Wednesday, November 26, 2003

crimson the color

crimson is the color
of a dream:

beam from fierce ball of fire
pierces the frigid darkness of the universe....

distant planets with no name
flicker and blink red and blue
in deep vast space...

Lines from Evangelina Vigil-Pinon poem, crimson the color
Photo, Early Frost, taken by my sister

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Random Thoughts

We have had trouble staying connected to the Internet for the last couple of days. This morning I had to reconnect about every 30 seconds. This afternoon the phone company came out and ran the second phone line we ordered just for the Internet. They also replaced the old line for the phone and now everything is working fine.

Yesterday I was going to use for my quote, "You can pick your nose but you can't pick your family," but I thought it was a little tacky.

Blogger Forum says that Blogger realizes that they have been doing a bad job of communicating with their customers since they were bought by Google. They have hired Biz Stone to help rectify the problem and will be informing their users by e-mail some time in the future. So, why am I not reading this on Blogger's homepage?

My husband and I have reached the point where we have decided to disconnect the satellite TV dish again. The overload of programs about the 40th anniversary of JFK's assassination pushed me over the edge. In addition, if I never hear the names Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant,or Scott Peterson again, I will live a content life. If I never watch a newscast slanted toward the government about our military presence in Iran again, I will, again, live a content life. When our contract expires at the end of January we will not renew it.

Monday, November 24, 2003

It's A Family Affair

Blood's thicker than mud
-Sly And The Family Stone

Thanksgiving is Thursday and my husband and I were planning on spending it at home this year but our plans have changed. My husband's stepmother called us out of the blue on Saturday to invite us to Thanksgiving dinner. We have not seen her in over two years and have not talked to her in about one. The reason we have not seen her in two years is because the last time we visited she became very angry with me for not saying hello to her the minute we got to the house. I apologized but she was in such a rage she was shaking and repeatedly told me what a disgusting horrible person I was. My father-in-law finally stepped in and told her to stop. My husband had been on the receiving end of her rage before but this was the last straw for him and we left 10 minutes later. After that she got in to the habit of calling us up on the phone when my father-in-law wasn't at home to harangue us about our (in her mind) hatred of her. To say we were surprised to be invited to dinner would be putting it mildly.

We now know one of the reasons for her past behavior is that she was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. She is doing better in some ways now but there are times where she thinks what she believes to be true is the truth. So after telling her I would have to check to see if we had any other plans and saying I would call her back I hung up. Then my husband called and talked with his father and found out it was true, we were being invited for Thanksgiving. I was hesitant about going but my father-in-law is now in his early 80's and my husband realizes that the amount of time he has left to spend with his father is burning away fast. Of course he wants to see his father as much as possible so, I knew we had to go.

I then found out my sister's plan to fly to Virginia with her fiance to meet her future in-laws this Thanksgiving fell though due to work related stuff and that she would be staying in Denver; her fiance would still be going to see his family. My husband invited her to come with us and I was very happy when she said yes. So, the new plan is to drive to Denver Wednesday and spend the night at my sister's house and then on Thursday we drive to my father-in-laws house for Thanksgiving dinner.

The things we do for the people we love and the things the people who love us do for us.

Friday, November 21, 2003


Ain't life grand?
-Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde

Things are getting back to normal here. Emma is doing better. Her wounds are healing amazingly well. My husband has been applying a product called Gordon's EMT Gel once a day and it sure looks like it is helping. The gel is supposed to promote rapid healing and judging by the way Emma's wounds look after just three days, I'd say it works.

I still have to follow her around the yard when she goes out for a potty break (just to make sure she does not lay down on the ground), which is something she does not like. Each time I take her out she semi-trots around the yard glancing back at me every now and then with a questioning look. Ahh, the life of a dog owner.

Oh, by the way, I think my flu shot worked. The glands in my neck are swollen, I have a nagging headache, and my muscles and joints feel achey.

Thursday, November 20, 2003


We saw leaves go to glory,
Then almost migratory
Go part way down the lane,
And then to end the story
Get beaten down and pasted
In one wild day of rain.

