Sunday, March 25, 2007

Procrastination and some flowers

Um, I may have been a wee bit behind on the raking part of lawn care. Maybe.

The spring I moved into this house there was a corner of my yard that was fenced off like it was meant to be a garden. I left it alone for the first year, just to see what would happen. Weeds happened. Really Big Weeds. Like over my head big.

I had a landscaper cut it all down just last fall. I even took down the little fence. Even had I intended to try an grow a garden of any kind, a foot high fence does nothing but make my dog laugh as he merrily jumps back and forth over it. So the fence went.

I tried a couple times last spring to grow some things in pots. I bought some big pots and some little pots and an array of seeds. I planted them, little green sprouts came up and then, well, they died. I was a little sad, but not too surprised. My thumb has never been accused of being green. Now, I remember taking what was left of the seed packets and scattering them in the weird little garden area. I had forgotten that until just the other day when I was out playing ball with the dog and saw a little bunch of yellow daffodils. I went over and peeked at them. They were pretty. I turned to walk away and found some little pink flowers of unknown type a few feet away. I crept away much like a parent sneaking out of a sleeping infants room. I don’t know how those flowers thrived, but they did and it made me a little happy.

So I bought a rake on my way home Friday night. The leaves had to go and the big sucker truck comes on Mondays. I also might have bought some more seeds. I might have cleaned up a spot in the weird little garden area, planted the little seeds, covered them with some miracle grow something or other and watered them a little. I might have. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I’m telling you if they sprout, there will be pictures. In the meantime, I’m going to try very hard to forget about them. It seems things do better when I ignore them. It’d be nice if this worked for credit card balances, dirty bathrooms and weight loss.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The long overdue Meme

The lovely and animal friendly Anne tagged me for a 5 things meme., like a month ago. Since I recently did a 6 weird things about me, I’ve been trying to come up with 5 really cool things to share. Upon reflection, it appears I’m not that cool, so you get this. Anne can be found by following the Queen Anne’s Revenge link in my sidebar thingie. Go visit her. She’s new and fresh and sparkly. Oh, and she knows someone named Roger Dodger. What's not to like?

1. I had a boyfriend that was competitive in sport bike motorcycle racing. He taught me to ride, found me a bike, and entered me in my first race. I raced for just over a year. My “career” came to a bitter end when he admitted he couldn’t deal with the fact that he couldn’t beat me.

2. One fourth of July I went swimming with a boyfriend in a river in West Virginia. While swimming out to some rocks mid-stream I became tangled in some fishing line and almost drowned. My boyfriend He-Man-ed me out of the water (I’ll never know how) and saved my life. Today I am still very afraid of water with current.

3. I hate U2. They have never produced a song I could stand, but I think Bono is kinda hot.

4. I am moderately obsessed with flossing my teeth.

5. I secretly and strongly dislike one of my co-workers.

There you have it, Anne, late, but done.. betcha won't make that mistake again!

Friday, March 23, 2007

What dreams may come....

In early 2004, I stopped dreaming. Or, as some of the more nit-picky people in my life insisted, I stopped remembering my dreams. There were enough big, life changing things happening in my life at that time that the disappearance of my dreams barely registered.

In late 2006 I started to wonder if I’d ever have another dream.

In early 2007 a satellite-sister who knew of my extended period of dreamlessness, made me a dream catcher. She crafted it with her own two hands, and even put beads on it to match the color of my newly painted bedroom. It is a beautiful gift. I brought it home from our weekend together and hung it on the window closest to my bed. Dreams or no, it was nice to have a reminder of this special friend so close at hand.

My dreams returned. Sometimes I only remembered fragments, sometimes they were sad dreams, but they came, and they kept coming. I’ve never been a ‘big’ dreamer; I don’t think anything I’ve ever dreamt or will dream will be the next great invention. My dreams aren’t terrifying or very remarkable in any way. They are just mine. I missed them and I was happy to have them back.

However, last night, in my dreams, I was dressed in a brightly colored unitard, a helmet and white knee-high boots, and I was running through the aisles of the local grocery store at full speed while friends and family lined the aisles trying to chuck ramen noodles into my basket. Apparently hitting me with the noodles was worth *extra* points (hence the helmet?).

I don’t want to appear ungrateful but, I think I'd like to know what my friend put on the webbing of that dream catcher.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What Roo wants, Roo gets

I was telling Tiff the other day that I envy her the ability to just sit down and write. I have to think about it, mull it over, figure out how I’m going to approach it, and then I can sit down and start the process. I could never just generate a post like her rain post from Friday.

However, I’m going to give it a shot, cuz my friend, Roo just sent me an email that said (and I quote)

“Write something. Now.”

