Thursday, April 30, 2009

On Day Four, Boston:

I must say I am flummoxed. I can no longer show you the pictures I have been taking in and of the cemeteries of Boston.

I know that ultimately it comes down to money, but I am deeply disappointed just the same.

I was asked to stop taking pictures here. Something that has never happened to me before. Most places where honored ‘not’ to be forgotten. But, because these places have books for sale about them, I am not aloud to show you my vacation photos of the graves, grave markers, or statuary of the famous or not so famous buried here.

I will try to get some pictures of myself here in Boston. But, as today is the Convocation and tomorrow the Graduation of my daughter from her nursing program to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, along with the parties and other festivities, I don’t think there will be much time left for playing dress up. I came here to enjoy my daughters long worked for graduation day and the focus will be on that now that the day has arrived.

My family, nice as they are, do not want to be pictured in my blog. And they have every right to their privacy. I can respect that, so there will be no pictures of them here either.

On Saturday, while I’m still in Massachusetts, I will be meeting with and be staying at the home of a long time friend I met on the internet, (in a Harry Potter web site) back when I still had cancer. And on Sunday I will be traveling back home to Pennsylvania.

Next week I’ll be home and back in my black Victorian clothing. Perhaps I’ll get Mountain Man to take me for another picture taking spree at the cemeteries of my home turf. They let you take pictures of the graves there.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Day Three, Boston:

Here are a few pictures from our first walk in the Forest Hills Cemetery. We came in through a side gate.

Here is the main gate. The not so small buildings built into each side are now rest rooms, woman’s on one side, men’s on the other.

The Receiving Tomb. This is just the large front of the place. The rest is under ground carved into the hill behind. It has skylights in the halls, so you can find the crypt of your loved one inside. They hold events under the large outer roof.

And here I am at one of the many gothic family crypts.

Yesterday I took advantage of staying at my daughters apartment and did some laundry in the morning. I also watched some movies and knitted.

When my daughter got home from work early in the afternoon, it was too hot to feel like site seeing, so we shopped the day away. (Air conditioning, don’t you know.) First stop was a yarn shop. Of course I bought some yarn. We hit places that sell crafts from around the world, and some organic grocery stores.

Today is supposed to be much cooler, we will hit some thrift shops in the afternoon. But in the morning it’s the train to the down town historic district. I can’t wait.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On Day Two, Boston: Part Two:

First off, before I got out the door this morning, I was totally distracted by Darkmatter.

His blog
, which I follow, had a link today to YouTube for Jeff Wayne’s Musical War of the Worlds. And being that I am at my daughter’s house where I can get high speed to watch it, all plans were off until I’d seen it a few times in a row.

This was something I didn’t hope to ever find, so I didn’t even think to look for it. Thank you so much Darkmatter!

One of my favorite songs is ‘Forever Autumn’ and it is from this movie. I am a major fan of Moody Blues and Justin Hayward is in this adaptation stage viewing of this movie. And you know that I’m an old, black and white movie, horror and Si-Fi fan as well. I also love the original Orson Wells ‘War of the Worlds’ from the radio. I am a Jersey Girl, growing up just across the river from New York City and a stones throw from Jersey City.

There is also family history attached to this for me. My late ex-mother-in-law lived through the original War of the Worlds on the radio in Jersey City where the martins were supposed to have landed in the piece.

She and her older brother got to listen to the radio as a treat before bed that night. But, they spent the night alone and afraid after listening to the first radio playing of ‘War of the Worlds’ while their parents were out at a business dinner. They hid behind the coal stove all night thinking that their parents were dead, until their parents could make their way home through the panic in the streets.

It is one thing to hear about the panic that followed the original broadcasting of the War of the World in a history book or TV show about the history of legal disclaimers or radio in general, but quite another to see the panic still in the eyes of someone who lived through it many years before.

Enjoy the link. If you are into writing, stop action animation, or dark bloggers, Hang out with Darkmatters for a while. It’s an interesting blog.

Woo whoo! My daughter found me an adapter for my memory card to download my photos. I promise you pictures tomorrow. Its too hot to work on them already today. I’ll have to wait until the day cools off some later.

On Day Two Boston:

No pictures yet, of the many I‘ve taken. I didn’t bring the cord to attach my camera to my computer. (Of all the things to forget, I forget that.) My laptop doesn’t take the memory card and I am looking for a solution for the problem.

Yesterday I was on my own for the morning. Knitting was started. I recuperated from the trip and walked the dog up to the cemetery entrance and back. I was dieing to just let the dog loose and get myself lost in the place. You’ll be happy to know that I was a good dog walker and stuck to my job at hand.

I did get into the Forest Hills Cemetery later in the day with my daughter soon after she arrived home from work. We got some beautiful pictures there. I could spend every moment of the rest of my stay here, just walking in that cemetery, and still miss large parts of the place.

The web site doesn’t cover much, and nothing at all in comparison to the place itself but it does have a blog spot that is interesting and it has pictures too. (They sell a 144 page guide book of the place at the visitors center there.)

Today is supposed to be a hot one here in Boston. I’m going to look for some indoor and air conditioned places to be for the day. Still, so many cemeteries and so little time. Too bad they are not open after dark, a better time for us who don‘t like the sun.

Monday, April 27, 2009

On Day One, To Boston:

The trip was interesting.

I love to look at the mountains in spring. They look like they are covered in colorful fluffy soft wool or downy feathers. The trees all russet rouge with buds or lemon/lime from new formed leaves add softness. The mountains are also polka dotted with white or pink clouds of blossoming trees. Wonderful.

Spring brings a softness to the woods and mountains you can’t find at other times of the year.

