Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Swim

This is my new truck that my friend gave me.


Yesterday I had a pleasant afternoon swim with some pals.  We also had snacks and a lot of talking.

I would like to build a small lake out in my backyard.  I don't want a pool.  I want a more natural swim setting.  A small lake with big boulders for sitting on.

This isn't just a pipe dream.  I've done my research.  Mother Earth News has a great article about the benefits of digging out a backyard swimming hole.

....Unlike an artificial pool, a pond is a unique natural asset which can't be purchased off the shelf and confers status to a property.

I'm not concerned about the whole status thing.  I just want to jump off my deck and into my small backyard lake.  And I definitely need the boulders.  Husbandman's not hip on the idea.  Yet.  But make plans for next summer my friends.  "Heading out to the lake" is going to take on a whole new meaning for all of us. 



Monday, July 28, 2014

The Focus

Thanks to kinfolk like #1 Son and Husbandman, the new classroom is coming together.  But the bad news is I gave most of my stuff away over the years so the room is looking quite bare.  Blank palette so to speak. I thought I would like a decluttered zone, but now I'm thinking it looks a bit drab in there.  People keep offering to give me stuff, so that's a bad sign.

 I'm trying to decide if I should bring in #1 Son's puppet collection.  #1 said I could, adding, "Just don't wreck 'em.  As long as you don't plan to have RIP THE STUFFING OUT OF THE PUPPETS DAY, it'll be fine."  So I think some puppets will be nice maybe.  I wish I had some little floor chairs too.  Basically, I'm longing for some clutter.   Just a teeny.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Festival

After the movie, #1 Son met us for lunch.  He played at the
Lebanon Community Day this morning.
We went to an Indianapolis Film Festival Film today.  The film is called Bluebird.  It's a sad movie and here's our review.

Lw:  So what did you think?

Hm:  I thought it was a very good movie, very well acted.  I liked the sense of place, the way the camera would linger on different factories and whatnot around the town.  I was a bit dissatisfied with the ending.  I found the soundtrack at times overbearing.

Lw:  The main character is a bus driver for kids.  Did you ever take the bus to school?

Hm:  Yes, I did.  For many, many years.

Lw:  Do you think the bus driver character can ever recover from her tragic mistake?

Hm:  Yes.  As mistakes go, it was a very understandable one.  At some point, she'll forgive herself.

Lw:  I thought the bluebird was kind of dumb.

Hm:  Why?  I didn't think that.

Lw:  A bluebird doesn't usually fly around in the middle of a snowy winter.

Hm:  I'll grant you it's unusual.  But it's plausible that it might happen.  If it were a run of the mill thing it wouldn't have distracted her.

Lw:  That's a good point, but I thought it might be a bit of superfluous symbolism.  Fist of 5?

Hm:  I'm going to give it a 3.8.

Lw.  I'll give it a 4.  Bluebird.  Pretty sad, but pretty good.  People should see it if they feel like it.


Friday, July 25, 2014

The Door

This week I had to answer the dreaded question which was "Do you want to be called Ms. or Mrs. on your nameplate above your door?"

I hesitated and then said that I'd like the nameplate to have the title of Dr. next to my name. Then I'm sad to admit that I mumbled something like, "I hope you don't think that's obnoxious."  WHAT's UP WITH THAT???   My pang of insecurity was short lived, but I still wish I hadn't said that.

When I told 20 Something about my insecurity about this she told me, "You made the right decision.  If you were a man with a doctorate they wouldn't have even asked.  They would have just put Dr. on the name plate."  I think 20 Something might be on to something here.  And most Dr. men probably wouldn't fear that their nameplate was weird or troublesome.  I don't have research to back this up, so please know it's a general conjecture and not meant to stereotype or label.

The great news is, bottom line, I'm at peace with my nameplate.  I loved all 12 years of working toward this Dr. nameplate and I'm proud of the work.  I've surveyed 8 good pals and they all agree with me.  So, it's a done deal. New nameplate, we heartily embrace thee.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday Creativity Share













I like this artist.  His name is Suntur. He's from Thailand.  I follow him on Instagram and his illustrations are wonderful.  Simple, joyful stuff.
Check out Suntur's illustrations by giving this site a hearty scroll.

