Thursday, December 31, 2009

much to long to bother reading

I am old. I know it. I have know it. I've know it for a long time now. As James Barrie puts it,

"All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, "Oh, why can't you remain like this for ever!" This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end."

I don't remember knowing then, but it is not so much farther along that I began to realize it. It starts I think, with the subconscious switch in the perception of time. For a child an hour is eternity to wait, a day is cruel and unusual punishment, and a week, well a week is a lifetime for a child. The time stretches and is visible to children -- eternity is palpable. Like a fence seen from a child's low-to-the-ground view, it runs along unending in their sight, the far side a mystery, barely contemplatible let alone comprehensible. But they would never guess, that only a little higher up a grown can see the fence -- beginning, middle, and end -- from a little higher up the world is altogether unremarkable, unmysterious.
Time too, changes from a higher view. It no longer stretches, but flows now like a river. A casual observer might think that the same waters lingers between the banks, but a keen eye observes that the water rushes by all too fast, it is just that most water is the same. Unremarkably similar, only a passing branch, a leaping fish can make the water of a river distinct and noticeable. And only some cataclysmic event can slow or forestall the passage of time.

Just nap for an hour
the mother said
an hour and then you can play.
An hour! An hour!the child cried
it might as well be a day.

Just wait another month
the father said
A month and then you can drive.
A month! A month!said the teen
it might as well be five.

Just another year
the professor said
a year and you'll have your degree.
A year! A year!the youth sighed
it might be the end of me.

Forever the man said
forever I'll be with you.
Forever! Forever!the woman smiled
that's long enough if its true.

A lifetime
the grandmother crooned
A lifetime is yours now to spend
A lifetime! A lifetime.
Which is not very long in the end.
~~~
But it is not only the different view of time that separate the old from the young, it is the difference of experience. Sometimes it is the simplest of matter that draw our attention. Change in its creeping forms. Gas prices rise. Stamps cost more. A shift from longing to run the money in at the gas station, to loathing. For some we go from spending to earning. Paying bills rather than playing office with them. The mirror is a tool not a toy, preparing us for the day. Little cares, we begin to pick up. Responsibilities gained one at a time. Grabbed with joy, until one day we find our hand are full,our back is aching, and there is a long path in front that promises only more to hold.

One day we wake up, and we realize that all our childhood we thought we were living life. Now we seen that life is up ahead and we have been and are preparing to live it. School a first job a better job, a car, a phone. The prerequisites of living they seem at the time. And onward we slog, aware now that time flows, nae rushes around our ankles, and if we slip we will be drug farther along than we care to go. Sometime we fight the current, sometimes we wade to shore for a moment, then back in and down river we go.

Spring and Fall: to a Young Child
Gerald Manley Hopkins

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?

Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.

Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:

It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
~~~

I know now, that I am old. I see time passing much to quickly around me. I see that scourge, the inevitable Change, around me daily. I work for the day when I may begin to live. I feel the press of rushing water.

But I live in hope, that one day I shall awake again and this time find that I am beyond old. I will know then perhaps that living is what I have been doing my whole life, that preparation can never prepare you, that time is a river along which the wise will float slowly down, and that age is irrelevant. Yes, I will once more taste eternity, a real and yet mysterious fact.

I use to take the wooded lane
and walk among the grass
unbothered by the cares of time
the hours slowly passed
But now I walk around the woods
As quickly on my way
I go on with the cares of life
Through the quickly passing day
Yet still I glance into the trees
And wonder,wonder, why
It seems that there among the shade
Life is passing by.
~~~

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday crunch

Guess what! I just remembered the most fascinating bit of information. . . . I have a blog! No really, I forgot. It was that holiday crunch I suppose. No not the shopping I had that done weeks ago. And the wrapping too.

It was the, " last-min-baking-cookies-without-any-baking-soda-so-they-are-hard-as-rocks-my-fingers-are-green-from-helping-Letha-make-a-Christmas-tree-for-her-littlest- pet-shop-creatures-(never hold while the ten year old paints)-oh-no-everyone-else-sent-cards-and-I-didn't-who-should-I-call-and-who-don't-I-care-enough-to-bother-with-I-wish-I-didn't-work-so-much- Why-can't-the-hospital-be-closed-on-Christmas-(God would heal everyone I bet)-sleeping-in-till-eleven-doesn't-count-if-you-don't-go-to-bed-till-three-I-have-eaten-nothing-but-sugar-since-last-Friday-yeah-freezing-rain," kind of feeling that got me I think.

But tomorrow is Christmas, my favorite holiday ever, and I will feel better soon. Just as soon as I am homeward bound in my lovely, Jeep. Brr. (love you anyway Jake)

PS - Jake is the Jeep
PPS - All my friends were naming their cars so I named mine to
PPPS - Just in case your wondering, if all my friends jumped off a bridge I would gage the depth of the water, height of the bridge, and estimate the speed of the current before jumping in. But then I would jump in regardless. (hey they're my friends!)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

take that mr grinch

My Christmas tree is up. My decorations are in place. My shopping is done. My wrapping too. I have my Christmas music out, and the radio is playing it too. Snow flurries are in the forecast and all in all,

It's beginning to look A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS!!!!

Tis the season
Tis my favorite holiday season.
Tis the only time you can get away with saying Tis.

Till later.
Me

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

status update

Nichole is. . .

-wishing her nose were detachable
-in love with cranberry juice
-in a fog
-contemplating skipping class and calling off work tomorrow
-five foot six inches tall
-halfway done Christmas shopping
-in need of jeep repairs
-ready to decorate for Christmas
-thinking of moving to Florida and marrying a 92 year old millionaire
-tired of the routine
-moving to California! jk
-updating her status
-without a facebook
-done with this post.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

what can I say? life happens

My life is still random. randomly random. So here goes,

I am . . . still trying to find a word that sufficiently describes the way I feel about school. I have six classes. I have the homework done through this week in three of them. But I do have a three day weekend coming up so maybe I'll get caught up. Maybe.

I continue to work more than I like, but when bills come due it seems like less than I should. Alas is there ever a happy medium in life outside of Madeleine L'engle books? I see strange things daily (everywhere but mostly at work) I try to think about them in context with my studies, Hermeneutics, Philosophy, Christian Beliefs, and I am constantly boggled. Where do people get there ideas from?

I saw a fellow with a tattoo the other day which read, "Oh death where is thy sting, Oh life where is thy victory" How is that for living with constant depression? ink it into your skin. I don't understand why people do the things they do, like stabbing a ninety-plus year old women. Why? but then, no one else I work with understood that either. They think that whoever did that is definitely going to Hell. (not the time I suppose to suggest a little self examination, but if not then, when?)

My pts are alternatively crazy, whinny, and genuinely sick. The only time they'll talk to me is when their crazy. The only time the tell me the truth is when their genuinely sick, and when their whinny, well, they talk at me, and they order me, and the beg me for everything from pillows to pain pills, neither of which am I permitted to give them (tech, I could get them a pillow but I have to check with the nurse. We don't like to make certain pts too comfortable, namely the ones who think our door reads "University Hotel")

I have a long list of things to accomplish tomorrow, and am praying fervently for a certain item on that list which I will not disclose here and thereby jink it. If it happens, I will announce it. Family - keep your mouth shut and your comments off my blog :)

Shout out to John Todd for tinkering on my Jeep. A Jeep which now that I think about it I have never told blog-world about. It is a 91 white Jeep Wrangler, Islander. Ask me no more than this because I know no more than this, except the fact that it is my first car. Yeah! (confetti) Again, I will probably not post pictures of it. But thanks to a little tinkering it seems to be running fine. Though doubtlessly repairs and body work are in the near future.

I find that I run out of things that I can actually post on blogspot. Is it not grand how the ego can think that weeks worth of life has happened, yet the mind can squash it down to a few blips of data, yet the psyche wonders whether all the life lived can really be so condensed into such strict categories, yet the philosopher wonders whether life was lived, or just survived. Well I'll stop now. I really should study more in my classes, maybe then I could tell if what I just wrote made any sense.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

death's angel

Today I watch the man they call the Angel of Death as he walked family back and forth to our tiny viewing room. No doors or windows in this room, it used to be a storage closet I think, so only two or three (if their skinny or close) can fit in at a time.

