Saturday, May 31, 2008

saturday morning poetry

I went on an early morning bike ride today (and had my camera along). It was a beautiful, 'picture perfect' kind of day. In fact, it stirred my inner poet. However, the words don't quite seem to be falling into place...

Attempt #1:

Birdie, Birdie on the bench
Oblivious to the Longview stench...

(You see, Longview has mills so it's sometimes smelly here, but mentioning that probably doesn't help convey the right message.)

Attempt #2:

Geese and duckies by the lake
Waiting for our next earthquake...

(Yeah, we're kind of in an earthquake zone, but mentioning that sort of comes off negative, don't you think?)

Attempt #3:

Llama, llama, eating grass
You sure have a funny a$$...

Hmmm, falling short there too. Sigh. Let me get back to you on the poetry thing.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

summer meme

That fun-lovin' Presbyterian Gal tagged me for a meme. So here I go!

1.) What first tells you that summer is here?
It's when my Tevas start to beg me: "Wear us to work! Wear us to work!"

2.) Name five of your favorite distinctively summer habits or customs.
* Wearing my Tevas to work (you knew that was coming)
* Backyard BBQ's
* Camping trips
* Summer concerts at the lake
* Making salads with lettuce, tomatoes, etc. from our garden

3.) What is your favorite smell of summer?
Freshly cut grass (since I have no allergies)

4.) What is your favorite taste of summer?
I enjoy eating hotdogs and drinking rootbeer floats over at Presbyterian Gal's. Yep, that tradition goes waaaaaay back:

5.) Favorite summer memory?
Any of our family summer vacations would qualify here!

6.) Extreme heat or extreme cold? Which would you choose and why?
If I had to pick one, I'd rather be cold than hot. (Because you can dress for the cold...)

7.) What books do you plan to read for the season?
Right now I'm reading Julie Andrews' Home: A Memoir of My Early Years which was a gift from Offsprings #1 & #2. After I finish that, I'm open to suggestions!

8.) How does the summer affect your faith? Is it a hindrance or an ally?
Hmmm... the only thing that comes to mind is that a rip-roaring good thunderstorm somehow seems to make me feel more 'connected'. I'm sure it's that whole nature/faith thing for me. (Unfortunately thunderstorms are rare here.)

I'll tag:
Processing Counselor
Dust Bunny

...if'n they want to play

Monday, May 26, 2008

The "Oddly Familiar" Meme

Both Jan and Ruth tagged me for this meme, so I guess I better put on my thinking cap and finally get to it!

blah blah blah, I'm not posting them! :)

Ten years ago:
Hubby and I were working at the same clinic we're both at today (we know how to hang in there!) Offsprings #1 & 2 were ages 11 and 9 respectively. As it was nearing the end of May, I'm sure we were planning a summer vacation. (Hubby the historian would remember where we went 10 years ago, but he is taking a nap right now so it will have to remain a mystery.)

Five things on today's "to do" list:
Since the day is winding down, I'll make this about tomorrow.
* Meet Dust Bunny for toast and coffee at the Red Rooster Bakery before work
* Go to work; check many eyeballs
* Go on a bike ride after work
* Throw together some sort of dinner with whatever I find in the refrigerator
* Water the garden after dinner (unless it has rained, then I will simply admire the garden)

Things I'd do if I was a billionaire:
* Open a Dairy Queen in Artas, South Dakota because it would perk up the few residents who live there.
* Make generous donations to live theatre and live music programs because that would perk up Offsprings #1 and #2.
* Give Rev SS a really, really nice gift, even though she didn't give me one when she was a billionaire.
* Get help to figure out the best way to make a difference in the world with that kind of money (because obviously I'd need help if I'm opening DQ's in towns of 13 people.)

Three bad habits:
* Trying to please all of the people all of the time
* Buying too many books instead of using the library
* Letting the mail stack up on the kitchen counter (and unopened if it looks boring)

Five places I've lived:
Bad Kreuznach, Germany (for 6 weeks!)
Ashley, North Dakota
Helena, Montana
Forest Grove, Oregon
Loveland, Colorado

Five jobs I've had:
* Clerk at our family drug store (however, this was more play than work)
* Directory Assistance Operator (summer job during college)
* State of Montana Water Quality Lab technician (another summer job during college)
* State of Montana "Hydrologic Engineer" (yet another summer job during college)
* Optometrist

People I'm tagging:
YOU if you haven't played yet!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

checking in from the road...

