Friday, August 31, 2007
FtTP - Blue Man Group + Dave Matthews
Thursday, August 30, 2007
From Hawkeye: "Earth Angel's mind is a false binary."
From Earth Angel: "No, Hawkeye, it's a true and concise combination of data sets and poetry."
From Hubby: "Mine is a true and concise combination of trivet sets and pottery."
From Ryan S: "That's mind bottling, [Hubby's online name]."
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Seven, eight . . . mowing's great
Nine, ten . . . paint the shed
Okay, so that's an imperfect rhyme. They're all the rage in lyrics, so I'm practicing.
As for the ditty, that's what I did this evening. Picked up sticks - we've got a gazillion oaks that like to drop branches - mowed the lawn (with the help of Hubby and Eldest Son) - and painted the shed (with Hubby's assistance, too). Shh! Don't tell anyone. We ran out of paint after painting the three public sides. The side where I chopped out the bushes and grapevines is the one that didn't get painted. Go figure.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
For what it's worth, here's my two-cents on the topic. The Catholic Church typically assigns nuns to their duties and posts. Mother Teresa worked in the slums of Calcutta, India, where she experienced the horrendous miseries of humanity. It is not clear whether the church assigned her to this position (although that is the most likely scenario), or she chose it herself. The point is that this sort of position should never be a life-long commitment. Mother Teresa was likely suffering from clinical depression from her work. We understand that soldiers need a break from the battlefield. Why would a nun not need relief from the rigors of tending to the tremendously poor? Burn-out and post traumatic stress disorder, along with depression, are the likely result. The Catholic Church should have stepped in and ordered Mother Teresa to take a break - assigned her elsewhere for a while - whether she wanted to leave Calcutta, or not. Somehow, the fact that she stuck with her work without becoming a complete wreck shows a mental fortitude that most of us can't touch. If for no other reason than this, she should be sainted.
More Rain - Torrential Even
Monday, August 27, 2007
Go away for a day and you come back to find that I've gone away for a day. The whole family, including cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, went to Minnehaha Falls yesterday. We were celebrating the grandparents' wedding anniversary. Seems they used to do some courtin' around about these falls. You know, back in the day. (Back in the day when a body could walk behind the falls, according to Grandpa.)
We brought a picnic lunch and had a fabulous day. Perfect weather and all that. I was smart (for once) and brought the camera. Between the children and I, we took over 100 pictures. What you see above is three of them. The top one, taken by moi, is of the falls from a nice three-quarters angle. The bottom two, taken by Daughter, is of the statue of Hiawatha (he's the guy) and Minnehaha. I knew nothing of the story of these two, other than there was a poem called "The Song of Hiawatha." My sister-in-law told me that they had to memorize this Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem in school. Hubby and I missed out, but the whole thing is online. One portion of it talks about Hiawatha wooing Minnehaha. The statue is an illustration of this section:
- Pleasant was the journey homeward,
- Through interminable forests,
- Over meadow, over mountain,
- Over river, hill, and hollow.
- Short it seemed to Hiawatha,
- Though they journeyed very slowly,
- Though his pace he checked and slackened
- To the steps of Laughing Water.
- Over wide and rushing rivers
- In his arms he bore the maiden;
- Light he thought her as a feather,
- As the plume upon his head-gear;
- Cleared the tangled pathway for her,
- Bent aside the swaying branches,
- Made at night a lodge of branches,
- And a bed with boughs of hemlock,
- And a fire before the doorway
- With the dry cones of the pine-tree.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The Birds Are Repurposing Our Crap
Check out this nest I found while removing brush from beside our shed. Don't worry. There were no eggs in it. As you can see, the birds that made this nest have woven in quite a bit of plastic. I'd say about half the material here is human garbage. Does the plastic keep the nest dryer? Do you think the birds know it?
Bifurcated weasel. Yes sir, this was what was going through my head as I bush-whacked my way through the brush and grape vines beside our shed. Normally I'm not a bush-whacking sort of gal, but there was a purpose behind this willful destruction of nature. I have to paint the shed. We (Hubby and I) built it years ago, but ran out of steam before the painting part.
