Monday, August 29, 2011

best local newspaper headline of the day

County:  Dead aren't voting

Well, at least they can say they checked.

project 52 remix

It's past time for me to review and update my Project 52 goals for the year...

1. Finish what I start, including the A to Z Challenge and Project 52
2. Jump off a diving board for the first time (once there's water in the pool)  I'm going to have to change this one to:
2. Finish a short story I started for a creative writing class nearly 20 years ago (!)
3. Eat lunch regularly with my cousin - Ongoing - yeah!
4. Learn more about the blogging world and writing a good blog - Ongoing
5. Balance blogging with the rest of life (!) - Going well
6. Replace diet pop with water (no set amount - I'm not that dumb) - did great in May and June!  :}
7. Lose any number of pounds - this goal-setting is easy!  I have GOT to get serious about this!
8. Okay, okay - swim 3 times a week at least 4 times this year
9. Read a book with my eyes (I love books, but I've gotten hooked on audio books and haven't actually read one in a while.) - reading "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss, courtesy of my brother
10. Make a list - ta da!
11. See/hear my cousin Matt play in his band Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy - I've already done the "hear" part because they were on the radio the other night. Matt plays the banjo really fast. And he's self-taught. I'm still in awe.
12. Write a handwritten letter to R. and send it by snail mail - Done!
13. Cook for myself and my housemates (now Mom & Dad) at the same time at least once - that's all they'll let me do
14. Begin (again) a "regular" habit of doing yoga's Sun Salutation in the morning
15. Explore the new walking trails they're making in town
16. Spend "quality" (you can define that for yourself) time reading the blogs I've bookmarked to spend more time with later - Ongoing
17. Play hard with my niece and nephew every time they're in town - They live IN town now!  Woo hoo!
18. Get rid of more stuff - I've reduced my junk from enough for a two-bedroom house to enough for 1-2 rooms - I should reward myself with a shopping trip.
19. Finish making my Anglican prayer beads - and use them - Done, ongoing
20. Support a family for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas to the best of my ability
21. Learn something about gardening
22. Keep eating well and avoid fast food more - Ongoing in fits and starts
23. Improve natural sleep patterns - Hallelujah - done!
24. Learn to do the front crawl with my face in the water and swim 50 yards without stopping
25. Check my progress on these goals regularly - whoops
26. Be thankful always
27. Love others
28. Learn to count

Sunday, August 28, 2011

monday mayhem

Join Us for Monday Mayhem

It's time for Monday Mahem...

"Today we are focusing on crummy weather. Answer each question as you feel and don't forget...have fun!"

1. What city, in your opinion, has the crummiest weather?
Over the weekend, those in the path of Hurricane Irene.

2. What kind of weather is the crummiest weather that your current home experiences?
NON-STOP 100-SOMETHING-DEGREE DAYS ALL SUMMER!!!  Whew, I feel better now.

3. When the weather alerts and alarms go off, what do you do?
Our alerts usually come in the spring and warn of tornadoes.  I turn on the news, look outside, and go outside, if there's nothing too close by, to see what I can see.  If there is something close by, I gather flashlight, radio, and loved ones in the bathroom with me.

4. What is the crummiest weather event that you have personally ever experienced?
The 1971 earthquake in the San Fernando Valley area of CA.  I was only 2 years old at the time and I don't remember it, but I do remember a recurring dream I had afterwards of all the pots and pans in the kitchen flying in a circle in the room.

5. Where would you rather be stuck for a month- somewhere where there is 20 inches of snow and below freezing temps or somewhere where it is painfully hot and humid?
Snow!  I hate being hot and sweaty!

6. What kind of weather keeps you indoors?
My favorite - thunderstorms.

7. Tell us the name of one famous person and the kind of weather you would wish upon them.
Abraham Lincoln - I'm guessing he enjoyed rain as much as I do.

8. If you were the official ruler of all weather, what kind of weather would you make happen?
Definitely a variety, but I'd make fall last at least 6 months.

9. What kinds of weather do you dread?
One more minute of 100+ degree heat with humidity.

10. What's your weather like today?
See multiple whinings above.

Sunday Scribblings: Muse

With one simple question my friend at radical ramblings and thoughts of a southern girl has inspired me today.  "Isn't it all holy ground?" she asks.

Earth's crammed with heaven
and every common bush afire with God.
But only he who sees takes off his shoes.
The rest sit 'round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Yes, I remember, it is.  Or it can be, when I look for it, see it, participate in it.  I've been more focused on the tasks lately:  pluck the blackberries, fix the pudding, change the channel, fix the mashed potatoes and gravy, help Grandpa walk, fix the car, tutor, etc. etc.  I did remember once to see, when a grasshopper got stuck inside the window well and allowed me to observe him closely with awe as he crawed up the glass and back into the yard.  But I forgot to pay attention to Grandpa's smile, to my student's need for a variety of activities, to the rain (hallelujah!).  I've been so focused on my own little world that I haven't been able to see or be moved by the miracles of the worlds around me.  But here I will take off my shoes, be still, watch, and listen.  I hope to see God.  What do you see?  What is your muse?

See what others have to say at and share your own thoughts!

a little quirkiness

It's been a low-key couple of months as I adjust to my new living situation.  There haven't been a whole lot of funny moments to share.  There have been several good thinking moments.  I'm not sure they'd be interesting to anyone else, though, so I haven't written much.  But when you get bogged down in the editing process before you've even written, you're dead.  And I miss writing.  I hope you'll find some sort of hospitality and a kind of welcome, recognition, and love here.

