Sunday, February 28, 2010

So Many Things I Don't Understand

What would motivate an 83-yr-old woman to go from size A's to plump, perky, rounded size C's?
I mean, really? Isn't that going to be somewhat of a sharp contrast between the rest of her body? It's kinda old and wrinkly everywhere else. Gray haired. Stooped-over. It isn't exactly a choice that matches the landscape of the rest of her body. I rather like the current landscape. It's grandmothery.

Who the heck cares at that point? I mean, obviously, she does. A lot. After carrying mine around for quite a while now, though, they're mostly a pain-in-the-neck to be quite honest. Literally! Those suckers are heavy. I'd give mine away! 'Course she wouldn't know a thing about that. I guess she also doesn't know that she won't fit in her t-shirts anymore either, huh? Any of her shirts. To say nothing of her bras. Oops.

Life just gets stranger and stranger.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Every Kid Needs a Tent

Let's just say this is my contribution to the No Child Left Behind laws. Every kid needs a tent. Pretty much every kid I come in contact with gets some form of a tent built for them because, let's face it, life is more exciting in a tent. I used to have a two-man tent in my office for Squib to play in, but I took it down. This rudimentary bed tent strung across some chairs does just fine. It cheered him up and he told me it was like having an adventure.

That makes it worth the effort,

Castile Soap

I often let my mind drift in the shower. This happens even more often when I'm not functioning under some sort of time constraint or when I know someone else is watching the kiddos while I do my thing. So...mind is drifting... I start using my new Tahitian orchid soap and am surprised at how far a little drop seems to go. Somehow that makes my mind drift to cool (and some VERY COLD) baths in the Buffalo River with Castile soap. Very environment conscious stuff, but also very hard on my hair and face. I was clean though.

From there, I started thinking of rivers I have canoed. I quickly realized that I haven't set foot in a canoe since 1991. OK, so I have sent foot in a canoe since then, but it was always on a lake somewhere and I can't bring myself to count that. The following is my own personal canoe-ography in no particular order...

Buffalo River, Arkansas: By far my favorite. If you love canoeing and hiking, it provides the perfect combination of both...Lost Valley Cave, Big Bluff, Hemmed in Hollow, and several of the best caves you have EVER entered. It's also a national wildlife area, so there are lots of off-river camping areas as well as on-river camping, a full compliment of park ranger services (some of the best classes, etc. that I have ever attended, and guided hiking and canoeing trips.
I cut my teeth on this river at the age of twelve when my dad slapped me in a Grumman canoe with 16-yr-old Russel Smith. He knew how to handle a canoe and taught me a lot...including stark terror. You see, Russel had a habit of just jumping out of the boat into the water. Right before a big rapid. He was always looking at something or for something--this river is still crystal-clear and you can see the bottom no matter where you are. I understood diving in after his glasses, but the other things became ridiculous. So, I perfected the back-paddle-while-rotating-and-turning-the-bow-into-the-stern-of-the-boat maneuver. Russel hated the bow of the boat. Then there was the sibling rivalry between his brother and sister in the other boat.
We camped on sand bars (a misnomer) on the river for ten days and did the exciting stretch of the river (from Ponca to Kyle's Landing including all the amazing hiking before, after, and in between).

Ponca to Steel Creek is a short jaunt that can be fun in a tube if the water is high enough during the summer. Ponca (through Steel Creek) to Rusk is by far the most exciting stretch year round. Watch for cows. They like to masquerade as large, stupid obstacles...even stupider than trees. Trust me. Rusk to Kyle's landing will take you a couple of days plus an extra day if you want to hike. There's also a great stretch of river above Ponca from Boxley but you really have to be there when the river is at flood stage for that to be anything more than an exercise in professional portaging. The stretch to Buffalo Point and then on to Maumee is wider and flatter, but good for fishing OR jumping off rocks into the water. Not both for obvious reasons.

The real place to camp if you want to take advantage of all the park ranger action is Buffalo Point. The big hike up Indian Creek through the keyhole to Arkansas Cave originates there. Twice now, we have almost killed Booger on that hike. We went to lectures on all sorts of wildlife followed by hikes where we located said wildlife. My personal fave was the night hike for nocturnal animals...several species of owls made that very exciting. Oddly enough, I also enjoyed the emergency rescue they staged on one of the bluffs. They had one killer helicopter and all kinds of toys. The park rangers have a very high presence there and basically mill around and get to know you...sometimes they hang out and even join you on the river. They're a particularly great bunch of people.

