Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beautiful Days

This is one of those days. A day when you have to be outside. A day that calls for a cold drink and a good book and the sun. Substitute the computer for the good book in this case.

I'm sitting outside in the sun letting my body sock up as much of the warmth as it wants. I know it is bad for me, that skin cancer is one of the leading cancers, but right now I don't care. (This must be why smokers continue to smoke even when they have watched someone close to them struggle to breath. So I don't need that lecture right now.) I need to enjoy this peace this serenity.

The sounds of a peaceful Sunday afternoon. I lay and listen and watch as the bees swarm in the Mexican heather. Enjoying the warmth of the sun on my back and legs. The coo of a dove reaches my ears. And the chirp and twitter of birds.

In the distance I hear the whirr of some one's lawn mower. Not to close to be disturbing, but a comfort that others are about. Voices drift in and out as people go about chores in their yards. The sound of children playing occasionally can be heard, but nothing disturbs the peace.

I watch as a butterfly flutters across the meadow as I sit and soak up rays on my chest and arms. The warms of the sun piercing to my heart and putting pleasant smile on my lips.

Cars slowly drive by. The usual rushed pace seems to have slowed for the beauty of spring. One solitaire bike rider makes his way around the corner.

A breeze stirs my hair above the visor I wear to protect my eyes from the brightness of the sun refreshing my mind and spirit.

I welcome you, spring, with your promise of summer and heat and busy hectic days. But until then I'll enjoy you.

Friday, March 27, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Myself

For Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge this week I produced a bit of nostalgia -- the memories of raising independent daughters -- that stubbornness that turned to determination in all three of my daughters which seemed to have served them well as they pursued education, career --- life.

“Do it myself,” were the words used by my two year old as she pulled her shoes out of my hands and flopped on the floor to stuff her chubby socked feet into her boots.

I watched trying not to look at the clock because I had started late getting her ready. We went through this battle regularly. I know she wants to do every thing on her own. Why had I pushed her so, why hadn’t I kept her a baby?

However, as I watched her determined face I felt a certain pride knowing it was that determined stubbornness that was going to carry her far in life.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Here's to March

When teaching in a regular classroom I always had certain bulletin boards that I put up each year. Ones that just seemed timeless -- and since I had a new group of students each year the bb was new to them even if I had seen it for 5 or 6 years.

One such bulletin board was a monthly calendar -- for the month of March I always put up the little poem *Here's to March
And Good St. Pat
And winds that blow
Both kite and hat.*

A simple little poem that captured the essence of March in the panhandle of Texas. The wind is going to blow at least 20 of the 31 days if not more. Forget flying a kite though. The wind will be blowing 20 to 30 mph not the gentle breeze needed for kite flying. Hats and hair are impossible. Hats don't stay on and hair is always going to look messy.

I've decided this poem would actually be good for the entire state of Texas since moving to the Gulf coast region. We have had so much wind this year. More than I remember in the previous 5 or so years we have lived here, and I've heard the daughter who lives in Fort Worth complaining of wind more this year. I won't even talk about the daughter who is in Amarillo who mentions wind a lot. I'm sure if I had family out west (Midland to El Passo) they would have the same complaints.

Wind, wind, wind. I'm so tired of wind!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Google It I Did

My friend Lou over at LouCeeL posted a blog title Slowly I Turned, Step by Step. I mentioned to him in the comment that I had heard that experession before, but couldn't put my finger on why and that I should Google it. Well Google it I did and the following is what I found.

"Slowly I Turned" is the most common name associated with a popular vaudeville sketch that has also been performed in cinema and on television. Comedians Harry Steppe, Joey Faye (1909-1997), and Samuel Goldman each laid claim to this timeless classic of show business, also commonly referred to as, variously, "The Stranger with a Kind Face" (by clowns and clowning aficionados), "Niagara Falls" (by fans of The Three Stooges), "Pokomoko" or "Bagel Street" (by Abbott and Costello lovers), and "Martha" (by fans of I Love Lucy).

The routine has two performers pretending to meet for the first time, with one of them becoming highly agitated over the utterance of particular words. Names and cities (such as Niagara Falls) have been used as the trigger, which then send the unbalanced person into a state of mania; the implication is that the words have an unpleasant association in the character's past. While the other performer merely acts bewildered, the crazed actor relives the incident, uttering the words, "Slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch...," as he approaches the stunned onlooker. Reacting as if this stranger is the object of his rage, the angry actor begins hitting or strangling him, until the screams of the victim shake him out of his delusion. The actor then apologizes, admitting his irrational reaction to the mention of those certain words. This follows with the victim innocently repeating the words, sparking the insane reaction all over again. This pattern is repeated in various forms, sometimes with the entrance of a third actor, uninformed as to the situation. This third person predictably ends up mentioning the words and setting off the manic performer, but with the twist that the second actor, not this new third person, is still the recipient of the violence. (However, in some variations - as in the Three Stooges short Gents Without Cents - the newcomer may be the attacked party.)

Abbott and Costello did a version for their television show which ended with Costello’s troublesome lawyer entering the scene. Costello asks for the lawyer to take the case of the storytelling stranger, and the lawyer says, "Help him out? I don’t know anything about him! What’s his name? Where is he from?" Costello whispers in the lawyer’s ear, to which the lawyer says aloud, "Niagara Falls?" Then he, of course, is immediately attacked.

