This is the window ledge Frog didn't quite reach. You'll have to take my word for it that it's way up there. Rick took this picture last thursday. Rick thought it was funny... Frog playing Kilroy.
Right now Frog is hiding in the corner of my closet underneath my hanging shirts... all five of them. He doesn't want anyone to find him and disturb him. Robert and I keep checking on him. We'll move him back to his cage later... after he has gotten a good sleep.
This morning I was awakening by meowing. Loud meowing. From both sides of the room. Frog in his pen and Binky outside my door. I let Binky into my room and put her on my bed (she can't seem to jump that high these days). I then wandered over to Frog and sat on the floor. Slowly I slid the door open. He threw his head back towards me and reached up a paw. Carefully I picked him up and held him against my shoulder. Immediate purrs. He rubbed his head all over my shoulder and began kneading my upper arm.
This was quite awkward. I didn't want to accidently bump his leg and have him yowling and shaking from the pain. Binky wanted to give him comforting licks, but I couldn't hold both of them even though I was sitting down. Then Toby came galloping in, ears flapping, tail wagging. Frog was instantly on alert. When Toby put his paws on the bed, Frog tried to run and hide.
Toby was so sad. No Frog to play tag with him. Binky refuses to play the right way. She doesn't mind swatting him, but she refuses to let him chase her back.
inside my mind
Only something the creator could love. Although even the dragonets admit it looks nice against our butter yellow walls.
Someone found me by searching for the words tackled damn teckel.
How in the world do people come up with some of these word search strings? Who in the world put together those three words? And why am I the only place on the web that comes up for that query?
Brooks stepped outside today and exclaimed, "Whoa, Nellie! It's cold enough to freeze my balls off!"
At least he ran back inside and dressed more appropriately. Shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt are not appropriate wear when you are a Floridian and it's 42*F outside and windy.
"Hakuna potato it's a problem free loss of pee hakuna potato" -- Brook's version
Frog is a bit of a daredevil. He climbs to the tops of trees. He taunts the big dogs in the neighborhood by parading in front of them nonchalantly. He jumps from a 10 foot ledge up to a window 12 feet above the floor.
Well, not anymore. Not after this morning.
This morning Frog miscalculated the distance and fell. He hit a dining room chair and then the hard tile floor. Robert jumped up and ran to him. Frog crawled across the dining room and living room floors trying to find a place to hide and nurse his wounds. He was mewling. Binky was mewling. Toby was trying to keep anyone from getting to Frog. When Robert picked him up, Frog tried to take a bite out of him.
And then Robert realized why. Frog's leg was just dangling. Sickeningly so.
I called the vet and told them I was bringing Frog in and why. Robert handed Frog to me. Frog wrapped his front paws around me and howled. He wanted me to make everything better, and I don't have a magic wand to make it so. Because I couldn't drive in heavy traffic with an injured kitty clinging to me, Robert grabbed the carrier and Frog climbed in.
That was the longest drive. Twenty minutes of rush-hour traffic, piteously mewling cat and tears wanting to drip from my eyes. Rick did his best to keep Frog calm, but Frog wanted me -- his mommy.
When we arrived at the vet clinic, people seemed to come out of the woodwork. Almost everyone that works there knows Frog. When he enters a room, everyone notices him. He's the most charismatic creature I know. The fact that he was in so much pain was scary.
One of the nurses whisked him in the back to give him a sedative. The vet came out not 5 minutes later to let me know that his leg was badly broken and what they were going to do. Rick and I had to go home without any answers. As we were walking out the door, one of the nurses came running after us to give us his card and his direct line. Today was his day off, but he was staying to take care of Frog.
So for hours, but it felt like forever, Viki kept me calmed down while I waited for a phone call about Frog. Finally it came and we had to go to the clinic to meet with the vet and sign papers giving permission for surgery. Frog will have pins and plates holding his broken leg together. We have to get a cage for him to recuperate in, otherwise he'll have to stay at the clinic. The vet doesn't want him running around, trying to jump and climb. Nor does he need a 60 pound hound playing tag with him or a 16 pound cat licking him to death.
We're all so relieved that Frog is going to be okay and recover... even if the recovery causes us to pull our hair out.
Today felt like a huge waste of time.
