I am intrigued by this device.
LATER: And yes, I ordered one. Though I'm not expecting the more, uh, exotic benefits. But then, maybe I'll get lucky. Certainly cheaper than some other utensils I can think of.
Well, now. That was fun, even if I did want to drop a mickey in everyone's drink and cart 'em home at 7. Lyman says his ears are still ringing.
Nicole is a a cute little girl with a Polish last name (that I haven't fully gotten yet) from Ponchatoula, LA, home of the state's big strawberry festival. Ponchatoula is a town about 40 miles due east of Baton Rouge. She's going into her second year of college next semester at 21. I think she is too young for Jason at 28, but my parents married at 19 and 27 and lasted for 50-odd years. I guess it's not for me to say. She wears little to no make-up, as Jason likes, and has an easy smile. A tidy little figure, too. We'll see.
I was too busy to pay a whole lot of attention to her or Jason, either.
Both these boys stay away long enough that all they want to do when they come home is talk. When they leave, Lyman and and I lay slumped in our chairs, fumbling for the keys to the liquor cabinet and motioning each other to hush.
Girl, 83, 4'10", 115 pounds, was fresh from the beauty shop and raring to go. She talks up a storm.
I forget my in-laws' wedding anniversary, mainly because they think nothing of it. This dinner, though casual, fell in nicely. Tomorrow, Girl and Big Daddy will have been married 62 years. She says she can't understand how that can be, since she's only 65. I suggested that it was an arranged marriage. She thinks that must be the case. "Married 62 years to the wrong man," she said.
Constructive re-engagement is moving apace. Son Jason called last night to say that he was bringing his new girlfriend for a visit this evening. I keep trying to teach these boys to give me a little lead time and they keep ignoring me. So it's on with housekeeping today.
A fried fish dinner tonight will kill two birds with one stone. Everyday since we were given a large mess of white perch, Big Daddy has said, "I'm just waiting for you to fry some fish." I know he's an old man who is good to us, but it still gets tiresome. Especially since he has fried fish every Friday night with his domino cronies. He'd be happy eating fried fish EVERY night.
What I can't have is Nicole telling Jason, "I can't use that bathroom, Jason. Is there a gas station somewhere?" Or, "Ewwww, does your stepmother, like, EVER dust?" How about, "What do you think they put in the garbage?"
Femorally challenged or not, it's time to get a move on.
Apparently, it's time to change the description of this blog. The easiest way to explain the reason is to present the courriel (that's French for e-mail) correspondence I had with Carolyn Swicegood of Land of Vos yesterday:
From me to Miss Carolyn --
My two-year-old SIE, Lucy, has taken to a sort of "parrot dance", usually between about noon and 2 pm. It looks like a variety of birdie "yoga" and reminds me of formal Thai and Korean dancers. While she moves about, she makes any range of odd little noises, including clucks, growls and chirps. It usually lasts just a short while, maybe two minutes.
Have you heard of such a thing? Is it a mating behavior? Exercise?
Carolyn responded --
Is there anything that she can SEE during that time that she cannot see at other times? Or hear? I'm curious about what inspires her to do it.... She's old enough to be hormonal but they are such complex creatures one can never take anything for granted. :) Please tell me more...like what she's doing just BEFORE the dance, after the dance, and any other information you can share........
From me --It's seems to start from nowhere. There's nothing particular outside at that time of day. Her cage is in front of a safe side window. She's takes her stance on the same branch, usually sometime between 12:30 and 1:15, and begins her ritual. She extends her body forward, then rolls her neck in all sorts of contortions, sometimes looking at the ceiling, making all number of sounds all the while. At times, she does a quick, tight flip and flutter of her wings. Sometimes she'll move a step up the branch to continue. She'll go until she's done. Then she'll straighten up and preen, usually, and get on with normal Lucy business. It's a pretty thing to watch, and an odd thing to hear. Martha Graham would be proud of her.
Sometimes she likes to be watched, sometimes not ... That's about all I know. If you like, I'll watch her more closely and report back any details I might not have noticed.
Carolyn responded --
...I think this is probably a perfect example of a young Eclectus female coming of age and trying to find a mate...she's dancing in the window and hoping that her knight in shining armor will be watching or fly by and see her enticing display and help her find a nest site for babies and live happily ever after! :)
This is printed with Miss Carolyn's permission, and she stipulates that it is only a personal opinion. She is a breeder, however, and I suspect she knows as much as anyone.
