Friday, November 12, 2010
What is this "mess" that you are supposed to ignore? I'll tell ya. It's all the junk and overgrown patches of weeds in the spot that tried to be my garden this year. The spot isn't to blame for my shortcomings, though, in case you're wondering. I put out the garden. I made mistakes. I neglected things when I didn't know what to do with them. Now that Jack Frost off'ed the last of the atomicblasthardy cherry tomatoes, it's time for me to clean up, clear out, and generally put things to bed for the winter. The wheelbarrow with tiny pebble rock that I moved from one place and didn't get to another place has to be emptied. The fire ring that had to be relocated so we can have a nice apron and drive to the new pole building has to be tidied and filled in anticipation of a good burn day. All the makeshift stakes and mini-umbrellas have to be picked up and put away for re-use next year. The stray plastic hand tools that were made to withstand weather deserve a wipe and a dry spot in the shed. That's the mess behind the curtain.
See, the mess is just the backdrop for this trip to see the wizard. Honestly, I'm not sure why I got off on the tangent of Emerald Cities and Wizards! What I was thinking about is cleaning up my mess and having a little fun, too. This past summer, I gathered wishes from friends and family on Facebook and then gave those wishes a real world send-off into the Universe. One time, I wrote everyone's wishes on great long scraps of paperboard left from the building crew when they put up our new shed. Then, I rolled the scraps and burnt them, watching the wishes turn to ash and spread into the sky. Another time, I wrote wishes on leaves and let them fly away on the breeze. This time, I'm going to gather wishes and dreams and requests from everyone, use markers to color them onto a dead branch that needs to be burnt, and then put that branch into the fire (after it rains! we're much to dry here to be burning leaves and branches and such right now).
So, you wanna join me? What's your wish? Do you have a request for someone else? Would you like to just have your name thrown into the pile and say your wish silently to yourself? Whatever you'd like to do, you're welcome to join! Please, leave a comment so I know what to add for you... and everyone who reads it will be virtually joining hands with you and extending your wish!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Because a veteran has seen the things he has seen, my visions are possible. Because a veteran has done the things she has done, my to-do lists are filled with things that can be freely done. Because veterans have given their lives, I can have my life. Because veterans have fought, I am free to spread peace. Thank you. That's hardly enough, but I'm not sure you could ever be repaid enough.
My father-in-law, a man I never met, served in the Army just after WWII. He brought home another Angie from Germany and started a family. My paternal grandfather, another man I never met, joined the service during WWI. My uncles, four of them, did their stints in the military during Vietnam-- a Duncan who spent his Army gig in the U.S., a Duncan who re-upped with the Marines at least once, and two Greers in the Army. In the Garren family, my husband's brother is a chaplain in the Air Force, a man whose daughter served, a man whose two sons-in-law served/serve.
So, I've known veterans, but that's about the extent of my military knowledge. When recruited by the ROTC guys at Murray State, I gave a non-interested kid's flippant response. I didn't like green, and I didn't want anyone telling me where to live. Yeah... that wasn't my best moment, but I had no clue at the time. Thank goodness there were other people who did understand and did take on the responsibility!
Today, we went to the Veterans Day Parade in Germantown, a town just a few miles down the road from here. It was awesome, and by "awesome," I mean smack your forehead and say Duh AWESOME. The younger military people deserve much thanks, but it was the faces of the older veterans that really drove the point home to me. The saying goes that all gave some and some gave all. After some reflection, I'm convinced that All gave All. It doesn't matter how they got into the uniform (happenstance, circumstance, or Uncle Sam grabbed them by the seat of the pants), once in uniform, they gave every second of their life to their country. Oh, sure, they had leaves and furloughs, but they were still on Liberty's clock. Wives and girlfriends waited. Children grew taller and taller each month. Parents grew older. No one gets to turn back time, but it seems to me those guys should've gotten the chance in exchange for what they did. Then, when their time in the service was finished, the "lucky" ones who came home on their own two feet and not in a casket were given the privilege of picking up where they'd left off as if nothing had happened. For the most part, I think that's what they did, too. For the most part, they didn't complain about it, either. AWESOME. Yes, that's the word:
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
We're on the low side of the Carlyle Lake Dam right now, on a Nature Trail by the side of the road. The trees are so tall, reaching up and up, forming a cathedral under the bluest sky.
