Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The end of August...

Thank God and hallelujah! This has been, by far, the hottest summer I can remember.  Today will be the 65th day of over 100F temps in our little part of the world. Many days have reached up to 11 degrees above normal. And rain? Ha! We had some in June.  We all watched the hurricane Irene coverage with envy, if you can believe.  I thought maybe I was the only one having such weird thoughts, but in talking with people at work this week, it seems there are many who confess to that now.  Not that we want any harm or damage to anyone, of course.  But you know it has to be bad when hurricane-envy sets in.

I *was* looking forward to today being the last of the triple digits. That's what our forecast was on Monday. AND they said we'd have rain through the weekend.
They lied.
Now there are no rain chances in the 7-day forecast, and at least another 3 days over 100.  That is no way to start September, and I think it's time to speak to someone in charge! (Yes, insert stamping of foot here.)

September is supposed to be when The Good Things begin to happen. September is the pre-cursor to October, for crying out loud, which is indisputably the most glorious month of the year! If we are dragging August's behaviors into September, then we are NOT proceeding into Fall at an acceptable pace.  I've already seen Halloween funlings in stores!  It made me giddy!  You can't drag Summer into this!!

I'm getting hysterical here.  Time out.
~~~

Okay. Second cup of coffee. Deep breath. (Please ignore if you think you catch a whiff of rum here.)
~~~

Oh, here, an amusement from my email this morning ~
A Thought For Today: For sleep, riches and health to be truly enjoyed, they must be interrupted. -Jean Paul Richter, writer (1763-1825) 


He makes a good point. The lack of something does increase its appreciation. Very true.  Now, if I may, I would like to suggest that I have enjoyed more than ample interruption of all three.  I guarantee you I am more than ready to truly enjoy sleep, riches and health with glorious abandon!  Commence now, please.
~~~


All the Back-To-School activity has made me feel a bit nostalgic this week.  My little one is now 19, and we don't get to partake of the hubbub anymore.  I sort of miss the building anticipation, the organized lists of supplies, the smell of new supplies (yes, I am a 'smells' person), the fun of discovering new designs for the new supplies, stocking the kitchen with snack- and lunch-friendly things, encouraging earlier bedtime in preparation, waking the little one up when I'm barely awake, readying the necessities of the day for the two of us, bodily shaking the little one to wake up, being greeted with snarls, encouraging him to hop to it, hunting down the shoe that's always missing, coaxing him to hurry with breakfast, trying to get his input on what he wants for lunch, begging and pleading and yelling at him to hurry the h*** up, ....  Whoa. Nevermind.


Happy Back-To-School Week for those still having to endure it.  I'm going to get a massage.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Finally Friday...

Whew, made it to Friday! A short day at work, then a visit to my hairoine dealer to get a fix for my chemically-dependent hair. If left to its own devices, my hair would be almost totally gray already. I say 'already' because I'm only 44 (I can admit it!), and in my mind that's just too young to be completely gray. The gray was seeping out in my 30's, and once it broke through has been like mile-a-minute kudzu vine overtaking my head. It has smothered out my natural auburn hair (*sniffle*whimper*moan*) and become a mess that takes vigilance, dedication, science, and money to control.

I know some women are fortunate enough to have beautiful, lustrously graying manes described as silver, white, platinum, pewter...and those all sound great! Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Mirren, Paula Deen, Emmylou Harris, Meryl Streep (in The Devil Wears Prada) to name a few.  But my hair is not like their sleek, silky-looking tresses.  My gray hair has wiry texture and just plain bad attitude! Without the sleekening effect of chemical tinting, it would rival Medusa's mess.  Also, these silvered beauties are all older than me, and for now my vanity just doesn't want to go there.  I'm one of those red-haired people that *loved* being a redhead. (I've read that many dislike and hate their red hair, and I just can't imagine it.)  I loved the riot of color and the chaos of waves and curls that it became!

Before the kudzu.

But I've been blessed in finding stylists that could moonlight as chemical engineers, and have been able to hide my kudzu, er, gray hair for years now with the warmth of copper, gold, and caramel.  This will have to end someday, and I'll have to accept and embrace the gray.  And if my chemists can help me make that transition gracefully, I'll be blessed.  And I'll rejoice and say, "Bring it on!  I'll take mine in polished silver, please."

Yes indeedy.  Sign me up.

When I'm 50.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Awake'ish...

