Thursday, January 31, 2013

Can you see what I see?

My mind is clouded today with point of view.

I take care of my mother and two handicapped siblings. I really get frustrated with their demands. The worst part is when I lay the law down on one of my two siblings, my mother overrules. Its that slippery slope when you take care of an elderly parent compounded with two mentally handicapped individuals who do need some expectations.

A piece of me thinks of putting them in group homes and assisted living. However, I am still not at my wits end. Secondly, who do you know has really lived a better life for shirking their responsibilities. I also care for each of these individuals.

My sister's depression has lifted tremendously taking care of Checkers and her half grown puppies. There is a satisfaction with seeing someone happy that can't be replaced. My life might be easier without them. But I know it will not be as rich.

I judged a science fair the past two days. Its nice to get out with other people. Having some conversation. I flagged one project for an overall prize. It was one of those rare projects, done by the student, written by the student, the science was solid and it was presented well. When I interviewed the student, I was impressed.

The second day judge who looked over the first place winners in our section did not choose the project to go the state science fair much less for an overall prize. He was skeptical of what I thought.

What I really thought was that's how it goes. Things are chosen based on merits. But it really boils down to perception in many cases.

We all have that fine line when working with other people. When do we strike out and believe in our own convictions and when do we suck it up and go with the flow. In essence, Hamlet's quote, "To be or not to be."

A punchline for a teacher joke is my mantra at times. I am the adult. I am the adult. I am the adult.

I hope everyone is having a great day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Shades of WHAT?

I'm reading "Habits of Being" by Flannery O'Conner. It is a collection of her letters and is incredibly  interesting. Her recommendation to a friend to eat cornbread sopped in turnip green pot liquor was sincere and hilarious. I understand her stories more and recognize a South that has slipped beyond the horizon.

I haven't read Shades of Gray. With so many books on my bookshelf vying for attention, I doubt sincerely that I ever get to it. It's one of those books I would only buy at a yardsale or flea market.

Not that that is an insult from me. I get most of my books from those sources. I go into bookstores and walk out with a few about once a month. I am a readaholic. I bought Flannery O'Conner on Amazon.

It all boils down to the title of my blog. There comes a point where you know you are only going to get to do so much before the final curtain call of your life. I've even acknowledged to myself that I am glad to have lived this long. My mom is 82. I hope to live so long.

Which brings me to the next point, watched Lisa Ling's show Our America. I watched the last half of folks making amateur porn. Some for money. Some for free. The next show was about BDSM or the topic of Shades of Gray. One couple who are my age were at a B&B which was renowned for working the kinks out of your kinky lovelife.

This is the point. Where do these people get the time. I'm retired and I still don't have time to sit down and drink my morning coffee. It's large gulps as I wash dishes and run back and forth through the kitchen trying to keep the household functioning and these people have an elaborate bedroom decorated with their "naughtables".  I would just like to get my bedroom straightened up.

I will say they looked physically fit. I walk about an hour every day. To really get toned up, I have to put in about 3 hours of exercise in about three days a week. These two have full-times jobs, in their fifties and do the wild thing several hours a day. Methinks thou exaggerates.

Another one was a submissive with her playmate. She sits on the floor and he gives her a sudden bite of cake. Sort of like my dogs sitting around my office. They are also free to go but choose to stay. I don't even have a piece of cake.

I'm reading "The Habits of Being" by Flannery O'Conner.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Streets of Gold

I had a friend in college who said he cried in Sunday School as a child when they said the streets of heaven would be paved in gold. It sounded like a terrible place to live.

I agree. Heaven would have bucolic dirt roads and your feet and clothes would never get dirty. The stones would never hurt your ever pedicured feet.

I've read fascinating accounts of the majesty of angels and trumpets roaring. God being triumphant in the world of men. I've seen mighty winds blow away the cold and rain for a calm peaceful day, I've listened to the rain on the roof and heard the thunder rumble. I've smelled honeysuckle on a hot sunny day. In my opinion the angels and trumpets are roaring around us if we take time to see and listen.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Trees in Winter


Pecan tree in overgrown pasture
I have been studying the way trees look this winter. I can recognize how different species grow by the way their branches form. The bark of trees is more apparent.

