Catastrophic bees in tees Seek the edges of green lawn, While night workers, oblivious, Try sleeping behind drapes Of white noise. Teams of green clad Buzzing monsters attack, Tool driven, belt drives engaged, Soon replacing one buzz For an informal hum. They are a constant. A suburban flock Outnumbering locusts And Grasshoppers, snails, Slipping competition for wages. Grooming nature, using comb, Scissors that are automatically and Mysteriously changing in form It rained, grew, and in growing Fertilized the minds of the Suburbian. Nonsense you might cry, But you'll never be heard. Seen and unseen as they mow, Edge, and disappear Rush hour will never see their like. The grass wars have begun. Who is the cheapest? The fastest? The meanest? The honest? The overpriced? All on paper, awaiting signatures Of concession. Sign here, please.
We spent over 5 hours and 56 minutes watching the Minnesota Twins and the Washington Nationals spare on Sunday. In what Dusty Baker called the absolute weirdest game ever he ever managed, the Nationals managed to come out on top. Both teams were running low on players. The ninth inning save goes to Bryce Harper who said he’d hit a homer and tie the game, which he did. The first seven innings go to Steven Strasberg, for incredible pitching. Then Petit came into the game and held on for more pitches than he had pitched for many years. The out fielding was outstanding. Werth, denDecker, Heisey, Taylor all made significant catches. Add a glorious actor named Perez and and his acting and dancing ability, two catchers named Ramos and Lobaton, speed demon and shortstop Espinosa, Murphy, Drew, Papalbon, Rendon, Zimmerman, and a partridge in a pear tree and you have us sitting on the sofa. Yup, me the eternal optimist and my husband, king of gloom and doom. It’s good to believe in a team when they win. It’s good to believe in a team even if they lose. But it is priceless to have such a good competition between two tough teams and yours wins by a squeak. I was exhausted at the end.
There was some savvy decision making. I am pretty sure that Dusty didn’t know that Perez hadn’t hit a ball since 2010. I’m pretty sure he was afraid that he would have to use Trienen who had played two days before. He was wise to switch out the catchers. How do those guys keep from having knee cramps all night long after a game? Dusty picked and chose who did what carefully, and having put our all on the table, created a memory that will be on MASN TV all next winter. I won’t forget the game.
May I add that Dusty Baker’s philosophy of life is making baseball “fun again.” His way of enthusiastically pumping up the players, of believing in them, and of keeping his word are new to Washington. I hope he stays for many years. We need someone like him. Oh, the keeping the word, in case you hadn’t heard, was telling Bryce that he could since hit, but because he had the day off, that was ALL he would be allowed to do. Barry Bond had gone into a game with 16 innings in the ninth, and he played until the win was secured. So much for his day off. Funny he had mentioned that to Bryce. I hope he buys a lottery ticket. His words, “If man can move a mountain, surely man can move a baseball.”
Oh, we saw you Ben Revere and your gnome outfit. You keep coming. You are our lucky gnome of the year. I can hardly wait to see you as a bobble head. The hat, the hoodie, the scarf, the hope that you kept going with your being willing to be silly and support your team even when injured. Nice going. Effort noted and best wishes to getting 100% well.
I was glad the Twins won their game by a squeak in the ninth last night. They deserved a good win too.
Fifty-eight years old, and somehow over the last four years, I changed my spots. I love baseball and I understand why we need it. We need something to believe in. We need the normalcy of a tradition that started somewhere around 1890. As long as we can step away from our problems and be part of a great effort, things have to get better.
Sports reporter, Ann White, heading back into the real world.
I have difficulty dealing with the concept that compassion and charity are a sign of weakness. Watching the pundits play with the future of the American public has given me no small amount of distress. It isn’t the first time in US history that this has happened. Our government tends to work while holding onto the pendulum of widely varying public opinion. This pendulum keeps swaying back and forth, back and forth, until someday it will stop. Stopping will be at a median point on the swing. Being in the middle without the influence of left or right will mean that the public no longer cares.
