Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tuesday Twaddle, including buzzy things, a haiku and the weekend that was

Cactus:Son's new haircut:

Argh! The beautiful auburn curls with blond highlights are gone! I'm in mourning.

So, about that weekend. Remember I said I had an interesting weekend? Well, I was planning to drive to Oklahoma to work on getting my mother's house ready to sell. But, my friend Paula reminded me (as I was frantically cleaning and packing), "You know, there's no hurry." I took that to heart and gave myself an extra day to clean and pack. Then, I decided to add another day because I'm married to Mr. Chaos and any little bit helps. The cleaner the house, the less damage he can do (and I was really too tired to drive but that's another story). All of which left us with a Monday departure date.

Sunday morning, however, a vicious storm swept through Tulsa with 70 mile per hour winds. It knocked down trees, limbs and power lines. Of greatest interest to me: my beloved in-laws (with whom I planned to spend the night) lost their power. Had I decided to leave on Sunday, I would have run into the storm in Arkansas around mid-day and ended up in a house with no lights or air. So, we said, "Close call. Good thing about the delay." Always looking at the bright side, here. Then, my sister called to tell me not to bother coming till further notice because her husband had somehow managed to knock a hole in a water pipe at my mom's house. It's bad enough doing without power when it's hitting the 90's, but water? No way. I need my bath or I become seriously scary. So, I'm on hold. Sometimes procrastinating can be a good thing.

This means I get to hang out with my lizard buddies, keep cleaning up after my husband (really, I'm looking forward to a break from that), and listen to the buzzing tree. If you know what kind of tree this is, please illuminate me:

A few years ago, a nasty virus that devastated the European bees in the U.S. visibly caused a population drop of the little buzzers in our area. European bees make the best honey and I recall reading a few rather frantic articles describing how European bees were slowly coming back but mating with African bees, which are not the best honey producers in the world (and not very polite, either -- remember Killer Bees?). So, I was quite surprised, last week, when I stood under the tree and heard a sound that we haven't heard in quite a while -- a noise much like you'd expect from a hovering spaceship or, possibly, a horror movie. It truly sounded like the tree was preparing for departure.

The volume of that buzzing noise is really something; there were literally hundreds, possibly thousands of bees gathering pollen from the tree. The bees are back! And they were swarming all over those pollen shoots. For those who are afraid of stinging things -- no worries. They have absolutely no interest in chicks or dudes standing under the tree with pollen raining down upon their human heads. It's wild. But, I went inside, anyway, because it made me sneeze. I've noticed the bees are a little bizarre-looking; they have an orange spot on their bodies, rather than just the usual black and gold. So, maybe it's a cross-breed that I'm seeing, but it's still nice to see bees, again. I like honey, don't you?

In other news:

The husband says he doesn't like my new profile photo because it looks frighteningly like the real me -- a cross between a laugh and "I'm going to bite you." What a guy.

The electricians came! Two of them! They were cordial! And, more importantly, they fixed our problem, showed me a couple of burnt metal things and explained how lucky we were that the little zapping popping lightning storms that were caused by the metal arching and the electricity jumping to try to find a connection, scorching everything around them (i.e., the mini fires) stayed inside the power box. Actually, the one fellow was kind of stern when he explained it, but you know. I'm thrilled! Wahoo! I will definitely feel better about sleeping at night, now. Maybe that one should have been saved for Wahoo! Wednesday. Oh, well.

I have a favorite lizard. His tail was lopped off, a couple of weeks ago but it's growing back and he's out on his favorite metal post in the herb garden, displaying away. Why do I love him? He's absolutely not afraid of me. I can lean right down next to him and he'll just look at me as if to say, "Well, hi there, human!" He'll let me sit on the garden border and snap away with the camera. If I talk to him, he turns toward me but never skitters away. I think he might even let me pick him up if I so desire. But, no. I don't want to freak him out. He'll be featured in my wahoos, tomorrow.

