Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Cemetery Tale

Bridget and I lived in Louisville during her earliest years. Money was very tight. As in nonexistent. It was necessary to be creative when it came to taking Bridget on outings around the Derby City. We lived in an area called The Highlands. Among many things, the Highlands is noted for its abundance of and varied parks. Bridget loved nothing better than to be strapped into her baby stroller and off we would go!

On the edge of The Highlands is the most magnificent cemetery imaginable, Cave Hill. In the center is the famous duck pond complete with a Fleur-de-lis fountain. These ducks are among the best fed ducks in the world. It is not unusual to see 25 people standing along the banks trying to lure the indifferent ducks and swans to swim to the edge! Trying to enticed them with the best crackers and freshest bread on the bank!

One winter day when Bridget was around two, I bundled her up in her thick snow pants, heavy duty sweat shirt, mittens, boots and winter coat and knitted fuzzy ball hat and headed to the duck pond. I parked on the other side of the pond than usual. I took Bridget out of the back seat, handed her a mitten full of crackers and then turned to close the car door.

Bridget began to walk down the soft incline towards the ducks when her little snow pant clad legs began to pick up speed. I turned just in time to realize she was out of control! I took off after her! Horror of horrors! As in slow motion I still see it in my mind! Me running down the hill, Bridget with her little hand out outstretched to the ducks with the crackers held tight.  Right over the lip of the pond and straight into the duck lake! I panicked thinking she would go in over her head!

Only a big SPLASH! I will never forget Bridget's little surprised face as she landed in murky green duck water up to her waist! Yuck! I yanked her out and we waddled back up the hill to the car. I was laughing hysterically, one of those giddy moments Mothers sometimes have.

She claims she still remembers that day. Maybe she does! All I know is that it did not dampen our affection for the ducks, the pond and the most beautiful cemetery in Kentucky.   I love cemeteries.  The peace and the beauty.  I could not wait for the leaves to change to a more dramatic display in the Lexington Cemetery....the sun was so beautifulyesterday.  She does look lost, doesn't she?


Saturday, September 25, 2004

What's old is new again

I woke up late. That was the first indication that this was going to be a great day! Usually my internal alarm clock has me stirring around....well, way too early. I had many plans for today. I decided to blow them all off!

I began by going to an art exhibit at the Lexington Cemetery. Absolutely delightful. When the leaves begin their dramatic picturesque change, I will return to the cemetery and dazzle you all with the beauty of the arboretum.

I then meandered downtown and strolled around the streets with my camera. The downtown area was the heart of this city and in some respects, it still is. Today I pretended I was a stranger to Lexington. I tried to look at the familiar with a foreign eye. It was fun. I felt like a tourist! And I imagine I looked like one snapping pictures of anything and everything.

The trees that lined Main Street have been removed. I have no idea why this happened. The beauty of the area has been marred. It is as if a beautiful woman has been stripped of her petticoats! I know that seems an archaic expression, but description of this atrocity is beyond words.

The only good thing that has occurred from this abomination is that the architecture of the old building has been revealed! When something so outrageous as this occurs, I have to look for the good.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

That's what I'm talking about!



Yesterday I lost $11. Don't know how....could be in a variety of places. Either left in the money return slot at Walmart, or maybe just dropped on the way to the customer service counter. Heck, I could have even left it at my Mom's. Anyway, it's gone. I hate to loose money. I'd rather give it away than have it blow away.

Which leds me to this...Joe and loosing money. Should I write about it? Should I use some of the crazy stories of the situations that he finds himself in? I would love to and I always have great fun when I write about them to my girlfriend, Deb. He does not like it! And if the shoe were on the other foot, maybe I would feel the same way.

If I were to share some of these zany stories, I'm sure everybody would love it! I do not want to exploit him. (dang it!!!) I do not want to follow him around with a camera and a notebook. I already do with a camera (document for future use). I just don't think he could handle it, the notoriety or celebrity. You all have no idea the amount of material that he hands over to me freely every day...Just being Joe.

Darn my integrity!


Monday, September 20, 2004

Beautiful and Deadly


While traveling around the beautiful country side last week I noticed the breathtaking golden yellow of the burley tobacco fields. This crop is gorgeous when it is ready for harvest.  Postage stamp acres of vivid colors along side the roads.

I come from a rural community where school could not start until after the season. If you tried to get the kids into class any earlier, you were wasting your time. They were needed at home to cut and house the tobacco, which is accomplished typically end of August till mid-September. When I was young, the kids from the farms all participated in the growing and selling of tobacco...(pronounced tobacca)...and the profits! I was astonished to hear that so and so had made a thousand dollars! He was all of 14! It is hard, back breaking, dirty work any age.

Tobacco is not profitable anymore. The government pays the farmers not to grow it! Those postage stamp fields that dot the countryside are smaller and smaller and more spread out. Efforts have been made to introduce replacement crops such as fruits and more vegetables. Wineries have become very vogue in central Kentucky. Can you think of anything better than your own personal winery?