Let's wrap it up.  A cool artist by the name of Suntur.  You can follow Suntur on Instagram.  While you're at it, follow me on instagram too if you feel like it.  I'm really getting into instagram these days.  Thursday Creativity Share. Fun stuff for fun people.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Matador

#1 Son and Nancer.  See 20 Something & Leah in the background?
Pouring down rain, flashes of lightning.  Glorious.

I'm having coffee in a dark and stormy room next to a rainy window view.  This is my kind of day.

Last week I met up with current friend / former colleague (CF/FC) on the street.  We hadn't seen each other for several years before that serendipitous moment on Kirkwood Avenue.  Her 3 year old was with her, getting a free ride in a red wagon.  ThreeYear was nervous about a possible storm.  She talked about it at length, some might say obsessively. I told her I didn't think it was going to storm and I showed her the weather site on my phone.  She checked that out and said, "But I think it could still storm and I'm afraid of thunder."

I agreed with her that thunder was loud, but I told her I love it, that I love to do exactly what I'm doing right now.  Sit in the window and watch for lightning.  I admitted that I do jump a little when I see the lightning, but I can't stop looking for it because I love it so.  We parted ways because 3 Year was getting increasingly anxious about the weather. Later I got a text from CF/FC.  On the way home, 3 Year told her, "Lee is my favorite thunder sister."

3 Year is a kid with her head on her shoulders.  Thunder Sisters Unite. It's a new club. If you want to join, you can.

ps. This post is called The Matador because I was going to write about this Russell Crowe music video that made #1 son laugh about 1,000 times yesterday, but then I changed my mind when it got to stormin'.  The Russell Crowe music video is hard to describe because it's extremely weird. FYI.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Robins


There are 2 robins just frolicking away in the bird bath right now.  Come to find out, robins are now my favorite birds.
Bringing some boxes into school today, with the help of #1, awesomest son ever.  I did quite a few fun things today.  Husbandman said, "Looks like you're getting your life back."  Yes, I am.  That chapter was bearish, but off it went last night.  Now I'm looking forward to getting into my 3rd grade classroom.  I'm not sure I remember how to  teach the 3rdies, but I'm going to give it the old college try.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Critic

I'm still working on the sample chapter to send to the editor.  I missed my deadline. Everyone's wondering why this piece of writing is taking me so long.  Every day I wonder that same thing.  There are a few reasons and let's explore them thusly in a bulleted list.

  • I'm being overly critical of the chapter and that's impeding my creativity.
  • The editor has suggested a change in direction with the book that's making a sample chapter tricky to write.
  • I have a serious problem with wanting to be in the world of the internets as often as possible.
  • Because we were gone for a year, there have been many appointments this month that I've needed to attend to.  
  • I keep getting distracted by thoughts about my new job. 
  • I'm anxious that I missed my deadline.
  • I worry that the editor will not like the sample chapter and then all this work will be for nothing and everyone will think I'm a big loser.  (This is kind of like the first item in the bulleted list, (see above) but I think it bears repeating). 
Lo, this very morning, Husbandman listened to my summary of each section of the chapter.  The last section is not in a good state right now, but it is Husbandman's professional opinion that this could be the day that I wrestle last section down to the ground.  Julia Cameron in Finding Water tells us, "Writers must write for the love of writing and not merely, or only, to fulfill a book contract."  She also says that we need to remember that the "tiniest smidgen of progress is something to be savored." Husbandman likes what I have so far.  He has been happily encouraging. Today I'm going to try to renew my friendship with the chapter.  I hope to savor its company.  Here goes.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Pelican

video
Check this out.  My friend sent me this video of a pelican.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday Creativity Share: Classroom Design

Tomorrow I'll go in to see my new classroom for next year and I'm as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof.  I want to set up my classroom creatively.

I like the movement toward the desk-less classroom written about here and here.   In my last classroom, I had tables and not desks and I did like that.

Not much time to figure this out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Tear

Adorable Kid Just Taking his vision for granted.
When I went to get my new glasses last month I had a thorough exam that took forever.  After 3 hours in the chair, I was brain dead when the real doctor came in and told me that I had a tear inside my eye that was scarring over, but that I should come back in a month so he could look at it.
I was so anxious to get out of the eye place that I didn't ask any questions.  So come to find out last night I started reading articles about eye tears and my prognosis is not good people.  I could be "looking at" the removal of one or both of my eyes some time in the near future.  That's going to kill my photography hobby.  It's going to be hard to teach as well, but I think I can get around that. I'm peeved no end about this potential blindness thing I've got going on over here.  Will this day never end?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Switch


Sometimes when I drive in a car for 10 hours, I switch over from good mood to bad mood right around hour 9.