Bit of a different kind of night around here last night. Our grandbebe is staying with us for a few days. (Cutie Patootie is the 3 yr old son of The Man's daughter.) Last evening we had dinner with his great-grandparents, who enjoy feeding him as much of anything and everything they can in each visit. He complained that his tummy hurt a few times, but he was running around performing for their guests, so it's sometimes hard to really gauge.  He went to bed and seemed normal enough when we got home.  Sure enough, at 1 a.m. I'm awakened by a phone call from my son (19 yr old) - which is just the right degree of nerve-rattling in itself - and he's telling me that Patootie is throwing up and he doesn't know what to do. He's calling me from his own bathroom, which is next door to our bedroom. Don't you love the communication capabilities we have now??

I robe-up and find my two big boys in the bathroom trying to help the little one clean up.  It was such a grossly adorable scene: Noah trying to get him out of icky pajamas, Alex trying to wash his face off, and Patootie crying and telling them to "stop it!"  It was just so heartwarming! Except for the vomit, of course.  The Man gets up, too, and we all set about removing the dirty bedding (I know that child's stomach is not big enough for all the grossness that came out!) from the futon (that will never recover, I'm afraid) and getting the little one back to bed. The big boys then dispersed with apparent relief.  Patootie seemed to still have a tummy ache going on, writhing and moaning every little while, so I sent The Man back to bed and stayed to keep watch.  Sure enough, an hour later, round 2; thankfully mostly-contained by the wastebasket the big boys had thoughtfully placed on the floor next to sleeping bebe.  Poor little soul!  It's been many years since I've sat with a sick little one, and it's still just as pitiful to see them go through it.  And I am still filled with wonder at the capacity in such little bodies!

While changing his clothes and cleaning his face, he suddenly stops crying and says, "I feel better. Can I just go to sleep now?"  And it was like a switch had been flipped. Down he went and right to sleep, with no more moaning or turning. The Man checked on us right after that event, and  I stayed with Patootie another hour before convincing myself that he seemed peaceful enough that I could go to bed.  Then I lay awake for what felt like forever, listening for any sounds from him and feeling a flashback to that guilt that we feel when there isn't any magic wand to wave over them to make them feel better.

Thankfully today is my day off.  I got up relatively early, worrying about checking on him, and thinking I might still make my massage appointment this morning. But I don't think I will.  Patootie is still sleeping peacefully, thank goodness (as is everyone else in the house), and I really hope he will feel better today.  This has been a reminder of how grateful I am that my child-rearing days are behind me!  I adore him, but I am, quite comfortably, way out of practice with the art of middle-of-the-night-nursing/laundry/vigil process!  I consider that to be one of the big perks of accomplishing 'the raising of the cubs'.

(I can also report that other than a few minutes of excitement and an extra trip outside, the dogs were able to quickly go back to sleep without any apparent signs of being traumatized; and the bratty cats couldn't be bothered to even take notice of the event.)

As I mindlessly check in on the virtual world while waiting for the coffee to work it's magic, I'm presented with a video of a news report on the Vatican's position of consideration of the possibility/probability of alien worlds and beings: http://youtu.be/0h5L7IEqBjc   I honestly do not know what my thoughts are on this at the moment.  I'm really open-minded to the possibility and wonder of a lot of things, but aliens have not really been in my radar.  (However, I will admit that I've always had the opinion that vomiting children are associated, in some way, with aliens.)  Anywho, it appears that this really is legitimately newsworthy, and linking with NASA and the government. Who knew?  I, for one, did not.  If feels a little wacky to me, so of course I now feel compelled to hunt around for more stories.  Or just have more coffee.  We'll see.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

...Wine or Tea?

By the time we got home it seemed foolish to start in on the wine, but I can tell you that tea just isn't cutting it this evening.

Pondering the earthquakes in Colorado and Virginia, with 24 hours of each other, as well as the growing hurricane Irene and the devastating droughts in Texas.  Are we almost to the Apocalypse?  Has our country screwed itself up so bad (via our government) that it's going to just be imploded by Mother Nature?  Hmmm...

I will say that there has been some amusing propaganda generated by the earthquakes:

     One of my favorites was the first pic to show the devastation that resulted:


     Another was the headline, "The shaking was felt on the Martha's Vineyard golf course as Obama was just starting a round." Well, good heavens! (I would certainly hate to think that anything would disrupt his vacation. If so, he may start to wonder that he might possibly should have considered NOT going when his would-be constituency are in distress.)

     And one more, a PSA:  Text "Sorry you spilled your chai latte" to 90999 to donate $1 to the victims of the U.S. East Coast earthquake.

Yes, it is often the little things that amuse me. Little and snarky.

