Monday, April 30, 2012

The Last Day of April

I heard that April was colder than March.  Crazy, eh?  Yesterday I went out and dug up all the lilies of the valley that have escaped from the bed behind the kitchen to give to DS & DIL1.  They've got shaded beds in front of their house that are just plain dirt.  Lilies of the valley are some of her favorite flowers and they pretty much take care of themselves.  What's not to love?  I got a big plastic pot out of the shed thinking I'd never fill it.  Ha!  I filled it, overfilled it, and had to put the excess in an ice cream pail bucket, and they were both stuffed to the brim.  Usually I'm a pretty good judge of capacity but not yesterday.  There's a pair of chickadees living in the birdhouse that's stuck in that planting bed and they were not happy with me sitting there.  One of them would chitter and chirp at me, scolding me for being too close to their house and nest, and then I'd hear tiny wings flutter over my head one way or another.  (I wish birdies would move into the other 2 birdhouses we've got out there.  I wonder why they don't.)  I also took my cutters and removed most of the dead stalks from last year, piling them on the lawn.  I didn't get them to the curb and it rained overnight.  Now I've got soggy dead stuff to move.  Great.  I did go to Stein's to redeem my coupon for rosemary (limit 2) and violas (also limit 2).  I couldn't resist some leaf lettuce and spinach seeds, and some basil seeds.  Then I needed a big bag of soil for the planters I unearthed for this year's salad growing.  That meant I scared the crap out of a pair of squirrels by driving into the backyard to offload the bag of dirt.  Durwood didn't even notice because he made me move a couple birdfeeders out into the middle of the yard so that his hummingbirds don't have to deal with other birds.  Prima donnas.  That means I get to play with dirt and seeds tomorrow when I'm off work.  Yippee!  I need to get the tomato stakes out of the garden so I can use my little pitchfork to lever up all the volunteer weeds that are happily making themselves at home in there, and I need to find some pine bark mulch, not cedar, to mound around my blueberries.  They need a more acid soil and pine back helps.  They need to be happy to make blueberries for me, ya know.  Soon the battle of the tomato plants will commence.  Durwood thinks he needs about a dozen of them, for one little old guy, and I think 3 would be perfect so we could have space to grow something besides tomatoes.  Usually there are 7-9 tomato plants, a couple peppers in a pot and some viney thing that we train to grow on the wire fencing at the back of the garden.  It's enough, my eyes are always bigger than my willingness to work out there, and we get fresh food to eat and a bit to share.

April 29--Samuel Colt, Revolver.

Black hole of
cyclopean eye
bigger than life.

Forged steel
carved & gilded,
smooth warm walnut.

Art and death in a
simple machine
loaded with brass
saltpeter & lead.

Death weighs
half an ounce,
lives six inches

 Okay.  Here we are starting another week and (almost) another month.  I look out the window to see all shades of green and dark pink crowding in where they used to be gray and brown.  I'm ready to pay more attention to my life but it whizzes by so quickly I can't grasp it before it slips away.  Do you have a cave I can hide in?  Maybe in a cave I can slow things down, give each part of my life the attention it deserves.  But, cheer up, Barbara, it's payday and the moths in your wallet are lonely.  Yay, payday!  I know it's shallow but it's what I've got today.  No, it's not.  I hung my "menopausal goddess" back outside yesterday so she can dance in the breeze and make me smile when I see her.  Best Artstreet buy ever.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Whoosh! There Went Another Day

Slow down, Time, please, slow down. (i typed "show" first and then "snow," maybe i need a manicure or some rewiring between eyes, brain & fingers)  How come yesterday just whooshed by even when I was paying attention?  Usually I figure days slip away when I'm not, paying attention that is, when I'm busy with work or projects or in a web-coma, but yesterday I wanted to be conscious of every hour so that I could remember the enjoyment I had.  Yeah, that didn't work all that well.  I managed a bit of sewing before time to go to lunch, I tried to live in every moment at LL's (especially the foot-soaking in hot, salty water part--omg, luxury much?) but there it was nearly 3 PM and I had no recollection of most of the time gone by.  I zoomed through Copps to get a few ingredients not available at your local Walmart, then on to Porter's house to let her out to race around the yard like a deranged dervish, stopping only for a quick pee with the Mickey D's promo football in her mouth.  We played for a while then I shut her back indoors and came home to eat meatloaf (mmm, meatloaf) and go to the Barbershoppers concert.  There was great, recognizable music to hum along with and the guest quartet from Minnesota was freakin' fantastic.  The chords they sang made the hairs on my arms stand up and my nipples too.  It was chilly in the auditorium (hmm, maybe that explains the nipple thing) and even chillier outside.  I bundled up in a duvet when I got home and eventually warmed up.  It's been below normal this last week.  It's supposed to be above normal part of this week, and then cool down to below again by the weekend.  When's it gonna be normal?  Huh?  Let's string together a few 60-degree days, please.  Hot, cold, hotcold.  I can't take it much longer.  I've been having weird dreams, active ones about work and libraries and hunky young men, oh, and horses too.  I almost hate to wake up.  I'm cool and slender and sought-after in them too.  Guess that's why they call them "dreams."

April 28--Samuel Colt, Colt Third Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver.

