Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Phew!

The last day of NaBloPoMo. The last day of November. I managed to
blog each and every day this month although it was certainly touch
and go for a while. Trying to write every day makes me so much more
aware of my paltry efforts. At my speed, should I ever take it into
my head to construct a novel, it would be years before even a first
draft got completed.

Writing is wonderful and a skill to be greatly admired. Those
intrepid folk who push their minds to author and then manage to
actually get the ideas from brain to print form receive my heartiest
thanks. I'm much better and happier a reader than I ever will be a
writer. I listen to members of my authors group telling their need to
write and I'm shamed by my own ability to avoid and make excuses not
to. Not so much that I spend hours toiling at my stories or that I
hover over a well-worn keyboard. No stubs of pencils litter my desk.
I travel most times with neither notebook or scrap of paper at hand.

Only my own commitment and sheer stubbornness pulled me through the
every-day-in-November writing. That and the thought of the wonderful
few who bother to read, the even fewer who comment and return. What
is wrong with you anyway?

(And thanks!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jingle Bells?

I'm steeling myself and gritting my teeth for the onset of holiday
music that will soon be entering the house. Don't mistake me, I love
music. Hardly a day goes by when my iPod is not accompanying my
relping. Yesterday I spent the morning needle-felting to the sound of
early-Beatles songs. The day before my choice had been classical
music (I'm partial to Chopin and Liszt), the day prior to that a
variety of Bhangra tunes. I can warble a Christmas carol reasonably
on key and sometimes provide a passable harmony.

BUT

Himself collects holiday music. I use the word holiday since his
taste is quirky and he hardly sticks to carols. No, he choose (ahem )
variety.

I'd like to provide samples of the sort of thing he chooses but aside
from dogs barking Jingle Bells or a college marching band version of
O Holy Night I have mercifully blotted much of the collection from
memory. I'm rather fond of Jingle Bell Rock or Santa Baby. I consider
those standards alongside White Christmas. I even manage to laugh and
sing along with the South Park kids singing the Dreidel song. But he
has punk rock versions of Silent Night and... Oops, sorry. I think I
passed out for a moment there in terrible, horrible anticipation of
sounds to come.

There is admittedly one variety of seasonal music that is worse -
that awful Muzak stuff played in the background at shopping malls. At
least I will be spared that!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

'Tis the Season

The beginning of the Christmas season is here. You can tell by the
increase in hysteria among television commercials as advertisers
frantically whip up shopping frenzy. The news programs last night
contained video of people camped in lines outside large retain
outlets waiting for the pre-dawn door openings on Black Friday and
shots of mad dashes inside to load carts with televisions and video
games.

Is this Christmas? I'm no longer a Christian, haven't been for over
half my life, but the sentiments supposedly engendered by the season
seemed worth supporting once-upon-a-time. As a pagan I celebrate the
seasonal changes and this time of year the turn into darkness is
evident and we look toward the day when spring reasserts the life in
the earth. It was easy to let the birth of Christ and the spread of
love between all beings be part of the celebration.

But I seem to also feel the curmudgeonly bah-humbug of the year. It
is difficult to ignore the commercialization, the exhortations to
Buy! Spend! Consume! Like the love I wrote about yesterday the love
of the season has been complicated. I do what I can to keep it simple
here at home, to enjoy the gift-giving while remembering my budget.
My wish for all is that the golden spirit of the season manages to
rise up and shine above all the tinsel.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Star light, star bright...

On this, the day after Thanksgiving, Himself and I will tend to my
favorite household holiday tradition. We will put our lighted star in
the front room window. From now tonight the end of the year it will
sparkle and glow each evening bringing me a feeling of happiness on
these dark, rainy winter nights. There are no neighbors to see it. It
is purely for our enjoyment.

What is it about holiday lights? I have days when the entire fuss and
bother of indoor trees, decorating, cooking, shopping - all the
hassles that accompany a modern Christmas - depresses me. But I never
tire of those colored lights, sparkling in the darkness.

