Friday, February 24, 2006

Feeling Better Today

No more crybaby. Friday's grocery day. Makes for a busy morning of shopping, packing, unpacking, sorting, etc. Got no time for crybabies.

But there's always time for Five on Friday, courtesy of Criminal Grace. This week's meme: "Bed Bugs."

1>Bought some great striped pjs from Lands End at Sears.
2>Sleep on the left side near window. Mornings seem brighter that way.
3>While I actively try to sleep on my back, I usually end up on my right side or tummy by morning.
4>Gotta have my floral printed sheets, gold satin comforter cover, and pillow shams, for the midwinter. This is the after-holiday set. We change during Lent to more muted tones. This year I want crisp whites for summer. Everything must coordinate, but not match, because pillow cases are changed a few times a week.
5>We leave the bad bed behavior up to the spouse, although I've been known to snore during the cold or allergy season.

Bet that's more than you ever needed to know about me and my sleep habits. Thanks to my blogkins for the lovings-filled response to my crybaby post below.

Little Pond

Thursday, February 23, 2006

If you cry, you don't get the ice cream.

Must have been about three, or thereabouts, when I first remember getting a shot. The whole bunch of us were rounded up by our Daddy for what I now think were polio innoculations. Why else were we all together? And why else were they giving shots in what I think was the Auburn High School?

Anyway, those details are just to help me place the date. Mid-to-late nineteen-fifties, I guess. So the whole batch of us were herded into line and given shots. I vividly remember being greatly surprised that this was a shot. I was afraid and I cried. Then it was over. Like so many things to a little kid.

Except that afterwards we went for ice cream. I didn't get one, but all my big brothers did. I was bewildered. I still remember them licking theirs, gloating and saying, "You cried. You don't get ice cream." Apparently that was the deal. Never mind that ice cream would have gone a long way to erase a bad memory. Never mind that I was now doubly betrayed by my father. And doubly bewildered: I didn't remember any deal ever being proposed to me. But there it was: If you cry, you don't get ice cream.

It taught me that little kids are very easily betrayed. Later, I did everything I could to prevent such a betrayal to my children. When a child most needs loving assurance, I give loving assurance. It doesn't always work, but my girls feel less betrayed, I hope.

And that's the point. Frontier justice is a miserable way to deal with children. But children in a big family quickly learn to cope with injustice in all its disguises. Adult hold the big stick, kids get no say. We took it out on each other.

Tuesday, I will not blog. Tuesday I will need to go to work in the late morning, and be herded to the new headquarters, forty minutes away, where we will be inoculated with "the new way of doing things."

I must admit I balked at the long hours. How could I work a thirteen hour day with no midday rest? We have no replacements. But I need my midday rest. My boss then expressed his understanding of the situation. Later he exploded at others' complaints. He would carry the entire load himself! He would go to HQ the next day with the others. What a Drama Queen. Of course we would work the thirteen hour day. We would be paid overtime and there would be mileage compensation for the drivers. We could take it out on each other the next few days.

It hit me again. If you cry, you don't get the ice cream.

I got silly. Hey, no prob'! Can't wait to see the new facilities! Can't wait to learn the new techniques! And hey, how about the new press?! Millions of dollars worth of technology, just waiting for our little ooooohs and aaaaaahs! And a fancy new complex of buildings that will be pretty much out of our reach. Look, don't touch. It's not yours to enjoy. Back to the dirty, leaking, depressing old Star-Gazette (yeah, yeah, I know; Drama Queen) to work a full shift on top of the travel and the time spent not resting. It's soooo lovely to have had a such lovely day in this new lovely place, to learn all those lovely things! Can hardly wait!

Yeah, it's fake. And I hope it gets annoying. Because I won't cry anymore. It got me nothing when I was little, and it gets me less now that I'm older. I will give up my midday rest. I will ride to HQ and attend their class on the new methodology. Because I have to. Because it's what they say is best for me. Because I'm tough and (I hope) can take it.

Because now that I'm an adult, there never is any ice cream anyway.

Little Pond

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Motherhood is not for Wusses

One of my mantras.

So naturally I was pleased to find a few of the ladies at The Cotillion in agreement. One does not become a full-time mother in order to garner a little peace and quiet. Full-time or part-time mom, there is no room for cry-babies.