There is a deep dissatisfaction these days. Everything seems tainted by cruelty. People rally so that they can control others. Insurance companies have a tightly held fist on making sure they are first in line for profits, and last in line for protecting the rights of humans. There are loopholes for everything. News reports flood the airwaves with non-essential cute news stories alternating with the current murders. Rarely an in-depth researched piece on economics from an impartial source. Foreign news lacks. We are Euro focused if anything and even that is rare, unless you wanted the cute robe that Harry’s young son modeled for Mr. and Mrs. Obama. The Middle-East news is carefully screened so that the watcher won’t be offended. And Asia, what is going on in Asia. Poor VP Biden with all of his hope for the improvement of the world. He works well with Kerry. We only get the complaints about what they are doing.
Bernie Sanders was subjected to a Facebook whiteout. So many trolls got on the site and spammed that the sites were temporarily blocked. Even when the administration of Facebook reviewed what had happened, those doing the spamming weren’t punished for hacking a feed. People are being hired just to be mean on the internet. GoldmanSachs is feeling oh so good about the increase in profits they are going to get. Trump will fire Congress (someone should tell him it doesn’t work that way.) Cruz will step all over the work the LGBT community has put forward. Fear of going to the bathroom reigns in North Carolina. “A safety issue” is proclaimed about which bathroom a transgender person should use. “We need our privacy” is shouted. My answer to that is, “SHUT THE PARTITION DOOR.” Yes, I yelled it. We stand in line for hours at women’s bathrooms all over the US. The doors to the toilets give some privacy, that is if you shut them. I don’t know how someone transgender could be a danger while washing his/her hands. People seem to just want to hate. Hate travels. The brain likes stimulus, and some people like the rush they get from fear or hating or blaming. They feed off of it. They consume it like chocolate, and then blame some more.
I don’t know how to fix this problem. As long as people are interested in anything other than the overall health of this nation, it’s going to get worse. Simple compassion, sharing, helping life others, ending the blame game and facing issues head on are so important to us as a nation. Ben Franklin must be spinning in his grave. John Adams would blink and ask if you read that document that the Great Little Madison composed. You might remember it as the Constitution of the United States. I’ve read every word of it. There is nothing about using public office to push a religious agenda. In fact, it’s the first amendment for a reason. Separation of church and state allow for individuals to believe in their form of religion without being dictated to by the government or other religions. Madison was governor of Virginia, the first of the states to push through a non-discrimination bill. He had married Dolly Madison, a Quaker. They were from different religions and under the old colonial law, they would have been fined a hefty amount and faced jail time. They even reigned in their own son when he put profit ahead of public service. A town named Woodbridge grew where that bridge that he charged hefty tolls to cross. Your only other option was to hire a ferry across.
Washington’s genius was in getting people to work together. Diverse people whom he respected. He established US 1 as the first highway, found money for canals, stopped armed insurrection with his ability to speak to the common man as an equal. Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, Adams Jr, the Roosevelts, Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, Clinton, and yes, Obama all have one thing in common. When they acted, they were doing their best so that people like me could grow, be safe, be involved, and have the moral fortitude to say, “Enough is Enough.”
Enough IS Enough.
When enough people get hurt by the actions of our politicians, maybe they will do what Jefferson recommended. “A little bit of revolution” can be a good thing. That revolution needs to happen on a national scale in the voting box. Our voting needs to be changed back to the inclusive rules that we fought for throughout the history of the country. Affirmative action isn’t a bad thing at all. The right to get to the point where you can stand out needs to be returned, instead of dumping debt on people who went to school to become better at dealing with life. Our children have personal debt. To scream and shout that they should have known their place is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Oh, hard science majors are in demand again. But those in the so-called soft sciences or administrative area are still suffering from under-employment.
If we could only be paid like pro-athletes, and have the power of judicial review returned on the same time table as they use in baseball games. Wishful thinking. Someone needs to get that candidate for Supreme Court up and running. To hold us hostage is criminal.
This writer write’s real poetry! Go meet her!
My clothes, bunched in a pile Hiding inside wicker, A fragile basket After a cleansing wash And a bout with tumble dry Wanting to be rid of all dirt Smells, and experiences Of the last week Or any …
Source: Seeking The Ultimate Mismatch
This is a writer who writes of reality and has the same style I have. I love this.
The Nursing Home
A thin drab youth with brown lanky hair slipped into a dark room leaving the door partially open. Someone slept noisily on the full-sized bed. He coughed lightly.
