Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday 13

This Thursday, I am still in hardwood floor hell. But, it's almost done, and the floors honestly look beautiful. Because my brain is so shorted out, I decided to find 13 strange facts that you can use to amaze your friends and neighbors with when your brain, too, is shorted out. As per the usual, to visit the other Thursday 13 participants, click here

1. Dogs only sweat glands are between their paw pads (so they are getting sweaty feet stink all over my floors? eeew)

2. In a deck of cards, 52 cards represent the 52 weeks in a year and the 4 suits, the four seasons (I never really thought of that...)

3. Play-Doh was originally formulated for use as a wallpaper cleaner. (so let your kids put it all over the walls. They will be cleaner. Really)

4. The name jeep is derivative of the expression "G.P" military slang for General Purpose Vehicle (interesting...)

5. 'Cinderella' has been made into a movie more times than any other story. (and they wonder why we have such a distorted idea about marriage....)

6. An ostrich eye is bigger than it's brain. (this one was for you, Jo)

7.Cats have 2 sets of vocal cords ( I could have told you that. I think some of mine have double...)

8.TIP is an acronym for 'to insure promptness'- and once upon a time was given in advance. (Would they give it back if they weren't prompt? Doubtful)

9.Houseflies hum in the key of F (so the next time you are looking for a tuning fork...)

10.A dime has 118 ridges around the edge (who had the patience to sit and count that?)

11.Podunk is in Massachusetts. (I always wondered. That would be a lovely address "Podunk, Mass.)

12. Big Bird's costume is made from turkey feather dyed a reasonable shade of shocking yellow. (Reasonable? They call that Reasonable?)

13.Six 8-stud lego pieces can be combined into 102,981,500 ways. Whoa. (That just hurts my brain)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

what is it? Any guesses?

Noon time edit:

These are suds on the window of the truck when we took it to a car wash the other day....
dog drool? eeeew......

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

gnome sweet gnome

So, its Tuesday when you are reading this. 

And I am not going to talk about my floors.
Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I am going to talk about my floors.
They are not done yet, and I am slowly going crazy. Monday came around, and I guess we took another day to acclimate the wood to the sub floor. They should be close friends by now.
alright. Enough floors. Lets talk about my rock garden.
We have gnomes. Two of them. One laying on a rock, one pushing a wheelbarrow. Cute little guys. But what I am most excited about is this. Go on, look at it. You know you want to. 
Great, isn't it?
Gnome be gone. 
And there are others. Go. Look. Enjoy.
I will wait to post pictures until our own Gnome be gone comes home.
The other two gnomes are shaking in fear....

Monday, April 27, 2009

fresh new start?

Its Monday.

The start of a new week.
The week my floors will finally be finished (please?)
we spent the weekend outside of the house as much as possible. Since it's empty, and all. Saturday was no problem, our local downtown held it's annual vintage car show. We love cars. Especially Mustangs, old trucks, and T-birds. So spending an afternoon wandering amongst the old, beautiful vintage cars was very nice. The weather was beautiful. We all three got sunburned.
Sunday was different. Sunday is usually our lazy day. Our house cleaning day, too. There is no cleaning this house right now. Those of you who follow me on Facebook, go take a look at the pictures. Those of you that WANT to follow me, let me know, I will tell you where to find me.  So, we kind of hung out, talked about some plans for outside the house. Went to a late breakfast. Then we came back and did a few hours of outside work. The pile of rock that had been slowly dwindling down to nothing is now, finally gone. In it's place is a sweet looking rock garden, complete with bigger rocks, and gnomes. Yes, pictures will come. Today I am planting the shrubbery (shrubbery!), including a gorgeous azealea bush we found, for an equally gorgeous price. It was the very last one left, too. People know a good thing when they see it! I will take more pictures after the planting.
Oh, and I hope you like some of the vintage car pictures

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Short Story Saturday

The sound of the buzzing saw interrupted any thought of a nap she was delusional to think she might get to take. For the last three days, her home was not exactly her home anymore. Instead, it was a crazy mix of sawdust, hammers, saws, wood, and strangers.