A Haiku for the latest contest in the Southern Reading Challenge, allegedly an abbreviated description of The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen:

There's something in the closet
Someone on the floor
Magic and love in the air

The new piles from the library are so huge that I'm positively intimidated by them. How did I get them home? No wonder my bad shoulder hurts. I haven't managed to photograph the books, so you just get a list. I finished Sway, yesterday, and will review it as soon as I can. Huzzybuns is taking a turn reading it and then the eldest has next dibs, so it's a popular title with this family. Anyway, the new acquisitions:

Sway - Ori and Rom Brafman
Greetings from Bury Park - Sarfraz Manzoor
Atmospheric Disturbances - Rivka Galchen
The 4th of July - Peter de Bolla
The Story of a Marriage - Andrew Sean Greer
Final Theory - Mark Alpert
So Brave, Young and Handsome - Leif Enger
A Case of Exploding Mangoes - Mohammed Hanif
The Film Club - David Gilmour
The Boat - Nam Le
Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri
Rattled - Debra Gallant
How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone - Sasa Stanisic
The Messiah - Marek Halter
Sitting Practice - Caroline Adderson
Rabbit in the Moon - Deborah & Joel Shlian
Evening is the Whole Day - Preeta Samarasan
Sun Going Down - Jack Todd
Maybe a Miracle - Brian Strause
How to Be Single - Liz Tuccillo
Simplexity by Jeffrey Kluger
And there's another one that the kiddo is reading -- Grantville Gazette IV by Eric Flint

I know, ridiculous. But, I'm really, really enjoying them and so are the guys.

Random Simon moment:

My tea is cold, and the moon, anchored by the hopes and wishes of those abandoned souls churning their way home from the pub, has drifted deeper into the sky.

--from "Conception" in The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy

Kiddo took this picture through the window of the car, at my request. In light of yesterday's post (and given the similarities between America's current involvement overseas and Vietnam -- not a political creature, but even Mrs. Politically Stupid thinks she has this one figured out), I think it's especially meaningful:

Welcome home, Brad. I don't know you, but I'm glad you made it back. And, hang in there, Nikki.

Wishing all a safe and beautiful day,



  1. Wow--you do have quite a large pile of books to read! Where to start?

    I have many lizards around my house as well, but they somewhat freak me out. There is one in particular who frequently hangs out in my mailbox. It is not a nice surprise to open it up, stick my hand in to grab the mail, and feel something run across my hand or up my arm! Maybe I should start talking to him--that might help! :)

  2. Laura,

    I've already started hitting that pile, but I'm not sure which title I'll read next. It's a lovely pile -- actually, two piles.

    LOL! I have never had a lizard in my mailbox -- guess there's no place to enter and the fact that it's next to the street means it's not a good spot. We've had spiders, ants and wasps hang out in the mailbox, though. Ugh.

    It's really quite interesting how those little lizards respond. Even my husband says, "They really have personality."

  3. No electricity or water? No way. I'm with you on showers.

    Awww, the hair!

    Nice book pile you've got there! That should be a pleasant diversion from cleaning.

  4. Carrie,

    I would have gone flaming nutso without running water. :)

    Isn't it sad? Such pretty hair! But, he is of the mindset, now, that in the summer you get buzzed.

    Plus, you can't clean during the heat of the day. It's siesta time.

  5. Haha! Love the pics of the cactus and the hair! H got his hair cut really short a couple of weeks ago too. It is so much cooler for summer.
    Sometimes procrastinating can be a good thing.
    Loved this too. I'm the queen of procrastination!!
    Anyway, sounds like things have been going your way lately. Glad to hear it. :)

  6. Nat,

    Exactly -- I used to cut my hair short in the summer, too. But, not that short, of course! Kiddo also likes it out of his way for swimming -- it does get in the way when it's longer. :)

    I think things definitely worked out nicely. Sister just wrote to say the water has been fixed and the power's back on at my in-laws'. But, naturally, the husband decided to take advantage and left town for a meeting!

  7. Haha, I love the cactus-hair picture comparison. I felt that way when my husband (then boyfriend) shaved off all his long, thick, law school hair to report to duty for the Army.

    That is quite a pile of books. Good luck!

