Write Right Now

I’ve probably written ten blogs in the last two weeks, just I didn’t post them. I probably will. When I’m emotionally vulnerable, I like to write, then process, then edit accordingly, then post.
Otherwise, I’m a pantser, I just sit down and write, like I am right now.

I’ve worked on a tribute to my father, but I’m not, it’s not, ready. I’ve written some rants and some quirky things, too.

I’m not in a bad way. I’m fairly up, just transitional. When I’m not distracted, I’m reflective.

I’ve got this tree thing in my living room. It’s a large, wooden cylinder containing stuff to plant a tree with my father’s ashes. It’s been in my house for a year. I don’t know the details. I read all the details many times, but I’m not sure I comprehend. It reminds me of when I start reading directions in a foreign language or when I start a book with heavy language and I reread the first page four or five times before it gels.
They’re arborists, the tree people, (duh) so when you pick a tree, they send it to you at the right time to plant in your location. Here, that’s usually fall. I selected a spruce. I need to call or go online and I am procrastinating, which is stupid, because it doesn’t change anything and it needs to be done.
You know how people tell you, “If you need anything, if there’s anything I can do to help, just let me know?” Maybe I should ask someone else to place that initial call.
Maybe once the tree is planted, I’ll feel differently.

There’s already a memorial tree in our yard. A great maple, covered in ivy, for when the family lost their son in Vietnam.

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I’ve actually been having a good time these past few weeks, honest. I’ve definitely made the most of the time with my girls. We’ve been taking trips to the zoo and swimming often.

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Our times of frequent snuggles are ending, as school is starting soon. I like when they go to school, because I like the structure. Actually, no, I hate the structure, but I need it. We all need it. Then I love when they get out of school, because I’m sick of structure and just want to be, and I think we all need that, too. Balance.
Life is better now that The Mister isn’t in school. It feels like time opened up and let us in. It takes a long time to adjust to that, to stop pausing to consider when we’ll have time to do things. We can do things. Evening and weekends are ours again, and we do things.

Lately I’ve been cooking like I used to, making things that are more involved, enjoying the process again. I have time during the day to do things like just go buy fresh fish for dinner. It’s nice. It really is.
No fish today. Taco Tuesday will be ready at 6.
Mmm, tacos have always been there for me.

The rains are coming for a few days. The longer I’ve lived, the more I realize how much the weather dictates my life, and how I yearn for the weather to dictate my life even more. I’m always on the lookout for the perfect rainy day to stay in and read, or the coolest, grayest day to weed the garden. Lots of people have their own things, good golf weather, good fishin weather… I completely understand the appeal, but in my own way.

One day, I’ll resume the regular release of my posts into the wild of the blogosphere. I often thank you for reading, but right now, I thank you for writing.

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Brouhaha

Months ago the pause n’ pour feature on our coffee maker stopped working. I find this extremely annoying and oh, so messy! I’m up, I want coffee immediately. During the school year, we can just set the timer, but I wake at random hours otherwise.

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Waiting for coffee, whether it’s brewing, steeping, or heating up, is not my thing. The Mister will often wait til he’s at work to fetch a cup. Of course, he also showers in the morning, so there are many preferences we don’t share.

It was my darling husband who said we should try a percolator. He’s mentioned this several times and with the coffee maker fussing, I went ahead and got one.

Well, Pttthhhhbbbbbbt.
Here are the things I like about the percolator:

1. It’s nostalgic. When I see the coffee pop up in the clear handle, I think of my Aunt Irma and am magically transported to a time when I was looking up at her stove top. A sorta sweet childhood-warm kitchen memory thing.
2. No filter required.

That’s it.

The rest of it? Oh fuck no.

Wet the basket, grind the coffee, attempt to get all the coffee grounds into the basket, but not into the tiny hole that will pollute the pot, put the basket on the stick and put the lid on. Heat it, but not too high, then turn it down a bit lower, then let it percolate s’more, then set it elsewhere on the stove to cool, then pour, then wait A BLOODY HOUR for it to cool down enough for a human tongue, then go back for a lukewarm cup, then wash all the little parts and pieces and shine em all up, cause stainless steel.

Another thing on my stove?

A spring that could end up heaven knows where?

No, thank you.

You know what you can do in the time it takes to percolate coffee? You can boil water, steep an entire French press full of coffee, drink its contents down, wash it, dry it, and put it away. I imagine in the time it takes to percolate eight cups of coffee, the coffee maker could brew enough to pour a cup for everyone on the block. Hell, I can do at least 20 pour-overs in that time. I haven’t attempted it yet, but I’d be willing to bet making Turkish coffee is faster as well.

