Monday, May 28, 2012

memory jar

I did a stupid – wrote this post last night, published it, then freaked to think I actually put something like that out for the world to see, and reverted the post back to draft. Some things are just better left in the brain catacombs and not put into words for mass consumption…which is an equally stupid thing to say. The “masses” who read my blog would likely all sit comfortably together on my living room couch.

I planted this clay pot with begonias over the weekend. A little bleach would take the green stain off the pot, but I like the way it looks with it on there. I always put begonias in it because they never fail to thrive in it, but more significantly, it’s what I’ve always done. For the same reason, I choked when I read my post and decided to take it down. I deleted the words, so that private matters remain private, but deleting them didn’t make them any less true. Still, things don’t seem quite as real in my mind as they are on paper. Sometimes reality is better when it’s not so real.

People in this part of the world call this vessel a strawberry jar.  Some people actually do plant strawberries in them and I’ve tried growing strawberries with other jars, but it just doesn’t look pretty all summer like begonias do.  This jar is exactly like another I had once, and exactly like some I remember from long ago.  The point is that a jar like this planted with these flowers, is ...better left just as it is, unexplained, and  just some flowers on some stupid woman’s porch.  That’s all.   

promise revealed

Indeed – it was another glorious weekend day.  Very hot for this time of year; mid 90s and pretty humid too.  I finished yesterday’s post with a comment that “tomorrow has promise.”  I was thinking of promise in terms of perhaps playing tennis or golf, starting work on my new garden, or even maybe taking the family for a picnic or something.  It turned out WAY better than I hoped for. 

Screwing around on my computer this afternoon, I clicked the wrong link and ended up back at the university website.  I told myself after Friday night, there’d be no email checking for me for the rest of the weekend because I’ve been a bit obsessed lately with watching my mail. Besides that, surely those board members wouldn't be working over the weekend.  But since I accidentally brought up the site, I checked it again.  LO and BEHOLD!!!  Two emails from the IRB.  The first one told me that my application is accepted tentatively and must be confirmed with a full board review, but I can begin collecting data.  The second email was congratulations from the IRB.  Tomorrow is holiday so until Tuesday, there’s nothing for me to do but be happy that progress is happening, and enjoy the rest of the long weekend.   

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday delight

Gosh folks.  I just had the best day ever!  Slept in.  Planted flowers.  Took  a nap. Played golf.  Planted more flowers.  Watched parts of a few movies. Then,  succumbed to some of my favorite beverage on the back porch with my guitar in my arms and Gracie  - well, Gracie fighting Jack through the glass of the back door.  Jack was on the inside and Gracie on the outside with me.  Anyway, mixed into my day was some routine, mindless chores.  Filling/emptying the dishwasher at least twice, dropping/picking up kids, grocery store trip, food preparation, untangling garden hose/assessing integrity of garden hose/preparing for discard of said garden hose (sadly), picking up after sloppy others, cleaning out the van, trimming back bushes, etc.
life is this

I wish I could teach Someone the value of putting tools away.  Anything he uses, he leaves it out in the rain.  How many screwdrivers, pliers, and saws have I found all rusted laying in the grass!  Tools are handy to have and I like sharp things to be sharp and grippy things to hold on properly.  What we need is His & Hers tool sets...and I’m going to keep mine locked up !!!

Is that a bad attitude for a wife?  Do husbands and wives have to share everything?  Really, I give Someone great latitude to do whatever the hell he wants.  I think we respect each other’s boundaries very well.    

This photo reminds me of a glorious day with Sarah

So, I thoroughly enjoyed today.  It felt just like the old days – maybe even before I had twins, maybe even before Sarah.  I love flowers and gardening.  I intend TOMORROW to break ground for a new flower bed.  We had to take out a tree a few years back.  Now we have a semi-sunny patch of open ground to play with.  I’ve trimmed back the Carolina Allspice and will start a botanical privacy area between our house and our neighbors.  I have an iron trellis and will plant a clematis on it; morning glories on the porch posts, some Dutch iris for next spring, maybe a rose bush, and some annuals...but I expect Gracie will dig them up before the deer get a chance to eat them.  

Also, at last – in this beautiful new area, my bird bath will be resurrected.  Surely to the heavens above neither Erin nor Emily will feel the need to fill the damn bird bath with dirt, rocks, food, grass, or whatever other sorts of innovative contents they think should go into it.  I quit setting it up because I was constantly having to clean something out of it.     

