Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ultra Health Blast 2011

An Essential Part of Step Two

It was only somewhat shocking that there was no confetti cannon put into immediate use when I announced to my family that on Monday, Ultra Health Blast 2011 would begin.

I supposed I can’t really blame those around me for not responding appropriately. After all, in the past I had announced the beginning of:

Health Blast 2011: A New Beginning

Mega Health Blast

Healthy Living Jamboree

Festival of Health with Power Food Boosts.

By “in the past” I mean since January of this year.

What can I say? I enjoy making theatrical announcements while wearing brand new Spandex.

I get inspired to begin dramatic new programs of health after being temporarily derailed by a migraine, dental surgery, airline travel, company, or outside temperatures below 50 degrees.

Betty, a simple creature, needs only a whiff of motivation. It could be one good dose of Dr. Oz, one issue of Prevention magazine warning of the dangers of unhealthy living, or one good look in the cruel department store mirror. I then decide to implement a whole new way of living.

Rest assured, there is a schedule, people.

First, the Alert then goes out to the general public. My resolution is made clear.

Then comes the obligatory two-day period of preparation in which I finish off the economy bag of Ruffles, clear out (via mouth) my stash of Mounds Bars hidden in my sock drawer, and drink an extraordinary amount of Diet Pepsi accompanied by a large order of fries.

(This odd reverse-cleansing process is an indispensable, albeit a mysterious, part of the psychological plan. Don’t try to understand this step. Do not question it. Just accept it as essential.)

I then go to the store and purchase large amounts of green leafy things.

Exercise? Oh, it’s always a part of the plan. That’s most likely where I get into trouble.

Now, I can walk like nobody’s business and I like doing it. No problem. I live on flat land—no hills. Walking is a breeze. My lower calf muscles are honed and ready to go.

It’s those other 716 muscles that give me problems.

A Sad but Totally True Story:

Years ago, I took a rare trip to the gym and decided that instead of just treading on the trusty treadmill, I would be like all the cool women who get on the elliptical machines. It looked easy. It looked fun. I wanted to be in the in-crowd.

I stepped on the machine between two other groovy gals and snuck a peek at their times. One had been on for 30 minutes and the other for 40 minutes. I poked around at the buttons, and started movin’ and groovin’.

I smiled to know I had joined my people. I was one of the pretty, athletic ones.

It took me about 50 seconds to realize the muscles in my upper thighs were hardening and were about to burst through the skin, popping forward and flapping around like Red Vines. I quickly calculated that at the rate I was going, it would be a mere two minutes before a momentous event that would result in a call to 911.

Ever the proud one, I rapidly decided the best, face/thigh saving plan was to pretend that I had not realized what time it was and that I was obviously late for a Very Important Appointment.

Fueled by a powerful combination of embarrassment and pain, I went into Crazed Mime Mode. First, I dramatically looked at the large clock on the wall and pretended to be shocked. Oh! How well I feigned surprise and dismay! I looked at the imaginary watch on my wrist and then popped my hand up to my open mouth! OH MY! I turned off the machine and quickly gathered up my things. For good measure, I threw in another overly-animated mime-like sigh, a head shake, a throwing up of hands and a big sad face to show just how disappointed I was at not being able to complete my exercise routine.

I am sure I fooled everyone around me.

A Shorter but Equally Sad Tale: A Teacher’s Confession

There are times in my classes at which I need to write copious notes on the whiteboard. I’ll be up there, my arm extended, writing away when I suddenly realize that the muscles in my arms refuse to keep my abnormally heavy humerus bone in the air any longer.

My brain is sending me the urgent message: Lower the arm soon or die.

Yes, I have more to write, but I must listen to my brain which now vividly registers the pain by sending me images of sharp-toothed creatures biting and gnawing on each and every tender pink strand of muscle in my arm.

It is at that point I decide a class discussion is in order. In a voice high and strained from the throbbing pain, I start repeating what I have placed on the board, and asking for feedback on it. My students, hearing my tone of voice, look concerned and somewhat alarmed. From my overall expression, they conclude this information must be much more important that they thought.

