Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Semi-Wordless Wednesday

Got home late last night, left early this morning, just got home again, but I really wanted to do Wordless Wednesday. AND --- ta da! -- this is my 100th post.

posted at 5:47 PM
Comments (13)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
In Memoriam
Dirge Without Music

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains – but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love –
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

His name was Eddie. We recognized one another with the first roll call in our algebra class, for our older brothers were best friends. A couple of cut-ups, their running jokes and made-up words were almost like another language, and Eddie and I were like countrymen in a foreign land, able to speak that language with one another as we could with no one else around us.

He had braces when he first met, which caused him to lisp slightly. I teased him mercilessly about it, even to the point of sending him a get-well card that said:
"You're Thick!"
("And I'm thorry.")

He was tall, over six feet, and awkward in that way of boys whose arms and legs grow faster than their ability to control them. Over the span of years that I knew him, he outgrew the awkwardness, and became, among other things, an excellent dancer. He was bright. He was funny. He had a wonderful falsetto, and to this day he is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear Frankie Valli singing "Sherry" or "Walk Like a Man".

We had a few dates, but we were never "dating". We were just good friends, completely comfortable with each other, but there was never a romantic spark. We graduated from high school; I went off to college, got married, had kids, and lost track of him.

The next time I saw him was at his funeral. He died in Viet Nam.

Eddie never had children, or even married. When those of us who knew him are no longer alive, it will be as though he never existed. That haunts me.

Several years ago I took some grandchildren to the Viet Nam Wall in Washington D.C. on Memorial Day, and we made a rubbing of Eddie's name from the wall. I can only hope that on future Memorial Days, when I am long dead and gone, they will think about a young man, so full of promise, who never had the chance to fulfill his potential.

I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

posted at 7:49 AM
Comments (4)

Friday, May 26, 2006
Ten "M" Words
Wordnerd gave me the letter "M" last weekend. I am just getting around to thinking of 10 words and what they mean to me.

Mitey Mite -- This nickname was given to me by a boss, because I was very short, very thin, and very strong. And I'll have you know I am still very ... um, short.

Motherhood -- The best job I've ever had. I wish I had known when I was raising my kids the things I know now, but, whether or not I had much to do with it, they've all turned out to be responsible, creative, generous and delightful people.

M'Backe and Mwende -- My two newest children, the ones I sponsor through Christian Children's Fund. M'Backe lives in Senegal and Mwende, in Kenya.

Money -- This one is loaded with conflicts for me. Everything I've seen in life has convinced me that the love of money truly is the root of evil, but on the other hand, money is necessary; money is how you keep score; and you can do good things for others with money. I have never been materialistic, which is a good thing, since it's only been in the last few years that I've had any discretionary income. I would still rather spend my money on my kids, grandkids, charity, and the house, than on things for me.

Moon -- There are many levels to this one, too. Astrologically speaking, my ascendant is Moon Child. The Professor had several experiments around the moon back in the day -- did you know that there is moon dust?! And there is nothing to match a moon made huge by the water vapor in the air, rising over the bay and leaving a path in the water.

Monkey -- I was born in the year of the monkey according to the Chinese calendar. I have also been fascinated with the complex society of monkeys ever since I read Jane Goodall's books many, many years ago.

Moika -- I'm not sure if I spelled it right, but this is the Finnish word for "stew". (I learned this when I lived in Minneapolis -- another M word!) If I had to pick a favorite food, stew would be it. "Moika" is also a very satisfying word to say. It was my cuss word when my children were little and I didn't want them repeating the wrong things.

Majestic -- Although I am a woman of simple tastes, I love majestic things: mountains, soaring organ music in church, cathedrals, a grove of redwoods, a sky full of stars.

Mechanical engineering -- I was born twenty years too soon. When the aptitude tests in high school said my number one career pick should be mechanical engineering, everyone, including me, thought it was a joke. No one imagined a woman engineer back then. I have learned some engineering as it applies to the product I sell, and I have discovered that my ultimate comfort zone is in a group of M.E.'s.

Motorsports -- I am going to the Indianapolis 500 this weekend, as I do almost every year. This year our seats are behind pit row. Who knows, I may be on tv. And yes, of course I am rooting for Danica Patrick.