We had a last minute set back of a broken passenger side window in the car. I spent most of the first leg of the trip holding the plastic over the hole taught to keep the noise of its motorcycle muffler drumming down to a dull roar. Once the day warmed enough we took the plastic off and enjoyed the rest of the trip. The excitement of the window helped to keep my nausea at bay.

At around 9:30 we met with my daughter in a superstore parking lot and moved my larger assortment of things into her car. Mountain Man left after asking one last time, if I wanted to go back home. (Smile on my lips because I know he loves me.) I continued my trip to Boston.

My daughter and I chatted in the car as we made our way to her third floor apartment between the Arboretum (A tree preserve park with a huge assortment of trees and bushes.) and the Forest Hills Cemetery. (One of Boston’s first established Parks back in 1848.)

I will take a moment here to say, “I have not one step in my house. Not one step to get into or out of my house.” My house is on one floor flat with the ground. (Thank the powers that be that I ‘do’ have a stair stepper machine.)

I have yet to count the number of steps from the ground to the top of the turning stair case up to her apartment on the third floor, but I made a number of trips with my larger collection of stuff from the car and later with groceries after a run to the market. My knees got a very good workout. (The run was not literal but in the car.)

The day grew to be a hot one. My ‘son-in-law to be’ made homemade grilled pizza for supper. The smell alone could have lifted you up from the ground to the table on the third floor.

They set me up in the guest room and connected my laptop, Gladys, to the web for me. (Gladys is thrilled, by the way, to be playing with the big boys.) But by then I was asleep. It had been a long and filling day.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

On Closed and Opened:

When you read this I will be on the road because I put it on a timer today.

I’m all geared up and raring to go on my trip. Not for the trip itself, but for the getting there. It is good to see the world your kids live in every once in a while. Thou distance is hard on me in this.

We started bright and early before the sun came up over the horizon. Half way there I will be handed off to my daughter’s care to drive the rest of the six and a half hour trip to her apartment in Boston.

Mountain Man will go back home to the dogs and the one place I’ve lived longer then any other on earth. Home.

I grew up just three miles from New York City in New Jersey. I know how to act in city life, but I don’t for one second miss it. I have always been a country girl at heart. I sought out the older neighbors who still knew how to can veggies and sew their own clothing as a child to learn those things that were fast becoming a lost art in the once, stay at home mothers world, for the starting to go to work mothers metropolis, all be it suburbia, I lived in.

I will not be lost in the city even if I loose my way, but I will feel like a child again.

I am used to knowing when my neighbors are up to something. Not because I am nosey or the closeness of their houses. But from the quite and distance. I can hear the differences in the silence of the day. A hammer thudding from the west. A mower starting to the north. The motorcycle of the neighbors kid roaring to life or quieting down on return. The dogs let me know when the meter reader is coming long before the truck comes up the drive. I am open to the movement of life here.

At home I am open to even the turn of the wind. In the city I must be closed and distant in a crowd. Ignorant to and of the people and sounds around me because they are none of my business. A shrunken cosmos of a world that moves much too fast and lonely for me to be part of for long.

For the next week I’ll see the sights and catch a museum if I have the time. I may even meet an internet friend or two in my travels. My blinders will be on for the duration and my smile will be less free and easy on my face. But my goal is to enjoy it and then go home.

Home, to unfurl and be open to life’s subtle movements once again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

On Cactus Babies:

I have mentioned before that I have house plants. I’ve talked about my carnivorous plants a few times. But my cactus plants, not so much. What can you say about a slow growing plant that doesn‘t eat things?

The only reason I’m talking about them now is because this year is the first time I’ve started a few from seed.

I picked up a mixed cactus seed packet back in the first week of March. On March 29, I planted four seeds, each in their own small pot. Three days later Mortimer showed his face. Two weeks later when there had been no movement in the other pots, I reseeded those pots. Four days after that, Spike showed up.

There is also the added excitement of being in for a surprise in finding out just which kind of cactus they will turn out to be.

Well, being a caring plant momma, I placed them lovingly on the window sill every day rain or shine. I gave them sprits of water from my spray bottle when they were dry for long enough. And I am writing about them today because yesterday Mortimer sprouted six teeny tiny spines. My baby cactus is growing up to a toddler and so fast too. I’m so proud.

I will miss them while I’m gone. I love watching things evolve and grow.

I can’t wait until they are big enough to identify just what kind of cactus they are of the nine varieties listed on the seed packet. Saguaro, Hedgehog, Fishhook Barrel, Dollar Prickly Pear, Desert Prickly Pear, Christmas Cholla, Cane Cholla, Santa Rita Pear or Cardo’n. I’d be happy with any of these. Time will tell.

Tomorrow I’ll be off on my trip to Boston. So I’ll make my weekly Sunday update of my weight loss today. Five pound total loss so far, 190 lb. I am almost back into my fat sized black jeans. I can button them, but the zipper is under strain. I am proud of this because I remember the day I tried them on before I started this weight loss contest of Woolen Rabbit’s and the jeans wouldn’t go all the way up my fat thighs much less my posterior.

I hope to maintain my weight during my visit to my daughter’s place. My soon to be son-in-law is a really good cook. So all bets are off to actually loosing this next week. I’ll just have to do a lot of cemetery walking.

Friday, April 24, 2009

On Clutter Cleaning:

Today I am putting away my mobile clutter piles that seems to follow me wherever I go, so that Mountain Man doesn’t have to look at it or deal with it while I’m away.

I am also cleaning out the refrigerator of any food that only I eat and will spoil before I return. The problem with this one is, my frugalness wants me to eat all that food before I leave, but I am still trying to loose weight for all sorts of reasons. A conundrum for me.

I craft at all times of the day. I go from one thing to another and back again because my hands hurt if I do one thing for too long. This leads to many small clutter piles at the many stations of my house. Knitting at the computer, sewing at the family room table, and lace making by the TV. You get the picture.

