Saturday, August 14, 2010

This is what I think when no one is watching my mind. Scatter box!

The past week I have been house sitting and takin' care of two goofy yoggers (dogs). Which was fantastic on many levels of the fantastic scale. First of all, it has been mega-tron hot outside. And my little shedtown has no air conditioning (which I prefer). Although I love my little fans and cozy cottage, it has been nice to have the option of air conditioning this week. The past hot days I have been going to coffee shops to read the afternoon away, which is also nice. But it was good to break things up a bit and have a WHOLE HOUSE to stay cool in. By myself.
With that being said, I noticed a lot of really small things that made me happy this last week. I did a lot of driving back and forth (from shedtown to house-sitting) so I drove my motorcycle a lot. Which I like (and am VERY safe on, so don't worry).
Having such a quiet space makes my thoughts funny sometimes. Which I really like. So, without further ado, here is my list of small things in my brain that I noticed and made me smile this last week.

Near the house, wherein I was doing some sitting, a (very professional) guy was doing some work on the power lines. He would have his white truck parked at the mouth of the neighborhood every day and would be sitting up in the basket (attached to his truck by a long giraffe neck). Because it has been so hot, one day he had a little yellow umbrella he was attaching to his basket for shade. My first thought when I saw this taking place was "Oh my! Doesn't he know it is bad luck to open an umbrella inside?" and then I continued to ponder if it was acceptable to open an umbrella inside if it is to provide protection from the sun before I realized he WAS OUTSIDE. Duh. Then I laughed. Who gets inside and outside confused? ME! Ten points for you, dear reader, if you got that question right.
Later that same day.
I was sitting outside in a lovely little kiddy pool enjoying the water, sunshine, and a book when I noticed a little tail sticking up out of the flower pot base (the part that holds the extra water after you water the plant). The little tail was bouncing up and down and wagging most joyfully as its owner drank gleefully from the water in the base. It made me think of a puppy, it was cute. This is the first time I have ever thought of a wasp in this manner (and most likely the last time). I never knew a wasp could be so nice looking. We would be friends (if I were a wasp, that is).

Another thing I have been enjoying is riding my motorcycle into my neighborhood. There is a house on our block that always has pigeons in the yard and as I ride by they flutter up into the sky. It is magical. I love driving past this house. I want to capture the pigeons in my mind or get a whole bunch of little lassos so they pull me and my motorcycle into the sky with them.

I have been playing this game (it isn't really a game, more like a puzzle) called tangrams. You have some shapes (triangles of three different sizes, a square, and a rhombus) and then there are these cards with big odd shapes on them and you try to make that shape using all the little shapes you have. I am not very good at explaining it, so if you are unfamiliar with the game, you should just google it or something. Anywho, I have been playing this puzzle-game and sometimes I can do them without looking at the key. This always makes me smile. It brings me great enjoyment.

As I type this the prisms in my window are making rainbows dance on my walls and brush against my skin. I like this too.

My friend Stacy has a loft apartment in downtown Springfield. AND she has roof access. AND I have the code to break into her loft any time EVER. Meaning the last few weeks I have been going and sitting on her roof in the evening. I turn into a gargoyle and watch people. It is really great. People here are really bad at parallel parking making for endless rooftop entertainment.

Last night my ten year old nephew came over (with the rest of the family) and we rode bikes around the block for a long time making up stories. He said I couldn't be a pterodactyl. He said there was no such thing as human-pterodactyls. I explained to him that I was just a regular pterodactyl. That I wasn't human. He, then, explained to me that we were playing like real life (which is why our bicycles were motorcycles and I was from the wild wild west while he was from the future. Very realistic). Later he asked me what a pterodactyl is. Sheesh.
He said he was a sheriff, so I thought "WILD, WILD WEST! TOMBSTONE! DODGE CITY!". He was even trying to speak with an accent and had a six shooter (loaded with rubber bands). Which is why I was a cowboy. But then, to my great disappointment, he informed me he was like a police officer. Not the sheriff of a dusty gold rush town. Unless that is what they say about modern day New York City, dusty gold rush town. So, he decided to be a sheriff from the future. And I said "I WANT TO BE A COWBOY, THOUGH." and he said "Uh, cowgirl?". NO!
That is my story of make believe. But it is all true. I think we saved the world, like, at least a million times. We are HEROES.