Seesaw weather
Winter, Summer, Spring
all in one day

When I closed my notebook so quickly last night Durwood thought he'd disturbed me (he disturbs me, all right, but not in that way) but I assured him that he hadn't.  I think that the poem up there above the squiggles (the tilde) deserves the "bam" at the end, don't you?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Reunion of Tae Kwon Do Women

Way back in the dawn of recorded time (1994 or so) DS and then DD took Tae Kwon Do.  Because they didn't start at the same time they weren't in the same class.  Neither of them drove then either so I was sitting for 2 straight hours at the dojo reading a book or staring into space.  The sensei had an offer for 3 intro classes plus a dobok (uniform) for $25.  I figured, what the heck, so I signed up--and enjoyed it.  There were a few other adult women taking TKD there at the time and the four of us held each other up, kept each other going, watched each others' kids grow.  Time passed, interests changed, a divorce happened, we drifted apart, until JC contacted us all a few years back inviting us to her place for shared Subway subs and a couple hours of catching up.  Our kids are all grown, married, and scattered but it's still fun to get together every so often.  That's happening at LL's today around lunchtime.  I told DD about it, mentioning that SL is a married woman living in Alaska.  She looked stunned saying, "you mean, little SL..." holding her hand at ear-level.  "Yep," I told her, laughing inside that DD grew up but she expected another kid to stay the same.  Funny how that works.  I spent 2 blissful hours down in the sewing studio yesterday afternoon and then went to yoga & knitting night.  Ahh, a lovely day.  I hope yours was as satisfying.  Speaking of time flying, I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that it's been a week already since we were in Lexington.  I wish I could go into my internal hard drive and dial back the "perception of time" setting; it's running a little fast.  Oh, hey, we read in the paper today that UW-Madison's Geoscience building has a hawk nest on a ledge.  They've set up a webcam and you can see the downy chicks and the parents feeding and caring for them--live.  Coolest thing this Spring.  Now that the sturgeon cam's off the air, that is.

April 27--Egypt, Gazelle.

Lush folds of dunes
gather round the delta
life's blood
fresh water
tool of farmers
guardian of Egypt
highway, food store,
flowing South to North
combing papyrus
on its banks,
growing crocodiles
to keep the peace

Sometimes I like the words that come when I keep dozing off in mid-write.  This might be one of those times.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Stupid Cold

Just when I think we've crossed the line between Winter and Spring, a blast of cold air comes sneaking down from Canada (those wily Canadians *shakes her tiny fist*) to freeze the water in the birdbath (I've disconnected the heater) and frost the grass.  That's not stopping me, though, no siree.  I'll be putting on my jeans, sweater, and vest, picking up Porter, and meeting Skully and Maggie along Baird Creek for a walk in just about 45 minutes.  On my way home I'll stop at the library to pick up the new Christopher Moore book that I reserved when I first heard it was coming.  Squee!  I love his wacky writings, he's going to make my weekend even better.  If you haven't read any of his novels, I recommend starting with The Lust Lizard of Melancholy CoveIt's the funniest book you'll read in a long time.  Cross my heart.  I might just unearth my copy and read it again just to pep up my spirits (which have been flagging of late).  After that I plan to shun the Spring sunshine and go into the basement to play with my sewing machine and the fabric I bought at DD's store in Lexington last weekend.  I've been wanting to sew and not finding the time.  Today's the day.

April 26--Henri Matisse, Icarus.

Fly to the stars
yellow bright
in the night blue sky
Dream of escape
with the birds
until the sun's yellow fire
melts the wings
your father promised
Soar too high
crash in a tumble
of flames
I'm not moved to save out many of the art pages from the calendars I use as prompts, this one I can't bear to hide back in the box.  What'll I do in 6 months when the backside of that painting is the "art of the day"?  Punt.  I'm not putting it back and you can't make me.  So there.  *sticks out tongue*  Did your grandma tell you that a bird would come and poop on your stuck out tongue?  Mine did.  What an idea!  Au revoir.  *nods to Matisse*

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Food Glorious Food (name that musical)

Last night was the last (for the season) Beer & Food pairing supper at Titletown Brewing where both my DS & DIL1 work.  They thought it up, they plan it, and they host it.  It's an awesome evening with good food, a little education/information, surrounded by good people.  I freakin' love it, and I can't wait until they start up again.  Durwood's not into beer, climbing stairs to the upstairs dining room, or paying thirty bucks for food he isn't choosing.  No biggie.  My writing & knitting friend Cookie comes with me and we have a blast.  The Senior Executive President of Marketing Adam usually sits with us and keeps us laughing.  (I think he's really the Marketing Manager but he likes to give himself tiny, little promotions on the fly.)  DIL1's parents come to, with friends; we sometimes sit with them, sometimes not.  It is a convivial night that I really enjoy.  In June Suds & Cinema will start up again with 80s classic movies shown out on their covered patio.  It's free!!! And you can order a snack or just a drink.  Cookie and I go to those too and enjoy sitting out in the warm summer Sunday night, swatting mosquitoes, and watching movies.  I usually order the sweet potato fries and a root beer and she gets real beer with her fries.  We live on the edge, Cookie & me.  Hey, the sun's out.  Hallelujah.  I love me a sunny day.  (and I managed to spell "hallelujah" without Spellcheck or looking it up in the paper dictionary)  My maple tree is finally making more than buds.  The buds have turned into little tassels of pale chartreuse that dangle from each twig.  Makes me feel like Spring's really on the rise.  All the other trees around have been budding and leafing out but mine has been lagging behind.  I prefer to think that's so that it can wow everyone with its display come Autumn.  *nods confidently*
April 25--Millsent Connor, Embroidered Sampler.

