Let’s Get It Started In Here

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NaBloPoMo 2011

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Guess what I’ve decided to do.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait while you figure it out.

[HINT: look to your right and read the details on the big square.  Click on it, if you so choose.]

Yes, I’ve joined something.

[I know… it’s not like me, the free-spirit, to get involved in anything organized.]

And the something that I’ve joined is National Blog Post Month– informally known as NaBloPoMo.

[Cute nickname, huh?  It’s fun to say really fast as you type it.  Don’t judge me… we all make our fun where we find it.]

So, what does this really mean?

[If you’ve read this far down the page, then you must be a skoosh curious about what I’m up to this time.]

It means that I’ll be posting to this blog every day in November.  Contributing as much flapdoodle and twaddle to the blogosphere as I can.

[Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  A challenge.  An adventure.  A way to make bloggy friends.  Plus,  for a limited time only, “Glorious Madness.”]

So for the next thirty days, I’ll write.  You’ll read.  And we’ll chat in the comments below.

[Any questions?]

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Autumn, Attitude Adjustment, And Ambush Journalism

Here’s what I’ve thought about this week.  Brought to you by the letter “A.”

•  Loving.  Now that it’s mid-autumn, the leaves on the trees behind our house are at their best.  In fact, this year, the wettest year ever on record, the trees look stunning.  There are more show-off colors among the leaves–shimmery gold, crimson red;  less dreary colors like rusty orange & dried-up grayish brown.  Amazing, really, how letting go is so pretty.  A lesson for all of us who hold grudges and keep objects long after their usefulness has passed.  Move on, people.  Let it go.

*Amen*

•  Laughing.  I’ve always been one to drink whatever alcoholic beverage is set in front of me [the exception being rum which I hate].  I loathe being perceived as fussy.  Yet, thinking back about our very social summer, I’ve realized that the parties/dinners/events where I had the most fun were the very ones where I did not drink any wine.  At all.

This got me wondering why I even drink the stuff to begin with.  I don’t like the taste of wine all that much and it often makes me itch.  What I decided is that I drink wine because I have this notion that it is good for me.  And I drink wine because I am polite.

My logic– such as it is— goes something like this: in the Bible, Jesus made wine and the party continued.  So, by drinking the stuff without complaint I don’t offend Jesus & I’m not a party pooper.  In theory, this seems like a win-win. But in practice it just sets me up to do something I don’t really want to do– which is drink wine.

Pity Jesus didn’t turn the water into a fifth of bourbon– or a few bottles of beer.  Then I’d have no problem at all.

*Capiche?*

•  Learning.  I was watching CNN the other morning.  The conversation was about “ambush journalism.”  I’d not heard of this term before.  It means that through deception and aggressive behavior a journalist inserts himself or herself into a situation hoping to provoke controversy by launching into a series of challenging questions. Apparently, some guy did this with VP Biden earlier this week, and Biden refused to take it.  Biden fired back with: “Don’t screw with me.  Let’s look at the facts.” 

Politics aside, I’m with the VP on this one.  Hassling people is not a substitute for journalistic inquiry;  it’s just stupid, attention seeking behavior.  In fact, it seems to me that if journalists want to continue to have access to our political leaders, then they need to grow up, use some common sense & not engage is such antics.  Bad dog, no biscuit.

*Meh*

Love, Dreams & Color Schemes

“A house is made of walls and beams;  a home is built with love and dreams.”

I.

Take a quiz.  Learn something useful.  Reflect upon how pretty these colors are.  Remind self that we are perfectly happy with the colors that we’ve got going on in our home now.  Save this just in case.

II.

Take another quiz.  Enjoy the questions.  Agree with the results [minus the nonsense about mixing patterns].  Decide that I like thinking of myself as Bohemian Casual— a more refined way of saying “free spirit.”

III.

Take a third and last quiz.  Like that the questions are all photos.  Agree with the results– especially the part about “peaceful coexistence of seemingly unrelated elements.”  Reflect upon how this phrase makes “eclectic mess” sound stylish.

Messy Store, Happy Me

I stopped at Barnes & Noble the other day.

As soon as I stepped inside the store I realized that the entire bookstore was in the process of a major re-do.  All the main aisles had long tables extending lengthwise down the middle of them.  All the smaller side aisles had push carts piled with books.  The place was a mess.

And I couldn’t have been any more pleased.

So, slightly giddy with the sense of adventure that comes from exploring the unknown, I started on a Treasure Hunt— looking at the 80% off books on the long tables.  It was like browsing at a library used book sale where you never know what you might find. Naturally I found a few books I needed.

Then I decided to search with purpose for the books that I’d come into the store to buy.   That’s when the real fun started as I began my own little game of I Spy.

