Thursday, May 31, 2007

17 Days

Till Late Night Catechism. And yesterday I found out there isn't a state of the art sound system available to us, as rumor had it. So now I am on the prowl for a system and someone to run it.

For weeks my mantra has been I'm tired. Not that I've been actually saying this outloud, but in the early quiet of the morning, or while weeding in the garden, I hear it. The voice tells me I'm tired and I say, "I know. Hanging in there. It will be over soon."


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Out in the garden

I've been putting in a vegetable garden this year. Well, actually it's gardens: one next to the house, one down on the hill, and the usual herb section in front. I'm having visions of spending a lot of time weeding and chasing a cute little bunny away from my beans.

Our yard is fenced in, but I've noticed this little guest squeezing himself under the fence to eat the clover in our lawn. When I walk outside to dump the compost, or turn on the sprinklers, he scurries to the far corner of the yard and exits stage left. "We have to put a fence up, around the beans, corn and beets," I said the other night. Hoping the other gardens are not in his usual munching territory.

"Yeah, you're probably right."

So I've been thinking just how can I fence in a terraced garden? Maybe all I need is a foot of chicken wire at the end of each terrace? Maybe this bunny knows just how mad I'll get if I notice my baby seedlings are no more.

We've had a ground hog problems in the past. Initially when we would spy the ground hog we would have thoughts of, "Oh how cute!", his massive rump wriggling through the grass as he headed for home. But the cuteness died a quick death when I saw that robust critter stand up on his hind legs to munch my flower blossoms. It was war. Have-A-Heart became was the code name for our garden saving operation. Did you know ground hogs can't resist cantaloupe rinds with just a little bit of fruit left on them?

I really don't want to resort to such measures. Mind you all we do is loving relocate our guest to a nice wooded area nearby. But maybe, before things get so drastic, I should post a sign by the fence:

Please don't eat the daisies, columbine, brown-eyed susans, purple conehead, tomatoes, peppers, beans, beets, corn or basil.

Yeah, I could lean it up against our Have-A-Heart.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kiss Your Children

Over this glorious weekend, a teenage slipped down a steep embankment and into the deadly waters of a quarry. We were out running errands when the news was announced over the radio. The car was quiet. Our children weren't with us. They were enjoying an overnight with nana and grandpa. Subconsciously, we went to pick them up early. And as we visited before dinner I was all over them with kisses and hugs. I couldn't help myself. It had been not quite 24 hours since I had seen them.

My older one is not always home, spending time with dad. Even though the shower of affection can't physically happen when she is with him, there are daily phone calls. Usually just one, after school to find out about the day's events. Sometimes more than one. The call could be five minutes in length or usually when I'm pressed for time, that's when the conversation takes on a life of it's own. And I'm reminded that this right now is the most important thing in life. Because if we dismiss our children today, who's to say they will be there tomorrow?

My heart is heavy, for these parents, who in the time it takes to slip down an embankment lost their son. God give them strength. I cannot imagine the pain and anguish they are going through.

Kiss your children, every moment of everyday. Make sure they know that you love them.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Painting Season is upon us

This morning, after an anniversary ride with the manly motorcycle man, he asked, over a quiet cup of coffee, "What's next?"

"Well," I said, "it's Memorial Day. (Should we make it memorable?) The start of painting season. Aren't there book shelves to be painted?"

Yes, we have wonderful handmade bookshelves my aunt and uncle built. They delivered them primed, and they have been waiting for today. So today, in the middle of the kitchen, I started the painting season with a smile on my face. Smiling because on the painting season docket are the bookcases, one upstairs bedroom, and maybe a bathroom. And the decking outside needs to be resealed... and the basement walls... (my smile is slipping a bit)

Also I sent out six email query letters for Forever Yours. So far two rejections. So I am well on my way to getting my acceptance. I love this time of year.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Regrets, Secrets, Something I haven't told you

Yesterday I found out a, There's something I haven't told you.

A friend said those words and then followed it up with the something. Who the friend is doesn't matter, and what they said matters less. I learned this a long time ago.

When I was the Assistant Director of a biotechnology computer facility of a major university, (How is that for setting the stage?) I had the world's most wonderful boss. Her name was Martha. Everyone called her Marty. And in the year plus we worked together, she discovered her previous fight against cancer had come back with a vengeance.

