Monday, May 31, 2010

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PICTURE THIS, DEAR READER,







as the view from your bedroom window.












Your bedroom being one of a hundred, of course.














I just popped in to see these folks...er, uh...this house, today.


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Saturday, May 29, 2010

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REPORTING FROM THE FIELD:
Rain obscures the mountains outside Asheville, NC, today


video



Clearing just in time to see this mountain labeled "M"
















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Thursday, May 27, 2010

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AHH...PROCRASTINATION SET IN. Then ennui. Days drifted by. I considered just lying back and staring off into space (blog-uratively speaking, of course--certainly no time for really and truly doing nothing. I just wasn't sure about the bliggity-blog).

But then I divvied up leftovers with my yard man
and we set out on vacation.
(Believe it, Dear Reader...we had fresh strawberries, whipped cream and cake that had to be eaten before we drove away!)

Reports from the field will follow...









perhaps.






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Friday, May 21, 2010

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I JUST REMEMBERED--I'VE GOT ONE thing to tell you, Reader Dear.


Just one little thing---(well, now there are two, but when I first thought of it, only one)--a TOOTH for the Little Actor. Yes, that's right--he got his first tooth last week! (Now ask me who it was that discovered it. Go ahead, I'll be happy to tell you.)









Furthermore, (drumroll, please)...there's a COINCIDENCE involved!


Very same day I stick my finger in the Little Actor's mouth, feel the sharp little point on his gum, see the little white tooth poking through...another little boy comes to visit.








The short time he is here...a TOOTH falls from his mouth!

My goodness, I guess it's true what they say:
Sometimes one person's gain is another person's loss!
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(Justin's grandparents brought him and his sis* for a look at the babies [horses, that is]).

*dancing sis, that is.






















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Wednesday, May 19, 2010



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FIRST THING THIS MORNING, I had to look in the paper, see if I won. You may have been totally unaware of this, Dear Reader, but I just ran for office in the primaries. Don't feel bad. Few knew about it (and even fewer voted for me). It was my own fault, really; I didn't launch a very big campaign. Truth be told, I didn't decide to jump into the race until the very last minute, and then--tsk, tsk--I thought it would be perfectly okay to act as my own campaign manager.

I'll tell you the whole story of my decision to run, and give you some details on the campaign. That way, should you yourself ever give some thought to running for public office, you can learn from my mistakes. (Oh, yes, mistakes were made, that's for certain.)

Okay, so here's how it happened (beginning near the end). Yesterday afternoon I called my yard man to ask if he planned to vote before dinner, or if he wanted to run down to the polling station with me, after dinner, to cast his ballot.

"After dinner will be fine," he said. "I'll go with you." So that's what we did. We drove through the wet, cool evening to the old wooden building; it's so close we would readily have walked, were it not for impending rain.

Inside, we're the only voters. Three women are seated at a table, but they're only there to check credentials, and instruct in the use of the ballot box. My yard man and I go to two of the five polling booths that are scattered around the nearly empty room. I look at the ballot. Hmm...then I study the ballot. And, then...that's when I make my decision to run--to enter the race! I'm a little tardy, but I launch my campaign.

My yard man is next to me, filling out his ballot. "Hey, I'll vote for you as Assembly person," I say to him in a lowered voice, "if you'll vote for me. You know... just write me in."
"Phhh. NO!" is his ready response.
"Oh, come on," I wheedle, "We can both vote for me, if you don't care to run."
But he shakes his head, as though he's just heard a harebrained scheme.
"Well, I'm voting for myself!" It's my final push.
He makes a face, casts his eyes to the ceiling.












Thus it was, my campaign ended poorly.
Furthermore, I see that I lost.
I blame it, of course, on my very late start. There were other mistakes, as well, but I did keep things honest!




And good luck to you, Reader Dear, should you ever throw your hat in the ring!
I hope my story's helpful as you plan your campaign.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

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THERE I WAS, JUST BUMBLIN' down the sidewalk, not a clue in my head I was takin' a picture (hope you don't mind, Dear Reader, that I'm droppin' my g's......I mean, I hope it's not a pet peeve of yours, or somethin' like that; it's just that it sounds so bumblin' [and didn't I just say that's what I was doin'?]

