Saturday, January 30, 2010

Beware The Full Moon!

My first moon shot.
Originally uploaded by emma lagunday
I had just finished reading an article about tonight's full moon, having noticed earlier, just as it was getting dark, that the moon looked particularly beautiful. I was interested to read that this full moon is larger than others this year will be. Something about it being at its perigee. Technical stuff. I have always thought that, when I'm feeling down, and oppressed by Life's Little Calamities, of which there have been many lately, it is helpful to go outside, in the dark, and look up at the moon and the stars. Kind of puts things in perspective.

And then my cell phone rang. I galloped through the house, trying to remember where I'd left it. In my purse, in the bedroom. It was about 8:55 p.m.

"Hello?" Breathless.

"Hey! I'm on the shuttle! Should be out in about ten minutes. Are you in the cellphone parking lot?"

"Shuttle? What shuttle?" Stupefied.

"In Tampa. At the airport!"

"But you can't be! I checked on-line and it said the flight was delayed! That you'd be arriving at 10 p.m.instead of 8:50!"

"Where are you?" Ominous.

"I'm at home...."

He didn't [couldn't] say anything. He didn't need to. I could hear the blood vessels popping over the phone.

"I'm out the door now!" Grabbing bag and keys.

Ten minutes pass. I've just turned onto the parkway. Cell phone rings.


"Don't speed! Call me when you get here." He seems to have taken some deep breaths since our last little chat. He doesn't sound quite so apoplectic.

The silvery disc of the moon is riding high, illuminating the way. I'm at the airport in under an hour. I call as instructed. No answer.

I pull into the curb behind several other cars outside Southwest. Crane my neck to see if he's sitting somewhere, waiting. Nada. Call again. Still no answer!

Where could he be? Maybe he's waiting further up. Pull out from curb, pass entry to Southwest, pull back into curb. Crane neck some more. Nothing.

Call again. No answer. Phone is down to one bar. Oh! Won't that be swell if my phone dies!

But,hark! It's ringing!


Annoyed, irate, very cranky voice wants to know where I am.

I tell annoyed, irate, very cranky voice that I am outside Southwest arrivals, where I've been for the last ten minutes, repeatedly calling a person who now has an annoyed, irate, very cranky voice, but somehow could not then answer any of my four calls!

It was a very
silent ride home. By the light of the silvery moon.
Maybe next trip he'll take the trouble to write down his flight number.....for the staff.....who are quite feeble minded.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reading Assignment

Okay boys and girls, I'll make this brief.

I can't stay today, but I have a reading assignment for you.

Toddle on over to Silfert. I'll be checking to make sure you completed the assignment. The sky fell in on me earlier this week [temporarily] and I've been feeling kind of glum, but after reading "Dogfights and Swordplay," I have a stitch in my side from laughing and the gloom has lifted.

This will get you out of the rut you might be in if you haven't ventured out of your comfort zone [reading the same old blogs]lately. Leave her a comment. No, I'm not her agent. I'm doing this as a public service.....

Don't let me down....

I'll be snooping and taking names!

Monday, January 25, 2010

"A Room Of My Own"

It's Monday morning, the sun is shining, and for now, all's right with the world. The OC is off in parts northern for the week, the Bean is back on campus, so it's just me and the cat. Purrr!

The Writers' Almanac [thank you again Thimbleanna!] this morning, mentioned that it was the birthday of Robbie Burns. I won't be having haggis for dinner, nor washing whatever I do have down with whiskey, but "My luve's like a red, red rose," will be with me all day!

It's also the birthday of Virginia Woolf who wrote, among other things, "A Room Of My Own." I haven't read it but, according to Mr. Keillor, it's an essay on women and literature. Mental note: look for it at the library. And one thought led to another, as tends to happen, and I realized I have a room of my own. Which makes me very happy. So you'd think I'd keep it in better nick!

