Friday, November 30, 2007

Aiming This Poem Straight At Your Skull

I've been seeing so many hawks lately and every time I catch a glimpse of one I think of one of my favorite poems by David Wagoner, To a Farmer Who Hung Five Hawks on His Barbed Wire. I also think of it when WD tries to convince me that an unusually high amount of birds are using his truck as a means to commit suicide. But that's another story.

To a Farmer Who Hung Five Hawks on His Barbed Wire by David Wagoner

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Little Brunswick Stew Please

This dog wants a squirrel. Bad. When we lived at Little Rock AFB, there was one time when a squirrel was jumping from branch to branch in our yard. Then, all of a sudden, the squirrel lost it's grip and fell to the ground right in front of Howard. The squirrel quickly took off for the nearest tree while Howard stood there in stunned silence, not quite believing what he had just seen: a squirrel falling out of the sky!

And now, that's exactly what Lexie is hoping for. An unathletic squirrel lacking in jumping skills, an overweight squirrel on a very thin tree branch, an absentminded squirrel paying too much attention to the birdfeeder and not enough attention to the red siberian husky on the back porch. She's watching. And hoping that this will be the day when squirrels fall out of the sky.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WD The Explorer

Recently, WD was searching for someone in the woods. About 75 yards in, he saw the suspect lying face down on the ground. WD approached with gun drawn and shouted "Show me your hands!" No response. WD continued to advance toward the man and shouted again "Muestreme sus manos!" Finally, a response. Spanish it is then. The man began to stand up and WD ordered "No se mueva! Manos arriba!" Thankfully, the suspect complied.

WD's spanish kicks in the same time his adrenaline does. I, however, would've been totally lost in that situation. Unless the suspect was actually a young hispanic girl with a disproportionately large head and eyes, travelling with a talking monkey, searching for a prince who is being held against his will by a wicked witch in a magic tower and the only way to open the door and save him is to say "abre!" I could do that.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Big Pup Likes...

Big Pup has 2 obsessions right now. Well, 3 if you count his predilection for the word awesome. I'm sure he picked it up from the kids at school and yes, it's very cute and yes, his fish tattoos are awesome and yes, Spongebob cereal is awesome but if he could just throw in a cool or groovy every now and then that would be awesome.

His other 2 favorite things are signs for buried cables and roadkill. It's not unusual that I get questions like "Where did that dead cat go?" or "Can you slow down so I can see that dead deer?" And I guess it's normal for a 5 year old to be curious about death and rotting carcasses but is it normal to announce "Warning! Buried cable!" everytime we pass one of those orange signs? Because we have a lot of them around here and having to hear that every 10 seconds is not awesome. Or cool. Or even groovy.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, November 26, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Me Too

Okay, that's enough holiday cheer and merriment for now. Let's discuss something a little more important shall we? How about the repression of the female identity in a male dominated society? Or at least that's what I think Margaret Atwood is talking about in her poem, This Is a Photograph of Me. Or maybe she's talking about a fetus in the womb. Or maybe she's discussing the perception of poetry and art. Or maybe she's telling me to do laundry and go get groceries. Oh, wait, that's WD. Okay, I'm sticking with the repression theory.

This Is a Photograph of Me by Margaret Atwood

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Who's That Girl

Who's that girl and why is she sitting on the hood of an '89 Mustang?

Whoever she is, will someone please tell her to put on a more respectable top? God forbid her children would see this photo someday. Oh, yes, in 10 years she'll have children. Two to be exact. And then she'll spend 5 years changing diapers. Five. But don't tell her that part, though.

Will someone also please tell her that she's making the right choice by moving to the big city after high school? That creative, artsy, right-brain void she feels will be filled. Hallelujah. And she'll discover espresso along the way. Double hallelujah. And that small town she was so adamant about leaving? She'll return with husband and children in tow, moving for the 7th--and last--time in her life.

