Friday, August 11, 2006

Red gets a knee

Okay, I've been in a funk. A real big, honkin, deep, close to depressed, funk. Compared to a weather phenomenon, I'd say I'm way past the tropical depression and into the full blown hurricane. I've even decided to give it a name. Because this is the first overwhelming physical disturbance I've encountered in years, and since it's my very own storm and I can attach any moniker to it I want, I will name my storm Anee. It took Anee 45 years to materialize but when she hit, she hit hard.

I was in a car crash when I was 19 years young and let me tell you, knees are not constructed to withstand an impact with a car's dash board at speeds of 55 mph. So, after a crushed fibula and a broken femur, held together with surgical steel, slotted, pan head, wood screws, Anee progressed from the occassional breeze of aches to the storm of intense pain.

When my leg was repaired many years ago, the technology was yesterday's cutting edge but that didn't keep my poor, once straight, strong femur bone from ending up shaped like a banana. I suppose the weird angle is the cause of all the stress on my knee and wearing away of the cushioning cartilege.

Oh, but unlike the big blow of the mighty winds, there's more than the Red Cross to help me overcome Anee. Yeh. It's called knee replacement. I hear it's quite painful for a few days, maybe weeks, but the prospect of getting my very own, new and improved knee somehow makes it worth a little more pain.

I've been without a knee cap for years and intend to see if the doctor will maybe throw in a new one for free while he's at it. Wonder what it would look like.

Anyway, surgery on Aug 22, then I'll be off work for a month or so. Just think of all the blogging I can do! Hope someone reads my spot and keeps me company through my ordeal, maybe feels a little sorry for me, or better yet, makes me laugh once-in-awhile.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

hair on a trip

Okay, I colored it myself. May as well try cutting it myself. What's the worst that could happen? I'll let you know.

I made new drapes for the patio window in my parents dining room and called mom to see how and when she wanted to get them. My dad doesn't like to drive so much anymore and mom falls asleep when she drives or rides more than 20 miles. So I'm going to meet my folks today for lunch. Our arrangements went something like this:

Me: Hi, Mom. I have your curtains done. Want to get them Saturday?

Mom: Yeah, why don't we meet in Salem for lunch.

Me: Where?

Mom (yelling): John, where do you want to meet Jeneane?

Dad: That old family cafe.

Mom: That old family cafe.

Me: Where is that?

Mom: In Salem.

Me: Salem's kind of a big town.

Mom (yelling): John, where's that restaurant?

Dad: In Salem.

Me: I need to know the name of the place and what street.

Mom (yelling): John, do you know the name of the place?

Dad: Old Family Cafe. I think.

Mom (yelling): What street is it on?

Dad: Lancaster. I think.

Mom: Did you hear?

Me: Yes. But I could wander for forty years and not find it with those directions.

Mom: It's on Lancaster.

Later in the week, I talked to dotter Lori who told me dad probably meant The Old Country Buffet so I looked it up on the net and sure enough, there's one listed on Lancaster!

I'm taking my red (harsh) hair and the curtains to Salem. To the old family cafe. On Lancaster. I'll let you know.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Red goes red

After spending $85, including tip, for an unsatisfactory hair color update, and when my white roots got to be two inches long, I decided to dye my own hair. I'm a smart woman. I learn fairly easy. I'm observant. So, I watched while Frank the hairdresser applied the red gunk to my hair, wrapped my head in a plastic bag, set the drier, and heated the treatment up for 30 minutes. I can do this. And lucky me; I found a coupon in the Sunday supplement for a buck off a haircolor brand I'd never heard of before.

Okay. It turned out a little darker than I anticipated. And I missed a patch right behind my right ear. But all in all, not too bad. Men do comb overs all the time.

Well, dotter Mary told me how teens color with Kool Aide and how they remove the color with toothpaste. Hey, I have a brand new tube of Aqua Fresh whitening toothpaste in the meds cabinet. It's worth a try. I can at least lighten the red, make it a little less harsh. Did I mention it's kinda' harsh?

I had no directions and was unsure how to proceed so after contemplating my image in the mirror I decided to just try a spot in the front, off center, to the left. I figured if it worked, I could proceed with my entire head. If it didn't, no harm done. Right?