A few years ago we hung a string of them in our dining area window.
We liked the color and cheer so much that we've kept them there ever
since, lighted each evening, shining all night year round. They are a
cheery sight, a great night-light for middle-of -the-night trips to
the bathroom or to let kitty out (or in) at night. Having them
doesn't diminish the joy I get from putting out lighted star in the
front room window during the holidays.

We don't do much holiday decorating any more. The full sized tree,
the wall banners, my displays of Santa statuettes and the doll-sized
Santa workshop no longer go up in the living room. Our tree has
shrunk to a vase of fir branches on the coffee table around which Him
self and I place our gifts to each other. We share Christmas morning
with a friend who has become family and make a holiday visit to the
grandkids during the week between Christmas and New Year. I'm not
enthusiastic for the fuss and bother I once embraced.

But I cherish our lighted Christmas star.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks

I spend a lot of time blogging about the things in life that irritate
me - making me a very minor league curmudgeon. But today is
Thanksgiving, a day to remember that there is plenty in my life that
is pleasing. Here are just a very few of the little things for which
I am thankful:

The color green. Oregon has more shades of green than any place else
imaginable and every one is a joy to my heart. We do pretty good up
here with blue too.

Dragonflies. In late summer they whiz through my yard with speed and
purpose. That the purpose changes from moment to moment is obvious by
their sudden complete change of direction.

Seagulls. Himself says they are out to clean the world. Seeing the
way they inhabit a dump proves his point. I prefer them perched
picturesquely on rocks or pilings along our glorious coast.

Fast food. We have to travel a little further to get it than when we
lived in the suburbs but I appreciate every meal devoid of cooking
after over 40 years of fixing meals.

Morning sunshine. Something I took for granted during the many years
I lived in California. Moving to the NorthWet makes it a rarer and
more appreciated commodity.

Any Thankful List begins with family and friends and in both of these
I am exceedingly blessed.

And a Happy Thanksgiving to you... thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Music in My Head

Another morning when I woke with an earworm going round and round in
my head. This one is an oldie, one of the many songs I learned from
singing along with my mother: Al Dexter's "Pistol Packin' Mama".
Great old honky-tonk western song - though I imagine me belting it
out as a grade-school kid was something to hear. It is still odd to
hear me bellowing it with full-lung capacity, though for entirely
different reasons.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SNOW

Snow? Here? Oh, good grief!

Okay, much of the northern latitudes wouldn't be impressed but I am.
Perhaps "impressed" isn't quite the term. How about appalled. Or
disgusted. Sickened? Nauseated? OUTRAGED?

Some folks love snow. They want to ski, sled, snowboard, skate or
otherwise cavort in the cold. They best use for it I can see is for
landscape decoration, preferably mountaintops some distance away. As
a scenic backdrop to setting with fireplaces and hot cocoa I can
appreciate sow. As a substance in my front yard it is despicable.
Especially this early in the not-yet-officially-winter season.

At least those big fluffy white wads aren't sticking. Yet.

Bah! Humbug!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thank you Bandon Power

We've had an interesting 24 hours at our house in the cold Pacific
NorthWet. Late in the afternoon yesterday we experienced a strange
"half power" arrangement. I had just put dinner in the oven and
suddenly the electric got odd.

We had no computers or TV, no stove/oven or lights in certain rooms,
but the refrigerator and microwave worked as well as lights in the
bedroom and dining room. Himself tested outlets and figured we had
only one phase of the two phase power with some leakage from the
working phase to barely power the other. Sunday night - no one is in
the Bandon office of our power company so the rule is to call the
county sheriff to report electric problems. Himself handled that
while I was able to finish heating dinner in the microwave.

The power crew on duty showed up surprisingly quickly. Out in the
dark and the rain they investigated and found frayed wires which they
were able to kludge to work overnight. We understood the repairs
needed (new meter base, etc.) to be at our cost for parts/labor and
expected to call around this morning for an electrician. Instead of
us calling an electrician the two guys returned this morning, moved
the (new) meter and rewired to it.

All seems in working order again. The guys seem to have had a field
day chopping a hole in the holly hedge. We didn't mind since the
hedge is a misbegotten leftover from previous land owners. I imagine
we'll get some sort of bill for the work but I for one am thrilled to
have a house with lights and heat in the miserable weather we are
having here.

