Wednesday, December 30, 2009

That chickadee feeling

So, when one's car is still being held hostage by an inept and inefficient parts delivery system, and work is hellacious, and one's patience is stretched to the brink by people who seem to operate under the assumption that their failure to plan should launch others yours truly into crisis mode, there's only one solution:

Channel St Francis of Assisi, and feed the birds.

The downy woodpecker and the mourning doves kept their distance, but my beloved little chickadees hopped right onto my outstretched hand, and picked up their sunflower seeds in the swiftest, most delicate fashion.

The birdies have already got that whole "channel of thy peace" thing down cold. If only we humans could follow suit.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why'd they have to go and make everything so complicated?

On my way into Target yesterday, I picked up a "lucky" penny from the asphalt.

Big mistake.


Okay, not so huge, really, but I'm blaming the penny for an annoying cascade of events.

I had gone to Target to pick up a bag of Hershey's Kisses, with which I planned to make some Peanut Butter Blossom cookies. Simple, right? Actually, it wasn't that simple. It took a good five minutes, standing in the candy aisle, to find a simple bag of unadulterated Hershey's Kisses.* They were buried amidst the various combinations and permutations of Kisses which the purveyors of those fine confections have foisted upon our collective sweet tooth: Cherry Cordial Kisses, Irish Cream Kisses, Kisses filled with the nectar of the topmost blossom of a rare flower which blooms only once every 42 years, and only on a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse.**

But find them, I did, and onward, I went, back to my beloved and trusty Amadeus. Amadeus is looking particularly spiffy these days, having just been outfitted with a set of Blizzaks to charge through the North Country's frequent snows. The symphony that is Amadeus' start up procedure began, and then was rudely interrupted by the off-key alarm signal, informing me that there was an "Air Bag Fault." Umm, okay .. that was rather unexpected!

I secured an appointment this afternoon at the local VW dealership. I brought my knitting, for even though I was confident that this was a minor problem involving a loose wire, I've learned that a stitch in time saves Rosie from a psychotic episode when dealing with the testosterone-soaked environment that is a car dealership.

After about two inches' worth of progress on the latest sock project, I was informed that the problem did, indeed, originate from a loose wire under the driver's seat. "It should only take about half an hour to fix it." I welcomed this as good news .. perhaps I could get all the way to the toe of the sock at this rate. As The Yarn Harlot says, I don't knit because I'm patient. I'm patient because I knit.

I didn't quite get to the toe before I was informed that, because Amadeus is nearly brand-spanking new, the VW dealership doesn't have the necessary, new-fangled "harness" to secure the damaged wire. Oh, and it won't be available until next week. Oh, and for safety reasons, VW could not let me drive Amadeus until this problem was fixed.

Breathe in .. breathe out .. knit a few more stitches ..

To their credit, the fine folks at VW assured me that they would provide me with a rental vehicle for the duration of Amadeus' convalescence. Oh! Okay! I said brightly. Can you get me a Beetle?

Ummm, no, that's not very likely, said the purveyor of the bad news.

Still brimming with the optimism which came with the aforementioned "lucky" penny, I said, Well, I guess that's okay. Just as long as it has snow tires.

Ummm, no .. they're all-season radials. But this will be a really nice, top of the line rental.

Yeah. I could see where this was going. More to the point, I could see where I wasn't going. Did I mention that this is my first Christmas off in three years? And that Amadeus, with his trusty Blizzaks, was going to take me and mine to visit my parents?

Still imbued with the buzz of serenity that only a few hours of knitting can provide, I asked if this top-of-the-line rental was equipped with heated seats, which are right up there with good snow tires in my prerequisites for civilized winter driving.

Jaws dropped in the testosterone-soaked waiting room. Geez, you don't want very much, do you? said one dude.

Actually, I don't think my expectations are particularly high. I spent many, many night shifts up to my elbows in fecal material - and I mean that both metaphorically and literally - in order to be able to buy Amadeus and his spiffy new Blizzaks. I expect a new car to function properly. And call me crazy, but when glitches occur, I expect the dealership to actually have the requisite parts to repair the problem in a timely fashion. At the very least, I would like them to join the 21st century and become familiar with the wondrous invention known as FedEx Overnight Delivery.

If that makes me a diva, so be it.

And this diva is going to slap one of these stickers on Amadeus when he comes home:

*Side note to the folks at the helm of the Hershey Chocolate company: A Kiss is just a Kiss! Stop complicating things!

**I miss Douglas Adams!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I don't even like golf ..

.. yet I find myself strangely obsessed with the Tiger Woods drama.

I'm also obsessed by the public obsession with this case, if that makes any sense.

Here's a guy who has everything, and he risked losing it all for some cheap thrills. What could have possibly driven him to step out on his beautiful wife? Why would he betray the mother of his children? How could he be so monumentally stupid?

His car wreck is, well, like a car wreck! I don't want to know any more tawdry details, but I can't help clicking on each link which breathlessly announces the latest dirt in this scandal.

At some level, I think all humans are pre-wired to do monumentally stupid things. I've been thinking about this quite a bit of late. The other day, I took care of a relatively young stroke patient. At this point in time, the patient suffers from both expressive and receptive aphasia. In other words, words fail him. His road to recovery will be long and rocky, and I feel deep pathos for this man and for his family. Their lives have been turned upside down.