Old biddies
Oaks have a masculine look in that they grow a strong main stem with smaller branching off periodically. Much like the tree of life and trees found in fairy tales. There are three that stand together near the Happy Hour Mail Center that I have named the three old biddies.

Driving through the older sections of Warner Robins, the pruned Oaks along the roadways have lumps and scars from the loss of limbs. One oak makes me think of the unusual older woman who has weathered time with few wrinkles, scars or age marks on her skin. The bark is so sleek and smooth in comparison to the other trees on the road.

Pecans have a feminine shape in that they have a main stem which branches into a whirl of branches. Those in modern groves are pruned to delay this feature. But nature cannot be defeated. Why I would give feminine and masculine attributes are about as logical as the french giving every noun a feminine or masculine article instead of the all-purpose article "the" that we use in English.

Flock of red winged blackbirds.
I have not always bothered with looking at trees and birds. In my youth I always wondered why I could care less and others were fascinated. Now its me slowly searching for detail. Reveling in the wintering of the red winged blackbird and robin.

Red Winged Blackbirds in Pecan Grove
Row of Oaks on Davis Drive in Warner Robins, GA, USA
We had the thermometer drop below freezing about two nights ago. Even though it was about 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degrees Celsius), I could feel a bit of spring. Looking at distant tree branches, there was a little red pigment from buds developing. Of course the Japanese magnolia was in full bloom. One of my apple trees had a few flower buds trying to develop.

Peach trees bloom in mid to late February. Peach farmers panic about losing their fruit to a freeze. If not enough freezes come through, they pay people to knock undeveloped fruit from their trees. Otherwise they will get many, many small knotty peaches.

They always say it is darkest before the dawn. It's always coldest before the spring. We have spring-like weather off and on between January and March. The grass is growing very green under the Pecan trees by the road. However, we are due at least three more hard freezes. The last usually the last week of March or first week of April.
This is actually a sunset

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lilith was the mythical first wife of Adam. She too was wrought from clay. Below is a link to Sweet Briar College in Virginia in which Christopher Witcombe describes Lilith's role.
Westward of the Garden of Eden

http://witcombe.sbc.edu/eve-women/7evelilith.html

If I read it right the allegory that is the underpinning of Western Civilization almost was an ode to the "Battle of the Sexes". And of course, the woman is the villain. The original writer must have looked at their wife, daughter or mother and had reservations. They settled after a row with their wife on making woman kind responsible for original sin. LOL

This is one benefit of having Native American ancestry. A little piece of me has a culture with not much more but a little more reverence for the wisdom of women.

Oh well, much more fodder for the pen.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Memory Lane

Driving down Popular Street in Macon, for a brief moment it looked like a medieval village with garroted towers, church steeples touching the sky on a knoll. Then the light changed.

Sidney Lanier Cottage
Macon, GA is a town in decline and a town resurrecting itself from the ashes. The noble infrastructure of grand homes, extensive store fronts, old manufacturing buildings with ancient water tower intact still stand along with the remnants of brick facades, boarded up businesses, an occasional homeless person along the street and modern business towers.

Today, I saw a homeless woman along a east-west street on the edges of downtown Macon's business district. My spoiled bulldog started with a soft bark. Like a child, I nudged her softly to not talk. The light took forever to change and she had developed a rolling deep throated bark.

There is a shiver you feel in your soul when you realize a dog riding in your car has a better life than the woman sitting along the sidewalk.

When I got out of the meeting at Sidney Lanier Cottage along High Street, the view is fabulous. The Macon Medical Center looks incongruous with its modernity against the rolling land of the Piedmont and genteel homes. The urge to skip on the brick road like I did as a child rumbles in my throat.

Getting into my car. Louise nuzzles me. She knows I'll buy her a hamburger.









Chi Chi Crazy Morning



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Checkers and the $86 dogbite.

The first time I met Checkers, she was looking at me like she really and really, really, really loved me. I thought what a sweet little dog.

The down low is that checkers had come out the back door and seen my car full of old folks. Arriving at the front porch, she knew to get what she wanted in life, she had to act fast.

