more pearls than whine

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Could I be with my thoughts for a week?

I've been thinking about this ... All kinds of creative ideas pop into my head while I'm walking my dog. I'm not reading a book ... or listening to one. I'm not watching TV or a movie. I am not listening to anyone else talking about anything.

I'm just with my thoughts ... in the day ... outside in the world ... in the moment. I'm not filling my head with other people's ideas.

I was wondering ... could I give up my books, my computer, my TV, for a week ... without being in solitary confinement where I had no choice?

That is a very tough question. If I did this, would I really give some serious thought to different things, or would I decide I needed to entertain myself ... Would I invent stories in my head?

I could give up the TV pretty easily, I think. And the hard copies of books ... for a week, sure ... well, maybe. It would be much harder to stop listening to my unabridged audio books ... small panicky feeling. And, the computer, maybe, because it is my outreach right now to the world ... through email and the blogs. The blogs are closer to solitary confinement in that I am with my thoughts ... and my invisible audience.

Gee, if I did this, would I allow myself to write things down, or would I let things swirl around in my head?

I might try this. It bears thinking about. It sounds like an opportunity for the creative juices to flow.

Or, if I gave up these things, I could clean instead. Nah.

I'll have to think about this while I'm walking my dog.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Some early morning thoughts ... How do I appear as Soul?

I was walking my dog this morning along the lake road ... I seem to get a lot of ideas while walking my dog ... and I got really expansive... or something ... this morning, wondering about what we look like in our true essence ... what we look like as Soul.

So the thoughts that ran through my head were ... What do I look like spiritually? What is my true name? Because I'm in a human body, and have a human mind ... I would probably translate my spiritual appearance in a human way. This way I would also recognize other Souls in the spiritual worlds, wouldn't I? Hmmmm. Since everything is "energy," I imagine that I would automatically translate the essence into the form I attached to it. I have my own unique identity, just as a snowflake does ... which means I'm recognizable as ME. And I would recognize other snowflakes ... umm ... Souls.

I was also thinking ... if I've lived 10,000 lifetimes, how am I recognized by other Souls I knew during those lifetimes? Maybe each soul would translate my essence into an image of who I was in the physical realm when they knew me. It boggles the mind.

But I really think that as we travel in the inner spiritual worlds we project our best possible ... in a spiritual sense ... appearance ... and it resonates to all that we are. In the same way, we had as many different names as we had bodies ... and our true name is the one that resonates to all that we are at our center. Anyway, it sounds good.

We cross paths with Souls we've spent time with before in other lifetimes. Because of karmic ties, I think this accounts for instant affinity with another person ... "I feel like I've known you before... or ... forever" ... and it also accounts for instant dislike that has no apparent reason.

If you're in a family, you can bet that you have karma to work out with them. It is said that we learn the most in times of difficulty and with people who aggravate us the most. I guess I can believe that one! I can also believe that things get carried over from lifetime to lifetime ... and that sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.

I've often felt that I was tying up a lot of little loose ends in this lifetime. But I think there are still some unresolved situations and issues. Sigh.

My human self would like to know my true name. Let me rephrase that. I believe I know my true name on some level, but it is not in my conscious mind ... yet. Is it important? I don't know. It might just be an idea that comes under the category ... interesting tidbit, but don't let it interfere with your fully living right now. That is more important than what was or what might yet be.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

What happened to "You're welcome?"

Someone actually said "You're welcome" the other day when I said "Thank you." I noticed it because it is so rare to hear. And I appreciated hearing it. In the last few years I've noticed a change in social habits.

When did people stop saying "You're welcome" when someone says "Thank you?" The usual response I hear is a very noncommittal ... "uh huh" ... or ... "mmm," as if they can't be bothered, as if a genuine response came with strings ... some horrible consequence. It comes across as if the person who says thank you isn't worth acknowledging. It just seems odd to me.

If "You're welcome" is too formal, then what about ... "de nada." ... "It's my pleasure." ... "I'm glad you like it." or "I'm glad you're pleased." Even "no problem" is better than "uh huh."

How did this change in communication come about? I don't really know. And I don't know when, either. The problem is, when you hear something all the time, you can fall into the same pattern, because it has become customary ... the new "normal."

