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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Yarrr! Up-Helly-Aa!

The Guizer Jarl and his Jarl Squad aboard the Viking galley they've spent the better part of the year meticulously building. Tonight they burn it!

Fire always ups the fun of any activity. I've always said that. I guess now I'll find out if it's true.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Good Grits!

I believe that this is a sign that This Georgia girl would fare well in the northerly Shetlands. They take their grits seriously.

Up Helly Aa

In Paris en route to Lerwick, UK to witness men in Viking costumes drink Scotch, march with torches and burn a galley. All while standing in blowing wind and rain.


Friday, January 4, 2013

My Soul is Weedy

I may have failed to mention that my soul is as weedy as my garden. Just like I ignore my garden until the weeds are taking over the vegetables, I often ignore the state of my soul until my vices demand that I take action. And I do. I pluck a troublesome interloper here and there and toss it away. But that seems to only make room for another to grow.

What I want is for my heart to be like one of my Christmas cabbages: Lush and full and a provider of good things. As it is, though, I lack the singular focus that cabbages have. They are content to be cabbages and to put all of their effort toward being the best, most robust cabbages they can (under the challenging circumstances of my garden).

I, on the other hand, am not happy to be only a cabbage. I want to be the beans and the tomatoes and the carrots and the onions and the spinach, too. In my anxiety over being pigeonholed into one role, I even sometimes find myself attracted to the perilous life of the weeds. And so I let them grow in my unfocused soul with the justification that even weeds have a place and a purpose.

But I have days when I long to live the cabbage's simple life. Alas, however, it is not for me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Rules for Living in the New Year

Perusing through a bookstore one Christmas, I picked up a volume titled The Complete Life’s Little Instruction Book.   Hoping to find inspiration for the pending New Year, and avoiding the inevitable unloading of my wallet at the checkout counter, I thumbed through it. 

I was seeking enlightenment. I thought that perhaps instead of making several lame resolutions that I'd never keep, I'd take some advice:

#2 Have a dog.  I would like to add get rid of the cat.

#70 Whistle.  But only in the dark and only if I am alone.

#74 Eat prunes.  And, while I'm at it, I'll throw caution to the wind and eat some beets too.  This is like jumping out of a plane with a parachute or climbing Mt. Everest, I just haven’t lived until I've done it once.  And, oh, the stories I will have to tell the grandkids.

#84 Forget the Joneses.  Unless, of course, they are kin and have some of those birthdays I'm supposed to remember or, worse, blackmail pictures from my bad-hair years.

#90 Refill ice cube trays.  In what decade was this book written?

#95 Never let anyone ever see you tipsy.  When I feel tipsy coming on, I'll excuse myself to the bathroom with my bottle of wine and not come out until I'm knee walking, hardly talking drunk.

#110 Never use profanity.  Until I've practiced putting the right emphasis on the words in private, first. 

#148 Learn to handle a pistol and a rifle safely.  No duh.  I’d hate to miss my husband and hit the dog.
#210 Observe the speed limit.  So that when the officer stops me for lead-footing it and asks if I know what the speed limit is, I know the right answer.
#246 Wave at children on school buses.  And say a prayer for the bus driver.

#264 Don’t gamble.  With the exception of the prunes and the beets, naturally.

#289 Find some other way of proving your manhood than by shooting defenseless animals and birds.  I hate to say it, but I think I’m getting advice for life from a girlie-man.

#401 Don’t ever watch hotdogs or sausage being made.  Any excuse to stay out of the kitchen.

#557 Take along two big safety pins when you travel so you can pin the drapes shut in your motel room.  Hubba.  Hubba.

#582 When asked to play the piano, do it without making excuses or complaining.  Well, okay, but only if everyone promises to listen without making excuses or complaining.

#921 Go to donkey basketball games.  ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
#1316 Never tell anybody they can’t sing.  Think how boring the American Idol auditions would be.
#1392 Don’t force machinery.  No means no.
#1449 Share the remote control.  No way.  If I ever get my hands on it, I’m not giving it back, even if I have to forgo sleep to win.

#1487 Hug a cow.  It’s in the book.  I swear.
#1546 Talk to your plants.  But if anyone sees you hugging the cow or hears you talking to your plants, or you tell others about your meaningful relationships with bovine and flora, brace yourself for a rocky year.