And then I watched this YouTube clip.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Drifting with No Direction

I must get back to this --- this familar friend here. My blog. It has been very negelected. Life seems to have gotten in the way. Well life and nothing that seems to be worthy of writing about.

That makes me wonder -- what is worthy of being written about. My life -- it is a wonderful constant. It has the usual little worries and concerns about the family, health, wealth, work. Nothing that everyone else isn't feeling. Some feel it more in one area or another, others may feel it less.

I guess I'm just feeling blessed right now. I'm content with where I am, what I have and who I have to share this all with.

I may have to get back to the memes I enjoyed last summer. I miss the people I visited and the people who dropped by to see what I had posted. Except for a very few who still drop by for this little bit of writing most have fallen away due to the lack of posts. I really don't blame them.

Those who have kept coming back waiting for something thank you. "Soon," I keep saying, "soon I'll be posting pictures and joyfully sharing all the bits and pieces of my world."

I think I need some sort of challenge. I seem to be able to meet challenges such as the 100 Word Challenge. Maybe I should post a picture a day for however long about something, or a story a day about something. I'm just drifting here not finding direction. I need challenge but I can't seem to put my finger on what I want to do.

Until I find something here are a couple of picture of A and B from when I was there a couple of weeks ago which seems more like a couple of months ago.

Abby riding her bike down the sidewalk. (Training wheels in place.)

Ben prefers to *walk* his tricycle along. Those pedals are still too hard to manage.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Snapped

There are two things I've heard about writing. The first is you should write about things you know about and the second I've heard more recently is sometimes the story just writes itself. The second is what happened with me as I began to write for Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge. This is not what I had intended to write. Maybe it has something to do with last weeks challenge and I'm still a little hung up on tragic, or Lou's post last week or what has been in the new this past week. But let me assure you that this story is fiction, I have not "Snapped" which is the challenge word for this week.

She snapped her jacket and looked in the mirror. She looked ready. Everything about her said professional.

Her hands glided over the latches of her satchel and snapped them closed. The papers were all ready. Each one had been marked.

Her heels echoed as she walked down the hall. She paused at the door before reaching for the handle. She drew one deep breath and slowly exhaled, her mind racing.

As she reached the desk the bell rang. The noise grew to a deafening level. She steadied herself for a moment.

She reached into the satchel drawing out the pistol --- She had snapped.

Monday, March 9, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Tragic (And only a little late)

Velvet Verbosity host the 100 Word Challenge each week. This week's topic is tragic. The writings are supposed to be posted by Sunday. I was a wee busy this past week but wanted to post my writing a little late, just for the challenge and late is better than never (Sandy). Below is a fictional account of a one bride's entrance at her wedding. A true tragedy bordering on comedy.

The bride took a deep breath and stepped onto the landing at the exact moment her cat darted in front of her. To keep from stepping on the cat she did a quick side step, catching the heel of her shoe on the plush nap of the carpet causing her to lunge forward. Luckily she was able to grab the banister throwing her leg over as she began her head first slide. Slick satin glided over polished hardwood. Her squeal preceded her into the grand hall where the guest awaited a disheveled bride.

The tragedy of a ruined entrance that would turn to comedy as the years passed.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lunch Date with a Younger Man

I'm having a lovely time here in the windy panhandle of Texas. I got here a little before noon yesterday and got to spend all afternoon with A and B. I took them shopping for a present for a birthday party Abigail was attending later that afternoon. The the three of us had a snack and wrapped the present and waited for the time to pass for the party.

While Abby was at the party Ben and I got to play jungle with toy animals Gran has here at her house. What fun to watch the imagination of a three year old as the tiger and camel are best friends, but don't like the lion and giraffe. But in the end they all came together for the big singing presented by the panda bear.

Then we planned our lunch date for today. As Ben was leaving with his dad, I reminded him of the our *date* and asked him who was going to pay, him or me. He put his finger on his chin and gave it some serious thought then with the biggest grin a three year old can give he stated, "The Daddies." I love that boy!

Today I had that lunch date. Of course we went to McDonald's because according to Mr. B they have the best chicken nuggets. I'm not sure about that, but I do like their "chicken select" so had not problem with he choice of dining places.

After eating (three of the 4 nuggets and about the same number of french fries washed down with half a chocolate milk) he spent a good hour in the playroom with an assortment of other preschoolers there with grandparents and parents. He had a wonderful time and I snapped a few pictures.

We then picked Abigail up from school and headed to Gran and Granddaddy's for a much needed rest.

Tonight we will be having pizza before going back to their house -- Amy and Dave are going to be busy all evening at the preschool where Amy teaches. This is their night to have the *Texas* program. I'm so glad I get to be here and be the grandmother who gets to babysit. It doesn't happen often in my world.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

100 Word Challenge -- Pleased

Velvet Verbosity is back with a her wonderful 100 Word Challenge. Velvet, I missed this challenge, but why did you make this weeks so hard, or was it just me??? The following is what rattled around in my brain for several days. Welcome back VV. Here's my take on "Pleased."

“Pleased to meet you.” I take your hand in mine just like I’ve been taught and say, “Pleased to meet you.”

I wonder, “Am I going to remain pleased with meeting you?” We’ll have small talk that comes before a friendship can be formed. All the usual questions will be asked and answered.

Meaningful small talk, but not what I really want to know. What I’m really wanting to ask is, “Are you going to judge me or will you accept me as I am, faults and all?”

I want to be “Pleased to meet you.” I want to be your friend, no strings attached.