I am also not a neat freak. I tend to leave something out if I’m only going to come back to it in a few hours, days, weeks, months. You know what I mean.

My main concern is, will Mountain Man want me and my cluttery ways back after a week of cleanliness? Or should I leave a few things laying around so he doesn’t miss me too much?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

On New Electronics:

The old lady in me comes out to play when I take a look at new electronics. Not because they baffle me, but because I’m amazed at how the world has changed in my lifetime.

I come from a world of records and record players. 45’s, lp’s, and even 78’s. (Which stands for: 45 and 78 is the speed of the revolutions of the turn table the record is spinning at in a minute and lp stood for long playing which was at 33 1/ 3 speed.) My father had an old Edison Gramophone tube player in the basement when I was a kid. You hand cranked that one to power it.

I remember changing diamond tipped needles on my record player to get better sound out of my records. I remember putting a penny on the arm to help it over the skips and crying when they were scratched beyond use.

I’ve lived through and owned all the evolutions of personal music collections from records to the reel to reel tape players, 8 track tapes, cassette tapes and compact disks (or CD‘s).

I was out shopping yesterday and I picked up a small MP3 player. My first. It’s just 1GB, which translates to around 450 songs or a few hours of video on its tiny 1 3/ 8 inch or 3 1/ 2 cm screen. It is a no-name brand for $30’s at the dollar store.

This gadget has a rechargeable Lithium-polymer battery and comes with a cord to connect it to your computer and earbud headphones. There was also a bonus of free downloads, but I filled that sucker up to the top with music from my computer for the trip before Mountain Man could change into his dancing shoes. And I added a lanyard so it can hang around my neck in the car.

Times may have changed, but I’ll always have music at my finger tips. And I’m loving the space saved by these smaller and longer playing new electronics.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On Packing and Thinking:

I woke this morning with thousands of things on my mind. Did I remember to pack enough socks? What will the weather be like? Should I pack only comfortable shoes? Will my allergies get in the way? How will I get along with my daughter’s pets?

Once upon a time I was a grab and go person. If I didn’t have it, I did without or made do. Now I want my kitchen sink. Comfort zones.

I am bringing some of my own foods. And I have a bag packed of just my Lady Euphoria garb for the cemetery. But my gothiness makes my daughter and her fiancĂ© uncomfortable and I’m not into making other people uncomfortable in their own homes. So, I have packed more then I would have because in that I still have a split personality. Two sets of clothing. One for a world that is less excepting and one for me.

Don’t get me wrong. My daughter would let me do my thing and not bat an eyelash. But I also know that she has a secret wish that I fit in her world better. I know this because I had the same secret wish about my own mother when I was younger. I also grew up with a mother of a different, more out there, style. Not bad, just not my style.

I love my daughter and her style is just fine. She is a lovely woman and a good friend. She has her own life with her own style. She likes minimal, rustic, nature tones in her home. She wears earth tones and comfortable clothing. She runs, bikes and does yoga. She likes camping and sports, reading and her pets. She is a nurse and care taker. She will make a very good mother someday.

Who in there right mind would want to make good people feel funny about who you are? And remember, that I was a semi closet goth when she was a child and grew up with me. This is fairly new to her because I only came out in full after my cancer. The mother she grew up with was always trying to find a way to fit in so her kids weren’t made fun of in school because of a strange mother.

I’m still finding my way with the family about this gothy me. I only wish that more people in general, took the time to understand each other more often. Then goth would be an okay thing to be in all places every day.

Well, I gotta’ go. I just remembered I didn’t fill my vitamin and med days of the week containers yet. And what about my reading material and…

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On Shopping and Stuff Before My Trip:

My fingers were fumbling with the bobbin lace so I moved back to my striped knee socks for my boots. I’m almost caught up with the second sock so that I can finish them together. Why is it always harder to finish the last one if you finish the first one off to the end? Anyway, they now await their cuffs.

Mountain Man decided on a shopping trip because it was raining, sleeting and hailing. Fun shopping weather don’t you know. We stopped at the thrift store for a few things. My yoga clothing is getting a bit ratty. I’ve had them for about fifteen years now.

I wanted a backpack for my trip to carry my camera and stuff while I’m out seeing the sights. I picked up a lacey straw hat and replaced the bright hat band as soon as I came home with a black one. (As you can see in the picture, the bright colored fish hat band is not me.)

I found a glass seedling bell for the garden. It isn’t an old one, the glass is thicker on them. But it was cheep enough for me to buy and it will do the job.

We stopped at the music store and I got some new music for the drive to Boston on Sunday. I got The Lord of the Rings soundtrack. I just can’t get enough of that music. I sometimes put the movies into the DVD player just to hear the music while I work around the house.

I also got the Colaline soundtrack. And, you guessed it, the CD looks like a big button. I should have known.

I picked up some travel size things to take and thought of the things that they don’t make, but I still want. Like tiny nail polish bottles. Yes, I hear you. The regular size is small enough, you say.

But they are not small enough at times. I like making my own nail colors sometimes by mixing what I have around. And I’d love to be able to get some empty tiny bottles with brushes for that alone. I know that they make the tiny nail bottles because I’ve seem them in trial size nail polish gift boxes at Christmas time. I’m just saying… Who really wants to clean out the old bottles to make a new color? Am I right?

Monday, April 20, 2009

On Blessed Rain:

It is raining today. It was supposed to start yesterday afternoon. I planned the day to do a little work in the labyrinth in the morning and make lace in the afternoon.

There isn’t a part of me that doesn’t ache when I move this way or that because I am sun burnt and work weary. I kept waiting for the rain to come and kept on working. I want the labyrinth done to just enjoy again.

