Sunday, June 21, 2009


Our weather is simply perfect today: high projected at only about 83, humidity only around 25 percent, sunshine. Breezes, not wind.

Unusual for June. Last evening on our way to our final Steel Magnolias performance we ran into a deluge: water poured over the car and the Interstate. We ran out of it fortunately, but this June has been wetter than many, and also cooler. Next week we head upwards into the 100s -- far more typical summer pattern.

The garden likes it, though, and I cut a bunch of lettuces yesterday, including the arugula that is my current favorite. Soon as the temps head up, it'll all bolt, so we're enjoying fresh greens. The RB Farmers Market yesterday has cukes, zucchini, mounds of green beans, and melons -- I have blossoms but no fruit yet, although the tomatoes have clusters of little green orbs that will ripen nicely in the heat. If it gets too hot, however, the blossoms won't I'm hoping for reasonable temps.

We're being very lazy today, this Father's Day. I'm thinking a nap might be good, maybe some steak on the barbecue later, a big salad, then watching our favorite Sunday night shows and even catching up on some of those we've DVR-ed and saved.

It's back to life as usual tomorrow. No rehearsals, no performances, no lines. It will seem odd, I know. And I've got a couple of deadlines, plus many areas that need sorting and cleaning out since I've put stuff off over this last three months.

But I will enjoy today -- the summer solstice, with the longest day of the year and the shortest night. I remember being in Sweden for the solstice many years ago, seeing Maypoles everywhere, sprigs of green adorning cars and boats and homes and even people, to celebrate the return of the sun.

Hope yours is good, wherever you are, whatever you are doing.

Friday, June 12, 2009

He's back....

in blogland.

Tony, that is, my dearly beloved, is writing a multi-part story on his blog Cat-E-Whompus about his attitude adjustment over the last several months, and what has contributed to it.

Believe me when I say that it has definitely been a sea-change. You'll want to scroll down to part 1. He posted part 2 last night.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Whose life is more valuable?

I seldom wax political on these pages, although if you browse a bit through past posts you'll find a few. There are others who relish the flapping of the red cape at the bull far more than I.

But the recent murder of George Tiller as he was ushering during a church service got to me. He was cold-bloodedly murdered because he performed late-term abortions in his Kansas clinic. Despite other attempts to shut the clinic down and intimidate both the doctor and his staff, Tiller kept it open to help the desperate women from around the world who seek the procedure.

Reasons for late-term abortions are usually because of some horrible genetic problem in the fetus, and they are rare. More than 90 percent of the abortions performed in the US are first trimester. The decision to have an abortion after that is not easy, nor is it simple to find a facility.

There are many well-known columnists who have opined about the killing, including Ellen Goodman, Deborah King on the Huffington Post, even Time Magazine. As always in abortion-related violence and acts of terrorism against providers and even clients, the pro-life folks are claiming shock at the act, saying that there are other ways to bring providers to justice. But one must wonder if there isn't also some jumping up and down with glee.

I'm not expressing anything new here. Simply put, I am completely baffled by how such an act of violence and murder can be justified by anyone, most especially by groups who claim that ending a pregnancy for any reason, including to save the life of the mother, is wrong. Period.

I do not understand how to justify putting an unborn fetus first in the life of a family -- a mother, certainly, a father, perhaps other children, an extended family -- over the health of either the mother or the fetus, over economic hardship caused to all as a result of a gravely impaired fetus, over certain extensive medical expenses, and over the grief and pain and suffering of all, including what would be a drastically handicapped infant.

Do the other lives then count for nothing? Once born, are we then disposable? Are our lives useful only to the extent that we become incubators for fetuses, no matter how handicapped or how grave a prognosis there might be for it if carried to term? What of the existing lives of the mother, the other children? Are they inconsequential when measured against the life of one yet unborn?

If life is sacred, how does one equivocate the existence of a fetus with the life of a person? Which is the more valuable? And who makes that call?

Pro-choice does not mean proabortion. I have actively been prochoice for years, marching in picket lines, testifying before a state legislature, even lobbying on Capital Hill. Long ago in Missouri, I represented the prochoice viewpoints of various Christian denominations to legislators, voters, and the public. Does that mean I favor abortion? No. Nor did anyone with whom I worked or met during that time.

