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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Christmas Decoration (Fun & Macro Monday)

Gattina, Writer Cramps, has asked to see our favorite Christmas decoration for the Fun Monday project this week.

Mine happens to be alive and blooming - for well over 50 years. We always call it  "Mom's Christmas Cactus," because I retrieved it from her home when she passed away sixteen years ago.




It did not bloom for several years and I was afraid that I didn't have the green thumb for zygo-cactus.   Fortunately, it grieved and I found a rhythm for feeding and watering. Now it is a faithful provider of lovely blossoms every winter.  Three years ago it bloomed from November until April.

The plant is very large - and thus susceptible  to breakage from the people and pets who move about.  The pieces that break off are placed in water to root and then shared with other family members.  Each of my daughters has their plant growing from "Mom's Christmas Cactus."  But, now I think that "Mom's" refers to me.

In November 2006, I posted this similar declaration of love for this plant.  It is so special to me that I don't mind sharing it one more time.




Play Fun Monday at Writer Cramps and Macro Monday at Lisa's Chaos

(The Flash pictures on this post were taken Sunday evening  - because I forgot to take a photo during the daylight.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

An Update and Greeting

Christmas Eve Morning we find ourselves once more in Portland, Oregon at our youngest daughter's house where I am using her strange little lap top.  The keyboard is made for miniature fingers and some of the buttons can do strange and improbable tasks.  If only one could make me 36 once more.


I slept (not) to the stereo qualitity of two snoring men.  It is a small apartment and the things that happen in the apartment upstairs are no secret either.  Even Curlymop, the 5 year old granddaughter, was awake until 11 p.m. as the result of sipping someone's Thai Tea.  That could have been part of my wakeful problem, too.  I actually blamed it on the salad;  I crashed and burned on a whole chili that I misidentified as a dark peanut.

When I did nod away, I dreamed that I didn't get any Christmas Cards.  That has been on my mind because I didn't send any this year, or for several years past.  It has to be very much like blogging.  If you don't leave your "comment card" at your friends blogs, eventually they'll quit commenting , too.

Tomorrow is a day spent with this daughter and our other daughter Karmyn and families.  It will be a light hearted day as the result of Jammin getting a clean result on his biopsy.  Strange how it is with pathology reports; positive is negative; negative is positive.  We are so very grateful, but incomplete without our middle daughter and her family.  Jen is an ER nurse in central California who is sceduled to work on Christmas Day.  Fortunately her kids will be spending the day with their dads exetended families.

This morning we are taking my husbands sister for a consult with a Cardio-Thoracic surgeon.  Two weeks ago a softball size mass was discovered in her chest next to her heart.  She has been complaining of pain for some time now.  The radiologist and her new physician believe it is a cyst -  and that should keep it from falling into that insidious category about which we refuse to speak.

We traversed the Columbia River Gorge yesterday where the air was crisp, the water still, and the sky was blue.  I was at the wheel when I became aware of little ice rainbows in the sky.  They would last anywhere from seconds to maybe a minute.  This was taken seconds before one disappeared and is hardly visible.  I downloaded ithe following photos directly from my camera.


 

I woke my husband and he drove the rest of the way.  I took a few photos from the moving car,  I am never bored of the beauty of that stretch of highway.  This is Mout Hood and a bank of fog through our dirty windshield.



Another shot at sunset through the dirty glass.  I wish I had used my Canon Rebel and done the vibrant colors more justice.


The last hour was foggy and I was glad that my man was at the wheel and I could relax.

We  send our greetings to all of you -- whether you celebrate Christmas or another calendar event.  We are blessed to have you in our circle of friends.

Love, Pamela

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Too Big To Wrap


Our Christmas present this year.  A new driveway and sidewalk.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Spell your Favorite Thai Food



There is a very small family owned Thai restaurant one block away from our daughter's apartment in Portland.  We love to eat there.

Last week I noticed a couple of interesting things on the lunch menu.  I highlighted the "specials" with a little red stick pin.



When Amanda passes her national court recorder test, we're obliged to host a celebratory dinner for friends and family at this yummy little place. 

The people who work there are aware of our plans and can't wait to feed us some of our favorite dishes:  Crispy Basil, Pad Thai, and Green Mango Salad.

There will be Stir-Fly and Pictures of Water for those who are a bit more adventuresome.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eye Eye, Matey!

Jammin, my 8-year old grandson had  eye surgery on Monday.

When I stayed with him and his siblings last August, we were putting drops in his eye several times a day.  The pediatrician thought he had growth caused by a bacteria.

But, the antibiotics and steroids proved useless.  He was sent to the Casey Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon, where the specialist recommended surgery and biopsy.


After the surgery, his mother and father sat with him in recovery. 





Once he became aware of his surroundings his mother remarked, "Hey Jammin'.  You look like a pirate."

"AAAAAAAAAAARGH!." He replied.

He is doing well.  He should be back in school tomorrow  and we are hoping for good news from the pathologist.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shopping

I've been in Portland, OR since Tuesday.

My daughter Amanda is doing a 50 hour internship at the Federal Court for the last leg of her her Court Reporting certificate requirements.  Her fingers are very tired.

I've been grandma drop off to and pick up from school for the kindergarten kid.

 Today Curlymop missed school because her eyes were red and burning.  The medical clinic sqeezed us in this afternoon for a quick check up.  The Pediatrician hardly walked through the door before exclaiming, "Pink Eye!

