Journal Entries

Tea Time

Tomorrow afternoon is the library's annual spring tea. Last year we got a bit carried away and had a lot of food left over, so this year we're scaling back. This afternoon I'm baking two cakes rather than the four last year. My semi-famous pound cake and a chocolate amaretto with toasted almonds. I'm also going to bake scones and rock cakes tomorrow morning and am in charge of the tea sandwiches. I'm cutting back to two varieties of those. I'm also taking lemon and coconut petite fours, but I cheated and ordered them.

My children's librarian is the other baker. She's fixing up a lot of those cute little tasting plates and bowls. I think she's doing tiny trifles and a variety of canap├ęs. And she's making Russian tea cakes.

This is the first year we won't be having live music. We're trying to stick with a 20s jazz theme as part of 20s month for the centennial. So I'm going to play some Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong in the background. That will at least be authentic.

This is also the first year that I'm not enjoying it. It's a chore to drum up any enthusiasm for some reason. I'll be glad when it's done and dusted.

Discuss this Journal entry [35]

Latest reply: May 17, 2013

Deja Vu

Ok, I know we've seen these before, but it's been a while. So enjoy.

1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?

2. Why is the third hand On the watch
Called the second hand?

3. If a word is misspelled In the dictionary,
How would we ever know?

4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary,
Where did he find the words?

5. Why do we say something is out of whack?
What is a whack?

6. Why does "slow down" and
"slow up" mean the same thing?

7. Why do "fat chance" and "slim chance"
Mean the same thing?

8. Why do "tug" boats push their barges?

9. Why do we sing "Take me out to the ball game"
When we are already there?

10. Why are they called " stands"
When they are made for sitting?

11. Why is it called "after dark"
When it really is "after light"?

12.. Doesn't "expecting the unexpected"
Make the unexpected expected?

13.. Why are a "wise man" and
A "wise guy" opposites?

14. Why do "overlook" and "oversee"
Mean opposite things?

15. Why is "phonics" Not spelled
The way it sounds?

16. If work is so terrific,
Why do they have to pay you to do it?

17.. If all the world is a stage,
Where is the audience sitting?

18.. If love is blind,
Why is lingerie so popular?

19. If you are cross-eyed and have dyslexia,
Can you read all right?

20. Why is bra singular
And panties plural?

21.. Why do you press harder On the buttons of a remote control
When you know the batteries are dead?

22. Why do we put suits in garment bags
And garments in a suitcase?

23. How come abbreviated
Is such a long word?

24. Why do we wash bath towels?
Aren't we clean when we use them?

25.. Why doesn't glue
Stick to the inside of the bottle?

26. Why do they call it a TV set
When you only have one?

27. Christmas - What other time of the year
Do you sit in front of a dead tree And eat candy out of your socks?

28. Why do we drive on a parkway
And park on a driveway?

Discuss this Journal entry [6]

Latest reply: May 13, 2013

Reflections on Mom

This is the first Mother's Day since my mom died. It is more bittersweet than sad for me. As most of you know, my relationship with her was sometimes a difficult one. We were very different people. She did have good qualities. I don't want you to think she was a horrible person, because she wasn't. But for the most part, her self-absorption and general negativity was a constant source of angst for me. How my father, who was the exact opposite, managed to stay happily married to her for 51 years has always totally puzzled me.

For many years I spent Mother's Day shopping for plants for her porch boxes and then setting them out. She was an excellent gardener when she was healthy. To be perfectly honest, that's the only thing I can think of that she genuinely enjoyed. Well, that and crossword puzzles. She was seriously good at those and complained about not being able to find any that were challenging enough to suit her. She was also an accomplished seamstress, but I think she considered sewing more of a chore than a pleasure.

She was a good country cook and hosted most of the dinners for her side of the family. But in spite of always doing it, she rather resented it and in later years complained about everyone piling in on her all the time. I think this is a great example of her general attitude. She could take any event and find a way to turn it into a burden of sorts. She loved feeling put upon because that meant it was all about her. No matter what the situation, there was always something wrong, some reason for her not to enjoy it.

Her mood worsened during my dad's final illness and after his death. She turned herself into a professional widow. Life wasn't worth living. There were moments when she seemingly forgot she was supposed to be depressed, and we would have a good day together. Then she'd revert to doom and gloom again. It was extremely tiresome.

The last couple of years her health deteriorated to the point where she legitimately had something to be depressed about. Her decline was far more prolonged than any of us wish for, for ourselves or anyone we love. Her mind was also deteriorating, making her moods more pronounced and causing her a lot of worry and fear. Her life became a burden to her.

Death isn't always an enemy. In my mother's case, it released her from physical pain and severe depression. So, no I didn't actually want her to die, but I didn't want her to live in that condition, either. When there is no hope for improvement and a return to independence, then death can be a friend. It was so in her case.

Today I'm going to plant flowers at my own house in her memory. It seems like a good way to acknowledge the day.

Discuss this Journal entry [7]

Latest reply: May 12, 2013

Never too old to learn

What, you may very well ask, if the old gal learning now? Quite a lot, actually. For one thing, I have learned more about probate than I ever wanted to know. (Did we ever get a pounding head against wall smiley?)