In conversation, her owner said they were looking for a home for her. My family was used to animal acquisitions but frankly could have lived without Checkers. Within 24 hours, everyone looked at me with horror when I brought up the fact the original owner said she was returnable.

Checkers has a very special place in our household. She is Queen of the Universe, humble dragon around the house.

In order to be Queen of the Universe, you must not associate with any dog pack in the house. One of her puppies belongs to the old timers pack. The other three are wannabees who are loosely accepted. Checkers accepts her throne with the nonchalance of someone born to rule.

Night before last, Checkers was trembling. The next morning, she was too tender to be lifted. However she ate two dog treats and jumped off and back up on a bed with ease. My mother was worried she may be so injured she might have to be put down.

After a worried trip to the vet, Checks recognized the place. They had fixed her eye when it was injured. Calmly, she allowed the vet to put a muzzle on her. He felt her little rib cage. She weighs 8 pounds. Took her to the back to shave her fur, she had two grazes from a dog bite.

Probably Loretta. She did look guilty.

Very minor injury, we did get the pain pills. Checkers walked sassy from the vets office and jumped into the car. I guess even dogs are relieved to find out their injury is not serious.

Monday, January 21, 2013

la vida en limbo

Parade 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
When you're in school, everything and everybody is there. There is an air of excitement in school activities, lunchroom trashtalk and plenty of people to meddle in their business as you meddle into theirs.

You may get those halcyon days of college in a dormitory where you work at a job at will and associate with others in your age group with as little life experience. A jovial older woman or man may come into the mix, and they usually let you keep your dreams.

Afterall, no matter how old you are, you have your dreams. When you give up on your dreams, they become your regrets.

Life in limbo is life in general. Moving from one point in life to another. The drudgery of going to work, cleaning house, waiting on something a little more than ordinary. All the excitement of childhood replaced by adult concerns.

No wonder we mourn for children being hypersexualized, going to work to support their families, having children early, surviving and succumbing to serious illness and embracing the adult world early. Crossing eastward from the Garden of Eden into what has to be done.

. Thankfully, your dreams change as you change in life. There is a sadness I feel when someone goes back for another college degree when they have already earned one. Prolonging that dive into adulthood where getting an ideal job is chancy at best.

What is good about being in limbo?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I ain't never made no list like this.

Sheer panic in making opinions. I like to get along with everyone. Learning to write, my big handicap is avoiding conflict at all cost. Conflict is the heart of drama. What's a girl to do?

I come by this honest. My mother avoids conflict.

I learned this honestly. How much time can be wasted arguing with someone who can't believe you have a different opinion?

This was reinforced honestly. I live in the South or more importantly in a Red State. I have a feeling all of the Red States have this problem. It's just a hunch but I have a feeling Blue States have their own form.

I'm 56 years old and I don't want to venture my opinion. When I talked politics on another blog, I lost many of my followers. Not that I had that many.

However, I am due a list. All blogs have them.

Give me time, I'm thinking.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Them Girls

Wild Azaleas
Hanging on a wall of a chain restaurant, is a picture of beautiful young women in one piece swimsuits. Getting up to look at who they are, I say, "I bet those girls are older than me".

Them girls are beauty contestants circa 1937. The depression was raging. War had started in Europe. A bevy of beauties stand resplendent in the pleasure a teen woman feels in being the center of attention. For a few hours she is princess of the realm.

I've seen pictures taken of young women at the height of joy and beauty as they transition from childhood to adulthood. The perfection of beauty in youth picked and discarded usually by the person by real or imagined flaws.

There's the words above one woman, "The winner" and clearly she is the prettiest. The evil witch in Snow White must be rolling in her grave.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rainy Wednesday


BoDuke, my 9 pound sweetie.
We've had Indian Summer for about a week. Today the rain has begun and cold weather will be back soon. In all we have about five weeks of cold weather in our winter. The problem is it is a week here and a week there with one always coming close to the end of March .

