Life on the Ridge
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oh my...

My mother made me go to yoga class with her today. She forced me! So I get dressed to exercise, lace up my tennies, and obediently trot out to the car.

She didn't explain that first there was some ball class. Not for me. Oh no. I decided to walk on the outdoor track instead. I'd get to be outside in the 75* weather and not have to be humiliated by those giant balls.

Forty-five minutes later I was sweaty. My mother was not. Seems that they took it easy in exercise class so that the women could give their instructor a surprise baby shower. I feel gypped.

And THEN we went to yoga. I've never been to a yoga class before. Sleep beckoned me at the beginning of class and tried to drag me off at the end. During the warrior pose, I got to giggling. I desperately wanted to cry out "Surf's up!" My shoulders don't like to relax and my knees do not like the various kneeling type poses. Overall though it was fun.

Would I do it again? According to my mother, I have no choice. Seems that next Tuesday at 1:00pm I'll be attending another class with her.

Uncle Bill, please rescue me!



Do not ever take 15 rolls of film over a 7 day period. At least not when you must turn around and go on vacation 3 days later. Just don't do it!



Jet lag hit with full force today. Yesterday was simply an exhausting day and thus I failed to note any time changes.

But I couldn't sleep until 2 am this morning and then had to be up at 6:30 to get the kids up and out for Rick's first NAGA tournament. I was a total bitch. No other way to put it. But the rough and tumble tourament soothed the savage in me.

Then I came back to the house and realized that I had to finish the laundry from the past week, clean (yesterday was straightening) and then pack for our trip to NC. Absolutely cannot be done to my satisfaction.

So screw it. I'll go on vacation and leave a messy house to come home to.

Oh my, don't know that I can actually do that.



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Alaska bound!

Where I'm going -- Homer, Alaska

What I'm doing there -- Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference

Where I'm staying -- Heritage Hotel

Don't you wish you could go with me?



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Bet you didn't think I could actually ever finish packing! I certainly wasn't sure that it would get done. Sheesh. But it is.

I just checked the weather forecast for Homer. Get this: the temperature will be 30 degrees cooler than here. Will I survive those winter temps? You do realize that Floridians have to pull out the wool and the down jacket, mittens, scarf and hat whenever the thermometer reads anything below 70*F.

Oh my.

Confirmed all my various reservations. Packed my suitcase and my carryon. I did forget to photocopy something for Mel. Surely they will have a color copier in Homer. After all, Homer is not the edge of the earth.

Although Verizon seems to believe that it is. They do not provide cellular service there. Sucks for me! But when the "Can you hear me now?" dude walks across the football field this fall, I'll scream "NOT IN ALASKA!"


In 12 hours...

Tomorrow morning I'll be on a plane winging it's way to LA, then Seattle, then Anchorage. Woohoo! Travel nerves are starting to build up. Wish they would go away.

My mother was saying that she was nervous about me going to AK by myself. The funny thing is that my brother went by himself last year. My great-aunt went back in the 50s by herself. Obviously AK is meant to be seen alone -- at least by members of my family.

Should be intense.

I'll be audioblogging over here.



Rick has earned his yellow belt. Only took 4 months of hard work: 3 times a week. Currently he is in martial arts camp from 9 until 4 and back again for class and practices on monday, wednesday and saturday.

I don't know where he finds his energy.


ay yi yi

I'm not ready! Thought I was ready, but I was wrong!

Grrrrr. I must be the most disorganized person in the entire world. Seriously. Either that or I need to get the rest of the family to consistently do their part.




In the not so distant past, Kari had a difficult time finding shoes to fit her ultra narrow foot. Her first toddling steps and short walks were done shoeless. Even the Stride Rite salesman threw up his hands in defeat and declared that it was better for her to walk without shoes.

Then we discovered Wee Feet, a mom & pop children's shoe store. Kari always found something to fit her feet there, even if it meant that she had to try on every shoe they had. The owners were even nice enough to make sure that they ordered sandals that ran narrow or came in narrow.

Now Kari is beyond children's shoes. She is 11 and wearing womens sizes. I had dreaded this, imagining that she'd never ever find shoes narrow enough. I was wrong. Oh how wrong I was.

Kari is a perfect size 6 and a future shoe-aholic. She delights in trying on every pair of shoes on display in the Dillards shoe department. Rare is the shoe that doesn't look wonderful on her foot. Pointy shoes, shoes with rounded toes, short heels, clunky heels, sandals, mules and evening shoes -- all look right on her skinny feet.