Have a very happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

posted at 7:14 AM
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Wordless Wednesday: At the Circus

posted at 4:44 PM
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Monday, May 22, 2006
Just What Kind of Plant Is That, Anyway?
This is my chaste tree (vitex.) For two weeks of the year, it's drop-dead gorgeous.

The rest of the time, my children, granchildren and passers-by snicker at the leaves. They seem to think it's a giant pot tree. (Although, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever actually tried it.)

posted at 8:05 AM
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Friday, May 19, 2006
Is It Friday the 13th?
I am having a perfect storm today. The hotel I described yesterday did not live up to any of its promises. It is filthy and nasty. I wore my flip flops to take a shower, if that tells you anything. There is no coffee pot in the room. The air conditioner barely works. There is a hair dryer, but it doesn't work at all.

But what I did to myself was worse. Yesterday I was wearing a black outfit, so I put on a black bra. I threw an apricot shirt in my suitcase to wear today. Guess who forgot to pack a neutral bra? The black bra under the apricot shirt made me look like I should be swinging around a brass pole for dollar tips. I tried my pajama shirt under the apricot shirt. Now I looked like I was headed for the gym to work out. Braless is not an option because -- how do I put this delicately?-- part of my anatomy is always at attention. (When I was young and naive, I couldn't understand why men always held conversations with my flat chest. I got one heck of a laugh when I finally realized they thought they must have turned me on!)

So now I am back in yesterday's clothes. But the final straw came when I reached into my suitcase for my makeup. You're probably ahead of me at this point --yeah, my makeup is sitting at home on the bathroom counter. My customers are certainly going to get the real me today!

Today I realize the value of a blog. If I weren't telling this story while waiting for my hair to dry, I would be beating myself up for being so stupid. But writing it down has put it into perspective. Stupid, embarrassing and annoying, yes, but it's far from a major catastrophe. However, considering how the day has gone so far, I intend to drive very carefully as I head for home.

posted at 8:15 AM
Comments (2)

Thursday, May 18, 2006
Say What???
I was making hotel reservations on line, and I just have to share the description with you.

[Hotel] offers convenient access to the downtown business district as good as Corpus Christi's unnummbered of tourist attractions and the entertaining nightlife of Chaparral St. Located but 2 blocks from sparkling Corpus Christi Bay & Marina, our view of the water will do it easy to understand why Corpus Christi is nicknamed the "Sparking City by the Sea". Accommodations ... are really exceeding. Each guest room features a comfy seating area, work desk, coffee maker, removed satellite TV with pay-per-view movies, hairdryer, iron & ironing board and a great view. One teritary of our rooms face the active port of Corpus Christi and the city's signature Harbor Bridge, one third have a great pool / city view, and the terminal one third face the gleaming Corpus Christi Bay.... Bask our year-round outside pool or take advantage of our exercise area. No matter what you choose to make during your stay, [hotel] is really a very nice place to be.

Well, I won't have time to partake of the unnumbered of tourist attractions or the entertaining night life, but I hope I get a view of the water so I can do it easy to understand Corpus' nickname. And I'm glad the accommodations will be really exceeding, especially that removed satellite tv. Not sure which tertiary I'll be in, but the terminal one sounds a little...well, terminal. And no telling what I'll choose to make during my stay: trouble? An afghan? A big fuss?

Off to that sparkling city now...

posted at 10:56 AM
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Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Wordless Wednesday

posted at 6:48 AM
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Monday, May 15, 2006
Cereal and Cats

Partly because Stormii asked for it, but mostly because I am brain-dead today, I'm giving you my granola recipe.

3 cups oatmeal
1 cup coconut
3/4 cup pecans
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dates

Mix it all together and spread in a shallow pan. Officially, you bake at 350 deg. for 20 minutes, but I have better luck baking at 300 deg. for 30 minutes, and stirring every 10 minutes. You want it toasty, but not scorched. My kids used to eat it as a between-meal snack, and I like it as cereal.
Rush, the cat, has taken to jumping up on everything -- the higher, the better. When he finds a really cute place, I'm either busy squirting him with a water pistol (so he'll equate the kitchen counter with something unpleasant) or by the time I get my camera, he has moved. But I did catch him pretending to be a leopard:

And that, my friends, is all I could find rattling around in my head today.

posted at 1:50 PM
Comments (7)

Friday, May 12, 2006
A Perfect Day
The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn:
God's in His heaven—
All's right with the world!