It was everywhere they looked. Facing the battle head on, Marty endured many bouts with chemo, and radiation. She suffered sores, hair loss, loss of appetite, vomitting, exhaustion, and the aches and pains of fighting the spreading disease. For a while, the tumors showed signs of shrinking, but then the disease dug in its heels and it was a full body assault. Towards the end, when they wanted to do a CAT scan of her brain, she told them, "There are no cats in my head." We all smiled when she told us what she said. And I still smile when I think about it. But the truth being, if the cancer had spread there, there was nothing they would do, and she didn't want to know.

When my life pulled me out of the facility, I'll never forget those last few days we had working together. The backups done, no one looking for help with DNA or protein sequence analysis, we sat talked. No difference really from how the facility had run for the past year, but we could feel the end of our chatting was coming to a close.

I promised to come back and visit, after the baby was born. And I did, twice. She promised not to clear out my desk before the moving van had the chance to empty my house. And then in a natural pause in the conversation she said, "I have something to tell you."

As I type this I can see her face, and it's been over 15 years since that conversation.

"I have something to tell you." Marty's face was very serious.

"You said that already." I couldn't imagine what it could be. We were closer than sisters.

"I've been married more times than you know. There was one more."

I stopped her. Wouldn't let her say another word. I said then, and I said now, "Your experiences, both good and bad, are what made you who you are today. And I love you just the way you are."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's done!

My book, Forever Yours is done! A miracle, an eventuality, a something -- and it's done, finally -- for the 11th time. I printed out the query letter, the first 13 (for luck) pages, and will address the SASE and the outside envelope today. The first submission of many many over the next few days.

My desk space in front of my keyboard is clear. A first -- for a year that space has held Forever Yours in one revision or another. And I'm hoping that it comes back, covered with editing notes from a publisher. Miracles do happen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What's your day job?

Somebody, who should know better asked me, "What's your day job?"

Hiding my disgust behind a smile, I replied, "I'm a writer."

Their reply, smiling wider, "We all know that doesn't pay."

I think they were more aghast by the fact that they wanted a copy of a digital slideshow I had put together for a church event and, wouldn't you know, I was charging for it. "Do you make a lot of these?" they asked.

"Mostly for friends..." my answer tailed off there. I was afraid I might say, for the school band, various classrooms through out the year, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, the church -- this was the second one in as many monthes. Yes, it keeps me quite busy, and not writing. Hence, it doesn't pay.

Oh sure this show was only 9 minutes long, but it took upwards of 12 cuts, and as many disks, to get it just the way they (the church people) and I wanted it. No one ever wants to pay for computer time. They see 9 minutes and think the show fell out of a tree.

I think I'm ranting here... NO, I know I am. Well, next time I'm ask to volunteer my time to put together a little something, I think I'll say something like, "You can't afford me." Maybe some money will follow... but what I really want is respect.

Actually I did say, "You can't afford me," to a friend recently. It's true for the size project they presented, the cost would be astronomical. So they are doing all the leg work of finding the music, and scanning and lining up the photos. Then together, we'll work the computer magic. Still it'll take days to get it right, which it should be, especially for a friend. For me, this process will be priceless.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My 15, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, almost 1 minute of FAME

Usually this blog gets hit 10 or so times a day. (Thank you for coming.) Somedays, especially when my mom is surfing the net, (HI MOM!), it's a few more. And then if I log in from some other computer, besides the one it calls home, another is added to the daily total.

But there have been a few times when I commented on national tragedies, or town happenings, where a few more readers find this site, and the sitemeter goes to a crazy 29 or 34. It was during one of these times that a newspaper reporter discovered my writing, and quoted this blog in the local newspaper. Imagine, drinking that first morning coffee, it doesn't matter that it's decaf, and reading... something like... a local blogger, said it like this.... I was shocked, Oh my God -- there's my blog! Then surprised, and a little amazed. I sent off an email, full of thanks for being quoted. But by emailing I revealed who ptcakes really is, a mild mannered mother of active children, and wife of the manly motorcycle man. Still, being a writer, I'll admit, it's nice to be noticed for one's writing -- even though it's just a blog. (Did I really type that???)

The almost FAME hit this weekend. An email arrived carrying the question from the very nice reporter, "Would you like to be interviewed for a newspaper article on local bloggers?"