Yesterday she found several pairs of shoes that she liked, but one pair of sandals she adored. I did too. I even tried it on, but my littlest toe insisted on sliding out of the straps and getting entangled in them. Obviously the strappy things were not for me. Then Kari triumphantly slid her foot into them and the sandals were transformed. Kari declared them comfortable and must haves. In a fit of pique I told her no.

Hopefully the Dillards in Durham will have them in stock. That's the next time we'll go shoe shopping. Perhaps I will release my mother and Kari into the wilds of the shoe department. I'll wait for them at Barnes and Noble.



Brooks is not happy that his mother will be leaving him for a week. He is terrified that he will be alone in the house, that his brother and sister will run outside without him or that his father will forget to come home from work.

I tried to reassure him -- "Grandma will be here to play with you." He wasn't buying it at all -- "But, Mommy, Grandma isn't you."

Brooks and I worked out a deal. I am to leave messages just for him on the computer. Obviously Tasha's idea of audioblogger is for the best. Even if he has to turn the volume way up in order to hear his mommy's voice.



Driving home from the bookstore tonight, we were treated to a gorgeous display of lightning to the west. Rick pointed and said, "Wow! Look at that thunder!"


poem on aging

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Once upon a time, I took a Chinese literature class. My professor was Gil Holland, a wonderful man, an engaging teacher who loved to make his students think. Dr. Holland retired last month. A sad day for Davidson College.

Every time I pull out a poetry book, I get the giggles. I can hear him asking me, "Miss Kirkland, what is the importance of the word lotus in this poem?" Since I hadn't read the poem (hey, something else came up!), I didn't know the answer. He assigned me the task of writing a 2 page paper about the importance of the lotus to the poem. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the poem was about cherry blossoms. But, yes, I did the assignment and never ever again neglected to do my reading for his class.


out of the gate

Once upon a time, my dad would have discussed horses with me. He would have talked. I would have listened and hopefully made relevant comments.

Nowadays my father gets to talk all he wants about horses with Kari. She pesters him about his old race horses. Dad willingly relives past glories and humiliations -- and there was a doozy of one. Kari babbles on and on about the various horses and ponies at the ranch.

Dad encourages her to spend our money on riding paraphernalia and extra trail rides. Kari pauses in their phone conversations to tell me, "Kupa says you should." She doesn't yet realize that he isn't quite serious.

After all, a grandfather's word is golden to a grandaughter.


Tasha made me do it!

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Walking this week has been difficult. I seem to run out of time -- between chasing the kids, doing chores and thunderstorms, little time is left.

And walking is important to me. Those 30 minutes make up my thinking time, my time to contemplate and pick apart my life, my time to make plans and rethink plans.

Tonight Robert walked in the front door and I sprinted out. My intentions were to merely walk, to not think, just walk. That was not to be.

As I'm walking along a horrid memory from college popped into my head. No one wants to think about getting beat up by a friend's enraged boyfriend. But that is where my brain wandered. I wonder why that is.

I was sitting in the hallway of my dorm sewing the finishing seams on my latest sweater. I was in the hallway because my roommate was trying to sleep. Peaceful. Quiet. Just me and my yarn needle. Then the stairway door slammed open and in stomped "Joe". Joe proceeded to my friend's door and began banging and yelling for her to come out. She screamed back for him to go away.

Then he saw me and started screaming at me to go in and get her to come out. He walked towards me screaming the entire time. I tried to open my door to get inside, but as my hand touched the knob, the lock snicked. My roommate was protecting herself and leaving me for the wolf.

Joe grabbed me by my shoulders and shook me for all he was worth. He slammed me up against the wall, yelled in my face. No response from me so he decided to swing my around the hallway by my shoulder and slam me against someone else's door.

Eventually the campus policeman showed up. Joe was handcuffed and carted off. I declined medical treatment and went downstairs to Robert's room. I didn't tell him anything other than that Joe had caused a big scene and that my roommate had locked me out of our room.

The next morning Robert headed off to class while I pretended to sleep. After I felt sure he wasn't coming back I cataloged my injuries: bruising from the back of my head to my heels, a swollen shoulder, swollen wrist, stiff neck.

Later in the morning, after a shower, painkillers and a chat with the campus police, I went to Dean T and told him what happened. He had already spoken with Joe and his girlfriend. Joe was suspended from school. The girlfriend was to be coddled by everyone. I was coddled by no one.

