Friday, May 01, 2015

Resurrecting the Muse




So, here I am, creeping back, wearing my best SEG.  And you thought I'd died, or gone off exploring in the southern hemisphere, or organic farming in California, or backpacking around Europe, or teaching Eskimos to dance, or hiding out with The Little Blister in the west of Ireland, or holed up in an attic somewhere writing my masterpiece?

None of the above, as exciting as all, or any of them, would be. I'm just here, treading water, remembering to breathe and stretch regularly,  staying out of trouble, eating blueberries, stitching on the never-ending quilt of the moment, taking photographs of course, reading and not writing.

 "Aye, there's the rub."

Not writing.

 The whole idea of this blog was to write, and for a while it worked. Sometimes it was mindless blather, but once in a while it gave me the beginnings of a story. But then the negative thinking set in ---  what does the world care about the ravings of a half-mad Irish woman living in Florida? Isn't that where Americans go to die?What could she possibly have to say? There might have been a bit of laziness involved.  And one should never discount the paralyzing effect of family drama on the writing gene. My family, if nothing else, is dramatic. So, write about the drama you say? I could, but after you read it I'd have to kill you. Wouldn't want Jerry Springer to come calling. Of course I'm exaggerating, but still......

 I remember the best writing advice I read as a teenager, casting about for what to write to pen pals in France, Holland, Germany and America after the initial, sometimes disastrous, efforts to communicate in anything other than English. La plume de ma tante only gets you so far; and wo ist die Bahnhof might get you to the Bahnhof but not a helluva lot further. You don't have to write about solutions to weighty problems that the universe is holding its breath for, the advice went; you don't have to solve world hunger or the global population crisis, much as you'd like to; you don't have to personally go to Tallahassee and smack Governor Scott upside the head. You just sit down with your pen and write about what happened today, in your garden, at the grocery store, or at the library; what you heard or read there and what it made you think; how it made you laugh, how it produced a tiny "aha!" in your brain. And if the blank page still intimidates you, you write whatever comes into your head, one word after the other, hat, cat, bat, even if they make no sense. After a while the gears start turning and things start to sound, if not exactly brilliant, at least semi-coherent.

 That's the theory.  But there's a catch, simple sounding but not so simple. To implement it you have to actually drag your procrastinating nether regions to the chair in front of the computer and start pushing buttons. Now I'm good at pushing buttons, ask anyone, but not necessarily the ones that result in a piece of writing after the pushing is done. You'd be gob smacked at the multitude of ways I find to avoid sitting down with that pen, or in front of that computer, with my blinkers on. 

So, you want to write, goes the voice in my head.
Yes, you know I do.
Well then, pour a cup of coffee, sit down in front of the computer --- and start!
I will, but first.....
 .......I have to make the bed (heaven forbid the queen of England should stop in for a spot of tea and glimpse this mess through the living room door.)
........And I really should go to the grocery store, the cupboard is bare and the dog is hungry.
 What dog? says the voice, astounded.
Why are you annoying me with logic? I ask. Logic has no place in this argument.
........Oh, and would you look at that dust. You could grow spuds in that...my mother-in-law, rest her dear departed soul, must be spinning in her grave.....
........And I almost forgot about that button that fell out six months ago. It's imperative that I sew it back on  right now.
Sounds like a bunch of wishy-washy excuses to me, says the voice huffily, like you really don't want to write.
Oh but I do! I do! It's just that blah, blah, blah....by now that voice in my head has nodded off and the only noise in there is the sound of gentle snoring.

So, hat in hand, I'm back. I'm going to write in May.(Listen to that resolve all ye doubters!)
 In the first flush of enthusiasm I was aiming for every day. "Seriously?" I said to myself. "Might as well shoot yourself in the foot now and get it over with."  I will write every day, but a new post every day? Hardly. If I write will you read? Early days in this blog I used to tell myself I was writing for me. Ha! There's no fool like the fool who lies to himself! 

 It's always better if someone reads. 

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Princess Update


Here's the pic I was waiting for.
 Thank you Princess Mum.
Wish I'd been there.


Monday, February 02, 2015

Said the Frog to the Princess....


This little frog dropped by to say Happy Birthday to Pella Rose who turned two today and also loves pink.


Frogs don't wear pink dresses but they do feel right at home in pink azaleas.

From this...


to this....


to this....


(Help! I need more photos!)

in two short years! 

Happy Birthday Princess!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Greetings From A Lazy Blogger....



Even without a calendar we can tell when Christmas is coming. Our maple tree up front gives us fair warning by turning red, like clockwork, a few days before.




Merry Christmas to anyone who still has enough faith to still pop in here occasionally and to all my blogging friends regardless. I will mend my evil, lazy-blogger ways in the New Year!




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More Ladies, Women, Wenches and Girls....


We saw several other interesting ladies that week at the beach besides the Reading in the Waves lady.


This one was at the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum in Sarasota. As a child I always thought life in the circus must be magical. I devoured adventure stories about girls running off to join the circus. Daring tight rope walkers, trapeze artistes flying through the air without so much as a safety net to catch them, elephant trainers, beautiful horses with bareback riders, lion tamers, clowns and acrobats. What was not to love? Until I saw elephants chained at a circus in Belgium with about 5" of space to move back and forth. That took all the romance out of it. 



