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HER: “I’m not going to put my shoes on.  I don’t think it’s illegal to drive without shoes. I looked it up online once.”

ME: “….you are driving around with expired tags and you are worried about whether it’s illegal to drive without shoes…”

(for the record, it’s not illegal to drive without shoes)

~*~

ME: (bounding into the room for no apparent reason in superhero pose singing) “Here I come to save the day!”

HIM:  “Thanks for the warning.”

~*~

(On the way to go bike riding — one of my least favorite activities)

HIM: “Are you excited?”

ME: (lost in a daydream) “Huh?” (coming back to Earth) “Oh, sorry, I’m in my imagination.”

HIM:  “You are in your imagination?”

ME: “No. I mean, I’m IN my imagination.”

HIM: “What are you imagining…a world where you don’t have to go bike riding?

ME: “Can you stop at Starbucks? That will give me caffeine. And enthusiasm.”

~*~

I was very behind on yard work, so I pruned the Rose of Sharon in the spring instead of the fall. The branches were very pliant – they had already started to green up.   I decided to braid them together and stick them in the dirt of a few potted plants to make a little basket handle/trellis of sorts for a few of my plants needing a little support.  I was shocked last week when I walked by to discover one of my “basket handles” had actually  bloomed a pink flower!

20180817_131044_resized.jpg

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Magic

Last week I heard myself say possibly the weirdest thing I’ve ever said at work:

“Ooh, that’s right! Today is the day the ponies have to go to outer space.”

But that’s exactly the sort of thing you have to say when zombies, aliens, and monsters invade Pony Land and the battle lasts several days. Fortunately, the ponies are a forward-thinking species that have resources and contingency plans to deal with such problems.  While the Pony Queen fended off the monsters, the little ponies said their magic words to make the door to the rocket ship open and allow them safe passage.

Pony Exodus.jpg

The ponies blasted off and flew through outer space and arrived safely in their haven on the moon.  Meanwhile, Fred the taxi driver loaded up the defeated monsters into the back of his dump truck and hauled them off to their monster hideout.

Taxi Driver Fred

Headed to Zombie Hideout

The ponies are doing well colonizing the moon.  The monsters, aliens, and zombies are on the road to recovery.

———————————————————————————————————

A job title doesn’t even come close to answering the question: “What do you do?”.

Robert Fulghum, It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It   

This book was not my idea.  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was one member’s choice for next month’s discussion in a book club I was recently asked to join.  This is exactly the sort of reason I generally avoid clubs: people inevitably want you to spend a whole bunch of your time doing stuff you don’t want to do…like reading about a high school girl dying of cancer. But I begrudgingly decided to just do it because I like these book club people and because I am working to expand my repertoire of kidlit.

The story revolves around Greg (the “Me” in the title). During his senior year of high school he is guilt-tripped into hanging out with Rachel, the dying girl, by his mother who is friends with Rachel’s mom. Then Greg’s best friend and “co-worker” in film-making, Earl, starts hanging out with them too. Hilarity ensues. They begin working on a new film, but after several false starts, one involving sock monkeys, they decide to take a different approach:

“We were inspired by You Tube. God help us. Like whiny boring people all over the world, we decided that the best way of expressing ourselves was just to stare into the camera and talk.”

The whole book was delightfully funny.  On purpose, even. It had this whole meta-analysis narrative embedded in the story that fixed a lot of the problems that a book about a dying girl is bound to have for the reader.

The author, Jesse Andrews, nailed the description of the social atmosphere of high school. There was a fight scene — well if you could call it that; it was more of a get-beat-up scene — that summoned images of Lord of the Flies in my mind. It managed to be both oddly disturbing and amusing. The characters, even the minor characters, were quirky, multidimensional and layered. The view of other characters from Greg’s eyes were along these lines:

“Mr. McCarthy had a look on his face of deep concern. It was definitely out of character for him and it was sort of distracting me. It was like when a dog makes a human-style face at you and you’re temporarily thrown off guard by it. You’re like, “Whoa, this dog is feeling a mixture of nostalgic melancholy and proprietary warmth. I was not aware that a  dog was capable of an emotion of that complexity.”

And speaking of emotions of complexity, last night as I finished the book, I sat in bed a confused mess – literally crying and laughing at the same time over the ending while marveling over life and death in general.

And this is exactly the sort of reason I join book clubs.

This time of year I think a lot about my grandmother.  She was born into this world and left it during the summer months.

Kiki was a fabulous and funny lady. She taught me lots of things: the names of flowers, my first prayers (“Dear God, Bless Roy and Cathy and Carey…”), how to multitask (she would exercise in the den during Wheel of Fortune), how to drive with my elbows, how to be independent (“It’s my money and I’ll wipe my ass with it if I want”).