Whenever we have a big snow, it is not unusual for it to happen the last week of March after two brilliant seasonable months during February and March. Well brilliant except for at least one or two weeks of cold scattered through them.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trendy Nerds

At the gas pumps, the red BMW sportscar next to me was a childhood acquaintance. Married five times, looking young for her mid fifties, she started gabbing about Dragon-Con. Getting in touch with her inner nerd.

On Facebook, the purveyor of what is really trending, I found this link

Prairie Nerds

It's fascinating to read what nerds are and what fun they can be.

Especially when you were one. You never outgrow being a nerd. Yes, you may have money, clothes, haircut, etc. but nerd just whispers out of every corner. When I mentioned trading email address, acquaintance gave a wry face. She was still too damn cool for me. Of course I was driving a beat-up Toyota with a bulldog in the backseat and an elderly toy poodle riding sidekick.

I'm still that kid in high school that just wants everyone to like me. The truth about being a nerd is you are just wallpaper. You had time to watch Star Trek reruns and think about the Utopian ideals of Gene Roddenberry.

I read a great deal of science fiction. More from having a boyfriend who loved Bradbury and Frank  Herbert. I read the entire Dune series and Tolkien books. I tried to read Silmarillion but it never held my attention past the first 40 to 100 pages. I sincerely tried to read it many times.

What I learned most from these books is be careful picking up long books. They are hard to put down and you don't need to stay up half the night reading when you have a job to go to the next day. I read "And Ladies of the Club" by Helen Hooven Santmeyer which was a 1800 plus page Northern "Gone With the Wind" when I was sick with the flu over Christmas holidays about 20 years ago.

What you do learn as a nerd if you live long enough is to have patience with other people and yourself. You notice little details. Afterall, you had to do something as you sat quietly while everyone else was dancing.

I plan to go to Dragon-Con for the party atmosphere. I may make it this year or in ten years. If I never make it, I have participated in something just as absorbing, Real Life.

I understand my acquaintance is the still the hot chick. Fairytales and Hollywood sometimes get it right. The happy ending never looks like it should in reality. I putter down the road in my Toyota still happy after all these years. Live long and prosper folks.




Monday, January 14, 2013

Somethings are worth more than money can buy.

Barn Owl, Fort Valley, GA, USA
I taught many poorly behaved students over the years. Some were control freaks in that if they could get you frazzled, they controlled the class.

Some just did not want to do any work and once again getting the teacher off topic or creating a disruption pretty much did the job.

Many had no clue their behavior was a problem or understood how an education could make their adult life easier. You have that infamous adult who crows they did not finish school or go to college and did just fine. You have that other infamous adult who swears their education really didn't help them.

An education really does not open doors. It just increases the possibility of someone thinking you may be a better employee. It also broadens your horizons with what might be out there.

As a teacher, you deal with whatever students cross your classroom threshold. When I was young, I was at their mercy. I've heard of students running teachers off but I always needed my paycheck and that was not a consideration. I was careful never to let students know how little power I really had.

I had one particularly difficult sixth grade class. I was truly at my wits end and I made an incredibly long list of concrete rules. I gave the students the list and I just keep a table of which rules they broke. If they worked all week with no rules broken. I gave them a reward.

The first week was McDonald's Big Macs, fries and a soda. What humbled me the most was all three were on the free or reduced price lunch program? They asked me if they could eat the school lunch and their treat.

This is one of the reasons I felt so much patience and compassion with children like this. I would have picked at the hamburger and ate the fries at their age. I would leave a great deal of my purchased school lunch on the tray each day.

Sometimes I see former students who have gotten in trouble. More times, I meet them working in businesses or in town. A great many went into the military. I grew up and lived in a military town.

Buttons and Bo

That's Mr. Bo Duke threatening his sister Buttons as they play. He has the name Bo Duke for the Duke's of Hazzard television show. My older brother is a fan of the show. I asked him if I could call him Boss Hogg and he said "No". Bo Duke is a good guy.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Yard Sale Blues Truth

The day before, my stomach got upset. Sheer dread set in. I thought about putting a sign at the end of my driveway, we got the flu, yardsale canceled.

Well I faced my fears and like all things overwhelming, there wasn't much to it. We had a total of 6 cars, perhaps 16 people in all. They all bought.

