Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Thursday Thirteen
1. On Tuesday I spent $177.11 at Wal-Mart in another city. I bought toothbrush and toothpaste, pajamas, underwear, socks, a blouse, a pair of pants, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, deodorant, a hairbrush, styling gel, hair spray, cleanser, toner and moisturizer for my face, foundation, eyeliner, mascara, blush, and perfume.

2. You're way ahead of me, aren't you? This time I packed so carefully. I didn't leave out anything that I would need. I just left the whole suitcase behind.

3. In my defense, the lawn crew was blowing the grass off the driveway as I was loading the car. I put my current craft project in the trunk, then closed it so grass wouldn't get in there. Then I went back inside, gathered up catalogs, folders and several plates of brownies, and put those in the car. Because my normal routine is to leave the trunk open until everything is in it, I didn't realize that my suitcase was still sitting on the bed. (I think. Maybe in the front hall. Maybe in the driveway.)

4. Is my subconcious trying to tell me that I'm tired of traveling so much? Is this early-onset Alzheimer's? Or am I turning into one of those horrible people who are so distracted by their jobs that they go to work and forget that they left their baby in the car?

5. I will tell you this, though -- if you like those little thrills of adrenalin that you get when something startles and scares you, you can get a really good one by opening your trunk and discovering you literally have Nothing. To. Wear.

6. When I check out, my luggage will be plastic bags. Now THAT'S embarrassing.

7. I finally contacted an architect. I've been putting it off for years, because I hate the thought of remodeling going on while I'm trying to work. I've also been battling the Professor, who is convinced that his Ph.D. in physics qualifies him to do anything. Well, it turns out that this architect is a space architect for NASA by day, and runs his own company in his spare time. That is great news, because if anyone can get the Professor's respect, it will be a space architect. (Just curious -- did anyone even know there was such a profession?)

8. Our house is tilt-slab concrete construction, so the doors and windows are where they are, and nothing can change that. It's a good thing in terms of hurricanes -- nothing is going to blow those walls down -- but a bad thing when you'd like to change the sizes of rooms. The last owner put on an upstairs addition which apparently was designed on the back of an envelope. They cut through a valley rafter, which has caused incurable leaks in one spot. They were forced to put a post in one corner of the den to hold up the upstairs. It makes it impossible to arrange furniture, among other things.

9. I have a list of must-haves -- remodel the kitchen, get rid of the damn post, improve the traffic flow -- and my I-wants: a huge covered front porch, a fireplace, a portico leading from the back door through my (I wish) gazebo, and to the garage.

10. At some point, it may become more expensive to remodel than just to tear the house down and build a new one. I don't even want to think about having to move twice.

11. The Professor asks me periodically where I'd like to retire. I tell him, right here. We have excellent medical facilities, an airport that can get you anywhere in the world with minimum difficulty, a thriving cultural community, all our children and grandchildren nearby, a climate that will grow almost anything, and intelligent life forms in the area. He doesn't seem content with my answer, but when I ask him where he would like to go, he says, nowhere special, he's just exploring the subject.

12. When we took our trip to Savannah and Charleston, we visited Beaufort S.C. It's a charming town, with lots of big old houses, because the sugar cane and indigo plantation owners lived there instead of on the plantations. It has tropical flowers and marsh and seems to be a place where you don't have to lock your doors. The Professor commented that he could envision retiring there. I told him, of course you can, it looks just like where we live now.

13. When I killed the Professor in my Wordless Wednesday, it was a joke. Really. It was. But as I'm thinking about the difficulties I'll have getting him to tell me what he wants in the house, and why he doesn't like something, I wonder.......

Happy Thursday, everyone!

posted at 12:16 PM
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Wordless Wednesday


posted at 7:04 AM
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Texas Insanity
The real insanity in Texas is the law about criminal liability. For people who hear voices, and then commit criminal acts, it works this way: if God tells them to do something, they are insane; if the devil tells them to do something, they are sane. I am not making this up!

A woman in east Texas cut off the arms of her infant daughter, who bled to death. She said God told her to do it. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Andrea Yates drowned her children. She said the devil told her to do it. She was found guilty.

I know there are high passions about Andrea Yates, but from the day she drowned her children, I have had only a great sadness for her. You can see in the home videos that she adored those children; you can see in her first court appearance that, as the Professor put it "there's no one home." In my opinion, the psychiatrist who took her off her anti-psychotic medicine, and who refused to re-admit her to the hospital just two days before the drownings, is the person with blood on his hands.