It has to be a sign of desperation that so many people here are having the thought that we would sure like to see some hurricane action ourselves.  We don't want any harm to any people or property, of course...just some pressure to break up our own terrible weather pattern.

So, will wish good luck to those Irene may be heading for, and give thanks that the earthquakes haven't broken us all to hell yet.  As for the Apocalypse, well, we'll see...

May tomorrow be a better day....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Here's to Another Week...

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Monday. <ack>

Looks like it's the first day of school for many kiddos and parents out there today. From my own school days I remember the excitement of new clothes, new supplies, looking forward to seeing friends again, and new books in the classrooms. I loved to read, so any new book was exciting at first.  From my son's school days I remember the struggle to get him to wake up and get moving, the crazy traffic around school for the first few days, getting to wave at mommy-friends again, and the loads of paperwork he would bring home for me to fill out. It seemed like I had more homework in the first 2 days than he had all year!  So good thoughts for all the kiddos and parents out there today: May you all get to class and work on time, and may you help others to have an enjoyable and successful first day.

Something positive for today, hmmm....Oh, got it!  Straight from the tweet of the Dalai Lama (which in itself gives me very silly imagery in my head): "The practice of love can be expressed in one sentence: 'Do not harm others'." It doesn't get any simpler than that.

Go in peace, chickens.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

...Goodbye Sunday

Apparently I have no thoughts today.

I must have been busy doing gloriously amazing things.

Hello Sunday...

Indulging in Sunday morning tradition of sharing coffee in bed with The Man and cuddling the fabulous Holly dog. Our Zen.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

...Fais do-do

Oh, I had a doozy of a song stuck in my head today! "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road".  You can guess what I encountered on the drive to work that got this started. So, being the sharing person that I am, I put it on Facebook as soon as I got to work. I was a bit disappointed that only one person got the reference (and the desired effect of the endlessly looping ditty), but it was a looong time ago. 1972-73, as a matter of fact. Written and recorded by Mr. Loudon Wainwright III - songwriter, folk-singer, humorist, and actor. Now don't go thinking I just knew this. Curiosity got the best of me after several hours of the chorus in my head, which was the only part of the song I could remember, so I had to look it up this evening. I began wondering if there was any more to the song than that, as it seems a pretty silly topic. But, no. It was just a novelty song about the smell of dead skunk. And as weird as that may be, it also made me smile with recollection.  I remember the song playing on the radio, and I can remember singing it and laughing with my mother. And then any time we'd smell a skunk while driving, we would start singing. Pure silliness, from the long-dormant memory of a 5 year old.  So thank you, Mr. Dead Skunk. Your stink made me smile.

We saw the 'Glee' 3D Concert Movie today. Yes, I'm a Gleek. Even more so now than I was before the movie. It was Fantastic!! Not just because it is the Glee characters and songs that we love, but because of the stories related between the songs that show how the characters have influenced the lives of a handful of teens. It was truly inspirational, in my opinion. Or maybe I'm just a big ol' sap.  But the beauty of Glee is that it's not about celebrating the A-list teens. It's about embracing who you are, popular or not, and celebrating yourself.  And with the show's rise in popularity, this way of thinking has really affected the lives of real people. Kids (and let's be real, adults too) have identified with the characters, overcome challenges and fears, and have gained confidence and joy in their lives. And the movie shows this. I think that's a beautiful thing.  It's a shame the movie hasn't been more successful. I think many people didn't really know what it had to offer.  I certainly didn't know it would be the uplifting fun that it was.  Or maybe some people were put off by critics that underrated it because it didn't offer a lot of backstage hangouts with the cast. Meh. I think it was excellent the way it was. The songs were very well done, as they always are on the show, but with even more energy and enthusiasm. It really is impressive to realize how truly talented these kids are. That's what makes it so enjoyable to me. Not the silly relationships between the characters, but the characters themselves and the talents they share. And can you imagine what a trip this all must be for these kids?  They went from relative obscurity to rock-star status. From being part of a hit TV series, to now having a real concert tour around the world. All the while inspiring others. I danced in my seat. I laughed. And I was verklempt. All at the same time. It was wonderful!

Geez, who knew I had a Glee soap-box?  Actually, I guess it's just my Underdog soap-box. But I have one more thing to say about the movie:  Thank Glee I have much better songs looping in my head now!!!

I'm digging this random thought journaling much more than a gratitude journal.