We heard " 'Tis Over" roaring.
A year of leaves was wasted.
Oh, we made a boast of storing,
Of saving and keeping,
But only by ignoring
The waste of moments sleeping,
The waste of pleasure weeping,
By denying and ignoring
The waste of nations warring.

Poem, November, written by Robert Frost.
Photo, Chapel And Fall Leaves, taken by my sister.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

But I Don't Want To Be The Mommy

This is a day I would not want to live through again. This morning I was vacuuming the living room carpet when I noticed blood on one of the pads where the dogs sleep. Neither one was acting like anything was wrong but I know Emma is kind of tough so she could have cut a pad on one of her paws when my husband took her and Kate hunting earlier and not be showing any pain. I could see Emma lying on the ground in the front yard so I opened the front door and called her over to me. When she came she walked like she was hurting a little so I was pretty sure it was one of her pads. I picked up each paw and check the pads but could not find anything so I started running my hands over her body. When I felt around her chest I found an area that was wet and I leaned down to take a look, “OH, GOD!” There was a hole about the size of a silver dollar down near where her chest met her belly. I was so shocked by the image of that hole that it did not stick in my brain but kind of hit the surface and skittered off into the ether. I am still not sure what it really looked like. I was just afraid that what ever she ran into had punctured either a lung or her belly.

At this point the adrenaline kicked in and I was in controlled panic mode. My husband was out running errands and I wanted to get a hold of him but I did not know the number of the retail store that he had just left for minutes earlier. A neighbor knew the number so I hurried across the street, told her what had happened, got the number, called the store but was told my husband had just left. My neighbor asked me where he was headed next and I told her the post office so she ran to her car and went to find him. I went back to my house and called Emma’s vet. Her vet is in a town about an hour and a half away from us but three days a week she works at a satellite office in a town only 30 minutes away. Today was one of the days that she would be working in the closer town. When the Vet Tech answered I told her what was going on and she said the vet was on her way to the satellite office and would be there in about 45 minutes to an hour. I said we were on the way and that we would wait if we got there before her. Then went out to get a bed ready for Emma in the car.

While I was doing this my neighbor came back saying she could not find my husband. I asked her to look at Emma because I was not sure if I was over reacting or not. Maybe Emma wasn’t hurt as badly as I thought she was. Emma was walking around acting like nothing was wrong and even wagged her tail at my neighbor. My neighbor bent down to look at Emma’s chest but could not see anything so I reached under Emma’s front legs and lifted her into the air a bit. Now my neighbor could see the damage and she blurted out, “OH, GOD!” That was it- I wasn’t waiting any longer. I asked my neighbor to tell my husband where I had gone, put Emma in the car, and headed for the vet’s office.

During the drive I kept checking Emma out in the rear view mirror. I could tell she was uncomfortable because she would not lie down on the seat but sat up even though she was very sleepy. She would try to lie down but after about 30 seconds would sit up again. Once when I look at her I was shocked to see the damage to her body was greater than I thought. I could see a thick line of blood that started near her sternum and continued down to where I had seen the hole. I started crying, afraid she was seriously hurt and thinking the reason she wasn’t showing any pain was because she was in shock. I knew there was a vet in a town north of us and I wondered if I should go there instead of to Emma’s vet. This doctor was only about twenty minutes away. I was racing east and knew I would have to make a decision quickly because the turn to the town up north was only a few miles ahead of me. I didn’t know what to do. What if he wasn’t there? What if something happened to Emma before I got her to her own vet? I was panicking. What should I do? I was getting closer to the turn off. I had to make up my mind but I couldn’t decide. What, what should I do?

I decided to ask my mother. Maybe she could help me. So I asked out loud, “Mom, should turn up here?” I heard a voice in my head distinctly say, “No.” I drove past the turn off but about a mile later I was sure I had made the wrong decision. I asked my mother another question, “Should I keep going straight?’” I heard the word yes in my head but I was still worried about Emma and still not sure if I was making the right decision by driving on so I asked, “Is Emma going to be alright?” The answer came as quick and clear as the other two times, “Yes.” At that moment my anxiety level dropped from panic to worried and I was able to relax and just concentrate on my driving.