Now, let me be the first to advise anyone foolish enough to think about trying this: Put the cap back on the tube and lay the toothpaste down. This warning should suffice but read on for the dirty details.

Toothpaste in your hair is entirely different from toothpaste on your teeth. Yeah. It actually gets quite sticky when massaged into the scalp and the hair tends to get stiff and knot up. Then when you add water, it erupts into foam but doesn't lose it's sticky quality. Oh, and it burns. At least Aqua Fresh whitening toothpaste does. And another thing, since it has a kind of menthol ingredient, it made my eyes water and my nose run.

The old ad "A little dab'll do ya" proved to be so true. The tiny bead of toothpaste I applied to the small area at the front of my hair line, eventually covered half my head. It took a good 15 minutes to rinse the stuff out and left my hair with a stiff, chalky residue.

Like I said, I'm a smart woman. I learn quickly.

One year, four months, 26 days. Ah, retirement!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

retirement test

Mary, my daughter and world traveler, came home safe and sound from Kenya so I took a few days off work to visit and enjoy her stories.

She helped me join Blogging Chicks, edit my blog, taught me other stuff about the computer. What would I do without her? Sure wouldn't be doing this! After she left for her home in Washington, I took another day off to clean house and rest from staying up all night gabbing.

Not going to the office for 2 days gave me a tiny taste of what retirement might be like: Slept late (till 6:30am), two pots of coffee, computer for fun and pleasure, baked a peach cobbler (that I threw away because it was too sour). Okay, it's 9:30am. Now what do I do? Spackle the nail holes in the bedroom walls so I can paint. So, now it's 9:50am. Too hot to paint. I call other daughter, Lori. She's busy painting and can't talk. Shred old checks and credit card ads. Yep, it's 10:05am. The courtyard flowers need watering so I drag the hose out, deadhead the zinnias, water everything, spray off the patio. Good grief, it's not even noon!

Why do the weekends fly by and I don't have enough time to get anything done? Why did these two days seem like wasted time? I really have plenty of things to keep me busy for the next two or three years so I can only surmise I was just putting my toe in the water of leisure time, testing the water so to speak. Oh, yeah, I'm still going to like retirement even if I 'm not always being productive.

One year, and less than 5 months to go.

I'm a new chick

Thursday, July 27, 2006

are we there yet?

It didn't occur to me why I was in a funk over the weekend and the first part of this week until my daughter Mary called. She left for Kenya July 12 and I've missed her so much. I'm very proud of her, the work she does, the commitment she's made. But I'll be more than happy when she gets back either tomorrow night or Saturday. It's odd how our moods can reflect our circumstances without us being aware of how it affects our actions. When I heard her voice, my whole demeanor changed; things seemed less harsh, not depressing, and I've been more myself, able to see some humor in each event. I can even say "retirement" without stressing into a sweaty-palm snit.

So I'd better get the spare bedroom put into some kind of order. I missed her but she's not sleeping with me. Everything's piled on her bed in preparation for painting the walls since painting the whole condo is the first item on my list. Number two is . . . Well, I'll add it to the list when I figure out what it is. I'm not there yet. I just know it's one year, 5 months, and 5 days.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

benefits anyone?

I sent my request for benefit estimate via fax yesterday. So, government being what it is, I should hear by the end of the year what amount I can expect per month. The computation is supposed to take two to four weeks. Yeah, right.

Now I have many decisions to make: When to put my condo on the market; what to get rid of; where to live; what insurance; etc. I guess when I write stuff down like this, it doesn't sound as daunting. Still, I wish someone else would do it all for me. Talk about second childhood! At least I'm not yet at the stage where I need a diaper change every few hours.

I can do this. One year, 5 months, 6 days.

Monday, July 24, 2006

red's reflections

Impending retirement from one's job becomes a time to look back as well as contemplate the future, to decide what's satisfactory enough to hang on to and inconsequential enough to throw out. The dreams that came true and the ones unreallized. When to let them go and give it up? The unfulfilling relationships and the precious ones lost. Can the draining associations be forgotten or the pleasant ones be revived?

