Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dark Returning

Tomorrow is the first of October and fall is SO upon us. The only
thing that consoled me when I noticed how dark it was (still) outside
at 6:30 AM was taking a look at a Fairbanks webcam - my dear friend
Kathy lives way up yonder - where at 7:30AM it remains middle-of-the-
night dark. Alaskans may cherish the cold and darkness but my inner
bear just sees the encroaching winter as hibernation time. Wake me in
the spring!

It isn't a fantasy to claim there must be some hibernating beast in
my ancestral bloodstream. Last night I stumbled off to bed around
8:30pm and wouldn't have been up until the sky lightened to gray
except for a noisy little cat who refuses to use the cat box and
required, no, DEMANDED to be let out to find her own biffy around
5:00. My sleep doesn't easily return once disturbed so I glared a bit
at the darkness, realizing with a start how much the year had shifted
while I've been busy the past couple of weeks.

Fall may have just begun in terms of the fall equinox but northern
latitudes rush the seasons. Recent days have been warm but leaves are
dropping from the trees and winter? Not far off. Boo! Hiss!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oregon Senate Race - again

Gad, but the Merkeley/Smith TV ads have me ready to leave a blank
space in that box on my ballot! They are both reprehensible, each
blaming the other for starting the slugfest. Everybody I talk to is
angry about it and sick to death of watching the nonsense. But does
either party or either candidate listen?

Wouldn't you think a polite "I'll not play that game" followed by a
"here is who I am" sort of campaign would be nifty? It would be new
and different in an arena where being nasty, underhanded, and
insinuating rather than proving is the norm. Bet it would garner some
respect. But then what politico or politico-to-be deserves or expects
respect?

Think for a minute. After listening to the ads would you want either
man to share dinner at your table tonight? And if they aren't nice
enough to be a guest what sort of leader do you think they'll make?
(And I'm equally jaded about those headed for the BIG SEAT in
Washington D.C.)

Yup, I'm cynical.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It begins again- flu season

We are all facing with the beginning of flu/cold/whatever-virus-is-
going-around season and I'd like to make a plea to all the potential
sufferers to STAY HOME when you get sick!! Yeah, *YOU*, with your
runny nose, cough, and upset tummy. Skip the over-the-counter
medication routine, go to bed, and remain there for the duration.

I know you'll miss a few days of work and you'd much rather save
those sick days to make up a three-day weekend of water-skiing next
summer, or recover from a holiday party involving too much rummy
eggnog. I know that shopping trip you planned or the meeting you
ought to attend is terribly important. But think a minute. Where did
you get the bug that now causes a hammering headache and a stomach
that flips when you flop? Wasn't it that co-worker who dragged
himself out of bed and came to work anyway? Or maybe that chick at
the checkout stand whose barely suppressed cough sent her
microorganisms your direction? And if they'd stayed home wouldn't you
be less likely to be wondering how much longer you can stand up?

The biggest vector in viral spread, IMNSHO, is over-the-counter
medication. Here, take this pill and get 12 hour relief. While you
are at it, get 12 hours to walk around filling the air with your
germs and to leave a trail of disease behind you. Look, I'm not
asking you to forgo the aspirin and orange juice. Enjoy the warm
blanket and hot cup of tea. But please keep your germs confined to
the bedroom instead of sharing them with me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tired

I'm feeling extra-heavy-duty exhausted and it may be the change in
season, or maybe the after-effects of allergies. It isn't overwork
since I'm extremely wary of that particular malady and go to great
lengths to avoid even a hint of it. Nevertheless, bone weary is the
only way to describe how I've been... tired to just short of the
point of tears. Can't figure out why.

