Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Everyone Has to Start Somewhere

I'm guessing it's this little Mockingbird's first time being a Mama.  Sure, she chose a place that was sheltered from the sun and rain.  Hubby tried to convince her to build elsewhere, as her choice wasn't too great.  He gently removed her work, laying it to one side.  She watched him from the power line, more interested than unhappy.

When Hubby was done and went back inside, Mama M. merely picked up her supplies....

....and built it right back.

After a few days, she made a deposit.

Hubby actually picked up the nest, with Mama M watching, and moved it into another "container".  Why?  Because this is where she built her little home.

She and Hubby reached a compromise: he was allowed to place her nest in a smaller tire, which now sits on top of this one.  When he wants to go fishing, Hubby places the smaller tire in a chair next to where the boat is, with a card board box to shelter it from wind.  When he comes back, he places the smaller tire back on top of her "original" location choice.

Mama M. has a bird condo.

I'm guessing it worked.  Hubby has taken the boat out fishing a couple of times since then....and Mama M added 3 more eggs.  Hubby wondered about her mothering skills as she often left the nest mid-day rather than sit on the eggs.  

I laughed that as hot as it's been, she's probably afraid of overcooking them. (We girls have to stick together, right?)  As the new Mrs. Walter she doesn't have to worry about invaders as ol' Walter has been having a field day chasing off birds which come within 100 yards of the boat.  No, I don't think it's instinct.  I think he actually ENJOYS running things off.

Yesterday, at least 3 little M's. made their debut.  Rather than chasing us off when we neared her home, she sat on the wire overhead, allowing us to walk up and take a peak.  Even Bou walked up yesterday and sniffed at the nest, but didn't touch it.  She sat there, like a proud mama. Walter sailed past, hot on the tail of a black bird twice his size.  Walter won.

Mama M's made a new friend.  Seems Hubby is going to help her relocate a little higher off the ground now that she's got kids...before the neighborhood cat finds out there's new folks in the neighborhood.  Gives "moving on up" a whole new meaning.

Now if only he could teach the Wrens not to build homes inside the boat motor, on the wheel of the four wheeler and/or riding lawnmower or under the hood of his truck.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekend Reflections

Thom has gotten me hooked on "Weekend Reflections".  Go visit him for the real rules.  Condensed version: post a photo you took, featuring a reflection.  The first photo is my entry; click on it for a larger version.  The second one is just.....well, you'll see.

I took this a couple of weeks ago while we were at the lake.  I usually don't get on the lake early enough to see the lotus flower...usually I only find the lotus pods, bearing seeds.

This is the same flower,
at a different angle as we floated past. 
 I don't know what you see, 
but I see something feline in nature. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday 55

It's Friday.  I remembered what to do to make the G-Man happy.  Oh sure, I had to use the laptop as the new computer and I are trying to learn to speak the same language.  In the meantime, if you're not experiencing technical difficulties and decided to write a 55 word story, make sure you tell the g-man.

The car ahead slammed on brakes.
The second driver grimaced.
Sudden stops were too frequent here.

The first driver gaped at the roadside tribute.
Flowers.  Stuffed animals. Lights.  Flags.  Windmills.
The shrine to a dead driver was now a circus sideshow.

How long, wondered the second driver,
until a parent's loving tribute accidently killed someone?

NOTE: I understand we all grieve differently.  And although I don't have children, I can't think of anything worse than losing a child. The gaudy display above is, in fact, real.  The driver was an 18 year old girl who ran a stop sign into a ditch bank.  A couple of weeks after she died, a visually overwhelming tribute, complete with a light at night, marked the spot where her life was snuffed out.  Not by another driver, as this was a single car accident.  Sadly it was the result of youthful foolishness combined with nighttime and speed. I hoped as time healed, it would fade away.                                                

It's been two or three years now...and it just keeps growing.

Personally, I'm opposed to the slew of road side "memorials" which have become fashionable.  Marking the spot where a loved one breathed their last just seems morbid to me...especially on property which doesn't belong to that family.  No, I'm not being cold or callous.  I know that sudden, kicked-in-the-gut loss which comes out of nowhere.  But I didn't feel a need to go plant a cross in the field where my father-in-law's helicopter suddenly fell out of the sky and killed him. There are other ways to honor him.  Other memorials that could help someone else, given in his name.   