I was hauling stones in my ‘not so little’ yellow garden wagon, for replacing the cracked or smaller stones that waited for removal low these many years.

(When we laid the labyrinth out, we used wood from the wood pile and replaced them with any stones we could find that were the size of my fist to the size of a loaf of bread or there about. We hauled them out of the woods and fields around our place when we found them. As time moves on we find better stones to replace the smaller stones. But as all large outdoor projects go, we are still fixing and replacing.)

(Mountain Man still has to replace some of the larger outer ring with the help of the tractor, like he did with the others there.)

I was using a pry bar to unearth the stones that sunk down. (The rodents burrow under the stones in the winter and in the spring the stones fall over or sink into the void left by the varmints.) And I was using a shovel and ho to move the soil back in place under the stones after I pried them up. In the three years since the last time I did an over haul of this rodent movement, there are a lot of stones to fix.

I did find some new friends in the labyrinth. A toad that is calling one corner space home. There were others like newts and bugs, but they didn’t wait around until I could get the camera and take their pictures.

A flower that a rodent moved the bulb from by my kitchen door and into the labyrinth and I will move it back again after it is done blooming.

I walked it twice yesterday. I couldn’t resist. I do love that space and the peace I find there.

Today I’ll sit and make some lace while it rains outside.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On The Black Holes in Life:

First Black Hole, sort of:

A little bit of pretty black holes in my lace. I put it aside, for the holidays, two weeks ago. I pulled it out this morning to try to finish it, maybe even today.

It is called Crown and Triangle. The pattern is from ‘Lessons in Bobbin Lacemaking’ by Doris Southard from Dover Press. I have often suggested this book as a good first one to start learning bobbin lacemaking with.

On to other black subjects:
I had been doing well in my weight loss. Really I had been. But what do I do about the black hole days of having a migraine.

Some people can’t eat a thing when they have a migraine headache. Its a stomach thing that comes to most migraine sufferers. But my coping with that stomach upset… is to eat. I eat crackers constantly when I have a migraine. I can consume boxes of them in a day. I’ll do just about anything ‘not’ to throw up you see.

So the nice two and a half pound weight loss of the last six days was erased by yesterdays headache, while I lay in bed munching crackers so I did not get sick.

Next subject in black:
Although I am not going into space, I am going to visit my daughter in Boston from April 26 thru May 3. I don’t travel well, so it feels like a black hole to me as I try not to be sick in the car for all those hours. Six and a half hours, drive time, each way.

The Princess Daughter is graduating as a Pediatric Nurse Practioner that week and I couldn‘t be prouder. We will be eyeball deep in wedding prep stuff most of the time I am there. But I will get to see some historic cemeteries, one walking distance from her place. I hope to bring back pictures. Also I will try not to miss a day blogging, but time will tell.

Black again:
The Epitaph Contest hit its own black hole of sorts. First with the lack of Rupert to assist and now with my up coming trip to Boston for a week. I will not be home with Rupert or the prize to send it out on the last week of the month so it will have to wait also.

I’ll be coming home on Sunday, May third, so I should start the contest again on Monday May fourth.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On My Labyrinth:

Now that Rupert is back and working I can show you the pictures of the work we are doing on my Meditation Labyrinth.

It started out looking like this after a winter under the snow. See all the leaves covering it. (I’m up on a step ladder three rungs off the ground to take the pictures of the whole thing.)

We raked off over twenty-five large plastic trash bins of leaves that Mountain Man packed down hard to fit all he could in so he didn’t have to carry and dump as many trips to the compost pile.

In this picture you can see some of the stones marking the paths had tipped over and most are grass and weed covered. A lot of them sunk down into the ground after a few years of only light care.

This is what the paths should look like and I’m working hard digging them out and putting them back in place. Other then the outer ring, which is wider, the paths are 18 inches on center.

When it is done being cleaned out and fixed up it will be a 14 circuit, or circle, meditation labyrinth again. (Most are seven circuits do to space.) It is one of the largest on the east coast last time I checked. 1060 feet or 2 tenths of a mile long to the center. A nice 15 minute walk in and out again.

You walk from the entrance and follow the path back and fourth, round and round again into the center and you leave your worries and cares there. You walk back out again on the same twisting path being thankful for the good things in your life. Sometimes I sit and pray on the center stone. This center stone is only the top of a large bolder under the ground that was there when I started to lay it out. It is a very earth centered and grounded place to spend some time.

I'll show you more in a few weeks.

Friday, April 17, 2009

On Dancing in the Sunshine:

Some mini Daffies I have in my yard.

Yesterday I got a lot done. Six loads of laundry was washed, dried, folded and put away. (Along with other household chores.) It was a nice blustery day so the clothing dried fairly fast.

We finished getting all the leaves out of the meditation labyrinth. Despite fighting with the wind for the leaves. (We still have to fix the rocks that mark the path.)

I got further in a video game or two. (I love those silly ’find the things on the list’ or ‘match the things’ games.) I use them to help with my short term memory problems. I didn’t like them at first when the doctor told me to give them a try after the chemo. Now I’m addicted.

Mountain Man worked on next years wood pile most of the day.

After finishing yet another cotton wash cloth, I ripped out a few inches of a sock and fixed a shortened stripe that I had some how miscounted. And I knitted beyond the point I had been when I found the mistake. It’s a pair of knee socks in black and purple stripes, for my Dr. Martin boots, done in stockinet. A shame to hide them really, but I love my boots too.

We walked down to the mailbox at the end of our quarter mile long driveway with the dogs. We hadn’t been taking them that far for a while now. Mountain Man had to carry Lady Short back home. She couldn’t make it back on her own steam. I don’t think she will be going with us ever again.

In the late afternoon we found the time to talk a little and Mountain Man repented of his lack of enthusiasm about dancing. We tangoed in the yard for a while and even experimented with a few new dance steps.

