Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Good Day, Ladies."

Caroline and her mother were surprised to meet a complete stranger on their daily stroll to visit cousin Alexandra. They'd never seen this gentleman before; and the encounter was most pleasant; for he took off his fine hat and bade them both a warm hello, his large eyes lingering on Caroline's pretty face for but a moment before he continue on his way.

When Caroline ventured to glance back, she discovered that he too was doing just the same. Her cheeks flushed, she hurried her mother along. She could scarce contain her excitement to learn more about this handsome stranger; surely Alexandra would know. Alexandra knows everything that goes on in Berryton.


The process of my drawings is a weird one. Almost every day at my work, during my break or lunch, I reach into my printer tray, grab a mechanical pencil, and then sit and think for a minute or two, maybe sip some tea, and then I draw.

A few months ago, while rummaging through the office supply closet, I found a package of erasable coloured pencils that had never been sharpened. SCORE! I use a sharpie or a fine-point pen to ink things in, erase the pencil, colour and ten or fifteen minutes later, voila. Cuteness.

My colour choices are limited, granted, but it gets the job done. I find it relaxing to just draw. I know I'm no art maven.. certainly not like this person (grr, I'm so jealous of this person), but I like the products on the most part. I imagine, given the proper art tools, good paper, a real studio, and more time, what I would make could potentially be much better than my "Office Specials". All in all... drawing makes me calm. And I really enjoy spinning little snippets of the story that goes along with the characters I draw. It's such fun.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Don't look now, but he's walking this way.

Dierdre and Kate have been looking forward to the Oak Hall Ball through the whole winter. They'd ordered their trims and fabrics months before, and through the darkest days of winter they stitched and trimmed and fitted again and again by candlelight until their gowns were perfect for this very special event. Come Spring, they waited anxiously every day for the post, most eager to finally receive their elegant printed invitation from Oak Hall.

And here it is, the night of the ball, and as always, the great house is resplendent, and the guests glisten in their jewels and bright velvets and muslins and silks. The bright eyes of the lovely sisters search for the special someones who promised them a dance, perhaps even two this very night

And lo, there they are. Oh! Don't look now, Kate, but I think your beau is walking this way!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thinking of my Papa.

My papa, covered in dogs. This was about 12-14 years ago .

Whenever I call my papa, I end up in tears. I guess it's that horrible dreaded feeling I got last September when I was back in New England... It was that sense that this could be the last time I see his face, his blue-blue eyes, and hug his rattly bones. It was horrendous, and I cried pretty much the whole flight home.

My dad is only 77, but he is sort of one of those hypochondriac kind of daddies that likes to claim every disease mentioned on the news; and enjoys being an invalid. "Oh," he will say with his strong Dracula accent, "I'm qvite shooor I've gott Vest Nile Virus."Do you see dis brown spot here? I tink eet is de skeen eating dizease..." or he'll utter: "I'm shoor I've gott Lyme Dizeaze." He's been 'old' since before he retired. The fatalist.

What astonishes me is that as late as 2002, my dad was skiing down the mile at Timberline Lodge on his super-long black Rossies. We had come, him and I, from New England to Oregon to visit my sister. He made some visits on occasion, his visits to the slopes of Timberline a highlight for him. He was always happy to bind up his skis in their nylon case, and head to the airport.

The moment he arrived, the quiet hints to hit the slopes would be unending. He wouldn't stop until he was stomping up to the booth in his good ol' red boots, and then riding up the lift, his azure eyes a-glistenin'. My sister would telemark around him, and then watch him ski fearlessly along, with his trademark Hungarian Ski Panache, man, he is an incredible skiier, great technique, really skilled; he hadn't hit the slopes for a couple of years and he was slaloming his skinny butt off. My brother-in-law (now ex-bro-in-law) was so proud to tell people that the figure practically dancing down the slopes was a 72 year old man.

