Saturday, April 30, 2011

May Day!

Does anyone else remember May Day? Your doorbell would ring and when you opened the door, no one was there. But a May basket was. Candy, maybe a small toy, something home-baked, flowers. The last time I remember May Day celebrated in this fashion I was preschool age, living in Ray, North Dakota. The memory is like vapor. Hazy and without detail. Bits and pieces come into focus. The house we lived in, a two story duplex with a mostly dirt yard. Some raggedy zinnias near the concrete front stoop. Mom hated zinnias, but they were hardy, they would tolerate the hot, dry summers. It was like they bloomed to aggravate her. I remember sitting on that concrete stoop, buffetted by the relentless prairie wind, convinced that I could be carried off by it if I weighed any less. This year May Day falls between two Sundays of greater celebration, Easter and Mother's Day. It has already been on my mind that this upcoming Mother's Day is the first one since my own mother's death. I am saddened by this but at the same time grateful for the fact that I, too am a mother. Tomorrow morning I'll turn up the calendars and remember anonymous gifts from long ago on the doorstep. And consider the Celtic celebration Beltane that falls on May 1st, the pagan holiday of fertility that renews the bonds between the Mother Earth Goddess and the fire god Belanos. Seems like a good time to plant flowers. Maybe some zinnias.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Read this Book!

Okay, well, I haven't read it yet, but I will after Liz reads it and loans it to me. I did hear the author, Michael Kimmel, speak this evening, and I have to say I like how he thinks. So. Read this book.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Car Birthday!

Not exactly new anymore, but my car is still a blue Subaru! That's Newport Blue Pearl, to be precise. Let's see, that was April 28, 2007. Four years and 41,000 miles we've been together. I'm too pooped from painting the deck furniture to count how many states. Still like her. Still planning to put a million miles on her. I hear a nice, hot soak in the tub calling to me. Thanks, Colleen, for the sanding and painting help, I couldn't have done it without you! and that inside out shirt thing...brilliant! Oh, and the light up palm tree is once again functional. Think I'll have a glass of Chateau Ste. Michelle syrah with my bath. I certainly don't want to bathe in the wine and drink my bathwater. Good thing I can tell the difference now.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rune Magic

I have a necklace very similar to the photo. I tried to take a picture of it, so you could see my rune necklace. But my photography skills are not at my beck and call tonight, so you get an image I swiped from the depths of the internet. Anyway. Yesterday I bought a rune necklace, the rune depicted is Jera. It spoke to me as I gazed at it, and when I read the meaning of this particular rune I understood why. Jera represents completion. Harvest. Reaping the benefits from effort. Fruition. Closure. With so many tasks at hand, some more urgent than others, and with many things in my life seeming at a standstill despite my work to move them forward, I felt I needed a talisman, a totem. Something to hold in my hand and remind me that my labor, my toil, my efforts, do mean something. Do count for something. Do matter. I started, and finished, my deck repair job today. I'm tired and dirty and my hands ache. But I completed a daunting task. Jera and me, we'll be hanging out together for a while. I like this feeling of accomplishment.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Old Eyes

If Michelangelo had suffered from presbyopia, just think, he would have needed bifocals to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. As if that wasn't difficult enough to accomplish, he would have had a truly miserable kink in his neck from trying to focus through the lower part of the lens in his glasses. While you're pondering this with great preponderance, here is an extremely cool rotating view of the entire chapel. Complete with serenading angelic voices.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Posting of Bills

This is what former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser had to say when asked how success had changed his life:

The image is this feeling like one of those telephone poles you see on the street on which a lot of notices have been stapled and then torn away, and they leave little triangles of paper, held by staples. On those notices were things lost and things found and the photos of people missing, and now even the photos are missing as a metaphor for what happens in life. All this experience is tacked upon us and then torn away, and we become a residue of all this experience.

I now declare that the subject of discussion for this Monday is telephone poles. As the above quote covers the sublime end of the spectrum for our topic, this provides the ridiculous.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

This is Edgar, my anatomically correct satyr-with-wings who lives in the back yard under the pine tree. I always suspected that he led a double life.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday AM

You know that thing about friends? No matter how much time passes since you last saw them you don't miss a beat, it's like you've never been apart? Well, it is true. I shared a cup of coffee and a couple of hours with Sara this morning. Like many people who are dear to me, she lives much too far away and too much time gets away in between the times we are together. Saturday morning always carries a magical air for me, I think it started way back when I was a child. Memories of bowls of cereal consumed on the living room floor in front of the tv blaring Mighty Mouse and Merrie Melodies. Before there were 24/7 cartoons with entire cable channels devoted to them. Thanks, Sara. Lets do this again soon.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Virtual Shopping

The only thing better than shoe shopping with my sis Martine is sitting at home in a comfy chair while she does the legwork.

