I truly do believe people do this to us on a frequent basis; How else could it be possible for us to feel so low at the end of so many hard-working days? Our bosses do it. Our vendors do it. The waitresses do it. Gettin' Quizzed on happens.


We Had to Say Good-bye...

Our wonderful, beautiful, loving dog, Dood, was put-down last Saturday. We had to do it. He was so ill that he could not stop vomitting. He'd dropped 38 pounds since August and was almost unable to walk. He was just about 10 years old and had lived a wonderful life.

I will always miss Dood. He was such a happy dog and lived for being scratched, hugged, and snuggled. He made the past 9+years of our family's lives so much sweeter.

Good-Bye, Old Dood.


Riding Without Panties

When I was a kid, around 10 years old, I was a member of a Girl Scout Troop...the Tarheels...in Greensboro, N.C. One weekend, we were going on an extended bike ride together, after doing an entire unit of study on bike safety.

I was never able to really "stick it to the man" as I do now when I was a kid. I tried to find ways to be in-charge, but it was never possible, with weird parents. Also, I was pretty conscientious and never wanted to disappoint them (which is why "the man" had so much power.)

So, once in awhile, I would just go without underwear under my clothes. Yep...power. Besides, I was also never allowed to be lazy, as my children were allowed, so avoiding putting on undies was one way I could experience laziness without trouble.

However, on this particular weekend, the bike trip excitement turned when the rain began falling. It rained so hard on us as we peddled about town that I was soaked completely. I must have ridden for 10 miles in the rain with my 20 fellow Scouts. Then, after the ride was complete, I was to ride my bike home, alone, which was a few miles from where we ended the trek as a troop.

When I got home, no one was there and all of the doors and windows were locked. I was wet and cold and miserable.

So I went across the road to our neighbor's house, the Pages. Their daughter was a friend of mine, even though she was creepy and weird. They let me into the warm home and then told me to put on some of Cathy's dry clothing. I wanted to...truly...get out of the wet clothes, but Cathy insisted on being in the room with me as I changed, which was a problem, because...I wasn't wearing any panties.

I didn't want her to know. So I froze. I couldn't take off my clothes. Period. She would then know my secret.

My parents didn't arrive home for at elast 4 more hours. I sat in the Page's house, watching TV, sitting on a towel, shivering, for that entire amount of time. All because I didn't put on my underwear.


Fall, Beavers, and Homework

They are both gone, now. She is back in Colorado attending college. He is just 50 miles south, doing the same thing. When they were here, for years and years and years, the house was a maintenance nightmare. Laundry, dishes, bathrooms. Ugh. Now, the house has a new nightmarish appeal.
There are only 2 of us here and, yet, the house is a continuous disaster. Why? Well, for one, when the kids left, I felt compelled to clean out every space. That, in itself, causes disruption, as piles begin forming. Then, we decided to put in some new skylights, therefore tearing up the large entry room, which sets the tone for the rest of the house.
Next? Well, every Saturday...the ENTIRE day...seems to get eaten up with Beaver football. Going to a football game is no easy task. Walking, parking, tail-gating, sitting, watching, walking again...it's a full-day's work. So, of course, there is no time nor energy left for housework, which leaves only Sundays for getting things done.
Maybe it's because I'm older, but I don't have all of the energy I once had when my kids were little. Now, when I get home from work, I'm able to accomplish a few tasks and then I'm out like a light on the couch. We didn't get to watch TV much in the evenings when they were little, due to dinners, homework, dishes, and laundry, as well as bedtime, baths, and more!
It's a love-hate relationship, you know.


Whenever there is bleach involved...

and I'm not doing laundry, my clothing gets ruined.
Here's an example: today, while cleaning out the tube in one of my Camelback Packs, I was cautious. Yet, after walking away from the project, there is definitely a whited-out line of ridiculousness along the lower edge of my black tank top.
And, this time, a very first, I burned my tongue with straight bleach. Don't ask.


And so it begins...

