Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Green eggs and ham day

It's Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2. He was born 108 years ago, amazingly. He is so ever-present in our schools and on our bookshelves and in television (Grinch) and in movies (The Lorax) that it's like he never died. I say, die already.

Of course I'm speaking metaphorically, because the good author actually died in 1991. But I am no fan of any of his 46 books, and really not a fan of Green Eggs and Ham or The Cat in the Hat.

I always got stressed out when Cat in the Hat was read to me. I was a nervous kid. Whenever anything was out of order or not going the way it was supposed to be, I got stressed. This didn't really show outwardly, but I was hospitalized at age 8 for headaches and stomachaches. And in The Cat in the Hat, everything goes wrong. An interloper arrives at the house while the kids are there alone. Bad! The house gets wrecked. Bad! The mom is due home any minute. Stress! The cat seems oblivious to this. By page 10 or so, the situation was unbearable for me.

One of the kids who was writing a response to the story wrote that, "The cat seemed nice at first. Then he turned into a bully. If it was me I would ask my mom to kick him out." I agree completely! That kid and I are two peas in a pod.

Green Eggs and Ham always seemed foolish to me. Just the premise, green eggs, was gross. It was obvious that green eggs should not be eaten. But then this creature goes to all this trouble to get the guy to try the eggs.  And all the scenes were so precipitous. They were always careening off the edge of somewhere. Ugh. Too much stress. Nope, Dr. Seuss was nonsensical and silly. Give me The Secret Garden any day.

I had a good time with the kids during Green Eggs and Ham day today though because they were having such a good time. Amazingly most of the kids loved the green eggs. They enjoyed the special readers who came to the classroom to read Dr Seuss stories to them. Tomorrow is pajama day, and they will love that too.

Needless to day I did not try the green eggs and declined the ham. But the grits, THOSE were great!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Turning off the tv

I decided I don't like TV anymore. Well, I kind of do but I don't, too. I hate commercials. I don't like wasting my evening watching crap. I dislike the noise, and tv is noisy, make no doubt about it. I don't like that tv is dumb. I mean, where are the smart, witty shows? I don't like having my evening subtly governed by tv, like feeling rushed to finish something by the top of the hour because a show is coming on. I don't like the emotional toll some shows take on me. Wait, I haven't put in any plusses yet, have I? Well there ya go.

Last night I turned off the tv and spent it writing, studying, listening to a sermon, and then reading on the couch. This was interspersed with playing with the cats and simply sitting, letting myself be. I enjoyed the soft hiss of the gas fire, the plop of raindrops on the metal awnings, the crinkle of pages turning, and the sounds of the cat snuffling in their sleep. It was relaxing.

I had resolved last weekend to absorb less media. Since I don't listen to secular music, and I've only been to one movie in the last four years, this means television. I am online a lot but I monitor myself and I visit only good or uplifting sites. I love the internet and I use it heavily for study. Television is another matter...

I don't know how long it will last, me grappling to get control of the evening and the remote control, but I am going to give it the old college try. It's not like it's because I want to be more productive at night after work. I already am. But I guess I want to relax amid a less polluted environment.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sleeping hummingbird "snores" in Peru, and other Saturday things

Here is some heart-melting cuteness I found online. Adorable sleeping hummingbird "snores" in Peru

Didn't I tell ya??

I am happy writing today. I am organizing my thoughts for the weekly prophecy newsletter I send out. I've eaten my favorite breakfast, fried eggs, homefries and English muffin with peanut butter. I've had my coffee and my extra weekend cups of coffee. I'm ready to start. So immediately I decided to write a blog entry on this blog instead. LOL. It's not procrastinating. It's "preparing."

Saturdays I sit at my Editor's Chair at the kitchen table with my laptop and all day long I write. I do get up occasionally. Just now I got up to stretch and I found a pile of gifts at my feet: a string, two milk rings and an elastic hair band. Awwww, the kitties!