Needle flashing silver
pulling silk through linen,
a young girl
draws with thread,
learns housewifery,
practices her future
one stitch at a time.
Okay, I'm off to seek Cheerios, then dress and go off to keep the world safe from SCUBA diving.  Wish I was going SCUBA diving right now.  Oh wait, my wetsuits at the dive shop.  Maybe next week, possibly next month, for sure the month after that.  June, right?  Yeah, June.  Coming right up.  May's just around the corner.  Can you believe it?  Me neither.  Toodle-oo.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Up & At 'Em

That's how I feel this morning.  It's a great feeling.  I'm hoping to sustain it.  I did 32 minutes of Wii Fit Plus yoga and got my wetsuit and DS's old one packed up along with our spare fins, masks, and snorkels, and put into Beverly.  This weekend's the university student certification dives and we're always short in the Rental dept.  I'm wearing my red Dansko shoes to keep my fire stoked.  Red shoes are an excellent kindling for keeping a good mood going--and they're also excellent for warning people when I'm having a crap day.  So they're dual-purpose shoes, there's just no way to tell what they mean until you get within striking distance.  Mwa-ha-ha-ha.  Tonight's the last (for the season) Beer & Food Pairing dinner at Titletown and I'm really looking forward to it.  (another reason to wear red shoes)  I'm wearing capris so that my mismatched socks are shown to advantage.  I chose ones with black cuffs so they "go" with my black shirt and my red cardigan coordinates with my red shoes.  (red shoes!  red shoes!)  I finally caved and bought the sterling silver sea turtle earrings at work on Monday.  I shined them up (love that Nevr-Dull) and I'm wearing them, along with my set of 4 piano wire bracelets.  I look good.  Yes, I do.  I dropped my car keys at the nail salon yesterday and broke the solders that hold the battery in place.  The other one that I have doesn't like to work even though it's not broken so I ordered a new one on eBay.  I got one with free shipping.  Free shipping!  Yay.  Hopefully it'll be here soon.  This is the first car I've had with a fob and I'm already addicted.  I like the "aux" plug too so I can listen to audiobooks without earbuds.  Ain't technology grand?

April 24--Charles Wheatstone, Concertina.

Work-roughened hands
squeeze music
from wood, leather, paper, ivory
Beer and wine
lubricate the notes
spirits unrefined
as the little squeezebox
lifts voices, feet,
hearts of all
who hear its
siren song
Adios, muchachos.  It's time to go to work and inflict these red shoes on the rest of the world.  Durwood's probably relieved.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mr. & Mrs. Eagle and Boo Radley's House

I picked up Porter this morning and went for a walk along the Fox River Trail for the first time this year.  It was a glorious sunny day with a nice cool breeze.  The trail wasn't very crowded and I saw a pair of eagles in a tree near the river bank.  At the farthest we walked a house sits tucked onto the edge of the river and it fascinates me.  I hear the neighbors call it Boo Radley's house and I think it's apt.  I would love to live in a place like that, tucked into a hidden place but right in the middle of a city.  And it's on the river, right on the river.  On the way back a lone pelican floated on the river and I saw 3 eagles in a tree--one female and two males.  I took a bunch of pictures and even a video.  Now if I could only figure out how to edit a video and put it on here... Oh well, they were just sitting still so a still picture's just as well.  On my way home I stopped at the bank and withdrew the last forty-three cents from the checking account we opened to pay Mom's final expenses because I paid the last bill early this month, it's cleared, so we're done.  The estate is settled.  Durwood and I ran errands this afternoon, picking up the 1508 lawnmower and putting it into storage since the new renter has her own, picking up fish for supper and a few other things.  Then I went to get my nails done and then went to let Porter out for her afternoon potty.  She was crazy happy to see me, ran around like a crazy dog, and spent time rubbing herself over a stick in the yard.  I don't understand.  I dropped my keys and that jarred the solders loose so the fob wouldn't work.  I stopped at RAM and the mechanic said he'd try to fix it.  I think I'm going to look on eBay for a new one.  Durwood wants to call a lawn service to see about getting some weed & feed applied so he asked me to help him measure the lot and the house and the garden and the driveway so he could say how many square feet of lawn there is.  I'm sure the neighbors thought we were nuts out there with a tape measure measuring all around.  You know, I thought I'd have some downtime today.  I haven't.  I sat down to blog just before 6 PM.  That's very different, usually I'm here early in the morning before work but after working out.  Somedays I think I'm too much a creature of habit.

April 23--Sally Miller, Memorial Painting.

