Tuesday, March 31, 2009

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MARCH TROTTED AWAY like a woolly little lamb.

In fact, today was such a lamb-like day that the guy who does clean-up around our yard spent the afternoon wielding the rake, electric pruners and leaf blower. He built a fire in the meadow to burn up the long-winter lawn debris, and really tidied up the place. He's a good guy for the job, works well and is so familiar with the grounds.



I made some supper for him after he put the tools away and fed his barn-full of horses.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

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HERE I AM, STRUCK DOWN by another nasty cold virus. I've known this full-blown invasion was impending since I awoke three days ago with the tiniest inkling of a sore throat. It's because the virus fairy gifted my husband with the germs more than a week ago and he's been flinging them hither and yon ever since. Despite all my valiant efforts to sidestep, I've now succumbed and have been doing my own little flowergirl thing with the germs--tossing them in the path of those who come after. What I'd like to do today is to keep my miserable nose-dripping self in bed all day (already well on my way through the morning portion), not taxing my diminished stores of energy and particularly not dropping cold germs in anyone's way.

But is it really what I most want to do? My father (always a fountain of wisdom and wit) used to maintain that one always does what one wants most to do in every situation. Yes, every situation, he argued. (Well, okay, not counting involuntary bodily--oops, excuse me while I sneeze!--things like that.)

I can just hear you sputtering in protest...There are plenty of things I don't want to do at all, but I have to! Yes, I'm sure you could come up with a long list of things you don't want to do, that you wish you didn't have to do. You have to send a big chunk of your hard-earned money to the Infernal Revenue Service, don't you? You have to pay the bills, get the car inspected, take out the garbage, scrub the toilet. I've known folks who think of a root canal as the ultimate torture, yet say they have to get one.

But you know, of course, there's always another option. In every situation there's at least one alternative. Payment of taxes is not an involuntary reflex action (though the government, I'm sure, would be delighted if it were!) You can just not pay. It's a choice. You don't really have to fork over the money. (You're not likely to get more than a life sentence, no matter how egregious your tax evasion.) There are certainly worse things than garbage rotting in the sink, filthy toilets, teeth falling out of your head. They are options. You don't, in actuality, have to get your car inspected. You don't have to pay your bills. Turns out it's what you want to do when considering all consequences. When you think about an unpleasant outcome, you realize the truth in this: whatever you opt to do, in fact, is what you most want to do.

So here I am with my lousy cold and what I want to do is pull the covers over my head and not go to meet the workman who will be showing up at Apartment #59 an hour from now (drywall repair), not run the errands that have been multiplying on my to-do list. I really do want to get some orange juice, however. I guess that means I want to go to the grocery store. Which means I want to get out of bed. There's also the pottery class later today. Do I want to go? And hey, do I want to make dinner?

Hmm. I suppose by the end of the day I'll know...pardon me, another sneeze...what it was I truly wanted to do today.


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Sunday, March 29, 2009

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THERE'S A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM headed your way! They said it would be there in twenty minutes. And there's a strong chance of a tornado, too! My daughter called today with this urgent message. She'd just heard the radio warning and we both agreed that a warning means it's a pretty sure thing. So I called the dog inside and I closed the kitchen window (yes, it was actually that warm outside!)

It was mid-afternoon and there hadn't been any indications of a storm brewing. But very soon the sky looked like this:


And then like this:


The clouds were low and roiling. And in another direction, the sky was a weird tornado-forecasting shade (according to my reading of it, which is colored by my apprehension, which is directly related to my age-eight-year-old viewing of The Wizard of Oz on t.v...


...Well, all the animals seemed uneasy, too, and they never saw any movies at all with special effects!)


I hung nervously around the basement door and thought about the plans I've had to re-arrange the living room furniture. Putting the sofa in a tree or a lamp up on the barn roof hadn't occurred to me before, and I can't say the idea was very appealing. For all I knew, though, the project might really get out of hand if things got moving at whirlwind speed!

Lightning streaked and thunder cracked and boomed and rumbled. Rain came in torrents.
Sirens sounded, not too far away.

But in the end, that tornado must have knocked on (down) someone else's door. And, fortunately, it looks as though I get to do my own (strictly interior) re-design.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

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HAVE YOU HEARD...SADIE'S GOT A NEW DRESS ON?!

