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Monday, March 31, 2008

Fun Monday - Words...Inspire, Expire

Robin, today’s Fun delegator, asked us to share inspiring favorite quotes. As I rolled ideas through my head, my thoughts kept returning to an event from my youth

The words spoken were not inspiring in their delivery. The person who ran with them wasn’t me. And, the life changing event belonged to someone else. But I remember it all so very well.

My friend Evonne was a skinny little curly haired moppet. We weren’t best friends, but we were close. We shared a classroom every year from 2nd through 8th grade. High school tumbled us into other peer groups and our friendship was loosely maintained. But then the incident happened during our senior year that changed her life forever.

Mrs. L was very old. Had anyone asked, I would have suggested she was 107. She was Evonne's and my senior advisor. I don’t recall one word the woman spoke to me during counseling. However, I do remember what she said to Evonne.

On one particular day a very distraught and teary-eyed 17-year old left Mrs. L’s office.

Evonne sobbed from behind a soggy tissue to her friends that day. “She might as well have told me I was stupid.”

“She told me ‘You are not college material.’ Can you believe she said that?” Evonne questioned.

Then the still tiny, but spunky frizzy haired young woman made a bold statement.

“I’ll show her!”

…and then she did!

Evonne‘s curly head was nose down in her studies the remainder of that year. Following graduation she found employment and began working her way through college. She finished her 4 years and headed to graduate school. Not very many years later I heard that she was a PHD and a professor at a university in Tennessee.

Negative words don’t always prompt someone to invest in themselves so wisely. Whenever I think of the inspiration and motivation that pushed Evonne, I am also reminded that there are many others who are overwhelmed and discouraged by the carelessness of our words.

My inspirational quote today IS in honor of my old friend Evonne (I know you are out there somewhere. )

* * * * *

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21

* * * * *

Get your weekly Fun Monday fix by joining the other participants hosted by Pensieve. I promise - this week will be inspirational.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Funny Looking

Today's conversation as Amanda backed her mini-van up to peer around the car parked next to us. She pulled back in to let some traffic pass.

Amanda: That sure was a funny lookin' woman.
Me : What woman?
Amanda: The one who was driving that car.
Me: What car.
Amanda: The one on the other side of the one parked next to us.
Me: I'll take a look once you pull out.
Amanda: Okay, I think it's clear now.
Me: Whoaaa... she's a dog!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

April Fools Day Already?

blog readability test

I think they were humoring ME!
The truth is in the question - which is not really about the intelligence of your blog - but rather how easy it reads. Or in English, I flunked.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fun Monday - The A to Z shuffle

One of my very first blogging buddies is hosting today's Fun Monday. She asked that we make a list starting with Asylum and ending with Zany. Well, not those exact words, but the capital letter might give you the gist of it.

I won't explain much more - except that we weren't obligated to follow the rules.

So, without further Adieu or Zaboomafoo, I present to you and to Swampwitch my Fun Monday list of A to Z.

Yesterday was Easter and we were delighted to join some friends for dinner at a buffet in a nearby city. The following are the things we devoured, and a few things that we didn't:

Apple Pie, peach cobbler, and every dessert imaginable.

Beets, (pickled)

Cranberry sauce

Deep fried chicken, home style chicken, baked chicken.

Eggs boiled and dyed

Fish, baked (and Fried shrimp I didn’t eat)

Gravy, beef and turkey

Ham, sliced to perfection.

Ice cream, chocolate or vanilla.

Just too much damn food (thanks to hubby for this suggestion)

Kookies (I know it’s spelled wrong, but it sounds right)

Ladles of hot corn chowder, vegetable beef soup, and others.

Macaroni & Cheese (we saw a kid eating it with ketchup!)

Nuts, croutons, mushrooms and bacon bits

Onion rings and French fried potatoes.

Prime rib and mashed potatoes

Quiche (spinach Marie)

Rolls and cornbread with butter

Salads, tossed, spring greens, Caeser, Fruit, yada yada yada…

Turkey with two kinds of stuffing.

Undisciplined children lined up at the dessert aisle.

Vegetables such as steamed carrots, corn, and green beans.

Water, tea, coffee, milk, soda pop and juices.

Xtra helpings of anything we desired

Yams, candied

Zzzzzzzzz’s the rest of the afternoon.

Yes, that is me you hear groaning.

Get your pencil out to take notes because there should be lists galore over at Anecdotes, Antidotes & Anodes. Please join the rest of the participants in today's Fun.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wild Geese

Heading north.

There is no explanation for the strange yearning that takes hold of me.

I hear the calls of the wild geese echoing across the valley and my eyes and heart are hypnotically drawn to the sky.

I want to fly and to follow the wind and the muted cry of the winged leader.

The sunshine casts their shadow across my wistful countenance while they somehow use it's angle to calculate and correct their course.

They know their destination.

Every fall, every spring - they leave me below as they disappear over the horizon.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fun Monday, Made up Names

Nikki, as the host of this week’s affair, asked that we share our special made up words. I didn’t quite play by the rules. I’m going to tell you about the made up names that have been a part of our family life for many years.

Dad made up names for us. He often called me "Shorty." As the youngest, the title served me well until I grew taller than two of my sisters.