     It was disconcerting, really, that everything that belonged to her, and her family was on the outside of the house, looking in. Or shoved in a cabinet, or piled high in either bedroom, the only place where any of them could safely walk barefooted. She has not seen her comfortable shoes for three days now.
     Stranger yet, were the strangers. Making themselves so free with her home. Leaving toilet seats up, sitting on the new flooring they were installing, eating taco's from the local Jim Boy's, seemingly care free, not worried that perhaps, they might spill taco sauce on the beautiful oak they were installing. Doesn't matter anyhow, they still have to sand it.
     Then, the annoying one showed up. The one who had done the shuck and jive to get hired for the job, then turned out to be a disappointment. Yes, he is doing a good job on the floor. Yes, it will be beautiful when it is done. But it doesn't make up for a lack of communication, a no show day (2 no show days if she was really counting) and his condescending attitude when he DID finally show up. To make matters worse, on this day, he wanted money. She knew she'd have to fork it over eventually, but, it was nice to hold onto, for awhile anyhow. After she wrote the check, she, for the third time? Or was it more, went over stain colors with him, yet again, and told him NO, he was not to be making the base-boards. We can do that ourselves. Just put the old, perfectly good baseboard's back on, please... He had told the annoying one the exact same thing yesterday. She had told the annoying one the exact same thing the day before. I am sure that on Monday, after a weekend off, the annoying one will have to be told the exact, same thing, again.
     "It will be worth it, it will be worth it" she chants to herself, quietly, so that the strangers don't hear her. She is stuck in the bedroom, all day, like a sick invalid, because it had the temerity to rain, and then SNOW in the last twenty four hours. Snow on all their belongings that are on the outside, looking in. She has only her computer, and her extremely freaked out cats for company. One of the cats was curled next to her bent leg, refusing to be dislodged, glaring at her with ire when she had the nerve to move her leg to a more comfortable position. She didn't really mind, this same cat spent the morning flinching every time a nail gun was fired off. Which was so often that the poor guy looked like he was having a seizure. Her more adventurous cat had taken the opportunity to wander amongst the floor installers earlier, when one of them opened the door to finish the hallway. She found the cat at lunch time, in the same closet as the furnace. Good thing the heater wasn't on. The three cats were going to be extremely disappointed when the furniture was moved back in the home, because their cat tree was a casualty of bad weather shenanigans. It got rained on, then snowed upon. The carpet that covered it is wet, and she fears it will get moldy when it dries. Rebellion of the cats may be near.
     And the dogs. Initially shoved into a bathroom, then thrust outside in the weather. At least they had been running free. Free, that is, until the evil neighbor called and complained that the dogs had the nerve to actually bark (gasp). In fact, they had not been barking, but said neighbor, who is wanting to rent out her house to some poor, unsuspecting fool, wanted to complain BEFORE they barked, thinking she would bring the dogs into the house. Complaining neighbor did not bargain for cranky she, though. Complaining neighbor got told off. But the dogs? They suffered the most, they got tied up. Just in case. Because she doesn't want complaining neighbor to come over and complain even more, because her crappy house didn't get rented. At least it isn't raining, anymore...
"it will be worth it, it will be worth it, it will be worth it"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Mieography