What do you think?

posted at 6:10 AM
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Saturday, June 24, 2006
Saturday Photo Hunt: Love

posted at 7:35 AM
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Thursday, June 22, 2006
Thursday Thirteen
Thirteen more things about me...

1. I love to dance. Tap, ballet, jazz, ballroom, country-western, line dance, polka, squaredance, you name it; if there's a beat you can move to, I'm loving it. I intend to learn Irish step dance and join a Tapping Grannies group when I retire or quit traveling, whichever comes first.

2. When I was little, although my dreams were of being dressed in tutu and tiara and floating en pointe across the stage, my actual talent was tap. I was limber, high energy, and a bit of a showoff. (Okay, a lot of a showoff.) I had a tap solo in the recital every year, and sometimes an additional duet with the instructor. He was very tall, and those routines always ended with me standing on his shoulders or his hands. I was grown with children of my own before my mother told me that she was never charged for my dance lessons. The school said I was such good publicity for them, it was a fair trade.

3. At some point I changed my ambition from prima ballerina to Rockette. The fact that I was never going to be 5'8" did not enter my head. Then we moved from New York to Texas. There was no dance studio within walking distance of our new house, and my mother did not drive. That's how casually and abruptly dreams can end. I danced every day, by myself, until I outgrew my tap shoes.

4. My father looked good on a dance floor, but he did not lead. He would swoop and twirl and change direction with no warning. Nonetheless, he decided that he would teach me how to dance. I learned to sense the slightest shift in his balance. Once I could follow him, I could follow anyone. I guess he did me a favor, though he would have been surprised by the mechanism.

5. I took up dance again when my daughters took gymnastics at a dance studio. I kept it up, even teaching a couple of classes, until I went on the road. I also put on 20 pounds in my first six months of traveling, the result of no more exercise.

6. In a ballet class, one of the women looked so familiar, but I just couldn't place her. "Do I know you from PTA meetings?" I asked. "From the grocery store?" She replied, rather coldly I thought, "I'm your doctor." Okay, lady, don't get your leotard in a wad, I never had a dance class with my doctor before!

7. In the movie Flashdance, the heroine talks about how she sometimes longs to get up on stage so she can disappear. I have a different experience. There is somebody inside me who only exists when I dance. I don't disappear when I dance; that's when I'm complete.

8. I didn't learn how to ski until I was past 40, and I was stiff and awkward and trying to control everything instead of moving with the mountain. Then the Professor skiied up behind me and said "It's like dancing." That was all it took. Don't get me wrong, I'm far from an expert skiier, but I do okay, I enjoy it, and now that I imagine myself dancing down the mountain, I no longer look like Al Gore giving a speech.

9. Oddly, the Professor, who is graceful on the slopes, was wooden on the dance floor until, taking my cue from him, I whispered "It's like skiing." There was an instant change in him, as well.

10. You'd think I would have fallen in love with another avid dancer, but somehow, I never had any chemistry with them.

11. Once when two of my granddaughters were spending the night and it was raining, barely misting,really, we went outside and did sashays down the street, while we twirled our umbrellas and sang a few choruses of "Singing in the Rain." I think they both still remember that. I know it's one of my favorite memories.

12. In my youth,musicals were THE art form in movies. I honestly thought that dates ended this way: he would do a little dance step, I would do a little dance step of my own, we would do a tentative step together and then we would launch into a glorious routine, which would include jumping over trash cans, running up walls, and twirling around lampposts. For a long time, I couldn't figure out how we would both know the same routine, but then it came to me -- if we both did the same steps from the heart, it was a sign of True Love. That love would be so powerful that it would flow right into the milkman, the policeman, and the other assorted people who showed up to sing background music while we danced. It was about as disappointing to discover that dates did not end this way as it was to find out that there was no Santa Claus.

13. Somewhere around middle school-ish age, a friend and I were dancing one afternoon. He twirled me around, spun me out, and as I turned back to him I grabbed his hand. Only it wasn't his hand. He got the oddest look on his face, I realized just what I had grabbed, and we both collapsed, literally in convulsions of laughter. Several minutes later, when we could breathe again, I gasped "You know what I thought? --gee, his hand is so soft". That set us off again. To this day, I have never laughed that hard, and I'm laughing again as I type this.