All in all it was a pretty good day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On A Few Bothers Off My Chest:

It seems to be looking like a beautiful day is starting outside me door.

Rebecca of Twist Whimsy tagged me in a meme, and try as I might, I haven’t been able to get the picture onto my blog so I haven’t posted it yet. My cut and paste is broke and keeps on telling me the setting is too low and I have to change it. But you might as well tell me to walk to the moon. It will not move a thing no matter how small. Nary a letter or period dot. I don’t, can’t, tried to find a way to increase the volume. I’m lost. (This is in Microsoft Work not Word. I don’t have Word.)

My knitting mojo is missing and I can’t seem to get any of my started projects done. I don’t even want to start another. I pick up the needles and their down again before a row is half done.

I have a trip coming up and I’m a terrible traveler. I want to be happy about going, but the thought of the discomfort of getting there sends me in a tizzy. And then I still have to take the trip to get back home once I get there.

Mountain Man is getting the hang of doing the tango, but now that he has learned the steps he doesn’t find the time to practice. Not because he doesn’t like doing it, but because he won, conquered the beast, and now wants to move onto other things. For him the thrill is gone. Sigh.

This long distance wedding planning is killing me. I don’t get to do all the mother of the bride stuff I had looked forward to in my dreams of having a daughter when she was little. Not that I had plans to take over her wedding. I just was looking forward to having some part in the process. She has a dress already and I wasn’t there to see it. Tear slides slowly down my cheek.

But I’ll tell you what. The sun is shining and the day is cooking up to be wonderful. I have laundry to hang in the sunshine so I’ll stop and smell some metaphorical roses along the way. I have this moment to live and I’m not going to let a few things on my chest take the luster off a lovely day like today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On A Warm Play Day Please:

Spring is late around here and I am getting tired of waiting. I have been wanting to have another picture taking session in some cemeteries around here and the weather is not cooperating.

My Victorian clothing is fine for in the house on a brisk spring day, but I look like a layered and over dressed turtle in the pictures when it is still cold outside. Some non descript lump of black stuff dumped in the middle of a cemetery.

Yes, we have had the occasional warm day but they have been used up by needed work to be done outside. I want to plan a play day and there have been too few warm days to go around.

I’m getting concerned that it will just skip spring and move onto summer weather and that is just as bad for taking pictures in. You really don’t want to see me dieing of heat stroke, in the sun, dressed in layers of black cloth. It is not pretty.

The best time for taking pictures around here in old cemeteries is the spring. You don’t have to watch out for the poison ivy like you do in the autumn and you can do it in relative comfort.

So, to mother nature: Lets get this spring thing going. If you’d like, we can do a tango to entertain you. We are getting a lot better at it.

T-A-N-G-O We want the cold weather to go.

On Duck, Duck, Goose:

After a few extra trips back to the Geek Doctors for adjustments, on things I couldn’t find the hidden screens for, to have those functions turned back on or re-routed around, Rupert the computer is in fine form. He is acting like he had just been away on vacation for the last week and a half and is showing off his new tan over rippling muscles and lost weight from having problem games removed. He is getting sideward glances from me at his arrogant demeanor, then I hug him or give him a pat on the head.

Gladys, the notebook/laptop, has gotten an upgrade of her own and has been wearing her new favor like a peacock. I thought that maybe a new jealousy might be in the offing between them, but to my surprise, they are now all the more in love. Rupert helps Gladys with the heavy lifting and she has taken the burden of story writing from him, leaving him to the blogging, games, pictures and music.

Clayton, Mountain Man’s older computer, has had a few small up grades himself as Lady Euphoria pampered him a bit while waiting for Rupert’s return. He is thankful, but wants a rest from the near constant pounding of his keys while being shared for so many days.

As peace and tranquility of computers lay kindly over the home of Lady Deathwatch, she is frantically trying to catch up on other things like house work and laundry, feeling goosed by the whole process of computer needs. While Mountain Man grumbles in the corner, as he works on their taxes.

I will now spend a few hours each day trying to catch up on all the emails, blogs, stories and other internet friend stuff that await me in cyberspace.

Here are some pictures of the ducks on my pond that I took, but couldn’t show you last week, with the new camera’s distance capabilities. I didn’t have to doctor or play with the pictures after I took them at all.

Monday, April 13, 2009

On Silly Holiday the Thirteenth 04-13-09:

Dilly Spilly Day*

The town of Dilly Falls spent the last week getting ready for the biggest holiday of the year. Pillows were placed on every park bench. Soft stuffing was wrapped around every tree, light pole and fire hydrant. Everyone had their padding and crash helmets ready for the big day. Yes, Dilly Spilly Day was going to be a head over heals success.

There was raised seating erected at the place where the race would end and Martha Bickbutt loaned her rattan peacock fan chair with the fat cushion for the Queen of the Day’s throne, to be placed on the stage opposite the risers for her to over see the day’s events.

I should tell you that Dilly Falls didn’t have any waterfalls at all. In fact there wasn’t any moving water within city limits. For Dilly Falls was the place where Dilly Spilly Day was started long ago. Homer Houser started the holiday to honor Betty ‘Boom Boom’ Dilly and soon after the town’s name was changed to Dilly Falls. Boom Boom Day, as the holiday was first called, was held on the anniversary of Betty’s death each year there after.

Betty had been a nice little girl who did everything quite normally with the exception of walking. She walked backwards you see. She was called Boom Boom from the time she was a toddler and would bump into things and announce, to any one in hearing distance, that she had a Boom Boom on her bottom.

This was a cause of much merriment as she rarely ever got truly hurt. She didn’t seem to mind the laughter or to be able to walk in the normal way and the people of town just left her to her odd way of getting from place to place.

