Steam rolled my way through the month of October.  As the dust settles, i am somewhat surprised to find myself in mid-November.  Beyond the obvious plot twist launching my son on a new path, there have been a metric ton of other things happening… A brief update seems in order until i can catch my breath and organize my thoughts.  This isn’t a full list – far from it.  Just pixels and snippets and nuggets and slices… a reminder that i remain a very lucky woman.

– Since returning from the trip to Florida to visit my sister, a ‘sprained’ finger has failed to heal quickly.  Aggravating as hell, the sprain wouldn’t quit hurting, stop swelling and get better.  That’s because it isn’t a sprain, it’s broken.  Had to put on a splint, which gets in the way of… well… everything.  It also draws a bit of attention, and has started a few conversations with strangers.  “What happened?”  “Well, the short version is ‘i broke it’.  The long version is a tale that must be told over a pint or two…”  A tale that ends with me proving my machismo and winning a bet…


– After two weeks, i got a call from The Boy Sunday night.  Ninety entire seconds of talk time, with the sound of a barking drill instructor in the background.  Now that he is settled in ‘downrange’, he can get letters.  Wrote up two pages last night.  Not typed.  Hand written.  This is not trivial, given the broken finger on my right hand.  It felt weird.  It felt good.  When was the last time i wrote a letter?  Can’t remember.  Once i started writing – it came back to me.  Downright enjoyable…

– Had some strange weather recently.  Powerful thunderstorms, with almost a hundred tornadoes, rumbled across the midwest on Sunday.  Bad things happened across the region.  Looking for storm damage the next morning, i was greeted with this catastrophe on my front porch!  The horror!  The carnage!  One friend summed it up nicely – “If your Christmas Tree falls over and smashes your Pink Flamingo…You might be a redneck.”


– Studley and i continue our horseback riding lessons – with an added element of adventure.  Our instructor has introduced a new game to our weekly lessons – Hoofball.  The object is to work in teams of two, getting the horses to move a large ball toward a goal line.  Horses are not particularly smart animals, so they have to be slowly socialized to the ball.  Over the course of the past few weeks, we’ve been part of that training process.  Last night?  We played our first hoofball match!  Very fun, and very scary – turns out, it takes a long time for a horse to get used to having a giant ball rolling around the arena!  They’re getting better, though.  And we’re getting better at staying on spooked horses!


image found here

– A year ago, i got involved with an ad hoc group of nutjobs artists and musicians to bring the first “Dia de los Muertos” event to our lovely city.  This year?  Bigger and better.  They needed a parade vehicle – something that could tow a flatbed trailer carrying a dozen musicians.  My Jeep was the perfect solution.  Rather than just tow the parade float, i got it in my head that i was going to have one of the giant skeleton puppets that were created last year “drive”…


There were some unexpected challenges, but we pulled it off!  Not content to have the skelly just ride along, i also decided that he needed to wave to the crowd.  In the detailed photo below, you can see that Studley had duct taped the left arm of the puppet to my arm… which could explain why i’ve had a rather severe bout with tendonitis in my left shoulder and elbow for the past few weeks… We’re already planning for next year – i will have a fully animated skeleton, shooting fire from his nostrils!


– Another entry in the “What the fuck was i thinking?” binder…  Last March, i started a project to modify an upright piano into… something else.  Taking most of the summer off for travel, i’ve recently re-tackled the project.  The past two weekends have found me up to my arse in sawdust and power tools… but it’s coming along nicely.  This will get a full post when it’s done – which should be by Christmas.  Unless i perform an accidental amputation…

sawzall motherfucker

– What’s up in The Trailer Park?  Lots.  Good news and bad news, and “are you fucking kidding me?” news.  There may be an end in sight – and Mom may get to move back into her own home after four years of endless promises and threats.  A little afraid to say anything because i don’t want to jinx it….

29 thoughts on “Vignettes

  1. when ever i pop by for a read it’s like you are in my head, my life seems to constantly throw me 360’s some good some bad never dull and lots i could do without.
    thank you for writing i really really appreciate it

  2. I thought i was busy…Jeeze! You have me flipped into a cocked hat! Sad that the ol’ piano will no longer yield a tune. maybe you could duct-tape a kiddy keyboard…

    • Had to look up the phrase ‘knocked into a cocked hat’ — i learned something new! i’ve had several suggestions that i rig a small electronic keyboard to the finished product to ‘unlock’ it… might be possible, but it will be as a future upgrade ifi t happens! the piano was quite dead when i started – it would be fun to give it another bit of musical life, even if it’s a bootlegged addition!

  3. Writing actual letters is really pretty cool. I like to send real cards too. Sorry about your finger, but now that it is splinted maybe it will heal. I should write this sort of post about my summer. My goodness, I have travelled from pillar to post and back again: north, south, east, west, all parts of the continent saw my footprints, classes and new babies, all sorts of fun.

    And you are having fun. Isn’t that the whole point of life? To have fun? Glad you are getting your share.

    Oh, and proving one’s machismo is generally a way to get hurt. Machismo is very over rated. It is wonderful for my business, though….