I chose this weeks lady in honor of Earth Day

Rachel Louise Carson was born in 1907, on a small farm in Pennsylvania, near the Allegheny river. Her mother taught Rachel, and her older brother and sister lessons in nature study in the nearby ponds, fields, and forests. She was an avid reader, and even started writing at a very young age. They had a 65 acre farm. She had her first story published when she was eleven years old. She had the usual elementary, and high school education, graduating at the top of her class in 1925. She continued on to college at the Pennsylvania College for Women, (which is now Chatham University), majoring, initially in English, but then switching to a major in Biology. She was eventually accepted at Johns Hopkins University, but could not afford the tuition, so she stayed where she was, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She took some summer courses at the Marine Biological Library, and then, able to do so, continued her studies at Johns Hopkins in zoology and genetics. She was a part time student there, and worked as an assistant in a laboratory, where she worked with rats, to earn money. She had a few false starts on her dissertation (involving, initially, squirrels, and then pit vipers) but finally completed one on the subject of embryonic development of the pronephros in fish (huh? anyone?). She earned her Masters Degree in zoology. She wanted to continue on to her doctorate, but, the pesky money situation interfered. Her father had died, and she needed to help support the family. She was searching for a full time teaching degree, but ended up, with the help of friends, working at a temporary position with the US Bureau of Fisheries writing radio copy for a series entitled "Romance Under the Waters". It focused on aquatic life, hoping to interest the public in fish biology, and the work of the bureau. She also began submitting articles to a magazine called Chesapeake Bay, based on her research for the radio show. Her supervisor was so pleased with her work that he asked her to write the introduction to thee public brochure about the bureau, and helped to secure her a full time permanent position. She had the job title of junior aquatic biologist.
     Now that she was full time, her main responsibility was to analyze and report data on fish populations and to continue writing brochures and other literature for public consumption. She also wrote many articles for the local newspapers. Tragically, her older sister died, and Rachel became the sole breadwinner for her entire family.
In July 1937, an essay she wrote "Undersea", was published in the Atlantic Monthly. It was a narrative of a journey along the ocean floor. An agent at Simon and Schuster contacted her about turning it into a book. It took her several years, but she eventually published "Under the Sea Wind", which got good reviews, but sold poorly. She continued writing articles and having success.
     She wanted to leave the bureau, which had by now transformed into the Fish and Wildlife Services, but few jobs for naturalists were available, most of the money for science was being thrown at the Manhattan Project.
     Instead, she rose in rank at the Fish and Wildlife Service, supervising a small staff of writers, and becoming the chief editor of publications. She was working on material for her second book, and made the decision to begin to transition to full time writing. Her second book, published by Oxford University Press was "The Sea Around Us". It was on the bestseller list of the NY Times for 86 weeks, and won multiple awards. They even made it into a documentary. She was also awarded two honorary doctorates, and she finally gained enough financial security to quit her job, and focus on writing full time. She began to go out on speaking engagements, and working on the documentary script. She did not like the script that eventually got made, but found she had no rights to stop it. She'd only had the right to "review" it. She considered it "a cross between a believe it or not and a breezy travelogue". Despite her protests, it was a very successful documentary, and even won an Oscar. Rachel never sold the film rights to her work again, however.
     In 1953, Rachel and her mother moved to Southport Island, Maine, where she met her "romantic friend" Dorothy Freeman. Their is much speculation about their relationship, still. The letters they wrote to each other (that weren't destroyed) were eventually made into a book. There is still debate whether it was a homosexual or heterosexual relationship. The fact is, it doesn't really matter, they had a strong, supportive, lasting, enduring friendship that they both valued.
     A third book, "The Edge of the Sea" was written about the ecology and organisms on the Atlantic Shore. It got high revews, and did well. She worked on many projects for the next few years, but found her interests turning more and more to conservation. She bought an area in Maine called "The Lost Woods" to preserve it from development. In the meantime, one of her nieces died tragically, leaving a five year old son whom Rachel adopted. She was caring for him, and her aging mother. They ended up moving to Maryland.
     By 1957, Rachel began to closely follow federal proposals on pesticides. The rest of her career was focused on the dangers of pesticide overuse. She started another book called "Silent Spring", about the damages of widespread DDT, which got multiple agencies in an uproar. She did years and years of research both on her own, and with multiple other agencies, about the damages of pesticides, and the harm they were causing the human race. She ended up sick, herself, though with ulcers, and eventually, cysts in her breasts, causing the need for a mastectomy, and metastatic breast cancer. Eventually, however, "Silent Spring" was published. At that time, Rachel was undergoing radiation treatment for her cancer, and was expected to have little energy to devote to defending her work and responding to the many critics. "Silent Spring", among other things, labeled DDT as a "chemical carcinogen" and basically blew the whistle on the whole pesticide movement. Many environmental activists rallied to her side, to defend her work for her, including the Supreme Court Justice William Douglas. Exerpts from the book were published in almost every local newspaper, spreading the news of harmful pesticides far and wide. The companies that manufactured the pesticides were in strong opposition to the bbook, and tried their best to prevent it's release date, even threatening legal action. This did not stop the roll out of the book, and it was even "book of the month". One of the detractors of the book even called her "a fanatic defender of the cult of the balance of nature". (I think we should all be called that) and another wrote a letter to the president, (Eisenhower) stating that because Rachel was unmarried, she was "probably a communist". They tried to label her an alarmist, but she appeared, in public, to be anything BUT an alarmist. The attacks on her, and the book, lost their momentum in less than a year.
     In one of her last public appearances, she testified before President Kennedy's Science Advisory Committee, which backed her claims. Her health, related to the cancer, steadily declined, with only brief periods of remission. She did as much public speaking as she could, but in the end, she got a respiratory infection, became weakened, and anemic, and eventually died of a heart attack in 1964, at the young age of 56.
I cannot imagine what Rachel would think of the Earth today. We've taken many positive steps to reclaiming the Earth, and some backward ones. She leaves a legacy, both with her books, and her unpublished papers that have now been published.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday 13

This week's topic was thoughtfully provided to me by none other than Ms. Sybil. Sybil Law, that is. I will give fair warning, the topic is morbid. But, a good one, I thought.

So here we go.

13 ways I would NOT want to die...

1. Stroke. aka, CVA.
I see firsthand, all TOO OFTEN how devastating these things are. I have seen it personally, and professionally.

2. Suicide. If I died this way, it would mean that I have abandoned my own belief system and hurt the people that I love the most. No one should ever think I did this to myself. I never would.

3. Alzheimers Dementia. I don't want to forget all I've ever known. AND then die? My biggest fear is dying alone, and the alzheimers patients always feel like they've died alone. Because they don't know anyone.

4. Cancer. Of any kind. Any long, protracted drawn out death is not how I want to leave this earth.  Especially if I am in pain.

5. Car Crash. I don't want to be someone on the side of the road covered in plastic that everyone stops to gawk at.

6. Lung disease. These people suffer to draw their breaths, until they just can't do it anymore. I can't imagine sitting there, feeling the need for air, but being unable to provide it to myself.

7. Congestive Heart Failure. CHF. Lungs filled with fluid because my heart doesn't pump well enough to diurese me well. It's like drowning.

8. GI bleed. This one is fairly disgusting, and would probably mean I drank myself to death. I will spare you all the details.

9. Drowning. See above. Besides. I nearly did drown when I was a kid in a lake and it was not something I want to repeat.

10. In fear. Like, in a situation where I've had to run and or fight hard for my life. Like oh, eaten by something, or fighting off an attacker.

11. Electrocution. Being burned from the inside out  does not appeal to me.

12. Being burnt. Remember that fire and ice poem? I always chose ice.

13. Falling to my death. Eeew. *shudder*

for other Thursday 13 participants, go here

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

 My Good Friend Bubblewench will know what this is...

afternoon edit
It is a Happy Bunny voodoo kit. Those are pins in its head. And right now I am using it on the floor guy.  (Not really, he has to finish the job first)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday torture

I don't know if I am here today or not. It's technically Monday night, and I am anticipating getting up early, taking my shower, and doing last minute things before the big pile of wood sitting behind me right now becomes permanently affixed to my house. The thought is daunting, and stressful.