Having multiple states of new beginnings is tiresome.
Reading the newspaper today, I remembered hearing a story on NPR last week about workplace production drops every 4 years during the World Cup. One man they interviewed from Brazil said something like, "The World Cup is life!"
So, this morning, I'm thinking I need a Personal World Cup; something to lift me, carry me, entertain me, and to celebrate.
I continue to add to my busy-ness: pets, plants, collections, projects, friends, activities, talents, books, music collections, pounds (had to throw that one in), and worries. However, I'd like to create a celebratory-closer so that I feel that something is "done" once in awhile. Gardens and homes are ever-transitioning works of art in my life. Nothing is done. Everything has an edge of "what's next?"
Gardens? Don't get me started.
Pets? Well, the only "done" part we experience around here is when we have to deal with a pile of poo in the yard.
Projects? None are EVER done...they just seem to reach a point of "good enough for now." Friends? Well, the day I quit making new friends will be the day I kiss everyone good-bye. Talents? I like to think I'm good at things, but I also get bored and continually extend my radius of interests and challenges. I played cello for 2 years, but I'm not a cellist (and have no desire to be). Piano? I play every single day in summer, but once school begins, I play once or twice a week, with no desire to perform. Accordion? I do enough to be a part of a group...I am a right-hand player with the occasional left-hand addition. Painting? I am an expert on spray paint. Tile work? I can pick out anything I like. Cooking? I never use recipes and cook way too well...which I can prove with my waistline. Parenting? I think it's a talent. Period. Story-telling? Absolutely. Sewing? I can make anything I want. I have 2 sewing machines and more than $2000 worth of supplies and knick-knacks, but I don't want anything, so what's the point? Knitting? I am an expert at scarves. My attempts to create cool hats was short-lived. I made 4 hats and stopped when I realized that I don't wear them...and no one else around here seems to want them.
Books? I read between 2-4 books/month...only while trying to fall asleep at night. I am currently reading I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, and am thorougly disgusted, but determined to finish. I challenge myself to read books whose titles give me hope.
Music collections? My son provides me with a continued new venue via iTunes.
Pounds? I have enough weight to create 3 French ladies.

Worries? No desire to add.
Tomorrow...I will write more about the development of my Personal World Cup.


Chicken Power

What's that? What do you want?
We shall find a way, ladies...


It's a Happy-Sad Thing, Isn't It?

Just figured out my "baby" will graduate in less tha 4 months. He will be busy all summer...then will move away to college.


As the Sun Shines in the Valley...

My fingers remain cold, slightly blue, and stiff.

No ability to write these days. Takes too long to think about more than 140 characters. Besides, if it can't be said in those few characters, it must not be important.



It makes me not like certain people I love. It makes me want to scream and run from my own home. It makes me want to pull some hair. It is so nasty.


OHSU vs. the VA

If you ever have a chance to walk across the Sky Bridge at Portland's Oregon Health and Sciences University, you'll find yourself walking into a completely different dimension. See, there's apparently a big difference, visually, between OHSU's crisp and clean appearance and that of the classic Federal Government-run VA Hospital next door. As I crossed the bridge this morning, hoping to find some fingernail polish at the VA Retail Store (my mother is awaiting surgery and I noticed her poor toenails could use a little TLC) I found myself stepping feeling classically annoyed. Old, dingy walls. Government-issued information posters. Long lines waiting at the information desk. Toothless, staggering veterans, preparing to leave with their newly polished molars. Dreary old furniture, classic nylon, filled with heavy-set Americans sitting in silence.

I realized something. I realized that there are times I am relieved I am not and never will be reliant on a government-run medical program. I'm willing to pay a significant amount of my limited income to keep myself out.


Options for a Professional Educator...

...when a 5-year old runs from you when recess is over;
1. Keep yelling his name.
2. Hunt him down like a wild oxen.
3. Pay other children 25 cents to chase and tackle him.
4. Ignore him, closing the door and pretending you don't notice he's gone.
5. Yell out, "There's a kidnapper on the loose in the neighborhood. Good luck with using the 'safety yell!'"
6. Call his mother or father at work and say, "I'm not being paid enough to deal with psychos. Can you come and get your psy...er...I mean, son?"
7. Give up and just let everyone from the entire classroom run away like wild animals...and forget about teaching, altogether...


If, Freakin', Only!

Laying back is so much better. I wasted too many years stressed out. I still occasionally waste some time on it, but if only...


Searching for Old Friends and Wishing

We've all done this, yet we hate when it creeps in! We begin wondering what happened to folks from our pasts!

Nowadays, we have options for finding folks in a way which our grandparents could neer imagine! My favorite quick search site is www.zabasearch.com

Tonight, I'm looking for a friend...but she has remarried and I DO NOT KNOW HER NEW LAST NAME! I've started to even feel a bit of desperation. I know her first name. I know what school district she used to work for. I know her husband works/manages a grocery store. I know she has 1 child of her own with this man and that he had 3 boys from a previous marriage. However, without a last name, it's almost impossible!

I'll keep trying, however, just out of ...
wait! wait! wait!
I just remembered something! I'm reaching for my old address book! YES! THERE IT IS! I have her last name...and I found it with an outdated and low-tech system!
Bye...gotta find her online!