I just find "uh huh" a little chilly and dehumanizing.

Thanks for sharing, Lindie.

"Uh huh."

Listen to what people actually say when you say "Thank you." And eavesdrop. It should be interesting.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Addicted to books!

I used to have a lot of books, but now I am inundated ... when did I begin to feel I had to have so many? What makes me think I can read or study all of them in my lifetime! Do I need to have them all? Am I really going to use them? Of course, if I could take them with me ....

I envision a wonderful space filled with books on shelves encircling the room. The shelves hold all the books I want to read and those yet to be written that I would want to read. I think some books are written and read on the "inner worlds" before they make their way here to this plane of existence. In my book room there is a large window overlooking an expansive view. Perhaps a meadow that slopes down to the edge of a lake ... fir trees line the opposite shore and hillside and mountains are in the distance. (This is one of many scenes I might find outside my window.) There is a comfortable chair which is kind of odd, since I'd much rather sit at a table in a relatively straight chair to read. Any way, this particular chair is relatively straight and upholstered, the high-back kind with the wings. I might sit in it and read. But, there is also a highly polished library table with a comfortable straight chair in front of it and a wonderful reading lamp sitting on top of it. The single drawer holds pen and paper. (The computer has its own space.)

Well, that was quite fanciful. But, as much as I love books, I need to lighten my load here and now. I think I'll address this entire issue in my Decluttering Project Blog, which is where this situation belongs.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

What if you couldn't see?

While I was getting my eyes checked today, the technician who ran some of the machines told me about a survey that had been done ... to emphasize how important vision is to many. People were asked which they would prefer: blindness or death. At least 50% said death. Wow. I would have to say I would choose blindness. I wouldn't like not being able to see everything in my world. The visual is very important to me. But if I could hear, I could still have a rich life ... but it would take major adjustment.

I used to play the "What if" game. What if I couldn't see. What if I couldn't hear. What if I couldn't see or hear. What would I do? (The list went on and on.) I can speculate all I want, but I don't think you can KNOW how you would react and how quickly you would "come around" and take steps to work with what is unless you are in such a situation. To say ... Oh, I would do thus and so ... is just too cavalier. There are so many considerations!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Adding Project Blogs ... It's not over until it's over.

I may have to add two project blogs ... for myself ... to track my progress in a day-to-day way. But, will I use them? I think the vehicle has great possibility. I just might.

How many times have I projected accomplishments by a certain date, outlined my plan of attack, visualized a certain result ... and later found the sheets of paper, still blank and the way-in-the-future goal dates long ago in the past. It's downright disheartening.

During a long ago seminar I remember this call to action: You want to ride a pony but you are afraid (what else but fear stops you in your tracks?). You can think about it, talk about it, read about it, buy the pony, house it, feed it, groom it, saddle it ... but sometimes you just have to get on the pony and ride it ... JUST DO IT! Easier said than done!

My projects aren't magical, but I'm going to make them so ... because I just can't stand it anymore ... I'm filled with self-recriminations ... even self-loathing. This is not healthy and goes against my natural inclination, which is to be joyful.

The bottom line: I'm embarrassed by my appearance (out of shape, way excess weight and middle age), and by my environmental mountain of clutter and congestion ... can't have anyone over because it's just too awful. I can't do anything about the middle age, but I don't have to look like I've given up! It's not over until it's over, so I can do something about these things if I take action.

I did it! I boldly went where I never thought I'd go. I created two project blogs: Decluttering Project (that's what it is) and Shapechanger Project (that's what it is also). Warning: Read at your own risk. It isn't pretty.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Am I the Oldest Blogger?

No, I am not. Ya gotta love Google! oldest blogger yielded great results, naturally. I may be older but I'm still a baby blogger and feeling my way.

Check out http://jennett.org/ageless/stats. You can focus on your year, your decade, or any aspect, for that matter. Very interesting. Just discovered it last night and have yet to explore it in any depth. Hey, I'm still checking out the sites from the weblog awards. And you can't be out there always checking someone else's blog ... which could go on and on and on ... and forgetting about your own.

But, I had gotten to wondering if there were many "older" bloggers out there. I knew there had to be, but statistically, I wasn't hitting them ... and feeling a bit "dated." I've been exploring blogs through the "who I read" lists and also the blogs of those who make comments. I want to get a feel for what is out there ... blogs are an art form, besides being a great source of entertainment and sometimes enlightenment.