So, I'm working on my lists. I'll revise them. Add, subtract, rearrange, remember, forget, but for now, a few items have crossed my braided brain.

First, I have never been asked my opinion on where to locate a hydroelectric dam. throw away

Second, I have no in-depth family disaster plan. throw away

Next, can't explain Fermat's theorem. throw away

What IS the solar system's composition? throw away

Aerobics vs. strength training. uh, save for the moment

Fiji, Caymans, or Hawaii. throw away

Two or three inch blocks for the watercolor quilt. save

Whatever happened to my beautiful friend Mary Shelton. definately save

More later. If I hurry, I'll have time to complete my list. One year, five months, 8 days.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

starkravinred retires

One year, five months, 9 days. Red will be writing about from now on. . retirement.

I thought buying a new car was stressful, but that was a walk on a tropical beach compared to retirement preparations. Have to attend meetings to kinda figure out how to start to prepare. Then have to attend meetings on how to actually prepare. Then there will be meetings to really put the preparations into action. This is one of those events where I'd rather be in a coma for about three months, let someone else get everything ready, then wake up and enjoy my leisure.

I attended my second session for those planning to retire within 5 yers and think I know what the procedure is for the next session; the one for those planning to retire within one to two years. Yep, that would be me. So I go to the web site to sign up for the free sessions. All full. Okay, I need to fill out my four page estimate of benefits and turn it in. Computer crashed. Try again. Computer crashed. How many people could be accessing the web page at one time to cause this technical catastrophe? GET OFF, I want to retire! A feeling of impending doom is beginning to wash over me. Is everyone in the city, county, and state government retiring at the same time? leaving government services to shrivel up and force everyone to become independent and self reliant? Oh, holy mother of pearl, what a concept.

Needless to say, I'm quite overwhelmed with everything I need to do to ready myself for the future. It seems I'll be forced to trust God more since He knows what's really in store. One step at a time.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

starkravinred new mission

Is being busy an excuse for no posts? Real busy? Really super busy? I thougt not.

Daughter Mary is off on her trip to Kenya and even though our homes are five hours away from each other, I miss her. No phone calls, no e-mails, just an occassional, impersonal post.

Since Mary left for Africa, I decided she needs to be married. My mother parts are concerned about her safety and well being and a husband, a good husband, would provide some level of protection and security. For me. She's an experienced world traveler but knowing someone who really cares for her is there would protect me from worry and anxiety. So, I'm taking matters into my own hands and going into action.

First, I've inserted her picture into the plastic sleeve in back of my ID card and mag key for work; however, since I work in law enforcement, I don't meet many men of integrity (if you get my drift). One of my tasks is to fingerprint individuals for various reasons but mostly citizens who need background checks to obtain licenses for selling insurance, real estate, stocks, bonds, or for teachers needing certification. Some of these are interesting men and I make sure all elegible males see her picture then find a way to steer the conversation to and about her. To be eligible, they must have decent jobs, be decent looking, and a decent age.

Unfortunately, I also fingerprint sex offenders, crime suspects, naughty juvie offenders, as well as bus driver applicants, adult foster care attendants, security guards, and those wishing to expunge past records. Then I'm very careful to keep her picture hidden.

Secondly, I pray for a husband, soul-mate for her. If I pray for nothing else, I'm praying for that man who will be her life long companion. He's out there, I know it. My prayers started out just for a man but each day they get a little more detailed. God knows my criteria so I must be patient and wait for this man to show up, although her clock is ticking steadily and I want grands!

So, my list includes, highest priority first:
1. Must be a moral man of God, not just a Sunday morning church goer.
2. Have a decent paying job, able to support a family.
3. Must like and respect his mother and honor both his parents.
4. Bright enough to carry on an intelligent conversation.
5. Be informed, interested in, and aware of the world around him.
6. Good looking, bearing in mind, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
8. Must be able to get a joke, take a joke, and tell a joke or my family will eat him alive.
9. Between 35 and 42 years old.
10. Should like animals.

If a man shows up who meets the above standards and shows interest, I will be very pleased. If Mary shows interest, I will be delighted. AND if he's ambitious, patriotic, hard working, empathetic, loyal, healthy, honest, witty, and tall with no criminal history, he should be prepared to spend some time in captivity undergoing intense brainwashing technics until he truly adores and cherishes my Mary. Believe me, she's worth it.