When I see these tobacco fields my thought wander back to those days and those times that included the farm boys of my youth. The old Ford trucks they drove with the rusted out beds and dented sides. Pitch fork and brooms proudly displayed behind the cab in those little holes. White t-shirts and brown skin. The smell of sweat, bourbon and cigarette smoke.

To this day, when I smell bourbon  I find it terribly erotic.


Friday, September 17, 2004

Autumn and Apples in Kentucky



I came home for the emergency!  I had to get on the computer and set up his Pay Pal account for transfer of funds!

Wake Up Call

When I married I assumed that I would be receiving some fairly significant perks. Perks? What perks? I am experiencing cultural shock. The culture of being a WOMAN in a marriage. Not only am I poorer and broke  several days before payday, but I have transformed into a maid!

Take today, the first thing I did was to go to the Post Office and mail a box for him. He has made his first sale on E-Bay. Thanks to me setting up the account for him, inserting the picture after I scanned the document for him, set up pay pal for I am mailing the sold item for him! Hell,   I am such a silly because I will not receive one red cent of the profit! As a matter of fact, it cost me money to sell his stuff! Agggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I should have seen this coming. But, I was blinded by love and my desire to be married. After all, this is my first time and I had no idea what I was missing. I was like a kid with my face pressed up against the glass candy counter. I only saw the good stuff. I knew bad stuff existed, I knew that sacrifice existed, but I ignored it in pursuit of my happiness.

I am now the Cook, the Maid, the Financial Officer, the Travel Agent, the Entertainment Committee, the Chauffeur, the Gardner, (than God I am not the Grounds Keeper), in charge of all Shopping, and the Miscellaneous Gopher.

How did this happen!!!!!

I love Joe and I love being married. I just wish I had gotten a Wife too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Anatomy of a 5K

I have been plagued as of late with a list of excuses as to why I have trouble finding time to run. "I'm too tired", "It's too hot!", "My foot hurts", and so on and so on. When I found the weather to be better suited for running and I had begun the vitamin regiment, I began to run again. I, who had never suffered anything more severe than falling down and scrapping my knee, suddenly was overtaken by a series of injuries! First,   hurting my hip showing off for Joe, pretending that I still was the School Yard  Jump Rope champion! The the horrible blisters on the back of my heels from wearing low riding socks, and last the slightly sprained ankle! That knocked me out for about 10 days.

Saturday morning was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I had entered Joe any myself quite some time ago. Joe was unable to run! I could not allow the entry fee to go unused, so I think to myself, "What the heck, I've competed in a triathlon without training for it, how hard can a 5K be?"

This is how it went.

No gun sounded at the beginning of the race. Just a gentle push forward of the 1,000+ participants towards the starting line. Followed by a sudden surge and we're off! It is almost, but not quite a stampede. Walkers blend in with the runners and it is necessary to pick your way around them on the crowded street. That is the beginning. Then you have to be wary of the Yuppie Runners who are there and they can not find a baby sitter for their children. And so they have them in the strollers especially made for racing! LOOK OUT! They are usually serious runners and therefore ruthless! Do not ever allow yourself to become tripped up by one of those contraptions! It is very painful to be run over by a 50 pound five year old, who gives you the thumbs up while his parent gives the stroller a Herculean push over your knocked down body!

This race was very unusual in the fact that the miles were not marked. Therefore, no one was stationed with a stop watch barking out time splits. Actually, this was okay with me. The only thing more humiliating than being overtaken by the Gray Panther Team In Training group is having someone yell out in an incredulous voice at mile marker two, "TWENTY TWO FORTY SIX????????!!!!!!!!!!!!" At least that is what it sounds like through the blood pounding through your head. That is right before the sinus cavities collapse and then it sounds like your running underwater.

Having no idea where I was in termsof distance, I ran feeling strong. The psychological compromise that generally begins to take place around mile two did not occur. The compromise goes like this, "You have run two miles, now you should be able to walk for just a few moments! Just a few moments. Just a few moments." It's tough to overcome.   You do not want to give in because if you do it feels like quitting.

When Main Street began the curve towards Vine Street I knew the finish line was several blocks ahead. I could not believe it! I still felt strong and moving pretty steadily in a forward motion! Then I saw it finally, MILER MARKER THREE!!! Hurray! One tenth of a mile left!

I mentally prepared myself for the surge. I am really good with the surge towards the finish line. Once I see it, I can sprint towards it! Well, sprint is a subjective term. I run faster. And then it happened, the ankle began to pull.

So that was me, hopping, skipping and jumping the last little bit. I was saying, "Ouch, Dang it, Ouch" as I hobbled down Vine just in case anyone was watching me, I did not want them to think that is the way I usually run! Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Despite it all, I finished in 32 minutes and seven seconds. I am totally blown away. I told Joe I thought it was a mistake, he said, "You always say that". "Yes, but that's when they say its 36 minutes, this is 32 minutes!"

