Monthly Archives: February 2011

Scottish Deerhound takes Westminster


     As soon as we saw Hickory walk into the best in show ring DH and I both said, “There’s the winner.”  We were right.  She was the perfect example of the Scottish deerhound standard.  Her movement was breath taking.

     Our hearts will always belong to the terrier group, especially Bull Terriers, but we know a good dog when we see one.  Hickory stood out a little above the rest of the competition.

     Congratulations to Hickory, her breeders, owners, and especially her brilliant handler.  Three cheers for the first time ever Westminster best in show win for a Scottish deerhound.


Slow minutes vs. fast minutes


     We all know what these are.  We’ve all suffered through the slow ones and wondered where the time has gone on the fast ones.  Off the top of my head, here are some examples.

     Waiting for a school bell to ring signaling the end of a school day—slow minutes.  Watching the clock at the end of a workday—slow minutes.  Isn’t this day ever going to end? Waiting for the coffee to heat in the microwave—slow minutes.  Coffee, I need coffee.

     Watching a well-acted and exciting movie—fast minutes.  Is it over already?  You sit down to read an interesting book and before you know it a voice asks, “Are you cooking dinner any time soon tonight?”  —fast minutes.  Oops.

     You sit in an emergency room waiting for news, good or bad—slow minutes. 

     Taking a test, filling in all those little circles before a voice says, “close your books”—fast minutes.

     A child trying to fall to sleep on Christmas Eve—very slow minutes.

     How about it, can you think of more?

I said I’d think about it


     “Aw, please oh please oh please!”  My muse pleadingly raised her hands in the air.

     “You have to be kidding.  You really want me to drag that old book out and work on it?”

     “Why not?  It’s been years since you’ve even looked at it.  I bet you can do a quick rewrite and have it in top form in no time.”  She hopped up from the chair she’d sprawled in and patted my shoulder.

     “But why?”

     “I think people will like your heroine.  They’re ready for her now.  She’s no angel, she’s tough, her language isn’t very pretty but she has something.”

     “I dunno, all those rejections later, I don’t know if I’m ready for more, at least not on that book.”

     My muse flopped back into the chair and swung her legs over the arm.  “Will you at least think about it?”

     “I’ll think about it.”

I sooo need this!


Escaping cabin fever


     I finally have my car back on the road.  We had to buy two new tires to do it but at this point, I don’t care.  I’m just happy to have Casper the van up and running.  Nothing makes cabin fever worse than not having a vehicle to use and feeling truly stuck in the house.

     We couldn’t even put the spare on the van for quite a while with the weather so iffy and all that ice.  The day before yesterday a couple of our neighbors helped DH do that.  Yesterday morning while I slept, DH drove the van over to a friend’s tire store and had the work done.

     I shall go gallivanting today and make up for lost time.

Update on the gas explosion


     The news was grim.  Four adults and an infant died in the explosion.  G and I knew the elderly couple that died in the first house.  We’d often walked past and complimented them on their lovely garden.  They lived there at least as long as we’ve lived in our homes.

     Eight homes were lost in the fires that followed the explosion.  Twenty-four homes suffered damage.  Having been through the aftermath of a fire in the house next door to us and the subsequent smoke damage our home suffered I truly sympathize with these people.

     The town has rallied to make certain these people have support, shelter, clothing, and other needs taken care of at this time.  Donations are pouring in and I do hope it is enough.  Some of these people were renters and had no insurance.  It is heart rending to know that they’ve lost everything.

Gas explosion rocks the town


     At ten forty-five last night I thought my porch roof had fallen off.  The entire house shook.  I soon realized that it was an explosion a few blocks from our home.  It isn’t the first one this city has had in the 37 years I’ve been in this home.

     From the end of our street, you can see a huge cloud of smoke which at three a.m., has yet to dissipate since the houses are still burning.  So far, eight homes are lost and sixteen are in danger.  Two people are missing.  I believe they were residents of the house that blew up taking the others in its wake.

     The firefighters are still battling to control the blaze but can’t get in close enough to save the homes because of the live gas lines.  Many homes and a high-rise for the elderly in the surrounding area were evacuated.