And, for the love of all things good, please tell her to go easy on the candy, ice cream, and chocolate. She'll thank you when she's 34.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cast Away

Taking the pins out of Big pup's arm proved to be easier than putting them in.

We arrived at the hospital at 6 a.m. last Friday. I didn't bother getting him dressed before we left the house, I just left his pj's on and I wish I had done that last time. The nurses let him keep his pajama pants on. That was nice. He took some medicine to relax him--it was just as yucky as last time--but now, instead of making him goofy, it made him very sleepy. He could barely keep his eyes open and he was slurring his speech. Eventually, the nurses came in and wheeled him to the operating room, so I got out a book and managed to read 2 pages before the doctor came in and told us they were done. They kept him in recovery for about an hour then they wheeled him back into our room. He was awake, very alert, talkative, and in a good mood. After he had some apple juice and an orange popsicle, I put his pajama top and slippers back on and we both rode down on a wheelchair. From then on it was like any other day.

One more consultation with the doctor in a couple of weeks and then The Broken Arm Incident of 2007 will be over.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, November 19, 2007


Nascar's season finale aired yesterday and to no one's surprise Jimmie Johnson won his second straight championship. He actually finished 7th in the race but it was enough to secure the trophy.

Elliott Sadler started 31st (ugh) and finished 38th (ugh). He ended up placing 25th for the year in the points standings. He wasn't running that great and when he hit the wall on lap 69, it caused damage to the rear deck and his car went from not so great to really bad. In Elliott's In the Field article for, he says he and his dogs (he has 83 of them!) will be up at 6 a.m. this morning getting ready to go hunting. About halfway through yesterday's race, Rodney Childers, his crew chief--I mean, team director--had a question for him:

RC: Are you going hunting tomorrow?
ES: F***, I don't know. I don't feel like doing anything right now. It
sucks, I make one little mistake in the corner and it costs us the
whole weekend.
RC: It's all good. I make mistakes, we all make mistakes. We'll get this
day over with and put the season behind us and start working on next

I'm guessing he did go hunting this morning. In the article he mentioned how hunting is like therapy for him and it sure sounds like he needs it after this race. It's funny to hear them have regular conversations while driving over 100 miles per hour. In Texas, Elliott and his spotter discussed NFL games. Very funny.

Matt Kenseth gets the win, Jimmie Johnson gets the championship, Johnny Benson gets the Red Lantern, and we're in Daytona February 17, 2008.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, November 16, 2007

Call Me Ponyboy

When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.

I think that ranks right up there with "Call me Ishmael" for famous first lines in literature. Anyone who paid attention in 8th grade English will recognize those words from S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Or maybe not. It seems that some schools have banned the book for depicting drug and alcohol abuse and violence. But that's not what I remember most about the book. I remember Johnny and Ponyboy watching the sunrise while Ponyboy recites Robert Frost's poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay. Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold....

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Today, I'm picking up Big pup from school and taking him to the orthopaedic clinic. If the x-rays show his arm is healed then they'll take the cast off tomorrow. Which means tomorrow will be another groggy day.

The school is having the Kindergarten Thanksgiving program tomorrow. It's a shame he doesn't get to go. He was going to be a little Indian boy and his line was, "One day a kind Indian came to the Pilgrim's village. He liked the Pilgrims and wanted to help them." Doesn't that seem too long for a 5 year old to memorize? Or maybe a 5 year old has better memorization skills than I do. All I know is I would want the line They ate turkey, corn, and pumpkin or this easy one And everyone gave thanks.

Although I'm a little sad that he doesn't get to participate in the play, it does mean that I don't have to go out and buy him slacks and a white shirt. And for that I am very thankful.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Quack! Quack!

Emergency Room visit--$75
Orthopaedic office visits--$185
Hospital bill--$940
Having Aflac insurance--priceless!

I highly recommend getting Aflac to anyone with kids. It picks up where your regular insurance leaves off and pays your share of the bill for you. But only in case of accidents. For instance, Little pup's trip to the ER for croup: not covered. Little pup's trip to the ER when mommy dropped a spaghetti sauce jar on his head: covered.