But okay, okay, on the off chance you might be grittin' your teeth, I'll be bringin' it to a screeching halt, ceasing to go g-less right now.

Yesterday it was so frabjous--in the afternoon--in the city. The Little Actor guided his grandpapa and I around the neighborhood where he lives (he was in the lead--out ahead of us there in the stroller), though he started tossing away key moments early on in the walk, and left us on our own pretty much of the time while he snoozed. I was eager to go into production mode on another movie, and set the little star to work just as soon as he awoke.

video

Well, the little star performed, and I did my best, but the camera-person let me down. (Lordy, lordy, I guess I have to say it...it's true: I was the camera-person bumblin' along, with the camera turned on when it should've been off and off when it should've been on.)

Needless to say, all the movies were odd, and they didn't have much of a plot (nor even a spot appearance by the Little Actor). So we stopped for refreshments at the corner cafe, then we took the little star home. The folks who take care of his house and grounds had been busy spiffing up the place. He smiled his approval at the work they'd done, then agreed to give me more film time.

So, happily, I've got this: The Case of the Laughin' Lad, in which he takes a starring role.

(Oops, most humble apologies--here's the g.)

video





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Thursday, May 13, 2010

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OKAY: EFFLUVIUM. Now that I'm ready to begin, I don't quite know why I suggested it--that I tell you my tale about learning this word. (I just kind of blurted it out. Now I'm dragging my feet.) Maybe it's because, at the time of my learning, this word sounded better than music to my ears. The man who explained it, I gladly would have fallen at his feet and kissed him (had it been an appropriate action, and I not a young teenager). Before I go on, however, I should also say this: regardless of the positive aspect it carries for me now, effluvium is not a good term for the tree's outpouring . It just doesn't do justice to that lovely rain of seeds. (And the truth is...[ducking my head in slight embarrassment]...those bits of nature blanketing the driveway were not produced by the Copper Beech, but came from the lowly Maple across the yard. Even so.)

Back to my story: Sloughing off is what was going on when I brushed my hair, and I brushed my hair often as a young teenager. Current wisdom had it in that long-ago day that one hundred strokes with the brush was just the ticket to lustrous and lovely hair, and many a fancy hairbrush set was gifted to many a maiden (Oh, I remember mine well--dear me, it could still, even now, be there in my attic--that weirdly impractical brush with its short hard bristles and long thin handle, the matching mirror and over-sized comb in their pretty pink box). However,back then I couldn't think of brushing my wavy mane so excessively--by the twenty-ninth stroke it was already a greasy mess. But far worse than that, when I groomed it at all, it had begun responding by falling out! It was with more and more trepidation I fiddled with my hair, and afterward cringed as I pulled great wads of it from comb or brush.

"Oh, Mama," I wailed to my mother, "I'm going to go bald!" I just knew it was true. Running amok, my imagination had me worrying with every fiber (no pun intended...or, yeah, maybe so). At night I would lie awake and try to imagine my life without hair--However was I going to endure? I was never going to make it through high school, that much was certain; I'd have to go into seclusion, be privately tutored. After that, alas, dating and marriage would be out of the question. My lot would be life as a recluse.

(A note from American history: At the time, we were entering the Age of Hair. Its virtues were extolled from the rooftops [well, from transistor radios like mine, anyway.] Men didn't willingly shave their heads; as for women--double gasp, and hand to the heart--it was totally unheard of! That's right, NO ONE was making a statement with baldness. Any beautiful hair one possessed, gleaming and streaming or ratty and matty, flaxen or waxen, bangled or tangled... [yep, the Cowsills sang it] one wished to keep it. And desperately, so did I!)
"I made an appointment for you," Mama said, (bless her heart, my dear mother) "We'll go and see what a dermatologist thinks."