There's nothing like hard physical labor to get you high on endorphins. It's good at emptying the mind of useless chatter, too, except for that bifurcated weasel thing. Don't know where that came from, but there it was, cycling through my head as I removed what felt like a small forest.
The exhibit photos above, in case you can't tell, are the Shed Before, Shed After, and Giant Pile of Removed Brush. No painting done, though. The brush was enough for one day.
Friday, August 24, 2007
The trouble seems to be that visual artists (not including photographers) aren't making a splash of themselves, either promoting themselves in bold ways or in having others promote them in bold ways. The artists are out there; we're just not hearing about them. You know, writers have poet laureates to bring attention to writers on a state or national level. Why have we no painter laureates, or digital art laureates?
Can you think of any currently-producing visual artist that has become a household name?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
What Happened to Art Movements?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
My husband. He got an 'A' and and 'A+' for grades for his second half of summer session. The 'A' would've been and 'A+' too, except his professor didn't know she could give that for a grade. That professor, who's been a huge supporter of Erik in his return to college, officially got her doctorate today. Hubby went to her dissertation defense today and she passed. Yippee for her! Yippee for Hubby!
Hubby and I went shopping all day yesterday with Hubby's parents. Shopping takes a lot of thinking and a lot of walking. It's exhausting. Hubby's parents treated us to outfits for our upcoming trip to Atlanta. Aren't they sweet? Hubby looks fabulous in a suit, even though he isn't used to one and doesn't think so. (Trust me, he is stunning, knock-your-socks-off gorgeous. I don't think I'm biased on this in the least.) I got a couple of cute dresses and two smart, splashy jackets to go with them - all from Coldwater Creek. My biggest sticking point is shoes. I think I'm going to end up taking three pairs - THREE PAIRS! - with me on the trip. Good heavens, that's a lot of shoes for one trip. I'd like to get by with two, but I have to have the right combination of color, style, and comfort for the particular outfits. (Listen to me! Kvetching about fashion! Something strange is going on. I never kvetch about fashion.)
In other news, the children are getting ready to go back to school soon. Eldest Son finished his summer job last Friday. We went out to eat to celebrate. Daughter is back to practicing flute and readjusting her bedtime. She and Eldest get their schedules tomorrow. Youngest Son is probably not too keen on going back, but that's because he's never quite fit the system. We have to nurse him through it. He's still not happy that he no longer has recess now that he's in middle school. He has quite the cadre of friends and recess was their time to pal around.
I'd like to welcome Joanne of Poppy Seed Heart back to the blogosphere. She has posted a most thorough description of her baby's birth experience. So heart-warming.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Saving Fish from Drowning
P.S. The title of the book is from a small parable that appears after the copyright page.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Okay, now that the weather is out of the way . . . .
For most of my life I've been concerned about my voice, specifically my singing voice. A couple of negative experiences while growing up have caused me to doubt the sound of my singing voice. I'm pretty sure it's crap and I won't sing in front of anyone (except babies, and periodically my kids and husband) because I'm afraid of how my voice will be received. Frankly, I don't need any more knocks where this subject is concerned. As a young adult, I wouldn't even sing alone. I sing alone now all the time (especially in the car), so I've improved on that account. Obviously God isn't offended or I would've been struck dead by now. (Don't you love how non-judgmental God is? Not like us crazy humans.) In comparison, I've had no trouble accepting my speaking voice. I used to be in speech, the competitive kind, in middle school and I placed pretty well. Also, there was no cringing going on when I spoke, so I never developed a complex about it.
Ironically, when I really started writing, I discovered that writers were very concerned about voice in their work. I was too. How do you create a distinctive writing voice such that others know your work upon reading it? My writing voice has become pretty clear over the years. With that, I've branched into attempting other sorts of effects with my writing. I've tried writing about myself in third-person, which is a kick. I've tried poetry and humor. I've tried using fiction techniques (storytelling and description) in nonfiction. I've invented new words. One thing I'm still working on is how to use words in a musical way. How to write as though the words can be sung.