Or maybe, this tree is in our path today because it symbolizes something larger than our problems. Maybe we are meant to think about crowns of thorns and prophets and philosophers?
Look. I think it's a reminder to cross bridges when you come to them. Don't worry so much about the bridge until you reach it, or you might miss the sights and sounds which build up to it.
Of course, it's always true for me that driftwood and dead branches and such have an impressive beauty, but it's not always that I connect that to the beauty of the circles of life.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
This is too spooky for words, my friends. This 'fraidy cat to beat all 'fraidy cats has come to a decision. I am no longer afraid of the dark. Ghosts, apparitions, aliens, and strange unidentified creatures can rest easy now, knowing that I feel no need to rid the world of them. It's Halloween, and all that scares me is. . . humans.
If the ghost of my Grandma or my Granny could appear and give me a real hug, then I would revert to my old fears because that would mean bad spirits could also touch me. It hasn't happened yet, even though I've wished for it so many times in my life. So, that's it, in a nutshell. It sure took me a long enough time to figure out this one!
Whatever scares you, try looking at it from a different angle. You might still be scared, but who knows? You also might chip away at the fear, creating a new handhold for courage.
That's my Halloween thought for the day. It's certainly not spooky in the conventional way, but sometimes "a-ha!" moments regarding real life sneak up on us and spook our brain with their uncanny appearance :) Hope all of your tricks have been balanced with lots of treats this Halloween! Nighty-night!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
I also happen to be a tree watcher. This one has a few different woodpeckers who treat it like their very own buffet, as well as plenty of sparrows and a stray goldfinch or two who drop in to rest on a favorite tall branch. Exotic birds and pet birds will catch my eye, but my true love is simply observing whichever wildbirds are near me. Hummingbirds at my mom's feeders, sandhill cranes in the fields near my parents' home, blue jays in the tall trees along the ditch at the back of our yard, hawks on light poles, and even turkey vultures resting on a neighbor's split rail type fence. . . those are my delights. Just like the squiggly tree, their adornments seem subtle but fascinating.
Hmmm. I'm not sure how that all ties in with the moon, although Luna is the retiring and shy counterpart to the blazing sun if you think about it.
Anyway, just a little rambling to go wiggle its way into your brain, just like the squiggly branches are always wiggling their way into mine!
Have an awe-inspiring Friday!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Who was lain to rest here? Pauper or prince? Does it matter now?
Memories upheld, bolstered by more memories.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Pondering these locks and their rustiness, I make the leap to pondering all the things we lock up inside our heads, hoping the locks rust shut, hoping the concrete doors are too heavy to heave with our shoulders. Obviously, that sort of pondering could get very dark, very quickly... but that's not exactly where I'm going with this train of thought. I'm thinking in terms of the parts of us that could be good, except we're too afraid of them to let them come into the light of day.
I think so.
I know so.
We don't have to tell each other about all of those potentials, but when we do, we often find success is not as improbable as we think. Amazingly, the people who know and love us are often able to see straight through our concrete doors, with no need to pick the lock. What we think we have secured so well is not as hidden as we'd like to believe.
It seems that with all this talk of "concrete," I should give you a concrete example of something locked up in my head, instead of dancing around abstracts, right? Well, I'm not so sure I can really do it. There are great potentials hidden in me, just like there are in you, that will never even peek through a crack in the door because I am scared to throw myself into life without a safety net. From what I have seen in other people, though, the better you are at throwing yourself into the abyss without worrying about where you'll land, the more you can achieve in life.