The worst teacher I ever had


     He was a chemistry teacher.  I was absent the third through the fourth days of school.  When I walked into his classroom and sat down, he asked me where my worksheets were.  “What work sheets?  I wasn’t here to get them.”

     He told me to go sit in the hall.  When I asked him why, he opened his grade book and flunked me for the year.  I walked down to the principal’s office and asked for a transfer to another class.  I found out the teacher could prevent that, because he headed the science department.  In fact, he refused to allow me to switch to another teacher.  Oh, great.

     Now normally I was a quiet student who managed to pass all my classes with A’s and B’s.  However, since he’d already flunked me for the year, I was no longer a quiet student in his class.  I figured if I was getting that F he was going to pay for it.

     I became a real pain in his a**.  If there was a wisecrack to be made, I spoke up.  If he gave a test, I made certain to doodle all over it and write my own F on the page.  The principal and I became good friends.

     That teacher never taught summer school, he always claimed he had better things to do.  My summer school chemistry teacher gave me straight A’s and asked why I was in his class.  The man was shocked when I told him and then asked him if he would’ve done any work in the class knowing that he’d already flunked.

Rain + snow = fog


     There’s still a lot of snow on the ground and now we’re having rain on top of it.  If you mix freezing cold ground with warmer air and rain you get fog, thick ground-hugging fog.  Oh yeah, baby it’s foggy outside.

     It’s what I call a Bela Lugosi fog.  I love it because it is mystery, thriller and intrigue.  It is the substance of fairy tales and nightmares.  Fog is an eerie dance.

     It captivates the imagination and inspires.  It is a muse running freely. 

     Warm summer nights are when fog is the best.  You can play in it.  It’s too cold to play in this one.

The thermostat war


     Granted at my age I do have hot flashes from time to time.  However, hot flashes aren’t what drive me up the wall DH and where he sets the thermostat does. 

     Due to his medications for his MS, DH is always cold in the winter.  I am not. 

     If I’m sitting here sweating my buns off without a hot flash, that’s not a good thing.  Checking the thermostat I find DH has it almost to eighty degrees.  Is it no wonder that I’m sweating?  I turn the thermostat down.

     An hour or so later, DH walks past the thermostat and turns it up.  I turn it down.

     “What are you doing?  I’m cold.”

     “It’s freaking eighty degrees in here.  If you’re cold go put on warmer clothes.”  I walk into the kitchen to cook dinner.

     An hour or two passes and I’m still sweating.  I look at the thermostat.  DH has turned it up again.  I turn it down.  I swear I’m going to buy that man electric under-drawers.

Note to self….


     Some days I’m writing even when I’m not sitting at the computer typing away.  Scenes flash through my head along with fragments of dialogue.  Gestational ideas need to percolate. 

     I grab a pen and write things down on a Post It, maybe two or three that I stick to my desk, computer, keyboard, lamp or anything that’s handy.  I’ve had ideas hit me while cooking, sleeping, or even when I’m taking the dogs outside.

     Hey, Patty get back here I need that note I stuck on your butt.

     I have notes all over the house there isn’t a room in this house that doesn’t have a pad of notes and a pen handy.  I also write notes to remind me of things I need to do.  Those too are everywhere.

     I drive DH and the dogs crazy at times but then they do the same to me so we’re even. 

My favorite sound


     I’m a night owl.  One thing I love to do in warm weather is sit outside in the wee hours of the morning.  Off in the distance I can hear trains going through the south end of town.  I’ve always loved the sound of train horns and the sound of the wheels on the track.

     Maybe my love for the sound comes from my maternal grandfather who was a railroad worker, a brakeman for the NY railroad.  I never met him.  He died when my mother was a very young girl.  I do believe it was during the flu epidemic of 1918.  Most likely because my mother barely remembered her father we know very little about him other than he’d lost a hand when two railroad cars crushed it while he worked.

     My love of trains may come from visits with my elderly aunt and uncle.  A train track passed by the end of their farm property.  I remember watching out the window by my bed, falling asleep and listening to the night trains.  I remember the clickety-clack of the wheels on the track and horns blowing as they went by.

     No matter where it comes from, the sound of a train will always be my favorite sound.