We've seen the guys from Bandon Power out in storms with horrific
winds and horizontal rain. In major outages they work around the
clock, hanging on to their elevated buckets and climbing poles in
harrowing conditions. They have been unfailingly polite and helpful
above and beyond the job. Real hero stuff!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Got Chocolate?

Living in a small town in the Pacific NorthWet can be wonderful. It
can also be frustrating. Shopping is severely limited. Simple grocery
marketing takes almost a thirty mile round-trip. Larger markets and
department stores? Eighty+ miles to and from. One learns to shop Oh-
Oh-No: Occasionally, Online, or Not.

Some items become out of reach. Like chocolate. I have a love of a
European brand of chocolate bar made by Sarotti. They have a dark,
dark bar that comes in a black wrapper that is unbelievably
delicious. Smooth. Barely sweet. Very high in cocoa. Nearly
impossible to find.

My friend Babs the Ripper introduced me to Sarotti chocolate. I
thought Hershey's milk chocolate was okay until this chocolate junkie
converted me, hooked me on the good stuff. Some folks swear by Lindt
or Godiva and I admit I'm not likely to turn those down when offered
but Sarotti is the one that satisfies. It is the one chocolate so
satisfying that instead of grazing continuously until it is gone I
can eat a small piece and save the rest for another fix. It melts
slowly and caresses my tongue. The flavor holds. I'm in chocolate bliss.

Sarotti is unavailable around here so of course, I looked for it
online. And faced the reality of shipping charges. On my budget
shipping charges are the perfect halt to a shopping experience. I
couldn't locate my beloved black label bar but the next-best-thing,
the dark Sarotti chocolate in the navy-blue wrapper is available at
$3.99 a bar. And $5.99 shipping. Even if I purchase half a dozen bars
and only get socked with one shipping charge (and that's not clear
without filling in an order) it comes to 25% added to each one to
send them. Uh-uh, no way. Even a chocolate junkie has limits.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pens

Ballpoint pens are one of those ubiquitous and mostly unnoticed
items. Unnoticed, that is, until you need one and can't find one. My
attention was drawn to the ballpoints around my life when I reached
for the one kept next to the TV and realized that it was a pain to use.

We have pens all over the house. They sit on desks and tables, hide
in drawers, fall behind and under things. Some are favorites because
of shape, ink color, or size of the point. Himself prefers a chubby
grip with a thick line. I go for variety and switch favorites from
time to time.

I don't think any of the pens in current use around our house are
ones we've purchased. The one in my purse is from a local golf
course. (No, I don't play golf!) The two one the kitchen table are
from the same motel chain. We have pens from banks, credit unions,
garages, and not a few small businesses. A few others, sans,
advertising, have been gifts. Those are the strange ones that light
up or are barely identifiable as useable writing tools.

That one I reached for? It is one that is hard to get working. The
ink is sticky, a terrible color of light purple, and blotchy. I
should throw it out but it is hard to throw away a pen that still
works, even badly. I keep a second ballpoint beside it for actual
writing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Restful sleep?

I can't remember when I last woke up in the morning feeling rested,
when last I woke with energy and enthusiasm. Waking has become a time
for taking stock and determining what hurts the worst. The body which
has been so kind to me, despite my neglect, is getting even.

Arthritis seems to be the greatest culprit. It aimed at me early, in
my forties, beginning with the joints in my hands. I can tell the
seasons by the aches and pains - winter cold and spring pollens
seeming to cause it to flair the most. Old injuries have become focal
points, twists and falls that seemed minor at the time must have left
behind damage that lodges swelling, stiffness, and throbbing
discomfort. not liking to be lonely, one pain gives rise to a
companion until my body is a convention center of hurt.

There are good days - as in not-so-bad. And there are days like today
where it seems more time effective to point to where it doesn't hurt.
There is a poster where some athletic looking senior is posed with
the words "Old age isn't for sissies' as the caption. Pish-tush... It
isn't the lucky ones with bodies hesitating to age that deserve that
quote. It is the rest of us, crumbling steadily into ruins, trying to
continue to function, who are not sissies. So there!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What, Me Work?