Willows weeping
Black-clad mourners
cluster around
cold marble monuments.
Rows of solemn yews
stand guard and witness
to eternity.
I made a pile of long-sleeved shirts this morning, thinking I'd take them downstairs.  But now I think I don't want to go down into the basement again, so I'll probably hang them back up.  Plus I figure if I swap out my clothes too soon I'll curse us with an extended cool spring.  I control the weather, you know.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Back Home *sigh*

It was a fun weekend, a whirlwind weekend, and now I'm back to reality, but hopefully Reality ver. 2.0.  I awoke before the alarm (gotta love changing time zones) and did 13 minutes of balance games on the Wii with a little Rhythm Band for dessert.  I'm at the age when my eye-hand-foot coordination has gone to sh*t so I need to remember to exercise that too.  So I did.  I even did a few "runs" on the Ski Jump.  I suck at the Ski Jump.  Most of the time I'm the one making the big snowball at the bottom of the ramp, but one of the three times I played it, ONCE, I managed to stay on my skis for both jumps.  I barely qualified as an amateur but at least I was upright at the end of both jumps.  That's something.  On Friday, I got to spend a few precious minutes with my beloved DD, walking for coffee and then drinking it near a fountain; those times were the best.  I really needed to spend time with her; turns out she needed me too.  It was a set.  Not that we didn't love having Durwood and DIL2 along the rest of the time, we did, we just needed that little mother/daughter time to recharge some part of us, one that I didn't realize had gotten so so empty.  I bought a coffee mug, a Blue Horse coffee mug from a lovely lady at the Visitor center that I will use to recall that small but precious moment from last weekend.  (Oh, I really love my DD.  Really.  So much it chokes me up.  She's my best baby girl.)  Both Durwood and I came home with renewed intentions to get ourselves in order.  He says he's unlimbering the stationary bike today (I have to declutter its area) and I'm going to start saying no to some things.  I need to get back to my center, need to fill up my well, need to make our home more serene and myself along with it.  I have plans.  (more later)  It was a long, windy drive home yesterday, made even longer by our initial hour spent circling Lexington (on New Circle Road, thank god) when we tried to combine Robert the TomTom's instructions and the AAA Triptik.  After 45 minutes I called DD and she set us on the right road, and essentially back to where we'd started.  It took me a few miles and a call to a friend to stop beating myself up over being a bad navigator (one of the things I need to work on, that self-recrimination) but I got my head on straight(er) and on we went.  I took my turns driving, in fact I drove from the second Chicago toll all the way home, which is a long drive for me.  I did have to stop to pee twice (I swear I'll have peed in every toilet on the planet by the time I'm dead, and twice we stopped in Indiana and the same 2 women were there peeing too.  I told Durwood that I was glad I'm not the only woman with an 80-mile tank.) but that gave us both a chance to get up and stretch our legs.  I was running in place at a Mickey D's in Sheboygan (hi, AJ, K & CA!) when a guy came out, a young guy, with his food and grinned at me.  I said, "long day driving" and he said, "yep."  We had a moment.  He was cute.  We got home around 7:30, unloaded, I sauteed some onions, peppers, and 'shrooms, dumped in a jar of sauce (Rinaldi Tomato, Garlic & Onion--not bad with a bit of basil and thyme added), cooked up some penne rigati and called it supper.  It was good.  There was a paucity (look it up) of veggies in the weekend's meals so a bowl of little but tasted great.  And I'd lost a pound since last Wednesday AM which was the last time I did a Body Test on the Wii.  Yay!  I keep trying to convince myself that my goal is to be fit & healthy.  Horseshit.  Let's get real; it's all about the number on the scale.  That sucks, but there it is.  I'm going to keep working to change that.

April 22--Mesopotamia, Standing Male Worshiper.

South to North
(a circle to start)
across the Ohio
up through green hills
past the fields where the wind grows
his turn, then mine
his, then mine
Five states in ten hours
the change from
Mom back to wife
is a much harder transition.

I realized that April's winding down and I won't "have" to write a poem every day.  I can't decide if I'll miss it or not.  It's strange but I just realized that the blabber before has become more important than the writing after.  What a pity.  Maybe not.  Have a day--and it's payday.  Whoop!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Barbecue or BBQ or Barbeque

However you spell it, it makes one hell of a lunch.  Durwood and I had taken the wrong exit off the highway last spring when we were on the way to DD & DIL2's wedding and saw this barbecue place that looked like it had been made with reclaimed lumber and various tractor parts.  There was even a dog sleeping in the gravel lot.  The vision of it haunted me since, so I was determined that we eat there.  Even if barbequed possum was the only thing on the menu, I was eating there.  We drove out the Georgetown Road from Lexington in the drizzle determined to keep driving until we saw the place or got to Cincinnati.  Look!  We found it. Fat Boys BBQ.  No sleeping dog in the gravel but a row of pickup trucks, a sedan or two, and Durwood's midnight blue battleship of an SUV.  It smelled like hickory-smoked heaven when we got out of the car and the inside didn't disappoint.  The pine walls were covered with tin signs and old kitchen utensils.  The tables were plain off-white banquet or craft tables with a mishmash of metal and wooden chairs.  Perfect.  The waitress recommended sharing the assorted platter with a rib or two, some pulled pork, bbq-ed brisket, 2 sides, and a roll.  I ordered fried okra (it was extra); Durwood got coleslaw; we agreed to have cornbread (which appeared as pancakes--???).  Oh, mama,  it was worth the wait.