And as I walked tonight, my body could still feel what it was like to be slammed against walls and jerked around while my roommate huddled behind a locked door.


art by a young man

Brooks loves to paint. He likes the color. He likes the texture. He likes playing with the brush in water.

Guess what this is a painting of and I'll let you know if you are correct.


up on the rooftop

I was wrong. I had believed that Robert was done with prepping the house for painting. We still have a ways to go. He and I might not have any time to ourselves before I leave for Alaska next week.


He's up on the roof now recaulking the window that is above the front door. How lovely. Clomp, clomp, clomp is what I hear. The dog is going nuts.

mwa ha ha ha


from the ashes

Today the BKO Lounge was placed in a Viking long boat, set afire and cast adrift. Lizards everywhere donned their Viking helmets and merrily celebrated the day away. We ate, we drank, we were merry. All while the Lounge dwindles down to ashes.

Why would we celebrate? More importantly why would we choose a Viking funeral instead of a traditional wake? Ah, that's easy. Boats take the dead to Valhalla. Fire gets the dead there faster. (and we like the helmets.)

The Lounge will be resurrected. Dedicated lounge lizards are positive of this. Our mighty lizard king has deemed it so. But the Lounge won't find itself in Valhalla or Heaven. It'll still be in cyberspace.

That thought struck me hard this afternoon... right in mid-bite (I did say that we ate, we drank and we were merry). The Lounge has closed temporarily because our focus had drifted, softened and been lost. The Lounge was tired and feeling quite old. We burned it. The Lounge will be resurrected out of the ashes: renewed, refreshed, repurposed, refocused.

So long, Odin, I'm looking forward to the Phoenix rising.

"A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration." ~Lam Kam Chuen


5 June 2004

Ronald Reagan dies at 93.

Our nephew Shawn graduates from high school.

My friend Mike marries at Ashlawn-Highland.


construction paper

I have to have something to visualize when I write my little stories, so out come the scissors and construction paper and glue. Snip, snip, paste.

And this is what I got today....


must do...

Only 5 more days of school for Kari and 10 planned for Rick. Only 13 days until I board a plane for Alaska. Only 23 days until Rick's first grappling competition. Only 24 days until we leave for vacation.

My "To Do" list is something like 14 pages long and I have 14 days this month to get everything done. ACK!

To Do
1. Pick up my viking helmet.
2. Grocery shopping for the month.
3. Have patches sewn on Rick's gi
4. Have sleeves shortened on my jacket.
5. Several doctor appointments.
6. Box transmission for shipping.
7. Schedule vet appt for Frog and Toby.
8. Double check all Alaska reservations.
9. Confirm Toby's boarding dates.
10. Lay rug in living room.
11. Finish sewing drapery panel for my bedroom.
12. Attach the bed panels so the cats cannot pull them down.
13. Clean out hall closet.
14. Nephew's graduation.
15. Drive for 9 martial arts practices/classes.
16. Drive Kari to the ranch 5 times for riding lessons.
17. Photograph one camp ride. (please let it not be too hot)
18. FRWC luncheon.
19. Kari's promotion to middle school.
20. Confirm that Rick's application to IUHS and transcript have arrived.
21. Register Kari for middle school.
22. Make reservations at hotel in mtns.
23. Format disks for Rick.
24. Help Rick with his website. (proofread html only)
25. Finish up grading his work.

That's it. I hope. On top of all the little daily things and convincing Brooks that the number 11 really does exist, I don't need anything else to do.

Oh wait. There is one more thing. I need to go out and get new supports for several of our oaks. Stupid ATV driver knocked several of our oaks over. Flattened them actually.



Imagine my shock this morning when Rick's psych blathered on and on about how he is maturing. My mouth was hanging open enough for a Clyesdale to trot in and make himself at home. But the kicker was when she pointed out the obvious -- Rick is now noticeably taller.

He's been taller for about a month, but I'm not used to this yet. Rick is supposed to be my baby, not this... this... teenager with his changing voice, his acne and the peachfuzz on his upper lip.

Rick has matured quite a lot in the past few months. Not just physically. Emotionally he is not as scattered to the 4 winds. Socially he is becoming more adept. Intellectually he is still advanced, but the way he is looking at subjects is changing. He wants to things more in depth and from various perspectives. He questions instead of accepting.

My first born is growing up. Now I have to learn to deal with that.

Oy! Pass me a tissue, please.

"Earth laughs in flowers." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson