Monday, October 21, 2013

In the Land of Dreamy Dreams... Yikes!

I know, I know. I lied again. I’ve been really, really, really lax in updating this—so much so that I doubt if anyone even reads it anymore (if more than a few people ever did anyway). I’ll give it the good old college try from now on, but I can’t guarantee anything!

So, you ask—what has inspired you to break your blogging silence, Cathy? O, please—DO tell us!

A troubling dream.

A very troubling dream.

I’m going to toss this out there for any and all to interpret, so feel free to plumb the depths of my psyche, if you dare.

Here goes:

This morning just before the alarm went off I had a dream where I boarded a ferry, destination unknown except that it was departing from somewhere in Europe to somewhere else in Europe. I boarded this ferry with the full knowledge that terrorists were rumored to be lurking in the hold of the boat, planning to jump out and attack in mid-voyage. Not only did I somehow have prior knowledge of this rumor, but I had written about it in my journal under the pseudonym Grace Coffey (the name of the protagonist of my novel—the first draft of which has been finished for several years, languishing, waiting for me to revise it before sending it out to victims dear friends to read and review). I had this journal with me.

Now, in real life, I cannot imagine knowing that something like this is likely to happen and NOT telling someone about it, much less boarding the vessel on which the attack is rumored to occur! In the dream, I struggled with myself about whether I should take the chance or not right up until the ferry left the dock and it was too late. I even considered warning a former colleague with whom I’d developed a couple of rounds of leveled readers—she was also a passenger on this ferry, but if she had heard the rumor about the lurking terrorists, she didn’t let on to me.

Everything was pretty calm until about halfway through the voyage. Then, as expected, the terrorists emerged from the bowels of the ship armed with machine guns, and they started firing. I dove under a huge piece of canvas on the deck, and that’s all I remembered until I became aware that I was on dry land at the ferry’s destination, being “debriefed” with other survivors. My bag was missing and my journal with it, and the police were looking for a Grace Coffey—a person of interest who appeared to have had prior knowledge of the attack.

Uh oh.

In typical dream fashion, I spent a lot of time wandering winding corridors and climbing on timbers under the pier and such, trying to avoid the authorities, but eventually they caught up with me. I confessed that the journal was mine, that Grace Coffey was a pseudonym, and that, yes, I wrote the entry, but it was only a writing exercise—I had no idea where I had heard the rumor, or if I had heard the rumor at all. I might have just made it up and it was a coincidence that it really happened.

I was really in hot water!

At that point, I forced my dreaming self to wake up—a strange sensation for anyone who’s ever tried that. (It’s happened to me quite a few times—and the attempt is successful about half the time, I estimate.) About a minute later, the alarm sounded.

This is one of those dreams that just screams that it’s your subconscious trying to alert you to something—and I’m sure it’s not a warning to avoid ferries on which terrorists might lurk.

Ideas, anyone?


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Finally, an Update!

How to get a blog started up again?

Well, just put fingers to keyboard…

Yes, it’s been a long, long while. There are lots of reasons why I abandoned this poor blog for more than a year, but the most obvious are sheer laziness and procrastination. Well, I’d like to change that—let’s see if I can be more faithful in the coming months!

So, how to begin? Well, with Rhett, of course! He’s now 14 months old and the cutest little tyke ever. I will admit that, as his Nanna, I am biased in this opinion, but just check it out! Jeff calls this photo “Rhettmaninoff.”
I can’t help feeling that I’ve been treading water these last few years—there’s a lot I want to accomplish, but I just don’t seem to have the energy or the drive to get anything done. I have so many unfinished projects… I think I need to make a list and just knock those suckers out, one by one!

And the guest room! I mean, the junk room. I swear, when it comes to that room I feel like Sisyphus! Just when it seems almost cleared, the crap starts piling up, and we are back at square one again. (Note the passive construction—and yes, the crap DOES pile itself up; I have nothing to do with it!) Another project that I really need to get done and put behind me!

However, I have been consistent in one area, and that is playing the ukulele. I take the Uke Ensemble class at the Old Town School of Folk Music—been a student there for the last year and a half or more. It’s not the kind of class where you improve a whole lot, because it starts over from the beginning every eight weeks, and it is meant for all levels (which means you can join it even if you have never touched a uke before), but it DOES allow me play the uke and sing and put any troubles behind me for an hour and a quarter every Tuesday night, and that’s at least as effective as a couple sessions of psychoanalysis!

