Friday, August 31, 2007

Da Count in 55-Light

Beads of dew
shining on flower petals
reflecting the watercolors of dawn
light piercing the leaves
sunbeams filling a room
gentle light bathing a cheek
gleams sparkling from eyes
alive with mischief
candle flame warming skin tones
highlights and shadows parting
then closing like dancers
choreographed and marking time
as the sun traces its path.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

HNT-Lime Dress #2

See how I sparkle when I give my toilet a scrub just because I'm wearing my new Lime Dress?

It's a slinky green miracle!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Color My World

After my trip to the Crayola Factory I thought I'd gather up all these silly quizzes I have had sitting in drafts forever and a day. One of my more obssessive compulsive traits is that when I used to put my crayons away they HAD to go in rainbow order. I can remember being appalled by kindergarten classmates who put their crayons in the box in any old order. And if they put the crayons in the box upside down it was just unbearable! And I have to admit, it bothers me slightly that there is no yellow here.....

You Are Apple Red
You're never one to take life too seriously, and because of it, you're a ton of fun.And although you have a great sense of humor, you are never superficial.Deep and caring, you do like to get to the core of people - to understand them well. (It's an a-peeling trait of mine, don't you think?)However, any probing you do is light hearted and fun, sometimes causing people to misjudge you.
What Color Red Are You?

You Are Pumpkin

Realistic and practical, you see the world for how it is.
You know what it takes to succeed in life...
And you're happy to help others reach their goals.
(When do they start helping me reach mine is what I want to know.)

You Are Mint Green

Balanced and calm, you have mastered the philosophy of living well.
Your friends seek you out for support, and you are able to bring stability to chaotic situations.
You're very open and cheerful - and you feel like you have a lot of freedom in life.
Your future may hold any number of exciting things, and you're ready for all of them!
(Well, If I am minty does that mean I always have fresh breath too? And how is it that I didn't come up as Lime???)

You Are Indigo

Of all the shades of blue, you are the most funky, unique, and independent. (much to the chagrin of my mother when I was a child)
Expressing yourself and taking a leap of faith has always been easy for you.

Dark Purple

To others, you seem a bit dark, mysterious, and moody. (Ok, this is where I laugh like a loon. Who ARE they talking about?)
In truth, you are just a very unique person who doesn't care what others think.
And you really enjoy your offbeat interests and friends.
You've decided that life is about living for yourself - simple as that.

Your Aura is Blue

Spiritual and calm, you tend to live a quiet but enriching life. (Oh yeah, life with 2 teens and one on the way is very calm and spiritual. BWAHAHAHA!!)
You are very giving of yourself. And it's hard for you to let go of relationships. (Letting go is very hard for me but once I do I don't look back)

The purpose of your life: showing love to other people

Famous blues include: Angelina Jolie, the Dali Lama, Oprah

Careers for you to try: Psychic, Peace Corps Volunteer, Counselor

Your Power Color Is Red-Orange

At Your Highest:

You are warm, sensitive, and focused on your personal growth.

At Your Lowest:

You become defensive and critical if you feel attacked. (Beware: sharp teeth and claws)

In Love:

You are loyal - but you demand the respect you deserve.

How You're Attractive:

You are very affectionate and inspire trust.

Your Eternal Question:

"Am I Respected?"
(Don't answer that unless it's in the affirmative)

Your Heart Is Red

You're a passionate lover - you always have a huge fire in your heart.
Too bad it's hard for you to be passionate about just one person! (I sound like a bit of a trollop!)

Your flirting style: Outgoing and sexy

Your lucky first date: Drinks and dancing

Your dream lover: Is both stable and intense

What you bring to relationships: Honesty

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Field Trip

Yesterday Mr. Lime took Isaac to Cleveland to see an Indians game. I am told they had terrific seats and got to see an amazing triple play during the game. Since the boys were off having fun I thought the girls and I would go do something together. I suggested Longwood Gardens outside of Philadelphia and got a yawn. I suggested an amusement park and got a blase response. Then Diana suggested the Crayola Factory. I was shocked since it is geared toward kids, not teens. Calypso seconded the idea which shocked me even more since she is also a bit beyond the age AND she and her sister were actually agreeing on something, enthusiastically at that. I said ok, but to really enjoy this place we'd need to see if would could abscond with some little people. A call or two later and we had permission to snatch a set of 8 and 5 year old sisters who were dying of boredom.

There's a big glass corridor with buckets of special glass writing markers at either end. We spent about 45 minutes just drawing all over the walls. What other museum lets you write on the walls?

Next we have a couple of the girls working on their secret treasure map in the watercolor area. There's also a huge dryer over you can put your paintings through to dry them quickly so you don't have to carry around drippy papers, but I forgot to take a picture of that. Too much fun making stuff.

They give you blobs of the model magic clay so you can make things from that too. I made a couple pigs. The clay is all white but you can tint it with markers and make your own colors by kneading it in really well.

The 5 year old made this likeness of Diana.

We also made puppets and some other fun things but again, I was having too much fun making things or else carrying too many arts and crafts to think to take more pictures. We also had a chance to see how crayons and markers are made and learn about the history of Crayola.

The top floors of the building are given over The National Canal Museum. The museum has exhibits about the history of the canal system along the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers which was used to transport coal and other goods between port cities. Canals were dug parallel to the rivers and barges were towed by mules on raised paths. We didn't get to see any more than this room of the canal museum because....we were so busy having fun making crafts that we didn't get to the canal museum until 20 minutes before closing. this room had a really terrific hands on exhibit that showed the kids how locks work to move the boats through different ascents and descents in the canals. There were also experiments on buoyancy and such.

And now, in the spirit of G-man, some Crayola trivia...