One woman was buying sweaters for a quarter each for  someone who needed clothes. I went into the house and got four more in the size she needed. I got to unload and the woman needing sweaters is why I got so much. That specter of need drives my stockpiling.

Don't be fooled by the snarl. Buttons is a real love.
One woman asked about getting one of the dogs. She really took a fancy to Buttons. I told her $2000 each or three for $5000. She said really. It's a shame I couldn't have some of the dogs that looked like Buttons that I see at animal shelters.

That mad rush I was afraid of never materialized. We might do another one another month. We may load the furniture on the back of my truck and take it to Happy Hour Service Center for their thrift shop.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Thanks for joining me

I'm learning much about writing by doing my blogs. One thing is I'm finding what holds an audience. Anytime I write something funny or short, I have more views. If I write something deadly serious, man my views drop. I have a deadly serious blog were I do those posts. Very few visitors. One blog post people view consistently is the one that follows.

What is the difference between an American poodle and a French poodle? I want you to chip in with possible answers. I'll give a few of my own. By the way, I own both these lovely dogs.

Muffin - American Poodle
Muffin is the American poodle. When I took her to the vet, no one in the office would hazard a guess as to what she was. They would say she has some terrier because of the cowlick between her eyes.

 My present veterinarian looked at her and said, I believe this girl might be part poodle.
After he said that, you could see the poodle in her. Even Muffin began to walk a little taller.

What is special about Muffin is that I have had two different people to ask me if I would give her to them.


Frankie - Pureblood French Poodle
Frankie is pure poodle. I never got papers for him because I bought him for a pet in a yardsale. I could have filed for papers but there is something about owning a dog with a better pedigree than yourself. lol Anyway, Frank does not have the papers. I do have his birth certificate so to speak.

He's been my love for over 15 years. He will be 16 on April 14th. I was lying on the ground because my back hurt from bending and picking up pecans. For a brief moment, I didn't know if I was going to be able to get back up. My back had a catch. I had Frank and a 6 month old Chihuahua mix named Daisy there. Daisy was ready for the party. Frank knew I was in trouble.

Long story short, I got up just fine. It's just that bond you can have with an animal companion you've owned a long time.

Possible answers to the question:
French poodle has papers and American poodle has poodle somewhere.

Help me out folks. Frank will tell you he is a Redneck poodle from Georgia. He don't claim his French ancestry.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Passions

If something doesn't enliven the passions, it probably won't get done. Much like people chained in a ship's galley forced to row in fear of the whip.

When I worked at a bank in a wholesale lockbox, I opened perhaps 500 to 2000 pieces of mail each day. There were some interesting aspects. Checks occasionally in the millions crossed your desk and there was always a cent amount enumerated. You would think a check for 12.5 million would not need the 62 483.26 to be as effective. But it was always there nonetheless.

One day in the quiet of my cubicle, one of my co-workers was jumping up and down shouting, it's a 1 million dollar check. It's just a shame the check wasn't for her with all that enthusiasm. We also knew a major airline was filing bankruptcy in the early 1990's before it was in the news.

I remember my dad telling my sister how to talk to a teacher about not being able to participate in a PE class in college due to a hurt back. My sister was older than the average co-ed. The words are lost to me but the gist was. I'm not a snot-nosed kid who needs to be taught a lesson; I'm an adult and I shouldn't have to jump through hoops and not be able to graduate for not being able to play tennis this week.

This made me think of a hot discussion I followed on Facebook. An argument can be quite entertaining if its harmless and its not you being attacked.

Its an argument as old as time. Two people who have just hit thirty are trying to explain the rules of life. This idea gets more comical as people get older and downright tragic and irritating when they get old. Questioning myself started early for me due to the fact I thought I was grown in seventh grade. I can be hard-headed but I strive to be humble.

One end of the argument is in their early forties. They've invested much into being an actor. They are very good at it. You know how hard it is for an actor who hits the big time to keep the momentum after four or five years. Imagine someone who is good that has never gotten the opportunity to be paid really well and garner the respect they deserve.

