Thursday, December 31, 2009

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Maybe it's much too early in the game
But I thought I'd ask you just the same.
What are you doing New Year's... New Year's eve?

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it's exactly twelve o'clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year... New Year's eve

Maybe I'm crazy to suppose
I'd ever be the one you chose
Out of a thousand invitations you'll receive
But in case I stand one little chance,
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year's... New Year's Eve?

But in case I stand one little chance,
Here comes the jackpot question in advance...
What are you doing New Year's... New Year's Eve?

Blue Moon

Diane Shaw

Blue Moon
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Blue Moon
You know just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for

And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will hold
I heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked to the Moon it turned to gold

Blue Moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper please adore me
And when I looked the Moon had turned to gold

Blue moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Blue moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Monday, December 28, 2009

Blog Maintenance

As you have noticed I have switched to a new commenting system called ECHO. I got Eco because HaloScan is passing on, will cease to be, will expire and go to meet it's maker, will be a stiff and be bereft of life, will soon rest in peace, will be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes will soon be history, it will soon be off the twig, will soon to kick the bucket, will soon shuffle off its mortal coil. Its curtain is ringing down and it will soon join the bleedin' choir invisible! In short, it will soon be no more.*

I have found out that with this new system some people cannot leave comments on my blog. Hopefully this is a problem that ECHO is working on but until then if you cannot leave a comment e-mail it to me at my gmail account ( and I will copy it over to my blog. I know this is a pain but I do appreciate your comments and would miss them greatly.

*Plus HaloScan recommended them and told me I would lose all my comments if did not switch soon (OK, its true, I panicked.)so I did what they suggested.

Rules For Being Human

1. You will receive a body. You may love it or hate it, but it will be yours for as long as you live. How you take care of it or fail to take care of it can make an enormous difference in the quality of your life.

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called Life. Each day, you will be presented with opportunities to learn what you need to know. The lessons presented are often completely different from those you think you need.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error and experimentation. You can learn as much from failure as you can from success, maybe even more.

4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it (as evidenced by a change in your attitude and ultimately your behavior) then you can go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no stage of life that does not contain some lessons. As long as you live there will be something more to learn.

6. “There” is no better than “here”. When your “there” has become a “here” you will simply discover another “there” that will again look better than your “here.” Don’t be fooled by believing that the unattainable is better than what you have.

7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself. When tempted to criticize others, ask yourself why you feel so strongly.

8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you create with those tools and resources is up to you. Remember that through desire, goal setting and unflagging effort you can have anything you want. Persistence is the key to success.

9. The answers lie inside of you. The solutions to all of life’s problems lie within your grasp. All you need to do is ask, look, listen and trust yourself.

10. You will forget all this. That fact is itself a lesson.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

King's College Choir

O Come All Ye Faithful
O come, all ye faithful, joyful, and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

God of God, Light of Light,
Lo, he abhors not the Virgin's womb;
Very God, begotten not created.

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens, of heaven above!
Glory to God, in the highest!

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing.

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Christmas Song

-Nat King Cole

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping at your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright,
Tiny tots with their eyes all a-glow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh,
And ev’ry mother’s child is gonna spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

And so I’m offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although it’s been said
Many times, Many ways
Merry Christmas to you.

(Musical interlude)

And so I’m offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although it’s been said
Many times, Many ways
Merry Christmas to you

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

That's What I Want For Christmas (2)

Our kindergarten students wrote their letters to Santa this week:

Dear Santa,
I want some new hairbands with pink bows or white kittens. Something else I want for Christmas is Moxie Girlz 2 , MP3 player and a white stuffed kitten with a pink bow in it's hair. I hope you can come to my house this year because I've been nice by helping my mom feed my dog Missy.


P.S. I want a white shirt with my name on it.

Dear Santa,
How do you get in my house? Can I have for Christmas a deer stuffed animal, pheasant stuffed animal, football players-Vikings and Green Bay
(Pro football teams), balloon, pet turtle, a real NASCAR (I'm sure he means a toy car), earrings for Mom, motorcycle for Dad, and a stuffed panda for my brother.


Dear Santa,
What I want for Christmas is a Nintendo DS and a pet monkey. I also want a pet turtle and a pet lion. Santa, I have been very good this year and I am going to leave you cookies and milk. Please come to my house.


(OK, remind me not to visit Kaden's house after Christmas.)

Dear Santa,
How are your elves? How's Mrs. Claus doing? How is Rudolph? Is Rudolph's nose still shiny? I've been very good this year. I want a Nintendo DS and the baby nursery game also. I look forward to opening my presents. If you give me extra presents I'll leave you cookies and milk. To get in my house use the key under the mat.


(Sweetie, you do know we all know where you live, don't you?)

Dear Santa,
I have been very good this year. I helped my best friend Vivian put her mat and blanket back were it goes
(after class nap time). How have the elves been this year? Does Rudolph have a brighter nose than usual? I love to pet my kitties and sometime I would really like to pet Rudolph. When you come you many come through the door because we don't have a chimney. I will have cookies waiting for you.


Dear Santa
What I want for Christmas is Toy Story Pop-up Play World and a go-Kart that look like Grave Digger. I also want a Nintendo DS and a Batman Obstacle Course. I am going to leave you chocolate cookies and milk.


(I don't think Santa will be able to fit that Batman Obstacle Course in his sleigh.)

Dear Santa,
I've been very, very good this year. I am also very excited that I am going to get a present. I like to leave cookies and milk. I am very excited to leave reindeer food. I also like to put up a Christmas tree every year. I want a toy car from the toy store. I also want a bicycle with training wheels.


Dear Santa,
I don't have a very big chimney. I want some dominoes, please. I want a tool box, please. I want a book bag
(backpack) for hiking, please. I wonder about Rudolph. I'll give you some cookies! I've been good and only lost one clip(?) on the third.


Dear Santa,
I would like a puppy, kitten, teddy bear, Barbies, puppy posters, necklaces, makeup, shoes, books. How are your elves doing? How many cookies would you like? I would like to have a Barbie movie. I really want and like snowmen. I want a fish for Christmas. I would like butterflies also. I would really like a reindeer. I would like to have a bear. I want a jacket for the cold. I really want it to snow.


