Archive for May, 2006

Raspberries, a Goldfish Bowl and a Parakeet Ladder

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Une Souris

Raspberries, a Goldfish Bowl and a Parakeet Ladder, what do these items have in common? Read on and it all will become clear.

Now I like furry creatures so much that I would have become a vegetarian, except that I can’t stand vegetables, (Sorry, they are just yucky) but the allure of keeping rats as pet eludes me.

My oldest boy and his wife started it off with two little (for now) rats and now the Bear has leapt onboard and bought a couple of his own. Apparently you should not keep just one rat, I guess they are social and do better in pairs.

He tells me that his first rat is very sweet and friendly, but the second one is have problems settling in. Yesterday she wiggled out of his hands and is LOOSE in his room!

Bear rents a room in an old frat house just off campus of the State University that he is not attending. Does his landlord know that a rat is loose in the building? Do the other people who live there know that a long tailed rodent is slinking about? Not as of last night, and if they do find out he is planing to disavow all knowledge his involvement, although the remaining rat may give him away, or rat him out, if you will pardon the pun.

He took rat number one with him and went out to buy supplies for Operation Rat Trap.


a goldfish bowl


a parakeet ladder,

are you starting to make the connection?

The raspberries will be placed in the goldfish bowl and the parakeet ladder leaned against the lip of the bowl. The fugitive rat will, hopefully, scamper up the ladder, tempted by the sweet raspberries, fall into the goldfish bowl and be unable to get out.

I will call him later to see if it was successful.

For the first time since he moved out I am glad he is not living at home.


A Step Back (and Sideways) in Time


This photo is taken from in front of Mrs. P's store, the old house is the fourth from the left, behind the white van. It used to be yellow with a green awning.

I had a service call scheduled today in the town where I grew up, as much as you grow up anywhere where you are a military brat. It is only about a 45 minute drive from here, but I seldom get out there.

When I arrived I found that my client was not at home. I will give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that something came up. I left a message for her and told her I would hang out in the area for a while and to give me a call when she came home.

Then I went out exploring my old turf.

I started with what used to be the drug store. The sign still says it is and it is run be the same people, but they sell antiques now.

They had a soda soda fountain, the only one I have ever seen. Sitting perched all in a row on vynil covered stools we would drink cherry cokes and green rivers after school. Some things dont change, the soda fountain is still there.

When I came in Mrs. P. climbed down off her stool and greeted me the same way she has every time she has seen me since I reached adulthood. "Do you still like to read?" she asks and I always assure her that I do.

Years ago the books she sold were the main draw for me. A whole wall of paperback books including the best selection of science fiction that I have ever seen outside of an actual book store. I think I bought a least a book a week during the time I lived there. That may be why the books are gone now. The market dried up when I moved away.

There was a magazine I would buy every month, also science fiction. I bought the 25th anniversary issue back then. A few years ago at a chain book store, I bought the 50th, and felt very old. I have over the years saved all the copies and sometimes read the stories again. Maybe when I am gone, my kids can sell them for a bunch of money, but I doubt it. I would be happy if one of them would read them.

While I was there a woman came in the store and wanted to talk to her about a cleaning service. "We are thinking about shutting it down." Mrs. P. told her.

"Are you really giving it up?" I asked her after the woman left.

"Probably not," she replied, "I don't know what I would do all day if I wasn't coming here"

After a short time reminiscing with Mrs. P. I moved across the street and down the block to the old house.

Built in 1850, it is set into a hillside, with a store front on the first floor and living quarters on the second. Today there is a floral shop downstairs, and a nursing agency upstairs. I had not been inside for over 20 years but I prowled all over it today.

I stood in the back room downstairs, where I had a forge at on time and used to bang out metal on a piece of rail road steel, thinking I wanted to to do sculpture or make jewelry or something. Mostly I think I roasted hot dogs on it. I dont remember ever having the patience to get anything hot enough to really work with.

The old foundation back there is looking pretty rough and some of the rocks have fallen out and you can see sun light up towards the top of the wall.

Upstairs everything has changed and of course the current owner had to tell me about the yucky old bathroom they ripped out. My father put that bathroom in and it was lovely then, but I guess the next owners were not kind to the old place.

"My mother hated this house," I told the owner. My father had bought it without consulting her and she was angry with him the whole time we lived there. Those years were not good for my parents.