Then enter, stage right a pair of earnest actors with the idea that all their hard work and frank verbiage will get them there.  We live in a society of heated opinions being so oppressive and most of us keep our mouth shut out of practicality. They are not entirely at fault. Constant exposure to this societal flaw and people make big decisions using this practice.

Whether these two ever make a living at acting will happen whether they blast these opinions loudly or not at all. The entertainment industry is so big and diverse, it is truly Darwinian what will be a success. We have so much to choose from and so many of us are addicted to cat videos on youtube.

You dang right I agreed with the forty something. He is right. People can pay to get where they are. If you are an actor, you can pay for a good screenplay and a crew to make a film. Now if any one of those links are poor, you can guess the rest. This is why so many children of actors have successful careers. They probably were born with the talent and means to make it happen. This is why Paris Hilton is no longer in the news. However, Paris Hilton did well for awhile.

I always like the quote, "Once I learned all the answers to life's questions, they changed the questions."

An Elvis movie title also comes to mind, "Easy come, easy go."


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Yard Sale Blues

What have I got myself into?
Well Saturday is the big day. I'm having a yard sale. Am I prepared. I'm sure there is someone who can get one organised. Mine will not be.

I have furniture to sell. It is killing me to let go of some of the stuff I have. I'm looking at a high school megaphone I have in the middle of the floor of my office. I think about putting $20 on it to reduce the likelihood anyone will buy it. I offered it to my old alma mater and got a vacant look.

There is a reason why we have a clutter problem. No one want to give anything up. When we do, another one will chime in how they could possibly use it. I am going to grit my teeth and put as much as I can find in the yard sale.

I normally take things to Happy Hour Workshop. They have a weekly yard sale. They could use some better than normal stuff. The problem is the staff don't always recognize my treasures.

Some things people donate should have gone in the garbage. There are unique finds there. I plan to buy a used computer this Friday. I've bought a new desktop and a monitor adapter to toggle between two desktops. My old desktop will no longer load the operating system.

The cockeyed reason why I decided to have a yard sale escapes me now that the ad has been in the paper.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Deep Thoughts

I have time to think during the day that I haven't had before. I can waste time and procrastinate with the best but there is the little voice in me that likes to make every moment count.

Banyan tree, Lahaina, Mau'i, Hawaii, USA
I listen to NPR when I take my brother back and forth to Happy Hour Workshop which is about 3 hours of my day. They usually have something that informs you about the world, politics and life in general. Sometimes it is poppycock but even that can give rise to thought.

I really don't have a problem with writer's block. Typing into the faceless computer screen is my escape everyday. When I pack up this post, I'll be moping the floors. After a little household cleaner use in the bathrooms, I am going to get the pecans I've gathered to sell. I'm hoping it will cover at least half of the vet bill I will be paying tomorrow.

My three darling Chihuahua mix puppies are being spayed. It's a miserable day for all involved but not as miserable as handling a dog in heat and a multitude of puppies that no one wants.

Originally this blog was going to be something funny about getting older. A young man who is clearly deep in his thirties asked me his age yesterday. I told him. His actual age was much younger. I'm pretty good at this so I'm sure he shaved off 5 to 8 years.

A friend of mine's son tells people he is 28. I know for a fact that he is more like 38. What is it with these men not wanting to give their age?

Men have a honeymoon with crow's feet and graying at the temples being nice looking. It is not until they are in their late 50's the rug gets pulled from under them and the fact that men biologically do not age as well as women shows up.

Women can look dowdy at 25 with extra weight and look older than their husband for years. Late in life men need a woman more than a woman needs a man.

There will be a short story from yesterday's encounter. It's just the jest of what I could have said and then some. The tentative title is "The Customer from Hell."

Usually when I clean or do water aerobics, I try to develop a story for what I am writing. Today my thoughts will be more nobler. I'll be praying that a little girl named Sarah. I'll be praying for her surgery to go well and for her family. Her father was wise enough to ask for good wishes for his daughter.

There is something very solemn and knowing in the innocence of a child's face when faced with a serious illness. Love and people you have in your life is what matters most. Getting older is a gift.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Catholics versus Cousins

Some Notre Dame students are sporting t-shirts with the phrase Catholics versus Cousins in reference to the Southern stereotype of being inbred to show their allegiance to their school in its game against Alabama.