Poor kid has caught every bug that has come along in her classroom this fall.

I still plan to get out to some of the great stores here in Portland and do some Christmas shopping. 

You'll note that Amanda and I already went to Powell's. 





(My eyes are sort of burning.  Uh oh.)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmas Songs that Induce Insanity

Cynagirl wants to know which Christmas songs drive me bonkers for this Fun Monday.

The fact that I heard Christmas music playing in Sears before Halloween gave me reason to get that crazy feeling entirely too early this year.

But...for a particular song, I allowed myself to go back to a childhood memory.
My mom had an LP with all the Stars of her day singing the season favorites.  She would play that album quite often during the holiday season.  Oh How I hated to hear Silent Night moaned out with despair by Marlene Dietrich. 

I couldn't find that particular recording available on the web.  But, lucky you!  I found her rendition of  Little Drummer Boy.  It's equally endearing.

If you dare to hear it ...


Oh.... SHUDDER!!

There are several more that I love to hate - but I'll save those for another day.




Share your hair pulling holiday songs and  link your post at C is for Cynical Girl.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Turkey Lurkey



Carmi has asked for a picture of something different for this week's Thematic Photograph.

Their unprecedented appearance is why I chased these three wild turkeys down the street with my camera. I think they were considering their escape options when I cornered them in our neighbors yard.

In the over thirty years I've lived on this street I  have never before been visited by a wild turkey .

My neighbor Bill has lived here more than 50 years and claims it was his first sighting, too!

Later that afternoon when they were enjoying the spilled sunflower seeds under my bird feeder,  the neighbor's dog surprised them.  All three flew high into the neighbors old maple tree and were still perched there when night fell.

I wondered if they found refuge in town during hunting season and decided it was so nice that they would stick around.

If you saw something odd this week, post it and link your blog at Written Inc.   Or, just go check out what other bloggers share

Monday, November 30, 2009

Under the Weather.

You know you've been sick when the grandchildren come for the holiday and you don't take one photo.
Not one.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fun Monday Thanks

Wendishness has asked us to share our thanks for this week's Fun Monday fare.   My contribution is a copy of my daily note of thankfulness to which I committed on Facebook.   

11-23-09   So thankful for infrastructure! Every Monday morning our garbage and recyclables are removed from the street by some sanitation workers. And I'm thankful that my recycle grew this year while the garbage decreased.
11-22-09     found it easy to be thankful this morning. ----Yesterday we stood in line at the theater to attend "The Blind Side." I also just read the book "The Glass Castle." Both true stories of children surviving adversity. I'm thankful that I had a childhood. Mine wasn't perfect, but it was blessed.
11-21-09   needs to be thankful for more things. Julie  had a "favorite quote" contest on her blog and one of the winners was: What if God decided to take away the things you forgot to thank him for? I sit here and gaze a 360 around this room and see so many blessings. Television, radio, internet, telephone. I'm thankful for her reminder.
11-20-09  Having a tough time being thankful this morning. But I am. I am thankful for places that are available for those who need extra help. I'm thankful for the people who work there. I'm thankful for their grace and mercy. Their willingness to be servants.
11-19-09   I'm thankful that I had (for the most part) teachers who were dedicated to teaching ME! ... and didn't accept less from my learning. Thank you Mrs. Syphers, Miss Goodman, Mr. Weir, Mr. Miller, Mr. Libby, Mr. McCorkle. Oh yeah, there are a few more out there. But these were the ones that came to mind today when I did some substitute tutoring.
11-18-09   is thankful today for fireplaces, gas furnaces, snuggly blankets, and hot oatmeal.
11-16-09  I'm thankful for old friends. It's as though time and space have no power when you talk to one. Our lives have moved on and our paths cross rarely. But we begin our conversation as if it was only yesterday we last spoke.
11-15-09  I'm thankful for grandchildren. Last night six-year old Buttercup called to inform us that she lost both front teeth in less than 24 hours. (She didn't mention that one of the lose teeth was encouraged by her almost 18 mo old baby brother. He bonked her with a flashlight)
11-14-09  Thankful for medicine. I'd be more thankful if I didn't need to take them. But praise God that there scientists who search creation for cures, the pharmaceuticals who fund the production, and for every one in between who makes it possible for them to sit in my medicine cabinet.
11-13-09  thankful for farmers, and truckers, and grocery stores, oh my! (and.. coffee. Today I'm sampling my first cup of Dunkin Donuts Coffee.)
11-12-09  Today I am thankful for (some semblance of) sound mind and body.
11-11-09  Today I am thankful for veterans, and for those currently 'serving.' A big T H A N K Y O U to all of you who have and are. Is it too late for some of us other "mature" folks to serve? Just a thought this morning as my "veteran" husband has the day off in his honor.
11-10-09  Thankful for Autumn. Tho, sad to feel the sharp and serrated wind slam summer's door, slash my blooming friends and rip naked the tall Maple. It, and the retreating sun , sent the feathers migrating for longer days. 'For everything there is a season.' Quiet. Rest. Cold fingers wrap my favorite coffee cup and I'm at peace. (#2 on my Thankfuls until Nov 25)
11-09-09  Taking up the Thankful Challenge from my friend Sayre Smiles, who says: 
"Every day this month until Thanksgiving,think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status. "Today I am thankful for..." I challenge all my friends to post what they are thankful for today."
Today I am thankful for my husband - and every day for thirty-three years~
(I promise you WILL be thankful for reading all the entries this week.  What a great choice for todays subject!  So link over for thankfulness at Wendishness!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Leaving

My fingers are freezing as I type this. I just ran outside and removed as many leaves as I could from the tiny man-made creek that runs into the pond.

