Friday, March 27, 2015

The sun will come out...eventually.

Spring break has arrived finally. I looked out the window this morning, and it was snowing! Well what do you think of that? I am in need of some serious warmer weather. They are predicting spring temperatures all of next week.

I'm loving the daffodils and forsythia bushes and blossoming trees. Pollen, pshaw! Hurry spring. I will sacrifice a few sneezes.

I am going to be reading and writing a lot next week. Hope you are, too. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sing it sister!

 My 7th grade math/music teacher, Connie Wilson, brought me as much joy as pain. I despised her as much as the math she taught. I just could not "GET" numbers the way I did letters. I won every spelling contest, seek and find, word game, etc.

When she pulled out her pitch pipe and plopped down on the piano bench, I loved being in her music class. We sang old folk songs: Way Down Upon the Suwanee River. What a flashback the first time Bill and I went to Florida and actually crossed that river!

We sang On the Lone Prairie, Old Black Joe, Onward Christian Soldiers, and many other songs which were deemed inappropriate a few years later. Toward the end of class, Mrs. Wilson allowed students to choose songs from our song books. Never failed, we always ended with the anthems to the four branches of military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force. Even the kids who only mouthed the words to the other songs, sang with exuberance, and that school room rocked with all of our voices.

"Over hill, over dale, we will hit the dusty trail as those caissons go rolling along ..."

"Anchors away my boy, anchors away..."

"From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli..."

"Upward-upward into the wild blue yonder..."

With all the upheaval and war in the world today, these songs take on a new and uncomfortable meaning. Feeling melancholy and wishing for those simpler times.
Spring break is coming soon and the temperature will be rising. I noticed a little blossom on the new red bud tree. Yay!

Monday, March 23, 2015

He cracked me up!

I was making an omelet for my honey for breakfast. I usually use six egg whites and one yolk.
This is what was left over, so I popped it in the microwave for a few seconds.

Meanwhile, Bill came into the kitchen and asked, "What is THAT?"

"Bird egg," I replied.

His beady little morning eyes widened as though he had seen a ghost.
"Are you kidding me? What IS that?"

 "Bird egg."

He said, "You're not kidding, are you?
I said, "No. Why are you so upset? Because I microwaved it? I know you boil the eggs and save the yolk for your trained mocking bird outside. But these yolks are cooked."

He shook his head in disbelief and said, "Do you mean to tell me ALL that mess came out of that one little egg in the nest you messed with?

I laughed until my sides hurt. I cackled, "No, they're chicken eggs from the store."

Well you said, "BIRD EGG!"

"It IS bird egg...for your bird!"

 Last evening I discovered a mourning dove had built an extremely  tiny little nest, and had laid three eggs in it ON TOP OF A BUSH. The nest was so small, two of the eggs had already rolled out and were broken. To save the one egg and protect the bird and her nest from the impending strong storms, I found an old straw hat and added her miniature nest, which she was too big to even sit on. Then I placed it inside the bush.

"You have to quit fooling with mother nature," the big guy said, as I continued to laugh. Her'es hoping we hatch a young'n.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Got my motor running

Spring has arrived. The daffodils are blowing in the breeze. Throw rugs are sweet smelling and drip drying on the back yard fence.

I am energized. The sun warms my body, mind, soul. I feel like a flower unfurling.

After a long winter of grazing and crawling between two fuzzy blankets practically at sundown, I am in a frenzy of awakening. I have stripped the bed, put on soft cotton sheets, and am cooking a crockpot of veggies and chicken. I want to move and groove, eat less, walk more.

In three hours I have tweaked and submitted three old, unpublished Chicken Soup for the Soul stories for their large selection of new book titles. I wrote a new story on Wednesday and apologized to my critique group for not polishing it beforehand. I had seriously considered scrapping it, because I took a different approach in writing about The Spirit of America than most people would. I really questioned myself.

My critique group the WWWPs uplifted me with praise and good suggestions. I am blessed with good friends, good weather and the gift of writing.

Now I am going to sit outdoors and read.

Has spring sprung where you live?  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hey, who's the monkey here?

84 degrees, a sunny and gorgeous Sunday for going to the zoo with Nicole and Grandpa. She and I liked the monkeys best of all. The orangutans were most playful. They rolled themselves in sheets and climbed around and interacted with little kids on the other side of their glass compound.

This is a statue of the original Phil the Gorilla.  I used to visit him when I was Nicole's age. He has since passed away, but Phil was a famous resident at the St. Louis zoo. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day! There's no possible way you could have had as much fun today as my students. They played "inside" a rainbow of colored tinsel. They "swam" in it. 