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I know in The Mister’s romantic idealization, it probably seemed like a percolator would be a return to simpler times, but again, fuck no.

There’s a long list of stuff we enjoy because we did it as kids — playing cribbage, drinking soda from glass bottles, catching lightning bugs.
Some things are best left in the past, like defrosting the freezer, using the phone book, and percolating coffee.

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Happy Friday Everyone!

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#ThursdayDoors — Train Thangs

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On our recent trip to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, I took many photos, some of which were door shots, and most of which were fun and/or silly.

We all have our favorite parts of the museum, and this trip was unfortunately lacking much of that for all of us. There’s less hands-on play in the children’s museum now, and none of us are happy about it. Sassy wanted her diggers even though she’s crazy tall for them, Moo wanted to sit on the crocodile and build a dam where she was finally tall enough to play at the water table with the big kids.

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There were no diggers. There was no crocodile. There was a pre-built dam. It was fairly devastating. Also, no old cars, no old submarine, no longer an entire wing dedicated to science.

We were sorely disappointed. The Mister and I worse than the others, although we didn’t share that with them at the time, you know, being positive and enthusiastic and all that.

I don’t want to give you the impression that the museum is awful or anything. It’s not. We merely had expectations, which we all know to be dangerous.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is actually ranked the best children’s museum in the world, several times over. It is an amazing place to visit for anyone of any age. I still highly recommend you visit.

If you’re reading this post with fond memories, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. No pioneer exhibit, substantially smaller Egyptian section, no faux caves to walk through, the international section is now only one country at a time, currently China.

I’m sorry.

If you’ve been going there all your life… you earn the right to be critical about losing your favorite bits.

For instance, the trains.
I don’t know what floor it is, but it’s the floor my parents always took me to last, and therefore the floor I took all the kids to last. The toy level. It was full of trains, dollhouses, and had a carousel. Now, not so much. The carousel is still there, but the trains are few in comparison to what we grew up with. What’s left of the dollhouses has been shoved into relocated to a corner in another area.

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Real conversation:
“There aren’t as many trains, are there?”
“No.”
“Where are all the trains?”
“Oh no, do you think they got rid of the trains you can walk through?”
“I dunno, Baby Girl, I hope not.”

Only one car to walk through now. The tool car.

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Great exhibit, but it had been so much more. Literally MORE.

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When we were kids, when our older two were kids, it took a good, long time to follow the trains (plural) through the towns. They did all kinds of things, like switch tracks, change levels, stop and whistle, pass one another —  it really was somethin. Now, it takes less than a minute to watch the train make the course, and it’s on an audio loop.

I’ve considered the attention span of children and the increase in technology over kinetic play and I am not a fan. People of all ages should be going to the children’s museum to PLAY and IMAGINE and CREATE, to be AWED, to INTERACT, and this was so… observational in comparison to previous visits. What a way to break some traditionalist hearts.

But I did get some doors.

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#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link and find the frog.

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Share Your World — July 24, 2017

List some of your favorite types of teas.
Mmm, tea! That makes me yearn for cool weather *sigh* It’s summer, so the only tea I care to drink is swate tay, iced Luzianne made at home (and decaf.) That’s actually not best for me, and I should be making iced green tea with mint, but the things that are bad for us taste better, don’t they? I mean, if I could drink any ol tea, I’d be all up in oolong with cloves, or havin vodka peach tea, but excess pitta, too much yang, no matter what you subscribe to, I’m just too hot and spazzy and dietary choices DO affect it, so I’ve learned not to put myself through that. That run-on was reminding myself as much as telling you.
In cooler weather, I enjoy much more tea-ing and tisane-ing, tending my body with warm cooling teas. My absolute fave is Sleepytime decaf lemon jasmine green tea.
Also, whatever the hell sweet tea at Pandaspress is. Good for me — I can tell cause it’s not tasty — but addictive nonetheless.
I love tea.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?
SLOW. I woke up on my own at 6:15. I do not know. I’ve done stuff and been out and about and swam and ate lunch and I think think it’s about time to build a book tent on my face.

What are a couple of things could people do for you on a really bad day that would really help you?
Please, make me laugh. I’ve never been mad at anyone for bringin me ice cream or rubbin my feet, either.

Regardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would do do?
Oh, I’d be a snow skier. Whoosh, shoop-shoop, whoosh! Snow is awesome.
Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
Well, this has been a weird week, because it’s a transitional time. I’m deep into gratitude. I’m fortunate, feelin all the love. People have been kind and supportive. Dinner with friends was spectacular and refreshing, as expected. I enjoyed lunch at the annual local fish fry. The Mister left me a patch of bull thistle in the back forty. On the shallow side, I love how this time of year is like a stone fruit orgy in my mouth. It almost makes up for the heat and humidity. Annnd, they’re FINALLY paving 56th Street between Shadeland and Kessler! That’s worth a hallelujah, ferreal.
This week will be full, full, full. I’m looking forward to its unfolding possibilities.