And...here's the moment--the moment I first heard that word I've been yammering about, because 'Telogen Effluvium', that's what he thought. "You have Teal-o-jin Eff-loo-ve-um," he taught me to say it. "It's part of the natural cycle of hair. You see, sometimes it gets stuck a little too long in the sloughing-off phase, especially when hormones are changing. You'll see lots of hair falling out, that's effluvium. But then, it keeps growing back in. You won't go bald, my dear. Not any time soon."

I won't?!! (Here's where I would have been falling at his feet.) Oh, Dr. Watkins, I won't?! I'll be keeping my hair?! I'll be staying in school?! I might even date? I can go on living a normal life?!! (well, not that I'll ever be normal, but...) Oh! Dr. Watkins! (Now's when I would have kissed the dear doc)


So there you have it, Reader Dear. Both this word and its origin in my brain remain with me to this day (along with the beauty and the splendor and the wonder of my hair...!)



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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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I PONDER.

I ponder the effluvium* of the Copper Beech tree that I persuaded my yard man to plant in our yard an incredibly long time ago, and the fact that, though I'm sometimes bothered by messy discharges of this sort, I find it absolutely stunning.

I only got around to reading yesterday's paper today, and I happened to scan the obituaries. (Ordinarily it's the comics I read religiously, death notices only by whim.) There I saw a photo of Ella, smiling. She passed away last Friday surrounded by her loving family. Due to the fact that she was my age, I curiously read more...and, oh...I saw that, not only was I still a squalling newborn--three days old when she arrived--but her infant self would have been so near to me, her hospital bassinet likely within a half-hour's drive of mine.

Now, until last Friday, we both lived here--three states away from that southern area where we both cried, both gasped the first breath of life. I ponder Ella's years--her marriage soon after mine, her children, her debilitating illness, and her long, courageous struggle. I ponder going on without her...this stranger I never knew.


I ponder this quote that I came across not long ago:

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

(It was Frederick Buechner who said it [Or at least, I suppose that he said it--he is a minister, after all; though it's possible he only wrote it--he's a writer, too.]) I ponder sneaking in the word "messiness" after Frederick's words "boredom" and "pain." I really don't think he'd mind.

I ponder the gladdening sight and scent of the gardenia that I've enjoyed since its boxed arrival on my porch last Saturday. And, too, I ponder that most wondrous gift of motherhood, which, in its thrilling and enchanting and endearing way (though, without a doubt, messy and painful as well), spawned this secondary gift.

I ponder what it is you might be pondering, Reader Dear (if only you would tell me!)

And I ponder this, as I earnestly endeavor to change my night-owl ways: All the key moments of my life, how can I slip away into oblivion and spend so many of them sleeping?!



(*Oh, yeah--effluvium. I was going to tell you how I first learned the word. But, on second thought, it's getting late. I'm going to toss away key moments now. I'll just grit my teeth and do it--throw out a whole heaping pile before I change my mind. If life itself is grace, and I am granted more, I will wake again. I can tell you later.)


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Monday, May 10, 2010

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SHEESH, HERE I AM, talking about the weather again. It hardly seems possible that I'm pulling on sweaters and shivering in the kitchen because I refuse to turn on the heat. Wasn't it just last week we turned on the central air (an extreme act) because it was so ferociously hot?!!!


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Sunday, May 9, 2010

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MOTHER OF TWINS


video




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Thursday, May 6, 2010


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IF YOU THOUGHT ABOUT it at all, Dear Viewer, you may have wondered at the dearth of new movies I've offered lately. Whatever has slowed production? (You might ask.) What about all that action I'm generally so fond of showing. And, my goodness, has the Little Actor given up on his promising career?!

Definitely not the case! (I'd quickly assure you.) Production, in fact, has not slowed in the least. The Little Actor is growing ever more adept, and I've loads of moving tales to tell! You're just not seeing them, Dear Viewer, and my camera is the problem. Or...possibly it's my computer. There's even the merest little scintilla of a chance that the problem lies with me. Although, of course, no matter what is causing it--whether the inadequacy of my camera-adjusting, computer-fiddling abilities, or an actually malfunctioning piece of equipment--the problem still ends up being mine.

