Friday, June 30, 2006


I am doing my reading for my English class and have come across Baudelaire, aka my new favorite poet. Considering his poetry was composed in French and that I know not a lick of it, I was able to experience the "spirit" and "feeling" of his poetry through the many translations. While they are each different in some ways, the imagery of his words shines through vividly. I thought I would share with you one of these translations.

"My Former Life"

For a long time I dwelt under vast porticos
Which the ocean suns lit with a thousand colors
The pillars of which, tall, straight, and majestic,
Made them, in the evening, like basaltic grottos.

The billows which cradled the image of the sky
Mingled, in a solemn, mystical way,
The omnipotent chords of their rich harmonies
With the sunsets' colors reflected in my eyes;

It was there that I lived in voluptuous calm,
In splendor, between the azure and the sea,
And I was attended by slaves, naked, perfumed,

Who fanned my brow with fronds of palms
And whose sole task it was to fathom
The dolorous secret that made me pine away.

-William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil
(translated from "La Vie Anterieure", Charles Baudelaire)

The words make you see the colorful, setting sun shining through the porticos and the slaves with their giant fronds, waving over, transmitting their rich perfumes through the warm, sunlit room. I love it!

Another of my fav poets (I only have a few) is Maya Angelou. However, I think, to fully appreciate her poetry, it has to be heard performed by herself or someone with a perfect voice for her words, such as Alfre Woodard.

by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a model's fashion size
But when I start to tell them They think I'm telling lies.
I say
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips
The stride of my steps
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please
And to a man
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees
Then they swarm around me
A hive of honey bees.
I say
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth
The swing of my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say
It's in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair
The palm of my hand
The need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.
Amazing. Truth in every word.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Uncle Fuzzy

My mom shared some distressing news with me today. One of my favorite uncles had to have surgery because he had a crack in his aorta. So, they did heart surgery and he's doing really well. I am talking about my Uncle Fuzzy. No, that's not his real name. He was aptly named thus because he has had a huge fuzzy beard most of his life. He always made me laugh and was the one that taught me how to cuss. Shitdamnpiss! As if they were all one word, coming out of my 2 year old mouth. I remember my dad saying once that Fuzzy's wife asked him to shave his face for once and he did. When he came out of the bathroom, she yelled at him to get back in there and put it back on. He grew it out and never shaved again. It's hard to realize that your aunts, uncles, and even your parents are getting older and the likelihood of health problems and scares will increase. I told my mom the other day that I decided that they are not allowed to grow old. I sometimes find it hard to accept that they will ever grow any older than they are now...I don't want it to happen. They were my first friends and are still my best ones. Don't tell them they're growing old though...they don't realize it yet.

I love you, Fuzzy! Stick around awhile.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

By Special Request

We had a fun Saturday going fishing. We didn't catch much more than mosquito bites. I did, however, manage to catch my very first fish...sort of. I accidentally hooked a line attached to a hook that a fish swallowed when I was reeling in. Nevertheless, it was still a catch. We took a picture of it, a medium size rainbow trout, cut the line and let him go. I was pretty thrilled. The rest of the trip, we would see five fish circling our lines with no bites. Then we went to a nearby river and still caught nothing. My hubby took the kiddos fishing again today and he caught and released about a 12 inch catfish. Neither of us fancy gutting a fish, so we've opted to release them lately. We may need to hold onto some soon, cause I'm in the mood to bbq.

The lesson learned though was to leave our dog at home. She stuck close by, but was a real handful, almost getting hooked with our poles a couple of times and constantly knocking over the tackle box. She did, however, accumulate a nice collection of dead fish that she found along the banks. She then proceeded to chew the heads off of them. No harm, until we realized that fish guts are not a great breath mint for a panting dog. The bad breath lasted through another whole day until my husband had her munch on a peppermint candy. That did the trick and she was minty fresh again.

Before our fishing trip, we had to make the obligatory trip to Wal-Mart to get poles and bait and etc. We, of course, had to stop at the first sight of the melon stand because my husband could live off melons for weeks if allowed. While choosing from the watermelons, we were approached by an older asian man. He then gave my husband a tutorial on how to pick the best, sweetest melon by tapping on the melon and listening. I'm not quite sure what you're supposed to listen for, but he seemed to be an expert on it. During the lesson, we noticed that another older man was standing nearby and watching the whole interaction. HE then proceeded to give us HIS method for picking a melon. It was basically what we had just heard with the twist that the melon tapping should be carried out over the whole melon until you find one that makes the same sound all over. During his advice, we also noticed ANOTHER man watching this. Thankfully, he did not share any melon wisdom...he was just getting a lot of amusement and a good laugh. All in all, we left Wal-Mart with three watermelons, a little more knowledge, and a reason to not go there again around midnight.

School is going okay. I had to hire a tutor for my math classes. I still have serious worries that I will not pass. I have, however, come to a very important decision. If I fail to pass these math courses this summer and still pursue my math teaching minor before I graduate, it will set back my grad and grad school dates by a year. So, I have decided that if I do fail, I will focus on just graduating with my major at the end of spring and applying to grad school a year earlier than planned. I will not give up on the math though. I will simply continue to attend the required classes until I am able to be certified to teach it. By deciding this possible alternative, it takes a load of pressure off of me to have to finish my minor requirements in the time space of three semesters on top of my major classes left. Hope that all made sense. If not, no worries.

