Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas in the Desert

Lights. Camera. Cactus.

Cowboy tumbleweed snowmen. When there is no snow, you use the materials at hand.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Sisters. Pie. Turkey. Wine. Sunshine. Road trips. Netflix. Cats. Sleeping in. Eternal mysteries that confound as well as delight. Shoes. These things, among so many others, I am thankful for.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Van Horn, Texas

After approximately 27 hours in the car, I have stopped for the night in Van Horn, Texas. What is special about this little town, you might be asking. For one thing, the Hotel El Capitan. I enjoyed a most delicious as well as enormous shrimp cocktail at the bar and restaurant. And beer. And carrot cake. I'm going to do this more often. Have a great appetizer, then skip the meal, and proceed directly to dessert, and accompany it all with an appropriate beverage or two. I also enjoyed the company of fellow hotel guests Veronica and Jeff. They live in Tucson, which is where I will be tomorrow. I had to drive a little further to get here, but it's not a competition.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

She's a Natural!

What is it that is simply and absolutely disarming and attractive about a man who is comfortable holding a baby? Not his child, just a baby, a friend's baby, maybe a niece or nephew. If the the baby is sleeping it's that much more adorable. I remember being a newlywed, six months or so into married life, and visiting my husband's family two states away. There was a baby present, a nephew who was born just a month before we got married. Daniel was such a cute baby, beautiful olive toned skin, big dark eyes, round cheeks and blessed with a sweet disposition. He was being passed around and cooed over and didn't fuss a bit. He cooed back and babbled and smiled. At one point, he was handed to me. I was steered across the yard and posed before my husband with him in my arms. My sisters-in-law, including Daniel's mother, then exclaimed, doesn't this look natural! This happened several times over the course of the afternoon. I get it, I thought, we're expected to reproduce. I know, I thought, I feel my biological clock ticking more keenly than anyone here. And I wonder now, looking back on that day, why the baby wasn't placed in the potential father's arms at least one of those times. It would have been telling for me to observe him, his comfort level, his level of expertice with a little one. I had known for some time that I wanted very much to be a mother. I had practice with kids from years of babysitting and looking after my younger brother and sister's needs. Toting an infant about was already second nature to me. I'm at a loss as to why I didn't hand our nephew off to my husband. Maybe I wasn't ready to know if he'd take it in stride, if he seemed like a natural. It might have been disarming and attractive to see how he handled it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's About Time

That's my left hand. I wear three little silver bracelets on my left wrist, I rarely take them off. Partly because I'm lazy, partly because there's really no need to. And partly because they're a talisman of sorts, each one has come to represent an aspect of time to me. From the left they are past, present, and future. Past is in a chain style called Figaro. At the time that I purchased it, a little over five years ago, I was mired in the past, feeling unable to move forward. I hadn't named it then, I just liked it and wore it. Several months earlier, I had stopped wearing my wedding and anniversary bands, both of which were yellow gold. My ring finger felt naked and I started wearing my white gold class ring to fill the empty space. I liked how Figaro looked with it, and switching from yellow to white felt like making a statement about moving on. I started calling Figaro Past about a year ago, when I bought the bracelet in the center, and started considering the Present in my life. Sort of a taking stock of where I was and how I got there. The style of chain is called a beaded snake, which I quite like since the snake is a symbol of feminine power. I'd look at the two chains nestled together on my wrist and feel like something was missing. Obviously I needed a bracelet to represent the Future, and chose the twisted rope style to complete the set. It seemed appropriate, the twisted silver strands echoing how time spirals out in front of us, leading us to who knows where. I've been pondering questions and answers of late, as well as the passage of time. How they're related and tangled up together. How answers seem crystal clear in hindsight. Sometimes startlingly obvious in the present. And how they render the future less murky and easier to face. When I wear a watch, it is always on my left wrist, settling in among the Past, Present and Future. And it only now occurred to me why they make such comfortable and compatible companions.