On a related note, while driving by a local Baptist Independent church a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but notice their sign out front. It said, What you need is Life Assurance, not Insurance. And while I wholeheartedly agree that what's missing in ch rch is u, I'm going to have to disagree with this one.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An Autumn Night's Dream

I sat down in the grass. WD sat down beside me. We were soon joined by 3 women. I thought, Why do I have to socialize with strangers? Why can't I just sit with WD and not have to say anything? Now I'm forced to think of topics for small talk. I can't think of anything. One of the women begins to flirt mercilessly with WD. She has spit hanging from her mouth. Why don't her friends give her a nudge? They look as uncomfortable as I am. I look up. There's a diesel truck with a flat bed trailer hauling a John Deere tractor flying in the sky. It's quite impressive. The pups would like to see this, I thought. Everyone around me glances up at the truck weaving through the clouds. It's getting closer and closer. I start to worry. "I have a bad feeling about this," I said. I look over at WD. He's enjoying the attention from Little Miss Spittles. She's asking him about Nascar. Seriously, she has spit dangling like a pendulum from her mouth. Can anyone else see this? I look back up at the sky and the flying truck is headed right for me. "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" I say over and over. Little Miss Spittles leans over and puts her ear towards my mouth. She doesn't understand what I'm saying. I don't want her anywhere near me. The truck is hovering right above me so I lie back and kick it away. I sit back up and see that the truck had crashed into an overpass, causing the structure to collapse. I'm sitting there in disbelief, looking at the jumbled mess of concrete and cars and WD says to me, "Well, you said something bad was going to happen."

I really don't have very many dreams at all, but this one was a doozy. I woke up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding, trying to think of alternate dream endings to make things right.

The one thing I remember from Intro to Psychology in college was that the professor ate a Tootsie pop during every class. Analyze that! The second thing I remember is that the dream theorist, Alfred Adler, believed that the less dreams you have, then the less problems you have and the more psychologically healthy you are. Woo hoo! Good to know. He believed that our dreams are correlated with the problems in our daily life. I think so, too. In just this one dream you find my discomfort around strangers, me ignoring my instincts, my inablility to make small talk coupled with the feeling that I need to make small talk, the search for Christmas presents (big trucks with 2 trailers) for the pups, and, of course, my fear of bridges. However, I have no idea what to make of the woman drooling over WD.

WD? Do you have anything to tell me?

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, November 12, 2007


Not having to listen to Rusty Wallace's commentary last week in Texas (live and in person!) has spoiled me. I hit the mute button on the remote control and turned up Elliott Sadler's in-car audio on's Trackpass. So much better. Why didn't I think of this earlier in the season? And am I the only one that thinks it's weird having Brad Daugherty comment on Nascar and not the NBA? I am? Really? Okay, nevermind.

Anyway, back to the Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson show. Elliott Sadler started 16th in yesterday's race. After finishing 12th last week and 14th the week before that you would think that this week he would place 10th. Right? Wrong. Try 27th. His car wasn't liking any of the changes made to it. He could never get a handle on turn 1 and that's what did him in. In other Sadler news, it was announced over the weekend that he will have a new sponsor next year. Goodbye Dodge Dealers, hello Best Buy. And goodbye $32 worth of Dodge merchandise we bought last week in Texas.

Jimmie Johnson gets the win (again), Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets the Red Lantern, and we're at Homestead next Sunday for the final race of 2007.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, November 9, 2007

Grimm Indeed

In Hansel and Gretel, Gretel pushed the witch into the oven and unlocked the stable door, freeing her brother. They returned to the witch's house and gathered all the valuable stones and pearls their pockets could hold, then made their way through the forest and found their father's cottage (minus their stepmother--she had died). The story ends like this: "So all their troubles came to an end, and they lived together as happily as could be."