I'm tidying up a little story that I wrote last year. I want to submit it for publication, but trying to figure out who prints stories like the one I wrote and who accepts unsolicited manuscripts is quite a pain in the ass. My head started pounding, so I started playing around with pictures for my little book. No, they would never be submitted, but Brooks appreciates being able to look at pictures that go with the words.
Then boredom set in. Boredom really isn't the word I want to use, but that's what I'm settling with.
What do I do when in that kind of funk? Why genealogy of course! Today found me typing up my great-aunt's travel diary from 1931. Of course the first page is pure blech. I just threw it up to have something to go from. I notice about 5 minutes ago that I screwed up the links on a page. I have to go back and fix it. Oh what joy! But not tonight. Oh no, not tonight.
As I was typing and reading, I realized how little of Mimi's personality comes through in her journal. But then again she was in her early 20s and no where near the character she grew into. I do not mean character as in someone who is wacky and stands out in a crowd. I mean character as in a mischievious, intelligent person who always had a twinkle in her eye.
This reminds me that I still have to hang her diploma from Duke.
funky, weird, hideous
As I stood in my kitchen at the easel on my counter this morning, I took a hard look at what I was painting.
It started off as a plain white square canvas with finished edges, but I have put color all over it. Squiggles of color. No normal shapes to be found. Rick calls my painting interesting. Kari has pronounced it cool. Brooks informed me that he is a better drawer than I am. Robert has given it a grunt of acknowledgement.
My painting is a doodle of things that go on in my brain. I wriggled paint on the canvas with the flow of my thoughts. Yesterday I couldn't paint at all because my mind was wandering down roads that weren't in agreement with what had gone on in the days before. Today was the same, but I forced myself to paint. Who cares if parts don't mesh in my mind's eye? I'm most likely the only person who would ever know.
I do wonder what Dr. Q would think of my artwork. Would she recognize the workings of my inner mind?
Karan has been posting pictures of her artwork. My children have wondered why it is that she can paint subtle nudes or fish or flowers and do a wonderful job while their mother paints blobs.
Sue quilts. I haven't seen any pictures of completed quilts, but I'm sure she stitches a lovely seam. She's just embarked on a new quilt... Storm at Sea. If it's the pattern I see in my mind's eye, it's a cool pattern that shifts with your eyes. Will you see stars? Will you see squares and triangles? Will you see both as your eyes move from side to side and top to bottom?
I'll post a picture tomorrow. Assuming I can get this gold to do what I wish for it to do.
almost, not quite
Just one small pile of stuff in the corner of my closet to go through and then I am so done with this. Thank goodness! I cannot handle much more mucking in this windowless room. The sad thing is that once I'm done with making it beautiful, I have to pull everything out of the closet for a floor and organizational unit installation. At least all the boxes will slide back in easily.
Ooh, no more funky shade of green carpet in there.
bored and boring
I'm still mucking out the closet. I'm two-thirds of the way done with it. Thank goodness! With everything almost organized in there, I have discovered tons of room.
But I don't want to fill it up. No! Must restrain myself. I must admit that Robert and our dragonets are very tired of being dragged in there to admire my work. Rick muttered something about how I need to stop bragging on what I've accomplished, after all it's totally my fault that it needed to be mucked out.
Discovered anew -- my great-aunt's journal from her Grand Tour in 1931. She only kept notes for part of her trip. I think she became totally bored with writing OR perhaps she found more interesting things to do. Her writing does stop once she hits Paris.
In her memory book from her 2 years at Peace College, she has tucked away some photos of friends. I glanced at one and then -- as I was turning the page -- realized that the little boy in the funny bathing suit was my grandfather. Grandad was probably the age Rick is now.
But perhaps what interested me the most was her calendar from her senior year at Duke University. In the midst of the reminders of quizzes, tests and papers, she mentions her dates and the scores for Duke athletic events. I wonder what happened to Hicks and who he was.
Rick grew 5 1/2 inches and gained 16 pounds in the past year. No wonder his knees hurt upon occasion! He's taller than my brother was at the same age, although they have been following the same pattern of growth. Over the past 2 years, Rick has grown almost 10 inches.
Goodwill wasn't open today for donations. Oh the audacity! I still have umpteen bags of stuff in the back of my van.
