Wilhelmina Sighting

September 16, 2009



Annoy and Inspire

September 4, 2009

I decided this would be a great place and a good time for me to vent.   But I quickly thought I should balance this with some opposite-rant;  thus the title to this post.    I will list a few pet peeves and then counter with a few things that make me smile.      Let’s see which attitude-influencers WIN!   woo hoo!!

ANNOYING #1:    I get annoyed that people send emails with too few details.   Specifically, the requests I get to invite me to bring my dog to a pet-therapy opportunity.    Seldom do they mention what TOWN they are in!     I’ll get a quick email that announces orientation at Ayer Public Library and…   THAT’s IT!    No, grand thank you for signing up months ago to do this, just ‘hey – here are the dates’.      UM.     huh?  who ARE you?  WHERE are you?   What exactly did I sign up for made you send me this email today?!    SO, now I have to go dig up more details and I really wish I could send an email back, HEY!   WHO ARE YOU!!?!??!

INSPIRATION:     I really have to take a deep breath and just let the faint vague details come to me:    This is an opportunity for me to bring my dog to a program assisting young children learning to read.    Apparently, a child is more comfortable reading aloud to a DOG audience of one and reading scores improve with regular sessions.     I really think Oscar is an excellent calm listener and am eager to do good and help improve a young reader’s ability and foster a love for reading.     Sounds AWESOME, doesn’t it?   At least, I think this email is about that program I signed up for months ago and haven’t heard anything about since…

ANNOY #2:    Husband’s piss-poor attitude this morning.   RRRRrrrrrrrr.     It’s not MY fault you went fishing yesterday and the exhaustion of your FUN day has caused you to be extremely irritable this morning.      He is anything but pleasant this morning.

INSPIRATION:    I must be thankful that my husband has opportunities to pursue his fishing passion and that he left me alone all day yesterday.    I read over half the book I’m currently enjoying AND I got to watch Project Runway without bothering him.     And I’m really glad that he didn’t decide to work from home today.

ANNOY #3:     I get annoyed and SADDENED when people too hastily assume that all creativity and the term ARTIST only means talent for drawing!   COME ON ALREADY!!    what ARE the schools teaching these days!?    Everyone on the planet who has thoughts in their heads are creative.    CREATIVE does NOT mean skilled at pen and paper drawing!     UGH – I can’t express it enough how thoroughly irritated I get that people do not understand the word CREATIVITY!

Here’s what happened yesterday:     I got my hair cut.    I hate getting my hair cut.    I don’t feel pampered, I feel afraid.     I realize this is something I need to tweak my attitude about but it’s still a struggle to set through a session and not wish is was over about 10 minutes after the snipping begins.     ANYWAY, the stylist was complimenting her work and I sincerely said,

“I take it as a good sign that the artist is admiring her work.”

And she replied,  “Oh, I’m not an artist.   I can’t draw at all.   My little sister is only eleven but she’s really good at drawing things.”


INSPIRATION:    I love flowers.     I can see my zinnias outside my window as I glance up from the keyboard trying to find a countering inspiration to my wish that all people would consider and appreciate their own creativity…     Flowers.    Flowers, flowers, flowers…



Off to Cash a Check

August 26, 2009

I’m very excited to announce that the school district found me some money.   Well, it’s MY money and I earned every penny of the $168.44 which represents 2 and 2/3 days (huh?) of substitute teaching.

If you regularly stumble over here and read my few posts, you’ll recall that I had gone into the school district office back in July to pick up my last check (they won’t mail them and subs don’t get direct deposit) and was told,

“You already picked it up.”

“No, I didn’t.   I don’t remember coming in here recently.  I don’t think so.”

But, of course, the seed of doubt was planted.   I searched through files and papers and piles of detritus (cool word, huh?) but couldn’t find the paystub.   I speculated that I had just cashed it and so would thus have no deposit record on my bank statement.    I was all prepared to write a nasty CC:-the-Superintendent about how RUDE the payroll clerk is and blahblahblah but just didn’t have the guts.      I mean, maybe she was right and my kindergarten-teacher-friend who told me the payroll clerk is mean and everybody hates her would actually help me figure out what happened.   I mean, maybe somebody posed as me!


