Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sweet - You Capture

The subject this week of Beth's You Capture series is 'Sweet'. So I looked around for sweet; and, what could be sweeter than a Mother's Day gift from a real Sweetie.

Or a deer statue from your brother almost hidden in the weeds but wearing a necklace of last year's hydrangea blooms. (And I didn't put them on there either. Honest!)

Or asking for input from Mr. Right and getting this helpful idea.

For more and better You Capture pictures, go to Beth's blog, Ishouldbefoldinglaundry and check it out. Better yet, run outside (or stay in), capture some pictures and join in the fun.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


When I muse about a cheerful countenance, I wonder how to make my face look joyful when my insides just feel normal. Not joyful and absolutely not miserable. Just normal. I think we should all reflect the joy that we, deep down, feel just to be alive and part of this amazing world. But I think some of us, okay me, forget and are just lazy about the image that we present to our brothers and sisters on this earth. And we owe each other more than that. When we see joy we tend to feel joy. And around and around it goes.

So, my musings lead to this. Sleep. It's essential and when we're tired, it's very hard to radiate great happiness. We need our sleep. All of it, not just some of it. I have a hard time going to bed early at night. I don't know if I'm afraid I'll suffer some sleeplessness or if I'm afraid I'll miss something; but, I tend to stay up way too late every night. So the first thing I'll do is change that. I really believe that sleep changes everything. It changes how ambitious we feel each day and, most of all, it helps provide us with the self discipline we need to accomplish the things that are truly important to us, like a cheerful countenance.

So starting tonight, I'll be in bed by eleven p.m. This is a challenging week to start this new habit because I'm on vacation and not doing any traveling, but if I can do it, I know that my vacation will be much more rewarding and productive. And I'll be a lot more likely to wear that cheerful countenance that will be a blessing to my family and everybody else I encounter.

We'll see how that works out.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

When Everybody's Cheerful and Friendly

One day at work, as I started my appointed rounds, I couldn't help but notice that everybody I encountered was cheerful and friendly. The weather was turning from Winter to Spring and that added to the good feeling of the day.

I mused for a couple of hours about what was putting so many people in such a good mood, and then I saw my favorite mail carrier fall down. And after that, nobody was friendly anymore.

And I realized the rewards of a cheerful countenance. When everybody was cheerful and friendly, they were reacting to my happy face due to the weather turning. After that fall, I didn't wear a cheerful countenance anymore and the people I encountered weren't cheerful and friendly at all.

I read in the bible once that a man who has a wife with a cheerful countenance is truly blessed. That's not a quote but it went something like that. And I think many men subconsciously rate the success of their marriage, either at any given moment or in the long term, by the general appearance of their wife's countenance. And this subconscious rating will have a very big effect on his mood and on the general health of the marriage. Don't get me wrong, I think I have a very successful marriage but it might be because Mr. Right is used to my countenance by now. After all he's had 41 years to live with it.

So I think we should try an experiment. Some people just naturally look happy and cheerful (or wait, maybe they work at it) and some people have a countenance like mine (not happy and cheerful). I think those of us that don't naturally possess a cheerful countenance should try for a day or two to put on a REALLY, REALLY happy face and see what happens.

I'm going to try it soon and when I do, I'll let you know how it turns out for me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fu Manchu It Is!

I didn't get much response in my koi naming endeavor but fortunately the responses I did get netted some good suggestions.

I smile every time I think about the reason for Erin's suggestion of Fu Manchu. She felt that the whiskers on each side of the unnamed koi's mouth looked somewhat like a Fu Manchu mustache. The funny thing about it is that one of the most distintive characteristics of all koi are the whiskers on each side of its mouth. But I love the suggestion and the name is very versatile. We can call it Fu when we want to shorten it and if it turns out to be a chasee instead of a chaser, then she can be called Fufu. So the prize goes to Erin.

The next guy we have to name is (Isn't it funny that he looks completely different on each side?):

And the winning name is Cubbie! And the winning namer is Bacardi Mama. What a great name. Certainly Mr. Right loves it and I think it's perfect too. This guy definitely looks like he has a baseball cap on at a rakish angle and he has that cute little face that just looks like a Cubbie to me. And by naming him right now, he can get out of the house and into the pond a week sooner.