Having not been encouraged to be musical while growing up, the whole music thing is foreign to me. Well, not completely foreign, but it's not second nature. (I had a family full of crazy artists, not musicians, so art was encouraged up to my eyeballs, which leaves me grateful beyond belief.) So then, I've been puzzling about how to pair music with lyrics. (One of my writers group buddies thinks I'm over-thinking this, and he's probably right.)
My husband is a musical genius, although he won't agree with me on this. He has dabbled with guitar since he was a teenager and can pick out many songs by ear. He can also compose amazing riffs and hooks on guitar. He does this as a hobby, as relaxation, so it can take him a long time to develop a song. He's been working on one for the past few months, refining and adding to it, and I've been listening to him play wondering how to write lyrics for the song. It's catchy and very pretty, sounding like a love song of sorts, but with a hint of longing. As I was listening yesterday, suddenly the words "emerald heart" came into my head, followed by several other lines as the chorus. I was blown away. Holy cow! My first lyrics to an actual song! Whoop! Whoop!
(Okay, maybe not my first. I made up a song I'd sing to Youngest Son when he was a baby. I'd hold him up facing the mirror after his bath and sing something with the words bouncing, baby, boy, bubbles, and bath, but, Lord help me, I can't for the life of me remember the thing. I also once wrote a song - music and lyrics - while dreaming, but it was gone when I woke.)
I'm so excited! My first lyrics that I've written down and remember. Now I've just got to get beyond one stanza.
Friday, August 17, 2007
The Universe Is Taunting Me
The Universe is taunting me. I've decided I want to work with the Dave Matthews Band (DMB) on a project. How's that for ambitious? And practically impossible? So, of course, that's what I want to do. I, who never goes anywhere, went to
It gets better. Hubby and I are going to
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The IT Seduction
In any case, due to the two evening events, I was simply too tired to blog. What's poopy about this is that I miss blogging, and ache to get back to it. Mind you, I've only been blogging for about a year. My evening computer routine goes something like this: When I can find a free computer (which is quite difficult in this household - two computers + a gamer + a college student + an IMing daughter + a Young Son who checks out YouTube = when does Mom get to blog?), I jump on and first check my emails and respond to those needing responses. I have several accounts to check. Then, if I have a blog post idea, I'll do that. It can take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, depending on the topic and the post length. Next I'll check the blogs I'm following in Bloglines. Sometimes I leave comments, so that eats up some time. Then I'll check email again. By the time I've done these few online tasks, two-to-three hours have flashed by. Then I'm sick of looking at a computer screen.
Whatever did I do with my time before we had high-speed internet and I had a blog? I had to think about this because I don't really do less housework and I seem to be getting plenty of creative time. I think that I'm not watching as much television in the evening. I'm not much of a couch potato anyway. Even when the TV is on, I'm always flitting around the house. I catch a bunch of my news online now, whereas I used to watch Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and the local evening news. I've also noticed that I'm going to bed later, but that could just be summer in Minnesota.
I had to secretly cheer for Neil Gaiman's productivity when he lost power due to a storm this past weekend. Without the seduction of the computer, he was able to write. Pen, paper and candlelight, anyone?
Monday, August 13, 2007
Over 1,000 Words
Sunday, August 12, 2007
All the Rage
Friday, August 10, 2007
My family scattered to the four winds.
Sounds so ominous, but it's not really. Everyone is off doing something they enjoy. I'm blogging, checking my emails, reading the various blogs I follow, getting hungry. Will feed myself shortly, so don't worry your pretty little head on my account.
I went for a walk today during a work break. My work location is very near a state park and it's simply glorious to head out for a woodland stroll and warm myself up from the chill of air conditioning. As I was making my way back, I saw a huge light, but vibrant, green caterpillar on the ground, making its way across the path. It had to be between two and three inches long and it was fat. I tried to get it to crawl up on a twig so I could get a better look, but it winced and folded in half when I touched it with the twig. Why am I telling you this? No cosmic reason. Just an observation, an interesting interaction.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Parking Lot Mayhem
Why Are We?