I was brushing my daughter's hair today after her bath and was in awe of how beautiful she is. Her hair is an auburn color; red, light brown, and a little blond. And if that wasn't enough, her eyes are the exact same color. She is gorgeous and I am amazed that I had anything to do with her creation. I feel the same when my son is reading to me, when he laughs that deep belly laugh, or says something that makes me laugh my deep belly laugh. It's amazing!

Can I just say how stinking hot it is lately! I was driving home from school today and could have sworn that it was 95 degrees easy. I looked at my dash and it said that it was only 88 degrees. Maybe it was 95 in my car. And we don't have decent air conditioning in our living room and are in dire need of an AC unit for that room. I fell asleep on the couch for a few hours and literally couldn't make myself get up because I was sweaty and lethargic from the heat (just the picture of me you wanted, huh?). It sucked. Some water and a couple exedrin later and I was back to resembling the living. Hopefully, we'll fix that soon.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Calculus is Kicking my A.....

Yes, that's an A, as in the grade, not the word. I have another calc midterm tomorrow that I am feeling inadequate and unprepared for. I call upon all the prayers of those in the world of the web. Lord, please grant me more knowledge than I can cram in my brain before tomorrow and help me to recall what IS in my puny storage container of a mind. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Root Beer and Creme Horns

I awoke this morning to two good and one bad. I got up early this morning (Saturday, I know...sacrilege) to go and help put together bags of cookies for the dads at church (Father's Day). I went into the kitchen and saw the bad surprise first....Cocoa (my dog) had gotten into the trash and felt the need to distribute it over the whole floor. The only thing that saved her from a neck ringing was the second surprise. My love had thought of me during a store run last night and bought me creme fav pastry. I remember a time when we were still newlyweds and we had had an argument one night (probably over something silly) and the next morning, I awoke still upset. I intended to stay mad for a while until I opened the fridge and sitting on the middle of the top shelf was a bottle of root beer. I smiled and forgot why I was mad. Just when I think he doesn't notice me or forgets to...he does something like that. I got pretty lucky when I snagged him.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Through the Eyes of a Child

It's amazing what results when a child picks up a camera and shoots the world from their angle. The following are a few pics taken by my kiddos. Some of the pics remind me of the "Identify the object in this picture" kind of quizzes.

The scattered remains of an unfortunate bug/dog/bionicle war? Nah...just the remains of a fun time on the couch.

Pictures just don't get anymore flattering than this. Poor Cocoa was unaware of the looming paparazzi.

A lonely bunny sits on the pavement awaiting the firing squad. Who knew stealing carrots could lead to this?

The sun blared down, burning the eyes of anyone who dared look upon it.

The detective's questioning was intense, but Bunny stood by his alibi.

A different view of a windchime can bring out the unexpected beauty.

Who knew that a jack, a towel, and a washer make up an artistic view? My daughter, apparently.

Can you guess what this is?

How about this?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Just when you thought the world couldn't get anymore dangerous.........................

Someone actually let me rent and drive a car in a foreign country (Ireland).

My favorite part

This has become my favorite part of the day. I'm back home after my early class and I am the only one awake. I love it. It's quiet and it feels like I live alone for once in this big, nice house. I can choose to not think, enjoy the silence and wish it would last a little longer. I enjoy the stillness until I hear footsteps descending the stairs (which I just did) and my day has begun.

I am hanging in there with my calc class but it's definitely getting more difficult and I need to switch to a higher gear. Trig has been easy thus far...knock on wood. The day is overcast, my favorite, and cool, not liked as much as the first. I looked up my book list for an English class I signed up for and was thrilled by it. It included books such as Peter Pan, Peter Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland, etc. I was so excited that I looked up the books online (did I ever mention my disdain for the college bookstore prices) and bought them immediately. The next day, however, I suffered a letdown when I realized that the books are not for the class I will be taking this month, but are for the class in the fall. Bummer! But I still intend to get a head start on that reading before the fall.

A little side rant about the college bookstore: In the past, I've had a "live and let live" philosophy when it comes to the outrageous prices that students have to pay for a textbook. As a personal choice, I try to purchase my books online from other sources in order to save my money and it has worked well. However, the greedy conglomerate that is the bookstore has recently stepped over the line of ethics, in my eyes anyway. When looking up my required texts, I realized that the bookstore website has taken it upon themselves to make it harder for us students to find the exact book we need. They have altered the ISBN # under the book's description by replacing it with the EAN #. If you enter this # in a book search engine, it does not recognize it. So, I was reduced to the task of having to look at the pictures of the book and trying to surmise if it was in fact the one I needed and then I would have to risk that chance that it wasn't when I ordered it. It amazed me to no end that they could get away with this. Thankfully, Hobby came to my rescue and told me to type the EAN # into google search and I will find the book and ISBN #. She's a lifesaver. I love her.....I HATE the bookstore!

Wow...that was a big sidenote. Sorry, had to get that off my chest. Good brother and his family will be paying us a visit for a couple days in August on the way to their new AF address. I'm really excited cause I haven't seen them in more than 3 years...they've been stationed in Alaska. I'm glad we have the room for them in our new house and look forward to it.

Fun for the day...I will be having a British tea with the LonDolls today and can't wait. We haven't all been able to hang out since...hmmm, I can't remember. Maybe the holidays. Well, my day is beckoning in a loud fashion and I can deny it no longer.

Monday, June 05, 2006