Speaking of babies, pro-choice is no-choice for the innocent unborn. What would happen if he or she survived? If the foetus is not human, what is it? Complete with photo of survivor.

And finally, let's discuss Quality-of-Life issues. Which life is not worth living? My cousin Julie Baker, who, last I heard, sometimes works two jobs to earn her keep, should probably be asked her opinion in the matter.

Glad my aunt and uncle didn't make the wrong-choice.

Little Pond

Monday, February 20, 2006

Let the Party Begin!

If you want to start Mardi Gras properly, then click over to BurningBird. But first get a huge mug of your favorite drink: Shelley's got a complete gallery of photos documenting the pet parade. And remember to check with your local SPCA for Katrina-rescued pets. Many still need homes.

Couple of recon photos from walks on the icy Chemung River front. Magical time of year.

Little Pond

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Gull Island Redux

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My coworker Jennifer Kingsley shot this photo of the island I blogged here. Jim Pfiffer wrote the accompanying story in our own Elmira Star-Gazette. Real player audio linkis just below the factoid box on the right sidebar. Turn the volume to maximum to get the feel for a visit to Riverfront Park.

And for those readers who scolded me over this post go to Riverfest2006 to see the crime scene.

Little Pond

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Rather like herding cats...

Or as Phyllis Diller once said, "Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing!" No longer the kids in the Little Pond, but kitties. Ellie's gone to Golden Glow for the long weekend, so it's time for some housekeeping.

Thanks to The Happy Catholic for this hilarious link to one of my all-time favorite commercials. MammaDog and I are also very fond of the Verizon 200 Dachshund one. But I cannot find the link. Readers?

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Friday, February 17, 2006

VDay Revisited

Five on Friday gives me a chance to sound off a little on this holiday.

St. Valentine himself was a priest martyred in Rome. He was sharing the faith right up to the end. One legend has it that he was preparing a young couple for Christian marriage before he died and that the original valentine was his encouragement to that happy pair.

He signed it "Your Valentine."

Can't swear this is true anymore, because St. Valentine was removed from the Calendar of Saints during the infamous purge after the Vatican Councils. But remember: a saint isn't someone that passed the rigid tests set by the Vatican. A saint is a deceased person who has been recognized by the people as having either lived a holy life, deserving of heaven, or a person who died for the faith. Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II (and John Jones, for that matter). Furthermore the original Christians called one another saints, in recognition of their acceptance of being saved by Christ. All that Vatican stuff is just for Official Saints to join the Calendar.

So, Five on Friday answers:

1-Just cards and little gifts on Tuesday.
2-Don't really have any special VDay memories.
3-Chocolate, no contest. Allergic to most flowers.
4-Valentines all around to family! Some funny, some (sniff!) sentimental, and some profound.
5-Only persons in serious relationships should give jewelry. I consider it a very intimate gift.

Enjoy the weekend.

Little Pond

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Darwin Awards Also-ran

Hardly. Not by sheer definition. Not yet, anyway.

I did an extremely foolish thing today; it was fun. Grabbed the HuggaMutt and walked down to the Water Board property along the strand. It is one of those exquisite winter days, all sun and no snow. Crisp, cold air that we can feel warming even during our walk.

The Chemung was cold and low, so Ellie got a sip and a sniff and wanted lots more. The area behind the Board is sometimes an island, sometimes just surrounded by wetland. Right now it's surrounded by thick ice. You can probably see where this is going.

We followed the river front right to the westernmost edge of the island, with the little terror checking out every burrow along the way, right up to a dead racoon. Looked peaceful; cold must have killed it. I dragged Ellie away before she could roll in the nasty thing and pointed her towards the more interesting (I hoped) sounds of a gaggle of Canada geese. Their nesting area is currently frozen solid.

Or so I hoped. The safer trip back to the levee would have been a quarter mile, and I was flagging. I sent the Mutt onto the ice. All thin and dry on the edges and solid in the middle. You know, crunchy on the edge, blue-gray, no visible water. Yours truly stepped past the crunch, and slid immediately further from the bank. And got the first warning crack. I dropped to my hands and knees, with some cartoonish picture in my head, possibly from the Boy Scout handbook. There were enough of them lying around when I was a kid.