So, um. Here goes nuthin’.
A large percentage of my friends are in the middle of some crappy life-changing things. Some I’ve dealt with in my own life, and some I haven’t but all are in their own crappy way, the SUCK.

The worst feeling in the world for me, is not being able to ‘do something’ for my friends when they are hurting.

My friend Purl, told me a heart-wrenching story the other day, about how good a friend her husband was to a friend in need. When another friend turned away from the situation because he just ‘couldn’t deal with it’ Purl’s husband quipped in disgust, “Just pick up a box”.

It seems to me, this is perfect.

As hard and sad as this may sound, more often than not, the only thing to do is get on with it. Unless you are the curl up and die, be a victim type (which absolutely none of my friends are) there’s only one way to handle the suck things in life.

Straight through it. Head up. Eyes open.

Tears, setbacks, and occasional whining are allowed. I’ve got a box of Kleenex, a pep talk and a quitcherbitchin all ready.

I am ever ready to pick up a box to help you get to the next minute, hour, day or week. There is no expiration date, and there is no limit to the number of boxes I’ll pick up for you.

One last thing.

What happens when you don’t pay your exorcist?

You get repossessed!

Yeah, really, that’s all I got.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Of puppies and sunshine

Nobody liked Plucky the hen so I guess I have to write something *real*.
Fine. What you people have against chickens is your business.

I spent the weekend working on the old homestead. My sore places have sore places. I probably succeeded at 90% of what I set out to do, so I’m calling that a win.
I have not solved the riddle of rusty-as-hell screws, but I have a handyman coming over tomorrow and hopefully he’ll be able to give me some suggestions. I actually looked it up online, and apparently coke or Tabasco sauce works, but I can’t quite figure out how to apply either substance into the screw hole-area. I’d bet my socks that they sell just such a device at Home Depot though.

Unfortunately, the sun room is on delay – I have an extra 5,000 of dental work to do, and until I pay that off, I’m not signing on any more dotted lines. I’m hoping I can give myself the sunroom for Christmas. So for those of you that wanted to come for sangria slushies in the sunroom this spring, hold that thought, and I’ll spike some eggnog for us.

In happy news, last Thursday morning 10 little puppies made their way into the world. One of which will soon enough become the newest four-legged critter in my home. I am over the moon at the prospect of pencil-eraser paw pads, frito-smelling feet and puppy breath. There will much joy in Cravey-ville on that day. Ohyestherewill.

North Carolina is busy reminding me why I love it here. Seventy degrees in March does turn this girls head, and there’s a rumor that 80 is just 48 hours away. There are flowers in bloom – some even in my own backyard, no idea how they got there, heaven help them. There some crazy-basketball thing happening down here, not being a fan of the sport, I just nod and smile when the talk to turns to it. Er, Go….Cubs?...Rams?

Things at the place of business are good. When I took this job a year ago (in May) it was a leap of faith in many ways. I really thought I’d be in it a year, and I’d be packing up and moving, probably to Austin. As things stand now, I don’t see me going anywhere.

I’m happy right where I am.
Even without a sunroom.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


I don't have much to say.
This is Plucky the chicken.
She say hi.
Me too.
Happy weekend friends.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


My Tuesday was not the stuff dreams are made of.
I was at my dentist’s office at 8 am, left at 1030; went to an oral surgeon’s office - was there for an hour, then back to my dentist’s office for another hour.




In the waiting room at the surgeon’s office I found a couple of worried looking mothers and an elderly man, also a little worried looking. Just as I got settled with a glossy magazine with some kind of sinful dessert thing on the cover, the assistant poked her head out and called for the elderly man.

Moments later an elderly lady came out and sat down next to me. She was barely settled when the girl behind the counter opened the window and addressed her, stating that her husband was concerned that she might want some water. The lady responded that yes she would like some water and caught me smiling at her. She asked me if I wanted some water too. I laughed and said No, I was fine, just thought how nice it was that her husband was worried about her being thirsty. She smiled at me and said

“Honey, that’s why I married him, he never forgets the little things”.

She got just far enough into her story for me to learn her and her husband visited Cary just after their wedding in 1961, and decided Cary was too much of a one horse town for them. As much as that amused me, knowing Cary as it is now, it's her other statement that has stayed with me all day.

The little things.

I know less than a little bit about the art of maintaining long term relationships – I’ll freely admit. Perhaps this is oversimplification. Perhaps this is just something you say to the girl in the surgeon’s waiting room reading the banana pudding recipe. I’m going to like it, no matter what the truth is. For today, I want to be na├»ve enough to blindly accept that maybe after 46 years of marriage it really is about making sure your wife has a glass of water, because you had a long car drive early in the morning before your doctor’s appointments.