When I reached the vet’s office I was relieved to find the open sign on the door and gently carried Emma inside. I put her down and she started trotting around the office with her tail wagging. I lead her into the exam room and lifted her up to the table where the doctor examined her, “Well, that’s not too bad, we will just sew it up and she will be good as new.”

“It’s not bad? It looks bad to me.”

She ran her hand down Emma’s back and said, “No, for a dog this is like a cat scratch is to us. She only ripped the skin, which is why she not in a lot of pain. She hasn’t done any muscle damage and doesn’t have a puncture wound. I’ve seen dogs ripped open from here,” pointing to Emma’s left flank, “to here,” drawing a line with her finger across Emma’s body to her left shoulder, “and be OK. Call about two o’clock to make sure, but I’m sure you can come back later this afternoon and take her home.”

The sense of relief I felt was almost overwhelming and I lightly leaned my head on Emma’s body to keep from dropping to the floor. The drive home was a breeze.

My husband was the one who went to pick her up and I heard him drive into the garage as I was typing this so I stopped and hurried upstairs to see how Emma was doing. She was awake and sitting up looking out of the backseat window like a queen reviewing her troops. Kate was as excited to see her as I and, after I opened the car door, rushed over to Emma with her tail wagging. Emma was a still a little groggy from the anesthetic but could walk. When I saw where she was stitched up I was surprised by how small an area it covered. The row of seven stitches is only about three to four inches long but then I realized what I had looked at was a gapping open wound with the skin pulled apart and hanging loose. She is now sleeping off the affect of the anesthetic and we expect a quick and complete recovery.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Random Thoughts

I got a flu shot this morning. I hope it works.

I am reading The Mercury Thirteen:The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women And The Dream Of Space Flight. Back in the early sixties thirteen women were picked to train as astronauts and all did as well or better than the men. The program was aborted when Vice President Lyndon Johnson wrote across a report about their training, "Lets Stop This Now!" Which is why you have not heard of them until today.

If you look on the sidebar between the Haloscan and the Blogger button you will see a tiny circular button the represents Blogger Forum, a website for bloggers using Blogspot. You may want to check it out.

I still have not received a reply from Taco John's about the e-mail I sent them. I guess I can quit holding my breath.

Living in a small town is interesting. The first thing I learned when I moved here is not to badmouth anyone in town to anyone else from town. Since everyone seems to be related to everyone else by blood or marriage it only gets you in trouble. The town has what they call a "river walk," a mile long trail along side a creek that runs through town. It a great place to walk, jog, or take your dogs for a run.

The trail crosses private lands with the permission of the land owners and has been there since before my husband and I moved here nine years ago. One of the land owners maintains the trail from end to end and people enjoy and appreciate having it there. Now things have changed. The owner of one piece of land died and the land passed onto his son. Now, the son has a lot of animosity toward his family and the people of the town. In fact it is so bad, he dropped his family name and moved away years ago. His feelings have not changed about his family or the town and when he inherited the land he had no trespassing signs put up at either end of the trail where it cuts through his property. That did not keep people from using the trail so this week he had a barbed wire spite fence erected. I was dismayed when I saw it and then felt pity for the man. You have to feel mighty unloved and bitter to do something like that.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Isn't Romantic?

Love, love will keep us together
-The Captain and Tennille

In early Fall of the year we got married my husband and I went camping up in the Routt National Forest in northern Colorado. I remember how beautiful a day it was, with a clear sky of metallic baby blue, no clouds, and warm, but with a crispness to the air. After we reached the border of the park we drove for about another 45 minutes over winding dirt roads to a trail head, parked, and started walking.

After walking about six miles we found a camp site and set up our tent, spread out our sleeping bags, and then collected wood to start a fire. While my husband got the fire started I wandered a little away and stood watching him. As I stood there I glanced around at the pine trees, the sky, and the mountains in the distance. God, it was beautiful and I realized one of the reasons it was so beautiful is because it was so quiet. The only sounds were the wind and creaking of the branches as the wind slipped though the trees. Then it struck me that we were miles and miles away from any other living person right then.

