Thursday, June 28, 2007


Out of thirty nine throws, only thirty six were gutter peas. I'm improving! I just know I'll do better next time. I'm thinking hockey may be in my future, as soon as I perfect my bowling skills. I'm thinking split peas will do the trick.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Curious Find

This little "Find", as I call it, occurred just a few minutes ago. This will not make blogging history, nor will it be noted by any as interesting, intriguing, or noteworthy. But I am filled with curiosity, laughter and a sense of wonder. Wonder as in, "I wonder where this little snippet came from?"
I just opened up one of my favorite books and there inside the front cover was a little note I'd scribbled. The note includes a rude drawing of a mouse. The note says, and I quote, "bowling with peas, stealing from the larder". That's it..totally.
I have even googled the words and haven't come up with anything. I just love that phrase so provides me with such amusement and I can see that mouse so clearly in my head. I can hear those little peas hitting the pins!
I know, I ride the little yellow bus, I have Velcro fasteners on my shoes because tying a bow is above me. "Small things amuse small minds." You may all call me Simple. I don't mind. These little discoveries bring me glee!
I'm off to find my high performance shoes, the Brunswick peas and my team shirt. I'll be lobbing those peas in the larder tonight and having a heck of a time!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Gone Are the Days.......

school days that is, but the memories are still there. When I think about my teaching years, all manner of memories come flooding back...projects, parents, students, good days, bad days, happy and sad days, my triumphs and my failures all are there for the calling up. Memories of each new year are inexorably bound up in scents: the smell of crayons, construction paper, chalk, erasers and new pencils. What could shout "New School Year!" louder than that?
End of the school year memories are much more about what we did, what we learned, what I learned, and the students who were in my class. This post is dedicated to a student I had twenty six years ago.
We had just moved here and I landed a job as a first grade teacher, something for which I was totally unprepared. I'd been teaching nine, ten and eleven year old kids previous to our move. The student I remember so vividly that year was a small, grubby faced, dark haired boy named Ronnie. He had the interesting habit of chewing on his shirt collars so that by October nearly all of his shirts were sporting only the ghost of a collar. To say that he was a character is a gross understatement. It was Ronnie who would jump up, and holding his scissors aloft, shout out, "These scissors are out of control!" It was Ronnie who would lament, "This pencil has a mind of its own." Once after we had spent several days learning about elephants, he charged out of his seat demanding that everyone stop and listen. "Stop, stop! Can't you hear it? The elephants, the elephants are coming!" Some of the class actually ran to the windows to look. Ronnie was no student, but neither was he slow. He struggled with the "three R's", but he was one of the most creative little guys I ever had.
One morning when he walked into the classroom, he sized me up and down and declared, "I told you not to wear that dress. I HATE that dress!"
Me: "But Ronnie, I don't have many dresses."
Ronnie: "Well, why don't you get you some?"
Me: "Well, dresses cost money and I don't have a lot of money. I have to buy clothes for my two boys and I have to buy food too."
Ronnie: Silence, time out to ponder, then, "Well, why don't you get you a JOB?"
Me: Mouth agape, bug eyed, "This is my job, Ronnie."
Ronnie: Incredulous look on his face, a hint of outrage, long pause, "You mean you get PAID to do this?"
Ronnie, wherever you are today, I realize that you are a grown man. I hope you haven't changed dramatically. Of course I hope that your scissors are under control, that your pencils are obedient, that your shirts are sporting fully intact collars, and that you have a son equally creative, unique and wonderful as you were so long ago in my classroom. I hope that there is a Ronnie clone in your family circle, although, somehow I think God shredded the blueprints when he created you.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Life Stages As Food

If you read my blog, you will know that my mind (convoluted and wandering) often takes me to very strange places. I need to say this up front so that you will be able to get a clue as to how I end up where I end up (that's certainly clearly stated, Ellen).
The other morning after my shower, I was applying a little blush, just a touch, because at sixty five one certainly has to be careful and tasteful with one's makeup. I thought to myself, "I believe I've heard that you are to apply blush to the Apples of your Cheeks."
I leaned closer to the mirror and tried to find the Apples of my Cheeks. For the life of me, I couldn't locate them. I believe that they simply dropped, faded or just left town when I wasn't looking. That led me to ruminating on the stages of my life and how they might be described as, or compared to food. I'm pretty sure that the following come close to representing my journey.

