Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fence: A Theme Thursday Post



Photo Courtesy of M. Crane, 2008. Published By Permission.

It is always interesting to see what lies beyond some fences...

American tax dollars at work...

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Nod To My Fancy Friend In Kent...



Those of you familiar with French Fancy or the latest incarnation of her lovely blog, French Fancy Moves To Kent, may recognise the subject of this post.

The Ten Things That Have Happened Recently To Make Me Happy:

Getting my chronic back problem sorted---for now...

Receiving a card from a secret admirer...

Eradicating fleas from the flat---they came in from outside and as the cats are on preventive for fleas, once the few cloth-ladened surfaces were sprayed with boric acid, they had nowhere to deposit eggs. The few adults that dared visit the furry ones met with a hasty end...

Noticing that I am a few pounds lighter; I could be lighter still. I'll see what happens getting back to my hospital fitness program...

Finding out that I do not need to replace my digital camera...

Looking for wheelchair friendly horses to ride when I've the time...

Enjoying the sunshine and laughing when caught in the rain...

Making sure the kids in my life are doing well...

Indulging my passion for a good book or a beach read, depending upon my mood...

Discovering that my cache of foreign films and British television is better than anticipated...


What makes you happy these days?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ah, Life In The Nineties...




This tale from my younger days is true and was part of an e-mail sent to another blogger. What was your life like back then?

Image From Wikipedia. It is in the public domain worldwide and has been cropped. It is used here for illustrative purposes only.

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In the mid-nineties, I found myself part of a wave of thirty-somethings seeking work. On the day of an Employment Fair at my university, I arrived, CV in hand, dressed in a beautiful red skirt and matching jacket. Having taken pains to find exactly the right creamy silk blouse for the ensemble, I looked the picture of confidence.

Concluding an interview, I shook hands with the hiring manager to whom I had been speaking, leaving the room excited to be starting a job in the next two weeks.

The exits, likewise brimming with flurries of skirts and suits, all rushing to various destinations, some no doubt unforeseen, only added to my growing anticipation.

It was not until I reached the row of cars containing mine that an odd sensation gradually replaced the heady feelings I'd carried from the interview.

A small, almost imperceptible snap led to a slow downward migration until the crotch of my sheer tights rested between my knees, impeding further efforts to get to my car.

In a split-second decision, I crouched between two Jeeps. However, removing the offending tights, and trying to jettison my favourite flats without burning my feet on hot asphalt, wasn't as easy to accomplish as I'd imagined.

No sooner was I free of shoes and busily yanking off the last shred of hosiery when I heard in booming bass: "What do you think you're doing there, Miss?"

The snapped elastic band of tights in hand, my eyes migrated to the burliest male specimen of a police officer I'd ever encountered. Tall, and exceedingly muscular, he had no discernible neck, and his light blue eyes reflected an air of impenetrable reserve and calm.

Cramming my left foot into its shoe, I decided that a quick departure was in order and pasted a smile on my face to hide rising panic.

"I had a small problem but it's over now," I said. Before he could respond, I added, "Would you be a dear and dispose of these? They've seen better days and I hate to leave a mess. Thanks ever so much."

With that, I hurled the defective hosiery in his direction, and took off toward my car, glancing backward only once to see whether he was in pursuit.

The increasing peels of laughter that met my ears only faded as the driver's door opened and I started the engine...

Until Next Time...

Friday, September 24, 2010

There I Was, Minding My Own Business When...

I was asked by an acquaintance, "What is the strangest thing you have ever seen through a window?"

My mind flashed in a million different directions, each conveying images grown distant with time. After a momentary pause, I related the following story.

As teens a friend and I often spent dinners together. As I was helping with the washing up afterward one evening, I noticed a strange white Cadillac slowly approaching the houses in the neighbourhood.

These houses were all two-storey, built on stilts and in a circle. The kitchen windows, well above the street, afforded a view of everything that went on. Early evening was normally quiet.

