Monday, February 26, 2007

To Market, To Market

I had to run to the supermarket tonight after dinner. I was already a wee bit annoyed as Lil' Miss was in overdrive (the natural result of my having skipped her nap time in order to be sure she will sleep soundly tonight) and as we entered the store I saw him. He was standing behind a small narrow counter with a Baltimore Sun newspaper logo behind him and a newspaper splayed out on the counter top. I veered hard to the right to avoid his obstacle in the produce section. (I was in a "get in and get out quick" kind of mode.) He didn't even look up when he spoke to me. "How would you like to save $10 on groceries and get a free paper?" I, being the polite young woman my parents raised me to be, felt obliged to answer. "No, thanks."
"Do you already receive the Sunday paper?"
"Wouldn't you like a free one?"
"No, I don't have time to read the paper."
"You, don't have time to save money by clipping valuable coupons?"
Okay, I'm getting really bothered by his tactic. Didn't I already say, No thanks?
"No, I don't," I replied. He eyed my children and me up and looked at me in disbelief. Finally I said, "I don't have time for this conversation," and then wheeled behind the apple stand, attempting to select fruit more gently than I was feeling at the moment.

This "attack" bothered me well into the cereal aisle where I heard myself talking to myself "let it go, he's just trying to sell his newspapers." Blah. I found myself, even at the self-checkout explaining to myself why coupons don't really save me money. It's because most of the stuff in the coupon sections are for junk food that I don't buy. I know what I buy, I've tried doing the coupon thing, and frankly the coupon choices just aren't very healthy. Well, once and while I'll find one for whole wheat pasta, but it's just not usually worth the time and effort.

Why do I feel guilty shrugging off this newspaper man? It's really stupid. Actually, I think I feel guilty at my annoyance. I mean, I was on a mission, and he was creating an obstacle to the goal of speed shopping for no reason and he wasn't taking NO for an answer. I hate that. I sometimes forget that even though I do take "No" for an answer, other people don't always.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Take a brief survey?

Here's a brief survey to help a friend with an up and coming small women's wear shop formulate a retail strategy. All the results are confidential.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Okay, Blogger has a new version out, which I switched to in November, but then was having trouble getting all my old features back that I had customized to this blog. I finally figured out how to add Haloscan commenting system back on, so I have returned to it. Also I've organized my blog links a little better on the sidebar. I hope these changes make snippets a little more user friendly for my readers.

Naughty Spot

I just happened upon this ad and had to say something. I'm sure it's a useful parenting/disciplining aide, but I couldn't help laughing at the comment:
"We use it everywhere we go.”
- Susan, Mother of Ashley 6yrs and Tyler 4yrs, Palatine, IL

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Field Trip

Yesterday, our home school group took a little field trip to radio station WYPR 88.1. After hearing the trip was ideally for children six and up, I asked a friend if she wanted to swap kids: I'd take her two older ones with my boys and she'd take my little princess for the afternoon. I allowed more time than necessary to find suitable parallel parking on Charles Street and so I found myself feeding the meter a whole thirty minutes before our tour was to begin. We only had a two block walk to the station and even though I insisted on taking our time, we were still unfashionably early. We entered the building, waited a bit in the lobby and then when I noticed the children getting antsy, (in about 4 minutes) I decided to take them for a march around the block. It wasn't until we entered the lobby the second time (now accompanied with several other moms and kids) that I realized I had been to this radio station before. Two years ago my friend, Gordon, had asked me to help him move some of his paintings from his studio space to WYPR for a little exhibit he was having there. We schlepped a good many cumbersome paintings up and down those steps, but I didn't see much of the inner workings of the radio station at that time.

This time however, we got to see the important computers that almost run the station themselves, the recording booths, the producer's booths, the music archives, the "bat cave" and the news room. Our tour was guided by none other than Andy Bienstock and I even saw Baltimore's own Marc Steiner! He was getting ready to go on air and I smiled broadly as I walked right past him, but was too shy to say, "I love your show." I'm sure he gets that a lot anyway. The grand finale of the trip was a lunch provided by The Evergreen complements of our hosts up in the conference room. I had a very delicious curry chicken green salad, but also got a sampling of D's tuna and all I can say is, "Yum, what a great trip." Even the children enjoyed it.

[side note: I also happened to notice on the way out, that the building directly across the street was where I took some of my nanny courses when enrolled at Lovegrove School for Nannies my first year after high school graduation. I had forgotten that little detail of my life until this trip.]

Monday, February 19, 2007

I had a dream...