In Utero: Toad in a Hole

Infant/Babyhood: Bubble and Squeak, Flummery

Early Childhood: Peach Crisp, Jelly Tot, or Snickerdoodle

Adolescence/Early Adulthood: This stage escapes me. I would have liked to have been a Bombe, but alas, I didn't have the equipment.

Adulthood/Middle Aged: I've been a Nut Bar, a Fool, now and then a Crab Apple, On rare occasions, Stewed, Toasted or Deviled. When pregnant, I've been a Pudding and a Jelly Roll.

Mature Adult (euphemism for old): Again I'm not sure, but I suspect that one of these mornings when I'm leaning close to the mirror I'll realize that I've become an Apple Pan Dowdy, a Crumble, or God forbid, a prune.

(thank goodness that I have been the wrong gender to become a Spotted Dick!)


Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Father's Day Remembrance: To Vincent

Born in 1906 on a sugar plantation in Hawaii
Mother English, Father Irish
Became a banker and businessman in Honolulu
Married his high school sweetheart
Fathered three children
Loved his family, friends, fishing and working on cars
Great sense of humor, gentle, kind and affectionate

Dear Daddy,
You've been gone so long and I still miss you. I wish that you could share in the joy that is my life. I wish that you could have been a part of my children's growing up. I wish that you could see what wonderful young men they have become and what loving families of their own they have created. I wish that they could have had the blessing of your presence in their lives.
Thank you for being the person you always were. Thank you for taking care of us, for being a loving husband and father. Thank you for your humor, the joy that you had over "the little things", that when added up, become something big..the wonder and sense of gratitude for those small bits and pieces that are a part of each day.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of love in my life, love of family and friends. Thank you for showing me the value of expressing that love not only through actions and deeds, but with words. I do not remember a day going by that you didn't say "I love you" out loud to each of us. I learned that lesson well by your example.
I remember so well you describing one of your friends: "He doesn't have a mean bone in his body." Neither did you.
Thank you, I love you Daddy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Help the Poor Struggler

I'm not doing well. I've used those words twice in the last hour. I forgot what I was supposed to say...I have fallen off the wagon.What a profligate.
I turned on the light. I said it. The Bad Word.
Is there a twelve step program to help me? I took some salad out of the frig. It was no good...too old. I am fading fast. I'll try to soldier on but I think that this is a no win situation. I am a dyed in the wool swearer. Perhaps with the dawn I'll be able to renew my vows. Peace.


Well, For Goodness Sake!

In my effort to improve myself and to pay more than lip service to My Good Intentions, (see entry The Road to Hell), I neglected to make a notation about my bad language. I do tend to swear...a lot. Of course, I only do this in the comfort of my own home. When in public I swear with reckless abandon, but solely in my head. I know there are those who believe that thoughts are actually as bad as deeds. I am not sure, but I will err on the side of caution and declare that my "mental" cussing has got to stop as well. I have to say a large thank you to the good angel who now and then visits that I never once, in all my years of teaching, swore out loud. Now this doesn't mean that I didn't want to scream obscenities at times, but praise be, it never happened. It's a damned (oops!) miracle.
I believe that if you give up a habit you will need to find another to replace that which you are abandoning. Of course the new habit needs to be a good one. My job is to identify new and acceptable words to use in the place of the often four letter, monosyllabic motes I throw out when vexed. I've come up with a few that I am going to practice using. Wish me luck. Somehow they just don't seem to have the same impact and verve of my old standbys, but that's probably because they are new and foreign to me. I'll be more comfortable with them in a few weeks. Practice makes perfect!
Based on past disasters, I present alternatives to my usual expletives.

"Oh, for mercy sake! I just lacerated my knuckles on the grater and there's blood in the cabbage."

"Well, my stars, would you look at that? Silly me! I stepped in a dog turd and managed to get it in the carpet. I'll just clean that up in a jiff!"

"I know I bought blueberries and cantaloupe, but they're not here with everything else. Gee whiz, I'll just hop in the car and go back to the grocery store. It'll only take fifty five minutes out of my afternoon."

"Heavens to Betsy! I didn't notice that little tear in the vacuum cleaner bag. Land 'o Goshen, that dust and dog hair sure can fly all over."

"Oh, pshaw, I don't mind typing my blog entry all over again for the fourth time."

"Well, I declare, if that old dryer isn't eating our clothes again."

"Oops. Wow, that hurts. I guess I shouldn't have tried to step over the electric fence. For pity sakes! That's a real crotch zapper!"

"Goodness gracious! I've been on hold for thirty five minutes. Mercy me, I just can't seem to connect with a real human being."