My hope is to appear to be a concerned and dedicated teacher, reinforcing what I have just written.

My secret is I am actually just a weak-armed ninny, unable to raise my arm in the air or speak normally again until the creatures relax their strong jaws.

According to many scary articles, our muscles are turning to strawberry jelly with each passing year unless we strengthen them.

Ah well, all this is about to change with Ultra Health Blast 2011.

I am motivated. After all, my children have promised me a party if I make it to 100 years of age. I intend to be one old lady who can hoist a giant tube of bright red lipstick up to smear across her nearly nonexistent lips.

So bring on the exercise. Bring on the salad. Let Ultra Health Blast 2011 begin.

(Oh, that salad looks sort of heavy. Could you just put it right down there on the table? Thanks so much.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Poetry Tuesday "March Snow" by Linda Pastan

March Snow

There is something hopeful about March,
something benevolent about the light,

and yet wherever I look snow
has fallen or is about to fall, and the cold

is so unexpected, so harsh,
that even the spider lily blooming

on the windowsill seems no more
than another promise, soon to be broken.

It is like a lover who speaks
the passionate language of fidelity, but

when you look for him, there he is
in the arms of winter.

-- Linda Pastan

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Morning Flowers!

Good Monday Morning, Betty People!

The week sits ahead like a chocolate bar waiting to be enjoyed.

Here's hoping yours is more than semi-sweet and filled with just enough nuts to make it interesting.

Many asked what the third picture in my last post was. Those are Bott's dots--the raised dots usually found on freeways to mark lanes. These particular dots were in the driveway to a housing development. Looks like they had plenty of dots to work with!

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm ... As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

--Audrey Hepburn

Hope you all have great weeks!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Circles

Hope you are all having great Saturdays!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lessons Given, Lessons Learned

Every time I slice open an orange, I think of my friend Raul. I was at his house about to peel an orange one day when he said, “You want me to show you a cool way to cut an orange?” I nodded and he took the knife, sliced off the ends, cut it into three equal parts, flipped it up and then cut down the middle. “See?” he said. “Now you can just eat the slices.”

He handed me the knife and watched me do it. Then we stood in the cool of the kitchen, eating orange slices and talking about life. I have not eaten an orange any other way since that day.

When I was eight years old my grandmother showed me how to make a bed. She stood across the bed and floated the sheet out my way. I caught it and listened to her instructions and watched her hands as she went through it with me step-by-step. Her voice was full of confidence in me as I fumbled with the corners.

In the last step she and I karate-chopped the comforter under the pillows, laughter erupting from both of us. She smiled at me, put her hands on her hips and said, “Now that’s the way you make a bed!”

It was my freshman year in college and I was overwhelmed. I was in the library of the university, a building bigger than my entire high school, trying to do research for a paper. In my high school the library had been a small room, with very few reference books. I had absolutely no idea how to find information in the library. (No computers, no Google, no data bases at this time, children!) I stood on the fourth floor of the library. Shelf after shelf after shelf of reference books towered above me. Then, Karla, a girl from a small town near mine appeared. She asked me what I was doing. I explained. She put down her books and showed me how to use the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature and then how to find the magazines in the library’s stacks. After about thirty minutes, I sat at one of the library’s broad tables, surrounded by riches in the form of books and magazines.

Karla nonchalantly said goodbye and disappeared, as I sat dazed and astounded. She had unlocked a golden door for me and then had given me the key.

We go through our formative years surrounded by those whose role it is to teach us. Parents, coaches, educators, tutors and trainers all set about to teach us how to operate in the world. Their role is understood and so is ours. We go to them to learn something and they teach it. It is a somewhat formal dance, set to an old music, full of rules, conventions, and obligations to one another.