Friday, November 19, 2010


You have been forewarned. I cannot be responsible for your reaction if you should continue to read. At some point in the future, you never can tell, too much information could possibly be useful to you. Or be a gross, yet mildly interesting, story to tell at a party. How actually entertaining it might be is dependent on a number of factors. Your storytelling ability, your audience, whether or not said audience is eating, maturity level regarding bodily functions, blood alcohol content of anyone present, including you. But I digress. Without further ado or distraction, let me get straight to the point. Be aware that the ingestion of Kraft Singles or Deli Deluxe cheese along with concord grape juice results in a verdant green coloring of one's fecal matter. There you have it. You now possess too much information. Use it wisely.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fresh Meat!

I know, I know, it's cruel and mean spirited and opportunistic for me to even begin to consider this idea...but what if this means there are more available men right at this moment, even as I type!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Several years ago, hand written on the inside of a Christmas card, was this sentence. There are years that ask questions and years that answer. I liked the thought, and have had that card hanging up on my bulletin board ever since. It occurred to me just now to google this pithy phrase to see who, if anyone, it might be attributed to. And her name is Zora Neale Hurston. She said many, many amazing things. Like this...Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. And this...Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. And this...Those that don't got it, can't show it. Those that got it, can't hide it. But for me, it is that first quote that speaks to me with such significance and relevance. This is a year of answers I am living. Not always answers that I want to hear, but often what I need to hear. Maybe I'm paying attention where I was earlier neglectful. Or maybe I'm just finally ready to know and internalize and embrace this information that's finding its way to me. I do know that I have been surprised by some answers, blindsided by others. Comforted. Relieved. Ready to move on. Discovering you, Zora Neale Hurston, has turned out to be an answer in itself.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Adorable Tony

It's become a hobby of mine to get my picture taken with the cutest guy in the bar when I go out for the evening. Allow me to introduce adorable Tony, who was seated at the table next to Tammy's birthday party guests.

Adorable Tony seems to have mistaken me for the birthday girl. I went along with it so he wouldn't feel like he committed a social faux pas, I hate for anyone to feel uncomfortable at a party. And then there was the matter of Tony bordering on gorgeous. And since you asked, yes, Tony is a fabulous kisser. He told me that I'm so beautiful that he forgot he has a girlfriend. Sigh. I shall probably never see him again. But if I do, I expect I'll have to kiss him again, if only to remind him of how we met. An odd bit of trivia for those of you who aren't distracted by Tony, God knows I former husband designed that scoreboard hanging on the wall. Cubby's is, after all, a sports bar. In any case, it seems that the clock has run down to zero and the score is 33 to 29. I love it when the home team wins.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bark for Me!

They're here! My most favorite seasonal treat is back in the candy aisle! Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares. They are delicious and heavenly and delectable. Buy some and enjoy. Just make sure you leave enough on the shelf for me. Thank you.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Spam Exam

1. Why do they think I would desire a bigger penis? Assuming I have one.

2. Since they've already assumed I have one, why would they assume it isn't functioning properly and would require volume discounts on genuine Viagra and Cialis?

3. Wouldn't finding an apartment and needing renter's insurance cancel out buying a forclosed-upon home, and then needing a VA loan? Assuming I'm a veteran.

4. I suppose if I qualify to buy a house, I might be in need of kitchen cabinets, driveway paving, quality roofing and rain gutters, and a beautiful, healthy lawn. I expect I'll be needing that pesky Credit Score as well.

5. Not only are there singles in my area wanting to meet me and/or chat with me, they also are available in the Naughty, Nice, Jewish, Over 50, and Lonely varieties.

6. If I should manage to hook up with one of these singles, I might just need a Beautiful Engagement Ring.

7. Before I make any meaningful decision about anything, I'm sure I ought to consult Bethea, my personal psychic. And buy amulets. And love potions. Perhaps lottery ticket numbers.