And here's the thing: I can still produce my movies. Further, I can even show my movies. It's simply the way they must be presented that is causing me distress, holding me back. In order to explain, I guess I'll just have to show you a sample.

So here it is: a BLACK BOX. That's it--the problem, plain and simple! I've produced the movie. And, yes, you can watch it. But is there a clue who's starring in this movie, or an interesting photo to draw you into the action? Is there any photo at all to enhance the face of the posting? Oh, ho--NO! Just a blot. An ugly, unpleasant blot!

Now you can go ahead and watch it...

video

Ha! Did my lovely little movie get you squirming? Perhaps, Dear Viewer, when it comes to creatures with one hundred legs, you're one of those "can't-stand-the-sight-of-em" sort. And did you have even a hint of what was to come? Did you have fair warning?

Okay, here's another BLACK BOX:


video

Ordinarily, do you suppose I'm going to calmly fold my arms
and accept a BLACK BOX, where there should instead be a photo of
my piano-playing twin?! I think not.

And I've got another (well, lots of others, to be honest):

video


Have I made my point?
Okay, then!
And since this posting is already just a fine
mess o' BLACK BOXES, I'll give you my latest movie:
Equine Babes (filmed today!)


video

And it's sequel: A Moment Later

video


(And now, Dear Viewer, if you see a BLACK BOX in a
future posting, you will know this producer has
something she simply must show you--BLACK BOX or no!)


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P.S. I must give credit to the Little Actor, who acted as my consultant on the horse baby movies today, then took a starring role in Avocado Aficionado (in which the Director of Lighting loused up the job, and the movie, alas, had to be scrapped.)





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Monday, May 3, 2010


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WE HAD TORRENTS OF RAIN last night. I woke several times to the sound of it roaring to the ground. Still, I was surprised to drive down the hill, long hours after the rain had ended and the sun had come out, and find that the creek had flooded its banks. The water was a foot high on the upper side of the road, necessitating a one-by-one careful navigation for the few waiting cars. I was happy it was passable, at any rate, and knew that the water could still be on the rise. Two hours later, however, on my return trip, the water had receded and opened up one lane.


I suppose I'll pass this way again tomorrow, Lord willing and the creek don't rise.


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Sunday, May 2, 2010

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THE LITTLE ACTOR paid me a visit today.




















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Saturday, May 1, 2010

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I WAS ALMOST LATE GETTING to my job this morning. I think that I've mentioned it before, Dear Reader, the fact that I deliver papers on Saturday mornings. It's a very part-time job, as I only do it two Saturdays of the month (the first and third)...and only between the hours of 8:00 and noon.

In spite of the very limited time I spend at this job (or possibly because of that fact), I confess that I often forget it's on my schedule! Can you believe it? I'm lolling around on a Saturday morning, thinking ah, the weekend! I'm kicking back, feeling no pressure, relaxing in the moment, going with the flow. I'm chatting on the phone. I'm browsing the web. I'm making myself a cup of tea. I'm noticing I need more paper towels from the basement stash. I'm going down the stairs and I'm...gasp!...I'm seeing all those bags of papers!

I've taken to writing myself a reminder, which I stick to the door of the fridge on Friday nights (or Thursday nights, or Wednesday nights, or possibly the first Saturday night of the month...) because it's always pleasant when I've not only remembered the job at least a few minutes before I have to be there, but prepared in advance--gotten the car loaded with my bags of papers and anything else I need to accomplish the job*.

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Yes, I really enjoy this little endeavor.
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There's a nice camaraderie at the recycling center, all those folks who are also making deliveries, racing to beat the clock like myself.







Mr. Recycle Guy is friendly and cheerful. He hoists my bags and boxes, but won't show his face--Oh, no you don't! No way! It'll break your camera! He often locks the gate when I leave, happy to send me on my way and be done for the day.









And I'm happy too. I feel a couple tons lighter, buoyed by the fact that
I actually got my papers delivered today!





















* That would be cardboard, corrugated only.






Psst! I took the guy's picture last winter
and my camera's just fine!









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