I am on a mission. I want my daugher married! besides, I'll be the best mother-in-law in the whole country.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

clone?

I'm kinda in a funk today and think I'd like to clone something. Just can't decide what. Sheep have been done. I think rabbits too. Don't want more children so kids are out. No birds, they poop all over the place. I have a snake phobia so reptiles aren't in the mix. Bugs are plentiful enough now so don't need more and besides Al Gore would have more ammunition for another movie if we had to start buying bug spray to rid ourselves of all the bugs that could procreate because of my cloning. Guess I'll just have to go shopping. Saw a great shirt in one of those outlet stores where they cut the lables out of the garments so you don't know if your getting a real designer fashion or a . . . . clone?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Last week, I was required to attend a class/lecture on sexual harassment. I managed to avoid it for 4 years but the training department finally caught up with me and gave me only 3 choices of dates and times to be there or be gone. Of course, I complied.

At my age, sexual harassment is only a bad dream, not something I'm likely to fall victim to or inflict on a co-worker. But the lecturer explained anything can be construed as the dreaded sexual harassment; a look, a touch, a word, a joke, a picture. All can be offensive to the discriminating woman or man. Well, I'm here to tell you, in my line of work, I'm offended by profanity on a daily basis even though I try to turn it off and tune it out. I have, on occassion, asked the transgressor to take it someplace else but I don't whine and complain about it.

I will be the first to say verbal profanity is very offensive to me but written obscenities seem somehow worse. To slip and utter an irreverent word can be excused but to deliberately pen a vulgarity, in my opinion, is beyond coarse.

I'm captured when I read some blogs that begin with interesting ideas, engrossing concepts, or keen wit but disappointment sets in with the first profane word and I quickly lose interest in further scrutiny. It's been said swearing is a sign of ignorance or lack of intellect. I believe it has more to do with impudence and stubborness; the refusal to make use of the beautiful and bountiful words available in the English language.

Okay, I'm climbing down now, this soapbox has slivers.

I do want to thank my dotter, Mary, for helping me get this blog started and for going the extra steps to get it looking so good. (my opinion, anyway)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Dad, can you hear me?

I spent Sunday afternoon with some of my family to have lunch with dad and celebrate Father's Day. My dad needs defining before I chronicle the afternoon.

He's one of the most intelligent men I've ever known; not because he has degrees or because he went to college. Heck, he didn't even finish high school but he can engineer any kind of tool he could use. He can repair anything ever broken. He can manufacture anything a home would need. He has a brain for numbers and the creativity to make use of them in his small shop as evidenced in all the wonderful furniture and gadgets he's so lovingly produced for his family. He is ethical, hard working, wise, kind, funny, and I could go on but the best thing about my dad is that he loves me. He not only loves me, he approves of me. I admire my dad. I respect him and honor him.

But my dad wouldn't be complete without my mom. Together they are one; the parent, the home, the force. See, my dad can barely hear and my mom doesn't see real well so mom talks quite loud to be sure dad knows what's going on and dad points things out out so mom won't miss anything.

So, during Sunday's dinner in a busy restaurant, my youngest brother sitting across from me, mom asked me what happened to my hair.
Dad: What?
Mom: (loudly) Jeneane's hair.
Dad: Hair?
Me: (softly) Yes, my hair is thinning a bit.
Dad: What?
Mom: (very loud) Jeneane's hair. She's going bald.
Dad: Oh. (to my mom)Yep, she's got less hair than you.

My brother recovered from choking, I'm over being humiliated but the next time we go out to eat, I'll take a picnic and we'll eat in the park. Squirls for an audience.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

starkravinred into today

Okay, I really dig this blogging thing but feel so inadequate. 50% of of my work day is spent plugging away at a computer but just running criminal histories, arrest records, vehicle licenses, etc. is a bit different than doing "fun stuff" with my keyboard at home. So, I'm headed to the store tomorrow afternoon to try to find a book for blogging dummies (or is it dumbies?) and I'm determined to figure this all out. I'm a decent writer but I think technology has passed me by. Heck, I can barely return a call on my new cell phone but dotter Mary has me hooked. Problem is she lives so far away it's difficult to get her input everytime I have a problem or don't understand something. Besides, she gets tired of me and my stupid questions.