So there you are, 13 things about dancing. Who knew there was that much to say about it? I love dancing so much, I could probably do three more posts about it -- but I promise I won't.

posted at 9:23 PM
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Wordless Wednesday

posted at 6:01 AM
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Wish I'd Said That!
I'm working on my computer before my first appointment, and I have the tv on for company. Kelly Ripa just told a long-winded story about being in the Hamptons. They were at the beach. While she lay there, all sun-screened and hatted, her husband struck up a conversation with another man. They got around to professions; the stranger said he was a cosmetic dermatologist. This got Kelly's attention, so she sat up, took off her hat, rubbed off her sun screen, and asked the doctor if he could do anything for her. He proceeded to give her face an examination, right there on the beach. So Kelly's husband said,

"Sir, I am so grateful you're not a gynocologist!"

posted at 9:37 AM
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Monday, June 19, 2006
Another Week, Another Trip
The Professor went off to Mongolia, of all places, and lucky me, I'm back in Baton Rouge. I really don't mind. Mongolia has never been in my top ten places to see. The Professor, on the other hand, intends to see the entire world before he dies, and he was really excited about this trip. He even borrowed my camera, the video camera, the charger, the adaptor plugs and my binoculars, things he's been leaving behind on previous trips. There was something about dinosaur eggs that got him so fired up.

The Professor cleaned all his junk out of the bedroom last week. You have to know this man to believe it: he has maps, and aeronautical maps, and scientific journals, and old copies of Playboy, and tools, and old tapes and files from moon experiments, and currency from a zillion different countries, and stock folders, and ... I could go on, but I think you get the idea. He goes beserk if I touch his stuff, so it's been gradually spreading out from one corner until I didn't know how he could get to his dresser. Well, he didn't just move it from one room to another, which is what he usually does, he actually THREW THINGS AWAY. Now this is such a rare event that I figured it would probably rain money.

It rained, all right, only it wasn't money. We are fortunate to live near Galveston Bay, where the water has a place to go. A good part of Houston flooded badly. I waited until early afternoon to leave town, because I wasn't sure I'd be able to get out of town until then. The further east I went, the drier it got, and soon I was back in bright sunshine -- until I got to Baton Rouge, where I was greeted by another thunder storm. Oh well, they need the rain.

You know, the last time the Professor took a trip in June, Houston had a little tropical storm name Allison. That was the one that floated fully loaded tanker trucks up onto the concrete median barriers. I think I see a connection here.

Guppy, Stormii, the Little Angel and I went to see Cars yesterday. What a cute movie! I think anyone would enjoy it, but especially if you're old enough to remember Route 66, do yourself a favor and go see it. They even used the song Sha-Boom in it, and that's one I never thought I would hear again. (If you know what I'm talking about, I know how old you are!) I intend to go see it again with the Professor and my mother, and we won't even have to take a child along for cover.

posted at 9:24 PM
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Saturday, June 17, 2006
Saturday Photo Hunt: Sports

This is a daily event around my neighborhood. People love to fish. This is a father and son team -- the son is casting for bait and the father is using what his son catches in the net to catch bigger fish on the hook.

Two apologies: my lens was still foggy when I took the casting net picture, but it was the best one I had of the actual process. (Amazing how fast that net flies out!) And, two, I battled Blogger over the Photo Hunt code, but Blogger won.

posted at 8:36 AM
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Friday, June 16, 2006
Random Thoughts on a Friday
Since the vote was unanimous in favor of Guppyman having his own domain, I gave him his early birthday present last night. I suspect he will play around with it and figure out all the things he can do with it before he lets anyone know it's there. It's a pride thing, you know.

I feel like I need to explain something from yesterday's post. Guppy & Stormii misunderstood, so maybe others did, too. My grandmother didn't hate me, she just didn't like me. She never gave me a box of rocks as a gift or locked me in a closet. She just never had any warmth for me, that's all.

I just got a huge compliment from a customer. I called to see if he wanted to get together over lunch one day next week and he said "For you? I'll cancel the appointment I already have and meet with you instead." Maybe I buy better lunches? This poor guy is old enough to be retired; in fact, he did retire a few years ago. In his first week of retirement he was painting the outside of his house when his son drove up and said "Dad, I've decided to go to medical school". He was back at work within a week! I think very highly of him, and I am honored that he apparently thinks well of me, too.

And that is the best part of my job -- I meet so many nice people. In that respect, it's just like blogging.

