Monday, July 27, 2009

The Perfect Knife

Back in the days when you could buy old quilts at estate auctions for change, I would hang out at those held at old farms. Sometimes I scored a really wonderful quilt, which I would repair and hang on the wall of our house with 12' ceilings. Researching the fabrics and designs was fun, and I would make up stories about the women who pieced these lovelies. My more modern house doesn't have the ceiling height the Ohio Stars and Drunkard's Paths require for proper display, so most of them have been carefully packed away. However, at one old farmhouse, I felt compelled to bid on a kitchen knife as well, and its use continues today, at least 25 years later.

The kitchen floors in this white frame house curled with old linoleum, the enamel table in the center of the room showed rust spots under the crackling, and every pot and pan was up for sale. This one knife, with a smooth old wooden handle and an "s" curve of a blade from years of being sharpened, had clearly been a favorite. I bought it. It reposes next to the fancy knifes with shiny blades in my kitchen, and if I don't dry it quickly, rust skims its surface, but I love that knife. It's light, well-balanced, and razor sharp when I get its blade done just right. Every time I pick it up in lieu of one of the new knives, I feel its age and know that this knife, clearly homemade, served its owner well for many years, and me for many more.

One day, one of my children will be gifted with this knife. I feel as if I must pass on its secrets, its story, until its blade shatters into nothingness as it slices one last Hanover tomato. If only I knew what it had to tell me. Mostly, I make up my own tales for it. That's good enough for me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Home at Last

Phew. Loved NYC with my mate. Spent a whole day at the Metropolitan Museum, replenishing my art history well. Artifacts from Afghanistan was a stellar exhibition. I grew up in part of the Middle East, and this display was among one of the best I've seen. Beautifully curated.

Caught some musicals, but our fav production was "Mary Stuart," which has some spectacular staging and great acting. The scene where it rains on stage was amazing. I kept wondering where all that water was going to go, and it just puddled right there on the stage for at least fifteen minutes as everyone got soaked. Found the men wearing business suits, while the women wore Elizabethan dresses, a bit odd. Simple set, effectively lit, and the costumes played along with the change in light colors - plain black, black and gold, etc.

Shows what great acting can do - my beloved was a total Mary Stuart fan, while I thought the play's weight went to Elizabeth I. She got my sympathy. Two great actresses for the price of one ticket. Wow.

The only disconcerting part of the vacation was that our hotel was overrun with painfully thin young teenagers wearing too much makeup, skimpy clothes, and deadly high heels, all pretending they were older than they were. Some kind of modeling competition was going on. I wanted to grab those girls, wash their faces, and tell them to get out of those tacky, trashy clothes. What are we doing to kids that they think this is beauty? At their age, I was wearing jeans and jodhpurs, had smashed helmet-hair from my riding helmet, and was mucking out stalls every day. No makeup. I sure didn't worry about how I looked, LOL. Now my horse, that was another matter. She had to look great, and she did. I even did French braids on her tail. I feel so sorry for those girls at the Sheraton. And I wonder where their parents are, and why they're allowing this?

Back to work. My mind isn't focusing yet on SIGNS ,but I can whip it back into shape. I'd better. . .

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Self-healing Websites

Well, it did its thing and got itself up and running again. Good thing, since I was in the complete dark. I really need to get better educated here about Web stuff.

Missing RWA in D. C. this year so I can take a trip to NYC with my beloved. We'll see some shows, get to the museums, and eat good food. Our twenty-fifth anniversary was earlier this year, and we decided to do something every month to celebrate. I'm enjoying this year-long party! It's been a fast twenty-five years, that's for sure.

Talked via Skype with Guatemala Girl, alias Daughter #2, and she's in love with the country. She'll be heading for Belize and Mexico soon, so that means she'll be home in about a month. We miss her. Then she's off to school again for her fourth year of architecture. Two more years, and she'll be ready to take her licensing exam! Hard to believe.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Web Site down

Don't know the root of the problem, but my web site seems to be down. Just in case anyone is lookin' . . .

Watched Michael Waltrip Racing's announcement of MW's retirement (semi) and replacement by Martin Truex Jr. Good move for all parties, but boy howdy, will I miss seeing MW at the track every weekend. At least he'll be in the 52nd running of the Daytona 500 next February.

Now to find out what's wrong with the web site. Oh goody.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Post-Fourth Recuperation

So, the racing Saturday night was stellar. The top five cars made a night of it until the last lap. I'm sure Kyle Busch isn't happy, nor is Kasey Kahne or JoeyLogano, all of whom got a piece of the #18 car as it flipped from hitting the wall just before the finish line, but that's what you get with restrictor plate racing and the "don't pass below the yellow line" rule. I'm sorry, but Nascar is nuts. Before this written-in-stone rule, drivers understood that the yellow line was fair game on the last lap, and used it until Talladega last year when Regan Smith got robbed of his win because he chose not to block and wreck Stewart coming to the checkered flag and dipped below the line. Last Saturday, Stewart blocked and wrecked KyBu. Same thing at the last Talladega race, when Edwards went airborne. When will Nascar reconsider the yellow line rule? Restrictor plate racing is dangerous enough, and 'Dega and Daytona will continue to have last-lap wreck-fests if something isn't done. No one wants to see fans or drivers hurt.

Watched "Independence Day," a Fourth of July tradition in our house. Its pacing is perfect -lots of slam-bang action with enough lulls for the viewer to catch a breath or two. Ate potato salad and deviled eggs, another tradition, and hunkered down for the Daytona 400 and its fireworks display. Having been there in '06 when Stewart last won this race, and watched the subsequent magnificent fireworks the track provides, I look forward to seeing them on TV every year.

Cali-the-puppy still thinks she's a lap dog, although she' getting close to 30 lbs, I'd guess. She enjoys movie night and trying to fit onto her daddy's lap. He always wanted a lap cat, now he has a semi-lap dog. We laugh uncontrollably when she starts snoring.

Taking a break from SIGNS. I'm so happy to be back with these people.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Redecorating and Lost Days

When my beloved changed the ceiling fan in our bedroom, he initiated an avalanche of redecorating. Nothing like a new, shiny white fan to prompt repainting the ceiling. Then the walls, of course. And since they went from yellow to White Chocolate, that means new curtains, bedspread, headboard, dust ruffle, valances. . . you get the picture. The worst part was having to dig out the drawers so I could paint furniture. I decided to go for the beachy look, and it didn't take long to decide that the furniture all needs to be painted beachy colors. Now I've found my box of antique lace, I'm making new pillow covers and . . . . again, it's pretty clear I've sunk into the morass of redecorating. Since we get into a major overhaul only every ten years or so, it's worth the time to have something new and bright to admire, but sheesh, is it a lot of work!

The worst part is, I look up and it's already five o'clock, I'm whipped, and I haven't written a single solitary word. This has gotta stop, or I'll be a cranky woman. No writing makes me want to run screaming into the street, and since the neighbors think I'm a little odd anyway, I'll have to get some writing done before I confirm their worst suspicions.

And Daytona is this weekend, which means very very little will get done on SIGNS. Not gonna miss Daytona!

Oh, and the shoe count continues. Add my good black high heels, the ones I can actually wear without falling on my face, to the pile of dead leather that Cali has decided are her new toys. Maybe this is God's way of telling me I don't have to ever wear high heels again. Hmmm, I think I like that explanation.