Sunday, April 29, 2007

Don't do what you want. Do what you don't want. Do what you're trained not to want. Do the things that scare you the most. (Chuck Palahniuk)

Becky and I went to the Barnes & Noble today, and I bought a how-to book for training the dogs. We have a bargain: she's going to take charge of training the dogs to be well-behaved and in return for doing that within 6 weeks, I'll pay her $100. I'm at the point of calling in professional trainers, but after finding out how much that would cost the $100 is a good deal for both of us. (I offered to let my son in on the deal, but he doesn't see the point.)

It's not just the dogs that need training to be well-behaved. I need to work on getting the kids to do what they're supposed as well. But they're only following my example, and I have to admit that I haven't been doing well lately. The house is a mess (i.e. dirty dishes in the sink, the rugs aren't vacuumed, dirty laundry is piled up, and I can't remember the last time I cooked an actual meal).

What I need is to do is go back to my basic Flylady routine. I know that 15 minutes at a time is all that it takes. But I keep focusing on the lists of things to be done, and I never quite make it to the starting point.

Of course, it doesn't help that I let myself get distracted playing online. (I can't find time or energy to stick a load of laundry into the washing machine, but I can redo the family website -- go figure!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It is always the best policy to speak the truth--unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar. (Jerome K. Jerome)

The boy I work with in the afternoons (J.) has relatives visiting from Ireland. The youngest, a 9 year old "Kid", was excited because I had invited him to join us in a trip to a nearby park after J. had finished his chores. While J. worked, the Kid and I chatted. The Kid was anxious to get to the park, so I suggested that he help J. finish the chores.

"I don't have to do chores while I'm here," the Kid told me. I wanted to know why not, since chores were good for you. He didn't believe me, so I explained that chores made you grow tall. I cited J. as an example, since J. is easily 6' tall.

"Are you telling me the truth?" he demanded.

"Of course I am," I assured him, with a straight face.

He looked very thoughtful, and sat quietly for a few minutes. Then he asked me to stick out my tongue. Thinking that he had been distracted onto a new topic, I stuck out my tongue.

He looked at it, then nodded seriously. "Aye, tis black indeed. You're lying to me."

Apparently, my children aren't the only ones who have me figured out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lying increases the creative faculties, expands the ego, and lessens the frictions of social contacts. (Clare Booth Luce)

Over on my family blog, we're playing a game called "3 truths and a fib." It's a game we used to do in Girl Scout trainings, as a way of getting to know each other quickly. The rules are simple: tell four things about yourself, only three of which are true. Everyone else tries to guess which one is the fib.

The game is tougher than it sounds. The way to win is to come up with truths that sound like a lie, and a lie that sounds like the truth.

I actually am pretty proud of how well I can do this. It's a talent that I don't have any opportunity (other than this) to brag about. I mean, imagine how it would sound at work if I told everyone I'm a really good fibber, and then had to call in sick.

As a storyteller, fibbing well is a good talent to have. Fiction is just fibbing that been nurtured and developed. So in light of that, be warned. I may need to practice my talent from time to time. So in the future, when you read something posted here, please remember that the truth may sound like a fib, and a good fib will sound like the truth.

Feel free to comment on which is which!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down. (Hector Berlioz)

Tuesday Challenge

As I drove home from work today, I amused myself by composing this evening’s post. I really outdid myself, too. It was not merely witty, but outright amusing. I even managed to fit in a pun (which has been absent from my writing lately). And yet it was a timely topic, meant to leave the reader thinking.

Unfortunately, by the time I sat down at the keyboard I had forgotten every word. To tell the truth, I can’t even remember what the topic was.

So you’ll just have to trust me that sometimes I show true brilliance and make it worth visiting this blog…

Sunday, April 15, 2007

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart. (Phyllis Theroux)

The Macroday topic for today is "stationery." I love stationery. I collect reams and reams of it. One of the drawers in my filing cabinet is filled with sheets of writing paper; a second drawer is nothing but various sizes and colors of envelopes. I enjoy taking a plain page and turning it into a thing of beauty with rubber stamps and colored inks.

Even better than stationery are letters. Handwritten, personal messages that are sent with love and postage, evidence that somebody cared enough to provide a permanent record of their thoughts of you. Even a letter that's been spell-checked and printed out can provide a thrill when discovered in your snailmailbox.

Don't get me wrong; I'm as much, if not more, of a technophile as the next person. I can't survive without checking my email several times a day. AIM stays open on my desktop whenever I'm online (even if I sometimes resort to the invisibility feature) so that I can IM with my family and friends. I find it much easier to type out what I want to say; my keyboard has an easier time keeping up with my thoughts than my pen and arthritic fingers.

But I love letters. I savor the few that arrive from my daughter, reading and re-reading each as the treasures that they are. I carried the note from my friend Carol for days, and it brought a smile to my face each time I caught sight of the card when I opened my purse. I have a box of letters that have been sent to me over the years, and even though I keep vowing to declutter my life, the box remains.

