Friday, June 30, 2006

Rebel or Yankee Test

Paige told me about this online test which is interesting in terms of language and usage. Try it and let's discuss! It's fun. Click here.

My score, by the way, was 97% Dixie! You can take the girl out of the South but not the South out of the girl!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

An Experiment Gone Terribly Wrong

Imagine the gods and goddesses in their modern-day Mt. Olympus strolling the grounds, smiling in the shade, playing games, and relaxing inside their palatial mansions. There are all kinds of them in various types of clothing and appearance. Each has created a world and follows its progress as s/he chooses. There is a master control room with screens where they can monitor their creations. Perhaps one creator is very controlling and regimented, and the people in their world don't have much choice about their lives. Others could be environmentalists, pacifists, war mongers, zoo keepers, clowns, whatever.

The creator of our world Earth is played by George C. Scott, with a cigar in one hand and a whiskey in the other. He sits at the monitor watching us as we go about our lives. Once the world was created, he left us alone, much like Kino who watched the ants with "the detachment of God" in Steinbeck's The Pearl. He notices the governments, individuals, everything. Then he laughs raucously puffing on his cigar and almost spilling his drink as he calls out to some of his cronies with, "Hey come here! Look what the dumb bastards have done now!"

Lawn Boy and the Weather Goddess

People (who shall remain nameless) have been laughing at my recently acquired gardening obsession. I realize that I have become one of those people who talk about plants as if they are human. I blame it on the roses. Once you start to grow them you go insane. However, I had some vindication when my husband decided to put in a lawn in the back. He cleared out an area between the path and my cutting garden and laid sod. He was blessed with ample rain and he nurtured his little patch. Then mysterious yellow patches began to appear. He turned into Ward Cleaver. It was so funny. Finally one evening he came in with a jar and went upstairs to the computer. Turns out he had lifted the sod and found bugs. He captured some and went on the internet to identify them. Having found that they were indeed the culprits he purchased insecticide, and killed the little varmints off. The insecticide part was tough as neither of us really likes to use that stuff. Men and grass are strange. They get really weird about it. I guess no man is immune. Thank goodness it's just a small patch or I might never see him.

While my husband works on his little patch of green I have decided to open a rainmaking business. If you want it to rain in your area have me come over and put my bicycle on the roof of my car. It's the most amazing thing. I love to bike and recently purchased a nifty new trail bike. It's wonderful because it has front and rear suspension. I added a padded seat which has springs on it too. (I like to bike but I need to be comfortable). I am, as they say, a traditionally built Black woman, so I don't need to be jiggling around. At any rate I was so excited about this bike and couldn't wait to ride it. Then to top it off someone told me about a new trail in the city that runs along the river, is 15 minutes by car from my house and has access to a hip shopping district at its extreme end. It was like heaven. Well, my beloved and I went out one afternoon and loaded the bikes on the roof rack of our car. This is no mean feat. The bikes are cumbersome and it really takes two people to get them up there. I can do it alone but it involves a step ladder and lots of obscenities. (Please don't tell me to get rear hitch for my car because we have tried that and because of the sort of car we drive and the sort of bikes we ride it didn't quite work out.) At any rate, as soon as we got the bikes up the sky opened and it proceeded to rain for a week. The sun would come out and I would put the bike up at which point it would begin to rain again. Today the sun is out and the sky is blue, and I am too busy to ride. So we should have continuing sun. Joy told me that I was really powerful to be able to control the weather like that. So I am embracing my magical powers. If you need rain, just call me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I don't know what I'm doing here. Of course, that could be said for most parts of my life. Obviously, I am a procrastinator since it has taken this long for me to get on this blog. Who knew that retirement and part time work would be so time consuming. Everything takes longer-waking up-there must time for visits with the cats-making coffee and sitting in my chair-moving to the deck and sitting in my chair-going to the creek-looking at the water there and the swaying of the tops of trees. Looking at the swaying tops of trees can be an all day activity if one allows oneself to get into the activity. Reading- I spend lots of time reading. I must stop this explantion of daily activities to express my regret that the user name possum was already taken. What better name to express deep south feelings. Possum. Oh well. Apparently others came before me with that same thought. I could get into my thoughts about the current leader of our country, but an e-mail that I read by Garrison Keillor expressed it so perfectly-violently ignorant- how can you say it better than that. When I wake up and finish my chair and creek activities and my thoughts are more clear I will write more.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chaos and Clutter

I'm attempting to create some order from the chaos that is my house. After a year of retirement, I'm beginning to feel rested and relaxed. Debbie, my massage therapist, told me yesterday she could tell a big difference from a year ago and that my muscles feel more like they are supposed to instead of like a wall. So last week I started with the kitchen and got rid of bags and boxes of out-of-date food from shelves and the refrigerator. When in doubt, I tossed it and dealt with the guilt of wasting food while children are starving all over the world. Seriously, it did bother me to throw away all that food I'd let stay too long. I began with the kitchen because there were two choices: keep or throw away. I became ruthless and now enjoy opening the cabinets and refrigerator to look at blank spaces and organized food that I can see and know is there and will use in a timely manner. My dishes are organized because their number doesn't change. I like those lazy susans and organizers and will put things back when they have a place. I wish I had a pantry with shelves and those sliding out components that hold canned goods and boxes. I love all that stuff. It's fun to browse Lowe's and Home Depot and Staple's and Office Depot. The organizers, carts, furniture, and binders are part of what appeals to me about scrapbooking. They have neat stuff!

Now I'm ready for the harder jobs with more choices. With clothes, books, knick-knacks, videos, and all kinds of things, I'll have to decide to keep, toss, donate, or sell. I'm hoping the skills I used in the kitchen will carry me through with the other rooms. Paige calls this urban archeaology - good name for it. If I'm brave, I'll post some before and after photos. You'll be horrified and amazed. Just sorting through the kitchen made me realize what an emotional coma I've been in for more years than I'd realized. It's sad and scary, yet somehow I was able to teach. I'm not sure how well I did, but it was like a haven of normalcy in a way since the rest of my life felt out of control. Having cancer has longer-ranging effects than just getting over the disease, and those are bad enough. It's so scary that I'm not sure we're ever the same. So now if nothing else will interrupt my nice, boring, peaceful life, I can continue the excavation and finish this dig. So far, so good, but I've only just begun.


My daughter is 15. That sentence alone should say it all. She is a wonderful girl in many ways, but she is 15. Fifteen has to be the scariest number in the universe. Next year she will be old enough to drive. She will not be allowed to drive, but she will be old enough to do so. This conversation alone, has been like WWIII. She attends a performing arts school downtown and has a bus pass, a cell phone and a collection of artsy teenage friends. Today she called me at lunch from school and said she would be going home with some friends to help them study for a science final. I have allowed her to do this sort of thing before, but for some reason today my heart lurched when she called. I think that periodically we remember what little ability we have to actually protect our children, and it causes momentary panic. Last night I clipped a magazine article which details how to "crash proof" your teen. It basically lists all the frightening statistics about teen drivers and then urges parents to wait as long as possible before giving them free rein with the car. After reading those statistics, I may make her wait until she's thirty. My husband the neuropsychologist has not helped in this regard. He informed me that the parts of the brain which govern self control do not fully develop until the early to mid twenties. Yep, thirty sounds good.