Friday, March 5, 2010

It's March! Pack It Up Already!

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, brought to you by Cate at Show My Face.

Friday, February 26, 2010

28 Days-Not That I'm Counting!

Cape San Blas, Florida

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sturgeon Spearing-What Are the Chances?

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

By sturgeon standards, this is a little fish. It measured only 42 inches long, weighed in at 38 pounds and is estimated to be about 20 years old. It was speared Monday, on Lake Winnebago in eastern Wisconsin. Opening day, a Lake Winnebago record-setting sturgeon was speared. It weighed 212 pounds and was estimated to be 100 years old!

Yeah, speared. How do they do that, you ask?

Well, a rectangular hole is cut in the ice, which is about 24 inches thick, with a chain saw. The hole measures about 3 feet by 5 feet, or about the size of your front door. The fisherman sits by the hole, inside his shanty, and gazes down into the water. When a fish swims by, he spears it with his long-handled, barb-tined sturgeon spear.

What? You just sit there and wait for a fish to swim by? You have to be kidding!

Apparently not. I talked to one fisherman who has been doing this 20 years and has never seen a fish swim past his hole!

Ya think? I mean, what are the chances?

Lake Winnebago has a surface area of 137,000 acres. The hole is 15 square feet. You do the math. And don't forget to allow for looking away just long enough to change the radio station, open a beer, have a snack, pet your dog, open a beer, look outside, take a nap...

You would have better luck looking up a chimney and waiting for a duck to fly by!

And still, the lake is full of holes, shantys and fishermen. And the cap for the season, which this year looks to be only about five days long, is about 1800 fish. So it's not impossible.

I'm a glass (lake) is half-empty kind of person. I mean, if I hadn't even seen a fish through my hole in 20 years, I'd be looking for a new hobby!

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Children As Pets" - The Cat Years

Cleaning out the desk the other day, I found this clipping and thought I'd share one of my favorites with you. Wish I could take credit for writing it, but that prolific author, Anonymous
gets the credit.

I just realized that while children are dogs-

loyal and affectionate-teenagers are cats.

It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it,

train it, boss it around. It puts it's head on

your knee and gazes at you as if you were

a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with

enthusiasm when you call it.

Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy

turns into a big old cat. When you tell it to come

inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who

died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging

your doorsteps, it disappears. You won't see it

again until it gets hungry-then it pauses on it's

sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn it's

nose up at whatever you're serving.

When you reach out to ruffle it's head, in that old

affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, then

gives you a blank stare as if trying to remember

where it has seen you before. You, not realizing

that the dog is now a cat, think something must

be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial,

so distant, sort of depressed. It won't go to family


Since you're the one who raised it, taught it to

fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume

that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt

and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your

pet behave. Only now you're dealing with a cat.

So everything that worked before now produces

the opposite of the desired result. Call it, and it

runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the

counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your

hands, the more it moves away.

Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you

can learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish

of food near the door, and let it come to you. But

remember that a cat needs your help and your

affection too. Sit still, and it will come, seeking

that warm, comforting lap it has not entirely

forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.

One day, your grown-up child will walk into the

kitchen, give you a big kiss and say "You've

been on your feet all day. Let me get those

dishes for you."

Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again.

(For Soccer Boy, who at 14, is still all dog!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thank You For Your Service, Ryan

These are photos taken of, and by my friend's son Ryan, during his time in the Air Force.
The Popr's family has known him since he was just a little boy, and are proud of his military service. One of the jobs he had was as a mechanic on the U2 spy plane.
I didn't get to wave the flag for him when he returned, but I'm proud to wave it today!
God bless all of our servicemen and women. And thank you.
I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Beating the Winter Blahs

I have a major case of cabin fever, as you may have guessed from the beach countdown. So I decided the laundry room needed an overhaul. After all, it is the first thing people see when they come into my house. Unless they use the front door, and we just don't.

The laundry room gets lots of use. It's where all the wet shoes and boots get kicked, where the dogs eat, and the laundry gets done. And it sure showed.

The walls were dinged and dirty, some of the hooks were broken, one of the bifold doors was off it's hinges...the list goes on.

So I got ready to paint, then realized that even a fresh coat of paint would not fix what ailed my walls. They had been repaired many times. The texture on them was uneven. It was a mess.

I called a plaster man, who retextured my walls with a process call "skip troweling". They look
amazing! Then I painted. Had a neighbor put a decorative edge on an oak board I bought for the new coat rack. I stained it, and put on new, big wrought iron-looking hooks. Tossed the old
grungy rug and put in a new one. Put new hinges on the bifold doors, and bought a slick new airtight container on wheels for the 40 pound bag of dogfood we keep just to the left of the washing machine. Made a new valence for the window.

There was a moment when I entertained the idea of painting it a fun color-terra cotta or lime green. But in the end, as it always does, boring beige won out. Actually, the color is "Muslin", from Benjamin Moore, and it is really quite nice. Goes with everything. Very neutral. It is close to a color the realtors here call "relocation beige". Houses of executives of the big companies in town new on the market get neutralized with this color. All the fun colors go, in an effort to appeal to the masses, who can then turn around and paint terra cotta and lime green.

So, I realized that my house is "neutralized."

Does that mean I am ready to relocate, maybe to someplace warmer? I know the mid-Atlantic states have tons more snow that we do, but their cherry blossoms will still bloom on schedule, while we are still frozen.

Darn! Now I have the winter blahs again.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Forty-Eight Days And I'm Here...

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.