“Boom boom, boom boom,” came a muttering from under the faded quilt. “Boomboom, that’s what it sounds like. Listen, boy, you can hear it if you listen.”
The boy turned his head to one side and listened. There was quiet.
“I don’t hear anything, grandpa.”
“Then you’re not hearing well. I can hear it, like a man with limp or a wooden leg. Boom boom, boom boom,” the voice snarled. “I don’t even need to open my eyes to tell he’s coming for another attempt at my treasure. Listen. Boom boom, boom boom.”
“Grandpa, I think that’s your heart. Remember mom told you not to listen to your heart?”
“Boy, if you start listening to that woman you’ll never be a proper dragon. You’re still a sapling, an odd body, not fully grown and your breath smells like that nurse here. Listen.”
“Grandpa, I come every day, even when it rains and we never see a man here.”
“I showed you my watch, boy child. Gold it is, gold like the tears in my eyes when you deny your heritage. You are descended from dragons, from me and my ancestors. Your mother doesn’t count. She’s a frightening woman, not a proper dragon woman. Shh, someone’s coming. Hide on this side of the bed.”
The boy scurried to the window sill side of the room. He stood quietly watching the door. He wasn’t afraid of his grandfather, but the nurse was another thing all together. With a scratching sound of over starched cotton, the door was thrown over and the light turned on.
“Woman, turn that light off. You know it bothers my eyes. Have you no respect for age?”
“Now, now, dear, how are we after your nap? Oh look, our little friend is here to see us again. I do hope he’s being good. Do you want the red gelatin today or the green?”
“I don’t want any gelatin. It’s nothing but sugar. Grandson, did you know that they used to make gelatin from old horse’s hoofs?”
“Now dear, that was during World War II, during the bombardment. We learned about that in school back when we were a mere slip of a lass.” She drew a needle and vial from her apron and proceeded to the edge of the bed. “Just put our arm on this side of the blanket, dear, and let us take your blood sample for the doctor.”
“You were never a mere slip of anything, Nurse. I’m not putting any of “OUR” anything near you. The doctor has his own blood, let him sample it. See, I told you boy, he’ll come. Listen for it. Boom boom, boom boom. He’ll take the treasure with him and I’ll have nothing to give you.”
“Oh, don’t be a silly old silly, we’ll scare our grandson. I know he’s not supposed to visit us without his mommy but we don’t have the heart to throw him out of the building. It wouldn’t be good for our health. We need our young ones.”
Grandpa pulled the blanket down below his eyes. He kept his nose under the covers.
“We had the sniffles last week, young man. We’ve been keeping a kindly eye on us so we recover in a timely fashion.” Nurse Peal blinked at Grandpa.
“Darn it, Nurse Peal. Don’t scare the boy, he hasn’t molted to his true character yet.”
“And what are we turning into this week? Are we still a dragon?”
“Boy, don’t get old. I forbid it. You’ll end up in a place like this with your teeth falling out and your bald head shining and scaleless. Run along, Nurse, we need our quality time. Just run along.”
The nurse took grandpa’s wrist and listened to his pulse. Jabbing his arm, she took a large sample and put it in her pocket.”The tea trolly will be along shortly. We always like to have tea with us. You could join us if you like. Wouldn’t you like that, young man? Now, dear, we’ve pulled the blanket out from the bottom of the bed. Let us make you all nice and snuggly. We’ll just let you know when the tea is ready.”
The boy nodded quietly and followed the nurse to the door. She shut it behind her with a sweet smile.
The boy turned to the bed and whispered, “Grandpa, you are going to get us in trouble. I thought you said that the fact we were dragons was a secret. She’ll tell on you and that doctor will want more blood samples. She’ll hide the tea trolly from you. Mom said I should make you behave and if you don’t she’ll make you leave this place and SHE’LL take charge of you.”
“Are you still afraid of your mother, boy?”
“Well, no, but sometimes she’s not very nice to others. I don’t want her to be mean to you.”
“Is she still making you eat oatmeal every single day? Making you go to school? I had an old friend who was a teacher in a middle school. He had a great job, teaching literature and scaring the head lice off of student’s heads. Just placed the tip of his claw on their head and they ran off screaming. Screaming lice, what a hobby. I forgot his name, but this bookstore owner called him The Black Dragon. She was all about trolleys with tea in the afternoon. It seems to be a woman thing.”