Okay, so it isn't spring yet, but I have started my spring cleaning. I'm totally blaming this on Cindy, who had to brag about her basement cleaning earlier this weekend.
My closet was the obvious place to start. Rick joked yesterday that he was going to beg the people from Clean Sweep to come and muck out my closet. Ha! They would be too afraid to enter there. Our attic is only large enough to hold our Christmas stuff, so our 9 X 7 walk-in closet is our catch-all.
But I bravely entered the mess and began sorting. I went through the folders of my schoolwork, my children's schoolwork. They are now sorted by grade and filed and then stored in neatly labeled boxes. My yarn is in two baskets that are actually next to each other. I tossed a few more items of clothing into the Goodwill bags along with more shoes. There is actually room to walk without having to keep eyes glued to the floor.
The funniest find was a letter I wrote to Robert on our 2nd anniversary. I was in Florida, and he was in Oklahoma for more training. Part of the letter dealt with me and my chronic sloppiness.
Mom "organized" our kitchen for us. I'm under orders to keep it that way. Me? Our bedroom is next on the list. We're also going scouting for bookshelves.
I'm caught up on the ironing from 3 weeks ago. Maybe by the time I leave for VA I'll be caught up. Naaaaah!
My room and -- more specifically -- my closet have always been the messy spots in my mother's immaculate house. Even now. Whenever I visit, it seems Pigpen has moved in. I must admit to deliberately leaving little things behind. Things I hide and then search to see if Mom has found. She tucks them neatly into the top dresser drawer.
I do know that for the past few months I have stayed on top of the laundry and the ironing. Now that the NASCAR season has started, the whole ironing thing will be a bit more palatable. I can iron and watch racing. Woohoo! One simply cannot watch football while ironing. I burned a good shirt trying to do that -- more than once.
Robert has known me for half my life. He saw my messy dorm room for 4 years. He saw my not so messy townhouse between college and our getting married. He's lived with me and my piles of stuff for 14 years. And even he has hope for my gaining control over clutter.
Tomorrow the closet cleaning continues. I desperately want to get it neat, clean and organized by the time my parents arrive in 17 days. Wouldn't that be a shock?
Frog has scratched the hell out of my new chairs. He has now officially ruined 3 nice pieces of furniture.
I'm at wits end with him.
Happy FIRST birthday, Coley!
Hard to believe that Coley is already a year. Wish I could be there for her party. Maybe next year.
Eye appointment was just too much fun.
My vision has changed in both eyes. I ordered new lenses for my glasses, a 6-month supply of contacts and reading glasses. My left eye is -8.0 and my right is -8.75. Whatever that means.
Actually I know what it means. It means I need to wear corrective lenses. That my vision is horrid.
Obviously my vision is also not stable, but I'm not convinced it will ever be. I haven't ever gone a year without some sort of tweaking needing to be done to my prescription.
Oh well! On the plus side, my vision is correctable, my retinas are nice and thick, and the picture of my eyes was gorgeous.
I have to sit far away from my computer screen or hold a book at arm's length in order to read. I cannot read a street sign until I'm almost upon it. I get headaches if I read for more than 10 minutes.
Perhaps it is time for a visit to my good old eye doctor.
I called this afternoon for an appointment and was totally floored by an offering of an appointment for tomorrow morning. I snatched it up. The faster I can get my vision corrected the better.
Dr. M. had better be able to correct my vision. I want to be able to go to Robert's football games and not panic because I can't identify my own husband. I want to be able to read a book without having my children hold it up halfway across the room. I want to be able to read a street sign.
By the way... my lenses are -7.50. What the heck does that mean?
Last week I didn't feel short. Didn't feel tall either, but I was at least holding my own with Rick.
Then came today. Even with my shoes on, I felt shorter next to him. A very uncomfortable feeling.
I made Rick stand back to back with me before yelling for Robert to come over and judge who was taller. Robert raised an eyebrow, smirked at me, and said, "Oh, Rick is."
Now I'm deflated. Not only am I a mother to a teenager, I am a mother to a child who is now taller.
Still working away at putting up Papa's journal and his photos from Japan.
Papa on the left and Caldonia on the right
orphans at church on Easter sunday
at a Japanese tea room
I'm having lots of fun going through these pictures.