Illinois River, Oklahoma: This was not the most fun I ever had, but within a day's drive of my house at the time. I've canoed it twice and all I have to say is "take the left fork!!!" You're actually supposed to take the right-hand fork at a certain point and we did not know that. Consequently, we had a LOT of fun on the left-hand side. We took the right-hand side on our second try and were sadly bored to tears.

Jack's Fork and Current Rivers, Missouri: Caution: Spring-fed river warning!!!! Yeah, we found out the hard way. We went to Alley Spring, Missouri on vacation and camped in one of the Ozark National Scenic River parks near the junction of these two rivers. The ranger there was leading a wildlife tubing class. She "neglected" to mention that we would be covering about a mile stretch of the Current river which is spring fed. So, we took off down the Jack's Fork, it dumped into the Current and immediately we all shot up out of our tubes 'cause the water hit a slightly chilly temp of 58 degrees. WOW!
Still, both rivers are beautiful. The current is wide and flat, but fast-moving. It makes for interesting fishing and is canoeable year-round because it doesn't freeze over or lose much water volume.
On a strange note, every seven or so years, this area falls victim to a major locust infestation. It literally looks like it snowed locusts. Our dog ran around eating them and you could hear them buzzing all the way down. They didn't bother us, it was just a tad, well, odd.

Mountain Fork River, Arkansas: Waterfalls, yes!!! This we loved!!! I think this is the river I discovered first because we used to pass it on the way to my grandmother's house and we'd pull onto the low-water bridge to watch boaters come over the falls (a minor four-footer). Any description of this river contains beautiful phrases like "cypress knee channels, " "abundant boulder gardens," "rock outcroppings," and "chutes." And last-but-not-least the "to-hell-with-it-we're-going-over waterfalls." A rollicking good time. For experienced paddlers. I would also advise wearing high-topped hiking boots for ankle support should you find your leg outside the boat...that river has the slipperiest bottom!

Mulberry River, Arkansas: This is a roller coaster for people who like canoeing and kayaking. At least 20 Class II-III rapids in a single day trip is average. Lash your gear in tight. Be in good shape, have extra clothes in a dry bag, and definitely be able to rescue your own bum--that's only if you can get your car in there to shuttle in your boat. Four-wheel with plenty of gas and a good check on the brakes is a good idea.

Cossatot River, Arkansas: This is like the death metal version of rivers. IF you try it in a canoe, add extra flotation and BUTTON IT UP! You are about to risk your life. For God's sake, wear a helmet!!! Paddle only with a partner you have worked with extensively and study the contours of the river and each rapid carefully. This river has some Class V rapids that seem to keep going and going and going. My personal preference is to take this one in a kayak...but now that I have children that need me to care for them I think I will not be returning. It was a "college thing."

Ouachita River, Arkansas: There are reasons that my little red Old Town canoe has scrape marks down the length of the bottom. I wish they were all there as war wounds of hazardous rapids, but that is sadly not the case. Many are there from running aground on this, the driest river ever to be attempted by human kind. Rapids? Somewhere. Canoeable? Maybe if it floods. Ever. My advice? Stay away.

I do miss the water.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Great Way To Start The Day

I know, it's a cruel thing to photograph your son when he's bowing to the porcelain goddess, but I just couldn't help myself. He spent most of the morning in there after he barfed his way from the living room, through the hall, into the entryway, and finally into the bathroom.

He's so d*** cute even when puking his guts out. I could never manage that.

I did manage to comment that this can happen to you when you're not sick, but have had too much to drink. He replied, "I am never drinking anything EVER!" Good object lesson.

Now, he's watching Elmo with his legs wrapped around a little plastic trashcan. Just a tiny bit paranoid? Who knows. Elmo is enough to induce nausea in me anytime.

This could be a long day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cat Planet

Isn't there a show called that? I think there is, though I would never waste time watching it. I admit to watching Meerkat Manor, but that was during a very, very isolated circumstance involving jail time (just, please don't ask...try to take it with a grain of salt) that I am REALLY not comfortable sharing yet. The jail time mention may just bring my many lurkers (you know who you are) out of hiding and into the "following" realm...or at least into the full commenting realm.

