poetic nature.

Either that, or you're just using this girl because nothing better has come along. But you don't want to let her go because it's convenient.

J. Alfred Prufrock, I am ashamed of you. Grow up.

Friday, April 3, 2009

pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

The longest word in the English language. Sort of.

It was extra credit each week on our test in the 7th grade life science class. Which class was taught by Mr. R, a single guy from California who was funny and irreverent in a way that was both appalling and appealing to kids 12 and 13 years old and just moving into adolescence. He was cool. And I was never totally comfortable in his class. He was tall and thin and wore jeans, plaid shirts and cowboy boots. He owned horses and if you were cool enough he would invite you to ride them. It seems, though, that you had to not only be cool, but also a girl, which is utterly creepy from my current perspective. I don't know that he had any mal intentions. (Is mal a word in English? Substitute poor/bad/etc.) He seemed to be a nice enough guy. But there was something he missed about being an adult among teenagers; that just because he had a way with them didn't mean he should be one of them. But he had a hard time with that. There were boundaries he thought were funny to step over; just a quick little dance and then back on the right side of the line. Better to be cool, than be adult. He let us have cool parties when we got good test scores. He had a cool way of taking role.

I was not cool enough to be invited to ride horses {thank goodness for that}.

Cool may be a descriptor, but it is not a virtue.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Art of the Mini-bio

It is an art, right? I have to write a short but sweet bio and I cannot for the life of me figure out what to say. Possible sentences run through my head and say something like this:

Allysha is not a bohemian. No matter how much she would like to be, there is something utterly responsible about her, or at least utterly boring. She does like to read, write and prefers cats to dogs infinitely.

Or:

These days Allysha is mostly (but not limited to being only or just) a mom. She is also a pretend poet, amateur artist, former modern dancer and resident exhausted lady. But she just started taking her vitamins last night, so hopefully that last one will fall by the wayside.

Or:

Allysha used to speak French, likes pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and tends to be a creature of habit and thinks things she can share with mostly no one because they would think her rude or rather crazy. She avoids movie theaters and thinks we should all go to the opera instead.

Hmmm. I'll come up with something.