I had a dream the other night that was really disturbing. In the dream I thought I was facing death. I was in a truck (or possibly a bus) with all of my family, children, siblings, nieces, nephews, and I think my parents were driving. The truck was going up a huge very steep mountain and when it got near the top, the ground started to heave upward and the truck left the ground and twisted over and began to plummet down to the chasm below. I could see out of one window as the ground approached faster and faster. I remember thinking, "This is it, we're all going to die. I better pray." And I had enough time to utter the words "Father forgive me," before we crashed to the ground. I thought I was dead, but I wasn't. Then I realized that no one was but everyone had been terribly lacerated with glass. I had to pull out long splinters of glass out of my own legs to move to help carry the children. That's what I remember last from the dream, pulling out glass and carrying bodies of children.

This dream really impacted me. It made me tired and particularly emotional, maybe some of the children did die in the dream, I don't remember that so well now. I do remember that feeling as I thought I was going to become dust: fear, and at the same time, calm. I had enough sense to know that I wanted my last living words to be ones spoken to God.

Last night I dreamed about this dream again, in a different way. I dreamt that I was trying to explain it, but this time instead of a mountain, it was my parents' house that we were driving over. I have a vague memory of trying to solve the meaning of the previous dream in this dream.

I thought I'd look up some of the major elements of my dreams, although I am usually skeptical of interpretations, these were down right eerie:

To see a truck in your dream, implies that you are overworked. You may be taking on too many tasks and responsibilities and are weighing you down. On a side note, pregnant women often dream of trucks or driving trucks. This may be a metaphor of the load they are are carrying or an expression of their changing bodies.

To dream that you are riding a bus, implies that you are going along with the crowd. You are lacking originality and are taking no control over where your life is taking.

To dream that you are in a bus accident, signifies that you will find yourself in an embarrassing situation. Your finances will be effected in an adverse way causing your much frustration.

To see your own family in your dream, represents security, warmth and love. Consider also the significance of a particular family member or the relationship you have with them.

To see children in your dream, signifies your own childlike qualities or a retreat back to a childlike state. It is an extension of your inner child during a time of innocence, purity, simplicity, and a carefree attitude. You may be longing for the past and the chance to satisfy repressed desires and unfulfilled hopes. Take some time off and cater to the inner child within.

The loss of a child, signifies fallen hopes or a project.

To save a child, signifies your attempts to save a part of yourself from being destroyed.

To see mountains in your dream, signifies many major obstacles and challenges that you have to overcome. If you are on top of the mountain, then it signifies that you have achieved and realized your goals. Alternatively, mountains denotes a higher realm of consciousness, knowledge, and spiritual truth.

To dream that you are climbing a mountain, signifies your determination and ambition.

To dream that you fall off a mountain, suggests that you are in a hurry to succeed without thoroughly thinking about your path to success. It also means that you have a tendency to give up or escape from demanding situations.

To dream that you are praying, signifies a need to turn over some matter to a higher force and let it go. You need to learn to relinquish and let go of your worries. It may also be an indication that you need to pray more.

To see glass in your dream, symbolizes passivity or protection. You may be putting up an invisible barrier around you in order to protect yourself in a situation or relationship.
To see broken glass in your dream, signifies a change in your life. You will find that a situation will come to an abrupt and untimely end.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Boars, Books and Best Friends

I had a little shindig this weekend, an excuse to eat Chinese food, crack open fortune cookies*, talk about and exchange books, and visit with some of my most favorite women friends. Those invited were asked to bring a book or books they would be willing to exchange, there was great deal of variety representing the diversity of my friends. We had books about pregnancy and childbirth, novels, theology, sci-fi, non-fiction, cooking, crafts and how to books, among others. Everyone went home with something new to read. I'm looking forward to reading "Me talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris and a couple other books I saved out. I took the remainders to the Book Thing after visiting Baltimore Clayworks with my out of towner, Tif, who needed to collect her friend's artwork that had been displayed there. It was inspiring browsing the galleries and the gift shop. There were several pieces in the teapot exhibit that made me want to get my hands back into some clay again. Thoughts are brewing for taking a class on Raku...