So many pretty shoes, so little chocolate.

A purse! A pink purse!

Anjelica. In caramel. By BOC. Sweet.

Another pink purse! Thanks, Martine!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bustle in My Hedgerow

Phase One of garage cleaning was completed this afternoon. Recycling is ready to go to the curb tomorrow morning. Two bags of garbage hauled out. It is now possible to walk through from the front to the back without scaling a mountain of junk. Without a doubt, the most disgusting thing I found was something that used to be Reid's carved pumpkin from last Halloween. Sitting there on the counter. Collapsing in on itself in a sea of melted pumpkin goo. Fortunately the temperature in the garage was around 50 degrees, cutting down the stink factor to nearly nothing. Phase Two of garage cleaning I expect will be patching up the wall with a new piece of sheetrock, followed by reorganizing. Then I'll need the cleared out space for slapping a fresh coat of paint on the deck furniture. That is, if the snow and rain will stop long enough so the furniture will dry out so I can paint it. Cleaning Phase One turned up my collection of cobalt blue wine bottles which I will be turning into lovely and decorative yard lights! They are currently soaking in the laundry room to facilitate label removal. Sometimes when I keep stuff because I think I could maybe possibly use it later for a cool craft project, I actually find it and do the project. On the other hand, I also recently found a box of a dozen glass dinner size plates, purchased in the local K-Mart store closing clearance sale years ago. I bought them for a cool craft project. One of them that I never got around to, which is good because now they will come in handy for the Gradu-Weduation party. Now a mere sixteen days away. It's not nearly time to panic.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April Shoe Fantasy #1

Behold. The b.o.c. by Born Naiomi wedge sandal. In pink. Or whatever food or flora that comes in some shade of pink name that Born was calling this color last year. I'm thinking spring. Really hard. Because I want to wear these shoes somewhere besides prancing around in my bedroom.

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's All Relative

Wow! He's tall! exclaimed my 6'2" son, indicating a fellow Wal-Mart shopper.

He certainly is! was my reply as I tilted my head upward, hearing a crunchy sound in my neck. I adjusted my posture, owning every bit of my 5'4" height. I tower over second graders.

We laughed.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Just Poking Around

Is it just me, or does the poke function on Facebook seem vaguely sexual? It's just me? Damn. I was afraid of that. It's been ages since I was poked four times on a Sunday. Sigh. The Pillsbury Dough Boy's got nothin' on me!

Found 'Em!

Although not all of them. Eggs traditionally come packaged as a dozen, as I'm pretty sure these did. I found eleven, and ten are there in the basket. I have one in my pocket that Newton made off with, it was all the way down the basement steps and I nearly stepped on it on the way to post here. And, yes, I found some bunnies as well. Petunia, Carrots, Spring, and Posy wish you a Happy Eostara. I expect they'll be out celebrating the full moon tonight, gathering hawthorn with their faery friends. I'm checking them for dew-dampened paws in the morning.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

To Drink, or Not to Drink

I can type up a storm at the moment. I have had two glasses of Fish Eye reisling. Crisp. Tasty. Refreshing. Let's back up just a bit. I am a social drinker. Have been one since I was a teenager. I'm not entirely sure what her motive was, but my mother took something of a demystifying approach to alcohol. On holidays, when there was wine around, usually something awful like cold duck, we could have a glass once we were high school age. At peer group parties at that time of my life, I'd stand around holding a can of some equally awful beer like Hamm's or Black Label. I didn't actually like beer until I went to college and experienced dark beers by the pitcher at Mama Rosa's Italian Restaurant near campus. Something that tasted good! What a revelation! I didn't mind the nice little head buzz, either. I've rarely been in a frame of mind to get drunk, like it was the goal of the evening. On the handful of occasions I have set out with that in mind, the results have not been pretty. I remain a social drinker. But lately there has been a new twist. I suffer from neurogenic pain in my hands. Alcohol is a nervous system depressant. When I have a couple of drinks, the pain in my hands and wrists is significantly diminished. Is this merely a happy coincidence? Or something I could become dependent on? All I know is that I still have to wait more than six weeks to see the next doctor, an orthopedic hand specialist. I've had the feeling for some time that a neurologist might be more likely to be helpful, but I'm just the patient. Until then, I'm relying on physical therapy and a drink or two. Cheers.

Thank You, Mother Nature

Garden party three weeks from today. Oy.