And now I have started organizing them onto actual pages. Three pages so far... starting here.
martial arts revisited
When Rick was little, he attended karate classes twice a week for over a year. He hated and loved it at the same time. When he decided to quit, I must admit to being relieved. I was working at the time and running myself ragged trying to be everything to my children and my husband.
But then he started homeschooling. The deal had been for him to play football in the fall, but due to his being much lighter than other boys his age he couldn't play tackle and because of a change in the birthday cut-off date, he was no longer eligible to play in the flag football league. Oh woe is me! Rick didn't want to take swimming again. He didn't want to have to bike competitively. He just didn't want to do anything physical.
Until he became friends with R next door. All of a sudden Rick was pestering us to let him take classes again. Robert took him to check out the dojo and to meet the instructors. He thought it seemed like the right place for Rick. I went back and signed him up earlier today.
I must admit that Rick does look good in his new gi. Now here's to hoping that he truly does enjoy this the second time around.
must be love
Once a week I head to the florist to buy roses, daisies and whatever else strikes my fancy. I really wanted delphinium and seeded eucalyptus today, but it simply wasn't to be. Daisies, pink and green roses, silver dollar plant had to do.
As I'm standing in line to pay, I noticed that all the men but one have long stem red roses in their baskets. Of course I had to comment on the gorgeous flowers this lone gentleman had chosen.
He looked at me and smiled, then he told me that his wife is so much more to him than could ever be conveyed with a mere dozen red roses. He chose kangaroo paws because she is unique like they are; bird-of-paradise because when he is with her he is in paradise; orange roses for vibrancy and passion; yellow roses for the way she brings sunshine to his life; a vanilla scented orchid because of it's simple beauty. He had a huge vase of daisies waiting at the counter. Why the daisies? Because daisies are her favorite flower.
And the best thing was that as he shared all this with me, he glowed.
Last month they celebrated their 60th anniversary.
phone glued to my ear
calls: to various high schools, a Tourette Syndrome support group, a martial arts studio -- all for the Rickster.
Rick is not happy about going to a TS support group meeting. He feels that it is unnecessary and a bit over the top. I'm not so sure that I agree with him. His tics are back. And they are noticeable. I've had people ask me what is wrong with him. People who know him and complete strangers. Now granted, it is odd to hear monkey noises come out of someone's mouth, but his tics are not outrageously out of control. The point of the support group is for Rick to learn that there are many others out there with this problem. Many others out there who have it much rougher than he does. This would also give him the opportunity to learn other ways to deal with them. Or so I hope.
Rick wants to go to high school with his friends. That means a high school so large that the teachers use seating charts to remember students' names. That means a high school with "cowboy" problems. I cannot see Rick functioning effectively in a school that has large numbers of students in classrooms and where the students run in fear of the scary students from Davie. Dr. H. has suggested we look at magnet school programs in our area. Back to that. Back to calls and interviews and tours.
R., our 15 y.o. neighbor, goes to a martial arts studio. He's been going for so long and has advanced so far that he is now a junior instructor. Rick went last night and took a class. He absolutely loved it. A far cry from a few years ago when he wailed about going and stopped before earning his green belt. But this is a different dojo with a different philosophy. At least he will be out doing something 3 days a week instead of moaning and groaning.
Happy Birthday, Uncle Bill!
can't... stay... focused
I'm here. I'm there. Sometimes I'm upside down. Sometimes I'm not sure which direction I'm coming from or heading towards. But that is life.
Today I am doing the spring cleaning of my kitchen cabinets. I cannot stay on task. Cleaning out cabinets is so boring, but it must be done!
Went to lunch with the FRWC (forest ridge women's club). We went to Billy's. The highlight of the luncheon was when the vice mayor of Davie put a forkful of salad into her mouth and discovered charcoal was an ingredient. The charcoal was an accident, but it was fairly amusing since she is running for office and the battle has turned nasty and personal. We all told her that her opponent was the cook in the kitchen.
I've spent a good 2 hours working on putting Papa's journal online. This is his journal from 1947 when he was stationed in Japan at Camp Wood. There truly isn't anything interesting there unless you are me, but if you want to take a read.... here ya go. I'm hoping to include some of his photos later in the week or maybe next week.