I now know why my neighbor threatens to throw her yorkie to the lions on a regular basis, and Winston is only half yorkie. He is without a doubt the most hyper, smart-ass puppy I've ever met. The shelties have to double team him to keep him under control. His latest trick is to try to drag Bart smiley - cat by his tail. Bart is very gentle and good-natured, but he finally had enough this morning and thumped Winston, who quite honestly needed a good thumping. He learned to avoid Minerva smiley - cat early on. She won't put up with him the way Bart and the shelties do.

I have learned that the old addage that if you cut the top off of a plant often enough, the root will eventually die does ~not~ apply to bermuda grass. I've pulled, I've hoed, I've dug down a good three feet and manually removed as many roots as I can find and I still have bermuda grass everywhere, choking out my vegetables and flowers. In a fit of desperation, I covered my cucumber and squash beds with heavy black plastic and straw then built hills on top of this in hopes of smothering it long enough to get a crop this summer.

I have learned that no matter who is on the executive board of the Friends of the Library, they have no intention of actually doing anything that benefits the library. They have fundraisers and then put the money raised in the bank where it stays. smiley - sigh What I have not yet learned is what exactly they think their function is. But hey, I'm smiley - zen about it. The only sensible approach is to never count on them for anything. This way I'm not disappointed and they aren't forced into a position of refusing to help.

One of the most amazing things I've learned recently is that I am not a complete Luddite, after all. I am cutting back on print at the library and going digital. It's the only way we can stay relevant. And I even bought myself an iPad. I know! Me! What's the world coming to?

Discuss this Journal entry [11]

Latest reply: Apr 28, 2013

Life is hard, etc., etc.

Hello there. Quite a lot has happened since I posted last. Some good stuff and some bad stuff. That's the nature of life.

In the good stuff category, I have adopted a puppy. I know, I need another dog like a hole in the head. But it was sort of an emergency situation for the little guy. And since I lost Spice, I could get one more and still be legal. Little DooDah has a limit of 3 dogs per household. If you go over that, you have to buy a kennel license.

So, this little bundle of mischief was born on December 22 and I got him on Feb 11. He's half pug and half Yorkie, making him a pugshire. His appearance is about 90% pug. His name is Winston. He is absolutely fearless and tries to bully the shelties. He has loads of personality and a very sweet nature. It took about 5 minutes for him to become family.

We have had a very generous donation at the library in honor of our upcoming centennial. A local family is re-landsscaping our grounds in memory of their parents, both of whom were great library supporters. The work has already started, and I must say that the results so far are wonderful. They are even putting in a water feature for us.

In other centennial news, I am finally getting an art feature I've wanted ever since we did the renovation. Three original windows that faced the parking lot were boarded up. They are near the new main entry staircase, along with the old exterior limestone wall that was left as an architectural feature. I've always wanted murals on those panels.

The artist is imagining the three panels all being painted to look like Craftsman-style stained glass windows that combine the Arts & Crafts geometric designs with some Art Nouveau-inspired allegorical figures. Each window would represent a different time (either 1914/1964/2014 or 1914/2014/2114), and would contain an allegorical figure that represents the role of the library in the culture at that particular time. The figures themselves would be timeless, and all three "windows" would be designed to appear like they could have existed in the original era. Each window would contain some small panes that appear to be transparent glass that show small slivers of a scene outside. These scenes would be similar in subject, but would depict the different eras. This subtle reference to the three time periods will allow us to convey that narrative, but maintain a cohesive larger image. Good stuff! He'll use traditional oil glazing to make them look luminous, making it look like light is shining from behind the "glass".

Mother celebrated her 92nd birthday a few days ago. I have had to move her in with me. She isn't able to stay alone in her own home any longer. Quite hionestly, I don't expect her to last much longer. She has breast cancer and a large melanoma on her neck/jaw area. She chose not to treat either back when she still had enough of a mind to make that sort of decision.

Her mind is nearly gone and her legs are giving out on her. I've enrolled her with a hospice service, but it hasn't kicked in yet. She's on the waiting list. In the meantime, I'm arranging to have a hospital bed delivered. Even using her walker, she can barely get from her chair or bed to the bathroom and back. I have a woman I pay to stay with her while I'm at work.

Early this morning, she tried to get up by herself and slid to the floor. I was on my way to help her when it happened. If she'd waited another few seconds, but she doesn't have enough mind left to get any sort of instructions to stick. Anyway, I screwed up my back big time trying to get her out of the floor and finally called 911 for help. We have a really great group of paramedics in Little DooDah. They are only 3 blocks away making response time very fast indeed. I got chewed out for trying to lift her by myself. No surprise there. I have strict orders to call them if she goes down again.

My brother was here for a week. That was the last week she was able to stay at home. He's supposed to be back down for Mother's Day, but I'll be surprised if she's still here by then.

There was something else, but for the life of me I can't remember what. Sometimes I think I'm as batty as Mother.

Discuss this Journal entry [28]

Latest reply: Feb 22, 2013

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