So let me introduce to you, Fu Manchu and Cubbie:

They'll be joining the guys in the big pond sometime this week. And thanks to the loyal readers who helped me out in this project. Erin and Bacardi Mama, please leave your prize choices in the comments section and I'll be sure that your selections are headed your way this week. (Since Beth will be adding more this week, take the time you need to choose the one you want.) Thank you so much for participating.

Next we'll be working on names for some of the big guys already in the pond. But that's a project for another day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Who could have foreseen it? Six beautiful children. I remember all the Mother's Days when our kids were young spent with my mother-in-law and my mom. What beautiful days those were. And I never thought ahead to the days when my family would spend Mother's Days with me. And it's a good thing too. Because I might have looked disappointed. I won't lie. I am taken aback at the way things have worked out. I never could have foreseen spending Mother's Day without a child in sight.

But it's happening and it's okay. I have one in San Francisco, the Detroit area, Louisville, Colorado Springs, Virginia, and Nebraska. Jobs, marriage, and the rare opportunity to just get away for a few days has caused this unusual scenario. So it gives me time to reflect on being the mother of these wonderful children. I read a letter in an advice column today from a mother to her children and it urges her children to tell her they love her now while she's alive. Later when they're at the cemetery is too late. She wants to hear it now. I thought there was a good message there but somehow it seems too sad and morose. Besides, I know my children love me. I know that despite the mistakes I've made (both real and imagined), they continue to be happy to have me for their mother. And that's why being the mother of six children that I adore and am proud of and the mother-in-law to all their spouses, grandmother to their children, and a great grandmother to one is enough.

This is what Mother's Day is about. It's a day to appreciate the incredible gift I've been given. No one's ever been given more.

I'm so very grateful for this day.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

You Capture - Expressions

This week I saw expressions at the Louisville Zoo. I think you'll agree that they represent a variety of emotions.

For more expressions or to join the party, go to Beth's Ishouldbefoldinglaundry site and see how much fun it can be!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Names and Musings on Paying Attention

The good news is that I saw Stealth and Alabaster swimming around in the big pond this evening and they came up to eat with all the big guys just like they'd lived there all their lives.

The bad news is that I'm not getting a lot of responses for names for the koi that I talked about here. I really would be grateful for lots of interesting, funny, or quirky names. I'd help you if you asked.

We went to Louisville this weekend to visit the baby of the family and her wonderful family. We had a short but sweet visit and it makes me wonder why we don't go more often even though it is a 4 1/2 to 5 hour drive.

We come home on I65 and Sunday, when we got near Lafayette, I65 was closed. This caused a big traffic backup, a time consuming detour, and all in all a very big inconvenience.

Then, on Monday, I did a Google search to see if I could figure out why we were SO inconvenienced. A mother driving a car Southbound crossed the medium and hit a mother driving a car Northbound. The Southbound mother's 5 month old baby died of massive head injuries because their car overturned and the mother was helicoptered to the hospital with the same type of injuries. The Northbound mom and her family suffered injuries but none so serious.

We will probably never know what caused this accident but a lot of us will speculate. Maybe there was a malfunction in the steering mechanism of the car, maybe the lady driving suffered a seizure or fainted, or maybe she took her eyes off the road for just a second or two.

And we've all done it! I wrecked my firstborn's car years ago because I was looking at a map. I had checked ahead and it was clear but I looked at that map just a split second too long and when I looked up I saw what I couldn't have anticipated..a car stopped in my lane on an interstate highway. I didn't have time to check if it was clear so I could change lanes and visions of a multi car pileup flashed through my head if I took the chance. So I braked hard to try to minimize the impact and I hit him.

So I've done it and I'll bet you have too. I'll bet you've texted while driving (very carefully of course), looked for a phone number on your cell, or reached back for a child's book, paci, sippy cup or whatever else was needed to keep that child happy. And you did it very carefully.