"Well, I swan! I didn't see that plastic wrap on the ham when I put it in the oven."


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

If You Read My Blog

If you read any of my "Silly" stuff, if you have visited, thank you so much. I can't begin to tell you what it means to have people leave comments, to connect with others who have such beautiful sites, who do such wonderful things. I think that I am just figuring out why I like to do this. Yes, I like to make things and I have forever when I've had the time. I have the time now, but for some reason I am enjoying the writing process more. It may not appeal to very many people..that's certainly o.k..but it's sure been good for me. I am assuming that whoever you are and whatever you do, that's what is good for you and that is what makes you happy..along with the really important,place etc.
I guess what I needed to write about tonight was that I am not all fluff, silliness, irreverence, craziness and whatever other words one would attach to me. I need to say this, I think, especially for me. I have been feeling all that -ness, and I will continue to do it as long as I can. Humor, however dumb or stupid is good. BUT here is the rub: Listening to the news, not knowing what I can do, being an anti-war person, anti-violence, but supporting the sons, daughters, husbands and wives who are there is just so confusing. I know that I can take care of this little world around me and I do. I just don't know how to take care of all of the people I (you too) worry about..those who are in pain, those who are sick, those who are abused, those who live in violent surroundings, those who are hungry, those who have no access to literacy, those who have no clean water, those who..on and on and on. And it's not just in the war was in my classroom sometimes.(the harsh reality is that we can't do all of this).
This is why I turn off the radio at times. Maybe I'm being chicken, but that's how I handle stuff at times...turn it off, do what I can do, and be silly, and hope that people know that I send love and care.
I wish no matter who you are, what color, what nationality, what religion, what gender, what skin color, and what age, that you are in a safe place, that there are people who care for you, that you have people you care for and that you have the power of choice and that you have the gift of JOY in your life.


Hey you, Prince Charming, where in the Sam Hill are you? I've been waiting, but honestly, I can't wait much longer. I don't have a hundred years to give to sleep. What's with you anyway? Just because I live in the middle of a nursery doesn't mean that people actually "Keep the Grounds" or "Keep the Hounds at Bay." Are you just too busy with your allemandes, courtly picnics, lawn bowling and general frou-frou nonsense? What's up with this ignoring me? You know the plan. You're supposed to ride up on your white horse and save me. Get off your royal bum and fulfill your purpose. Pull up your hose, throw on that cape and get a move on. If you're too lazy or otherwise occupied, at least send the Palace Guard. Make sure they are armed with sacateurs, machetes, blow torches and Round Up. A backhoe would be a nice touch. I'm not exaggerating, these blackberries are deadly serious. They are not timid creatures. You know that along with flies, cockroaches and certain unmentionable diseases they will inherit the earth. I just don't want it to be my little patch of earth. I'm trying to be patient, but honestly I'm desperate. I give them two weeks and they'll be strangling the life out of me.
Your truly,
Briar Rose.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Hello Kitty!
Hello Kitty!
How are things in
Camp Sew Pretty?
I'm so happy with your newness,
And I just adore your jaunty, shiny blueness.

You're a wonder,
Nine pounds under,
And I'm twitching
To get stitching.
You're a tiny, sweet patootie,
Let's get sewing, let's get going, do your duty.

Hello Kitty!
Hello Kitty!
Things are great in
Camp Sew Pretty.
You're so charming and disarming,
I'll just mention one more time now,
Hello Kitty!

with apologies to Allan Sherman


Monday, June 11, 2007

If the Road to Hell

is paved with good intentions, then I'll be there in record time. My road is no super highway with interchanges, clover leafs (leaves?), on-ramps and definitely no off-ramps. There are no potholes, no caution signs, no curves and no stop lights. It is Green to Go all the way. My road's straight as an arrow. It lacks rest stops, school crossings, zebra crossings and round abouts. There are no scenic byways, no signs indicating points of interest or historic places, no battlefields, or commemorative plaques. No one has left one bit of history along my road. Famous generals, explorers or pilgrims have never been within shouting distance. No bridges exist and certainly no warning signs for moose, elk, deer or the occasional duck or armadillo x-ing. There is nothing sentimental about my road. It's no Route 66. There are no kicks. It's all business.
I present an abbreviated notation of my Good Intentions:

