Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tag, You're It!

While I was roaming the land of Big Skies with two of my favorite males, I got "tagged" by Colleen Redman.  I must state that I usually ignore memes, surveys, blog-monkeys...whatever you want to call these infectious bugs that dash through the social networks of digital song and make you dance/sing to their rhythm.  Yet, I have read Colleen's blog for years and since she herself is infectious, I accepted her challenge.

This is a very difficult challenge because it is for "writers."  I have just recently begun to see myself as a photographer, and now before I get too old, I guess I must get my mind about whether I am a writer or not.

I started writing for fun when I was in grade school.  I kept notebooks that were pasted with photos cut from magazines or bits of nature collected and then I wrote prose or poetry that had emerged (like vomit) in my brain.  It was an addiction and I really never thought about it.  But I had to do it.  In primary and secondary school the writing assignments (fiction or non-fiction) were my favorites.  I am a story person.  I even made up stories about my math figures to get through Algebra!  Blogging is my adult panacea, but I do wish they provided a free editor.

Anyway, that is the background for my answers below:

What am I writing/working on now? 
My blog posts, of course.  I just finished a short photo-journal book of the trip for my grandson and it will be a memory gift.  I tried to write in the mind of a 9-year-old and thus it was pretty yucky.  I had started a fictional book months ago and it was such a disappointing venture that it gathers cobwebs on my laptop.  I am always writing poetry in my mind, which sometimes makes it to the page.  I keep thinking I will follow through on a few ideas that are germs in my mind...but this is why I do not see myself as a WRITER.

How does my writing differ from other writing in its genre?
Unfortunately, I do not think my writing differs much.  My voice is a common one.  I strive for honesty and try to avoid bluntness, but they seem to come hand in hand.  I think that Gandhi had it precisely correct when he said the only God is truth...or something to that effect.  Truth is very hard to capture in words, though.  And I have not yet decided if it is truth that changes or my mind.

Why do I write what I write?
It is like eating and breathing and loving.  It is something that I HAVE to do.  I am a seeker and I hope that by putting the pen to paper I will find what I seek.  I hope to make astonishing connections and sometimes I actually do, on a smaller and more comfortable scale.

How does my writing process work?
I do not have a process, which is, of course, the problem.  Consistency is the engine of great writers.  Coffee and early morning and being the only one up are the keys to getting my writing engine going.  I procrastinate on keeping a notebook for all my treasured thoughts as I work through my day.  Colleen keeps a notebook and even more important she can decipher it when she needs to!  I am a people watcher and do have a skill for recognizing a good if I could just weave that into a tapestry of a story.

What are my future blog plans?
Since I do not have deadlines nor do I get paid for this, I do not have to have a plan.  I still feel a calling to write and would do so even if no one read these words.  When I began blogging in 2004 (before you were born?) I had no plan and thought of it as a private journal.  Then I may have been a better writer in purity of thought and tone---who am I kidding?  Now I am somewhat addicted to "my readers" and have them in mind when I write.  It is probably not good for writing that you care how your readers perceive you and sometimes bite your pen.  

I will not tag anyone, but would love if any of my readers desired to pick up this tag/flag and run with the ball and any other metaphor you care to use...just let me know.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Time Travel

I have heard of jet-lag but I think I had become infected with time-lag this trip.  I went from seeing old, old, old, friends where I had deep and emotional touchstones, where it was almost as if they were on the other side of a time warp and while my fingers touched quickly, that only happened if my eyes connected at the same time.  Otherwise it was somewhat like rapidly flipping pages in a dusty old photo album.   You try to hang on to the memories of you and them that happened and created part of the puzzle pieces that form bits of what you are today, but you also realize, at least those of us who live great distances away, that this is like visiting an old and favorite movie.  It brings back feelings, but you are not sure that you were a character in that movie...maybe you only watched it one time long ago when you were most impressionable.

Those of you of live near where you grew up may not have such a jolt when your paths cross with old friends.  I do not know.  I do know for me it is a bit of  an acid trip.  My energies get drained and I lose my place in time and understanding.