However, there are also those magic moments in life when we are in the right place at the right time and someone steps forward and takes the time to teach us something new or different. The lesson can take thirty seconds or last hours; the experience can be simple and silly or life-changing. The formal role of teacher/student does not exist in these exchanges. One person offers a hand to another and the dance begins. It is an informal dance full of improvisation, a freestyle jig, a happy give-and-take of steps.

I have lost track of my friend Karla, but when I go to the library and run my eyes over the books on the shelf, I smile and think of her. Just when I needed it, she gave this small town girl a way to conquer the bigger world and to discover even larger universes.

When I make my bed and smooth over the sheets, it is my grandmother’s hands I see. I hear her voice at the end of the process “Now that’s the way to make a bed!” and I thank her for giving that shy, insecure eight year-old the time and attention she so desperately needed.

Raul is gone now. My friend died after a battle with cancer. I watched him as he battled with, and then accepted his fate with grace and dignity.

I’d like to thank him for his small gesture of friendship that has come to symbolize so much. I cup my hands around an orange and desperately wish that he could be here now, talking about life and eating oranges with me.

I know I can’t thank him now, so I do the next best thing. I watch for friends fumbling with oranges and I say, “Hey, do you want me to show you a really cool way to cut that?”

And the dance begins….

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Big Shot Betty

I think by know you've pretty much figured out that Betty is, well, sort of a visionary and a Big Shot as well. Today I pour out my maple-syrup brilliance over at the Waffle House known as Georgina Dollface's blog.

If you don't know Georgina, you should. She is a gifted doodler, writer, and just an all-around fun gal. She is currently taking a deep breath, a leap off the diving board, and making a big change in her life.

As she prepares for that transition, she's giving a few guest bloggers a chance to show their stuff on her fine blog. If you are the kind of person who is still excited by the the idea of a dinner party featuring only orange food, or if you are currently widening a doorway in order to move a wheeled trailer into your bedroom, you will enjoy the added brilliance of Betty's Guest Post.

Be one of the special, daring people who choose to make the trip over to Georgina Dollface.

Warning: Mable the cat is currently hyponotizing you into going over to read Betty's post.

Do not resist.

Resistance is futile....

Inhale the catnip and click on the link.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Poetry Tuesday:" Prayer for Our Daughters" by Mark Jarman

(Two of my sweet great-nieces.)

Prayer for Our Daughters

May they never be lonely at parties
Or wait for mail from people they haven't written
Or still in middle age ask God for favors
Or forbid their children things they were never forbidden.

May hatred be like a habit they never developed
And can't see the point of, like gambling or heavy drinking.
If they forget themselves, may it be in music
Or the kind of prayer that makes a garden of thinking.

May they enter the coming century
Like swans under a bridge into enchantment
And take with them enough of this century
To assure their grandchildren it really happened.

May they find a place to love, without nostalgia
For some place else that they can never go back to.
And may they find themselves, as we have found them,
Complete at each stage of their lives, each part they add to.

May they be themselves, long after we've stopped watching.
May they return from every kind of suffering
(Except the last, which doesn't bear repeating)
And be themselves again, both blessed and blessing.

--Mark Jarman

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Morning Flower WIth Bonus Ego Boost

Monday Morning Flowers!

Is it my imagination or are you looking more beautiful than usual?

I believe so!

These flowers pale in comparison to your loveliness.

Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he thinks about himself.
--Dale Carnegie

Thank you for all your warm wishes yesterday!

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Second to None

My boy turns 18 today!

When Evan was in second grade, HOB and I went to his parent-teacher conference and sat in front of the teacher in those plastic small chairs, smiling at each other, our chests puffed out with pride as we heard her say, "Evan is doing much better in class these days."

Finally, our little genius was starting to show that academic prowess we knew was there.

Then she said, "He's not falling out if his chair nearly as much as he used to."

Smiles frozen, our heads tilted like stunned parrots, we sat, unsure of how to react to this news. (We later found out that it had been a challenge among the second grade boys to see who could balance on one leg of their chair.)

Before Evan was born, HOB and I had been planning our world tour to share our obviously superior parenting expertise.