Again the wave of shock, was followed by surprise and amazement. Someone wanted to write a newspaper article about me. WOW! And then I asked, "WHY me?"

The answer: Blogging is such a phenomenon. And you are a local blogger. Reasonable enough, except that the article would put a name to the writing. I said I'd have think about it. Actually I quickly polled two friends. Would you, could you give them your name? Would you, could you, knowing life might not be the same?

It was one for and one against. Great for getting your book noticed! What about the kids?

What if the truly wonderful soccer coach, really he is, discovered behind my warm smile lurks the chilled to the bone anti-soccer mom. Or what if the little ones heard that their latest attempts at flying off the swing set were being told and retold around the world? Not really, but what if?

p.t.cakes offers this Young Adult novelist a place to write about life, my life, my childrens' lives, my manly motorcycle man. It's a place were I can remind myself of that there is humor in split milk, or in filling the water gun up from the birdbath and then squirting your sibling in the face. A place where I can reflect and write about hopes, and fears. If I give them my name, then that's all gone.

So here is my 3 or 4 minutes of fame, or at least how long it took you to read this entry. And to end it all, a quote:

I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly

I feel it coming together
People will see me and cry

I'm gonna make it to heaven
Light up the sky like a flame

I'm gonna live forever
Baby remember my name



Monday, May 21, 2007

Does your house work like this?

We all have jobs at this house. One clears the table, loads and empties the dishwasher. Others have to clean their rooms, and pick up the dining room table. One has the mowing to contend with. Notice I said mowing, for it's another one's job, mine, to do the fertilizing, and the rest of all the other jobs that aren't listed above.

On Saturday I ran the dishwasher. It was 11:30 at night. I did it, as I worried about the oldest at a new babysitting gig. The gig was suppose to be up at 10:30. At 11:15 I called to make sure she was still alive. At 11:30 she was delivered home. But, let me get back to the dishwasher.

When I was loading it, I heard --"That's not your job." I scanned the kitchen. Dirty dishes were everywhere. Food left from lunch on the plates. It's not that we sat around eating bon bons all day. We were barely home for meals, then out the rest of the day. This weekend was a tornado of activities, and Monday and Tuesday don't look much better.

But back to the diswasher, my reply, "I can't stand this mess, and she's late."

A disguisted look followed. The dishwasher loaded, the counters wiped down, laundry folded, a babysitter home, I went to bed.

Sunday, the tornado continued. I left the house at 6:30 AM, and finally walked back in at 5 PM. All the dishes from the whole day were on the counter. I looked. My look is registered. The comment, "I'm waiting for the dishwasher to be emptied."

So, it's now Monday AM. the dishwasher is still not emptied, the dishes are even higher. But in order to start the week, to get breakfast, to make lunches, I need the counter. So who empties the dishwasher? Not the sleepy one who is still trying to catch up on sleep. It's me, the one who plows through the mess on the tables, finally puts books away, and throws out the treasures they abolutely must have after stepping over them for a solid week.

I do have my limits. I refuse to look for shoes. When the complaint comes up, I can't find my.... I reply, "I know where mine are." (Except when it comes ot my keys...) Then I ask for help... We all have our limits.

Now back to some previously unscheduled dishes.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Spinning and the knitting

Spin a little; knit a little.
That's all I do.

When I was blessed with these two sheep worth of wool, I saw a millions socks laid out before me. Now, after trying to teach myself to spin, I see shawls. For I'm not good enough to spin yard that is thin enough and soft enough to be worked into socks. So, I spin a little, then knit a little. Working on a shawl.

The little ones are getting into the spinning. And I let them go at it with a piece of roving, i.e. combed out washed wool. They sit and spin at the kitchen table. Always asking, "Is this good enough?" Crazy that they are asking me. Generally, I can't learn anything without being shown. And all I've learned so far, I've picked up from reading a book.

I need to see someone's hands working this miracle with a dropped spindle. In the meantime, my yarn will be on the thicker non uniform in diameter; perfect for a shawl.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Am I the only person on the face of the earth that sees a problem with kids, supposedly playing soccer for the fun of the game or for exercise, when it is 45 degrees and raining? They're not professionals. There's no big contract or monetary disputes and wranglings. They're teenagers. The most they're going to get out of today is a good dose of team perpetuated pneumonia.