This may very well be the last time I see old classmates all together.  It will not be the last time I visit family.  We see each other every few years, but that is mainly due to weddings and children moving across the country.  These will soon dwindle and we will have to make an effort to meet up.  Someone, a sister-in-law whose family lives across the Atlantic Ocean, suggested we needed a big family vacation together.  The last one was in Italy well over a decade ago.  I am up for it this decade, but may not be up for it in decades to come.

I do think part of this sweep in emotions was that in the middle I shifted gears to share 9 days with my nine-year-old grandson who is a treasure of a traveler.  I hope he keeps happy memories of this trip because we were all in a super genetic link with similar interests and energies.  I do not think the link will be so smooth with the other two when their time comes for such a trip. I will take on Colleen's TAG...!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

As Luck Would Have It

So the first Sunday in Colorado was going to be a rather long day.  I had a 50th High School reunion at a local small town restaurant (there were only 21? in my graduating class and only 7 showed!).  It was an emotion-filled thing with many having passed recently including one of the men helping to organize the event.  We all are talkers and I did not get to any really in depth conversations with anyone as we sat around a rather large square table with our spouses and significant others.  No one has changed in personality or interests though.

The horse girl is now a horse lady and she forgave my best friend and I for TP-ing her house every Halloween.  It was a big old mansion at the end of Main and we just could not resist.  She is about four feet five with a lovely long gray braid down her back and drives a BIG truck.  My two best girlfriends sat on either side, and as is true with best friends, we found plenty to talk about and started right where we had last left off.  The star quarterback and main basketball player who went to STATE our senior year had shrunk!  He was small in build and shorter than I. What happened???  My old boyfriend was in the process of his second divorce due to having an affair with the pretty blonde lady that he brought to the luncheon.  He is fairly wealthy owning lots of land in the area and seemed to have no problem leaving his house on the lake in a nearby town to his former wife who sadly was fighting cancer. Whatever did I see in him?  The class Valedictorian was still somewhat of a snob, but had spread in size and looked less like a book worm and more like the life coach she had become with her PHD in psychology.  Two of the spouses (men) sat like cigar store Indians, but were not bored, just quiet.  My husband talked almost the entire luncheon with my ex-boyfriend...wish I would have been a fly on the wall there.  Below is the class with partners, only 12, and faces blurred to protect the innocent, although I am guessing that none of us were innocent anymore.

Then later that afternoon my family had a get-together BBQ in a nearby town with even MORE food.  Hubby had his birthday that day and I was helping carry out a HEAVY strawberry/chocolate/poke(?) cake in a glass casserole when I missed the 1-inch step down on the patio and went down like a drawbridge just missing the metal table where everyone was sitting.  I landed on two knees and one elbow with the cake in my arms.  I managed to save the cake!  I had whipped-cream on my nose as I struggled up after someone took the cake and no one DARED take a photo.  Actually they were in shock when I stood up and you could have heard a pin drop.  My knee and elbow bruises were ugly...but no broken bones, even though I have osteoporosis.  I sat with ice on the knee for a while and broke out in a sweat due to the shock, but managed to maintain my cool.

As luck would have it, all the bruises were superficial and I was able to do all the walking and hiking the next two weeks in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana although the knee bruise got much uglier!  Oh yes,  I did say I saved the cake...didn't I?  (Post dress pants tore in my fall and luck had it that this happened AFTER the reunion so I did not wear torn pants!)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Assess the Situation

She is back.  She is thinner!  She is older.  She is much more meditative after spending time with old high school friends and family that she sees once every few years.  She is more mellow after spending two weeks touring the Wild West and Big Sky Country with a nine-year-old.  She has tales to be digested before being shared and she has to work on a "tag" from Colleen of Loose Leaf Notes.  But right now she is heading out to a small, local, French restaurant with her hubby to honor our 44th anniversary!  She has missed the blogging and the bloggers and will return to full force soon. (For some early photos go here.)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back and Forth and Up and Down.