(She got the last thing on her list today and I'm hoping she gets that jacket.)

Dear Santa,
This year I have been a really good girl and this year I would like some gum, crayons, flashlight, and a pen. Santa how many cookies would you like? This year for Christmas I hope I can get lots of presents under my tree. This year for Christmas I am going to play games with my sisters. I hope it will snow. I hope you have a very great Christmas.


Dear Santa,
I want a remote control John Deere tractor and ice skates-any kind. And a chalk board with chalk. And I'm going to make you some chocolate chip cookies. And I want a train track with a train that comes with batteries.

Shannon Lee

Dear Santa,
This year I would like a Barbie Doll and a Nintendo DS because I have been a good girl this year. And I would like Santa to come down the chimney. Thank you.


Dear Santa,
What I want for Christmas is a Barbie and DS and a bike. I want these toys because I have been very good this year. I want to make cookies for you. The cookies are going to be chocolate chip cookies.


Dear Santa,
How are you, the elves, and the reindeer? What I would like for Christmas is a pink horse and a Barbie and a bear and a car. How do reindeer fly? How do you get into my house? And I will leave you cookies.


(Ah, Lyden's friend.)

Dear Santa,
I will leave cookies for you. How much do you weigh? I would like a football and a Nintendo DS. Santa, you can come in the chimney. I have been good this year.


Dear Santa,
I've been really good this year!!! I was wondering how you fit in your sled? How old are you? And how much do you weight
(sic)? I'm going to leave you cookies, milk, and carrots for your reindeer. Where is the North Pole? For Christmas this year I really want a bike, flowers, stickers, and some hot red lipstick. I hope you have a great Christmas!


Dear Santa,
A dolly reindeer is what I want. How are you doing, Santa? I will leave you delicious tree-shaped cookies on Christmas Eve. How is Mrs. Claus? I also want a bell for Christmas. How are the reindeer? I will also leave you milk. Merry Christmas.


Dear Santa,
I want one-blade ice skates, a real huge diamond. I will leave cookies for you, Santa, with frosting and a glass of milk. I love you Santa!


(If you are only going to ask for only two things it makes sense that one of them is really huge.)

Dear Santa,
Will you bring me presents this Christmas? I hope you bring me a bike. Are you going to eat the cookies and milk in the kitchen? I would wish for a PSP
(PlayStation) this Christmas! I hope you give me or get me the iPod. Will you wake me up?


Dear Santa,
I would like when you bring me presents. I want a Nintendo DS. And I promise to try to be good. I will make cookies for you Santa, maybe. I like Rudolph. I like to open your presents. How is Rudolph? Does his nose still shine? Are you
(sic) eyes greenish-bluish? How are you going to come to my house? I want games with my Nintendo like Hannah Montana. I will maybe remember to put my key under the mat so you can come in. I want lots of board games. I want most of all is lots of dog games for my Nintendo DS.


(And since she promises to try and be good, Santa will bring her everything she wants, maybe.)

Dear Santa,
I have been really good this year. I have been nice to all my friends and classmates. This year I want a nice metal, blue pocket knife. Also, Santa, how has Rudolph been doing? I will have cookies and chocolate milk for you. We have a chimney and I will tell my Dad not to light the fireplace. Also, how are all the elves? I would also like a toy gun. Thanks so much and I can't wait until Christmas!


Dear Santa,
I will leave homemade cookies and milk for you. I am very excited about Christmas this year. I was just wondering if I could borrow your hat for awhile? I don't know if you remember but earlier this year I sat on your lap and asked for a Nintendo DS and a kitty.


(I wonder what he is going to do with Santa's hat?)

That's What I Want For Christmas

-Nancy Wilson

When you said yesterday that it's nearly Christmas
What did I want and I thought just love me, love me, love me
That's what I want for Christmas

When I walk through a room let them see you need me
Walk through a room let them see you love me, love me, love me
That's what I want for Christmas

Anyone can wish for all the trinkets in the window
Some can even buy the things they see
But the presents that I want
You'll never find in any window
Bring me love and bring it just for me

When you come home at night
Take me in your arms and hold me
And kiss me, and say you love me, love me, love me
That's what I want for Christmas

Hold me
Kiss me
That's what I want for Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2009

I See The Lights

Today is Winter Solstice which marks the end of night's slowly creeping consumption of daylight. From now on the nights will grow shorter and the days longer. We move from the soul's despair of "a winter's day in a deep and dark December" to its joy in realizing that "the party lights" are not that far away.

A winter's day
In a deep and dark December
I am alone
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow
I am a rock I am an island

I've built walls
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship
Friendship causes pain
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain
I am a rock I am an island

Don't talk of love
But I've heard the words before
It's sleeping in my memory
I won't disturb the slumber of feelings
that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried
I am a rock I am an island

I have my books
and my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room
safe within my womb
I touch no one
and no one touches me
I am a rock I am an island

And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries
-Simon and Garfunkel

(Party lights, I see the party lights)
Woo-oh, ooh,
(They're red & blue & green)
Party lights
(Everybody in the crowd is there)
Mama, I wanna go, go, go, go, go, yeah, yeah yeah, yeah
(Mama, Mama)

Well, Mama, dear, oh tell me, do you hear?
They're partying tonight
I tell you I can't sleep
Because across the street
Oh, oh, oh, oh, I see the party lights

I see the lights, I see the party lights
They're red and blue and green
Oh, everybody in the crowd is there
But you won't let me make the scene

Mama dear, oh, look-a-here, look here
There goes Mary Lou
I see Tommy and Joe
Oh, oh, and Betty and Sue
Oh, oh, oh, oh, there goes my boyfriend, too

I see the lights, I see the lights, I see the party lights
They're red and blue and green
Oh, everybody in the crowd is there
But you won't let me make the scene
Listen to the party, Mama!