I spent most of the day Monday in the hammock, I could not resist it's siren's call. As I was laying there, writing a few things, facebook surveying (I am NOT a hippy, despite what they claim.) I saw, out of my periphery, a tiny movement... up near the...
bat box?
YES the bat box. The bat box that hangs in the tree that the foot of my hammock is connected to. THAT bat box. The bat box that I was kind of unsure if it was, indeed, housing bats, or not.
So I look up, and this big gigantic bat is looking down at me. Celtic Rose argues to me that she doesn't think the bat could see me, but I say other wise. My winter white pasty legs that were in shorts could probably have been seen from Saturn. And this bat was LOOKING at me. He even blinked a time or two.
I had my camera with me, and just at the inopportune moment, the battery died. But I had my cellphone with me. It would not zoom in tight enough. I had my trusty Mac, and I was desperate. This bat was HUGE people, about squirrel sized. Big nosed bat. So I am pressing buttons madly, getting the Mac ready when zip!
Back into the bat box.
I guess he decided I was a boring, inept human who could not get her stuff together fast enough to immortalize him on my blog forever.
Stupid bat.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday brain.

Well, it's Monday. F Day. Floor day.

Why am I sitting here, you ask?
Because F day got pushed onto tomorrow.

I am hoping that while the whole house is getting torn apart, hither and yon that we will have our internet still connected. However, I cannot guarantee that. Things may not be Comcastic. I can pre post a few things, like Wed. and Thurs (if I can think of a good topic for thurs. any suggestions?) and I can even do my mieography a whole week early. We shall see.
I will tell you that we three are spending the weekend in a motel over by my hospital. For the floors to "set" in their goo of wonder that will prevent damage and stuff. (I am sure the term is much more technical than that, but I have monday brain, give me a break)
If you don't see me for a week, it means my internet got interrupted, and the lure of the beautiful weather we have right now got to me, and I headed outside instead of sitting at my computer. (It could well happen)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Short Story Saturday

Carmen sighed as she frothed the milk for what was probably at least her hundredth grande latte that day. The weather was overcast, with occasional bursts of rain, in other words, perfect coffee weather. It was days like this that had her questioning her own sanity for taking a job as a Barista, (in Seattle, no less).

     Scanning the line, she played her favorite game, forecasting what kinds of beverages the people would order. The tall skinny blonde with the pursed lips, Gucci purse, and Ugg boots tapping impatiently against the floor was easy. Non fat, extra shot vanilla latte, tall. Behind her was a man, black trench coat, grey turtleneck. He'd have an expresso. Beyond him was a woman wearing every color under the sun. She'd have a Chai. 
"I've been doing this far too long" Carmen muttered when the skinny blonde stepped forward and ordered her non fat, extra shot vanilla latte. Carmen already had it half done.
Looking at the clock was a huge mistake. Less than half of her shift was over, and it was still an hour until her lunch time. IF she got one, that is.  Hearing the door bells tinkle, she looked up to see some teenagers from the nearby school amble in. "Fantastic" she thought. "Thank goodness I am not their teacher." The teens were usually the worst, ordering Mocha's by the dozen. The fact that they had rotating lunch periods meant there was usually always a gaggle of them in the store. Carmen wished the school would hurry up and institute the closed campus they kept promising, but, yet, those teenagers, and the skinny blondes, they were her job security, so she knew she had to be careful what she wished for.
      The sky darkened ominously with yet another downpour of rain coming from the heavy dark clouds, and everyone whom had been outside scurried towards the door like cockroaches when the lights were turned on. Carmen got busier, and busier. Suddenly, a voice behind her caused her hand to still over the house coffee she was pouring for the poor homeless soul who could not afford any of the other drinks on the menu. 
It was Sam.
her ex.
The one she'd left behind, in Olympia, she'd thought.
"What the hell is he doing here?" she thought frantically, looking for a way to escape his notice. That would be tricky, being as she'd be making his Caramel Macchiato in a few minutes.
"You gonna hold that joe until its cold, or can I have it, missy?" grumbled the cold person waiting for what was in her hand.
Knowing she had no choice, Carmen capped the coffee spun around, and placed it on the counter as quickly as she could. But not quick enough.
"Carmen? Is that really you?" said Sam, in an amused tone of voice. Turning slowly, she took him in. Still as tall, dark and handsome as he ever was. And sporting, of all things, a wedding ring. 
"I don't suppose I could lie to you" she finally answered, meeting his amused, brown eyed gaze.
"Never stopped you before" he quipped. 
At her look of shock, Sam felt bad for what he'd just said. The truth was, he'd lied to her as many times as she'd lied to him.
"I am sorry" he said, quietly.
"Too late" she said, and spun back around, making drink after drink, trying not to notice the tears that fell from her eyes, and dissolved the top layers of foam.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Mieography

Margaret Bourke-White was born in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish man, and his his Irish-English Protestant wife. The year was 1904, so that was pretty bold in and of itself.