A few days ago WR stated that he hoped the wind would blow all the leaves off the neighbor’s maple trees - and he got his wish. He even got a better gift with it. Many of those leaves blew over our fence and beyond. However, we still get to keep the ones that hit the water.

Every autumn we are surprised. I remember several years ago having our grandkids help us rake leaves when they visited over the Thanksgiving holiday. I remember having a few brave roses thumbing their petals even into December. We always know that eventually winter will arrive, but never how or when we expect it.

So is it we are surprised with the insidious creeping of Alzheimer’s in my sister-in-law’s life.
This morning I need to wolf down my coffee and cereal and rush out the door. I am supervising the movers who come to haul her furniture and belongings to assisted living.

It was only this past January that I helped her pack and move into the apartment where we hoped she would be safe and secure for a few years.

In the past few months there has been blatant deterioration. Mostly in short term memory and cognitive thinking. Tasks that require more than one step frustrate her. Just this week I realized she was unable to use her stove, to listen to her voice mail messages, or even turn on the heat for the cold days.

Where does it go from here? When?
IMG_0872

Monday, November 16, 2009

Priceless

Ari, from Beyond My Slab, is the hostess of this week's Fun Monday, and has chosen a topic that gives me immense pleasure:  Old Things.

Other than dust, I have nothing in my house more weathered and aged than Augusta's photo album.  I wrote about my great grandmother  (Augusta, Grace, Evelyn, Me) this summer. She was born in 1855 and died in 1937.    
I can only guess when she acquired it. I like to think that she was a young teen when she chose to include a photo of the late President Lincoln.  Some other printed photos may be of other famous people of that era.

IMG_0852
My glasses give you an idea of the album's dimensions.

The leather binding is embossed.  It is in dire need of gentle repair. 

I have no idea how much that will cost.

Note the interesting clasp.  The other one is in worse condition.

Do you want to see the inside?

Below are tin types of Augusta, her first husband Chester, and her father - my great great grandfather Norman, 1821-1903.  Normans photo is terribly scratched and tarnished.
IMG_0861
IMG_0866
 
There are tin types of her babies , of her mother,  and of her brother and his wife and child.


I am careful not to allow the tin types much exposure to light.  They really need to be 
professionally restored.  I hope that I find the money and the service before passing them on
to my daughters.


Apparently, Grandmother Grace took possession of it when her mother died.  She kept it in a chest of drawers and would bring it out on occasion to share with relatives.  My eldest brother remembers back in the fifties, sitting next to her while she pointed at and talked about each person.  Grace was 99 years old when she died in 1978.

When Birdie, Grace's eldest daughter, died in 1993, my cousin called and offered the album to me.  I was very thankful for her generosity. What I didn't know at the time is that my cousin was gravely ill and seeking preservation of our family's historical treasure.

A little white envelope containing two more tin types remains folded inside the cover - likely placed there by Grace.  One of the photos is her husbands parents: my great grandfather and grandmother, George and Bernetta.  For sure it was taken before 1863 - the year George died of typhoid fever while a soldier in the Civil War.
* * * * * * * * *

And then there is this --
something that came into our
possession this week:
my husbands Great Grandfather's (Papa George)  "fiddle."

This is a different George then mentioned above. (1873-1966)
IMG_0871

He played a lively tune in the early 1900s, and was well known in the thriving community of Touchet, Washington. 
It looks like I'm going to have to do some detective work and find out more about Papa George...AND his violin.  I also must find an honored position on the wall for its display.

Join me and other's linking at Ari's Slab!  Find out what's new in old stuff.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Walking to Music

Today, I walk earlier than usual and experience a slight bit of unease. For the first 30 minutes I see only two other people
.
There have been rare reports of cougar and bear along the creek – the knowledge of which makes me very aware of my isolation.

When I turn back, I begin to meet more people, the majority of whom are wearing MP3s and IPods.
We smile in greeting and I say “good morning.” Of course they do not hear me. Nor did they hear any of the bears or cougars that snuck up on them from my earlier flight of imagination.


Unaware of the obbligato springing forth from the heavy underbrush, they miss the evasive fluttering of a Bewick's Wren. I watch it pause from its busyness and I sigh as it tilts its head back to sing with enthusiasm. How can such a loud trill emanate from so tiny a creature?

They do not discern the performance of the wind symphony.

Sometimes it plays a legato breeze in the bending trees.
 IMG_9173a
Oher times a gust engages the leaves in a staccato attended tag around my feet.

When the cranky Canadian Goose tunes up his honker, they don’t notice. And they ignore the accompanying drumming of the water that cascades over the berms.
 IMG_9218b

A Kingfisher's frenzied capriccio is most likely drowned out by their nano speakers. His irritated complaint draws my
attention to the object of his rebuke –
the blue heron. (I felt the same when the long-legged thief feasted in our fish pond.)

As my car comes into view, the distinct timbre of raindrops begins a pleasant rhythm that hasten my steps.