I worry that the majority of these tributes (at least here) pose a danger to highway crews who have to mow and maintain the roadways.  Not all sites are maintained for long.  I'm guessing running over a wooden cross with a large mower can't be safe for the worker or any car driving past at the time.  The site above scares me due to the sheer number of times it catches the eye of someone who's never seen it before...and just slams on brakes to sit and look.  I KNOW to anticipate it before I get there, especially since it's the turn on my way home. But what if the "second driver" isn't me?  What if someone minding their own business, driving responsibly, sudden finds themselves rear ending a vehicle because all the flapping, whirling, twirling color made the driver in front come to a complete, unexpected stop?

What if this display causes a horrible accident?  What if someone dies?  Again.  Will the parents be filled with grief again? Or guilt?  What good can come of this?

Last week, due to road construction,  I had to take a different route.  On a familiar spot on my drive I noticed a new road sign in the distance.  Although official looking, it was blue in color, which indicates the highway department did not place it.  And yet it was placed just like the speed limit and "curve" signs.  Just another traffic sign.  Until I got up to it.

Diamond shaped, the white letters simple stated, "Drive Safely".  Beneath it was a small box which read, "In Memory of----", with date of birth/death. 

THAT sign will stay with me.  It wasn't flashy.  It wasn't a hazard.  It made a difference.  DRIVE SAFELY.

To that driver's family, I say "Thank you!"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Paging Kim Ayres. Paging Photographer Kim Ayres.

When I checked out the online news today, a story made me laugh so hard I just KNEW Kim needed to know about it.  

Check this one out and I promise, you'll never look at family photos the same way again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

For Titus

THIS is what relaxing looks like from the proper angle.

Why yes, I was lying in the hammock when I took the picture.  
How else can you get a decent shot of how one works?

But please, don't compose a poem about hope lazing about.
My true confession?
I took this photo LAST spring.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'll get by with a little help from my friends...I hope

Yes, after last night's verdict that the old computer was toast, today I got a new one.  (Sorry steven & Thom, as much as I loved my first Mac, I've got too much of hubby's paperwork to switch back).

As smart as I thought I was, I realized that I didn't back up e-mail addresses or birthdays. 

....if you've already got my e-mail address, would you kindly send me yours?  Birthday would be nice too...don't have to admit the year if you don't want to.'re the best!

Me?  I'm trying to adjust to a danged 23" screen that may cause me to go blind!  Tomorrow I'll go back to sighing (Map, I forgot to back up the tunes!) and tears as I discover what else won't work with modern technology.  :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

R.I.P Old Pal

Got the news when I came home tonight.  My dearly beloved Desktop P.C., known to me as Jackass, Jack for short,  is officially dead.

(Please note, Mr. G-Man, this is why hope was absent from Friday 55 today.)

And it wasn't just "regular" dead.  Oh no.  First the hard disk crashed....which is an awful sound in itself.   It was a 2002 after all and I worked it to death, evidently.  Yes, I know Thom.  You're in shock.  A 2002.  Hadn't even used half the disk space.  Breathe slowly. Somewhere along the way there had evidently been a weird power surge, despite the surge protector strip.  We did have a horrible storm the other night which made the alarm fry itself but this actually happened PRE-storm.  The computer was off by the time the lightning started.  

No my old friend also had, and I quote,"Well, some of the parts in your motherboard are um...bulging.  Sign of a massive overload somewhere along the way.  That's not good.  And um....I wouldn't plug it in again if I were you."

No problem.  It's all his.  They recycle...and I won't have to come pick it up.

Nice computer guy, came highly recommended.  He was honest...odd, to hear that in today's world, huh?  He told me what could be fixed and that it might last 2 weeks or two years...but he still wouldn't plug it in as if didn't seem safe.  Told me I could get a refurbished tower for the same thing he'd have charged me to fix things...had they been fixable.  He actually sounded sad when he advised there was absolutely nothing he could save when it came to my data.