She grew up in New Jersey, where her father worked as a naturalist, engineer, and inventor. His work improved the printing process that is used in books and magazines to this day. Her mother has been styled as a "resourceful homemaker". Margaret has two, very successful siblings, a sister and brother.
     In 1922 she chose to study herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles) at Columbia University. She developed an interest in photography while there, and got married. Her marriage failed in less than two years.
     She switched colleges many times, ending up, finally, at Cornell University, and graduating. After that, she moved to Cleveland of all places, where she started a commercial photography studio, and focused on architectural and industrial photography. One of her clients was the Otis Steel Company.
     Related to her her people skills, as well as her technical skills, Margaret was a vast success. She had much difficulty with the Otis Steel company, because she was a woman, and because of the delicacy of the camera's of that time, and the frailty of film. She brought along a new styled magnesium flare to fix her lighting problems, and ended up with some of the best steel factory pictures taken in that era, and national attention.
     In 1929, Margaret accepted a job as an associate editor at Fortune Magazine. In 1930 she was the the first Western Photographer allowed into the then Soviet Union. Soon after that, she was hired as the first female photojournalist for Life Magazine. Her first cover on life, a photo of the construction of the Fort Peck Dam was such an iconic classic that it was eventually made into a commemorative postage stamp. She remarried, a novelist named Erskine Caldwell, and they collaborated on a book about conditions in the South during the Depression. She also traveled to Europe extensively, and photographed, among other things a rare picture of Stalin smiling, and a picture of Stalin's grandmother....
     When World War II came about, She became the first female war correspondent, and the first woman to be allowed to work in a combat zone. She was the only foreign photographer in Moscow when the German forces invaded. She took refuge in the U.S. embassy, and then captured the firestorms on camera.
     As the war furthered, she was attached to an Army-Air Force base in North Africa, then progressed into Italy, and later, Germany. She was frequently under fire in areas of fierce fighting. Life magazine called her "Maggie the Indestructible". She was actually on a ship in the Mediterranean, the SS Strathallan, that was torpedoed and sank. During this, she took pictures, for Life, in an article called "Women in Lifeboats". She also was in a chopper crash, and stranded on an Arctic Island.
     Spring, 1945 found Margaret traveling through a collapsing Germany with General Patton. Including Buchenwald, the notorious concentration camp. She has been quoted as saying "Using a camera was almost a relief. It interposed a slight barrier between myself and the horror in front of me". After the war, she produced a book called Dear Fatherland, Rest Quietly". This book helped her come to grips with the brutality she saw during war time.
     Margaret was also a very lucky photographer. She interviewed, and photographed Ghandi at his spinning wheel mere hours before he died.  She also traveled to Pakistan, and took pictures of it's founder. She was there to chronicle the independence  and partition of India and Pakistan.
     Margaret never stopped. She was also on hand for the Korean war. She spent her time in South Korea, watching and documenting a behind the lines  as guerrilla warfare escalated.
     When Margaret turned 50, she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Her career finally slowed. She had brain surgery, twice. She took the time to write her autobiography, which was a best seller. As time went by, she became more isolated in her home, in Darien, Connecticut. Her living room was wall-papered in a huge, floor to ceiling black and white photograph of an evergreen forest she had taken in Czechoslovakia.  She had a pension plan, but sadly, it did not cover her health care costs. She lost most of her money. It is also reported that she suffered financially from her personal generosity and the "less than responsible" attendant care. She died, in Connecticut, at age 67.
     Her photographs live on, however, in multiple museums, and in the Library of Congress. In a sad, kind of bizarre twist (to me, anyhow), when a film was made of her life, Farrah Fawcett was cast as Margaret. (That doesn't work for me, I highly doubt that "indestructible Maggie" ever flipped her hair and posed in a swim suit).
Go HERE, and you can see many of Margaret's amazing photo's.
Go HERE if you want to see some of the Buchenwald pictures. Fair warning. They will break your heart. They did mine. (but not all the pictures are hers).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday 13

Springtime. It's here. It's a bit chilly, but it's here. So this week I decided to put 13 of my favorite flowers here...
Happy Spring!

as usual, for the other participants, go here

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

work work work

There are a lot of jobs that I would not want. I am watching a documentary right now about one that is VERY high on my list of one that I wouldn't want, regardless of the pay. (Which probably is not enough).

Female correction officer. This particular one works in a male prison. With open doors through out most of the day. They throw things, can grab you, and do other things that would make me very nervous.  This woman they are following around seems to like her job, I suppose she would have to. Totally not a job I would want, though.
Prison Nurse is also the job I would not want. For many of the same reasons listed above, plus, in the infirmary you are in even CLOSER contact with the inmates. Now I am sure not every inmate is a horrid outcast of society, but, they are in prison for a reason. I don't think I'd ever be able to relax.
Aside from jobs like that, involving prisons (or, excuse me, the "corrections environment"), another job that would probably drive me batty is anything that's got me cooped up, sitting in the same, closed space every day. It would be the death of me. I suppose, though, if your mind is occupied with what your doing, and liking it enough though that the time would go by fast. 
What are some jobs that you could not imagine trying?