Therefore, Lucy is no longer a baby. Thank goodness the car keys are safe.
Oh my, what are we going to do if she takes up with a crow?
I am working on "constructive re-engagement" with the community. Today, Lyman and I drove all the way across town to SUPER WAL-MART (13 minutes because the light wasn't functioning properly on Hwy 61). There I bought dish towels, cleaning cloths, Lysol, Lime Away, Dawn dish liquid, Mr. Clean and bags and filters for the Shop-Vac.
We bought the Wet-Dry Shop-Vac for remodeling three years ago, but it's proved to be a godsend in common housekeeping on a hard floor. The housekeeper who helped a couple weeks ago gave it her seal of approval.
When Lyman and I flew to my brother's in Portland, Oregon, three years ago to cook gumbo and crawfish pies for his son Alex's and Amy's rehearsal dinner, my sister-in-law taught me to buy cheap white hand towels for service in the kitchen. She bought towels five for $5 at Costco. (I was a little ticked today. I had to pay $1.20 apiece.) Use 'em, bleach 'em to rags & throw 'em away. I added cheap white washcloths for cleaning cloths -- 18 at Walmart today for less than $4.00. We use paper towels for blowing our noses, cleaning up Lucy messes, and draining fried food. (Not the same ones, mind you.)
Lyman bought a pack of Hanes tighty-whities, 6 for $5.95.
We bought two beautiful thick pork chops for $6.00 and 3 packs of cleaned baby spinach for dinner at $7.50. Bought an odd squash for Lucy for $3.50.
That's Louisiana values in action.
LATER: Darn! Missed dinner. We were listening to the radio.
EVEN LATER: Lyman no longer says I am a "selective invalid". We now prefer "femorally challenged".
That girl up there in Kansas, Peg Britton, e-mailed this:
A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a motorcycle when he spotted a well known heart surgeon in his shop. The surgeon was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike. The mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey Doc, can I ask you a question?"
The surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic working on the motor cycle. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, 'So, Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take valves out, fix 'em, put 'em back in and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I get such a small salary and you get the really big bucks, when you and I are doing basically the same work?"
The surgeon paused, smiled and leaned over and whispered to the mechanic..."try doing it with the engine running!"
Popped by the surgeon's office this morning. Recovery is going nicely. The patch is "solid". He pulled a stitch that has been an irritant. Back in a month.
We had an excellent dinner last night. Lyman found this light, tasty recipe for chicken on FoodTV. We complemented it with carrots Vichy (carrots, butter, sugar, pepper, nutmeg, lemon and parsley) and grilled zucchini.
I was back in the saddle, barefoot in the kitchen. (How y'all like that for mixing metaphors? Or whatever.) Lyman felt so much better. Now he says I am a "selective invalid".
A man bolted from the bush ahead and she pursued, knocking him to the ground with a blow to the head from the butt of her weapon.
"He looked up at her and all he could say was 'You're a woman.' Heather told him 'Yeah, but that doesn't mean I won't put a bullet through your head,' " James said.
Reason #675,273,479 to be married to Lyman. We were listening to Joe Scarborough's show on MSNBC while he was talking about shopping on Rodeo Drive.
Joe said, "And here's a bra and panty set that sells for $700."
Lyman said, "That's some expensive utensils. They better have something to put in 'em."
I've been watching the ads at the top of my page for a while. It's interesting to see how they change to reflect the content of the page. When I wrote about Lucy, there were ads for parrot equipment. Since my recollection of Lyman's building accident, DeWalt is hawking power tools. This could be an amusing game. Will they try to sell me and my readers pool supplies?
Cooking for Lucy again today. This is a bean recipe with 13 beans and peas, brown rice, sweet potatoes and carrots. This large batch will be frozen in snack baggies and should last 3-4 months. Even Lucy is not a vegan. She eats boiled eggs, fish, chicken and devours a chicken bone. Toxic little cannibal.
4:30 a.m. There just ain't a lot of reason for Missy Janis to be up at that hour: no cows to milk, no children to tend, no hours to drive, no exams for which to cram. But it was a good hour to listen to the passing of the mild storm that settled over the area last night. I like rain, even if this one will delay yet another week the filling of the "Great Money Pit" aka swimming pool and hasten the coverage of our white-painted woodwork with gray mildew. Don't tell me about the humidity in your area until you have to pressure wash at least once a year. (Looks like it will be twice for us this year.)