Then along came child number two to put things into perspective.

We had read all the parenting books. We agreed we would not compare our sons and we didn't until, oh, maybe a minute after Evan was born. Whereas Sonny Boy had come out of the womb, whimpered a bit and then looked meekly up at us, this boy came out, fists up, screaming like a tiny, irate CEO. "Wow," said HOB. "Wow," I agreed.

When second children are born into our family constellations, they understand immediately they are not the first stars there , so they set about to make sure they shine in a way that is sure to be noticed. Our spark plug of a boy certainly did. Over the years, his six trips to the emergency room, (three for broken arms) and his fractured wrist and subsequent surgery have nearly derailed his protective father. His confidence in social situations stuns and sometimes embarrasses his older brother. He is a charming and deadly debater. More than once I have emerged from a roller coaster conversation with him, confused and shaky from the ride while he sits smiling and confident.

Thank goodness for these second children who join our families mid-trip. They throw into sharp relief our old ways of thinking and being, They can be irritating, challenging, fascinating, demanding.

Most likely, they are exactly what we need in our lives.

They take us by the hand and lead us over to the other side of the observation tower to get a different view of the terrain of life. I am thankful every day for what Evan has contributed to my life.

Yesterday we went to check out another college option for Evan and he made a decision that in the fall he will go to a college that is 10 hours away from us. He is officially leaving the nest in August. Today we celebrate this child who came into our lives eighteen years ago with dinner out, a cake, and some presents and the knowledge that this may be the last birthday he is home to celebrate with us for a long time.

However, no matter where he may go, his mama will always sing Happy Birthday to him and recognize what an absolute gift I was given all those years ago when this child was placed in my arms and in my heart.

He may leave my arms, but he'll never leave my heart.

Sorry for all the mush here, Evan, and Happy Birthday, son.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Betty Goes Green

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Please note: I'll be participating the Bloggers Day of Silence to honor the victims of the recent earthquake tomorrow and to help raise awareness for the need for donations.

My blogging buddy Nicolasa has written a beautiful post about the effort and how you can help. Please visit her at My Perspective.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Betty's Brilliant Ideas

Thank you all so much for asking about my recent gum surgery. Aren't you the sweetest Blogger Buddies ever?

It went well, but I also have a bad cough right now, so it’s been an interesting combination of physical sensations. I try to ignore the taste of blood after a really big cough.

The side of my face is fairly swollen and sore and I am developing a righteous bruise too. It's very dramatic and that's the way I like it. I believe you should always have the reward of a bruise after so much discomfort--badge of courage, and all that.

Tip for your next prolonged dental visit, especially one in which skin is "harvested" from the top of your mouth and sewn on to your gum line: I have 4 sisters, 4 brother-in-laws, 13 nieces and nephews and 11 great nieces and nephews. In order to keep my mind off the scalpel, needle and thread piercing the soft pink skin of my mouth, I recite the full names of all of these family members in my head. (I would hereby like to thank my niece who had a child just in time for this particular procedure. Thanks for helping out!)

Now, you know that Betty likes to publish posts that are decently developed and dressed-up for your perusal. I rarely send out disjointed, haphazard posts dressed in wild pajamas, but I’ve been recovering from my recent surgery and cough for two days now and have had a lot of time to think about random things.

Normally, I would run these ideas past HOB and judge by the “Meter o’ Madness” looks on his face as to whether or not to unleash them upon the world. Alas, he is traveling now, though, leaving me to my own devices. And so, without adult supervision here at the ranch, I proceed to bring out the pretty ponies that have been prancing through my head lately.

Please note: I have taken nothing stronger than Advil in the last 48 hours.

It's true.

Oh yes it is.

The Choice: You can give up eating or sleeping with no ill effects. Which would you choose? Betty’s choice: I would give up eating. It’s a pain to have to eat all the time and I really enjoy sleeping.