It seems that most bloggers are 20 to 30 something -- the hormone infused years. There are people in that general age group out their producing excellent blogs. There is the famous dooce of course ... doesn't everyone read dooce? She's probably on more "who I read" lists that any other blogger I've found so far. And there is tequila mockingbird ... a blog of note and very satisfying ... worth checking out. I'm still exploring others because I want variety in my reading diet. So, I began to wonder where the others are ... the ones who are checkmarking their things-to-do-before-I-die list ... I was looking for additional scope ... and I found the ageless site I mentioned.

Would these "older bloggers" be different? Now that I've found some, I'll be checking them out. Will they be so much different than their younger counterparts? Somehow I doubt it.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I Love Libraries.

Libraries have played a significant role in my life (I've used them as a "patron" ... and I've also been employed by public and school libraries at different points in my life).

An early significant library memory is of riding my hand-me-down 26" balloon tire bike, complete with woven basket, to the library during summer vacation. I would fill the basket with fiction and live in one book after the other. They took me to different places where I met interesting people. Did I read to escape? You betcha. Still do. And I would read because I want to find out what happens next. That's a given.

At some points in my life, not being in the world was so important that I would escape into one book, finish it, and start another without every coming up for air. I KNEW I had a problem, but it would run its course. Sometimes I would reading voraciously, at other times just in a trickle (during these periods, I was apt to be involved in the world). My reading habits are more balanced now, so I escape in a less desperate fashion. Picking up a book and reading it for 20 minutes is a mini-vacation. When I listen to books, I'm doing something else at the same time, usually, so I'm still participating in the world.

All that said, I've never been so passionate about Libraries as I am now.

I have four different library cards, three for library systems nearby (I even pay for the privilege of checking books out in one of these systems) and one for NYC (I couldn't resist), even though I'm too far away to check out materials ... but I can go on line, and do research, etc. I visit two or more libraries each week to return and check out materials and I'm online checking their websites frequently.

I usually borrow unabridged audio books, especially those produced by Recorded Books (
www.recordedbooks.com). I'm especially fond of their narrators ... they are the best overall. Listening Library (children's) also has very fine narrators. Although I'm always reading books too, I'm totally hooked on listening. I've enjoyed books that I might not have picked up to read. For me, listening makes the "reading" experience even richer.

I began listening to audio books when I had to drive on interstate roads ... that type of driving makes me so sleepy ... my eyes would literally want to slam shut ... I couldn't stand it and would have to leave the interstate and find four lane divided highways or other main roads with more visually interesting scenery. I can tolerate interstates longer when I'm listening to a story. I stop the story only if traffic gets especially challenging or if I'm navigating through a town or city.

Now I listen during a 20-25 minute commute, when I'm out and about doing errands, when I'm cooking, when I'm doing anything mundane that doesn't require my full attention, and of course, when I travel. I wouldn't be listening right now because I would have to restart the tape or disk where I last remembered it. I would just tune it out. I also wouldn't be listening now because I just happen to be on a library computer (another great advantage to using the library).

I just had an hour before going to the movies, something I haven't done lately, and thought I would work on my "I Love Libraries" draft ... this sure is being written in bits and pieces.

Anyway, I do love libraries. You get to borrow materials (books, movies, music, magazines, etc.), do research, use their computers, and take advantage of their online sites; you can sit and read, write, think. They have classes, talks, exhibits, presentations ... all kinds of opportunities ... and they have real people ... librarians ... to help you if you want to ask for it. I've always thought, If you can read, you can learn how to do anything! That might be a little simplistic, but there's a lot of truth to it.

I've bought some audio books, but I discovered that libraries have fantastic selections of unabridged audio books. After I essentially ran through one branch's unabridged audio collection, I explored others. In that way I've come to add different libraries to my circuit. I know that I can get anything available within a system sent to a nearby branch through interlibrary loan ... which I sometimes do, especially if I have a specific title or narrator I'm interested in. But, sometimes I don't know what I want, so browsing is very satisfying and rewarding. You don't always know what you want until you see it.

