Five Minute Friday: Ordinary

Brine shrimp. Laboratory picture

Brine shrimp. Laboratory picture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I noticed it this morning when I was taking a shower. Yeah, that’s pretty ordinary, taking a shower. Unless you have no running water.

Ordinary is all a matter of perspective. What you think is ordinary is hardly what’s ordinary to someone else. My ordinary isn’t your ordinary.

When my daughter was eight or nine we got Sea Monkeys. You know, the all-too-ordinary brine shrimp, packaged to look like the royalty of the undersea realm. Yeah, right. They’re shrimp—and not even edible ones. I warned her, “You do understand, don’t you, that they’re not really going to wear crowns, like this picture shows?” “Yeah, mom, can we make them now?” Five minutes, a jar of water, and the contents of a little plastic packet, and she was in heaven. “Ooohh! Look, they’re swimming! They’re so tiny! Mom, can you see them!?” Yeah, I could see them. But what I saw was brine shrimp. Pretty ordinary. What she saw? Amazing!

***** 5-minute-friday-1

What’s Five Minute Friday?

A blog-prompt project dreamt up by LisaJo Baker, which you can read about here. The skinny is that you spend five minutes of writing, generally unedited (I correct typos, WAY too OCD not to do that, and set up links), on a prompt that she provides just after midnight via a tweet, then spread the word, and link up. Interested? Join up. Check it out.

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What’s Yours?

Calvin and Hobbs ResolutionsEverybody makes ‘em. Nobody keeps ‘em. Yeah. I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions.

You have to admit, they show good intention. People always mention that they want to lose weight, start exercising, manage their budget better, invest wisely, save more money, become a better parent, the lists go on. And on.

Why, honestly, do we bother? I have never yet met a person who made a New Year’s resolution that they managed to keep. Ever. Past February. (If you have, please comment, because I want to arrange a meeting with you and other world leaders.) Given that, I am starting an entirely new style of resolution, which is based on the principal of reverse psychology. It’s a well-known fact that, since the Garden of Eden, people can’t seem to avoid doing either the very thing someone tells them not to do, or just the opposite of what they are supposed to do.

So, my New Year’s Resolutions are as follows:

  • Utterly trash my home and become an unrepentant hoarder;
  • Become a recluse who shuns human contact, especially with my aging parents and any close friends;
  • Gain as much weight as is humanly possible by never cooking or eating anything healthy, let alone by attempting anything that even resembles exercise;
  • Never keep track of appointments or dates and never, ever return phone calls the same day;
  • Avoid anything that smacks of spirituality or any kind of organized religion;
  • Shamelessly prowl Facebook and Twitter All Day Long;
  • Relentlessly pursue anything that might depress me, most notably by staying in bed all day;
  • Spend my money on whimsical items that have no enduring value whatsoever; and
  • Write as little as possible.

I’ll NEVER tell you how that’s going.

No more excuses!

Yumster in waiting!

I still haven’t unpacked my bread pans, so I’ve been waiting to bake bread here. But it was bugging me, and Paul and Lindsay were both asking about it. So, no more excuses. I decided, “What kind of a baker am I if I can’t bake bread without a pan?” So here we are, bread dough rising. I’ll just make a shaped loaf, and I’m sure it’ll be just as tasty as it would if I used a pan! Just less suitable for toast. So what.

Notes to Sophia

Calligraphic inspiration, really!

Image by Søren Hugger Møller via Flickr

I’ve been chatting with Sophia on Skype while she’s studying abroad in Rome this semester. My parents were, initially, aghast at the idea, since they thought I was calling her on the phone and figured I was running up a bill in the hundreds of dollars every other day. So I took my computer over to their house and we’ve all talked to her. I guess it is pretty cool, if you think about it.

Video or not, every single time we talk, there’s something I forget to mention to her. (How utterly normal, and mom-like!) In the past, I would just text her. (Well, in the olden days, I would’ve just make some notes on an actual piece of paper with a pen or pencil! Wow, how quaint and old-timey!) But now that she doesn’t have her phone with her, I can’t text her, but I’ve discovered there’s a way to send SMS messages on Skype, so I just make sort of a running commentary of things, and she fills herself in when she logs on, before she calls.

I thought it might be interesting for people to see that my texts to her, despite the fact that she’s halfway around the world, don’t really differ that much from what they do when she’s here. They generally encompass the mom-style comments that I imagine go on all over the world.

  • What are you doing? How are you doing? (You know, “don’t forget to wear a sweater, take your vitamins, get a good night’s sleep, etc.”)
  • Here’s a good place to visit, if you haven’t already been there.
  • Don’t waste your money, it’s not growing on trees!
  • My various opinions about cultural expectations.
  • Duh moments, on my part.

So, for your unfettered amusement, here are my completely unedited texts from this morning:

I downloaded Google earth and “walked” from the Pantheon to your hotel! Cool! The hotel is MUCH smaller than I thought. I can see how doing business with Saint Mary’s is a good way for them to make steady money, aside from the tourists. It’s crazy how the streets are so narrow! People here would freak. Not to mention the fact that everyone is walking!!! What would people here do?

Here’s the closest yarn store, according to my estimates:
Canetta Srl – Filati
Via 4 Novembre, 157
00817 Rome, Italy

It’s just a little farther away than the Pantheon, except east, rather than north. So easily within walking distance. Like two blocks from Trajan’s column, which you should see, if you haven’t. It’s the basis for what calligraphers use for “Roman” lettering. I’ve only seen pictures of it, but it’s amazing. I learned to do “Trajan Capitals” when I studied calligraphy…. for some reason, I was thinking it was in another part of the country… Honestly, I keep forgetting that Rome has WAY more to it than just Catholic stuff.

Reading over it, I do have to laugh… Yes, she’s buying some sock yarn for me (well, for me to make her socks), since I told her most of the yarn I use is actually imported from Italy. I was “looking” for the store using the street view in Google earth (why I didn’t think of that before now is beyond me), and “wandered” by a couple of famous things (well, more than a couple!), which prompted me to ask if she’s already seen them or plans to.

And honestly, maybe it’s just because Catholicism is just such a major part of my life, but I keep thinking that all the “Roman” stuff is…uh…somewhere else! What am I thinking?

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Babies Don’t Keep

rocking babyI read this poem many years ago, and since I’m aware of several new moms now, and others who are helping take care of new babies, I thought I’d look it up and share it.

Babies Don’t Keep
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

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