Tuesday, July 24, 2007

8 Things About Me -- Meme

My Literary Mama friend Caroline tagged me for this meme.

First, I am to publish the rules:

1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Here goes

1. I'm addicted to the television show Lost -- though I may have to give it up for my own welfare. When one of the main characters (No spoilers here!) died at the end of this season, I just about went off the deep end of melancholy and morosity.

2. I know the Greek alphabet by heart -- when pledging a college sorority, I was required to learn it, and it has become one of those trivial things that just stuck. I also unwittingly memorized my first Spanish lesson, though some of it has faded over the years.

3. I detest peas, especially canned ones. My mom declares even as an infant, I would spit them out. Even though it is immature and impolite, I will pick them out of a casserole and leave them on my plate.

4. I also hate roller coasters -- never have liked them but rode them when I caved at peer pressure. However, now that I'm over 50, I will never ride one again, and there is NOTHING anyone can say that will compel me to change my mind.

5. The night sky -- moon, stars, and other celestial bodies -- fascinates me. I wish I had a telescope to better observe them. A serendipity of moving to our new home is that I have a clear view of the eastern horizon and can watch the moon rise in the frame of our office window.

6. One of my favorite childhood pastimes was playing school, and as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher (or a beautician). By high school, I determined that was the grade level I was most suited for; the subject matter varied, depending on what my favorite teacher taught. Home economics, Spanish, history were some I considered before I found a perfect fit: English.

7. One of my favorite life memories is growing up on land that had once been my paternal grandparents' farm. We lived up the hill from Grandma Young, who had a great old farm house with two covered porches, a library, and a claw-footed bathtub. The pasture was my backyard, and there were so many things to explore: a dairy barn, horse barn, farrowing house, a pond and a creek. All of that is gone now; turned into a four-lane state highway, but still today, I often dream about Grandma's house and our old home.

8. Alas, the only bloggers I know are related to Literary Mama or were members of two online writing classes I recently participated in. From what I can tell, most have been tagged. None of my closest real-time friends have a blog, though a couple of people are in the thinking stage of beginning one. But here's who I tag:

dreaming about water

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dancing with a Hibiscus

Every year I buy a potted hibiscus with the hope that, at the worst, I won't kill it, and at the least, I can keep the leaves green.

Two years I actually brought a plant inside at the end of summer. One of those looked beautiful but close examination revealed dozens of spider mites, so I took it outside and left it exposed to the elements of a midwestern winter. Another year the plant, bursting with green foliage and blooms, gradually dropped leaf by leaf until only one healthy-looking sprig remained. Still, I was optimistic until my son, home from college, asked, "Mom, how's your stick doing?"

This year's plant sat on my front porch for about 24 hours before the first yellow leaf appeared. Hoping for a different outcome, I searched online tips and found a user friendly site: Hidden Valley Hibiscus, which listed these possible reasons for yellow leaves:

--Too Much Water (I did water it thoroughly when I brought it home because somewhere else I had read hibiscus like moist soil.)
--Not Enough Water (I stopped watering it altogether.)
--Too Hot (It's a tropical plant for crying out loud!)
--Too Cold ( I brought it inside a couple of evenings when the temperature dropped to an unseasonable level.)
--Too Much Direct Sunlight (I placed it on our covered porch, where it received about three hours of morning sun.)
--Too Little Sunlight (My mother, whose hibiscus sits in full sun and received five days worth of rain without having on yellow leaf -- suggested I move it, so I put it on the front porch step. There it did reward me with three beautiful blossoms before the yellow leaves returned!)
--Insects, Particularly Spider Mites (Oh really!)
--Too Windy (Remember the porch is covered; the plant unexposed)
--Improper Nutrition or pH (I repotted it using Miracle Grow potting soil.)
--Pesticide Over Use (Of course, I followed the manufacturer's directions!)

The article ends with a cheery note: "Good luck with your growing and gardening and by all means have fun with it!"

Yeah, right!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, America

Tonight celebratory booms and sizzles fill the air, while reds, whites and blues light the sky. Rain-soaked streets shimmer, and smoke drifts lazily across the landscape, reminding me of a theatrical depiction of a Civil War battle, though no Panavision or surround sound could match the experience of watching our neighborhood's fireworks display from the comfort of our front porch. But I move from porch to patio where the western sky puts on its own colorful show, streaking the horizon with pinks and purples. It's a lovely night, and I'm grateful to live in a country that affords me the freedoms America offers its citizens and grateful for a Creator whose creation is unparalleled, even tonight as we celebrate a birthday.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Being Home Alone

My "home alone" weekend ends tomorrow when my husband and his ball team return to Missouri.

What I accomplished:
  • Cleaning up my Internet Favorites. Everything is now organized into folders and sub-folders. I never did find the link I made for a site that rated bathroom scales. I know I saved it twice in "shopping" and "health." Looking for it is what inspired me to work on this in the first place! But it is such a good feeling to be organized!
  • Dead-heading my flowers before the rains cames.
  • Washing one load of towels.
  • Freshening the bathroom by removing the coat of hairspray on my side of the vanity.
  • Grocery shopping.
What I did for myself:

  • Got a haircut, which will hopefully cut down on the amount of hairspray I use!
  • Read a book: I Capture the Castle -- recommended by Columnist Libby Gruner at Literary Mama
  • Celebrated a friend's birthday with lunch and an afternoon of shopping.
  • Lived in my pjamas.
  • Visited my parents.
  • Went to church.
What I learned:
  • A whole week is a long time to be alone!
  • Living alone can be pretty boring and lonely after a while. I was be glad to see my husband!
  • I need to do more for my widowed or divorced friends who are always home alone.