 

 

 

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature and all are invited to join in and play along.

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What’s going on in your world?

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Not the Show

“Is there anything on at the movies?”

*Moo Googles*

“Cars 3.”
“Really! Are people still doin that?”
“Legend of the whatever.”
“Legend of the whatever?”

*everyone laughs*

“King Arthur, Legend of the Sword.”
“The sword? They don’t even know its name?”
“Excalibur.”

*watches trailer*

“Jude Law.”
“Mkay.”
“Spanish music.”
“That’s Zeppelin.”
“Is it?”
“Yes. King Arthur featuring the music of Led Zeppelin. It’s a no for me. King Arthur has just been over and over and over.”
“And over and then some.”
“And apparently not to death.”

“Pirates of the Caribbean blah blah blah.”
“People never get tired of Johnny Depp’s pirate face.”
“Can there even still be rum?”

“Baywatch.”
“Baywatch. Pfft. We could all don our swimwear and act out scenes from Baywatch in the front lawn and that would be more entertaining than watching fucking Baywatch.”

“Something about Paris.”

*listens to trailer*

“That’s a yes for me. I’d see it just for the actors and the scenery.”
“They’d hate it.”
“Mmm.”

“The Mummy.”
“Again?!?”
“Again. But this time, the mummy is a girl.”
“Hmm. Is she hot?”
“I dunno. She’s covered in dirt.”
“The answer is she’s hot.”
“Oh.”
“I really don’t know.”
“Sassy knows. Sassy says she’s hot.”
“Huh.”
“Sassy say she can wrap her up any time.”
“Wrap me up, Mummy. Yummy mummy be my mummy.”

*listens to trailer* — much screaming

“Fate of the Furious.”
“Jeez, really? How many is that? Like 900?”

And that’s when The Motterns decided to go elsewhere and do other things.

 

Happy Friday Everyone! 

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Time Has Meaning

Around the time I begin this draft, I’d be bout ready to go to work. I’d have my face and hair done and as I’d close my laptop, I’d say to my kids or my pets, “I hate this time of day.” I’d have panicky feelings about leaving. Then I’d have panicky feelings about driving. Then I’d get there and the panic would stop, cause focused.
Today is different because my hair is in one of those ponytails where only the part up to the band has been brushed smooth. I wear my Pusheen tee and sweats, no makeup.
Moo turned to me a few minutes ago and asked, “Are you happy you don’t hafta hate this time of day now?”
“Yes. Am happy, thanks.”
*eats pickle*

I plan to be pickle-eatin, tee-shirt wearin for several weeks, and then I’ll see what’s out there to focus on. I gave my two-week’s notice yesterday, but at the end of the day, I was told I could hand over my office kip and not worry about coming back.

Two weeks with my kids before they go back to school again.

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This time matters.

My father passed Sunday morning.
He had FaceTimed me for the first time ever the night before. It was good to see his face and the light in his eyes, even if he barely resembled the man I remember. His slender countenance reminded me of photos of his mother when she was a young woman, a thought I kept to myself at the time.
I was grateful to hear his voice again. I am now even more grateful.
I’m still processing my grief. It comes in memory snapshots. It comes in phrases. It comes in an onslaught of emotions. Meaningful, but uncontrolled and indiscriminate.

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This time matters.

I have time to process, more time to write and stare at my trees, more time to balance myself out. I’m in a weird place right now, which is okay, cause I was in a bad place before this weird place — but The Hanged Man winks at me and The Rolling Stones give me a song to sing.

I’m with my family and this time has meaning.

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Do you feel time on your side, too?

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Share Your World — July 17, 2017

What is your favorite cheese?
I cannot answer this question. I once stopped taking an online quiz because it asked me to pick my favorite cheese. I love all the cheeses. They are all equally beautiful and tasty.

Are you left or right handed?
Right

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?
My brain is reluctant to idle. My body tends to fidget with nervous energy, and so daily for both. I’m particularly happy to do physical things that zen my brain out. If I sit long, I need to be mentally engaged in something. I think this is why I enjoy car rides and sitting on my sofa and staring at my trees so much.

Complete this sentence: Hot days are … the worst!