Tomorrow has promise!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

daily disappointment

I’ve been checking my email accounts over and over this week.  Waiting....waiting....waiting.  The IRB will hopefully reply back with some news (good, but more than likely bad) I hope by Friday evening.  If I have to make more changes, it would be nice to have the upcoming three-day holiday weekend to work on it.  Also, I’m looking for a notice that Emily’s bed has shipped.  We have only a few decent furniture stores in this area.  Emily couldn’t find a full-sized bed she liked in my price range, so I ordered her a bed online(she picked it out) – like two months ago.  The estimated ship date was supposed to be “on or by” this past Monday.  Meanwhile, Emily has been sleeping on the couch or on her floor while we wait.  If they don’t ship it by Friday, I’m cancelling the order.  I guess we’ll just go buy a mattress and box spring and set them on a metal frame.

Since I just checked my email again for the 10th time today and was disappointed again for the 10th time, I guess I should turn this damn contraption (i.e. computer) off and get to work doing something productive – like cleaning floors or cleaning a bathroom...or something else equally fun.  Lord knows there’s plenty to be done in this rat hole we live in...or I could uncork the Turkey and grab my guitar...hmmmm.  Tough choices.    

Monday, May 21, 2012

golf and gargoyles

It was a glorious late spring weekend we had, followed by another beautiful Monday, although Mondays are usually such hopeless days.


 Friday evening, me and Someone played golf. The course was nearly disserted and quiet – perfect!!  I parred the #1 hole which is something I haven’t done in years. It’s a long par 4 with trees on both sides of the fairway, and the green is surround on three side by knolls left rough (so rough it’s hard to find your ball if it stops in one). I hit a great drive, and then a really good fairway wood for the second shot that bounced off the back side of a knoll and rolled up onto the green, stopping about 10 feet from the pin. Putted for birdie but I left it just short. It’s hard to putt the first few greens because you don’t know how fast they are until you putt one. Also, the course is not as well maintained as some and there’s a lot of variability from green to green.

So Friday night, I started out par, par, bogie, skipped the 4th hole because we came up behind a family letting their toddlers play and Someone couldn’t deal with the wait. Then par, par, and then it all went to hell on #7. Shitty drive into a ditch of standing water, layed out, third shot went into the sand. Blasted out of the sand over the green and into a bunker with grass so deep I needed a machete to find my ball. Didn’t find my ball but found two others. Another penalty stroke for lost ball. Then I chipped out of the bunker. The ball landed on the green well above the hole, but the balled rolled all the way off and into a similar bunker on the other side. Another lost ball, so I told Someone to finish the hole and meet me at the next tee – F it!!! Everything about #7 was a bitch! The great thing about golf is that you never master the game; you just borrow it for a few holes.

Saturday, we took the girls to Kings Island. We arrived when the park opened, and the teens immediately abandoned us at the gate. We waited an hour for the first ride, then almost 2 hours for the second ride. The park was wall to wall teenagers!! We mutually agreed that playing golf would be infinitely more fun than standing in lines all day, so we drove over and played The Grizzly, designed by Jack Nicholas. Nice course, but I lost a lot of balls. Lots of water and sand, greens were awesome, and fairways were divine. Nothing like the course I usually play. Two rounds of golf in one weekend!!! I haven’t done that in 15 years.

Sunday was devoted to house work. Dreary stuff. A pal on Facebook told me about a place that had a gargoyle for my garden – I’ve been wanting one for a long time. I drove over to see it and decided against it. It was a dog, not a dragon or monkey. It looked like a one-headed Cerberus with bat wings. It didn’t have any respectable talons either. What I liked least was it has a chain on it so it looks like it’s chained to the ground. I don’t want my gargoyle chained for all eternity. Why chain a creature with wings? It’s like buying a songbird and taping its beak closed, or getting a guard dog and keeping a muzzle on it. Anyway, it’s been on my mind and I’ve decided to go back today and see if they still have it. I think I want it because really, gargoyles are hard to come by.

Coincidentally, Erin got me a very special gift while she was in Florida - my own little personal gargoyle with eyes that glow. Sweet!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

daisy days

It’s a balmy, breezy night here in beautiful Flatwoods, Kentucky.   Around 3:00 this afternoon, I zipped out for a walk around the little lake behind my office.  The catalpa trees are blooming, and the mulberries are starting to turn from red to dark purple.  The daisies made me happy.  Daisies are one of my most favorite flowers in all the world.  They are easy to draw.  Their simple beauty is unforgettable.  Best of all, the honeysuckle is getting ripe already.  The sweet smell is almost suffocating at certain times of the year.  I love it!   