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!

posted at 7:15 AM
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Thursday, June 15, 2006
Thursday Thirteen
1. I've never done TT before. I just discovered in browsing through other's blogs that it's traditional to do 100 things about yourself when you reach your 100th post. Well, I didn't know that, but I figure if I do TT...let's see...carry the one...7.69 times, it's as good as doing 100 things. And 7.69 times means the 8th one only has to have 9 things!

2. Is that being lazy or efficient?

3. I tend to do everything the hard way. I bake from scratch. I chop my own onions. I sew, not glue, sequins. Even when I find a quicker, easier way to do something (pancakes from Bisquick, for example), it always feels like cheating to me.

4. When I was young I was so insecure about my abilities that I would bake from scratch for my family, but only use a cake mix for company. That is pretty much a metaphor for everything about my life then.

5. People saw me as confident long before I felt that way. To this day, I have to fight the tape in my head that tells me that everything I do falls short of the mark.

6. Parents didn't praise their kids much when I was growing up, and mine were super-critical. My father was always yelling "That's class D work."

7. The funny thing is, the man never did class A work in his life. He always stopped short of doing a good job.

8. It was really hard for me when I started making more money than my father ever did. Then I realized that I worked hard to get there, and he didn't.

9. I never met my father's mother, and she never even sent me a birthday card. My mother's mother didn't like me, and everyone knew it. I was determined that all my grandchildren would feel enormously loved. Nothing gives me more pleasure than doing something for them and seeing that look of delight on their faces.

10. None of my grandchildren can imagine a grandmother who doesn't like you. I take that as pretty good proof that they feel loved.

11. Between us, the Professor and I have 10 grandchildren, 5 boys and 5 girls. They are all OUR granchildren. They range in age from 22 to 3. I'm hoping for at least one more from Guppy & Stormii.

12. The Professor was a friend of my brother's. I've known him since I was 8. He noticed me in my early teens; we dated for a while; I dumped him. 28 years later, after two bad marriages apiece, my daughters engineered our re-acquaintance. Dolphin had told me "Mom, you have terrible taste in men; let me pick one for you". When she carried on about how good-looking and funny he was, I had to see for myself. I recalled him as not very attractive and extremely boring.

13. I called the Professor at his mother's house. After we chatted a bit, I told him to call me next time he was in town and he said "I'm here now." So he came out to visit me and the rest, as they say, is history.

posted at 5:42 AM
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Wordless Wednesday

posted at 4:00 AM
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Monday, June 12, 2006
Monday Mutterings
Woo-hoo! I finished the report that has been haunting my sleep for a couple of weeks. And I was only two days late! The Professor tells me I take these things too seriously, but if you're going to do a forecast, you ought to do one that's close to accurate, right? Of course, what I felt like saying was, IF there are no major hurricanes on the Gulf Coast this summer, and IF there are no major terror attacks, and IF the price of oil falls lower, but not so low that the oil companies quit investing in capital expansions, and IF the factory can get the quotes out in a timely manner, and then ship the stuff when they're supposed to...then I think I can sell $XXX. (No, wait, make that $XXX,XXX,XXX.)

I am still de-flea-ing my house. We've started using Frontline on the cats, and it seems to work very well, but there are still some fleas who apparently fell into the carpet and have now built a very large city. We tried the bombs; the only thing they did was make the cats go off their feed. I got some powder that you brush down into the nap of the carpet. I was told to get a carpet rake to do it. Anyone remember the shag carpet of the 70's? -- I had a literal rake that attached to my vacuum to make the shag look good. (I should say, as good as shag could look.) But a carpet rake now is a very short-bristled broom. It is one heck of a workout to brush that stuff into a whole roomful of carpet. You have to move furniture, clean out the closets, the whole nine yards. I'm sure they would like for you to do your whole house at one time, but mine is being piecemealed as I find the time. But the rooms that I've done are so far flea-free.