Seasons. Fall has officially begun. The signs have been moving in
steadily for several weeks. The days are getting much shorter and the
nights chillier. My nighttime garb has gone from cotton shift to
ankle-length flannel gown and the blanket on the bed from single
sheet to medium-weight fleece blanket. It is still possible to wander
the house in the morning in bare feet but the days of my sheepskin
slippers and a session with the heater on to kill the chill is just
around the bend. The leaves on the alders are yellowing while those
on the blueberry bushes have gone crimson. The poor mimosa some
previous homeowner planted here is struggling to bloom. It elicits
pity as it struggles to live in too cold and too wet an environment
by being always a bit out of sync.

Allergies. I've written about those before. Suffice it to say I'm
sniffling and snorting and wheezing (Oh My!).

Despite the tired it is a productive time and I've been relping every
day. Maybe it is the unaccustomed productivity that has me tired?
I'll have to think about that. After a nap.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pinwheels for Peace

Sunday is the International Day of Peace.

Last year I learned about a group called Pinwheels for Peace
My husband and I made pinwheels and took them out to spin in the ample wind at Cape Blanco. This year a larger expression seemed important to me. This isn't a political statement. Regardless of whether or not a person feels War in Iraq is necessary, it is hard to imagine anyone rejects the idea of peace. It can be peace in your family , home, town. Peace is harmony with our neighbors and with the environment. It involves a wish for health and love for all things. Perhaps I'm too simple and hopeful but I believe that if all people had love for themselves and others anger would not drive the violence we see around us.

Back to Pinwheels for Peace. This is a joyful way to demonstrate a prayer for peace - but when I began spreading the idea locally it was hardly in my mind to end up anchoring the event here. Hey, I'm an instigator, not a leader! Oops! It seems there is a pinwheel constructing workshop scheduled for tomorrow with me as chairperson. I'm not sure which I fear more: lots of folks attending OR nobody showing up. Either way that rumbling you will hear will be the sound of my nervous knees knocking together!

Shiver Me Timbers and Keelhaul the Bosun!

Yarr! (That's my contribution to Talk Like a Pirate Day - which is
today.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Costume 2

I've just completed step five in what is OH, ABOUT TEN THOUSAND steps
in sewing this blasted pattern. My hair looks like this because I
been TEARING IT OUT AT THE ROOTS! The caffeine required to jump
start my heart this morning is not helping. Despite my conscious
acceptance that fingers are not pincushions my digits are now
repeatedly pierced.

Answer this one: AM I HAVING FUN YET?

Well, actually the answer isn't quite a loud yell in the negative.
Sewing resembles assembling a jigsaw puzzle, taking lots of little
bits and making a bigger bit, lining things up, and establishing
order. As a control freak I admit to some pleasure in whipping the
troops into shape, establishing discipline, and banishing chaos. So I
will continue pinning and basting, pressing and stitching. But I will
also mutter and complain as I go.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Halloween Costume

I am sitting this morning, staring at a teetering puzzle-pile of
fabric that is waiting to be wrested from chaos and turned into a
Halloween costume for my granddaughter. The pattern is from a company
unlikely called "Simplicity". Simple it is not. Fourteen pieces, some
requiring multiples cut. One begins by extracting the actual pattern
bits from seeming miles of tissue sheets. Locating the individual
pieces required (3 different dresses in the package, each in 6 sizes)
was sanity threatening in itself. Reading info on the pieces is
tricky... where the heck is the English? Then comes laying it out on
the fabric and the heart-stopping excitement of actually cutting,
perhaps destroying, the fabric that cost... well, I won't go there.

I've conquered those two major steps. I've also discovered that in my
initial enthusiasm I neglected to purchase the zipper and buttons
required. This means an additional 80 mile round-trip to the nearest
town with a store that carries such arcane supplies. Since fuel costs
are so high that trip will be sometime in the future when other
errands necessitate a trek from the boonies. Good thing I began this
assemblage well ahead of time.

As the heap of material gets sorted and beaten into submission I
recall a long-ago costume I beaded for my daughter, and other sewing
projects that daunted at the outset. My gung-ho has gung-went but
love carries the day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Time to renew?