I’ll go back to cynical and skeptical tomorrow. It can wait a day.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

1, 2, 3, Jump.... No. Wait.

I was going to jump out of an airplane yesterday.

Something about the temperatures at jump altitude kept me grounded, but I was going until I got that call.

When I started making the plans I picked March 3rd as the day. It would have been brother Mark’s 51st birthday. He and I used to have dinner and call each other old on our birthdays. The last three without him have been decidedly less celebratory.

I wanted to celebrate this year.

Skydiving is not something my brother would have done. I’m fairly certain he would have found colorful ways to call me an idiot for doing it. You see, when he died I told myself I wouldn’t mark the anniversaries - I didn’t want to be one of those people that said things like “four years ago today…” yet, without fail, the day he died, his birthday, and my birthday seem to glow like heated iron off the calendar pages.

The skydiving was about me. Sometime just recently I’ve had the realization that there is cause to celebrate the life I have left ahead of me, the rest of my life, without him. That was a hard realization to swallow. Never mind that making his birthday about me made me sound like an unbelievable narcissist.

Mark was a teacher and a poet, and he was often asked to read at weddings or other important public gatherings, he had the gift of fitting profound feelings into just a few lines. Mark joked that he kept those poems brief because he wanted to get out of the church before god realized who was in his house. I don’t have his gift. I wish I did. In my life extreme emotion has always been answered with physical exertion. I think skydiving will be my poem to him about how grateful I am to have been loved by such a great man. It will be about gratitude and letting go of the bottomless pit of hurt and sadness and about hanging on to the best parts of him; the lessons he taught me about everything from Geometry to our own family history.

No, that wasn’t a tense error. I’m still going to jump.

Maybe I'll think of my own colorful ways to call myself an idiot on the way down.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Lights are on....

Um, yeah, I have noticed that I haven’t been writing but thanks to those of you who pointed it out.

Since I obviously need to write about something; here’s my note to the teacher begging an excused absence.

I have been work-busy, but it’s been good busy, the kind that makes me feel almost competent. Yeah, I know it surprises the crap out of me too. For the record people, Corporate Tiff has made an appearance or two, but mostly it’s regular, funny, coffee-swilling Tiff I see and occasionally work out with. That project she’s in charge of is uber-ugly and seems to have a blood supply of it’s own, because it appears to be getting bigger/uglier on a weekly basis. It’s like a Little Shop of Horrors without Steve Martin and all the cool songs; which pretty much means it sucks. HARD.

At home I’ve had a plethora of work-getting-ready-to-get done. Or as my old boss used to say “I’m getting ready to get busy”.. the impending arrival of my puppy has inspired a flurry of activity around the old homestead. I think when women are pregnant they refer to this as ‘nesting’ so if it’s not too weird to be doing that for a puppy arrival, I’m nesting - and if it is too weird - you name it.

I have a bunch of “little” jobs (read: shit I cant’ do because I don’t own things called “stud finder” or“dry wall anchors”) and I don’t have the foggiest idea how to hang a new storm door without chopping off my hand or the head of my dog, or dig a hole in my back yard (that’s right I can’t dig a hole, apparently there are roughly a bskillion different kinds of SHOVELS and I bought the wrong ones, so after 10 minutes of trying to dig a hole I decided that somewhere there had to someone I could PAY for this task) that a wonderful handyman is doing for me. Just as soon as I buy the new door and pay the man.

I’m also finally going to get around to painting my bathroom – I painted the master bedroom over the Thanksgiving holiday and it’s high time the bathroom matched – especially since the color in there now is like, hmm.. pea soup? which is fine for say, pea soup, but not for a bathroom. Well, at least not my bathroom.

To top things off, I’ve been feeling more than a little unwell. Unwell enough that I finally made an appointment to see my doctor. Who, when I told her my plethora of symptoms and the duration she got all doctor-y and sent me off for x-rays and blood tests, handing me prescriptions for sleeping pills and things. This is not the response I wanted. I was hoping more for a pat on the head and some dismissive doctor talk about sleep and maybe vitamins or something.. So, almost a week later, I’m waiting for test results. If she thought I wasn’t sleeping well before she should check out my sleep patterns now.

There you have it. My, I’m too distracted to sit down and type excuses. Pretty lame, I know, but you are dealing with the newly, and potentially chronically sleep-deprived. This was fun when I was in college, now, not so much.

Sooner or later, I’ll get re-focused and maybe even have a creative thought.

For now, I gotta get my Bob Vila on and get some sleep and not necessarily in that order.