Today they came to see a young man who,had he lived to the end of this month, would have been Thirty. I thought how coincidental it was that my birthday is this month to.

He had lots of family, all crying. So the Angel walked back and forth for hours. They always go past my little corner, so I watch as they go in -crying, but determined. One mutter quietly to no one as she past, "maybe if we put the oxygen back on he'll come back". Then twenty min. or so later they file past again. Still crying, but now they just look hopeless.
The first stage of grief- denial is shattered here.

I think to myself of Dr. Brown telling the class that we don't deserve to live, that life is a gift of God. We don't deserve to be healthy, have eyesight, walk, speak, be happy. These are gifts from God. It's not something to tell the mourning, but something for the living to think on.
What if. It is a great question. What if this, What if that. It could have been me, you think. It could have been my friend.

"I called him everyday" said one girl as she walked out. What is she thinking? I bet it's not about how many min, she'll save. But rather, what will she do with those min, now.

The Angel of Death walks the floor most nights here, sometime we manage to ward him off, sometimes we transfer the pt before that inevitable event and he walks on another floor. But he has job security that's for sure. A living reminder of dying. What does he think of this nick-name I wonder? Does he go home and ponder the brevity of life? He does not seem the brooding type.

I will end my meandering thoughts now, and walk into the autumn night, the cool breeze fills me with a sense of life all around. I will thank God for his great gifts to me, so undeserving, and ask him, if it is not contradictory to his plan, to bless yet awhile longer.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

a challenge to your intellect

Use as many of the words below as you can to form one sensible sentence.
-You can change the tense
-Use the definition provided (I realize some words have more than one definition)
*definitions provided from dictionary.com

Memorandum - a short note designating something to be remembered

Quorum - the number of members of a group or organization required to be present to transact business legally, usually a majority

Copious - large in quantity or number; abundant; plentiful

Gregarious - Seeking and enjoying the company of others; sociable

Tantamount - equivalent, as in value, force, effect, or signification

Exquisite - of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence,

Enigma - a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation

Transcendental - Super-eminent; surpassing others; as, transcendental being or qualities.

Mauve - a pale bluish purple

Edifice - a building, esp. one of large size or imposing appearance.

Backgammon - a game for two persons played on a board having two tables or parts, each marked with 12 points, and with both players having 15 pieces that are moved in accordance with throws of the dice.

My attempt.
-We received a mauve colored memorandum that urged everyone to attend the meeting due to the copious numbers needed to meet the quorum, especially since many gregarious members would be attending the backgammon tournament in the exquisite edifice next door.

8 for me. Can you do better?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

this n that

Isn't that some kind of candy?

Well I have once again survived my annual flu-something. I did miss my one Friday class and call off work, and hack and cough for several days in the process, but other than a slight tickle, I think I'm over it.

Letha's cat Maggie had a litter of kittens of which four initially survived, but now one (the one I named, my favorite, and of course the unlucky solid black one) looks like runt-of-the-litter syndrome has kicked in and I doubt he'll make it. The others are all tortoise shell in pattern, and I have promised Dakota that I would keep one for him, the little female he named Snickerfritz. The other two, one male one female, Letha named Romeo and Juliet. Soooo. . . if you know anyone who's looking for a kitten or two, call me.

Homework is piling up, and I am falling further behind. I mark every day I have off as a catch-up day, and then proceed in not-catching-up. I need sleep, and a week's break. Already.

But I do love all my classes.

My rooster, who discovered the secret of the crow, annoyed the neighbourhood, and began attacking small children (well actually anyone. And buckets. And Baskets. Skirts too) is no longer with us. All I can say is that we did not eat him. But the nine hens continue to do well, in fact I practically have eggs coming out my ears! Gathered another 14 this morning. Hmmmm 9 hens 14 eggs - it would seem I have some over-achievers in my flock.

Goggles grows more annoying every night, sitting on my face and digging her claws into my quilt. I now sleep with a squirt bottle of water to get rid of her. Oliver too, grow bolder. I actually waked across the floor and out of the room the other day without him running terrified from the room. Amazing!

I know. I'm weird. My animals are weird. And my neighbors hate me.

Other than that, lets see,

All my text books finally arrived, three weeks into school. I have begun making quite a stir when I walk into class and pull out my massive KJV loose-leaf Bible. But hey, I can attach full size pages of notes, write books in the margins, and add in all the book-specific lecture notes right into the book! I love it!

I can feel the Autumn season set in, and feel the Christmas season growing closer. So begins my favorite time of the year. I begin playing Christmas music, planning my Christmas party, finishing shopping (started in July this year). But on my next day off, Sat. I plan to break out the fall decorations. Yes it's the most wonderful time of the year.

Friday, August 28, 2009

munching

my way through homework. A bite of text book here, a portion of scripture there, full serving of syllabus all around. My favorite flavor so far? A.W. Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy. I will admit, at first I just read it because it had an unexpectedly cool cover. But I really love it! I have to go slow, and I look like a severely handicapped person as I sit around campus mouthing the words to myself and then staring off into space trying to figure out their meaning. But I really do love it.
That's all for this post, I have lots to eat my way through before Monday.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

the postman knows my name

because I ordered my school books from Amazon, which means I receive two packages a day. He thanks me for ensuring job-security.

Have stuck to my book ban on non-curricular reading. Have finished my first textbook. (Bruchko and the Motilone Miracle, hardly qualifies as textbook.)

Really hungry for breakfast food. Contemplating fixing a breakfast casserole when I get home. Found a few yummy looking recipes tonight.

Have to go register pt now. Been great almost talking to you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

scattered thought (the only kind I think)

~I've had some lines from the old Disney Beauty and the Beast stuck in my head lately. "LeFou, I'm afraid I've been thinking" "A dangerous pastime" "I know."

~I have declared yesterday the first unofficial day of fall. I do this when the end of the year approaches and the weather turns cooler and the first few trees start changing or shedding. I love Autumn and it makes me happy to think it's coming sooner than you think. So never wait for official season to start, make your own seasons! Today btw is still summer.

~I LOVE STARBUCKS GREEN TEA FRAPPUCCINO! Get it in grande.

~My friends are beginning to return! Hurray!!!!

~I have banned myself from reading non-curricular reading this semester. Except for holidays. And weekends I don't work. Maybe.

~It isn't good to have songs stuck in your head. It's worse when the songs have no words. Last night I was hum-whistling Chariot's of Fire for several hours.

~This is the plan. Get up early. Work hard. Do my homework ahead of time. Study harder. Try to really learn, not just test-learn. Get a license. Get a car. And someday down the road, I may find time to get a life. Until then. . .

the full time student that you will hardly ever see,
ME

Monday, August 10, 2009

there and back again . . .

is the hobbits tale, not mine. Suffice it to say that we made it, there, and perhaps more surprisingly (mainly because I drove for four hours) back again. I'd post pics of our fun filled, crazy, constantly in the car, way over fed weekend, but I think Tiff has that covered.

Moving on. Met Alanna and Steven Nelson and John Price (we all went to eighth grade together) along with Tiff at Bruggers Bagels and had breakfast and a good time.

Then registered for classes at GBS, I will be taking 16 hours :( So my sleep will be none existent this year between school, school work, work, and any extra socializing I can slip in there.

Now it's back to work, with very few days off, trying to prepare myself (on multiple levels) for school. Still trying to find a car, plus get that licence (another test scheduled, which mean someone in the family should be dying or a car exploding soon) Pray for me!

Planning to go this weekend on a hiking trip with the family, Leanna and Cheryl, and anyone else I suppose that shows up. Wish you all could come.

Eagerly awaiting the return of the GBS population
ME

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

say cheese

People tell me I don't smile.
That's probably because I don't.
You see I don't multitask very well, and I choose thinking over smiling.
It would seem that my natural state of face is one which I would call intense concentration, but other people call angry frowning.
So, After the third or so comment last night I tried very hard to smile.
I really thought hard about looking happy (or at least pleasant) at each person who I made eye contact with.
I had a really hard time working . . . and walking . . . and doing anything else.
Now today, my face hurts.
It actually hurts.
I thought you used less muscles when you smiled.

I don't care what you people think.
I choose thinking over smiling.
I choose comfort over pain.

And I use to think airhead were wimpy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

????

Its 6:30. 1830 hours.
