Friday, March 27, 2009

Black Eye Fading

Well, dear hearts, it's almost gone. This photo was taken almost a week ago, and I'm looking close to normal again now. I admit that Natasha Richardson falling on her head and dying stopped me cold from writing more about the hilarious adventures of falling on your head. Suddenly it didn't seem one bit funny.
Meanwhile, spring arrived with only a few snow flurries, and while we're still having hard frosts (when the bird bath is frozen solid, I call that a hard frost)many mornings, the hyacinths and daffodils are coming up and blooming. The daffodils I finally planted a few weeks ago are not up and may not be. They didn't seem to have many likely looking growth points by the time I planted them, so perhaps I'll say I gave them a burial, not a planting. We'll see.
Hope spring is springing where you are.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today is March 17, St. Patrick's Day. It has been 33 years since Malvina Reynolds died. And today the Seattle Post-Intelligencer published its last newspaper.
The P-I is supposed to live on, on the Internet, but no longer will it be printed and delivered. The print edition was going too far into the hole financially, and had done so for a long time. Suddenly there are hundreds of employees out of work, and Seattle is a one-newspaper town. The Seattle Times carries on, but word is in the wind that it may cease publication also. Then Seattle would be a no-newspaper town. Oh, there are the tabloids, the Seattle Weekly and the Stranger, but they are more about politics and culture in the city.
Newspapers are dying. It is amazing to live to see the day. People are getting their news on the Internet, and on TV, I hear, but the fact is that ubiquitous as computers, cell phones, PDAs, netbooks, and whatever other online devices exist, a large proportion of the population is not computer-literate or planning to become so. I think the death of newspapers is premature.
In a sense it's one more reminder that the older you are, the less you count. To that I say: harrumph.

Oh, and the black eye is progressing. Seven days and continuing to move down, but not on, yet.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Morning Mouse Report

Wow, it gets better and better. Rick was saying last night that it looked kind of fetching, in a Mata Hari, exotica kinda way. I don't have any eye shadow dark enough to make up the other eye to match, but it crossed my mind to try.
Monday morning here (as stated above) and JD and I have begun wrangling about how to clean the house out. He of course could put a dumpster in the yard and throw everything in; I of course have things I'd like to keep. Pictures of the kids when they were little and family photographs going back to before 1900, for example. History! For me the hard part will be sorting History! From @#$%*&@ Clutter! I spoke about getting taller bookcases, and he said: Nothing you have to climb for. He is thinking “safety.” He knows that if anyone could have a book case disaster it would be me. The face plant I took in the driveway is making his point for him.
So – how do we balance safety and history? One piece of stuff at a time, I suppose.
I'll get back to you on this.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Mouse's Progress. Ish.

I am fascinated by how the black eye creeps down. Yesterday it was just under my eyebrow; today it is in my eyelid. I'm not sure how much farther down the blood can go now – I suppose I'll end up with some under my eye. Stay tuned.
Snow this morning! The Ides of March, and SNOW. Hey, weather, wise up – it's almost spring!
Went to sleep at seven or eight last evening, knowing I'd be sorry later. Woke up midnight-ish, and finished the mystery novel I was reading (Ann Perry's “Buckingham Palace Gardens”). Then I checked email, then I had some granola, then folded towels and got hooked watching “The Madness of King George” - marvelous British actors – and by then it was 5:30 or so and Rick got up to go to work. He is on call this weekend.
Went back to sleep six-ish, woke up nine-ish, meant to go to church but the atmosphere was 'way too snow-ish. So here I am, taking webcam shots of my black eye and thinking about lunch.
The fun never stops!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Little Color in My Life

