Safe And Sound

For a week, now, Trooper has been gone. He will call me in, oh, 30 minutes or so, from Paige which will be my alert to heat the waffle iron. He’s coming in hungry, eager to get home again.

What a difficult and lonely week and him a mere couple hours away. I cannot imagine what Ranger will do…he’s been subdued and on guard. I bet he sleeps much of the day.

And I shall sleep more soundly tonight, knowing he’s home and I can return to my status as Private in this man’s army. (The cat outranks me, I’m afraid.)

Home Sweet Home!!

Home Work

When you tell people that you work from home three days a week you often get that look of envy. But it isn’t all that – and a peppah. No, it takes a great deal of will power to ignore the laundry, deny the dog, and to not surf Ravelry all day.

It’s difficult to concentrate when the cats want Second Breakfast and heaven help you if you are on a conference call when the UPS man pulls up – the only thing that will absolutely trigger Ranger’s defensive bark before the kind warning woofles. ‘Mute! Where’s the damn mute option?!’

This week I am home every day because the dog sitter is on a cruise and Trooper is otherwise engaged. (By this I mean that he is dog sitting elsewhere and playing Wii 18 hrs/day.) I usually enjoy my in-office days when I can avoid all housework and animals and actually get complex matters cared for. But today?

OK. Look at that cat with her tufty ears and poofy tail. And her belly? The down of baby ducks – try to not caress it. Tell ME how you tell her to just back the heck off and let me (you) work. Oh, I DO it. But the retribution is swift and heinous – the corner of the sofa is attacked with a vengeance. I won’t be surprised to find puke somewhere as she is known to do a mock-hairball routine to get you out of bed at 5a to feed her.

(The skate? Oh – um. Well, I need to get some outdoor wheels on them for that promised exercise and dog running thing. I’ll get right on that. Yeah, adding that to my list right now.)

And then there is this…

…which I promised myself I would have cleaned up and organized by the end of the week. You can ignore that knitting. I absolutely DO NOT knit on company time. Never. Nuh uh, no way.

Unless I am on a conference call.

Or waiting for Travel to book flights.

But otherwise never.

Anyway, it’s NOT all milk shakes and soap operas – though it is true that I’m in pajamas till 10 or so. Sadly, that will have to come to an end as I get my webcam set for the enhanced Live Meeting hooey that I have to start working on. Which also means a repositioning of stuff BEHIND me so that the camera view is all professional and anonymous.

It could be worse. I could be stuck back in Atlanta with The Sucker and the HR Rep From Hell. I remind myself of that all the time. It was miserable and this is nothing but nectar in comparison.

So, um, maybe it is all that, what with this further examination…but I still haven’t gotten the laundry finished!


I always suspected that all levels of our security systems had been…addressed by our enemies. Hell, it’s what I would do if I were they. So this article regarding the Ft. Hood report does not in the least surprise me. (H/T Grok Mistress)

No need to name the enemy. Why give people a clear target? And let us not start discussing a silly thing like an army that goes around sans weapons at their bases.

I am no longer surprised by any of it. Termites have gotten to the pillars of the ediface and it will collapse.

Live Through This

When I read of this and see the news there the following snippet of dialogue returns over and over.

Admiral Josh Painter: “This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it. “

All these small fires are burning, everywhere. And it will take only an ill wind to blow it into a conflagration that will not stop at the shoreline. It is, in miniature, our own possible future.

Good From Bad

It was…quite early in the year 2000. I’d thought we were moving toward renewal and a kind of hope. But I’d been very wrong. Flowers sent to an address not my own, the screen showed the truth – which was quite strange as it was perhaps the only truth that bank account ever gave me, now that I think about it.

Oh, I’d fallen – physically and mentally – and I had absolutely no reason to keep trying. A sliding door separated us as he spoke with her quietly on that deck. But it might as well have been all the night, all the sky, all of forever between us. I distracted myself with movies, my life only within them. I could don the characters and move, breathe, as though I were still living. But it was silent as the tomb inside.

I put this movie on that night – the wind still cool in late February. And I remembered the light, that golden warmth.

I remembered Texas. All the pain I’d left there in my youth didn’t dim the place in my mind. There were still gentlemen and skies and freedom in that place. It had always been a sort of…if only I could go back and forget what was there proposition. But my life had gotten busy and that thought was forgotten among the trinkets and parties, the acquisitions and finery. A silk purse from a sow’s ear, you might say.

I watched that movie, the slow and quiet courting, the mourning and the dying…and an ember in my heart caught wind and the smallest heat was felt. Enough to bring tears that choked and caught in my throat. I didn’t bother to hide them from him anymore. His penance, I reckoned. No more of that silent open-mouthed weeping in the shower of the months previous. He’d earned this and he’d get his fill of it.