Oh well, I've always backed up the important stuff.  Last week I just had a feeling...and printed out screen shots of my passwords. 
Then with a laugh Computer Guy added,"Usually, when we recycle, we reclaim the data for you, then destroy the original.  Seems the computer has already done that for us."  I laughed, saying I trusted him but it was somewhat comforting to know that the information for my husband's business wouldn't be floating around.  Then I asked for the bill.  What did I owe him for his trouble?

The answer?  $0.  Nothing.  Nada.

I insisted.  He reminded me that his ad stated, "Free consultation" and he was a man of his word.

Man, when word gets around about this guy, he'll have all the business he can stand.  And I plan to get out the word.

Now, anyone want to suggest a good computer before I go out tomorrow and try to find a "new friend"?  Why... to keep hubby in business of course.  Has nothing to do with blogging...or you my favorite friends. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011


 If Bou was a statue....

...he'd look like this.
Well, except for the blue eyes 
and the fact this little solar powered version 
glows PURPLE at night.  
(Who knew?)
Usually this metal version sits at the top of our front steps...
so the sun can charge him up.

Explains why Bou goes over every night 
and stands nose to nose with the "Purple Puppy", 
as if expecting him to DO something.

However, right now Bou's busy taking nap #45, 
so he'll be fully rested before coming in to
knock my hand off the computer keyboard 
to request I prepare his dinner.

Have to give him credit...
he waits until it's time for the 2 legged critters 
to head toward the kitchen for THEIR dinner.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