I'm particularly fond of fiction, in book or audio form. Lately I've been listening to "young adult" stories, which I probably wouldn't have picked up in book form. I've listened to Caroline B. Cooney's "Janie" stories ... The Face on the Milk Carton is the first and you would definitely want to read/listen to them in order. I found one library that has a particularly fine collection of young adult audio books ... by Recorded Books ... and have pretty much exhausted them. I also listen to a wide range of "adult" titles too.

When I'm reading a book, I tend to start racing along and often miss the flavor, the nuance, so for me listening makes the "reading" by audio a very rich experience. I listened to No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, narrated by Lisette Lecat. Wow. She has a soft South African accent, which is very easy to understand. She clears up the mystery of the pronunciation of unfamiliar words and speaks with a rhythm of the language that gives it a certain authenticity. There is such a sense of being in Botswana. She does all the different voices ... and there is no mistaking which character is speaking (this is very typical of Recorded Books narrators).

Yep. Libraries are just about the best deal going ... a true case of getting full value from your tax money, provided you take advantage of the materials and services available.

One odd thing about borrowing versus buying books (I'm in favor of both options): I've found that you're more likely to actually read the book right away when you borrow it. But when you buy the book, it might sit around for weeks, months, even years before you get to it. After all, you can read it anytime. You know the saying, "Your eyes are bigger than your stomach?" It's kind of like that, so you find that you have a ridiculous number of unread books. But of course, if you're cut off from civilization, you'll still have something to read.

Get a life? Well, this is the reading part of it. As for the accumulation of books themselves, that's another story. I love books!

Twelve geese in a row

When I was walking my dog along the lake road the other day, I saw a group of geese that appeared frozen on the ice ... like statues. It was such a dramatic scene that I stopped to really take it in. They were arrayed more or less in a line, spreading out from the edge of an open water area. When I looked closely, I saw that three were standing and the rest were sitting ... absolutely still. One of the standing geese started walking. Until then it was almost surreal.

Naturally, I didn't have a camera ... it would have been stunning. Then I wondered what message or bit of wisdom I was supposed to get. I counted the geese, studied their positions, soaked in the scene ... but nothing came through. And then I thought perhaps I should accept it as a gift of beauty.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What? I'm just afraid? That's it?

Warning -- Big Whine ... You can just skip this spewing ... I'm pumping out my own stomach and it's nasty business ... and y'all don't care anyway.

I'm making myself crazy. What perversity of human nature, what character flaw, what lack of discipline, what lack of will ... yada yada yada ... allows me to wallow in a rut ... unable to make some badly needed changes in my behavior and beliefs: I'm behaving badly and I don't believe in myself. Well, it must be true if I think I'm a failure. It must be true if I whine and carry on and don't do anything to get unstuck. It must be true if I can't seem to take the needed action to make desirable changes ... and I think this goes way back.

Why, when I have so many wonderful tools available to make the needed changes, am I still unable to take action? Why?

Things I need to know first: I need to know what it is I want ... and then figure out how to get myself to take that first step and then actually take it.

I've heard that the first step is the hardest and that's no lie. If I can work through this, maybe I'll understand the dynamic ... instead of waiting for a moment where time stops and I'm able to pivot and step out on a new track.

Am I afraid of success? Maybe. Am I just afraid? Maybe I am. " I am Lindie .... and I'm a scaredy cat." Hmmmmm

Maybe I should figure out why I'm stuck. This talking business might help me figure it out. Well, one of my reasons for writing in this blog is its application as a tool for self-healing ... this is the growing myself up part. So I guess it is a jump start for change, because I'm actually working on it, giving it my attention, trying to get my head and heart in alignment ... actually, my whole body, including my inner ones ... my whole self.

When I say this "stuckness" goes way back, here is a little example that was big at the time:

Jump Rope ... Two girls are swinging a rope and I have to jump in. I watch the rope, my head starts to swing in time with the rope, and keeps swinging and swinging and it feels like it will go on forever. Can I jump in? I am afraid. I can't do this. Sometimes I can actually jump in, but more often I can't. It seems like an impossible hurdle, this act of simply jumping into the swinging rope. The message I gave myself in 1957 for not being able to jump into the rope: I was a failure.