What I ask, how does a good Catholic rationalize hate speech.

We think of hate speech being only used against minorities. But hate speech is whenever someone denigrates another individual as disposable.

Hate speech also widens the divide between people who are of different ethnicity. Quite a few students at "bama" are Catholics. How does that educate Protestant youth who attend Alabama? We like people more who like us. We dislike people who disrespect us.

I know the mature, faith based folks at Notre Dame are embarrassed that students have basically "thrown their pearls before swine." I'm sure some old man says, "we're only joking". What school yard kid doesn't say that when they cross the line.

For the students, that translates to "thrown your religion into the mud of game day frivolity". You're very lucky your parents saw to it you got a faith based education. Don't confuse that with the bravado of sports. Sporting that slogan says more about you than the school rivalry. I'm sure if you put your "thinking cap" on you can think of a better slogan.

Addendum: My brother told me I got too bent out of shape on this. It's just team rivalry. Maybe I have made a mountain out of molehill. It wouldn't be the first time. However, I still don't like the shirt.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Beautiful Sunday Morning

Why do weenee dogs look like they need a uniform and medals?
I know its January; but the temperature is just right. I'm getting in shape for a 5K. My goal is to actually just walk them. At my age group there is a possibility of winning if I could run or jog a wee bit. There isn't as much competition.

There is a chick there who I know is approaching 80 who can outwalk anyone there. I know. She walks right past me repeatedly. Last year she and a chubby gal about thirty would walk past me repeatedly. I would run occasionally. It is always a very cold day in January with the Museum of Aviation run.

I was ahead of the chubby chick approaching the finish line but she got a spurt on to pass me. I felt like putting a little jog on to beat her. The older chick was slightly ahead of me strolling.  How could I take the race from someone who wanted to win.  Besides, we were so far behind the leaders of the pack.

We did complete the race in 44 minutes. My goal this year is 38 minutes. One thing I have discovered about running is that it is not that demanding on your lungs. It is hard on your muscles. Being 56, it has been a long time since I hopped, skipped and ran to get anywhere.

I also have to give a few minutes for the aspirin to kick in this morning. I have strained my back or did something. More reason to walk those three miles. If I could drop some weight, my back would not be complaining as badly.

This morning, I read a headline that said "Obese do not understand the dangers of being overweight."

Do you ever just think, "WHAT?"

I need to go back and read the article because I'm sure there is something intelligent there. How else would someone use that headline when every bit of media harangues people for having normal body sizes. I'm talking about the photoshopped pictures of incredibly small waists, larger breasts and butts on bobble headed bodies used to sell products.

I think overweight folks know. Its just hard to escape millions of years of evolution that attracts you to eat fat and sugar. An evolutionary history that meant being able to survive a year of starvation meant hardier genes passed on to the next generation.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Escaping reality

Have you ever tried to meditate? That clearing your mind and thinking of nothing is not something you can accomplish. The little clock in your brain is constantly ticking. Drive down the road and realize you have been so deep in thought how you have negotiated the traffic, stop lights is really a fear invoking.

Your subconscience is at work monitoring what your conscious mind is not doing. Spinning wacky dreams when remembered can be quite funny.

I have had only one dream where my late father came. I went to a psychic and asked why everyone had dreams with my dad and I never had any. Whether psychics are real or not, she told me the obvious. I had no unfinished business with my father. This is true. My father is probably the only person in my life that understood me. Everyone else I have to be a bit of a chameleon.

I'm incredibly lucky. I watch true crime stories on television. You can pick them up in the middle and often turn them off easily. Sort of like listening in to a talkative table next to yours in a restaurant. What strikes me is how many children suffer at the hands of a sadistic criminal parent. I can't imagine having that critical flaw in your childhood. Mine was teasing, bullying which pales considerably in comparison.