By the time she was a teen no one seemed to notice any longer, but shortly after she made her way backwards up the isle to marry Freddy Bumper and the whole town showed up. But Freddy didn’t arrive to marry her and… Well, the story made the newspapers of course.

This drew the attention of the people with that book of strange things people did. Betty Dilly was named as the person who walked backward the longest, unseating the holy man in India who had done his backward walking for only five years at that point. This made Betty Dilly the town’s only celebrity.

So the people of Dilly Falls had a day of walking backward on April thirteenth every year in her honor. Backward races were held throughout the day. A backwards queen was crowned. And there were tents of food with backward spoken names.

Strap on a pillow and come join us for a Dilly Spilly Day of backward nuf. (f-u-n)

*This is a totally fictional story by Lady Deathwatch.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

On Apple or Orange:

No pictures, No contest today.

Rupert the computer is home but still unwell. After having some things I can’t explain done to him while at the ‘computer hospital’ he works, but he no longer plays well on the internet. In essence, I can’t get onto blogger with him any longer. No blogger, no blog with pictures. So I am back on the older slower computer (named Clayton) that doesn’t deal well with pictures. And Rupert is on juice and light snacks while he lazes around playing games.

Mountain Man is not happy at the expense and I am in a tizzy. I can live with Rupert if he doesn’t do anything but play games and is a glorified typewriter. I have done that before for years before we joined the internet. But my blog will suffer if I can no longer do things like have pictures or other things here on my blog by using the older computer to reach the internet.

I will start to save up for a new computer if Rupert can‘t be fixed, but I do feel I the need for some more input on computers before I put any more money down on these fiendish friends.

I know nothing about Macks/Apples and would like anyone who knows both systems to let me know the difference. In fact the only thing I’ve heard many years ago was an off hand comment someone made, that macks don’t do games well. It takes me some time to learn a new system with my brain hitting the restart button on a fairly regular basis. And I don’t want to waste money on something I might not be able to use.

I found myself thinking about giving up the blogs, much as I don’t want to. But I don’t want to have a boring blog that no one wants to read either. I put a lot of time and thought into my blogs in trying to keep them interesting.

So, I’m looking for a solution. If any of you could help, I thank you in advance.

Tomorrow is Silly Day the Thirteenth.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

On Rupert is Coming Home:

Rupert the computer is fixed. The call came too late to get him last night, but today he is coming home. I don’t know yet in what condition he’ll be in, but whether or not he still knows me or has had his memory wiped clean, I will be able to have pictures on the blog again. Whoo hoo!

I have been having a lot of fun with the old gaming system (Gamecube) again. I even bought some more used games for it. My thumbs have gotten stronger so I just might take the time to keep playing those games too.

Still, I have to say that I really want to get back to my writing. I miss attacking the keyboard when the muse hits. Pen and paper take far too long for me now. I have index cards with ideas on them from the past week, but not the pages I had been able to put out on a regular basis before.

The other down side of Rupert being gone has been that I haven’t been using the exerbike nearly as much, so my weight loss has slowed too. Or has that been Holiday prep and the extra special cooking going on around here. A little of both I suspect.

After a small celebration on his return I will dump the pictures I’ve been taking this past week into him, and get the Epitaph contest ready for tomorrow. But after that I will be deep into my writing again. My characters are clamoring for attention again and I can’t wait to get back at it.

Let me see, how did it go again… Mysteriously, a beautifully carved wooden box arrives at the house in the arms of a bald man with a scar on his left hand and cheek. The main character (Un-named as yet.) wonders at its meaning. Is there more to the seemingly empty box? And what is the secret of its heavy weight?… I can’t wait to find out. How about you?

Friday, April 10, 2009

On Blame It On the Restart Button:

I didn’t forget to sit down to post yesterday. I really didn’t. I woke up knowing what I wanted to say. I’m a creature of habit like we all tend to be.

My morning habit is to get up, do the bathroom stuff and get the blog written. I often put it on the timer to go out between 7:00 and 7:30 in the morning, a difference of about a half an hour from the time I wrote it. And while it goes out into cyber space I’ve been peacefully doing my yoga.

When that is done, I wash up, dress for the day and read other peoples blogs and answer my emails while my hair dries and I eat my breakfast. (Yes, I know. Way, too much information.)

Yesterday, I didn’t get up at the usually time and decided to use the extra time to do some maintenance on the computer. Defrag and clean, you know the drill. And since this computer I’m currently using is so slow at its tasks I didn’t write the blog as I waited, I was hand writing a shopping list on a note pad.

And then there is this seizures business. I have had mild seizures since the cancer treatments. I am fortunate that the computer screen doesn’t set them off, but I can’t drive the car any more. If you were in the room you’d probably miss that I had one. I get a little spacey for a moment as my brain hits the restart button a few times a day.

Well, I had one, round about the time the computer finished and when I found myself sitting in my computer chair, I looked up at the clock, and thought, I must have done what I sat down there to do, so I then went off to do my morning yoga.

Only getting up this morning to repeat my daily process reminded me that I hadn’t, in fact, blogged yesterday. Not that you missed anything important. I didn’t find the answer to world peace or anything, but I did wonder at the lack of comments when I checked on the blog and my emails.

So the blog was lost in translation, or rebooting, or some such thing of my twisted brain. I’m going back to doing things the way I had been doing them, with no deviations in the future. I have to go with what works, to make it work, right?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On Music on the Wind:

Today I move my wind chimes outside. This I do knowing full well that they may still be snowed on a time or two before the nice weather comes to stay for a while. It is snowing right now in my yard. I live on top of a mountain so spring comes a bit later for me but I can’t wait any longer.