“Did you know any other dragons, Grandpa?”
“There was The Reluctant Dragon. You could never get him to commit to doing anything. He wouldn’t fight, He read books and filled his head with philosophy. Nice chap, but he was a vegetarian. Not a proper diet for a dragon. He and St. George wandered off into the forest after staging a badly acted drama. The critics were harsh. Then there was the Blue Dragon. Oh, she was a looker that one. Your head was never safe with her after…well, you don’t need to know that at your age. Most dragons were called by their colors or their location. They kept their magic names to themselves so people couldn’t have power over them. They had names like Strong Heart, Pestilence, Snort, Long Tooth, most of them boring names. My name, however, was a magnificent name. Did I ever tell you what it was?” There was a pause. “Speak up, boy, speak up.”
“No, grandpa, you didn’t.”
“Ah, I must remedy that. I was known as the Red Dragon of Dreadful Temper Tantrums.
My mother hid away from me when I learned to fly because I would fly into a fit demanding gold, diamonds, dwarves, swords and jewels. I loved the depth of color in my jewels. Once I was given and item I put it in the corner. Then I would sing to it.”
He cleared his voice. “Ahem, ahem. Do, Re, Do, Sol, Mi, Sol, Ti, Sol. Gimme, gimme, jewels for my soul.” His voice rang out as large bells ringing and clanging together. “See, boy, singing to jewels made my soul happy.”
“What about your eggs?”
“I’m a male dragon. I don’t have much to do with eggs and you will find out about that much later.”
The door squeaked open. Nurse Peal’s face peered into the room. “Are we alright in here then?”
“Of course, woman, now go and leave us alone.”
She pulled her head out of the room with a heavy sigh. “Don’t let the old fool give you a hard time, boy. Tea trolly should be here soon.
“Now, boy, let’s make you a dragon name. What do you fancy? Your egg was yellow, you know. It looked like the sun rising in the East. Your mother kept it well polished and warm. Warm eggs mostly grow up to be large dragons. What should we call you?”
“Grandpa, I’ve been thinking about that. How about the Rising Son of the Eastern Dawn?”
Grandpa looked startled. “Why I like that name. My grandson, the Rising Son of the Eastern Dawn. It suits you, boy, it suits you.”
“How will I know when I start to grow my wings?”
“You’ll start to growl, grow and argue with your teachers about how to swing a shield to protect yourself from a sword.”
“One of the girls in my class has a sword made of plastic. She runs around smacking us boys when we try to play cricket or soccer. I don’t like her very much.”
“A girl dragon or a girl knight? Girl dragons are dangerous, but girl knights are worse. They try to make you do what they say when all you want to do is stand around the corner looking after your wealth. They’ll take your coins if you look away. Sneaky creatures, girls.”
“Did you have a girl dragon as a friend?”
“Well, not exactly. I had a wife dragon, a suitable dragon, a pink and lovely dragon.”
“Didn’t you have a maiden to tie up like in my book?”
Grandpa chuckled. “I had two tied up. Both wore princess outfits and screamed such a lovely screams. But I never ate them. Those knights would sneak up on me.They’d steal the princesses away. Boom boom, boom boom. Did you hear that?”
“Grandpa, you are being silly. That’s your heart carrying on. Don’t tell anyone your heart is carrying on or they won’t let me come visit anymore.”
“If they don’t let you come visit me, I shall eat them alive. No, raw meat isn’t good for us. We like our meat nicely cooked on an open fire. What do knights call that, a B something.”
“A barbecue is what Daddy calls it. He says that he isn’t a dragon though. He says dragons only eat raw meat and if I argue he’ll send me to bed without a cooked supper.”
“I’ll have a growl with him and show him better. You tell him when you get home tonight. I’m sure I can bring him round. He’s the reason your mother won’t show her dragon wings, you know. I think he’s a tall dwarf, or a politician. Sometimes they are both. So, what did you learn about today in that school your mother forces upon you? Did you learn about war or spears or something fierce?”
“Nope, today we learned about the teddy bear. He looks like Winnie the Pooh, but a president got him in a crate from some firefighters that were putting a fire out in the United States. He was all singed and burned and they put lotion on his fur to make the burns better. Children saw him in the zoo and their moms bought them soft bears to keep them company in the dark. I have a bear, but his name is Arnold.” “Well, that is a very good name for a bear, I think. You must guard his well. I think he must be one of your treasures.”
