Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Past addresses The Future

I've been on vacation this week and today as I put up the Christmas stuff, I found a box of old photos which belong in my one-of-these-days-this-will-make-it-into-my-Family-Tree pile.  Inside the box I found a bonus: lots of postcards from my paternal Granddaddy to my Grandma while they were "courting".   The first card arrived when she was only 14; a Valentine from my  22 year old Granddaddy.   Sounds odd today, but back then families knew each other.  In fact, her sister was dating Granddaddy's brother...having already dated HIM, she chose his brother to marry.   Hey, back then you looked around the neighborhood and found a spouse.  They were married in 1928 and only parted when he died in 1973.

Granddaddy was always a man of few words.  Even though I knew he loved me, it was through actions more than words.  After all, we lived next door to them for the first 8 years of my life.  But finding these cards, while making me feel like a temporary peeping Tom, gave me an insight into the man he was...the suitor whose cards progressed from "My Friend", to "Honey" and "Darling".  A husband who wrote,  "My Darling Wife" as he declared how much he missed her while she was away.   On paper, he was dashing and bold.  In person, he was quiet and steadfast.

Here are a few that are just right for this season.  Most are postmarked between 1922 and 1927, while they were courting.  Some were from family and friends.  But the artwork was simply too pretty to keep to myself, especially when the sentiments cover it well.  You can click on each one to enlarge it.

And this one is my very favorite,
for how many "lucky" symbols the artist managed to add. 

 Here's wishing you and the ones you love 
a very Happy 
(and Glad)
New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Microfiction Monday

Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.   

This week's photo:

"I don't care what you think Sam, 
that Mike Rowe fella knows more about poo than anyone on television.  
Including Congress and FOX news."

NOTE: For my friends across the pond, Mike Rowe is host of a t.v. program called "Dirty Jobs", where he works in some pretty stinky situations to show what some folks do for a living.  Poo is not only a description of what he finds himself in many a time, it's funnier than it's 4 letter altermative.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

For Titus

I admit it.  I am not a risk taker.   It's ingrained in my DNA to look before I leap, think before I speak (most of the time) and to remember that choices have consequences.  One of the first quotes I remember learning was, "When in doubt...DON'T!"  My 8th grade English teacher would be so proud to know I remembered.  Yet another tool to keep me in line.

Unfortunately, I can be SO prepared that I make a Boy Scout look like a rank amateur.

Which is why this challenge of IPYPIASM, (International Put Your Poem In A Shop Month) brought to my attention by Titus, made my itch to be creative momentarily overthrow that cautious thing. 

The idea is this, courtesy of  Niamh B. who resides in Dublin, Ireland: "Take a poem, any poem, yours, or someone else's.  Keep the poem short enough that someone can read it during the browsing process - 4 - 6 lines. Stick it up in a shop. Either on the noticeboard of the shop, as was the fashion in year one of this project, or on a shelf. This is the hard part - take a picture of your poem as it embarks on its new life inspiring the tired shoppers, brightening the lives of weary shop lifters and reluctant security staff."

Then we're suppose to let her know we played, complete with photographic proof.

And so, in the spirit of fun and personal challenge I did it.  I gave myself 5 minutes to come up with a poem, typed it and headed to a local store.   Hey, my handwriting is lousy, which defeats the purpose of someone being able to READ it.  I hope this surprise will bring a smile to a weary Christmas shopper's face. 

For the record, I had to use my cell phone so the photo's aren't great.  And as I was practically on my knees to take photos, I've written the verses under the photos in case you can't make them out.  And no, I wasn't so ashamed that I picked the low shelf....the product just happened to end up there this week.

I was here
and you were not.
Now you're here
and I've moved on.

Doesn't matter.
The wish remains.
May you find Joy
wherever you go.

This is what happens when you keep company with poets.  You begin to think you can pull this off.  And yet,  even in daring myself to do something outside my norm, I still managed to remain squeaky clean.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Microfiction Monday

So the trick is to write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.   
This week's illustration

 "I thought the bread crumb trail was fairly dumb," 
sighed Hansel's cousin Max.  

"But everyone knows you're suppose to carry 
a pig in a poke." 

I'll try to visit as many of you as I can but the Word Verifications are slowing me down 
to the point I may have to stop.  But if you visit me, I'll drop by to see you.

