Tuesday, April 29, 2008

At Last

It’s mine all mine!

I’m getting a package in the mail in a week or so.

…from Ireland.

I’m very excited because I’ve never received anything from overseas before.

I take that back. When I was in 7th grade I had a pen pal from Japan. She was the same age I was and she wrote her letters in perfect English. Her handwriting was pristine and her sentences were written along a straight edge. The letters themselves were written on rice paper.

Isn’t that the coolest? I still have them somewhere.

But this time, I’m getting a package.

I travel two or three times a year for my ‘real’ job. Every time I get in an airplane and fly across this great nation o’ mine I thrill at the view from above. I struggle to find the words to describe what I see as I look down from the sky.

...and I fail.

I see a patchwork quilt landscape. It gives me a lump in my throat and words are just never enough to convey the emotion.

So imagine my joy when I stumbled upon this.

I’ve coveted 38,000 Feet for over a year and yesterday I bought it.

I don’t know where I’m going to hang it just yet. I imagine it will tell me where it wants to live when it gets here.

I hope I’m worthy of it.

So do yourselves a favor and browse Eolai’s art sale.

You’ll find that for which there are no words.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I've Converted

I cannot begin to explain to you how beautiful this evening is.

We just had a tumultuous spring shower and the whole of this county has been scrubbed fresh and clean and shiny and new. The air is incredibly sweet with a hint of lilac wafting in through my window.

Everything is so green! It's almost technicolor. The Redbuds are bursting with purples and the dogwoods are blushing pink.

...see? I told you I couldn't explain it.

I was driving Little and Chase to church this evening-Big will catch up to them after piano lessons. As I looked in my rear view, Little had his eyes closed and his head tilted back.

Bub are you OK?

I'm great, Mom.

The air smells fantastic doesn't it?

And it tastes fantastic.

He was right.

As I was driving the short way back home alone, I...

What's that? Why didn't I stay for church?

Oh, that!

I've converted to Heathenism. It's way more fun. Instead of sitting in a stuffy building, I'll be out of doors at dusk watching the full moon rise.

As I was saying...on the short way back home there were yards being mowed and weeds being whacked-and the smell was nirvana. (I know it's too wet, but if they wait any longer they'll have to hire a thrashing crew and bale the stuff!)

And me? While the young men in my life are sitting inside learning how to save their immortal souls, I'm in the back yard cutting lilac bouquets, inspecting the iris and lilies, drinking wine, and listening to the frogs sing their warm weather hallelujahs.

I'm telling ya...Heathenism.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Feet of What?

Are there places overseas where Americans go to perform and are forced to wear cowboy hats and do rope tricks? Maybe they put on Native American dress and do rain dances. Are they expected to wear their overalls and go barefoot when they play bluegrass? Do they bring out the jug and Jaw Harp because that’s what is expected?

Is it just Americans who want the stereotypes in other cultures?

Saturday went a little something like this.

Big Daddy and I sneaked in the back.

We were the picture of stealth as we tried to remember where to go. The performers were hanging out back having a quick smoke. As I walked in acting like I knew where I was going, I gave a quick, “HAYALL!”

A cuteshirtlessredhaired man shot back a, “HOWYA!”

How’s that for stereotyping on both ends? I was overjoyed. My excitement grew.

I made a wrong turn and ended up on stage instead of in the house. Beautiful girls with long, tightly curled hair, literally, flitted about. An ancient gray-headed woman was there watching our every move. I don’t know if she was chaperoning the girls or what, but she sure gave us the stink-eye as we rerouted our way through the theater.

The term 'stink-eye' brought to you today by Big Daddy.

The lines were so long for this show that I was afraid we’d never get in-thus our wicked back door entrance. Thank goodness there were a couple of seats left over or my guilt would have interfered with my viewing pleasure.

I shouldn’t have worried. But not for the reasons you might expect.

I won’t give you a play by play. I wouldn’t even know how. I’m not a reviewer. I’m sure there are steps you take to do that sort of thing properly, but I will give you some of my impressions.

A harpist? Ah. I can deal with that. It was lovely.

The trad band would have been happier in jeans and tee shirts. They looked uncomfortable and-I’m speculating here-embarrassed to be playing in over the top formal costumes. The guitar player gave it Hell, though.

The ‘dance off’ with two of the men was just horrifying. I’m sure the producers of this show were going for fun, but I cringed the whole time. I know for a fact that not every grown male in Ireland has red hair. But all three dancers did.

The MC didn’t have an Irish accent. I would think in an Irish show, the MC would have been Irish. But together he and his wife played a mean bouzouki and whistle respectively.