Hey, Mama dear, oh, look-a-here, look here
I'm feeling oh so blue
They're doin' the Twist, the Fish, the Mashed Potato, too
I'm here a-lookin' at you

I see the lights, I see the lights, I see the party lights
They're red and blue and green
Oh, everybody in the crowd is there
But you won't let me make the scene

They're doin' the Fish, they're doin' the Twist
The Watusi, the Mashed Potato
I see the lights, I see the lights
They're doin' the Bop, I wanna go
(Mama, mama)
I want to go
I want to go
I want to go

-Claudine Clark

You will find a scientific explanation of Winter Solstice here.

You will find an article about Winter Solstice customs and traditions here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Quotes

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?
-G. K. Chesterton

"And a Merry Christmas to you too, Mr. Scrooge."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas, Christmas Time Is Near

We are getting closer to Christmas day so here are a few links to help get you into the mood:

1. Christmas lights.

2. Christmas trees.

3. The Jackson 5 singing Jackson 5 singing Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

4. Snowmen.

5. Listen to Christmas carols. (Don't forget to ask them to sing Adeste Fideles.)

6. If that's not enough here are Alvin and the Chipmunks singing The Chipmunks Christmas Song. (Click on "more info" to see the lyrics.)
7. Now that you are in the mood you can finish up by writing your own Christmas carol.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Guess God Finally Called Him Home

Television evangelist Oral Roberts died yesterday. He will be remembered for blackmailing his supporters into giving him 8 million dollars back in 1986 by telling them that God would "call me home" if they failed to do so.

Why do most TV evangelical preachers seem to prove Lord Acton's observation that, "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reading is FUNdamental

The BBC believes that most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do my reading habits stack up?

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (X)
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien (X)
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (X)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (X)
6 The Bible (X)
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 1984 – George Orwell (X)
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott (X)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller (X)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (X)
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faul
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger (X)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell (X)
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (X)
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (X)
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck (X)
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (X)
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham (X)
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens (X)
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis (X)
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis (X)
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne (X)
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell (X)
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown (X)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving (X)
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding (X)
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan (X)
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen (X)
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens (X)
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley (X)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon (X)
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck (X)
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold (X)
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas (X)
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac (X)
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding (X)
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens (X)
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker (X)
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson (X)
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (X)
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker (X)
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White (X)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom (X)
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (X)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (X)
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery (X)
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute (X)
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare (X)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (X)
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

(Wow, 47, who'd of thought?)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Doesn't It Seem That As You Get Older

The younger people look? I'm talking about like when you look at photos of you parents at the age they were when you were a child and are surprised by how young they look. Or when watching an old movie you find yourself surprised by how young an actor looks who you thought of as old when he was age forty. Well, I'm here to tell you this doesn't just happen with people. I worked at the library this morning and one of the books I cataloged was this:

I swear Lady and Tramp looked older when I was a child.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

An open area in a farmer's field. Can you spot the turkey?

A sheltered area in the trees

A snow angel. While I was viewing this image in the camera I heard a loud crashing, branches breaking sound in front of me. I looked up and coming out of the river and through the underbrush was a deer. He was headed straight for me so I quickly lifted my camera to my face and snapped a photo right before he veered to the left and bounded away. Unfortunately, since my camera was in image viewing mode, I did not get the photo.

My husband and Little Sally Pumpkinhead. She was very curious about I was doing. Who knows, it could have been something to do with food.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Quick! What Book Does This Image Make You Think Of?

I'll wait........doo, doo, doo, do-do doo doo do (final jeopardy music), you can hum along if you like.

Did you guess Charlotte's Web?


Which is probably why the newer copies of this book have this cover:

I only know about this book because it (with the old cover) was one of the books I cataloged today. Working at the library today was pleasant since it was closed due to the blizzard. I got a lot done without the interruptions. My husband and I also took the dogs for a walk down to river and I'll post some photos from that tomorrow.

I do love snow days, everything becomes easier and more laid back.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Last week's high and low temperatures were 55F/12.8C and -4F/-20C respectively in my little town. Right now it is 17F/-8.3C with a brisk wind blowing. Tomorrow a blizzard hits with winds up to 40mph predicted so I think I can safely say winter is officially here in my little piece of the world. I just got back from the grocery store where I bought a carton of eggnog and tomorrow I plan to hunker down with at least one glass of Bourbon spiked eggnog while watching the wind blasted snow outside my window race sideways down my street on its way to Texas.

I discovered during the last snow storm that snow can be dangerous in ways you cannot anticipate. I drove my car over to the library during the storm and when I pulled into the parking area and stepped on the break pedal the car jumped the curb. I pushed harder and the engine roared while the car inched across the sidewalk toward the building. I did not know just what was happening but I took my foot off the break and quickly shifted the transmission into neutral. The car stopped moving. I shifted into park and looked down at the break pedal while I put my foot back on top of it. That's when I learned what I had done.

I was wearing my winter boots for the first time this season and I could not feel the break pedal under my foot. I had put my boot on the brake pedal but I had not centered it and part of the boot was over the gas pedal. When I pushed the brake pedal down I also pushed the gas pedal down causing the car to move forward at the same time the brakes were trying to stop it. The harder I stepped on the brake, the stronger the car tried to move forward. Fair warning to you all.