Anyway, this may be my last post until I read the book and join today's generation of bloggers. Who knows, I may even get good at this.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

starkravinred becomes my mother


Last night I told daughter Lori she would inherit my thinning hair, my stiff hands, my poor eyesight, etc. Her reply? Yeh, just like I'm becoming MY mother. Oh, help me, Saint Pearl! Please. My mom could be considered bizarre. Now I know I'm a little strange at times but the biggest difference between my mom and me is that the kids and grands can tease me, make fun of me, point out my quirks, and I'll laugh with them. Mom doesn't know we're laughing at her quirks. AND I'm not telling her.

When my brothers and I were kids and asked for something mom thought was unreasonable or inappropriate, she would tell us no because we were poor. I grew up believing it. It didn't dawn on me until I was an adult that my dad did the same work as some of my friends' dads and they weren't poor.

It's a wonder we didn't die from hyperthermia since our poorness kept the thermostat turned down to 68 all winter long. To this day their house is always uncomfortably chilly. Now that the folks are older, I've suggested a room air conditioner to make their evenings more comfortable but mom insists it will cost too much to run. They are poor, you know.

My parents have lived in the same house for over 50 years and the telephone has always been on the wall between the living room and dining room. We bought them a cordless phone so they wouldn't have to walk from the family room to answer calls in the evenings. Guess where the new phone is. On the table right below the wall phone where mom stands to chat with the caller.

Some things mom does are for family ears only and we enjoy the telling and laughing in private. So, am I becoming my mom? Probably but that's okay, I'm entitled to be a little bizarre, too. She is loved. a lot.

Monday, June 12, 2006

starkravinred toenails

Ordinarily, there's not much that's more relaxing for me than to have my feet bathed, feet and ankles massaged, nails trimmed and polished, then feet dipped in hot wax. In the summer, I try to go every couple of weeks and indulge in this one luxury. I've been so busy, I just made my first trip to the shop this season and it had to be the most unsatisfying 2 hours I've spent in a chair; even worse than the dentist's office.

For one thing, I can't understand a thing the women in the shop are saying. Cambodian? Vietnamese? Thai? Who knows. AND I got cut, bloody, and scalded when the gal cut my toe while trimming my cuticle. Bled like crazy and she had difficulty stopping the blood flow. Then she filled the footbath again and stuck my damaged foot down in the water that had to be at least 300 degrees. I jerked my foot out of the water but the skin was already bright red. The gal spent so much time trying to stem the flow of blood from my toe, that she neglected to scrub my rough heels or massage the ankles. She would paint one nail, dab the blood away, paint another toe, dab the blood away. Because she was so busy wiping away my life liquid, she got her sleeve in the wet polish and smeared what little she had accomplished. She missed one toe completely with the polish and got it on the side and end of my toe instead of the nail. In her attempt to clean that up, she messed up another toe. When she was finally done, I asked for a tiny design of two flowers to be painted on my toe that wasn't bleeding. She grinned and nodded over and over again while she painted a giant white blob on each big toe and plopped a rhinestone looking thing right in the middle of each. Never did get my feet dipped.

I wore socks to work today.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

starkravinred's cat

Meet Sam. Sam is a great roommate. He doesn't leave the seat up, he doesn't eat the last piece of cake, he doesn't smoke and leave burn marks in the furniture, he doesn't quiz me when I stay out late. He does puke occassionally but usually on the tile or throw rug by the back door. And lately he's been begging but I blame myself for that since I bought some yummy chicken/cheese treats and taught him to eat from my hand. But for the most part, he's quite unassuming and low maintenence. All he requires is a decent meal, fresh water, feet to sleep on, and a good brushing once-in-awhile.

Cats and cat hair are not for everyone but as I said, Sam has been a fine roommate so what if I have hair on the seat of my slacks when I get to work or when I get to church and discover cat hair on the legs of my trousers. What's a few cat hairs in my peanut butter sandwich. He's still a great roommate and good company.

