Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dewdrops, Cobwebs, Bluebells, and Bees


Last Saturday morning I took a walk in the woods near our house.














I tasted some wet spider webs, but the dewdrops and cobwebs quickly gave way to the sunshine and flowers.










This is my favorite time to go to the woods. Last year's undergrowth has been flattened, and this year's is beginning to burst forth.








Virginia Bluebells top the new growth.












I saw my first bumblebee of the year.

Monday, April 14, 2008

on Twilight

My friend Rachel saw on facebook that I was reading Twilight, and she asked me what I thought of it. Here's my answer, slightly edited:

I just finished it last night because I couldn't sleep. Probably because I wanted to finish it. I read it because Mo read it because all the teenage girls are reading it. I think she and half the girls she knows are 'in love with Edward'. I was sort of uncomfortable with the whole vampire theme before I read it, but it was an interesting twist on vampires. It was well written and enjoyable, but I can't say that I need to read any more of the series. I do want to know what happens, but I would be ok with someone just telling me. I found Bella annoying, maybe a bit too believable. Maybe that's why I don't care to read the rest. I wish she was not so compelled just by the beauty and attraction of him, that she had more of a moral struggle about becoming a vampire herself. I guess because I have teenagers, I kept thinking about how much impulses and appearances can dictate life choices, and I was hoping she would not choose what it looks like she is going to choose.

I can't stop there. As usual, the researcher in me has awakened. I decided to read the link above, and found a kindred spirit in Stephenie Meyer, even if her mom or her agent spelled her name the wrong way. She dreams books! She Googles! She's too busy!

Now I probably have to read the rest of the series. Rachel, don't tell me after all.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

the arms of America

The gas light came on earlier when I was on my way to pick Mo up after a sleepover. I knew it was coming, and I had planned fill 'er up after I picked her up.

Today is a gorgeous spring day. Everyone is out, and lots of people needed to fill their tanks too. I remembered not to pull up to the end pumps. They're diesel. I was pretty proud of myself, and Mo was too. I pulled in front of one of the middle pumps and observed. Normally, I'm not too much of a people watcher at the gas station, but today was interesting. I had extra time to observe because I read somewhere this week that if you pump at a slower rate, you actually get a better deal on gas. Not sure if that's true, but I wasn't in a hurry anyway.

The 50ish woman with the Lexus SUV and very dark hair finished up and drove away. A big black truck pulled up to the other side of my pump, the driver jumped out and left his door open. I was treated to a song I've never heard before, Willie Nelson For President. While listening, I watched a dignified older man with white hair get out of his sedan to fill his tank. I was fascinated by the pressed creases in his blue jeans. I was also fascinated by the ring of blue boxers around the top of the ripped jeans the teenager was wearing to my right. He had a silver sports car with bumper stickers: Born to Grind and Suicidal Tendencies. His three friends had also gotten out of the car. Two of them were on cell phones and one was sipping from a water bottle. The guy who will be voting for Willie next November and the Suicidal Grinder both washed their windshields as my pump ticked on. Then Willie's vote got back in the truck and drove away, so I didn't get to hear the part of the song where those of us who don't plan to vote for Willie are all invited by Chris, Waylon, and Johnny Cash to pucker up and kiss...um, you know. The bald guy in the white car backed in to use the pump in front of me as I finished and waited for my receipt. I didn't look at the total, because I didn't want to know. I had to back out because there was no room to pull forward between the bald guy and the Suicidal Grinder's friends. The guy to the far right was talking. Mo and I were hoping he had a bluetooth in the right ear. If he didn't, he was just talking to himself and it looked like a pretty animated conversation. As we pulled past the end pumps, I wondered if Mercedes makes a diesel SUV. If not, that lady learned today what I learned last week. I waited for the truck loaded with hay bales to go by and pulled in to traffic. As I did, I could almost hear a part of a song I haven't heard in years. It was screechy, discordant guitars and Bono saying "into the arms of America".

"America seems to be everything that's great about the world, and everything that's terrible about the world all rolled into one. That's what 'Bullet the Blue Sky' is all about." -- Bono, 1987

I don't know what all that means. It was just a strange experience that I guess I may or may not figure out later. Right now my family needs to eat, so I must go before the bullets fly.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Some Froggy Memories

This morning I remembered two things the girls said when they were little, and since it's been a while since the last 'sclamations, I thought I'd add these.

One of their favorite videos was one particular episode of Fraggle Rock. Only someone couldn't say Fraggle Rock. She said "Big Ol' Frog". We spent quite a few hours with Big Ol' Frog. I thought that was Mo's 'sclamation, but she thinks it was El's. I don't care whose it is...it's...ours.

Sometime during the Big Ol' Frog Era, Mo started noticing the weather. We had quite a few foggy mornings that year in Utah. Imagine her little blondness climbing up onto her chair and settling in for breakfast.

"It's coggy!"

Another day, another breakfast.

"It's hoggy!"

And last, but not least.

"It's froggy!"

Ah, the good old days. Now I'm getting older and can't remember words I used to know. This morning I picked up some dog hair and said, 'Ew, a clump of hog dare!" My 'sclamations aren't nearly as cute as theirs were.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

if you treat people right

Our mornings usually begin with a little something from NPR. I don't usually choose to listen to NPR in the daytime, but I like it much better as my morning wake up than monotonous beeping. Or shock jockeys. Or music.

I'm not an easy person to awaken. Steve will testify. Usually he leaves the alarm on when he gets up, and sometimes it takes me ten or fifteen minutes to hear what is being said. I am more in tune with the shower turning off, because that is my signal to get up and get moving. The radio just happens to be background noise. It's a good excuse to procrastinate a little longer. Occasionally, I am really interested in what I am listening to (when I finally become conscious of my sense of hearing), so I must not move or I will miss some words.

Lately I've heard about the housing crisis and the endless primaries. On Sundays it's a local show called Voices in the Family that has some interesting topics of discussion.

Morning Edition is what is usually on when Steve gets up. I had to look at NPR's website to be sure. I like the variety of topics discussed. But my favorite thing to hear is the oral history of StoryCorps. Apparently that's only on Fridays, but I didn't know that until just now when I was trying to track down all this foggy morning information. I would prefer to hear less news and more oral history. I might wake up faster. Some of the stories are sad, but even in the sadness there is often humor and hope. Last week, there was a hero, Julio Diaz.

Stop now and listen.

I was so amazed by his simple story, I told Mo about it when I was driving her to school. I was still thinking about it a couple of days later, so I found the link above and listened again. I left it up and found El reading it later.

It sure is a lot easier to treat people right when you love them. When you can get something in return. When they are nice to you.

Do I treat people right when they have wronged me, when they have nothing to offer, or when it's a risk?

Do you?