Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Little Ogden To Cheer Up Your Day

As a public service from a very civic-minded chick, I hereby reproduce (without permission -- sorry, Little, Brown & Co.) one of my favorite Ogden Nash poems to add a little sunshine to the day of anyone who comes across this blog o' mine:

Where There's a Will, There's Velleity
Seated one day at the dictionary I was pretty weary and also pretty ill at ease,
Because a word I had always liked turned out not to be a word at all, and suddenly I found myself among the v's.
And suddenly among the v's I came across a new word which was a word called velleity,
So the new word I found was better than the old word I lost, for which I thank my tutelary deity,
Because velleity is a word which gives me great satisfaction,
Because do you know what it means, it means low degree of volition not prompting to action,
And I always knew I had something holding me back but I didn't know what,
And it's quite a relief to know it isn't a conspiracy, it's only velleity that I've got,
Because to be wonderful at everything has always been my ambition,
Yes, indeed, I am simply teeming with volition,
So why I was never wonderful at anything was something I couldn't see
While all the time, of course, my volition was merely volition of a low degree,
Which is the kind of volition that you are better off without it,
Because it puts an idea in your head but doesn't prompt you to do anything about it.
So you think it would be nice to be a great pianist but why bother with practising for hours at the keyboard,
Or you would like to be the romantic captain of a romantic ship but can't find time to study navigation of charts of the ocean of the seaboard;
You want a lot of money but you are not prepared to work for it,
Or a book to read in bed but you do not care to go into the nocturnal cold and murk for it;
And now if you have any such symptoms you can identify your malady with accurate spontaneity:
It's velleity,
So, don't forget to remember that you're velleitous, and if anybody says you're just lazy,
Why, they're crazy.

Ogden Nash (1902 - 1971) -- greatest American poet of light verse -- from I'm a Stranger Here Myself (Little, Brown & Company, 1938).

When Life Gives You Lemons . . .

. . . Lie down on the ground and throw a fit!

At least that was what Sadie did at Safeco the other night. But, I'll tell you the story, and you will understand:

For Jason's birthday last week, we went to see the Seattle Mariners play the San Francisco Giants at Safeco Field. My favorite player, Randy Winn, was back in town with the Giants. Jason bought tickets in the first row of the outfield seats, so that I could watch my boy in right field. These were sweet seats, and Randy Winn was as beautiful as ever.

So, at Safeco there is a kids' play area with all the things that would delight the heart of a child with even less monkey in her than mine has. Sadie zeroed in on that play area immediately, and asked to go inside forthwith. I wanted to get to our seats and gaze upon Randy for the first few innings, so I promised her that I'd bring her back there later.

We ate hot dogs and garlic fries and drank tons of pop. Sadie was having a good time, watching the game, coloring in her coloring book, yelling out to Randy Winn; but she never forgot the play area. At the beginning of the eighth inning, she asked if it was time yet to go to the kids' area. I agreed that it was time indeed, and I complimented her on her patience. So, we went to the play area just as a new session was going in. We got our passes for the following session that would start in 20 minutes. Sadie was cool with that.

To pass the time, we lurked about in the Mariners store, where Sadie tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade me to purchase a large foam finger that declared that the M's are #1. I cannot bring myself to advertise a sentiment so patently false. I mean, I love my Mariners, but come on! I tried to convince her that she needed a Mariners sweatshirt, but she didn't bite. So, 20 minutes passed on by, and it was time at last to enter through those pearly gates of Safeco fun -- the longed-for kids' play area.

We went up with our pass to the man at the entrance, and he dropped the bomb upon us: The play area had had to close early, since a little boy had peed inside one of the play tunnels. They would not re-open that night, because the game was so near its end. I looked down and saw Sadie's face -- wide-eyed with incredulity -- crumple in disappointment. When the bad news had sufficiently sunk in, she promptly took the course of action she felt was called for and threw herself on the ground, yelling and crying. It was a miserable moment, indeed.