But the second day of skiing, my dad took a plunge. It wasn't a severe fall, but it shook him very deeply. He went back to my sister's house that night, and shuffled around, and I could see the realization and even the fear in his eyes. He didn't ask to go skiing the next day. Normally, he wanted to ski every day of his visit. He liked having access to powder vs the hard ice-crusted slopes of New England runs. He declared himself too old, and retired his tall back rossis for good. Ever since then, he's been fading.

The last I saw my dad, he was this little bundle of sticks. He wore an oversized sweater that nearly reached his knees, a pair of sweats pulled all the way up to his nipples, and two slippers that he shuffled around in just to drive my mother crazy. "PEEK AP JORR FEET!" she would shout, and my father's reply: "But my sleepers vill foll off."

My relationship with my dad has been pretty stormy throughout my life. He has a notorious temper, and was sort of beastly as we grew up (but so was my mom--it was a loud household); but in the last fifteen years, we've mended fences, and developed a really great relationship. I see him now, and that scary, glaring-eyed, towering figure that used to scare my socks off now looks so fragile and vulnerable to me... His icy blue eyes and his dense black hair now drybrushed with silver strands. His eyebrows are like two fuzzy caterpillars inching across his brow.

I called him yesterday, and his voice is so gravelly, his tone so subdued, so lost. I don't think I've ever missed him more than I do now.

Papa is in the back in the yellow hat, piloting, his friend is in the front holding me. I was about 2ish there, and I recall parts of that flight.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Friday!

The house seems unusually gloomy; so Miss Clara goes outside to find some colourful and fragrant blooms to cheer the house up.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

We are most displeased.

I was in the mood for doing someone snooty today.

I'm always drawing sweet, humble, frantic little creatures; but who is it that my creatures are Kowtowing to then, I wondered? Who is it that summons them about, and demands they drop everything to accomodate her? Why it's Lady Anne Elizabeth Constance DeWarren~VanDeVelde~Beaufort, of course.

Lady Anne Elizabeth Constance reclines comfortably on her fine settée, and orders petit fours and Oolong tea, fresh scones with clotted cream, and she must have diverting companionship at all times. By diverting, that means quiet and deferential, always willing to support everything she says with enthusiasm, to proclaim her most clever and witty, and to acknowledge her superior nature.

You must always understand, if you are one of her chosen companions, that no matter what you do or say; it's likely that the Lady will always disapprove. It's her nature, and her obligation you see. It comes with her breeding.

Two little pills....

...could be answer to it all.

My fertility specialist prescribed me Clomid last Friday. I'm to take a half pill for four days during days 3-6 of my cycle. It's supposed to help me ovulate as I am supposed to (as my body normally refuses to do).

I won't get my hopes up too much; the disappointment otherwise just kills me. But I can't help but get just a little bit hopeful. Wish us luck.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Not-So-Mumbly Monday

It's hard to be grumpy when the sun is out. At least today. Despite my knee being exceedingly painful, I cannot bring myself to be grumpy today. I've got so much work to do, and I'm having an impossible time trying to focus on it.

This is a little scribble I did today on break. Her neck is too long, I know... among other strange proportion issues and a wonky embroidery frame. But what the heck. It's not horrible for a ten-minute drawing and fifteen minute colouring.

I'm in that kind of mood today, where I wish I were seated on an ottoman, doing quiet needlework in the light of the early afteroon, a cup of steaming tea next to me. That would be nice.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Stop! Thief!

Yesterday, I stopped to receive my requisite raping from OPEC and my debit card was declined. I'm confused, but I have enough to get gas on another card, and I drive home in puzzlement. I get home, and my husband is there. He asks me:

"Did you buy anything from Royal Farms in Baltimore, Maryland?"

I'm thinking: Oh, sure, I shop on the east coast every day. "No," I reply, my brow arched in further confusion. "I haven't shopped online in forever."

"What's Royal Farms?"

"I dunno. Google it."

