Friday, September 30, 2011


THERE, AS BEAUTIFUL AS EVER, BUT FLUTTERING helplessly in the parking lot of the thrift shop, was this elegantly-winged insect.

After pondering the situation, my daughter and I played the part of the Almighty, and made the decision to put the lovely creature out of its misery.

It was not an enviable role.



Thursday, September 29, 2011


THIS WHOLE ENTIRE DAY, Reader Dear, was so frightfully filled with fits of stress that it led to flights of fancy: I will caper off with the circus and never again have to deal with moldy, mildewy problems in basements of old apartment houses (nor evermore need to concentrate on cranky cars or computer conniptions)!

Given further consideration, however, the circus seems a bit laborious for someone my age, and the flight of fancy rather cumbersome.

I've settled, instead, on a little trip of remembrance, Reader Dear, and the zoo is a perfect spot, with its animals and antics and...well...the fact that I actually visited there a few weeks ago and have never shown you more than a glimpse!

There were all the usual striped and spotted and furry and horned and feathered critters at the zoo, my very favorite being the little creature that voiced comments and made requests as we went along:

"Ride camel? Ride camel?"

Without that little creature, in fact, this trip of remembrance would hardly be worth taking, Reader Dear.

Out of all the species viewed,

his was the one whose behavior I found most fascinating,

his interactions with those of his kind most intriguing.

Without a doubt, HE was the tiny animal that most captivated me!

And, all-in-all, the day was so filled with the pleasurable

peering at and pondering of parrots and pandas

and seedpods,

it approached perfection!*

*Or at least, Reader Dear, this undampened memory of it was the perfect mind journey for today!

(Can you believe? There was even a backhoe!)

Monday, September 26, 2011


"I'M TAKING YOU TO THE PRODUCE AUCTION," said The Yard Man to me this morning. "I've got to pick up some pallets and boxes."

I readily acquiesced, as one is wont to do when already a captive passenger. We were riding in The Yard Man's truck, and had just dropped off at the garage the car with the defective battery.

Bidding had ended when we arrived on location. Most of the produce, in fact, had been carted away. But there was enough edible merchandise lingering in the area to impress upon me what a monumental process it is to feed the human species.

In order for folks to have food on their tables, heads and ears and whole bodies must roll!

I don't know how it is with you, Reader Dear, but I'm rather relieved that in this part of the country where I live, they don't have to roll far.


Sunday, September 25, 2011


MY HEAD WAS CARRIED so far back into antiquity this afternoon that I was slightly freaked out.
It was due to a movie that I saw--a documentary showing cave drawings. If the investigators and researchers and the movie-makers themselves are to be believed, the graffitti found on certain cavern walls in France was done quite a while back. Just a tad further back than any other human artwork I've ever laid eyes upon.

According to the narrator of this movie, these sketches of equine (and there were many other animal drawings, as well) were done some thirty thousand years ago. Thirty. Thousand.


I wouldn't say that was just the other day!

And now, Viewer that you've seen these pictures...aha...I've carried your head off into antiquity, as well! It feels a little strange back here, does it not? A little dark and clammy and unfamiliar? (A little lacking in nail clippers and cell phones?) Dear Reader, now that you've wandered a step or two into the dark ages yourself, you can likely understand how it gave me a teensy thrill to wake the one person most interested in horses in the whole entire theater (who was snoozing in his seat beside me [it was a movie of little dialogue and not much drama; it was a Sunday afternoon; it was thirty thousand years ago, for heaven's sake]), and, with friends who'd accompanied us there, exit the theater into the lovely light of modernity!


Friday, September 23, 2011


WATER-LOGGED! THIS PLACE IS SO water-logged, Reader Dear (this now-soggy place where I live)! The creek's on the rise again! Watching another day of rain is a bit like sitting in the dentist's chair while drilling is going on. The primary thought: "WHEN IS THIS GOING TO END?!"

Then, suddenly, as I was driving home while the day was waning and it was still raining, I had another question, "WHERE MIGHT BE THE POT OF GOLD??!!" Ah, Dear Reader, the rainbow was fantastic and fleeting, arching up into the wet heavens so triumphantly. In the few minutes that it graced the sky, I happened to glance over to the west, and......

lo and behold!
There it was--the (s)pot of gold!*

*A sight that never grows old!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

posting this is only a test

posting this is only a test this is only

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I'VE WRITTEN THE LYRICS to a country music song, Reader Dear. It was so easy!
(You, my friend, get to make up the tune yourself!)