Betty’s fabulous fund-raising idea: The theater is full of people anticipating the beginning of the play. They have about fifteen minutes to wait. For $100.00 you can send a friend up to the stage and have everyone cheer for that person. Job promotion? Wedding announcement? Birthday? $100.00 buys that person one minute of 300-500 people cheering wildly. Explain to people that it’s a fund raising effort for a school or a theater arts camp for kids. People will get pumped up! What else do they have to do? They come to the theater expecting to applaud anyway. So what if they are just acting excited and happy? It's the theater for heaven's sake.

Festival of Orange Food: A potluck in which everyone is required to bring only orange food. The table will be covered with bright green plastic grass to compliment the orange food. No other color of food would be allowed. So, what are you going to bring? Huh? Huh?

Fact: I would actually pay up to $2.00 extra per movie ticket if the theater would guarantee no previews. I pay for a 7:00 show; the show starts at 7:00. No previews. Heavenly. Let's make this happen, people.

When someone has a house with the same floor plan as yours, don't you just love to see how they've changed the house, decorated, or remodeled? In our neighborhood of 100 houses, there are approximately 20 houses that are the same floor plan as ours. I would like to form a group of these people and have dinners at the various houses. We could see what others have done with their homes and wander around in the houses, feeling as if we are in parallel universes.

Betty’s Decorating Idea: Buy this kind of trailer, put a mattress in it and make this fabulous trailer into a bed for an industrial loft or a boy’s room. Note the built-in headboard. Love it! Avoid the rush! Get yours now. Fast and easy delivery too!

Believe me, there are more ideas in this brain, but I think I got enough out to relieve the pressure for now. It's a burden, being so brilliant, I tell you.

Thanks again for all your good wishes!

Hope you are having fabulous days!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "We Collect Gull Feathers" by Timothy Young

We Collect Gull Feathers

As the evening dies over Pepin,
we collect gull feathers, black and white ones,
and pretend they were dropped by the eagle
whose track and wing marked
the gray Mississippi sandbar.

Jesse remarked as we arrived,
"If I point at hawks they fly away,
but if I don't they stay in their trees."

The river moves heavily, south,
and the sun drops beyond the bluffs.
The air chills me.
I want to keep my fingers in my pocket,
because everything moves on here,
except that sweet pain of love that knows
he's growing up to leave me.

--Timothy Young

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday Morning Flowers!

Happy Monday Morning, My People!

Come and get some Betty Love in the form of petals and stems.

Today is the start of Spring Break for me, so what will I be doing with my time today?

A) Strutting across the beach in my thong bikini?

B) Working on my Interpretive Dance routine to the tune of "Moon River"?

C) Having gum surgery?

The answer is C.

I am not exactly looking forward to it, but I have my activities after it all planned out.

Here is the stack o' activities on my nightstand, all ready for the hours in which I am not sleeping or sucking down tapioca pudding.

Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond.

~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Farmer's Market

It's Saturday!

Let's go to the Farmer's Market in our town.

Hope you enjoy!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mail Call

Just playing with the mail and my camera....

What can I say? I am easily entertained.

Happy Fridays to all!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sock it to Me

Let’s face it: socks are to the laundry as silverware is to the dishes. They are the last ones left in the pile. They are not the glory items that connote progress such as towels, jeans, and sheets. They are small and sneaky, clinging to unsuspecting shirts, snaking around under slacks. They sit, coiled under the pile of clean laundry, hiding, deliberately separating themselves from their mates in a cruel game of hide and seek.

Chances are very high that at least one time in your life, you have had a fight/disagreement with someone in your household over the issue of socks. The likelihood of that fight/disagreement increases dramatically if you have small children.

Now, when the boys were little, I was bound and determined to do it all. I had a fairly stressful job outside the home but still I took the boys to school. I picked them up afterwards. I took them to soccer practice. I took them to scout meetings. I cooked. I cleaned. I did laundry. I helped with homework. I collapsed into bed each night and woke up to do it all again the next day.