No more ice cracks, just groans. I flattened myself on my belly and fairly swam the ice to the other side, with no further reports. Found a spot that wasn't mucky, and pulled myself out. HuggaMutt set off to find groundhog holes.

So no exciting ending. Just muddy knees and wet shoes. The walk home was sweet, except for anxiety-induced asthma coughing. But it was shorter. Just definitely not worth the risk.

Little Pond

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Forget "Love Stinks."

Instead: "Love Links"

Five people close to me (on the Internet) that make my day, every day they post.


I guess it's no accident that the above are all women, representing various facets of everyday American life. As do the links on my sidebar, regardless of sex.

Note to Husband RJ, MammaDog, and VeggieGirl: Love you, too. Every day in every way.

Little Pond

Saturday, February 11, 2006

And I Think to Myself

What a wonderful world.

The past few days have been stressful. My boss was acutely ill and refused to go to the hospital. Then he compounded the stupidity by arriving four hours late to work the next day. And refusing to answer the phone before he left! I grabbed his boss and we went to see if we could find the body, but guess who showed up in the parking lot? He admitted that he felt lousy and almost went to the hospital, but again insisted he needed no doctor, yet. But he's alive, if not well. My nerves are recovering, thank you.

This item at the Happy Catholic makes me smile: I love my Everloving Blogmother and my dear, sweet Blogsister and cannot imagine life without them. Furthermore, my life expanded exponentially when I first went online. Husband RJ said that once online, a person's world is forever changed, and there is no going back.

He is right. It is my immeasurable pleasure, then, to reintroduce Dreaming Again. She's back and sharing the overwhelmingly good news of recent events in her household. Blog on, Baby; we are all rooting for you.

And finally, a day late and a dollar short: Five on Friday is up my alley, and probably yours:

Of course I follow current events. I work on a newspaper!
The biases I see at the paper sometimes enrage me.
My primary sources would be Internet, CNN and the paper.
Absolutely do not trust the papers, or television. Remember, they must please their paying customers, as well as those who advertise. As such, they are double whores.
The top story of the week is the discovery of a previously unexplored, undocumented wilderness. No contest.

Little Pond

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Sunday's Super Man

We make a very big deal about our local heroes, some of whom are simply good men gone public. We love Samuel Clemens who summered here and married a local woman, and wrote under the name Mark Twain. We revere Ernie Davis, the Heisman Trophy winner who made a big splash just before he died young, a very well-liked all around great person. And we admire Tommy Hilfiger for just being himself, an Elmiran, only on an international scale.

But it's well past time to strike up the band for an almost impossibly grand person:
John Jones.

This personage with the most unprepossessing name should be an internationally acclaimed hero, saint, exemplar, and role model for everyone. Against all odds, and in spite of every conceivable obstacle possible, Jones remained the epitome of Christian charity and interracial good will. The link above gives in very great detail many of the reasons he had to simply get his, and retire away from all the ugliness of his times.

But he did not.

Not only does he deserve to be recognized as a local hero. He deserves to be acclaimed a saint for all to admire and emulate. Every new piece I read takes my breath away. He was simply a wonderful, truly loving, person.
One more link here. There can never be too many. We are very proud of John Jones, and hope to learn more about this amazing individual. Readers?

Little Pond

Friday, February 03, 2006

Am so big!

Criminal Grace's offering is freely attributed to this site. And this week's Five are about growing up:

1: I wanted to grow up to be a scientist.

2: I didn't because I had issues with many of the chemicals in the labs, even in high school. I learned to loathe the labs.

3: My life is very similar to my expectations, except that my home and family is now in Upstate New York. I will always miss what it would have been in Massachusetts.

4: My ten year old self needs to know that her body really was malfunctioning. She felt so alone and confused by the problems that no one else seemed to have, and everyone insisted was some sort of weird childhood hypochondria.

5: My child would heartily approve of the tough old bird I am!

Little Pond

Thursday, February 02, 2006

'The Hell is This???

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This, Dear Reader, is six more weeks of winter.

Kiwi doesn't like her shadow, even if she's inside. VeggieGirl tells us that in Europe, hedgehogs decide the fate of us all on February 2. Well, Kiwi says, "Put me back in my cage, I want more sleep."

Sorry, guys.

Little Pond