The Wordstress Blog

The Wordstress ponders the birds and the bees.

Thelma and Louise have arrived! August 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastlakecounty @ 8:57 pm

My chickens came today! Their names are Thelma and Louise (I didn’t name them, but I think these are fabulous names as long as they never get their claws on car keys). Thelma is a big Rhode Island Red and Louise is an Ameracauna. Earlier I took a chair out and watched them scratch around and peck at the ground. So peaceful. They are obviously good friends…when I went to close the coop, they were perched next to each other on a stick on the ground. 🙂

When I went out to close the coop and they were roosting on a stick on the ground. So I tossed them in the coop and I can’t wait to let them out in the morning.


I wish I could be amazing. August 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastlakecounty @ 2:34 pm

I wish I could be amazing.


Hot August night… August 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastlakecounty @ 10:02 pm

It is August, and it is night, but it is not as hot as it has been.  A little rain earlier this evening has made it livable out here on the back porch.

I am getting ready to welcome chickens back into the coop.  Two hens, 2-3 years old, are not welcome in their current neighborhood, so they’re coming to live with us.  The best part?  I don’t have to schlep out to get them…they’ll be delivered Saturday.  I’m trying to be cool about this, like I’m not super excited, but if you know me at all you know I’m super excited.

To celebrate Steve’s birthday, I planned a weekend of surprises for him.  All I told him was to pack for the weekend and that the surprises were for him and not disguised treats that were really for me (I’ve been known to do that, sad to say).

On Friday, we drove to Weeki Wachee to see the mermaids.  Weeki Wachee was once privately owned but is now a state park.  One side of the spring is now a water park, which seems so odd to me.  The spring pool is not very large and half of it is calm and quiet while the water park half is rowdy, loud and not at all what I think of as a spring.  The mermaids were much more interesting than I had expected.  During the beginning of their show, a turtle was clearly following one of the mermaids.  When the three mermaids created a sort of wheel and swam in a circle, the turtle was still swimming with the one mermaid.  Later in the show the mermaids fed the fish and it was apparent that the turtle was hanging around to get his treat.  I really enjoyed the show until the end when they did this super patriotic Proud to be an American thing…I guess jingoism reaches even mermaids.  It was cringe-worthy but apparently I was the only one who found it inappropriate.

We wanted to see another show but there was a thunderstorm so it wasn’t safe for the mermaids to swim.  A friend had told me about a little town called Hudson, right on the Gulf, where there is an awesome raw bar, so that was our second stop.  Our lunch was disappointing but the beer was cold, the waitress was friendly and the view was spectacular.  $36 later (yep, you read that right!) we got back on the road and headed into Tampa.  We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel, which has the most comfortable beds on the planet.  It’s also right across from the WestShore Mall, so we headed out to see what there was to see, and ended up at the movie theater.  If you get the chance, go see Cowboys and Aliens.  I don’t care what gender you are; if you can look at Daniel Craig in those leather chaps and not drool just a little, there is something wrong with you.  A quick Taco Bell stop and then back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.

Saturday morning we went to the Florida Aquarium (after hot donuts at Krispy Kreme – a real treat).  The parking lot was too far from the building, if you ask me, and there were no shuttles, but we managed to get to the Aquarium and spent a great morning there.  One of the exhibits was about the variety of fish tanks people have in their homes.  There was one really contemporary thing, a monstrosity to my way of thinking but Steve just loved it.  It had smooth clear glass pebbles on the bottom and three or four acrylic columns of varying heights, some clear and some blue.  That’s all.  I don’t remember what kind of fish were in it, but there were no plants.  Blech!  Some of the most memorable things for me were the seahorses, an octopus, some teeny tiny jellyfish, and the deep reef tank.  In the deep reef, there were several small sharks and a fish that had been bitten. It was terribly hot when we left and Steve watched TV while I took a nap.  We went for a walk later and then ordered a pizza and wings.  I think there may be few things nicer than eating pizza and wings on sheets that cost $156 apiece (retail…I priced them because they were the loveliest sheets I’ve ever experienced).