  • The factory cranks out 12 million crayons a day.
  • There are currently 120 colors to choose from.
  • In February 1996 Mr. Rogers molded the 1 billionth crayon which was in a special limited run (only a million were made) color called 'blue ribbon.'
  • The factory was opened in 1903 in Easton , PA
  • All crayons were hand wrapped for the first 40 years.
  • The wax used is paraffin.
  • The wrappers are still glued together with a mixture of cornstarch and water so all materials used are nontoxic.
  • Local farmers often worked wrapping crayons in the winter months for 19 cents an hour.
  • During the depression this was an important part of the local economy.
  • Three colors have had their names changed. In 1958 Prussian Blue became Midnight Blue because teachers said students could not related to Prussian history. In 1962 Flesh became Peach to reflect the fact that skin colors are not all the same. In 1999 Indian Red became Chestnut to avoid the mistaken understanding that it was a reference to native American skin.
  • In 1990 Maize, Orange Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Orange Red, Raw Umber, Green Blue, Violet Blue, and Blue Gray were retired.
  • In October 2003 Teal Blue, Magic Mint, Mulberry, and Blizzard Blue were retired.
  • Grant Wood, artist of the famous painting American Gothic, entered and won a Crayola coloring contest in the early years of the factory. He later said winning the contest gave him the encouragement to pursue a career in art.
  • The Crayola brand name is recognized by 99% of Americans and ranks 51st in recognizability and consumer esteem in world brands.
  • According to a Yale study, Crayola crayons are among the 20 most recognizable scents to Americans.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Book Meme

Myutopia had this at her place and I just HAD to steal it.

A book that made you cry:

Haing S. Ngor: A Cambodian Odyssey with Roger Warner. This is the true story of the man who portrayed Cambodian journalist Dith Pran in the movie The Killing Fields. His story is 100 more horrifying than what he portrayed in another man's life and true testament to man's inhumanity to man.

A book that scared you:

The Vampire comic book I read before bedtime when I was 10. I didn't sleep all night I was so scared. More recently, The Writing on the Wall by James Goodman, though I didn't feel the effects until we had a power stopping thunderstorm that night and I was sitting all alone in the dark trying to ignore my very full bladder so I didn't have to leave the cocoon of pillows on the couch. No, I am not kidding, James. This is true. Go ahead and giggle. Hehehehe.

A book that made you laugh:

A Monk Swimming by Malachy McCourt. I read it on the beach during my escape to the beach this summer and more than once had my father and stepmother wondering what was so funny.

A book that disgusted you:

How to Eat Fried Worms. My 4th grade teacher thought it was the height of hilarity to read it to us right before lunch and make all sorts of disgusting sound effects to go with it. He was an asshole in many ways, that is just one small example.

A book you loved in elementary school:

I can't remember just one but I devoured any biographies I could find about Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, and Martin Luther King, Jr. They were my heroes, still are.

A book you loved in middle school or junior high school:

Exodus by Leon Uris. Yes, I read this when I was 12 and I was swept away by it.

A book you loved in high school:

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

A book you hated in high school:

Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. It was the ultimate in depressing books after a semester of depressing books from a teacher who thought the definition of great literature was something that induced a mass suicide during class.

A book you loved in college:

Peace Child by Don Richardson. It's about a missionary to Papua New Guinea and his thoughts about what he calls 'redemptive analogies' which are cultural parallels to the story of Christ.

A book that challenged your identity:

A Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter. It's about a frontier boy raised by Indians. It didn't necessarily challenge my identity but I remember reading it when I was 12 or 13 and feeling like maybe I wasn't crazy to have some of the questions about my own origins that I had at the time.

A series that you love:

Probably the Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maud Montgomery, which I never read until Diana was about 5 and I started reading them to her and her sister.

Your favorite horror book:

Hhhmm....I don't generally read horror so I will go with a short story instead. Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe. I have to say I like how he could creep me out without getting gory.

Your favorite science fiction book:

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

Your favorite fantasy:

I don't read a lot of fantasy because I've always been a biography/memoir/nonfiction fan but I read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien for the sake of Isaac and I really did enjoy it.

Your favorite mystery:

I don't read a lot of this either but my dad gave me The Bottoms by Joe Lansdale and I quite liked it.

Your favorite biography:

I don't think there is any way I could even begin to pick a favorite here, way too many that I have just loved, so I will recommend the most recent one that knocked my socks off. In the Name of Honor: a Memoir by Mukhtar Mai was completely amazing. It is about an illiterate Pakistani peasant woman who was sentenced to be gang raped for the sake of family honor after her brother was falsely accused of impropriety toward a higher caste woman. It was assumed she would commit suicide after the gang rape, instead she fought for justice all the way to Pervez Musharaf and has started a school for girls. It's a very thin volume and a quick read but eye opening and profound.

Your favorite "coming of age" book:

Well, most folks wouldn't think of it as a coming of age book, but I'll say Le Petit Prince by Antoine St. Exupery. This book could easily fit in any number of the other categories (identity challenging, fantasy, classic...) here and it is truly one of my all time favorites. Since I can't really generate another thought for this category the award goes to LPP.

Your favorite classic:

Well, how are we defining 'classic?' If it's something enduring written in the last hundred years put me down for pretty much anything by John Steinbeck. If we are talking something really old let's say Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (but in more modern English please). If we are talking downright ancient that would be the Bible.

Your favorite romance book:

Quite honestly, I'd sooner read horror than some Harlequin romance. Gag. But Thirty Days Hath April by Bill Bley, which the author doesn't call a romance (because it's erotica instead) but a 'fuck book' (I swear, it's right there in the forward) is very good, interspersed with all sorts of literary allusions, and you might actually learn a thing or two from it.