When the crescendo suddenly swells, I laugh as a drenching concert falls from the sky.
Those other walkers may have been deaf to the quiet compositions around them … but I suspect they hear Mother Nature now!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Water Ouzel

No...This isn't the nature blog.  However, that being said, the bird watcher in me was so intrigued by my first sighting of an American Dipper, AKA Water Ouzel.

Two days in a row I watched this little bird feed, play, and bathe in the creek that flows along the path that I walk.  With some marked felicity, I noted it in my bird diary.

(My Canon Power Shot has the capacity for short video recording, albeit not the best quality. And my blogging hasn't been the best lately, either.  Quality or quantity.)






Water Ouzel from pamela on Vimeo.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Wooly Wooly Worm

Saturday morning was perfect for a long brisk walk. As we were enjoying the path,  WR pointed out this fuzzy little Wooly Worm toodling across.



You are supposed to be able to forecast the extremes of winter by this little fellows coat.  (Or is she a girl?)

I was pleased to find these instructions at ehow.com
(I'm thinking I may not bother to dig into the storage area for my snow tires.)


  1. Step 1
    Look for wooly worms under rocks and inside hollow logs.


  2. Step 2
    Examine the wooly worm, paying attention to its bands of colors. The wooly worm will curl into a ball when touched or threatened. When they crawl, they can crawl very quickly!


  3. Step 3
    Wooly worm forecasters say that the size of the brown band of color will tell you what kind of winter is coming. Legend says that the thinner the brownish red bands, the harsher the winter will be. If the wooly worm is mostly brownish red in the middle, winter will be mild.


  4. Step 4
    Wooly worm enthusiasts claim an 85 percent success rate over the last few decades. Scientists tend to disagree and say wooly worm weather prediction is as unscientific as using groundhogs to predict winter weather. The groundhogs likely side with the wooly worms.
     






Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Karoo, Karoo

A Lullaby that my mom sang to me when I was a baby.
I sang to my daughters.  My daughters to my grandchildren.
I hope my great grandchildren will hear it someday, too.
Listen to it here --  accompanied by photos of my sleepy daughters, and my 10 sleepy grandchildren!


Karoo Karoo from pamela on Vimeo.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pajamela

Late last night I curled up on the love seat and watched the weather channel's tornado chasing marathon.  The closing credits ran every half hour; then, the next episode would begin.  Midnight arrived and yet I remained fixated.   I so want to be a storm chaser. 

 

The next thing I knew it was 4:30 and the cat was waking me with a yowling complaint.  I got up, turned off the TV, and opened the patio door before grabbing the warm afghan and snuggling back down in my chair.  I slept there until 8:30.   In my turtle neck and jeans.

 

This odd confession is brought to you by Gattina - Writers Cramps, the host for today's Fun Monday.

 

She is curious about our usual Sunday morning attire.

 

Last night's lead in to this morning was just a fluke. I am the quintessential flannel pajama girl. 

 

Most Sunday morning you'll find me searching for my glasses, the newspaper, and my coffee mug.  I do know, however,  where my PJ's are --because I'm wearing them.

 

I can remember wearing little lace-edged flannel sets as a child. I wore them until the lace began to disintegrate and the buttons popped.  And then I wore them more.

 

My attachment to my PJ's hasn't altered as I've aged.  I wear them until they fall right into the rag bin.

 

 

Here is a photo taken of me and granddaughters Buttercup and Curlymop when they were little tykes. 


All three of us were in our warm flannels on Christmas morning.  (No glasses, though.)


Growing up, I ALWAYS got  new pajamas on Christmas eve. 

Maybe this year?

****

 

If you have a Sunday morning lounging tradition  - wear them  over to Writer's Cramps and shake them loose on Mr. Linky.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Synopsis

IMG_8936 We went to grandparents day at Curlymop's School. 

Our daughter mentioned that schools smell the same no matter where you go.

Why is that?

 

This is what happens when Grandma buys special treats for breakfast

Being a grandmother gives you license to forget that Halloween decorated do-nuts are not  good for you or on you.

The frosting stained.
IMG_9011
crop A group of Annas hummingbirds visited the valley the last week of September.  They aren't supposed to be here.  Ever!

This photo and my last sighting was October 1.

Here is elGee, the cat.  (And Lucky, the mouse) 

I swear that cat is color blind.  The mouse got away.

In the last two days we've had  8 others, however,  that met their maker. They were in MY KITCHEN! 


IMG_8669

 

(I hope it wasn't Bianca or Bernard.)

Speaking of heroes . . . .



SuperSiblings
Another photo of
The Super Siblings from California, who picked out names to match their alter egos. 

Unfortunately,
I only remember the moniker chosen for the 2 year old.  
 Pinkum Dinkum.

Every little boy needs an older sister and dress-up clothes.

 

Yesterday, while maneuvering to my car in the grocery parking lot, I was nearly run over. 

When the car suddenly backed towards me I froze.  In the same instant, my mind saw the bold headlines in the local newspaper. 

        La La-year old woman smashed with her bananas. 

That gave me the boost of energy needed to move it.  None of their $!%#  business how old I am.

 

I pulled out the carpet shampoo-er and did some overdue cleaning this week. It spit out quite a few hair balls.

This confirms that my regular vacuum cleaner is on it's last legs.  I knew it wasn't picking up things from the floor as it should.  But I had no idea it wasn't dealing with the cat hair.  That sucks!  Well, it doesn't suck.  But it really does suck.  ( Oh heck... you know what I mean!)


One of the last photos I shot before the frost.

