Friday, November 30, 2007

I Did It!!

I posted thirty straight days (well, except for that one little snafu, which we will not talk about!) I am not sure I will do this again next year. If I do, I think what I might do is find quotes or photos to use as writing prompts so I will not have to resort to silly posts about sock monkeys being the star of the show. Okay, I am out of here, off to catch up on my blog reading and then, no telling what.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Twenty-Nine Days

I've got a couple of posts going in my head and Cathy, I will get to the meme in the next day or so, but right now it is the end of a very long day and I am ready to crash. Or maybe I am just lazy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yesterday's Post? Blogger Ate It

Yeah, that's what happened.

It isn't that I got mixed and thought I had already posted for yesterday. No, it wasn't that at all. I'm telling you, it's all Blogger's fault. That's my story and I am sticking with it.

Or it might be that
David jinxed me when he said "Annie, I think that you are going to make it through the thirty days of blogging! Yes, yes, I am sure of it!"

One thing is for certain, it is not
my fault!

I'll be back later with today's post.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Three Years Ago Today

I walked through the door to Blogland and found all sorts of interesting characters. It's been fun.

Day 27:
Thankful for the creative outlet of blogging.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Star of the Show

For a limited time at Cracker Barrel restaurants, for only $4.99, you too can have a brilliant partner to help you write stupendous posts as we enter the last few days of National Blog Posting Month.

Any of you remember having one of these sock monkeys as a child? This one is only about four inches tall, meant to be a Christmas ornament. I am a sucker for miniature things. I had to have him, for no good reason!

Yes, I know, I am seriously scraping the bottom of the barrel--only four more days to go!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day 25



This is a photo I fixed for the woman I work with. It is of her mother and was taken in the forties. Her mother died a few months ago. When I brought the fixed copy in for her to see, she was so surprised and pleased, I thought she was going to cry. It was a 5X7 photo so it was a nice size to work with, much better than working on a snapshot.

So I did do something constructive in my long weekend off from work.

In other news, my graphic for the 30 Days of Thanks seems to have disappeared into thin air. I had the HTML code on Blogger but even that is not working so the link must be broken on the original site. I am not going to worry about trying to fix it now since there are only 5 days left of this whole NaBloPoMo business (which does not mean I will cease being grateful, only that I will probably not post it here!)

Day 25: Thankful to do something to make someone else happy.

(Darn! Now I see my bowling shoe and R. T. Harris quote pics are missing too! What is going on?)

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Yesterday was full of sunshine and shadow. Today it is raining and cold, making it hard to see anything other than the shadows.

Day 24: Thankful for my home in this time of darkness, for lights that shine within my windows.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I have not gotten out except to go eat with my youngest daughter at our favorite Mexican restaurant. So far, I have piddled the day away. I had an opportunity to ride with my husband to Natchitoches, but I did not take it. I figured it would be overrun with people today. Still, I could have taken pictures and it is such a pretty little town.

I have an idea for Christmas cards that I ought to be working on. I am bad about thinking of stuff and not following through on the work part of it. I ought to be cleaning up my little art room so I can work on stuff...sigh. Probably won't get done today.

This post card was also in one of the Systematic Theology books I bought yesterday. I wonder if the good reverend ever got this tea selling issue resolved? Surely by now, all is forgiven and forgotten.

Day 23: Thankful, just thankful.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day

My sister manages two ministry oriented resale shops and it has become a tradition for some of us to go browse around the shops after we eat our Thanksgiving meal at her house. Last year my nephew beat me to the Thing One and Thing Two dolls. This year he found a Thing Two t-shirt that he tried to pawn off on me but it was just a little snug so I ended up not taking it.

We did not find much of anything this year (but we all still have fun looking around and acting silly). My nephew did end up with a pair of stylish bowling shoes. I am most certainly not jealous of this find....

I bought several old books, among them Volume Two and Three of Systematic Theology by Augustus Hopkins Strong, D. D., LL. D, published in 1909. No, I am not going to be taking up any serious study of theology. I bought these older books planning to use them as background papers for collages but now I'm thinking the pages are too old and brittle for me to use. I think they are old enough that I can copy them without violating copyright laws, but I will have to research that to be sure.

Anyway, there were a few notes made in the books, which belonged to a Rev. R.T. Harris.

I love finding notes in old books, especially when they are as charming and witty as this one. Reverend Harris' handwriting leaves a little to be desired so I typed in his cryptic observation...

Day 22: Thankful for safety on the road.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day 21

Can't write much now, headed out the door to buy cat food (did I mention youngest daughter brought in a kitten--I am so not grateful for that little animal--the kitten, I mean) and we are leaving out at 0-2-early-thirty in the morning, heading for Houston for the day. But at least with this bit of news, I have fulfilled day 20 of my 30 day commitment!

Have a scrumptious Thanksgiving, all!

Day 21: Thankful for family.

(Had to come back in and edit, I had it down as day 20! Sheesh. I went to school in Louisiana. I can count past ten!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Spider's Web

I was letting the dog out this morning and noticed more spider webs in the tree. I used the flash on this one.

Day 20: Thankful for eyes to see.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Danger! Danger!

I am trying to install a router and cannot make it recognize my modem, or something like that. Hopefully my modem and I will not be separated for too long!

Day 19: I will be thankful if I get this thing hooked up correctly.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Chair

Jules said the photo of the chair made her want to sit right down in it. I thought of how, in some ways, she has set herself down in my cyber-chair and made herself at home. We've all done it when we take time to comment on another person's blog post or listened to what someone else had to say in response to something we've written.

It seems a weird new way of making friends and learning more about how other people think and feel. I'm glad I am part of it. I love it when each one of you stops in to add your two cents' worth and I love going around to see what is happening in each of your lives.

And I really like my chair photos, even though Anonymous almost sees the one at the top as symbolic of an executioner's chair! If you look at the seat, it does kind of look like little electrical sparks are going across the wood. But it really is safe to come on in and have a seat. I don't have the electricity hooked up to the chair, not anymore, I promise!

Part of what has me thinking along the lines is an article in Parade magazine in this morning's paper about online friendships. I am surprised they did not mention blogging as one of the ways of making online friends.

Day 18: I am thankful for friendship.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Reaching for Help

I wrote this post on April 18th of this year and I said that I'd had it in my drafts file for a couple of months where I talked about depression and the possible need to go back on medication. I've been fighting this latest round for several months now.

I tend to be able to pull myself out of depression, which I think, makes sense if I have the dysthymic depression that the doctor said I had several years back when he gave the bleak prognosis that I would probably need to be on medicine for the rest of my life. The thing is, it takes a lot of energy to talk myself out of the depression, and it never lasts very long. Then I have to start talking to myself again. And I am tired.

It's gotten to where it is almost all I can do to get up and go to work. Several kind people have helped convince me that I probably need to get back on the medicine. I call these people kind almost sarcastically because who wants to be looked straight in the eye and be told "You are depressed, and you need something to help you cope." And then when I complained to another person, saying I have
been coping, he had to say "Yes, but how well have you been coping?" Both these people are professional therapists so they ought to know that of which they speak.

I know it too, in my heart of hearts. And I am somewhat relieved to be finally reaching for the safety net.

Day 17: I am thankful for medicine, and for the insurance that helps to pay for it, that stuff is danged expensive and somebody needs to do something about it.

(Please forgive the high number of sentences that seem to run on and on. I think it has something to do with my relief at having finally decided to do something to help myself with this problem!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

16 Days and What Do You Get?

Anyone remember that old Tennessee Ernie Ford song? Anyone know who Tennessee Ernie Ford is? My parents had an album by him and this song was on it (16 Tons, and what do you get, another day older and deeper in debt).

I've been playing in Photoshop again. I'm not real happy with either of these photos but the quote warms my Pollyanna heart and makes me think. You can click on the images to make them a little bigger (I've been "shrinking" them for the web and almost shrunk these too much). That's all for tonight.