And because I know that is true, I tell you about one potential (and it's conjoined fear) that lurks in my head, waiting for me to get the courage to unlock it. It's about writing. Gaaaaaaaawd, I love words, always have and always will. I remember writing Composition 101 essays at the breakfast table in college (this was long before assignments were ever expected to be anything but handwritten). . . my comp class was an 8 or 8:30 a.m. one. The inspiration would hide from me all night, and then finally make a splendid leap onto the paper in the morning. Higher classes required longer papers and more preparation, of course, but it was basically the same story. Once I found the inspiration, the words flowed well. Nowadays, I write Facebook status lines, and sometimes they are eloquent little blurbs and descriptions (and sometimes not). I write short blog entries like this one. When the flow hits me, I love it! It's why I write again (and again and again and again) in hopes of finding it one more time. So, that's the potential.
Here's the fear: exactly what do you make of writing like that? how do I ever turn it into a book? is there anywhere to take it, when it's basically limited to short venues? there are tons of inspirational writers, why aspire to be one more? how do I ever make an essay into something more than an essay? is there any point to it?
And that's where I am on that particular monster lurking in my head. Funny thing is, at least one of you has seen it without having a key to the rusted lock! I am so grateful for that, and I intend to pass along the kindness as often as I can. Writing this is one way. At least I hope it speaks to someone somewhere along the line and encourages them to let us see what's locked up inside their head. Chances are, we've already seen it in you and can't wait for the opportunity to cheer you on toward your dreams!
UNLOCK YOUR DREAMS!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
So, what you see is what you get for photos of this thunderbird right now. That doesn't mean we can't talk (make that "whisper" and "tap the keyboard a little less noisily") about it right now, though! Technically speaking, this bead was melted out of dark ivory and coral colors of glass. That thunderbird design was done with thin stringers of coral glass. Gravity helped me with the contours of the bead itself, playing and pulling the glass around the rod as I thought of old pottery and beadwork.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
This is Charlie. My parents and little brother are on his staff. Mother is his hot food chef and belly rubber. Bubby is his crunchy food chef and play/battle friend. Pop is not his chef, nor his servant, but he is probably Chief of Staff in Charlie's mind. Pop, the man who never cared much for cats until now, is Charlie's cat whisperer extraordinaire. Charlie follows him to the shop. Charlie winds around his feet and legs. Charlie meows at him. Charlie watches him. Charlie apparently hangs on every whisper from Stanley. . . and I get the feeling they both like it that way.
Ever since Charlie arrived and finally warmed up to his humans, Bubby has been calling Pop "The Cat Whisperer." Well, of course, Kate and James have heard this term before now, but I don't think they realized they'd ever met one in person until Granddaddy started being one. Watching Animal Planet's "Cats 101" is one thing, being a real life cat whisperer is another, you know.
They've been discussing it, too. Katie came to me with a sad face yesterday and told me about their conversation:
K: I'm going to be an animal whisperer when I grow up.
J: You can't do that. Those people don't make any money. You'll be a hobo, and I'll have to tell all my friends, "Yeah, my sister is a hobo."
Can we insert a virtual eye roll here? I sure hope her knowledge of self rubs off on him, his knowledge of practicality rubs off on her, and they both end up somewhere comfortably in the middle!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Angie, Angie, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
I'll tell ya how my garden grows. The weeds grow quickly, and the grass crabs it's way across the short rows that aren't easily tilled. Oh, you meant the vegetables? So far, so good, as far as there have been any results. Three, 1-2-3, count them, of the many cherry tomatoes have ripened. I hope they don't all decide to turn pretty red this weekend while the kids and I are gone, because the hubby won't give them a second thought. The stalks of the sweet corn are tasseled out, and you can see two or three ears silked out on each one. The potatoes are growing like Godzilla hybrids of some strange sort, but I haven't gotten up the nerve to dig down under a hill and see what actual progress is being made. The lettuce is supposed to be a summer hybrid that can withstand heat, and it does look pretty. . . pretty lonely, that is. I'm pretty much the only one who'll eat a green salad, so I keep forgetting to grab some lettuce at the right time. What else is there? Oh, yes, green beans are growing and growing and growing. I staked some of them early on, forgetting to check the description on the seed packet. These are bush plants, not vining ones. Of course, I still like the look of the twig teepees standing uselessly over them, so those remain. Toss in a few bell peppers that I hope make it to the ripe red stage, some cabbage that may or may not finally make full heads so late, and an assortment of regular size tomatoes, and that's it.