My eyes are beginning to blur.
My brain refuses to focus on the computer in front of me.
I call out gibberish on the overhead speaker.
I need sleep, but I'll settle for dinner.
Tonight it looks like an appetizer of Crush Strawberry (20 oz).
Main course is Mt Dew (20 oz).
Dessert? How about Lipton Sparkling Green Tea, Berry flavor (20 oz).
Yeah I needed some caffeine.
Don't call me an addict- I hardly ever drink the stuff.
Don't question my sanity- commend my work ethic!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

sugar free

Possibly the saddest words known to child-kind. I myself find the very effort of typing them to be a painful experience (that might be due to a hangnail actually. . .). But in the spirit of going back to school, I - like so many others - am participating in the true great American past time, dieting. Sort of.
I've never really been the salad eating, rabbit faced kind of person, so limiting myself to gourmet bovine food has never really worked with me. (Yes, I could force myself, but if I wanted to throw up everything I eat I'd just become bulimic.) Instead, I endeavor to cut back, eat smaller portions, fewer times a day (I'm down to about six meals) and exercise a whole lot more. I'd rather be sore than hungry - sad but true.
In the company of Tiff and my mom, I have begun to walk in the mornings, 1.27 miles according to the pedometer I purchased, but that's including the bit where I chased after a rabbit, (one of our own dearly escaped bunnies, still sporting a collar. I know. I know, who collars rabbits?) and then home to the waiting weights, ( I bench-press about 200pd. jk. hand weights actually) Then on to my new resistance band DVD work out. Arms now feel like jello.
I know this all sounds amazing, and your all so proud of me, but be aware that the routine is not as-yet hammered out and has been not quite consistent in take off. So . . . we'll see.
So, what's sugar free? My dinner, a nice large cup of sugar free chocolate pudding.
I get my wish, I am sore, and I am full. Of sugar free pudding.

Rethinking the rabbit food,
Me

Friday, July 17, 2009

there's no place like home. . .mom?dad?

They're finally back! The parents and the little munchkins have been gone for two weeks now. And they finally got back home last evening. I was so excited. Mom rode with Tiffany to come pick me up from work, so I gave her a big hug right in the emergency entryway. Then I got home and they had let the kids stay up just to say hi! Dakota came running out on the porch and jumped up to give me a hug, and Letha was dramatic and shrill as ever. Boy have I missed them.
I discovered something. Leaving home is easy. Letting them leave you, a lot harder.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

a mornings thoughts

I am a very organized person. I have a filing system in my head for just about everything. The way I hang clothes in my closet - 1st by type 2nd by color 3rd by how often it gets used. My books - 1st by genre, 2nd by how well I like them, 3rd by size. My papers are filed away carefully in my desk, each sorted by type, labeled, and set in its own plastic file. My shoes are organized by purpose and usefulness. In my fridge you will find bottles and jars arranged by content, height, and taste.
I'm not anal about it. Sometimes two or three pairs of shoe sit on my floor for a few days, but when I put them away, they have a place. My laundry perpetually sits for a week or more before being filed away in the dresser - 1. collared shirts 2. collared work shirts 3. nice tee shirts 4. comfortable tee shirts 5. ugly tee shirts 6. work shirts 7. pajama shirts, etc. Piles of books sit on my bed-side table, but will eventually return to the correct themed shelf, of the specific genre bookcase.
It's good to be organized, "A place for everything and everything in it's place." and all. But when you think organized sometimes it can go to far. I find myself lying in bed at night, dreaming of the future, or the past or the present. of life in a parallel universe, or life simply as a different person. I have lots of dreams. Some, that I wish fervently would come true. Some, that I dream up only to entertain myself. But lately, I find myself lying in bed, thinking of my dreams, and the more I think the more I realize that I am filing my dreams.
I have such categories as, Pipe Dreams - those things you wanted as a child or young person that will never really happen. Fake Dreams - the dreams you dream up to pretend your life isn't so boring. Realistic Dreams - the grown up, smart-money dreams. I make list of the things I dream of doing with my life, then I cross off items not on completion, but with little notes next to them such as "not a viable means of making a living" "parents would freak out" " not capable".
I dream and I shoot my own dreams down and they die in the dust at my feet. Then I pick them up and file them away.
I don't know what your suppose to do with all the dreams in your head or your heart. But I know that when you start labeling and dissecting them, they become nothing more than a corpse in a biology lab. And when you file them away, they smother and die.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Its been one of those . . .

-my Great-Aunt died yesterday
-my family left this morning at 4:30am for Oklahoma
-I forgot to go to work today and was two hours late

kind of day/week.

But . . .

-friends are coming in tonight for the weekend
-ice cream in the freezer
-whole weekend off

so things are looking up.

Wish you the best, whoever you are.
Sincerely
Me

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Old Man and the Sea

Author- Ernest Hemingway


Dedication - "To Charlie Scribner and to Max Perkins"


First line - "He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eight-four days now without taking a fish."


An Excerpt
"But in the dark now and no glow showing and no lights and only the wind and the steady pull of the sail he felt that perhaps he was already dead. He put his two hands together and felt the palms. They were not dead and he could bring the pain of life by simply opening and closing them. He leaned his back against the stern and knew he was not dead. His shoulders told him.
I have all those prayers I promised if I caught the fish, he thought. But I am too tired to say them now. I better get the sack and put it over my shoulders.
He lay in the stern and steered and watched for the glow to come in the sky. I have half of him, he thought. Maybe I'll have the luck to bring the forward half in. I should have some luck. No, he said. You violated your luck when you went too far outside.
Don't be silly, he said aloud. And keep awake and steer. You may have much luck yet.
I'd like to buy some if there's any place they sell it, he said.
What could I buy it with? he asked himself. Could I buy it with a lost harpoon and a broken knife and two bad hands?
You might, he said. You tried to buy it with eighty-four days at sea. They nearly sold it to you too."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

An Ode To My Friends

Alas I did not know
That they were made of snow

To melt away when summer came

But I shall wait till fall is here
When frosty seasons draw them near

And build them up again

Friday, June 19, 2009

Life is short so . . .

-eat dessert first
-laugh as much as humanly possible
-learn to let things go
-don't let people ruin your day
-don't ruin other people's day
-don't sweat the small stuff
-remember in the light of eternity its almost all small
-keep your friends close
-if you have any enemies, try to resolve your differences, if you can't avoid them like the dickens
-always go for two scoops
-tell the truth, to yourself and to others
-don't let others lie to you
-believe in magic
-live vicariously through yourself

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Author - Tracy Chevalier
Dedication - none
First line - "My mother did not tell me they were coming"
A Quote -
"I half expected to see myself among the still lifes and seascapes, but of course I was not there."

It was not really a book you quote from, nor a book I would recommend to anyone. It was interesting to me only because I have seen the painting it was based on several times. Take that away and it was at best pore fiction.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Great Gatsby

Dedication - "Once again to Zelda"

First line - "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since."


Quotes and Snippets I found interesting:


" ... for the intimate revelations of young men or at least the terms in which they express them are usually plagiristic and marred by obvious suppressions."


"life is much more successfully looked at from a single window, after all."


"I was conscious of wanting to look squarely at everyone and yet to avoid all eyes."


"I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library."


"He smiled understandingly -- much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in a life. It faces -- or seems to face -- the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey. Precisely at that point it vanished..."


"Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people I have ever known"


"... He supplied an imaginary noun with another wave of his hand..."


"Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."


"She saw something awful in the very simplicity she failed to understand."

"I've always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end."

"Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Book of Merlin

Dedication - none

First line - "It was not the Bishop of Rochester"

A Quote - "yes, you are clever. You know the long words and how to juggle with them. If the sentence is a pretty one, you laugh and make it. But these are human souls you are cackling about, and it is my soul, the only one I have, which you have put in the index . . ."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

oh well

I had a theory.
My theory was that Norwood had the cutest firemen. (hot seems like an inappropriate word considering.)
Then along came a Colrein squad and tore that theory to shreds.
Oh well.
I wouldn't mind having a slight accident in either district as it is.
So what can I do but continue to gather research?
And maybe if I can swing it, some pics too!