Now what was I going to do now? Crap. It's that kind of day. I'm just muddling through.
time for a field trip
Michael Brooks and I had an interesting discussion today on what his father does to earn a living. I was informed that his daddy worked in his car, that he spent all day driving around for hours and hours and that is why he was crabby. Brooks also informed me that his father's other job was playing baseball and that made him crabby too because his team sucks.
When Rick and Kari were his age, they were used to getting in the car on Saturdays and driving down to Tamiami Tower to have lunch with Robert. They'd then go up to the tower cab and listen to the controllers work the planes. They knew exactly what their father did. It was even cute to hear a toddler say "air traffic controller."
But Robert was working at MIA when Brooks was born. Then, when I was finally done nursing and feeling more myself and ready to go visit Robert at work on weekends, September 11th happened. No longer could we simply ring the doorbell at the tower and meet him for lunch. That was verboten. For good reason.
But now we have the problem that Brooks doesn't have a clue as to what his father does all day when he goes to work. For all he knows, Robert is at work watching tv while sitting on a couch eating bonbons.
Never ever leave pots of dirt sitting around when you have 2 cats. If you must, then cover them!
Hmmph! This was definitely the last time I'll ever prepare the pots for planting the night before.
the downtown mall
Before Robert and I married, I was in the management training program at Jefferson National Bank. I spent months reworking the guidelines for how to handle the collateral for loans. I even had my own little office that overlooked the Downtown Mall.
When we moved to Charlottesville in 1979, the town was just starting convert the street into a pedestrian mall. By the time I went to work at JNB, downtown was a fun place to be. I could pop into Page Foster's on my lunch hour to check out the new clothes or run into the artists' gallery to see current works by some of my favorite local artists. Lunch was eaten at the Hardware store or at a little sandwich place down the street.
I loved walking along the bricked over road and chatting with merchants. Smoozing. I used to love to smooze.
Some days I just wanted to sit and read while eating my sandwich or sipping my coffee. There was a little park behind the bank perfect for this. There was even a statue with the requisite pigeons. I had a favorite bench. Rarely did I have to share it.
I wonder what it's like to work downtown now... 15 years later.
Pat, my mother-in-law, has pictures of Robert wearing striped pants with a plaid shirt and vice-versa. My mother has pictures of my brother in the same sort of outfits. I always have sworn that my children would never ever dress in the same horrid manner.
And they haven't. Brooks, however, has taken mismatching to an entirely new level. He prefers to combine stripes with camouflage and deal with two or three color palettes. At least Robert and Kirk wore plaids and stripes in the same color schemes.
Unfortunately this has become my youngest child's favorite outfit. By far. He strips naked every night, tosses these into the hamper and orders me to wash them so he can wear them in the morning.
huh? I just don't get it
I'm reading several books on the history of the middle ages. One of the main focuses of one on the books is life in a medieval village. Of course they must explain what a village is as compared to a hamlet or an agricultural settlement.
They state that a village has "...permanence, diversification, organization, and community -- these are key words and ideas that distinguish the village from more fleeting and less purposeful agricultural settlements." (Life in a Medieval Village by Frances and Joseph Gies, p.8.) That's an easy enough concept for me to grasp.
But then a few pages later I become thoroughly confused. The word that has thrown me off is permanence. They discuss a settlement at Wijster in the Netherlands. From the 150 B.C. until the middle of the 5th century A.D., the settlement grew from 4 farmsteads to 35 large and 14 small buildings. Buildings that were laid out in an organized plan and defined by roads. It seems that the only thing that kept this settlement at Wijster from being labeled a village was that it lacked permanence.
This settlement was there for over 600 years! I understand that permanence means indefinite duration and fixedness. But what I don't understand is how someone can argue that this little settlement didn't qualify as a village because the people deserted it after centuries of continual habition. Perhaps there was a devastating plague or the water became too polluted or the soil too drained to support agriculture.
Obviously I'm missing some component in my brain that allows me to grasp what is normally considered a basic concept.
Today I lost it. My tolerance threshold was exceeded. I stomped around the house and cursed for a minute or so in an attempt to calm myself before picking up the phone. Several more deep breaths were taken before I dialed, waited, listened, punched a number, listened, punched another number, listened, got sick of punching number after number, punched 0 for a human.