Now, whenever it gets this cold a certain song starts playing in my head so I thought I would share it with you today. Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting's version of Baby It's Cold Outside:

I really can't stay
(But, baby, it's cold outside)
I got to go way
(But, baby, it's cold outside)
This evening's has been
(Been hoping that you'd drop in)
So very nice
(I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice)

My mother will start to worry
(Beautiful, what's your hurry)
And Father will be pacing the floor
(Listen to the fireplace roar)
So really I'd better scurry
(Beautiful, please don't hurry)
Well, maybe just a half a drink more

The neighbors might think
(Baby, it's bad out there)
Say, what's in this drink
(No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how
(Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break the spell
(I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell)

I ought to say no, no, no, sir
(Mind if I move in closer)
At least I'm gonna say that I tried
(What's the sense of hurting my pride)
I really can't stay
(Baby don't hold out)
Ahh, but it's cold outside

I simply must go
(But, baby, it's cold outside)
The answer is no
(But, baby, it's cold outside)
This welcome has been
(How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm
(Look out the window at that storm)

My sister will be suspicious
(Gosh, your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door
(Waves upon a tropical shore)
My maiden aunt's mind is vicious
(Ohh, your lips are delicious)
Well maybe just a cigarette more
(Never such a blizzard before)

I've got to get home
(But, baby, you'll freeze out there)
Say, lend me a comb
(It's up to your knees out there)
You've really been grand
(I thrill when you touch my hand)
But don't you see
(How can you do this thing to me)

There's bound to be talk tomorrow
(Think of my life long sorrow)
At least there will plenty implied
(If you caught pneumonia and died)
I really can't stay
(Get over that old out)
Ahh, but it's cold outside

-Frank Loesser

Friday, December 04, 2009


Right up front let me tell you that I hate the game of Scrabble. As some of you know I am a terrible speller since I do not have the ability to visualize words in my head. Short words I can handle since I can memorize them along with some longer words that I am able to break down into smaller syllables but other words, I draw a blank. Imagine my delight during the Thanksgiving holiday when I was introduced to a word game in which my disability is an advantage. Quiddler is a game of short words. The more short words you can come up with, the more points you score. The more points you score, the greater your chance of winning.

Let's just say I did very, very well.

More information about Quidder here.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

That's What It's All About

It is interesting how people who you have never met can have a great effect on you life. Most of the time you never find out why but other times, if you are lucky, you do. Today I read about the death of Robert Degeny on his 104th birthday. Who is Robert Degeny you ask? Why he is the man who wrote the modern version of The Hokey Pokey. A form of this song has been around since the 18th century and some say the original song was anti-Catholic and made fun of the Latin words used by priests during Mass.

In the mid-nineteen-fifties bandleader Ray Anthony had a hit record with his version of The Hokey Pokey. Singing it are vocalist Jo Ann Greer and The Skyliners.

You put your right foot in
You put your right foot out
You put your right foot in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

[Spoken: Left foot]

You put your left foot in
You put your left foot out
You put your left foot in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

[Spoken: Right arm]

You put your right arm in
You put your right arm out
You put your right arm in
And then you shake it all about.

[Spoken: Left arm]

You put your left arm in
You put your left arm out
You put your left arm in
And then you shake it all about
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

[Spoken: Right elbow]

You put your right elbow in
You put your right elbow out
You put your right elbow in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

[Spoken: Left elbow]

You put your left elbow in
You put your left elbow out
You put your left elbow in
And then you shake it all about.

[Spoken: Head]

You put your head in
You put you head out
You put your head in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

[Spoken: Right hip]

You put your right hip in
You put your right hip out
You put your right in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

[Spoken: Left hip]

You put your left hip in
You put your left hip out
You put your left in
Any you shake it all about.

[Spoken: Whole self]

You put your whole self in
You put your whole self out
You put your whole self in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

[Spoken: Backside]

You put your backside in
You put your backside out
You put your backside in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Hokey Pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about!

You do the hokey pokey
The hokey pokey
You do the ho-key pokey

I have fond memories of dancing or skating to this version of the song as a child- and that's what it's all about.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Jack Frost Nipping At My Nose

I woke up this morning to a dusting of snow on the ground, streets and sidewalks. It had all disappeared by the time I left the library after working five hours. Everyone who came in commented on the cold and added that if it wasn't for the wind it wouldn't be so bad. It wouldn't of but that did not help me while I was outside doing a very thorough poop patrol of the yard.

(Go here to learn why I try to clean the yard before any big storms hit.)

Right now I am snuggled up on my couch with my hands wrapped around one of my new mugs (The red one). Nothing like a mug of hot cream of tomato soup to make you feel very grateful to be inside a warm house and not outside in the cold with Jack.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Time To Kick Back With A Good Book

Our world, so we see and hear on all sides, is drowning in materialism, commercialism, consumerism. But the problem is not really there. What we ordinarily speak of as materialism is a result, not a cause. The root of materialism is a poverty of ideas about the inner and the outer world. Less and less does our contemporary culture have, or even seek, commerce with great ideas, and it is that lack that is weakening the human spirit. This is the essence of materialism. Materialism is a disease of the mind starved for ideas.
-The American Soul by Jacob Needleman

Monday, November 30, 2009

Post-Holiday Blahs

Too much food, too much drink, too much traveling, and too much fun makes me feel like this today. Hope your Thanksgiving was just as fillling.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Have A Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,
From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored;
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before;
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

-John Greenleaf Whittier

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?

Oh where, oh where can she be?

My husband lost Little Sally Pumpkinhead. He took both dogs hunting this morning and about a half hour after they got back called for her but she did not come. He walked around the house looking for her but could not find her. He went outside and called but no Little Sally Pumpkinhead appeared. He then walked around the outside of the house looking for her but still could not find her. He went back inside the house and looked under the beds, under the tables, in the closets and in the basement but, again, no Little Sally Pumpkinhead.

Now he was getting worried and decided to search the house one more time. As he walked through the living room and into the bedroom he happened to glance at the couch. There peering out from behind one of the big red couch pillows were Little Sally Pumpkinhead's big black eyes. My husband was was so happy to find her he did not even scold her for being on the couch. And being on the couch when she wasn't suppose to be is probably why she didn't come when he called in the first place.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm In A New York State Of Mind

My sister took this photo. As she points out, one train coming into the station while another pulls out rarely happens.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Pursuit Of Happiness

An unalienable right according to the Declaration of Independence. Note, it says that we as American citizens have an unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness not that we have an unalienable right to be happy. No guarantee stated there or in the US Constitution.

So, all you people who justify your selfish, obnoxious behavior by stating emphatically that you have the right to be happy (which you have misconstrued as meaning that you can do whatever you damn well please as long as it makes you happy) can shut the hell up.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mad Dogs And Englishmen Go Out In The Midday Sun

In tropical climes there are certain times of day
When all the citizens retire
To take their clothes off and perspire.