    • Had a high school boyfriend who enlisted in the Army. At 18 years old, i wrote that man every single day for 6 months…in hindsight, i had a lot of free time, apparently! i figure i’ll write a letter or two every week. wanted to get one posted quickly to let him know i’m tracking the photos online!

      it would be fun to see a ‘scores and highlights’ from you — you have had quite a year! might make a good ‘end-of-year’ report!

      as for proving the machismo? yep. suspect it keeps lots of therapists in business… it was more stupid than macho…

  4. Woo Hoo. Some days/months/years life is quite a ride. More twists than a roller coaster, more expensive – and a heap more fun. Up, down, out of control – but better than joining the grey cardigan brigade.

    • i’ve got a few grey cardigans in the wings — and have been recovering a bit from the adventures of the last 6 weeks. i know that my body will not allow me to play this hard indefinitely, so i want to run hard while i can. but definitely time for some rest… i hurt all over!

  5. You have to share the story of the finger injury… or else I’m going to make one up 😉

    Modifying a piano with power tools… now that is a project I want to see more about

    • i’m sure the one you make up will be funnier! mine involved a tumble from a boat when i went to visit my sister in early October… trying to prove i could be ‘one of the guys’. right…

      the piano project is pretty extensive – even for me. it wasn’t until the past two weeks of progress that i became fully convinced i could pull this off. it is within reach!

  6. What do you mean “mid-November?” There’s one week left. Do you want to borrow my calendar?

    You should tell people you broke your finger in a surprise ninja attack. Really sell it.

    Take it from me…there’s nothing better than getting letters, hand written letters, in basic training. Carry on.

    Who’s that peeking out of your window?

    I think driving dressed as a skeleton waving an oversized hand violated about a dozen OSHA laws.

    • week and a half, buddy – at least! don’t short me during a busy month!

      i’ve had fun with cashiers and colleagues – and with my ‘but the full story requires a pint’ bit might get me a few free drinks! i’m learning something from these Celtic lads…

      the plan is to write him a couple times a week. his dad and step mom will write, too. also expect my daughter to drop a card from Turkey. Studley is even going to put a few together – one that has “GO AIR FORCE” buried in code to get started!

      the Woman in the Window is none other than Sally Ride, Astronaut. i swiped that cut out from a black tie gala at the local science museum. i think she looks lovely greeting my visitors and freaking out my neighbors. She was creeping us out when i had her at the dining room table…

      There were many driving regulations violated that day — if i’d have popped the clutch? i’d have run over this nice woman and her daughter who were walking in front carrying the parade banner. The people riding on the flatbed would have been launched for sure… although we did have their chairs attached to the float, i don’t think wire ties are going to pass a safety inspection… oh, and never mind that i could barely see! 😀

  7. I have been been following most of this on the book of faces, however, the finger is a surprise. You really should have broken the middle finger for extra drama. Also, next time, splint the finger right away even if it really is “just a sprain”. It will heal faster. Rock on my friend, the clock is ticking.

    • Originally thought it a sprain, so i ‘buddy taped’ it to my middle finger to keep from twisting it. That got in the way of my driving, as i was unable to signal properly when someone would cut me off in traffic! Agree that i should have splinted right away – but i have to take it off to work/type anyway, so…

      The clock gets louder, doesn’t it? Damn clock. i’m not done yet…

      • One of the tricks myself orthopod taught me when I broke my little finger is to buddy tape it in a “functional” position, ie, curved in a typing position with the next finger. He said supply splinting it straight made a it more difficult to get it to bend. I worked at my typey-typey job for six weeks that way and only I unsplinted it to change the gauze and tape. You might try that.

        • a very good plan – it’s starting to feel a bit better, so i may ditch the splint (except for sleeping) and go to buddy tape, bent finger, during the day… to work, i’ve just been taking off the splint. probably not all that useful!

    • i can sleep when i’m dead. possibly a few years prior… it was actually a full skeleton ‘puppet’, that i tore down into parts. you can’t see it from the picture, but i’ve got a leg strapped to the drivers side as well. original plan was to lower the windshield so i could have the skeletons right arm lying on the hood – but a rusty bolt thwarted that plan and i had to improvise on the day of the event. it was pretty festive… i wanted to have candy shooting out of his head…. but that’ll have to wait until next year!

  8. You are certainly an energetic and creative lady. Kudos and congratulations on the parade! People, those who can like you, not me, should do that everywhere. The last parade at our little town was – well, I think there has never been one.

    Hope your finger heals up nicely. You might try Glucosamine for the tendonitis. It has helped my arthritis tremendously. No, I’m not associated with it financially. Just since my niece told me about it last year or maybe the year before, my body has stopped aching.

    • The parade just presented such a weird challenge – i really wasn’t sure what i was going to do when i brought a jeep full of giant body parts home with me. But i wanted to try… sometimes these things happen just because… i wonder if i can do it. This was also such a joyful community event – the parade was really a small part of it. i was delighted to contribute something new this year….

      i already take glucosamine! i started giving it to my old, arthritic dog last year and saw the transformation in him, so decided i’d have to start it as well. it has definitely helped with the general aches and pains, but the shoulder/elbow problem is one that pops up from time to time, and i just have to gut it out. nothing to be done, really, other than rest… which… um…. yeah… i’m not good at…

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