(Girls love a man in uniform)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

a question

I is who me am, but is I who you think me are?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

my incomplete summer reading list

My King Arthur fix
1. The Once and Future King (a reread) ^
2. The Book of Merlin^
3. Le Morte d'Arthur

Some Classics
4. Great Expectations
5. The Great Gatsby^
6. Oliver Twist

A Few Young Readers
7. Inkspell
8. Brisinger

A Series
9. The Hobbit
10. The Lord of the Rings
11. The Twin Towers
12. The Return of the King

Misc
13. Girl with a Pearl Earring (inspired by one of the paintings at the Cincy Art Museum)

I am hoping to read at least 20 books this summer, and have several more classics in mind, but I'm always interested in something new. So if you've read a good book lately tell me and I'll see if I can work it in.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

may I introduce you?

Ladies and Gentleman, I hope you will not think me fickle. But I probably am. I have much news on the pet front, (when don't I?) and it is my duty to inform you of one things somewhat sad, another . . . cute.

Alas, poor Cowboy, I knew him well. You really get to know a dog when your called out at six every morning to try to get him to shut up. And then there were the impossible escapes. I would have like to see this dog pitted against Mr Houdini. After a miserable final week where nothing short of a rope around his neck would keep him in his kennel, he has left us. He now lives with a nice family who have three girls, and use German commands. When they drove off I heard quite a few Nein! Nein! Nein! 's echoing from the vehicle.
On the flip side, I have acquired a new kitten. (in my defense, yes it was sudden, but Oliver was lonely.) So I asked Letha to take some pictures of the kitten so you gentle people could see her.
I would not have done this if I had realized that she had a bit of the photographer in her. I finally took the camera away when she started talking about swimsuit issues.
Anyway, here are some of the shots. The kittens name is Goggles Mammalian.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the moment I fell in love with Mr Darcy

It was not his horrible yet endearing proposal.
It was not his first awkward dance with Elizabeth.
It was not even when he defended Lizzy against Miss Bingley's comments, (though I did love that)

It was when, he tried to explain his rudeness, by saying, "I have not the talent of conversing easily with people I have never met."

My heart went out to him then. I totally get that.
I have no problem conversing with people in my head, but in life, people seldom ask or answer as I had planned. (Arthurian legend and EMT skills come so little into most conversations.)
So today, while getting - *the con - from the 1st shift girl I was replacing, I was quite excited to find the conversation going well. I made a few comments, got her to laugh, and then ended the conversation without things trailing off awkwardly. Then she walked away, and I realized my poor brain had been in overdrive trying to converse correctly. I had been thinking things like , establish repore, show interest in her comments, and don't try to hard to be funny.
Sometimes I just laugh at myself.
Poor Mr Darcy. Poor me. We must take Miss Elizabeth's advice and practice.

*Getting the con is a naval term used mostly by the British navy in the 1800's. The sailor who was officer of the watch would tell the officer going on watch what was going on. The guy coming off would yell to whomever cared to listen, "this is Mr. -whateverhisnamewas- Mr. -whatevertheotherguysnamewas- has the con. Then the guy coming on would yell out to no one in particular, This is Mr. -whateverhisnamewas- I have the con. And so the con was passed.

Friday, May 22, 2009

things to do on a summer day . . .

Pick strawberries from your newly planted bed. (two days haul = 7 total, soon you will have strawberry short cake!)


Have a "dream home drawing contest" with your little brother, using sidewalk chalk.
(He states that his house looks more like a sleeping bag and asks to move in with you.)


Decide to refinish your mother's old rocking chair and spend two days applying stripper and scrapping and sanding. Now you get to start on the filling holes and staining and sealing. Yeah!!

Set up the old tent for your little bro (secretly because you want to smell the camping memories trapped in there)
1 promise your younger siblings that you'll camp out if you get a night off work
2 promise your mother that you'll take the tent down before it kills the grass or get wet in the rain.

Oh yeah, summer is great. Wonder what I'll do tomorrow? Oh yeah, filling/staining/sealing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

there are some moments

I am a cynical person.
I know your shocked.

As such it is my sworn duty to doubt the existence of certain things.

1) True Love

2) True Happiness

3) Truth for the most part


So I am always sarcastically doubtful of those idyllic scenes that I see in movies. I mean, is there really such a thing as a perfect moment? Most of the time I'd say no. But there are some moments, that make me wonder.

Moments like today, when I chased after my five year old brother, as he rode down the sidewalk on his new bike (with training wheels), wearing a monkey backpack and headed to see my dad at the restaurant.

I was walking along, staring at the back of his head, and suddenly I thought of how perfect this moment was. The air was warm, but the shade was cool. We were travelling down a tree lined street. He was happy and laughing, learning to peddle, steer, and watch the sidewalk at the same time.

And at that moment, I couldn't really think of anything I wanted to be doing more.

I guess it was a Hallmark moment.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

the reason I love T H White

His description of a store-room from The Once and Future King will give you an ample idea of his style, and why I love this book.

"It smelt of oatmeal, ham, smoked salmon, dried cod, onions, shark oil, pickled herrings in tubs, hemp, maize, hen's fluff, sailcloth, milk -- the butter was churned there on Thursdays -- seasoning pine wood, apples, herbs drying, fish glue and varnish used by the fletcher, spices from overseas, dead rat in trap, venison, seaweed, wood shavings, litter of kittens, fleeces from the mountain sheep not yet sold, and the pungent smell of tar."

That is a lot of smell for one store-room.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

An Historic Moment

Quite obviously, this is big stuff, I mean I capitalized my title line.

Make note that I Melissa Nichole Barr, on the 15th day May, in the year 2009, around the time of 4:30pm, did officially and irrevocably mail in a manuscript to a publishing house.


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
What was I thinking?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
I now have four to six months to wait before I receive my first ever rejection letter!
The postage of said letter courteously paid for by the aspiring author as per the time honored tradition of publishing houses everywhere, simply put S.A.S.E. (self addressed stamped envelope)
I am so excited!
I am so nervous!
I am so stupid!
AHHHHHHHHHH
I want my manuscript back!!!

Sincerely considering hijacking a postal truck en route,
Me

Monday, May 11, 2009

something I stumbled upon while reading

There is a sort of busy worm,
That will the fairest book deform.
Their tasteless tooth will tear and taint
The poet, patriot, sage or saint,
Nor sparing wit nor learning.
Now, if you'd know the reason why,
The best of reasons I'll supply:
'Tis bread to the poor vermin.
~J Doraston, quoted by W. Blades, Taken from Inkheart

Thursday, May 7, 2009

finish reading

Last night a group of cops came into the hospital and started shooting people. Dozen died. Finally when things calmed down I was able to figure out that it was a retaliation shooting, because one of their officers had been shot outside.

I went out to investigate.

Zachery Steinbrook was looking like a good suspect because he was standing there with an assault rifle.

Then Brittney Brander came up and confessed.

The police didn't believe me.

Finally they believed her.

They placed her under arrest.

But nobody seemed to be taking this very serious.

She refused to stick around and kept escaping.

The police refused to chase her.

Mom and Dad bought her a puppy to try to get her to sit still.

She let the puppy go and took off.

I chased her.

And then -- somewhere in the midst of me trying to convey the damage she had done by shooting the officer, that dozens of people were now dead, and her only excuse was that he had been bugging her -- I woke up.

Not a happy person.\

Brittney stay out of my dreams.

You to Zach.

And for Pete's sake, I'm at work enough, I don't want to be there in my dreams!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

twilight

No not the movie or book. Or the time of day. More the concept.

I was reading John chapter 3 in my devotions this morning, and a particular verse struck me. (Don't worry I'll recover, only minor injuries.)

Verse 19 says, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

I was trying to think critically, you know, really apply the verse in some way, and I thought this would be one of those verses that you point out to non-believers. "Here's what your doing wrong. You don't want to learn to do any better, because your in love with sin." That seemed to work, until I thought of twilight.

We've all heard a lot about Christians, walking in the light, but sometimes I think that we're walking in the twilight. We get just enough light to see where we're going. To distinguish us from the heathen. And then we take the rest on an, if-I-don't-know-its-wrong-I-won't-feel-guilt scale. Grow, but not to much. Live in the light but not the spotlight. Despise the darkness, stick to the shadows. So many times I find myself living in that gray area, not sure if I really want to move forward.