"...only the fact that life unfolds very slowly preserves it from being unbearably poignant." --Gretchen Rubin

Day 16: I'm thankful for moments of poignancy in my life.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Speaking of Changes

I changed the photo in my blog header! I really loved the leaf photo but I wanted something a little different. I probably can work on figuring out how to make the photo fill more of the box at a later date, it gave me fits trying to get everything sized correctly.

Day 15: Thankful for time spent in the company of other women at a makeup party.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


"Nobody changes as long as they can make the old ways work."*

I guess this shop window display works quite well for the owners. I don't believe it has changed in the nearly thirty years that I have been driving past it.

I've got some changes I need to be working on. So does my sixteen year old. A few of those changes are going to pit me, Tired Mama, up against said sixteen year old. There are a couple of things I need. One is consistent perseverance. The other is, well, a set of those round things that start with the letter "B", preferably brass, please.

"You know, one of your themes is "loosening up." I hope you don't underestimate how important a job this is--or how difficult. It takes years--and it's not only well worth doing, it's a huge relief as you get more and more of it done."*

Day 14: Thankful to be able to loosen up enough to let my needs be known.

*recent words from an insightful friend

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 13

I am behind on my blog reading. Yikes! Tomorrow is another day.

Day 13: I am thankful for hope.

I Have to Ask!

Did this "thang" not appeal to anyone? Or did it get lost in the shuffle of all the every single day posts and being posted on a Friday afternoon when blog reading is forgotten and heading out the door to a lovely weekend is the priority?

No, I don't need to always hear that every single one of these "thangs" are wonderful (though if that is what you think, then by all means, say it! I have to admit, the love feels good!). I'm just curious. Sometimes these "thangs" come from the recesses of my private life and as such, they are often a shorthand visual for more complicated (and personal) thoughts. So if my "shorthand" does not work for others, it is a good thing for me to know.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 12

Day 12: I am thankful for the gift of God's grace.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thoughts on Blogging

Someone in my real life world has started blogging (only the second person I know from my real life who blogs!). It's more of a professional blog. I always use my annie oddflower moniker when commenting on blogs. Using it on her blog means I might run the risk of other people in my real life world seeing my blog.

My friend the pysho therapist taught me that though it is always a risk to be truly seen, it can also be quite rewarding. I’m thinking I will take the risk, but what if I am sorry afterwards? Then the horse is out of the barn, so to speak, and there will be nothing I can do to undo that. Well I could do something, I have seen others do something about the problem, but it would take a lot of work.

I started blogging as a creative outlet and as a way to add variety to my world. Also, at the time I was in school for Commercial Art and one of my teachers kind of casually remarked that I was technologically challenged. I wanted to verify to myself that I could do this. I had recently rediscovered my love of collage and was participating in a Yahoo group and wanted a place to show my creations. There were several blogs I read on a regular basis that became my inspiration at the time for the direction I wanted to go with my blog. I still consider those bloggers to be above my level. I no longer aspire to be so much like them. Instead I am content to let my own blog go in whatever direction it will go. It has evolved into an eclectic collection of personal anecdotes. I am pleased with the evolution.

I realize now that I also wanted a way to be seen. I've been through a lot of doggie doo since I began blogging and I have made meaningful connections with several people through this experience. I think I have also grown quite a bit since my first post. In thinking about this, I think my growing self would say to the timid me "Oh get over yourself woman and allow your self to be your self."

It's been a lot of fun--and no, I am not about to say that I am quitting! The end of this month will mark my third anniversary in blogland so I have been a bit introspective about that. Do any of you ever think about the fact that we bloggers are walking on such new ground? I've read where they caution young people about the things they put on their MySpace pages, that those things could come back to haunt them years later when they start to look for their first "real" jobs. This stuff never really disappears from cyberspace. These blog postings may have the potential to become the equivalent of old diaries and journals from our grandparents' generations. Years from now some whippersnapper may read our words and come to conclusions about how we lived "back then".