*Fortune cookies, I learned, are much funnier if you add the preposition "in bed" at the end. (Yeah, it's a wee bit juvenile, but still humorous.)
Here are some of my favorites from the evening:
Luck will visit you on the next new moon.
You are a gentleman of outstanding wisdom.
Speak softly and sweetly.
To be mature is to accept imperfections.
Your kindness and generosity will be appreciated by others.
Many possibilities are open to you- work a little harder.
Emotion is energy in motion.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Today for the first time in at least fifteen years, I
actually jotted down a few verses of poetry. I am not poetically inclined. I'll be the first to admit it. However, I did write lyrics for two songs for my high school boyfriend's band. The lyrics weren't awful, they weren't good either. I think what I came up with today could be good, but I am not sharing them here because 1. It's not finished (and may not ever be) 2. It could come off as....well, self absorbed, maybe. 3. I don't need the additional criticism in my life right now. I needed an outlet of self expression today and for some odd reason my mind took to poetry for a change. Anyhow, I've read a few poems today, worked at writing one, and so I thought I'd post this one by my very favorite poet, Billy Collins.


You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine . . .

Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley,
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I am not the bread and the knife.

You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and—somehow—the wine.

Weird Science

My friend Debbie said if I put snowballs in the bath water they will fizz like alka-seltzer. So I wonder, if I put my whole freaking snowman in the tub, will it be like a whirlpool?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Black Wednesday

I got myself a man today, on Valentine's Day. Granted he's a little frosty and he's useless indoors, (OK, he's useless outdoors too) but he's mine, all mine.

And here's a poem for today.

Updated: Poems are for interpreting. Perhaps we read a bit of ourselves into them instead of reading them for what they are really about. I've had a few responses to this one I linked. I posted it, because I know what it's like to love someone and wish I didn't. Most of my separation/divorce was like that. I continued to love my ex almost against my will. Sometimes we want to stay angry and we know our own weaknesses, the power the one we love has over us, so we need to turn away because (perhaps) we need (or just want) to be angry for a while. I'm sure there are plenty of other interpretations, but that was what I got out of it. I, by no means, prescribe saving oneself from love. Love is risky, I know that as well as anyone, but I embrace love. I'm just not a fan of Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Back in the Swing

Last week I completed Beginning Swing Level 2 and went to the Friday Night Swing Club after a long hiatus. I received many complements on my dress (at left*) but not many invitations to dance, unfortunately. I was feeling a little "off" with some lingering back pain so perhaps that was a good thing, although I came away from the evening disappointed. Last night I thought I'd try again. It was Valentine Dress Up (red and white 50's & 60's style) night. I wore a simple red with white dot knit top from Target with a sweetheart neckline and empire waist with some black capri pants. (Comfort was what I was after last night.) It was a much better night. I had many offers to dance, learned a few new moves and met some new people. The band was great, playing all the best swing music from the 50's and 60's.

About the dress:
I started with a very boring straight, short sleeved black dress with white dots that my friend, Tree, had handed down to me a couple years ago. I cut out the back and cut off the sleeves (they were ugly and cumbersome) thinking I would make it a halter style dress. I added the pink godets in a sheer pleated polyester to the fashion fabric and a solid pink to the lining at all the seams. After a fitting I decided to repeat the pink in the cut out back to eliminate neck strain from the halter (halters always pull on my neck) and also because I read that while dancing, it is unpleasant for the man to put his hand on a sweaty back (not that I'm very sweaty when I dance.) I thought creating a pink shrug and then attaching it to the dress would solve the undergarment problem of having to wear a backless bra. I'd still like to edge the collar with pink piping, but I just haven't had the time to do it yet. I replaced all the buttons (original were basic 4-hole black shirt buttons) with smooth 2-hole buttons. After one night of dancing (at my birthday) I discovered that the buttons didn't want to stay closed, so I also stitched the center front closed by hand most of the way, making it a pull-over dress now. I don't want to worry about my clothes staying on when I'm dancing; I want to know they will.

*Apologies for the poor quality photo. I will be photographed modeling my garments in the not so distant future, I hope.

Friday, February 02, 2007

My Royal Family

Friday is "Project Day" at Joyella's Home School Academy. Since we are studying the Middle Ages this year, and in particular, Charlemagne, this week, we made crowns like the Great Charlemagne himself wore.

Groundhog Day

The best holiday of the year is here! Happy Groundhog Day!
Why is it the best holiday you ask? Because there are no decorations, no obligations, and no expectations for this day, other than some furry rodent will be pulled out of a hole and made to predict the weather. I'm not sure why G-hog day hasn't become commercialized and over marketed like the rest, maybe because they (you know, those people who market such nonsense) couldn't think of an appropriate color to represent the day. The only big publicity this day has received is from the movie (which I thought was quite good).

Anyway, I wish you a Happy Groundhog Day. Maybe Spring will come a little bit earlier this year, I mean if Phil said so, it must be true.