Here at Attrition's house, the Bunker, where I spend Mondays through Thursdays, it's Cat Planet. There are a mere eight cats here. Tux (the mother of the kittens), Sebastian, Monster (the father of the kittens), Little Girl (who is sometimes called Baby), Shashka, Ari, Mandy, and Juno (my personal fave). Thank goodness all the boys have now been fixed!

Neutering male animals is "supposed" to slow them down. But, no. It's like a jungle in here 24-7. Never have I lived with more cats. OK, so, never have I lived with any cat. But this is ridiculous. They are everywhere! If you lay down on the sofa and they can see you, you are liable to get stampeded when the pack of male kittens begins romping through the house.

It's night time that gets really eerie, though. It's like the first night scene on I Am Legend when Will Smith's character curls up in the bath tub with his dog after shutting the solid steel window barriers. You hear all this feral growling, banging and stampeding. Nights are like that here. Hissing, running, spitting, growling, crashing, clanging, banging on my door, yowling, and on occasion a paw jabbing under the door into the room.

Makes for the weirdest dreams!!!!
Bramble Scat

This is Really February 23rd

Really, it is. I swear. At least for a bit.

I've been committed to posting something, anything, everyday and yesterday I was too swamped and too sick to even motivate myself to turn the lights on when I arrived home. Tuesday was marathon day at school 9a-9p and two exams during that time period. Also, I woke up with a sore throat/headache the likes of which I have not had since childhood. You remember those sore throats you used to get that made you refuse to swallow ANYTHING for days! Even spit. One of those. EEK.

I did finally get the headache marginally under control, but the throat is still killing me and swallowing is something I have to psyche my self up for. It totally ruined my daily Dr. Pepper intake 'cause the fizz burnt like the dickens and my jeans-shopping escapade was downgraded from a pleasant, leisurely shopping trip that included some other interests to a mad dash for the jeans rack and the cashier and back out into my car and home. Bare necessities. I really couldn't stand another day of hiking my pants up or wearing my yoga pants that the wind cuts straight through.

In short, the day stank. I had a great idea for a blog entry, but alas you'll have to read it today, which, OK, is really February 24th.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Just a Thought...

Do you suppose that the young Indian gentleman at the computer across from me thinks his farts are silent simply because he can't hear them with his iPod earbuds in?

He does it again and I'm gonna start holding up a score card each time until he catches on. *R*E*S*E*A*R*C*H* *L*I*B*R*A*R*Y*!!!!!!!

It' know...just a thought.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Spells Are For Witches"

IMPORTANT DISTINCTION: "Spells" are things witches cast on others. NOT to be confused with anything of a medical nature like a stroke, heart attack, bout of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of vision, low blood pressure, flu, strep throat, hypoxia, or ANY OTHER ILLNESS.

Today started out like any other day...which isn't saying much, but nevertheless, we were going about our business as usual. Church. In a small town. Many abnormal things were going on already, but that is really beside the point (except for the fact that I should have taken note and expected the weirdness to continue with escalation). Attrition and I had finished our regular gig in the a.m. service and I was aimlessly wandering from the nursery with Squib toward the donuts (Squib lives for donuts). The church secretary found me and told me that the pastor needed to find my father.


So, I grabbed Squib his donut, snagged the secretary and told her that I was headed toward my dad. She snags the pastor. Pastor meets me in the covered drive and says the following: "Your grandfather called the office and said your grandmother has had a spell of some sort and he wants you all to come home immediately.

A spell. Cripes. This is not her first "spell." Some have been rather scary and had all the signs of stroke including asymmetrical facial expressions and loss of vision. She recovered. Still, this morning, when I was casually informed that she had a "spell" I immediately shifted into overdrive. I tucked Squib under my arm like a football and began dragging him from person to person. These days there is one hour during the week when all the healthy people in the family are away and all the cancer patients and invalids are at home. Sounds terrible, but, alas, true. You guessed it. This was that hour. And this was the third time something medically untoward had taken place.

So, we blasted out of there like our tails were on fire. Only to find that the "spell" in this case was a bout of nausea. Maybe low blood pressure. And the import to our returning home was that grandpa was freaking out.


Needless to say, we have been undergoing some medical language reeducation this afternoon. "Spells are for witches." That's a direct quote from my father. (There was snickering from the peanut gallery). At that point, I interrupted with a bit of a sarcastic "oooh-kay" and took over from there being careful to warn against the use of "episode" and "fit."