So around midnight last night, Dr. Chairman texted and said if there’s nothing specifically I want him to look at, go ahead and resubmit my proposal application.  I told him the changes were as we discussed in the previous week – I submitted without any review by him.  He wouldn’t have read it anyway and it would only add delay to ask him to look.  I had a boss once who was like Dr. Chairman.  He wanted to hear solutions before he heard problems.  Basically these people just want to be told what you’re going to do.  It’s OK to ask for advice, but don’t ask for help.  It’s not OK to ask “What does this mean?”, but it’s ok to say “I think X means this.  Do you agree?” 

So anyway, the deed is done and now I have up to 20 business days to do stuff.  “Stuff” included a visit to the driving range tonight with Someone.  I wanted to play golf this evening but it didn’t work out.  The driving range was fine though.  This old lady has a new 3-wood, and it’s got more flex than any club I’ve used before.  I have to swing different to control the ball.  Slower (easy) downswing, aim more right, widen my grip.  The result is more draw and more distance.  I like it!  I think I would have scored well today, unless my putting sucked...which it probably would have.

I’m ready to do some digging in the yard!  Maybe tomorrow.     

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

off the radar again

I’m a bit pissed off at Chairman Cockroach these days.  He’s supposed to review my F’ing application before I resubmit it.  Did he even read it the other times?  I’m not convinced.  I emailed the newest version to him Sunday evening, then texted him Sunday night to tell him it was out there waiting for him to look at.  No reply.  I texted him Monday evening.  This afternoon, I texted him again.  Still, no acknowledgement from him at all.  This evening, another text.   If he would just reply back with OK, or Go to Hell!, or F you leave me alone, anything so that I know he at least got my message, I wouldn’t be nearly so ticked off at him. 

Should I just go ahead and submit it?  Tempting!  Maybe I will.  The last time, I don’t think he even looked at it.  He just said, “I think you should submit it.”  Maybe I’ll start calling him...that might get his attention!  Months ago, I left him a voice message  but I’ve never heard his voice.  Even his voice mail greeting was not personalized.

I took two teen girls to the mall tonight.  My consumeristic daughters had no problems spending money.  Emily wanted shorts and ridiculous cheetah-print gigantic platform shoes.  I bought her the shorts – shoes absolutely no.  Nobody “needs” shoes like that, and she certainly doesn’t need any shoes right now.   

Erin is leaving for Orlando, Florida in the morning – the trip I would have chaperoned if both my daughters were going.  Unfortunately, the school decided to cut costs and only take the seniors and 10 others.  Since Erin and her partner took first place in one of their events, Erin gets to go.   Erin needed some capri pants (she won’t wear shorts), flip flops, and sweaters because even though it’s Florida, she will not be seen without a sweater on.  She’s my highly accessorized daughter...for reasons that make me rather sad but that I can’t influence I accept that she is this way.   

Our Gracie seems to have developed a recurring limp.  I’m not sure what that’s about but I suppose I’ll mention it to the vet if it doesn’t improve in another week or so.  It doesn’t seem to slow her down, we just notice she favors a front paw most of the time.  It’s most obvious when she’s going down steps.  She sleeps in bed with me and Someone every night now.  Someone loves that she always curls up between us.  I must admit she makes a good buffer.  Someone has not stolen my pillow even once with Gracie in between us.  Someone is a pillow hog, but I’m the world’s worst blanket hog.    

Monday, May 14, 2012

putting plans into motion

I submitted my updates to Dr. Chairman and begged him to review ASAP.  If he has no suggestions for improvement, I intend to launch V4.  Then, which may or may not piss him off, I texted his cell and told him my email is waiting his attention.  He is 2 hours behind me and it was early evening his time.  Oh gee, I sound a bit source-codish tonight.  *submit* *IF* *THEN* *WAITING* *TIME*     

Let me change gears.
F yeah, I’m done for now.  What evs.  The ball, not in my court at this moment.

It was Mother’s Day today.  All my children were super-sweet to me.  Even someone gave me a very sentimental card, with very pretty (and all designy-type)  fantasy flowers.  I’m his world :D  So says the card.  And, per the card, he’s OK with my mothering of our children.  Positive appraisal.    
Anyway, a picture of my immediate brood  - in honor of Mother’s Day.  I love them all, and I’m very blessed to have each one in my life.