There was a whole lotta pickin' goin' on tonight (I'm not talkin' noses here--although, who's to know?--I was sitting in the second row, with nine hundred or so foot-tappin' hand clappin' fans behind me.) While I wouldn't say bluegrass is my favorite musical genre, I do like it a lot and I can't sit still as well as the best of 'em.


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It was Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver clued me in to Sadie's new frock, and provided lots more entertainment at the longest-lasting concert I've ever attended. Beginning at 6:30pm, the fingers plucked and strummed and bowed the strings until 11:10pm.

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Sharing the stage was another band--The Bluegrass Brothers, with some mighty fine talent of their own.


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I left the auditorium with a thought of relief that feasting on bluegrass is like feasting on celery---you don't gain weight no matter how much you gorge. Otherwise, I'd a been waddlin' out of there for sure!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

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THERE'S NOT MUCH noodling around in my head that I can envision sparking anyone's attention. However, since I don't wish to let every last one of you, my dear handful of readers--my handful of dear readers--despair of ever finding a new post and drift away to a place of no return (I can hear the disgusted little exhalation of breath and the murmuring--huh, she's fizzled out on this blog, plumb procrastinated past the point of potential on-goingness,) I'm going to offer up this rather unlikely scenario that I spotted at the grocery store a few days ago.

I've never seen this sight before. There's a good possibility I'll never see this sight again. And just as likely a chance that you'll never happen upon such a scene yourself: A man, with four sons in attendance, perusing the aisles of the grocery store, intently studying the boxes, jars and cans of food for sale, every so often somewhat tentatively gathering an item off the shelves and passing it to one small son or another to carry in his arms.

Now you may agree that such a scenario sounds like a rare occurrence, but add this to the mix if you will: They are all dressed exactly alike (with just one small exception) from the tops of their heads to the bottoms of their toes!

Before you shake your head and convince yourself that I am scraping around inside an empty barrel, making up tales in my zeal to attract your interest, I've got to show you my proof--the oh-so-surreptitiously taken photos. The nervous fingering of my camera, quickly fished from my overcrowded purse and held at the ready behind the head of lettuce in my cart, would have produced much more striking photos of the boys as they trailed their father in stairstep array down the aisles of the store (and I, in turn, trailing them) were it not for my fear of being seen as a paparazzo. I let too many ideal opportunities pass me by in my hesitancy, but finally opted to snap a shot as they waited in line at the checkout.


Aha... you see...I live in Amish country!
(Quite obvious in light of the fact that the local grocery store has a horse tie-up shed at the edge of the parking lot.)


And then, with my carton of ice cream slowly melting, I sat in my car and awaited the chance to show you the quintet of males as they're ready to load up their buggy and deliver the fixin's home to mom.


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ps--click to enlarge for a better straw-hat view.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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SIX GREEN DISCARDED OBJECTS I SAW BESIDE THE ROAD
.. walking the walk on this lovely St. Patrick's Day.


1. Green plastic spoon.


2. Green beer bottle.

3. Well-licked green candy heart.

4. Neatly folded green paper trash.

(Curiosity got the best of me...I had to pick it up.)






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5. Green lighter. (Uh...wait a minute--a lighter? Inside a drain pipe? Can you believe it? Well, cross my heart--right there it was as I walked by!)



6. UGO (unidentified green object)



SIX MORE GREEN THINGS (non-discarded)...

1. Green metal post.

2. Green house number.



3. and 4. Green door and gate.



5. Green wooden post.


6. Green grave marker.




Despite its unpleasant connotation, "seeing green" wasn't all that bad!

Happy St. Paddy's Day...Luck 'o the Irish to ye~!


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Sunday, March 15, 2009

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THE IDES OF MARCH

It's gray and gloomy. I'm bewaring...taking care...lying low.

Just in case doom awaits, I attended church this morning*; ate Chinese food with friends**; savored a very large portion of 72% dark chocolate***; listened to Garrison Keillor tell jokes****; read the comics*****; worked two crossword puzzles******; lay on the floor an inordinate amount of time and listened to Leonard Cohen's golden voice coming from the CD player*******.