He's pretty too!

Friday, June 09, 2006

starkravinred is spending

Dotter Mary and I thought I could go 4 days without spending any money - grocery store, gas station, Target, Subway, Starbucks, vending machine, etc. Sounds easy, you say. Well, I'm here to tell you it's not but I managed it. No easy feat for someone used to stopping at the Safeway for a salad or a roast chicken or a Chinese Express nearly every evening. Things did get a little dicey in the meal menu though.

Yesterday, for lunch, I had my last piece of whole wheat bread and cream cheese, my last Diet Rite tangerine, and my last container of black cherry yogurt. Things were looking pretty bleak this morning while I was foraging in the refrigerator for something - anything - edible. I found half a hamburger bun and some coconut spread Mary brought from her last trip to Hawaii. Breakfast. Along with a cup of coffee. For lunch today, I had water instead of soda from the Coke machine, garlic/cheese croutons instead of chips, and a fat free Ballpark frank mixed with left over stir fried vegies. Aw, but today was PAYDAY! and my four days were up. I reached my goal. Not one dime spent. In fact, I even found a penny on the sidewalk outside my office which I snatched up like a major treasure.

My plan was to leave the office at exactly 3:30 and drive directly to the nearest Winco. I've never looked more forward to buying groceries. Earlier in the afternoon, I consumed 20 minutes of the county's time drawing up my grocery list. It had been four whole days since I'd made any kind of purchase. I straightened my desk, logged out, gathered my bag, said my good byes, and was ready to split by 3:25. At 3:26, I was asked to fingerprint a "client" and nearly fell off the edge. Okay, I can do this in 10 to 15 minutes if the "client" is cooperative.

Finally I was in the car headed for the store with visions of grapes, bread, soft drinks, milk, rice cakes, tomato paste, etc. spinning around in my head. I lingered. I squeezed. I sniffed. I retraced my steps and did it again. I thought it was the the shopping that gave me such satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment but in retrospect, I don't believe it was the groceries I was buying that had me so aroused, it was the spending. When I got in the car after writing a check for $70.57, I felt euphoric.

Now if I can restrain myself for four days, I sure should be able to curb my spending for seven days. You think? I read one time the things we enjoy most are the things we rarely experience. Okay, I'm on a mission. My cupboards are stocked, my meds are filled, my tank is full. I can make it seven days and just think how pleasurable it will be spending money after a full week. I'm so excited!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

starkravinred remembers

Geoffery was born August 9, 1971. He died in March the following year. My only son.

Yesterday, I went to the cemetery and placed flowers on Geoffery's grave. He's buried in a town 79 miles from where I now live so it was a half day trip since my parents drove the 15 miles from their home and we met for lunch. The grave is in a very large cemetery but is easy to find; to the right of the main entrance, two rows of headstones from the guardian angel statue.

His life was short but it meant something and I loved him so much. It's very true that mothers never get over the death of a child and the pain is always there just waiting to erupt at the mention of his name, the sight and smell of another little boy, or a baby crying.

I brushed the dried grass clippings from the stone and placed my flowers at the top. Mom brought flowers from her garden. It seems sad somehow that mom and dad and I are the only ones to visit his burial site and adorn it with flowers. I cried a little and prayed-not for Geoffery, he's already in a better place. My prayers are for my living children and grandchildren, that they'll be healthy, safe, always be loved and cared for, and remembered.

Friday, May 26, 2006

starkravinred is .....going bald?

Just saw Frank, my hairdresser this evening. I need to get a cut and color; however, before my appointment next Friday, I wanted to discuss a rather delicate situation with him: Thinning. And no, the fake red color did not make my hair fall out. It's an age and heredity thing. I have always had thick, thick hair - my crowning glory so to speak. But since I'm my father's daughter, my hair turned white and began to seriously diminish in volume a couple of years ago. I noticed hair on my pillow, in the shower drain, and large quantities of hair on the bathroom floor. Frightening, huh?