But project piles on project, and variety being the spice of life, they're all out at the same time, so I can flit, at will, from one to another. Call me Mme.Butterfly.

It is disgraceful, and I am ashamed to be such a slob. And still a little voice in the back of my brain defends me, whispering fiercely

"But, but, butbutbut! From chaos comes creativity!"

"Yeah, right!" the prosecuting attorney says with curled lip.
"No sob stories please! What is required here is Action! Toss and fling! Like together. Organize by colour. All needles in one place, please, not here and there and everywhere. And thread? Here's a radical concept---keep all those spools on the thread organizer! Get those Christmas boxes off the floor. No stammering about being ready, early, for next Christmas. Get them gone! And those sz. 4 jeans? Left, so hopefully, by California Girl who thinks I'm some kind of magician? Let her put on a little weight to fill them out! Chop Chop!"

"Yes sir!" whimpers the defense, "but can I at least finish stitching the binding on this before I start?"

The prosecution glares, then softens.

"Oh my!" In reverent tones.

"You're actually about to finish something you only started last week?"

The defense blushes.

"Yes, this is the New Me. The 2010 model!" Demurely.

Finish what I start.

Organize the Room Of My Own.

What a radical concept.

The prosecution rests.

And I will not fall back on Mr. Burns immortal words about the best laid schemes o' mice an' men ganging aft agley! I will not consider that an option at all at all!

Friday, January 22, 2010

OC vs. Mattress Update

It's really just as well we can't see into the future. Dealing with the present is enough of a challenge! Today was the sixth day the OC woke up alive! He says it just wasn't his time to go. I say Someone Up There was looking out for him. He is a very capable driver. He also has lightning reflexes. He is strong enough, and was mad enough that night, to wrestle the Explorer off the road and away from oncoming traffic. I shudder to think what the outcome would have been had I been behind the wheel!

Whoever says you can't really know who you're dealing with on the internet doesn't know the compassionate, caring people who read this blog. I feel that you are all real friends, and I'm sure reading your comments [because he does lurk!] had a part in breaking down his cussed stubbornness! Binding, gagging, dragging or butt kicking wouldn't work to get him to the doc. After an injury a few years ago, he was helped enormously by his chiropractor. Guess who he went to see this afternoon? Of his own free will? He'll be going twice a week for the next few months. Meanwhile, he has put in a full work week at his desk, has talked to the insurance people by phone, has organized a replacement car, which is already sitting in our garage, and has managed to keep news of our little disaster from the ears of his father! Definite Superman leanings!

Thank you all for your concern, and for caring.

Note: As the Bean's GF was driving home from school a few days ago she saw another mattress, on another busy road. It was on the median, but sticking out enough onto the road to be a hazard. Are we being invaded by mattress toting aliens?

A few weeks ago, I was driving home by a back road. I'd been to the fabric/craft store and bought a ball of yarn. One ball of yarn. On sale. But, it may turn out to be a very expensive ball of yarn.....I was on a straight, lonely stretch of road, and, too late, spotted the cop car, lying in wait for me in the ditch. She executed a smart u-turn and put on all her fancy flashing lights and chased me down. So I was going a few miles over the speed limit. There wasn't another soul or vehicle in sight. A little bit disgruntled, I told her I found it remarkable that she was concentrating her law enforcement expertise on this little back road, and wondered aloud why more effort wasn't put into catching the rascals out on 19 who bowl along at 80; blythely whizz through red lights; dodge in and out of lanes with alarming speed and disregard for safety, their own or mine....She pursed her lips and drew herself up to the full stretch of her five feet and two inches, and told me that this wasn't such a deserted stretch of road as I might think. People walked their dogs out here. There were no people in sight; no other vehicles in sight; and nary a hound to be seen.

In light of Recent Events, I'm wondering if I could make a deal with the Law. I'll pay my fine if and when they find and ticket the mysterious mattress moron! Sounds fair to me. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Once Upon A Mattress"

At least he didn't wake up dead!