Monday, April 13, 2009

busy busy

The man whom we went with to install our floors finally got off the stick, and Friday morning a big pile of wood was delivered, and is now acclimating to our house. The wood is very pretty, there is even some Peruvian Walnut here, that he is going to be using for the detail work we asked for. AND, we decided to go ahead and have the top of our island covered, as well. Thereby, giving me a good workspace for all I do in the kitchen. Yay!

MG came back from her Mom's on Saturday afternoon, and we spent Saturday evening celebrating Easter with friends. Sunday, we got up and headed to my middle sister's house, out in the middle of nowhere, to celebrate Easter with my family.
I'm thinking that our idea of 'celebrating' is probably a little different, though. I did bring the Pulla, and it was eaten. I ended up making lemon chess pie, and also brought a macaroni and cheese. My brother in law took MM and MG on a quad tour of his property, then, all the rifles were brought out, and we "plinked". Yes, we sat around, shooting rifles. MG has a .22 of her own, with a scope, and I have to tell you, the girl can kill a piece of quartz very effectively. (She doesn't seem to be wanting to use it to kill an animal...). She has a very good eye. And we all got to shoot a rifle that was in use during the civil war. Black powder and all!
As much as bil can be, uhm, not exactly the safest when it comes to many things, I have to tell you that when it comes to gun safety, he doesn't play games. His kids know that when shooting is going on, where they are supposed to be, and not one of them handled a gun while we were there. 
So, it was an interesting Easter, and this next week will be spent working, and then putting everything in the living room away so that when the floor guy comes, he can move the big stuff, and get right to it! My blogging will probably be sporadic next week, as he starts on Monday, and there are going to be at least 2 days when we can't even be inside the house.....
Pictures will, of course, be coming...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Mieography

Elizabeth Jane Cochran was born in Pennsylvania, in 1864. Her father, an associate justice, died when she was six years old. Her mother remarried, but sued for divorce, and Elizabeth, nicknamed "Pink" for wearing the color, ended up in court, testifying against her drunken, and violent stepfather. 

     She decided the last name "Cochran" wasn't sophisticated, so she added an "e" on it, to obtain sophistication, when she was a teenager. Her family moved to Pittsburgh, where, one day, she read an article about what girls were good for. It did not sit well with her, and she sent a letter off to the publisher of the newspaper, who was impressed with her writing skills. Female newspaper writers during this time mostly used pen names, thus "Nellie Bly" was born.
     She focused her early work on the plight of working women, having spent much time investigating conditions for female factory workers. However, she was soon shoved into traditional roles, covering fashion, society, and gardening. Dissatisfied with this, she took some initiative, and traveled to Mexico, to be a foreign correspondent. She was twenty-one. She spent six months in Mexico, and later published a book containing all her reports, including an important one about a local journalist whom was imprisoned for criticizing the government. The Mexican authorities threatened to arrest HER for that report, and she left the country. When she got safely back into the United States, she denounced the Mexican government from the safety of her own country.
    When she got home, the Pittsburgh Dispatch assigned her the same stories she'd gone to Mexico to avoid. So, she left for New York City. After four months, with no money, she managed to talk herself into Joseph Pulizer's "New York World", and took an undercover assignment into the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island. To do this, she had to feign insanity. To do this, she took a room in a boardinghouse, refused to go to bed, claiming she was afraid of the other borders, because THEY looked crazy. They, in turn, decided SHE was crazy, and called the police. Taken to a courtroom, she pretended to then have amnesia. The judge concluded she'd been drugged. Several doctors examined her, and all declared her insane. "Positively demented" said one, and recommended she be put somewhere where someone will take care of her. She made all the newspapers. The New York Times wrote of the "mysterious waif with the wild, hunted look in her eyes". (She'd stayed up all night practicing facial expressions). Obviously, she was committed. She got to experience the living conditions first hand, spoiled meat, bread that was just dried dough. The inmates spent their days sitting on hard, cold benches, the bathwater was cold, and the nurses, rude and abusive. They frequently beat the patients.
She as released from the Asylum after ten days, at The World's request. Her report caused quite a sensation, and brought her much fame. It was also made into a book, "Ten days in a Mad-House." It launched a grand jury investigation, with her assistance. May changes were made, and the budget for the Department of Public Charities and Corrections was increased.
     Next, she decided she would like to attempt to go around the world in Eighty Days, like the Jules Verne book. (after an insane asylum, she probably needed a vacation). It took her Seventy two days, six hours, eleven minutes and fourteen seconds to cover 24,889 miles. At the time, it was a world record. A few months later, however, someone did it in 67 days.
     She married a millionaire, Robert Seaman, who was 42 years her junior when she married him. She retired from journalism, and became the president of Clad Manufacturing Company, which made steel containers. She invented, and patented the steel barrel that is the model for the 55 gallon drums used to house oil to this day. Her husband died, and mismanagement of funds bankrupted her. She went back to reporting, and covered women's suffrage events, and WW I.
     Nellie died of pneumonia in 1922, at the age of 57.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday 13

Here we are at Thursday, again. This week, I found 13 of my favorite Disney villians. I have to say, Maleficant, she is my very favorite (followed by Ursula, of course)

for other Thursday 13 ers, go here

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Can you guess what it is?

