The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


         I am close enough to the end of NaNoWriMo to think, optimistically, that I will finish it. However, if I am able to cross the 50,000-word finish line, it will take some novel revising strategies to improve my "novel." (The quotation marks are used because at this point, it can only be loosely called a novel. There are lots of places I have a straight line across the page, signifying I have to put some "connecting" stuff in that spot. And not just a little something, either. No, I'll need to put big piles of something in many places.)

         In other words, it's a hot mess right now.

         But as I took a break this morning, I read Lisa Ricard Claro's post. It went up today (Wednesday, the 23rd) and is entitled "Good Gravy!" but if you go and check out her blog on another day, you won't be disappointed to find another post.)

         Yes, she lures us into her post with a photo of a gravy boat full of a fat-filled, delicious cargo. Don't be angry when you don't get to ladle some onto your potatoes. Lisa cannot help it. When you see photos of her, you realize that the only "gravy" she enjoys is the non-greasy type, the "my-kids-are-wonderful" kind of gravy...the "my-writing-friends-are-incredible, even-if-one-of-them-has-a-head-on-a-stick" kind of gravy...the "my-weiner-dog-is-the-best-dog-in-the-world" kind of gravy. In other words, the gravy of life...

        Lisa's story about her son brought to mind a story about my daughter when she was a kid--probably 3 or so. I used to have a long drive to work when she was young, and her daycare center was close to my work, so we spent a lot of time in the car. She learned to talk early because while I drove, I would chat to her about the weather, the plans I had for work, what we would get from the grocery store on the way home, and so on.

       I digress.

       I have always been fond of the horn. It is put on the car for a purpose. When a driver would do something stupid, I would give a quick toot and say, "Dammit!"  I realized I was teaching my daughter the wrong thing when I tooted the horn once to let a driver know they could go through an intersection ahead of me and my little girl said, "Dammit!" with the perfect inflection.

       This was decades before road rage became all the rage, so I no longer use my horn like I used to, and I've also learned to control my mouth--most of the time.

       Read Lisa's post. She has marvelous advice for writers, along with the heart-warming story about her son.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Death of BUS

       A pair of my BUS (Butt-Ugly Shoes) died a kind of death on Friday. At least they breathed their last breath as work shoes.

        A friend of mine, Darice, had a celebration to mark the occasion. She poppped open a bottle of champagne. She hired a caterer to prepare a delicious array of appetizers. And she jumped for joy.

       You see, she will not go anywhere with me if I'm wearing my Crocs. (The photo below is not a picture of my shoes. I have a tan pair and a black pair. I could only dream of orange ones like these.)

photo by PetiteFamily93

        Before you grab a handful of rocks and threaten to stone her for being unreasonable, I should explain that my Crocs are not new ones. I've had the two pairs for several years. And because I wear each of them 2-3 times a week, they are worn. Run down. Pathetic.

       I should also add that I wear them in the creation of some hideous ensembles. For me, they are not just for the ultra-casual outfits, like jeans and a t-shirt. Oh, no. I wear them with nice slacks. I wear them with skirts to work (because they are as comfortable as slippers) and (skip this next part if you have a sensitive stomach) I wear them without any kind of stockings. Bare legs. Old lady legs. A whiter-shade-of-pale legs, with the only "color" being supplied by the stubble of leg-hair scattered along my not-really-slim calves. However, when the weather gets cold, I wear them with jeans or slacks with socks. (No, even I would not wear them with socks when sporting a skirt! Give me a credit for having a modicum of fashion sense!)

      As I was walking across my classroom before the kids came in, I felt something flapping against my ankle. I looked down, and saw that one of the straps had gotten detached. (I never use the straps; they are always swung to the front, rather than the back.) In vain, I tried to reattach it. Unable to, I thought of stapling it back (that would hurt my ankle when the staple--as it was sure to do--would scratch my flesh) or using a glue gun (I doubted it would hold it permanently). I finally just cut both straps off, since I had no other pair of shoes to change into.

      When I told Darice about my beloved tan Crocs, she said, "Thank goodness they're in the trash now, where they belong."  Not so fast. In the trash?  Why would you assume I threw them away?

       After all, they're still in perfect shape for yard work or a walk in the park. I said they had breathed their last breath as work shoes. They're not completely dead...yet.