Son Michael is grieving a little over the pool. He understands our reasons and approves, but we're literally burying part of his childhood. He, his brother and their friends were in the pool everyday during the season until everyone was up and away. For Lyman, it served the practical function of keeping his children at home and observable during their teenage years. Their friends' parents knew where to find them, too. Before he left Friday, Michael said, "Last night I dreamed about ghosts out there."
I have regrets, too. I regret the $10,000 or so we've funneled into the thing the past ten years. That might have been a nice fishing boat that would have finally shut his Daddy up.
I didn't research the solar race that came into town on Friday until today. The race is called the Dell-Winston Solar Challenge and is restricted to high schoolers. Is that too cool, or what? The calendar and race route are here. Scroll down to find the route for today and the towns along the way. Go, speed racers!
Lyman won't look at my scar from the femoral hernia repair. First time in ten years he hasn't been interested in my naked belly. "No," he said. "I don't want to see it. I can handle things happening to myself, but I can't handle them with other people."
In more than one post, the most recent one here, Larry Anderson has reported that he injures himself while doing repairs. Lyman is the same. He always turns up with a scraped knuckle, or a small cut, or a bruise.
In one case, it was worse.
We were working on remodeling the house. The living room furniture was stacked on the porch, and we were putting up crown molding. Lyman was in charge of the electric miter saw. (I can use drills and screwdrivers, but no self-respecting belle runs a miter saw. Unless she frames pictures.) I had taken a bathroom break while Lyman was outside cutting an angle. From the opposite end of the house I heard "Janis, I've hurt myself bad!" Dreaded words.
I hitched up my sweatpants and went to see what was the matter. Lyman had cut the back of his wrist with the saw. I grabbed a clean cloth from the laundry room and pressed it against his wrist. "We need to go to the hospital NOW," I said. Lyman was trembling. He sat down at the kitchen bar. "Let me rest for a minute," he said. "Okay," I said. "Would you get me some coffee?" "Okay." Lyman kept the compress on his wrist and drank a little coffee to settle his nerves. (Yeah, yeah.) "Lyman, let's take a look at this and see what we have." He reluctantly approached the sink, we took the compress off, and ran cold water over his wrist. It really wasn't too bad, but it needed stitches. "This needs stitches, Lyman. We need to go to the hospital." "Okay." "I need to change my shoes." "Okay." "I'll drive." "Okay." So I started walking to the bedroom. At the corner of the dining area and the hall I fainted right to the ground. "Janis? Janis? Are you okay?" "I'll be all right." I rolled over onto my knees and crawled down the hall to our bedroom, then dragged myself onto the bed. "Janis, are you okay?" "Give me about five minutes." It took about that long for the swoon to pass. I changed shoes and we drove to the hospital. A week later, I took the 13 stitches out myself with a single-edged razor blade and a pair of tweezers.
I don't want to look at his scars, either.
LATER: Looking at this post, I see it makes no sense to include the detail of the furniture being stacked on the porch, unless you consider that I could have cracked my head going down. I don't want to imagine that fiasco.
I just saw Kobe Bryant and his wife on television. What in the world was he thinking? She looks like a supermodel.
LATER: I'm still looking for a picture for this post. Googling "Vanessa Laine Bryant" isn't turning up anything that does her justice.
This one looks pretty good.
Lucy was a tired girl last night, though we didn't do much special. I baked "Bird Bread" for her and roasted drained, canned chickpeas as a treat. I put two candles in a piece of the bread, which is more like a HEAVY cake, and Lyman's dad, Lyman, Michael and I sang "Happy Birthday". Lyman and I sing to her all the time, which she likes, but the group thing was a little overwhelming for her. She recovered her aplomb quickly, though, and made a real mess of the cake.
The cake wasn't bad. It had corn meal, whole wheat flour, mashed sweet potatoes, raisins, pecans, sunflower kernels, cinnamon, apple juice and a bit of baking powder. It might have been even better had I been able to find pumpkin and papaya nectar. Without a lot of work, the recipe would be right palatable for humans. There was nearly a whole large baking dish left, so I cut it into chunks to freeze. Lucy can enjoy her cake for months to come.
I stumbled over a shoe in the living room yesterday morning. It wasn't mine and it wasn't Lyman's. I checked the guestroom, and lo, there was a son asleep. I looked out the window and found Michael's car. We learned later that he had been in Baton Rouge scouting for a new job. He wants to move back to Louisiana from Dallas, where he can be with his brother and friends and within easy driving distance of Vidalia. He came late in the night, after both Lyman and I had gone to sleep.