Hubby and I are in Bellingham this weekend visiting Offsprings #1&2. Hanging out with Offspring #2 this morning. Last night we saw Offspring #1 in Shakespeare's Macbeth. She was the Third Witch -- and darn spooky/scary I might add. The play was done in an outdoor courtyard, and the setting was "a post apocalyptic Scotland". It was an ambitious undertaking and the cast and crew did a great job. I wish I knew my Macbeth better -- I should have read the "No Fear Shakespeare" version before attending it. Oh well!

I was sneaky and took a (non-flash) picture of Offspring #1:

I could explain why she is positioned there, but gotta dash to brunch now...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

another ride... another sign

I took my bike for a spin early this evening (it was gray, windy, and cold by the way!) and rode by a church with this sign:

Now I have a good idea of what to expect at the 8:30 traditional service. And I pretty much know what the 9:45 contemporary service would be like too. Of course the Korean Church is self-explanatory.

But the 11:15 "Next Generation" service? You got me there. My first thought was that it is for people like this:

Any other ideas?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

as seen on today's bike ride...

It strikes me as a bit cheesy, but I guess somebody is trying to be eye-catching. I can't help but wonder if this might start a competition with church signs using the cell phone theme.

The Episcopal church might go with: God: Is He in Your MyFaves?

The sign on the Baptist church could read: Jesus: He'll Never Stop Working for You.

The Presbyterians (who love potlucks) might use: More Bars in More Places (and hope that people make the connection with dessert bars)

Hmm... On second thought, I think it will just stop with the Lutherans.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

type two posts and call me in the morning...

Good news fellow bloggers -- blogging is good for your health! The June '08 issue of Scientific American has a short article about the therapeutic value of blogging/writing. Besides serving as a stress-coping mechanism (and who couldn't use that?!), research shows that it "improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity...and even speeds healing after surgery." Whoa!

Now scientists are starting to explore the neurological basis for these positive effects by using tools such as brain-imaging techniques. (There are likely a cluster of neurological pathways, but since the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain govern speech, they would certainly have to figure into the picture.)

Of course one can go overboard with the writing/blogging, and there are people who do it compulsively. Hypergraphia is an uncontrollable urge to write. I don't have that... although I might have hyperphotoshoppia, the uncontrollable urge to photoshop Presbyterian Gal's face onto any possible picture.

The article ends by noting blogging's added benefit of "receptive readers in similar situations". One researcher writes: "Individuals are connecting to one another and witnessing each other's expressions--the basis for forming a community."

Good stuff! Now excuse me while I go work on another picture of presbygal...

credits: shakespeare blogging picture found at 'emergingwriter.blogspot' via google

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Five: Grand Tour

This week's Friday Five is all about traveling. And here we go!

Name five places that fall into the following categories:

1) Favorite Destination -- someplace you've visited once or often and would gladly go again
It's a tie between the total opposites New York City and North Dakota! NYC because it is jam-packed with things to do (museums! theatre! restaurants!) and ND because it is not. My soul sometimes needs to breathe in the wide open spaces.

2) Unfavorite Destination -- someplace you wish you had never been (and why)
This is difficult because I'm usually a happy camper wherever I go. We were in Florida once when it was 1000 degrees and 1000% humidity so that might have come close...although I'm still glad we went.

3) Fantasy Destination -- someplace to visit if cost and/or time did not matter
Hmm... I think New Zealand might be fun.

4) Fictional Destination -- someplace from a book or movie or other art or media form you would love to visit, although it exists only in imagination
I would visit the Ewoks in the forest moon of Endor (yep--Star Wars).

5) Funny Destination -- the funniest place name you've ever visited or want to visit
Boring, Oregon! Guess they weren't thinking about attracting tourists when they named it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

needing new wheels

I took my bike in for a tune up last week and got "the call" a couple of days later. It seems there is quite a lot wrong with it -- just about everything except for the frame needs replacing! I wasn't totally surprised. I've had the bike a long time, put a lot of miles on it, and it wasn't an expensive bike when I originally bought it. (I should also mention the owner of this bike shop is very honest and reliable.) So... in terms of money, it actually makes more sense to get a new one.

I've started looking a bit at new bikes. I sort of have myself pictured this way:

Yet, the sales people keep showing me bikes like this...

and/or this...

I mean, really -- What's up with that?!

Monday, May 12, 2008

the little garden that could

It's time to plant in our little backyard garden again. It might be because of my Dakota roots (that's my grandma's old chicken coop & chickens) that I really enjoy having a garden -- especially because Hubby does about 95% of the work in it. :) We mostly have tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and peppers.