Yeah, spells are for witches. Apparently heart attacks are being passed around freely like the flu. I know I've had at least one, maybe two today alone. A myriad of wrinkles, a fresh shock of gray hair. And...probably a few years shaved off my life.

I need a nap, an anti-psychotic, or a very, very strong drink. I'm gonna sit...for a spell.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

How Many Front Teeth Can One Kid Have?

And the answer is four!

Rather than lose his two front baby teeth, Beanstalk merely retained his and grew his permanent front teeth right behind them. He's taken on the look of a shark. It's bizarre. It isn't the only thing he's done out of order or out of the ordinary, but it's one of the stranger things I've witnessed. He looks sort of like a human shark.

Well, he did. Today, one of the baby teeth just came out in a cube of ham...ick. And then he bled like a stuck pig. I'm talking bleeding like a fountain of blood was pouring out of his mouth. Gross.

I have tried to get a pic of this phenomenon, but I can't get him to keep his mouth open long enough to even see teeth...just smirk. Lots of smirk.

And now there are three...

One down, one to go...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Breathing a Collective Sigh of Relief

Our little oil prospecting company has been on the verge for many months now. We've generated a series of commercial size prospects and have been working for at least a year now to generate interest in funding the actual exploration efforts. The fun part is that basically our entire existence (at the moment) hinges on the success of this little effort. I say "little" lightly. It will be a mammoth operation and we'll have to increase the size of our company several-fold.

We've talked to several groups of investors over the last year and peddled our wares, so-to-speak, all over the country. It's driven us all to distraction and it's simply a miracle that we're not all suffering from perforated ulcers. One night not long ago I really did utter a prayer along the lines of "God, there has to be some random individual somewhere on the planet who finds these prospects as interesting as we do. Could you just scrounge that person up, please?" Then I rolled over in my cold sweat and tried to sleep.

Believe it or not, a random individual heard through the grapevine (the only time I've loved the grapevine) that we were shopping and called us. Turns out he and my grandfather are familiar with one another via their work in the 50's and 60's with Phillips Petroleum and other ventures. Furious storms of emails and negotiations have been going on via email and my iPhone has been smoking hot on occasion. I've been moving from outlet to outlet all over the greater Houston area unable to even keep it charged.

Today, though, we got the email..."Send us the final confidentiality agreement with these changes and we're ready to get started."


Then, there was screaming and jumping up and down.

There was some dancing around in the living room by the dyed-in-the-wool Southern Baptists. I think I lost ten pounds immediately. Then I realized my workload quadrupled. Who cares??!!! Now we're actually working for "real" money. (For those of you who don't know, "real" money is "other people's" money).

Real money...the green kind...well, it used to be green...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sex. At Four.

Squib is really an endearing little fellow. I know I write about him the most. I think it's because he is the most like me. I observe his life experience and his reactions to it and think, "Wow, I felt the same way! How can this be?!" His emotions are right there under the skin almost bare to the elements as mine were at his age and he has dealt with so much more than I ever had to deal with by four-and-a-half. My parents remained married, my life felt very secure, I felt as though I had everything I could possibly have wanted, and I didn't struggle with the developmental delays he faces.

He works hard to make sense of his little world. Lately, he has been very curious about who made him. He saw a picture of me pregnant with him and asked what that bump on my body was. I told him he was in my tummy. He asked why and I gave him the four-year-old version. You know, "babies all start out in their mommies' tummies." Apparently he asked his dad how he got into mommy's tummy. His dad admitted to me that he thought about not answering, but eventually told him that mommy and daddy made him and then he grew there.


That stalled him long enough for me to come on the scene, so yesterday my four-year-old son looks at me and point-blank says "How did you and Daddy make me and then how did you get me inside your tummy?" E-gads. My first thought was "thank God Alex is not speaking yet!" My second thought was "where can I hide?"

So I told the truth. "We had sex and you were made already inside my tummy."

I was wishing I had a great story like "We flew to China and bought you through an adoption agency," but alas that was not the truth.

Fortunately "sex" must have sounded like some African torture device (no offense to any Africans, that was a random choice of continent) and he screwed up his eyes and said "OH" like I'd asked him to walk through monkey poop. He DID think about it. His ponderous response was, "Can I have some fruit loops now?"

I abhor fruit loops, but on this one occasion he got as many as he pleased.