That thought made me smile and I looked at my husband as he stood up from the fire and started walking over to him. When I reached him I leaned into his body, put my arms around him, gazed up at his face and said, "You know, we are so all alone here we can do anything we want."
He had put his arms around me when I leaned in to him and after I said this he looked confused for a second and then his face lit up and he said excitedly, "I know! Let's plot the overthrow of the government!"

Moral of Story: Never expect a man with a college degree in Engineering and a Masters degree in Physics to think romantically.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

The rent is due

I just finished writting the post below and now I am going back to bed. It is that time of month.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Home Of The Free Project

Went to Denver Thursday and got back late Friday afternoon. I went in to attended the opening of a new photo exhibit at the Colorado History Museum last night. The exhibit is made up of regional winners of the Home of the Free Project sponsored by Washington Mutual. Washington Mutual gave seventh and eighth graders from the Denver area digital cameras, put them together with local photojournalists and sent them out to shoot pictures of government workers. Each school that participated then picked 15 of their photos and sent them in for regional judging.

The winning photos are the ones on display at the museum. I was surprised by the quality of the photos taken by a group of 12 and 13 year olds. These kids have "a good eye" and you can tell they thought out their photos before shooting . Most of them were there for the opening and they were all very excited to see their photos up on the wall. They deserve to be proud.

These photos will be submitted for national judging alone with photos from students in New York City and Chicago. The one winning team from each city will then go to Washington DC for the opening of the national exhibit. A lot of excited talk from the kids about that.

The Rocky Mountain News had an article about the Denver project and Washington Mutual's website has posted all the winning photos.

(And, yes, my niece was one of the participants.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Oh Lord, Won't You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz

I listened to my Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits CD on Monday and now I can't get her singing this out of my head. Maybe if I write the lyrics down here the "song that will not stop playing in your head curse" will pass on to someone else. So, here goes:

Oh Lord,
won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches,
I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime,
no help from my friends,
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

Oh Lord,
won’t you buy me a color TV ?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery
each day until three,
So oh Lord,
won’t you buy me a color TV ?

Oh Lord,
won’t you buy me a night on the town ?
I’m counting on you, Lord,
please don’t let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord,
won’t you buy me a night on the town ?

Oh Lord,
won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches,
I must make amends,
Worked hard all my lifetime,
no help from my friends,
So oh Lord,
won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

That’s it!

Ladies and Gentlemen, give it up for the late, great, Janis Joplin!

Monday, November 10, 2003

Testing out Haloscan comments on my blog now. I think I may switch over to it from Enetation because it is faster and people say not so problem prone. It's the one on the right.

Conversations With a Bottom Feeder

Comments are a problem some times. It is extremely frustrating when they don't work correctly. Now we have something more aggravating to deal with- Comment Spam. For those of you who have not heard of this it is exactly what you thing it is, unwanted advertisements showing up in your comments box. Over at Reading and Writing, Joseph Duemer has written about his battle with comment spam. You can find two of his entries about this scourge here and here.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

To Be Or Not To Be

I appear to have lost the will to blog
-Blue Witch
Next month will be the first anniversary of my blog and for a while there I was not sure if I this blog was going to make it until then. Like Blue Witch I seemed to have lost the will to write. If you look at a couple of my last post you will see that one is a photo of a cat’s butt and another is a list of the music CDs I own. If my blog was entertainment that’s sort of on the level of making shadow puppets on the wall with your hands in the beam of a flashlight- not that much effort needed to do either one. Well, shadow puppets are a lot harder to do when you think about it.

I started this blog in order to write about my walk across Spain. I see now it was something I had to do. Something that had to be written. Something that, in a lot of ways, was written without my help. It flowed out of me without effort sometimes. I would sit down, start typing, and watch as lines of words appeared across my monitor screen. The aftermath of the walk was a little harder but I still felt pushed to write it all down. But after that, I don’t know, the need wasn’t there anymore. At the same time I liked the process of writing and I did not want to stop but felt I had nothing more to say.

So, for the last few months I have been stumbling around trying to figure out just what I wanted to say. Trying to figure out why I am doing this. Trying to figure out if I even enjoy doing this. Well, I do enjoy doing this, which is the reason why I am doing it, but what is it I want to say?