I'm gonna try a little stream of consciousness here: If I can't seem to do anything right ... (my perception? ... or feedback from without or lack of it?) then maybe if I don't do anything, I won't do anything wrong. Not likely.

Big mud pie.

So, I've decided that at this time three areas require my taking action ... and that I must decide what I don't want and what I do want in each of them. This should be a good trick. They are self image (I'm not happy with myself on several levels), clutter (understatement), and creative output (it's in stasis). I do believe this blog business is shaking things up ... and that's a good thing.

Maybe if I DO something, I won't beat myself up so badly. Do I feel better now that I've puked this up? As a matter of fact, yes.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

I looked up and sucked in my breath ...

Words fail me ...

A few times in my life I've experienced a sight of such beauty that it has brought me tears. It touches some part of me ... and it's too grand to be expressed ... words could never capture the feeling. And I don't believe a photograph would, either. The quality of the air would be missing, for one. And it's a multi-dimensional experience ... I think it can only be hinted at.

This morning I was walking my dog along the lake road. It was overcast and the sun was trying to burn through the gray. I looked up and sucked in my breath. I was stunned ... overcome by the scene before me. The sun cast a soft path of gold on the textured, frozen lake, much like the moon would do. Snow showed through the bare trees on the bluff on the other side, the houses along the shore looking tiny and somehow perfect. The colors were so soft and subtle ... and rich at the same time. The scene brought me to tears. It was exquisite.


When I lived in Southern California I experienced a significant moment of sheer beauty. I was driving up through Cajon Pass from San Bernadino in early evening and I saw a sunset so unearthly ... heavenly even, that I had to pull off the road. It was all pinks and purples with bits of blue and rays of golden light were streaming down everywhere. I remember hitting the steering wheel and saying, "I die, I die." My heart was bursting with joy in that moment and my eyes were full of tears. It was so beautiful it almost hurt. I wanted to capture it on film, but I Knew it would not have been possible. Instead, I can still see it, but it is the memory of the moment ... and so not quite the same.

I had another awe inspiring moment when I lived in New York City years ago. I was walking along the street one sunny, clear, bright blue sky day and looked up just as a small flock of white birds swooped up together, the sunlight catching them just so. It was an exquisite moment. I tried to write a poem about it (don't know where it is right now) and I only remember the last line ... 'the concrete soft beneath my feet.' I felt lighter than air in that moment.

I believe these rare moments are spiritual gifts.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Raggedy Ann vs Barbie

Childhood Bits (Tales of an early baby boomer)

Actually, there was never any competition between Raggedy Ann and Barbie for me. Barbie came into popularity in 1960 (I had to look that up) when I was a freshman in high school. (Ancient history) I was already too old for Barbie.

Besides, I had my Raggedy Ann with her happy face and the red heart on her breast and I loved her. I still get a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about Raggedy. (She's missing in action.)

And, my brother had a Raggedy Andy. Some of the best memories of my brother, who was a year and a half younger than I, have to do with playing talking Raggedies.

We'd have wonderfully imaginative Raggedy conversations on summer nights. Since my mother sent us to bed at 7 pm -- it did not matter that it was still light outside, our Raggedies would talk until twilight came (... I can still remember the wonder of really looking at twilight and seeing the bright spots of darkness floating in front of my face. They almost looked like fireflies). This was a nice memory.

So, I never cared a thing about Barbie that I can remember. She wasn't a warm and cuddly doll. I know she is loved and collected, etc., and I'm sure she deserves that, but she's not Raggedy.

When my daughter was growing up (she is 29 now), I never felt compelled to buy her anything Barbie. I just didn't particularly like Barbie (besides -- she and all her paraphernalia added up to a chunk of change at the time -- and still does -- and I was a single mom). I'm sure there are those out there who think I deprived my daughter dreadfully, but she had Grover, Strawberry Shortcake, and Alf. If she had a Barbie or a knockoff, it didn't come from me. (It just dawned on me that Barbie was the precursor of the action figure ... basically a doll that is easy to carry around in your hand! What a concept!)

And, I still love my Raggedy ... wherever she is!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I can still say this nursery rhyme in six seconds

Family Traditions

We all have nursery rhymes in our families that come to us from previous generations. This one popped into my head the other day and I'm sure that I learned it before I began school. I can still perform it ... whatta talent!