But even more fascinating to me is seeing how cyber friendships develop through these interactions. I value my little group of consistent readers and the friendships that have developed. I love hearing from y'all. Y'all have been a source of encouragement and inspiration to me and have more that sated my need to eavesdrop on the lives of others.

(Y’all do know annie oddflower is not my real name, don’t y’all? I mean, isn’t that much obvious? Annie is a nickname given to me by the couple I worked for in the sporting goods store. All during my first week there, the husband kept calling me Annie. I answered to Annie, it was obvious he was talking to me, but inside I grumbled “I’ve been working here a week and this goofball doesn’t even know my name yet.” Turns out, he often used nicknames and I grew to like mine and became accustomed to answering to it, so when the time came to choose a name for my alter ego blog writer, I chose Annie. I added the Oddflower as a tribute to my Native American roots, and because, well, it fit so well. I am a bit of an odd flower! I freely admit that much.)

Day 11: Thankful for a rudimentary grasp of blogging technology.
(Didn't I already say I was grateful for my dear readers?
I sure hope so, and I am thankful for you, my dear readers!)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thanks Giving

Day 10:

I am very thankful for a pleasant drive to Houston with my youngest daughter. She drove, and did very well, thank you very much! Also, the music problem was not much of a problem. On the way over we listened to Carole King's Tapestry CD. I have loved that CD since I was her age (back when it was an eight-track tape!) and now she loves it too.

Day 10

I feel a bit like the Dunkin' Doughnuts man, only instead of saying "I gotta make the doughnuts", I am saying "I gotta make a blog post! Be sure and check out this post (11/09/07). It's another one of "them thangs I do" and I kind of like it.

I suppose I'll be back later in the day to express my thanks for this day...

(Now I have fulfilled my obligation to post something every day. No one said it had to be quality work every single day!)

Friday, November 09, 2007


We close early on Fridays. I am always so glad to escape the confines of that office at the end of the week!

It was a tough week on a personal level so I was extra glad to come home. My sixteen year old has been struggling with school and with depression. I think she is doing better now, but sure as I say that, there will be some kind of super hormone charged release of emotion this weekend! She and I are heading to Houston tomorrow. The drive will give us some time to visit if we can agree on the music!

I love this photo, now. I took it after a strong wind had come through and the fence was full of leaves that had gotten stuck in it. It really was a crappy photo to begin with and I had to fiddle with it a bit before adding my words.

Day 9: Sometimes it gets complicated but I am thankful for my entangled, connected and messy life.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My Maternal Grandmother

She embodied contentment.

Day 8: I am grateful for my grandmother.

Grandmother's House

The old house, emptied
of Grandmother's presence,
sinks slowly into a spirit

of disrepair,
welcoming comfort
from the scurry of field mice
and the coo of doves,

whose eerie song spooks
nerves of the living,
who are alone
in this darkened house,


Searching for essence
of Grandmother. With tender
longing, we breathe her scent
on dresses left hanging,
shoes left below.

Waiting for her return,
for her to slip into them
and walk away,

longing to be useful
once more.

In the kitchen, pots and pans
also wait, barren,
wanting biscuits to rise and swell
again like pregnant tummies full
of hope, affirming life.

Only stillborn memories survive
as the old house

slips quietly into disrepair.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I Got Nothin'

Day seven of this project and I have no funny stories to tell, no insights to share, nothin', nada, zip!

Well, here is this little thing I did in Photoshop. I don't much like it as it is, so I might redo it on canvas some time. I kind of like the words and the man in the photo is my maternal grandfather. He really was not much of a fisherman. I am not even sure how this photo came about. I wonder who had the camera?

Day 7: I am grateful for my grandfather.

Still Life

Grandmother cooked on a wood stove:
peas, butterbeans, cornbread, biscuits.
For desert, we ate canned peaches.
When everyone left the table,

Grandfather winked and smiled at me
as we divided what was left
of the peach juice into our bowls
and drank life's syrupy sweetness.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It's True, I'm a Weirdo

Just got in from the bookstore and then the library, where I checked out one book and put another on order. I love to be able to borrow books from the library. Every time I go, I look around to see what other adults (non-student types) are there and I wonder to myself what kind of weirdo goes to the library for no particular purpose and then I remember I am there for no particular purpose!