My begonias are now at rest in the garage... drying out.  Hopes for their return next spring.

You'll note the net was already on the pond.  The Great Blue Heron returned to his favorite fishing ground and ate a third of them before we were aware.  Including the largest one.
IMG_0547

Mr. Heron also scared the livin daylights out of the cat.  Look at her.  What a weenie.

We're gearing up for winter here.  The Farmer's Almanac predicts it will be cool, with average precipitation.  I can handle that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm Hair for Fun Monday

Bad haircuts were a fact of life growing up. In fact, those home cut tresses gave my brother plenty of ammunition for teasing me and another sister. 

Mama didn’t use her dishes when she gave haircuts, and for that fact we were most thankful. We were quite horrified by the bowl cuts worn by some school chums.

I don’t know if it was a borrowed phrase, or if my brother just came up with the taunt of his own accord.

T-Bangs.  Nanner, nanner, nanner!

It seems quite innocuous by today’s standards - but it was enough to keep us whining to our mother. She was eventually overwhelmed by our complaints and locked herself in the bathroom to cry.

In spite of those memories, the very worst haircut of my life occurred the day before WR’s 10th high school class reunion.

My male stylist had been doing a fairly consistent trim – except that he was leaving too much length on top. I wanted to have a little more bounce up there.

I may have badgered him about it.

Looking back, I really wish that he’d have taken my mother’s cue, and just locked himself in the bathroom.

Instead, he pretty much gave me a crew-cut.

I’m lucky there is no photo. He’s lucky there is no photo, as the one that comes to mind would be my mug shot after the discovery of his battered body.

I suspect, however, a juror of my peers would have found me not guilty.

Sandy, at Myanderings, is hosting Fun Monday today!  Of course, you guessed - the topic is bad haircuts.   Run (but not with your scissors) on over there and join in the fun!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Inspect Her Gadgets


Wendy of Wendishness wants to see our gadgets!  And...when you are the week's Fun Monday Host you get what you want.

To satisfy her curiosity, I quickly grabbed six of the first eight gadgets that came to mind.  (Everyone knows that cameras and cellphones are the obvious choice.)    

Can you guess what all of these are?





  

Clockwise from Left:  Blood Pressure Monitor, Electronic Meat Thermometer, Can opener, Coffee Grinder, Pencil Sharpener.

Sure - I could live without them.  But the meat would be burned, the can lids would be sharp, the coffee would be stale, the pencils would be dull, and I'd have to find another excuse to make the hubby hold my hand.

Join the fun!  Click your mousy gadget right HERE.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Grand Kid Briefs

Brief reflections of five days with five grand kids.



Four-month old Granddaughters.




Perfect toys.  Play with them - then give them back to their mommies.


Two-year old Grandsons.




There should be a Leash Law!


Four-year old Grandsons.



Aims to please.  (Except in front of the toilet.)


Seven-year old granddaughters.
 


Elves !  Direct from middle earth; some of which is always visible  around cheeks and mouth.


Almost 13-year old granddaughters.



Static.  





Saturday, October 03, 2009

Grandma Loves You More


Grandma Loves You More Than a Poo Poo Platter from pamela on Vimeo.


She's four months old today  and made a long trip from central California to see Grandpa and Grandma.
This is our youngest, Smurf Ellie.

What is it about a sweet baby that turns me into a monkey.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fun Monday - Still hot for Starman

Ari, the author of Beyond My Slab, has asked Fun Monday participants to click their heels three times and become a favorite character in a movie.

This was an easy confession for me, as I coughed this up once before in a Fun Monday about childhood crushes. This movie was released in 1984  --  and I fell in love with Karen Allen's character.  Not because she inspired me in any form.  It was because she got to embrace a naked alien Starman, played by Jeff Bridges. Who, incidentally, was really hot at the time.

Ari ...not only did I click my heels, but I did a little clicking with my mouse in photo shop. 



Starman: Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


Now, you're invited to beam over to Ari's and check out some other Star choices!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just The Right Amount

It’s just another day in paradise. Her thoughts bemused her as the sun peaked over the hills and through her curtains. Once more she was awake early.

4:45 am.

Is insomnia just my burden to bear? she wondered. Or are there millions just like her, cracking the dawn hours before the alarm.

Her movements woke her husband and he moaned through an exaggerated arm stretch. She rolled over and laid her face against his shoulder.

“It’s early hon.” she whispered. “Please lie still and let me spoon you for a few minutes. I need to cuddle.”

He agreed. Within moments of repositioning his pillow he relaxed and she counted the 27 seconds it took him to return to nod.

Well, that was too easy, she mused.

She slid out of bed and padded softly down the hall to the kitchen. Lulling him back to sleep also meant that she assumed the job of barista. He usually brewed the first pot and offered her a cup with just the right amount of cream.

Now was a good time to check her E-mail and read her favorite web sites. Who am I kidding.If I sit down I’ll never get up. But she sat anyway.

There were the usual mail forwards that she’d already seen multiple times. She deleted those along with all the spam she’d been getting about Viagra and various other enhancing pills and procedures. That left just the messages from friends and family – the important stuff.

Then she saw a short message from an old boyfriend. Former, she chided herself. Old sounds ... well... too old.

His was one of the rekindled friendships with childhood school chums she’d made during the summer.

The message was short and caught her off guard. “I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately.”