We came upon this smiling girl in the pouring rain on the Ringling grounds. Not sure why she has that hole in her head but it doesn't seem to be affecting her mood any more than the rain is....



Thoroughly soaked, we went from the gardens into the Ringling Art Museum where we met this demure damsel. I felt a kinship with her instantly as my hair was plastered to my head from the rain just as hers seems to be. The style was perhaps a little bit more flattering to her than it was to me...Still and all --- sisters under the skin!



And then this formidable madam hove into view and put me in mind, instantly, of schooldays and the nuns! Glad I never had to go to her office and stammer and fidget and justify my actions. Doesn't look to me as though mercy would be her strong suit.



This elegant maiden was standing on a table in a hallway  in the C'a d'Zan, a beautiful Moorish mansion on the Ringling grounds.(Standing on tables is in the forefront of my mind at the moment as I'm reading "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves." Go read it, you'll love it!)  Nobody seemed to mind her state of deshabille...and the last mentioned lady, who might have had some harsh words for her, was at a safe distance in another part of the museum.




I couldn't help wondering how long this lady spent fixing her hair and how much starch it took to keep her collar standing so elegantly out from her neck....




And this poor soul looks as though she needs a chill pill. Doesn't she look a mite tense?



My inner wild child warmed immediately to this beautiful person. She looks like she'd do all the wild and carefree things I'd probably just think about doing. She certainly doesn't look like she needs any chill pills. She could give all hers to the lady above. Wouldn't you like to know what she's thinking? I'd love to hear some guesses!



And here I give you the Biblical Judith, just after she and her maid cut off  Holofernes' head, something that unfortunately seems to be enjoying renewed popularity. Not all women back then were docile and submissive apparently. She looks awfully calm for one who has committed such a ghastly deed. I'd have been for poisoning him or pushing him off a bridge.


Meanwhile, outside in the rose garden, this coy milkmaid and her besotted swain were demurring --- would they or wouldn't they go somewhere more private where she might or might not submit to his beseeching?



And in the Dwarf Garden we came upon this grotesque female hiding in the bushes.We beat a hasty retreat!




To end on a lighter note, here is the OC catching another naked lady by surprise and I'm not even a teeny bit jealous!





Saturday, October 11, 2014

I Do Love To Read Beside The Seaside....




Walking on the beach a few weeks ago we spotted this woman in the water. 





There were other bathers all around her but she was oblivious to them all, totally focused on her book. 

I was intrigued. 

I like to read.  I've been known to do it at the beach in spite of the lure of shells and swimming. I've even been known to read in the bathtub notwithstanding the possibility that I'll fall asleep and drown the book which wouldn't win me any brownie points at the library. 

I was not, however, intrigued enough to wade out there and ask her what she was reading, but I'm still wondering.

My Guess is it was "How To Speak So Dolphins Will Really Listen." What do you think?



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I Love I-R-E-L-A-N-D!





Tickets in hand, I thought there was nothing left to worry about other than what to pack.

Wrong!

Perusal of the fine print brought me bolt upright (from a relaxed, no worries posture.) Who knew that our destination requires that one's passport be valid for six months after one's return? Realizing that one is short of that mark by two months, one began to feel faint.





 Some deep breathing was deployed to restore one's equilibrium and attempt some logical thought.

What to do? Brainwave incoming ----Google, Google, Google! 

Obtained phone number for Irish Consulate in Atlanta. Logical, right? Called said consulate. Listened dejectedly to recorded message directing me to call consulate in NY instead.

Had I really hoped, expected, a human being to pick up the phone?  Actually, yes. I'm Irish.
An eternal optimist.

Called NY. No human beings available. Leave a message.





Left a message, being careful to b-r-e-a-t-h-e so as to sound cool, calm and collected, not frantic, which is how I felt. How many weeks would it be before a Leprecaun called me back? In my mind's eye I saw a long list of phone messages from Americans eager to travel to the Auld Sod and dig around for their roots. I figured my message was # 347 in the lineup.

Pulled my thinking cap down lower over my ears, the better to hear any Plan Bs my brain might suggest.
Silence for a while, then a humming sound as an alternate plan slowly took shape. 
Back to the web site and e-mail the blighters.

I then busy myself deleting old e-mails and general in-box housekeeping, when, quick as a blink, there's a reply! Addressing me by my first name no less, and instructing me to send my address asap so they can send me the necessary application.

I'm tempted to send hugs and kisses. 
Instead I reply with the requested information, adding that, being used to the bureaucracy and the slow movement of great bodies, I'm ecstatic at their speedy response.





I'm just pushing send when the phone rings. I glance at the caller I.D. All that registers is "Consulate..."  My heart jumps into my mouth from surprise and delight as I pick up the phone.

 Charles is his name. His accent solid Irish. He sounds a little bored, like it's been a long day and he's beyond ready to go home for his dinner. He tells me they will send the application and instructions as soon as I send them my address. I'm so full of plawmawss I think it cheers him up a bit. He laughs outright when I tell him he should be grateful I'm not there in person as I'd be hugging him.

"Don't worry," he assures me, "We'll get you a fast track renewal and you'll have it in plenty of time."


I am especially impressed, since, a few years ago, I tried to renew my green card on line and was scammed out of my fee by some fly-by-night organization, sounding very official but being, in fact, a bunch of thieves. It was a tortuous tangle and a thoroughly unpleasant experience.

Have I mentioned how much I love Ireland?