----Robert Browning

posted at 5:03 AM
Comments (10)

Thursday, May 11, 2006
Lost in the Translation?
Over a year ago, I helped out a company in Singapore. No, I don't handle Singapore, but someone here gave them my name, they called me late on a Thursday night needing some parts by Monday, and with the time difference, I had no choice but to put in some time and effort to help them. Big mistake! Even though I have repeatedly given them names and phone numbers of people in their own time zone, they continue to contact me because, in their minds, I can get things done.

I had another inquiry from them Monday -- this one, at least, was by email -- so I asked the factory to quote a distributor in Singapore and to copy our representative there. I got the cutest message from the representative this morning:

We can't help but to notice that [Big Company] is like a saying here "will only dig the hole (primitive toilet) when the sh*t is knocking at the anus door." Americans have a more polite way of saying it -- they want the goods yesterday.

Would you have believed that Americans would be more polite than Orientals?!

posted at 3:26 PM
Comments (3)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006
WWW (With Words Wednesday)
I would play Wordless Wednesday, but I don't have a clue how to set up the links. (Guppy....?) But here are some pictures, anyway.

posted at 6:58 AM
Comments (11)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006
His Big Role
I noticed a young woman in the fabric department at Wal-Mart. She would finger a fabric, pull the bolt off the shelf and unroll a bit of it, then shake her head and return the bolt to the shelf. She did this over and over.

Finally she noticed me noticing her and said rather ruefully "I have to make a costume for my son's school play and I just don't know what to do."

"Oh? What role does he have?"

"A maggot."

Won't that be one for the scrapbook!

posted at 8:25 AM
Comments (6)

Sunday, May 07, 2006
Baseball, Hot Dogs, Birthday Cake and -- Light Sabers?
It was quite a busy week. I had the OTC (Offshore Technlogy Conference) last week, with all the standing, walking, glad-handing, and entertaining visiting VIPs that that entails. On Wednesday night, we went to the baseball game. (The Astros won, thank you very much.) As I was crawling into bed, totally exhausted, I for some unknown reason asked the Professor if he wanted me to take him to the game the next night --- since, gee, it was going to be his birthday. He thought that was a terrific idea.

On Thursday night, as we got to the stadium, it started pouring, and neither of us had an umbrella. We ran from the parking lot, but had to stop for a red light right before the stadium. I ducked under a tent for shelter, and it turned out to be a scalper's tent. Well, before I knew what I was doing, I bought two tickets on the 4th row behind the Cardinal's dugout. I would be embarrassed to tell you how much I spent for them; let's just say they were above face value. To give you an idea of how good the seats were, I'll mention that we were about 30 feet away from George and Barabara -- you know, that George and Barbara -- the former President and First Lady. It was amazing seeing the game from there. We saw what the batter sees. And of course I didn't have my camera with me. I am still kicking myself about that. The 'Stros won again; perhaps I am a good luck charm?

On Saturday I had the Professor's children and granchildren over to celebrate his 65th birthday. He told me if I made a big production of things, he would leave town, and since he left the country for his 60th birthday so I couldn't throw another surprise party like I did for his 50th, I knew he meant it. I had my mother come over, since she's known the Professor since he was 11, and Guppy, Stormii and the Little Angel, as L.A. and the Prof's youngest grandson have a really close relationship. I had to stiff everyone else.

(You know, a couple of years ago I did absolutely nothing for Prof's birthday, as he always requests. After dinner he started baking a cake, and as his kids called him, he told them he was baking his own birthday cake, since Gramma wouldn't do it for him!)

Anyway, I could hardly wait to get through dinner and dessert so he could open his presents. Long before I absent-mindedly invited him to a baseball game, I had ordered two light sabers. I'll let you decide if he liked them.

Even my 86 year old mother liked them!

The kids couldn't wait for it to get dark so they could really see the effects. We always have a lot of people walking by the house on the way to the dock, and they all had something to say -- mostly "I'm jealous!"

posted at 3:55 PM
Comments (5)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Sometimes You Just Need to Get Potted!

posted at 5:30 PM
Comments (8)

Mitey Mite

Texas, United States

I am older than dirt, but I still feel pretty young & some call me the Energizer Bunny. I share a house with the Professor & 3 cats. Between us we have 5 grown children, all of whom are productive members of society (!), and 10 grandchildren. I have a job I love, a little money for the 1st time in my life, and so many more things I want to do than I will ever have time for.

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At the Aquarium
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