Yes, my soccer star went off with her dad. They've been doing this for years; happily. While I stay at home and wonder. What would happen if sensibility took over and on cold rainy days the players stayed home?

Mind you, I've been out there on warm rainy days, still chilled to the bone, (I've never warm.)watching and cheering. But today, for me -- I was hitting the check mail button every 10 seconds hoping for that message that would relax the childhood guilt of missing a game, and send the star back upstairs for an other hour of sleep.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Apple Trees

I've never pictured myself as a modern day Johnny Appleseed. But for the past two years we've been growing a number of apple trees from seeds we've collected from the fruit we've eaten. This may not seem strange at first. However, the truth is, up until two years ago, any apple seed I planted resulted in a pot of dirt, or a plot of weeds. Now we have trees in pots, trees in the backyard and a tree growing out by our mailbox.

And I wonder how much of this is the hand of the planter, and how much of this is the spirit of the land? A lifetime before we settled here, our backyard was an apple orchard. And up until the day we cleared the overgrown brush behind our house, one of the original apple trees, ragged, gnarly and scarred, twisted towards the sky. I distinctly remember the landscraper asking me, "Do you want that tree?"

Without giving it a second thought, for the fruits were bitter, or impossible to reach, replied, "No, you can take it down."

Since then, not a spring goes by, where I don't think of that tree, and the beautiful apple blossoms it displayed for us each April. What was I thinking? I was thinking, we'd buy an apple tree or two, of the variety we like to eat, and replace it. Hindsight tells me, in 30 seconds the history for this land was altered forever, and almost ruined.

But what does it matter? Life goes on. Progress, for the sake of progress, must be made. But does it? Does the land know better? It's true those first dozen or so apple seeds that were planted were done in pots, on our backstairs. One of the little ones wanted to try. I thought it was a foolish whim of a six year old. But the seeds germinated and we still have two of those spindly trees growing in pots in our kitchen garbage garden. (They need to be planted outside.) And from that time, we've discovered 4 more leafy healthy trees growing outside. The products of our vigorous composting.

With each discovered seedling, I breathe a little easier. Each baby is given a cleared root pad and access to the sun. Each one leaves me with the feeling that soon enough the history of this land will be repeated and all will be as it should.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Today's Post is by Dawn

In celebration of the Framingham House Tour and Dawn's first of many Boston Globe articles.
Congratulations Dawn! Can I join you and Matlock Mom?

And last and least, this morning I became the proud grandmother to a bouncing baby guppy. Mother, whichever one she is, and baby are doing swimmingly.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Yesterday was a day for either folding back into bed, or facing head on. Through life, I've learned what you ignore today, will be staring you in the face tomorrow. So with a list in my pocket, I headed out to the door.

As I negotiated the 20 minutes of traffic, just to get off my street, I wondered what gifts would I encounter today. For I've discovered, on what seems to be the toughest days to get through there are gentle gifts sprinkled throughout.

The first gift was at the Registry. After pulling into the last parking spot in lot, I remembered I had left the checkbook at home. As I was contemplating going in, walking out was the Registry Lady in Blue. A woman who always amazes me by her shear volume of Registry knowledge. I asked, "Can I use a credit card when registering a vehicle?"

Her oracle response, "All Registry transactions must be in the form of cash or check."

I thanked her. Practically bowing, for she saved me waiting in the long greeter line to get the same answer. Making my way back to my car, I noticed the three cars vulturing for spots. Instead of wallowing in the grumps of wondering if I'd be parking in the next town when I returned, I asked myself, "What's the purpose of my leaving here? What is going to happen?"

As I drove home, I noticed three things:

1.The traffic had dissipated. The roads clear, I was back to the house in no time.
2. The Callahan Senior Center, where I should drop off a couple of fliers for Late Night Catechism, and the thought of group rates crossed my mind. At a long light, I called our Ticketmaster and left a message wondering if we could offer $5 off per ticket on groups of 10 or more.
And 3. At home, a message from Dimidis and Sons (our car mechanics extraordinaire). They would be happy to have an ad in the Late Night Catechism playbill. Good things happen.

Checkbook in hand, I was back at the Registry in record time, where I had my pick of parking spaces. And to top things off, I didn't even have time to get uncomfortable on the bench before my number was called.