And so, I hope to run in the Race for the Cure in Louisville next month. We get to run over the Second St Bridge that spans the Ohio River. It is really exhilarating!

I'm shooting for under 30 minutes.......Now if I just train.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Photo Nazi

Let it become public knowledge that I can become cantankerous and confrontational. It has been known to happen. I did survive raising a teenage girl, so I have earned the right!

This happened at Walmart this past weekend. I was minding my own business at the photo center, using their scanner to copy my Mother's High School graduation picture. I thought it would be a nice Christmas present for all my brothers and sisters.

I had never used the contraption before. I had no idea it took so long to print a photo, especially if it is a large one. So I innocently asked the lady behind the counter  when and where to expect the pictures. At that time, she was tight lipped but nice, as if she had to be (we all know the type) (I may have done it a time or two myself) and indicated the tray at the bottom of the stand. I looked and sure enough, there it was! I pulled it out to admire the copy and I was smiling and feeling victorious when she suddenly said, "Let me see that!" She grabbed it out of my hand!

For about two minutes, in a packed Saturday afternoon crowd, she and I had a tango! "This is a professional picture and has a copyright. You are not allowed to make any copies of this!"

"Well, it is my Mother and she is going to be 77 years old, I doubt she remembers who the photographer was at that time".

"I'm sorry" (she was not the least bit sorry, I saw the glint in her eye) "But it is not allowed."

I began to reach for the picture and I swear to God she backed up with it above her head! "What if I tell you I took that picture!" I pleaded.

"I'd say you were a liar!" she retorted. I could not believe this was happening!

"For the love of God, the picture is 60 years old, the photographer must be deceased by now."

I had visions of her ripping my mothers pictures to shreds right before my eyes. This is insane, and absurb! She just glared at me. I turned on my heel and stomped off, I did not trust myself as I was beginning to see RED. "Have a nice day" she called out to my retreating back.

I could have turned around and slapped the tar out of her, but instead I went to Walgreens and explained the situation to their Photo Angels and received a dispensation.

I am really ticked off at Walmart.

Friday, September 3, 2004



This is my favorite picture of all the thousands I have. When I first read the Blogfathers assignment  three photo's came to mind.  Yet, it was no contest.

My Uncle Johnny took this photo. I had a small 110 camera and my photos of Bridget were, for lack of a better word, pathetic! He took pity on me and this photo is the result. Bridget was the apple of Johnny's eye. We lived with my Aunt and Uncle for the first six months of Bridget's life, then moved to Louisville from Houston.

This picture was taken at the waterfront in Houston. We were visiting the battleship they have docked there, can not remember the name. I have displayed this picture of her for over 2o years, where ever I go, where ever I live, it is displayed prominently.

Uncle Johnny died when Bridget was just two years old. They had just moved to Florida and he was in the garage sharpening knives, building a bookcase, doing whatever it is engineers do upon retirement in their Aunt sensed something was wrong and ran to check. He died in her arms of a heart attack.

I cherish this picture for many reasons.

Thursday, September 2, 2004


Yesterday Joe says to me, "I ordered a present for you!" Since he can not keep a secret I knew it would be only moments before he would tell me......"It's a helmet!"

I smiled while his words sunk into my brain and this thought rose from the depths of my consciousness, "Oh my God, he is planning to make me take motorcycle riding lessons....aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!" He has been hinting about this since he purchased the bigger bike and kept the smaller one. Just this past weekend he told me how he had spotted a couple on he and she bikes and how it touched his heart.

He has not come out and said it in certain terms yet, but I feel it is going to happen. My thoughts reel back into history, when I was 12 or 13 years old. The gang of us were up at the back of the factory that was located very near our neighborhood. Due to an expansion to the plant, they were laying a new parking lot. We were all kids once. It is a well known fact that we can not keep kids away from an unattended construction site! There we all were riding our bikes around the mountains of large gravel.

"WATCH ME!" I'm sure I yelled out as I flew up the side of one mountain to jump over the top Evil Kieneivl style.......and lost control! Wiped out! I fell and the bike came down on my FACE! (Naturally). I had received this bike as a Christmas present when I was six years old. It was rather large for a first grader, but I would grow into it. It was the only bike I had until college. The hand grips were all but worn off. The exposed metal of the handle bar slammed into my face, sliced the skin under my bottom lip and went right through it as if it were butter and chipped my bottom teeth!

As I picture myself on a motorcycle, I only see myself with my hands strapped across the engines. To actually be shifting gears and oh my God, changing lanes..... I know I will have to put all my fears aside and do it for LOVE.

P.S. Mom ame home from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.  She will have one of those colon tests on Wednesday, Sept 8th...Her Birthday!!