It isn't exactly a job, but on occasion I sit at the desk at Wild
Rivers Wool Factory in Langlois while one of the two owners (or both)
is called away elsewhere. Tending the shop involves chatting with the
folks that stop in and selling the merchandise the shop carries. Both
of those are things I greatly enjoy.

Selling? The shop carries items, wool hats, socks, scarves, etc. made
by a number of women I know. It also has spinning wheels, felting
tools, and all sorts of wool in various configurations from raw
fleece to beautiful handspun yarn.

Chatting? Ah, my favorite part of the job. SInce the shop is on the
main north/south highway along the coast there are tourists. It is
fun to ask about their homes and their eventual destinations as well
as what interest they have in wool or sheep in general. It is
wonderful how friendly we humans can be, how willing to share
information, histories, smiles.

So today I will sit at the desk with some handwork of my own. I will
listen to music and hope some tourist driving the coast highway comes
in to spend a few minutes of their time in the shop.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Being Online

Now that all the hoo-ha is over with our credit card I'm settling
into the yearly shop-for-the-holidays routine. In the past I'd found
shopping to be an enjoyable activity even with the self-imposed
pressure with which we modern Americans approach it. In the past.
That means when I was younger, hardier, and wealthier. Before Himself
and I retired to Hooter's Holler, about a gazillion miles from any
town with a variety of retail outlets. Before my knees and hips made
strolling the endless department store aisles, amidst crowds of grim
humorless shoppers searching for a bargain, a form of torture worthy
of Vlad the Impaler.

Ah, but these are modern times. The internet is now the WWSS, World-
Wide-Shopping-Source. Rev up your browser and click away! Oh, I
wish... Remember, Himself and I chose retirement to Hooter's Holler.
We made that decision before the internet went big time. If you ever
wonder if America leads the planet in computer connectivity try a
vacation with us. We hear about people wandering city streets
accessing the web on their phones, reading and watching movies on
laptops, sending videos back and forth as they download TV shows and
stream audio files. We hear and we weep.

Here in Hooter's Holler we use (are you sitting down?) Dial-Up. Some
of us have tried satellite but between the mountains and the nasty
weather it is a lesson in frustration. So Dial-Up it is. If you ever
have an excess of patience and plenty of time for contemplation try
using a Dial-up connection to the internet - today's graphics
intensive can't-use-one-page-when-two-will-work internet. Your hair
will rapidly turn gray. At least it will if you have any left after
tearing at it in frustration. Your fingernails will be chewed to the
knuckle. Your breathing will be rapid and shallow. You will invent an
amzing variety of epithets to call the company which provided high
speed internet to town north and south, but skipped the folks in
between. You just haven't explored frustration until you surf at 30k
baud. Or less.

Yes, I'm complaining, but I know things could be worse. Even when it
takes half an hour to make a simple purchase online at least it is
possible. For that I'm grateful - mostly. But Santa, if you are
listening, please can you make high speed access available to us in
Hooter's Holler for Christmas?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Adjustment?

So the day wears on and I avoid my computer ( ! ) because I have to
write something. Anything. Blog!

I feel like a dog expected to salivate on command. It matters not
that I took this on myself with full knowledge and (some)
forethought. I pace around my world with a gray cloud of irritation
floating above me. I mutter and writhe and complain.

Wait a gol'durned minute here. This is MY blog, isn't it? I can write
- or not. I can write something interesting... or (sigh) not. This
isn't a paid position. I'm not completing a school assignment. There
is freedom of choice involved here. I can choose NOT to write a
(expletive deleted) word.

So - I'm NOT writing a blog entry today. I'm taking the day off and
resting my typing tentacles. Maybe I'll write tomorrow.

Maybe.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Don't put it off!

Today has been a great example of why it isn't a good idea for me to
put off writing my blog until... later. Procrastination comes so easy
and hangs on so nicely.