My next stop was the Selectmen's Office at town hall. Last week, I had called to see if I could sell tickets for Late Night Catechism at town meeting. Their answer, "No, but if you bring in fliers, we will see that the town meeting members get them." As I walked in the door, 200 copies in hand, I was greeted by an old aquaintance. She had been working at town hall for 22 years. This being my first trip to the Selectmen's Office, I never knew. We chatted, catching up on the kids, and life. In the end, she assured me the fliers would be distributed, thought about coming to the show herself, and would even make a few more copies for the town internal mailboxes. I thanked her. I hope our paths cross again soon.

Next on the list was a cold call at a potential Late Night Catechism ad spot. As I was driving past Paramount Harley Davidson, and wondering if I should stop in to follow up on my inquiry into whether they would like a playbill ad, my cell phone started ringing. Not one who can answer a phone and drive standard, I pulled into Paramount's parking lot, parked, and answered the phone.

It was our Ticketmaster. "Yes, group rates are a great idea. Five dollars off per ticket, on groups of ten or more will work."

I told her, "Your call is a sign." That I should go in and check on the possibility of an ad. Two minutes later I was talking with the owner. One minute after that, was the hand off of the ad copy, the check and the handshake. Thank you, Paramount Harley Davidson.

Further down the road, at my destination, while waiting to speak with someone about Late Night Catechism, I found the perfect gift for a friend. This was the first time I'd been in this store, but there it was, right by door.

Next was food shopping. Where I saw many familiar faces. Listened to the constant wails of a child, and remembered the days when mine were the center of so much attention. And said a prayer for the mom, for she was the pillar of patience.

On my final approach for home, I dropped off two fliers for Late Night Catechism at the Callahan Senior Center, where I spoke with two wonderful women. The prices caught them off guard at first, but in the end we were all in agreement for a REAL BROADWAY show, prices were very reasonable. I mentioned the group discount, "Oh even more reasonable", and we parted with hopes of seeing eachother at the show.

My morning ended with a stop at my friend's to surprise her with the gift, saying, "I saw this and thought of you." Our visit was brief. She was busy moving furniture and I had to get to school for an afternoon of making electricity board games.

There is such promise to life after having a day like yesterday.
So many gifts, squeezed into so little time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

How can there be a list?

How can there be a list of things all needing to be taken care of at 5:30 in the morning? And all I want to do is ride my motorcycle. But I don't... too much stuff stands between me and the key.

I just got two huge projects off my desk. You would think, I'd be crazy with delight. I'm not. All that happened was four other projects became uncovered. How does this happen? Why is my desk a mine field of deadlines and commitments?

One thing at a time.
One picture at a time.
One ad at a time.
One page at a time.

How am I ever going to get through this?

One thing at a time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Late Night Catechism

Interested in some edgy humor that pokes fun at Catholic education?

Interested in helping some young adults raise money so they can attend World Youth Day in 2008?

Interested in both? Do I have the fundraising event for you.

Sister is coming to Framingham, MA., and is she going to teach us a thing or two. She's holding class June 16, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. at Marian High School.

This is the REAL BROADWAY show direct from NYC, without the traffic, or having to pay for parking. Ticket prices are also strictly off Broadway, being either $35 for general seating or $50 for center seating and a preshow reception.

To show their thankfulness for supporting their efforts to attend WYD'08, refreshments at Intermission are free. It sounds like a win-win deal to me. No traffic, free parking, free refreshments, and low prices for this truly hysterical Broadway production.

If you are interested in tickets, leave a comment here. I have an in with the box office manager.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

The perfect walk on the perfect day

Yesterday I went for a walk with two old friends. It was the perfect day to be out in the woods. The air was warm, the sun was shining, and the poems from Laura's blog were on my mind.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow.

I've often wonder just where is heaven? Is it:

... into the next room.
Nothing has happened.
Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together
is untouched, unchanged.

My grandfather was always finding a penny, a nickel and quarter, on the sidewalk. He would go for walks in the woods and come out with deer antlers, arrow heads, old cannon balls, quartz crystals the size of your fist. I could've just walked by that very same piece of road, that same section of woods and come up empty handed. But Grandpa, would emerge cradling the treasures of the world.

So, when I'm out walking and I find a penny, I pick it up and say, "Pennies from heaven. A penny from Grandpa." And I get the sense that he is close. But is this just the wishful thinking of a granddaughter for her beloved grandfather?