 I’m going to try to post something every week this year, even if it’s only a sentence or two.

I can do that, right?

Friday, December 30, 2011

It's Got to Get Better, Right?

So... having actually MET the insane deadline set for today with time to spare (but Jeff can tell you that the stress of that has taken a deep, deep toll), I decided to take a look through the "personal" folder on my work computer. It's a receptacle of photos (mostly of baby Rhett! Yea!), condo stuff that needed immediate attention the past year or so, blog entries written in Word (some of which made it to "print" and some of which did not), the itinerary of a walking tour of San Francisco I wrote up for a work colleague who was headed to my city by the Bay (anyone who wants a copy, just let me know--she gave it a rave review), and a "wish list" of things I hoped to accomplish in 2011.

I did not accomplish one of them. Not one.

True, some of them were rather lofty goals that probably require more than a year, but I haven't even attempted an opening gambit. And some of them are downright embarrassing, such as "Finish Rachel and Chase's afghan." This afghan is a wedding present. Rachel and Chase have been married for more than four years. Sigh. There is no excuse. None.

So, rather than resolutions and wish lists for this coming year, I'm just going to have to do better. At everything. No lofty goals--just living more productively. And I don't mean at work. I mean personally. There's so much to be done in that sector.



Monday, December 12, 2011

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful Boy

Just sharing this little wonder with everyone! His name is Rhett Hamilton Lindley, and he’s a little more than 5 weeks old. He was born 11/3/11 to my dear stepdaughter Rachel and her husband Chase. Jeff and I are planning to visit them and meet him before the new year gets too old. He’s just the cutest little guy!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm back... Not even sure I was gone!

So, I decided that trolls be damned! I was going to open the blog back up tonight. But when I went to do so, it was open already. Hmmm. The wonders of technology. Or perhaps my less than wondrous grasp of it.

First and foremost, though, I want to let everyone know that the pictures of me and of my friends and family that appear here are private property. They are not to be reproduced anywhere without my express permission--not on message boards, not on other Web sites, not on Facebook... you get the picture! (But you cannot reproduce it, capice?)

In case this doesn't make sense, I will explain. A message board troll--someone who claimed to be of the tea party persuasion, but who really, I think, was simply nuts (and not in a good way)--targeted me as one of her favorite liberals to hate and stalk. She pulled pictures of me from this very blog to post on the message board and deride. Now, I'm a vain kinda gal, and I don't post pictures of myself here on my OWN BLOG that I think are ugly or even less than flattering. So it was a shock to see a picture I kind of liked--the one from years ago where I'm modeling the sweet winter coat I scored at a North Shore rummage sale for $40, brand new, tags still on--captioned with exclamations of how ugly I am. Not that I care what a troll has to say... but it's a gross invasion of privacy, is it not? And not at all nice. So, if by any chance the troll in question reads this, she should know that I can track downloads, and I will take action if happens again. I'm a fairly laid back gal, but I do have limits!

Now, let's forge ahead and forget about the wide world of trolls, shall we?

I know that I've been woefully lacking in updates for lo, these many months, but I'm going to try to change that. So, for your viewing pleasure, I present to you the teeny architectural treasure trove of Hartman's Rock Garden in Springfield, Ohio.

Last October, on our yearly pilgrimage to my hometown of Waynesboro, VA and the incomparable Fall Foliage Festival, we made an overnight stop in Springfield, Ohio. There was not much to recommend the town (sorry, Springfield!), but this little roadside attraction was worth a look-see.

First off, it really IS in the back and side yard of a little house.

Built in the '30s, the place was maintained by the guy who built it and his family until 2007 when he died. The Kohler Foundation (bless them!) has taken over its maintenance and restoration.

The imagery ranges from the patriotic

to the religious

to the medieval

to the colonial

to the western

to the southwestern

to the inexplicable.

So if you find yourself in the vicinity of Springfield, Ohio, one fine day, march on over to the residential side of town

and enjoy!

Jeff and Cathy give it three cups o' joe!

Yanno, those cups o' joe were supposed to be aligned. Sigh. Yet another display of my woeful lack of tech savvy! Feh!