D.'s Story

            D. was neither the youngest nor the oldest child of the 10 children his mother had given birth to in 11 years.  Two of the babies had died.  His mother wasn’t yet thirty. 
          There were two or three fathers involved.  Well, involved at conception, but MIA as soon as they realized what their wild oats had sown.  Sadly, the children thought it was normal to pack their belongings on the 29th of the month so Mom could sneak them out of the house in the middle of the night, before the rent came due on the 30th.  During the time I knew D., they moved several times. The way he told it, I often wondered if the only time they saw their Mom was on moving day.  They weren’t a family.  They were strangers who passed in the night.  He’d walk in the backdoor of a neighbor’s home at 3 a.m. because he knew the men were up playing cards.  His Mom wasn’t home.  Probably had no idea where he was either.  Worst yet, she didn’t seem to care.  Not with so many mouths to feed.
D. was third in line of the survivors, as I came to think of his siblings.  A handsome kid with skin the color of caramel, he had way too much street savvy for a child his age.  With some reluctance he followed a schoolmate to the Center, encouraged by his friend’s promise that we offered free snacks.  Free food appealed to the thin 8 year old boy, but he didn’t like the strings which came attached: homework first.  There were three things D. was wary of: the police, school and white people.  He felt none of them should be trusted.  And there I was, some pale stranger offering to help with his homework while calmly explaining that the police were there to help us.   
That first day D. glared at my lily white face with an attitude which signaled loud and clear that I was not to be trusted.  And then he declared the only good cop was a dead one.  I took a deep breath, smiled, then casually asked him to open his book and show me how I could help with his homework.  His stony face suddenly registered little boy surprise.   It would be a while before I realized that D. lived in a world where people MADE him do things.  They didn’t ask what he needed.  Most of the time, they didn’t even notice him.
Eyeing me so hard I felt he was plumbing for the depths of my soul, if white people had a soul, he asked coolly, “And if I do, I get a snack?”
“Yes,” I’d replied.  “In fact, I could use a helper to hand them out.  You interested?”
His stomach won and we bonded then…over the promise of cookies and juice.  The next day, he brought his younger brother and sister.  For all those street smarts, D.  considered his siblings innocent little kids.  Homework was merely a momentary delay to snack time.  D. watched over them, raising an eyebrow when his little brother spontaneously hugged me…and I hugged him back.  It took 6 months, but one day D. sidled up to me, muttered his thanks for something, hugged me and then ran off as if touching my skin might burn him alive.  After that, none of his family left without a hug, either in greeting or goodbye.  Most of the time, it was both.
Now in all fairness, D. could try the patience of a saint.  He studied people.  Learned to read them.  Some days, he’d push as many of my buttons as he could to see if the white lady would finally dismiss him, like the rest of his world.  Not aiming for sainthood personally, there were times I was tempted to snap at him, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!”  But I couldn’t.   I knew acting out was how he covered what was really going on.  His unspoken mantra was be a man, be tough and never cry.  Besides, if we didn’t help him teach him about manners, that kid  would’ve been stuck in an empty house, all alone, for a very long time.
 Unfortunately, the Director often gave in to frustration, screaming at him to get out. Sometimes for a day, often for a week.  I’d cringe, knowing the Center was the safest place for him.  How can you learn if people keep throwing you away?  In retaliation, he’d smart off again at the Director, determined to have the last word as he exited.  He never looked me in the eye at those moments.  I understood why.  He feared finding disappointment.  Even when he made me angry, we always talked things through.  He never slammed a door in my face.  When his siblings showed up the next day,  I’d ask about D., telling them he was welcome to return as long as he brought his manners and left the attitude at home, preferably  in a closet.  They always giggled…and he always came back.  
His return never included an apology.  Just a sheepish grin which summed it all up: I know. I lost it. I shouldn’t yell at adults. I’m sorry.  Are we done now?  His first words were usually to tell me, quite sternly, that he’d only returned to help me with Math.  The kids all knew I hated Math homework.  Why?  Because I’d confessed one day to illustrate that  if you don’t ask questions, you grow up to dread something which might not be all that horrible.   D. would never admit it, but the Center was his haven from reality, a safe port in the family storm where he could get help, understanding…and a peanut butter sandwich. 
Over the years, D. grew comfortable enough to ask me questions.  Or confess.  As long as it was one-on-one without witnesses, we talked about the things HE needed to talk about.  Homework.  Dumb older siblings treating him like he was stupid.  A cute girl…not that he wanted to talk to her or anything.  A one day school suspension for fighting.   We’d discuss that sometimes, it took a bigger man to walk away from a fight than get sucked into one.   He acknowledged that maybe the police actually did help people.  No, they hadn’t arrested his uncle for no reason….his uncle had been dealing drugs.  But it was his favorite uncle.  It wasn’t fair.
Life isn’t fair, I agreed.  And sometimes that sucks.
I tried to end these talks with the fact that life was a series of choices and consequences.  For the most part, he understood.  And he tried.  Really.   It was a struggle, but he was learning to explain things to the younger ones rather than stand over them and scream.  Like his Mom did to him.    Turned out he was a math whiz.  Soon, he was voluntarily helping the younger kids. 
So you can get a break, he’d explain with a grin. 
Ah, that grin.  When that child was happy his face lit up as if powered by pure love and goodness.  I saw him grow from an angry little boy to one learning that knowledge is power.  I praised him when he deserved it and tried to calmly point out why his anger didn’t make things go smoother.  I still remember one conversation when both of us were completely frustrated with the other and I blurted out, “You know D. you’re a smart guy.  You can be anything.  But you have to learn that life has rules.  You’re either going to grow up to be CEO of your own company….or you’re going to go to jail for life, without parole.”
Oddly enough, that made him laugh.  Choose your friends wisely, I would always conclude.   He’d try harder.  For a week or so.  Then we’d do this dance again.  It had to wear a kid down to enter a house where home life was something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  But I saw D. grow from someone who believed life meant moving in the dead of night to understanding he could grow up to be anything he put his mind to.  All he had to do was try.
The day came when they moved again, this time across town.  I don’t know who was sadder.  I actually missed those times when it felt  like he was cross examining me on the witness stand in order to get a whole answer instead of an easy one.  When he hugged me goodbye that day, there was a warmth and caring I’d never imagined possible. 
Six months later I heard his Mom, pregnant again, had allowed D. to go live with another family whose son was in his class.  A two parent, white family.  One which believed in homework and curfews.  I grinned, knowing he’d gone gratefully into what the 8 year old D. would’ve considered the enemy camp.  A month later I saw him at the movies with that friend.   Now 12, he’d grown taller, filled out.  He was wearing clean clothes, NEW clothes, and his expression was polite rather than confrontational.   When my husband stepped away for a moment after their introduction, D. leaned over and whispered, “He looks like a nice man.  He take good care of you?  He better.”
I nodded with a smile.  My street smart smart aleck had finally learned to surround himself with people who could help him be the best he could be, not those who would drag him into their problems by shouting, “You gotta go with us now.  No questions asked.”
Three days ago there was an article in the local newspaper.  A 16 year old boy and three men had gone into a home to buy drugs, with the intention of also robbing the drug dealers.  For some reason they thought drug dealers wouldn’t have guns.  It all went bad very fast.   As the four ran out the door to jump in their getaway car, the last one, the boy, was shot in the back.  The adults jumped in…and left the boy behind.  Alone. He died at the hospital 30 minutes later. 
Yesterday, I found out that boy was D.. 
And I cried. 
Choices have consequences.  I only wish he’d had someone there to help him make a better choice.  He would’ve made one helluva CEO.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