We stopped at the Cardome Center where there was a Kites & Culture Festival.  We wanted to see kites, maybe fly kites.  No kites.  Only drizzle, chilly wind, and gray skies.  So DIL2 unlimbered the Driving Tour CD we got from the Visitor lady and we drive back to town to start at the Start.  It was very informative and interesting.  Lots of gorgeous acres of rolling green with horses and fantastic houses and barns sprinkled here and there.  

Then back to the motel to drop off Durwood so the ladies could go to see where DD's "second work" is.  It's a Hancock Fabrics.  They were having a sale.  DD gets an employee discount. Just what I needed, more fabric.  


April 21--Roman, Garland Bowl.

Gray clouds
emerald hills
rolling fences
white and black
Grazing horses
mostly brown
dollars and hopes
on the hoof
Horseflesh and bourbon
grow well on this
limestone shelf
Spindly-legged quadrupeds
make fools of men
with mellow spirits
in Irish crystal

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Fun & Busy Day

Oh, what fun we had!  I'm warning you up front, there'll be lots of pictures in this post, so just be patient.  DD picked me up early and we stopped at the Visitor Center where we met a lovely lady who gave us maps and CDs for a driving tour (good thing because it's raining right now [Sat. a.m.]).  We walked from LCT to Starbucks and had coffee sitting near Triangle Fountain.  Back to LCT we visited DIL2 in her office, then watched a run-through of their latest production, Goodnight Moon.  It was lovely.

We came back to the motel, got Durwood, and then went to the races.  EEEEEE!  It was a banner day in terms of fun and a not-so banner day in terms of winning bets.  I didn't win one single bet.  Now, understand that I had all of $14 at stake, $2 per race, but still it was exciting and disappointing.  I did manage to bet on horses that finished in the middle most of the time, so I'm getting better.  On our last outing at Keeneland I chose the dead-last horse every single time.  It's a gift.  Maybe if I'd ever patted a horse or knew how to read all those little numbers in the racing form... nah, I'd still bet with my gut and my emotions and leave my two bucks at the track nearly every single time.  Hey, it's cheap fun.  It cost us $10 per person for entrance & a grandstand seat, I spent $7 on popcorn and water and $9 on programs (can't pretend you know what's what without one, makes losing too easy that way), so for $46 plus our bets, usually $2/race, we spent the day out in the beautiful warm Kentucky air and sunshine watching beautiful animals do what they love to do best of all with people we love.  That's not even figuring in the not-inconsiderable entertainment of people watching.  A banner day.

After the races we picked up DIL2 and went to a Nicaraguan restaurant for supper, then to Orange Leaf for frozen yogurt for dessert.  I had mango, pineapple, and coconut with a bit of granola topping.  Durwood said he didn't like frozen yogurt but I noticed that he managed to eat a good bit of mine while holding it for me while I drove.  Not that I minded sharing, of course. (I'd planned for attrition.)  After that we were all pretty tired so we kissed the girls goodnight and planned to start having fun again this morning at 10-ish.  Stay tuned!

I even had a little energy to poem before bed.

April 20--Mary Cassatt, Gathering Fruit.

Tiny hand reaches
for sweetness
Cherry lips
Peach fuzz cheeks
Bright blueberry eyes
Sun-warmed fruit
draws bees tot he orchard
Humming lulls him
to sleep.

Now I have to eat my orange half, then get dressed so we can get a move on.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Safe and Sound in the Bluegrass State

We didn't take the time to post yesterday because we hit the road and started pedaling early.  We kept going (except for that 20 minute break while the nice state trooper wrote Durwood a speeding ticket) until we arrived around 5:30.  DD & DIL2 came over and we went to supper at a hibachi restaurant.  Today DD and I are going to a run-through at the children's theater this morning, then we'll gather up Durwood and go to the horse races at Keeneland this afternoon.  This time we were smart and got grandstand seats so we don't have to stand around all afternoon while we bet on the ponies.  Yay!  That means I need to go take my shower and get dressed so here's a bit of poetry to open your eyes (or make you a bit queasy, depending on your perspective)

April 18--Govardhan, Shah Jahan Album.
Jasmine and cedar
wafts from the page
Desert heat radiates
from every leaf
Gold burnished
by fingers' touch
Triangles entwine
captured birds
Black ink traces
Persian verses

See that tree in the sunset?  It's a Wisconsin tree, no leaves.  Today I'll take a picture of a Kentucky tree; they have leaves.  Exit, stage right.


Thursday, April 19, 2012


Last night after work we tossed our bags and Durwood's oxygen equipment into his van and HIT THE OPEN ROAD.  When we were driving into Milwaukee the sun was setting in a beautiful blaze of orange.  The Value Inn in Kenosha was definitely a blast from the past.

And I finished up Color Stripe Vessel #6. 

This morning we drove away from the 70s into some rain but by the third tollbooth the sun was out and it never went away.


At Louisville the Ohio River was looking gorgeous.

We went to a hibachi restaurant with DD & DIL2.  It was a good but tiring day.

Oh, and leadfoot Durwood collected a bit of commemorative paper in Indiana politely delivered by an Indiana State Trooper.  I do not have a picture of that.