Sex. At four. God save the Queen.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Traffic Circles

The first traffic circle I ever encountered was in France. It was a complete surprise. I was already having trouble with the fact that the car was the size of my hat and everyone drove like bats out of hell. I knew how to drive a standard, but this vehicle (a Fiat Panda of all things) did the herky-jerky every time you even looked at the gear shift. I saw it coming and had about three seconds to think "What the heck?" And then I had the presence of mind to follow the best driving advice I've ever gotten: "Go with the flow." Driving in to a traffic circle in France is like piloting a green pea through a blender.

In the greater Houston area there is a traffic circle in the museum district that is much-bemoaned, though I can't tell why, because it's like the kindergarten level of traffic circles if you start comparing traffic circles world-wide. I've noticed, though, that traffic circles are coming into vogue in, of all things, parking lots!!!

I was in the parking lot of a new local medical center this morning and trying desperately to search for an empty parking space. Every spot was literally full, so I was circling like a vulture (that's what I call them...parking vultures) waiting for someone to leave. The only problem was that the three main lots are all juxtaposed around this traffic circle. What a pain! It was pretty, I guess, but it took up enough space for at least twenty parking spaces...

So I spent a lot of time this morning driving around in circles. Then I swapped cars with Dad, started to drive away, he called about something he'd left in my car and I had to go back. MORE driving around in circles. Exactly 1.5 hours driving around in circles.

Suddenly, traffic circles became a metaphor for parts of my life. A depressing metaphor, so I dropped that train of thought altogether. But, to be honest, I've been circling the proverbial drain all morning after making grandiose plans to accomplish the pile of things I have to get done, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah...

And now I really DO have to go...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blame It on NaBloPoMo

Now that I have taken up this ridiculous challenge of NaBloPoMo the worst has finally come to past. I must rat myself out. The day is coming down to the wire and there is nothing and cannot be anything else on my mind right now. You see, I made this post just not so long ago. I "withdrew the welcome mat and went to sleep in a tree." And now here I am babbling like a true female of the species because (other than it being Fat Tuesday which needs no explanation) I have once again done something I just never really thought I would do. Yet another in a long line of firsts.

But it seemed like a good idea at the time...ok, so it still sounds good.

I read lots of blogs on a regular basis and the authors all seem like such rational, responsible people not at all prone to the random behavior that I exhibit on occasion. I don't strip and run down the freeway, I'm not carving notches on the bedpost, there's not a tat on my body and the only pierced things are my ears. I don't march around with signs protesting anything, play my loud thumping music in the parking lot (only because I have no radio in my car), or have any other really annoying personal habits.

Well, I do like to hibernate with my iPod and wander about in the forest (sometimes at the same time), but is that so bad?

Soooo...what the heck am I talking about?
Holy cow. You know what, I'm just gonna leave this one alone. 
Being a girl can really be confusing...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Partners in Crime

Everyone needs a partner in crime. Life is just NOT that interesting unless you have someone to share the excitement of your conquests with (like building and configuring my first workstation or learning to replace the brake pads on my car) or the ridiculous predicaments of your failures (witness Cosmo the pig or the flaming tire incident--we skipped a step in the brake pad replacement, OOPS).

I'm not advertising "real" crime, so don't get your hackles up!

My partner in crime has always been my not-so-little brother. We've been pulling off escapades ever since we realized that we were always going to be the only two people we really knew everywhere we went. That was a long, long time ago. We moved a lot as my father's job involved consulting with various oil companies for short periods of time. Frequent relocation seemed to be the catalyst for our relationship--that and the fact that there just weren't that many people out there that thought as strangely as we do.

Yes, we fought like cats and dogs, but you had better not mess with either one of us or the other is liable to attack you quietly in your sleep. :)

We spent inordinate amounts of time together as children and adolescents hiking in the woods of northeast Oklahoma, working on computers, building things, wrecking go-carts, and fishing.

I was there when he caught a water mocassin by the tail with his fishing lure. He was there when I jumped into a nest of young copperheads (no I wasn't bitten). I was there when he became the world's youngest bulletin board operator on the then-infantile Internet. He was there when I learned to use it (it was the mid-80's...very early for the Internet and WELL before graphic user interfaces made life easy). I was there when he hacked into his own FBI file. He was there when I told him to "shut that darn thing off quick and keep it to yourself!" We were both there when mom and dad took off for two weeks to tour the western US and a tropical storm exposed a leak in their roof that brought down most of the ceiling in the second floor of their home--lots and lots of towels, shop-vac'ing, bagging of insulation, and praying that the whole roof wasn't going to cave in.

