Thursday, October 16, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review: They Say the Sirens Left the Seas

Today I'm reviewing a book of poetry written by James Hutchings, titled "They Say the Sirens Left the Seas". 

I enjoy reading classical poetry (Robert Frost, anyone?) but modern poetry tends to make my brain hurt.  At any rate, I had reviewed James' earlier work (The New Death and Others) and when he asked me to review "Sirens" I agreed to do so.  I must admit to being pleasantly surprised.  There are too many gems in his latest publication that I would be hard pressed to choose only one favorite. 

The very first entry, The Ship In the Clouds, seems quite Poe-esque (Mr. Poe being a favored writer of mine).  Here's a snippet:
"...and it seemed as I sighed that the world must have died
for the sea and the stones and the hills
had been wrapped in a shroud of the heaviest cloud
and lay cold, and unspeaking, and still."

Another poem called She Was, If I Were Forced to Guess" literally made me laugh out loud with its nod to being middle aged (as I am):

"She Was, If I Were Forced to Guess
She was, if I were forced to guess
round twenty-five, or maybe less.
A tiny skirt and clicking heels
as high and shining as ideals.
Her legs were long, and lean, and taut.
I looked at her and sadly thought
"Poor girl. She must be very cold."
Oh God.
I'm old."

Some of the poems remind me of the Irish limerick style of writing; there are tales set in the old West, threads of love and death and a mother's sacrifice (The Trials of Jenny Brown).  All in all, a very good volume that did not make my brain hurt.  Thank you, James, for allowing me to read your writing.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 September 30

Today after eating lunch I went for a little walk.  I need to move more throughout the (work) day, even if only to take a 15-20 minute walk over the noon hour.  On the weekends I get plenty of activity, what with grocery shopping, going up & down stairs for the laundry and playing with Sugar Cookie.  But at the office I tend to sit for long periods of time and I realize it's not healthy. 

Already it's the last day of September, can you believe it?!  Halloween is coming soon.  I wonder what costume Sugar Cookie wants to wear?  I can't wait until she gets old enough to say "I want to be this" and then we can put together an outfit ourselves (instead of simply buying something off the shelf). 

We survived short visits from my sister over the weekend but, boy, it was tough.  She gets more looney tunes every time I see her.  Only had to endure about 10 minutes of the beer guzzling idiot, thank you God.  They were supposed to leave for their home in Arkansas early this morning.  Which means we should be safe for another year before the next visit.  Terrible, I know, when one can only stand to be around one's own flesh and blood for the shortest of visits, but that's life. 

The big excitement around here is the release of the movie Gone Girl, filmed here, in Cape Girardeau, in September of last year.  Lots of big names in this one, with Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry.  A lot of locals were used in the movie, and an existing (empty) structure was even transformed into The Bar which Affleck's character owns. The Bar featured in the movie is supposed to open next month as a fine-dining type of restaurant.  While I avoided all of the hullabaloo surrounding the filming last year, I am eager to see Gone Girl, as I've heard the novel is a good story.  We'll see. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cooler Days

Aahh, autumn is finally here, children!  Thank goodness.  Just when I think I cannot stand one more day of heat and humidity, autumn arrives like a breath of fresh air.  I did a little bit of fall cleaning last weekend but not nearly as much as is needed.  Yes dears, I do fall cleaning, not spring cleaning.  I also wanted to dust and vacuum because my sister and her chain-smoking-beer-guzzling husband arrived in town late Monday night for a visit.  I didn't want her dropping by unannounced and seeing dust bunnies everywhere.  --Not that I've heard from her or seen her, you understand, oh no.  Heaven forbid she call her own sister to let me know they arrived safely, etc.  I guess if I really wanted to talk with her then I'd call her at the hotel, which goes to show that I really don't mind NOT hearing from her.  I'm assuming she'll come out to the farm at some point to see Sugar Cookie however knowing her, she'll just show up without warning.  Bah, enough about her.