Coming to a Sky Near You

On Dec. 20th (or 21st since we're talking  the wee hours of the morning) there will be a Total Lunar Eclipse.  If you live in North or South America, you'll be able to view this right outside your back door...binoculars optional.

As the next one doesn't occur until 2014, you might want to check this news article for the time nearest you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Get Happy Friday

It's been a tough week.   So, right here and now, I am refilling my glass BACK to half full.  What?  You thought I picked the name "hope" by accident?     ;)

Smokey the Wonder Dog may have gone on, but memories stay forever.  I just hope St. Pete is stocked up on yellow tennis balls.

Seems like for every good Blogger friend we find in Invisible Friend Land, we see one waving goodbye.  So I'll say thanks for what you've added to my life...while holding on to the hopes (Charlie) that you won't stay completely silent and will visit on occasion.  And for the rest of you...I'll be over to your playground in a little while to stick my head in and yell, "Hi!  Anybody home?"

The Office Manager who is literally the glue which holds us together at work has a Retirement Party in two hours.  I will smother the sorrow of losing her with laughter at the joy that she is escaping this nuthouse with her brain still intact.  She DESERVES this new chapter in her life.

I will remember that we reap what we sow.  Anger at those we should feel pity for helps no one.  And if you believe in Karma, what goes around, comes around.

I will try to be cheerful and upbeat, no matter how many tales of woe I hear from my seniors this week.  Their life's work helped shape my world, the least I can do is listen.  Although the next time one of them chooses the moment before grace is said for Lunch to describe, complete with hand gestures and graphic explanation, how the Doc had to cut on either side of his penis to begin his artery surgery I might have to get out the duct tape. 

No matter what happens, I still have a Hubby who loves me no matter what I weigh... or do and a dog named Bou who still thinks I'm the greatest person on the planet when I feed him every night.  I have a home, a job and a family and although some of that often drives me nuts, I still have more than many people do at this point in time.  And for all my whining, I am truly grateful.

And if that doesn't work, I can look at the calendar and be thankful for the gift I am giving me for Christmas....A VACATION!

Here's wishing you and the ones you love a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Microfiction Monday

Write a story in 140 characters, then let Susan know you came to play.   
This week's illustration

"Lord, I simply love washing.  Let me clarify..."

Titus was a wonderful poet, 
mused Kim, 
but she'd never toiled in the southern summer sun.
And yes, those are the opening words to a poem she's written entitled "Homemaker".   Visit her for more gems.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

R.I.P. My Friend

I'll admit it.  I haven't been in so much a Bah Humbug! mood as mentally preparing for the worst.

Today, the worst happened.  

Our 12.5 year old chocolate lab, Smokey, had to be put to sleep.  I'm guessing that's gonna hurt for a while.

To most people, Smokey was just a dog.  And although I'd like to think of us as non-weird dog people, he was the oldest child we never had.  He was even famous in his neck of the woods, known for finding deer that a hunter couldn't find...and having no problem pointing out when the hunter had missed.

We jokingly referred to Smokey as "Smokey the Wonder Dog...and Local Legend".
Smokey got sick last month and even though he confounded the Vet by never running a fever, eating like a pig and having normal bodily functions, he just couldn't breathe.  I have asthma...I kinda took that not breathing thing harder than most.  For the past month, I've hidden his meds in all kinds of treats but this morning, when I sat down to rub his belly before going to work, I had this sinking feeling that this would be our last morning chat.

The worst part was taking off work to run Hubby's business [he's self employed] so Hubby could take Smokey to a Specialist a little over an hour away.   Every phone call was agony: the prognosis kept getting worse and although intellectually it was obvious we needed to help him "slip the bonds of earth", it's tough when your heart keeps yelling, "It's not fair!"

I hated that Hubby had to face the grim reality of this alone.  You see, he and Smokey are practically inseparable and I knew this would hurt.

I had no idea my heart would break too.

So here's to Smokey the Wonder Dog and Local Legend; Hubby's hunting buddy,  Bou's dear old Dad and my snuggle buddy on the couch.

In the words of my Dad, "You done good!"