Hell continues: High Temp Today = 107F; Heat Index = Inferno.  We complain because we are uncomfortable. And because the electric bills are so high.  But the big downer is that there are people in the state losing their livelihoods. Farms that are burned up, and ranchers having to just sell off herds because there is nothing to feed them. There are no politicians or big business to rant about for this. There's just helpless waiting. And a 7-day forecast looking just like today.

But to end on a good note... My favorite late night smells:  #1.  Earl Gray Tea. It smells like peace and calm in a teabag. How I lived without experiencing this for more than 40 years is just beyond me!  #2.  Wildflower Honey.  Oh, you lovely bee geniuses!  #1 + #2 = Om.

Fais do-do. Go to sleep.
Yes, cajun dances are known as fais do-do...because that's what they used to tell the children so that they could get on with dancing once the little ones were abed. Interesting, no?

Bon jour...

Kitty-Mania erupts in my bed every morning between 4:30-4:45.  They're silent as ninjas, I'll give them that, but they feel like flailing Sumo wrestlers on top of me. Who can sleep with that going on?? The Man, that's who. Totally oblivious. Lucky bastard.  Anyway, this nonsense is almost always started by the aforementioned bratty-cat supreme, Zumi.  He gets up from his place at my side, where he cuddles peacefully all night, stands on top of my legs, and proceeds to gently smacking on little Nom-Nom. I think it's his I'm-The-King moment. He lets her sleep in his (our) bed all night, as long as she stays out of His Zone, until that time that he must wake her with kitty domestic violence. And then they slap and kick and roll and body slam each other quite gloriously until I intervene.  It's kind of annoying, but also really funny and cute, so it's hard to be mad at them. When they wrestle any other time there is much caterwauling and usually some drama, but not at The Awakening. They're Sumo Ninjas. Sumo Ninja Ingrates.

My favorite early morning smells:  #1. Really good coffee brewing. Current house choice is Cafe Du Monde's Coffee and Chicory from, of course, Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. Maybe I can't bodily go there right now, but my mind spends a good bit of its time there. (My mind is always going somewhere!)  #2. Turbinado sugar.  I love sugar, and Turbinado raw sugar is the richest, made by only partially refining the sugar cane. Imperial Sugar has the best one I've tried. It's dense and oh-so-slightly moist still, and the fragrance is dark and thick and rich and a bit reminiscent of molasses, but without the harshness. If you're discerning enough to not drink peasant-coffee, you'll love what Turbinado does to your brew.

There has to be a better way of dealing with all this hair than having to spend so much time blow-drying in the morning. I have other things I'd rather be doing, thank you. I love my hair. But I don't want to have to 'do' it.

I dislike having to work on Saturday mornings. Dislike is too mild. Yes, I'm grateful to have a job (don't get me started on the lack of available jobs), but I really hate going to work on Saturday morning. If I had a telecommuting job I wouldn't mind (and oh, how I wish I did!). So there's my bit of negativity for the morning.  Well, that and the hair.

So, to not end the morning's thoughts on negativity (which is bad juju for the day): Let's go out into the world today and not be mean to each other. Mean sucks.  Being snarky is okay, but don't be mean.

Off I go...

Friday, August 19, 2011

...Lights Out

This life-sucking heat is just so defeating. Running a few early afternoon errands rendered me totally useless. We hide out in our bedroom in the late afternoon because it's the furthest from the West side of the house. Like a cave. Except it really makes me want to decorate more in there. Make it a pretty cave.

I realized today that the time spent laying in a tanning bed is a great opportunity for meditative breathing exercises. Of course this realization would come to me on the day that I cancelled my membership with the facility due to the financial affliction. Which would explain the anxiety-driven hyperventilation I'd had fun with all morning. Anywho, yes, laying in the quiet chamber of light is a great place to really breathe and focus. Yes, I know tanning is not a really healthy thing to do, but I delusion-ally reassure myself that it's not so bad because I don't do it very often. 

What is it with all the "i"-whatsits everywhere? Why on earth did Steve Jobs not copyright that? Maybe you can't copyright a single letter. I don't know. But I do know that product naming and marketing is getting i-ridiculous. Today's example: " i-Cool Menopause Relief Product "  i-Kid you not.  A few weeks ago it was a billboard for "iLasik".  Seriously?  Is that laser eye surgery by iPhone?  I'll keep my glasses, thank you!  I know, and truly do understand, that it all stems from the wild success of the actual i-Products. But for some reason it strikes me as notably wacky. Somewhat teetering on the brink of idiocracy. Or would that be iDiocracy?  I think I'm going to look forward to sharing these products as often as I find them. We'll call it the " iWTF? ".