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
More Random Thoughts
Kevin, of Copyrightings fame, has started a blog called Bumblin' Along. He's posted a great poem by Shel Silverstein that's definitely worth a read.
I'm calling it a day. Goodnight, all.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Hubby and I rode the motorcycle out to the house of friends. It's been mighty warm here today, so I was wearing (am still wearing, in fact) a shorty, skirty shorts outfit with wide legs. Try wearing that on a motorcycle sometime. Weeeeee! Wind! I had to hold it down to keep it from going all Marilyn Monroe on me. As we were approaching our friends' house, we passed under a giant agricultural sprinkler that was hitting the road. We got a little wet, but the wind dried us off within the space of a mile. Cool.
Monday, August 06, 2007
My Queendom for a Meme
A Harmless Meme . . .
First best friend - Amy
First screen name - mosiewarner
First pet name - Edward - a black cat my sister gave me when I went off to college - I couldn't take him with me, though.
First piercing - one of my two ears - I forget which
First crush - Middle School - C.L.
First CD - Are you kidding? Let's try vinyl albums, baby. That'd be Mickey Mouse Club or Sean Cassidy. I got them around the same time.
First school - Lincoln - funny/tragic story about that - when walking to school one day, I saw a dead blackbird and felt sorry for it, so I put it in my school bag and brought it home later - my mom about died when I showed her.
First house location - We moved a lot before I was in kindergarten, so I don't remember. I was born while we were living in St. Cloud and I do have a vivid memory of a storm from when I was 6 months old.
First kiss - My darling husband
First car - My own? Volkswagon Quantum
Last time you smoked - Never, never, never! Yuck! Unless you count second-hand smoke - a couple days ago.
Last food you ate - Grapes - red ones, three of them. I didn't peel them though.
Last car ride - to grocery store and Mom's house this morning
Last movie you watched - My Big Fat Greek Wedding - required for my hubby's Sociology class
Last phone call - My mom's landlord
Last CD you listened to - Dave Matthews Band - Everyday - it's in right now, last song
Last bubble bath you took - Don't take them for fear of irritation down there
Last song you listened to - Everyday - see above for last CD
Last words you said - I say so many, I can't remember specifically - hubby and I did discuss dinner a bit ago
8 Have You Evers
Dated a best friend - absolutely! It's hubby! My bestest friend in the whoooooole world.
Been arrested - nope
Been on TV - Does local access channel count? If so, yes.
Eaten sushi - yep - a dinner treat once from my brother - mmm, mmm, good
Cheated on your b/f or g/f - nope
Been on a blind date - nope
Been out of the country - yep, if you count Canada as being out of the country
Been in love - yep - see that dated best friend entry
7 Things You Are Wearing
6 Things You've Done Today
1. Washed dishes
2. Taken Mom on errands
3. Answered several phone calls
4. Started a new blog
5. Created a banner for that blog - yeah! art projects!
6. Kissed my hubby
5 Favorite Things (not in any order)
1. My hubby
2. My three children
5. The music of Dave Matthews Band
4 People You Most Trust
1. My hubby
2. My children
3. My siblings
4. My in-laws
(Yes, I cheated. When you count them up, that's more than four.)
3 Things You Want to Do Before You Die
1. Write a book that gets made into a movie
2. Write a song
3. Work on a project with the Dave Matthews Band - because it sounds like an impossible goal
Vanilla or chocolate - chocolate
Hugs or Kisses - Yes, please
1 Person You Want to See Right Now
My hubby - I think I'll wander down to the living room and give him a kiss.
Time for tagging. You know the routine. If you've got a blog, use it. If not, use the comments. I tag O.W., A.K., Rianna, Jody, if she's reading, and Kim at Knit Whimsies. I'd tag Joanne at Poppy Seed Heart, but she's a little busy with her baby right now. We're still thinking of you, Joanne!