Tomorrow, the racetrack!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring Rainy Day

Good thing I mowed last night after work, not that much of the grass was mowing length, but it's rainy today and that'll make it all grow.  At least by mowing I'll keep us from looking like bums.  We're both looking forward to spending a little time with the girls.  We don't get to stay long, only a couple days, but we'll cram in lots of visiting.  Friday we get to see a run-though of Goodnight Moon at the Lexington Children's Theater where DIL2's the tech director/manager, then go to Keeneland to the races.  We don't know what we'll do on Saturday, probably sightsee, and then find that ramshackle barbecue joint I saw last spring and eat there.  (Oh, I have to remember to put fresh water in Dragon's bowl so I can take him to work.  I figured Mrs. Boss won't mind feeding him while we're gone.  Don't want to come home to a dead fish now, do I?)  I finished up the laundry last night, Durwood had done about 5 loads through the day, and packed.  All that's left is to put my laptop in its bag with the power strip of chargers (I have 4!) and then I'm set.  I think.  It's not as if we'll be gone forever, only 3 nights, so forgotten things aren't the end of the world.  (You can't even see it from here.) When I get home from work all I'll have to do is throw Durwood's O2 tanks, oxygen accumulator, and the bags into the van and off we go.  Slick as cat sh*t on a linoleum floor.  (You and I both know things won't go that smoothly but let's pretend, okay?)  Huh, I ran out of blabber early.  On to the poem...

April 17--Greek Armband with Heracles Knot.

Loop of gold
'twined through another
locked for millennia
like you and me.
Garnets for blood,
emerald's earth,
gold means purity.
Truth of our union
sealed for all time
with red stone,
green stone, and

Sappy, I know, but I gotta tell you I'm stuck on Durwood.  Stuck with and on.  He's my rock.  He makes me feel safe and calm and whole.  What's not to love?  Plus he tolerates and even encourages whatever mania I happen to light on.  This one's for you, Dear.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Back Home

And I'm so glad.  It's good to leave and good to come home.  I know I'll feel the same when/if there's ever a grandbaby to stay with and care for.  Dorothy was right, "there's no place like home."  *click, click*  (no ruby slippers, just red fleece clogs with holey toes)  And I don't have to share my banana either.  Porter expects a share, and if one's good, more would certainly be better, all would be great, and MORE even better.  Lots of signs of Spring in the yard this morning: lilacs blooming, primroses too, blueberry flowers, and asparagus for supper.  Yum. Tonight after work I need to mow de lawn so that it doesn't get too long while we're gone this weekend.  We'll be in Lexington visiting DD & DIL2, you know, and we're going to Keeneland to bet on the ponies and we'll eat some barbecue and maybe do something else.  We'll definitely drive by Big Ass Fans and the JIF factory (choosy mothers choose JIF, I did and do).  Mmm, that neighborhood sure smells good with the smell of roasting peanuts wafting around.  I don't know what was up with the weather yesterday.  It was warmish in the morning and then the wind picked up, really picked up, and blew in cold, winter coat cold, and they were talking about snow showers overnight.  Snow showers.  That didn't happen, but still, it's past snow time, people.  And I heard from the AM talking heads that it was uber-hot in the northeast, like in the 90s.  What is going on?  All you people with lava rocks from Hawaii, put them back, send them back if you have to.  Everyone get your houses in order, I fear that this might be the lead-up to Armageddon.  Either that or I'm blaming sunspots.  Yeah, that's it, sunspots, solar wind, La Nina... I've got a million of them.  Oh, can't forget global climate change (global warming's out as a rallying cry--out).  Pay no attention to the woman behind the screen today, she's not herself (if she ever is or was or will be).  By the way, the alarm woke me at 6:30 today.  I did not vault out of bed at 6:00.  That's a good thing.

April 16--Diego Rodriguez de Silva Y Velazquez, Portrait of a Man.  I went with the NaPoWriMo prompt which was to write about the ocean, one of my favorite places on earth.

Heart beat of the ocean
just beyond hearing
surge of water
regular as pulse
blood-warm silk
salty as tears
cocoon me in your care
The funny thing about the NaPoWriMo prompt of the 16th was that it was the first one where she used a picture as a prompt.  I do that most of the time, have for years.  I'm hanging onto daily prompt writing by a thread and I think that without a picture I'd fall into the abyss.  Could be true, could be drama, but that's where I'm standing right now.  Off to dress for work so we can run away tomorrow night to see our girls.  See ya!  (d'you see me waving?)

Monday, April 16, 2012


Finallyfinallyfinally the tiny buds on the maple tree are big enough to warrant being put in the scarf.  Green!  In the Maple Tree Scarf!  I bought up a plethora of spring-ish greens and Durwood and I agreed that this pear color was the best representative of the delicate green of the nearly invisible buds on my tree.  I thought of only putting in a few random stitches of the green (green!) because they're only visible if you really look for them but then I thew caution to the winds and just plunged in wholeheartedly.  Ahh, green.

I finished up the Color Stripe Vessel #4 at work the other day.  (you see, it's green too, at least partly)  I'm anxious to see how it turns out when it's felted since I made the sides shallow.  Maybe it'll be wide and flat like I wanted.

This is my last dog-sitting day and I'm relieved.  I'm not cut out to be a pet-parent.  I'm just not.  I'm more of a pet-tolerater or a pet-borrower.  When it comes right down to it, I'm not soothed by her presence but too aware of her and annoyed.  See?  Not the right attitude at all.  Not that I'm mean to her, no, I'd never do that, I'm just perfunctory.  I'd really rather be left alone.