For Thom

Every weekend, my buddy Thom plays a game called "Weekend Reflections".   It's a cool way to use water as a mirror,  as it were.

Well Thom,  this morning I saw something which made me think of a cross between Weekend Reflections and Muffed Target.  It's got water,  it's sort of shiny/reflective and it's not all clear.  What do you think? 

It's what I lovingly refer to as a "Country Car Wash".
We haven't had a good rain in about 2 weeks now,
so the farmers in the neighborhood are turning on their irrigation sprinklers.

And if you catch them just right,
you get a really clean car.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How Cool is That?!

Okay, so I noticed yesterday on my Google homepage that there was yet another symbol next to the word Google.  Usually it's a contest winning design, a tip of the hat to the environment.   That kind of thing.  Yesterday I glanced, and forgot.  This morning the DJs I listen to on the way to work pointed out something about that little symbol.  It's the neck of a guitar, a tribute to Les Paul, who would've been 96 if the guitar legend was still living.  So, how is that cool?

Click on it and YOU CAN PLAY IT!  (Are you listening, Map?)

Not only that, you can record what you play.  Don't know who much longer it will be there, but hey....


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Top Ten Reasons to....

I truly enjoyed childhood.  I grew up when parents ruled, kids didn’t question them and most people seemed…happy.  I was free to use my imagination (as long as no one got hurt, at which time you might‘ve been offering an explanation to more than 1 set of parents) and no one had to “show” me how to play.  We knew to look both ways before crossing the street and to stay out of traffic, even if we rode bikes without being bubble wrapped to protect every square inch of skin.  How else did you learn without the aid of scrapped knees and Methiaid/Mecuricrome….also known to kids as “that red stuff which hurts more than what’s bleeding!”?  We played outside until dark and during southern summers, you didn‘t need your Mama to call you home because the arrival of mosquitoes was warning enough. Being a kid was a good gig.

No, I haven’t developed a Peter Pan complex; I think that’s reserved for grown men who act like 10 year olds.  But around the age of 8, a trepidation about growing up started to blossom.  It began, innocently enough, after holiday meals when two non-gift giving traditions occurred.  They will be the first 2 of my Top Ten Reasons to Stay a Kid as Long as Possible.

Kitchen Duty: I loved being in a kitchen while stuff was cooking. It was that follow up ritual I dreaded.  I grew up in the South during the 60s.  Women’s Lib arrived in the 70s.  This explains why after every holiday meal, the women headed BACK to the kitchen.  Not only did they fix the meal, they did the dishes while the men retreated to another room to talk.  I don’t think watching football started until my teens. I had “Towel Duty”, meaning I silently dried dishes while the women discussed topics which made me believe adulthood might be boring. Or deadly. Sales at the grocery store.  The latest fashions.  Bills.  Soap Operas.  Birthing babies.  About the time THAT topic made me squirm, they would remember my presence and change the subject.  Back to who’s got what on sale, where. 
Up side: this is why God invented a guy to invent the dishwasher.  And a gal to demand equal rights.
Knowing names: After the dishes were done, the women all went to another room to chat.  Most conversations were like this.  “You remember!  That’s John’s wife Sally’s cousin’s brother’s boy, Ted.  Yes, I think he married cousin Lula’s brother’s wife’s next door neighbor.  The ones who lived down the street from the Browns.  No, you’re thinking about the Smith’s, whose son John married that Hall girl who’s kin to Uncle Gene’s daughter’s husband.”  All I could think was: my family knows EVERYONE on the planet!  And if you had to know ALL of that when you grew up, I wasn’t interested.
Up side: I’m great with names. 

