Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another Reason "Y" I Love The Husband

Today's letter is Y.
For more Y posts,
please click here.

We could be walking, riding our bicycles, or driving down the way.

"I need to take a picture," I announce.

He does not yelp.
Nor does he yawp.

He waits patiently. 
Yawn. He does now and then.
He says he is just relaxed.

I am so fortunate.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Xenophile, Xenophobe

Today's letter is X.
For more X posts,
please click here.

Xenophile: A person who likes foreign people and things.

Xenophobe: A person who is very afraid, for no sane reason, of anything foreign and, in particular, of people of foreign origin.

These two words are right next to each other in the dictionary, at least in mine it is. Anybody else see the irony in that? Xenophobe coming after xenophile, that is.

Seeing the two words together made me think of a few things:

My uncle and aunt lived in California but they couldn't get married there. I don't remember what year it was, but, it was before the state anti-miscegenation law was repealed in 1948. They had to travel to another state to tie the knot. I wonder if going back home was their honeymoon.

When I was in high school, 40 years ago, a friend told me that he didn't think he was going to like me because he had heard some ranchers talk about my brother and me. One of the ranchers had said something like: "Those kids sure know how to hold up their race." My friend thought I was trying to be "white".  That line still cracks me up, as I only raced in gym class.  I still would like to know who those guys were.

A college professor, originally from Australia, excused the grammar errors in my senior paper because English was my second language. For once, I kept my mouth shut and didn't tell her that I only spoke English. But, there was some truth in her assumption. For the first 19 years of my life, I was translating daily in real-time in my head my parents' language to English as they spoke to me so I could understand what they were saying. Too bad, the switch didn't work the other way.

These lines from Shylock's monologue in the Merchant of Venice when he was asked why he would take a pound of flesh from Antonio, the merchant, if he does not pay back a loan. Antonio, remember, hates the Jewish people.
"... If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction."
Unlike Shylock, revenge does not interest me. That is being just as crazy as the xenophobe. Yes, it is.

Yesterday, the husband and I, who fortunately were able to get married in California, saw a very funny movie. Paul. I think it was written by a couple of funny, fun-loving xenophiles. You could almost say they were having fun with xenophobes. Be forewarned: It really is a silly movie.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's Up With Me

Hello Dear Gentle Readers,

I haven't been on vacation.  I wish, though.

I'm not sick. Knock on wood.

The mama and the husband are doing well. Thanks for wondering.

I've been blogging less because I'm not very good anymore at writing for work and writing for fun at the same time. I'm working on revisions for some career books over the next two years. If only blogging could pay the bills. So, alas, I'm down to blogging at least once a week—on Thursdays.

Take 25 to Hollister
As some of you know, I also do a blog about my home town. Take 25 to Hollister, for those of you who haven't seen it. I've stopped writing posts for that blog, too. But, not photos. Not just yet. I've challenged myself to post a photo every day. I'm up to day 61. We'll see how long I can go.

Another Book Reading Challenge

Yes. Call me nuts. Many already have and do.

This one is the annual Cozy Mystery Challenge. This will be second year. I couldn't resist. Cozy mysteries relax me after hours of dry research. So, why not throw in a challenge while I'm at it. This year, I'm aiming for the "I think I can do better" level, which means I shall read between 7 to 10 cozy mysteries. (Yes, I'll be cheating by reading some books that I'm doing for other challenges. It is allowed, however.)

Cozy Mystery Challenge 2011 is hosted by Kris at Not Enough Books. It runs from April 1 to December 31. If you'd like to sign up, click here.

So there you go. That's what has been up with me lately.

Until later, my lovely blogging friends,
Su-sieee! Mac

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Winter's End

There have been years where I've missed spring completely. I often started writing projects in late autumn or early winter that would have summer deadlines. I left the house mostly to go grocery shopping, run errands, and attend engagements. Not until May would I realize that I did it again. No spring. Sigh.

The month of March is one of my favorite months. To me, March is the essence of spring. Plants giggle "Hello" as they pop up through the ground. Trees sing with blossoms and new leaves. California poppies, blue larkspurs, and other crazily colorful wildflowers smile above expansive fields of grass. The yellow mustard laughs through the orchards. The hillsides shout green, green, green.

It was easy for me to forget when I lived in city settings with miles of concrete and canyons of buildings. And, as my freelance career took off, the rides and walks into nature became far and few.

It's much differently now since the husband and I have moved to the town where I grew up. Although it has developed over the years, there still is a lot of rural to it. So even though I may be hot and heavy into a project, such as now, whenever I go out, I am reminded instantly. Spring has come.

Yes, it has.

For more spring vistas of my area, please visit this page at my other blog, Take 25 to Hollister.

I am participating in Alphabe-Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by Jenny Matlock. Today is the letter W. You can check out other W posts by clicking here.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Vow

Today's letter is V.
For more V posts,
please click

"When I'm gone, you take care of your mother," the daddy suddenly said to me one evening. He did not wait for my response. He knew I would promise.

I was in my late 20s. At the time, the mama and I still clashed, mostly about what my life should be. At the time, I really didn't think I could ever live with her again. Several days was about all I could handle being around her.

Thirty years later, the husband and I have been living with the Mama for over seven years now.  It took at least the first four years for each of us to get the hang of starting to live together. That's life.  Nothing wrong with that.

The almost 90-year old Mama has slowed down. But only some. When she gets it in her head that she wants something done, she wants it done pronto, and she wants to do it by herself. Usually, she comes up with these projects while we're away.  For instance, one morning she asked that we help her with the lemon tree after we finish breakfast. I thought she meant to prune it. So, when I went outside to check out what needed to be done, I saw a heavy branch hanging precariously over the back fence. What had she done? The day before she had tied a rope to the branch then hacked away at it with her trusty machete. She's very wicked with that machete. That's the mama.

It is with the small things that I do for her that I realize how much the mama had taken care of me.

When I was a small kid I wandered outside a lot. Every so often, the mama would call to me just to see where I am and if I am okay. Every now and then, I stick my head out the back door to see where the Mama is. "Mama!" I call when I can't see her. When she answers, I walk away. When she does not answer, I go looking for her.

She used to take my hand just before we cross the street. I do that now.

She mixed chocolate in my milk to make sure I would drink it. That is how I doctor her milk so she will drink it.

She tied my shoes; I help her slip into hers.

Small things.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

United We Stand

Today's letter is U.
For more U posts,
please click

This message is strong in my head and heart today. So, I shall leave it to Aesop and the Brotherhood of Man to deliver it. 

The Four Oxen and the Lion
by Aesop
translated by George Fyler Townsend
(Public Domain Translation of Aesop's Fables Selections)

A Lion used to prowl about a field in which Four Oxen used to dwell. Many a time he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way he approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they fell a-quarrelling among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the Lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.
United we stand, divided we fall.