Friday, May 28, 2010
I went digging through the archives this morning, to find this for you. It's the first part of a story called Circle of Love, which I wrote for one of the Story Circle Network publications. I posted the entire story - which talks about the seasonality of love, and the stages a marriage goes through - here on my blog, a couple of years ago. Today I'll just post the "how we met" part, for those of you who are newcomers:
Did I ever tell you how I met my husband? When I first got to the University of Texas, I took a job in my dorm’s cafeteria. I had only been there a short time when my roommate caused a rather embarrassing incident. She was quite the head-turner, with glossy hair falling down past her tuckus. She was also very nearsighted, but too vain to wear her glasses. When going through the cafeteria line together, I had to describe the food choices to her, since she was unable to see them. One Sunday, she looked up at the guy serving us, and said in her deep, sultry voice, “Hey Gordon, that was some date we had last night.” I jabbed her with my elbow, but was ignored. She leaned forward, and dropped her voice even further. “I had a really, really good time!” “Ahhem! Pardon us please,” I said, then shoved her down the line, growling “That wasn’t Gordon numbskull, that was John!” Glancing back over my shoulder, I saw John staring at us, with a cocky grin on his face. “Well, great!”, I thought. “Another one bites the dust. That girl is irresistible!”
The oddest thing happened though. Usually, when working in the kitchen, I cleared trays that came down the conveyer belt. Suddenly I began finding little notes on them, and when I glanced out the tray-feed window, I saw that same cocky grin. The notes were fairly corny (under a bowl of peaches I found one that read “What a peachy girl!”) but I’ve always been rather fond of corn. Top it off with a mischievous grin and twinkling eyes? Well, I was a goner in no time.
In addition to my little robot clock, I got one other special gift from John this weekend - the CD version of the most dangerous album ever recorded. We still have our original vinyl version, but had never been able to find it on CD - until now. John finally came across it at Half-Price books recently, and even though it was an outrageous 25 bucks, he snapped it right up.
So, why do I call it the most dangerous album ever recorded? There are two reasons. First of all, it can make the most stalwart of girls go weak in the knees. Second, it's not just a recording, it's a magic time machine! I popped it into my Mini's cd player as I was heading out of Houston yesterday, and suddenly I was no longer in my car. First there was the smell of patchouli coming from somewhere, then I could actually see my 17 year old self standing in the doorway of John's little garage apartment, just a few blocks off from the UT campus. I'm gazing in wonder at the black-light posters, the orange-crate bookshelves filled with albums, stereo equipment, and water pipe, and that little twin bed covered in an exotic Indian bedspread from Pier I (which I later turned into a great dress). And that music! What on earth is that haunting melody? In a quavering voice, I'm telling him "Nice girls don't go into boy's apartments!" Hmmmmm. Guess I wasn't as nice as I always thought.
P.S. Many thanks to rateyourmusic.com for the above image.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I thought I was being sooooo smart. Although I can write blog posts when out of town, if I'm using someone else's computer, I don't have access to any of my photos, so the posts are kinda boring. I had a brilliant flash of inspiration this week, and wrote several posts in advance - complete with pictures - but just saved them as drafts. Then, when I got to Houston, I figured I could just go in and publish one per day. As it turns out, the only problem with that brilliance is that when you do this, the posts still get published in the time slot that you wrote them, and NOT as the latest entry at the top of the page. At first, I thought they weren't publishing at all, since I kept seeing that same ol' post of the spiral plant supports up top, and I kept hitting "publish" over and over again. Then it finally occurred to me to scroll down the page, and taa-daa, there they were! I suggest you do the same.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Are these plant supports from Gardener's Supply not the craziest things ever? I absolutely adore them! These spirals are for lightweight duty though. For my heavy stuff I went with their red tomato ladders, which are pretty groovy as well. I think every garden needs a bit of kink, don't you?
The coolest radio station in Austin (KGSR) airs the coolest live broadcast, called etown, on Sunday evenings. On my way back from meeting friends at The Salt Lick last night, I was lucky enough to catch a bit of it. Etown's mission is to educate, entertain and inspire a diverse audience, through music and conversation, to create a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable world. Hosts Nick and Helen Forster mix two musical guests and a message from one interview guest with a little humor and a lotta energy to create a one-of-a-kind live radio show that hearkens back to days of yore. Each show culminates with a grand finale number and the presentation of that week's e-chievement award.
One of last night's guests happened to be those illustrious legends of Cajun music, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet. I was introduced to this group years ago by my SIL's family, who hail from Lafayette, LA, BeauSoleil's home town. I liked their chanka-chank music primarily because it was fun to dance to (kinda like a two-step, with a bit of a polka hop or jig thrown in), and trying to translate the French lyrics that were thrown in now and again was always good practice. I didn't really know much about the group itself, though, until last night. That's when I found out that back in the 60's and 70's, Cajun music was on its way to becoming a lost art. These guys were mere high school kids when they realized that the great masters of the genre were dying off, and it didn't look like anyone else was going to pick up the ball and run with it. So, they made it their mission to travel around and work with those that were left, and do whatever they could to keep the music alive. They even went into the schools, to introduce it to new generations. Over time, they managed to do for Cajun what the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou did for Bluegrass. Tres bien, non? An accomplishment these "agin' Cajuns" should be most proud of.