May you run in heaven and never tire.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday 55

It's time to play "Write a story in 55 words".  If  you do, be sure to let the G-Man know.   And next week, I'll try to do this in time to put the "Official Logo" back in place.

Christmas cards written, addressed and ready to mail.

Cookies baking.

Selection of favorite carols burned to CD for commute in car.

Ornaments out for tree we'll purchase this weekend.

List of gifts to purchase.
List of gifts already purchased.
List of What-in-the-world-can-I-buy-Hubby-THIS year?!

Time to accomplish all of this.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kids on....Marriage

My Mom e-mailed me one of those "kids say the darnedest things" tributes the other day on what kids think of marriage.  It contained 10 questions and the replies were....cute.

It made me wonder, do all kids think like that or did they just glean the cream of the crop answers to forward?  So I decided to put it to the test and ask the six kids at our center this afternoon what they thought about this topic.  You should know that for some of these kids, they have multiple siblings who share either a Mother OR a Father but not both.  It tends to effect your outlook on life although there are some things which will always remain....kid like.

So I don't get sued, I'll list the kids by an initial...or two if more than one has the same beginning initial.  Your scoreboard reads like this:
J:   boy, age 8                                               Jar: girl, age 7
D:  girl, age 10                                               Z: girl, age 9
JV: boy, age 9                                               T: girl, age 7

How do you decide whom to marry?
J:  [Big sigh and shake of head]  I don't know.
D: By asking his name and a few things.
JV: I marry my girlfriend.
Jar:He makes me happy.
Z:  You wait until you find the right person.
T:  Someone like my brother. 

What is the right age to get married?
J:     20
D:    32
JV:   20
Jar:  39
Z:    30
T:    28

How can a stranger tell if two people are married?
J:  They have a ring on their hand.
D: Wedding rings.
JV:They're wearing a wedding dress and suit.
Jar:  She has a wedding dress on.
Z:  They're holding hands
T:  They have on clothes.  I mean wedding clothes.

What to you think your Mom and Dad have in common?
J:  They care for you.
D: Both are nice.
JV: They share what they own.
Jar: The like to go to the park with us.
Z: Trucks.
T:  Eating.

What do most people do on a date?
J: Go out and eat.
D: Go to restaurants.
JV: Go out and eat and talk and kiss, then marry.
Jar: Go out and eat.
Z: Talk and kiss.
T: Laugh and just sit there.

When is it okay to kiss someone?
J: At a wedding.
D: When it's your girlfriend or boyfriend.
JV: Your girlfriend or if you're married.
Jar:When I get married.
Z:When they don't hurt you.  
   {And yes, this one scared me because she has the "good family}
T: Oh, that's nasty!  I'm NEVER gonna kiss a boy!

Is it better to be single or married?
J: Married
D: Married
JV: Married
Jar: Married
Z:  Married
T:  Single  {Well there is that nasty business of kissing boys}

How would you make your marriage work?
J: Buy her stuff.
D: Go to different places like the beach and stuff.
JV: Give her a ring.
Jar: Treat him right.
Z: Have kids and get a big house.
T: Fake kissing him.  But grow flowers and give them to him.  

From this experiment I concluded that:
J: sounds like an old soul who's already been married for 25 years. 

D: our oldest kid, thinking about the future of dating has a good head on her shoulders. 

JV:  our "challenged" kid actually had the kindest and best thought out answers.  He even asked how my marriage was.  {Fine, thank you}.

Jar: our little diva of the eye rolling, head popping, you-can't-make-me appears to be our most sentimental and may actually marry a guy instead of roping him and dragging him home.

Z: is our "sensitive" kid with a traditional family.  Only the part about not getting hurt worried me.  Then again, she's the kind of kid who would politely point out if you were hugging her too hard.  I know.  She hugs me every day and asks if she's doing that "just right".  :)

T: this is our youngest, mentally, of the 7 year olds.  Most questions were followed by an incredible, "What?!" before I could get an answer.  I figure she's the safest...seeing how nasty it is to have to kiss boys.  I tried reassuring her that they get better as they grow older.  She says they're dumb.  I told her they get smarter.  She just looked at me and shook her head with a sigh.

"No way," she grimaced, shaking her head. "No way I'm EVER going to kiss a boy!"

I'd like to see her again in about 10 years and let her take this survey again when she find a boy just like big brother.