    Thanks for the support. I have some good news on the husband front, too: he's coming home a little sooner than expected! I'll keep you posted. Thank you again.

  8. Nikki,

    I'm never sad to see my husband's hair go. The word "limp" doesn't even begin to describe it; it has less than no curl. Kiddo, on the other hand, is a fluffy boy. His friend Alexandra was horrified. She loves to play with his hair (and he lets her -- only two people are allowed to play with his hair, so that's unique).

    I usually don't get quite that many books off the ARC cart, but my listserv book friends said, "Go all out, next time. You can always send them to us." So, that's what I'm going to do. Any that don't work for me or which I don't want to keep will be passed on to friends.

    Oh, I love good news like that!!! Super!! I just mailed your parcel about an hour ago, btw. I hope the postal workers get it to you quickly. :)

  9. That is a serious stack from the library! People at work think I have crazy amounts of books checked out at any given time (30+) but most of those are children's books! Enjoy!

  10. Tara,

    It's worse than that -- all of those are ARCs from the giveaway rack. So, they're in my house till I read them or send them to friends. We're making good headway on them, though. I've read two, hubby is reading one, kiddo is reading one.

    Hey, if you read all those books, why not? I've got that whole new stack and also checked out a couple and got a couple in the mail, this week. I'm going to do my best to read them all. :)

  11. The cat is a *little* scary, but I think that's alright. I think it's fun that you have a lizard friend--that's something I would do, too. And I'd probably talk to it as well. I've only had little baby lizards, but Maggie usually "plays" with them until they are no longer.

  12. Trish,

    Maybe I should change to the photo of Gray Kitty with her tongue hanging out, but it looks a little like she's saying, "Bleccch." I was going for a happy look.

    Oh, poor lizards. My cat(s) used to just bite their tales off and then brought them inside alive (I catch and release) but I'm not having that problem, anymore. Maybe that's one of the joys of having a middle-aged cat. She'd rather just goof around napping in the sun when she's outside!

  13. I want to see a picture of those bees with spots. How curious.

  14. Jeane,

    They're mostly gone from the tree, now, but I'll try to capture one. :)

  15. Ah, but at least hair grows! And probably quite quickly.

    Good thing you wound up delaying your trip to OK! I can't get over the round of storms we've had here in tornado alley this season. In addition to that big storm that produced 9 tornadoes in NE a week or so ago, we had another big system move through this past Wednesday night and 4 more touched down in nearby communities. The sirens actually went off in Lincoln. First time I've heard them (other than the testing on Wednesday mornings) in a long, long time. I love summer, but I sure hate the stormy weather. We've had close to 6-7 inches of rain in the past couple of weeks. The weeds are out of control!

    Glad your electrical problem is under control. We discovered we have a leaky shower, so guess where our stimulus check is going? Yep, new tile, new cement board, new shower door, new shower flooring. Hmmm, I don't think the check will be quite enough, but it'll certainly help!

    Great stack of books. My TBR stacks are getting out of control. I keep coming home with ARCs. I'm sure someday I'll get them all read. ;)

  16. Les,

    I can practically see his hair growing (much like the grass in our yard -- only we don't have to mow his hair, thank goodness). The girls will all be happy in the fall, when his hair is not too long and not too short.

    Yeah, the storms have really been something, this year, haven't they? We've gotten them in MS, too (hence the new roof we're about to get) but the Midwest definitely seems to have gotten the worst of it, so far. I couldn't believe how swollen all the rivers were, as I drove up. Oh, I'm in OK. I drove the full 10 1/2 hours in one day because there was a storm coming and I didn't want to get stuck in the middle of it. I don't like driving in rain, much less storms.

    Sorry about the shower. I'm sure that one's on the agenda, some day. If there's anything at all that can break and cause a flood or leak all over the place, it happens in our house.

    My TBRs are always out of control, but I also send away quite a lot of books, so they're probably not as bad as they could be. And, now, here I am . . . emptying my mother's bookshelves and thinking, "Oh, dear, should I?" LOL Yeah, I know where I got it. :)


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