I have perfect recall of a Sunday ritual, when dad would call out, “C’mon, Shorty, you want to go to town with me this morning?”

My eldest brother had the most nicknames. At first he was Ronny Jew-Baby. (Dad spent the 1920's "hobo-ing" around the country and saw and received much hostility and bigotry. That is why I know this nickname was not meant to be cruel. I never heard dad ever ridicule or belittle anyone's race or religion.)

Then as the years progressed dad and mom added to that the names "Hotshot" Manure Pile. The last two had to have something to do with an event in the barn yard.

My next brother answered to “Ta-mass’-cat.” This was a play on words with his middle name. As he grew older, no one ever called him Gerald. He was and still is Thomas.

The one exception for silly names may be my my late sister Nelda. No one can say if she was called anything else. Our 87 year old Aunt Deloris said that Nelda was named after one of dad’s old girlfriends. Apparently Mom loved the name when dad suggested it and didn’t care to whom it had belonged.

Sandra recollects dad walking through the door late each evening and calling out “There’s my "Sandy-bogus. Eventually he shortened it to just "Bogey."

She also answered to Do-Do – so named by her younger brother Michael "Doodle Bug," before he could pronounce her name. I called him worse things when I was growing up, because he really bugged me. (Brothers!) He certainly was cute as one, too.

"Nick-Oh-Luj" (pronounced with a long U) was my mom’s largest baby and was also a chubby toddler. Another brother said that dad would sing a song about “my fat baby” growing up “to be a man” when he rocked the little chunk to sleep.

All of us were light-haired toddlers except for my sister Patricia. She inherited the straight dark hair of our mother. I remember dad calling her his “Little Indian Princess” on many occasion. But for the everyday nickname he called her his “Trish-Oh-Lish.” I am so happy that dad didn’t rhyme my name and connect it with an “Oh.”

The tradition carried on with our three daughters. Doodle Bug brother christened my eldest as Karmyn Gooey when she was yet tiny. Gooey stuck. Our next two girls earned the names of Juice and Cakers. All three of these names are derived from the twisting of their middle names. The hubby still refers to them by these monikers when he speaks of them. (He's should be happy that no one calls him by his high school title of Wart Finkner.)

Now our grandchildren must abide by the family tradition. They are: Lil Bud, Red Headed Girl, Jammin’, Goober, Buttercup, Curlymop, Peanut and Dinkum.

We have a new nickname arriving in late May. Any suggestions?

Please take time to enjoy others entries to the St Paddy’s Day Fun Monday . You'll laugh yourself green.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Peg Leg

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Canon Powershot

Because some of you asked: I didn't realize he/she only had one leg until after I downloaded the photograph. So, I can't answer the question - Is he one legged, or is it tucked up?

He was sitting on my backyard fence admiring the bird feeders. Looking for dinner ?

Friday, March 07, 2008

Pensieve's Poetic License ~ Limerick

The following are two entries for Robins Pensieve's Poetic License.

What can I say? How can I get serious about Limericks. They are too much fun.

There once was a guy name’o Arnie

Who only liked chili con carne

But on St Paddy’s Week

He tried Bubble & Squeak

And a green beer to wash down the Blarney

There once was a green leprechaun

Who conserved and recycled - doggone!

And… about global warming

She cried: “I’m informing--

You all that my Hot Flash is ON!”

Have a wonderful day filled with poetry Robin.... and all the rest of you, too! Read more HERE!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wildflowers in Winter -

In early January, Elizabeth Joy brought some spring pleasure into our dreary winter days by creating a Wildflowers In Winter fun meme. I wasn't able to participate in every week's theme, but reveled in the ones I joined.

Last week was a contest for kids art. I missed the deadline - but I want to share my grand kids talents, nonetheless.

The first flower drawing was created by my sweet little Buttercup (4 1/2). Jammin' (almost 7) presented me with the second one.

This must be vinca.
I'm sure this is quince...and tulips.

This week's theme is THE FIRST FLOWER OF SPRING.

Last Sunday I walked up the creek and found this Oregon Grape ready to burst into yellow blossoms.

I can't wait to go walking this weekend.

Thank you, Elizabeth Joy, for including all of us in your prescription to cure the winter blahs.

Wordless Wednesday -Everybody DUCK!

Female Common Merganser, and Mallard pair.
Canon Powershot s2

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Spring Teasers

Today would be perfect for doing some yard clean up. The sun is shining and I would much rather be outside than in.

Neighbor Bill is turning dirt and adding compost to his garden. The packed dirt in my shoe tread reveals that I was over there discussing potatoes, strawberries, and daffodils earlier this morning . I am enchanted by the blossoms on his Hazelnut trees.
My own daffodil and hyacinth bulbs have been called by the sunshine. Notice that I am not as punctual as Bill when it comes to cleaning fall and winter debris from my flower bed. We leave many of our plants as forage and habitat for the small birds that make their winter home in our neighborhood. I'll get my rake and wheel barrow out next weekend. Maybe.

Instead of spring cleanup, this afternoon I'm going to drive 45 minutes to a wild life refuge where 70% of the migrating ducks and geese stop to rest and recoup. Last week I saw eight bald eagles perching majestically in trees amidst the wetlands.

Inland Empire Girl and Myanderings inspired me this morning to look for signs that the season is approaching.