It is a bright and cold day but the birds are really active, singing and chirping. I LOVE THAT! I just wish I had a good car and money for gas to go traipsing all over the rural county like I used to on Saturdays, taking photos of all the rural loveliness. I miss taking photos out and about. I have concentrated on the micro in my yard, but I think I have exhausted that. Maybe it's just spring about to pop that has made me restless for taking photos. When the warmer weather comes I think I'll go with my friend who likes to yard sale, and I'll take my camera. She'll have company and I'll have a ride. We can chat and gaga over her finds and I can have a change of scene for photos. Yes, by gum, it's a plan.

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's Friday!

Fridays in my 20's: With my team playing video trivia at the local sports bar.
We used to hang out at Gipper's.
Fridays in my 30's: On the high seas or exploring a local town just sailed into.

Fridays in my 40's: Covering a controversial meeting for the newspaper.

Fridays in my 50's: Gobbling ibuprofin and on Facebook with a heat pack on my neck.
But you know? I have enjoyed each stage of life. I wouldn't trade now for nothing!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Amazingly warm

It is unseasonably warm here in North Georgia. After sunset tonight it is still 77 degrees. We are supposed to receive rain and thunderstorms and perhaps a tornado tonight, so I have that to look forward to. But the day itself was lovely and warm. Yesterday was warm, as well. I snapped this cotton candy cloud illuminated by sunset pink last night. It was over the pasture next door.

I love the little blue bell flowers on the lawn. I really like tiny flowers as much as I like the large ones. I put up a blog entry about large flowers the other day, here. The little flowers are so little there is no way to arrange them in a vase. Today I bought a glass salt shaker at the Dollar Store. This is the result:

I was going for a Martha Stewart/Simple Living, Casa Sugar/Repurposed kind of careless elegant chic. Don't know if I got it but I do know that by tomorrow the cats will probably have eaten them.

I am looking forward to "my tv night."Thursdays I enjoy watching Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest. I am so tired, though, I am not holding out hope for making it to 9 pm, never mind to the show's conclusion at 10. But last time I went to bed early, thinking that I could catch POI (that's what we cool espionage people call it, POI) on video through "full episodes" I was wrong. The show I'd missed never showed up on either the CBS or the Hulu websites. My life just hasn't been the same, lol.

Well I'm going over to the couch and lay down. My bones are aching and my head is ringing with all the kid-stuff today. I'm pooped!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Now I'm thinking about flowers

My cats have been bumping their head against my knee, on and off, all day. They love the attention and I'm only too happy to give it.

I am at home today on school break and while I am of sound mind, lol awake and fully alert, I decided to do some meatier theological study. I spent time listening to a high-end lecture on Jonathan Edwards and have been reading an 18-page paper on biblical tests to detect true salvation.

For a while I got sidetracked on study of Roman reclining postures, and then Roman military gear and attire, but I swerved back to the theology sure enough. My train of thought reminds of that scene in The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon tracks his thoughts. "Now I'm thinking about trains."

Now I'm thinking about flowers...

I love flowers, and I saw some daffodils in a field while driving home the other day. There are little bluebells in the yard. A dandelion or two pops up. I can't wait until there are more flowers blooming. I love spring! Thinking about flowers reminded me of the poppies in Lubec. The street is narrow and the sun is only high for a short time there, being so far north. The poppies of Water Street positively lean with loneliness toward the sun. But from this angle, you can't tell they are leaning and reaching heartrendingly for sun that so swiftly rises and sets. Here, they look happy and bright.

I wish I could have big sprays and bouquets of flowers in the house, but the cats would eat them. And then they would die. So that is that.

Here is a photo of a tiger lily I took in the yard. The Lilies are about to come up too. I can't wait!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day's end

I sat at my desk all day, studying and writing. When I got done at 6pm I suddenly didn't want to be inside anymore. I ran outside in my socks to take whatever photos I could before the light faded. I flung myself on the ground, set my camera to 'micro' and snapped some tiny flowers. The grass felt fresh.