I went to Substitute Teacher Orientation today and guess what!   My boss – who had to announce my name to claim the check because of course she doesn’t really know who I am (nor does the rude payroll clerk, ahem) – hands me my money!!  WAHOO!

I’m still not sure about the 2/3 day but that’s OK.   It’s money and I’m happy the whole damn situation is done.   I really only thought I had a day and half owed.   All good.

I also know now that I should send kids to the nurse if they want to and to not touch any kids with bloody noses.     It was BLOODBORNE ILLNESS PREVENTION training…


Book Recommendation 09001

August 16, 2009

Golly, it’s been awhile since I set up camp over here and regaled the three of you who might actually be reading this and I think, “Self, what tis this absence thing or dichotomous lapse?”

See, I don’t even make much sense.

Anyway, I realize in the past I have enthusiastically announced all sorts of inspired “regular” (as in ongoing) post ideas* and then abandoned same.   Um, like here and here and here.    or here.   And yet, with that same enthusiasm that I’m so famous for (I can count on the three of you to back me up with this, yes?) I once more announce to trumpets and much fanfare of streamers and confetti, that I have a post idea to keep up with on some sort of regular basis.   Hopefully.


(for the year 2009 and this being the first over here on my non-book blog so 001)

Population 485 population485 by Michael Perry

So unexpected.    So worthy of being read.    So much more than just living and working in a small town…   very humbly thoughtful, intelligent, occasionally goofy in a charming way, honest and heart-warming.    and heart-breaking.   GOOD STUFF.

It’s a memoir by a guy who makes his living as a writer but stays grounded by working as a volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Responder in a very small town in Wisconsin.

“He crafts a lovely metaphor.”   (you’ll ‘get it’ if you read it.)

If you like memoirs about regular people who do inspiring things (fight fires!)  -or-   if you like reading about medicine without it being too over the head or maybe boring with terminology and just the right amount of gore and drama  -or-   if you aspire to crafting a life while you craft a career,

you might like this book.

If you like to ‘wax poetically’ – it has just a bit of philosophy, some wisdom, some nuttiness of home town living.    If you like witty or whacky supporting characters, this book has some of that.      If you long for connectedness to a time and to a place and a realization how often we forget and need the reminder of our own humanity – I think you’ll love this book.

Michael Perry has a few other books, too.   Check out his website for more!

*  Other almost serialized post ideas:  movie reviews, quotes, jobs, mosaics, pies…



August 7, 2009

So.   I was just coming back from picking up the pup from doggie-daycare when I had to stop and wait for a car to pass.    While I was waiting for it to move out of my way, I noticed its license plate was from the fine state of Nebraska.


Well, we don’t see too many Nebraska cars up here in Massachusetts, so I was quite curious.   Luckily? — or was it just coincidence?   fate, even? — the car pulled into the strip mall which had a store I was planning at stopping at.   So, I did what any midwesterner- transplant to New England would likely do:    I asked the guy driving the Nebraska car, “Where in Nebraska are you from?”

He said, with a European accent, “I’m not from Nebraska.   It’s just a rental car.”

“Oh,”  I said.

“We’re from the Netherlands.”  he explained,  netherlandsbefore I could explain why this nutty American (me) was so curious why he might be from Nebraska (my husband is from Nebraska).

“Oh.  Well, welcome to Massachusetts! ” I said cheerily, and then paused a bit before asking, “Are you lost?”

The Netherlandian responded with a smile and a nod, “uh, is this downtown?”

“For Lakeville, Mass, yes, this is probably what they would call downtown.   Are you looking for Middleboro?   It has a more traditional town center.”

“We are looking for a hotel.”

“Ah, THAT I can direct you to.”    And so I pointed the way to the closest option for lodging, wished them good luck and waved goodbye.