It's one of those rules that the greatest fools obey,
Because the sun is much too sultry
And one must avoid its ultri-violet ray.

The natives grieve when the white men leave their huts,
Because they're obviously definitely nuts!
Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun

The Japanese don't care to.
The Chinese wouldn't dare to,
Hindoos and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one.
But Englishmen detest a siesta.

In the Philippines
There are lovely screens
To protect you from the glare.

In the Malay States
There are hats like plates
Which the Britishers won't wear.

At twelve noon
The natives swoon
And no further work is done.
But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.

It's such a surprise for the Eastern eyes to see
That though the English are effete,
They're quite impervious to heat

When the white man rides every native hides in glee,
Because the simple creatures hope he
Will impale his solar topee on a tree.

It seems such a shame
When the English claim
The earth
That they give rise to such hilarity and mirth.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho,
He, he, he, he, he, he, he,
Hum, hum, hum, hum, hum, hum,

Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.
The toughest Burmese bandit
Can never understand it.

In Rangoon the heat of noon
Is just what the natives shun.
They put their Scotch or Rye down
And lie down.

In a jungle town
Where the sun beats down
To the rage of man and beast
The English garb
Of the English sahib
Merely gets a bit more creased.

In Bangkok at twelve o'clock
They foam at the mouth and run
But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.

Mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun.

The smallest Malay rabbit
Deplores this stupid habit.
In Hong Kong they strike a gong
And fire off a noonday gun
To reprimand each inmate
Who's in late.

In the mangrove swamps
Where the python romps
There is peace from twelve till two.
Even caribous lie around and snooze;
For there's nothing else to do.
In Bengal
To move at all
Is seldom, if ever done.

But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday
Out in the midday sun!

-Noel Coward

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sometimes You Can Judge A Book By Its Cover

Nowhere on the cover of Sarah Palin's book is the name of her co-author, Lynn Vincent. We haven't even opened the book yet and we find a half-truth.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Those Schoolgirl Days Of Telling Tales And Biting Nails Are Gone (part two)

It must have been in early Spring because I remember not having a coat on when I stepped on the playground during lunch period. I could see Sandy and Vicki standing under the huge elm tree that towered over the northeast corner of the blacktop near the teacher's parking lot. This was where we always hung out before school and after we finished our lunch. That day both girls had rushed out of the lunchroom before me and they stood under the tree with their heads close together taking intensely as I walked up to them. Sandy was facing the tree picking tiny pieces of bark off of it. Vicki was standing on the other side of her facing me with a look of triumph on her face. They had stopped talking when I approached and I looked at both of them in confusion, something was up.

Vicki did the talking, telling me that they weren't my friends anymore and that they didn't even like me. That they were transferring to Gove Junior High to get away from me. That...I don't remember what she said next, I could see her mouth moving and the hatred in her eyes as she spoke but I could not hear her words. I looked from her to Sandy who kept her eyes glued to the tree as she continued picking off small pieces of bark with her fingers. I heard her give a nervous giggle and wondered why I could hear that but not Vicki's words. I was frozen in place by the gleeful look on Vicki's face as she continued saying hateful things to me. Part of me was stunned by what was happening while another part of me wasn't surprised by it at all. I already knew what kind of person Vicki was and felt sorry for Sandy. Vicki was the type of person who could only could have one friend at a time and she had picked Sandy.

Sandy was my first real friend, I had moved around too much to make any close friends before, and her...I was going to write betrayal but that is not how I felt at the time. I felt disappointment and sadness but at the same time I knew you could not trust people and that if you let them get too close they only hurt you. I thought Sandy was my friend but she just stood there and let Vicki say all those horrible things.

I turned and walked away. I was freezing and every muscle in my body trembled. My mind was numb and I realize now that I had gone into shock. I also realize that this incident had been such a psychic blow partly because I was still traumatized after watching my father try to kill my mother a few months earlier and partly because my faith in other people had just been shattered beyond repair. I think if anyone looked closely at the time they would have noticed that I was leaving a silvery trail of liquid behind me as I walked away. My soul was bleeding and the wound seemed fatal.

I told my husband this story as we walked the dogs up at the cemetery. When I finished a feeling of great loss welled up inside me and burst out of my body in a wail of pain. I had not cried that day nor told anyone what had happened. Now I spat out the words, "How could they do that to me?," and broke down in tears. The next moment it hit me and I thought it would take me under; the loneliness I felt growing-up wrapped up inside the alone-ness that almost made it unbearable. Then, as quickly as the flame from a lit piece of flash paper disappears, the pain was gone leaving behind a greater sense of weariness and sadness.

As for missing out on high school, I see now that this is not what depressed me. It was seeing how close my husband and his classmates were and the numerous memories they shared. A lot of them had been in school together since kindergarten which means they had been together all of their school life and most of their childhood. Knowing this had brought to the surface of my subconscious a truth that I had kept suppressed, how as a child I felt utterly soul gutting alone in a dangerous world. By finally acknowledging this and experiencing the pain that this thought brought me I was free of it.

Note: If you would like to read about my sister's memories of our childhood she now has a blog called Yup, it was my life. You might want to check it out since she is almost as good a writer as I am. ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Those Schoolgirl Days Of Telling Tales And Biting Nails Are Gone

but in my mind I know they will still live on and on.
-To Sir With Love

As I am sure you have noticed I have been somewhat MIA blog wise the last six months. A number of things have contributed to this like work, illness and travel. Travel included a trip to Denver for my husband's 40th high school reunion back in September; something he was looking forward to with trepidation. It was scheduled to be a three day event but his plan was to go to only one as he knew that no more than three of his high school buddies would be there. We ended up going to all of the planned events since it turned out to be so much fun. Everyone was so happy to see everyone else since all the reasons for the social cliques back in high school had slowly evaporated as people aged and matured.

I myself had a great time too but days later I slipped into a funk that I could not shake. My husband volunteered to help the reunion committee find missing classmates for their next big event, the year they all turned 60, and with each classmate he found the deeper my depression got. Part of this was because his high school reunion make me see how much I had missed by not going to high school. The other reason for my depression struggled to the surface of my subconscious a few days later.