Friday, February 17, 2012

How to do chores on a lazy day off

I am starting a four day weekend. Unlike a two day weekend (which I am completely blessed to have, I know!) doing chores on Saturday is fulfilling but the several hours it takes to finish them are that many hours away from the 15 hours you get off (and awake). I don't work at anything on Sunday and spend most of the day in worship, so chores on Sunday is out. Doing much of anything on Sunday is out, except for worship and nap.
This is me vacuuming on a regular weekend. Git 'er done.
So I am jealous of those few hours on Saturdays I have to devote to mundane, sustaining tasks like dishes and laundry and vacuuming. And no, I don't have children, or I know I'd be pleased with 10 minutes in a row, not ten hours.

But on a four day weekend the time expands. I feel like I can 'waste" a bit of it. So today I am staring at a list of chores and feel little compunction to get up and do them with the same vigor and purposeful intent I display on regular Saturdays. But I HAVE to get them done. Hmmm, a dilemma. So what I do is attack one task. Like just now I cleaned the bathroom floor, washed the sink, reorganized the shelf of bathroom items, and cleaned the light switch cover. I still have the kitty litter to attend to, the tub to clean, and the toilet, but here's the luxury of a four day weekend. I stopped before I was finished. I sat down and took a break. That half hour of chores wiped me out, lol. I listened to music, checked my twitter stream, and blogged about not doing chores. Now, there's a time waster! I better get on with it, pronto!
This is me vacuuming on a 4-day weekend. Get what done?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Winter break

Our school's winter break begins tomorrow. It is a Friday and a Monday off bracketing a weekend. We get 4 wonderful days off, and two four-day weeks in a row. Ack, who am I kidding. I'll miss the kids by Tuesday...

I got groceries. I plan to make a spinach-mushroom-cheese quiche, pasta e fagiole soup, and pasta with garlic sticks for my main meals the next few days. I picked up the book I'd put on hold at the library, "An Invisible Thread." That, along with the final book in the Lonesome Dove series which is about a billion pages long and I'm still working on, will keep me busy this weekend.

I was lying on the couch earlier and Bert was on my legs and Luke was lying on my chest. Clingy, they are! I love it.

The lamps are glowing and the gas heat is hissing. The rest of the place is quiet. I have my red blanket on my lap and I'm in my comfy clothes. Quite a difference from when I started my day in a gym with 300 kids, some crying, some yelling, some running...loud. Now it is quiet. I like quiet.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm clock watching today

It’s a pretty slow day. Half days always are. The kids left at noon and it is teacher conference time. Not being a teacher, I don’t have as much to do, except laminate stuff and cut out decorations for the next bulletin board, etc. My busy time is when the kids are in school. When they’re not here, I’m left with a slow moving clock and a long half-day.

When I used to be a teacher I loved it. I took hours to write plans. I decorated the room, I read up academic journal articles on the latest trends. It was all good.

Now I’m old. All I want to have is peace and quiet and no pressure. So I leave all that hustle and bustle to the new teachers coming up, and I work with kids and then I go home. I don’t take a bag of papers home with me to correct, I don’t have to write notes to parents, I don’t have to make phone calls. I don’t have to follow up on anything. When the day is done, it’s done.

The occasional day that drags is just fine by me. I’m definitely not complaining. Now, is it 3 o’clock yet?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tech support

My internet had been slowing down recently. After a while, I also noticed that I was booted off frequently. If I didn't notice being booted, I certainly noticed the pop-up window saying I am 'now connected'. What? I was never NOT connected.

I became suspicious that someone was using my Wi-Fi. I used to have a WPA encryption key but my router got zapped in an electrical storm and the guy said that either I could buy a new router or I could go unsecured. That sounded hinky to me, more like the guy didn't want to deal with it at that moment, or he didn't know how. But no one was living nearby me and on the wireless list it only listed my network, so I went unsecured.

But lately the internet connectivity problems were getting worse and worse. Last week a pop-up message after I got booted off, said, "Another computer is wrestling with your IP address and there is a conflict" or something like that. I don't have another computer. The pop-up error message confirmed my suspicions.  Neighbor Net was underway.  Now, if they are stealing Wi-Fi from me, a paying customer, that is their moral quandary. But if they are doing something illegal, and the police track their activities to my IP address, it's MY legal problem. Enough is enough.