Ok, now that I've given you a list of recommendations why don't you leave some of your favorites here for me or else do this at your place.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday 55 & Da Count-Rainy Days

I am feeling somewhat uninspired so I am recycling an early 55.


Tracks of water run down the windowpane.
I drag my fingertips along your back.
Parched earth drinks in the water.
You quench my thirst with deep kisses.
Hard rain pounds the roof.
Our bodies pulse together.
Thunder crashes.
I cry out and you shudder.
The gentler pit-pat raindrops
echo my slowing heartbeat
and we sigh.

It's been cold and raining all week here. I'm not complaining though. We've needed it. It's good to see things green up again and to have an excuse for shlubbing around a little. I've been tired all week and passed out on the couch last night around 7:30 until my son woke me at 11PM to send me to bed. Hahahaha. Bless that boy, he wanted to make sure his mama didn't wake up feeling like a pretzel. I love to fall asleep listening to rain. I dunno what it is, but rain just puts me in a mood.....

Thursday, August 23, 2007

HNT-Lime Dress

Thanks to all who left such lovely comments last week. So many of you said I should have indulged myself and I thought about that.

Then airplanejayne said...
every year you buy back-to-school clothes for the kid(s). When was the last time YOU got a BTS outfit? Don't YOU have to drive them to school? Don't YOU have to go to B.T.S. night? Don't YOU have to go meet teachers? the kid's friends? hel-LO!?!?!? You deserve the dress!!!! Go buy it!

Sometime laterwitnessing am i said...
You should splurge, go for it. You deserve it, buy it, make it yours. Nobody is noticing what isn't buttoned up and it says alot if you felt good in it. "It hid the bits I am self conscious about and sorta did nice things for the bits that ain't too shabby." That is a good thing.Wear it . . . out to dinner. Wear it to the grocery store -- just for fun.

Those two folks made me giggle at the suggestions as to where I should wear the dress and it appealed to my sense of zaniness so I thought, 'Why not? They are right!' I went back to the store and they actually had the dress in a size larger. It's still a bit snug but I can close it at least and although I have never bought clothing with the incentive to loose weight before I did this time.

With that, may I present to you with shots from my real camera, not the one in my phone...

The Lime Dress.

I figure I have tie dyed you all to death. So, who wants a 'Lime Dress brightens the mundane duties of daily life series' for HNT? I gotta get some use outta this dress now that I own it.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Weird News Wednesday

Chemists Find What Makes Coffee Bitter (In a study led by Captain Obvious)
Jeanna BrynerLiveScience Staff Tue Aug 21, 2:00 PM ET

Chemists have figured out why dark-roasted coffees are so bitter, a finding that could lead to a smoother cup of java. Using chemical analyses and follow-up taste tests by humans trained to detect coffee bitterness, the scientists discovered the compounds that make coffee bitter and also how they form. "Everybody thinks that caffeine is the main bitter compound in coffee, but that's definitely not the case," said study leader Thomas Hofmann, a professor of food chemistry and molecular sensory science at the Technical University of Munich in Germany. Just 15 percent of coffee's bitter taste comes from caffeine, said Hofmann, who presented his findings today at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston. Hofmann and his colleagues found two classes of compounds give coffee the bulk of its bitterness. Both pungent perpetrators are antioxidants found in roasted coffee beans, not in the green (raw) beans. "Roasting is the key factor driving bitter taste in coffee beans. So the stronger you roast the coffee, the more harsh it tends to get," Hofmann said. He added that prolonged roasting leads to the formation of the most intense bitter compounds found in dark roasts. How the beans are brewed also affects bitterness, the scientists found. The high pressures and temperatures used for brewing espresso-type coffees produce the highest levels of bitter compounds. "Now that we've clarified how the bitter compounds are formed, we're trying to find ways to reduce them," Hofmann said.

Have these people never eaten burnt food? Charred things are bitter? Can I have a big 'DUH!' for this crowd?

Bones Could Yield Dodo DNA (Wait until Hollywood hears this...)
Andrea ThompsonLiveScience Staff Fri Aug 17, 10:10 AM ET

A newly discovered dodo skeleton has raised hopes for extracting some of the legendary extinct bird’s DNA. The dodo, a flightless bird related to pigeons and doves, once thrived on the small island of Mauritius, located off the coast of Africa to the east of Madagascar. Dodos, Raphus cucullatus, stood about three feet tall and laid their eggs on the ground, which made them easy targets for predators such as rats and pigs introduced to the island by European explorers. Humans also destroyed the dodos' habitat. The dodo became extinct in the late 1600s, just 80 years after the arrival of explorers.

Late last year, biologists looking for cave cockroaches accidentally discovered a dodo skeleton in the highlands of Mauritius. Nicknamed "Fred" after one of its discoverers, the
skeleton's bones were badly decomposed and fragile, but there is still a good chance of extracting some dodo DNA because of the stable temperature and dry to slightly humid environment (keys to DNA preservation) of the cave. (Scientists think Fred ended up in the bottom of the cave because he sought shelter from a violent cyclone but fell down in a deep hole and could not climb out.) Dodo DNA would be of great scientific value because scientists know very little about the genetics of the dodo. Also, it would allow scientists to figure how long the skeleton was lying in the cave.

Do we really need to preserve the DNA of a creature that fell in a hole looking for shelter and whose name is synonymous for those lacking a certain intelligence? Then again if your job is to tramp through dank caves looking for cockroaches I guess a dodo would be more exciting. I think Mel Brooks or the Monty Python gang could make a great movie or sketch out of this...'Jurassic Dodo' anyone?