It took a very long time to move past that heartache. I gave him an early release, nothing vindictive and hardly any demand. But what I thought was healing was really just a kind of…burial. I would not be that kind person. I would believe nothing and no one. Which allowed me anything. A terrible freedom.

But I’d still watch that movie now and then and wonder. Where was that gentleman and could I truly slow life down that way? Let it all go by with only a small town as company? I sometimes think that fate intervened because I was absolutely destined for tragedy.

He was late picking me up, a borrowed truck too dirty for his taste and his own too unreliable for this event. He had to clean it before letting me in it though I only learned that later. I can remember opening the door and seeing him in a casual button-down shirt, perfectly pressed jeans, and his quick donning of a cap as he came in. When he opened the truck door for me I was reminded of all that I’d surrendered. Every courtesy neglected for mere…satiation.

It was easy to like him and his slower tempo. I began to feel more settled inside and it took less effort to smile. The fireworks of July that year were not only in the evening sky. Under them I felt myself uncoil into his arms, accepting him as he was and for how he made me feel.

I would watch with pleasure his process each morning – the belt just so, the keepers precisely stationed, the boot jacks necessary for those damnably sexy motor boots. And I would wait at dusk for him to ride up, a warm towel in the winter to thaw his face of the icy rain. But he would talk, sometimes, of Texas. Of the base he patroled, the scenery he missed. And of the Rangers there – of their reputation as being the best of the best. He’d always sought out that level of performance in all he did. It would be the most natural thing to desire…

He had a book, One Ranger, and he had the DPS screensaver loaded. He was making choices. But it was a call to the author – his number listed – that settled it. “Well, we won’t come to Georgia to get you…” Show up, he meant. He had the packet completed in a few days.

I can remember when he came in that evening, the letter on the counter. I stood and watched as he opened it, his future crinkling in his own hands. There was a smile, a gasp, a look of uncertainty, and hope all at once. Oh, I’d told him it’d be okay, I can imagine him thinking. But what about now? When it was time to “gee or haw”? I suppose my own smile and tears answered.

It’s been such a long path to this time and place. I can hardly remember that pain of Before. Only the movie brings it back in pieces and the snippets fall into place and I can recall that subdued horror. But it only takes a country ride, some walking in pastures, to settle me back…

This place – it’s not simple. It is a state for people of wide consideration, generous latitude, and solid character. It will chew up and spit out those of weak constitution. They will leave it, in a huff. Or never come at all and give it a dismissive glance. In error. In vast error.

Smithville is just a bit down the road from me, now. I can hardly have imagined telling myself, sitting on that sofa those years ago, that I’d be able to walk those streets. That those small town squares would be a short drive away. It was such a dream to me, then. That gentleman, that old truck, and that old small town. And now that dream is real. It is mine. It is ours.

And I hope to hell I never forget it.

"But It Was On Sale!"

What can I say? I’m a fan of good lingerie – but then who isn’t? Well, if you are, now is the time to shop here. I know, I know – they cater to the smaller woman. But it is a terrific sale on some lovely finery and perhaps you know someone who might appreciate that small something?

Of course, if you are making the rounds of London in the next week or so, you might hie over to Rigby and Peller as they are also having a sale. An amusing aside – I can NOT remember the name of the shop unless I first recall the line from Out Of Africa – Berkley Cole tells Denys to have Tanne “…try the Rigby…”. Sad, I know.

Okay – so you are more of the Mountain Dew and Halo type…ThinkGeek is also clearing house. If you can’t find something there, you just ain’t right.

Getting Ready

A fair question might be “what in the hell are you doing these days because you aren’t blogging all that damn much…”

Staying busy…trying to fit in reads of the favorite blogs in between work and making plans. Plans can be said to include one of these acquired at an unseemly bargain at GT’s:

And that plan item might also have a companion that includes some of this (yes, I consider a clean butt as vital as Gold Bond):

Brigid has a great post up about being prepared – not going along in life as though the grocery was around the corner and the gas station always open. (She has another post tangentially related that I must make time for.)

In the down-time, I’ve been keeping my fingers busy with this sort of thing. I love the wee owls on this hat and need only to find the perfect buttons for eyes…

Such is life of late. Considering the weather here this month I am giving serious thought to more woolens and perhaps a flannel petticoat or two. (I’ve always thought that a long, heavy skirt was warmer than pants.)

We acquired some WinterSilks for Trooper so that he can stay toasty – they work quite nicely without movement-impeding bulk. I’ve been relying on my layers – smartly adding one piece after another as needed. And it has been needed! I just wish there was snow. If one is going to be this cold there really ought to be a payoff.

Instead, it’s all about soups and pots of beans with freshly baked bread. Practice, I tell myself. And I’m doing quite well, I think. Prepare, practice, perform.