I searched on the internet and found tutorials on how to detect if someone else was using your wireless. In addition to my computer, I found a Blackberry and an Android have been on. I don't own a Blackberry or an Android. A-HA!

I found another tutorial on how to set your own encryption key. It took me a while. There were two false starts. Once, I pressed enter and the screen froze and went black. I hate when that happens. I pictured smoke coming out of the router and the modem sprouting wings and flying off in a crazed dash against the window, like a wounded bird.

I rebooted and amazingly the wireless network refreshed with my encrypt! Yay! I'm IN, safely!

Not so fast. Apparently now I had to make the service provider reset the router to reflect the changes and recognize them. I did that by myself too. I rebooted once more and what a relief, the little icon started blinking happily and the little radio waves coming off the icon were green.

I was live on the internet again. I felt really proud of myself that I kept it up and stayed calm and finished the job.

I have three online ministries which mean a great deal to me. My entire social life (by choice) is online. My entertainment is online. I don't like being off even for a few minutes. I don't even like thinking I won't have access even for a few minutes. Call it addiction. Call it an active writing life. Call it anything you want, just don't call it offline.

I was thinking last night about life before internet. What did I used to do? I can't really remember. I didn't get online until 1997 or so. I was 37 then. As an adult in the 80's and early 90s at night I guess I'd just read or cook or make art or listen to music. Cable tv was new in the 80s, and there was not a lot of programming then. I remember when MTV went 24 hours. It was a big deal. Back then we used to rent a VCR machine (few people owned a personal machine themselves, though that changed fast) and rent movies and watch those.

I'm unashamed that I love the internet. I think it is a great invention. I am unashamed I spend so much time on it. I read news from other countries, I write to people far away, I watch documentaries like "Atom" and biographies of people like Richard Feynman (who, it turns out, was not such a nice guy). I look at art and read about art interpretation. I look up words in Greek. Mostly I listen to sermons or Gospel music, or encourage friends on email or Facebook or Twitter.

I'm glad that patience and perseverance allowed me to fix my internet connectivity problems. I'm glad that the internet has such good tutorials. I'm glad no one will be piggybacking on my Wi-Fi anymore or stealing bandwidth for either benign or nefarious purposes. Mostly, I'm glad to be back online after only two hours of tech trouble, lol!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Figgy thoughts

There is a large fig tree on the property where I rent an anaprtment. There is one other resident here. I love figs but until I moved to GA and had access to them as a fresh item ready to be plucked I'd rarely eaten one. They damage easily, go over quickly and thus are expensive to buy when or if they do show up at a grocery store. For the most part, fresh figs had been inaccessible to me most of my life.

When I saw the fig tree I fell in love. I will never move. I will camp out under the tree on my back with mouth open and ready to eat all the figs that drop. None will even get to touch the ground. LOL.

In seasons past I'd made fig compote and fig purses. In addition to simply popping them in my mouth, all fresh and delicious. Today I stumbled across a recipe for fig-bleu cheese crostini, and a goat cheese-proscuitto and fig pizza. YUM, YUM YUM. Fig season cannot get here fast enough!

The Year in Food: Kitchen

Fig lovers, unite!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Gulliver, Lilliput, and sick day

It's been a gorgeous day. We had strong sun, clear skies and 70 degree plus temps. Ahhh. However I stayed home from work with a vicious sinus infection and haven't been outside at all. I felt pretty bad yesterday at work, but during the night I'd propped myself upon two pillows so that my head was above my lungs. I had slept well and I'd been able to breathe all night. I woke up at 5:30am, thinking "Oh boy, I could breathe. Wonderful, I'll be at work today!"

So then I tried to get up. I tried and I tried. I was Gulliver! Liliputians had come in during the night and tied me down on all sides! My limbs were heavy and useless, my body veritably glued to the bed.

I was captive to the little germs swarming all over me, and succumbed to sleep once more...