Packing for a trip this evening but saw this on the news and was sure that I was losing my mind.

"Hours before Congress broke for the August recess, House Republicans claimed that the President could use executive action to fix the border situation with unaccompanied children fleeing violence in the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. In a press statement released Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and other House Republican leaders indicated that President Obama could address the crisis “without the need for congressional action,” a statement tinged with some irony given that just the day before, House Republicans had slammed the President with a lawsuit claiming executive overreach"   This lawsuit is the GOP suing the President for using executive action to delay the implementation of a part of Obamacare...the very bill they tried to repeal dozens and dozens and dozens of times.

The House can find no middle ground on an immigration bill which their members claimed three years ago would be done by now.  They do not agree with the Senate version.  Now they want the President to use Executive action to solve the issue so they can take off on five weeks away from the job with perhaps less guilt for their inaction.

At least I may be away from the news for some time and that may prevent me from pulling out my hair until I am bald.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beefcake? and Perhaps a Little Cheesecake?

One reader asked if I was writing a romance novel based on the subject of my last post.  No, I am not a big reader or writer of that genre, although I must admit as a much younger woman I consumed my share of bodice rippers with lantern-jawed mysterious men.  Fellow blogger, Rain Trueax, is the romance writer that got me thinking about abs because she has written a number of books that require covers with abs. We talked about cover designs for such books as she does her own.  She has a passion for our country's early history and the wild west and the cultures of that time.  She does extensive research to make her characters come to life so that the story she weaves is more than just romance, and her women are as strong as her men.  If you want to know more about her writing and her books you can go here.

Anyway (please read this in an Ellen DeGeneres voice), I had an opportunity to explore more Beefcake the other day.  I went to an event with my children and grandchildren.  This is an event that I would never have gone to on my own, and unless you are a former marine or married to one, I doubt very much you would have ever gone to one of these either.  (By the way it costs $25 a head just to be an observer, so I probably will not go to one of these again!)  Oorah!!

There was lots of dust and mud and sweat and blood.  You may not know, but it seems that the term cheesecake actually may have originated in Britain way back in the 1660's!  Sexy (and promiscuous) women were referred to as cheesecakes and tarts.  The few women in the last of my photos in this post are NOT cheesecake and certainly more beefcake.   The theory on the word beefcake is that movie cameramen were the first to use the term in the late 1940s and early 1950s when they discovered that women liked to look at well-honed men and actors started taking off their shirts and smiling in that certain way.

These guys above are serious because they clearly are willing to get dirty.  We all know how bad dirt is.

This beefcake (with hench woman and child in tow) is not too proud to wear his glasses when the challenge is done.

(No comment on the dude immediately above!)

 Get down there and eat that dirt!

NO, the woman in the foreground is not dead or tired, she is actually rolling all the way across to each log.

They were moving very slowly by this time as the ropes were super slippery from all the mud.

As they walked up to the last few challenges they all looked like the walking dead to me!

BUT before they could shower and reveal all those six-packs they still had this last challenge to leap over!  "Oorah!!"

I know, you are disappointed that these are not as sexy as you had hoped.  Maybe you can go on over to Mage's ComicCon photos as she always manages to catch a sexy type or two and the costumes she photographs are far more intriguing.

Oh ... one last photo to let you know why in the heck I was there. It was to support my granddaughter and grandson.  She doesn't usually run in purple net skirt, but Dad was too late on arrival to get her changed!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Cover Up

Winding down the end of the week with the little granddaughter.  It is Friday morning and she had doughnuts for breakfast and is now watching TV...those things that we are supposed to avoid doing with kids.  But I need a slow morning and thus I have her plugged into the mind-less-tube.  We spent time at the pool the other day and I took the photo below.

This photo is just for one of my blog readers...Rain Treaux.  We were having a discussion on abs, hot men, book covers,  etc.  Do I have you curious?  Oh well, too busy to elaborate.  Just enjoy, unless you are a guy.  See you in a few days!