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.....

Saturday was a dreary, gray day. Very un-Florida like, but we did get stuff done. And, in my usual enthusiasm for new beginnings, the New Year has me determined to get the house ship shape this year......There are those who would yawn, and wink knowingly at that. Yeah, yeah. Unbelievers all.

It was a dark and rainy night. Not good weather for our usual walk, so the OC let me off the hook and went alone to visit his father. About the time he should have been getting home, the phone rang. I'd been indulging in a mad moment or two, dancing around the newly spruced up living room to the strains of Chocolat. I picked up on the third ring.


"M! Come out to 19 as fast as you can! My car's on fire!"

"What?" My brain reeled. But the word "Fire" registered. He obviously wasn't in a mood to furnish details, so I yelled for the Bean, who was buried back in his room, fortunately home for the weekend. We hurried off in his car, neither of us knowing what we would find, knowing only that it was urgent.

As soon as we turned onto the main highway we saw the flashing lights ---red and blue and yellow, flashing, dazzling, hard to miss. The Bean kept his cool while I was losing mine. He made a u-turn and we pulled up on the same side of the highway as all the commotion. Aghast, we realized the vehicle in the ditch, with fire hoses trained on it, was the OC's Explorer. One of the firemen told us he was OK, that we'd find him in the fire rescue truck.

The fire rescue guy was filling out a form, getting details of what had happened from the OC, who was, to my practiced eye, as mad as a wet hen. He has a very low tolerance for foolishness, stupidity, carelessness, both from himself and others. But he was co-operating, answering all their questions, and, amazing as it seemed,
he appeared to be unhurt.

He had been driving along in the dark and the rain. Less than a mile from the turn to our house, he moved into the right lane to be ready to turn. And suddenly, at fifty five miles an hour, there was a rolled up mattress in the middle of the road. He tried to avoid it, but it was too late. He hit it and it sent the car spinning towards the median. He didn't want to risk crossing the median and colliding with southbound traffic, so he struggled to move to the right, but had no traction on the wet road as he careened onto the shoulder. The tires dug into the soft sand but the momentum had to go somewhere and he ended up rattling around as the vehicle rolled not once, but twice. Then the fire started under the hood; and people started yelling at him to get out; told him they had called 911. He waved them away [typical!]. That's when he called home. The people who'd tried to get him out backed away as the fire got bigger; the driver's side door was jammed; but, deciding that the better part of valor might, indeed, be to get the hell out, our hero got it open with a mighty kick.

We spent several hours out there in the rain and the dark. He couldn't leave the scene of the accident until the sheriff arrived and made his report, which, when he finally arrived, he did very slowly. The OC declined to have them take him to the emergency room, claiming that he was "fine." My plan was that we'd go home, shower, get some dry clothes and then go to the ER.

But. He wouldn't go. Stubborn. As. A. Mule. I told him if he woke up dead in the morning, he needn't come crying to me.

Yesterday he worked all day. Because if he took some time off to lick his wounds, the company might just grind to a halt. And we couldn't have that. No siree.
But today two friends of mine came by and gave him a tongue lashing. And his co-workers up north told him to get himself to a doctor, and a nurse friend yelled at him to go to the ER and tell them she said he needed a CAT scan. Just to make sure he doesn't wake up dead.

So now, he still wont go to the ER because he thinks the whole ER scene is a circus. But maybe, maybe he'll go to the doctor. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, he's reliving it over and over in his head. Trying to analyse what he could have done differently. And if he could find the person who carelessly allowed a mattress to fall out of the back of his pick-up, heads would roll!

He grazed his head, the same one that, not long ago, had to be stitched up after a tumble from his bicycle. He has several mysterious bruises. His back doesn't feel great, so he will be going to see his chiropractor. And the whole experience has not improved his disposition, which wasn't exactly sunny to start with.

