Friday, March 25, 2011

I Try So Hard

Yes, I do. I try so hard to keep the space around me organized. Before I began to work on finalizing my latest book, for example, I set up a table in the basement, found some containers for all of the yearbooks, and found a box for copies of The Pen. I had some stacking files that I could use for old directories, and I even had a container for pens and pencils. It was a great arrangement. I could get to work.

As you can see, I did a lot of work. The Post-it notes were from one of the people who read my draft. I didn't feel I could throw them away yet, because there were some notes I might need. Over time, my set-up has degenerated to this:

On the left are the three copies of the book that have been edited by others; the post-it notes are waiting to be used . . . it is a disaster!

Just throw it away, Karen. But when I do, it seems I usually need something. I never throw the correct thing away . . . it is always the wrong thing . . . so I just don't throw anything away!!!

Just put it away, Karen. Yes, I could put the yearbooks back, but just as soon as I do, I need them again . . . or I am in a hurry and will do so in a minute (and that minute never comes!)

And so, I end up with this. Pile managing is a terrible thing for someone who wishes she could be as organized in practice as she is in her head!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Third Love/Hate Relationship

I didn't know I had so many "relationships of issue," but apparently, I do. And I am becoming very adept at identifying them.

Cars. I love cars. They take me to the cabin, they bring my kids home to me, they take me to K-State football games. I don't even mind feeding them, as it is a necessary evil. I don't mind insuring them. They are valuable enough, I need to protect them.

But. Cars can be a pain in the neck. First, they are one of the few major assets a person purchases that immediately decreases in value. They are lousy investments. But the biggest pain is when something goes wrong, especially something that the mechanic can't find. I am in the midst of one of those issues right now.

My purplish Jeep, with its 127,000 well-earned miles, has been a good car. Until February. Suddenly, the oil gauge began to register incorrectly, causing the "Check gauges" light to come on. The first time, I had the car towed because we thought there wasn't any oil pressure. As it turns out, the problem is very elusive. I have had it to the shop three times now, and I have even written to the "Car Talk" forum. We came up with a great solution, and yesterday, I was so delighted that we had fixed the car. Until this morning. Same issue. Only happens when the car is cold, so the mechanic only has a ten minute window to find the problem.

So I wrote the "Car Talk" forum again. They have had some good ideas. I hope one of them works. Don't want to send my purple car away, but those love/hate relationships sometimes cause people to do funny things. Complicated, complicated.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Second Love/Hate Relationship

Squirrels. They are so entertaining. Daringly jumping from tree to tree, balancing upside down on bird feeders, making a race track in our backyard so they never have to touch the ground. I could watch them for hours.

But. Squirrels are a pain in the neck. They strip the bark off our trees, which may end up killing them. They eat so much of my bird food that I quit putting it out. They torment my dogs. Love/hate.

But I don't really hate them. Yesterday we were cleaning out the garden, and in the garden we have one of those "grow your tomatoes upside down" containers. I had seen a squirrel crawl out of it one day, and while he was working in the garden, Don looked in it. He could tell the squirrel was starting to build a nest in it, so we took it to the trash to dump it out. He took the top of the nest out and put it in the trash. "Eek, eek, eek." He heard the very loud squeals of a baby squirrel. Now what to do? I looked at him and we both agreed they are a pain, but we couldn't let the baby squirrel die. So Don did what any nice person would do. He put the nest back in the "grow your tomatoes upside down" container and hung it back in the garden. Not long after, the momma squirrel returned to her baby, and all was right with the world.

Love/hate relationships are complicated.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship

Yes, I have a love/hate relationship . . . with sports, or at least certain sports!

I love football. I love watching football, and Saturdays and Sundays in the fall are my favorites. I have football running in the background as I do all sorts of other things. As long as I don't have a dog in the fight, I can enjoy football all weekend.

I especially love K-State football. Going to the games, listening to the pre-game radio, watching the bowl games . . . it is the best.

I like basketball. And when certain teams do well, I love basketball.

But then, I get lulled into the thought that one of my faves might do well in a bowl, tournament, or a particular game and they don't. Then I hate sports. I hate talking about it. I hate the feeling that comes with the disappointment. I hate it.

By the time the next season comes around, however, the expectation is built, and I am all in again.

I hate the roller coaster ride, but I can't seem to get off it. Perhaps the good feelings that come with wins outweigh the bad feelings . . . but it seems I remember the bad times more. But am I willing to quit watching? Nope.

Today, I am on the hate side of sports, but after Sunday's NCAA selection announcement, I will get on the love side, rooting for my Wildcats!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Funny blinky lights

Well, some say I am a sucker for KSU, and in many respects, they are right. I have KSU trees, and purple lights, and nutcrackers, and blankets, and clothing, and. . .and . . . and. . .

You name it, I probably have it if it is purple and from Kansas State. So when I read about these cute ice cubes, I had to have one. And they did not disappoint!

Put them in your freezer, and when you are ready to use them, you can turn them on to flicker quickly, flicker slowly, and just stay lighted purple. They are so fun . . . they are going to be amazing at our tailgate parties!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Robins Know

Yesterday's weather was glorious. Warm sunshine heated up the newly-wet lawns, and my yellow crocus suddenly bloomed.

This morning, however, it was freezing cold again. I had to get out my down coat, my fancy musher's hat, and my scarf - it was that cold. As we walked through the park, I noticed a number of robins flitting around. The cold didn't seem to phase them. When I got home, there were over 100 robins in our yard. They were everywhere.

The robins must agree with Punxatawney Phil that spring is not far away! I hope they are right . . . though if that means a hot summer like last year, I would just as soon wait. Anyway, the robins know something is up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Two Tough Players

We have had our share of basketball this weekend. Friday night we went to the WSU-Creighton women's game; Saturday we went to the KSU-Missouri men's game; Sunday back to WSU to watch the ladies dispatch Drake; and then last night we watched our 'Cats own Texas one more time. It has been a good stretch, highlighted by tenacious defense, good offense, and four great wins.

More significantly, both teams featured a hot-shooting, hard-charging guard, who carried their team, even when hurt. The first, Hayleigh Lankster, plays for WSU. She can drain a three-pointer from anywhere on the court, yet she doesn't shy away from taking it to the basket in the middle of what looks like a traffic jam. She was carrying her Shockers on her back Sunday when suddenly she collided with one of the Drake players. She was lying face-down on the floor, and when she stood up, it was apparent that she was badly injured. The trainer placed a towel over her face, and I wondered how many teeth she had knocked out and how badly broken her nose was. I didn't think she would be back. Wrong. About 5 minutes later, out walks Hayleigh from the locker room and she immediately went back into the game. The only sign of an injury was a band-aid across her nose. She had to be in pain, but she still made several more shots and lay-ups. Yesterday's Wichita Eagle said they didn't know yet what damage she had done; I know if that had been me, I would still be on the table in the locker room, crying!

Jacob Pullen plays for Kansas State. He can drain a three-pointer from anywhere on the court, yet he doesn't shy away from taking it to the basket in the middle of what looks like a traffic jam. (Didn't I just say that?) He was carrying the 'Cats on his back willing them to win, when, while taking the ball to the hole, he was fouled, pushed out of bounds, landing on his hand. In obvious pain, he went to the bench for a minute, only to come back and shoot free throws. Broken bone? I wouldn't doubt it, but you wouldn't know it from his play the remainder of the game (except that he didn't use his hand much.) He played the rest of the game (even scored a few points), and afterwards said, "There's nothing I would rather do than play basketball. I hurt my hand and wrist, but it is fine. It will be fine."

Two tough guards these kids. Two great players. No wonder their fans and coaches love them!