Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Off with Their Heads"

to quote the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. As you may know from my previous two posts, I live in Camelot. The flowers that grow here in the kingdom grow without much help. That is to say, I am not much of a gardener. However, one thing I do every morning during the month of July is deadhead the Day Lilies. As many of you know, deadheading is the removal of spent or nearly spent flowers so that the plant can use those energy reserves making more plant body or flowers rather than seeds (or fruit). The results seem to be magnificent as the lilies keep on blooming for about a month. In fact this year, we will have blooms for a few weeks into the month of August. This circle of life and death appears to be a very real and practical event in the Plant Kingdom.

Patch of Hemerocalis fulva that are neither spinning or toiling

Alas, spent heads sacrificed for the good of all of the other Hemerocalis fulva blossoms.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fun Monday - Queen for a Day

Mommy Wizdom is the queen of this week's Fun Monday adventure. The queen is asking us to tell what we would do as ruler of the day, week, year...

As I explained in my previous post, my husband is the rightful heir to Camelot. Being married to King Arthur, I then would be Guinevere. Well all right, he is not the heir to the British throne, and he did not remove Excalibur from a rock. (I did remove his little pocket knife from the washer this morning. Do you suppose that makes me a princess or at least a duchess?) But let's say that he is heir to a kingdom where the good, kind King Arthur lived. Or perhaps, better yet let's say that like Dogbert that I am Supreme Ruler of the Universe. What would I do?

Extracted Blade Proclaiming Royalty

My first thought is probably selfish in that I would want servants to answer every whim. And like royalty, I would be wealthy and live in a castle because that is where queens live. I am not sure where Supreme Rulers of the Universe the sky maybe or maybe on the heavenly body that used to be the planet Pluto.

Dogbert, Supreme Ruler of the Universe, in plastic throne

However, by definition the word, ruler, requires some making of rules and enforcing of rules. This task is becoming more difficult. If I were queen or Supreme Ruler of the Universe, what rules would I make and enforce?

Like our hostess, I have enjoyed reading some books about Utopian societies including 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and The Giver. In each of these stories, the society essentially fails due to lack of the freedom of choice or free will. Thus, in my imaginary queendom, free will shall be valued. With that in mind, freedom should not include infringing on the rights of others. Rules should be for the benefit of all.

I can think of a few rules that I would initiate. Guns would be abolished in my dominion. Without guns, there would be no drive-by shootings and no idiots shooting at children in a Unitarian church. Furthermore, I would abolish capital punishment. We should do away with murder all together.

Although I am sincere about stopping killing, I do realize that I am not much of a leader. Even King Arthur used the knights of The Round Table as advisors. Having the people decide what is right for the people is probably the best plan yet. Thus, I will abdicate my rulership and place the universe in the hands, minds, and hearts of a united people.

Read about other wise rulers at Mommy Wizdom, or you can sign-up to participate.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Live in Camelot

Remember these lyrics from the musical, Camelot?

It's true! It's true! The crown has made it clear.
The climate must be perfect all the year.
A law was made a distant moon ago here:July and August cannot be too hot.
And there's a legal limit to the snow here in Camelot.
The winter is forbidden till December
And exits March the second on the dot.
By order, summer lingers through September
In Camelot.Camelot! Camelot!I know it sounds a bit bizarre,

But in Camelot, Camelot
That's how conditions are.
The rain may never fall till after sundown.
By eight, the morning fog must disappear.
In short, there's simply not a more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here in Camelot. Camelot! Camelot!
I know it gives a person pause,
But in Camelot, Camelot. Those are the legal laws.

The snow may never slush upon the hillside.
By nine p.m. the moonlight must appear.
In short, there's simply not a more congenial spot.
For happily-ever-aftering than here in Camelot.

Yes indeed, this summer I have been living in Camelot, home of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. The weather has been very pleasant, not too hot and not too cold, which is good because our air conditioner is broken. (Usually summers in Indiana are hot and quite humid.) Additionally, as in Camelot, most of the rain has been falling in the nighttime after sundown. Weatherwise the summer has been wonderful.

On a side note, my husband's family has claimed to be descendants of Welsh ancestry. There is a cryptic handwritten note mentioning Wales in the family Bible. So occasionally, I imagine that I am married to the heir of the royal couple's legacy. Would you like to join us at our castle?

Remains of Tintagel Castle - Legendary Home of King Arthur

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fun Monday - She Works Hard for the Money

Our lovely hostess of this Fun Monday and of the Irish Coffeehouse is asking us to tell about careers of now and then. Meaning specifically, what careers did we imagine for ourselves as children, and if we were to start a new career path tomorrow, what direction would that path lead.

When I was young, I imagined myself in a variety of positions. Before I attended school, I thought that being a secretary was a very glamorous job. Later, I dreamed of being an airline stewardess. At one point, I imagined myself as a chemist.