In fact, now that I think about it, no one in the cast that spoke onstage had an accent. Odd.

Do What? Did I hear that right? Irish Gospel? That’s how they introduced
Be Thou My Vision. Don’t get me wrong, the song is gorgeous, but I wouldn’t call it gospel. And it seemed oddly out of place.

Square dancing?!!!
I know, I know. We have clogging because we ripped off Irish dance.

(I pause here to tell you I love clogging and if I thought I could get away with it I’d learn how. But I refuse to wear a circle skirt. I also chose to take a folk dance class in college for an activities credit. Half the semester was square dance. I was 20 years old and was jammin’ on the square-which obviously made me one.)

However, this melding of Irish folk dance and square dance was unnatural and disjointed.

The ‘fire’ consisted of a dancer manipulating two balls of fire around the stage and then manipulating two balls of fire-wait for it- attached to strings!

I don't know what that had do with anything.

Did I hate it?

Well after listening to myself carry on so, I guess I did. And I hate that, because I wanted to love it.

Granted, I wanted some Irish dance, but I’d have loved some story telling ala Mairtin. I wanted the trad band to cut loose and to tear it up and maybe give way to someone bringing out the broom. I would have liked to have heard someone speak in the Irish language.

..and yes. I wanted a couple of drinking songs.

So you see, I did want the stereotype, mine just would have prevented forcing these talented folks to go all ‘Bran Vegas’.

But what do I know? Maybe my stereotyped show would have been even worse!

A ‘source close to the production’ told me the producers were really proud of the technical aspects of the show. This was evident. It seemed they were more concerned with the multi-media aspects than the performances.

Ouch. Did I say that?

The cast performed their sweet little souls out. And the rest of the crowd loved it. I mean standing ovation loved it! So obviously this whole tirade is coming from a minority and isn’t to be trusted for even a moment.

But I was so disappointed. I love this place. The shows are flashy and cheesy, and goofy but they are supposed to be! And they always have heart. They make you laugh and feel a little warm fuzzy inside. It’s what we expect and I daresay what we want from our fair city and this experience won’t make me hesitate a minute in going back for more.

But ultimately this show was uninspired and joyless and disrespectful to the performers.

…and that is just wrong.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

To Blog or Not to Blog

I wrote a fabulous piece tonight.

...in my head.

It was written while sitting on my back deck on an infrequent night off. I was enjoying an early spring evening-an evening much deserved after all Mother Nature has thrown at us recently.

I was going to regale you with descriptions of my back yard: the trampoline that gave way to the ice storm, the view of the cow pasture, the beginnings of bird song, the clover that has taken over the lawn.

You'd have loved it-especially the part about the boys not using the tramp for jumping, but for sleeping bag camp-outs under the stars and how when we haul it to the dump that is what they'll miss most about it.

But I just can't get it from my head to my hand.

Then I figured I'd just run in the house and get my camera and cheat and show you with photos.

But I was too lazy for even that.

So you get nothing.

...I see a pattern developing here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Three Weeks Later

I'm a little late.

The lake crested Saturday. I know it is Monday, but now is the first chance I've had to post.

Don't hate me.

To refresh...the dam on:

The dam on Saturday, April 5, 2008:

In order to save a large city on Tablerock, peoples homes on Taneycomo will be destroyed. Boon's husband works for the co-op and prayed for peace on Sunday over the decision he helped make to open the flood gates to dump one lake into another. It was indeed a 'no-brainer' decision. But such a decision still causes a true and decent man much anguish to make.

Our spot in the world on:

Our spot in the world April 5, 2008:

And here:

It's hard to fathom.

We sit here in the summer. The radio playing low. Country of course.

Why is it country and/or southern rock at the lake when the rest of the year it is indy folk and rock?

The mosquitoes are buzzing, gnats are swarming, it's still way too humid, but has cooled to a 'comfortable' 90. The cicadas have started to screech and supper is cooking on the pit.

...but not today.

I know the water will recede, but our 'summer home' looks dismal.

Over fifty families have been forced to evacuate. When they do come home, if they can come home, weeks and months of clean up and rebuilding will take place.

I am blessed, people.

...don't think I don't know it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Three Yards Please.

When I was a wee one, every weekend like clock-work Prissy would drag Bubby and me to shop for fabric.

...for hours. ...and hours. ...and hours.

She was always in search of of the perfect bolt of double-knit cloth in which to fashion me a new pair of perma-crease elastic waist pants.

They were always in orange or peach, or better yet avocado green.

I looked like a kitchen appliance from the '70's.

Of course we'd have to stay by her side the entire time. We couldn't get out eyeshot lest her wrath come down upon us. So I have intense feelings about the fabric department at Wal-Mart.