Well, Frank listened sympathetically to my plight and assured me I am not alone. He's there for me. He pledged to give me a do that will camouflage my shrinking tresses, hide my naked scalp. Until I lose more. Then it's plan B. I'm not looking forward to plan B. Although, plan B may be as easy as a cool electric blue wig or as expensive as Hair Club for Men or even somewhere in the middle with Rogaine. Do they let females in the Hair Club? I'm scared. I'm a WOMAN. I'm not supposed to go bald! Someday I may come to envy men with enough strands for the much maligned "comb-over". I like my hair but as with all the many trials I've faced in the past, baldness will not defeat me. I still have plan B.

Friday, May 12, 2006

starkravinred the monster?



Since my dotter Mary talked me into starting this blog, I've become a real pain in the kazoo. I blame her for creating this blog monster, Me. My computer skills are noteworthy relative to work; checking for stolen guns, running criminal histories and arrest records, checking dispatch logs, registering sex offenders, correcting entries, deleting entries, checking entries, etc. At home my skills take a downturn and I call her every time I enter this strange Kingdom of Blogosphere. Help! What do I do now? Why did it do that? How can I get to there from here? I know she tries to be patient but I am in tune with the subtle irritation in her voice. See, the problem is, she's so much smarter than I am. Sometimes I feel like I'm the kid and she's the mother. How did a monster like me produce a brain like her? So I'm going to try getting through without calling her today. About the blog. I'll still call her to ask what she's doing, her plans, shopping, if she has a date, who with. Then when I have her off guard, maybe I can casually slip in a covert inquiry about posting pictures.

I'm just thankful Mary doesn't flaunt her intelligence to make me feel even more inadequate than I already do. Hey, at least I know how to sew!

starkravinred the mom



Motherhood isn't a job. It isn't a career. You don't retire from motherhood. You give birth - you're a mother. Always. Some mothers are good, some not so good. I think I'm one of the good ones. My mom is 84, she's still my mom, and one of the good ones. I respect her, I ask for her advice, and occassionaly I even get homesick for her. She has many admirable qualities. Among them are gentleness, patientience, kindness, she's soft-spoken, and devoted to her family. Now, I believe I'm a better mom than she is simply because I've had more opportunities and more access to information. So, it stands to reason that my married daughter, Lori, is a better mom to my three grandkids than I am/was to her. I have hope that my daughter Mary will wed and have children of her own and when that happens, I know she'll be a wonderful mother also since she's had more time to observe my mothering skills and knows what not to do.

I love being a mother and am grateful God put 2 beautiful, accomplished, independant daughters in my care. I just hope I haven't disappointed Him too much.

So, girls, thanks for allowing me to practice on you. Actually, most of the time, you made it pretty easy and I love you more today than ever.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Red and Baseball


I went to Trent's baseball game last night(my seven year old grandson). What a kick; got enough entertainment to last a week. Trent played third base most of the game but the ultimate highlight of his evening was the one inning he donned chest protector, face mask, and shin guards to play catcher. Wow! equipment heaven! What true American male does not like equipment. Trent made a defensive play at third to tag a runner out and spent the major part of the inning celebrating by jumping up and down, swinging his mitt in the air, and congratulating himself.

Between innings, the boys spent their time on the bench(well, supposed to be on the bench)seeing who could throw their mitts the highest or swinging bats around in a circle. Unfortunatley, one boy's forehead entered the bat's arc and the two met up. NO MORE SWINGING BATS UNLESS YOU'RE ON DECK! That command lasted until the coach completed the icebag and hug treatment.

Alas, Trent's team, the White Tigers, lost to the Rockin' Rockies. AND to heap humiliation on top of the pain of loss, the RR's had a girl. With braids!

Ah, summer baseball. I'm loving it and I have about 11 more years to watch him play until he hits the bigs.

Go, Trent, Go

Thursday, May 04, 2006

starkravinred is mad


The french doors open to my tiny garden so when the grass is mowed and the flowers are blooming, the barkdust is spread, and the patio swept clean, it's a peaceful place to sit with a book and a cold drink.

Well, that's kind of a daydream. There are rain spots on the glass, the leaves from the honeysuckle and nandina are covering part of the flowerbeds, the dead mum stems and dandelions need to be pulled. But I'm not inclined to labor in the soil this year because once all the work is done, the hydrangeas and carnations are blooming, the tomatoes are staked in their giant pots, and the birdbath is filled, I will sit inside and look longingly out the door at my little paradise. Driven indoors again this summer by the boistrous neighbors to the north and their friends.

