Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Kansas Day

Originally uploaded by chaimann
January 29, 2011, is the 150th anniversary of Kansas statehood.

In 1961, when Kansas celebrated its centennial, Pratt had a parade, and mom made sure my brother and I were decked out in our frontier finest. I know she made my dress, and a matching dress for herself. I wouldn't be surprised if she made Phil's vest, too.

Happy Sesquicentennial, Kansas!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A poem for the season

Recent conversations with a couple of football-loving girlfriends reminded me of this little ditty. I composed it when I was in junior high, back when the frozen north ruled the NFL - sort of like this year. What could have been more old school than seeing the Packers, Bears, Steelers, and Jets vying for the Super Bowl this year? I always got a vicious little thrill, seeing southern teams play up north, in falling snow, or in single-digit temps. Namby pambies. You should try living up north ALL THE TIME.
Ahem. Anyway, this is the only thing I ever wrote that I can recite in its entirety. If you would like to enjoy it for yourself, sing it to the tune of Jingle Bells.

Football games! Football games!
Frolics in the snow
Sitting on a frozen bench
It's just thirteen belo-ow
Pass received? Pass received?
We will never know
For the guy who made the catch
Is buried in the snow!
Dashing through snow
A wishbone T in play--  
There's faith though we're behind 
Nineteen to three today
Our team just can' t fit in
The place where we now play
You see, we are from Florida
And playing in Green Bay!
(repeat chorus with gusto)

(Disclaimers: Yes, I know nineteen is an uncommon score, and I know Miami didn't run the wishbone, and they certainly didn't run it across divisions against the Packers. But it's a poem, dammit, and these words scanned, and that's the important thing.)
(P.S. Go Steelers!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My life, circa 1970

70s shirt
Originally uploaded by chaimann
I was cleaning the basement today, and found this, which my mother hung onto until she went into the nursing home. I can't imagine why. It certainly doesn't have the same sentimental value as my baby shoes, my toy telephone, and my first 4-H sewing project, all of which she also saved.

Even after all this time, there is nothing on here I would remove. I especially like the name patch. On an olive shirt, it makes it look like I am the brake repairman... of LOVE.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wordy McWordson

My Nano pal, Holly, contributed the word list to Creative Copy Challenge this week. Then she dared me to take that challenge, and write a story using all ten words. Really, go look at that list. Note that they refer to it as the hardest list ever. How many of those words could you use with confidence? Anyway, Holly dared me by name, on Facebook. What could I do?

I could do this:

It seemed like only yesterday when Agathe had taken Heinrich under her aegis, tasking him with a panoptic study of the nature of life, and of death. Townspeople whispered about their peculiar relationship – her, a widow of a certain age, and him, a young university student who had barely a wisp of a beard. It was easy to assume that the boy had provided Agathe with certain “services” in exchange for an education. That he had long since finished his formal schooling, and continued to live in her magnificent home, further convinced some, and vaguely baffled others.

She watched from the hallway as he worked, and recalled the shy student who had come to her door one evening nine autumns ago, inquiring about lodging as several canids howled in the nearby woods. His shabby clothes had made it clear that he possessed no wealth. Heinrich had roomed there for several weeks before he had admitted that he suffered from taphephobia, the same condition that had plagued Agathe’s beloved Wilhelm. At that moment, she decided to open her entire home to him, including the laboratory and the library. He had heard rumors of her late husband’s experiments, and when he saw the long-dormant rooms, full of dusty journals and test tubes and a large Tesla coil, Heinrich’s face lit up with such verve that Agathe knew she would allow him to stay indefinitely. It was an eleemosynary gesture, of course, but she delighted in the fecund spirit that filled house while he was at work.

Heinrich stood facing a device that appeared to be a small wood stove with semaphore arms attached to either side. After adjusting several pieces, he looked up and saw his patroness in the doorway. “I think it’s ready,” he said. “Would you like to be the first to try it out?”

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Originally uploaded by chaimann
Some time in the last week, our finch socks were knocked to the ground. I blame the deer, especially since every new snowfall is accompanied by hoof prints across the back yards, showing the itinerary of their grand tour.

The finches are skittish about eating that close to the ground, but the juncos love it. A few minutes after I took this picture, there were half a dozen of them pecking away at the nyjer seed.

More snow is in the forecast. I need to get a new sock for the finches - and figure out how to keep the deer away from it.