The discovery recalled a post from some months back where I recounted a dream in which I found Ken Layne asleep in the guest room one morning. I didn't ponder or analyze that dream because such a thing is utterly normal around here. If I find a boy asleep in the guest room or on the sofa, I don't ask, "What the heck are you doing here?." I ask, "Would you like some breakfast?"
Dammit, this area needs a grocery store. I have been to three stores and cannot find a can of pumpkin, I cannot find a bag of dried garbanzo beans, and a lady and her son grabbed the last two bottles of papaya nectar off the shelf before I realized they were there. Lyman is off to the Super Wal-mart to see if he can find things there.
LATER: That was no help at all. Neither was Piggly Wiggly. And yes, this is all for Lucy on her birthday. I bought candles, too.
Lucy is reading Lyman the riot act because her playtree has been misplaced. It's outside waiting to be hosed down.
There. Now she is content.
Did you know that mashed kiwi, dried on a surface, has many of the same qualities as Elmer's glue? A creative soul could run with this idea, creating a wholesome, nutritious vegetarian paste for young children to use in art projects. (Tasty, too!)
The boys of summer are coming at six for the all-star game and hamburgers. My sister-in-law is loaning me her cleaning lady for the afternoon. I have to get busy so the poor lady doesn't freak when she walks in.
I have been watching with some interest (not enough to post all the links) the discussion of the new idea of calling non-believers "brights", as in "I profess no belief in religion, so I am a Bright". Jimmy Doc over at Outside the Beltway has been participating. (See what would have happened had you gone to college, BJB?)
I think the term is arrogant.
I offer the Webster's-approved appellation "secularist" as an inclusive and inoffensive name for non-believers.
It seems they would like something shorter and catchier. I can't see why. Episcopalians and Presbyterians seem to do just fine.
On the other hand, having someone call himself a "bright" would send you that perfect signal to say "hey" to Betsy across the room...
LATER: Sorry, looks like Dr. Taylor put forth "secularist" first at Poliblog.
Lucy is stone-cold exhausted. She's been supervising the work around her, and she's a stickler.
We got your front-end loader, your dump truck, your F250, and your incipient flower garden. The great money-sucker is going down.
LATER: Lordy, Lordy. The girl in the yard is a dump truck driver. Her ex-husband is driving the front end loader. He got into the dump truck to back it up and dump dirt into the pool, and had a hard time of it. She got into the truck and handled it. He wouldn't listen. Never did.NOTE: Two years ago this month, my utility bill would have been $400. This year it is $196.
A clock-store owner will appear in court Monday on an assault charge for spanking a boy he says was teaching one of his store's parrots to cuss.Both of these people are handling the incident badly. In these days, it doesn't serve to lay a hand on someone else's child, though the gent was probably treating the boy no differently than he would his own grandson. The mother is overreacting by filing charges. She could have left it at chastising the man. Most people knew better than to spank other people's children even in earlier times.
"I think I can protect my property against vandalism, as long as I don't use a gun," said William Soper, co-owner of Clock World on West Broad Street downtown. "A pop on the bottom is non-lethal."
Sheree Bustle, mother of the spanked boy, sees it differently. She called the police to file charges. "If you've got a problem with a kid abusing a bird, he could've handled it differently," she said.
It is vandalism to teach a parrot profanity. Circumstances sometimes force changes in ownership (or guardianship, in areas of California) and many prospective owners neither use nor like to be around profanity. We don't use much profanity in this house, and always out of Lucy's earshot, unless we happen to bark our shins on that @!$#%^* glass coffee table.
In local news, the River City Fantasy Baseball League, of which Lyman is a member and I am sometime help, would like to have a party for the All-Star game. They would like to have it at our house, which, as I've said before, we've designed for such occasions.
The boys are more than willing to do their own cooking, but who is going to clean?
Glenn said not to worry, they used to meet at John's Place, which was, by all reports, a dump. I don't know because I wasn't invited to go there. They didn't actually forbid women, but they deeply discouraged them from visiting. The patrons wanted a place to have a beer after work where their wives wouldn't suspect they were chatting up other women. Just a drink at the end of the day.
John's was sold to a historical society in Natchez because it occupied land that was part of the site of one of the largest slave markets in the country.
But our home is not John's Place, and my question remains unanswered.