I scooped her up off of the ground and carried her broken, sobbing form back to her daddy. He cuddled her in his arms as she spilled the whole sordid tale. Jason reacted promptly in his daddish way, declaring that he'd go find that kid and give him a real reason to wet his pants. He was so sad for her, and I was too. It's really, really tough to see your kid play by the rules and then get screwed over. But that's just one of the harder lessons of life, isn't it?

If only working hard and playing by the rules were the guarantors of the good life! The fact that they aren't is probably one of the reasons that so many people find it hard to finish the race. I've spoken with people who thought that, once they surrendered their hearts in faith to Christ, they would lose the struggles and lose the disappointment and lose the pain. I've been one of those people myself, sometimes. It's like: Lord, why is it still so hard? And yet, He never promised us a life without heartaches and betrayals and sorrows; He simply, beautifully, reassuringly promised us a life in which we would no longer have to face those trials alone.

So, Sadie's daddy dried her tears, snuggled her up in his arms, and bought her some cotton candy. He explained that that situation with the play area was a bummer and completely unfair, but sometimes life is like that. Sometimes locked cars get broken into. Sometimes the worse man gets the promotion. Sometimes the teacher doesn't stop the other kid from taking your toy. Sometimes a boy pees in a play area tunnel, right before it's your turn to play. But, that's okay in the end, and you'll be just fine, Baby Girl, because you are never alone. Daddy will always be here to dry your tears and comfort you.

I also promised that, on our next trip to Safeco, I'd take her to the play area during the first few innings.

By the way, the Mariners won that night. And Randy Winn hit a home run for the Giants. So, it was the best of both worlds.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone, Long Time Passing?

Gosh, it seems like I write so much and so often, and yet I post so little. Seriously, I have an attic full of blog posts that I cannot bring myself to put out there for general public perusal. Pollyanna (i.e. Carolyn Arends) has got nothing on me!

I'm still here, kicking about. I have been reading so many good books -- same old, same old. I've been dealing with the house stuff (we're not moving, by the way), and homeschooling stuff (you should hear Sadie's German!), and starting a business stuff (Barefoot Books Stallholder), and friend stuff (one of my very best friends just moved back into the area!), and all that other good stuff too! It is a very happy time right now.

Thank you for still stopping by. My husband is going out of town for a week (a vacation with my father -- yes, I know that's a little unusual, but isn't it great that they get along so well?); so, hopefully, I'll get some posts up -- maybe some reviews and reflections. At least, I'll try to get something up that proves that I'm still alive. I appreciate all the patience and concern of those who e-mail me to ask what in the world is keeping me from posting to this blog.

Peace and blessings to you!

Friday, June 02, 2006


Oh dear! I'm sorry to say, but it looks like, at least in Victoria's Secret Land, 1980's fashions have returned.

Oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why?

I can't live it all over again. I just can't! Not the neon and fluorescent colors! Not the crimped hair! Not the innumerable rubber bracelets! Not the Swatch watches! Not the high heeled shoes with jeans! And not -- never again -- the leggings layered under mini-skirts. No!

Cruel, cruel Victoria's Secret! Stick to naughty undies and leave us content in our new Millennium and natural fibers and logical layers.

A Star is Born

Sadie had her first ballet recital on Wednesday, May 31. The dance was "I'm a Little Teapot." I wish I knew how to post the video of her performance, but I'll have to post a few pre- and post-show instead.

Mom has finished the hair and has admonished Sadie not to mess with it until after the show. Mom is very proud of her handiwork. Sadie grudgingly agrees to throw Mom a bone.

Still sitting pretty. Dad snaps away while Mom gets dressed.

In the car, on the way to the Big Show at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA. A first-class operation across the board.

Post-Show: Mom has finally allowed Sadie to rid her hair of all foreign objects. Dad presents the flowers to our little ballerina. Life is good, indeed.

Okay, I think I've gotten the "proud mama" bit out of my system for a while. The waters of this blog ought to be safe and free of Sadie pics for a long spell. Thanks for bearing with me -- I hope all moms are as insufferable as I over their first-borns.

And, If You're Curious . . .

. . . about what Carolyn Arends looks like -- or at least what she looks like after a concert when paired with my daughter -- here are a couple of pictures that we took at the May 12, 2006 concert in West Seattle:

And this one is included just because Sadie is so cute!