The leprechaun left little green footprints and all of his treasure around the room. He even walked on our toilet tissue, the back of the toilet, and peed green! You should have heard the squeals of delight as the children scampered around the room discovering where the leprechaun had been (jumping on the trampoline) and what he left behind.
Sort of a bittersweet day, as this is my final St. Patrick's Day with students. One of my LASTS. 
I experienced another of my LASTS at the zoo. We were in the sea lion arena waiting for the show to begin. I reached over for 7 year old Nicole and asked if she wanted me to hold her. She looked around at parents with much younger children and said, NO.
I said, "Could I hold you for just a little while?" Torn between being a big girl and Nana's little girl, she agreed. I snuggled her on my lap, rocked her and said, " I guess this will be the last time you let me hold you and rock you, but I want you to know how much I love you."
As I held back a tear, she said sweetly, "Oh I know you do. You tell me all the time."
Well, brutal honesty is a positive trait, if you ask me.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Making a big spalsh

Nicole is seven years old, such a delightful age for an imaginative little girl who loves to sing (everything on her mind) and dance, and hula hoop like a pro, and color in over-sized Disney Princesses coloring books. Cinderella's dress has delightful rosettes all over it, which she has created; she may be a fashion designer if she keeps this up. She won an art award at school.

I bought her a baton today and took her to the playground. She came down the slide with a big splash and landed in a puddle. Covered from head to toe, we hurried home and she took a shower. I am now washing her clothes while she fakes a nap.

She put on her clean clothes and pink cowboy boots and said, "Grandpa, did you know I am part cowgirl and part human? I can even say, Yee-haw!"

It's hard not to laugh out loud.

With a promise of mild weather and sunshine tomorrow, I think we will go to the zoo. Photos forthcoming.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

On the road again?

When I was a little girl and I saw Dad hunched over, elbows on knees, nursing strong black coffee and gazing out the window, I knew. Wanderlust grabbed him by the ankles, tripped him up when he was supposed to be working, held his mind hostage and made him yearn for the open road. Call it spring fever or anything you want. It is a malady for those of us who seek stimulation in the form of travel.

He fought the urge through spring, and usually by the last week of school, we were on the road again, report cards in hand, headed for a new adventure. We never traveled fancy. Dad would toss my mattress in the back of his panel car, and off we'd go...somewhere, anywhere his rambling soul carried him.

I have a bit of that restlessness in me. Tomorrow it is supposed to be 67 degrees. Talk about spring fever. I can't wait to get outdoors. I need a change of scenery.

Right now I want a new couch, and wouldn't mind a new house, in a new town, but I know only one of those things is even remotely possible. If we postpone the couch purchase, maybe I can plop down in sand for a few days and wash away my cares in the deep blue sea. A girl can yearn.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Last Gift for Grandma

I was recently reminded that Sheila's niece trained the famous Lippizzaner Stallions. Upon hearing that again, I envisioned my not as a horse.

She had been in the Intensive Care Unit  in a coma. No amount of stimulus could bring her out of her comatose state.  She had been in ill health and was being transported to a hospital when she took a turn for the worse, and the ambulance had to stop at the nearest hospital. She did not respond to any stimulus until I came into her room and called her name. She awoke for me, her first granddaughter. I was actually sorry to have awakened her, because she suffered a lot those last two months. I was a mom with young children and I stayed overnights at the hospital. It was a rough time for everyone.

After a month of ups and downs and great weight loss, she had a sudden burst of energy and asked the nurses to prove to me and my cousin, Donna, that she wasn't weak and could walk again. Two nurses assisted the poor, little, thin, dear, supporting her one on each side as she pranced like a Lippizzaner Stallion, lifting her legs, high-stepping and prancing around the perimeter of the Intensive Care Unit with a huge smile on her face. 

After that she had to be put on a ventilator, which she hated, and was kept sedated most of the time after her tracheotomy. When the day came to remove the tube, the doctor said, "Anytime someone has asked you a question you've raise your hand and flipped your palm up and down. What are you trying to say? Cover your trache hole and speak."

She flipped her hand and said, "I have to pee."

Everybody cracked up because she had used that hand signal for everything.

Today would have been Grandma's 100th birthday.

My grandma, proud of her German heritage, had these plaster plaques of a little Dutch boy and girl hanging her kitchen for as long as I can remember. They now hang in my kitchen.

Grandma asked me to curl her hair like mine. I told her I had a curly perm. She begged me to give her one. I told her when she got out of the hospital I would. I knew she wasn't coming out. When the call came that she was gravely ill, I rushed to the hospital with my mom, but it was too late. The nurse told us that Grandma had expired. I wish she had said, "died" as Grandma and I never minced words. We spent time in her room talking to her.

I walked to her night stand and took out her bag of pink foam curlers and rolled my grandma's hair. I cried and talked and sobbed and said, "There you go Grandma. There's a halo waiting for those curls." Then  I closed her door and drove my mom and me home.
Happy 100th Grandma

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

You get what you get!

Today we had music, movement and rhythm with streamers. The children shouted, "I want a (their favorite color) one!" I replied,"It's okay to want, but you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"

This is what I WANT.

This is what we are suppose to get!

The only thing keeping me from throwing a fit is the prediction of 60 degree weather next week.