Frying bacon: Watching Mom cook breakfast bacon seemed like an exercise in wonderful smells and battle scars.  If you had to get popped and smacked with hot oil when you grew up, I was going to live a bacon free adulthood.
Up side: The reward for winning the bacon battle is the joy of a good BLT.

Poker hierarchy: I grew up in a household which played Scrabble, Yahtzee and card games.  But as much as I liked to hear my Dad chatter during Poker (I’d later realize he was trying to tell me if I was working on a good hand) it made me feel stupid that I knew Aces and Kings were good, but I could never remember what beat what.  I can still see the look on my Dad’s face when he asked me if I was in or not.  With little girl confusion I replied, “I don’t know if  I’ve got anything good.” 
    He replied patiently, “Just this once, tell me what you have and the next time you’ll know.”
    “Well,” I began hesitantly, “I have three Jacks and two 10s”.
    Dad folded. 
Up side:  Blackjack is easier.

Going to the dentist… on purpose: I couldn’t believe people voluntarily signed up to be tortured by a man who claimed to be a doctor as he scrapped your mouth with sharp metal instruments.  And then you paid him.  I don’t know what my childhood dentist ate right before my after school appointment, but his stomach made the most awful sounds while he worked.  You ever have a stomach growl AT you?  Like Chewbacca?
Up side: I have a cool, young dentist who treats me like a person…and doesn’t have growling body parts.

Math: I loved words as a kid…and hated numbers.  Math drove me nuts simply because I was a shy kid too afraid to ask for a better explanation of fractions, geometry and don’t even get me started on x+y=if a train leaves the station going north at 95 miles an hour.  Sigh.  Until I learned to speak up and ask questions, Dad referred to me as his little “mathematical idiot.”  That wasn’t bad. Trying to understand algebra while the teacher wrote with one hand and erased with the other as I practiced speed writing turned me against math.  Period.
Up side: As Dad also use to say, “Add a $ sign and she’s good to go.”

Ironing: Cotton is a wonderful, cool, natural fabric.  And it is the most evil piece of cloth that ever needed to be ironed.  That chore was one of the few things I SWORE I would not do when I grew up.
Up side: As you grow, so does modern technology which constantly evolves.  I love the one which made clothes (and I don’t mean polyester!) that don’t need ironing. 

Eating broccoli: Of all the childhood, “but you have to at least take a bite and try it!” culinary encounters, I dreaded broccoli the most. Okay, it was really tuna, but that’s not a dreaded vegetable.  So Mom camouflaged it with cheese sauce.  And I learned to eat it because…
Up side: I learned how to make a mean cheese sauce.

Window shopping:  As a kid I could never appreciate the joy of looking at stuff, sometimes for hours, and not BUYING anything.  Oh sure, later on I’d understand that it was like research.  The precursor to buying…until you either had enough funds or the thing went on sale.  It didn’t exactly turn me into a fashionista,  although I enjoyed the snack at the Drug Store which followed the conclusion of “looking”.
Up side: I can shop in less than an hour.  For anything.

Rules… for EVERYTHING: Well of course there had to be guidelines for life.  Even a kid knew that.  No dessert until after dinner.  Bed times.  Homework.  No peeking at Christmas presents until Christmas actually arrived.  (I may be the only kid in the history of that holiday who never had an urge to even try…because I believed Santa would know and skip over me).  There were the rulebook rules, like coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, and the Dad version, “There is no such thing as offensive driving, it’s all defensive!”  As a kid, I wondered if there was any part of the day that wasn’t regulated.  I mean, with all the money adults had and the fact they could do anything they wanted, any time they wanted….
Up side: Adults rule.  Sure, there are bills to pay, dental appointments, traffic jams and Christmas gifts to buy.  But we do get a say in the path for our own journey. 

Besides, so far today, no one’s demanded that I calculate where that train is going to end up…and why.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Standing Ovation Dad!

 No, not my Dad.  This shout out is to one Dale Prince.  You might've heard about him recently.  Every day for this entire school year, he's dressed in a different costume to wave goodbye to his son, a sophomore in high school, as his bus pulls off.  Sure, the kid was embarrassed the first couple of times but who wouldn't love a Dad with a sense of humor?  Even if it's not your own Dad.  I hear the kids on the bus were soon waving back.