On Sunday we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. There is not much to say about this except that the exhibits were insufficiently explained and many of the interactive things didn’t work.  I was hugely disappointed.

It was good to spend some time together without our computers.  It was also very good to get back home.  I hope we’ll do more trips like this.  Since we now have memberships to the Aquarium and MoSI, we can check out zoos and museums all over the place without paying admission.  That, coupled with our state parks pass, should give us many fun excursions if we will just make the time to do it.

So here we go with a character sketch (how’s that for a sloppy segue?):

She rides the escalator,  about six steps ahead of me, up three stories to the catwalk that will take her to the parking garage. Her t-shirt has a small stain and a smaller hole near the bottom of the hem, and her hair hangs in limp strings below her slumped shoulders.  She would be about my height if she were standing straight up, but whatever is going on in her life is pressing so hard on her that she stands about 5’4″ and she radiates exhaustion. Faded jeans hang loosely from her hips.  Her shoes are old and it looks like the heel of her left shoe is separating from the body.  She carries a tote bag and a plastic water bottle.  When she reaches the top, she stumbles a little stepping off but catches herself.  She takes a couple of steps and stops to pull her shoulders up to her ears, rolling them as she drops her head back.  Just a small stretch, but it seems to rejuvenate her. With surprisingly long strides, she crosses the catwalk.  At the far end, the automatic doors open and the afternoon heat is like a blow as she walks through. I am parked along the far wall but she enters the stairwell to another floor and I have no idea what happens to her.


Also, this morning when I was walking into the hospital, I passed a woman coming the other way.  She was crying a little, and looking straight ahead not making eye contact.  I really wish I had said something to her or touched her arm or SOMETHING. Next time something like this happens, I will make contact somehow. Our mission at FH is to extend the healing ministry of Christ, but it can be tricky to be helpful without being intrusive. Sometimes prayer is all we can offer, and I guess I have to trust that when that’s what’s needed, that’s what’s needed and God will do the rest. Experiences like this always remind me of the woman who was so kind to me when I was waiting at the airport for Tracy to pick me up when I flew home when Dad was dying…she gave me only company but it was exactly right and I’d sure like to pay that forward some day.  If only we could KNOW when we’ve hit it just right like that. I will never forget her; she was put there just for me, I know it.  Because, after all, it IS all about me.



How can it get any busier? July 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastlakecounty @ 6:59 pm

Okay, I’ll start with today and work backwards:

Today is my 30th wedding anniversary.  We have been laughing all day about how fast these 30 years have gone.  How is this possible? With LOTS of grace.

Yesterday we had some friends over — Steve put together a small dinner to celebrate our big day while I was out of town last week.  Very nice day by the pool with ribs and other treats prepared by loving hands.  I want to do it again soon with a different group of folks, just because I feel like some of the people who should have been with us weren’t.  The one thing we noticed is that the cards you get as a couple with 30 years history are very different from wedding or early anniversary cards.  I think I like them much better; the realism of the good wishes is warming.  As a newlywed, I thought no one else could have possibly experienced love the way we had…now I know better and it is encouraging that other people, too, have faced down trouble and held fast to each other.

Last week I was in Chicago for a clinical science for work.  It was amazing, and it has, I think, changed my plans as far as going back to school.  I think instead of the MS, I may go back for another BS – this time in molecular biology. If I can do that with a minor in chemistry, I will be enormously well placed to work in neuropsychology.  There is a VERY exciting project coming up at work which I may be tapped to coordinate.  I am still teetering back and forth between feeling like a genius and feeling like a big fake, but overall I think I’m making slow and steady progress.  So, anyway, my trip to Chicago…I did not expect to love Chicago, but I do!  I’d go back anytime, and I’d really like to take Steve.  I’m really happy that one of the other research coordinators went with me, and we ate amazing food, saw amazing sights, and both of us have a long list of things we want to see when we get back to the Windy City.