On the walls were the old signs that told me what used to be in each section of the store– with the new, different books underneath each sign. Which meant that…

  • I found Humor under Cookbooks.  Well, yes… I have made a number of miserable meals that elicited laughs.
  • I found Sports under Photography.  Which, considering how much bending and leaning I do to take a good photo, seemed somewhat accurate to me.
  • I found Home Decor under New Age/Philosophy.  Which sort of made sense to me… in a very existential, post-modern, Unhappy Hipsters sort of way.

I don’t know why this shopping trip entertained me so, but it did. Adventure. Absurdity. New [discounted] books. And a story to tell.

What’s not to like?

… It’s a quiet life I live, but a happy one.  

Suitability: An Explanation Of What The Heck Is Going On With My Blog Template

[… for those who have wondered why things look different around here… and have taken the time to contact me about said… allow me to explain…]

Having the right look for my blog is important to me .  In fact, since I started this sweet little bloggy last January, I’ve had four different [free] templates. 

Let’s review, shall we?

#1  The one with the glowing orange candle up top.  It is called Coraline & described by WordPress key words thusly–  clean, conservative, generic, light, minimal. Yep, it was.  But in the end, it was not me.  So I moved on.

#2  The one with the lonely little pine cone up top.  It is called Pilcrow & described by WordPress key words thusly– clean, conservative, formal, generic, light, minimal, simple.  Again, yep it was.  But it had some features that I didn’t like, so I moved on.  [Also, I accidentally deleted it late one Friday afternoon.  There was drama.  There was swearing.  We’re not going to re-hash that event here.]

#3  The one with the bunch of bananas up top.  It is called Fruit Shake & described by WordPress key words thusly– artistic, colorful, faded, whimsical, yellow.  Again, let me confirm that this was an accurate description.  However, its cheeriness drove me bonkers and the way it scrunched up my words on the page was difficult to read.  So I moved on.

#4  The one with the big black rectangle up top.  It is called Quintus & described by WordPress key words thusly– calligraphic, elegant, formal, nostalgic, retro, textured, traditional.  Yep, it is.  And of all the ones I’ve tried, this one is the easiest to use, the most clear to read and the least annoying for me to look at.  In fact, a further description of it says:

“A theme that has an old-style appeal with semi-academic graciousness and elegant typography. Fitting for displaying either text or images, Quintus offers a fresh look with room for customization….” 

Now this is a look and description I like.  So I’ve stayed here.

Why have I been changing my template so often? 

While my academic background is in words/relationships/communication, my later-in-life inclination is in images/color/design.  The result is that I like to change things around and that I’m never satisfied with how things look… until I am.  All this trial and error here is really just me attempting to find the most suitable look for my sweet little bloggy.  Which I think I have with this gracious, elegant, fresh template.

At least for the moment.  😉


In Which Agnes Reminds Me Of Me

•  This comic strip has made my day.

•  Like Agnes, I can say anything with too many words, if need be.  Got me through grad school.  Not so useful in real life.

•  And like Agnes, I wanted a pair of cowgirl boots.  [Yippie-Yi-Yo-Ki-Yay]  But, alas and alack, it was not to be.

•  Yet, in my heart-of-hearts, I’m still Agnes– looking for the popularity “heaped upon those who are shod thusly.”

~ ~ • ~ ~ 

{ Source }

We Have A Backyard

[Sub-titled: The Big Dig Ends… And Not A Moment Too Soon]

Today as I reflect upon the inability of the 112th US Congress to do anything constructive about job creation, I am happy to report that our backyard project is complete.

As you may recall, in mid-August we began a very involved and expensive backyard landscaping project which happened in three parts.  To sum it up, in Phase One we had trees knocked down and dirt hauled in.  In Phase Two we had a concrete wall built to create two levels in our backyard.

And now, here is the rest of the story.  Welcome to Phase Three.

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Below is a photo of the stone steps in process.  These large steps allow us to get down into our lower level.  Without them we’d be slip sliding away every time we went down there.

Here’s a photo of our deck and the newly formed backyard taken from the second story of our house.  This project was massive. 

And here is the finished product.  The oval that you’re seeing down there is about 12 feet x 9 feet.  It is large enough for a full size picnic table or a medium size fire pit with chairs around it.  We haven’t decided exactly what we’re going to do with this space yet.  

One last photo of the side of the house where many of the machines came around to the back of the property.  The replanting of Pachysandra looks good and will fill in the area quite nicely.

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While the results of this project are wonderful, the process was stressful.  In total about 30 men worked on this backyard.  They showed up [usually without warning] when they felt like working on it, anywhere from 5:30 am to 7:00 pm on any day of the week.  Some weeks the weather made it impossible to work back there.  Other weeks the landscapers were too busy elsewhere to bother with us.  So we waited.

And with that, I’m signing off on talking about this project here in my blog.  It’s been something good to share with the world, but now it’s time for me to go down into The Spoon and enjoy communing with nature.

After all, that was the original reason we did this to begin with.