Yesterday when we were walking, while listening to stories about our town when cars were not so popular and trips to the store for sugar or milk were made on clamp-on roller skates, I was wondering about heaven. I was hoping for a sign, as in the poem, that death takes us into another room. I was hoping for some concrete evidence that life goes on.

The air clear, the trail dry, we made good progress. I asked about our house, when you were a little boy. "Do you remember the apple orchard?"

"No, I just remember the house and the sisters." Previous walks and previous stories had told me one sister was quite short and when she drove their car you could barely see her head above the steering wheel.

While walking past the spot where the old tractor got stuck, I noticed a toad. A huge one that was slow enough for me to capture for a minute. I had never seen one so big, outside of a museum. As our trek continued we crossed a stream I spied a frog, and checked for tadpoles.

As we cut through the meadow two snakes darted into the grass. Now I shared my story of running along an old rail trail and watching HUGE black water snakes slither off the trail ahead of me. "I don't mind snakes after seeing sometimes 10 or more on the trial."

Up ahead, I pointed out small pink and purple wildflowers in bloom. All my interest in nature was causing my friend to chuckle and got me the name Nature girl. I laughed too.

After rounding the corner by the pond, I found a perfect turkey feather. My eyes were the size of half dollars, as I swifty reached down and picked it up. "It's a beauty!" Later I used the feather to lift a tiny snake off the path.

On the path towards home, I was taking inventory of all the wonderful things we had seen: 4 snakes, 1 jumping spider, 2 frogs, a toad, wildflowers. It had been a great walk, with great company, great stories, and great sightings. And then I saw it. In a place where we had walked a million times, and millions had tred before us: a deer antler. The vision of my Grandfather smiling face flashed into my mind.

And I knew heaven is here on earth. In the next room. That nothing has changed. I whispered his familiar name, Grandpa, and I said, "thank you."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The perfect day

I woke up with cool air streaming in through the open window. On it, carried the simple song of a content bird. Instead of racing to get up, get breakfast, lunches and sorting the million details of the day, I laid there. Listening. Thinking of the funeral that will be taking place in just a few hours. Feeling the weight of the sadness that has blanketed so many lives.

Today is the perfect spring day. Thanks Laura for posting the poem, I do not die. May life's good things always show us our loved ones remain by our side.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Still not a time for levity

Despite the bright sunshine, there is a heavy cloud hanging over this town. I've gotten emails and talked with neighbors. How could this have happened? The sense of lose and sorrow is just too big. I've kissed my girls a million times over the past day. Told them I love them two million times and let them pick out their choice of vegetable at dinner.

When they were younger and the war fresher, when I sent them off to school, I would worry, what if something happens and I don't see them again? What would I do if this came true? What would I do if a policeman came to my door? Just typing that question, brings tears to my eyes. I don't think anyone can comprehend these circumstances. I don't think anyone can imagine the pain of losing a child, for it must consume you.

I send my prayers to the Valdivia family.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My heart and prayers

On this beautiful springtime day, on the front page of today's paper it was reported that Jeovanni Lopez passed way after a car accident in Florida. I sit here in shock and disbelief. Tears in my eyes for his parents, his family, and his neighbors who waited for his safe return for Iraq. It's such an unimagineable lose that I wouldn't even attempt to comprehend how anyone could deal with this.
It's a very sad day in this old town.

Sunday, May 06, 2007



2 a : the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning b : a usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony c : an ironic expression or utterance
3 a (1) : incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (2) : an event or result marked by such incongruity b : incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play -- called also dramatic irony, tragic irony

Example from church:
At the Sign of Peace, "MOM," said so everyone in a four pew radius could hear, "she hit me!"

God, give me strength.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Daisy's Doings

It's wonderful to go on holiday. And it's even better to come back home. Paris was fun. Les biscuits sont tres bien. Mais, I've missed my yard. I've missed visiting ptcakes, and I've missed taking over her blogging, when her day job scarfs up all her time. Motherhood has it's all encompassing moments. I never knew...

That woman has been running in circles like a three legged dog. Worse, I've seen her driving around in a hard boiled egg. The tires aren't big enough to mark as my own. I barked, "Don't you know how to relax?" All she did was toot and wave. A toot and a wave, that's it. No sit downs for belly rubbing, no thank you pats for learning how to type and filling in while she doing donuts on the front lawn. Or contemplating exactly how much trouble one woman could get into with a plastic bag full of doggy dooo dooo. Not mine, mind you... I'm too much of a southern belle for that fool's play.

