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Archive for November, 2008

Haiku to Fall

thanksgiving-08-001


Bright green canopy

Your fate crunches neath my feet

And yet you return

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Cat Tale

Whimsical Kitty

Whimsical Kitty

Mysterious Kitties

Mysterious Kitties

I’m thinking of cats, real and not real tonight. I have some of both. My sister has neither, but she sometimes fantasizes about having a cat in her small apartment. Litter boxes are not her thing, though. What to do, what to do?

 

Big sister to the rescue.

 

For her sixty-ninth birthday I sent a furry cat that purrs when his back is touched and meows when you pat his head, but no feeding or litter boxes are necessary. This kitty is a furry toy — with very real feeling fur, Sis says on the phone. Since I ordered though the Web and had the gift sent to Texas, the black and white kitty and I have never met. My sister assured me he is adorable and “feels incredibly like real cat fur.”

 

Uh oh. A few years back I remember China was shipping furry kitten toys that were, in fact, furry kitten toys. Perhaps I shouldn’t have told her my fears. I wondered if I had spoiled the fun for her. She had such plans to show off her new pet to the neighbors. Now how would she feel? Would my loving gift freak her out staring at her from her chaise? I shouldn’t have worried. In a life filled with “Lucy moments,” my sister had simply found another. I knew it was okay when a few days later she wrote to tell me what she had named her new “pet” – Zombie.

 

butterflies-0301

Not Zombie - My very real Luther

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Happy Thanksgiving

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A bit of red-leafed vine climbing toward the sun, reminiscent of turkey waddle. Okay, if you squint just right on a tummy full of Thanksgiving dinner, it is–kinda. Hope everyone has a great day and much to be thankful for.

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After months of little insight into president-elect Obama, we are inundated with minor details of his life—how he shops, what he likes to eat, read, etc. This is all refreshing and welcome, but I wanted to hear more about his character traits. Inadvertently, I may have.

 

 

Today’s Orlando Sentinel ran a story (source: Chicago Tribune)  about Obama’s new press secretary Robert Gibbs which dropped clues to a side of the future president heretofore unreported—at least to my eyes. These two incidents tell me a bit about his character.

 

 

·        On one of his last nights on the campaign trail, Barack Obama was agitated.

 

He was backstage and face to face with a traveling aide after giving a speech to an overflow crowd at a football field.

 

 

Like a referee inserting his body between two fighting players, Robert Gibbs quickly stepped in and ushered Obama away from the ashen aide. Later Gibbs said the flare-up was over a teleprompter malfunction.

 

 

·        Because of his long history with Obama, Gibbs is one of the few people viewed as being able to “speak the truth” to the president-elect.

 

 

To the first incident, you might surmise that Obama has a short fuse and intimidates his aides. This was about a teleprompter malfunction. Did Obama know why it malfunctioned? Did he jump to the conclusion without evidence that the aide was the cause? At any rate, I don’t like to work for people who react like that.

 

 

The second incident tells me that Obama is not open to hearing “the truth” from everyone. Are aides to sugarcoat every issue for him, or simply not bring the issue up?

 

 

I don’t know about you, but these two insights into character do not pass my smell test. 

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Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anhinga

Anhinga

 

 

 Click on pictures to enlarge.

 

   

The pattern is clear now. Every time I grab the camera to capture a shot, something else moves into the scene, invariably an even better visual catch. Yesterday was a close match as to what was best. I have watched for the Hooded Merganser duck to return for the second year. As I got out of the car yesterday, I spotted a hen and drake down at the pond. So I run for the camera and snap away at the shy fowls. As you can see, they do not make it easy to get a good shot. So I waited and waited, hoping they might venture closer. Suddenly a snake surfaced too close them and startled me. It took only another second to realize that it was not a snake, but a Snakebird—an anhinga! This is prize I have been waiting for. Only once before has an anhinga visited the pond and my camera shots were not good. I camped out this time. The results you see here. I still wait for that wonderful close-up of the bird drying his fully outstretched wings. (Anhingas do not have the oil glands necessary to shed water like other water birds, so they must “hang them out to dry in the sun.”)  Their territory is the Atlantic and Gulf costs from North Carolina to Texas and in the Mississippi Valley north to Arkansas and Tennessee and south to South America. You may have guessed this species is my favorite. 
 
 
 
 

 

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This is my first meme. Really. Always learning something from Amurin. I’ll send to a short list while I’m on a trial run.

Here are the rules, such as they are: Players start with 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged should post these rules and then post 7 random facts. Players should tag 7 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

 

 

 

1.   In the fourth grade I wrote my first short story. Prominent in it was a rattlesnake. I once had a rat snake under my reading chair for two days, received a gift of a black racer in a bag from my husband, video taped one swallowing a green garden snake. Then there are the steamy photos I took of rat snakes mating on the fence. They have a habit of falling out of trees with a splat when enraptured or fighting. You learn to look up as well as down in a converted swamp. 

 

    2. My proudest recent accomplishment is learning to operate a single

        lever faucet.

 

3.     I still have older friends, but they are REALLY old, including a 92-year-old writer. The “young ones” are unrepentant hippies for the most part, and bikers.

 

 

4.     Beside my husband and children, cats are the most important creatures on earth. My father had an aversion to them, so my first came when I was thirty. Since that day we have not been without purrs and hairballs—and mystery.

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5.     We once had a sailboat business on Lake Monroe and later, a  business doing drug, alcohol and DNA testing.  Mostly “Who’s your daddy?” situations.