The good news is that part of the garden is going to have to go soon in order to make way for the driveway to the new pole building. HOORAY! I'll give up that southwest corner, no problem. I'll just till a little farther north and east next spring. . . that is if I have any gardening inclinations left once I have my torch set up in the corner of the new shed. Goodgawdglass, here I come. . . it'll be August before the building is done, and who knows how long after that before it has electricity and I have walls enclosing my section at the end, but IT'S IN SIGHT :-) Yeah, who gives a rip about the poor garden anymore, huh? Heehee, I guess I do, I really do because I'm waiting for lots of corn and tomatoes. I'm just happy as snot about the reason I'm going to have to change the garden boundaries!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Well, it's Wednesday, and it's summertime. You know what that means, don't you? Gotta be a girls' ball game going on somewhere! Our kids joined teams for the first time this year, and it's been fun watching them play.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The world is a sacred vessel.
It should not be meddled with.
It should not be owned.
If you try to meddle with it, you will ruin it.
If you try to own it, you will lose it.
Damn! Been upstaged by a translation of something an ancient Chinese dude said thousands of years ago. Ha! Humbling, isn't it? You can't see me, but I am smiling as I write these sentences.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
That's tough stuff, that hard tack. You can find an official Army memo about it here. Did you read the ingredients? Four cups flour, four teaspoons salt, and about two cups water are mixed and baked in an oven. "The fresh crackers are easily broken but as they dry, they harden and assume the consistentency of fired brick." I think the sample I received had reached that kiln brick stage.
Memorial Day morning, I cracked my hard tack (no gun butts involved) and put it in my coffee cup. I indulged in my usual sugar, even though I imagine sugar in a soldier's pack after so many days and years at war would not have been likely.
As I poured my one cup of coffee for the morning into the hard tack and sugar, I had a very mundane thought-- this stuff is going to absolutely ruin my coffee because it's going to dissolve and turn the whole thing into a starchy mush. I quickly sipped what I could, hoping to avoid any globs of hard tack, hoping that didn't make my Memorial Day tribute too trivial. You know what? The hard tack stayed hard. I caught a crumb or two, but they were more like grit than mush. For once, though, I didn't finish my morning coffee. Figuring that wasn't in the spirit of my experiment, I poured the leftovers into a travel cup and took it with me to town, just in case I got the urge to cheat and get a hard tack free cup of espresso while I was at the bookstore.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
That's "N," as in "naked." That's "H," as in "headless." That's "B," as in "Barbie doll."
She lives in our backyard, you know. The furlines greet her every time she lands someplace different around her tree home, and this has caught my attention. It seems to me that I have to pick up the N.H.B. and move her every single time I mow the yard. I always perch her somewhere on the half dead tree that needs to be cut down (except that I can't bear to bring up the subject to the bill payer in the house because that squiggly tree has so much personality, as well as so many bird homes in its branches). The next thing you know, she's back in the grass, risking her plastic limbs in order to instigate more cat investigations.
I am beginning to wonder if she's alive.
Yeah, I said that. Me, the scientifically oriented skeptic of all things supernatural, I just suggested the N.H.B. might be a phenomenon worthy of a Scooby Doo episode. Well, I'm not sure the Mystery Gang would find the requisite sinister culprit and plot, but I do think the N.H.B. would entertain such an inquisitive group of youngens.
This leads me to the idea that I could use the N.H.B. to create a summer mystery for James and Kate to investigate. Um, great idea, but not for my two. Kate still hasn't recovered from the time I jokingly referred to the ice maker dumping sound as "the refrigerator ghost." (I thought it was funny, Ricky thought it was funny, and Katie screeched and has been spooked by it off and on ever since.)
So, dear N.H.B., you and I will continue this little game with the cats by ourselves.
P.S. to the N.H.B.-- Your head is living in a basket full of hen 'n chicks, in case you'd like to mosey over that way and really freak me out!