I'm an early morning person - not as early as I once was, not the 5
or 6AM chirpy let's-get-going type anymore - but a reasonably-shortly-
after-sunrise kinda person. I was at my computer by 8AM and tending
to my normal morning online stuff: email, Facebook, blogs I read.
Writing comes afterwards. My plan today had been to stay home but
Himself urged me to join his Monday trek to town. He drinks tea, and
downloads whatever it is he downloads on his Mac laptop, a pleasant
morning at a coffee spot. I attend the weekly meeting of a writers
group. We have a fast food lunch while wave watching where the river
joins the ocean.

Back home my intention was to write that delayed blog entry.

But the phone rang. And then I was reminded to call another friend to
check on her case of the sniffles. And one thing followed another,
each one with a good reason to be brought to the head of the To-Do
list. I found myself at one point in the shower (hair needed washing)
with a dozen ideas, excellent topics for blogging, words rushing into
my head. Why is it that by the time I was clean, and dry... all those
great ideas had disappeared? Dry, dressed, topicless once more (I
like that word, don't you - topicless?) a neighbor dropped by to
visit. She left and it was time to start dinner.

It is perfectly plain that unless I grab topicless and run there will
be no blog and if nothing else I'm stubborn so once more, Ta-Dah! A
blog about nothing to blog about.

(I'll accept suggestions and ideas if YOU have any!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday

Sunday. The traditional day of rest, not that many folks actually
treat it that way. In the past it was a day to head to church for a
few hours of Hellfire-and-Damnation sermonizing. In my grandmother's
day it was the Fix-a-big-family-meal day. When I was a kid it was
Football-on-television day.

I used to go to church - until I learned to bring my spiritual life
home with me. I avoid cooking big homemade meals... heck, I avoid
cooking ANY meal! Himself and I have never been football fans except
for the once-a-year Super Bowl thing, although recently we've found
ourselves watching and cheering for The Ducks.

I'm more the rest type. Rest used to be a big deal before retirement
and Sunday was a respite from having to commute to work. Now Sunday
is much like the other days - but I still find myself thinking of it
as Do-Nothing day or Kick back day. So I'll take the day off from my
hectic schedule of NotMuch and see if I can manage to do EvenLess!

Happy Sunday Everybody!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No plastic?

I wrote a few days ago about having our credit card compromised. I
took the event in stride, no panic, merely a temporary inconvenience,
right?

The replacement card hasn't yet arrived and THAT is more annoying
somehow than the cancellation of the original card. In true human
style as soon as I can't use a thing, THAT is when I want it most. My
holiday shopping, steadfastly being avoided, suddenly assumes
critical importance. MUST.....SHOP............NOW!

It is rather a giggle. I feel like the toddler who ignores a toy
until some other child picks it up and then throws a tantrum because
suddenly that toy, and only that one, is the wanted one. Where I had
no ideas for gifts inspiration has descended. Don't you just admire
the perversity of human nature?

Friday, November 12, 2010

NaBloPoMo?

The problem with pledging to write a blogpost each and every day for
an entire month is that some days there is nothing at all that serves
as inspiration for writing. A newspaper columnist must have that sort
of experience with a deadline approaching and no ideas. I often write
about the small things in life that annoy me. Mine isn't the sort of
life that abounds with large events. I'm not complaining. I like it
very much that major happenings pass by. I may not win the lottery
but no jetliners have landed on top of my house either!

But here I am, muse in absentia, yet nagged by my promise to write
every day this month. I've avoided my keyboard and submerged myself
in a book. I finished the story and thought maybe I'd write about
that but it really wasn't that great a book. Avoidance is easy - but
not a lot of fun when the inner nag is carping at full volume.
Himself suggested that I write about not writing. That has been a
topic in the past and is certainly one familiar to me.

So here goes: (back to the top and start again)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Childhood memory

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!


The poem is by Robert Louis Stevenson. When I was a little girl every
ride on a swing was accompanied by this - sung by mu mother. I can
only guess it was put to music sometime in her own childhood. I sang
it to my daughter when she was little, always accompanying a ride on
a swing. I wonder if she has ever sung it to her children?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pass it on...

It irks me when folks who have me in their email address book send a
message consisting simply of a .url. No actual message. No
explanation of what the .url is about or why it might be something I
should see. Just a naked little www.somethingorother.

Perhaps www.somethingorother leads to the most wonderful,
interesting, informative site on the entire internet, but I'm not
going there. The email message is deleted.

