Saturday, August 05, 2006

Fresh! Hot!


CNN is reporting that the US and France have agreed to a draft UN resolution to end the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel. What took them so long? Not enough death and destruction?

Has anybody heard any reports that the US government has called for a cease fire, aside from the pending UN resolution? The last I heard, we were saying something to the effect that we respected Israel's right to defend itself.

Yield Sign

Sometimes nature has a way of slowing you down when you need it. My weekend plans might be on hold because I'm exhausted. I was fragmented at work yesterday. It was a bad hair day, and my face is kind of splotchy - I think I'm allergic to something. I fell asleep right after dinner, and I woke up a bit after midnight feeling generally lousy. Maybe I'll pack my husband off to the barbecue today. That would allow me to spend a quiet day at home alone. Reading, sipping tea, enjoying the garden - mmmm, sounds nice!

I'm going back to bed now. Maybe I'll feel different about it when I get up later this morning. Maybe I'll feel like baking a pie and heading out to a barbecue. Maybe.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Whoever thought we'd be glad for a forecast high temperature of 93 because it meant a cooler day? Remarkable!

We have a barbecue with friends on tap for this weekend. Yet another barbecue! I'm thankful for the end of each summer because I'm ready to forswear barbecues for awhile. It should be a balmy 87 degrees this time around. I know that's a vast improvement over the 97 degree temperatures we've had for the last several days, but I've never been one to sit out in the sun (I burn, blister, peel and freckle, but I don't really tan), so 87 sounds high to me. I'll find a shady spot, and I'll pack plenty of sunscreen.

I have managed to take the edge off of my glow-in-the-dark skin with Jergens Natural Glow Lotion. While I wouldn't qualify as tan by most people's standards, at least I won't be guiding ships into harbor when I go to the beach.

In spite of the type of gathering, I'm looking forward to seeing my friends. This is an annual event with a group of guys my husband has known since childhood and their wives. Of course, that means we're going to hear about their youthful exploits all over again. I seriously don't know how these guys made it to adulthood without death, dismemberment or incarceration. We'll hear the same highlights and the same squabbles over details we hear every time this group is together (several times a year). That's OK. The ladies can withdraw to another table to discuss modern history.

I've been asked to make a sour cream apple pie for the affair, and I will oblige. I'm glad all over again for the lower temperatures, since running the oven in the extreme heat is not my idea of a good time! Yes, we have air conditioning, but, still, the idea baking anything when it's close to 100 degrees outside is anathema to me.

So, what's on for your weekend? Anybody have super plans to make the rest of us jealous? Right now, I'd probably be most envious of the person who said they were going to stay home and read a good book!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

In Her Element

Zelda at Garden of Eden posted about the allure of rain today. I love the rain. I don't mind getting wet, and I love the rhythm and freshness of it.

My favorite element, however, is wind. I love a strong, steady wind that washes over me. In Ireland, we visited Inis Mor on a windy day. The ferry ride to this island off of the coast of Galway was rough, what with the troubled waves of Galway Bay and the powerful winds that came with the day. We climbed Dun Aengus and stood atop a cliff, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean with no walls no fences no guards to interfere with the view, all in the wild, wild wind. One does not go quite to the cliff's edge on Dun Aengus; to do so could be quite perilous.

Maybe I connected with my Celtic heritage while I was there. Inis Mor is a hard, bleak place, with a rugged, determined beauty. I imagine in that place a Celtic maiden of a century past, with a hard life and few pleasures. A powerful wind would seem like a portent, like a god bearing strength and power. No wonder the Holy Spirit is compared to a mighty wind.

I imagine my maiden standing near the edge of that cliff, a dangerous, exciting place to be. The deep teal of the roiling waves below match her Irish eyes. The wind assails her, enveloping her while passing over her and through her, eliciting exhilaration to her very core. Alone on that cliff she would turn her face to the sky, lift her hands palm first into the air, and let wave upon marvelous wave of wind flood her senses, commune with her soul.

I must confess that in unguarded moments I am that maiden. I cannot help myself, I must turn my eyes to the sky, open my arms to the wind. The wind releases me, blows the dust from every forgotten corner of my neglected spirit and sets my restored essence free.