Because I'm currently in a bad mood, I've decided to share a peeve.  One of my major peeves right now is doctors and their laptops.  Remember when you used to go to the doctor and they sat there and talked to you for a little bit? Sometimes they looked over the chart, but mostly it was talking, with actual eye contact.  If you're young, you probably don't remember these glorious days of yore, but people that are 53 like me can remember them clearly because they are in stark contrast to what happens these days which I will now illustrate with a case in point. I accompanied my mom to the doctor this week.  After sitting and chatting together in the exam room for 20 minutes we were joined by the doctor.  He sat down, opened his laptop and started typing stuff.  We sat there watching him type for a really long time.  Then he asked my mom some questions, eyes never leaving the screen.  How's your appetite?  typetypetype Do you have headaches?  typetypetype   Does your stomach ever hurt?  typetypetype
 Come on buddy, work on the bedside laptop manner.  I just got so annoyed.  Finally he came over and flashed some lights in my mom's eyes and listened to her heart.  Then he left the room never to return. The whole thing puts me in a bad mood every time I think about it.  This guy seemed to make it his personal mission in life to tick me off.  If I go back to this doctor with my mom in the future, I'm going to ask him if I can record him with my smart phone so I can share examples of poor doctoring skills with blog readers. This is one of the worst peeves of all time.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Driveway

Photo Credit:  Bethie
We are in the Southland, visiting coolest kin.  This is what I like about this crew.  I can say, "It would be kind of neat to lay down on the driveway together to take a picture" and everyone just starts reclining on the 100 degree driveway.  Fun stuff.  This could be a yearly tradition.  I think we're on to something big, my friends.  We're on to something big.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Fossil

This is millions of years old.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thursday Creativity Share

I really have no business blogging right now because things are going to hell in a hand basket around here, but I feel compelled to share these great X-ray color photos of flora and fauna created by Dutch physicist Arie van't Riet.  You may have already seen them on the internets, but you should look at them again.  If you want.  So many great images.  Monkey, rooster, tulips.  I love them all. 

That's it for this week.  Time to get back to work NOW.  Thursday Creativity Share.  X-rays of Flora and Fauna.  Way to get it done.  

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Independent Movie Review: We Are the Best!

We Are the Best.  That's the title of a movie we saw this week, which means it's time for Independent Movie Review.  We have 3 reviewers this week because one member of the family decided he didn't care for "punk music and teen angst."  Anyway, he was performing with the Stardusters.

Lw:  So what were your impressions of this Swedish film set in 1982?

20S:  I could not have enjoyed this movie more than I did.
Hm:  And I could not have enjoyed this movie more than Rosalyn did.
20S:  I thought this movie was a real bang up time.  You might be wondering what this movie is about and I'll tell you.  This movie is about resistance to the micro aggressions inflicted against young girls because they're girls.
Lw:  Okay.
Hm:  I thought it had a lot of funny parts and never crossed the line into being maudlin.
20S:  Mom what did you think it was about?
Hm:   We need to focus on whether we liked it or not, not what it's about.
#1:  Why don't you guys just watch the new season of Game of Thrones?
20S:  I challenge anyone to name a movie that is better than this movie.
Hm:  What about the Godfather?
Lw:  I liked the faces of the girls.  They weren't stock characters.
20S: I did feel they took on realistic roles, but they were recognizable in their behavior in terms of friendship role dynamics.
Lw:  We should note that the movie has to do with the punk music era.
20S:  Yes, it takes up the question, "Is punk dead?"
Lw:  I guess we should now sing a rousing rendition of HATE THE SPORT!  (At this point, picture 3 of us singing the new classic HATE THE SPORT that's featured in the film). Fist of 5 for the movie?

20S:  This was a 5 movie for me.
Hm:  I'm going to give it a 4.
Lw:  I'll split the diff with a 4.5.

This movie's pretty great, so if you want to see it you should just go ahead and see it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The Hometowns


20 Something and I were up to our old tricks last night, live tweeting The Bachelorette.  This week we watched four men bring the Bachelorette home to meet their families. I'm rooting for the Iowa farmer.  He seemed pretty grounded.  (Pun intended).