8. We certainly don't want to risk losing contact with Kim, MagicJack, and trisha184, who have all recently changed their email addresses.

9. If the Statewide Job Scam involves Ultrasound Technicians and Certified Nursing Assistants, maybe I should opt for qualifying for the Social Security Disability Claim.

10. If I should be so fortunate to latch onto one of those FREE Ipads or 4G cell phones, I expect I'll be needing to update my Wireless Internet, and get in on that Bargain Ink and Toner sale.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Morning After

I am pleased to report that I will be attending Tammy's birthday celebration tonight in beautiful downtown Brookings, SD. I shall enjoy immensely the recently enacted smoking ban in the bars. I may look like the above photo tomorrow morning, but by golly, I'll smell good.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thank You

Dear Mr Cutie-Pie,

Thank you so much for your recent rude and cowardly behavior. This renders you ever so genuinely unattractive in my esteem. Meaning that I will no longer be bothering you with friendly emails and no longer participate in stimulating conversations on politics, music, and the state of the world in general. Should you be interested in contacting me in the future to explain, rationalize, or apologize for this lack of decorum, I shall do my best to listen with an open mind that is free of judgment. Again, I am grateful to you for inadvertently (or intentionally?) revealing your baser side to me.

Ever so truly yours,

The Recalcitrant Goddess

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Important Information! Please Read!

When I saw today's title in the subject line of the email, I knew what the alluded important information would be in reference to. And all I have to say is, at least this time, it was not due to the pottymouth behavior of yours truly. Really. The body of said email appears below. With any possible identifying references removed or altered to protect the innocent. Or guilty. Honestly, people, let's clean it up! Or keep your fucking pie hole shut! Then again, I thought it inappropriate last spring when a higher management person inquired as to whether or not I was wearing panties. Which, after all, was none of this person's goddamn business. I was informed that since the incident occurred off of company property and was a social occasion, said policy did not apply. Silly me! Naturally, the location of the incident rendered the remark perfectly respectful, professional, positive, and absolutely free of harassment and hostility. And all I have to say about that is, most emphatically, bullshit.

Inappropriate language, such as profanity, sexual comments/jokes, derogatory comments, etc., does not contribute to promoting a positive work environment at Our Company. This type of language is not professional and is not acceptable at Our Company. Employees are expected to display professional, appropriate conduct, which includes showing courtesy and respect towards coworkers. Behavior that is personally offensive, fails to respect the rights of others, lowers moral and interferes with our work effectiveness is not acceptable here in our workplace.

Be conscientious of your words and actions and be respectful to your coworkers.

Our Company makes every effort to provide a work environment free from all forms of harassment. The company Anti-Harassment Policy can be found on pages 14-15 of the Employee Handbook. Our Company has employee guidelines for appropriate conduct and those guidelines are listed on pages 48-49 of the Employee Handbook. Review this information in your handbook or see your supervisor or myself if you have questions.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is There Anything More Pitiful...

...than a soaking wet cat? Newton doesn't want anyone to know, but he fell into my bathtub earlier. And it was approximately half full of water. I looked up from my newspaper and coffee when I heard a horrible noise, a combination of frantic scuffling and splashing coming from the general direction of my bathroom. Where I had run the tub half full of hot water about half an hour earlier. Because of my water heater/tub size disparity. Before I had quite figured out what was going on, a very freaked out and soaking wet Newton flew out of my bathroom, through my bedroom and the sunroom, moving a chair as he collided with it on the way, through the kitchen, making a hard left turn to go downstairs, and negotiated a couple more turns to end up under the video game controller littered coffee table in the family room. He hissed at me when I tried to pull him out, also hissed at his brother when Einstein approached him and sniffed him investigatively. I wiped up the puddles he left in his wake and coaxed him out from under the table with some tuna and toweled him off some so he wasn't dripping. He seems to be fine, uninjured by his tussle with the chair. Leaving me to conclude, at least for today, that curiosity only damages a cat's dignity.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Love Susie!