She taught me beauty secrets such as taping your face at night to prevent wrinkles. And on that last note, when I came across this funny video today, I immediately thought of her….

 

This week started with me falling out of my house.  I fall often and each time I wind up here writing about it. Sadly, I’m not kidding.  There was the  “how-did-I-wind-up-here?” fall and the “fall-and-jump-back-up-nope-nothing-to-see-here” experience and the “fall-wearing-a-skirt-and-cuss-like-a-sailor-while-showing-panties-to-everyone-on-campus incident — all are clickable and readable to meet your schadenfreude needs.  I do aim to please.

Monday’s fall was a new kind for me.  It was the sort of fall that goes on forever –  all slow motion. I existed in a precarious state of unbalance on the threshold between the house and garage for a very long time, knowing the fall was inevitable, but trying my hardest to will it not so. My mind and body finally surrendered to physics. Even after I acknowledged I was passed the point of no return there was time to observe and consider many things.  As the fall went on and on, I registered that the baby ducks’ water needed changing; that my trajectory, if not corrected, would land me in the pile of fresh cat puke at the bottom of the steps; that the glass of grape juice I was holding was lifted up in toast-making fashion (Cheers!); that I needed to swing my satchel across my back so my computer wouldn’t hit the floor.  I  completely bypassed the three steps leading from the threshhold down to the cold concrete ground of the garage.  Grape juice and ice flew up into the air and  then rained down on my head, shirt and pants as time went back to normal at the point of impact.  It was a spectacular descent if I do say so myself – all action movie hero-like. The computer was saved, nothing was broken, and I avoided the cat puke.  My one disappointment was that no one was there to serve as a witness.

There was no where to go from that point but up.

It’s been a lovely week.

Baby ducks Giggles, Olaf, and Chopper are doing well…

got my ducks in a row

got my ducks in a row

Giggles, on the far left in the picture above, is clearly the diva of the bunch.

work it girl!

Giggles – Work it Girl!

 

I finally got around to giving Herman a glorious toupee.  Herman is the planter I made last summer out of a hypertufa concoction.  We went for a punk rocker mohawk style for this season.  Don’t ask me what’s up with the stick. I didn’t put it there. A little friend must have decided his ‘do needed more something….

Herman the Hypertufa Planter

Herman the Hypertufa Planter

 

I also finished an ensemble because Skattur insisted something should be done.  El-D built the boxes from pallets, I mosaiced the middle pot from broken dishes found in the barn, and the doggy on top came from the Goodwill.

 

pallet planters and mosaic pots

pallet planters and mosaic pots

Next week I’m aiming for Faerie Houses….

 

Aaaaaahh!   Another semester complete.

I started thinking the other day that it’s time to start subtracting things from my life again.  And that’s when I lost my keys. They’ve been missing for the last two days, which is perfectly fine by me.

The same thing happened last May.  That time, they went missing for two whole weeks.  When I’d finally had enough of being keyless, I sat down and called my keys back to me.  (I know that sounds ridiculous, but it totally has worked for me with lost keys and cats).  Anyway, a few hours later I got a call from the library — someone had found my keys in the street several miles away from my house.  How my keys wound up in the street is beyond me.  It’s not like I threw them out the window or anything.  I chalk it up as one of life’s great mysteries, kinda like finding not-my-pants in my closet.   Anyway,  the someone who found my keys noticed I had a library card on the keyring so he took them to the library and had a librarian call me to come pick them up, which is kinda funny because I couldn’t pick them up — I didn’t have keys to get there!

When you lose your keys you can’t leave your house unless somebody comes and picks you up.  Hm….unless you have a spare key, which would change everything.  I bet you’re thinking by now that I probably should get spare keys since clearly this is a regular thing for me.  But let’s apply a little logic here:  I can’t even keep up with my regular keys, so how would you expect me to keep up with spares?   Ok so when *I* lose *my* keys I can’t leave my house unless somebody comes and picks me up – or well unless El-D takes me somewhere.  And this is pretty fabulous any way it plays out — either staying home or being picked up.   I love being picked up and taken places. It’s a whole different sort of thing than driving someplace.  I can also appreciate being stranded at home.

I’ve said all that to say this: I’ve been both picked up and stranded the last two days. And it was good.

Here are the beautiful things that have happened on the farm this month:

tom kha with a heart-shaped green onion

tom kha with a heart-shaped green onion

 

Horses ate

Horses ate

 

 

Olaf, Giggles, and Chopper took a bath

Olaf, Giggles, and Chopper took a bath

 

beauty unfurled

beauty unfurled

 

… and who knows when the time seems right I might sit down and call back my keys.

 

The Devil

The Devil

“Why do you call your husband that?” It’s usually the folks that don’t know him doing the asking.

People in the know make him identity bracelets with “The Devil” spelled out in beads.