Friday, January 4, 2013

January in Georgia


January in Georgia
An ancient pecan tree whirls its skirt of branches
Against a misty morning sky
Mistletoe barrette firmly in place
Wild cherry along the fence row
Evergreen honeysuckle in a thick bough
Cat brier hangs as weathered tinsel.
A mockingbird noisily announces his domain
The ground is wet from the melted frost
Gray, burnt orange and tan
Grasses lying on the ground
Yellow cherry leaves whistling like flags in the breeze
With winter so brief

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Daisy feels pretty big about herself.

In the beginning, the puppies timidly explored the plate of dog food. One or two took to eating the first time. Within a week, we had our first dogfight. Which moved us to everyone has their own plate and someone supervises the eating race.

Then Yoda, the gray one, began to eat slow. If any one of the others ventured close, she was ready to fight. Yoda is the smallest and most muscular. Yoda is the boss. Her brother who will take on most anything in the house for a morsel food defers to Yoda.

Daisy, long legged and small, would like to be boss. Periodically she challenges Yoda who takes no prisoners. The other two littermates say "what the heck" and join in with poor Daisy being assailed from all sides. Hence, Daisy now rides in the car when we shop. No amount of beating from the other dogs can persuade Daisy of her true status in the pack.

In the States we have had a fiscal cliff to contend with. People have adamant opinions and will get mad at you if you disagree. Politicians ever mindful of their power hold aren't too caring of the opinion they defend, they are mindful of keeping their power.

We have a ferocity of opinion to the point of annihilation  I read one man's post on Facebook how he didn't read the communist Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I've become numb to people who are so convinced of their opinion they no longer want to hear anything else and worried about the depth of my own opinion. Have I got opinions so strong that the truth cannot get through.

I think our opinions are what we need to survive difficult aspects of our lives. In my early twenties I read Taylor Caldwell and Ayn Rand. I was incredibly conservative before it was popular. I now know Ayn Rand was an incredible nut case. I say incredible nut case in that eccentricity not mental illness was the root of her perception of the world.

At that time in my life, I was struggling. I was different and naive as a young teacher and took heat for that. Furthermore, the person I was in love with wasn't in love with me. Last of all, I was losing my trim figure to anxiety eating and the proclivity to being overweight. The patina of childhood had worn bare and I was on my on with no safety net. I needed that independent streak to make it.

As time wore on, I found a better place in the world and could look at people and things with experience. My views softened. I know there are deadbeats. I know there are people that truly need help. I have never been able to wipe the image from my mind of an elderly woman in New Orleans who died in her wheelchair as they awaited help from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Someone had laid a coat over their head. I could picture my mother. Needing help to stand and go to the restroom when there wasn't one. Needing a glass of water to medicines that were no longer available.

We forget how well we live and assume that we have had total control over the situation. A woman I know who has a great federal job with the CDC, excellent income, excellent insurance, will state how everyone should have private insurance without government input. A very wealthy developer I know has private insurance. His premium is $1100 a month. He is thankful because his leukemia drugs are much more expensive.

On the last roadtrip, we used our BOGO free coupons at Burger King. We had a coupon for four chicken nuggets for 50 cents. Checkers had two nuggets, Daisy one and Frank the poodle one. All three were slipped portions of hamburger. When Checkers got out of the car, she ran around raising Cain with the other dogs. The big shepherd mix ignored her. Muffin and the puppies got out of her way. Then came Daisy.

Big ego, she rushed her siblings. They commenced to beat the pulp out of her again. As I lifted her with two sets of teeth attached. She was angry.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Handle those resolutions with care.

My resolutions is to leave my grudges behind. The Dalai Lama has never bad mouthed China since his exile from Tibet. The cynical part of me thinks, "Good political strategy". The person in me who gets mad thinks, "Think like the Dalai Lama."

Anyhow, I have already gotten aggravated with someone and its the worst kind. I love this person, very dear friend.

When I went to different schools doing science programs with GYSTC a teacher in Hawkinsville shared this tidbit. He used to pray for patience. Then it seemed the Lord sent him a lot to have patience with. He no longer makes that prayer.

Dang, too late now. Can you return a resolution?

No. Well I'll be careful about what ask for in the future.

Have a Great New Years and I hope all your wishes come true. Just be careful with those resolutions folks.