 

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
Last week was a good time to play. We really did live it up and collect all the smiles. For our time together as a family, I am once again grateful. I’m happy Bubba and Simon stayed here this weekend, adding to our togetherness. This week, I experienced an outpouring of love, support, and kindness from many people in my life — that is no small thing.
Also, I fed a carrot to a giraffe.
Another day, I took a selfie with a giraffe sculpture.

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This week coming up, I’m looking forward to collecting my favorite shoes from the repair shop and dinner hosted by friends.

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature and all are invited to join in and play along.

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What’s going on in your world?

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SoCS — Object Lessons

Linda’s prompt was to use the title of the book we’re currently reading to inspire our post. I was glad she didn’t ask for a review or anything, cause I’m only on the fourth chapter.

This prompt gave me deja vu.

The first thing that came to mind was the side mirror on the car.

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It’s the lessons that struck me the most. We probably all have things that come naturally to us, our own aptitude in some areas may exceed the ability of others who work at it. Gifts.
But most of what we do in life, we’ve had to practice.
I remind you of babies with plastic spoons.

I see this all the time with my kids. Every time they begin something new, there’s an inundation of stress. Every time, I give an example from early childhood.

“Moo Moo, I remember when you’d hunt and peck messages to your daddy overseas. Look at you type now.”

I remember when Bubba was twelve and he made macaroni and cheese soup. When he was fifteen and put the takeout container in the oven, plastic and all. This same guy talked to me last night about steaming veggies and grilling meat. This same guy bakes scones and talks about the complexity of teas.

The best lessons are not assigned to us, they’re the ones we find on our own.

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday — SoCs ‘book title’ is brought to you by LindaGHill

 

 

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Happy Friday Everyone?

I did not have a good day.
I had NOT a good time in traffic, NOT a good time at work, NOT a good time in the stirrups.

This day got my blood pressure up to 130/80 and gave me a splitting headache. We won’t even dabble in the anxiety.

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me in the afternoon

I made it home. I hugged my girls and kissed their precious cheeks. I lay in a pile of my furbabies and had all the lubbins. I worked the jigsaw puzzle with one hand and ate some cold pizza with the other. Eventually my husband came home and held me. I took Sassy to a party, picked up dinner, put on my comfies, ate that dinner, and then an amazing thing happened — Bubba and Simon have come to visit!

(It’s okay that I’m writing this — they’ve gone to the liquor store.)

Anyway, if you’re hangin on for a funny, I’m not sure I’ve got it, but, with evidence of restaurant food lingering on paper plates, and what with it bein nine o’clock and all, Bubba asked, “So I guess Simon and I should go get our own dinner tonight?”
We nodded and smiled.
Adult children are so cute.
Then I said, “Orrr, you could go buy all the groceries for the whole week! I’ll cook somethin up for y’all when you get back.”

They declined.

I have super big plans for the weekend, and by big I mean, yeah, I will buy groceries…

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The rest of the time, I will be engaged in a serious attempt at what people call relaxing. I’m not good at it, but goddammit, I try!

Have a great weekend!

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#ThursdayDoors — Illinois Building

From the same architects who brought Indianapolis Columbia Club and Circle Tower

 

comes the Illinois Building.

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The Illinois Building is listed as one of “10 most endangered Hoosier Landmarks” by the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana.

This building is currently protected by legal stipulations running from 1919 to 2018, and oh yes, there is talk of tearing it down and building something else.

The Illinois Building has been one of those places where businesses come and go. I remember it went through a grand reopening in the 80s. I remember my father went in on a cocktail bar there. I’d been in there during construction, bore witness to much mauve and brass and I suppose, looking back, it had a sorta Art Deco vibe.

That was right around the time of Claypool Court Mall and the renewal of Union Station — also not so… er, shall we say, long-lasting. In hindsight, of course. At the time here was a lot of marketing, anticipation, and then BOOM! these places were the places to be, so at first everyone went there and everyone talked about them, and then no one went there ever again, the end.

Given the constant revival of the building over the last hundred years, I can see why someone would want to tear it down and start fresh. I’m not in favor of it, but I get it.
Its appraised value is not its market price, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Honestly, I have no idea what’s in there now. No one went in or came out while I photographed it in the middle of a Friday afternoon. There appears to be a bucket in the air-lock, and some writing in the dust of the windows, and I wonder if it’s empty again…

Last time I was inside, I had lunch with Kiwi in the food court, and that had to be twenty or more years ago. I remember a waterfall.
The real estate pages say the property’s interior shows off Italian marble, African mahogany, and terrazzo mosaics, and I’m like “There was a waterfall.”

While the future of the building is uncertain, its doors and related bronze details are certainly gorgeous in my eyes. I cross my fingers and enjoy them for the sake of posterity.

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#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link and find the frog.

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