You would think that feeling the way I do, I would be better at writing letters. Unfortunately, I'm basically lazy. I've had a letter in my purse that I started a week ago, with a promise in the first paragraph that I was going to finish it quickly and mail it right off. (Sorry, Cari. I promise I'll try to finish it and mail it tomorrow.) I have an envelope with photos to return to my cousin just as soon as I can write a note to go along with them. I have a beautiful card in my briefcase that I want to send to my grandmother. It's in the same file as the funny card for my best friend and the thank you note that is at least two weeks overdue.

So if I owe you a letter, I apologize. My heart is willing, but my hands are sore.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears. (Edgar Allen Poe)

There is a really good story behind this picture. I'm talking beauty, pain, laughter, tears, an emergency trip to Walmart. Unfortunately, I can't tell you the full story because it is far, far too embarrassing; it's the type of story that once told, can never be lived down for an entire lifetime. Sorry.

Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it. (Bernard Meltzer)

Friday, April 13, 2007

If writers stopped writing about what happened to them, then there would be a lot of empty pages. (Elaine Liner )


Thursday Challenge

Photo Sharks
(I know. This really isn't "Father," it's more "Grandfather" as in grandfather clock. It's also "Father Time." Unfortunately, the more traditional meaning of "father" translates into a nasty word in my house.)

Saturday Photo Hunters

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some. (Herbert Rappaport)

The Lens Day challenge is "Spring." To me, spring has always meant the arrival of crocuses, daffodils, and tulips. But down here in Florida, the only tulips I find are in the florist shops.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others. (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Does anyone want to buy a van? I need to sell mine, since I'm never going to drive it again.

You see, there was a spider in it. Which means that I can't ever get into the van again. Because where's there's one spider, there might be a second one. Or the first spider may have laid eggs before it was chased away. Which means that there will forever be a chance that I'll see another spider in the van. And I barely survived this one.

You see, I was driving home from the store when the spider crawled across the windshield. It was big. Really huge. A gigantic, horrid 8-legged creature that could easily be the star of his own (okay, "her own" since I've already had it laying eggs) horror story. Luckily I was stopped at a traffic light, or things could have been really bad. As it was, I barely managed to keep breathing long enough to pull over and get out of the van. I wish I was exaggerating when I say that a policeman stopped to help me, convinced that I was either the victim of an attempted carjacking or else in need of medical attention for a heart attack. When I explained about the spider, he just stared at me for a long minute, burst into laughter, and drove away. Without checking the van for the spider!

So I finally pulled myself together, and checked for the spider myself. I I finally found one on top of the car. I managed to brush it off with a really long stick, and then I quickly jumped in the van and sped off, hoping that the spider wasn't going to catch up to me.

[For the record, I know I wasn't being rational. But who could possibly be rational around a spider?]

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something. (Jackie Mason)

I stopped at the store on my way home to get a bottle of Chili sauce. (I wanted to put on a batch of Marlowe's Meatballs for dinner tomorrow.) That's all I needed when I entered the store, just the one item. But when I left, I needed several bags to carry the items I bought.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We are never too late. We arrive precisely when we mean to. (J.R. R. Tolkien )

I was trying to think of what I could take a picture of to represent Miss in the Shutterday meme. The idea of missing the train did cross my mind, but PJ and I have been very good at making it to the station on time in the mornings.

I really should be more careful about what I think. (The expression, "Be careful what you wish for..." comes to mind.) This morning PJ missed the train. We had just purchased his ticket and were waiting for it to print out when the train started to pull away.

For anyone who may have wondered, it was confirmed that I do, indeed, know how to curse.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Patience is a Virgil. (Elaine)

I swear I only took my eyes off of her for a minute. It's like having a 2-year-old in the house again!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Some people walk in the rain... others just get wet... (Roger Miller)

I finally managed to get to Clematis By Night. Clematis is a free concert event that the town puts on every week. Along with the live band, there are craft booths and food tents. And, of course, lots of beer. Basically, it's a big party that anyone can go to.

Profits from the beer trucks benefit various not-for-profit agencies. Becky and I volunteered to help out this week, since it was for an agency I know. I sold beers, while Becky worked at the raffle table. We had a blast! About halfway through the night we had some much needed rain, and I ended up soaked. Becky was under the tent, so she just laughed at me. That was okay; we kept beer sales going, even in the downpour.

Next week, maybe I'll go downtown just for fun. I might even see what it's like on the customer side of the beer table...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

All jobs are easy to the person who doesn't have to do them. (Holt's Law)

On the way into work this morning, I heard something that really tickled my fancy. Apparently there are Professional pooper-scoopers. In the United States, this is a 7 million dollar industry, and growing. A professional pooper scooper earns between $7.50 and $15 a dog per week. It just boggles my mind.

On the plus side, when I remind the children to take a plastic bag with them when they walk the dogs, I'm no longer just being a nagging mother. I am preparing them for possible future careers!