I'm going to try to think on that for awhile, and we'll see what happens.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

an observation of hours

I have noticed, that when working 2nd shift there is a certain pattern to which the hours adhere.
You clock in at 3, and from then to 4 is over before you know it.
The hour between 4 and 5 goes fairly quickly. If its slow, your in for a long night.
Between 5 and 6 is a How's the night Hour, going mostly steady, but slow on a busy night.
6 to 7 is the second slowest hour of the shift, dragging on at a rate of five min per min.
7 to 8 picks up a bit more, plodding steadily
8 to 9 can go either way, but usually is slow.
9 to 10 is the slowest of all, sometimes I'm sure the clock actually stops, and this is a good time for work load to pick up.
10 to 11 flies by normally, mostly because of all the extra work that you picked up in the last hour. This ensures that you will have to stay over 11 to finish you work.
However, bar none, the absolute slowest time of the shift, is the 23 min after 11, the shift layover. the extra work that takes forever to finish, will have only taken up at most 11 min of your time, then you and the rest of your shift, will sit around and stare at each other for another half hour, before the clock flashes 11:23, the magic time you can clock out.

next weekend

So, I have next weekend off, and I really want to do something fun. You know, hang with the gang.
Does anybody have fun plans?
Anybody have an idea?
Camping?
Picnicking?
Boating?
Hang-gliding?
Anything? . . . .Anyone? . . . Hello out there. . .

Friday, May 1, 2009

groups of animals are called . . .

Geese on the ground are a gaggle.

Geese in the air are a skein.


Crows are a murder or a horde.

Ravens are an unkindness


Jays are a party or a scold.


Apes are a shrewdness.

Gorillas are a band.

Monkeys are a troop or a barrel.


Giraffes are a tower.


Goats are a tribe or a trip


Hippopotamuses are a bloat.


Kangaroos are a troop.


Leopards are a leap.

Tigers are a streak.

Lions are a pride.


Porcupines are a prickle.


Rhinoceroses are a crash.


Eagles are a convocation.


Owls are a Parliament.


Rooks are a building.


Frogs are an army.


Crocodiles are a bask.


Flies are a business.


Locust are a plague.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


And now that you know all that, you are sure to benefit. For instance, you may find yourself inspired to write a poem on the beauty of a good business of flies. Or you may find your self able to casually slip, "oh look, a crash a rhinoceroses." into a conversation. Or nod sagaciously at the zoo and say, "oh yes, we have a fine prickle of porcupines here." However you may choose to use this information, I am sure that it will improve not only the quality of your speech, and raise the general opinion of your knowledge, it will inevitably enrich your life. You are most assuredly welcome.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

a self sermon

So I think to myself a lot. I find that I am a great sounding board, so I plan and compose things in my head, sometime saying snippets out loud to get the feel for them. Besides assuring that I get so zoned in that I tune everyone else out, and get strange looks when I suddenly start talking to myself, this leads me down some interesting paths of thought.

The other day during my devotions, I was thinking. (I know, I'm so terrible to be wandering around in my head when I should be reading, studying, praying, etc) Anyway, I was thinking that my relationship with God is not what it should be. I mean I've heard sermons all my life about how God is the friend you have with you at all times, and the one you can talk to whenever. But it still seems like He's the friend I have on speed dial. Just a call away, but think before you disturb Him. I find myself checking how late it is "Hey God. Did I wake you up?" or the current state of the world. "Just wanted to pop in and say hi! know your really busy right now what with wars and elections and all. Give me a call back when you get some free time."

Then my thoughts shifted to how much I take my relationship for granted. It's like I've always been a Christian, and sometime I just forget. I sought in my mind for something to compare it with, you know, just in case someone walked along and asked me what I was thinking. My hair, I thought. My relationship with God is like my hair. Its there all the time, but its not something you think about all the time. Like sometime I forget what exact color my hair is. No i thought, that's no good, I mean your suppose to work daily to keep up your relationship with God. Hair is not a good comparison. And then the other side of my brain said, sure it is. You comb your hair everyday. If you don't take the time for it one day, it looks a bit frizzy. But if you leave your hair alone for to long, pretty soon its full of tangles and snarls, its dirty and just looks horrible.

Then I came out of my head and laughed at myself. What a perfectly useless sermon illustration I thought, you loose half of your congregation on that one. How many guys really comb their hair every day? And with a small shake of my head I put aside my momentary ministerial aspirations, and went back to my Bible reading, trying not to let myself be distracted again.

From a book of perfectly useless information

A guide to Different Political Systems

Communism - You have two cows. The government takes both and gives you a little sour milk

Fascism - You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk

Bureaucracy- You have two cows. To register them, you fill in twenty-three forms in triplicate and don't have time to milk them.

Socialism- You have two cows. The government takes one of them and gives it to your neighbor.

Feudalism -You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

Democracy- You have two cows. A vote is held, and the cows win.

Environmentalism- You have two cows. the government bans you from milking or killing them.

Libertarianism- Go away. What I do with my cows is none of your business.

Capitalism- You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

Surrealism- You have two porcupines. The government invites you to take cello lessons.

childhood flashback

So I'm riding in the car with my father today, and typical him, he can't just drive, no he has to multitask by talking on the phone. Well, that's not really new, however the car we're in is. New to us, not new really. And its a stick shift. So right in the middle of my wandering thoughts, his voice changes, directed at me, and says,"straight down".

The adult in me panics. What? What does that mean? Meanwhile, the child somewhere inside, instantly reaches out and jerks the gear shift straight down. Just like I use to do when I rode with dad, oh about twelve years ago. It scared me then, and I have to say it scares me now. I never really knew what I was scared of back then. I also really didn't know what the purpose of shifting was. I just was afraid that if I did it wrong the car would, well break. But now, I worried that I would miss third and land in reverse while traveling down the road at speed in excess of . . . forty miles an hour!

I didn't miss third, and I soon discovered that, even though I don't know how to drive a stick per say, I do understand the principle, so I soon learned to watch the foot that was on the clutch and he didn't even have to tell me where to shove the lovely little stick. And I only missed once. (from second to fifth because I overshot third.)

Anyway, it was. . . interesting to travel down the road, feeling seven or eight again. Who knows, next time (and knowing my dad there's sure to be a next time) I might even remember to shift back to first when we come to a stop.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

becoming a morning person

I have never really been a morning person. I can get up whenever I want to, no problem. 5:oo am, 7:oo am 2:oo pm no problem, I'm wide awake when I need to be, and sound asleep otherwise. So its not a problem of waking up, but rather getting up. I find that no matter when I set the alarm, if I don't' have to be somewhere, I'm gonna hit snooze.

But recently, God's been dealing with me about my devotions. Not in them, sadly, but about them. You see, they are not so regular, not so helpful. I do them at night. I have no problem staying awake to read, but again, sadly mostly I am trying to finish that new book, or my latest re-read. I find that while I can stay up till 3 in the morning for fiction, I often completely forget to do my devotions.

So God gentle suggested that I do them in the morning. For the past few days I have gotten up early, grab breakfast and coffee, and sat on the back patio having my devotions. I have to say, thanks God, that was a great idea. I feel refreshed, not only from spending my morning with God, but also from being awake. I feel better throughout the day, not only from having fresh truths to apply to life, but from rising early, and not having that icky-I-slept-way-to-long-and- the-day-is-half-gone feeling. I get so much more done.

I am quite frankly, much happier.

And hey, I realize that it's only been two days, but still, things are looking better than they have for a while. I think God has used my natural tendencies to help me along. You see, I have this dog, that gets up early and starts barking. Which means I get a phone call from mom or dad, telling me to get out there and persuade him to stop. I have some chickens who are also early risers, who like to be fed early as well. And the rabbits, and the garden needs water of a morning before the suns to high.

By the time I feed all the animals, I wide awake. No sleeping through the book of psalms. And while I water, I find its a good time to reflect or pray. I don't know why, but it still amazes me how God can take the things in a persons life and use them to help us along. He can make the dragging weight into an anchor, turn the tailspin into a new direction.

I know I've got a long way to go, but with Gods help, and prayers from all my friends, I think, well I think I just might make it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Today I am thankful for. . .

Fish- and that they need so little care.

Flowers- I think that God must especially love spring time.