When I was in seventh grade the first time, my mother, siblings, and I moved back to Denver from Thornton where we had been living with my father. We moved because, once again, my father had deserted us. My mother found an old house on 23rd Avenue just off Federal Boulevard directly north of Bear Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos, soon to be know as Mile High Stadium. It was late Fall when we moved into the house and Spring when we moved out of it. My father was back and for reasons I don't remember but that probably had to do with non-payment of rent we moved to another old house on York Street between Colfax Avenue and 14th Avenue.

All of this would not have been so nerve racking for me if my mother had not left it to my father to enroll us in our new schools. Unfortunately for me but probably deliberately for her, she had neglected to tell my father before she left for work that she had never gotten around to enrolling us in school while we were living on 23rd Avenue. I expected anger when I told my father this but he just stood there looking at me with a mixture of sadness and resignation on his face. Then his face changed and he told me and my siblings to get in the car. He drove us to Stevens Elementary and herded us into the main office saying to the woman behind the counter, "My children haven't been in school and I'd like to register them here."

The school took us but put us behind a grade which meant I was back in the sixth grade for the remainder of the school year. When I got to my new classroom my teacher wondered out loud where she should seat me. A girl in the row next to where I was standing stuck her hand up and said I could sit next to her. We became good school friends and at the end of the year I thought I would never see her again but it turned out I was wrong.

That was the summer my father tried to kill himself, my siblings and I spent time in the foster home, and we moved to another old house on Elizabeth Street between 11th and 12th Avenues. That house was right across the alley from Stevens Elementary School. In the Fall I started seventh grade again at Morey Junior High School. I was very surprised to run into Sandy, my Stevens friend, on my first day there. It turned out that not only was she at Morey, she also lived right down the block from me on 12th Avenue. We became better friends as we walked to and from school each day and ate lunch together. At Morey we also became friends with another girl, Vicki, who walked part of the way home with us. She lived on the Morey side of Cheesman Park and she would walk with us until we reached Humboldt Street then turn south to her house while Sandy and I continued through the park and on to our neighborhood.

I considered Sandy and Vicki my best friends even though I knew Vicki wasn't happy with the fact that I was Sandy's friend first. I knew this by the sarcastic things she would say to me but I did not understand how deep her jealousy really was at the time. As the months passed things started to change. Vicki and Sandy were in a hurry to grow up while I was in no rush to do so. I already knew about the responsibilities of adulthood and had no illusions about the relationship between men and women. They thought I was a baby but I was the one older than my age, old enough to think most boys were immature jerks, old enough to know that dressing like an adult and doing the things that adults did, did not make you an adult. I knew one day they would "outgrow" me, it just happened sooner that I thought and in a brutal way.

(continued tomorrow)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When I Grow Up I Want To Be An Old Woman

I do too. My sister sent this to me and I thank her and Kaiser Permanente.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It's Choice- Not Chance-

that determines your destiny.
-Jean Nidetch

The weather is getting to me, one day in the mid 70's the next in the low 50's. That kind of temperature roller coaster always makes me tired and sleepy. So tired, I went to bed early last night and woke up to an e-mail from my sister that read, "THE BEST EPISODE EVER???" My mind was blank, what was the best episode ever? Then it hit me, my brain has been in such a fog the last few days I forgot yesterday was Sunday. Which means I forgot to watch Mad Men Men last night! Luckily I had it set up to recorded so I watched it this morning.

(Warning- If you watch Mad Men and have not seen this episode stop reading, there are spoilers ahead.)

It was a very satisfying episode and a great end to the third season. My favorite scene was Peggy's Joan moment. Roger and Peggy are working at a table together and he asks her, no, he tells her to get him a cup of coffee. Without missing a beat Peggy says no and keeps on working. Roger looks at her in surprise. Peggy is not Roger's "girl" and she is letting him know it.

If you asked me what the theme of this episode was I would tell you it was about taking a leap of faith. Sterling-Cooper is being sold and Don Draper decides to start another agency. After Conrad Hilton tells Don he is disappointed in him for not being a man made in his (Conrad's) image, someone who does it all alone, Don flashes back to the outcome of his father's fatal decision to go his own way without the help of anyone else. He realizes that if he continues following in the footsteps of his father and of Hilton he will not be able to get back the one thing that is important to him in business-the freedom to do quality work and be his own man.

The man who kept his thoughts and feelings on a "need to know" basis with others takes his leap by being more open with the people he works with and needs to make his plan work. All the people he goes to, Burt Cooper, Roger Sterling, Pete Campbell, Peggy Olson, Harry Crane, and Lane Pryce, are hesitate at first but then take their own leap of faith and join him. Why do they all decide to do so?

As Don points our to Peggy, since the Kennedy assassination "the way people saw themselves is gone but nobody understands that." Well, except for her and all of the other people who take the leap. Until this episode everything had been moving at a glacial pace in some ways. People were just going though the motions and seemed to be trapped in their lives at work and at home but last night people were moving with more energy. The Kennedy assassination was a spiritual kick in the head for everyone. The ones who felt the kick the strongest were the ones willing to take charge of their own destiny and make that leap of faith.

One other person, Betty, took charge of her destiny and made the leap in this episode but I think she is the only one who did it with her eyes closed. In a dream Betty had in an earlier episode her father refers to her as "a house cat, very important. Little to do," and I don't think Betty is happy in the role. Since she is too busy blaming Don for all her problems she doesn't see that by going with Francis she is still going to be a house cat only in a different house. Poor Betty, poorer kids.

One last thing, when I first started watching the show I thought Peggy was based on Shirley Polykoff who at one time was the only female copywiter at Foote, Cone & Belding. Now, I'm so sure. Joan is more the Shirley Polykoff type since Polykoff once said that she was "a girl first and an advertising woman second."

One last, last thing. I am glad Joan is back, I missed her.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Cute Puppy Photo, What's The Caption?