Miss katie - a few year after she entered my life
Miss Sarah as a sassy pre-teen
Miss Erin and Miss Emily...16 years ago

Monday, May 7, 2012

afternoon grumbling

So, my proposal was IRB deferred.  I have been assured that this is better than rejection, but basically, it’s the same thing.  I must make “minor” corrections to the application and resubmit.  OK, however, based on the comments, one in particular, it’s nothing like a minor change.  They want me to totally create a new process for informed consent.  Actually, change a one-step process to a three-step process to collect data.  They want me to add two points of failure to the process.  Who wants to visit two links and give their email address and donate 20 minutes of their time to a stranger?  Not many people will be willing to do that.  Not only that, a change this extensive will involve a significant rewrite of Chapter 3.   

I hope I’m wrong about my interpretation but I’m waiting for Dr. Chairman to ask the Great and Powerful IRB for clarification, since I am not permitted to desecrate their imminence with the unworthiness of my inquiries directly.   I’ve been a bit sick with a nasty head cold all weekend and not feeling so much like my usual jovial self.  Stewing over this new batch of issues and having Dr. Chairman ignore my emails and text message all weekend has put me in a dark mood. 

Someone nagged me all weekend to go to the doctor for this cold, but I’m not on my death bed and that’s the prerequisite for me to do something so rash.  He reminded me that I always insist he go to the doctor at the slightest sniffle, and he goes because I ask him to.  Of course I ask him to go!  I hate being around sick people.       

I thought of a gift to give "deserving people"...if it makes no sense, please don’t fret.  Tomorrow is another day and this will all be water under the bridge at some point.   

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm not a poet

I’m going to start with an apology for that previous post. Obviously, poetry is not my thing but sometimes it’s just fun to mess around with it.

I don’t often get writer’s block, but then I don’t write much without specific purpose…other than this stupid blog. And yes, my blog is rather pointless and stupid. Sarah is my most faithful reader as far as I know. I check my pitiful stats from time to time. My most popular post (the one at the top of the list) is hit on by pervs searching for stories about little girls and panties. No doubt they are very disappointed when they arrive at that post! The most hits outside the US come from Russia.

So, blogspot has been a miserable tool lately. I keep getting weird formatting things happening, and what is worse, I can’t seem to correct them! I’ve even deleted whole posts and added them back new only to have different weird crap show up. I’m almost to the point of not caring, except I do care because I want things to look right.

I’m in limbo while waiting for the IRB to reject my proposal again. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get out and run a bit at nights. It’s hard for an old, fat lady like me to build a running habit again. I do love running though, especially at night in the moonlight and under the stars when you can hear the frogs. Perhaps I’ll get back into running shape and do some races later this summer. Races are fun. Before school demanded all my free time, me and Someone use to run all the local ones and it was great fun seeing the same people at them. Someone probably really wouldn’t care if I used his name in my blog, and I doubt he would ever find out since he does nothing on a computer except play FreeCell and occasionally visit eBay. I kind of like that he doesn’t know I have a blog.

I wrote the poem (i.e. referring again to the previous post) about trying to find words to write on paper. The hardest thing of all for me is talking. I’m grateful not to be deaf, but if I somehow became unable to utter another sound, I wouldn’t be too upset. Nobody has ever accused me of being a great communicator. Someone says I never listen. Not true! I listen at least 30% of the time. A lady I used to work with told me once that she thinks it’s ironic that I’ve had two husbands and both were men who talked/talk incessantly. She thinks I attract people who like to talk because they don’t have to compete with me. All of my children talk a lot too. They must have inherited talk genes from their fathers.


As for me, I rarely opened my mouth in school. Only if a teacher specifically called on me and wouldn’t accept a shrug would I ever speak up, or if I had to do a presentation for a grade.  I don’t remember volunteering to say anything in class, not even in high school or college. When I was very young, they tested my hearing thinking I might be hard of hearing.  I guess I just really had nothing to say. The online class world is very different. I found asynchronous class discussion forums to be quite entertaining at times, but it took me a long time to get used to writing comments…especially when they were about things I had little interest in.

Sarah’s kittens are adorable!!! How can anyone not love something so darn cute!!! I’d love to adopt them both….but we already have two cats and a dog. No more pets for us!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

writer's block

Blank page to fill with my thoughts,

as if words or characters could symbolize the mess in my head.

Better to use paint and string…or wire.

Color and form in shifting shapes

3-D chaos

silent disaster

Trash art morphs into forced conformity.

The white space wants order.

The brain space complies reluctantly.