I can't go far, no, I can't go far
Wouldn't you know the battery's done died in my car

It was weeks ago, my laptop broke
Oh, let me tell you, that was no joke
Dear me, it was such an extreme vexation
Even now I'm dealing with the complication

(Repeat Chorus)

Next to go, the old vaccuum machine
Now how on earth will I get my floors clean
I'm seeing dirty floors and cloudy skies
Please wipe these tears out of my eyes

(Repeat Chorus)

After that a tenant rang me with a call
To say he'd spotted mold on his bathroom wall
Furthermore, there's other damage, says he
As a direct result of Hurricane Lee

(Repeat Chorus)

The nerve of those fates to be so bold
Today I awoke with a wretched cold

(DO NOT repeat chorus! It is time, Reader Dear, for
this song to come to an end!)


Thursday, September 15, 2011


TODAY, AS I WAS DRIVING ALONG, I saw a traffic sign that read, WATCH CHILDREN.
So I dutifully went to spend some time watching my Little Actor. As I pulled up in front of his house, I spotted something in the rear view mirror of my car which immediately set the agenda for our afternoon together.

Did you catch that view, Viewer Dear? It was a backhoe! A backhoe-backhoe-backhoe! Now you, Dear Reader, may be no more excited by a backhoe than by a banana box; but the Little Actor----ah, it's as if the circus has come to town when he spots one of these! A crane or a dump-truck will quicken his pulse, as well!

So I met him at the door of his house, and we hustled down the sidewalk to watch the show: The backhoe in action! A dump-truck standing at the ready! Several guys in hardhats thrown into the mix! (Well, they weren't actually in that gravel mixture on the back of the dump-truck, but they were down in holes, and scooping with shovels, and one of them---one of them was operating the backhoe!

Our hero: The Backhoe Guy!

While the Backhoe Guy was idling in his large yellow piece of equipment between bursts of action, we walked over to have a word with him. I offered him an explanation of the Little Actor's googly-eyed fascination with all pieces of large equipment. Then I asked the Little Actor if he could name the one he was looking at. Slightly intimidated, the Little Actor remained mum, although he knew as well as I did that he can say "Backhoe-backhoe-backhoe-go-see-backhoe" at the drop of an extended scoop-shovel!

So then the Backhoe Guy joined in the questioning.
"What is this?" he asked.
"What is it?....Is it a camel?"

I'm afraid, Reader Dear, all four of our eyes opened wide--the Little Actor's and mine.

A CAMEL? Did you say, a CAMEL?! You one we JUST RODE ATOP THE OTHER DAY?! (How funny you should ask! We both know camels, Backhoe Guy, and this ain't no camel!*)

No, it wasn't a camel. But it was a pretty exciting close second for the Little Actor!
(Especially when B-Guy invited him aboard! [Though why on earth wasn't G'mama climbing up there with him to sit in that stranger's lap?! He couldn't quite get up the nerve to do it alone).

As for me, it was time well spent. I was happy to "Watch Child."

(And, although I saw no sign exhorting: "Watch Backhoe," I had a pretty good time doing that, as well).


Tuesday, September 13, 2011


IT WAS PROPHETIC, that statement I made last night. This morning I did precisely what I said I'd be doing! Then there was one last, long, longing look at the ocean and The Yard Man and I headed north. It was a lengthy trip, Reader Dear, over bridges (four of them), around traffic accidents (two of them), and talking to a mina bird (only one of him, but he was so entertaining).

It was Jay-boy, of course, with whom we spoke. (He did most of the talking).

We've been stopping in for these little tete-a-tetes for a very long time. (It's been thirty-eight years we've been traveling this route, and how handy that he lives at a restaurant!]

Jay-boy kept imploring us to stay ("Can you talk?"), but, following our mid-afternoon lunch, we had to get back on the road. When we finally arrived home, there was a marvelously monstrous moon in the sky. But alas ,oh, alas, I could not see the Atlantic Ocean shimmering beneath it.