And it's a week away.
I'm bragging about touching my toes and Nate McCord's 90 year-old grandma wants a new bicycle?
I should be embarrassed, depressed, downhearted, shame-faced ... but I'm not. I'm training to become a proper belle. First thing is no more lugging those 40 lb. bags of potting soil around for this girl.
"Lyman, darlin', did you get that mint planted yet?"
Aha! I've reached a benchmark in my recovery. I can touch my toes! I can scrub my feet! I can crawl on my belly to find the screw that attaches Lucy's food dish to her cage.
This means that we need to start planning a trip to Dallas to help my sister with the estate sale at my mother's house.
Lucy hasn't gone to Dallas yet. The trip is an hour or so longer than the trip to the coast. It will be hard on a little girl.
Oh for goodness' sake. Peg Britton of Kansas just sent this silly joke:
A woman brought a very limp parrot into a veterinary office. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest. After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, "I'm so sorry, Polly has passed away."
The distressed owner wailed,"Are you sure? I mean, you haven't done any testing on him or anything. Might he just be in a coma or something?"
The vet rolled his eyes, shrugged, turned and left the room returning a few moments later with a beautiful black Labrador. As the bird's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the dead parrot from top to bottom.
He then looked at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The vet patted the dog and took it out but returned a few moments later with a cat! The cat jumped up and also sniffed delicately at the ex-bird.
The cat sat back, shook its head, meowed and ran out of the room.
The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but like I said, your parrot is most definitely 100% certifiably dead."
He then turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill which he handed to the woman.
The parrot's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried, "$150 just to tell me my bird is dead?"
The vet shrugged. "If you'd taken my word for it, the bill would only have been $20, but........what with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan the costs went up."
I am by no means a sexual prude, but I will welcome the day the discussion about sodomy laws dies down. I've never exercised my imagination much about what other people do in their bedrooms.
I do prefer a becoming modesty in public, rather in line with the old Emily Post:
Public Displays of Affection
Lovemaking is a personal matter and does not belong in public. Displays of affection or attraction are often embarrassing to others, are not appropriate in the presence of children, and belong in a private setting.
Holding hands, affectionate greetings accompanied by a kiss on the cheek, or a quick hug are perfectly acceptable in public. Passion is not.
I think she might agree with me that sodomy laws should be struck down because they were not fit topics for public discussion in the first place.
LATER: Maybe I AM a prude. Is that so bad?
Zapped, again. When I visit my dental hygienist, I do deep breathing exercises to overcome my wariness of the equipment. I leave the office unfit to drive. Luckily, it's only eight blocks away from home.
I have received my copy of Ulysses Annotated and have been studiously figuring out what I read under the influence of drugs last week. It didn't hearten me much to remark that it has been 29 years since I read Homer's The Odyssey in college.
Of general interest is this wonderful new word that I learned:
crawsick -- Ill in the morning after a drunken bout the night before.
Local culture provides many excellent opportunities to use this word, as in, "Pierre don't feel so good today. He crawsick after the crawfish boil yesterday."
As is often the case, the most interesting thing I can find this morning is from Virginia Postrel. The Texas building codes have included a new rule that will limit lighting options for new businesses in the interest of reducing electricity usage. Read that to mean "fluorescent" as opposed to "incandescent" lighting in the future.
In her column in D Magazine, she looks specifically at Victoria's Secret where artful arrays of lights make the merchandise, and the customers, "glow". Regulation of lighting will change that experience.
Here's an excerpt that gets to the heart of her message:
The dirty secret is that this is really an aesthetic battle. It's the latest version of the old American conflict between pleasure and Puritanism (the triumph of the latter led to the current smoking ban in Dallas restaurants). Efficiency-minded engineers regard anything more than simple illumination as waste. Environmental activists are repulsed by "unnecessary" consumption. The boards that set energy codes and evaluate their effectiveness include engineers and environmentalists. They don't include artists or designers, much less lingerie shoppers.
Let me tell you, as a middle-aged woman, this does not make me happy. I don't like overhead lights or flourescent lights. If I had my way we'd have 25-watt incandescent bulbs in every fixture except where I cook, make up or read. Ms. Postrel is just a few years behind me. Perhaps it's a personal issue with her, too.
LATER: The more I think about this, the more insane it sounds. Women flock to Dallas to shop. For Pete's sake, it's a "market city". What the hell do they think we go there for? The Cowboys?