Last weekend, I got to visit Alex and Josh!  I had a really good time and learned to play bass.  Well, okay, it was Rock Band bass but it sure was fun.  They treated me to a few amazing meals and on Sunday, Alex and I found wild black raspberries. They were just ripening, and there were enough that we ate all we could, took some home to Josh, and still left plenty for the birds.  I can see why Alex is in love with Madison and Middleton.

So that’s the past eleven days of my life.  It would be nice if things got a little quiet.  But I guess I must like it this way because it keeps happening…

Here’s something REALLY cool that was happening while we were in Chi-town: MARILYN MONROE!


Not guilty: Casey gets away with murder July 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastlakecounty @ 10:44 pm

So the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of killing her daughter.  I think the jury is nuts, but I didn’t hear the case the way they did, so what do I know?  And that’s the law of this land…you get a trial by jury and if the state doesn’t convince them, you walk.  Since we’ve just spent a long weekend celebrating our nation’s birth, I also celebrate this verdict.  Lord knows if Casey’s fate were put in the hands of most folks, she’d have a short future, so it’s best that it was left to the jury.


Comment Spam June 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastlakecounty @ 8:32 pm

You know how I’m always begging for comments here?  If you don’t blog, you may be surprised to know that there are spammers who just put crap as comments in people’s blogs. Here’s one of the more amusing spam comments I’ve received…if you can tell me what it means, it’s worth FIVE comments from me to your blog.  🙂

“Remarkable! This blog looks accurately like my old in unison! It’s on a completely unusual subject but it has euphonious much the uniform layout and design. Wonderful option of colors!”



Relay Wrap Up May 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastlakecounty @ 8:55 am

Well, 2011 Relay is over, at least the big visible part.  I am relieved beyond measure.  I was very excited in the beginning when we recruited a full committee, but the committee was not a healthy one and the season did not play out the way I expected.

On the other hand, we raised a butt load of money and it’s still coming in, so I’m not complaining too hard. I am looking forward to being Team Retention Chair and Online CoChair for 2012…these roles will allow me to be an important part of the event without posing any additional responsibilities on Relay night.  That means I can really experience Relay as a participant, and I can’t wait for that!  Two of our smaller teams have asked if they can roll into my NinjaWalkers team, so that’s sort of cool.  Maybe we can create a powerhouse team and kick cancer’s ass next year.

My friend Pat ended up carrying WAY more than her load. She presented The Empty Table ceremony, and it was incredible.  I found out later that she was missing the last two pages of her script, but I don’t think anyone knew…there were no visible stumbles and it was very moving.

One important thing that I learned…we tried to keep the activities as simple as possible so that team members would not have to prepare in advance.  But the most popular event of the day was the Cardboard Car Race.  People were bugging us and bugging us to start the race…they really WANTED to show off their cute little cardboard cars.  It was so much fun!  So next year’s activities will involve a few more complicated things, since our participants are clearly evolving with this event.  We have an elementary school involved now so I’m hoping for meaningful committee help…but the committee is not my worry now…just my little piece of it.  🙂

Not to wish my life away, but I can’t wait to find out what the theme is for 2012.  I am ready to have a properly decorated Relay campsite!  I also want our team to come up with a knockout on site fundraiser.  This year we sold glow necklaces and bracelets…about 8 of them.  What a loser fundraiser, and I thought they’d sell like hotcakes.  Speaking of hotcakes…Pat’s breakfast fundraiser did really well, so maybe that is the way to go.  We could bring a couple griddles and crock pots and do pancakes and biscuits/gravy and maybe even scrambled eggs.  I don’t know what it will end up being, but I really don’t want my campsite to look like a garage sale in 2012.

Whatever happens with  my team and the committee, I hope our Relay continues to grow.  We had some small sponsors this year, which is great progress, and I think the teams are starting to catch on that fundraising is a year round thing.  I’d really like us to hit our $35,000 goal next year, and it’s do-able.  We were at $19,000 our first year and $26,000 so far this year.  Sorrento Relay for Life rocks.  And I’m very glad someone else will be breaking the rocks next year.