Sunburns- because any color is better than white

Work- because many people can't say that

Friends- 'cause they are totally cool, even though I don't see them that much

Characters- 'cause they make life, and my job interesting

Beauty- which I see all around, read every day, taste at each meal, and which makes the world worth living in.

Forgiveness- a concept only God could have come up with

Patience - a concept only God can perfect

Love- a concept only God can understand

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

pet updates

1. Chickens are finally big enough to tell apart. One rooster, nine hens. Lucky. His name is King Ranch Chicken (Rooster technically). The only other one with enough personality to warrant a name is the smallest blk one. Chicken Little.

2. Mocha is dead, not sure how it happened. Letha fell apart when she found out. On my shoulder. Tried not to laugh. Did pretty well I thought.

3. Sydney has been adopted! Oh happy day. To a family right down the street. (we have a running wager how soon she'll escape and be back home.0

4. Cowboy is forlorn without Sydney and so turns to a exciting career as an escape artist. He's good, but can you really call it talent when he so big he just leans on the door, and all the latches, wires, bricks, etc, give way and it swings open for him?

5. Bear is finally eating out of a bowl, a mixture of puppy milk and cat food. I am relived. Looking forward to a full night of sleep somewhere in the near future.

6. All other fish, rabbits, and cats are fine, or annoying whichever was their usual state.

lists

MY TO DO LIST
1. plant garden /check
2. feed chickens /check
3. clean house /check


COWBOYS TO DO LIST
1. dig up garden /check
2. terrify chickens /check
3. tear up backyard /check


MY REVISED TO DO LIST
1. replant and fortify garden
2. fortify chicken coop
3. clean up back yard and fortify trash cans
4. fortify (possible cement) entire dog cage

Sunday, April 19, 2009

harsh truth

Wolf is dead. Enough said.

Bear is alive, and getting both steadily strong and sicker. (She gets bigger and eats more, but her eye infection spread, not a pretty picture.) some strong antibiotics and regular disinfecting are helping.

I need sleep.

My writing project is progressing slowly.

I miss my friends, GBS, Holiness people, English class, Chapel, Dr. Brown even (well sort of in a distant way.)

Of late I spend more time in my head than the "real world".
I try to look toward the future, but I am unable to see past tomorrow.

I predict that it will rain Monday, Thursday, and this weekend. Those are my days off
I predict that it will be sunny Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Those are the days I work.
This has been the pattern for about two weeks.

I get up feed the dogs, rabbits chickens, fish (when I remember) and think about changing the name of my blog to Life on the Farm.
I work around the house and think about going to work.
I go to work and think about what I need to do at home.
I come home, sleep on the couch, get up every three hours and feed the puppy.

Tomorrow I will try to rent a tiller, and plant the squash, zucchini, and green beans that I started in the green house.
I will also plant some flowers Letha and I started, and the Marigold seeds we saved from last year.

I have not seen Tiffany since Tuesday night.
I miss her.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

If I were on a desert Island . . .

I would want to have, (besides those things which everyone expects you to have)



`at least three books (I suppose one of them should be the Bible)

`large notebook and pencils (I would write very small)

`a six pack of cream soda (possible Jones)

`a cat? (comfort, companionship, dinner)

`some ponytail holders (I for one cannot deal with that whole castaway, dirty, stringy hair.)

`a comfy chair (or a squishy couch)

`a large blanket (one of those six foot things that actually covers your feet.)



With that I could entertain myself for a good long while.



And now, not that you care, you know.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

here we go again . . .

I had thought that my days as puppy nursemaid were over, but I received a phone call from my father this morning at 6:26 to tell me that Sydney had killed all but two puppies and Jocilyn was about beside herself. Could I come down and help? So here I am again, just finished with the second feeding, getting ready to do it again in another hour or so, and I've been pooped and peed on, which is encouraging since the last two had trouble with bowl movements, but not exactly what you want to wake up to.

I have tagged each puppy (I cant say named, since mom will get me for becoming to attached), anyway, I call the one Bear, because that's what she looks like. I turn her on her back to feed her, and she looks just like a little bear cub. She has been given a poor chance of survival, because she has an eye infection, and several cuts to her nose/ head. The second puppy is Wolf, because that's what she sounds like. I turn her on her back to feed and she arches her head up and howls. She has been given a fifty-fifty chance of survival because she has no visible wounds and a pair of lungs that would shame an opera singer. Even as I type she is doing her things, which is a short aroo over and over. She has not stopped since 6:30 this morning.

And so goes life on the farm, whether they live or die, or whether their around for years or days, animals always seem to make some impact on your life.
Sydney just after delivery, with all the orignial batch of eleven.



The monster mutt looking desptively calm and somewhat small.



Basil (named for a Brian Jacques character it is pronouced as the English would have it, Baa zle)


Chai (obviously red chai)


The chicken/rabbit, cage/hutch




The "Ideal 236" in the bird cage

The Dominque chickens in their little box

Monday, April 13, 2009

a medium size post

*I have added two rabbits to my growing little farm, and continue on the quest for ducks.

*I attempted to bottle feed two sick puppies through the night but was unsuccessful they now rest with their three brothers and sister who went before them. Out of a litter of eleven we have six left. I may have to shoot Sydney before this is over with, as she is not even the least bit interested in them and has actually tried and succeeded in killing some of them. (the aforementioned two.)

*I spent a pleasant night amongst my friends at the house of a former employer of mine, a currant employer of Leanna. We stayed up late watching movies, and had a cream soda tasting.

*I am completely obsessed with cream soda at the moment, I buy all the different brands I can find (mostly from Jungle Jim's) and try them one by one. I have tasted about a dozen different varieties with at least three more in my fridge. I have all the regular types from Jungle Jim's, and will have to start looking for a new source.

*I am making great progress with the ever so mistrustful Oliver, my cat, whom I received as a Christmas present from Tiffany, I have yet to lay hands on him, mostly because I am fond of my hands, such as they are. He does however walk about the room while I read at night, and yesterday afternoon as I lay reading on the floor, he actually came slinking up and sniffed my hand! I thought I would faint away. He still runs when I walk toward him, which I do only when he is blocking the exit of my room, but I continue to worm my way into his heart by buying canned food as a treat, and stocking my room which enough cat toys to make all the strays in Cincinnati very happy. I keep a cat play set in my room, a scratching thing, and a bag of catnip. I am confident of success, however long it takes.

*My dogs continues to escape on occasion, though I can tell his heart is not really in it and he just wants the attention. His bark collar continues to test my Christianity, as I have paid a good deal for it, and know it works when it is on, but when the collar is on, the shock box, falls off, and when the box is on, the collar comes loose. I have bought nuts and bolts, lock washers, and zip-it-strips, and I cannot get the confounded things to stay together.

*My chickens grow. My rabbits are becoming more tame. I have an established pet feeding routine, even if I have not got a set time yet. Feed the dog, feed the chickens and rabbits, feed the cat if he needs it, and . . . blast it all, I forgot to feed the fish . . . again. I have written a note on my hand in hopes of remembering, but I do not worrying to much, they seem to be hardy little fish and neither my neglect nor the changing weather has had an effect on them.

*In short, my life continues much the same. I am out of school this term, but I hope to work more. I still need to practice for my driving test. I have a little writing project I plan to work on, and in my off time, Dad still needs help at the restaurant. I helped him grout the other day, and it was kinda nice to be back working with my hands, getting dirty. I like to be able to see what I have accomplished and know that it will remain there for others to see. I never did like paperwork to much. (Oh no! I think I may have ink on my chin from leaning on my palm while rereading the post. Dumb little fish note!)

*I fear my medium size post has turned into a long one, and I apologize to you who have kept slogging through it all to come to this conclusion. For those of you who gave up halfway through I have no pity, but also no hard feelings, after all, it is just as likely that I have skim read some of your blog as well. And with that I will say goodnight, and return to my paperwork.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

what's with that. . .








Spring thou art a fickle thing.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

a little bit of my . . .

Since my last post my life has been fairly busy. My school term has come to a close. I have taken my vacation/spring break. I have built my chickens a coop and hen house, and taken my dog on a very tiring walk.

For those of you with little time, the previous has been a summation of the post which will follow. You will miss little if you quit reading now.