He’s also been lovingly refered to as “Squidward” by a self-identified “Patrick” who dubbed me “Spongebob.” If, like me, you need a reference point for these accusations, I give you two:

The Devil can be grumpy for sure. Naturally, he’s a bit of a Grinch about Christmas.  This year in a rare moment when he wasn’t complaining about how ridiculous the holiday is, and how stupid all the shoppers are clogging up the traffic home, he asked for “kill shirts.”  Kill shirts, as in the shirts TV serial killer, Dexter, wears. It was a sincere request.  Not that he’s going to kill anything; the Devil is a vegetarian.

He’s the kind of guy who listens to Heavy Metal, Death Metal, and who watches the Vegan Black Metal Chef.

His lounge-wear reveals his devilishness clearly:

EL-D

He often conceals his dark nature behind various disguises.  When we make public appearances (because, you know, we’re rockstars), it’s customary to see each other on the way out the door and wonder aloud who exactly the other is supposed to be in regard to the costuming, then to promptly answer our own posed question.  It goes like this:

I’ll say, “Who are you going as tonight, a literature professor?”

He’ll say, “What are you supposed to be, a woodland fairy?”

We tend to create the most unlikely pairings: country gentleman and baglady, serial killer and Sporty Spice.

We are always so different, even when we’re exactly the same.  When I morph into Lilith he suddenly becomes Michael the Archangel.

In our relationship’s default settings, I lean towards a chirpy sort of joy while he does all the moody brooding.  We remind me a lot of these two:

But somehow underlying it all is just this…

Tulsa October 026

Dearest Readers,

If you have been around this blog for a few years, then you may think I sometimes get a little too preoccupied with toilet technology.   While I would have to disagree, I do appreciate you enduring these episodes if you find them uncouth.

If you are just joining this party, welcome to the fold.  And just let me say  I think “preoccupied” is really too strong of a word for what goes on here.  You may want to consider it more like an occasional recurring theme. Rest assured, whatever label you want to put on it, this too shall pass, and we will soon resume our regularly scheduled programming.

And if you’re only here to get the bruise status update, well today it features a pink crescent moon entrapped within a fushia hexagon from which a cloud of navy smoke billows.  May you sleep better knowing.

So my interest in toilet technology began a couple years ago with a TedxTokyo Talk called Toilet Talks, which opened my eyes to how far we Americans lag behind the Japanese in lavatory engineering. Still reeling from that revelation, a couple weeks later I encountered another disturbing sign in a university bathroom stall indicating America’s ineptitude in latrine design and the lengths those in the ivory tower will go to enshroud this truth with their propaganda. The problem was made personal with some unfortunate business that occurred on I-40 in a snowstorm.  Then that summer I learned that Japan is not the only country wildly ahead of us when I learned of Ayurvedic medicinal herbs and I tried the Poo-Poo Tea at the ashram.

Today I discovered a video that provided a ray of hope. Other minds are acknowledging the errors of our ways. Mark my words: innovation is coming.

Today my bruise is a purple nebula with a black halo. Like a shifting tattoo, its pointillism has revealed images of a horned goat’s head, a sheep, and The Great Gonzo. This alone is well worth the price of admission. Add to that the shock value: I derive a perverse thrill from flashing it at unsuspecting victims to see their expressions of horror. I will miss it when it’s gone.

Life has only gotten stranger since I fell into the bucket. We have suffered a series of unfortunate duck mishaps in the last few days– some too tragic to detail here. In a nutshell, I’ve lost three ducks this week — all members of Generation Z. We almost lost a fourth. Somehow this duckling, who is at that awkward, in-between stage of ducky adolescence, managed to get his silly duck head wedged in between two loose boards in the barn. He must have been stuck there for awhile because he had worn some of his neck feathers away trying to free himself from the gap. After I gently helped him get loose, he stumbled drunkenly around the pen, unable walk straight or keep his head up. So I scooped him up and carried him into the house for rehab. He’s been living in my bathtub getting physical therapy for the last three days. Sadly, I’m not kidding. He was put on a regimen of neck stretching and strengthening exercises. Today he seemed much better, so I put him back out in the pen with the others. The reunion was incredibly strange to watch. His family gathered around in a crescent to inspect him. While he stood there quack-quack-quacking they listened. He quacked and quacked and quacked some more as if he was telling them all about his abduction by the crazy lady. Eventally they started quacking back, walking around him, checking him out, and kinda poking at him softly with their bills. I hope he lives. By the way, his name is Michael Jackson. I didn’t name him. I’ve been asking my little preschooler and kindergartener friends to name the ducks of Generation Z when they visit. The names they gave the remaining 6 are Lily, Muddy, Jelly, Sparkles, Willie Nelson, and Michael Jackson.

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