In my real life, I have only held a few positions for pay. As a youth, I babysat and was a mother's helper. My first job for a commercial concern was at Woolworth's Five and Dime, which apparently has morphed into Foot Locker. My Christmas season position at Woolworth's although short-lived was an adventure, which involved selling parakeets, accidentally releasing parakeets, and getting fired. I was not fired because of the parakeet incident. I was fired because the management wanted me to work on Christmas Eve, and my mother said that I could not work Christmas Eve. In most cases, we followed whatever my mother said.

My second official paying job was for the Indiana University library system. I met our Daddy D at the Indiana Regional campus library in Fort Wayne. (What's that you hear playing in the background...the theme song from Love Story?) After Daddy D and I married, I started my teaching career as a sixth grade teacher. Since 1968, I have taught school on and off; but mostly I have taught science to seventh graders. During the years as a stay-at-home-mom, I did do a brief stint as a waitress at Pizza Hut.

Ready to go to work at Pizza Hut in 1972

However, our dreamy hostess has asked us what career would we choose today. My choice would be either to be a graphic artist or perhaps a web designer. Although I am not especially artistic, I would love to be able to take elements and put them together using fabulous software to create brochures, signs, posters, greeting cards, and other products. I do create some of these items for various functions, but my work is definitely amateurish. I would love to be a talented professional.

To read about other career and job dreams, check out the list of participants at the Irish Coffeehouse .

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Favorite Birthday - Fun Monday

IamwhoIam of Dungarees Ablaze, the enigmatic host of this week's celebratory Fun Monday party is requesting that we tell about one of our favorite birthdays.

Of my birthdays (and I have several to choose from...61 to be exact), I liked my fourth, fifth, and sixth. For my fourth birthday, I received a doll that I named Linda after my best friend at the time. For my fifth birthday, my parents gave me this cool cowgirl outfit. And for my sixth birthday, my parents bought me what I always wanted a plastic six-shooter so that I could be a real cowgirl just like Annie Oakley.

Birthdays seem to be magical times for young children of preschool age. Something curious that I noticed about my own sons. Each son mentioned his upcoming fifth birthday starting the day after his fourth birthday until the day that he turned five. My theory is that when a child turns four, he or she has vivid memories of the third birthday. On the day of the fourth birthday, the little darling realizes that these birthdays come every year and that presents, good food, fun, and festivities always are a part of the celebration. I loved the simple parties we had for the boy's birthdays. For each son's fifth birthday party, I made a cake of their choice, cooked sloppy joes, and invited a few childhood friends. For party favors, the children received a box of crayons in a brown paper bag. The first activity was decorating the bag with the crayons. Other than eating, we played a few simple games, and everyone was happy.

I hope that you have many birthdays and that they are all happy. You can find out about other best birthdays at Dungarees Ablaze .

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fun Monday - And It Was As Big As Him...

Originally, I was going to bow out of this Fun Monday. I had convinced myself that this week's challenge was beyond my area of expertise. The wonderful hostess, UR Olive, has asked the participants to tell a fish story. Of course, by definition fish stories are not necessarily true to life. Fisherman and fisherwomen seem to be given to exaggeration. Not being a fish enthusiast, I was going to exclude myself from this delightful foray into the world of fishing. I have been fishing a few times, but I never caught one fish.

However, I remembered a time back in 1978 that , our sons, Luke and Dean, did go fishing with a dear family friend, Rick, and his children. I think that Dean was 7 and Luke was 4. Since my husband and I were not experienced fisherman, we had no fishing equipment. Rick provided the children with cane poles. The children were understandably excited about the day of fishing. The small fishing expedition went to a nearby park that used to be called "The Trap Shoot" and is now called Independence Park. As I remember, the fishers returned in about an hour's time. Although I wanted the children to have a good time, I was rather hoping that they would not catch any fish. I know little about fishing and even less about cleaning fish.

Independence Park Today

My wish, indeed, was fulfilled. Neither, son caught any fish. However, Luke did catch something. He caught a snapping turtle that was almost as big as he was. Now, perhaps, Rick helped reel in the ancient reptile and catch the snapper in a net, but the turtle did nibble on young Luke's bait. And, the turtle was caught on the novice Luke's pole. Unfortunately, I cannot show you a picture today as the the only photo is on a slide some place. In that picture, Luke is beaming with pride, holding his cane pole next to a humongous snapping turtle.

As you might imagine, if I was not looking forward to cleaning a fish, I certainly did not want to butcher a turtle besides Luke would not want the turtle for food. As far as I know, Rick's friend took the turtle for soup. Or perhaps, they let the turtle return to his home in the pond.

To read about other true-to-life or not fishing stories, visit Olive for a list of participants.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July. May your day be filled with happiness and sunshine.