I'll start,
"You talkin' to me?
You talkin' to me?
You talkin' to me

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Getting Stronger Everyday

But still not strong enough to get that chewy away from Duke.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Joy Of Books

We have finished cataloging the Juvenile Easy Fiction preschool section and I must say it has been a joy to hold in my hands books that gave me great pleasure as a small child. This week I was reunited with Harry the Dirty Dog, Dr Seuss, Ferdinand the Bull, Peter Rabbit, Madeline, and Harold and his purple crayon. I'm looking forward to rediscovering the books I read when I was older as we start working our way through Juvenile Fiction.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Curiouser and Curiouser

I have reached the point in the book cataloging process where I am letting my mind wander down paths it would never take if my brain was being stimulated more fully. Today I discovered a conspiracy of unimaginable cunning but...well, let me start at the beginning.

Today we started cataloging the R's in Juvenile Easy Fiction and when I reached Rey I of course started cataloging the Curious George books. If you do not know about Curious George then you either have not been the parent of a very young child or you did not grow-up in the United States.

Curious George is a monkey rescued by "the man in the yellow hat." The books are about George's adventures with "the man in the yellow hat" and include volumes that describe George's visits to a school, a library, a toy store, the beach, an ice cream shop, and the aquarium. All innocent carefree fun that somehow always ends up in chaos that is attributed to George but is George really to blame? I say no. I say it is all the work of "the man in the yellow hat."

Lets look at some other titles; there is the one where George is in a dump truck, there is the one where George is sent up in a hot air balloon, and there is the one where George is let loose on a train. All very dangerous situations for a young monkey and who is lurking there in the background acting all worried and concerned? "The man in the yellow hat."

What is really going on? I believe "The man in the yellow hat" is secretly trying to kill George. Why, you ask? Because he is jealous of George's fame. George is the most famous monkey in the world, even more famous that Cheetah. "The man in the yellow hat" thinks he should be just as famous as George since he is the one who found him. In addition to his plot to kill George and make it look like an accident there is evidence that "the man in the yellow hat" has also tried to get back the money he spent bringing George to America by making him work.

These things are shocking but I also suspect that "the man in the yellow hat" has, at least once, attempted to kill George himself! And there is evidence that "the man in the yellow hat" is using intimidation in an attempt to keep George under control by making him believe that the police will arrest him and put him in a zoo! Poor George.

Somebody, somebody please, get George away from "the man in the yellow hat" before something tragic happens!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

(photo by Tara Shannon)

For your Halloween pleasure, a re-post from September 5, 2007:

The Chair

I found it in the back of an antique store on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. It was a rocking chair but not like anyone I had ever seen before. It was so un-rocking-chair-like that at first I did not even notice it was a rocking chair. It was unique enough for me to take a closer look at it. What it looked like was a church pew or a high backed bench that had been cut down and then put on runners. It was small but at the same time very massive looking. It was made out of oak and very heavy. The tag on it said it was at least 150 years old. It was too weird looking for me so I did not sit in it.

Right next to it sat an old Morris chair that had recently been re-upholstered in a light knobby tweed fabric. I sat in it and knew instantly that I wanted it. Although the fabric was wrong for the piece I knew that small problem could be easily fixed. I looked at the price tag and my dream of owning it vanished as quickly as a puff of smoke. No way I could afford that price.

I walked away but could not get either chair out of my mind so when I found my sister I took her back to look at them. She sat in the rocking chair and I again sat in the Morris chair. About 10 seconds later she got up from the rocking chair and told me to sit in it and walked away. I sat down and immediately felt anger and "heard" someone repeatedly say, "Get out of my chair."

The voice was very querulous and insistent. I looked at my sister, screwed up my face, hunched my back, and started rocking furiously, mocking whoever was talking to me. I was annoyed by the fact that this spirit was telling me to get out of its chair and thought, "It isn't your chair anymore. You're dead."

I sat in the chair longer than I really wanted in order to show the spirit that it was not going to push me around and then got up and walked over to where my sister was looking at some object saying, "Well, that was creepy."

Her head spun around to look at me and she blurted out, "That's what I thought!"

She had also felt the spirit and wanted to see if what she felt was real so she asked me to sit in the chair without saying anything about her own experience. I then told her to sit in the Morris chair so she could see how a nice chair felt. We took turns sitting in the Morris chair and agreed that the Morris chair was comfortable and felt soothing. It felt nothing like the rocking chair. It took a long time for me to shake off the icky feeling of that rocking chair but after awhile I felt normal again but at the same time I felt uncomfortable and could not stop thinking about the chair.

Flash forward to Denver a couple of days after we had returned from San Diego. My husband and I were at my sister's house. It was nighttime and I was in the middle of a dream. I had variations of this dream for three or four days by this time and had attributed them to the emotional stress I was under. My sister was in the dream with me and we were both being tortured. There was a man in the dream who was holding me and, as I struggled to get away from him, told me if I did not stop he would cut my sister's throat. Standing across from me was the same man with a knife to my sister's throat. As I continued to struggle desperately to get away from the him and over to my sister, the other him slashed the knife across my sister's neck. I woke up thinking, "That wasn't my dream."

Whenever I have a nightmare I wake up with my heart pounding and my mind racing from the adrenaline rush that the dream has created . It takes a few minutes for my body and mind to disconnect from what has happened. For me, coming to full consciousness after a nightmare is like struggling to the surface of a swimming pool after you have stayed under too long. These dreams were not like that since I would wake up instantly. I felt no fear only a sense of uneasiness. I also noticed that instead of being inside the dream, like I normally am, I felt I was off to the side watching. Then there was the color in the dreams. I dream in Technicolor, bright, rich, intense colors. Colors that look as if they would stain your hands if you tried to touch them. These dreams were also in color but they were more like the color of 1970's era T.V situation comedy- subdued and almost washed out.

That is when I wondered if the spirit from the chair had attached itself to me and was punishing me for mocking it. That thought creeped me out and, just in case this was true, I mentally spoke to the spirit telling it to stop the dreams and to go away. I then said a prayer that I had learned as a little girl:

Angel of God,
My Guardian Dear
To whom God's love commits me here.

Ever this night be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide.