Not much has changed since then.

Now, we take off "hackin' through the bracken" whenever we have a mind to. We enjoy studying military and political history. We're movie and book buffs--only of certain genres (generally military or sci fi). We are still computer aficionados...mostly networking and network security systems--and we love a challenge, so we take on what amounts to "freelance" work (emphasis on free). Actually, our idea of a challenge is to accept any offer to build or repair something and we've gotten quite good at it. We work and speak well enough together that most people think we are twins. Weird.

Best of all, we know the worst things about each other and its still OK. I can't say enough about that. Not at all.

Attrition, this one's for you...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

You're Welcome

After several straight days of slogging about campus in wet shoes and jeans, I finally borrowed my brother's Alpine gear cover-all jacket (talk about POCKETS!) and bought some rubberized boots. This means that it probably won't rain a lick for the rest of the semester. You're welcome.

I rather like the rain unless I have to hike in a half-mile to my building in the red dirt and wind that sucks my umbrella inside out. After the umbrella bit it, I decided to get serious. Between the "new" jacket and the new boots, I stay dry and warm just walking about with the hood on.

I do look a bit like I just walked out of the forest from hunting wild game, but who cares?!

I'm over the worries about smashed hair (who cares--this is why God invented ponytails) and impractical but chic dressing (jeans and a tee suit me just fine). Yes, I do on occasion become envious of those girls/women who are impeccably groomed and dressed, but they're usually the types who could make a burlap sack look like the Queen's robes. I have never been in their league and it's beginning to bring me a lot of comfort and freedom.

Besides, I do have this passion for pockets.

The key to the pocket thing is putting things in the same place every time once you have figured out your system. I swear I could hide a human body in all the pockets that are in this jacket and for some strange and probably geekified reason, this intrigues me. It's like a challenge. Pens, pencils, eraser, calculator, iPhone (and ALL its paraphernalia), two bottles of water, my lunch, keys, my A&P quick reference book, the book I'm reading for leisure, an additional long-sleeved shirt for when they turn the heat off during my night class, my glasses, a small flashlight, money, wallet, and several other things can all be stored handily in the jacket pockets with room to spare. It's like my own personal survival kit. I love it. And it takes weight from my pack and distributes it around my torso where it's easier to carry.

I do not intend to surrender this jacket to its original owner any time soon. Sorry, Attrition.

Possession is nine-tenths of the law and all that rot...

Monday, February 1, 2010


Knackered. Harried. Punchy. Acerbic and definitely snarky. Way beyond the usual playful sarcasm. Scat is stressed. When she is stressed, the voice in her head starts coming out of her mouth.

Classic example of my current brain-to-mouth filter error problem would be this: My mother has a way of calling you names that can really hurt. I know this. I know it well. Afterward, she always claims she was joking even though there wasn't even ever a kind of a grin. I KNOW THIS. Nevertheless, she let fly, cut deep, and without thinking the first word on my mind was out my mouth. Crap. She was joking. OF COURSE. I was a heathenish, wrong, black sheep imp of a rebellious child. OF COURSE. I was born wrong and seem to be forever in that state. OF COURSE. That's just how it works. If I had duct tape I would be wearing it.

Perhaps a trip to the hardware store is merited.

What is the matter? Everything and nothing. Life in general. You know the drill. Just as you get adjusted and absorb all the new and different circumstances of your life, you get thrown a curve ball (or two or three) and you have to learn to juggle all over again. Perhaps the plate-spinning analogy is more accurate.

I have also noticed that there are several people in my life who like to cause a big stink over something and get everyone upset, stirred up, downright mournful, and astonished. Once they have achieved that, they seem to change their tune and accept a generally more palatable position on things (without letting anyone know) and their emotional upheaval was for naught. They, too, have wrapped me up in their web a couple of times. I simply cannot do that any longer. Geesh. I really don't have time for that any more. In fact, it's the reason I never wanted to have any girl children!!!

I ended up with a very sensitive youngest boy, so perhaps I am honked in that department as well.

Sometimes, though, it just seems like the world is participating in a willful campaign of misinformation and I'm the one walking around going, "Huh?" and wondering if anything I'm hearing sounds "off" to anyone else.

Marching to the beat of a different drummer today...