On the day that I took care of this patient, my workload was blissfully light. I was able to accompany this man on a much-needed walk up and down the corridor. At the end of our ambulation session, the patient said something to the effect that he wished he could have picked up a carton of cigarettes on our walk.

~~~~ insert face-palm gesture here ~~~~

I don't know if smoking was the sole cause of this man's stroke, and it doesn't matter at this point, anyway.

But for those of us who take the ability to walk and talk and function independently for granted at this time .. there's a lesson in there! Be grateful for each unimpeded breath, and be really excellent to yourselves and to those whom you love.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

As I stepped out to catch the beauty of the sunset, fading behind the pines ..

.. the silence was broken by the honking of a skein of Canada geese ..

.. soon the sky was filled with thousands of them ..

.. gliding gracefully into the cut-down cornfield, where they will rest up for a while before continuing south.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Transient beauty

On a dreary and stormy Halloween morning,

the rising sun broke through the clouds,

and graced us with a rare rainbow against the barren western horizon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Well, that's rather bold

Something caught my eye as I glanced out the window at the top of our stairs just now.

And by "just now", I mean middle-of-the-afternoon, broad daylight ...

Hello there, Canis Latrans. I often hear you and yours howling in the night, or yipping in harmony with the sirens of the local volunteer fire department. It's a little unusual, to say the least, to see you boldly strutting through the field adjacent to my property. I appreciate your beauty, but please stay over there!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Optimus Prime at Zoo Boo

I don't think I'll ever be able to get him out of this costume!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

He Otter Be In Pictures!!!

That's my kid! My picture of William and the otter is on the cover of the latest issue of Zoo Scoop, which is the quarterly newsletter of the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park!

What a difference a few minutes can make

The dawn's first light ..

.. yielded to the mist ..

.. which succumbed to the brilliance of the September sun.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Yes, that's a pair of size 2 jeans with a tummy control panel, on the rack at our local Target.

Seriously, Target? Are you actually trying to convince women who can fit into a size TWO that their physiques are still not adequate, and must resort to a 21st century built-in girdle to suck it in? Seriously?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Misty September Sunrise

the honking of geese
floats over the morning mist
farewell before flight

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Another touch of gold at the end of the summer

a glass of chablis
catching the last beams of light
summer meets autumn

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The last golden days of summer

The hummingbirds have been a constant presence this summer,

dashing about, then resting in the spruce tree outside my window,

always taking my breath away, with their delicate beauty and ferocious strength.

But the Full Corn Moon announces that summer, and the hummingbirds, will leave us soon,

And fill our lives with a different kind of brightness.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Parenting tip of the day

When your temper-throwing toddler is using his grandfather's cane to whack the merchandise at Sam's Club, forcing my elderly parents to jump out of the way lest they end up needing a cane themselves, it isn't cute. You most certainly do not have the situation under control. And yes, I am absolutely justified in throwing you my iciest, most judgmental stare.

Deal with it.

Someday, you'll thank me.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Dream of Butterflies

I am blessed to have a 12 year old son who, among other things, loves butterflies as much as I do. We spent a glorious morning at the Niagara Falls Butterfly Conservatory today. My son could easily identify all of these flying jewels. At the moment, after a long day of driving, I am hard pressed to do so.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Irony Alert!!!

Well, let's see what came in today's mail!

Oh, goodie! Coupons!

Let's check them out!

We've got a coupon for 10% off all food and non-alcoholic beverages at the local Applebee's. Hmmm. The diligent folks behind "Eat This, Not That" give Applebee's a big, fat "F" for nutrition. Let's file that coupon in the circular file, shall we?

What's next? Ooh, it's a coupon for Texas Roadhouse! Specifically, it's for a free "Baby Blossom" with the purchase of two entrees. Hmmm, take a perfectly innocent onion, bread it and deep fry it into oblivion? No thanks. Little coupon, you may join your friend in the circular file.

And finally, a discount coupon for Ninety Nine restaurant. Never heard of it, but it looks like yet another chain specializing in breaded, deep fried, additive-laden crap. Let's make it three for three in the toss pile.

The irony in all of this is that these coupons were sent by our .. wait for it .. our HMO!!

I think they're trying to kill us with kindness. Either that, or they're in cahoots with big pharma. Maybe both.

The best sights pop up when you're not looking for them

It was my sweet and gentle son, so often off in his own little world, who drew my attention to the family of sparrows who live just outside the cougar pavillion at the zoo. I would have completely missed these beautiful moments - and so many others over the past twelve years - if not for my quirky and beautiful little guy.

Monday, August 03, 2009

It's Open Letter Time Again!

Dear D-Bag who just roared down my road on a noisy crotch rocket, thus shattering the early evening tranquility and harshing on my mellow:

I'm terribly sorry about your tiny willy. My spam folder tells me that there's a pill for that now.

Oh, and please sign your organ donor card.

Love and cupcakes,

Miniature Rose

Sunday, August 02, 2009

April showers ..

.. and May and June and July showers ..

.. still manage to bring August flowers!