Mom joined in the fun by keeping a blog called Wave At The Bus You need a good laugh, visit.  There's a photo for each day, complete with comment.  The last "post" explains the whole concept and I'm guessing since this was in the news on Yahoo today, it'll get a lot of hits.

So excuse me as I go give this guy a high five for dressing as a Pirate the last day.  You see, the "peg leg" is real.  But it certainly hasn't stopped his sense of humor or the joy of making a family member smile.

You go, Dad!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I've finally discovered how to recover from a crappy week.  You begin your day with something WONDERFUL.  And my Mom, Queen of Breakfast, would be so proud.  Well, after I explain the part about how fresh fruit is good for you.

This is what I ate for breakfast this morning.

Well no, mine didn't look THIS fancy.  But it was that good! 

I bought fresh strawberries yesterday and cut them up for Friday night dessert.  But the t.v. program we were watching at dessert time was so bad, I fell asleep.  Not really hungry when dragging myself from couch to bed.

And yet, those strawberries looked so good when I opened the refrigerator this morning. 

"Sensible Me" noted that dessert was not made for breakfast. 

"Grumpy Adult Me" countered that eating a waffle with real maple syrup was actually worse.

Then "Kid Me" chimed in with, "Do you remember years ago reading a story about 'Strawberry Shortcake for Dinner'?  It was one of those Reader's Digest feel good stories about a grown woman remembering the time from her childhood when it was so hot, no one wanted to eat, but their Mother insisted.  And when Mother pushed and asked what would taste good, the youngest kid in the family piped up with, 'Strawberry shortcake!'.  Rather than make the adult frowny face, the mother laughed and a tradition was born.  Every year, on the hottest night of summer, the family ate Strawberry shortcake for dinner.  Just that...nothing else!"

"Besides," added Kid Me, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day."

True, it's not technically summer yet.  Although with temperatures hovering this week at 95 degrees and up (or 35C + to some of you) it's felt like summer.  Hot.  Humid.  Miserable.

And sometimes... I get tired of being sensible.  Predictable.  Boringly normal. 

Which is why I found myself sitting down to a small, sensible serving of Strawberry Shortcake for breakfast this morning.  I would've added how the whip cream was a serving of dairy...but Hubby pointed out I'd bought non-dairy stuff.  And I guess trying to place sponge cake in the "bread" category is pushing it.

But it was delicious!

So least I ate breakfast.  With fresh fruit.  That's what counts, right?

I'm gonna pretend I heard you say, "Right."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mid Week Laugh

It's too hot.  Already! And as much as I try to be that "glass half full" person,  this morning didn't start that way.  It's bad when you have to sink low enough to trick your Employer into doing the right thing by suggesting something reasonable.  While aiming to meet my company newsletter deadline in a timely manner, I keep hitting roadblocks...that would be the 3 Powers-that-be, who set the deadline.  So in a reverse psychology moment, I offered to, "lighten their load" while offering a "simple solution."  No, I didn't point out I'd already mentioned this same thing to the one who keeps holding things up...while she ignores me.  And I ever so politely added,  "I honestly feel as if I'm nagging you  if I pose a question more than once per issue."

Well OF COURSE I'm nagging them.  They only reply when they want to change something. 

Ironically, the guilty party (She Who Ignores) was the first to reply with, "No, of course you're not nagging!  And it's a wonderful idea!"

Oh, really?  Guess the fact I sent it to the Boss, then to her and the other dude made it more important.  And it was mere coincidence that the June issue, which was scheduled to go out last week, suddenly was distributed 10 minutes after my inquiry...and only moments before her applauding my brain?

Dear Lord.  Save me from Civil Servants in the Ivory Tower.

I did get my laugh though.  No, not when the Boss replied, "Great idea!  Makes the flow more efficient" or his underling replied, "Good enough for me."  No, I began typing the "Birthday List" for the July issue, which is done by date.  The last name for one person was POPE.

The next name on the same day was SINNER.

Stupid as that was, it made me laugh.  You'll never believe what the next name was on the list.