Underwear's historic role... in Western learning

LONDON (AFP) - Underwear underpins the spread of Western culture, with discarded underpants ranking alongside the invention of printing in the spread of literacy, according to a medieval historian. Delegates at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, northern England, were told that social migration from rural to urban areas in the 13th century brought with it changes in attire. Whereas rough and ready peasants thought little of wearing nothing under their smocks, the practice became frowned upon in the burgeoning towns and cities, leading to a run on undergarments. And when the underwear was worn out, it provided a steady supply of material used by papermakers to make books.

"The development of literacy was certainly helped by the introduction of paper, which was made from rags," Marco Mostert, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and one of the conference organisers, said this week. "These rags came from discarded clothes, which cost much less than the very expensive parchment which was previously used for books. "In the 13th century, so it is thought, as more people moved into urban centres, the use of underwear increased -- which caused an increase in the number of rags available for paper-making." The invention of the movable type printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century is generally credited with spreading learning. But Mostert said that although literacy did not become widespread until the 19th century, it was more common in the Middle Ages than many believe because of cheap paper made from rags.

Well, lucky for western civilization the upper classes didn't have a fondness for thongs. There never would have been enough material for printing. I must say it also makes me wonder if someone had this bright idea while reading in the bathroom....

UPDATE: In other news, Kfarmer won the caption contest for the bunny picture. I'll let you know what prize she picks.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bike Trip #10

Last week the Three Stooges, Three Musketeers, Three Biketeers, three in a hurry to make it back for school departed from the rest of the group. Mr. Lime, Gus and I started out on our altered course and of all the huge state of Montana, this is how much we saw. Don't blink now, you might miss it.

From there we started across southern Idaho. We saw lots and lots of the northern desert. It was endless, barren scrub. As barren as that was it didn't even compare to Craters of the Moon, which is a large lava field. We made a stop there and hiked around. The rough, uneven terrain was really hard walking. If you stumbled you'd be shredded on the volcanic rocks which also radiated all the heat of the sun. We needed to escape the heat for a bit and found a cave where Gus and I also noticed some unusual life forms.

We continued west. Just like we enjoyed trying pasties in Michigan we enjoyed other local yummies elsewhere. In Idaho we noticed a local candy called Idaho Spuds. The idea was kind of revolting but we thought we'd give it a try. It turned out to be a really bad idea because all three of us wound up with what we thought was food poisoning from these stupid things. We couldn't figure anything else it would have been. That night we slept in some park somewhere. ALERT TO G-MAN: SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH. I use the term slept very loosely because we all spent the night puking our guts out. It was here that I earned the nickname Yertle the Turtle for the way I'd weakly pop my head out of my sleeping bag, hurl, and then retreat back inside before scootching back a couple of feet from my ejected stomach contents. Mr. Lime chided me for not having the decency to get up, walk across the street, and vomit on the lawn of the Mormon church like he had. I think I puked near his shoes in response. Gus just rolled around in agony and told us both to shut up.

Mr. Lime seemed to recover a little quicker than Gus and I so he set off while we tried to pack up. I am not sure how he pedalled the bike that day or how Gus and I drove. I remember pulling over at some two bit post office/general store combo place and the two of us laying on some faded dusty old couch feeling like death warmed over. Eventually Gus rallied and poured me back into the car and drove us on to meet Mr. Lime. I was really still quite knocked out by whatever had hit us and remember Mr. Lime telling us he had found lodgings for us that night.
As it turned out he had met some college girl, somewhere...I don't know how or where but she wound up inviting us to bunk at her house. All I know is that I was never so grateful for a shower and a soft bed. The girl's parents were away but she said she had called them and they were ok with it and we should stay until we were feeling better. I could barely even eat for a couple days even though the other two seemed to be rebounding. Her parents came home and I finally felt human again and they were just absolutely gracious to us. I still can't fathom folks being so totally ok with three nauseous strangers staying at their house for a couple days. I still don't quite know how we got hooked up with them but I am ever so thankful.

After that incredible kindness we moved along and met another family when the Pastor of the church we stayed at introduced us. The man was a farmer and Mr. Lime and Gus helped him bring in the hay one day while I helped his wife and daughter around the house. In the evening they drove us all over southern Idaho sharing the beautiful parts of the states. We saw Crater Lake and the Snake River and thoroughly enjoyed seeing what made 'home' so special to them.

ALERT TO GAWPO: PAY ATTENTION IN CASE YOU MISS IT. Even though Oregon's nickname is the Beaver State we decided it should have been called the Garnish State. We passed vast fields of mint and parsley. You just don't think of those things being grown on large scale but hey, someone has to provide all those sprigs for your side dishes and desserts in restaurants. I guess there is really no excuse for an Oregoner to have bad breath either. In addition to the vast garnish fields we found the little burgh of Wagontire. When we saw the sign on the building we absolutely had to stop and more than double the population for a little while. It was another one of those post office/general store/coffee shop combo buildings with a waitress who reminded me of every woman Gary Larsen has ever drawn in his Far Side comic. Pretty state though and I wished we had a bit more time to enjoy it. We had planned to go to the coast but time demanded we cut quickly on a diagonal toward California and wait to see the Pacific until then.
Next week onto the Golden State and the Pacific Ocean.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Stuff

It's a rainy, cold day here. We need the rain so I won't complain about that. But they grayness is a bit much so here is some color from around here on sunnier days...a couple of pictures I snapped that I particularly liked.

busy as a bee

bugs & flower

Also, I have to say you people cracked me up! I'm going to list the bunny jokes, haikus, whatever (only one per individual so if you submitted more than one I picked my favorite of your submissions...and 'anonymous' I have no idea who you are so sorry, no name, no entry) and you all can vote on which one you like best. The winner and I will then work out details of a prize. I'm just going to have to tally up your votes left in comments because I dunno how to do one of them thar fancy shmancy official polls. I also want to thank all of you who left a caption or a joke of some other sort. I thoroughly enjoyed all the giggles all weekend long. You guys, rock!