She smiled and sat up straighter and affected a better posture - once a girl, always a girl – and searched her memories of 7th grade. They’d been an item in a very innocent prepubescent sort of way.

I should have listened closer to the morning talk show about imprinting, she chastised herself. Some scientist claimed that properties from the chemistry of teenage romance were still accessible in the brains of older people. One of the reasons, he asserted, why Facebook was such an appealing phenomenon. You could connect with former lovers and relive those forgotten, but not lost, sensations.

“Snort.” She thought aloud about the science.

But she reconsidered. It felt kind of nice to know that someone from so long ago still has a special spot in his heart for her.

Thirty minutes later, still sitting at the computer, she heard her husband walk up behind her and felt his hand on her shoulder. The other hand held his mug of black coffee.

“Maybe you need some spooning every morning so you can get more sleep” she suggestively lifted one eyebrow and twirled her pajama covered shoulder. “I may be an old fart, but I’ve still got it. And, I even have an old boyfriend that still thinks about me.” (Darn, she’d used that word old again.)

She’d caught his attention, so she poured it on a little thicker to get a response.

“I can understand that,” he smiled the smile that accentuates his dimple. “I’ve been married to you for 32 years and I still like to think about you.” He ran his fingers through the fringe of hair tickling his ears.

She growled.“Thirty-three years mister, and don’t you forget that, and … don’t forget to remind me this evening to trim your hair!”

“Oh yeah! I do need a haircut.” He turned and walked away to see if there was anything in the cupboard for breakfast.

Such a jealous man, she reflected. Not.

Several days and the demands in her life kept her busy with other worries. But, the words of her old boyfriend returned when she corresponded with him once more.

“So, you’ve been thinking about me?” she couldn’t help herself.

“Yeah….I’ve been feeling really guilty.” He began.

Then he shared something that had been bothering him since he sat on her patio and talked about old times. (Old. Old. Old. Old. Enough already!)

Her countenance changed and she slumped slowly back into her chair as she listened to his story. A story about his years of disrespect and whispering behind the backs of people who were overweight.

He'd never thought about the obese as real people with circumstances that changed or made their bodies different. His revived relationship with her, he admitted, primed his conscience and he felt reprimanded for his lack of empathy and understanding.

“Inside, you are still the same person that I knew as a kid,” he said and she finished the sentence in her mind, but, your body has really changed... Yeah, tell me about it.


She probably agreed with him and maybe she even changed the subject. Maybe she remembers her euphoria falling;

Ker Splat.
Rhymes with Her Fat.

And... she was going to have to admit to her husband that she didn’t still have it,” after all.

The next morning found her awake much too early, sitting in the recliner. She’d moved to it sometime during the night. A night that she swore she saw the minute hand hand reach its destination every hour. Would a glass of wine or a couple of Benedryl ease this wakefulness, she wondered.

Sounds from the kitchen drew her attention along with the aroma of fresh ground brew.

“Hey,” she called to her man.

He peaked around the entry way and quipped “mornin!

“Remember what I told you about my old boyfriend,” she called.  She heard a short “yeah” of affirmation.

“Well...he was thinking about me because I got f-a-t.”

She heard the cupboard open but didn’t hear any response to her early morning confession.

Until he walked around the corner and declared, “He was probably shocked because in spite of that you are still beautiful.”

And then .... he handed her a cup of coffee with just the perfect amount of cream.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sharp Axes


Another weekend on the road.  The sign said Welcome to Orofino, Idaho. It was the 62nd Logging Show and the Clearwater County Fair.

The time was well spent and the hours on the road were worth it.

My favorite competition was the Springboard Chop.  The contenders chop an unusual angle into a pole and push a pointed flat board into the cut.  They then climb onto the board, which bounces precariously like a diving board, and proceed to chop another place for another board until they reach the top.  Once there, they balance and chop off a smaller attached and secured log .

I also enjoyed watching the muscles flex and spasm as they were pushed to their maximum abilities throughout the day.  Some of these men participated in every contest.

This fellow was last in his time trial. ( They called each group a "flight.")  I was compelled to capture the moment;  exhausted, he turned and sat on his finished product while his chest heaved.




 None of these guys quit.  They finished the job even if they were the last one wielding an axe. And, the announcer reminded the crowd  to encouragement each participant who grew weary.  


Check out the leg muscles.  I didn't have batteries for video when it was time for the Mens Birling competition.

* * * * * *


(If you want to see my short video -  click the link to my Vimeo page.  Sorry -  I didn't include some of the lumberJills who were also throwing axes and sawing logs.)  


Orofino Lumberjack Days from pamela on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Blue Fish

We have two new fish in the pond. 



Their names are Lady Styx and Intense Guy.



The two bloggers were participating in a "Random Act of Kindness" event when I stopped to admire the blue fish made especially by Lady Styx for Mr. Intense guy.

Intense Guy's response was to pay it forward and send not only the blue, but also the little gold finned creation to me.

I've been showing them the pond and allowing them to get the feel of the place.

(I've also been wondering what kind of random act of kindness I will have the opportunity to perform. Here, there, or somewhere --- I'll be keeping an eye open.)

Thank you!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Started Kindergarten

I started kindergarten this year.  I loved it.

I took a job as an on-call tutor this fall, but my first position fell into another category.

For three weeks I was assigned in a classroom with 26 adorable little tykes beginning their first year of school. 