I don't know. I'm thinking that not all their troubles ended. Especially for Gretel. Louise Gluck thinks so, too. Here's her poem Gretel in Darkness.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tell Me A Story! On Second Thought...

Children's stories haven't always been as simple as Goodnight Moon or Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (one of Big pup's favorites) They haven't always been full of fun nonsense like Green Eggs and Ham. Actually, classic children's literature can be downright scary.

In the original story of The Three Bears, it wasn't Goldilocks that stumbled onto the Bear's house. It was a very bad, dirty, disrespectful, old woman who ended up jumping out of an upstairs window. The Bears were left to wonder if she broke her neck in the fall or was picked up in the woods and sent to jail for vagrancy.

In the original story of The Three Little Pigs, the pigs were turned out by their mother because she could no longer take care of them. The first 2 pigs did not survive. They were eaten up by the wolf. The third pig then boiled the wolf and ate him for supper.

In Cinderella, her stepsister's cut off parts of their feet in order to fit into the gold (not glass) slipper. When the Prince saw the blood covering their feet, he knew neither one was his true bride. And on the way to Cinderella's wedding, 2 birds pecked out the stepsister's eyes as punishment.

And of course there's Hansel and Gretel. A story of 2 children abandoned in a forest by their father and stepmother. They came upon a candy house built by a witch to lure in children and eat them. The witch locked Hansel in the stable to fatten him up but Gretel managed to save them both by pushing the witch into her own oven.

And yet, without Prozac, Paxil, or psychotherapy, they all lived happily ever after.

Or did they? Be sure to check out tomorrow's poem!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Texas Part 2

As a race fan, there is nothing better than the start of a race. When the cars are making that final "warm-up" lap, gaining speed as they head into turn 4, revving their engines with 160,000 people on their feet as they race across the start/finish line, green flag waving, signaling the start of a 500 mile journey where anything can happen. Unless you're in Charlotte, then you might as well get a jump on traffic and leave early because you can pretty much bet that Jimmie Johnson will win.

But this is Texas, a track Elliott Sadler has won at. He couldn't get it going in the Busch race Saturday so I didn't have much hope for him in the cup race. But he really turned it around Sunday and finished 12th.
I have no idea what happened with the other cars. My eyes and scanner were on the number 19 the whole race.

Jimmie Johnson gets the win, David Reutimann gets the Red Lantern, and with 2 races to go we're in Phoenix next Sunday.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Texas Part 1

We're back from Texas! We had a great weekend but it was exhausting. I will try to put up a recap and pictures tomorrow.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, November 2, 2007

Memory is Permanent

Michael Ondaatje's To A Sad Daughter is another of my favorite poems. One reason is because the girl in the poem reminds me of myself. Although I was never into hockey, I couldn't get enough of the Boston Celtics and the Buffalo Bills. I had posters. I wrote fan letters. The high school librarian would save the new issues of Sports Illustrated for me so I could be the first to read them during study hall. And like the daughter in this poem, I also suffered from those "purple moods." Deep, dark, plum, magenta, crimson, bruise-like purple moods that leave your mother to turn to the yellow pages in search of psychologists. It also puts into words how I feel about the pups. I, too, will sell my arms for them and hold their secrets forever.

To a Sad Daughter by Michael Ondaatje

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Halloween was a success! Well, half a success. Big pup had a great time. His favorite part? "Getting a bunch of candy." His least favorite part? "Going back home." My least favorite part? Lugging an uncooperative 3 year old out of the van, into the van, out of the van, into the van....My favorite part? Going back home.

Poor Little pup. He didn't have very much fun. There were times when he seemed to enjoy it but overall he just didn't have a good time. I think it was a bit scary and overwelming for him. He said that next year he's not going trick or treating. He said that he'll go to All Saints day Mass, come home, watch Wheel of Fortune with the porch light on and not answer the doorbell when it rings. Then wait for his house to get tp'd. Or maybe he said he'd just stay with Pawpaw. Right now that sounds like a good idea to me.

Stumble Upon Toolbar