Tiller provided a compassionate, legal service to desperate women and their families, one which he knew was risky at the least. That he would be gunned down during his own time of worship is -- indeed, MUST be -- intolerable to anyone who believes in love, who believes in a compassionate, caring God, and who values all life.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Crocs on sale again

If you missed it the first time around, the Mary Jane Crocs are on sale again, with 50 percent off if you buy two pair. Use the code MALINDI09 to get free shipping.

I bought two pair, one in silver, the other in cotton candy, and already had one in black. I love them -- you can get them wet, they're cool, they're comfy like slippers.

The sale is good for both women's and girls shoes.

I got this alert from Brad's Deals, a daily shopping e-mail. Most of the time there's nothing I'm looking for, but you just hit delete if that's the case. On the other hand, you can save a bunch if you find a deal.

I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Time flies, whether you're having fun or not

As if it wasn't enough to perform "Steel Magnolias" five times a week, I watched the movie yesterday. I have always loved that movie. Even though I knew what was coming, I sobbed anyway.

But since we're well into production, I wanted to see how the six women stars played their characters. It'd been a long time since I watched it. And it holds up well.

One of the things that touched me greatly, though, was in the features section of the DVD, seeing playwright Robert Harling speak about why he wrote the play in the first place. I knew it was a form of grief therapy for him when his beloved sister Susan died, much the same way that Shelby does. But he elaborates some, and I could feel the anguish of the brother at losing her at such a young age. He wanted his nephew to know a little more about his mother, to understand what she did in choosing to have him.

That, and seeing all those actresses 20 years younger, made me think of my own age, my own stage in life now, and all the things I missed out on as a younger person -- all the wasted time, the ill-thought choices.

Not that there weren't some great times and some good choices, mind you. And I wouldn't go back and do it again, not really.

But for some reason seeing the movie made me aware -- again -- of how brief our life here really is, and how unaware we are of that when we are young(er).

In our 20s and 30s, and yes, even the 40s, the awareness of our own mortality is usually non-existent, barring life-threatening illness, accident, or the early deaths of those we love. I, at least, plowed through any number of days without appreciating what I had, even squandering them by not taking care of myself physically (or mentally), just sort of meandering through years without a lot of focus on who I am and what I wanted.

I was a "good" girl, pretty much doing what others expected me to do and be, with a few stubborn streaks thrown in and a couple of fairly bad habits, including smoking and drinking to excess. It wasn't until I was into my 30s that I began to cut those out of my life and to think about what I really wanted and to discover who I really was. And it took another 13-14 or so years to be able to decide what I wanted to do about it.

And while I don't spend time mulling over my past mistakes, I am aware now of how unaware I was -- how unaware my friends and acquaintances were -- of how precious time is. How you can not get back one single day, no matter how much money or love or wishing.

The conundrum, of course, is that you have to get older to really understand this. And then it's too late.

Not that life is over, mind you! No, as Shelby tells Clairee in the play, "There are still good times to be had!" And I do believe that. Life is what you choose to make of it, every day, one day at a time.

But my prime time is over. The 40-something generation is in the power years now -- this is their time now, their time to make the world different, to change their lives, to realize their potential. And the 30s are right on their heels.

I remember those years so clearly that it feels very odd to realize they are over and that part of my life is finished. It still startles me sometimes to catch a glimpse of myself in a window or a mirror and see the mantel of age draped over my hair and my skin and my posture. It's not unattractive, just not always in sync with how I think of myself.

But what really resonates is time: how quickly it goes, what I do with it. There is not a day that I don't say gratitude prayers -- many times a day -- for my husband, our home and friends, for my life as it is and the opportunities that I have and that present themselves so frequently. I didn't do that when I was younger, at least not often. I didn't cherish each day. I wasn't aware that I didn't have all the time I needed to effect whatever change I wanted to make.

I wasn't aware.

I don't know how to help my children understand that, if indeed it is even possible to make them understand it. Perhaps it takes age and perspective.

I can only hope that they will live long enough to see and to understand. I'm grateful that I have and do now.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. ~Carl Sandburg

Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of lightning, at once exists and expires. ~Charles Caleb Colton

Time is what we want most, but... what we use worst. ~William Penn

Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can't buy more hours. Scientists can't invent new minutes. And you can't save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you've wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow. ~Denis Waitely