I had the opportunity to watch an excellent teacher and assistant in concert.  Without raising their voices or showing any agitation, they directed those kids through the busy day.   They were always on stage and at peak performance.  I wondered where they got the energy. They were good.

I had a job to do, too.  But at the end of the day I was exhausted.  Even my face muscles were sore because my smile was constantly twitching.   

So, what are some of things I learned in kindergarten?
* Chika Chika Boom Boom
* I hold my crayon with the three magic fingers
* Don't throw the sawdust
* Sneeze into your elbow
*Don't run in the cafeteria -especially with chocolate milk
*Feet first on the slides
*Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
*Cupcakes on birthdays
*Raise your hand
*Manners Matter
*The bus kids get to line up first

I also learned that a kindergarten class is a huge cauldron of shared germs and viruses.  I have never seen so many boogers... or mucous covered cheeks and fingers. 

One day I felt someone tugging on my shirt.  It was a little girl wiping her noise. On me.

The past week I have been blowing mine, too.  (In tissue.)  I've also had a sore throat, cough, and general aches and pains. 

Yet... I'd do it all over again.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Lost Buoy


Long Beach, WA September 5, 2009
Cannon Power Shot

Monday, September 07, 2009

Duck.


Not a DUCK! from pamela on Vimeo.


Just got back from a 4 day road trip that included the beautiful Washington State coastline.
I'm POOPED.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Television

The black and white television sat in a corner of our living room facing an old couch and two well-used parlor chairs.  I'm not quite sure which one of my parents advocated for its purchase or how they arranged for the financing.

My first recollection of its existence was my infatuation with  Wunda Wunda;  a lady clown puppeteer who made my mom grit her false teeth and blow air between them.  I don't think my mom approved of Wundas clingy tights and her silly skits; and moms teeth had been poorly designed.

One of the puppets always left me unsettled. It invariable got into trouble. Then, whimpering in a sad nasal voice, it would ask Wunda Wunda for help.

I outgrew the puppets when I became a big girl and attended school.  After which, my sister and I would rush home to watch The Mickey Mouse Club.  We each filled a widowed thermos top with dried oatmeal, powdered and brown sugar, and maybe some raisins. Then, while eating our own strange recipe for granola (before we even knew granola existed) we would sit on the floor and become Mousketeers.

"Annette, Bobby, Karen.....Pamela!"

At suppertime, Dad required one of us to run and flip the television on switch -- to give this new technological wonder an opportunity to warm up. Nightly he watched The Huntley-Brinkley report.  My favorite part was "Good Night David.  Good Night Chet." 

The Lawrence Welk Show on Saturday night meant for some special moments with my mama.  She sat quietly in her old rocker while I looked for errant hairs growing on her face and pulled them out with her tweezers.  Then, for an encore, I shuffled through her small collection of Avon samples and painted her face.

My oldest brother waited until someone called out that "The Lennon Sisters are next."   He set aside his book and leaned casually in the doorway during the performance.  He made little whistling sounds and remarks about Peggy's feminine wiles that caused me to make a very careful study of her persona. 

Television has changed dramatically, except for one thing.  You can still watch Lawrence Welk on Saturday night.  Those Lennon girls haven't changed a bit.

* * *

Jan, Life According to Jan and Jer, has asked us to write about our television habits for the Fun Monday project.

We have one in the family room and one in the bedroom.

The "ancient" Big Screen Television in my family room is an electronic dinosaur compared with the Big Picture LCD and plasma screens in all the show rooms.  My eyes roll when I consider how much wall space is wasted on something we rarely use. Then my eyes go crossed when I even contemplate spending more money to replace the monstrosity with something less ostentatious. How could I justify that kind of expenditure on something so blatantly otiose.  Except as a magnet for dust and cat hair.

The little dresser top TV in the bedroom provides background noise when we are beginning our day, or   company as we hop into bed.  It needs a little Pledge, too.

I admit to being swept up by Dancing With The Stars.  But I'm not beholding to TV for for a dancing fix, as I can watch any of the episodes on my lovely computer.

WR and I also indulged in Desperate Housewives, The Bachelor or Bacherlortte,  Deadliest Catch (which is about crabs, not bachelors... bwaa ha ha ha), an occasional NFL game, Cycling races, news, Numbers, and a few other shows.   We've been known to click one of the 389 remotes it takes to control the system and watch something totally irrelevant out of the corners of our eyes. 

I've threatened to throw any number of remotes through the screen as well.  They never work.


There are
times when
I think rather than TV,
I would prefer to
watch
my begonias
grow.

They grow  slowly.


(WR is my Vanna White
for showing off the size and color of
a BIGonia.)
BIGonia

Please -- let me  encourage you to post about and link your television habits.
Sign up HERE!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Sting



 


No -- I didn't get up on a ladder.  I tried to use an old canon zoom lens from our old film camera -- but I couldn't get a good focus.

The colors are striking in the wasp paper.

Little venomous artists.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Rufous Fuss.


My three grandchildren (Jammin, Buttercup, and Caboose) had a visitor during dinner on Friday night.

This little female hummingbird invited herself into the sun porch and got trapped.

Luckily, her frantic buzzing at the window caught my attention and I was able to walk out there and snatch her. I felt so sorry for her when my hands closed in - she chirped so fearfully.

Jammin used my camera to snap this photo before we released her.

My guess is that this is a juvenile Rufous. I need a more seasoned birder to confirm that.