I love the sound of the chimes and gongs and have missed their discordant music all winter long. The heavy long metal tube chime with it’s deeper gong like sound. The light clacking hollow sounds of the bamboo. The tinkle of the brass bell chime. And all the others filling in the other notes and noises in the breezes. Metal, Glass, Stone, Wood, and pottery. There are also shards of broken things that had an interesting sound when strung up with a clacker to bump into each other when the wind comes to play.

Each wind chime on it’s own hook hanging outside my kitchen door. As they are placed in their yearly place of honor, hanging from the ash tree, they are checked for damage and fixed if possible. A new clacker string or a bit of wire to hold something back in place. Some do not make it, their cording rotted away and their pieces are taken to be replacement parts for others that have seen the ravages of time. So interspersed with the newer chimes are the miss-mash of the reclaimed.

I remember the person that had given it to me or the occasion it was received. Remembering time spent in finding the right placement for a unique sound or look that didn‘t survive another year. They are important to me not just because I like the sounds but because of the memories that they invoke also.

Today the music of my wind chimes will be back at my house. Can you hear the love floating in the air?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On Rocking and Rolling Along:

Busy week, Holidays and all that coming up. I’m still spring cleaning. No crafting projects to speak of. I’m trying to ignore the return of winter weather around here. And I’m trying to get some things done in the yard. With the weather it is taking longer then I hoped.

I have been doing some yard work out in the yard and other areas of the property. The ground heaves and moves in the winter freezes and thaws. Every year we find new rocks and stones coming out of the ground That have to be removed or marked before we start up the mower and do it damage. Then there are the other decorative edging rocks and stones that we find sinking down from the rodents undermining them, literally.

Can you see me out in the yard with a pick-ax like one of the dwarfs in Snow White? Pulling rocks and stones from the ground and adding them to Mountain Mans stash. Well, it really isn’t quite like that.

I have my own rocks and stones that I play with too. I really do. Mountain Man has his walls and towers of stone and I have a Meditation Labyrinth. It is in the medieval style and in need of repair after a long winter or two. (I haven’t worked in there like I should have in the last few years since the cancer. I just wasn’t up to it before now.) I posted a link on meditation labyrinths here. I will post pictures of mine when I can again, in the future.

Meditation Labyrinths are not the hedge path mazes you hear about. They are paths on the ground that you walk on. You walk around on the narrow twisting path into the center and back out again as you pray or think on how to improve your personal growth.

My Labyrinth is in a clearing in the oak grove west of the house. This requires two leaf cleanings a year. Oak trees hold onto half of their autumn leave until spring and then drop the rest. It takes me days just to clean out the fallen leaves and twigs from between all the rocks, marking the sides of the path, without disturbing them.

Next I have to unearth the rocks that have sunken into the ground more then I want them to. This I have to do with hundreds of rocks. I’ll go through a few pair of gardening gloves before I’m done and it is hard work, but I love it there.

I hope that you have an inspirational place of your own to go to also.

Monday, April 6, 2009

On Missing Skills:

I’ll find out later today how my computer ‘Rupert’ is. What I do know about his condition is that it is not a virus, but probably a conflict of software programs. They will call me later today.

I am having fun revisiting some of my old games on my gamecube. I did find that I’m not used to using my thumbs as much since I moved onto games for my PC. Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit), Link (Zelda - Wind, 4 Swords, & Twilight), and Omar (Picmin) have been keeping me company and on my exercise bike and out of the refrigerator.

I have discovered I have a lack of quality self soothing skills. I eat to feel better. This not good. I can’t ignore it any longer, although I am trying to learn to work around it. If I want to loose this excess weight I’ll have to find a better way to deal with daily bumps in the road.

I have to find something else that does not cost money, is not food, or craft project oriented to sooth myself. I collected some bad habits after my son died. I slipped into using outside things to substitute for dealing with my troubles.

This led to an escapist attitude. Eat it away, ignore it by doing something else, or buy something to make me feel better at the moment. All are okay to do sometimes, but not to use as a rule.

My first reaction after I stopped using my bad habits was to want to curl in a ball and suck on my thumb. Primitive and infantile, but telling. I went right back to the beginning looking for comfort to the negative things in life.

Somewhere in my life I started to take the easy way out. And now I have to find the right way to deal with things again.

My question: How do you self sooth when you can’t eat, buy, or pretend it away?

Right now I’m alternating from dealing with any one smaller trouble at the moment and escaping into video game land. This works for my weight loss but not for things like my frustration at my computer troubles. Any suggestions? My thumbs are getting tired.

On Missing Skills:

I’ll find out later today how my computer ‘Rupert’ is. What I do know about his condition is that it is not a virus, but probably a conflict of software programs. They will call me later today.

I am having fun revisiting some of my old games on my gamecube. I did find that I’m not used to using my thumbs as much since I moved onto games for my PC. Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit), Link (Zelda - Wind, 4 Swords, & Twilight), and Omar (Picmin) have been keeping me company and on my exercise bike and out of the refrigerator.

I have discovered I have a lack of quality self soothing skills. I eat to feel better. This not good. I can’t ignore it any longer, although I am trying to learn to work around it. If I want to loose this excess weight I’ll have to find a better way to deal with daily bumps in the road.

I have to find something else that does not cost money, is not food, or craft project oriented to sooth myself. I collected some bad habits after my son died. I slipped into using outside things to substitute for dealing with my troubles.

This led to an escapist attitude. Eat it away, ignore it by doing something else, or buy something to make me feel better at the moment. All are okay to do sometimes, but not to use as a rule.

My first reaction after I stopped using my bad habits was to want to curl in a ball and suck on my thumb. Primitive and infantile, but telling. I went right back to the beginning looking for comfort to the negative things in life.

Somewhere in my life I started to take the easy way out. And now I have to find the right way to deal with things again.

My question: How do you self sooth when you can’t eat, buy, or pretend it away?

