Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sign Language

I wondered at first if this might be considered a Corporal Work of Mercy,
for surely this was an imprisonment. Though she had a beautifully landscaped enclosure, this intelligent creature sat forlornly in the corner, eyes sadly downcast, looking away if someone tried to take her photo. Though I know orangutans generally live alone, I could not help but feel sorry for her boredom.

We put our palms to the glass, yet she didn't respond. We were about to leave when she suddenly climbed to the grating above the window. She took a small twig from her mouth and began to feed it through a tiny hole in the corner of the plate glass. A few people began to gather behind me. What was she doing?

She climbed back down and pointed at my purse and then up again at the hole. She wanted me to give her something through that hole. Knowing I would not as I don't want to get arrested, yet wanting to interact, I began to show her things in my purse. At each item, she'd look, wave it away, and point again to my purse. Finally, I just held the purse up to the window, and she peered in, inspecting more closely than an airport security guard. Indeed, I wondered why they didn't reassign her to these duties. She motioned for me to move over the dividers in my purse so she could see better. She memorized my credit card numbers, hence the creative fundraising the zoo is now employing.

Having found nothing satisfactory, she pointed to William's backpack. He'd brought along clothes and goggles in the unlikely event that on this cold day, the sprinkler park would be open. William did not want an ape going through his things, nor did he want his mother to show the ape his backpack. Still, the orang pointed. Finally, we were able to negotiate showing that the pack contained only clothes. Back to my purse.

By now, a docent told us that "she" was Amber, and was curious. She loved to watch women put on lipstick and see what else you have. And the docent had caught people trying to stick gum and other items through the hole. The ape is very persuasive.

Amber stuck her long arms though a fence behind her and grabbed an even longer stick. She stripped it of side branches, and again gave me a present through the small hole. We sat "talking" to her, forever divided by glass.

"Is she dangerous, mom?" William asked. About that time, Amber yawned, showing very large teeth. I have no answer, and will not have the opportunity to find out. We left, able to call goodbye to her from the outside fence where she could hear us. She looked briefly, then went back to frisking the rest of her audience.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Zoo Finds New Method of Funding

After days of rain, yesterday, we had beautiful weather. I left my mountains of housework and tasks to take William and Anna to the zoo.

I was taken aback at their new fundraising techniques, that is, they seem to be training the animals to pick my pocket, or in this case, purse. Here you see a lorikeet looking in my purse, only after eating $2 in nectar and then licking the side of my face.

Evidently, he (she?) did not find the pickings satisfactory, for shortly after the photo was taken, it bit the back of my arm sharply, which hurt like the devil.

Next: how I got frisked by an orangutan.

Notes: Where have I been? Two of our four computers completely crashed. When you have two daughters working on online courses, that becomes a serious problem. So, computer time has been limited.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Last night I was out at my favorite time of day, just after it turned completely dark. I looked up at the stars far above, stars that have been looked upon by many generations gone before, stars that will be here long after I'm gone. What's it like up there, I wondered?

My eyes often turn upward after my evening chores and I think of such things. It is quiet, just me and the crickets, and I think about life and the beyond. Last night, I thought about Chuck.

It is my great sadness to write that Chuck of Chuck's Chatter went to heaven this past Saturday after a brief illness. I met Chuck several years ago when he and I became partners in running the Church thrift shop. Chuck would relieve me of running the register and I'd relieve him of folding clothes, a satisfactory arrangement for us both. His wit and updates on his family brought him into my extended family.

William asked, "Who will count the money at the shop now? Chuck and I used to count the money together." I reminded him that it was okay to be sad, but to also be happy that we had the opportunity to know him.

Chuck was also known around town as Constable Chuck, as he ran unopposed as a write-in candidate in last November's election. He made it his project to ticket motorists parking illegally in handicapped parking spots about town. Every time I look at handicapped spots, I will think of him and look for their handicap permits. (Not that I plan to take his place in these duties.)

The thrift store will not be the same for me, as I really continued my work there longer than I probably should so that I could hear stories about his wife, their two sons and grandchildren, about wintering at the Mets baseball training camp, about Lorain, his 80-something baseball training camp friend, and his favorite spots to eat.

Rest well, my friend.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pushing the Limit

My sister has embarked on a new exercise program and she daily updates us with her progress on Facebook. She mentioned today that she was doing push-ups. I responded:

I'm doing push-ups, too. I'm pushing my coffee up to my mouth, and pushing my new reading glasses up on my nose, and pushing my butt up out of this chair to go do chores.

We've been college shopping for Lauren. It feels a good deal like house shopping. First one has to find the right neighborhood, then the right house, and THEN, can one afford it? Another analogy might be that it is like shopping for a husband for her, knowing all the while none of them are good enough for her, but ultimately, you'll have to find the one that is good enough to send her away to.

This college shopping is something that I don't remember doing when I went to college. I remember having a short list of colleges, none of which I visited, and finally just picking based on cost and that the location was nearby. Of course, cost remains a factor. Yearly costs are more than a luxury car.

Was that duck supposed to hatch this weekend or next?

Pet sitting for neighbors who have ducks. They are very stupid, even worse than chickens. How do they survive?

Anna and my mother-in-law have an art show starting on Monday as a multi-generational art show.

My days are so full, I'm afraid one day I'll wake up and find that I'm ninety years old and it went by so fast.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hay Fairy

Yesterday was a day of mystery. I could not find the juvenile red rooster, and in the middle of the day, six square hay bales appeared out of nowhere. I asked one neighbor, and she denied having been my benefactor. Perhaps it was the neighbor to the west?

After working at the Church thrift shop, I went to feed the horses their afternoon grain, and there was red rooster. In the morning, as I put out grain, the chickens try to steal a little before the horses come ambling in. It seems he got cornered, and though I had looked in all the stalls, I missed seeing him. He seemed relieved to be let out.

After an early morning ride, a friend stopped on his way home. He was my hay fairy. Someone had gifted him with twenty bales and he couldn't fit it all in his barn, so he gave me some. What a nice surprise!

The bantam continues to sit on the duck egg, and I can only imagine what she will think when this ugly duckling hatches.

On Monday, we picked Anna's artwork up from three sources, farmed out for the fair and an art show. We were surprised with a three foot trophy as she had won (unbeknownst to us) the title "Supreme Grand Champion" award for 4H at the Kentucky State Fair.

We're going to donate the trophy to the 4H office, for surely it'll be knocked over by some dog or kid here at our house.

And, for those of you that care, today is Talk Like a Pirate Day~! William says pirates don't do homework. I said pirates also get thrown overboard or run through with a sword. Just sayin'.

AND! This day twenty years and twenty pounds ago, I was walking down the aisle to my future happiness. I hope for at least twenty more! Happy Anniversary, honey!

Prayer request: Chuck of Chuck's Chatter is in the hospital in ICU. Please leave him a note on his blog wishing him a speedy recovery. I'll print it out and bring it to his room.


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