I've seen this one in different variations, but this is how we said it. So, as it sounds and is spoken:

One - ery
Two - ery
Dick - o -ry Dai - ry
Al - a - bo Crack - a - bo
Hen - ry Lay - vee
Dis - come - Dan
and Ma - ry Come Time
Hum - ble - dy Bum - ble - dy
Nine - ty - nine

What does it mean? I have no idea.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Doesn't everyone?

Weird Things I Think About Sometimes

It is amazing how often I am still surprised by the simplest things. I think I'm open and without expectations -- ya know, live and let live? -- but it turns out that I am just as ego centered as the next person and think that if I like something ... well, doesn't everyone?

When I say the simplest things, the first thing that comes to mind is food.

If someone says, "Eeeuuu ... onions," with the curling lip and the disgusted voice, I'm downright shocked. (Gee, there must be something wrong with a person who doesn't like _____, I think.) It's one thing if certain foods don't agree with your body, but it's quite another if it's simply a matter of actively not liking it. I mean, doesn't everyone like onions, garlic, cheese, salad, lemons, oranges, etc?
No, they don't. I know people have preferences and everyone doesn't like the same things I do, but it is still hard to fathom. On some level I think it can't be true. These things taste so good to me! Eeeuuu to chocolate? Imagine that!

Eeeuu to grubs? Well .... Eeeuuu would probably be my first reaction. But I guess I might try one ... if it was toasted (they're supposed to be good that way -- I sometimes watch the National Geographic channel) ... and therefore not wiggling ... and if I was really, really, really hungry.

But, I am absolutely certain that the person who grows up eating grubs ... and considers them a real treat as well as an excellent protein ... would be astonished to find that everyone doesn't eat and like grubs ... I know that person would think, "Doesn't everyone?"

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Rabbit!

Family Traditions:
Ever since I can remember, our family has had a highly competitive tradition on the first day of the month. The first one to say "Rabbit!" wins. There is no prize except the winning itself. It is usually done in great fun.

I've asked how it started. My dad said my mother made it up (she was born in 1921). I didn't really buy this explanation, but reserved judgment. Some years ago I came across a reference in a novel set in England about saying "White Rabbit" on the first of the month as you were sweeping the debris out the front door (if I remembered correctly). It was supposed to get rid of any evil spirits. It's still a curious tradition to me. A couple of years ago I picked up a book on English folklore to see if I could find anything there. This is what I found in Oxford's A Dictionary of English Folklore under rabbits:

"A fairly widespread modern custom among children was first recorded in 1909:
My two daughters are in the habit of saying 'Rabbits!" on the first day of each month. The word must be spoken aloud, and be the first word said in the month. It brings luck for that month. Other children I find use the same formula .... Other versions, common between the wars, use the formulas 'White rabbits!" or 'Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits!', and some add that one must say 'Hares!' or 'Black rabbits!' last thing the previous night."

I think it's origins probably go farther back.
Instead of "rabbiting" someone right after midnight, we usually do it first thing in the morning. In the interests of fair play and a satisfying win, it's nice to see the white's of their eyes. You try to sashay into the room as if you aren't concerned about a thing, quickly look up, and blurt out a resounding
"Rabbit!"
Sometimes you make it first, sometimes you don't, but the closer the win, the more satisfying it is.

I just used my favorite search engine -- Google -- to see what else is out there on "Rabbit!" I used the words -- rabbit first month. Wow. There are a lot of rabbiters out there, and plenty of white rabbiters and bunniers (which doesn't seem "right," but it's someone else's tradition).

My 29 year-old daughter has gotten her 'boyfriend' into rabbiting. Since they are both highly competitive, it's gotten pretty ugly sometimes. They're trying to inject more fun and less fierce. It's that or counseling.

My 13-year-old nephew will call his grandpa from 3 hours away on the morning of the first to "Rabbit!" him. When my dad thinks his granddaughter might be calling, he answers the phone, "Rabbit!" and hopes he doesn't need to explain to a stranger. So I guess we only rabbit once within a household, but we set up new rabbiting partners ... anyone we can get to participate in this bit of fun.

I think I'll post this after midnight so that it's my first word for March. But I'll still wait till morning to get my dad (he's 84). Sometimes he wins ... fair and square.