I think because of this weekly torture, I never took up sewing.

Prissy was a remarkable seamstress. I say 'was' because her disease doesn't allow for it any more and I know she misses her sewing machine above any other treasure she owns.

It's in storage...alongside her beloved teapots.

...and it's all collecting dust.

I should be horsewhipped.

But last night at work, as part of extra duties, I was trained how to cut, mark, and price fabric.

I laughed out loud once while doing it, because fate is giving me my horsewhipping.

She'll get a big kick out of that this weekend when I tell her.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Panty Police

Sweet Lord. Here I go again.

I don’t know why I feel compelled to share stories about my underpants but I do.

Big Daddy went with me to visit Prissy last Thursday evening. As I was wheeling her back to her room I felt an annoying scratch at the back waistband of my jeans. I reached around and fiddled with it until it subsided. I continued to push her down the hall and felt it again.

It was the tag on my drawers-my favorite pair of underwear.

...Vicky Secret’s second skin satin, leopard print hip huggers.

There’s a picture.

Why are they my favorite pair? Number one, because of comfort. However, when I bend over you don’t get any of the leopard print peaking up over the waist band of my jeans.

I love that!

I’m old school in that I don’t feel right about have my panties shining for God and everyone to see when I bend over.

Evidently, however, that little tag sticks up in the back like a white flag from the French...and I wouldn’t want anyone to think there was a hint of surrender coming from my hind quarters.

After I bent down to pick something up for Prissy and messed with it yet again, Big Daddy said, “Why don’t you just cut that thing out and be done with it?”


Cut it out?

Isn’t that against the law? Isn’t the underwear tag akin to the label on the bottom of your mattress and on your furniture?

This tag may not be removed under penalty of law.

I had visions of cutting the tag off and the moment I make the cut, suddenly and without warning there are sirens and helicopters screaming around me and floodlights shining through my windows. Members of the S.W.A.T. team descend from the ceiling. Still others break down my front door wearing body armor and night vision goggles and aiming M-16s at me.

In an instant all is quiet and there I am sitting on a bar stool at the snack bar in my kitchen, wide-eyed, holding my leopard print panties in one hand the tag in the other.

“Madam,” said Mr. Deep Voice Hottie S.W.A.T. Man. “I’m afraid we’re going to have to take you in. You’ve been a very naughty girl and I have no choice but to teach you a lesson!”

Then he rips his shirt off and throws me to the floor and…



Babe, what are you doing down there?

Oh! uh, erm, I’m picking Mom’s cup off the floor, she dropped it. Is it... Is it hot in here?

No…Are you alright?

Yeah, but I am NOT cutting the tag out of my underwear.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Just Checking In.

Let's see.

No creativity. No compulsion to post. Not very prolific-even less so than usual.

Life moves forward.

Here's a rundown.

Sugar-working, working, and...oh yeah, working. I don't complain. Some folks can't get any work at all. I bitch because I have two jobs?

I think not.

...I just feel like I'm missing things that are important.

Big Daddy-keeping the house clean and consulting the Sandra Lee cookbook with regularity to whip up fantastic suppers for the guys and to ensure I have something yummy to come home to.

...he is a partner in every sense.

Big...manning the cast iron skillet for his new job at Silver Dollar City. Big fun for him. Carrying on the family tradition. He just finished deck crew for Into the Woods and is at a cast party as we speak. He's goes to state drama competition Saturday after next and the Saturday after that he goes to state choir competition. (Did I forget to mention that he qualified for state in all three performances at districts? I did? Well, let me tell you he's competing in a men's ensemble, a mixed ensemble and a solo.)

...the child can sing. But you knew that. It's hard to visit with me for any length of time and not know that.

Little...tore up the tuba Thursday evening playing the devil out of "The Happy Farmer". He got a 1 on his solo, too. However the Jr. High level doesn't go much farther.

He's still all angles and sharp lines. He eats like a field hand and tries to bulk up, but alas...not yet.

...I'll have to entertain you some time with a description of his velociraptor imitation. His brother has stage talent, but Little has a wicked sense of humor that slaps you silly and then makes you laugh that way.

OK, maybe I'm not missing much. I make sure I get to all their school events. And even when I am home in the evening, there is homework to be done and gaming to do.

They hardly say two words to me, but I miss breathing the same air.

This morning Little put his arms around me and wouldn't let go.

Someday I will miss that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

This Post was Previously Recorded

A man came through my line tonight and all he purchased was a box of Grecian Gray.

You know, the hair dye.

It made me smile.

...If only he'd purchased some pipe tobacco also.