SO when it was time to make sock purchases, I had no time to plan, analyze or study the situation. Often times, I screeched into the parking lot of some giant store, ran in, grabbed a bag o’ socks and drove home.

Over the years, I made A LOT of sock purchases because

1) Our boys did not understand that socks were not indoor/outdoor wear.

2) Our cat Zelda has an affinity for carrying socks around and hiding them in unusual places, even taking them over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. I have very vivid memory of both boys standing barefooted in the garage one morning before school, waiting, while I crawled under the van to retrieve a variety of socks that Zelda had placed there.

3) To a busy mom, new socks in a bag are one of God’s greatest gifts. They are like soft serve ice cream cones: they make everybody happy. They are inexpensive, clean, white, and beautiful and all the more special because you know they won’t last. I, like many mothers, have pulled new socks out of the bag and held them against my face, nearly in tears at the beauty of these little miracles. Clean socks. My children have new, clean, perfect socks. I. am. a. good. mother.

So we had lots of socks, and lots of different styles and brands. To me, that made sorting and folding them a bit like a game of Memory. All it took was some concentration and time, and being willing to bend the rules and go with a close match if an exact one was not possible.

Now HOB (Husband of Betty) had his own philosophy when it came to purchasing socks. (Note: he did not purchase socks for the boys; he just knew how it should be done.) It was when I asked him to help me fold the laundry that he was most likely to share his soon-to-be-patented, surefire, safe-and-sane method of sock purchasing.

With evangelistic zeal, he would launch into his sermon about how I should buy just ONE kind of sock, ONE color, ONE size, ONE brand, ONE style and that way sorting and matching them would be easy. He would stand over the pile of clean laundry late at night, preaching, shaking one sock with a red band around the top and one sock with a yellow band around the top at me so I could see the error of my ways. Meanwhile, I worked busily, concentrating on getting just enough clean clothes off the bed so I could fit in it.

Once I asked him why, if he had this system, he did not implement it. He said he most certainly would, but it would require him to throw out every sock in the house and start over.

Every sock in the house had to go. No exceptions.

“You’d never go for that, would you?” he said.

Indeed I would not. I explained to him that we had a lot of good socks and all we had to do was to spend eight minutes doing the work of matching them up. This caused the Jimmy Swaggart of socks to shake his head in disbelief at the skepticism of the nonbeliever and launch into his passionate dissertation once again.

Then one fateful night it happened.

It was time to fold the three loads of clean laundry that were on the bed. We had folded most of the big-ticket items and I noticed HOB was avoiding the socks more than usual. He left to take a stack of towels to the bathroom. I reached under the pile and brought out assorted socks and sprinkled them on top of the pile of remaining clothing. He came back and I saw him pick through the clothes, avoiding all socks—even those matching ones on the very top that were practically throwing themselves together.

Finally, all that were left were the socks and the man mysteriously disappeared. I called to him. He came back in the room. I confronted him while dramatically pointing at the giant pile of socks still left on the bed. He proclaimed that the socks were “just too much” and that since I would not follow his plan of sock purchasing, well, he just couldn’t participate in the folding of the socks anymore.

Then he left the room.


Now, it is very dangerous to refuse to help a tired, stressed-out mother with sock duty. It is even MORE dangerous to refuse to help a tired, stressed-out mother who is also a highly sensitive, writerly type of woman who has a tendency to see symbolism in even the smallest acts/items.

When I looked down at that pile of socks I did not see a pile of socks.

Instead, I saw all the small tasks that were left to me, and me alone. I saw the purchasing of birthday party gifts. I saw the writing of thank you cards. I saw permission slips for school. I saw the napkin that had been on the floor for two weeks that needed to be picked up. I saw Christmas gifts that needed to be purchased and mailed. I saw the lunches that needed to be packed. I saw the damaged banana that everyone had left for me to eat while they ate their beautiful, perfect bananas.


