Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Break: Not What it Used to Be

Mississippi has been just downright dreary for a week.  Raining, has been raining, will be raining, never going to stop raining kind of dreary.  Curl up in a fetal position dreary.  Not able to get to Texas dreary.  Cold seeping into your metal joints and producing an ache unlike any other kind of dreary.  Mud sucking at your boots dreary.
I finally, after a week of it, managed to get myself up and dressed and to the grocery store.  We were well beyond "the cupboards are bare" kind of need.  There's a little game we play around here called "I'm on strike."  It goes something like this:
I vow to myself that I am not washing dishes, cooking, cleaning the kitchen, or washing towels until someone else does.  The dishes stack up on the counter.  There are no clean glasses, cups, plates, bowls, silverware.  The hamper is full and overflowing with towels.  There are no clean towels.  The mud is so thick where dogs have tracked it in from the swamp that is the back yard, that were I an artist and capable of that level of creativity, I could sculpt.  And then, I get tired of it.  And, I clean the kitchen and wash the towels.  The floor has more grit than I do.
So, after a week of eating take out or oatmeal, I wanted real food.  That required purchasing real food, and having clean dishes.  Granted, I thought about breaking out my secret stash of paper plates, known only to me, and there is always a handful of plastic utensil packets from take out, but truly, when I reach the point I want real food, I also prefer to eat it on a ceramic plate using a stainless steel utensil.

So, there you have it: the strike in the kitchen is over again, settled by the usual capitulation of the worker.  The original plan was that I was leaving for Texas, and the guys would be forced to eventually load the dishwasher and wash the towels prior to my return...then, I didn't leave.
Last evening--you know, the one that now lasts an extra long time thanks to the time change--I sat on the porch watching the birds flocking to the feeder and watching the cats watching the birds.  Even though they can't reach the birds, thanks to how and where I place the feeders, it does not stop the cats from patiently sitting in position, poised with the instinct cats have to stalk their next meal, even when a full bowl of cat chow is in the usual place.
There is probably a lesson in that.  Every once in a while, though, we get tired of the lessons, don't we?  We just want someone else to wash the dishes and the towels.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows...

Sunshine yesterday and this morning is making quick work of our snow.  Meanwhile, back in Texas, it had just started yesterday, and still going this morning.
Rio sent me a good morning hello.  Undaunted by a little snow, he ventured out of his barn and had his breakfast while Sis chopped the ice off his water.
 Last night, I had been working on Rio portraits to make the second photo collage for Dad's room.  Rand suggested I make a second one to go with the one I made for his Christmas and put it in his room so he can still see Rio on those times he does not feel like getting out of bed.  Sounded like a good plan to me.
Like this morning, when it is cold and snowy!  One of Dad's favorite things is when he wakes up and Sis sits in the chair by his bed and has morning coffee with him.  Before, Dad and I used to sit out on the deck in the mornings and drink coffee.  Sometimes one might not think of that at the time, but when I look back now, I treasure those opportunities and that we made time for them. 

There are double windows to the left of his bed, and they were watching it snow.  He said it was a resting day.  I on the other hand, have to get in to work today.  Though I have managed to get quite a lot done during the snow days this week, it is time to show up in the office.  At least the sun is shining.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

And so the wintry mix has begun...

 I was scheduled to give clinical comprehensive exams today--a grueling 2 day long affair for me and the students.  In the vein of looking at silver linings, all the hours and hours I spent writing the exam were good, because it is done...but in the face of all the other priority tasks looming in the next few weeks, you hate to have spent days on something without an immediate payoff.  Pretty sure travel would be hazardous, students were pre-warned we would likely have to cancel, and that regardless, they should not attempt travel if weather was dangerous in their areas.  We needn't have wondered--the entire region is under winter storm advisory.  It is always one of those bitter-sweet outcomes--true, I don't have to be at work today as in physically in the building, but so much of my work involves writing and research and use of the computer and use of Internet that it is hard to make a case for not doing anything just because I am sitting here rather than sitting there.  That's when being a cat comes in handy--Son House really is not concerned with where he has to be and what he has to do, other than try to avoid the large spots of snow and ice.
 I had begun to wonder when the snow and sleet would start, but mid-morning, it kicked it fast and heavy.  It has been intermittent since, letting up for a bit and then coming back. 
The cardinals are are as intermittent as the ice and snow...and my accomplishments when I stand at the window and watch them.  Time to get back to work--this manuscript won't write itself.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rain and some more rain

Libby's kennel is a pond.  Water is running down the hill at breakneck speed.  We are in for it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

On finding solace in a whirlwind

Yep, this is pretty much how I feel right now--like last spring's flowers, droopy, ice-covered, in a fading pot.
I have those intermittent moments where it seems like there is a spotlight showcasing something of importance...like photography, and blogging.  You know, those things that help me keep my sanity in this world "spinning hopelessly out of control" (Willie Nelson, "Hands on the Wheel," 1975).
 Not long ago, a fellow blogger said taking a picture--even on a phone camera--was like looking through a spyglass.  Focus.  It is all about the focus.

I suppose that is the good thing about finding solace in a whirlwind--focus.  When you train your eye on the one thing, you stop focusing on the giant whirlwind encompassing you--obscuring the view in the maelstrom.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ice Storm

This morning

This afternoon

This evening

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Libby wants Son House to come in and play!

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I heard a sound from Libby's kennel that sounded like she was dancing around in the kind of play dogs do.  I could hear her nails clicking on the little wooden porch where she likes to lie in the sunshine.  I glanced out the window to see what she was doing.  You probably can't tell from this first picture...
 ...but it is beginning to get clearer...
...that Son House had discovered the hole in the gate.
"Hey, Mom, what do you think is happening here?  Is this my little brother?  Or just a big blond rat?"

 "Oh, wow, someone to play with!  Can he come in and play, Mom?  Can he, huh?  Please?"
 Son House seemed to be thinking about the invitation...
"Sure dude, it's all fun and games, until I get in there and one of us gets hurt..."