Crack O'Dawn

This is getting old and has to stop.  Porter was lying quietly in her bed and I woke up.  She wasn't pacing by the bed, whining.  Nope, just lying there.  Does this mean I'll be waking up at 6 o'clock for no apparent reason now?  Is this the stage I'm at?  Gah!  I don't understand dogs.  The other night when I was downstairs she was upstairs munching on a sliver of soap that someone (not me) had left on the edge of the tub.  Then in the morning while I was upstairs getting ready for work she was downstairs eating, or rather shredding a napkin.  I.  Don't.  Understand.  And it's chicken feeding and watering day.  This is my 6th morning here and I've collected all of 1 egg.  One.  Is she depressed?  On strike?  I suspect that she laid one Wednesday and Thursday mornings and disposed of them herself but since then only one has appeared.  Unless she's hoarding them and there isn't anyplace in there where she could hide them.  This is why I don't have pets.  I don't get them.  People are bad enough and you can ask them questions, animals are just, well, animals.  Dumb animals.  Dumb as in mute, not dumb as in stupid.  Well, not all of them anyway. (Penny doesn't seem very bright.)  We're off to see DD & DIL2 later this week and I can not wait to see them and spend time with them, then once we're home maybe my life will settle back down into its comfy rut and I can gather the scattered tatters of my wits and see if I can't knit or sew them back together.  Except of course that there's a beer & food pairing dinner on the 25th and on the 28th the Tae Kwon Do women are reuning (what?  it was in a Mensa crossword puzzle last week.) and there's the Barbershoppers concert that night.  Okay, after that.  I'm looking forward to the long drive to Lexington.  Time in the car with Durwood's always good.  We talk or not, point out random things along the way, talk.  Like that.  He loves to drive and I'm restricted to only a couple things to do, like knit (mindless stuff, nothing complex) or listen to an audiobook but that seems rude to Durwood.  And Porter's eating a stick again.  Why do dogs do that?  She has plenty of food but she has a mania for tearing things up, landscape fabric is high on her list, my plastic shoes are good too, but the sticks that fall off the backyard trees are her faves.  She also likes to "trim" the hedges along the fence.  She gets under them and chomps off the low branches. ???? Nuts.  No egg again today.  *shrug*  Haven't got a clue about that.  Looks like it's about to pucker up and rain again.  S'okay by me.

April 15--Girolamo Zenti, Harpsichord.

Touch a key
Note quivers in air
Hammer a taut wire
Percussion of sound
wave on eardrum
Cause     Effect
Sound of music
 When I was writing last night (or trying to) the wind was blowing like crazy, this next one came from that.
Roaring wind
sliced by trees
flings itself
through the neighborhood
stirring the darkness
And that's that.  It's time to munch on Cheerios, take a shower, dress, pack, and think about going to work.  Ooh, it's payday.  That's a good thing.  Sayonara.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Woke Up All On My Own At 6:01 A.M...

...and it's raining.  (Oh, glasses make it better.)  Porter does not want to go out if it's raining.  Does that mean she's going to spend the the morning whining about it?  Probably.  I'm determined not to spend the day here with her.  I'm going to go home and spend the day with Durwood.  I miss him.  He misses me too, I'm sure of it, he said he does.  I'll take my newly potted shoes home to show him and I'll spend part of the day sans dog.  I don't think I understand what you DO with a dog when you're not walking it.  This one isn't content to just lie by your side like a faithful rug, she wants to have a conversation and have you doing something to her or with her or something just do something here let me lick you and nudge your hand with my snout and worm my way between you and whatever you're doing so it'll be easier for you to pet me or step on me.  Yeah, like that.  Right now she's standing looking out the back door like the world's turned against her.  She's already gobbled up her food like it's the last she'll ever get, had a few laps of water, and now she's lying behind my chair sighing and harrumphing at the general cruelty of the world (I guess).  Looks like Penny doesn't like rain either, she's huddled in her little house.  (Will I have to wrestle her for the egg?  Better get my umbrella.  Wonder if there's one around here somewhere.)  We need the rain so they'll just have to get over it.  I'm kind of glad it's raining.  Rain absolves me from feeling like I need to be doing something on the nice day, mowing or laundry or something productive.  Damned work ethic.  I'm not even Protestant.  I'm glad we're running away after I get off work next Wednesday.  We're shucking our responsibilities and hitting the open road, footloose and fancy free.  I need to check what the weather guessers have to say about Lexington, KY next weekend so I can plan what to pack.  Oh, and remind Durwood to go see about getting a new gas cap that doesn't wreak havoc with his sensor doodads.  If you don't get the one he has now cranked down just exactly right, it says you don't have any gas.  You know you do, but you glance down and the light's on and the "check engine" light's blazing away and just for an instant you panic.  In town it's not so much but on the road it's a pain.  With the sensor component I'm guessing a new gas cap isn't cheap, but he can check it out, right?  Never hurts to ask, the worst they can say is "no."  I think I had all of one paying customer at work yesterday plus one Instructor + kids dropping off gear from teaching a family pool skills, one visitor who hung out for 45 minutes or so (always nice to have someone to talk to), one son & mom looking at masks but buying nothing, and that was it.  In 6 hours.  It makes for a long day.  I websurfed (too much, I need to scale that back, it isn't good for my wrist), emailed Skully some blog construction tips and encouragement, talked to Cookie on the phone, cranked up tunes (okay, it was classical music, free samplers, FREE!  I got some jazz ones too) on the Kindle and knitted.  I live on the edge.  Not.  It just feels like it sometimes.