We've lost our connection with the elements, and we are embarrassed to speak of our reactions to them. What a waste, what a shame. Rather, we seek sophisticated pleasures and unnatural highs, things that serve to divorce us from the boldness of the wind and the cleansing of the rain. It is good to set contrived indulgences aside from time to time to allow elemental delights to take hold once again.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


August 1st already, and September will be here before you know it. Big changes are coming over the next several months. Some of my very best friends at work will be moving to a different office soon, leaving Zelda and me outnumbered in the lunchtime melee (it can truly be an uncomfortable situation) at our office. Zelda, maybe we will have to seek out an alternative lunch site.

A massive reorganization of our services is on tap for this fall, and the entire office is expected to change locations late in the year. The reorganization will probably leave me with a change of supervisor (boo), making life much more complicated. The move will put me closer to home, which is a good thing, but I'm not so sure that the new location will be as convenient for running errands on lunch break and that sort of thing.

I'm relatively philosophical about most of the changes (though I'll really miss a couple of friends). We will adapt, and the new situations will become normal to us once we establish new patterns. I'm a little bit concerned about the possible layout of the new office, since the folks in nearby cubicles (dratted world of Dilbert that we work in) have a huge impact on the quality of your workday. Oh, well, plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose is especially true in bureaucracies.

Monday, July 31, 2006


Here's a little antidote for the extreme temperatures we're experiencing right now. This photo was taken in September of 2004. It is a picture of a section of the Hubbard Glacier in Yakutat, Alaska. Wish I was there now!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Tonight is surely the buggiest night since prehistory, nay, since the dawn of time. It is in my backyard, at any rate.

I just took the oldest hound out for her evening constitutional. She can't see anymore, and she can't navigate the two steps from the door to the ground, so I must carry her out into the yard. I can officially report that all of the insects have left the woods tonight to congregate on my back door. It's a veritable bugs' ball out there, and the toad patrol is missing in action once again! Not that they'd be very effective at climbing the door to get to these big bugs, but any help would be appreciated. I suspect the toads have been overwhelmed and carried away by the masses of giant insects creeping and flying around out there. I had to use a broom to sweep off the door before I could open it to come back into the house. The other dog had to go out, too, but he was on his own. I sent him out unescorted. He can make it down the steps on his own, so no way in tarnation was I going out there with him.

In spite of loving nature and the woods, I am an insufferable coward when it comes to most insects. I love my dragonflies and lady beetles, and I can tolerate most other creepy crawlies when they keep their distance. When they invade my space, I cry for mercy. I hope I didn't wake the neighbors.

If it were not for the potential for insect invasion, I could probably live alone in contentment. As it stands, if I lived by myself, I'd probably be found mummified in a corner some day, kept at bay by an errant wasp or spider. So now you know the quality I value most in a man: the ability to efficiently and effectively eliminate any and all insect visitors from the household as soon as my first scream for help is issued. A willingness to handle all outside tasks (like taking the dogs out) on buggy nights is a highly desired optional feature (one that wasn't functional tonight). Quite the job description, no?

What Women Want

Pax Romano posted today about Mel Gibson’s most recent public relations SNAFU. Mr. Gibson was arrested for driving while intoxicated. While in the process of being arrested, he is alleged to have made anti-Semitic and sexist statements.

I might not be able to speak for all women, but I know what I find sexy. This isn’t it. I confess to having skipped a few heartbeats for Mel back in his Lethal Weapon days, but sorry behavior and small-mindedness are too ugly to be outweighed by a pair of pretty blue eyes. While I believe in forgiveness (he has apologized), it’s hard to make a fallen sex symbol sexy again.

I am fortunate to know several good, kind and intelligent men. I think it’s the blessing of middle age to be able to see into a beautiful heart and love it. The wrapper is appealing because what’s inside is so attractive.

The title of this post is What Women Want. Well, to me, the most attractive things a man can possess are an intelligent mind, an interest in the world, and a willingness to consider his companion’s ideas while sharing his own. Discussions of religion, politics, travel, literature and world events are far more intriguing than flexed muscles, and a kind heart trumps everything, at least in Merci’s world!