Don't you just love South Dakota in the spring?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Season 5, Episode 1

Yes, I did just see the season opening installment of Friday Night Lights. And it would seem odd to be watching anything to do with football. Except for the fact that there is a fresh, tidy blanket of snow outside. But in Dillon, Texas, it is August and it is hot. Are we confused? Only if we are unable to separate tv from reality. Don't get me started on reality tv, which is a whole 'nother bucket of Gatorade. In preparation for tonight's viewing, I have been brushing up on Season 1 of FNL. When it originally aired, I didn't get in on the action until the Mud Bowl episode. Twenty of twenty-two! After that I did see a few earlier shows, but still had a number of gaps in the story that I wished to fill in. And in the spirit of good things coming to those who wait, earlier this week I picked up Season 1 on dvd for ten bucks!! I have viewed the first nine installments including a short documentary on the making of the series and how it made its leap from the big screen to the small. Also included are deleted scenes for many of the shows. A detail that I really enjoy and appreciate about FNL is how fluid the cast has been over its five year run. Students move away and others arrive in the hamlet of Dillon. They graduate and move on. The adult characters weather serious, life-altering situations. They make mistakes and at times triumph over them. They seem so very much like real people with real lives. And for me, that's what makes it interesting to watch. That and easy on the eyes Kyle Chandler. Like I've typed before, I don't give a flying fig about football. But I'd follow Coach Taylor through a cloud of hornets just to massage the frown from his forehead and hand him a cold one. You've gotta love a dad who plays ping-pong with his daughter while handing out fatherly advice. Go Panthers! I mean Lions.

All That Jazz

Went to hear Skyler play his trombone tonight. With the SDSU Jazz Ensemble. I enjoyed hearing live music for the first time in a long time. Are y'all reading this with a southern accent? Cuz that's for sure how I'm typing it! Otherwise, these three thoughts are on my mind.

1. To the guy sitting near me at the bar during the musical interlude of the evening: How the hell can you find your smart phone and your food more interesting and engaging than this wonderful and inspired music!?!?!

2. Sex and the City reference: At the end of Season #1, Samantha meets James on an evening out listening to jazz. Aside from being an otherwise perfect man in so many respects, he has a tiny penis. Later, in counseling, she admits to liking a large one. Who can blame her.

3. Lost track of a cute guy between Bravo's and downtown, due to separate vehicles, rain, and the parking situation.

Oh, I mean four thoughts...

4. I am ever so grateful that I deleted this guy's number from my phone, otherwise I would have resorted to texting and/or calling him tonight.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Okay. Five thoughts.

5. I fear I am becoming a serious lush. A couple of drinks diminish the pain in my hands to a tolerable level. It's a good thing I love beer. And tequila. Or this would be more than miserable.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Atomic Attraction

I have a ghost friend. On Facebook. My friend count wavers back and forth between 98 and 99, depending on whether my poltergeist is in residence. I have clicked over to her profile and clicked the unfriend button. But she keeps reappearing. She only has two other friends, so maybe I should be nice. If it works anything like my luck with men, I should put in a friend request when she's not looking. Then she's sure to lose interest and never return. That's my super hero power, ladies and gents, I have the uncanny ability to repel someone once they know I would like to get closer. And I'm certain when I have a fundamental understanding of quantum physics, I can turn this to my advantage. Like I always say, when something works, use it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Brain Hurts

This book was on my summer reading list, hmmm, two years ago? I got distracted by fluffier reading alternatives and sunshine. But now it has emerged from the black hole that is the stack of forgotten books on my nightstand. I'm a little overwhelmed with terms, but determined to get through it this time. May the quarks be with me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Price of Admission

Divorce changes everything. And at some point, after the shouting has died down, the damage has been dealt with, and everything from household items to friends to time with the children has been divvied up, life takes on a new routine and a new normalcy. I'm five years into this new life, but there are some things from the old life that I miss terribly. His side of the family has been the big one for me. My separation from the people who were my extended family for over twenty years has proved most difficult and painful to resolve. Time has a way of marching on, and as it does occasions arise that draw us together once more. These re-introductions have been a little awkward. But for the most part, everyone has behaved, allowing our connections to slowly but surely make a comeback. And I have hope that these bonds, though never really broken, will continue to grow stronger. Feelings inevitably are put on hold for that moment when the statute of limitations on marital crimes expires. For some, that moment will never arrive. The need to place blame and the inability to forgive and forget belongs to them. My feeling is that my ex and I have been able to reach a truce and move on with our lives. And if we can, the pair who were most injured, most heartbroken, most devastated by the end of our marriage, then it's time those on the periphery do so as well. It will never be the same, but certainly we can find new ways to redefine and reforge these relationships for the future. The price of admission to this extended family was my marriage. A marriage that no longer is, but traces of it remain, and always will.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

All Thawn Out

My buried front yard.

The melting begins!


....and gone! Except for that stubborn patch just in front of the deck. The rain last night finished it off. Let the raking begin.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Anthropomorphic Alcohol Abuse

Behold, and tremble. The redneck hunter wine rack. Holding a bottle of 3 Rednecks wine. I like that the bottle is a screw top. Is this irony? Mere coincidence? I also like that the guzzling deer has a rack. This is too much fun. I am amused.