Vacation.
Ha ha. There is some evil little revenge in that word. Someone had a lot of fun thinking up that one. A time of relaxation and fun, spent with family and friends to escape the pressures of everyday life. Then why does a vacation cause more headaches than almost any other function? spark tension in the most loving friends and family? and generally leave one more tired than when one left for the thing? We were suppose to go to North and South Carolina originally, to visit family. That fell through, so we considered going camping. To cold. Finally we planned to take off just for a few days and head up to see Niagara Falls, the whole family, and Brit. As soon as our plans were set, they called for a snow storm and other nasty weather up that way. Soooo, we ended up heading out to South Carolina, then coming back up to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in kind of a drive-by/hit-and-run style. It was mostly fun, but I was bummed Tiff didn't get to go, and driving through the mountains always makes me car sick and crabby.

School.
Well, lets just say I'm at that point where I just don't care any more. In my mind I resign myself to flipping hamburgers for the rest of my life and determine to quite for good. Of course I won't, being much to sensible for that, but its nice to dream. :) So I have missed several days of school this term on account of travel, funeral, and just plain laziness. I had thought to add last Thursday to that list as well, since we got back only late on Wed. but some nagging little voice said that I ought to go. Lucky me! When I got to class I realized that I had misread the syllabus and today was the last day of class. I had to take three test and present a project in art class. It was a long day needless to say, but still, thank you God for that nagging little voice.

Chickens.
Can't live with them, so I found out, and I thought I couldn't live without them. Oh yes, I just had to have chickens. They are so cute! as chicks anyway. But little chicken grow to big smelly hens. (mine are not big smelly hens yet but somewhere in between.) I had house my chickens temporarily in a knocked-together cage in my little used back hallway till I could get a coop built. Wow was that a dumb idea. With all the running around I hadn't had time to work on the cage, and the chickens smelled worse everyday, despite my cleaning. Finally once we got back I could take no more and so coerced my Dad into helping me finish the incomplete structure. Well mostly. Once things had gotten along fairly well, He had to leave, and I was forced to finish it alone. I have worked with my Dad most of my life on this kind of thing, but I am still no great shakes with a saw, so forty five cuts later, I had my chickens hen house door cut. Between breaking drill bits, missing hammers, and contrary wire, it was a job, but it did get done, and last night my chickens spent there first night in their new home. Yeah me!

Dog.
Why I ever thought I wanted one I don't know. I am a cat person. It wasn't until my dog began racking up medical bills that I remembered that. And now I have shelled out so much that I refuse to get rid of him or let him die. He will live and be made into a good dog, or else!! To that end, I have begun his leash training. I'll admit it is touch and go, more of a when I have the time things than a regularly scheduled thing. His new talent of breaking and exiting has led me to believe that vigorous exercise, and a completely concrete pen are the answer. Until I can afford that much concrete, I have begun the exercise. OK just one day, but it worked well. With the whole family gone to an old friends for dinner, I still needed to get to the hardware store to get some hinges and latches for my chickens, so I leashed up the big brute and we took off on errands. First to the library to drop off some books and check to see if my holds had come in, (they hadn't) then to the Glassbarn for the hardware. Then on up to the Redding Feed Store to price some plants I need (want). Over and hour and a half later, we got home, and he was tired, to say the least. No escape attempts made so far. Tomorrow we shall do it again, but I think I'll get some roller blades and let him drag me. Then we won't have to go so far, and I wont be so tired when we get back.

So aside from a little yard work and reading, you are now completely caught up on my life in the past week or so. Aren't you so privileged?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

press the green button for help. . .

. . .the evil printer at work flashed. I pressed the green button and out came my page! (alone with ten blank pages, but hey, you win some -you lose some.) That made me think of those Staples commercials, which, being a good Christian I have never seen, that all the people go around pushing the EASY button. I wish there were button like that in life. For those times when your stuck, Hey! push for help. For the times when you don't know how to make it. Bam! hit the EASY button. That would be so great.

But life doesn't have those buttons. So what do we do? Well. We do what you do when the printer isn't working and the push for help button isn't working. You pull out the manual. It may be half written in another language, and difficult to follow its instructions, but if you read the manual, and follow the steps, things start to work again. You can bet on it. (Or rather don't, I think that might be in the manual somewhere.)

So if your stuck, and if life is getting tough, stop looking for the easy button and start reading.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

pssssst

some secrets about me.

1) I sometimes swear in German. Its a bad habit I developed from a few films who's main characters were Germain speakers, and from reading The Book Thief. I am trying to quit.

2) I am a bad driver. Mostly because I am a good driver. huh? I am a cautious, law abiding driver, which means, I understand that the word limit means maximum and not minimum, and that a yellow light means slow down, stop if you can, and not speed up. These plus a few other peculiarities make me the worst driver in Cincinnati. (that and maybe the fact that I am a little unsure and indecisive so I don't know whether I can get stop for that yellow light or not)

3) I enjoy romance novels and movies. Most of the time. Depending on the author and plot, and I often cry by the end of said book or movie. (Small fact. I can hardly stand to read most Christian romance, and those four in one books, mostly because I know the ending by the first chapter. Who doesn't?)

4) I am indecisive. Not only in my driving (see#2) but in many things. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, (still trying to fig. out how to not grow up) and I rarely finish writing things because the endings always throw me.

5) I weigh . . . Yeah right. I'm not telling you that. Or any of my other secrets. That's all for today. Now . . . go home and rethink your life (you don't want to sell me any death sticks.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

penny for your thoughts.




There is something intrinsically magical about a penny. Is it because they are one of the first things a child learns to attach luck to? I once heard the rule, find a *lost penny with the year you were born on it and you get three wishes. To this day I still check the date on the pennies I pick up.


Perhaps my infatuation with pennies goes back to when we lived in S.C. beside a train track. I soon found out that squashing a few penny's was a relatively cheap way to entertain yourself, and you had a great little charm left over. Since we've moved back near a train track, I have squashed several dozen little cents and arranged the charms in in my room.


Maybe it is my love of copper that make me favor the penny. Although they haven't made pennies out of copper for a while now. But bronze or brass is still better than other options.I always did prefer a metal that could turn your skin green, to a metal that actually has some value, (gold. eww). Or could it be its invaluable use in comedy? How many great movie scenes would we loose if there wasn't that person holding up the whole line, counting out his pennies?


Lets just say I really like pennies. If you have any other great uses for pennies, comment.


P.S. Tiffany - do not comment that pennies are good to shove up your nose.

Brittney - do not comment that pennies are good to shove up your nose.

Everyone else - please do not comment that pennies are good to shove up your nose unless you are willing to provide a photo of yourself demonstrating this.


P.P.S. Tiffany - do not post any photos of you or anyone else shoving things up their nose.

Brittney - do not let Tiffany post any photos of you shoving things up your nose.


* A lost penny is a penny that you find on the ground or other relevant locations, lost by someone other than yourself, or if lost by yourself, no lost in resent memory.


Side Note : You may make one wish if you get a penny with your birth year on it in exact change. You must get only the one penny in change.

Monday, March 16, 2009

and a few other things

So last weekend I was in North Carolina for a funeral. And a few other things which I shall now mention.

*miniature family reunion
~quite nice to see everyone again, even in such circumstances. If I heard the phrase, "I love our family" once, I heard it a thousand times. We are the most irreverent people in the holiness world I have no doubt. We laugh together so we don't have to cry alone.
(All Bro. Barrs kids, plus their families.)

(All the cousins, plus two . . . second cousins, once removed? first cousins, twice removed? we never have really figured that one out.)

*See the sights
~Tiffany, Kimmi and I went shopping (Carolina Thrift rock on!) and I bought two pair of shoes from the store my dear cousin Kimmi manages (we are so proud of her *sniff*) P.S. Thanks for the discount.
~ The Barr's plus Wilson cousins (You GBS people will see them both next year) went out to the old time candy shoppe and also a catch all store that my cousin Anthony proudly proclaimed could provide you with everything from pluming suppliers to cooking essentials and a quorum of the in-between. (Quorum is such a fun word and I know I didn't use it right, but I just really wanted to use it.)