I still felt uneasy and decided to do a meditation that would help me to surround myself in a ball of white light. After I did this I expanded the light to include my husband, then expanded it again to fill the room we were in. I then decided to fill my sister's whole house with light as not to leave the spirit there after we had gone home. I mentally went from room to room filling the house with light. When I was finished I felt safe and relaxed enough to fall back to sleep.

Since that night I have not had anymore torture dreams.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Music Is The Soundtrack Of Your Life

Film makers know this and use it as a quick way to set time and place in their movies. Some songs make you smile when you hear them again, as they remind you of a happy time in your life, others bring sadness, as they remind you of something else. For me, the Dixie Cups' hit song Chapel of Love was connected with the time my siblings and I spent in a foster home. The women who ran it had a granddaughter who visited one day and kept singing this song over and over while she played in her grandmother's backyard. It took me years to get over the negative feelings that this song brought up in me.

Goin' to the chapel and we're
Gonna get married
Goin' to the chapel and we're
Gonna get married
Gee, I really love you and we're
Gonna get married
Goin' to the chapel of love

Spring is here
The sky is blue
Birds all sing
As if they knew
Today's the day
We'll say I do
And we'll never be lonely anymore

Because we're

Goin' to the chapel and we're
Gonna get married
Goin' to the chapel and we're
Gonna get married
Gee, I really love you and we're
Gonna get married
Goin' to the chapel of love

Bells will ring
The sun will shine
I'll be his and
He'll be mine
We'll love until
The end of time
And we'll never be lonely anymore

Because we're

Goin' to the chapel and we're
Gonna get married
Goin' to the chapel and we're
Gonna get married
Gee, I really love you and we're
Gonna get married
Goin' to the chapel of love
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Goin' to the chapel of love
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Goin' to the chapel of love
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

One song that I don't think I will ever get over is Maria Muldaur's Midnight at the Oasis. It is the song that I connect with my first love affair. One that, with my help, ended badly. When I found this YouTube clip and listened to it the old feelings of sadness, panic, and unhappiness surfaced.

Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Shadows paintin' our faces
Traces of romance in our heads

Heaven's holdin' a half-moon
Shinin' just for us
Let's slip off to a sand dune, real soon
And kick up a little dust

Come on, Cactus is our friend
He'll point out the way
Come on, 'til the evenin' ends
'Til the evenin' ends

You don't have to answer
There's no need to speak
I'll be your belly dancer, prancer
And you can be my sheik

[Instrumental Interlude]

I know your Daddy's a sultan
A nomad known to all
With fifty girls to attend him, they all send him
Jump at his beck and call

But you won't need no harem, honey
When I'm by your side
And you won't need no camel, no no
When I take you for a ride

Come on, Cactus is our friend
He'll point out the way
Come on, 'til the evenin' ends
'Til the evenin' ends

Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Got shadows paintin' our faces
And traces of romance in our heads

Oh, come on...

There are two songs that I connect with my father, Bruce Springsteen's Hungry Heart and BR5 49's Lifetime to Prove. Both are the story of his life. Change the first line of Hungry Heart to, "Got a wife and kids in Denver town, Jack, I went out for a ride and I never went back," and it's his story.

Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back
Like a river that don't know where it's flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going

Everybody's got a hungry heart
Everybody's got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody's got a hungry heart

I met her in a Kingstown bar
We fell in love I knew it had to end
We took what we had and we ripped it apart
Now here I am down in Kingstown again

Everybody's got a hungry heart
Everybody's got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody's got a hungry heart

Everybody needs a place to rest
Everybody wants to have a home
Don't make no difference what nobody says
Ain't nobody like to be alone

Everybody's got a hungry heart
Everybody's got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody's got a hungry heart

I could not find a clip of BR5 49 singing Lifetime to Prove but here are the lyrics:

My pockets are empty though my wife has sent me
To the store for some cigarettes and bread
I started walking there got as far as the square
Then the smell of beer went to my head
The thing about beer it can make a man hear
Voices from days long since past
And with every third drink it'll make you think
That your youth will always last
No matter which way you move, it takes a lifetime to prove
To yourself I could have been more
I got one foot in the door I just want one more

I thought of a time when my future was mine
It didn't matter what anyone said
I was handsome and strong and when I walked along
I stood erect and looked straight ahead
But then I lost my fight, "goin' to" turned to "might"
Somewhere along the line I lost my will
And now I'm sittin' here my life full of beer
And I try to pretend it's not real
No matter which way you move, it takes a lifetime to prove
To yourself I have been before
I got one foot in the door I just want one more

These days I barely survive on lot number five
In the mobile acres on the eastside of town
I swore this kind of life I'd never lead
I guess I let too many things get me down
If my pappy could see what they done to me
I swear he'd march down there and make it all right
But he's long since gone and I'm old enough now
I should be able to fight my own fight
No matter which way you move, it takes a lifetime to prove
To yourself I could have been more
I got one foot in the door I just want one more

My dad to a T, a man who's life was full of beer and who always blamed others for his problems.

As for my mother, when I first heard the song Easy to be Hard
from the musical Hair these lyrics jumped out at me:

Especially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil and social injustice
Do you only care about bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend, I need a friend

And I thought about my mother. She was out fighting social injustice and our lives were in chaos. How could she care about others more than us? I'm still pondering that question.

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings
You know I'm hung up on you
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

Especially people
Who care about strangers
Who care about evil
And social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd?
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend

How can people be so heartless
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to give in
Easy to help out

Especially people
Who care about strangers
Who say they care about social injustice
Do you only
Care about the bleeding crowd
How about a needing friend?
I need a friend

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be hard
Easy to help out
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

As I listen to or think about these songs again, I can see I have moved on as they no longer bring up sad feelings for me. I will always connect these songs with certain places and people but I can now enjoy them without the extra baggage I once attached to them....well, except for Midnight at the Oasis, that one I am still working on.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not In The Mood To Post Today

But I did find something of interest at The New York Times website, Going Offline in Search of Freedom.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Why There Are Not That Many Photos Of Little Sally Pumpkinhead Here

Tasmanian Devil 1

Tasmanian Devil 2

Almost there

Good dog

Saturday, October 24, 2009