P.S. Many thanks to thirstyyearfestival.com for the above image.
John and I are celebrating our 35th year of wedded bliss this week, and I bet I got something that no one else you know has ever got for their anniversary - a robot clock! (I got it early, because once John buys something for me, he can't stand to wait for me to open it.) It's made out of kitchen bits and pieces, which is fairly apropos, since it's hanging in my kitchen. Is she not the cutest thing you've ever seen? I know she's a she, the label said so. Plus, there are two subtle hints just above the clock face. There was a he that went with her, too...and an octopus.
I have to get creative when it comes to finding gifts for John. For one thing, I have very limited funds now that I'm not working for money, and I have a thing about him paying for his own gifts (yes, I know it's all "our money" but it still bugs me). Then there's the fact that the only things he loves are electronics, which I know nothing about, and if there's anything out there he doesn't already have, it's only because he doesn't really want it. So what's a girl to do?
After racking my brain for the last several weeks, it finally came to me in a flash this morning. There is a little flower bed at the front of our townhouse, which I always kept full of flowers and changed out seasonally, as long as I was still living there. John has tried to replace the plants several times, but he doesn't know what plants need what conditions, or how to amend the soil before replanting, and everything always dies. I keep telling him not to worry about it, just leave it alone. Empty is better than dead. Last several times I was there, every time he came back in from fetching the mail he'd be all sad and whiney about his crappy looking flower bed. I guess he really misses the flowers. Soooo, my plan is to sneak into Houston earlier than he's expecting, stop in at the nursery for a bunch of bullet-proof heat lovers and a bag of revitalizer compost, and let him be totally blown away when he gets home from work and goes out to check the mail. What d'ya think?
My little Ford Ranger is a good ol' truck. I've had her for so long that, when I first got her, the kids were still young enough to believe that sitting in those little pull down jump-seats that face each other was actually fun. That's a mighty long time.
She was my office on wheels for many years, while I went from contract merchandising, to assistant landscaper, to starting a garden design/patioscaping business. A day that ranks right up there in memory, with wedding and childbirths, was the day my magnetic signs with the Seasonality logo on them arrived, and I carefully applied them to each side of the truck.
She was my right arm when I went back to study horticulture, and has helped me landscape three houses, hauling innumerable loads of compost and mulch. She also moved kids in and out of countless dorm rooms and apartments. And, despite all this wear and tear, a deer collision, and a rear-ending, she just keeps on a-tickin'.
I think one reason I love her so much is that she came into my world just as I was awakening to the possibilities of a life away from the suburbs. We traveled the path to the good life together, and she became the symbol of my new independence. She was the first car we ever bought that was just exactly what I wanted, with no compromises whatsoever, and she stuck out like a sore thumb in our pretentious neighborhood full of BMW's and yard crews. I really liked that about her. She was my placard of protest...my march of rebellion.
When we got well past the 100,000 mile marker, and both bumpers were hanging off, John began to get a little nervous about my frequent solo trips back and forth to Dallas. He decided I needed something a little more reliable to drive, and it wouldn't hurt if it got a little better gas mileage. I kinda agreed, but just couldn't bear to part with my little Ranger-Girl, so we let her retire to a life of ease here in the Hill Country. She spends most of her time basking in the sun, with an occasional trip to the hardware store or nursery, to make her feel useful. It's the least we could do, don't you think, for such a faithful sidekick?
Sunday, May 23, 2010
But not enough, since I only have space for five here. To get the full effect of yesterday's adventures, you need to go see the album I just posted on my facebook page. If you're not on facebook, why not? It's not just for kids anymore! If you want to befriend me there, and you are not someone I know personally, be sure and let me know you are a Seasonality-reader, so I won't ignore your request.
So, here you see Alexis on the way upstairs to her new abode. It looks to me like there was originally a little craftsman-style bungalow on this nice-sized property, with a garage out back that had maid's quarters above it. The garage was turned into one two-story duplex, and another was added on to the back of the original house. The landlord is in Marble Falls, not on site, so even the main house is rented out now, and most of the units have multiple people sharing them, to make them more affordable.
There are lots of gorgeous old trees on the property, which gives Lex's upstairs aerie the feeling of a treehouse. There is also a nice shared courtyard, with firepit and chairs gathered round, and even two raised-bed veggie gardens! Not sure who they belong to, but maybe if Lex volunteers to help, she can snag some free booty.
Other than a few bruises, Lex's multiple blisters from hours of screwing Ikea furniture together, and my unfortunate discovery that my truck's AC no longer works, it was a very good day. I think she's gonna love it here.