(photo of Hubby in goofy hat was taken a couple of years ago)

As you can see, our garden is small, but from what I've been reading it sounds like small is better than nuthin'. Check out food routes and local harvest. Here's what I've learned:

Yikes! #1:
Only about 10% of the fossil fuel energy used in the world's food system is used in production; the other 90% goes into packaging, transportation, and marketing. 90%?! Aaaargh!

Yikes! #2:
Most produce in the U.S. is picked 4 to 7 days before being placed on supermarket shelves, and is shipped for an average of 1500 miles before being sold. And this is when taking into account only U.S. grown products! Those distances are substantially longer when we take into consideration produce imported from Mexico, Asia, Canada, and South America.

Yikes! #3:
Only 18 cents of every dollar, when buying at a large supermarket, go to the grower. 82 cents go to various unnecessary middlemen.

So I have renewed respect for our little garden. And I'm going to make more of an effort to buy locally grown food whenever possible. Not only is it better for the environment and local community, but the food should be fresher and tastier too.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

m day recap

I always thought Mother's Day was simply about cards and flowers for moms. (Witness the above card I made during elementary school back in the 60's.) This weekend I attended a play with Offspring #1 called Found Peace and learned more about the origins of the day. According to information on the program...

"The first North American Mothers' Day was conceptualized with Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870. Despite having penned The Battle Hymn of the Republic 12 years earlier, Howe had become so distraught by the death and carnage of the Civil War that she called on mothers to come together and protest what she saw as the futility of their sons killing the sons of other mothers. With the Proclamation she called for an international Mother's Day celebrating peace and motherhood." (Actually you can read Howe's Proclamation over at Processing Counselor's.)

The play was a collection of scenes dealing with the futility of war and the power of words to create healing and peace. My favorite scene was entitled "Letters Home" which was crafted from real letters from an American soldier in Iraq. Giving these letters an actual face and voice "brought the message home" in a powerful way.

Offspring #2 isn't a theatre-going kind of guy, so we bonded later over Really Big Burritos:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

about the new blog header...

Woo hoo! I'm excited about my spiffy new blog header! It's original art by Julie R. Neidlinger at

I first discovered loneprairie when I was googling North Dakota things. (OK, there probably aren't a whole lot of people who google North Dakota, but I grew up there and like to 'check in' from time to time.) Anyway, her art caught my eye (she works in a variety of mediums), and around Christmas time I ended up buying some very cool cat plushies for Offsprings #1 and #2. Later I found out she does blog headers... and here we are.

So that's the scoop on my new blog header. Did I mention I think it's spiffy??

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

fashion faux pas

Well, things are winding down with the primaries. I wish my pal Hillary had done a little better. But it's not really her fault:

That's right. She was a victim of circus pants.

Actually I had a pair of craaazy striped bell bottoms in the 70's. So I feel her pain.

photo from here

Sunday, May 4, 2008

sunday night p.s.

I saw a cute movie this weekend, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. IMDb (Internet Movie Database) sums it up nicely:
Guinevere Pettigrew, a middle-aged London governess, finds herself unfairly dismissed from her job. An attempt to gain new employment catapults her into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse.

Of course much wackiness ensues. The film takes place in 1939; Frances McDormand plays Pettigrew and Amy Adams plays Lafosse.

I'm hoping there will be a sequel. If McDormand and Adams are busy, I know who can rise to the occasion:

OK, I promise to stop 'photoshopping' for a while... Really.

the plot thickens...

OK, Hot Cup has a point (see previous post and comments). Nutty McSquirrel does look uncannily like Mr. Peanut...

However, if Mr. Peanut is indeed considering a lawsuit, he might want to think twice about being in the same courtroom as Nutty McSquirrel. I think the temptation to eat Mr. Peanut might prove too great for Nutty.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Nutty McSighting

I went on a misty morning bike ride around the lake and came across my old friend Nutty McSquirrel! For those of you following the saga of Nutty, I am happy to report he still has his sweetie (pictured below):

However, I looked inside the big hole in their tree and sadly found that the "cupboard was bare". Things are looking up though! The ever resilient and creative Nutty has taken to dancing for peanuts:

I think donations will be rolling in soon. I mean, who could resist Nutty with his little top hat and cane?

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Did I mention they just rolled out an updated version of our electronic charting software at the clinic?

Here's me this week (which is why I haven't blogged)...

I'm hoping the software and I will become friends later. But we're not off to the best start.

pic from here