This has been my Update! Update! for the last week. Or two.
There has been some not-good too. But that is less interesting than the inner workings of my brain. I like capturing rays of sunshine with my lasso more than I like hiding in shadows. So I say "Shadows, be gone!" and then find (or try to) contentment in watching my cacti grow. Very slowly.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My skill.

Are you prepared to be impressed with my digestive skills?
If you aren't already sitting, you should probably find the closest chair. This will be shocking.

I ate this. And I didn't even get a stomach ache.

2 peaches
2 nectarines
1 plum
1 banana
1 cup (about) of blackberries
1/2 cup (about) of blueberries


And the night is still young...
nom nom nom.

I have been meaning to put photos on here of the shed. Fear not! They are coming.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I did this!

New Jersey! Cabin Cubby! New York City! Fishing! Empire State Building! Visiting with Fantastic Friends! Ice Cream! New York City! Belgians! Beads and Bedazzle! Swimming and Boat!

Needless to say, I had a super time out east. It was absolutely lovely. Getting to see my friends was beyond superb and seeing the city was pretty cool too.

More to come soon!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

good day, sunshine.

This week I am house-sitting, which contrary to what you might think, is NOT sitting on a house waiting for it to hatch.
Apparently, what "house-sitting" means is to chase two dogs (yoggers, poopers, yoggies, troublies, rascals, squirrels)around the neighborhood.
We are pioneers! (That is what the doggers and I say when we ford the river and find our way back home after a ripe adventure.)

Anywho. I am dog sitting this week, and today was a lovely sunny day. I took them on a walk. We walloped about.

Wallop :
1) to gallop or
2) to flutter, wobble, or flop about

We did the latter.
And, to make it even better, one of my cacti (I still prefer cactuses) bloomed today. Three whole flowers - purtty and pink.
AND, I wore a t-shirt with a tiger on it. and even shorts for a while. It was that nice.

Good day, sunshine.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Goodbye Grandpa

Charles L. Cook (Charlie)
September 2, 1921 - March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

One of those long days, really long, where it feels like maybe a week, a month, a year, a lifetime, and not one day. It starts with a stroke.

I watch my grandpa's chest rise and fall, rise and fall, rise and fall. Sometimes it falls and does not rise for what seems like ages, but then, inevitably, it rises again and continues its pattern of up and down. At these moments I hope that his suffering will be over. That he will move on to the life he has been talking about for years. Then when his chest rises again in a great big heave, I sigh with relief and realize that for seemingly minutes I too have been holding my breath. I feel that as long as I watch his chest, it will continue to rise. But I also fear that as I watch it fall, it will cease to rise again.
Yesterday, Thursday, (the day that was years ago) my grandpa had a stroke. Or something. Now we sit and wait and twiddle our fingers. We do not know whether to wish for the slow quiet breathing that seems so near the end, or the mumbling breaths that ensure life. I am not sure which I dread more, the sound or the lack thereof.
At times I see life in his eyes and I know he can hear and understand the loved ones that surround him. At other times he reaches to the heavens with his left hand and his eyes seem glazed and distant.
I didn't sleep last night. Which was okay for me, but my grandma did not sleep either. We sat in the hospital room listening to his breathing and to his inaudible words.