Is there an app for that? Yes, a selection from the actual apps that do so often gleefully embrace idiocracy (my so far ultimate favorite):  "Confession. A Roman Catholic app for i Products". Yes, indeedy. Salvation via iTunes.  Because you know they have a direct line to God. (Well he's probably hanging out with Steve Jobs anyway.)

I love the movie She's Out Of My League!

Go to sleep. Tomorrow's another day...

Rise and Shine...

Why does Zumi Cat insist on waking me up to let him out of the bedroom 30 minutes to an hour before my alarm goes off?  He knows that I get up at the same time every morning. Does he really think he's going to perish in that last hour if I don't let him out Right Now???  Cats.  He's lucky he's gorgeous.

We had a power blinkage at some point in the wee hours. You would think it would be during the day when all the power is being sucked up by the 'burbs trying to stay cool, but not this time. So I'm discombobulated because little things did not come back on after the blink: the air purifier that keeps our room from being like a tomb of silence, the little light over the stove that keeps me from tripping over previously mentioned bratty cat as I stumble to the kitchen, and the timer that is set on my Beloved maker-of-coffee. Yes, I had to actually flip the switch myself and, I hope you're sitting down, WAIT for it to brew.  I know, I know.  But I'm okay.

Thank goodness my alarm is on my cell phone so it doesn't fail with power outages!  It only lets me down when my phone takes a trip to New Mexico at rising time.  Fortunately it goes to New Mexico at various times of the day, so it only left me without an alarm once.  I'm not sure what it does when it goes there, but I'm almost jealous that it travels out of our time zone far more than I ever have.  Except that it just goes to New Mexico.  That one is pretty far down on my We-Have-To-Go-To-There list.

On that note, I can't wait til the current financial affliction is over so that I can get an iPhone. I'm pretty sure I'm the last person without one. My boss, who can barely comprehend text and email, has one. Hordes of small children have them! Anyway, I can't wait to have my own iPhone so I can get the groovy apps for enlightenment, such as Yoga, and Shiva Nata ( http://shivanata.com/ ).  Isn't that awesome?  Yeah, I'll be one of the cool kids.

Are jellyfish thinking anything???

Thursday, August 18, 2011

...and Good Night


 Today I was kissed by a Dachshund puppy, a now-adult Golden Retriever that I first met as a puppy, a kitty that was the white version of my black Zumi (oh, how I would love to have them both!), and a beautifully enthusiastic young German Shepherd girl. These moments are the best part of my job.

What is up with the change of meaning for the term "Flash Mob"?  It was the term used to describe the seemingly-spontaneous outbreaks of choreographed dancing by mobs of people in celebration of any number of things. Now the news is full of stories of "Flash Mobs" that are nothing more than violent looting attacks by larcenous dregs of society with entitlement issues. Who felt that it was a good idea to use the same term to label two radically different groups of people??? They couldn't come up with anything else...anything...to describe the recent looters?  Did they try out "Sorry POS Thugs" first? What about "Worthless Scum Movement"?   Come on, I'm sure there is a plethora of descriptors that would be better suited than simply hijacking the already publicly-recognized name for a group of people who devote THEIR free time to celebrating moments and sharing joy with dance.

I'm quite certain that my soul is from County Clare:   The Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, the Poulnabrone Dolmen.  Cumha I ndiaidh an bhaile a bheith ort...

Tomorrow is Friday. A short work day. This is good. Tonight I wish to dream of Fall. And Ireland. And puppies. Goodnight, chickens.

Good Morning...

I'm in love with my coffee maker. We've been together for many years now, but the passion is still strong. And how could it not be? I give it less than 2 minutes of attention at night, and it makes for me fresh, hot, delicious java before I even make it into the kitchen each morning. If it could bring it to me in bed on my days off, I might just marry it. (kidding...I'm not one of *those* people!)

No more watching news, especially political discussion news programs, before bed at night. I do not need all of those people in my head in the dark!

WHAT is with the "hook-up" followers on Twitter?  Does anyone really think these are real hot-babes that are going to make all their dreams come true? It's not my deal to judge, I suppose, but eww...could you do me the favor of not following me? You're making the place smell bad. 

Per our weather man this morning: "Day #52. Today we tie 1954 for 3rd place. Highs of 106 today...107 Friday, 105 Sat, 103 Sun, Mon & Tue. If we're lucky...only 100 Wed!"
If this isn't Hell, we're definitely the neighbor next door!

Per the Dalai Lama:  "Moral ethics are the basis of world peace."  *sigh*  That's why world peace has become a fairy tale.