I called HOB back in and eagerly shared with him all of the above observations. I don't really remember too much of the text of my helpful address to him. I was seeing a lot of colors at the time and the room was sort of tilting as I moved about to make my commentary just a bit more effective. I do believe my voice may have been a bit higher and faster than usual. I remember HOB squinting when I hit a few of the more important points of my keynote address. It was as though the pitch of my voice was piercing his temples like an ice pick. Oh, also, I do remember going on about the banana for an extended period of time, perhaps longer than rhetorically necessary.

Finally I was done.

I stood, looking at him, daring him with my eyes to speak.

“So,” he said, locking his gaze onto mine. "Do you want me to deal with those socks?”

“Yes,” I said, distinctly and clearly, meeting his stare, my pupils widening.

“Do YOU (pointing at me) want me to deal with those socks?” (pointing at them).

“Yes.” I said, enunciating the word like never before.

Reminiscent of a “Wild Planet” show, we stood, our eyes locked.

"Do you want ME to deal with those socks?"


Are you sure you want me to deal with THOSE socks?”


"Because I WILL deal with those socks!"

"Good! It's about time you dealt with a few of the socks around here!"

That is when the bull moose headed for the pile of socks on the bed, scooped them up and dramatically headed for the trash can, dropping them all in.

“There!” he said, triumphantly throwing his hands in the air. “I have just dealt with the socks!”


No he didn’t.

Yes, he did.


For the sake of our marriage, we do not speak of this incident too often.

Life is easier here now that we have only one boy home. He picks out his own socks and, in typical teen boy fashion, honestly doesn’t care if his socks match or not. Occasionally, he actually does his own laundry too.

There are those times, though, when I am sorting the laundry and HOB enters the room. I see his eyes flit to the socks on the bed. I look at him and he looks at me and we give each other little smiles.

“Want me to help you deal with those socks?” he says.

“Sure,” I say.

And he actually does.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "You and I" by Jonathan Potter

You and I

You are a warm front
that moved in from the north,
a blind spot bearing beautiful gifts,
a garden in the air, a golden filament
inscribed with the name of God's hunting dog,
a magic heirloom mistaken for a feather duster,
a fountain in a cow pasture, an anachronistic anagram
annoyed by anonymity, a dollar in the pocket
of a winter coat in summer.

And I am the discoverer of you.

--Jonathan Potter

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Morning Flowers!

Happy Monday Morning!

Hope these blooms bring a smile to your face!

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.

--Mark Twain

This is certainly true here! How's the weather where you live?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What I'm Doing This Weekend

It's that time of the semester...

I left these on my desk at school for about a week with a note on the top that said "Grade!"

Every morning I returned and nothing had happened.

Apparently the Magic Grading Fairies are off duty.

75 essays this weekend. 62 more coming in on Monday and Tuesday.

Does anyone just have an assortment of large rubber stamps?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Maddie Update

So many of you were more than kind in your responses to my post a month ago about our beloved Maddie. About a month ago we were on the verge of losing her, but thanks to a great vet and some good drugs, she's doing fine.

OK, OK, she still has a slight skin condition that creates black spots on her skin, she walks a little crooked, has a few accidents from time to time, and as a result of her recent bout of geriatric vestibular syndrome, she has a permanent head tilt. The head tilt is just a little disconcerting, especially to HOB. I told him to just think of Maddie being very, very curious about everything.

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? Shortly after Maddie had passed through the worst of the syndrome, I hosted book club at my house. I stood proudly by my mottled-skin, crooked-walking, tilted-head dog as my guests arrived. One of the women came in and looked at Maddie and said sympathetically, "Awwwww....I've got one I need to put down too."

In my eyes, however, Maddie is just as beautiful as ever and has been given a new lease on life.

Can I tell you how happy I am to see her greet me each and every night when I come home from work? She may move a little slower than she used to and she may stumble just a little, but she comes out barking her excited bark and seems to say to me, "Welcome home. How was your day?" Her head tilt just seems to add to the authenticity of her sincere interest.

I give her a hug.

I can still see the young dog there behind the misted eyes.

I am so glad she is still around.

Thanks again for all your good thoughts.