Everything seemed so small now and because some of the walls are moved it was sort of surreal being there, like I knew where I was but really did not.

"This was just an awful utility room." The woman told me, but it was my sisters bedroom. Where she would sit up in the window at night, secretly smoking cigarettes and hoping not to get caught. (she never did)

When we were younger she came once and got me in the middle of the night after we had watched a scary movie and she could not sleep. We curled up together in that little room and slept fine, because you are always safe when there are two of you, right?

I spent five years there, all living in the same house, a record for me at that time. I watched the little town go into decline and begin to prosper and then decline again. Things are one the up swing now, but everything is cyclical.

This evening I spent out where my folks are living now. They have lost the remote for the TV and I had to program the new one.

"I went through the old house today." I told them between bites at dinner. (My reward for setting the TV up.)

"I always hated that house." my mother said, and I knew somethings dont change.

In My Dreams

I had a weird dream the other night.

In it my friend (see this post and accompanying cheesy poem) borrowed things she needed,for a party she was having, from various people.

After the party was over she returned everyone's things but mine, so I went to her house to get it.

I described the item to her and she said, “Oh, I couldn’t remember who that belonged to, so I gave it to the Goodwill.”

After giving it some thought the item represents my friendship, which she (at least in my subconscious) sees as having no value, not even worth remembering where it came from.

The part that is really strange is that apparently my friendship is represented by an old tin gravy boat. Maybe it is not worth remembering where it came from.

Some One at the Door

The dogs started barking at the door while I was writing the previous post.

It's late, Loml is at work and should not be home for another hour and the dogs are going nuts.

I grab the phone, so I can dial 911 quick if I need to, and cautiously make my way to the door. I can see a shadow on the curtain, taller and thinner then Loml and as I reach pull the curtain aside I hear a key in the lock and the door flies open!

It's Bear! My middle son who lives about 4 hours from here. He has roses for Mother's Day!

And just as quickly he is gone. Today is his girlfriend birthday, the real reason for the trip 🙂 and they are going out.

But he will be back later and I am always thrilled to see him.

I'm just not sure that my heart can take too many surprise visits.

How Loml Saved the Day…Again

My husband and I had an argument the other day.It doesnt really matter what it was about or who was right, (that would be me) but my feelings were hurt and I was mad. The day was dark and gloomy and I held on to those hurt and angry feelings all morning long. I went over and over the events in my mind and by the time he finally got out of bed I had work myself up pretty good.

Good morning you just opened your eyes and your wife is really ticked at you! I am surprised that he did not go right back to bed.

Now Loml has really crumby people skills. Some how he never knows the right thing to say in these situations and I just get more and more wound up and eventually (I am sorry to say) become some what unreasonable. At that point he makes a quick retreat and I fume until I wear myself out and finally give it up, still somewhat frustrated with him and probably very ashamed of things I have said to him.

I went out to run of a couple errands and when I got back I was ready for round three, but what I found when I came through the door stopped me in my tracks.

My Loml has no skill with words but he knows the right things to do when the chips are down.

You can not stay mad at a man with roses and chocolates.

And the Project of the Day is…..

At last the sun is shining! I am enjoying the beautiful day.

In addition to trying to keep up the little bit of progress I have made, my focus lately has been on meal planning.

I drew up a menu for the remainder of the month and took it with me when I went grocery shopping.

It is so nice not to be standing in the kitchen at 5:00 pm desperately trying to think of what I am going to fix for dinner. Anyone for Ramen noodles again?

I would like to have a computer program that would generate the menus for me, but everything I have found is either
a.) too expensive
b.) does not have the features I want
c.) is too complicated (I have found that, if something is not easy to use, I am unlikely to use it)
d.) just plain does not work

In frustration I am resorting to to dusting off my feeble coding skills and making my own program.

That should give me something to do when I should be doing other things.

By the time I am done I am sure I will see that buying on of the more expensive programs was not such a bad idea.

A Short Poem for the Day

A Short Poem for the Day

Its raining again, I feel like I am living in a rain forest. It was dark and gloomy most of the day,
and I feel dark and gloomy myself. Consumed with meloncoly, uneasy and out of sync with everything around me. As though I am a stranger here and will never find a place to rest.

A few lines to express the feeling of the day:

I walk the concrete streets,
a stranger,
searching for the walled city,
its ancient stones cry out to me,
and I can not find them.