1. snowelf said...
Bunny Down Under: "Sigh, Delia! Why do you always have to be so crotchety?"

2. Phain said...
Couldn't resist the haiku:

The rabbits lay piled

Damn his ass is on my face

Hope he doesn't fart

3. Flash said...
"Somehow, Jimmy didn't have a full concept of tea-bagging someone"

4. Keyser Soze said...
White top rabbit: It's not going to suck itself! Brown bottom rabbit: STFU!

5. Sudiegirl said...
"Hmmm...tastes like chicken"

6. barman said...
How do you like my ass hat. They are in this year you know.

7. Pauline said...
Here Bunny sits Like a hat on my head

If Bunny shits,

Bunny's gonna be dead.

8. Rebicmel said...
When stuck in a pen

is never good to be on

bottom of the cage

9. BTExpress said...
"Even bunny's tea bag."

10. S said...
As a mom, I sorta see it like this:

Bottom bunny: What I wouldnt give for a hot bubblebath, hot tea, a lock on the bathroom door, and five minutes peace.

11. J Morgetron said...
Oh little bunny

your butt hair, though fuzzy and soft,

tickles my face

12. Diesel said...
There's good luck to the left of me and good luck to the right, but right in front of me it's just rabbit ass.

13. Cooper said...
Bunny Leg head gear

My brother is a lard ass

I should bite his nuts

14. KFarmer said...
There once was a lazy bunny named Sunny;

Who loved nothing more than to lie on her tummy;

But a surprise did occur, and right underneath her;

When a tongue found its way to her fur...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Da Count-Laughter

Yesterday, I went to an ice cream party at a farm with Isaac. I saw this scene and it cracked me up. I was compelled to call my son over to see it and all his friends followed. I was so glad I had my camera with me so I could share the giggle. I thought TLP in particular might like this since she always finds a rabbit picture for the first of the month over at her place.

There were some stressful days this week. I had a bit of a meltdown on Wednesday. I was talking to a friend who let me cry the blues and then had me cracking up. Wanna hear the joke? Ok...A seal walks into a bar. The bartender asks, 'What'll ya have?' The seal answers, 'Anything but a Canadian Club.' Ba-dum-bum...Yes, I have a sick love of really bad puns. I have managed to pass this illness onto Isaac. I told him the joke and he laughed and shook his head and told me how bad it was then immeidately started listing who he needed to tell this joke to.

Another friend and I were discussing some of the stupid crap I could put on a resume. I was shaking as I tried to stifle the guffaws late at night. I have visited some hilarious posts from other people this week and really enjoyed them. There's a bunch of crap flying around the House of Lime right now and sometimes I forget to find humor in things. Life is always smoother when I can laugh though. So this week I am counting every giggle, snort, and chortle I have had this week, in between all the other not so funny well as the people who provided the levity.

Oh, and let's keep the laughter going. Give me a caption or a Friday 55 or a limerick or a haiku for the bunny picture. I might even reward the best one or let you all vote on which is the best one.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

HNT-Back to Whatever...

It's that time of year when I take all the Limelets back to school shopping. Sometimes I try crazy things on just to amuse myself, which is somewhat absurd because I really don't enjoy clothes shopping. I dislike it mainly because ever since I developed hips and breasts when I was 11 I have had a hard time finding things that fit comfortably (Excuse me do you have anything for a curvy girl child who is not even 5 feet tall and that is age appropriate for an 11 year old?). As an adult I hated worrying about being stylish and so I basically didn't worry about it. Since I have gained a fair amount of weight in the last year or so it's even more aggravating. Most of the time shopping is an exercise in finding something that merely doesn't make me want to gag when I look at it on me.
So, imagine my surprise when I picked out this wild green dress made out of two scarves and tried it on just to be silly and not only did I not turn a nauseous green upon inspection of my reflection but kinda liked what I saw. It hid the bits I am self conscious about and sorta did nice things for the bits that ain't too shabby. I was pleased.

Sing it with me now....I feel pretty, oh so pretty...

*Epilogue: I did not purchase the dress because it was actually too small for me (I couldn't even close the top all the way), I don't actually have any place I could ever wear it, and it cost more than I could afford. But for a few minutes it felt nice. And please, I am not fishing for compliments with this post....just being a little naked in exposing my thought life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weird Wednesday-Death Becomes Her

Cosima has a lovely post about fascinating museum exhibit and I encourage everyone to go check it out. However, I read it first at just before midnight and her introduction caused some firing of synapses perhaps best left blocked. But I can't just let it go, no...I have to use it as fodder for a post. Aren't you so lucky?

What is it she said? Well, she started by stating she wants to be cremated and scattered to the wind so no museum gawkers can hover over her remains. I on the other hand would be ok with being dug up and being put on display and I think I shall be revising my own burial requests just so I can throw off the anthropologists and archaeologists. I will seed my casket with all sorts of incongruous items that bear no actual meaning to North American life at the turn of the millennium. (oh, and feel free to leave suggestions for this in the comments) Causing trouble even centuries after my death, how fitting, bwahahaha!

Ok, so anyone out there creeped out by this discussion? Keep reading it gets better. This is Weird Wednesday after all. Why do I have outlined plans of how I want the disposal of my remains handled at the tender age of 38 when I am seemingly healthy? Well, there has been a written outline of plans since I was 8.

Yes, folks that's right I didn't even know how to multiply and divide or write in cursive yet and my mother had planned my funeral. Being the forward thinking and detail specific mom she is she wanted to include my input into these plans as she recorded them. So one day as I was happily watching Brady Bunch reruns and playing with my Barbie dolls she called me to her desk and inquired nonchalantly, 'I'm working on our funeral plans. When you die do you want to be buried or cremated?'