Today the room was like a bee's hive. In and out with people. Sons, daughters, granddaughters and grandsons. Wife, loved ones, doctors and nurses. Night nurses, day nurses, nurses and doctors coming to explain hospice and other options for the future. Questions of feeding tubes, questions of cafeteria hours, questions of chaos. It was like watching a movie in fast-forward. A priest ran up the stairs, a really dear old woman brought us a balloon, some ER nurses (somethings, interns) brought us coffee. Vital signs and beeping and then silence in the room. DNR, so no need for checking vital signs. No drastic measures to keep a low quality of life.
Then recognition in his face, holding his hand, and remembering all the good memories. Countless stories of the kids and grand kids he rescued from flat tires, broken toys, and crocodiles*. A hero, a man. Now defeated and confused.

I did okay. I did not cry until I spoke to my mom on the phone and explained everything to her. Then I did okay again. I did not show tears until my grandpa's son Vince walked into the room and looked at his father. Each meeting each others gazes in understanding. Vince saying slowly and in nearly a whisper "I can't talk either." Vince had a stroke a few months ago. A beautiful understanding. A giant love. Then I did okay until all the talk about hospice care and quality of life. I hid my face and let the tears silently drop onto my shirt and pants, making a pathetic attempt at hiding my sadness.
When I see others cry, sometimes even if I don't know them, I usually cry. When I saw my mother, my grandmother, and my cousins with puffy eyes, I burst. I get so embarrassed to cry in front of people (more than one), so I could only hid my face and let my tears come quietly.

Now, I am tired. I am tuckered. I am wore out. Grandpa is in a hospice center, where he will be made as comfortable as possible. Though he initially lost all movement in the right side of his body, he has slowly gained some of it back (though no fine motor movements). My mom is in town and is staying with him tonight so my grandma can get some rest. And me too. It will be another busy day tomorrow. For everyone.
Too much coffee, not enough sleep, not enough food, and very little good news.

Think good thoughts for my grandfather's family and friends. He is ready to rest. His time could come in hours or in weeks, we just don't know.
I just wish he could go easier. This is just so hard for everyone. So long and drawn out. So much confusion in his eyes. I wish we could at least understand him when he mumbles in speech. But we don't always get to choose happy endings.

*Crocodiles (and wolves too):
Scary animals that live in the glove box. The only way to keep them from eating your legs is to kick the glove box closed.

(Don't worry, no children (me) or grandfathers (Charlie) were harmed in the playing of this game. The glove box may have gained some scuff marks and I may have been tickled anyway- I mean... eaten by crocodiles... but in the end it was always worth opening the glove box just to see what lurked inside.

P.S. I would like to apologize in advance for the chaos and confusion of this entry. I will write a better one soon - I will explain more soon. For now, just send good thoughts to my grandma (and everyone else too, I suppose).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

these are a few of my favorite things

these are not in any order and the list will continue to be added to...

1. sunny days. always.
in this category belongs some sub-favorite things. magical things that happen when it is sunny:
getting rainbows in my face from the sun shinning in my window through the prism.
waking up after dark winter days to the sound of birds chirping in the light.
solar charging. because i am a robot.

2. flying kites / seeing other people fly kites.

3. the smell of my sleeping bag.

4. truck bed trailers.

5. receiving letters in the mail.

6. the times where nothing is wrong with my car (which these days are far and few between).
and the day when my motorcycle will be up and running, that will be a favorite.

7. learning new things.

8. trees, the desert, mountains, and clouds. (as long as they don't get in the way of the sun for too long, the exception being storms. those are okay.)

9. making lists.

your turn.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My fartsy, poopsy, lovely puppy.

The best dog a girl could ask for.

Sometimes she may be a turd-bucket. But I love her anyway.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Netflix and My Childhood

Winter this year has been abnormally snowy. It has been extremely beautiful, but it has also made it hard to get out and ride my bike or run or anything. So... Netflix! And do you know what movies they have that you can watch instantly?
Pretty much all the movies from my childhood. Wonderful.
As it turns out, I am still a big sucker for kids movies from the 80s and 90s. So good.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Watching TV (after spending 20 minutes trying to figure out how to turn it on... technology these days.)

Let me just say, I really love the Olympics.