My friend and I could see the Cadillac but did not get a clear view of the driver until the car stopped suddenly. A man wearing a Panama hat and a long-sleeved white guayaberra emerged, shut the car door and glanced around.

At this point, my friend and I wondered if he might be lost or worse, planning a robbery. I was about to fetch her parents when laughter broke out. Turning slightly, I noted my friend pointing and followed her gaze until the man's side came into
view. Shock gave way to giggling as we realised he was urinating in the street, a far from normal occurrence as far as we were concerned.

It was odd to see a well-dressed,middle-aged man in a luxury car using the street as a bathroom and we wondered aloud whether he might be drunk, though his movements gave no hint of this.

I dropped the plate I had just washed into the sink and watched as the man wiped himself with a handkerchief, got back into his car and drove off into the setting sun, his actions forever a mystery.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Knackered, But Hopeful For The New Year...

With the end of the High Holy Days, a new year has commenced. Though I'm tired from participating in a 26 hour fast and services throughout the day Saturday, the prospect of a new year brings with it many possibilities.

I feel renewed and ready for whatever comes. I was able to clear the air with a friend last week and spoke to another this afternoon who is facing some challenges regarding a family member's health.

The cats and I had a bit of sleeping in this morning and tonight will be an early one, provided I complete the bill paying and other paperwork at hand. This week, I see the dentist. While routine, visiting the dentist has never been enjoyable, particularly as I have no insurance to cover the costs. He says I'll soon need a crown for over $1300, so I'm hoping the tooth will hold for several more months.

I met a handsome labradoodle service dog and his delightful raiser two weeks ago, and a seed of interest was planted. The dog is being raised to assist a child or an adult who uses a wheelchair. As I have limited experience with dogs, I was initially reluctant around the dog, but once invited to say hello, he was irresistible.

Having already spoken to the feline vet about how to introduce my cats to a dog since they have not been around one...we'll see what unfolds. I am concerned about the costs, exercising and stimulating the dog adequately and bonding properly with it.

From what I have read, labs and mixes such as labradoodles are very smart and require both adequate exercise and intellectual stimulation if behavioral difficulties are to be avoided. I would think that a working dog would have less opportunity for boredom than those kept strictly as pets.

In my wanderings around the web, I encountered a blog about service dogs that has been very enlightening. See http://servicedogsawayoflife.blogspot.com.

If anyone with a labradoodle has suggestions, please feel free to leave comments or send me an e-mail.

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You Rode In A What?...




This is a Theme Thursday post from August, 2009. I reprise it today by request. I have never driven nor have I ridden in a Daimler like the one pictured here. That image is from Wikipedia and is in the public domain. It is used here solely for illustrative purposes.

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You Wait, I Bring Limo...

On a long ago visit to Mexico City, my grandfather and I got lost. Eventually, my precocious twelve-year-old self demanded a loo, so we began rather earnestly looking for a taxi back to our hotel, where we expected to re-join my parents.

The main thoroughfares of the city appeared clogged with traffic of various vehicular proportions and it soon became evident that all of the taxis were in use. Continuing our walk, we spied a young man working in a garage. Sliding from beneath a worn chassis, he asked, "I help you?"

His name was Enrique. A bevy of broken Spanish and English ensued, accompanied by a hastily drawn map. Noticing my grandfather's increasingly quizzical countenance, he gestured for us to stay put, his voice trailing off after, "You wait, I bring limo..."

We weren't at all certain we wanted a ride in a limousine, but as my need for a loo was growing, Enrique's rapid disappearance up the crowded street brought hope of a quick dash to our hotel room's spotless commode.

The shade of the garage offered respite from the early afternoon's rising heat but did nothing against the cacophony of belching exhausts, agitated shouts or horns of various decibels teeming in the street.

When after several minutes, the commanding voice behind a bullhorn approached, many, including my grandfather and I, were instantly hushed. Gazing out, we saw Enrique, bullhorn in hand, leaning from the passenger window of a 1950's era hearse.