Monday, September 12, 2011


MANY HOURS WERE SPENT on the sand, some hours in the water.

Now it's the last hurrah. Shadows lenghten on the beach. A slight storm approaches. Pelicans skim the water in follow-the-leader fashion. Tomorrow morning I will be washing sheets and emptying odds and ends from the rental house refrigerator. I am already nostalgic for my lovely Outer Banks vacation.


Sunday, September 11, 2011


THERE IS SOMETHING WONDERFUL to be said, Dear Reader, for strolling down an oceanside beach, searching for letters in the sand.

These would be letters of the alphabet, naturally-made and untouched by human hands until one picks them up, studies each one to see if it's actually the letter it appeared to be while half-hidden there in the sand.

(It was my favorite activity today, Reader Dear! A nice little group of spectators on the beach heard me crow with delight upon discovery of an "A").


Saturday, September 10, 2011


So that boat came steaming into the harbor; I got the gangplank lowered, and I'm running up and down it with armfuls of movies. It's just a hodge-podge, View Dear, a jumbled boatload put on the screen without order. That's why there are no titles, theme songs or credits.

I can at least tell you they're all about babies
(perhaps taking very first bites [sweet potato]

or playing with a bucket);

or birds;

or both.

And the series title I can say for certain, Viewer Dear:

It's called: AT THE BEACH.*


*(I'm not looking forward to the wrap-up)...

Friday, September 9, 2011

OH, DEAR READER, NETBOOKS ARE for the seagulls!
(At least I know they're for the birds!)

Here I am, with a boatload of videos (movies starring my miniature actors) to show you, Viewer Dear; and a netbook, it appears, is too miniature, itself, to handle such an endeavor


Thursday, September 8, 2011


"I'M CALLING BECAUSE THERE IS water in our basement!" said the tenant who woke me with his phone call this morning. "I'm using a little shop vac, but it's getting ahead of me. I will need help." Reader Dear, how was I to know that the first day of my five-day vacation would be the very day that that One who controls the cloud system would forget to turn off the water in my home area?! Already last night, after my arrival here in the Outer Banks, my yard man himself had called to inform me that there was water in our very own basement. Oh, great grungy tribulation! "I cleaned some of it up, but it's getting worse," he said.

"I'll call the plumber," I told my tenant. "He lives just up the street from you."

"That's good," the tenant replied, "because lots of roads are closed due to flooding."

I hung up and called the plumber. Not reaching him on his cell phone, I called his home phone number. "Hello," said his wife; and, when I'd told her why I was calling---"We've got phones to every ear! Ron's having a time of it; there are no pumps to be had in the county! Roads are closed all over the place. You should have seen the big equipment trucking by here; there was trouble down the road at the creek--I think maybe a car in the water!"

"We've got tons of water here, too!" I said.

"Thank goodness it's all staying where it belongs!"


Wednesday, September 7, 2011


HERE I AM, DEAR READER, AT THE OBX (aka the Outer Banks of North Carolina)! Though it may seem voila-like to you, for me and my traveling companions it involved an eight-hours-long car trip.

During which we were bombarded by seven hours of torrential rain.

Which served to make our sunny and peaceful arrival a double delight!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011


AH, ARRRGH, DOUBLED!! THIS dying of my computer has caused much consternation, Dear Reader. It's a good thing my hair's grown long, the better to grasp curly fistfuls; I'm about to tear it all out! If I were to entail for you all the details, the account would be so extensive and filled with inaction (all those hours and hours wandering around the two stores which employ "Geek Squads," whiling away time until one or another of said geeks can attend to my queries and complaints) you'd be drumming your fingers and whistling a little tune while you rapidly scrolled down the screen.

But I must, you see, I really must, give you a quick synopsis: It was Friday last, I believe, when I whisked my printer off the table where sat my laptop with its cord connected. Ka-blam, computer crash! Oh, woe is me. Off to the first geek-run store, where I had only the evening before had a thorough clean-up of my laptop, and spent two full hours with the person performing the service.

"Hmm," said the technician who could first squeeze in a minute for me after I'd spent much time waiting. "It crashed to the floor? It's likely toast." He unscrewed the back and an eensy-teensy piece of black plastic fell out--a piece no larger than a grain of rice! "Aha," he said disgustedly, "See?! Things are falling out of it! I think you've probably done it in. But," he continued. "We can take a look at it. Things are awfully busy with back-to-school and the holiday. It will be three days until we can tell you more."