Later, after purchasing bacon to wrap striper in for cooking on the grill and ice cream for dessert (peppermint stick and “The Big Dig”, vanilla ice cream with fudge brownie chunks, caramel sauce and chocolate chunks by Brigham’s, New England’s Premium Ice Cream), I thought about how ODD my encounter was with the car that was from Nebraska but was driven by a guy from the Netherlands.    I was regretting that I didn’t give them a map – I have plenty in my car.    And I was considering that I should have at least invited them to dinner!    or gone even further, invited them to spend the night at our house.   But alas, that opportunity for a truly good deed was done passed.

And then, I had to think, was it a mere coincidence that they were indeed lost and I was the one who happened to be there for them?

Hmmmmmm.    The universe is just one big crazy place, isn’t it.


Have you done any good deeds lately?     Suffered any odd coincidences?    Do tell!


People Are Crazy

July 21, 2009

“God is great, beer is good.   And people are crazy.” I love this song by Billy Currington.   It makes me laugh and it makes me cry;  just like a good country song should.


Photo Friday 071709 WATER

July 17, 2009


Author’s choice – Water, rain, puddles, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, tears ~ you choose!




Clouds are vapor, right?


Splash!!!  at the lake in Maine


Me, a beautiful day on the ocean -Narragansett Bay


A different day in Narragansett Bay, with Oscar


A friend’s amazing, soothing backyard pool.


ah, happy again

July 16, 2009

Ranting is good.

And, I truly do believe that if you have poison in your attitude, it’s best to yell it out of yourself.

Just to update the 2 or 3 of you who just might care, check this out:


The sign guy figgered it out!    May blessings be heaped upon all who see and witness.


A Blog is a Good Place to Rant

July 13, 2009


stomp feet, yell at nothing, scare the dog without meaning to, I’m SOOO frustrated!

Anyway, thought maybe if I spilled it out here, I might feel better.

I have a boat.   I bought a font to use for the name of my boat.    Unfortunately, I can’t find a sign guy who can make it happen!     The first guy I hired got the color right and the font right but went ahead and put it on the boat without me having time to stop him.   It was supposed to be on one line and he thought it wouldn’t fit.   huh?!?!   He broke it into two lines.   I don’t like it!

So, hub being the awesome husband he is says, “go ahead and hire somebody to fix it.”

Well, the first guy I hire to do that (so, I’m onto my second sign guy – are you keeping up?) says that he can’t do purple, he tells me I was stupid and ridiculous to’buy a font’   (RRRrrrrrrrrrr) and then quotes me a price – dependent on if he can get my font to work.

I email him.  He says he can access the font’  All good, right?   Nope.   He undercharged me and tacks on $100 to the bid.   I tell him to go blow.

So, now we’re to the third guy;   he’ll accept my email and see what he can do.   I don’t know what he’s thinking of charging me yet.    It’s been two weeks and I’m getting impatient and want him to go blow, too.    No updates, no news, no contact – nothing.     I call and he tells me he can’t get the font to open!!!

Now I have to interview more boat-sign people and I’m MAD.

WHY is this SO HARD!?!?!??!?!?

Thank you.  This concludes the rant.    (know any awesome boat sign people in Rhode Island, pls drop a comment.)


The Search

July 13, 2009

As I sit at the desk and wonder what to do with myself today, as I reflect on an awesome weekend we just had, I recall that one to-do thing that should be on the top of my list is to search for lost money.

I can be, at times, extremely well organized.   I can, at other times, be a bit of a slob.    And, on some counts, I could be accused of being scatter-brained – especially, on issues of fiscal responsibility.

For example, the thing I need to do today.    I can’t remember if I was paid for my last two weeks of substitute teaching.    The school says I was.     I, however, don’t remember picking up my check.   The school says I did.  (They can’t afford stamps to mail and direct deposit must be out of their techno-capabilities.)

So I have to search for the pay stub.    I’ve already checked my deposits at the bank to see if anything fits the time period but I didn’t have any.      That means that I cashed the darn thing – if, indeed, I received it.

I had been SO GOOD in January and February!   I would come home and make a copy of the check before filing it, before taking to the bank.

But by the end of the school year…   Well, I don’t even recall what system I was or was not adhering to.   The amount is approximately $100 – that’s another thing I have to check.   Uh, when exactly did I work?!

So.    What are YOU doing today? Anything fun?  (besides blogging, of course.)