It turns out Royal Farms is a convenience store/gas station from that area. He shows me our online banking statement and there are two payments for $100 made there, one the day before yesterday, one yesterday.

We call the bank's 800 number and shut off our cards. This morning, another payment of $100 was taken out, despite *my* being declined for fuel the night before; that I don't understand.

Husband took the day off to meet with a utility person (because our utilities are so flexible you have to take a whole day off so you can accomodate their unpredictable schedule. I think utilities should reimburse you for lost work-time... it's ridiculous). Anyway... he's going to deal with the bank today too. He'll let me know what our bank says. $300 loss is HUGE for us. I'll update when I know.

God only knows how our bank info was stolen. Be careful people... in this economy it can spell disaster.
Today's Pearls seems extremely appropriate: ::urgh::

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hurry now!

Mrs. Nibbles does not take a tea invitation from the venerable and well-to-do Mrs. Whiskers very lightly. Especially when her two girls are very close to the ages of the Whiskers boys. This tea could lead to a friendship, and infinite possibilities; perhaps even an advantageous marriage for one (or even better, both) of her girls.

"So comb your fur, and wear only your best things, girls. And for goodness' sake... hurry! We simply cannot be late! Hurry!"

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Cellular Scourge

I’ve come to despise cell phones. If I could only get rid of mine… I hate it. I never really much liked them when they started becoming commonly available. My husband cannot stand to be without them. He says that if we have to commute as far as we do on a daily basis, that we should have them in case of a breakdown or other unforeseen situation. I can see where he’s coming from; but they never quite end up being used just for emergencies. They just become a human Lojack.

I’m a fairly independent soul. I am not too keen on being phoned constantly and asked; “so where are you?” I also am not a big telephone person to begin with. I tend to start segueing people off the phone the moment I start the telephone conversation with them. I don’t like long chats on the phone. There are few people I can claim are capable of keeping me on the phone for long. Then all of a sudden, I’m carrying this phone around with me 24/7 and that means that anyone can call me at any time.

Hubby always gives his cell phone numbers to his grandmother and then complains about how often she calls him on it. My solution is to not give her the number; but he simply cannot do that. He wants her to be able to reach him anytime in case of an emergency; however with Grandma, a desperate need for KFC chicken could constitute an emergency. I haven’t given my cell number to my mother. I haven’t given it out to anyone except those who 1) I trust not to annoy me constantly with phone calls while I’m driving and 2) people who I need to have contact with like ORS helpers and such. Other than that, my phone rarely rings unless it’s from hubby or a wrong number (which has been happening a lot lately).

This morning, I was behind a guy in a large vehicle. He was driving in erratic spurts… accelerating, decelerating, poking along, swerving… why? Because he was putzing around with his cell phone. It was irritating the heck out of me. Friday, we went to see Indiana Jones, and there was a large group of teens in the theatre, and through the whole movie, my eyes were distracted by the glowing screens of cell-phones while the little jerks texted their way through the film—they also were coming and going throughout the movie to make and receive calls. I see kids texting while driving all the time. I really wish I had some steel bars around my car so I could just ram them off the road and out of the way. Stupid, stupid kids. Why do kids have cell phones anyway? They don’t need them. My generation survived well enough without texting capabilities.

In public places, I am party to conversations I don’t want to hear. Teen drama, adult arguments, the mind-numbing minutiae of someone’s life being discussed over Bluetooth… It’s like auditory pollution. At sushi the other day, there was a really adorable looking teenaged girl behind me in line. By the time I got to the counter I was having fantasies of inflicting bloody violence upon her. “Oh my god…. Tooootally… yeah, he did. And then he turned around and said something, and I was like… you did not just say something … so I totally went off on him… Yeah, no, totally… I just lost it… I was like who do you think you are? You have no idea who I am and….” I think jamming a chopstick in my eye would be more pleasant than listening to her go on and on and on and on and on.

Cellulars are the scourge of the earth. I’ve decided this.


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