 Husbandman and I are heading to see my fab fam on Friday down in the deep south.  I'm thinking of pretending it's a hometown date.  I'll go off for private talks with everyone about whether or not they like Husbandman.  I'm going to ask everyone if they see us having a future together.  I'll also tell them that I'm crazy in love with Husbandman and that I hope he likes me back and gives me the final rose.  I may make a little movie about this. If it turns out that Husbandman wants out of the marriage, that's going to be a big fat drag. Not going to lie, I'm going to get kind of down, driving home in the Honda Civic-like limo by myself. But if I get the final rose, I'm going to be on cloud nine. Stay tuned.  This is going to be the most exciting home town date ever.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Match

Up early. Coffee in hand.  Waiting for Wimbledon to begin. This is serious business.  I'm thinking about waking up 20 Something and #1 because I'm not sure they realize that they're missing the Wimbledon final right now.  I would like to see Roger win today.  Novak is a fine player as well, but he doesn't seem as pleasant as Roger. He should lighten up a bit.  This will be an epic match. In the great spirit Charles Dickens, I'm going to try to write my chapter and watch television simultaneously.  So far I'm just doing the watching, but I'll ease into the writing soon I'm sure.
Go Roger!  Play your heart out.

Friday, July 04, 2014

The Broomcorn

Woke up this morning and made a macaroni salad.  Then I started singing loudly, "Stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni!"  Why did I do these things?  Because it's time to celebrate our nation's birth.

To celebrate our proud nation, we went for a walk around a lake and then we had some lunch at the Hobnob. Near the Hobnob, I spied a shop called Broomcorn Johnny's.   Using my phone, I instantly took off learning about the rich history of the broom. On the way home I read to others about the broom's rich history and the broomcorn johnnies who picked the broomcorn to make the brooms. Everyone in the car was fascinated.

Happy Birthday, United States of America.  Hope all your wishes come true this year.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Thursday Creativity Share

I've got to get creative PDQ today.  The editor checked in yesterday and asked me, "How's it going?"  Scary stuff my friends, but look how cheerful these musicians are.  I've got to cheer up with this writing project.  It can be done. 

I've been glorying in some creativity even as I worry about writing.  I know these creative outings will help get the sentences on the page once the rubber meets the road.  Listening to #1 Son playing music this week was a blast as usual.  He'll be at the Tap on 4th of July from 9:30 to 1, BTW. 
I also took a hike at Lake Griffy.  There are a million frogs dancing their hopalong dances on the trails right now. You can get a kayak or canoe there and see turtles and greenery.  





Our Courthouse Square is looking beautiful.  Always remember to notice the fish weather vane, created by Austin Seward, our town's official first blacksmith.  I told these friends to look at the fish.  Some did, some did not.  We can excuse Leah who had no idea what I was talking about.  

Here are 2 people I created awhile ago.  Husbandman helped. Creativity flows out of these peeps with the story telling, the funny comments and the darned cuteness. 

Meeting a new pal is creative and I suggest you all try to meet this gal by the name of Leah. She's fun as can be and will be in town for the next few days.

I'm been feeling a little stuck with writing but I'll get in gear this week.  I always read a little Anne Lamott when I'm in a writing rut.  Read this article here if you want some encouragement to get your act together in the creativity department. 

Let's wrap it up.  Thursday Creativity Share:  Some awesome photography of family, friends and frogs.  An article by the amusing muse Anne Lamott.  A gentle reminder to look at a fish weather vane.  Once again, Best Blog Post Ever.  

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Rubber + The Road = Moment of Truth

I'm starting a new thing called #IdiomofTHEday.  It's where I use an idiom repeatedly throughout the day, almost to the point of saturation for all involved.  Right now I'm toying around with Where the Rubber Meets the Road.  Great little expression that people should probably be using more often.  Right now I'm watching World Cup, so the #IdiomOfTheDay is coming in handy. U.S. needs to get their act together and win this game. I've also used #IotD to describe hiking in the hideous humidity and enduring the long wait til 20 Something arrives this evening.  Basically, whenever you're being sorely tested and you're facing insurmountable challenges, you can say to everyone around you, "This is really where the rubber meets the road."  You're going to add some gravitas to a whole slew of situations with this helpful idiom, so give it a try.  Gravitas is good.