* Pick up a few things
~The day we left, we procrastinated long enough to hit up a great flea market. Even though we spent all morning there, I still didn't get to all the stalls, :( but I did manage to pick up some very important items like deep fried-salt and vinegar peanuts (had never tried them, do not recommend, the salt and vinegar pork rines however, were excellent.), fresh lemons, a movie for the kids, two new types of jam to try (haven't opened them yet but will def. keep you posted.) etc.
~We spent so long shopping that morning that it was actually lunch before we left, and so we all went out as a family, (Allen Barr fam. Phillip Barr fam, and Wilson fam) to a tiny hole in the wall barbecue restaurant that did not get my order right. (how hard is it to hold the coleslaw? but when I switched with dad and got just the plain meat, it was good. BTW the whole family agrees the N.C. style coleslaw is just not normal, and not in a good way either. (The icky sandwich)



~Lastly we made a u turn, back tracked and headed to a grocery store where we bought enough Duke's mayonnaise and canned boiled peanuts (YUM!) to last until spring break when we plan to return and really stock pile. Along the way my aunt Cindy pointed out the feed store where she had bought her chicks, (which the kids had enjoyed playing with all weekend. . . all right and me too.) and much to Tiffany and my mom's dismay, we turned in long enough for me to acquire some new pets. 10 to be exact. 5 mixed (male and female) dominique (blk and white checked for you none farm people, and 5 female 'ideal 236' which are a mutt chicken breed that are suppose to be very hardy and good layers. (should be white with blk spots when adults)

Soooo. Next time I have a party I plan to; show off my little chickens, feed everyone good barbecue and boiled peanuts, and celebrate the sunshine. (will keep you posted on further party plans as well) Until then, as they say at the rodeo,

Goodnight, God Bless, and mind where you step.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The grandkids tribute

Here's the tribute that I was asked to write for my grandpas funeral. It was a long weekend, and I never would have got it done without Tiffany's feedback, and Anthony's help there at t he end. Thanks everyone.


I heard a man say once, when someone had passed away, “The world has lost a great man, but I have lost a friend.” For some reason that quote stuck with me, reminding me of the multiple ways which a single life impacts the world. We are here today because someone has died, but we are not all here for the same person. Some are here because Bro. Albert Barr the evangelist is gone. Others are here for their friend. There are siblings, children and other close family. But this is a reflection from a small group of people who have lost their grandfather. To us, he was not a preacher, though we listened to him preach, and he was not a father, though he had children, to us he was first and foremost, our grandfather. It is to difficult to find appropriate words to say goodbye, or to express how we miss the man who was our papa, so instead this is a reflection, of what we – his grandchildren – remember. What we think of, when we think of him.
~~~
First, the word Papa, he was never Grandpa, or Bro Barr, he was Papa. Fitting that we should never have called him by a formal name, just as we are selves were never called by our given names. If we were to think back, and think hard, among all his grandchildren we could perhaps come up with a dozen times that he called us directly by our names. We were sugar-lump, or baby, and some of our earliest memories are crawling into his lap to be bounced on a knee while we protested that we were not skunk-a-monks, whatever those might have been.
~~~~~
Many other people thinking of their grandparents will think of the things they did, or of the things they gave them, but we do not. We remember him instead, for the things he said. Not many grandparents are capable of engaging and maintaining the attention of a small child, but this was Papa’s specialty. We cannot sing Jesus loves me, without picturing him strumming away on the guitar singing it happily to a completely different tune, nor can we hear certain nursery rhymes without hearing his version, for instance,
Hickory Dickory Dock
Two mice ran up the clock
The clock struck one
And the other escaped with minor injuries.

He told stories and generally entertained so much that gathering around to listen to him was one of the few activities that could bring us in from play.
~~~~
Once at Nanny and Papa’s house, we never wanted to leave. Inevitably we would beg to spend the night, and since we never came prepared we would always borrow a night shirt from Papa and throw pillows and blankets on the floor, fighting over who got to sleep under the table. He never missed a chance to join us in the living room, roughing it with us (from the couch). Such occasions presented opportunities to perfect his modified fairy tales.
~~~~
Other times we would gather around him as he worked on the computer. He would walk us through step by step from the simplest actions like opening a program to complicated things like designing a program. Most of us still remember watching him work on the Sammy-O project which sadly he never finished. We were allowed to test the games, and sometimes our voices even became a part of the animated world.
Holidays such as Christmas, would find us gathered around him again – this time in mock frustration – as he would slowly read the names off each package, often slipping in a name unrecognized by anyone in the family. He was a person who found, and created humor in everything, a trait that has continued to be passed on. His ready laugh and cheerful face will remain in our minds forever, and his playfulness will be the ideal we hope to be when we are grandparents.
~~~~~
He did not sit us down to teach us, but we learned many things from him. We began to learn to love books, and poetry, riddles, and songs. His were the first sermons that we actually listened to, first to see if he would mention us, then to listen to the illustrations, but somewhere along the way the actual message became clear, and stuck with us. From those sermons we learned of sticking with your standards, of having faith in God’s promises and provisions, and what happens when you stick gum in a frog during a dissection.
~~~~~~
As we grow older, we have begun to forget certain things and times. Each one of us has specific memories that we cling to, comparing and reminding the others when we come together to remember. But we will never forget the feeling of his hugs, or the sound of his voice. We will never forget him praying with everyone before we would leave the house. We can never forget the man we knew, but only regret that the youngest of us will not know him – the man who was our Papa.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

life is a soap opera

its true. life is just as messed up as those dumb shows you see clips of in the waiting room. so on tv the guy may or may not have kidnapped a girl that he is now madly in love with, but he doesn't know, because he has amnesia. then in life, you find that a co workers parents who have been together for over thirty years have seperated for messy reason? what do you say to that? it seems just as in

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The wise words of T H White

"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and tremble in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then -- to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the minds can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you.
Look at what a lot of things there are to learn -- pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard of lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocriticism and geography and history and economics -- why you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it is time to learn to plough."

(This is from the Once and Future King which I have read once, and am now enjoying a second time. I love the complicated way in which White say simple things, and the simplicity of his humor. The first two hundred pages focus on the young Arthur's life and education, but in such a way that the "story line" seems to only be a good excuse to relate stories, anecdotes, and general musings. This is the kind of book that I read on the bus and laugh out loud, read at work with dictionary.com pulled up, and read at home into the wee hours of the morning.)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

confessions of an eclectic

I am a collector of collections -- as well as many other things -- a lover of symmetry, and a connoisseur of almost nothing. The upshot of this is that I have multiples of everything, arranged in even piles throughout my living space, with no requirement as to good taste or elegance. Some of you may have been to my apartment and perhaps you think it looks just fine. Well your wrong. You must have been to overcome be . . . IT ALL, to notice what it all was.

For example. you thought those shelves at the top of the stairs were quaint little nick-nac shelves with an assortment of strange things on them. Wrong. Those shelves harbor two of my collections. First a collection a pig statuary. (I loved pigs as a child and began collecting them. weird huh, "hey Nichole whats your fav animal? Mines a dog." "I like pigs.") Here is a pic of a few of them.


The other shelves hold by far my strangest collection, entitled -- Gnomes, Lanterns, and Toad Stools. I really don't know how thins collection got started. I was into fairies at the time but open to other enchanted creature, when I came across a gnome, (I often forget which silent letter goes in front of gnome and so have spelled it Knome many times.) I bought said gnome. I displayed the gnome with one of my lanterns (candle holder). Later I found a little toad stool figurine in some thrift shop or other, and a collection was born. I was still unaware of it at the time. This is where things like my love of symmetry come into play. You see, one gnome was unbalanced, but two gnomes looked much better. Of course I had a lantern for this new little fellow, and quite by accident found him a toad stool too. My family noticed my new collection sooner than I did and at Christmas I received several toad stools and a few gnomes. I finally realized that I had a collection. Not of gnomes, or toad stools, but of all things together. (you will notice that one of my gnomes does not have a toad stool but rather a toad, he was quite pleased with himself about that. Here are some pics.






I have many other collections, some such as books which everyone has, other like bottles which are less common. Some I do not display such as my key chains, or post cards. others are less noticeable on display, like my bird feeders or pillows. But there are to many to list or display pictures of here, so I will content myself with these few and a promise to show and tell you of the rest some other time. Perhaps now, the next time you come to my apartment, you will not tell my how wonderfully modern it is or how you love my style, but will look closer and give my that incredulous look which I think I so deserve.