But you really can't blame a guy for feeling like Superman when he can walk away from something that looks like this. [Pictures taken in the cold light of next morning.]


And Ouch!

And more ouch!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Let It Glow, Let It Glow, Eventually It's Got To Go!

We never put our Christmas tree up until the week before Christmas, so, obviously, we do not haul it to the curb on St.Stephen's day. I'm always appalled when I see bare naked Christmas trees, lying dejectedly at the curb, the day after Christmas, shorn of shimmering lights and festive decorations. What's wrong with these people? Don't they know that the best week of the Christmas Season is the week that starts on Christmas Day? The pressure is off, the mad rush is over. Time to relax and enjoy family and friends, lazy mealtimes and yummy leftovers. Time to turn off the TV, get out the board games and the jigsaw puzzles, curl up with a good book, or just sit in the glow from the tree lights sipping a nice glass of wine.....

My rationale for leaving the tree up longer than most is that, when I was a child, we left the tree up until the Epiphany. Couldn't be taking it down before the Three Wise men arrived from The East, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh......The Epiphany was how many days ago? Those Wise Men have come and gone, delivered their gifts and followed their star back home through the desert. By now the Infant they came to see is probably starting to crawl.....So, yes! The tree had to go. That was my big accomplishment yesterday.

We also had some gingerbread real estate on the market,

but, since Christmas, the demand seems to have dried up, in spite of some additional enticements such as this sporty car in the gingerbread driveway...

and this pond in the gingerbread garden, fully stocked with gold fish...

No takers though, so out they went.

The OC, coming off the week from hell at work, also had a busy Saturday. While I was dismantling the tree, he was supervising the installation of a new air conditioning unit. We were both mightily pleased with ourselves and looking forward to a quiet, relaxing evening. But fate had other plans.....

Which is a tale for another day.

Meanwhile, I'm missing the soft glow of the Christmas tree lights...

Monday, January 04, 2010

A Sunday In Two Acts

When I got up yesterday, the last thing I expected to do before nightfall was attend a wedding.

A friend picked me up around noon. I had agreed to go with her to a pre-dress rehearsal of a dance/opera in which she has a small part. For moral support. Because she's nuts and couldn't believe she'd let herself be talked into it! The choreographer of the show had seen my friend teaching her Tai Chi class; one thing led to another, and before her head stopped spinning she had agreed to do some Tai Chi in the show.

I spent an interesting few hours watching how such a show goes together. The producer was a wild looking young man named Constantine who had a comically hard time pronouncing the letter "R." In what I took to be an effort to tame his wild appearance, he was formally dressed. Anything beyond shorts and a t-shirt qualifies as formal in these parts! So, slacks, an open neck shirt and a sports jacket? Definitely formal! Which was just as well, as, if he'd worn shorts and a t-shirt he might not have managed to look a day over fifteen! He had an overall gingery appearance, pale with a shock of wiry, sandy hair, eyelashes to match, and large, wobbly glasses. I wondered what kind of a figure he'd cut in high school....He was all over the place, waving his arms, playing the piano [excellently], stopping to redo some parts, tweak others, to praise, to cajole, and to scold, like an old time schoolmaster, when his charges got too talkative.

The cast was a mixture of older and younger singers, male and female. Gorgeous young women with glossy hair, presence, and massive lungs, part of the equipment necessary to sing as beautifully as they did, undoubtedly. Just as well I never pursued a career in opera then, as I am woefully under-equipped. Lovely young people, all on the threshold of their lives. Definitely made me feel my age! Was it really a lifetime ago that I was like them? Or was I ever like them? Was I always on the edges, admiring? As I am now....

I watched the dancification of tai chi, as my friend went through her portion of the performance, decked out, to her mortification, in a diaphanous, floaty wisp of a costume, with young dancers, all of generous proportions and more massive lungs, twirling and floating about her.