If the site being touted is nifty-keen, tell me so. Use (gasp!)
words. If you get points for recommending it, or think a product they
are selling is terrific, say so. Get my attention - in a postitive
way. Nobody I know is so busy or important (sorry ya'll) that they
don't have time to type a few words to explain why they sent
something my direction... especially if they expect me to use my
online time to follow where they point.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Houseplants?

Do you have houseplants?
Would you like a couple?

I used to have a bunch of them. I was pretty good at caring for them -
watering, feeding, watching out for bugs.

That seems like a lifetime ago.

My compliment of surviving houseplants now equals three. Three very
hardy, determined to live in spite of me, plants. I neglect them
terribly then suffer from guilt and water them. They receive just
enough to barely survive which may only prove that some living things
don't know when to quit. I don't really want them but can't throw
them away or kill them outright. We have a complicated emotional
bond, these three tough plants and me.

They deserve better, perhaps some dedicated plant lover who
recognizes their tenacity and appreciates how they respond to a
little love.

Unfortunately, they have me. Do plants carry karma?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kate Hepburn

My desktop calendar says today would have been Katharine Hepburn's
101st birthday. After I Facebooked the date I checked with IMDB and
found a birth date of May 12, 1907. My commemoration of her birthday
may be off but recognizing her talent is good for any day, right?

On Facebook I asked friends what Hepburn movie was their favorite.
There is certainly a list to choose from. Some of mine: Little Women,
The African Queen, Bringing Up Baby, Sylvia Scarlet. I can't forget
Stage Door - "It's spring, and the Calla Lilies are in bloom
again..." And my all time favorite: Desk Set. Watching Katharine
Hepburn and Spencer Tracy together? Sublime!

A lot of her films are in black & white. Non are 3-D, thank goodness.
Will she be forgotten when my generation is past?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Credit Card Fraud

My chosen topic for today has hit the recycle bin after the phone
call I just fielded. One of our credit cards has been compromised.
The issuing company called, verified that certain recent charges were
not ours, and assured that we weren't responsible for paying them.
The company is canceling the card and sending a new one.

How many pleasant voiced representatives from how many credit card
companies make how many phone calls every day with this sort of news?

So, all fixed, right? Well, not exactly. There is a list of places we
used that card that will require new numbers and information when/if
we go to them again. And since that is our "online" card, used only
for purchasing over the internet, the question of where the number
was stolen is a concern. Hassles and worries will cling to future
purchases over the .www even though I know we will continue to shop
that way.

I'm glad we decided long ago to keep one card separate for internet
use. It was probably only a matter of time before we joined the ranks
of the defrauded. In a week or two this will be a memory, part of the
price of living in the digital world. But I wonder at the costs
involved and the number of crooks behind the scenes. And I sigh and
shake my head over how we sigh and shake our heads and go on.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Grin, dagnabbit!

There is a tendency when folks over the age of sixty gather together
for the conversation to gravitate to certain topics. Like the ancient
Greeks and Romans before us, and probably like those "over the hill"
in many ages and cultures, one of those topics is how the world
around us id going to hell in a handbasket. We grumble about politics
and how the government doesn't listen to its citizens. We complain
about the high cost of living. We grouse about the younger generation.

In my younger days I swore not to be part of those complaining
sessions. But my memory dips. My restraint slips. My lungs gather air
to sally forth with verbal stabs and jabs. It is easy to leap into
the crowd and lambaste the world with the opinion of age. Or should
that be senescence?

Among a room full of friends recently I heard the topic take flight.
The elections revved it up but it settled quickly into discussion
about rudeness which was somehow linked to youth. As I listened I
found myself irritated with the negative talk. Is rudeness somehow
owned by teenagers? Himself says the kids in our area are uncommonly
polite and recalls his rudeness at their age. And some of the
nastiest comments I've ever heard were made by well-dressed ladies
strolling in a mall and looking down their pointy noses at everything
around them. Their asides were acid, petty, and loud.

How about if instead of griping and holding on to the unkindness we
see around us we balance it out? Instead of churlish judgement we
could gift the world with a considerate thought. For any petty action
seen or tactless snipe heard, we could seek to create a smile or laugh.