Right now I’m alternating from dealing with any one smaller trouble at the moment and escaping into video game land. This works for my weight loss but not for things like my frustration at my computer troubles. Any suggestions? My thumbs are getting tired.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

On Winners and Losers:

The Epitaph Contest for this week has a winner. Jen is a baker by trade and came up with this week’s epitaph also.

To the few other epitaph entrants not chosen this week, your Epitaph will appear on the Epitaph of the week in the future and I will put your names back in the hat for the next Contest of the Week on 11 th through the 18 th. Better luck next time.

I am the grand looser this week. Not because I am sick. I’m getting better on that front. Not because I lost two pounds this past week. Who knew that coughing and blowing my nose was considered exercise. But because I am now using the computer named Clayton. He is the older, weaker, and the now owned by Mountain Man, computer.

Okay, so I name my computers. You do things like that too, you know you do.

Clayton is at least seven years old, has never been serviced and can’t run any of my newer games. He is slow but keeps on going. Clayton is an E machines with XP. He is the old faithful.

I got Rupert a little over a year ago. We have a love hate relationship. Rupert is a Gateway and he has Vista. I have had to learn to live with that. (Side note: I am still trying to unlearn all the nasty words I leaned as we got to know one another.) I have also had to learn to baby Rupert. Rupert has gotten great care, service and maintenance.

Rupert is headed for computer intensive care, later on today, to see if they can revive him.

Yesterday, while I was trying to check and see if any other epitaphs came in for the contest last minute, Rupert crashed and burned as I watched and franticly hit buttons, keys and finally pulled his plug.

Gladys, my notebook/laptop, is beside herself. She never did have any power to speak of and fancied Rupert her hero/ boyfriend. She is in a bad mood and won’t play nice even though I have never taken her anywhere near the big bad internet and its virus germs.

Until Rupert is pronounced well or dead and replaced (And that may take some time. I‘m not made of money.) I will be unable to have pictures on my blog. Clayton is just too slow.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

On Who is Sicker?:

My computer may not have gotten the conficker worm, but it is now sick too. It takes forever to load, it won’t play nice and I’m too sick to get it fixed at the moment. I’m the techy in this house. (And I’m not all that tech to begin with.)

Yesterday afternoon I thought I would answer some emails and catch up on what all of you have been doing. Well, you didn’t hear from me and I’m in the dark about how any of the other bloggers are doing. Aside from managing to get a few comments cleared for viewing, all I got done was to frustrate myself. I can’t even get a picture to up load if my life depended on it.

I’ll try to get the problem worked on later today or tomorrow, but you know how weekends can be.

In the mean time know that I’m missing your company and I hope you are fairing much better then I am at the moment.

Friday, April 3, 2009

On Playing Until I Get Well:

Okay, so I loose my mind when I’m sick. I started crafting projects after I made my moratorium on starting any new ones until I got the old ones finished off.

I know why I do this. I’m not on top of my game, and I don’t want to mess up the projects that I had been working so hard on. And being a person that needs to have her hands busy all the time, I start new projects.

So, Now my basket/list of undone projects have more instead of less this week. This I did in between napping all day and using an insane amount of tissues.

After realizing what I was doing. (This came about as I ripped all the stitches, for a third time, from a miss-started new knitting project.) I gave it up as a lost cause and moved onto playing old video games on my game cube. (Okay, so I had to dust it off first. What else can you do when you can‘t even knit right.)

Yes, I still have an old game cube and wish that Nintendo still made games for it. I really liked some of the games you could only get for the game cube system. (Pickmin can still keep me entertained for hours. And I‘m still looking for a used Pickmin 2 to add to my collection of games.)

I’ll probably never get a Wii. I can’t even think of that expense right now. So I dream of used games for my purple cube.

Thank you for the ‘Get Well’ wishes. Better days will come again, I’m sure. My working mind will return someday, maybe when my nose dries up, and as I wait for it, I’ll go back to playing and napping all day.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

On Being Conflicted:

I am posting late today. Not because my computer was sick with the conflicker (Whatever?) worm but because I was sick in bed.

I was conflicted because I didn’t want to move but felt I had an obligation to myself to get my daily blog out. And to get another box of tissues.

I dragged my butt out of bed at around noon. If you knew me, you would know that getting up at six in the morning is late for me. Not even the draw of food got me moving today. And at 194 pounds (Yes, I lost a pound as of yesterday, since Sunday.) You know that food is important.

I sit here with tissues up my nose and in my night gown. Wishing my bed would come closer to me so I didn’t have to actually try to walk to get back into it.

It looks like a beautiful day outside. I only looked out the window in trying to find my husband. I was hoping he would make me something to eat. When Mountain Man comes in from outside, I’ll have him get me some food and help me back to bed.

Here to hoping this illness runs its course swiftly because I can’t stand being sick like this for long. I have to get better in time for my spring allergies to start when the trees go into bloom. I’m thanking the powers that be that they haven’t bloomed yet around here. The trees are barely in bud.

I’m rambling incoherently now. I’m going to crawl back to bed now. Mountain man is having fun in the sun and may not be back for hours. I just can’t wait any longer. Back to bed for me.

No complaining tomorrow, I promise.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

On Not So Funny:

Since I post so early in the morning on a regular basis and there have been so many news stories on the TV and the web about that internet worm set to go off on April the first, I have decided ‘not’ to turn my computer on until after I know what is going on with it.

So this message has been posted on a timer.

If my compute crashes or has been taken over by worms, I may not be back tomorrow. As of right now I don’t think I will have a problem.

I spent the day backing up files just in case, and I don’t want the added expense of having to have my computer over-hauled if I don’t have to.

I may be called a lot of things, but I won’t be called an April Fool.

May your computer be bug, worm and virus free.