Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nine Year Olds and Uzis

So the big news yesterday was that a nine-year-old daughter in Nevada was taken to a shooting range by her parents.  She was given a lesson on shooting an Uzi, the strong recoil of which pulled the gun over to her instructor's head, and he was shot.  He died later in a hospital.

Awful, awful!  This news is tragic.  So, so sad for the victim's family. Terrible.

Sad, so, so sad for the nine-year-old.  Probably no one told her that an Uzi will kill.  It will kill foe AND friend.  Did anyone teach her before her Uzi lesson, that Uzis are used in warfare?  Uzis are not used to hunt pheasant, quail, and dove.  Nor deer or turkey. Did the adults at hand just thrust this Uzi into the child's hand, and commence video-taping? 

Six years ago an eight-year-old boy died after accidentally shooting himself in the head with an Uzi at a gun expo near Springfield, Massachusetts. He was firing at pumpkins when the gun kicked back. 




Stop it. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Weary, Dearie

Here it is: middle of August.  The weather has been quite nice of late, so I can't complain too much about that.  I still have the AC going most afternoons (OK: all afternoons), but this is the first August in a year of Augusts (as opposed to a month of Sundays?) that I can venture outdoors longer than an hour or two, unless I arise at 5:00 am.  (That's what I was doing in the Lavender months of May, June, and July.  Lavender is all planted now, so I am sleeping in: 6:00 am)

The other day I had chance to flip the calendar over to the month of September to check a date.  And there it was:  September 22 at 10:29 P.M. EDT. 

Fall!  Autumnal Equinox!  That brightened my suntanned face (because, let me tell you, it does not matter one whit if, when you arise, you slather {and I have begun hating that term} your entire exposed body with sunscreen, the  ultraviolet rays are going to find a way, ever-so-sneakily, to turn that baby-faced face into a well-worn catcher's mitt in no time, no time a' tall.   I especially hate that I am red-necked this summer.  Even with sunscreen, popped collars, long sleeves, gloves, and a wide-brimmed sun hat (think Scarlet O'Hara), I have still managed to acquire a tan thanks to the Summer of Lavender.

But back to September.  Or even today: the public school systems began classes today.  I missed seeing the rural school bus passing our house this morning at 7:17 am.  This means either I missed the bus, or the two neighbor girls, aged 16 & 17, are driving to school on their own and the bus is no longer traveling down our road. 

And too, that Autumnal Equinox date just gave me hope.  Hope for even cooler days, and chilly - nay,  COLD nights in the near future.

Bring on the snow, I say.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Magical Mystery Tours

When our kids were young and I found time, I would call out, "Mystery Tour!  Get in the car!"  I wouldn't tell them where we were going.  It might be to get a strawberry limeade somewhere, or it might be to a kids' museum or an overnight at Aunt Barb's.  There was intrigue and anticipation and clues to be found.  Those were fun trips!

This weekend I had two trips to Kansas City.  The first one was with that Spouse o' Mine.  He had an annual check-up with a doctor in a new KC office.  I suggested that we use the GPS we borrowed from daughter Gillian while she was in Australia.  So he turned it on and put in the address.  Immediately Sheila (I think that's her name; my friend Paula has a cousin who works for Garmin and she (Sheila?) entered a contest a few years ago to become the "Voice of Garmin"  AND SHE WON!!  How funny is that?  I know the cousin of the Voice of Garmin"!) ...anyway: immediately Shelia started talking.  En français.  In French.  I commented that while French was fine, I thought English might be more useful. But English was not on the language list, and so we went with "en français".  After all, how difficult is it to comprehend "droit" and "gauche"?  We found our way just fine.

The next day I  was to pick up two (adult) kids at the airport in Kansas City early in the afternoon, and another (adult) kid later in the afternoon.  Inbetween the two fetchings, I turned on the GPS, typed in the airport code, and off we went, en français, to pick up kid #3.  It was to be a 20-something-minute drive from the Palza to the airport.  We drove and turned droit and gauche and droit and gauche, and finally crested a hill that took us to the airport.


Wrong airport.

Or, as I reflected as I spied the lone widebody jet out on the tarmac, "This is not the right airport!"  I dissolved into laughter.  I pulled up alongside the lone police officer, still laughing, and told him we were at the wrong airport.  I thought he would chuckle, too.  But he was all serious police business, and so the humor was lost on that guy.

He did, however, direct us - in English - as to the route to the "right" airport.  And we made it there thirty minutes before the plane did. 

I love Mystery Tours.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer. Summer. Summer.

There's not much to report on at the moment, here in late July in rural Kansas. 



The weather, they say, is mild (I am STILL hot).  We are watering gardens and such every day.  The farmers are irrigating every day.  I kind of take my lead from them: if they are watering, well, then, so am I. 

In addition to the 169 lavender plants I put in this summer (The Summer of Lavender), I also declared it the Year of the Perennial.  Whether it was the lavender field (weeding, tilling, making troughs with a shovel, planting on hands & knees, weeding, coddling on hands & knees) or my age (54?) or the heat and wind (definitely), I am tired of the annual Planting of the Flowers.  Annuals, being the operative word.  Annuals must be put in every year.  The positive of annuals is that they flower all spring, summer, and fall.  Perennials, on the other hand, need only be planted once (with luck & a prayer), and the bloom for a few weeks each summer. But, with luck & the prayer, they will hang around indefinitely and bring joy each and every summer to one's garden.

Sadly, I think it's the "54" thing.  My knees hurt.

But!  Enough of that nonsense.  In other news, I feel like I have been inundated with negativity of late.  So much so that in my morning prayer today, I asked God to make sure I am a Positive Polly each day.  I don't want to be a 54 year-old Negative Nancy. 

I just looked out the window to across the field where a man on a tractor is taking a huge drink of water from his thermos.  He is cutting/baling hay.  Interesting that he is making small square bales (what we always ask for ) as opposed to the big round bales more prevalent these days. Our hay man stopped by yesterday to tell me that he will not be cutting our hay this summer - too short, too meager.  This is not a concern of ours, really. When we had horses, we wanted grass in the pasture.  Now that we are equine-less, the hay man benefits from our field much more than we do. 

Here's a happy:  Two of our kids are winging back from Australia this week, after having visited the Aussie Grands and extended family for a month.  Gillian is heading directly to her new museum job in Colorado, two days after arrival (Jet lag, anyone?), and Graham will retrieve his car and head back to Washington state and commence his post-grad/post vacay job hunt.   All happy, all positive.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But inside is so delightful,
And since there's no place to go...
Please raise your glass to the guy who invented the AC.

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