*Asked the Lord for mercy.

**"Feeding a cow with roses does not get extra appreciation," said my fortune cookie.

***Superbly flavored with spicy chili pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and almonds.

****Did you hear about the paranoid dyslexic?...He was always convinced he was following someone.

*****Dilbert, Frank & Ernest up to their usual antics and clever word play.

******"will shortz's (sic) The New York Times little black (and white) book of crosswords"

*******I think he sings pictures the way Marc Chagall painted them...each of the two a favorite artist of mine.



Everything's gone quite well thus far. Doom does not appear to loom. With a few more hours to go, however, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

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AS IF THE POTTER'S WHEEL I use each Monday and Friday were not enough to keep me more than busy, I've recently signed up for the use of yet another type of apparatus. While the former has me throwing, this equipment has me pumping, pressing, curling and extending. These activities, I'd have to admit, don't excite me as much as the creativity of building pots, but they should serve to advance my goal of building up a structure of another sort, namely, this bony body rack of mine. While I rue each cave-in of a pottery project, I truly shudder when I contemplate the framework on which I'm hung collapsing from neglect.

Several years ago I had a dream one night which I shall never forget for the creepiness of it. Lounging on a beach at dusk, I looked up to see a figure approaching. To my horror, it turned out to be a gangly, dangly skeleton loping its way in my direction. Its finger bones rattled together and its knee bones clicked; all thirty-two of its big white teeth shone in the semi-darkness, but it said not a word for want of a tongue. My own flesh crawled at this figure's lack of it, and I shrank back into sweating, heart-pounding wakefulness.

Now, I am currently reading a book, a true story, in which a linguist lives for years with a small tribe of Amazonian Indians in central Brazil. This group classifies their dreams as real, non-fictional experiences. They believe that you see your waking and sleeping realities in two different ways, but they are both authentic.

I'm thinking, there's a belief I could put to good use! As I begin my bone-building endeavor, I would be delighted to have some pertinent advice from a bona fide skeleton. Surely he or she would have some helpful tips to relay to me. On the slim chance that I'd ever encounter one again, I'm hoping to stifle my aversion and extend a friendly greeting to him or her (I could very well be embarrassed by my inability to distinguish which)  and ultimately gain some wise council. Hmm, perhaps I'd best be working out some sort of Helen Keller mode of communication in advance.


In the meantime, I hope I don't have to walk into the gym too many more times and wonder what the heck I'm supposed to do with this cornucopia of machinery.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

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NOW WE HAVE CHANGED the clocks, we have sprung forward, and apparently that bouncy step has catapulted us right into springtime. If this weather had a face, it'd be grinning from ear to ear!

I tried to figure out precisely which of those puffy whites was Cloud Nine as I headed for the pottery studio where I am learning to throw pots and make other earthenware constructions. Or maybe you could say I am re-learning--six years ago I took the same two-month class, and have an array of amateurish pieces to show for it.


At the time, I had to ask myself exactly what I intended to do with all the items I was painstakingly bringing into being. A few of them I could put to use, but the majority were headed for some sort of limbo--not worthy of crowding out everything else on my shelves and cupboard-tops and too clumsily made for gift-giving--but certainly not bound for the trash heap (gasp...my creations, after all!)





However, here's the thing...when the lump of clay is well-behaved on the wheel, and one's very own hands coax it into a comely shape (rather than aiding it's unsightly collapse), it can make a potter feel so marvelous she's propelled well nigh onto that Cloud Nine, wherever in the sky it happens to float.


So I step once again into the studio...ready to aim for that high.

Recurring reports are sure to follow.


(Okay, okay, I suppose I have to tell you... in the photo showing two pots, one was made by my teacher.)

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Monday, March 2, 2009

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MARCH CAME GROWLING in. No dainty breezes and delicate sunshine. Nope. We got snow.
That's right. Last night the wind roared around the house and the falling snow lasted into the afternoon hours. So spring seemed to slip from its position right around the corner and suddenly appear far away. March put on a December disguise.


Even so, I must confess, finding a Christmas card in the mail today was quite surprising!
It appears as though a cousin of mine could be vying for the title of "Procrastinator of the Year."
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