*afternoon Edit*
Any of you who guessed Broccoli are entirely correct. It was, indeed, what was left after I removed the "tree's" from it. I thought it looked pretty cool.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

not a morning person

Its 0540.

In the morning.
It's still dark outside,
and I didn't work last night.
Why am I up?
Because my brain hasn't gotten the memo, obviously, that I am NOT a morning person. 
I love sleep. I think most of us do. But I am a champion sleeper. Or at least I used to be. Especially as a kid. I could nap, upside down, sideways, standing up. And I could sleep through anything. Someone once threw a set of keys at me when I was asleep on a couch and I didn't even flinch.
The Navy ruined a lot of that for me. Boot camp was a serious trial, and not because of all the sweating (it was Florida) yelling and other general BS.
It was because every morning, and sometimes in the middle of the night, the bright, fluorescent lights would turn on, and someone would begin yelling "on the line!" at us, and we would have one minute to be standing on a line, in front of our bunks, at attention, with our heads turned to the left. To make matters worse, we then had to count off, turning our head when it was our turn to scream our number. This required thought, and my sleep deprived brain and body HATED that. I don't want to think for at least an hour after I have gotten out of bed.
Things progressed rapidly after that. I managed to survive boot camp, and go out into the fleet. Those early mornings don't go away, either on Tugboat shore duty, or on a miserable ship. On the ship, for a long stretch of time, we were standing watch every four hours. Which meant no one got more than 4 hours of sleep a night. Because you couldn't make up for that during the day. I got so sleep deprived I got sick, and nearly fell down a flight of stairs. 
Getting out of the Navy didn't fix me. For better or worse, my sleep pattern was ruined. I could, and cannot any longer sleep that deep, good sleep where someone can bounce keys off my head. I am grown now, with an adult job, and adult responsibilities, and, like it or not, if I am awake, too long, my brain starts to work, despite my body's protest of it being too freaking early!
Today is one of those days. So. 0540. I've been awake since MM left for work.
Working nights adds fuel to the flame, but, I've always been a night owl. I am usually cranky, or quiet, or both when forced out of bed in the mornings, and forced into the company of people I didn't choose to be around. My mom knows very well how bitchy I can be in the mornings. She dealt with it for years. 
Whats the point of this rambling blogpost?
I don't know. Probably that I am awake at this time of morning, and I don't really want to be.
Anyone else out there awake?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Monday

Easter is coming, and this is Spring Break. MG is down visiting her Mom for the week, and I find myself in a quiet house, no teenager, and the constant button pushing that is texting is absent from the air. The talk of who is dating who, who did what to whom, and who is going to something to the other is falling on other ears than my own, or her father's. 

Have no fear, though, we will make up a weeks time in one quick afternoon next Saturday. And I have plenty to do this week, to get ready for new floors (tired of hearing that, yet?) and for Easter. We are going to middle sister's house this year.
I am, apparently, making a Pie (or two) and as usual. Pulla. 
Cami, my lovely cousin, has waxed on poetic many times about Pulla. She makes it whenever she wants it. There is nothing wrong with that, at all. I happen to make it only at Easter time, which is when it was traditionally served. My fear is that if I eat it too often, it won't, somehow, taste as good, or be as special. So, Easter it is. This week is my week to make Pulla. And, unlike Cami, I don't have a bread machine to make it rise. I do it the 'old' way.
So, off I go, into Betty Crocker land. First, though, I gotta figure out what kind of pie my father wants....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Short Story Saturday

its been awhile. Lets see what I can do....