Did I say boistrous? I'm too kind. Actually, loud, foul mouthed is a more apt description. The 10 year old child screams and cries, the mother and her skinhead looking boyfriend fight and swear at each other, the grandmother yells at the child's mother and her skinhead boyfriend, while the 13 year old son throws his mother's and her skinhead boyfriend's beer bottles at the fence. They're the epitome of my vision of true trailer trash. All this in a quiet, reserved condo complex. (at least it used to be)

The grounds here are lovely with vast green lawns and giant sycamore and pine trees. The other inhabitants work as school teachers, accountants, computer techs. One neighbor is a psychologist in private practice, another is an electrician, one owns his own landscaping business. The thing we all have in common, excluding the northern neighbors, is that we all work! Imagine that - we all manage to get up and make our way to offices, businesses, warehouses, stores, etc. where we put in 8 or more hours and collect a paycheck every couple of weeks or so. Have to work to pay for their welfare.

Well, I guess I'll get the lawnmower out and knock down the grass, pull the weeds, clean the flower pots, and paint the gate. Heck, I may even get a big dog. Some canine barking may help drown out the commotion next door.

Enjoy your summer!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

still starkravinred

Okay, I went from totally white hair to bright rose red hair in about 2.5 hours. And the only reason I did it was because my hairdresser, Frank, refused to do bright electric blue. I'm not trying to make a statement or buck the system, nor have I gone nutter or off the edge; just wanted something besides white hair. Frank suggested I go with a nice soft brown with golden blond hi-lights. Sure, Frank. Everyone is going to know I colored my hair so why not really "color" it? What fun I've had! I rode MAX home from work one evening and a young man with baggy pants, a mohawk, numerous piercings, and carrying a skateboard made up a song about a gal with red hair and sang it all the way to downtown Portland. Some people I haven't seen in awhile try to act as if they don't notice while strangers on the train, at the office, or in church make comments like "nice hair" or "wow, red!". The best one though, is from my 17 year old grandson, Ryan, telling me he knows when I come to his baseball games because he can see me from his position in center field. Now the question is: What's the advantage of having bright red hair? Does this hair give me a valid excuse for being a little silly? Am I more interesting? Have more energy? My daughters haven't refused to be seen with me so whatever else the outcome, it has been a wild but worthwhile ride. Will post a pic next week.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Besides being bone, flesh, hair, eyes, etc. I'm multi-dimensional spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, mentally. I've been above the dirt for 64 years. Have been married but going it alone for 22 years (by my choice, not God's). Mr is presumably still on the planet someplace but we don't keep in touch so can't be sure where.After spending over half a century on earth, I have so much stuff filed away in the little cubicles of my brain and am willing to share with anyone who needs and/or wants mental chachkies - knick knacks to the uninformed. I can tell you how to raise successful children, have a successful marriage, become rich, decorate the bedroom, bake a cake, drive a car. Heck, anyone can tell you that and many, many people are more than eager to comply but we all know actually doing all these things is a whole different ballgame. I try not to give advice, not out loud, but maybe in my head I'm screaming at a young mother, "you idiot, don't ague with a 2 year old!"So, my major accomplishments other than keeping trash haulers, grocery clerks, gas station attendants (no self-serve in Oregon), mailmen, and hairdressers employed are giving birth to two daughters. I would love to take the credit for them being pretty, bright, honest, and successful, among their other qualities, but those traits and accomplishments are strictly God's handiwork. My minor accomplishments are hidden in here someplace. I do get up every morning and go to work - would you believe Law Enforcement - I sew, read, drive a car, laugh at myself. I love God, grandkids, family, baseball, and at the risk of sounding awfully corny, my country.My parents are still living and are still my parents. I have the utmost respect for them but they do give me and the rest of the family some prime material worthy of stand up. They just don't know it.Anyway, that's one small part (dimension) of me and I will be exposing more and giving away more chachkies in future blogs.

The WeatherPixie

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