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10, 1969

My good pal Lee has requested more entries from the travel diary. While the entry for this date in 1967 is not all that interesting, I did find an entry from a family vacation to New York City when I was 13 (almost 14!). Once again, my comments are bracketed. Note the increase in verbosity and the lack of paragraphing:

Well, wouldn't you know it. Just when I get the hang of the subways and streets and know my way around [LOLOL! As if!], I have to leave! Well, this morning I got up and ate breakfast at Suttons. I had hotcakes and 1/2 & 1/2 coffee again. Then Mommy and Grandpa and Grandma went for a stroll in Central Park, while Johnny, Daddy, and I went to look for a Snoopy Astronaut doll. He [John] found it and we rode back on the IRT subway lines [sic]. It was very nice and clean and modern. Then we decided to find me a souvenier [sic: obviously, a couple of years have not been enough for me to master this word!]. We went into a card shop near our hotel and I got a mini-swinger [here is inserted a sketch of said item: one of those wooden frames with large ball bearings suspended on plastic wires so that when you pull one back and let it go, it hits the others and sends the ball bearing on the opposite end swinging] and some hand-painted, original cards. Then we 4 [?] went for a walk in Central Park. It was very pretty. There was a little baby boy with his nurse in the park and he was so cute! He was laying [sic] in the grass. Then he picked up a stick and was holding it when we we left. Then we went back to the hotel, packed, and caught a cab to La Guardia. The driver told us how to remember the streets. The streets go east and west. The streets going east were even numbers. The streets going west were odd. The avenues went north and south, staggering. [!] We arrived at the [Eastern] Shuttle terminal and I had a doughnut and a coke at the snack bar.

[Whew! A paragraph break!]

Johnny and Daddy had chocolate pudding. We loaded the plane and I got a window seat. When we started to ascend, it felt so cool! [This was my first plane ride; we took the brand new Metroliner train from D.C. to NYC.] We flew over the Unisphere from the 64-65 New York World's Fair [which the family went to in 1965]. We got into the clouds then and were between 2 cloud layers and all that was outside was white as snow. When we started to descend it looked like we were right on top of the city. It only took us 50 mins. to get to Wash, D.C. from N.Y. At the airport, I bought a book called "The Hobbit." I've wanted it for a long time. We got lost going out of Wash, D.C. [It was family tradition to get lost driving into and out of and within Washington, D.C.] This time we got caught in Arlington National Cemetery and also in a fort! We finally got out, without too much difficulty. Then we drove and drove and we ate at a diner in Warrenton [VA]. Boy! The food was good! I had the shrimp platter. Boy was it superb. We drove and drove, till [sic] about 7:00 we reached home. That ends this summary of my trip to New York City.

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Monday, July 04, 2011

July 4, 1967

Okay, okay. I know. I've been lax. More lax than ever.

I'll try to do better. I will. And yeah, Star Wars nerds. I know there is no "try." Heh.

The problem seems to be that, while I come up with lots of ideas for this blog, I've just been too damned lazy to sit down and put fingers to keyboard.

So today, I'm going to call in a guest blogger from the past. Long past? Yes, and my past.

Meet 11-year-old Cathy (so soon to turn 12!) as she reports faithfully in her diary the events of July 4, 1967. She is on a cross-country road trip with her parents, her little brother, and the family dog. My comments/annotations in brackets. Enjoy!

Today we started out thinking that we would reach Yellowstone tonight. Well, we didn't. We stopped for lunch and some shopping at Spearhead [Spearfish?], S. Dakota.

First we went shopping in a souvenier [sic] shop. Johnny bought a Mt. Rushmore T-shirt. I bought a giant Apache tear for Linda [who was, at that point, my best friend]. Then we went to another souvenier [sic] shop. I bought a cedar box. We went to a pizza parlor and we saw the man toss the pizza dough.

On July 1st we saw a butcher cutting up meat for the first time. [Ever?]

Then we went on. I wanted to see the passion play but I didn't have time to.

[As you can see, SOME of my interests have changed over the years. Obviously, shopping for cheezy souvenirs and poking around in rock shops are obsessions that have lasted a lifetime...]

We then went to a place in Wyoming and got some rocks and film. It was called the Alabaster Shop. We went on to the rockies and continental divide and an awful windy [i.e., winding] road. We stopped at a service station and got some rocks. I got Indian Money (aragonite) and some Apache tears.

[Does it surprise anyone that young Cathy grew up to ace the infamous Rock Test in Geology 101?]

We stopped at a place in Shell called Spence's Camper Court and when it got dark enough, we shot off fireworks. Others had firecrackers and scared the dog.


Happy Independence Day everyone! Hope we can all spend the holiday as carefree as an 11 year old on a cross-country road trip!

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