Two days after the little fall in the driveway, the black eye has shown up. I noticed it this morning in the bathroom mirror. So much for thinking I got away without looking beat up. Fortunately, my hair and my glasses cover most of the damage.
It's a beautiful evening in the neighborhood. The dog and I are enjoying a little outdoor time on the back deck – first time since last fall. I am enjoying the use of my netbook, a not-quite-laptop that I got recently for mobile writing. It is running on the battery, which is cool. It's only about nine inches wide, which makes it easy to move around. It also has a webcam, which is what I used to take the photo. It seems to have extremely sensitive controls, so I end up stopping frequently to bring it back to where I want it after I brush something I shouldn't and the cursor leaps half a page away. I'm getting used to it. It requires a certain mindfulness, as does most of my life these days.
The cool is setting in now, so I'm going inside. As always, more later! Blessings.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Accident (ak′si dent) n. 1. an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usu. results in injury, damage, or loss.
A few years ago I heard or read that “old age is the accumulated effect of accidents.” Sometimes I think I’m trying to prove that.
Yesterday afternoon I had some errands to run. I went out to my car, and my purse tipped somehow and my cell phone fell out and bounced underneath the car. It was far enough under that I could have started the car, backed up, and then got out and picked up the cell phone. But no. I could not take a chance on running over the phone.
I got my cane, something I use when I’m feeling the effects of previous accidents, and bent over to try to hook the phone out from under the car.
Our driveway slants downhill, so picture me bending over almost double, leaning downhill, trying to swipe the phone closer with my cane. See, in retrospect I know I should have turned around and faced uphill. Yes. I know that now.
OK, so there I was, trying to get that phone, and not having much success, when suddenly I felt gravity grab me in its evil clutches, and brothers and sisters, I went down, face first, onto the cement driveway.
The first thing I thought about was people who get slammed around on TV, then get up and walk away and appear to be fine. Television lies. Those are actors and stuntmen and women who get paid to appear to be hurt. That’s not how it really works. The body does not take a slam and then walk away feeling groovy. Trust me.
I rolled onto my back and put my hands up to the sides of my face. I wondered if any neighbors or passersby had seen me go down, but all was silent so I assumed no one had. It was a sunny day and the sun felt warm shining on me. It felt good, and I was pleased that this tenacious winter is being forced to loosen its grip. I was feeling comfortable, lying there on the cement in the sunshine, holding my face, and doing a mental check in with body parts. Legs? Aye aye, Cap’n. Arms? Check. Torso? Seems to be fine. I thought I was OK to go, and began to move.
My left hand came away from my face wet, and I looked at it, and it was covered with blood. Oh boy. I’ve always heard that head wounds are bloody. It’s true.
I got up. I found my glasses (permanently scratched). I picked up my purse, I pulled the phone out from under the car in one firm stroke of the cane – I was facing uphill now – and I headed back into the house.
My older son was gathering recycling just inside the front door. When I walked in he looked up at me and said, “OH MY GOD MOM WHAT HAPPENED?” He told me later that he thought someone had mugged me and he was ready to go out and get the guy – this is what comes of living three years on the mainland – but I explained that I fell down.
When I got to the bathroom I could see his point. Blood covered most of the left side of my face, running down to my chin. I looked like one of the people you see in news photographs that have captions that say, “Protesters struggled with police…”
I drenched a wash rag in cold water and cleaned myself up, and then I went back to the family room to sit down with a nice ice pack on my beat up face. We called the doctor’s office to ask about signs of concussion, and were reassured that I was probably not concussed. My husband came home from work and after the first alarms he asked me to be sure to let people know he had not done this to me. Understandable male nervousness, but I reassured him: no, I will let people know I did this to myself.
This morning I feel exactly like I’ve had a good whap up the side of my head – my face is swollen and scraped, but I don’t have the black eye I was expecting. It feels good to hold an ice pack on the swelling. I’ll be fine in a few days.
So, there, that’s the biography of an accident. I’ve told a few people about it, and have been humbled by the stories they tell me of falls they’ve taken. This was not a big fall.
Now, I know that some of you think there are no accidents, but wait until you have one. The laws of physics will get you faster than karma. Please excuse me while I go do a little more ice therapy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ads on the Blog...or Not

Google says it will run ads on my blog page, for which I will be paid. This sounds great to me, but so far I have been unable to implement the change in the page's source code that would make the ads appear. Everything works fine right up until I'm supposed to paste the code in. Then nothing happens. I don't know why. But I'll be working on it. I have hope of success, if not success yet.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mamatus (mammatus) clouds

I was driving home from town last night when I looked up and saw these amazing clouds. Went home and got my camera, and they had changed and looked slightly less apocalyptic by the time I took the picture, but perhaps you get the idea. I emailed Clff Mass, Weather Guy, at the UW to ask what they were, and he said, “Mamatus clouds. Rare here, but we get them.”
You can see a more impressive photo by going to Google images and doing a search on mamatus clouds. It is sometimes spelled mammatus, but same clouds.
My photos were taken just south of Burton, looking east toward the mainland.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Rose of Tralee

My day had a plan, and I even had a first line for a new blog: “My hair looks like this because I read the Bible.” If you could see my hair, and if you read the Bible, you’d know what I mean.
So there I was, pouring granola onto my yogurt, when the phone rang. It was Deb, the secretary up at church, calling to tell me that they were going through Alex’s papers.
Alex is - well, was - Alexandrina Brannon, right wing warrior, raiser of birds, former employee of Walt Disney (she once told me that she commuted to work with Roy, the “mooseketeer” because they were neighbors), and bereaved mother of her son Kerry, who died in 1994.
She was a tiny and fiercely opinionated woman, hell on wheels, really, and we all loved her. For the last ten years or so she seemed right on the brink of death as one catastrophe after another hit her: falls, pneumonia, and so on. She survived so many close calls that I was kidding myself that she was immortal, but on Ash Wednesday evening, she finally passed.
What Deb called to tell me was that Alex had specified in her funeral directions that I sing, “The Rose of Tralee.” Also, I’m supposed to do a duet of “Danny Boy” with Wally Fletcher, another church member.
I have one week to get this act together. The service is next Monday, at 4 p.m., at the Church of the Holy Spirit. I abandoned my plan for the day and went to my friend the internet where I immediately found not only the lyrics for The Rose of Tralee, but a midi of the melody. Whew. I’m saved.
It is a beautiful Irish melody, and I’m learning it. I got out my guitar to learn the chords, which are pretty simple, but the midi version is in A flat, and then modulates to B flat. By the grace of God and a capo, I figured it out.
So now I have seven days to learn it well enough to sing it confidently for Alex. I have hope.
Now I’m going to call Wally and talk to him about “Danny Boy.”