April 14--Girolamo Zenti, Harpsichord.

Like silver pins
notes hold me
in place
while the music
dances from
his fingertips
Raw materials
join as the
fruitwood, gilt, and ivory
into magic

Hey, housekeeping note, my "itol" email address is no longer good but I can't get Google to replace it with another or do it on my own.  I've tried, believe me, I've tried.  "Itol" is the address of record for this blog so if this comes to your email address you can't just hit Reply and have it come back to me, you need to reply to bookie1510(at)hotmail(dot)com (replace the parentheticals with the proper symbols) or you can come onto the blog and comment here.  Ain't technology grand?  Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I Don't Need An Alarm Clock

It wasn't even 6 o'clock when she woke me up to let her out.  Six o'clock.  On Saturday.  Yes, I have to work today, but seriously, a person could sleep in.  A person could be more awake when she posts.  This person, I mean, not any random person cruising by.  Me.  Not-awake me, who has let the dog out, taken my vitamins, gone potty and dressed myself--in the correct order, I might add--even though it's not fully light yet.  I DO NOT get up when it's dark outside, at least not willingly much less cheerfully.  Ask Durwood.  Yet here I sit in the "sun" room with a whining dog at my feet (no, I'm not going for a walk yet, maybe not ever today, I think I'm getting a shin splint) clicking away on the keys talking to you.  I know there's a "you" out there, I feel you out there, I hear your breathing.  Can you hear me?  (creepy, eh?)  Oh, air quotes!  Two university students came into the dive shop yesterday and I stood up asking, "can I help you?" and she said, "we're here to sign up..." and he finished, "for our (air quote) certification dives (air quote)."  I immediately said, "don't air quotes that, it's a real thing, not some joke you can just pass off with air quotes."  I was smiling at the time and I "air quoted" a bunch of random things at him to show him how stupid and demeaning air quotes can be--in a friendly, joking manner, of course.  And when I was fitting him in his wetsuit, I let him know that he could buy jeans that actually covered his underpants and rode on his hips instead of his ass and half-hard on.  In a nice way, of course.  (and I didn't say hard-on out loud, I used my inside voice [oop, I almost air quoted])  I swear that's how they keep their pants up; that's why they've got their hands in their pockets, you know, to keep things at parade-rest (so to speak) so their pants stay up.  I'm sure of it.  I've fed Penny too.  I gave her a handful of wilted lettuce from the fridge, sliced up an overripe banana, and a few grapes which seems excessive, I agree, but there's a payoff.  Look!  I won!  Victory is mine!  *hops in a circle, fists on high*  I put bedding and an old golf ball in her nest box and, voila!, I got an egg.  A real, unpecked, freckledy egg. The first one since I moved in on Tuesday.  Guess things hadn't gotten too far out of hand but I'm going to leave that golf ball in there and put another Slogger of bedding in before I leave for work.  It's cheap insurance.  What's a Slogger?  It's a plastic, Croc-like garden clog that DIL1 and I each have a pair of that lives on their back step.  We use them as yard shoes.  I used them yesterday to carry nest-bedding out to the coop since there isn't a scoop or bucket in the bedding can.  (What?  It worked.  It is now an official Unit of Measure.)  I can't believe how crafty I am; Porter has been whining to go walking, I don't want to so my shin splint gets a day off, so I spread peanut butter in one of her bones and brought it outside so she can work on it.  Did I mention that I moved the writing out to the patio so she'll be outside and not eat DIL1's Slogger?  Or mine?  I did.  I am a genius.  Certifiable.  In the category "People are Odd," a guy called yesterday asking about getting certified and also about a wetsuit he can use for diving and windsurfing.  We talked about dive class (I think he'll sign up online.) and that there really isn't a wetsuit combo that'd work for both activities up here where the water stays cold.  He said he'd stop in before closing (7 PM) to look at suits.  I said okay, and we hung up.  He called around 5:30 to say he was running late and wouldn't make it, like we had an appointment.  That was nice, but I work in a store.  Do you call other stores to check their hours and then call to tell them if you can't make it there?  No, you don't.  I don't anyway.  He must think he was my only customer, in truth he would have been but... well, I just thought it was odd.  Don't you?

April 13--Franck-Francois-Genes Chauvassaignes, Seated Nude in Studio.

neither masculine
nor feminine
definitely one
but which
masculine jaw
feminine hands
slim hips
could be either
thick ankles
dirty dirty feet
Not worth the trouble
since no one's still alive
who cares
                  --bam  (I keep forgetting to sign them.  Remind me, will you?)

She/he was a singularly disappointing nude with a dissatisfied look on his/her face.  And those filthy feet really turned me off.  Couldn't she/he at least washed his/her feet before the shutter snapped?  Didn't they have soap in the 1850s?  I'm sure they did.  Grandma would have told me if they didn't.  Hell, she made her own soap; I'm sure someone in France in the 1850s knew how to do that.  It wasn't invented in America in the 1950s.  Well that's when I saw her do it so that's my frame of reference.  Au revoir, mes amis.