Nothing profound, I just want to tell stories. The stories of my life. I realize that each time I write about something that has haunted me from my past, the act of writing it down seems to make the ghost vanish. I see that each time I pretend the ghost is not there it tries harder and harder to get my attention and the more energy I have to use to ignore. But if I turn around, “see” the ghost, and tell it, “Look, I know you are there and I’m not afraid of you anymore,” it leaves. The sense of relief after this is amazing. I feel lighter and not under so much pressure. The past can be very heavy if you try to carry it with you all the time. I’m going to try and drop as much of it as possible.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Addicted To Music

My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence
-Edith Sitwell
I was looking through my CD collection this weekend and was surprised by the variety in the types of music that I listen to:

Individual Artists
Alanis Morissette
Bola Sete
Cherish The Ladies
Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions
Dave Brubeck
Duke Ellington
Edith Piaf
Ella Fizgerald
George Gershwin
Gloria Estafan
How's Bayou
Janis Joplin
Jimi Hendrix
John Mayer
Kid Creole & The Coconuts
Manhattan Transfer
Nat King Cole
Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra
Pat Benatar
Peter Tosh
Rosemary Clooney
Sarah Vaughan
Sly & The Family Stone
The Brian Setzer Orchestra
The Stray Cats

A Cellarful Of Motown
Atlantic Soul Classics
Celtic Music For Flute & Whistle
Disco Party
50's Rock & Roll
Great Ladies of Jazz
Jazz For A Rainy Afternoon
Jazz For The Quiet Times
Latin American Folklore Favorites
Melting Pot:Global Sounds From ARC Music
New Wave
1960's R&B Classics
Priceless Jazz Collection Sampler
70 Ounces Of Rock & Gold
Snoopy's Jazz Classiks On Toys
The Blue Note Jazz Profile Series
The Fabulous Swing Collection

Boys On The Side
Cooley High
Corrina, Corrina
Eve's Bayou
Kissing Jessica Stein
The Mambo Kings

What does this list tell me? First, I do not have enough Reggae (only one- Peter Tosh). Second, that I have just the right number of Country (BR4-59). Third, you only need one Enya. And, last, that I have been buying mostly collections and soundtracks the last couple of years.

Now this isn't my total music collection, I have cassettes and records too. I play the CD's because I can put six CD's in my CD player and then listen to uninterrupted music for hours. I usually don't listen to one album at a time. I'd much rather put the CD's into the player, hit random play, and let the player bounce from CD to CD and track to track. This ability is why I have been buying collections and soundtracks. I like knowing that what I am going to be listening to next may be totally different than what was just playing.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit
-Kin Hubbard

Random Thoughts

I saw Boy George on VH1’s series about the 80’s last week. Does anyone else think that he is channeling Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester on the old TV show ‘The Adams Family'?

The odds of a person getting hit by lightning once in the same year are 1 in 280,000. During the making of Mel Gibson’s movie, ‘The Passion of Christ,’ two people were hit by lightning. The guy playing Jesus once and the assistant director twice. What are the odds of that happening? I’m sure the increase is exponential and does not simply double with each strike. So, would that put the odds in the millions or billions? If you were old Mel would you take this as some sort of sign that God is not happy with what you are doing?

Halloween is over which means the retail stores will have people removing the Halloween product while other employees follow behind replacing it with the Christmas stuff before the shelves have a chance to cool off. Some stores have had Christmas goods out since the beginning of September. It used to be, the Christmas shopping season did not start until the day after Thanksgiving. Not only are the stores rushing Christmas some people also push the season by putting up Christmas trees in mid-November, So, by the time Christmas gets here they are already sick of it and have the tree out on the curb for trash pickup the day after. By New Year’s Eve there is not a trace of Christmas anywhere. Me, they can push Christmas all they want, I know the season does not start until after Santa shows up at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I will start my Christmas shopping then. I will be putting up my tree on Christmas Eve like I always do and it will stay up until after “Little Christmas” on January the sixth. You can push the season but you can’t push me.