Happy Birthday Susie! I adore you! You rock! You wear forty ever so well. It was a privilege to hear you play live in August, 2003, at the legendary Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. I enjoyed the relaxed and intimate atmosphere at the Surf, we spent the second half of the show on the dance floor, often standing near the stage to listen, setting our beers on the edge of the stage while we danced. I particularly enjoyed you making up lyrics for Angel From Montgomery, singing that John Prine won't care, he'll never know 'bout you messin' up his song! Two girls managed to get past security and were up on the stage dancing. As they were being shown out of the building, you paused in the middle of the song and insisted they be allowed to stay. I also remember that tickets were only ten bucks! As we were entering, there was a young man on the sidewalk who was mulling as to whether he should part with the cash to see you, he wasn't familiar with your music. I turned to him and said even if it was fifty bucks, seeing you would be worth every penny! Later in the evening, he came up to me and thanked me. It's been too long since then, hope to see you soon.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Six years ago today I walked through the doors of the seed lab for my first day on the job. Paperwork. Introductions. Learning things about seeds and the ag/industrial complex that I never imagined could be. So much was interesting. And dirty and dusty and requiring various levels of Personal Protective Equipment. I was good at what I did. I volunteered to organize a system for the storage of the seed samples in my department. In the four years I was responsible for as many as 100,000 corn and soybean customer samples at a time, not a single one was lost. A handful were misplaced and I found them anyway. I won Employee Performance of the Month honors for this achievement. An award that is nominated and voted on by fellow workers. Over time, I developed tendinitis in my wrists and hands, along with a sesitivity to latex gloves. Today I returned to the lab after an absence of twelve weeks. I didn't know the code for the security door, and a new face behind the reception desk buzzed me through. I barely lasted two hours. As I suspected, they were not able to accomodate my most recent work restrictions. The final humiliation was being unable to open the fire door into the research area. I want my hands to heal. I would rather be working. I miss so many people that I passed so many days with accomplishing as well as exceeding so many work goals. Happy anniversary to me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Sunny Sunday! A high of 66 degrees. I wore capri pants and went barefoot outside. The windows were open wide and fresh air breezed through the house. It was lovely. These are all pretty standard components for a pleasant day. The remarkable thing is that we are a full week into November, so at least for me, it was appreciated all the more. Winter will show up with a vengeance all too soon. And hang around long past the point when the novelty of snow and cold has completely worn off. I happen to like winter. Maybe because I'm half Norwegian. Maybe because I figure if I'm in the deep freeze a few months out of the year I'll stay fresher, age a little more slowly...that and a slavish devotion to sunscreen might fool Mother Nature for a while. It would be difficult for me to live where the full change of the seasons isn't experienced. I enjoy the cycle of birth/death/rebirth in the trees and other vegetation, the signs of change with the migration of birds, the shortening then lengthening of daylight hours. I could do without shoveling snow and mosquitoes quite happily, as well as the sub-zero temperatures in the winter, the humidity in the summer. These pleasant late fall days are a gift. And I'll take as many as I can get.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


To blog...or not to blog? That is the question. Even though I have nothing in particular to report. I did survive an afternoon of being chauffeured around by Reid. Both of us are suffering from relatively mild cases of PTSD after the garage incident last Monday. But we are pressing on! Get back on that horse that threw you! And in an hour or so it's my turn to chauffeur, I'm the DD for the evening with the elder son and assorted others. I believe we're mourning the outcome of the state and national elections last week. In other news, I'm returning to work on the upcoming Monday, and I'm very curious as to what I'll be doing when I get there. My updated work restrictions state that I am to not use my right hand at all. I happen to be right hand dominant. And limited use of my left hand. I wonder if it will be permissible for me to lift a coffee cup with my right hand, even though I need assistance from my left so I don't drop it in my lap. Hmmm. I hope I won't have to clock out to go to the bathroom or blow my nose. I don't think there's a survelliance camera in the bathroom, but you never can tell. Keep this in mind, just because you're paranoid that doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Men At Work