Sunday, August 05, 2007
A Mom's Gotta Do What a Mom's Gotta Do
I got sidetracked, waylaid by the maid that lives inside my body. Flotsam and jetsam builds up in Young Son's room until I simply can't stand it anymore. He is a collector from the word go, which doesn't help in keeping his room tidy. There's too much stuff to put in too little space - and he's got the biggest bedroom in the house. Understand that I was only going to neaten things up a bit, make sure the garbage was thrown away, sweep around the edges. Nothing too serious. Hah! Young Son's room was repainted a year or two ago, but we still hadn't hung any art on the walls. That changed today. He loves all things Asian, so we hung his giant Asian fan, several Asian calendars, his "Wisdom" brush painting picture, and his gentle orange Asian field hat. They look fabulous against the Zen Mist (light yellow-green) walls. There's another picture of brush painting in a black frame that we hung on his small red wall. Very cool.
In the middle of all the straightening and hanging, Daughter came into the room. She is keen on interior design and she thought the room might look better with the furniture rearranged. She drew up a sketchy floor plan and Young Son was agreeable, so the slight cleaning became a major moving project. By the time we were finished - well past lunchtime, according to my stomach - Young Son was amazed at the cleanliness and the space we had created. While I normally leave the kids' rooms in the care of my kids, sometimes a Mom's gotta do what a Mom's gotta do.
By the way, Young Son did help with all of this. While I may have a crazy maid living inside me, I don't have "Doormat" printed on my forehead.
Friday, August 03, 2007
My Sister, the Revolutionary
We did the dress thing and went back to my sister's house. She and her fiance (a really fabulous, kind guy) have a house in the country, where they've been moving more deeply into farming. It started with a garden and progressed to chickens and now pigs. I can't believe how much pig poop stinks. Yech! They have three pigs, Grizzly, Priscilla, and Wilbur. Grizzly has another name - W.D. It stands for Wedding Dinner. (Alright, go ahead and get all Charlotte's Web on me.) When we were finished looking over the pigs and chickens, making special note of the one-legged chicken who had accidentally stepped into a trap, we went to the garden.
I love my sister's garden. She's got a wide variety of veggies, including broccoli, spinach, carrots, peas, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, corn, lettuce, the ubiquitous zucchini, and kohlrabi. She also has berries and watermelon, and I'm probably missing some other things. Most years the garden is a riot of production and we can wander through picking what we like. It's a personal farmer's market; it's all organic and they don't water it. In the spirit of my Yard and Patio Revolutionaries post, I asked if they saved the seeds. They do and they've found that the seeds they've saved actually work better than store-bought ones. I asked if they thought the seeds had evolved to deal with their soil and growing conditions and they thought maybe so. How cool is that? My sister and her soon-to-be husband are already Yard Revolutionaries. My sister also does her own canning, which is one of those old-fashioned tasks I previously mentioned. A dying art, really, but not in my sister's household.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
We Can't Even Trust the Ground Beneath Our Feet
Hubby was on a chat forum when we first got the news and a lady from Portland, Oregon, had already heard. We were wondering how, because it was a local story. Hubby quickly checked MSNBC and CNN and both were covering the story.
Things are still being sorted out. Emergency vehicles are everywhere. There's been one confirmed death, from drowning. We still don't know, and probably won't for a while, if anyone was under the bridge.
An hour after the bridge collapse, which occurred at 6:09 p.m., the news reported that the FBI will be investigating to rule out terrorism, although after one of the newscasters read a portion of a 2006 report on the structural condition of the bridge, it is most likely that the cause of the collapse was structural damage. The bridge was having repair work done at the time, supposedly on the road deck. Hubby and I were hoping there weren't any construction workers underneath the bridge.
8: 35-8:38 p.m. - Wait . . . this just in . . . another section of the collapsed road was shown. This section had crushed a train. Also, there is a report that there were no construction workers underneath the bridge.
When a tragedy of this magnitude strikes this close to home, it's especially heart-wrenching. Our daughter was in the Twin Cities yesterday and today, but thankfully wasn't on I-35. We're sending our good wishes to all of those involved and are hoping that fatalities are minimal.
Correction (August 3, 2007): The bridge collapsed at 6:05 p.m.