My earliest memory of the Olympics is of the summer games in 1996. We had just moved into the house on Enterprise, where my mom still lives, and I thought I was a gymnast.
At this time in my life, I thought I was an Indian who could sneak up on wolves in the wild and make arrows from rocks. Also, I was an expert teepee builder and Simba from The Lion King (as well as any other character from the Disney movie). Sometimes I could even walk on lava, but only for short periods of time.
I was not allowed to watch more than half an hour of TV every day, but during the Olympics I was glued to our old television set for hours. I would run around the living room and practice tumbling; more than anything, though, I was a balance beam star. Gold metal bound. When my name was announced, the crowds went wild, and when I stepped on my balance beam, everyone became quiet in anticipation of what trick I would perform. I was a natural. Which is why my dad found an old two by four to bring into the living room for me to practice on. I would watch the Olympians and prance on my wooden balance beam transforming myself into Shannon Miller and Lilia Podkopayeva. I would do flips and grand leaps, all of which landed in the splits, on the balance beam. I was a professional.
I was inspired.
During the winter Olympics, I always wanted to be a slalom skier. At one point I even made a workout schedule so I could make it to the 2012 Winter Olympics. Unfortunately I was not able to practice my skiing in the Midwest. And there is no slalom skiing in the 2012 Olympics… being that it will be the Summer Olympics and all.
I still secretly have dreams of grandeur. I think to myself “Whoa, that lady is thirty something! I can train for the next decade and make the Olympics!” but those are my private thoughts so don’t tell anyone. I might start running more in the next few weeks to train before I realize I don’t have the heart. But right now, I am in the moment. I am inspired.
It is only the first day of the winter games and I am already both pumped and amazed. What has gotten me the most so far this year (besides Apolo Ohno gaining his sixth Olympic metal!!!) is the community among the athletes.
Yesterday Nodar Kumaritashvili, a Georgian luger, died in a practice run. He is an individual from a country that most Americans could not find on a map unless you were talkin’ about that southern state. Don’t they grow cotton down in Georgia? No…
Although Nodar is an individual from a nation most of us no very little about, his death is being mourned. His death is being felt across the world. The world! One man, one athlete. How often does the world come together to mourn an individual?
There is a community that goes beyond borders and language. This community is a beautiful thing. And that is why this year, yet again, the Olympics have captured my heart from day one.

I am looking forward to the next two weeks.

Friday, February 12, 2010

sun and snow

birds chirping
sun shining
warmth and memories of a spring that has yet to arrive.

snow floating like bubbles
round and slow
drifting across my window

a good book, a long weekend, a warm heater

and excitement for the olympics.

february 12 is a good day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Globes and Sharks or Childhood

Today is a very cold day.
Today was a very cold day, rather. But it is still cold, and it will continue to be frigged for the next too long.
Though I tend to complain about the cold, it is not so bad.
The wind is what is killer.
Today the killer wind and the cold combined to make a snow globe, which I like.
I am living in a snow globe.
And I was going to entertain you all with a lovely snowy photograph (that I did not take) to go along with this ever-so-short post, but I could not find one to my liking.
Instead I found this drawing of sharks. Which are like snow globes if you don't think about it for too long.

p.s. The shed is okay-warmish. It is not the normal 70+ degrees that it might be on average cold days, but it is not cold. In case you were wondering.

p.p.s. (I still like p.s.s. better.)
Another thought about snow globes: The wind is very bitter outside, but i guess there wouldn't really be wind in a snow globe...which leads me to one question.
What would the temperature be in a snow globe?
I bet it wouldn't be cold at all!
So, maybe i am living in a winter wonderland where the snow happens to be falling up from the ground instead of down from the sky and where the wind twirls in all directions to make a dance of ice on all sides of your face.
Jack frost is wearing his ice-skates again.

I thought you might like a picture (not by me) of Jack Frost himself. But, again, I could not find one to my liking. Except for the one of Bob Dylan that came up in the search. He is not really like Jack Frost at all, though.
But Peter Pan is. He and Jack Frost are friends.