Mr. Pale continues to be busy with the locksmith business.  Oh!  He was able to pay off the loan on one of the company vans, hoorah!   One auto loan down, one to go (company-wise, that is).  We're getting there, slowly but surely.  I'm still babysitting Sugar Cookie every weekday, collecting her from school and watching over her until her mother arrives home.  Speaking of my daughter, I think she has a new beau (he has a job!  and his own vehicle!)  but I'm not exactly sure what their status is; Mr. Pale and I haven't even met him yet.  According to her, he has asked to meet us but she's dragging feet.  (It's not like we're weirdos or anything, c'mon!)  So I think Mr. Pale and I will have to take the reins and invite the young man to dinner or something soon so we can give him the third degree. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The one where we almost bought a building

God experience:
                Recently it seemed as if Mr. Pale and I were destined to become property owners.  Mr. Pale currently rents the building where the lock shop is doing business.  He wants to move badly, to own his own piece of property.  And so he found a building for sale, good location, good structure, good price, etc.  When he asked my opinion I said if God wants us to have it then everything will fall into place and it will happen.  In private I began praying to God…Lord, if it be your will for us to have this property then open the doors that need to be opened and close the doors we don’t need to walk through.  Every day I prayed those words:  open and close those doors, Lord! 

                At first things seemed to be going our way.  Through our respective realtors, the seller agreed to owner finance us, and agreed to repair the old, leaky roof and make any other repairs we named.  Mr. Pale and I got a small personal loan from our bank, borrowed against our two paid-for vehicles, representing “earnest” money and we signed an official offer.  At every step I’m praying for God to close doors that we don’t need to walk through.  But I’m also letting God know that I believe he has our backs and that he will not allow us to come to harm in this venture. 

                After we had gone through the steps of making the official offer and getting the bank loan THEN the seller started balking.  For whatever reason, now he was not willing to repair the roof, he wanted a large balloon payment at the end of the agreed upon lease period ($60,000) and on and on.  He back pedaled but hard.  Mr. Pale said forget it, we’ll stay where we are for now, and I said thank you, Lord.  (Actually Mr. Pale used more colorful language but I’ll leave it to your imagination, dear reader, to guess what he said.) 

                Here’s the thing…every time I follow God (or at least try to do my best because, as a human, that’s all I can do) life gets easier, better, more simple.  I am not saying I do not still have struggles.  No, of course I do!  I’m simply saying my reliance on God sustains me and gives me hope. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hair post: Length

What a difference a year makes!

August last year:

August THIS year:

You'll have to excuse the bad lighting, as the bathroom at work wasn't really designed for photo shoots.  :- )   You can see my length and that's what matters.  Armpit length?  --Pretty sure. 

The one where Robin Williams killed himself

Dear Bill,
                There are people we think will live forever; Robin Williams was one of those people to me.  And so when those icons fall it strikes us hard.  We try to find out the whys, we speculate that the suicide could have been prevented IF ONLY… The truth is that the general population really does not understand depression.  It’s sort of like cancer—you can’t understand it if you haven’t gone through that experience.  I’m a bit ashamed to admit I used to think people who committed suicide were cowards who took the easy way out.  Now I know better.  After watching Sweetie shed tears of anguish from the pain caused by degenerative disc disease, I can imagine a body wanting to end that pain for good.  I can imagine coming to a point mentally, physically and emotionally where you just want it all to go away. Walk a mile. 

             About the goings-on in Ferguson/St. Louis…I haven’t said, typed, uttered or mumbled one word of opinion regarding the killings or the protests or the looting—until now.  The town of Ferguson, according to Google Maps, is exactly 129 miles from Cape Girardeau, a 2 hour-4 minute drive away from here.  And yet with all of the blood-shed and violence you’d think it was some place…well, some place other than Missouri.  I do not have a problem with (peaceful) protests in general; it’s a noble thing for folks to stand up for what they believe in.  What I do have a problem with are those idiots who take advantage of the situation to loot and steal and cause mayhem for their own sick jollies.  The point I wish everyone would keep in mind is that there are only two people who know what happened on Saturday, August the 9th and one of them is dead.

                Sugar Cookie has moved up to the 2 year old classroom at school.  Now she and her mates get to have recess on the “big kid” playground (although still separate from the older children), which means more room to run around like banshees.  Her vocabulary is increasing and she actually strings together sentences now.  I’ve gone through this before, raising my daughter, and yet it fascinates me, this blossoming of a drooling baby into an actual thinking, speaking, reasoning human being.  I look back at her baby pictures and often don’t even recognize the little girl she is today.  So many changes in only two years’ time…  What’s that old saying?  Change is the only constant in life.  *nods*  Death is a form of change, too, isn’t it now. 
Much love always.