Guppyman is asking me to give him a domain for his birthday. Like I know what a domain is! He has already moved off Blogger, and he has some wild scheme that he is going to host my blog. Let's see, if I give it to him, than I'm sorta the host of the one who's hosting me, right? This electronic stuff makes my head hurt! My main concern is that, darn, I finally learned which buttons to push and now he wants me to change. If it's mechanical, I'll take it apart and put it back together for fun; if it's electronic, I have no clue. So I'll throw it out for a vote: should I give Guppy a domain?

posted at 1:37 PM
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Saturday, June 10, 2006
Scavenger Hunt: Community

This was taken in the Samburu village in Kenya. No matter where you go in the world, babies are adorable, parents love their children, and mothers are delighted when you interact with their babies. The world is made up of an awful lot of small communities, and the differences in housing, dress and customs are fascinating. But I've found that if you travel with an open heart and an open mind, we are all just a part of the community of man.

posted at 6:26 AM
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Thursday, June 08, 2006
Ramblings of a Road Warrior
I've been on the road all week, in the Baton Rouge/New Orleans area. My original plans for this week were cancelled mid-morning Monday, so I literally threw this trip together at the last minute. It's been pretty successful so far.

Yesterday I finally met the boss lady at one of my biggest customers. I had heard dreadful tales about her from the men who work under her, and her phone calls and emails to me had reinforced the impression. I was a little worried about our meeting. Well, she turned out to be charming, delightful, and very reasonable. We even discovered that she painted her bathroom the same shade of orange that I used in my office! We hit it off so well that I am positive that we would be best friends if we lived in the same town. You'd think that I would have learned by now not to form an impression based on other people's stories, but I seem to have to learn that lesson over and over again.

Last night I had a lot of dreams, the way you do when you're really tired. In one of them, I pulled on a pair of jeans and discovered to my dismay that they were so big through the waist that I couldn't keep them on. Now let me tell you, if I could find a single pair of pants that buttoned easily, much less were too big, I would be doing a happy dance. What in the world was my subconscious thinking!

For those who were puzzled by my Wordless Wednesday picture, it was a seashell -- a live seashell. I thought it was so cool the way it left the track in the sand. We so often forget that those pretty little shells were living things.

posted at 8:44 AM
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Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Wordless Wednesday

posted at 6:49 AM
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Monday, June 05, 2006
Races and Ballet
I just realized I haven't posted about the Indy 500 last weekend. We had really terrific seats this year, almost on the finish line. We were right behind Marco Andretti's and Eddie Cheever's pits. The only problem was that we were facing the sun, and this year it was hot and cloudless. Other than the fact that I was bordering on heat exhaustion a couple of times, it was a terrific race. My camera isn't quick enough to get cars moving at 200+ mph, but here are the starting and ending flags.

This weekend we had a ballet to attend. One of the dances was set to music by Moby. I know it sounds weird, but I think that is the first time I ever heard Moby, and you know what? -- I liked it! (Guppy will be so ashamed!)

And I have to share one of the best household tips I've ever found: fold your clothes to the depths of the dresser drawer and put them in the drawer on end, not piled one on top of the other. Now I know you are thinking what I thought -- how the heck do you get lacy little underthings to stand on end? You may have to use some support (no pun intended), especially when you are filling the drawer, but it is so worth it. Had I done this organization first, I would not have run out to buy more lacy little underthings. I would have known the good stuff was buried under the stuff I don't like. You can fit a lot more in the drawer, too. My sock drawer went from mixed-up colors, two deep and overflowing, to columns organized by color -- and not one of the columns reaches all the way to the back of the drawer. I didn't throw anything out; this just gives you a lot more space.

Off to pack my suitcase for this week's trip. Have a great Monday, everyone.

posted at 6:01 AM
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Saturday, June 03, 2006
Scavenger Hunt With Whine
Give me something that works mechanically, and I can figure out how it works and how to fix it when it's not working. That's because I can see wheels turn, levers move, actions and reactions. But put me in front of a computer and I have no idea what is going on inside it. I click here, I drag there, as directed. It seems to be almost random whether or not the item I was trying to insert actually shows up.

Take Mr. Linky. (Please!) I wrote down all the steps to inserting the link on my blog and followed them faithfully. But it told me I had an html error and would not display the link. And do you know how I had to fix it? I had to tell it to quit showing me html errors! So if I log on to my checking account and see that I am overdrawn, can I just tell the computer to stop showing me that negative balance and voila! I will have money in the bank?

This rant was inspired by the Scavenger Hunt code. I tried, I really did, but it was beyond me. The 4th time I found myself trapped in the same little maze (sort of like a "Twilight Zone" episode), I decided to vent my frustration, then tell you what I am doing. So here is today's theme: mirror.

****Warning- Having a son with your password can ruin a good whine****

PS Hunt

Grab the Photo Hunt code.
Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

posted at 5:03 AM
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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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