 

6.     I was six years old, and could hear the doctor give orders to start cutting out my appendix and the nurse saying I was not under, but could not move or speak. Next thing I knew it was over and Mother was moving me to another hospital. Dr. Frankenstein had used my upset stomach as an opportunity to try the new thread he invented. You don’t want to see how much it really didn’t improve on the current stitches.

 

7.     A young derelict tried to hijack me once, but really pissed me off when he flashed that knife. I drove off.

 

 

 

 

 

http://backyarddetour.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

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endeavour… the random talk of people who have no chance of immortality and thus can speak their minds out has a setting, often, of lights, streets, houses, human beings, beautiful or grotesque, which will weave itself into the moment for ever.

Virginia Woolf

 

T minus 10, 9, 8, 7—   I grabbed my camera and bolted out the front door to the middle of the street, dark except for a dim street light and murky full moon. I felt my neighbor Chris’ tap on the shoulder before I saw or heard her. How many shuttle launches had we watched together? Usually Bonnie from across the street was with us, but not tonight. The car at the intersection came our way and we dared it to make us move and miss what would soon be appearing in the east at the end of our street. The car pulled over and stopped. Bonnie popped out, not bothering to close her door.

 

“Our pastor just died,” Bonnie said. The diffused light of the street lamp revealed her smeared makeup.


Then our eyes fixed on the familiar glow on the horizon. It expanded like a sunrise and became brighter and brighter until it formed a bullet shape with a reddish golden hue, the most brilliant we had seen in all our years of shuttle watching.

 

 

“This is the first launch Jerry has missed in over thirty years here. He’s in the hospital and I’m filming it for him,” I said.

Greetings from Bonnie and Chris went on the video.

 

The moon, diffused by clouds, seemed to know its place as Endeavour cleared a sharp, brilliant path through the sky. Then the spacecraft appeared to hesitate as a bright, white light burst against the dark background. The booster had jettisoned.

 

“I woke in the middle of the night recently and knew my father had pneumonia and called my mom in the morning. She took him to the hospital, though she didn’t think he was sick. He had pneumonia,” Bonnie said.

 

The shuttle was a small, but still bright spot in the sky, like a shooting star. Our eyes never left it.

 

“My son and his family moved out last week,” Chris said. “It’s nice and quiet, but I miss my grandson. He visited today and barreled toward my knees to give them a bear hug.”

 

A tiny spec still streaked across the sky as our front doors closed behind us. That this launch had been visible much longer than others was fitting. Three women on a dark street had important pieces of their lives to send into the night sky.

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How many highs and lows can you cram in one week? I don’t know, but last week fate did its best to break a record.

 

 

 

Riverwalk, Sanford, FL

Riverwalk, Sanford, FL

 

 

Hannah in Antique Shop

Hannah in Antique Shop

 

Haley & The Dragon

Haley & The Dragon

Saturday, I prowled the nooks and crannies of antique shops in Sanford, FL with my granddaughters and daughter-in-law and let the cool breezes blow on us on the Riverwalk on Lake Monroe. Downtown Sanford is right on the water. Its beautiful old main street has been gussied up with charming restaurants and shops and is a great place to spend the day. What history lessons the “antiques” provide! Try it sometime with your grands. They’ll meet the first I Pod (78 rpm record player), manual cash register with pop-up numbers, embroidered tea towels grandmas made and put in a hope chest for their trousseau, and school desks with ink wells. You picture them in fifty or sixty years showing their grands antique stores with unrecognizable items such as flat screen TV’s, I Pods, I Phones, ear buds, and select furniture from Rooms to Go.

 

Two mornings later I’m on the phone to 911 before 7 a.m. Why do they try to keep you hanging on the line until six strapling EMTs are in the middle of your bedroom? Does anybody know? I finally told the lady I had to hang up and get some clothes on, and I did – just in time. I guess they are used to staying in contact when the caller is in the closet and Freddie Kruger is gassing up his chainsaw. But I had more important things to do than chat. The guys and girls got my husband breathing in seconds. We were totally impressed with them. We spent the better part of the day in ER, but were allowed to go home with promises to return immediately if the pneumonia worsened. I’ve been afraid to take my clothes off all week, but Jerry is better. My friend Abbe says the blonde medicine is working. 🙂

 

Highs and lows pretty much pinged around like a piston election night. Without anyone to really support, you would think some of the thrill would go out of the election, but no. It’s in our blood. I would like to nominate John McCain for best concession speech EVER. I had forgotten how gracious politics could be in the old days. Thanks for bringing that back, John, if only for a few minutes.

 

 

Mountain to Mole Hill --Someday

Mountain to Mole Hill --Someday

Cooler weather today was my cue to begin making a mole hill out of the mountain of wood chips the tree people dumped in our side yard for free. So I started this morning. I soon began to glisten and my muscles hinted at how they will feel tomorrow. I stepped back to see what must be a greatly reduced pile, and hoped I had enough. Take a look at the picture. Perspective. It’s all in the perspective. Up close it seemed I had chiseled away the size of the Grand Canyon.  At least I don’t have to do my yoga today for exercise.

 

To cap the week off, I checked our 401K. Am I ready for next week? I don’t know. Perhaps I’ll adopt the phlosophy of my friend Bob Buckman: The lower our accounts go, the less we have to lose. 

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obama

I didn’t have a candidate in the presidential race, but a lot of people did. Congratulations on your win tonight. This is the point where hope must change into deed. I’m sure America is up to it.

 

Almost half the electorate did not get the president they voted for. You feel bad and are in need of cheering. Try this. There is a scene that keeps running through my head and makes me smile. You are welcome to use it too. In this picture, the new president, first lady and their two daughters are cuddling in bed on a Sunday morning – in the Lincoln bedroom. What a country!

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