Finally I could vent. I complained to the FPL personnel that I was sick and tired of the flickers in power that were occuring on a daily basis. I explained that resetting all my clocks, having to reboot my computer and reset my cable stations several times a day was a pain in the butt. I told them that my neighbors also complained, but that since many of them were at work during the day, they didn't have to deal with it happening over and over and over.
The FPL rep said that a ticket would be filled out and someone would be out to see what was going on. He then asked how long my power had been out. Ummm, hello? Was he not listening? The power friggin' blinks! It goes out long enough to upset every piece of electronics in my house and then flicks back on.
"Oh, that would be a pain," he replied. (No duh!) "Someone will be out to look at the situation and then will call you tomorrow to follow up."
"That's fine. Just remember that each time I have to reset my clocks, reboot my computer and reprogram my cable channels, I will be calling you to complain."
I've called 5 times today.
Kari is in the awkward stage. She slouches unless she is on horseback. She doesn't like how she looks. She likes horses more than she likes boys. Her friends like boys more than they like horses. She will still play with dolls. Her friends talk about boys.
And then there's the whole hair thing. Poor Kari has several grey hairs already. Not what an 11 year old wants to see sprouting from her scalp. She prefers to part her hair in the center. She despises headbands, hair clips and braids. Drives me bananas.
We're catching glimpses though of how beautiful she is going to be on the outside when she gets a bit older. Still won't match her soul.
I love playing with black and white film. Normally I buy the professional grade. It might be expensive, but the quality is awesome. Last week I couldn't find my usual film so I settled for black and white film that can be processed using the color processing. Little did I realize what the difference would be.
My pictures came out looking like color pictures that I'd turned into black and whites. The sharpness isn't there. Thinking that perhaps it was all in my head, I showed the pictures to Robert. I didn't say anything, simply handed him the envelope. He thumbed through all 72 of them and then looked up at me with a quizzical look on his face, "Why did you have color pictures printed in black and white?"
This was my favorite picture of the lot. Brooks is not easy to capture. He is constantly moving. I tried to capture him in a moment of resting.
Oh my, am I ever red! Despite applying sunscreen and reapplying it often, depite sitting in the shade, I am burnt. Not badly, but enough to feel a bit of heat.
Perhaps this will turn me off from the beach.
Perhaps not. I've been enjoying going to the beach and listening the cadence of Canadian French being spoken by the people around me. I like watching the people and the birds and the boats. I like helping Brooks find seashells and drawing in the sand.
Now this is not a normal thing for me to enjoy. I don't like sand. My skin itches abominably after wading in the water. I don't swim.
But watching the expressions that cross my children's faces.... Ah. Their joy becomes mine.
Despite my current burnt condition.
our superbowl highlight
Towards the end of the game, Brooks started laughing. He told the tv, "Oh, you are in big trouble!" I had no clue as to what he was talking about.
"Mommy, number 4 is in big trouble. They gave him an on the field timeout!"
Now to get it through his head that a timeout in football is different than timeout, the punishment. He doesn't believe that there is a difference of any sort. He's determined that he receive an "on the field timeout" from now on. To him that means he will be able to continue playing after standing still and talking to his parents for a few minutes.
I do believe that I have some travelling to do. My parents have been to every state except for 3: Alaska, Hawaii and New Mexico (or was it Arizona?). I have my brother beat -- for now. I think. He has me by quite a few countries.
Not quite what I wanted, but it will do for now.
new month, new stuff
Well, there was supposed to be a new template, but it's lost somewhere on my computer. *sigh...
My mother officially became an elder today. I'm amused that this happened on Imbolc. Snickering will stop eventually.
Coley will turn one. Oh no, my little niece is growing up far too fast. Shouldn't be allowed!
Rick will be studying the Middle Ages this month. He is so not looking forward to it. Too bad! I'm positive he will be glad to not have to read things like the Iliad, the Aeniad and Gilgamesh any longer. He will enjoy looking at the architecture of the period. That's something.
My friend Steph had an epiphany, turned a corner, made an attitude change... something. I don't know what you would call it. She's going for the positive and paying the negative the little attention that it deserves. (That's how I view her new mind set). Way to go, Steph!
I've begun taking pictures again. Felt good to have a camera in my hand. Hopefully some of the pictures I took at the beach last week will turn out. For some reason I loaded my camera with B & W. Should be interesting. I pick the prints up tomorrow.
Now I must create a new template. This one is boring now.