There was a long silence as I pondered my mortality. Had she found the contraband gigantic wad of prechewed half sticks of sugar free, dentist recommended Trident I amassed so as to have a decent glob to attempt blowing bubbles with? Did my stinky brother rat me out about swiping mom's blonde wig and her padded bras to dress him up as my sister? What the heck was in that Kool Aid I had after school? I heard bad things about Kool Aid....Wait? Is MOM dying? Dad just left us now where is Mom going? Did one of those blood clots in her legs break free like she said they could? I looked left and right and over my shoulder and kind of chewed my lip before I asked if we were dying any time soon.

Mom laughed and said no but eventually we all would die and it was best to be prepared. Then she repeated her question. Only somewhat comforted, I asked rather tentatively, 'What's cremated?' She responded coolly, 'They burn you up and then grind up what's left of your bones.' WAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I don't wanna get burned up! I don't wanna get burned up!!!! She pulled me close in a loving hug and patted me as my crying slowed to a soggy snuffle. Finally she offered sweetly, 'It's ok. You don't feel them burning you because you're DEAD.' WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so we will put you down for burial then. Yes, I feel sooooo much better now. Just try going to sleep after that little mind bender at the age of 8 when you're the type of kid who already needs a nightlight and 14 stuffed animals in bed with her and pulls the covers over her head so the monsters can't see her and never lets and body parts dangle over the edge of the bed so the tentacles can't reach up and suck her under. Just TRY!!!! Obviously Mom let her hand fall over the edge of the bed in her sleep or something and the pod people got her and sent this lady back in her place!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bike Trip Tuesday #9-Yellowstone Farewell

Last week we were enjoying the trees and beauty of Wyoming as we crossed the state on our way toward Yellowstone National Park. Theodore Roosevelt once said the miles between Cody, WY and Yellowstone were the prettiest he'd seen anywhere. I have to say that section of country certainly ranks right up there on my list and Yellowstone itself was gorgeous.

We planned to spend a week in Yellowstone so we could rest after the two major mountain passes the cyclists had to climb and so we could enjoy the place. I was looking forward to not having to find lodgings for us every night for the next week and just being able to set up tents and call it done for a few days. First we had to wait for another resident to vacate our campsite though. I took this picture while sitting in the car about 30 feet away. It was just a wee tad unnerving to think that when we slept we'd have nothing but a layer of nylon between us and these guys. I was thinking even the Chevy Citation would prove little barrier should this bison decide to evict us from his land.

Pete's parents and brother Chris had met us outside of Yellowstone for a visit and his brother planned to remain with us during our stay there. Chris was a dry witted and funny guy and we all enjoyed his company. We also enjoyed the use of his truck in the park. The distances between various sights in the park would have made pedalling to them impractical. Let's see, 11 original cyclists, plus Mark, and now Chris, that makes 13 people to cart around. We all piled in to the truck one day to drive around. Did I mention it was not a full sized pick-up? Oh I forgot to mention that? Well, it was small, and rather tight in the back. BUT, no one had to pedal! We spent the day checking the various sights and natural wonders and they were stunning. However, we were out late and night fell, and gasoline began to run low and we got lost trying to find our way back to the campsite. We drove around feeling more and more cramped. We found a gas station and it was closed. We were getting a tad desperate and running on fumes by now. No one was terribly excited at the prospect of sleeping in the truck. We found a ranger station hoping maybe they could help us get some gas or something but it was closed for the night. It was decided that we would siphon some gas from the ranger's truck and leave money to cover it in an envelope with a note explaining. We got home and collapsed into our sleeping bags.

Some of the sights...some mineral terraces. This picture doesn't do justice to the bright colors or the vastness.

Old Faithful.

One of the many hot springs by the river.

Sometime during the week it was announced that Mike would be departing to NY for his sister's wedding and returning to us afterward. This would extend the one week stay here to two. Except for Mr. Lime, Gus and me, everyone had finished with school and had no hard fast date when they had to complete the trip. The three of us still in school realized very quickly that we would not make it to the end if we stuck around for another week. After a bit more calculating it became apparent that even if we left now we might not be able to continue the course we planned, which involved heading from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park way to the north before crossing Idaho and Washington and then following the west coast to just above Los Angeles. It was discussed at length how to solve this problem and since Mike's return ticket was to the airport nearest Yellowstone part of the group absolutely had to wait for him. This necessitated the 3 students leaving the larger group and reworking our route to cut across a little blip of Montana, southern Idaho, miss Washington completely, cross Oregon as quickly as possible and shoot down the west coast to our final destination. We pulled out the formerly abandoned panniers from the car and what belongings the other cyclists had been stowing there. I am not sure how Gus and Mr. Lime felt but I was really sad to be saying goodbye to all these other people and especially the members not from Pennsylvania. Addresses were exchanged, tears were shed, hugs were given (Pete even gave each of the 3 of us leaving a letter from his heart to us). Would this group of wanderers who started as strangers and grew to be friends who relied so heavily on each other day to day manage to keep in touch with each other? Only time would tell.

Next week...the Three Musketeers or the Three Stooges?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Da Count-Gwennie

Last night my closest friend came over and we went out to dinner then caught a couple bands at one of the local watering holes. She used to live just a couple blocks from me and we could see each other all the time. When she got married four years ago she moved far away. When she moved it was about a year after my other two closest friends have just moved far away in the previous year. I was reeling to think the last really intimate friend would be gone now too.