The women of my acquaintance have been frothing at the mouth in anger
about the rule that made getting a driver's license renewed a total
nightmare. In order to thwart illegal aliens the transportations
czars thought it would be a nifty idea to require all drivers to
document their full legal name and citizenship status. No problem,
you say? Well, maybe so if you are a man. But women have
traditionally changed their names when they marry, and widows and
divorcees may have a trail of legal names when they remarry. Imagine
trying to re-create the paper proofs when you are suddenly confronted
with two weeks until your license expires!

Since the rule, which went into effect the beginning of July, is
already being modified, I'm guessing the members of the state
transportation commission got an earful from the first women facing
the horrors involved in trying to locate, pay for, and receive the
multitude of documents needed. I wouldn't have such a problem myself
since I've been married to the same man for over 38 years and have
copies of both my birth certificate and my marriage license. It did
cross my mind about the reasoning behind suddenly requiring that
proof when I've been licensed to drive under my married name for 14
years in this state and over 35 years in another. But among my
circle of friends are women who have been married as many as four
times and others who have changed their birth names for spiritual or
safety reasons. One friend married several times was discovering
costs of up to $35 for copies of documents from other states and long
periods of waiting for the copies to arrive as she eyed the date when
her driving privileges would end.

Yup, somebody really thought this one through. We are getting laws of
the "Omigosh, what did we do?" variety. And are any of us naive
enough to think it is all that hard to create a paper trail if you
are an illegal alien? If I can send money for a copy of my birth
certificate can't somebody else? And with a birth certificate what
else can I get... a copy of my social security card? A driver's
license? Better watch what is put in those newspaper obituaries as
that would be a nifty source for information to establish a new
identity.

The rule is being rewritten and one wonders what the next snafu in
this tangle will be. Supposedly the list of acceptable documents will
be enlarged. This just means more paper, more chances for cheating if
that is your whim, and no more control over illegals than before.
Maybe the feds just need to build a bigger iron curtain around the US
borders?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Solving the Trouser Dilemma

As I waited outside in the car while my husband was doing guy stuff
in the local hardware store it cam to me that if Levi's and
Wrangler's don't already make low rise jeans for men, they should.
Nobody these days seems to know where their waist is located. Women
have admitted this abysmal ignorance by purchasing pants in a variety
of rises from "might make it to the waist (if there is one)" to "just
clearing the triangle forest". Men need similar options.

Males are making do with one basic crotch to waist pants calculation
and going creative with it. The teens saw grandad with his khakis
hitched just under his armpits and decided to react in horror. They
dropped their britches to near disaster level. This results in a jean
with crotch between the knees, underwear acting as a Fruit-of-the-
Loom ad, and way too much ballroom for the mansion on display. Their
fathers choose another fashion statement. They insist that beer and
bratwurst hasn't changed their waistline since high school thus
ending up with a belly keg cantilevered over their belt and reaching
the door several minutes before their feet.

The solution? Low rise pants for men. Let the gut hang out and the
bum be exposed. Welcome to the same couture tragedies as women have
discovered.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Campaign Complaint

I just finished watching the evening news - and the evening Jeff
Merkley / Gordon Smith dirt slinging. Watching the negative campaign
between these two has me grabbing for a vomit bucket on a nightly
basis, and about to select "None of the Above" on the November ballot.

Do negative ads influence voters in a positive way? All I can say is
that they positively influence ME to feel negative about the source
of the ads. I'd much rather hear what a specific candidate has done
or intends to do in office than listen to smears about the opponent,
however true they may be. And while that candidate is listing his or
her strengths and ideas, let them be honest about what is possible.
Promises of tax cuts or passage of this or that law? C'mon, you have
a whole lot of other office holders to work with, or unfortunately,
to work against. Give me reality, not pie in the sky. Say "I hope
to..." or "I will try to..." and dispense with absolute promises you
have no hope of keeping!