Grandpa's made me laugh this week by:

Asking how much Dad was going to charge him for his regular haircut and "manicure", then when Dad said "$600," saying, "I'll have Kerri pay for it."  Later when I fake-scolded him about spending my money, he gave me a kiss on the cheek.  Oh sure, Grandpa, pull out the big guns.

Asking me to "fix" three items on a small nearby table so that they were all the same distance from the front edge of the table.  "I've got a ruler in the desk so you can measure them," Grandpa said helpfully.  I gave him a look.

Laughing and covering up his watch and moving his arms around when I'm trying to remove his watch and apply a medicine in lotion form to the inside of his forearms.  He cracks himself up.

Sunday Stealing meme

Judd Corizan at Sunday Stealing hosts a weekly event in which he "steals" memes from other websites (and credits them).  It's a fun and easy way to find a variety of things to write about and people to meet.  I'm doing this today because I have writer's block; I want to write about anything and hopefully get the words flowing again.  Is this kind of question-and-answer thing below intereting to you?  Be honest - I really want to know!

1. What's for breakfast?  Cinnamon roll and diet coke.  I know.

2. Do you read a newspaper daily?   Used to - now I read online.

3. What do you do when you can't sleep?  Drink milk - I was surprised by how much it helps.

4. Say a word that sums up your mood.  Rollercoastery!

5. Do you remember your dreams?  Usually - last night I dreamed of my favorite dog Chester, who died about a year ago.  The night before I dreamed I was pulled over by the cops - can't remember why.

6. Name something from your dream last night.  Can't remember - I just know I dreamed of him - you ever have that feeling, like someone is very close to you when you wake up and you know you dreamt of them but can't remember the dream?  I just remembered - I dreamed of my former students last night, too - I've been thinking of them lately with the kick-off of a new school year.

7. Name a food that describes you.   Chocolate - all ranges of sweetness, bitterness and nuttiness!

8. Today you are wearing:  Clothes.  Maybe tomorrow I'll try the drapes.

9. What's in your pockets?  Only lint.  :(

10. Did you sing in the shower today?  I haven't showered today!

11. What's the last song you heard?  Theme song/whistle from Andy Griffith - Grandpa's watching him now.  No, I don't know what episode and I'm not going to ask!

12. Looking forward to the holidays?   Always!  I've even started thinking of what to get people for Christmas.

13. Where do you want to be this instant?  Ooh...somewhere foreign, quiet, and peaceful.

14. What's for lunch?  Cereal.  Maybe.  I'll throw some fruit in it.

15. What's something you would like to do soon?  Pay off my student loans and credit cards and travel around the world.

16. Reading anything now? What is it?   Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - highly recommended by my brother.  So far so good!

17. What's for dinner?  Why are you so obsessed with my meal plans?!

18. A favorite part of the day is:   Waking up and greeting Grandpa

19. Are you happy?   Haven't been much lately, but it's getting better.

20. Guess how many people will do Sunday Stealing this weekend?  37-ish

Monday, August 22, 2011

best sight of the day:

an adolescent boy standing next to his bicycle and peering in the window of a motorcycle dealership, his hands and face pressed close to the glass, dreaming of someday

Friday, August 19, 2011

friday four fill-in

1.  My favorite piece of advice my mom ever gave me was "tell your father I said it was okay."

2.  I overcame my fear of spiders through sheer exposure, fear, and willpower.  Would have REALLY preferred the more common form of extermination: yelling for a man.

3.  Currently, Subway is my favorite fast food restaurant.  I'm on a meatball sub jag.

4.  The last time I was sick I had hypochondria.

Thanks, Beachie!

birthday bash and roommates

Grandpa turned 94 last week - woo-hoo!  He had a great day complete with a John Deere cake, lots of cards, and visits with family.  (That's my mom and dad to Grandpa's right).

Last month I moved in with Mom & Dad to care full-time for Grandpa, who also lives with them.  Grandpa and I share the finished basement which includes a full kitchen which I assume works, although I haven't actually turned the stove on yet.  It's a good set-up, though it requires quite a mental adjustment - more so than I expected.  Living with my parents, still grieving for my loss of my dogs and teaching job, and uncertainty re: how long this new stage in life will last have all caused me to feel as if I've dived into a deep lake.  I am enveloped, and my attention has focused down to the narrowest of points.  I am only now beginning to bob to the surface.

So I haven't had a lot of funny times with Grandpa to share, although I have noticed something interesting.  Now that I'm living here and not sitting next to Grandpa all day, he's had to come up with new ways to get or maintain my attention.  Grandpa is very reliant on a consistent schedule, and if I am late to change the channel or begin preparing meal, or even if he thinks I might be late, he will turn the TV up loud, clap, holler, bang things on his tray, etc.  I try to watch the clock because after a while that stuff just isn't cute anymore (!).  But it's interesting to observe our behavior and our attempts to modify each others'.  I think we deserve each other.

The other day I overheard Grandpa mumbling to himself.  Uh-oh, I thought, was he beginning to go senile?  I thought I'd better check.  "Grandpa?"
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, why?"
"You were talking to yourself.  Or were you talking to me?"
"Oh - no.  I was repeating what the two Andy Griffith shows were this morning so I could remember them."
And we're back.