I didn't assume it was going to be painful for her too until she came over in tears about her impending relocation. I never assume my absence is felt, it's a defense mechanism leftover from certain painful experiences. I've been busy as a mom, and she has been working full time and going to graduate school as well. Our schedules have not always been easy to jive. Every time we've been able to work out to get together we've cherished. Last night we not only caught up but revisited some of those old feelings. I'm not sure either of us quite understood what the move meant to the other, the fear we both had over what it would mean to our friendship not to have easy access to each other because of our respective difficulties with that. It was good for both of us to be able to look back a few years later and be able to admit what our fears were and yet be able to recognize that our friendship has endured.

There is just so much that we endured together before she moved. There have been some heavy things since then as well. I'm just glad that in our own way we've endured them together. And while I am in no way taking her for granted, I'm counting a certain settled sense that we will be there for each other for a long time to come.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

HNT-Half Nekkid Walls

This is the ghastly wallpaper that covered the walls of my daughter's room. Hideous isn't it?

This is me trying to strip the horror from the walls. I finally got the last of it off the walls at 10:00 PM Wednesday. Onto the spackling and'll understand if I don't make it around today, I hope.


* For the record...I did not choose this wallpaper in the first place. It came with the house. Tie dye fixation, notwithstanding, I tend to think I have better taste than this.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Logic and Physics of Adolescence or How Diana Spent Her Summer Vacation

Diana dared mention that she thought I was not being highly productive with my summer thus far. I asked her if sleeping until 1PM, as she has been inclined to do the past few weeks, was an example of admirable work ethic. Her response...

It's not laziness that drives me to bed for 14 hours. I simply don't get up.

My retort...

Ah, so that would mean it is simple inertia?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you...The Immovable Mass.

(Oh, and by the way, one of the things I accomplilshed this summer was to tie dye the sheets upon which she so peacefully slumbers. Hopefully by the end of the week the ghastly wallpaper in her room will be completely removed.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bike Trip Tuesday#8-Wild Wyoming

Last week we left our sun weary bicyclists as they entered Black Hills National Forest after a week on the treeless prairie. From there we crossed into Wyoming and a whole new state full of natural wonders and interesting people.

The first distinctive landmark we enjoyed was Devil's Tower. Yes, THAT Devil's Tower from 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind.' There was a movie theater that always played the film and some schlocky alien inspired tourist shops. I can attest to the fact that there is NO airstrip behind the Tower. Mostly it was just a really beautiful place to camp and rock climb. We camped there for a couple of nights and enjoyed some terrifically fun and musical 'neighbors' who jammed with Pete and his mandolin.

The Tower itself is thought to be the core of a volcano which long ago eroded away. The top of it is roughly the size of an American football field. Native American legend explains the formation as the Great Spirit's means of protecting two young girls who were being chased by a grizzly bear. In their distress they cried out and the Great Spirit raised the rock up from the earth carrying the girls safely out of reach of the bear which clawed all along the sides trying to get at them.

In Wyoming we really had time to relax together as a group. We took a somewhat slower pace since South Dakota had been so grueling and we even picked up a new member along the way. Mark was from Michigan and had started his bicycle journey west from there. He had been biking alone the whole time and didn't hesitate in the least to accept the invitation to bike along with us. It was clear he'd spent 1000 miles or so alone and was glad for some company because he talked, and talked, and talked...and then talked some more. Still he was a fun addition to our rag tag band and seemed to fit in just fine.

I mean if we can accommodate people who sing into bike tire pumps, build wash lines on the back of their bikes, and a guy who wears bike shorts, a pleather wrap jacket and penny loafers we can certainly accommodate a talkative Michigander. And yes, Greg really wore that very outfit into a biker (motorcycle) bar late at night and ordered a soda and lived to tell the story.

Wyoming is also where we finally had our first mail drop of the trip. We were all so excited to get some mail from friends and family. We'd been gone over a month and letters and treats were a delight. One of the letters I got included a check from my dad requesting that I get him a 'unique' souvenir and use the rest for myself. I must say Wyoming had no lack of opportunities for unique souvenir shopping. I was tempted to buy Dad one of the ubiquitous Turd Birds made from the ever present buffalo chips but I resisted and instead got him a set of canned 'wild meats.'

Other firsts in Wyoming included our first serious encounter with altitude. When planning our course now we had to factor in where the best (read lowest) mountain passes were. It was important to be able to start and complete the climb in one day because it would be far too demoralizing to end a day mid-mountain knowing you had to start the day at that point. We noticed in Wyoming that signs at the town limit tended to include the local altitude and the local population AND that those numbers were inverse of what we were accustomed to thinking of. Here in Emblem, WY we noticed that if Del (second from left) and his family of 19 moved in the town would virtually triple in population.

Tune in next week for a Close Encounter with bison and some big changes for our group.

Monday, August 06, 2007


1. How tall are you barefoot?
1626 millimeters, 16256000000 angstroms, 1625600 microns (they all make me sound so tall and willowy!)

2. Favorite movies?

This is clearly written by someone who never read the profile's all there, folks.

3. Do you own a gun?

Glue guns, water pistols, nail guns, and yes...rifles, shotguns, and a .357 magnum, even a Red Ryder BB gun!

4. Who is your biggest enemy?


5. Favorite Scent?

Are we talking perfume? Natural? Cooking?

6. Do you like hot dogs?

Chihuahuas, pit bulls, Labradors, or St Bernards?

7. What's your favorite Christmas song?

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

Orange Juice. DO NOT interfere with my OJ. You think deprived coffee drinkers get ugly? I make them look tame.

9. Do you do push-ups?

Well I gotta push up 'the girls' unless I want to look like one of those pygmy women in National Geographic.

10. Brothers or sisters?

What about them?

11. What's your most liked piece of jewelry?
Liked by me or by someone else?

12. What do you take for pain relief?
Is the pain physical or mental?

13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?
Well it sure ain't a penis gourd!

14. Do you own a knife?

How else do I butter my toast?

15. Do you have A.D.D.?

I'm waaay too lazy to have this.