Day 6: I'm thankful for libraries.

Monday, November 05, 2007


A recent collage from my journal. Mindy, do you recognize any of the elements? I have enjoyed digging through my box and finding ephemera to use in my collages.

Day 5: I'm thankful for the gift of creativity.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Seeing? Or Observing?

I'd hate to have that old fart, Sherlock Holmes, on my case about the distinctions between seeing and observing. I think I will work on my observing this week.

Holmes: "You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. For example, you have frequently see the steps which lead up from the hall to this room."

Watson: "Frequently."

Holmes: "How often?"

Watson: Well, some hundreds of times."

Holmes: "Then how many are there?"

Watson: "How many? I don't know."

Holmes: "Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. That is just my point. Now, I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed."

From: "A Scandal in Bohemia" in The Complete Sherlock Holmes (New York: Doubleday, 1927)

Day 4: I am thankful for the "cheerleaders" in my life.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

30 Days of Thanks -- Day 3

Thanks for cooler weather. See? I knew I was going to have trouble with the thanks giving! And I really am a grateful person. I'm just not an expressive grateful person! I have trouble being specific. I can talk in generalities all day long (and that is a problem in more ways than one). Surely I will get better if I practice every day!

Here is proof that I really have seen snow. This was the house I lived in from the time I was two or three years old until I went to fourth grade. Maybe one of these days, it will snow again like this in these here parts. I am always grateful when it is cool enough that we do not have to wear shorts on Christmas Day!

Here is How it Went

His appointment was on Thursday. When he got to the office, no one was there except for one male secretary who knew nothing other than that the office was closed for All Saint's Day (can you imagine that?). It was very frustrating. The decision was made to stay another day and try to catch the man in the office on Friday. My husband and I were the naysayers on this decision. We figured the guy was taking a long weekend. Bottom line? The attorney was in on Friday and my son was able to meet with him. Things went well and the attorney told him he liked working with people who were doing what they needed to be doing. We still don't know how things will actually turn out yet, but this is good news.

(Also, I had briefly started emailing my comments when I responded to comments in my blog. I ain't doing that no more! It's too hard for me to keep up. My computer is running slow these days and trying to keep up with writing something every day is enough of a challenge for me.)

In addition--Re:
30 Days of Thanks-Day 2-- I could not post yesterday because my mouse was not working properly. Yesterday I was very thankful that I was wrong about my belief that the attorney was taking a long weekend!

Day 3's thanks will have to wait until more of the day has passed so I can see what I am thankful for.

Sometimes I wish I had these two guys on hand to help me keep up with myself....

Friday, November 02, 2007

Overheard in Lousiana Last Week

Two different conversations:

Guy #1 was dialing the phone and said he must have had a wrong number because all he got was "Please leave your numeric message after the beep."

Guy #2 says, "Don't mind him, he's impotent. He can't even dial a phone. Did I say impotent? I meant to say incompetent. What is impotent anyway?"

The second one went like this:

"Ain't she purty (referring to his wife)? Don't she just look beautiful? Well, 'cept for her teeth. I sorta accidentally threw them away last week and we ain't had time to go back to Lafayette (presumably to order a new set).

(Day 2 of 30 Days of Thanks will have to come later--already I am crowded with trying to get myself together. Son's lawyer was not in yesterday, he (and the rest of the office, with the exception of one lone male secretary who knew nothing) took the day off yesterday...sheesh...more later on that subject.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November 1st? Uh.....

I'm venturing out a little more into the open with this NaBloWriMo project, not writing so much in private. But don't worry, I will try to remember to wash my hands afterwards. November 1st already, and I don't have much of anything to say!

I also joined the 30 Days of Thanks group, so I will be posting something each day I am thankful for. I am a grateful person, but I often have trouble expressing specifically the things I am grateful for. Maybe I will improve as the month wears on.

So, today, on day one of 30 Days of Thanks, I'm thankful for the progress my son is making.