(My hands are very small -- so you can imagine how tiny she was.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

8 Daze a Week

Still watching my grandchildren while Karmyn is in Hawaii. Her computer (and my being busy) doesn't allow for any blog time. It should be salvaged by droids. Buttercup would act it out and make me be C3Po if I even suggested it aloud. Shhhh...

She could be hooked up to a turbine and create electricity -- that almost six-year old girl is energy with a Capital E.

The Caboose has been a great little almost 15 month old boy. He's been sleeping as well as one could expect in this hot weather. My morning starts about 5:30 when he rouses and I change his diaper and snuggle him in my bed. His hair is so fluffy and soft that it sucks up my nose when I breathe and tickles my face. Not a great sleep for me -- but somehow sweet enough to manage.

Jammin (8) went to boy scout camp with his Uncle for three nights/four days. His first trip away from home without a parent. He toughed it out.

Jammin: We were the closest bunk to the lake Grandma. If you got up at 6:00 and ran down to the dock you could do the "Polar bear" swim.
Grandma: Did you do the "Polar bear" swim?
Jammin, looking up from his game: Nope, I didn't even shower.

He made a "noisemaker" using a rubber glove, some PVC pipe, and duct tape. It sounds like a sick goose and makes the dogs bark and run to the door. Makes me wonder what kind of door-to-door salesmen hang out on this street.

I'll be home by Monday. That means I'm going to miss The Wiggles.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Scar Face. Sort of.

Lil Mouse asked that we share our SCARS for entertainment on this Fun Monday. It is a true blessing that I'm away from home and am having computer problems. That makes it unlikely that I could take any photos and download them.

I'm more than happy to tell you about my battle etchings, though.

I have a scar in my eyebrow as a result of bending over and trying to scalp myself on a hose holder on the patio. It was late, I didn't flip the outdoor light. Fortunately I was able to find my way back in by the the shining of all the stars I was seeing. It bled a lot but I didn't get stitches. Now my eyebrow grows weird on that side.

I have several scars on my face. One from chicken pox. I think it's sort of lost significance in the last few years, or been superseded by an age spot.

My stomach has surgery scars. Twice I've gone under the knife there. Rather clever designs, really.


(sing along now: She once swept an Admiral clear off his feet. The ships on her hips made his heart skip a beat. Okay -- enough of Lydia the Tattooed Lady.)

The largest scar by far is on my left ankle and leg. Six plus years ago I broke the L out of my tibia and it is now held together by metal. It's ugly and you can actually see the bumpy screws and scar tissue just under the skin.

There are several scars on my feet, including between two toes where a surgeon also filleted me.

And last... but not least. Do stretch marks count as scars?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Grandma Laughs

Swinging with me in the hammock late Saturday evening, 5-year old Curlymop is suddenly entranced by my revealed tummy.

Before I even have the opportunity to ask if there is a wasp or an earwig on me, she stabs her finger into my belly-button and just as quickly removes it and sniffs.

Gwama: What..the....
Curlymop: I smelled your belly-button Gwama.
Gwama: Duh.........



Last night with almost 6-year old Buttercup.

Buttercup: Grandma can I sleep with you.
Grandma (reading in bed): Okay, crawl in. I'm only going to read for a few minutes then go to sleep.
After several minutes...
Grandma: Buttercup, you need to lie still and go to sleep.
Buttercup: Okay
After several more minutes of Buttercup squirming under the covers and making little clicking sounds.
Grandma: For heavens sake, Buttercup, what are you doing under there?
Buttercup: Clipping my toenails.


Then there is 14-month old Caboose. I've been smeared with oatmeal and bonked on the head. He screamed when I ended his mountain climbing adventure on the table and his death squeeze on the long-suffering cat. That is just the highlights.

Grandma: Hey lil' Caboose...what's happening?
Caboose: babadoolibbledeepoobameegoo.


He took the words right out of my mouth.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Apparitions in my Garden

Karmyn is the host of Fun Monday this week with a subject that is near and dear to her heart. Not to mention her knees and fingers. But I mentioned them anyway.

The subject? --- What's Growing In Your Garden.

As soon as I signed up I grabbed my camera and headed out the back door.


ghost1 Alyssum, lady's mantle,
gaillardia, Jupiter beard, and a bunch of other stuff
I can't remember is blooming in this photo. We didn't put
as many annuals in this year
so I miss all the yellows and
reds that we often enjoy.

But, something else showed
up in that surprised me.

Can it be that my yard is haunted?



Cheeky little ghost!


ghost2
ghost3

A shot from the deck near the hammock shows off some ornamental grass, petunias,
pond plants ... and that bold apparition that makes the hammock squeak and swing.





A wine barrel keeps the hose hidden - but not the green phantom. It moves through my photos in a blur.

I also see day lily, hosta, and coreopsis in this shot.
ghost6
ghost4

Strawberries, onions, kohlrabi, beets, chard, tomato, carrots, cucumber, peppers, and
zucchini.

And a little something else
that is growing like a weed.

This front entrance shot includes the Siberian snow pea beside the bird feeder, euonymus spreading beneath it along with some sedum, and a dwarf dogwood in the foreground.


Hey, I think I lost my playful shadow.
ghostNone

"No you didn't Grandma! I'm right here"

Along with Anemone, various grasses, lupine, and a lot of small blooming plants.

IMG_7426

IMG_7475a
<-----(I can't remember what these
are either)