     The azure blue sky was dotted with white, fluffy clouds that, upon inspection from the ground, closely resembled sheep. The man wasn't on the ground, however, he was in his favorite 2 seat plane, nicknamed 'Jenny'. Why Jenny? He wasn't sure. The name just seemed to suit her.
     Checking his gauges, he was satisfied with the altitude he had gained, with the amount of fuel he had left, and the quiet hum of a sweet running plane. 
     He'd started flying for practical reasons. It had cut down very much on his driving time when he needed to take his daughter back to her mother. It also made family vacation commute times much, much shorter. But the flying became a solace to him. A quiet place, where he could be up in the sky, with himself, and his thoughts. Where no one was asking him for something. Where his cell phone didn't ring. He was alone, and blessedly so.
     It wasn't that he didn't love his family. He valued every minute he spent with them. But these moments alone, they made him a better man. These moments made it easier, somehow, for him to be a part of things on the ground. The time he spent alone in the sky balanced him.
     Adjusting his sunglasses, he looked around, admiring the view from above. He was above farmland, now, different patches of crops adorned in their spring colors, looking like a colorful crazy quilt on the ground. Dotted here and there, looking like industrial ants scurrying about, were the farmers themselves, usually driving a piece of heavy equipment. One or two of them would stop and look up at him, if he ventured down close enough to get their attention. He seldom did, preferring to be in the arms of the sky, not flirting with the ground below. He did enjoy flying low when he came across a pasture filled with sheep, though. For some reason, watching them all run madly at the sight of his plane always made him chuckle. He could imagine their angry bleats. Plus, it was good practice for the possibility of an emergency landing, which, knock on wood, he'd never had to do, yet.
     Looking out over the horizon,  he could see nothing but sunshine, and fluff ball clouds. It was a bit windy today, and the clouds were sailing through the sky, looking for their destination. At times, he envied them. Always up in the atmosphere, in the quiet. But when that thought crossed his mind, he thought of all the happy noises on the ground he would miss, were he always skybound. He stopped to consider this thought, wondering "If I were always in the sky, would I want to go to the ground for a time out? Would the land help me find my balance?" he wondered if birds felt that way. Then, he shook his head at his foolishness, laughing a little bit to himself. "I'm getting silly with altitude" he thought. 
     Seeing a pasture filled with sheep, he banked, swung around, and made them run. Too late, he saw the farmer and the herding dogs, the farmer looking up at the sky, shaking his head, and, if his vision served him, shaking a fist at him. The dogs, though, looked overjoyed at the scattered flock, darting to and fro, gathering up their bleating targets. "Sorry" he muttered in the direction of the farmer, and, tilting upward, began to climb again.
       "That will make a fun story for the dinner table, though" he thought, and laughed out loud. Thinking of the table made him think of his family, at home. Suddenly, he missed them. He wanted to be with them. His time of solitude now seemed oppressive. Turning, he faced his plane towards home, balanced again.
     The farmer watched the plane leave, and sighed. "Wish I knew how to fly" he thought, as he brought his bandanna up over his face to protect it from the dust and stench of his still running sheep.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Mieography

How about some controversy?

Born in Los Angeles, the daughter of two Japanese immigrants, Ive Ikuko Toguri was raised as a Methodist, and was a girl scout. She was fully raised in the United States, and graduated from University of California, Los Angeles, with a degree in Zoology. She worked in a shop her parents owned.
     In 1941, she sailed to Japan, to visit an ailing relative, and begin the study of medicine. Because she didn't have a passport, she was given a Certificate of Identification. She applied for a passport, in Sept. of 1941, as she was ready to come home. She didn't get an answer in time, and the attack on Pearl Harbor happened.
     The Japanese government rounded up the American's in Japan at that time, and pressured them to renounce their American citizenship. She refused. Since she did, she was declared and enemy alien, and the government would not issue her a war ration card. She found work as a typist at a Japanese news agency, and eventually, a typist at Radio Tokyo.
     In 1943, she, and other allied prisoners of war were forced to broadcast propaganda. Her show was called "The Zero Hour". She had been previously smuggling food into the POW camp, and initially refused to broadcast. She was reassured by other POW's that she would not have to say anything against the US. She hosted 340 broadcasts, and is the name now most associated with the moniker "Tokyo Rose". (many other Tokyo Rose's were out there, in similar conditions).
     She had the stage name "ann" (for announcer) and sometimes, Orphan Anne, and "your favorite enemy Anne", and mainly performed comedy sketches, and introduced music. She made 7 dollars a month, and continued to smuggle food to the POW's. In 1945, she married a Portugese citizen of Japanese-Portugese decent, but reused to take his citizenship.
     Ater Japan surrendered, she was arrested in Yokohama, Japan, trying to get money to get home. She spent a year in jail, and was released when no evidence could be provided that she had aided the Japanese Axis forces. She had been pregnant, and desperate to get home. She had the baby in Japan, and it died. She was re- arrested, and transported to San Francisco, where she was charged by the Fed's with treason.
     Her trial was very long, cost more than a half million dollars, and included 46 witnesses against her. She was found guilty on only one count, and given a stiff fine, and a ten year prison sentence. She was paroled after 6 years, 2 months, for good behavior.
     She resisted deportation, and moved to Chicago, where her father had opened a Mercantile Company. She worked there until 2006, when she died, pretty much forgotten. She never saw her husband again, as he was barred from ever coming to the US. They divorced after 30 years of forced separation.
    It was discovered, during an investigation piece by a Chicago reporter that the two witnesses who delivered the most damaging testimony against her had lied under oath. They stated that they had been threatened by the FBI and told what to say hours before the trial. President Ford granted her a full unconditional pardon in 1977, supported unamimously on both sides o the houses. She was restored her American Citizenship, which had been abrogated because of her conviction. She died at 90, of natural causes.
Of course, the controversy is whether or not she was guilty of treason. Some are unconvinced that she could have been forced to broadcast, others, believe her. What do you think?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday 13

I've been putting things away, in preparation to move all our stuff OUT for the new floors (yay!) And thought I would show you 13 of the little pewter figures that live on our book cases. For those of you that remember, these are the little guys that I found, and got excited over while I was unpacking MM's boxes last year.

what you can't see here, is that the wizard has a snow globe of it's own, with a dragon inside. I love this.
as usual, for other Thursday 13 participants, go here