After a barely discernible expletive from my grandfather, the street cleared as on the sidewalk people gawked, presumably concerned about the identity of the finned vehicle's occupants.

Stopping in front of the garage, the driver explained in hurried English that he was Enrique's cousin, Alberto, and owned a nearby funeral home. He was only to happy to escort us back to our hotel since he was meeting someone at the bar there for lunch.

Scanning the hearse's back window, my grandfather then glanced at me and said "Gracias," as its rear door opened and we climbed inside. A short and silent ride later, I found myself looking into the eyes of a confused bellman as I quickly exited the hearse, grandfather in tow, amid a flurry of hasty goodbyes.

Sadly, I have no pictures from that day, nor have I ever ridden in an actual limousine. I do however, know what the quiet of a hearse feels like, and I'm in no hurry for the next such adventure.

The phrase, "You wait here, I bring limo..." reminds me of lines from films one cannot forget and I always recall the sweet and sweaty young man, with a mop of brown hair, his hands stained with grease, running through a crowded lane...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

For Fly in the Web : A Hair Raising Tale and More...



This map, originally created by an individual in the Central Intelligence Agency, is in the public domain and courtesy of Wikipedia. It is used here for illustrative purposes only.

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My blogger friend, the Fly in the Web (http://real-france.blogspot.com) asked that I tell the tale related to my comment made on her latest posting. As it jostled brain cells, I remembered a rather hair raising ride up a Colombian mountain in a dusty chartered coach that looked to have seen better days.

A group from Panama were visiting Bogota, and decided to visit a nearby town renowned for its leather goods. It was the early seventies and well before any notion of drug lords or nefarious robbers dented the daily lives of citizens or expats in the region.

Escaping the haze over the city, we found fields dotted with flowers and cows, small children playing in faded, mud-rutted yards and peaks, their jagged edges like fingers extending skyward.

Winding mountain bends left my stomach tightly knotted; As was my wont, I soothed early teenage discomfort by letting my mind wander, far more at ease with my books and imagination than the din of conversations occurring around me.

Reverie was short-lived, however. Disturbed by a brief stop for picture taking, I stifled laughter as a friend of my parents stepped out on to the nearest fields' cow pies, mistaking them for paving stones. Dried in the sun, all were by that time odourless, a small grace on a crowded coach.

Unfazed by errant humans, three cows grazed a stones' throw from the flurry of re-boarding activity. It wasn't until the coach lurched around several precarious turns, its wheels barely touching the narrow roadway, that some of the adults noticed our driver's increasingly slurred, discordant singing and the brown paper bag from which he was imbibing what turned out to be grain alcohol.

Quickly concocting a means of extrication, one of the women yelled, "Bano, por favor, Senor," which brought us to a harrowing stop a short distance from a sign pointing to the leather goods factory we were to visit.

Someone explained to the driver that we had all decided to walk into town in search of appropriate facilities. The men separated themselves from women and children, sending us to the factory while they went in search of a map and a policeman.

I recall nothing at all about the factory and have since wondered whether my general dislike of driving and shopping were born that day...

Until Next Time...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back...

Several of you have enquired how I am doing since I've not blogged recently. While I was initially optimistic regarding calming down my low back and quite ready to resume life sans PT, it appears that my body has other plans, so that is continuing for now. Since sitting for extended periods aggravates this particular problem, blogging and other forms of writing have been curtailed, with my apologies. I was also busy during Rosh Hashanah and will be again during Yom Kippur.

The massage therapist is booked for tomorrow morning and I remain convinced that all will once again be well. The last episode of this kind was three years ago and I was walking rather than wheeling which apparently makes a difference.I know that the H-Wave, stretching and other things are helping, just not as rapidly as expected.

I appreciate your visits and comments as well as the good wishes and will get to each as I am able.

Until Next Time...