16. Middle name?

Of what or whom? Ok, I will just randomly pick one....Bertine.

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.

I wish I had a better idea for a post today
I'm hungry
I'm glad my head doesn't hurt

18. Name the last 3 things you have bought.

sorry you asked, aren't you?

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink.

OJ, lemon water, Woodchuck cider

20. What time did you wake up today?


21. Current worry?
Finding a job, absolutely dreading the process

22. Current hate?
Boorish jerks

23. Your favorite place to be?
Wouldn't you like to know...

24. Least favorite place to be?
The hospital

25. Where would you like to go?

My own private island

26. Do you own slippers?

Yes, some very comfy shearling slippers. I love them in the winter.

27. What shirt are you wearing?

Why do I have to be wearing one?

28. Do you burn or tan?


29. Least favorite color?


30. Would you be a pirate?

Do I have to wear as much make-up as Johnny Depp?

31. Last time you had an alcoholic drink?
When I went to dinner with my dad and stepmom on my mini-vacation

32. What songs do you sing in the shower?

I don't usuually sing there. I prefer to torment people in the kitchen or the car.

33. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?

The 'Gogo' which lived in dark corners and looked like a big black, amorphous, scribbly thing. I had a ridiculously fertile imagination.

34. What's in your pockets right now?

You are assuming I have pockets

35. Last thing that made you laugh?

My son, the boy makes me laugh every single day.

36. Best bed sheets you had as a child?

White cotton ones my mom had painted the 'Peanuts' characters on.

37. Worst injury you've ever had?

The arm, definitely the arm.

38. What is your favorite pet?

Any petting is good.

39. How many TV's do you have in your house?


40. Who is your loudest friend?

My friend who just moved to Michigan, she's nuts but in a wonderful way.

41. Who is your most silent friend?
My pal Deb. People misinterpret her silence as iciness or lack of humor, but she's actually hilarious.

42. Does someone have a crush on you?

Gee, I hope not that would hurt and make it sort of hard to breathe. Just a nice gentle hug is fine.

43. Do you wish on stars?

All the time.

44. What is your favorite book?

'Le Petit Prince' by Antoine de St. Exupery

45. What is your favorite candy?

Chocolate! You really had to ask??

46. What song do/did you want played at your wedding?

'Even the Best of Friends' by Randy Stonehill is what I wanted but the idiot DJ lost it. He announced us to the theme from 'Rocky.' The moron.

47. What song do you want played at your funeral?

'I'll Fly Away'

48. What were you doing at 12 a.m. last night?


49. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?


50. Do you have a favorite charity?

Tough to narrow it down...Compassion International, American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity....

Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday 55 & Da Count- Growing Pains

FRIDAY 55-Children

Once I was your universe
containing you in darkness.

You emerged to light
and I became the sun
on which to center your orbit.

Now you slip my bonds of gravity
and fling yourself
among the stars.

Blaze bright, find the path
that allows me
glimpses of glory
and leaves no crater
upon my heart.

DA COUNT-Parents

After my mini-vacation I mentioned that during my time I had a couple of epiphanies. They were mostly related to my father. I've wrestled with what to include and what to withhold. I will keep it simple and say that there was opportunity for long conversation, which is always an unusual thing with my dad. During those conversations a few things came to light. Two of them were things I had serious doubts as to where he stood. One other was an area I long ago resigned myself to never having him address in a way which accepted any level of responsibility. By many standards he could still be found very wanting in these 3 areas but I have to count that there is any indication of positive action or recognition of that in others. It was a small and very unexpected token during a nearly unheard of and delicate moment of openness and yet it felt like exponential growth.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

HNT- Black & White

I'm developing quite the salty stripe in my pepper hair. I kinda like it even though people generally seem to assume I am a fair bit older than I really am because of the grays. I'm still not going to dye it. I'll just compensate by acting like a bigger kid.


Ah logic...

I have been doing battle with the head cold from hell since the end of last week. (I think it's FINALLY going down) In this struggle there are a few indispensable weapons. I gotta have my hot salsa and OJ to eat. I gotta have my Gypsy Cold Care Tea with honey to help my nose. Do NOT expect me to use anything but the softest Puffs tissues (but don't give me the lotion coated ones, they are not very absorbent...yuck). Now for the drugs. I'm allergic to aspirin so it has to be Tylenol. For helping my mucous filled head drain I rely heavily on frequent doses of Sudafed. Now, there has been a recent development in that the original formula for Sudafed contains an ingredient used at meth labs so the stuff has been reformulated to be chemically unsuitable for such uses. Read that as chemically unsuitable for relieving head congestion as well.

Fortunately, I can still get the real deal from behind the counter. The ridiculous thing is now I have to present my driver's license and have my name and address entered in a gigantic volume called the Federal Log for Sales of Pseudephedrine Hydrochloride or some such and then sign my name to it. I am also only allowed to purchase a certain amount in a certain period of time because clearly I am not really tie dyeing in my basement. It's all a clever ruse to throw the authorities off the trail of my meth lab. This ridiculous example of application of the Unpatriotic Act astonishes me (I could rant at length regarding many other more outrageous applications of this law but this is the one that bothers me today) . A little over a year ago I was taking all sorts of narcotic painkillers for an extended period of time due to my inclination to wind up with bones protruding from my forearm after ziplining. At that time and even now, I could give my 14 year old a $20 bill and ask her to go pick up MY refill for narcotics with no problem but as a 38 year old woman, I can't get my own head unblocked without dear old Dubya requiring my ID.

I'm thinking as a responsible and law abiding citizen of this nation I want to make very sure Dubya knows I really needed the Sudafed for legitimate purposes. I'm thinking I should have saved up all my used tissues to mail to him as documentation of my head cold.