And then, at last, the rehearsal was over. We were starved. The choreographer directed us to a local eatery, The Lime And Coconut, which turned out to be a Florida kitsch, hole-in-the-wall place we never would have happened on without directions. All very plain and infinitely hokey. We ordered, and ate, and our conversation found its way to how we'd both met our husbands, to our wedding days and our take on them now, from the enormous distance of thirty plus years.... Then there was a bit of a stir and we gathered, by listening, that a young couple, who had been sitting at the bar, were going to be married, right there, right then, by a justice of the peace!

The justice of the peace arrived and the young couple came and sat with her at the table next to ours. A call went out for someone with a camera, and since I had mine I got up, ready to play official wedding photographer.

It was short and sweet. The bride, a lovely girl, and her young man seemed very much in love, and happy and calm about the enormous step they were about to take.

I couldn't help wondering what had brought them to this place, on the third day of the year, to get married without parents, siblings and childhood friends in attendance. Just a raggle taggle group of people who happened by the Lime and Coconut. The buzz around the tiny restaurant was that they'd been intending to have the justice marry then down by the water's edge, but since the weather yesterday was close to freezing, they were persuaded to bring it inside where they'd at least be warm. How sad will that girl's mother be when she hears her beautiful daughter got married in a hokey little eatery by the Gulf of Mexico with so little ceremony? No beautiful gown, no flowers, no music, no bridesmaids, no candles? Was it that her parents didn't approve of her young man? Or were they planning a normal wedding but got so tired of the emphasis being on the wrong things that they threw up their hands and ran off together?

The core of the five minute ceremony was the same as any fancy, extensively planned, out-of-the-ball-park expensive wedding.

"Do you, Brittany, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?"

Brittany replied "I do!"

"And do you, Andrew, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
Andrew looked into her shining eyes and responded "I do!"

They each placed a ring on the other's finger and that was it. The deed was done.

"You may kiss the bride!"

Will she later regret not having had her Dad walk her down the aisle to give her away?

Friend and I had just been discussing how little we remembered of our wedding days. Too much excitement, too much pomp and circumstance, too little opportunity to quietly reflect on the enormity of the step we were taking.....Or maybe that's the plan? To keep you from thinking about what you are about to do..... In case such thoughts might lead you to run, screaming, from the church, and not stop until you reach a little fishing village by the Gulf of Mexico, on a cold day in January, where you can gather your thoughts over a glass of beer, find a justice of the peace, and quietly, without a lot of distracting hoop-la, promise to spend the rest of your life with this person you love, and step bravely, hand in hand, into the unknown.

Brittany and Andrew have been on my mind. I think they haunted my dreams last night. I hope they'll be happy together, that life will be gentle with them. And that, thirty years from now, Brittany will look back on her wedding day with no regrets. I feel like I've stolen something that rightfully belongs to a woman I've never met: the sight of her precious daughter's happiness on her wedding day. If the tables were turned I'd be bereft. I'm glad I was there.

Congratulations and Best of Luck, Brittany and Andrew!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Hey There, Auld Aquaintances! Remember Me?

I'm not sure I can remember how to do this, but it's quiet here, eerily quiet, I have the house to myself, no more excuses. But since I am guilty of blogger friend neglect, can I buy forgiveness by showing you pictures of my excuses?

Here's excuse #1..........

Here's the Bean getting acquainted with # 1.....

Here's excuse #1 with excuses 2 and 3.......

Here are excuses 4,5 and 6.........

Here's The Bean clowning with Lily and excuses 2 and 3......

Here's Excuse #6 with excuse #7...........

Here's the OC with the UK trio, excuses 1, 7 and 5.......

And here's me with excuses #1 and #7.....

Am I forgiven? It was a busy, happy month, which would have been perfect if oldest son and his two excuses could have joined us....But let me be grateful for what we did have. I hope all of you, my bloggy friends, had a happy, peaceful time at Christmas, and that you will all prosper in this new year.