Their heads were close together, by this time, and secret words passed between the two.
Nurse Peal and mother stood outside the door, watching and listening.
“I don’t know what we will do without my father in our future. How’s he really doing, Nurse? I know you keep track of what the doctor says.”
“Don’t worry, dear. I drive him crazy using we all the time and he’s really a lovely old goat when you go home. He does love his grandson so. They like to change what he’s going to be when he becomes old. He told the boy, last time, that when he could escape from here he was going to live in the sky and be a star.”
The two women looked at each other and tears formed in their eyes.
“GRRRRR,” called the boy in a loud voice.
“GRRRRR,” the old dragon answered.
Such an awkward word, Displaying glorious sound and color, A walk along hallowed paths. The flag waving, Standing, Feeling the drums, Step lively, you, to get curb seats. Patriotic, I sound off and stand tall Even when performing Above the Arctic Circle. Pageantry: the oldest veteran served, A beauty queen turns on heels, Awards given and received. Flowing flags drape Dark coffins Holding sacred the souls Of the common man, mighty warriors. Flags spread like blankets, Held by sailors, soldiers, marines, All looking chin first, staring Straight ahead. Serving. Keys to the city handed out Like Cotton Candy Floss. Lords of the State bow. I wonder at it all. I saw Minnesota's grand birthday 150 years of statehood with marching forces of the Guard, escorted by Shriner's in clown cars. Clydesdales step strongly. Antique cars, convertibles. Children shiny clean, Bravely wondering at Bareback riders, cowboys. Wagons full of farmers. Tractors, Combines, Gimme Caps, The band, with brassy calling, Marches tapping One hundred and twenty beats To the minute, left foot first. County Queens, and Grange cars. The governor standing tall. A distinguished servant of time. A spectacle of dreams, Both realized and wished, Ceremonies of serious joyful pomp Remembered for all time as That Show, where we were And are at our best.
I was thrilled to see the blossoms of Spring trees over the last month. It brings a lot of random chatter to mind. Chatter that outweighs the squirrels who now bring the feeders to the back door and bang until I fill them. They’ll hang them up themselves soon. I think they have the right idea. If we want something in life badly enough, we should look to be actively working towards that goal. My goals? I want to continue reading everyday. I have two books waiting for my attention. Carl Hiassen’s Bad Monkey and Jonas Jonasson’s The One Hundred Year Old Man, who climbed out the window and disappeared, these sounded so good from the titles alone. It made me scurry to the bookstore clerk and buy them, with all the enthusiasm I learned from the backyard squirrel gang.
My husband has been following Spring training for the Nationals for the first time. He’s an Eeyore who feels like Chicken Little. But the Nats seem to be having fun. I was hesitant to show enthusiasm because if things go wrong, I get to hear about it. I don’t like drama unless it’s on the stage or in a book, so I’ve kept mum. But as the first game of the season came along, I decided to take the plunge and become a number one fan. I failed at being a cheerleader, as I cheered for all of the players from both teams. The Braves vs. the Nationals, and the pitching was fantastic. Both teams were very well coached and gave off that special aura of teams that cared. I’m supposed to stick to one side or the other, but the sportsmanship and the game intensity left me breathless and exhausted at the same time. Life can be like that. It has its showers, and thunder storms, but in the end, I want to be that person that has overcome the storms and played the game to the absolute best I can.