And I've heard she's helping out with the local chess club. Volunteering, I hear... That woman, if it's math or chess, she'd just about sell her soul to get in on the action. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I need a compress.

I better rest... ptcakes isn't... She's goin' be needin' me.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Good'n Nough

A couple of days ago I sent a tweaked recent blog entry to the local paper. As soon as the send button was clicked, and the email beyond my reach, waves of underlying panic rose. Will they like it? Will they publish it? Edit it? Will the readers like it, or should we put the house on the market and steal away in the middle of the night?

For the past two mornings I have scoured the online paper to see if it's there. Nothing so far. Half of me breathes a sigh of relief, while the other starts worrying about tomorrow's edition and asking, "Hey what's wrong with me?" Was it too wordy? Too long? Too sappy?


All the while, my eldest in facing polynomial hell. All the while, I'm telling her if you try your hardest, and I've watched her painstakingly go through every practice problem known to math student, then that is all you can ask of yourself. Regardless of the grade.

All the while, isn't it strange, how easy it is for me to handout advice, but not to see the wisdom for myself.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Dog

Yesterday I had a bit of company in the four footed variety. His owner called, wanting to come over to discuss one of the articles up for vote at Town Meeting. I said,"Sure." Then called back and said, "Bring my buddy."

Normally, we don't have dogs in the house. The house rule is: Dogs are animals, and animals belong outside. So until our future dog can grace the threshold and hang out in the kitchen and mudroom, we won't have one. Instead, we have doggie buddies that visit. Where these visits generally take place outside. But yesterday with the discussion of town politics, and knitting to be had, my buddy came in.

He is a good dog. A regular lover of being patted and a wonderful singer. At least once a visit there has to be a howl. It starts off low, and then builds to an all out festival of the vocal chords. Dogs and people alike, joining voices. Buddy's tail starts a wagging and the rest of us two footed howlers lose wind over laughing. Still Buddy won't cease his singing until he's told, "Okay, now... That's enough." All the while receiving a gentle hug about the neck and numerous pats of affection.

Howling is good. I find it releases tension and clears my head enough so I can mentally wade through the legalize of town politics. I guess I'll never be a Town Meeting Member, since they don't allow dogs in Town Hall.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Time to get back in the saddle again

Charlie called yesterday. We'd been waiting for his call over a week. "Is the manly biker man there? This is Charlie at Anderson's"

"No, he's not. But this is his wife. Do you have my bike?"

There was a pause. "Yeah, she's ready."

Charlie couldn't see it, but a smile spread across my face. Christmas on the last day of April. "Thanks we'll be over later."

I hadn't straddled my bike, affectionately labelled by the little one's, "The Black Spot" since the last warm day of fall. My nerdy blue helmet, the bike, and my mental and muscle memories of what to do to go from first to second to third and back again, sat idle all winter. And as the weather warmed, and I'd see bikers and their babes cruising past our house I'd have bouts of will I remember? Will I finally get myself out of our driveway and into that god forsaken traffic?

When the manly biker man returned, I informed him, "Charlie called. My bike is ready."

"Are you going to ride it home?" the manly one asked.

I didn't have to ponder that question too long. "Too much traffic." And there is every morning and every evening. Cars backed up for at least a mile in front of our house.

The man nodded in agreement. I'm sure there was a sigh of relief as well. After all he'd seen my only road experience last year, going from one school parking lot to the next -- a half mile down the road. His only comment, "You need to be in the middle of your lane, not hugging the curb." Yes, I still needed practice.

We drove over to pick up the bike. The man carrying his manly and ever so sexy black helmet, and black motorcycle gloves. Me, looking as wifely as I usually do. Charlie brought the bike around. She's a small one, only a 250; not a man's bike, not befitting the manly biker man.

"She's not warmed up." commented Charlie as he dismounted. "Ride safely."

The man and I both nodded. Then I kissed him and said, "Warm her up for me."

"Are you going to ride?" he asked, pulling his gloves on.

"In the driveway."

And as I walked back to our Rig, the manly biker man headed off, riding the little wifely bike home. That's love.