But you never know. So let's never, ever take our eyes off the road again..even for a second or two. It's just not worth the risk. Even though when we do it, we really don't believe there's that much risk at all.

And I can't believe that I complained about the inconvenience.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Did I Say Thursday? I Meant Tuesday.

Today Stealth and Alabaster joined their older and bigger cousins in the main koi pond. I think they're adjusting pretty well because I can occasionally see Alabaster swimming around like it's his job. As for Stealth, I haven't seen him since shortly after we turned him loose but as I explained here, he's invisible. I do hope he shows up later though as the murky winter water starts to clear.

Now it's time for a new naming challenge. I know yesterday I said we'd start a new challenge on Thursday but that's when I was still trying to think that Beth's You Capture was on Wednesday. So now I remember and I'm adjusting. That's important, right?

Anyway, back to naming. These guys won't be so easy because I don't think they have those features that lend themselves to names based on their appearance. On the other hand, maybe they'll be easier to name because we aren't bound by appearance parameters. What we are bound by, though, is the stickiness of the suggestion. As I explained in another post, if the name doesn't fit, it doesn't stick. It just disappears.

So here's a view (from both sides) of our naming candidate for today: I believe he would be classified as a Sanke but I'm a little unsure when it comes to designating the breeds.

So please, send some suggestions. The prizes are the same and include a selection from Beth's prints here. We'll be looking for input up until Saturday night. We want to let these two guys that are still in the house (the other will be named next week) join their cousins in the big pond as soon as possible and they can't possibly go until they have a name.

Thanks for much for your help!

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's A Name and It Will Stick

The name, however, is not Stick although that suggestion was quite funny and I'd never say that somewhere down the road we won't have a fish named Stick. It's just not going to be this one.

There's no doubt that if Mr. Right were choosing the name, it would have been Cubbie but he didn't get to this time. I'll let him choose a name sometime when the suggestions are few and far between.

I loved so many of the ideas and suggestions that it was hard to make a final decision so I'll just have to go with the one that's stuck in my head. And, that's Alabaster. I like it because it's descriptive and because if it turns out to be a boy, he can become Al and if she turns out to be a girl, she can become Allie. If it ends up real obese, it can be Fat Baster. You won't get that unless you've watched the second or third films in the Austin Powers series. If you haven't, then I guess you better go ahead and do that now.

An interesting fact is that it's very difficult to tell the sex of a koi and that sometimes the best method is to watch them during spawning season. If the fish is being chased, it's a girl. If it's a chaser, then you have your boy. I see some parallels here but I won't get into all that now.

Thursday I'm presenting a new guy that needs your help finding a name and this one will be a little harder. Of course, that could mean the prize is a little better. In fact, I can almost guarantee it.

In the meantime, I'd like to introduce you to the star of this post. Please say hello to Alabaster!

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Yesterday, for You Capture - Joy week, I mistakenly identified joyful looking Carrington as Erin. It was easy to do. I've never been good connecting new names with new faces and in this case, that was complicated by meeting too many people in too short a time all wearing identical shirts. That's my official explanation.

I can assure you that it had nothing to do with the sixties in musingsoftheSIXTIES. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a couple of cans of SPICY HOT V8 that I still have to drink.

Before I get to that though, I have to address my dilemma as described here. I really do need some help naming this guy:

Maybe I wasn't completely clear. It's a contest and the person that submits the chosen name wins a prize. The prize can be any of the following interesting items: a cheap car vacuum cleaner, a really cheap, odd digital camera, an iron, a football, a porcelain egg that opens or one of Beth's prints from her print shop.

I have to remind you, though, that Casper has already been submitted as well as Pearl, Blizzard, Snow White, Milky, Eggshell, Albino, Alabaster, Cloud, and Icy. These last nine submissions were via telephone from our beloved firstborn granddaughter and her husband. And they're making a pretty strong run for the big prize.

So submit your suggestions by Saturday night. After that, any suggestions become the sole property of the white fish and no prize will be awarded if that name is chosen.

Now...back to that V8.