Friday, April 8, 2011

After. At Last.

The walls are painted Olympic King Triton in semi-gloss. The ceiling is a blend of two leftover colors, Martha Stewart Porch Ceiling Blue (the original wall color) and MS Ice Water. The waves cresting and swelling are the product of a suggestion from Reid and my stubborn, twisted artistic resolve. Yes, I did suffer! But it did turn out pretty cool.

All of these various shades of blue seem to cohabit together quite nicely. It feels very fresh and bright. And, yes, those are fish shaped knobs on the vanity doors. God may not be in the details here, but King Triton certainly is. Avast there, and do remember to flush.

Meeting Miss Izabelle Jean

Oops. I stayed out too late last night to post a blog for Thursday. I was busy meeting a new little person who is most adorable. I had dinner with her parents, Josh and Lisa. That's Miss Izabelle with her lovely mom, Lisa. Izzy coos and smiles and creates the most interesting saliva bubble formations. I can tell already that she is ever so bright as well as advanced for her tender age of 2 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days. Dad Josh cooked! We feasted on a shrimp and bacon alfredo with salad and a very nice chardonnay. Proving that bacon is a welcome addition to pretty much any dish. Welcome to the world, baby girl!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Not Quite After

It was a lovely feels-like-spring day! The only reason I have any awareness of this is because I was briefly outside between my car and the clinic when I went to physical therapy. Where was I, you might wonder. Inside. Painting the bathroom. Still. Although someone else was busy reimagining the 1980 Stanley Kubrick creepfest, The Shining, as a romantic comedy. Heeeeeere's Johnny! Um, I mean the trailer.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Painting the bathroom! Be back tomorrow. As you can see, Einstein is helping.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Various Countdowns

Days left until...

Easter -- 20
Graduweduation -- 33
My sis Martine arrives -- 31
My next birthday -- 96
Appointment with ortho doc #2 -- 51
I meet Izabelle Jean -- 3

Committing to blog every day does not necessarily result in a pithy, eloquent post. It does, however, force me to take a break from Facebooking and playing FreeCell. Blogging is such a noble activity.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

34 Days Til Graduweduation!

I was out of the house for two whole hours this afternoon without my phone! I survived. No one was trying to reach me and I didn't need to photograph a crime scene and send it to local authorities. It's really hard to type with this bulky bandage on my left index finger. Now, where did I put that gigantic pair of rubber gloves that I used when my right hand was casted last September? I guess the dishes can wait. As if they ever don't. Not that I want the heaping banks of snow back, but the yard looks really crappy now that it's melted away. Indicating how much work needs to be done out there. I now am the proud owner of a cool wireless thermometer. If anyone is interested, the high today was 77, which I find questionable, and the current temp, 37, is the low for the day, which I find chilly. And my car really, seriously needs a run through the car wash. Still haven't found those blue and white Easter eggs. Reid's bathroom could use painting before the graduweduation party. I do need more projects to keep me out of trouble. At this rate, I won't have an opportunity to misbehave until well into 2012.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


In case I had ever wondered how the mandolin slicer can whip right through even sweet potatoes, I have learned the answer. That freaking blade is really freaking sharp!! I am so absolutely careful when I'm using it, but I got careless while cleaning it. Damn. As if my hands weren't compromised enough already!

Friday, April 1, 2011

First Walk

Yesterday I ventured out on my first power walk of the season. It was almost 2.5 miles, which really isn't all that long, and it seriously kicked my butt. It took me 45 minutes! Pitiful, just pitiful. I feel great today, though, so I must not be deteriorating exponentially. Maybe I went for a walk just in time and that little bit of activity is staving off decrepitude for a while. I've gotta have tunes while I walk or bike! Music keeps my white girl rhythm on track giving the illusion of grace. At least that is an illusion I am happy to labor under. Playlist!!!

Hall & Oates/Private Eyes
Fleetwood Mac/Sweet Little Lies
Patsy Cline/I Fall to Pieces
Hank Harris/Cry Wolf
B 52's/Love Shack
Hank Harris/Genuine Artificial
Abby SomeOne/Love You Right
Bonnie Raitt/I Can't Make You Love Me
Linda Ronstadt/What'll I Do?
Red Willow Band/You Can't Get There From Here
Paul Simon w Linda Ronstadt/Under African Skies
Sarah McLachlan/Building a Mystery
Elvis Costello/Radio, Radio
Sarah McLachlan/I Will Remember You
Beth Nielsen Chapman/Sand & Water
Dishwalla/Counting Blue Cars
Fleetwood Mac/Go Your Own Way
Susan Tedeschi/You Need to be With Me
Red Willow Band/The Other Man
Lyle Lovett/If I Had a Boat

Countdown to Friday Night Lights, 2 weeks!!!