Facebook has just informed me that my account is under maintenance and is currently unavailable, check back in a few hours. This is pitiful. I feel cut off from the world! Now they'll probably make me pay to get access. Or be subjected to some sort of twisted and shameful initiation ceremony. I can't breathe! I'm having a panic attack! I'm going through withdrawal! Soylent Green is people! Wait, maybe this lightheaded feeling has more to do with the fact that it is over seven hours since I've eaten anything. Perhaps my blood sugar is tanking. Never mind.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cues & Ayes

Once again, I have reached the halfway point of cleaning and organizing my office. Will I continue and finish the job this time? That is most definitely the question. And the answer is...a resounding maybe. Oh, and I have evidence that I am normal. It came in the mail today. Okay, so it only says that very specific parts of me are normal, and this is very good news. The rest of me is open to interpretation as far as normalcy is concerned. And if normal is based upon what you're accustomed to, I seem just fine to me. With the exception of my cranky hands, which I am hauling to Sioux Falls tomorrow for a visit with the ortho doc. This has been a week of answers thus far, so I can hope that some decisions can be made about further treatment. The problem all along seems to have been that each and every treatment was successful for a while. So we progressed from the least invasive, involving heat, trans-dermal meds, and physical therapy, to the most recent and most invasive, surgical intervention. And I'm still not better! In fact, my right hand is now more compromised than it was before the surgery. I'm typing with five fingers most of the time. Three on my left hand and two on my right hand. I'm getting surprisingly fast but the typos are many. In the old days, I would have gone through an entire bottle of Liquid Paper in this post alone. I expect I should make a shopping list. As long as I'm in the big city to the south I ought make the most of it. At the very least, the French onion soup at Panera is almost worth the trip all on its own. I smell lunch.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I am officially in mourning. Not so much for the results of yesterday's election, but for the decline and death of idealism, accuracy, fair play, and reasonable solutions to the myriad problems in this country. I just may move to Minnesota so I can proudly proclaim that Al Franken is my senator! Just not to District 6, the stronghold of Michelle Bachmann. Too bad, I kind of like St. Cloud. I remain astonished that political upsTART Kristi Noem has unseated the intelligent, thoughtful, and estimable Stephanie Herseth Sandlin.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And the Winner Is...

I know that staying up late isn't going to change any of the election results. I'm a Democrat in a heavily Republican state. At this moment with 75% of precincts reporting, Republican idiot speeder Kristi Noem is narrowly leading incumbent Democrat Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. I haven't always agreed with Stephanie on the issues. But I have found her to be accessible, intelligent and interested in doing her best for the people of South Dakota. Ms. Noem, on the other hand, seems to have no grasp on the issues and not a clue about governmental process. Maybe that's why she didn't show up to pay those speeding tickets, she doesn't understand what a bench warrant is. It's been a negative and ugly campaign. Now that the GnOP has taken control of the US House of Representatives, let's hope they step up with some good ideas to solve our country's problems. Instead of just naysaying and gridlocking. Is it too much to ask that they be grown-ups and make productive use of time and resources? Rather than stay up and bite my nails, think I'll go to bed. Get up in the morning and read the results in the newspaper. With a big cup of coffee, thank you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

NyQuil Hangover

The cold that has been lurking in and around me for three weeks has taken up residence in my sinuses. Damn opportunistic viruses anyway. They are so patient, so stealthy, just waiting for a little chink in the mortar of my immune system. It's Monday. My hands are cranky, still no word of an approved follow-up visit to the orthopedic doctor, and I'm expected back at work this Friday! Oh, and there's a hole in the back of my garage. Other than that, Reid is doing very well driving. Now, instead of having medical people not return my calls, I'll have contractors not returning my calls. Did I mention I have a cold? I wonder if they can deliver a truckload of Calgon, I have a feeling I'm going to need it.