Hunt down all of my magazines, organize them or donate them to the library
Do some harvesting in the frig.
Re-wash the load of clothes I left in the washer two days ago
Organize my work room (oh, that'll take about a week)
Hide my husband's beer cans that are taking over the carport
Put some of my books in the bookshelf (now there's a new concept)
Make the bed before 4:00p.m.
Wipe the dog hair off of the toilet seats
Actually employ the Swiffer Duster
Take the pile of new fabric off of the piano bench and put it somewhere (?)
Find the vacuum cleaner

Should you at any time, on any given day, hear the break of the sound barrier or suddenly feel all of the oxygen being sucked out of the air around you, do not be alarmed. Try to stay calm and know that before you can even wave, it's merely me at Mach speed, all Hypersonic,tearing ass down my Road to Hell.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

It's Too Late to Close the Barn Door

.....the horse has already escaped!
That's what I thought about this morning after I took my shower and was putting on my lotion. I finally noticed that this lotion claims to have anti-aging properties. Who could tell? I examined another product that promotes itself as Age Defying...promising to reduce fine lines, to rejuvenate tired skin. I realized why these wonderful products have no relevance or use in my personal skin care regime. It's too darned late! You can't prevent what's already happened.
That led me to the greatest epiphany I've experienced in a long time...The understanding finally, as to why I never developed much more than a weeny set of breasts. I'll let you in on my discovery: It's because I never had a training bra! If you don't train something, how can you ever expect it to grow and bloom, or to reach its full potential. It was a forehead slapping moment of discovery! And that's why I say it's too late to close the barn door!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

I am thinking about abandoning the ship, trying a different "place..home" to blog from. Growing gills and I have had an on again, off again relationship. I am well aware that I know not what I am doing, but as soon as I figure it out and am successful, bang! it doesn't work the next time or the time after. I don't need to continue to bang my head against the screen. This is supposed to be fun, and it is when it works, but so often it doesn't work. I can write, but then can't download a picture, I can download a picture but then can't write, I can post two pictures one day, but not more than one the next. AND nobody wants to hear ranting and raving on a blog about blogging from an old dog.
I do want to continue to do this...I love the writing, I love to respond to so many of you who do such lovely things. I'll keep on keeping on...and if I find a more compatible home, I'll leave a new address (if I can figure out how to do that."giggle", but not really).
I may have to start a "Blogalong for women who are 65, didn't grow up with TV, hardly know how to put a DVD in the player to watch a movie, just got a cell phone, can find anything on the Internet, but, damn, they sure don't know s#*t about blogging!"
I am really not an old witch, not a complainer at all be nature..I guess that I feel this experience has made me seem like one..(well, I have been p*#sed a lot when I've wanted to do stuff).
For any who read this and have responded, thank has been a joy. I am determined to succeed and hope that if you have visited, you will do so again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Guess Who's Been Coming To Dinner?

Someone's been coming to dinner in the carport. I just saw this little guest last night. I am pleased that he/she dressed up in basic black and white, all formal and all. I would have preferred that he/she did not think it necessary to leave a calling card! Phew!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Inch by Inch

Row by row, I'm gonna let my garden grow...and by the way, did you notice June is busting out all over?
This is the best "beginning" we've had for our garden in a long while. The lettuce is more than we can consume so it is being shared. That's always nice when you can deliver fresh greens to family and friends. The peas are almost as tall as I, though that's not saying a lot as I am not that tall. The lavender will be in full bloom soon. The corn and tomatoes are in. YUM!
Happy gardening to you if you have one and if not, hopefully you know someone who is being swallowed up by theirs and can share.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


I've been tagged to list Eight Things You Don't Know About Me by bkwilliams

1. I didn't wear shoes to school until the 7th grade and then I only wore them to school.

2. I was born and raised in Hawaii (hence the barefoot-ness).

3. I am left handed but can't use left handed scissors. I knit right handed, but crochet left handed. I open jars and doors with my right hand, but have to pour liquids with my left.

4. I don't consider myself to be a risk taker, but I did leave Hawaii at 18 to go to college 2,300 miles away from family and friends to a place I'd never been. I lived by myself my first year of teaching, still far away from home.

5. I've lived in 5 different states.

6. I have traveled to several foreign countries and many states, but I consider myself a true homebody. I could easily not leave home for weeks if I could have good, fresh veggies and fruit delivered to my door, if I had books, music and my wine.

7. I think I have a great sense of humor but people who mask their biases, prejudices and meanness in humor make me very uncomfortable. Putting down minorities, women, nationalities and religions upsets me.

8. I used to be such a neat-freak. I couldn't go to bed if one thing was out of place in my bedroom. Now I inhabit the other end of the spectrum.

That was fun, thanks. I tag Teresa at