Fatherhood has been on the horizon. The concept of the father who works full time and the son who wants to play ball is about the economic sphere you are in. Look at LaRoche, who left the Nats, and took his golden first base mitt with him. It was in the news for several days because he retired, turned down millions of dollars to be with his son. His family is a baseball family. His father brought LaRoche to watch him practice and play. LaRoche started bringing his son when he was old enough to understand that this occupation was his father’s passion. The son was there, in the dugout and sometimes practicing, with the Nationals and never caused a disturbance of any kind. If fact, he was our good luck intern so that we took the National Baseball East award (is it called something like that?) The year he left, we didn’t win our pennant. But he was told his son wasn’t welcome at his new team. The NEW team’s management thought that his son would be a distraction. So LaRoche quit. Literally, he took his ball and went home. Six months of intensive baseball moments, and they wanted to take that father son balance and remove it from LaRoche’s life. He made the right decision. Boys need their dads. They need to toss a ball around or go biking or have a special moment together. Our society had moved from male to female to mocking males to not understanding why the male image was so hard to maintain. Or sure, being a doctor is nice, but if you have a son, shouldn’t you teach him how to be a man? Shouldn’t Fatherhood and being a man have positive ramifications? My husband worked 60 hours a week, he couldn’t be there for playing ball with my son. It’s one of his deepest regrets. It took my son a while to see what a father is. Hardworking, worried, kind, intelligent, non-apologetic and still involved as much as possible. He sees that the times he thought his dad was ignoring his needs was only part of what his dad did. Both of my children took martial arts and ballet. It was easier for me to involve them in activities that took place at the same time. When it was time for a performance or level exam, the kids would look up and there in the very back was their Dad still dressed for work, grinning his support and never missing a moment. His dad was there. He taught my son patience, even though patience was hard for him. He taught my son to respect women. He taught my son commitment. I know he would have spent more time at home if he could, but like LaRoche, he put his family first and kept us safe and loved. Mr. LaRoche is lucky to have such a wonderful opportunity.
April Fool’s Day is such a silly day. I have trouble thinking of pranks these days. My favorite Fool’s Day was when I came into the family room to tell my kids TV OFF. They had put suction cups on their heads and string tied to the TV and had their tongues hanging out of their mouths sideways moaning like zombies. Heehee, they had been listening.
I loved being a mother of two intelligent kids. They came up with the wildest ideas. A cardboard box was a castle, another was a horse (a great steed), and a big dog became a Princess protecting the dragon while the knight on his steed tried to invade. They could make up anything with whatever items were on hand. Police training was in the front, with bicycle traffic having to follow the officer’s hand signals. If you ran the light, you served five minutes in their jail. Even mothers had to comply. Dinner was slightly delayed as we waited for the traffic of the neighborhood to pass by. Sand was marvelous. We had big trucks and little trucks, Matchbox cars and generic cars, blocks for roadways and buildings, and the kids drove their vehicles around and around. I gave them a sheet and we colored a neighborhood onto it. Now they had a new map, and it was time for The Phantom Tollbooth, a lovely way to teach words and puns, to be read at bedtime. Bedtime followed bath time which had the kids learning to take showers with an umbrella until confidence was gained and they could shower without it. We sang dinosaur songs at bedtime. There was always a book at bedtime.
There wasn’t any data on the impact of language, although my parents had done the same thing for my brothers, sister and I. I grew up reading, my children did also. Now they say a child must hear 150,000 words before they turn 5. I’m sure I gave my children twice that. The future of the world will rest with children who have heard words and have hope, and children who have been ignored because the family was too poor, too tired, and had too few resources. Poverty clones itself. I watched that happen when I taught. Parents who didn’t have the education or opportunities that I had, who had to work two or three jobs to make things work, are facing an uphill battle. Their parents didn’t have time, the freedom from prejudice, or resources. Poverty weighs on your soul. There are strong community leaders out there. People who sit on their porches or in churches or school who help change hopelessness. Families like my parents who believed in the power of books and knowledge. We could change our situation. My mother went to college when we arrived in high school. She worked hard and got her BS, MS and PHD in six years. That was my role model. My children had their father and me. I went back to school when my daughter was in kindergarten. I worked hard and took my children to class if I couldn’t find a babysitter. I earned my Masters. Now both of my children have Masters. Intelligent kids. They’ve outdone me in their aspirations.
Baseball, flowers, kids and random thoughts today. Men empowered. Women empowered. You have to put your best foot forward in life. I like jumping in puddles and hopping. Does that count?
I found a tree,
even though the frost
was barely gone.
I sat, pondering how
I had leafed
When I thought all hope was gone.
I found a flower,
which leaved and
sent blue bells up
rake in hand
admiring the traitor
Red bud, Judas tree,
that blooms before Easter.
foolish as I was,
That the day of fools
would enlighten me.
It lightened the burden
But not my weight.
I saw myself
mirrored in the water,
sky, ice, leaves
and was gladly able
to love myself.