THREE DAYS, Reader Dear! He said three days!

One day later, I checked back at the store (squeeky wheels get the oil, you know. But, alas, same old tale-- We're swamped--Look at all these customers--I've had a very bad cold--off from work for a week--We've run out of all the advertized specials--All these people waiting!-- We'll call you when the diagnosis is complete.
I left for Store Number Two, where I spent two hours. My intention was to purchase a netbook (It's a very mini-laptop), just to get by, you know; but, ha, here's what you can now know, Reader Dear: I ended up with a quick-talking salesman, and left with a medium-sized laptop. Oh. oh. oh. Trying to learn its ins and outs at home, I changed my mind!

So, moving on to another day; it was yesterday, I believe. I'm losing track, but I know it's a holiday. Customers are densely milling when I go back to the store to return the laptop. "This is not what I want," I say. "What I want is a netbook!"

When I've finally snagged myself a geek, I trail him around the store, warding off other customers lying in wait for him. "The only place you can shake me is the men's room!" I say. He helpfully sells me a discounted netbook (it's an older model; "Could have been a floor sample" he says. It's off the clearance table, but he assures me it will serve me well. "We'll get it all set up for you, install the anti-virus. It will be all ready to go. We just need twenty-four hours."

"Fine," I say.

But it was only a few hours later when someone from the store called yesterday evening to tell me: "We have your laptop ready."

"Fine!" I said.

Through the pouring rain, I once again made the trip to the store. It only took a half-hour to get everything squared away, and I hurried home to use my new netbook! The one that was all set up for me!

Except. Hmm. Who is this "Trang" person whose email address comes on the screen?! And, dear me, here's Anna--is she his wife? Hmm. I try to ignore these people (as well as the third one--her name is Thuy); I decide to put my media card in the netbook. But...oh, great gaping hole in my camera where it should have been dwelling! It takes me but a few short moments to realize I left the darn thing in the medium-sized computer I'd returned to the store earlier in the day. Oh, arrrgh. Double-arrrgh. Arrrrgh squared!

This morning I drove through the pouring rain to the store and was there when they opened the doors. "What's the deal?" I asked. "The whole Trang family is living in my netbook!" But before they could answer, I moved on to Subject Number Two---My media card!!
I quickly explained that my media card was residing in the computer that I'd returned the night before. The two geeks behind the counter shook their heads. "It's probably already gone. The truck that leaves with them was behind the store earlier."

"MY PICTURES! I NEED THOSE PICTURES! All those photos of the Little Actor and our grand adventure!! Stop the truck!! Send a rescue squad!!" (I was only yelling in my head. But aloud I was pleading for my media card with all my might). Ah, and you see, Reader Dear, how easy it was for them to go and have a look for my media card--to go see if the truck had departed the store. They'd already made an egregious mistake by not shooing the Trang family out of my newly-purchased computer . Off strolled one of the geeks, and five nail-biting minutes later...

he strolled back with...

*Yes, Dear Reader, it's what I've been dying to tell you! Our Trip to the Zoo! Our Excellent Adventure!The First Camel Ride of our Lives! **

**And now, with my new, new netbook***
and my media card, have I got the photos for you!!

*** (Uh, huh...the store hurriedly gave
me a new one)


Saturday, September 3, 2011


TODAY WAS A VERY OUT-OF-THE ordinary one for me. In fact, today I had an adventure the likes of which I never had before in my whole entire life. Quite happily, I shared this brand-new experience with the Little Actor. You should not be shocked, Reader Dear, to hear the news that this grand adventure was a first for the Little Actor, as well.

Now I'd so love to give you the details, Dear Reader! I'm wringing my hands and bemoaning all over the place. But alack and alas, yesterday morning I dropped my laptop on its head, and now it may be dead!!*

*There is nothing to be done but pace the floor, hope for a good prognosis, a quick fix.
You know I'll be racing right back with the tale at my first opportunity; oh, yes, I will!
Because here's the thing--this adventure embarked upon by the Little Actor and me--there's a very good chance that you, too, Reader Dear, your very own self, have never, ever before... ooops, sorry, gotta go!