(Okay, you're right. I've been sinking into depression and this is an
attempt to pull myself up. Think positive! Grin dagnabbit!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I've said it before AND...

Using the internet from this area of Oregon is an exercise in
frustration. Technology has leapt over us and left us in a cranberry
bog between Port Orford and Bandon. Both those towns have high speed
internet available. The phone lines that carry it pass us by and the
choices here are dial-up and satellite.

Dial-up. Last century technology. It would work okay if the
destinations on the information super-highway weren't all traveling
at the speed of light. Think of attempting to merge into traffic on
a six-lane freeway while driving a buggy pulled by a skittish mule.

I'm not a patient person. Perhaps this experience is a lesson from
the universe on equanimity. Should I meditate? There is plenty of
time for that while I wait for pages to load on my computer. My teeth
are gritted, my fists clenched, my breathing rapid and shallow. This
is NOT a good time to approach me.

Serenity NOW!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mine! Mine! Mine!

Himself and I stopped in town for our weekly Burger & Fries lunch the
other day. Living close to the Pacific Ocean we've become delighted
Water Watchers so we take our lunch To-Go and park at one of the
local beaches for an in-car picnic. Our preferred spot is next to the
mouth of the Coquille River where the waves push back at the water
flowing seaward. It is an amazing panorama and one that is shared by
many tourists and locals.

On this occasion we enjoyed the interplay between gangs of gulls and
tourists with lunch. The seagulls prowl the parking area as insistent
beggars. Some opt for the pathetic "feed me please" downcast look
while braver pals choose the "stare in the eye" method, winging their
way to the hood of a vehicle and demanding food. Feeding one abject
individual beside your car is the immediate signal for the entire
flock to descend to bullying insistence.

The gullible lunchers were in a mini-van, the side windows slightly
opened to admit a breeze and allow for crusts of sandwich bread to be
tossed out. Have the pickings been low at the beach lately? The van
disappeared under a mass of fluttering and flapping. Gulls jostled
for position on the roof, clung desperately to the small expanse of
hood, and massed beside the doors. It was very much an Alfred
Hitchcock moment. "Mine! Mine! Mine!"

Himself watched for a moment as we both chuckled. "They're thinking,"
he said, "If we all work together maybe we can take it home. Damn
these webbed feet!"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

GIANTS!

Himself and I watched the ending game of the World Series last night
on television. We aren't sports fans but the finals of certain games
- baseball, football, soccer - will take our fancy and we'll sit in
front of the set with our popcorn and cheer a "favorite" team.

This World Series caught us up because IT WAS THE GIANTS! My husband
grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and even though he isn't a big
fan has always had a soft spot in his heart for the GIANTS. Sorry,
must use capital letters because the GIANTS won!

Our hearts soared as that last out was reached and the GIANTS
celebrated. It was even better knowing a certain Bush was there to
see the Texas defeat.

The series is over now so but pardon me for asking again - I'm sure
I've blogged this question before: What is it with baseball players
and spitting? They spit in the dugouts. They spit on the field. Big
wads of phlegm fly out of mouths and arc to the ground in glorious
color and, if you have it, High Def. Just imagine the joy of 3-D
viewing! Perhaps tossing a lugie is considered by the spitter as a
sign of manliness but it is merely bad manners and poor (excuse the
implications here) bad taste!

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaBloPoMo? Again?

It is that time again. November. The month of NaBloPoMo (National
Blog Posting Month) when I try to join in and do the once-a-day blog
writing for an entire month. If only I had a file full of sharp,
crisp ideas to draw from. One look in the mental drawer showed I'd
over-drawn my account and was left with a negative balance. Do I run
and hide? Retreat to a reasonable distance and contemplate? Think
about it for a minute... does that sound like me?

Nope!

It is jump in with all four feet, or maybe two feet and two hands at
least, and resort to my usual mixture of part observation (preferably
wry), part nonsense (suitably seasoned), with a generous sprinkling
of reminiscence and, with luck, a kernel of wisdom.

Beware ye that enter here for the next 30 days. Or ever, now that I
think about it!